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AmeriFlight Crash



 
 
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  #1  
Old November 30th 03, 05:01 PM
C J Campbell
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Default AmeriFlight Crash

Is it just me, or does AmeriFlight seem to lose an awful lot of airplanes? I
know 1999 was a bad year, but they appear to lose at least one plane every
year.

http://www.thesunlink.com/redesign/2...l/333810.shtml

--
Christopher J. Campbell
World Famous Flight Instructor
Port Orchard, WA


For the Homeland!



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  #2  
Old November 30th 03, 05:44 PM
Ted Huffmire
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They still seem to afford the insurance premiums.

Dan Foster was a CFI who was killed during an IPC:

LAX96FA078

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On December 23, 1995, at 0019 hours Pacific standard time, a Piper
PA-31, N27954, impacted terrain 16 miles north-northeast of San Jose,
California. The aircraft was destroyed and the two pilots were fatally
injured. The flight, operated by Ameriflight, Inc., with call sign
"Amflight 41", was an instructional flight conducted under 14 CFR Part
91. An IFR flight plan was filed and the flight completed two IFR and
two VFR segments prior to the accident. The flight was operating under
visual flight rules at the time of the accident. Weather conditions at
the
accident location are unknown; however, visual meteorological
conditions prevailed at Oakland. The flight departed from Oakland at
2320.

The purpose of the flight was to conduct a 6-month instrument
proficiency check for the second pilot. The other pilot was a check
airman employed by the operator. In accordance with the operators
Operations Manual, the check airman was the designated
pilot-in-command (PIC).

After an IFR departure from Oakland, the flight completed two ILS
approaches back to the Oakland airport before requesting vectors for
approach to Hayward. The first ILS was terminated in a VFR missed
approach which was followed by radar vectors from Bay TRACON for
the second (IFR) ILS approach at Oakland. The second ILS approach
also terminated with a VFR missed approach from Oakland to the east.
Oakland Tower personnel inhibited the Minimum Safe Altitude
Warning (MSAW) system for the flight when it initiated the VFR
missed approach. The pilot then contacted Bay TRACON and
requested a localizer DME runway 28L approach to the Hayward
airport. After determining the aircraft's heading, Bay TRACON
controllers instructed the aircraft to maintain 3,000 feet and then, 4
minutes later, instructed the aircraft to fly heading 120 degrees
(downwind leg) and maintain VFR conditions. The pilot acknowledged
the heading assignment but not "maintain VFR." Five minutes later, the
pilot asked the controller if they could turn onto the localizer and was
told that there were two Oakland arrivals inbound and that the turn
would be issued in "just a couple more seconds." Four minutes later,
radar contact was lost with the aircraft.

Rescue helicopters received an emergency locator beacon signal in the
area where radar contact was lost, but were initially unable to locate
the
aircraft due to low clouds obscuring the mountains. The wreckage was
located at 0915 when the weather improved. The aircraft had impacted
a north facing mountain slope at the 3,000-foot elevation level.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The PIC/check airman was hired by Ameriflight, Inc., on July 5, 1994,
and held an Airline Transport Pilot license with a multiengine land
rating
and commercial privileges in single engine land airplanes. He was
authorized by the operator to act as PIC of Piper PA-32R, Piper
PA-31, and Beech BE-99 aircraft under day or night and VFR or IFR
conditions. At the time of the accident he had acquired total flying
time
of approximately 4,500 hours, of which approximately 1,200 hours
were in multiengine aircraft. He held a valid first-class airman's
medical
certificate with no waivers or limitations.

In the 7-day period before the accident the pilot had flown a total of
14.1 hours. The first 2 days were off-duty (Saturday and Sunday),
followed by 5 workdays. The first 3 workdays (Monday to
Wednesday), the pilot's schedule consisted of reporting for work at
Oakland early in the morning, flying an outbound Piper PA-31 trip of
around 2 hours duration, being off-duty at the outbound station through
the day (rest time), and returning to the home base in the early
evening.
The fourth workday (Thursday), the pilot reported for duty (at
Oakland) at 0100, departed on an outbound Beech BE-99 trip at 0300,
turned around at the outlying station, returned to Oakland and was
off-duty at 0700.

The 5th workday, the day of the accident, the pilot reported for duty at
Oakland at 0600 hours, flew an outbound trip in a PA-31 and was
off-duty at the outbound station (Eureka, California) at 0900 hours. He
departed the outbound station at 2030 hours and returned to his
Oakland base at 2300 hours. The pilot then departed on the accident
flight at approximately 2330 hours. The hours between 0900 and 2030
were off-duty (rest time), however, it was reported by the operator that
the pilot used the time to return to Oakland (deadhead) on another
Ameriflight aircraft for undetermined personal reasons.

The pilot's fiancee reported that he was very upbeat and happy about
prospects for the future. He liked his job and had recruited several of
his friends to Ameriflight. She reported that on Thursday, the day
before the accident, he slept from about 1000 to 1400 hours after
returning home from his early morning flight. He went to bed again at
2200 hours and was out of the house at 0445 Friday morning. After
flying his outbound leg to Eureka in the morning he was supposed to
meet the second pilot there to complete the check ride, however, the
second pilot had called in ill. The pilot then deadheaded back to
Oakland for undetermined reasons before returning to Eureka for his
return flight. The pilot's fiancee didn't know of any sleep he got
through
the day, but doubted he was fatigued because of excellent sleep the
previous day and his good health and stamina.

The second pilot was hired by Ameriflight, Inc., on January 4, 1993,
and held an Airline Transport Pilot license with a multiengine land
airplane rating and commercial privileges in single engine land
airplanes.
He was approved by the operator to serve as PIC of Piper PA-32R,
Piper PA-31, and Beech BE-99 aircraft. He had accumulated a total
flying time of approximately 5,150 hours, of which approximately 2,500
hours were in multiengine aircraft.

In the 7-day period before the accident the second pilot had flown a
total of 13.1 hours. The first 2 days were off-duty (Saturday and
Sunday), followed by 5 workdays. On the first 4 workdays (Monday
through Thursday), his schedule each day consisted of a morning
outbound flight from Oakland to Eureka, California, arriving about
0930 hours. He was off-duty in Eureka until 1830 hours, and then
made a return flight to Oakland with stops in Ukiah and Sacramento,
California. He was off-duty in Oakland about 2230 hours each night.
On Friday, December 22, he was scheduled to fly the same trip,
however, he called in sick and did not fly until the accident flight.

The second pilot's wife reported that he had called in sick due to cold
symptoms, and that he remained at home during the day Friday while
she worked. She did not know if he took any medication. When she
returned home in the evening they had dinner together and she reported
that he seemed rested and alert, and showed no signs of having a cold.
She said that he was very happy and content, liked his job, and was
eager to complete his check ride in anticipation of spending the
weekend with his family.

Another Ameriflight pilot talked with the pilots about 2300 hours Friday
evening as they were preparing to go to the aircraft. He reported that
they both seemed rested and alert and that neither pilot showed any
signs of illness. This pilot had known the PIC a long time and
considered him a very good airman and said that he knew what the
clearance phrase "maintain VFR" meant.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The aircraft was acquired by Ameriflight in July 1994, and at the time
of the accident had acquired 9,840 hours total time and 10,966 cycles.
The aircraft was maintained by the operator in accordance with their
FAA approved continuous airworthiness inspection program. The
inspection program consists of four inspection events at 100-hour
intervals. The most recent maintenance was an event three inspection
on December 19, 1995, at 9,828 hours. The aircraft was dispatched for
the accident flight with no deferred maintenance items (squawks).

METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS

Weather conditions in the San Francisco Bay area at the time of the
accident consisted of multiple scattered to broken stratus layers, bases
1,000 to 3,000 feet, with tops to 6,000 feet. No weather reports are
available in the mountains near the accident site; however, 30 minutes
prior to the accident, the weather at San Jose, 14 miles south-southwest
was: sky partially obscured, 1,100 foot scattered clouds, measured
2,000 foot overcast clouds, visibility 8 miles and wind calm. At
Oakland, 25 miles west, the estimated ceiling was 1,500 foot broken,
6,500 foot overcast, visibility 5 miles in fog with a 2-degree
temperature/dew point spread. The wind was northeasterly at 11 knots.
Another Ameriflight pilot who was inbound to Oakland from
Sacramento heard AMFLT 41 on the radio shortly before the accident.
He described the night as "kind of an ugly night" with multiple stratus
layers and some mountains obscured. Although he could have flown
VFR, he opted to file IFR and reported that the mountains were
obscured near SUNOL intersection.

COMMUNICATIONS

In the 12 minutes before the accident the aircraft was in radio and
radar
contact with Bay TRACON. There were two controllers and one
supervisor present in the TRACON which was combined into two
sectors each staffed by one of the controllers. Departure radars 1, 2,
and 3, and arrival radars 7, 8, and 12 were combined at arrival radar 5.
The accident aircraft was in communication with arrival radar 6 which
had combined arrival radars 1, 2, 3, 4, 9 and 10, as well as flight data
positions 1 and 2.

The controller at arrival radar 6 was a full performance level
controller.
He has 11 years experience as a controller, all in terminal air traffic
control, and the last 7 years exclusively in radar control of aircraft.
He
completed mid-shift qualification training, which is required to work
the
late night combined sector configuration, on April 14, 1995.

In the 4-day period before the accident the controller worked five
shifts. On Tuesday, December 19, he worked a shift from 1500 to
2300 hours. On Wednesday and Thursday, December 20 and 21, his
shift was from 1330 to 2130 each day. On Friday, December 22,he
worked from 0625 until 1425, and was off-duty until 2235. He then
worked 2235 to 0635 (Saturday morning, December 23). The accident
occurred at 0019 Saturday morning. The controller reported that this
was not an abnormal work schedule, and said that he slept during the
time off Friday afternoon and was rested when he reported for work
Friday evening.

The controller told the NTSB investigator that there were several
indications to him that the aircraft was VFR when it departed Oakland
after the second ILS approach. One was that the aircraft was handed
off directly to him by the tower instead of a departure controller as it
would have had it been IFR. Another indication was that the aircraft
was flying heading 080 degrees (a VFR heading) instead of flying
runway heading as it would have under IFR. A third indication was the
aircraft's data block which carried a "R" symbol indicating that the
aircraft was conducting VFR practice approaches.

In the 4 minutes before the accident a surge of IFR arrival traffic into
San Francisco and Oakland required that the controller delay AMFLT
41's approach to Hayward. The controller characterized the workload
as "quite heavy" but within his ability to routinely handle. The
controller
told the NTSB investigator that it is a routine, workload leveling,
practice in this situation to delay handling aircraft that are VFR
awaiting
approaches and give priority to aircraft on IFR flight plans. In the
controller's view, AMFLT 41 was clearly VFR and was responsible for
it's own terrain separation. The controller stated he was not concerned
when AMFLT 41 approached an area of higher minimum vectoring
altitudes (MVA's) because "VFR aircraft fly below MVA's every day."

The supervisor on duty at Bay TRACON at the time of the accident
told the NTSB investigator that staffing levels at the facility are set
based upon past experience, and that the controllers assigned to work
the shift on which the accident occurred were present. The supervisor
stated that during the traffic surge in the minutes preceding the
accident,
he was seated at the radar display between the two controllers on duty.
He stated that the controller handled the traffic surge routinely and
that
he (the supervisor) was aware of AMFLT 41.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The wreckage was located at the 3,000-foot elevation of a north facing
mountain slope at latitude 37 degrees, 32 minutes north and longitude
121 degrees, 44 minutes west. A higher ridge reaches 3,718 feet 2 miles
southeast of the accident site. Radar data obtained from Bay TRACON
shows the aircraft tracking 120 degrees at 3,000 feet altitude prior to
the accident. The aircraft impacted the mountain with landing gear and
flaps retracted.

The accident site is in an area of 50- to 75-foot-tall trees growing on
a
mountain slope of approximately 35 degrees. The aircraft impacted in
the top of the trees and then continued approximately 120 feet to the
main impact point. The left and right wing tips were located
approximately 50 feet along the wreckage path from the point of initial
contact with the treetops. The fuselage and wing center section
including engine nacelles were found at the main impact point.

The left and right engines were separated from the aircraft and were
approximately 24 and 34 feet respectively, upslope of the main
wreckage and 19 and 3 degrees respectively, left of the wreckage
centerline. The propellers were both separated from their respective
engines with the left propeller located under the left engine nacelle
near
the fuselage and the right propeller located in a small tree
approximately
14 feet upslope of the right engine.

Between the initial impact point and the main wreckage were vegetation
debris and small pieces of the aircraft, principally pieces of the
wing's
outer panels and control surfaces. All major assemblies of the aircraft
were present at the accident site. The aircraft burned after impact and
the cockpit and fuselage forward of the wing trailing edge were
destroyed. The engines, separated from the aircraft, were involved in
the ground fire.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

Autopsies were performed on both pilots by the Alameda County
Sheriff's Department Coroner's Bureau. Toxicological tests were
performed on both pilots by the FAA's Civil Aeromedical Institute in
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The pilot's toxicology test was negative for
drugs; however, tests for carbon monoxide, cyanide, and volatiles could
not be performed due to the lack of a suitable specimen.

The second pilot's toxicology test was negative for cyanide and
volatiles. No analysis for carbon monoxide was performed due to lack
of a suitable specimen. The test was positive for four drugs:
Pseudoephedrine was detected in the urine and blood, and
Phenylpropanolamine was detected in the urine. Salicylate and
Acetaminophen were detected in measurable quantities in the urine.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Pilot and Air Traffic Controller roles in terrain separation are
addressed
in the Air Traffic Controller's Handbook, FAA Order 7110.65J and the
Aeronautical information Manual (AIM).

The Air Traffic Controller's Handbook states in Chapter 2, paragraph
2-1-2. Duty Priority, that the controller shall "Give first priority to
separating aircraft and issuing safety alerts as required in this
order." In
paragraph 2-1-6. Safety Alert, the same order states that the air
traffic
controller shall "Issue a safety alert to an aircraft if you are aware
the
aircraft is at an altitude which, in your judgment, places it in unsafe
proximity to terrain, obstructions, or other aircraft....NOTE: ....While
a
controller cannot see immediately the development of every situation
where a safety alert must be issued, the controller must remain vigilant
for such situations and issue a safety alert when the situation is
recognized." The handbook further states in paragraph 2-1-6, "Do not
assume that because someone else has responsibility for the aircraft
that
the unsafe situation has been observed and the safety alert issued;
inform the appropriate controller."

The Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) states in section 3-2-1,
paragraph f, Safety Alerts, that "Safety Alerts are mandatory services
and are provided to ALL aircraft." In sub-paragraph 1. of that
paragraph is further stated "A Terrain/Obstruction Alert is issued when,
in the controller's judgment, an aircraft's altitude places it in unsafe
proximity to terrain and/or obstructions." In section 4-1-15. Safety
Alert, paragraph a.1. of the AIM states that "Controllers will
immediately issue an alert to the pilot of an aircraft under their
control
when they recognize that the aircraft is at an altitude which, in their
judgment, may be in an unsafe proximity to terrain\obstructions." In
section 4-1-16. Radar Assistance to VFR Aircraft, paragraph b., the
AIM states that "Pilots should clearly understand that authorization to
proceed in accordance with such radar navigational assistance does not
constitute authorization for the pilot to violate FARs." Paragraph c. of
the same section states "In many cases, controllers will be unable to
determine if flight into instrument conditions will result from their
instructions. To avoid possible hazards resulting from being vectored
into IFR conditions pilots should keep controllers advised of the
weather conditions in which they are operating and along the course
ahead."

The Aeronautical Information Manual, Paragraph 5-4-3, "Approach
Control," states in part, "(b)...Radar vectors and altitude or Flight
Levels will be issued as required for spacing and separating aircraft.
Therefore, pilots must not deviate from the headings issued by
approach control." The AIM states further in Chapter 5, "Air Traffic
Procedures," Section 4, "Arrival Procedures," paragraph 5-4-5,
"Instrument Approach Procedure Charts," in part: "d. Minimum
Vectoring Altitudes (MVA) are established for use by ATC when radar
ATC is exercised....1. The minimum vectoring altitude in each sector
provides 2,000 feet above the highest obstacle in designated
mountainous areas....2....While being radar vectored IFR altitude
assignments by ATC will be at or above MVA."

Also in Chapter 5 of the AIM, Pilot/Controller Roles and
Responsibilities, Section 5-5-6. Radar Vectors, lists among pilot
responsibilities in a.3: "If operating VFR and compliance with any radar
vector or altitude would cause a violation of an FAR, advises ATC and
obtains a revised clearance or instructions." In section 5-5-7. Safety
Alert, among pilot responsibilities are "Be aware that this service is
not
always available and that many factors affect the ability of the
controller to be aware of a situation in which unsafe proximity to
terrain, obstructions, or another aircraft may be developing."

The NTSB asked the FAA Western Region to interpret a note in
section 5-6-1 of the Air Traffic Control Handbook, FAA Order
7110.65(). The question from the NTSB to the FAA was:

"In [Order 7110.65()], a note appended to section 5-6-1, Paragraph (c),
states that the controller may vector a VFR aircraft at any altitude
(i.e.
below the MVA) if the aircraft is 'not at an altitude assigned by ATC'.
Does the reverse apply? Specifically, if the VFR aircraft is at an
altitude
assigned by ATC, may the controller vector the aircraft in Class E
airspace at an altitude which is below the MVA?"

The FAA (Acting Manager, Strategic Operations. and Procedures,
ATO-100) replied:

"The basic answer is no, if a controller assigns an altitude to maintain
to
any aircraft, whether operating Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) or VFR,
the altitudes specified in paragraph 5-6-1, Methods, are applicable.

Simply stated the intent of the requirements of Order 7110.65 are that a
controller may assign an altitude or a vector to a VFR aircraft at any
time, but to assign both simultaneously, the aircraft must be at or
above
the MVA/MIA (minimum IFR altitude), as per paragraph 5-6-1."

The NTSB released the aircraft wreckage to United States Aviation
Insurance Group on April 11, 1996.

Additional persons participating in this accident investigation we

John W. Hazlet, Jr., Kenneth J. Couche, and Stuart R. Schrock of
Ameriflight, Inc., Burbank, CA 91505.
  #3  
Old November 30th 03, 06:56 PM
Al Gilson
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

There was an incredible media frenzy in Spokane yesterday morning. At one
point they were waiting for the "ATF" to do the investigating of the crash
site. It was weird because the weather guy on duty yesterday on the TV
station in question is a certificated pilot and should have known the
difference.

Al Gilson
1964 Skyhawk
Spokane

On 11/30/03 8:01 AM, in article , "C J
Campbell" wrote:

Is it just me, or does AmeriFlight seem to lose an awful lot of airplanes? I
know 1999 was a bad year, but they appear to lose at least one plane every
year.

http://www.thesunlink.com/redesign/2...l/333810.shtml

  #4  
Old November 30th 03, 07:15 PM
Bob Gardner
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Hey, Al...Jeff Renner on KING-TV in Seattle is a CFI, but he has no input
into what the newsies say.

Bob Gardner

"Al Gilson" wrote in message
...
There was an incredible media frenzy in Spokane yesterday morning. At one
point they were waiting for the "ATF" to do the investigating of the crash
site. It was weird because the weather guy on duty yesterday on the TV
station in question is a certificated pilot and should have known the
difference.

Al Gilson
1964 Skyhawk
Spokane

On 11/30/03 8:01 AM, in article , "C J
Campbell" wrote:

Is it just me, or does AmeriFlight seem to lose an awful lot of

airplanes? I
know 1999 was a bad year, but they appear to lose at least one plane

every
year.

http://www.thesunlink.com/redesign/2...l/333810.shtml



  #5  
Old December 1st 03, 06:27 AM
Al Gilson
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

It's very sad, isn't it? I have worked in the media and communications
business for 30+ years and TV news has gravitated to consultant-driven quick
headlines, "live shots" and talking heads with no life experience much less
journalistic talent. (Whew! End Rant.)

On 11/30/03 10:15 AM, in article [email protected]_s52, "Bob
Gardner" wrote:

Hey, Al...Jeff Renner on KING-TV in Seattle is a CFI, but he has no input
into what the newsies say.

Bob Gardner

"Al Gilson" wrote in message
...
There was an incredible media frenzy in Spokane yesterday morning. At one
point they were waiting for the "ATF" to do the investigating of the crash
site. It was weird because the weather guy on duty yesterday on the TV
station in question is a certificated pilot and should have known the
difference.

Al Gilson
1964 Skyhawk
Spokane

On 11/30/03 8:01 AM, in article , "C J
Campbell" wrote:

Is it just me, or does AmeriFlight seem to lose an awful lot of

airplanes? I
know 1999 was a bad year, but they appear to lose at least one plane

every
year.

http://www.thesunlink.com/redesign/2...l/333810.shtml




  #6  
Old December 1st 03, 03:13 PM
Snowbird
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Al Gilson wrote in message ...
It's very sad, isn't it? I have worked in the media and communications
business for 30+ years and TV news has gravitated to consultant-driven quick
headlines, "live shots" and talking heads with no life experience much less
journalistic talent. (Whew! End Rant.)


I think it's beyond sad. Dangerous to freedom is what
I'd call it.

But that's another rant and off topic here.

Cheers,
Sydney
 




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