All posts tagged 'aircraft crash'

Piper Cherokee lands on Louisville expressway

 

A Piper Cherokee owned by a Fisherville, Ky., man crash-landed on a busy freeway Thursday night, just south of Bowman Field Airport (LOU) in Louisville, Ky.

Local TV station WHAS-11 reported that the aircraft attempted to land at Louisville International Airport (SDF) while low on fuel and was diverted to Bowman.

It landed on the westbound lanes of the Watterson Expressway before coming to rest off the right shoulder of the road.

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The aircraft, reportedly carrying four passengers, landed without any of those on board suffering injury. Traffic snarled near the scene during rush hour Friday morning before the plane was moved to a hangar at Bowman.

Federal authorities are investigating.

Read more at the link above and here from the local newspaper, The Courier-Journal.

NTSB to look into Embraer Phenom 100 landing issue

Flightglobal reports that the NTSB will look into a landing incident earlier this month in Texas, where a Phenom 100 skidded off the runway, damaging a landing-gear strut and wing light with no injuries.

Embraer said earlier this year it would re-evaluate pilot training on the brake-by-wire system of the jet following to previous landing incidents that resulted in blown tires. That company investigation, according to the Flightglobal report, considered mechanical issues, such as the brake lines and control units, as well as pilot training.

The magazine’s report notes that the NTSB involvement begins an official safety inquiry into the braking system of the Phenom 100. Embraer told Flightglobal that it supports the investigation as an advisor to Cenipa, the Brazilian equivalent.

California man sentenced for 'reckless' landing with no license and 'flying high'

Landing out of control on a California runway, while under the influence of marijuana and Oxycontin, landed Michael Dana McEnry with a federal prison sentence this week.

In a what-else-can-be-done-wrong-here series of events, McEnry, an unlicensed pilot with about 1,200 student hours, hovered ‘recklessly’ along Runway 12 at Eastern Sierra Regional Airport (BIH), Bishop, Calif., in a Cessna 210 before putting the wheels down just short of the end of the runway.

Federal prosecutors say another aircraft preparing to take off was in danger of striking his plane.

He then spun out in a field before turning back onto the runway, stopping and exiting.

McEnry then, according to a witness account, asked bystanders where he could find a restroom, because, “I just scared the s--- out of myself.”

Further, the reckless, illegal flyer seemed clueless of where he was. When told he asked, “Where is that in relationship to the rest of the world?”

When cops arrived, via local media reports, McEnry allegedly told them he “always flies high.”

Follow the jump to read more about the aircraft’s possible illegal origins. [more]

Police said they found a bottle of the powerful pain-reliever Oxycontin in the cabin.

The Central Valley Business Times looks deeper into law enforcement’s suspicion that the Cessna, a common plane used by narcotics smugglers, was stolen in Mexico in 1997 and changed hands several times. Investigators say McEnry and a business partner paid $40,000 cash for the aircraft and intended to use it to transport marijuana, as investigators say they found evidence of cultivation at the suspect’s residence.

A federal court in Fresno, Calif., sentenced McEnry this week to 21 months for the criminal flight in a plea deal, according to the Sacramento Bee. The Justice Department said he faced as long as a three-year sentence.

Bee reporter Denny Walsh concludes: “It remains unclear if (McEnry) landed at Bishop because the plane needed a pit stop or he did.”

UPS cargo plane crash in Dubai hits close to home for us

When a life is lost in a plane crash, we in the aviation community often take an added degree of concern compared to the general population. We understand acutely that the loss affects families and friends intertwined into our own social circles.

As members of this profession, we share a tight-knit group.

We, too, may have had an equipment issue in the cockpit or a close call on a landing before. We count our lucky stars that we walked away. Though these incidents are rare compared to the number of hours flown, we still take notice alertly when such mishaps occur. When lives are lost, the news still stings us with sadness.

No matter how much one prepares, things still can go wrong. When tragedy strikes, we lean upon each other and search for ways to prevent it from happening again.

Such events especially bring sorrow to our hearts when they happen close to home.

Last week’s crash of a UPS cargo plane that killed two in Dubai, though on the other side of the world, brings pain directly to the neighborhoods in which our coworkers live here in Louisville, Ky.

According to news reports, a Boeing-747 cargo plane turned back toward Dubai shortly after takeoff, reporting smoke in the cockpit. Soon after, the control tower there lost sight of the aircraft on radar and it went down.  

One of the two men at the controls, Doug Lampe, a 15-year veteran for UPS, called this city home. He attended Southeast Christian, the largest church in the community that counts among its members some of our fellow employees and their families. [more]

"It affects our whole community,” Dave Stone, senior minister at Southeast Christian, told The Courier-Journal, our local newspaper. “UPS is woven throughout the fabric of Louisville, so everybody hurts."

UPS is the largest private employer here, thus many fellow Louisvillians golfed, worked and worshipped with Lampe. Today, we too mourn with our city and our fellow aviators.

We extend condolences to the Lampe family, as well as the family of first officer Matthew Bell, of Sanford, Fla.

Additionally, as with all other crash investigations, we wish for answers to be found and potential problems to be resolved.

Company officials noted in a release that regular maintenance and a recent inspection shown no problems in the 2007 model aircraft. The company and the NTSB are sending inspectors to join investigative crews from the United Arab Emirates.

Though they cannot bring back these two accomplished pilots, we hope they can find resolution to help prevent us from losing others.

Did trojan malware cause plane to crash? New article says absolutely not


Cover page of an update to the Spanair investigation

The headline chugged across blogs and the Twitterverse last week: A Trojan virus could have played a role in the August 2008 crash of a Spanish airliner. Now comes a new headline: Absolutely not.

Yesterday, a blogger on tech site ZDNet.com challenged the Trojan conclusion with sharp vigor. He contends that (at the least) people miscalculated the facts or (at the worst) reported them shoddily to attract viewers. Writer Ed Bott’s conclusion is that dots were incorrectly connected by reporters and readers made due to assumptions pulled from a poorly translated Spanish newspaper article, the original source

Well, what are the facts? Could corrupted software have brought down this aircraft?

First, as noted in the ZDNet.com post and elsewhere, the Spanair crash that killed 154 of the 172 people on board of a McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82 on takeoff two years ago resulted from fully retracted flaps and slats.

The takeoff warning system meant to notify the pilots of this error did not engage. Other testing of the power plant and avionics computers showed nothing else wrong.  However, investigators say the warning system was on the same relay as the ram temperature sensor that maintenance technicians disconnected.

The events prior to takeoff put into question by some whether an infected computer, or other human action by the mechanics, could have prevented the tragedy. [more]

The DC-82 landed on a leg from Barcelona at Madrid-Barajas Airport five hours prior to a scheduled 1 p.m. takeoff on the remainder of its leg to Las Palmas, Spain, with the same crew. While on the runway before takeoff on this latter leg, the crew radioed the tower, reporting a high ram air temperature.

The aircraft return to the garage. Maintenance technicians, several of whom now may be charged with manslaughter on matters stemming from the crash, performed work on the sensor, then again cleared it for flight.  

Again, so where does the computer virus aspect come in?

The aircraft experienced similar ram-temperature problems on two prior flights. Had technicians recorded those instances and this into a Spanair database (any three faults), it would have triggered an alarm and presumably grounded the DC-82.

The Trojan virus infected this computer in question, perhaps causing a delay in the info being entered. However, according to Bott’s research, company policy mandated that employees enter data 24 hours after an incident.  None of those three incidents were recorded on the allegedly infected PC until after the plane had crashed,” he writes.

Bott goes as far as to scorn the media outlets who reported the outright likelihood of malware causing the crash, even saying that the editors should return to journalism school and/or hang their heads in shame.

Read the entire ZDNet.com article here.

What do you make of this? Weigh in on our comments section about what role you think the maintenance techs or the infected computer may have had in the incident. If a virus didn’t cause this crash, could it contribute to a future one as avionics increasingly become dependent upon technology?

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