Today is Wednesday the 25th of May, 2016

37 years ago today was my introduction to aircraft rescue and firefighting. I was a volunteer firefighter at the time, not even remotely close to my department, when I saw a large column of black smoke. I was driving about a mile east of O’Hare IAP and had no clue what was happening when I started heading towards that smoke. As I got close, the radio news started announcing the reports of a plane crash at O’Hare. Long story short, I arrived on the scene, grabbed my gear and ended up working at the site for about 6 hours assisting with numerous tasks.

In the 37 years since that day, I’ve been to numerous serious aircraft accidents/crashes, but nothing like what happened on the 25th of May, 1979, sites and smells that will never be forgotten….

Ironically, about 10 years later I ended being a Chicago Firefighter assigned to O’Hare.

Anyway, here are the stories for today;

Be safe out there!



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Orange County, Virginia plane crash kills two

A small plane crashed in the Rhoadesville area of Orange County Tuesday afternoon, killing the two occupants, according to the Virginia State Police. Va.

State police received a report at 4:31 p.m. that a single-engine, fixed-wing plane had crashed in the 10,000 block of Tinder Lane, near the intersection with Ridge Field Lane, according to a news release by the agency. The crash site is approximately 10 miles from the Orange County Airport.

Sue Marsee, who has lived on Mine Run Road next to Tinder Lane for nearly 16 years, heard the crash.

“It was the biggest crash,” she said. “Metal is what I heard. I thought it was a big truck.”

Another neighbor, who also heard the crash, said it sounded like the plane “just fell from the sky.”

Able to drive to the scene before the lane was cordoned off, she reported the plane was blue and yellow in color.

Tinder Lane was blocked to all traffic except residents, and the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board were called in by state police investigators at the scene.

Senior Air Safety Investigator Paul Cox, of the NTSB’s eastern region, arrived on the scene just after 8 p.m.

“The first thing we are going to do is collect perishable information—the information that is going to change once the aircraft is moved. We will probably spend a day or two on scene before the aircraft is removed,” he said.

Cox said he expects to produce a preliminary accident report about 10 days after that, and it will be available on the website. A factual report should be released six to eight months after that, he said, followed in two to three more months by a headquarters NTSB finding of probable cause and an analysis of the accident.

The state police release said officials were still working on confirming the identities of the two victims and notifying next of kin. The aircraft is a Jihlavan Airplanes SRO-KP5.

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Investigators blame engine failure for plane crash in west Reno

A small plane crashed on northbound McCarran Boulevard near Plumb Lane in West Reno on Tuesday afternoon, after its engine failed, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. highway landing

The pilot and his passenger were not hurt, but the crash did damage the small Cessan 182A single-engine airplane. The names of the pilot and his passenger were not released on Tuesday.

The plane was reportedly heading to Truckee when it crashed, FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said in an email.

The plane was registered in Truckee, Calif. to Extreme Source, Inc., according to the FAA website.

Extreme Source recently opened a skydiving school at the Truckee airport. Skydive Truckee Tahoe is operated by third generation skydiver Michael Swanson, Jenn Drew and Julia Drew.

The pilot declined to comment on Tuesday, and Jenn Drew said she had no information about the crash-landing.

The pilot was trying to avoided traffic on Interstate 80 and landed on McCarran Boulevard instead, Battalion Chief Mark Winkleman, of the Reno Fire Department, said Tuesday.

“He looked at I-80, and I-80 was pretty much packed with vehicles,” Winkleman said of the pilot Tuesday. “He didn’t want to use that option, so he found a much less traveled route at the time and put it in a good spot.

“So I think his training paid off and he was able to do a pretty good job of getting the aircraft to where it is now.”

Irene Quddus was driving on McCarran Boulevard when she turned a corner and “saw a plane in the middle of the road.”

“I didn’t actually see it happen; I just saw the aftermath,” Quddus said. “People had stopped and were running to help him or her.”

Teryn Dominici, who works at the State Farm Insurance office on the corner of Plumb and McCarran, said she didn’t see or hear anything unusual until a reporter called.

“Oh yeah, I do see a fire truck out there,” she said. “We can’t see anything from here except where the cops are blocking south of Plumb on McCarran.”

Sherry Olofson, the office administrator for Dickson Realty on the corner of McCarran Boulevard and Plumb Lane, said she drove past the plane crash.

“The plane looks like the nose is crashed in,” Olofson said. “It looks like it made a nose dive and tried to land on McCarran. The cockpit looks fine. I think the pilot is OK because the ambulance is still here. The wing on the passenger side is over the wall. No cars are involved, thank God.”

The roadway was reopened nearly four hours later, according to the Reno Police Department dispatch.

Authorities with the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board took over the investigation on Tuesday.

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Gatwick flight forced to make emergency landing after captain “smells burning”

EasyJet flight EZY8704 from Tenerife to Gatwick was forced to land on a remote island on Tuesday afternoon. easyJet-Airbus-A320-518098

One woman reportedly started hyperventilating after the plane suddenly started a steep seven-minute long descent after taking off from the Spanish holiday island.

The plane was an Airbus A320 – the same model as the EgyptAir flight MS804 that crashed into the Mediterranean in suspicious circumstances last Thursday.

An easyJet spokesman told the Mirror: “EasyJet can confirm that flight EZY8704 from Tenerife South to London Gatwick on May 24, 2016, diverted to Porto Santo due to a technical issue.

“The aircraft landed safely and once at its stand all passengers disembarked normally.”

“The safety of its passengers and crew is easyJet’s highest priority and easyJet operates its fleet of aircraft in strict compliance with all manufacturers’ guidelines.

“As Porto Santo Airport doesn’t have restaurant facilities open today, easyJet arranged coaches to take passengers to a nearby hotel and provide them with refreshments.

“Passengers will continue their journey to London Gatwick on a replacement aircraft later this evening.

“EasyJet would like to thank passengers for their patience and apologise for the inconvenience caused by this delay.”

Air passengers are jumpy after EgyptAir flight MS804 went missing on its way from Paris, France, to Cairo, Egypt.

Terrorism – or at least an explosion – is believed to have brought the plane down as only body parts, rather than whole corpses, have been recovered.

Terrified passengers were kicked off a plane at Los Angeles Airport after a bomb threat yesterday.

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Balloon Passengers Transferred From Basket To Boat

Was Hovering Over Port Philip Bay In Melbourne, Australia Low On Fuel

A hot air balloon carrying tourists on a sightseeing flight over Port Philip Bay in Melbourne, Australia ran low on fuel on Saturday, and a ditching into the water became more and more likely. Balloon-To-Boat-0516a

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports that, according to the Metropolitan Fire Brigade, the balloon was hovering over the water about a third of a mile offshore. The MFB sent a fire boat out to where the balloon was floating just above the water, and passengers began climbing out of the basket onto the deck of the boat.

After lightening his load by offloading the passengers, the pilot was able to once again gain enough altitude to make it to shore, according to the report. The balloon landed safely at Mount Martha.

Pilot Peter Wright had tried to land in a park, but could not clear a light pole and it was full of trees. He tried to climb to find favorable wind to get to a suitable landing site, but luck was not with him … at least not yet.

Wright said he then called the authorities, and the balloon-to-boat transfer was conducted.

Wright said the passengers were “fabulous, very cooperative and calm” and the transfer went “smoothly.”

While the balloon did not run out of fuel, the aircraft had been in the air for about two hours and supplies were “running low.”

“I followed our procedures, the worked perfectly,” Wright said.

(Image from video posted to YouTube)


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Sleeping Pilots Awake To F-16s

By Russ Niles

This might define the term “rude awakening” for pilots. Various media sources are reporting that two Delta Airlines pilots commanding a flight from dlGermany to Kuwait fell asleep at the controls of their Boeing 767-400ER and only woke up after flight attendants banged on the cockpit door to tell them there were two Greek F-16s on their wing. To make matters worse, the incident occurred only a few hours after EgyptAir Flight 804 disappeared in the same general area. We’ve asked Delta for confirmation of the sleeping part but so far the airline has only issued the following reassuring statement. “While transiting to Greek airspace, the flight crew of Delta flight 8957, a charter operation from Hahn, Germany to Kuwait, was unable to establish radio communications with Greek air traffic control for a short period,” the statement said. “This occurred during a handoff between air traffic control agencies and communications were expeditiously re-established. At no point did the Boeing 767-400ER leave its planned route of flight.”

In the cabin, however, things were apparently not so calm according to media reports. After repeated attempts by ATC to contact the airliner with no result, the F-16s were scrambled. The fighter pilots tried to raise the big Boeing on the radio and when that didn’t work, they tried lights and hand signals from abeam the aircraft. They reportedly could clearly see the snoozing pilots. When the fighters moved up beside the airliner, they were, of course, in full view of the passengers, who alerted the flight attendants. It apparently took a few raps on the cockpit door to rouse one of the pilots. The aircraft landed routinely at its destination but it’s likely that things will be anything but routine for the pilots for the next while.

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Today in History

37 Years ago today: On 25 May 1979 an American Airlines McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10 crashed on takeoff from Chicago; killing all 271 on board.

Date: Friday 25 May 1979
Time: 15:04
Type: McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10
Operator: American Airlines
Registration: N110AA
C/n / msn: 46510/22
First flight: 1972
Total airframe hrs: 19871
Engines: General Electric CF6-6D
Crew: Fatalities: 13 / Occupants: 13
Passengers: Fatalities: 258 / Occupants: 258
Total: Fatalities: 271 / Occupants: 271
Ground casualties: Fatalities: 2
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location: Chicago-O’Hare International Airport, IL (ORD) (   United States of America)
Crash site elevation: 204 m (669 feet) amsl
Phase: Takeoff (TOF)
Nature: Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport: Chicago-O’Hare International Airport, IL (ORD/KORD), United States of America
Destination airport: Los Angeles International Airport, CA (LAX/KLAX), United States of America
Flightnumber: AA191


Flight 191 left the gate at Chicago-O’Hare at 14:59 and taxied to runway 32R. At 15:02 the flight was cleared for takeoff. The takeoff roll was normal until just before rotation at which time sections of the No. 1 engine pylon structure came off the aircraft. During rotation the entire no. 1 engine and pylon separated from the aircraft, went over the top of the wing, and fell to the runway.

Flight 191 lifted off about 6,000 feet down the runway, climbed out in a wings level attitude, and reached an altitude of about 300 feet agl with its wings still level. Shortly thereafter, the aircraft began to turn and roll to the left, the nose pitched down, and the aircraft began to descend. As it descended, it continued to roll left until the wings were past the vertical position.

The DC-10 crashed in an open field and trailer park about 4,680 feet northwest of the departure end of runway 32R. The aircraft was demolished 13226644_1364529646897156_2747703259424448931_nduring the impact, explosion, and ground fire. Two persons on the ground were killed.

PROBABLE CAUSE: “The asymmetrical stall and the ensuing roll of the aircraft because of the uncommanded retraction of the left wing outboard
leading edge slats and the loss of stall warning and slat disagreement indication systems resulting from maintenance-induced damage leading to the separation of the no.1 engine and pylon assembly procedures which led to failure of the pylon structure.

Contributing to the cause of the accident were the vulnerability of the design of the pylon attach points to maintenance damage; the vulnerability of the design of the leading edge slat system to the damage which produced asymmetry; deficiencies in FAA surveillance and reporting systems which failed to detect and prevent the use of improper maintenance procedures; deficiencies in the practices and communications among the operators, the manufacturer, and the FAA which failed to determine and disseminate the particulars regarding previous maintenance damage incidents; and the intolerance of prescribed operational procedures to this unique emergency.”

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Tuesday the 24th of May, 2016

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5 dead in fiery plane crash in Hanapepe, Hawaii

Officials are now investigating the cause of a plane crash that resulted in five fatalities in Hanapepe on Monday morning. web1_CTY-kauai-plane-crash-09

According to a preliminary investigation, a single engine Cessna crashed and burned at approximately 9:30 a.m. just outside of Port Allen Airport.

The plane was owned by Skydive Kaua’i, which operates out of Port Allen Airport. It is believed that the company was conducting a skydive tour at the time of the crash and had a pilot, two skydive instructors and two tandem jumpers on board.

All five individuals in the plane died as a result of the crash. Their identities have not yet been released.

An autopsy will be conducted this week.

Engine 5 out of the Kalaheo fire station was the first on scene and was soon joined by Truck 5, Engine 6, Truck 6, Rescue 3 aboard Air 1, the on-duty Battalion Chief, and medics.  Kaua’i police officers and detectives also responded to the incident and continue to investigate the cause of the crash with assistance from the National Transportation Safety Board.  Volunteers from the Kauai Red Cross and the Salvation Army also responded to the scene of the crash.

The crash resulted in a small brush fire in the surrounding area, which firefighters had extinguished by approximately 10:30 a.m. with the help of Air 1 and two water tenders provided by the Department of Public Works.

Representatives from the Hawai‘i Department of Transportation Airports Division was also on scene and the Kaua’i Civil Defense Agency assisted with the coordination of emergency response.

Volunteers from Life’s Bridges, a grief counseling service, is assisting the families of the victims.

12:33 p.m.

Fire officials have confirmed that five adults have died in a fiery plane crash that occurred just outside of Port Allen Airport in Hanapepe Monday morning.

The names of those involved in the crash have not yet been confirmed.

The crash occurred at approximately 9:30 a.m. during a skydiving tour. The pilot, two skydive instructors and two tandem jumpers were believed to be in the plane at the time of the crash.

Four individuals were pronounced dead at the scene and one adult male was transported to Wilcox Hospital, where he was then pronounced dead.

Firefighters, police and medics remain at the scene of the crash.

The National Transportation Safety Board has been notified of the incident and will work with officials to help determine the cause of the crash which is unknown at this time.

The public is advised to avoid the area.

The Federal Aviation Administration says the plane crashed under unknown circumstances taking off from Port Allen Airport. The plane was a single-engine Cessna 182H with five people on board.  The plane was operated by Skydive Kauai.


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Small plane crashes off Makaha; no serious injuries reported

MAKAHA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) –

Two people suffered minor injuries when the plane they were in crashed about 40 yards off Makaha Beach Park on Monday. haw

Honolulu Emergency Services Department spokeswoman Shayne Enright said lifeguards in a tower saw the wreckage and swam out to save the 56-year-old male pilot and his 52-year-old female passenger.

“Me and my partner were sitting in the tower and at the corner of our eye we noticed something out of the ordinary…a plane sticking halfway out of the water,” lifeguard Blake Caporoz said.

Enright said a the man and woman were hanging on to the plane’s wings as it was sinking.

“The two people were able to get out of the aircraft safely on their own. Ocean safety came and they held them above water until a Good Samaritan bystander on a jet ski came,” Enright said.

The crash is the second of an aircraft in the islands Monday. On Kauai, five people were killedwhen a Skydive Kauai plane crashed near Port Allen Airport.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the plane that went down in Makaha was a single-engine Beechcraft Sundowner. It apparently experienced engine trouble while inbound to Honolulu International Airport, the FAA said.

“Hawaii Nautical” crew members were out with customers snorkeling with turtles when the plane crashed about 200 yards from them.

“Just like a movie, like a toy just get into the water. Wow! What happened just now?!” crew member Yudai Oyama said.

“One of the customers said that a plane was crashing. So I looked over, the plane had already hit the water, stopped in the water and just all of a sudden, started sinking really slowly,” Captain of the crew Anthony Leon said.

“I heard Yudai yelling at me, come on the boat, come on the boat! So I thought it was like a shark or something. So I just looked to the side and I saw the tail end of the airplane and they told me, ‘Hurry up! Bring all the people on!’ So I was trying to be calm about it, brought them on the boat and started to go out there, and sure enough, was an airplane in the water,” said crew member Rodney Banis.

Paramedics treated the man and woman and took them to Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center. Enright said they were treated for bruises and abrasions to their chests, likely from their seat belts.

Enright said Ocean Safety personnel are monitoring any debris from the aircraft, as well as oil and fuel leaks. It’s unclear when salvage operations will begin. The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.

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