Aircraft Accidents and Aviation News 2011

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December 26, 2011
Bell 206 Helicopter Crash Kills All Three Onboard
A Bell 206 helicopter crashed early Monday morning in northern Florida while on its way to pick up a heart for transplant. All three people on board, the pilot, a heart surgeon and a technician, were killed in the crash. Officials say the chopper crashed in a remote area, roughly 12 miles northeast of Palatka, Florida. The helicopter departed from a Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville early Monday morning and was heading to a hospital in Gainesville when it crashed. There was scattered debris covering a small area near the site of the crash.Authorities with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) say there were reports of light fog in the area at the time of the crash, but no rain was reported. Records show the downed Bell 206 helicopter was owned by St. Augustine-based SK Jets. NTSB officials will be looking at potential mechanical problems with the chopper, along with environmental factors and the pilot's health and experience. The investigation into Monday's fatal helicopter crash is ongoing.

December 13, 2011
Relatives of a Couple Killed in Vegas Tourist Chopper Crash File Lawsuit
The families of an Indian couple killed in a tourist helicopter crash last week in Las Vegas are filing a wrongful death lawsuit. The families of Lovish Bhanot and Anupama Bhola were "heartbroken" to hear of the fatal crash. Two other passengers and the helicopter pilot were killed in the Sundance Helicopters sightseeing tour of the Las Vegas Strip and Hoover Dam. In their initial report on the crash, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said there were "unexplained turns and a sudden climb" by the chopper before it crashed into a ravine four miles west of Lake Mead, Nevada. The chopper underwent maintenance the day before the fatal crash, where the engine and parts of the rotors were replaced. The maintenance performed the day before the crash could possibly explain the chopper's erratic maneuvers prior to the crash.

December 9, 2011
Plane Crashes and Explodes Killing Four in Sioux Falls, South Dakota
A two engine plane crashed shortly after takeoff and exploded near the Sioux Falls Regional Airport in South Dakota on Friday afternoon, killing all four people onboard the aircraft. The Cessna 421-C aircraft went down shortly after taking off from Joe Foss Field at around 2:24 p.m. Witnesses say after the plane left the ground it took a nosedive straight into the ground and exploded upon impact roughly a mile west of the air strip. At this time, investigators are uncertain what caused the Cessna to crash. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is investigating the fatal plane crash.

December 7, 2011
Five Killed in Chartered Helicopter Crash Outside Las Vegas, Nevada
A chartered helicopter taking people on a tour of the Las Vegas Strip and the Hoover Dam crashed early Wednesday evening, killing the pilot and all four passengers aboard. The Aerospatiale AS350 helicopter, operated by Sundance Helicopters, went down in the River Mountains roughly four miles west of Lake Mead. The fatal crash was heard by a security guard from Lake Mead National Recreation Area, who also saw smoke not far from the lake's edge. Sundance Helicopters runs only one tour, a 30-minute "Twilight City Tour" that takes passengers through downtown Las Vegas, the Strip and Hoover Dam. The company has had its share of fatal helicopter crashes in the past. In 2003, a Sundance Helicopters pilot and six passengers were killed in a crash east of Grand Canyon West Airport in Arizona. The probable cause in that crash was ruled as unsafe flying procedures and misjudgment. Authorities are uncertain at this time what caused the Twilight City Tour chopper crash. An investigation is ongoing.

December 3, 2011
Four Die in Small Plane Crash Near Telluride, Colorado
All four people aboard a Socata TB-21 plane were killed Saturday afternoon when the aircraft crashed in the mountains of southwest Colorado. The small plane crash occurred at around 3 p.m. roughly a mile north of Silverton. According to local authorities, the small plane was on its way to Aspen, Colorado from Durango, Colorado when the crash occurred. Debris from the wreckage covered over a mile. At this time investigators are uncertain what caused the aircraft to go down. An investigation into Saturday's fatal plane crash is ongoing.

November 26, 2011
Four Killed in Small Plane Crash Near Crystal Lake, Illinois
A businessman from Indiana was killed along with his two daughters and one of the girls' boyfriends when the Cirrus SR20 aircraft they were flying in crashed outside of Crystal Lake, Illinois. Authorities say the fatal crash occurred on Saturday morning at around 10:30 a.m. near a farmhouse on U.S. Route 14 and North Ridgefield Road. The businessman, Ray Harris of Marion, Indiana, was flying one of his daughters back to school at Wheaton College when the crash occurred. An air safety investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said officials were in the process of determining if Mr. Harris contacted air traffic controllers in Chicago. The investigation into Saturday's fatal crash is ongoing.

November 23, 2011
Small Plane Crash in Superstitious Mountains Kills All Six Onboard
Six people, including three young children, where killed when a small plane crashed in the Superstition Mountains in Arizona on the night before Thanksgiving. The plane crashed shortly after taking off from Mesa, Arizona's Falcon Field airport, maintaining altitude until mysteriously disappearing from radar. Authorities from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are at this time uncertain what caused the plane to go down, and what is known about the crash leaves investigators with more questions than answers.

After reviewing the radar data from Wednesday night, the FAA said everything was "completely normal, typical" during the flight. Additionally, the marks on the wrecked plane seem to indicate the plane crashed "wings level," meaning the plane was level at the time of the crash rather than in the middle of a turn. The plane's engines and propellers also seemed to be functioning properly at the time of the crash. Authorities from the NTSB are trying to piece together what caused the plane to go down. The investigation is ongoing.

November 17, 2011
Oklahoma State University Women's Basketball Coach Among Dead in Small Plane Crash
The head coach and an assistant coach of the Oklahoma State University (OSU) women's basketball team were killed Thursday afternoon when the single engine plane they were traveling in crashed in steep terrain near Perryville, Arkansas. Also killed in the crash was 82-year-old pilot and former Oklahoma state Senator Olin Branstetter and his wife Paula. The four were on a recruiting trip for the university when the fatal crash occurred. There were no survivors.Hunters in the area heard "spitting and sputtering" before seeing the plane briefly spiral and took a nosedive into the side of a heavily wooded hill the crash. The weather at the crash site was clear on Thursday, officials said. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records indicate that the plane was built in 1964 and registered to Mr. Branstetter.

This is not the first air disaster Oklahoma State University has suffered. In 2001, a Beechcraft King Air 200 plane crashed in a Colorado field near Denver killing 10 men affiliated with the school's men's basketball team. The crash occurred shortly after the aircraft took off in snowy conditions.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will be heading an investigation into Thursday's fatal plane crash. They say it will take roughly nine months to determine the cause of the crash.

November 14, 2011
Fish & Game Helicopter Crash Trial Begins Today
A trial stemming from a January 2010 helicopter crash that killed a veteran pilot and three Fish and Game employees is set to begin today in a Los Angeles, California courtroom. The fatal crash occurred when pilot Dennis Donovan hit part of a power line running through the mountainous area of Madera County, California. The suit names Southern California Edison, the company that owns the power lines, as well as Landells Aviation, the company that owned the chopper. The allegations state that Southern California Edison did not have warning devices on the power lines, which is an industry standard. When the accident occurred, a Southern California Edison spokesman said the company did not mark the power lines because no one asked them to.

Judge Richard Fruin will hear the case at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in Los Angeles. Motions are set to begin today, with jury selections starting tomorrow and opening statements set to begin on Wednesday.

November 13, 2011
Two Killed After Small Plane Crashes in Florida Everglades
A two-seater plane crashed in the Florida Everglades on Sunday afternoon, killing both people onboard. Another pilot witnessed the Cirrus SR-22 aircraft go down, informing air traffic controllers at Palm Beach International Airport of the crash. Local authorities found the wreckage Sunday night in the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge near Boynton Beach. At this time, investigators are uncertain what caused the small plane to crash. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will be handling an investigation into the cause of the crash.

November 6, 2011
Two Killed in Florida Small Plane Crash
Two men were killed Sunday afternoon when their small plane crashed in a wooded area 30 miles southwest of Gainesville, Florida. The fatal crash occurred shortly after the 1956 single engine Beechcraft T-34 airplane took off on a private airstrip called "Wing Field" in a rural part of Levy County, Florida. The two men, 74-year-old Ralph Ken Terry and 47-year-old Mike Fuller, were the only two passengers aboard the small plane when it went down shortly after 4:30 p.m. The vintage aircraft was registered to Terry, who was giving Fuller flight lessons. Mr. Fuller was flying the aircraft when it crashed. An eye witness told investigators he heard the plane's engine "spit and sputter" as it was taking off. Authorities are currently investigating the cause of the fatal plane crash. LOT Polish Airlines Flight From Newark Forced to Make Dramatic Emergency Landing

November 1, 2011
LOT Polish Airlines Flight From Newark Forced to Make Dramatic Emergency Landing
A Boeing 767 airplane operated by LOT Polish Airlines had to make an emergency landing without the use of wheels in Warsaw, Poland on Tuesday after experiencing technical difficulties with its landing gear. The flight, which originated from Newark, New Jersey, was forced to fly around the airport for an hour before making the emergency landing at 2:40 p.m. There were 220 passengers aboard the LOT Polish Airlines flight, along with 11 crew members. Surprisingly, no one was injured during the emergency landing.

Emergency crews were in place to assist as the plane hit the ground and skidded along the runway for quite a long time. Emergency vehicles sprayed the aircraft down with a hose as passengers were evacuating. A support staff and psychologists were on hand to care for passengers as they reached the terminal. After a medical examination and an interview by police, passengers were free to go.

"After noticing a central hydraulic system failure, the standard procedure for emergency landings at Warsaw airport were implemented," LOT Polish Airlines said in a statement. The question for investigators now is what caused the central hydraulic system failure.

Authorities are currently investigating what caused the emergency landing of the LOT Polish Airlines flight.

October 31, 2011
NASCAR Team Owner Injured in Small Plane Crash
Owner of Hendrick Motorsports, Rick Hendrick, suffered a broken rib and a broken clavicle Monday night after his small plane crashed during a landing attempt at Key West International Airport. Hendrick and his wife, who was also injured in the crash, were one of four people on the Gulfstream 150 airplane. The two pilots of the aircraft were not seriously injured. Everyone aboard the plane was taken to a nearby hospital immediately following the 7:45 p.m. crash. Upon touchdown, the plane skidded off the runway, coming to a stop a mere three feet from the airport perimeter fence. Authorities say pilots told air traffic controllers the plane had no brake pressure after touchdown. The incident could have been catastrophic had Key West International Airport not recently completed a 500 foot safety zone along the edge of the runway. Authorities from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are investigating the crash.

October 27, 2011
Small Plane Crash Near Vancouver Airport Kills One and Injures Eight
A twin engine plane with nine people onboard crashed onto a busy street near Vancouver International Airport last Thursday, killing the pilot and injuring eight others. The chartered Beechcraft King Air 100 plane was attempting to return to the Vancouver airport when it went down a mere half mile from runway and immediately burst into flames. Eye witnesses jumped into action and pulled all nine people from the burning wreckage. The plane's pilot died hours later in the hospital from burns sustained in the crash. Six people aboard the flight remain in nearby hospitals - one in intensive care, three in critical condition and two in stable condition. Two other passengers were released from the hospital last week.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada say a caution light went off in the cockpit about halfway between Vancouver and the plane's destination of Kelowna due to a small oil leak in one of the engines. In air traffic recordings, the pilot sounded calm as he swung the plane around back towards Vancouver, telling air traffic controllers that emergency equipment or assistance would not be needed. The official cause of last Thursday's crash has not yet been determined as authorities continue their investigation.

October 25, 2011
One Dead After Planes Collide in Oregon
One person is dead after two small planes collided on Tuesday afternoon near Champoeg State Park in Oregon. The mid-air collision occurred around 4 p.m. over the Willamette River when a Beech Bonanza V35 plane collided with the tail section of a Piper PA-44. The pilot of the Beech Bonanza, a retired Oregon State Police officer, tried to maintain control of the aircraft as it started to break apart in the air but was unsuccessful. The plane spiraled into some trees and killed the pilot. The Piper aircraft was able to land safely in a field adjacent to Champoeg State Park. The flight instructor and student aboard the Piper were uninjured. Officials believe both planes were flying level when the mid-air collision occurred, but that has yet to be confirmed. Both the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are investigating the cause of the fatal crash. A preliminary report is expected within the next five days. A final report could take between six months to a year to complete.

October 21, 2011
'Smoking Gun' Emails Reveal Pilot in 2009 Buffalo Crash Was Unqualified to Fly
Damaging internal Colgan Air emails released this week show that Captain Marvin Renslow, the pilot of Continental Connection Flight 3407 that crashed outside of Buffalo in 2009, was unqualified to fly the type of aircraft that crashed. The "smoking gun" emails go back to late August in 2008, around six months before the Bombardier DHC8-402 Q400 aircraft crashed into a Buffalo, New York suburb, killing 49 passengers and crew aboard the plane and one person on the ground. A National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation found pilot error to be the primary cause of the fatal plane crash.

The emails say that Renslow "had a problem upgrading" to the Bombardier DHC8-402 Q400 aircraft (referred to in the emails as "the Q"). In his response, Colgan's Vice President of flight operations said, "anyone that does not meet the [minimums] and had problems in training before is not ready to tackle the Q." This prompted Colgan's chief pilot to respond, "He [Renslow] is already off the list."

Captain Renslow was later promoted without additional training prior to the fatal crash, which would indicate that the airline was not making the safety of their passengers a priority. In response to the "smoking gun" emails being made public, a Colgan spokesman said in a statement that Renslow did in fact complete additional training, adding, "Captain Renslow was properly trained, certified and qualified to act as Pilot-In-Command of a Q400 aircraft." The spokesman did not respond to requests for documentation that supports his statement.

October 12, 2011
Runway Incursions and Air Traffic Controller Errors on the Rise, Report Says
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on Wednesday, revealing that errors made by air traffic controllers near airports as well as runway incursions have increased significantly.

According to the report, controllers working at facilities handling approaches and departures were three times as likely to make a mistake compared to three years ago. Runway incursions have also risen from 11 to 18 per million landings in the past six years. According to the International Civil Aviation Organization, a runway incursion is any occurrence at an airport "involving the incorrect presence of an aircraft, vehicle, or person" that threatens safety on the runway. This information is troubling, since the deadliest aviation accident to date occurred on an airport runway. On March 27, 1977 two Boeing 747s collided on the runway in the Canary Islands, killing 583 people.

Both the Federal Aviation Administration and the GAO believe that advances in error reporting could have contributed to the spikes in controller errors. Still, aviation safety experts have reason to be worried. "The increase in runway safety incidents raises significant concerns," said House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica (R-Fla).

October 12, 2011
Helicopter in Fatal East River Crash Was Inspected Two Days Prior to Crash

The Bell 206 helicopter that crashed into New York City's East River, killing two passengers and seriously injuring another, was inspected by mechanics only two days prior to the fatal crash. Authorities from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said the chopper was taken into a shop for an annual inspection, where mechanics typically take apart the aircraft and put it back together again. Mechanics finished the inspection on October 2nd, two days before the East River helicopter crash. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has advised pilots in the past to be on the lookout for mechanical problems immediately after maintenance is performed on an aircraft. The pilot of the helicopter, Paul Dudley, told NTSB officials that the nose of the chopper swung to the left unexpectedly immediately after takeoff. He tried to recover by turning right but the helicopter went out of control before crashing into the East River. NTSB officials are still investigating what caused the Bell 206 chopper to go down. A full report will likely take months to complete.

October 2, 2011
Small Plane Crash in West Virginia Kills All Three Onboard

A single engine plane crashed in bad weather Sunday night in West Virginia, killing all three people onboard. The Piper PA-32 Saratoga plane dropped off the radar roughly 12 miles outside of Petersburg, West Virginia. Search teams found the wreckage Thursday night and family members have identified the victims in the fatal crash. No one is certain at this time what caused the single engine plane to crash. Authorities from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are conduction an investigation into the cause of the fatal crash.

September 26, 2011

Residents and Flight School Owners Square Off Over Noise, Pollution and Safety Issues at Santa Monica Airport
Santa Monica residents met for a workshop with flight school owners operating out of Santa Monica Airport on Monday night to "begin a conversation" about how both groups can comfortably coexist. Relations between local residents and the flight schools have been tense since an August 29 accident where a student pilot crashed into a residence near Santa Monica Airport.

A resident from Sunset Park, one of the neighborhoods adjacent to Santa Monica Airport, presented information from a study that he conducted himself, along with other residents. Based on his study, the Sunset Park man maintained that flight school traffic makes up about 61 percent of all air traffic at Santa Monica Airport, a number which has not been corroborated by any federal statistics.

The flight school operators who spoke Monday night said their businesses have every right to operate in accordance with federal and local law. The flight schools do their best to keep noise levels at a minimum, adding that student pilots typically follow a flight plan designed to tamper down noise for residents. The flight school operators also noted that the down economy has drastically decreased the amount of flights (and noise from those flights) in and out of the airport, but noise complaints from residents continue to increase.

This is an issue that has been simmering with periodic flare-ups for a long time. Santa Monica Airport is a very important facility, as it is the only general aviation airport serving the whole northwest side of the Los Angeles area. Santa Monica Airport has been in continuous operation since as early as 1919. Very few, if any, current residents were unaware of the airport's presence when deciding to make a home in the area. To this point, one of the flight school owners asked residents at Monday's workshop, "do you buy a house next to the train tracks and complain about the train?"

When you come to an area with an airport, particularly one that has been in existence for the better part of a century, it is difficult to make a persuasive argument that the airport is a nuisance that should justifiably be extinguished.

The economic benefits of Santa Monica Airport are many and vast. Hundreds of jobs are attributable to its existence and area commerce thrives because of it. These and other benefits weighed against the inconvenience suffered by area residence leans in favor of the airport continuing to operate.

September 22, 2011
New Theory Suggests Pilot Unconscious in Reno Air Race Crash
Veteran aviation experts are suggesting that pilot Jimmy Leeward may have lost consciousness prior to crashing his 1940's era plane into a crowd of spectators at the National Championship Air Races in Reno. The fatal crash, which occurred on September 16, killed 11 people and injured over 70 others. It will take months for the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to conclude the investigation into what exactly caused the P-51 Mustang plane to crash, however some experts are saying Leeward probably lost consciousness due to abrupt and extreme acceleration. The vintage plane pitched straight up at around 400 miles per hour before it plummeted hard to the ground, which means Leeward's body experienced 11 times the normal force of gravity (or G's), likely causing him to lose consciousness. After viewing footage of the crash, structural engineer and aircraft consultant Ken Liano said, "my first thought when I saw the video was there's no way that pilot is in control. He went from horizontal to vertical so abruptly. No pilot would do that. Even an acrobatic pilot would probably not do that." Photographs of the plane seconds before impact show a cockpit without a pilot, which prompted Ernie Christensen, a former commander of the Navy's Top Gun fighter school to say, "he's not there. He's unconscious. The first thing you do when you get in those conditions is pull power, and that plane hit fast. The power was up and that's an indication he was not in control of the airplane when it hit."

The NTSB investigation is focusing on 74-year-old Jimmy Leeward's health as well as a possible mechanical defect with the plane's elevator trim tab, which stabilizes the aircraft. Video footage shows a piece of the plane's tail falling to the ground moments before the plane crashed. It appears likely the loss of the elevator trim tab caused a sequence of events that ended in tragedy.

September 12, 2011
FAA Proposes $1.1 Million Fine Against Aviation Technical Services
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) wants Aviation Technical Services to pay a $1.1 million fine for improper repairs to 44 Boeing 737 aircraft in the Southwest Airlines fleet. According to the FAA, Washington-based Aviation Technical Services (ATS) did not repair fuselage cracks properly when the agency mandated inspections after an in-air fuselage tear on Southwest Flight 812 on April 1, 2011. Although Southwest Flight 812 was a Boeing 737, that particular aircraft was not one of the planes that was improperly repaired by ATS. Some injuries were reported in the Southwest Flight 812 incident, as the aircraft was forced to make an emergency landing in Yuma, Arizona due to rapid depressurization in the cabin. According to the FAA, "Aviation Technical Services allegedly failed to install fasteners in all the rivet holes within the time specified for the task." Aviation Technical Services has 30 days to respond to the FAA-proposed fine.

September 4, 2011
United Express Plane Skids Off Runway at Ottawa International Airport
For the third time since 2004, a United Express flight operated by Trans States Airlines slid off the runway during a landing attempt at Ottawa International Airport. On Sunday afternoon, pilots of the United Express flight from Chicago lost control of the aircraft after landing and slid off the runway. No one was injured in the runway mishap. The Brazilian-built Embraer-145 jet was badly damaged after the plane slipped off the runway, sustaining a fuel leak, punctured wing, and damage to the landing gear. The incident comes nearly 15 months after another Embraer jet operated by Trans States Airlines overshot the runway upon landing, injuring both pilots and 33 passengers. Trans States Airlines operates flights for United Express and US Airways Express. Authorities from the Canada Transportation Safety Board are investigating the cause of Sunday's runway incident at Ottawa International Airport.

August 1, 2011
FAA Misses Opportunity to Keep Exhausted Pilots From Flying
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) failed to act before an August 1 deadline to change the rules governing pilot fatigue. The FAA had a chance to issue new regulations that would keep fatigued pilots out of the cockpits of commercial planes. Families of plane crash victims have been quick to blame the airline industry for influencing the FAA not to take action and keep the skies safer. According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), pilot fatigue has been linked to over 24 plane crashes that have killed 250 people in the last 20 years. "It's very disappointing for us and to have these deadlines be missed is a significant setback," said Scott Maurer, the father of Lorin Maurer, who was killed in the 2009 Colgan Air crash in Buffalo, New York. The Colgan Air crash killed 50 people, and pilot fatigue was ruled to be a cause of the crash by the NTSB. The FAA said through a spokesperson that they are working aggressively to complete a new pilot fatigue rule. The deadline was missed in the midst of a partial shutdown of the FAA due to a financial stalemate in Congress. The stalemate has left 4,000 FAA workers without a job, while placing a burden on airport safety personnel who are currently working without pay.

July 30, 2011
Two Float Planes Collide in Mid-Air Killing Four
Two float planes collided in mid-air on Saturday near Amber Lake in Alaska, killing four people. One of the planes, a single engine Cessna 180, crashed and burst into flames upon impact with the ground killing all four passengers on board. The second plane, a single engine Cessna 206, was able to land safely at Anchorage International Airport even with significant damage to the aircraft. There was only a 56-year-old man piloting the Cessna 206 and he was uninjured in the collision. Authorities have yet to release a statement regarding how the mid-air plane crash occurred. This crash comes on the heels of another mid-air plane collision in July that also involved a Cessna 206 and a Piper Navajo. Both planes sustained damages but were able to land safely with no injuries reported. The investigation into Saturday's fatal plane crash continues.

July 29, 2011
Flight Recordings Reveal Pilot Errors in Air France Crash
The French air accident investigation agency announced on Friday that cockpit recordings from the 2009 Air France plane crash which killed 228 people revealed the flight crew did not know that the plane was in a deep stall before it crashed into the ocean. In new findings released Friday, investigators said passengers aboard Air France Flight 447 were not told what was happening as the aircraft entered into an aerodynamic stall which caused the plane to nosedive for nearly four minutes before crashing into the Atlantic. Investigators also reported that speed sensors on the Airbus A330 were impaired by ice crystals, which caused incorrect speed readings in the cockpit. Air France has since replaced the speed monitors on all Airbus A330's and A340's in their fleet. Neither of the co-pilots in the cockpit during the crash had current training and neither were familiar with unreliable speed readings at high altitudes, the report said.

The flight recordings revealed that no reference was ever made to stall warnings that sounded a number of times during the flight, including one instance where a stall warning lasted nearly a minute. Another mystery revealed in the flight recordings was why the co-pilots didn't follow normal protocol for correcting an aerodynamic stall, which is to point the nose of the plane slightly down to regain lift. The co-pilots were flying manually with a nose-up input shortly before it crashed. A final report on the fatal crash is still pending.

July 20, 2011
Two Seriously Injured After Helicopter Crashes Near School in New Jersey
A 27-year old pilot crashed a helicopter 100 feet away from a South Brunswick, New Jersey elementary school on Wednesday, injuring himself and a 44-year old photographer. The crash occurred at 11:30 a.m. Witnesses say the chopper briefly circled close to the school before falling into a nose dive and crashing behind Indian Fields Elementary School. The chopper appeared to have a broken tail when it plummeted to the ground. Local authorities said the pilot took extreme measures to avoid crashing into the elementary school. Both the pilot and his passenger suffered head and chest injuries in the crash, and were taken to local hospitals. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is currently investigating the cause of the helicopter crash.

July 18, 2011
Lawsuits Over Continental Connection Plane Crash Will Have no Cap on Punitive Damages
A federal judge ruled that a 2009 Colgan Air crash that killed 50 people in Clarence Center, New York, will be governed by New York state law, which has no cap on punitive damages in air disasters. An investigation conducted by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determined that Colgan Air flight 3407 crash was chiefly due to pilot error. Punitive damages in this case are based on Colgan Air and its parent company Pinnacle Airlines Corp. not implementing quality safety programs, negligently hiring employees, and failing to properly train flight crews. The ruling is a victory for plaintiff attorneys because both Pinnacle and Colgan wanted Virginia state law to govern the crash, mostly because Virginia state law caps punitive damages for air disasters at $350,000. Both corporations argued that Virginia law was applicable in this case because corporate training is done in Virginia. The U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny wrote in his ruling, however, that New York had a greater interest in this case with regard to punitive damages. "The air crash brought trauma to the neighborhood in which it occurred and left an indelible mark on the entire western New York community," Skretny wrote in his ruling. As of today, 11 families of victims from the crash have reached settlements with the airlines.

July 10, 2011
Small Plane Crash Kills Family of Seven
A family of seven died late Saturday night in a small plane crash near Demopolis, Alabama. The Cessna C421 was attempting to make an emergency landing at an airport in Demopolis after the aircraft lost its right engine. All seven of those onboard perished in the fatal crash, including five children. The family was on its way home to Florida from a family reunion in St. Louis, Missouri when the plane went down in a wooded area not far from the airport. First responders found the plane nose down in some trees at around 2:17 a.m. on Sunday morning. The aircraft is registered to Advanced Integrated Technology Solutions LLC in Niceville, Florida. Authorities are currently investigating the cause of this deadly plane crash .

July 3, 2011
Ventura County Plane Crash Kills Two
A fatal plane crash killed two passengers aboard a small plane in Ventura County, California Sunday night. There were only two people on the plane when it went down in a riverbed near the community of South Mountain. First responders found one of the victims inside the plane and the other victim was found near the crash site. The small plane took off from Santa Paula Airport around 8:30 p.m. Authorities say the plane apparently clipped a power line before it went down. Transportation officials have mounted an investigation into the cause of the fatal plane crash.

June 26, 2011
Plane Crash Claims Life of Pilot, Seriously Injures Passenger
A plane crash was discovered a few miles from Beluga lake in Alaska on Sunday evening, after the pilot's wife alerted the FAA of the missing plane. The pilot of the downed Cessna-150 was killed in the crash and his passenger was critically injured, authorities said. The wreckage was found three miles from the lake at 11:40 p.m., about 8 hours after the plane took off from Lake Hood. Authorities found the 45-year-old pilot dead and his passenger was flown to an Anchorage hospital in critical condition. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the fatal plane crash.

June 18, 2011
Three Dead, One Critically Injured in Fatal Alabama Plane Crash
Three people were killed and another critically injured Saturday morning when a small plane crashed in Guntersville, Alabama. Eye witnesses say the Piper Cherokee 140 plane went down shortly after takeoff from a Guntersville airport, where the plane had stopped to refuel before departing to Florida. The pilot of the plane, a 52-year-old man with a law practice in Nashville, Tennessee, died at the scene of the crash. Also killed in the crash was a 32-year-old mother and her four year-old daughter. The woman's seven-year-old son is the lone survivor from the crash. He is currently listed in critical condition at Huntsville Hospital. Officials from the National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) are investigating the cause of the fatal plane crash. The NTSB hopes to have a preliminary report within the next ten days and officials say the cause of the crash could take three to twelve months to determine.

June 12, 2011
Three Are Dead After Small Plane Crashes in Oregon Mountains
Two men and one woman were killed in a small plane crash in the mountainous area of eastern Oregon. Local authorities identified the pilot as a 74-year-old man. The other two victims were in their 50's. The single-engine Bellanca airplane crashed near the town of Ukiah early on Sunday. The plane was on its way to Wyoming after taking off from Dallesport, Washington when it crashed in a remote and rugged area. The Forest Service had to cut a road in order to give investigators a path to reach the crash site. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) were at the scene of the crash on Monday. The cause of the fatal plane crash is currently under investigation.

June 6, 2011
Grand Canyon Tour Plane Crash Leaves Six injured, Pilot In Critical Condition
Six people were injured on Monday when a Grand Canyon Airlines tour plane crashed short of the Monument Valley Airport runway in rural Utah. The pilot of the Cessna 201 aircraft, who is currently in critical condition, suffered the most severe injuries in the crash. Six people were on board the chartered tour plane, which was heading from the Grand Canyon National Airport to Monument Valley when it crashed just before landing. Authorities from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) finished gathering data on Tuesday and a National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) investigation is currently ongoing. Initial reports indicate the cause of the crash is likely due to high winds that existed the day of the crash. There are no weather stations in the area, so reliable data on wind speed at the time of the crash is unavailable.

June 1, 2011
Plane Crash In Wendover Leaves Four Dead
Four men died Wednesday afternoon in a small plane crash at an airport in Wendover, Utah. The single engine Cessna 172 plane went down around 2:45 p.m. during an unsuccessful landing attempt. Authorities say the Cessna bounced on the runway during its first landing attempt, and then pulled up to circle back for a second landing attempt. On the second approach, the pilot banked hard to the right before plummeting to the ground. The four-seater plane was completely destroyed and all four men onboard were killed in the crash. Three of the men were Utah natives, the other an Indian national. The airport manager said the pilot of the downed plane was attempting to land and refuel. Heavy crosswinds may have played a part in the fatal crash. Authorities from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are investigating.

May 28, 2011
Fuel Problems May Have Caused Plane To Crash Into Apartment Complex
Two people died when their plane crashed into an apartment complex just outside College Station, Texas on Saturday. There were two people in the plane, which was traveling from Fort Worth to Galveston. According to investigators, the plane was forced to attempt an emergency landing at a College Station airport, only three miles away from the site of the fatal crash. No one on the ground or inside the apartment complex was injured. A preliminary investigation into the crash has revealed that the small plane was experiencing fuel problems prior to crashing into the Z -Islander Apartments. The investigation also revealed that the pilot of the downed plane was very experienced, having logged many hours of flight time prior to the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is still investigating the fatal plane crash.

May 25, 2011
Air France Flight 447 May Have Entered A Deep Stall Before Crash
Sources close to the investigation of the Air France Flight 447 crash say it appears the plane slowed into a deep stall before crashing into the Atlantic Ocean and killing all 228 passengers on board. German newspaper Der Spiegel is reporting that voice recorder data recovered from the crash details captain Marc Dubois frantically rushing to the cockpit from the crew rest area to deal with the emergency. Apparently two co-pilots were in the cockpit when the plane entered a deep stall, and sources told the German newspaper that speed sensor failure may have prompted the in-flight emergency. The question still remains whether the fatal jetliner crash was caused by human error or technical malfunction.

May 17, 2011
Initial Report Shows Nothing Wrong With Plane In Air France Flight 447 Crash
Investigators say it is too early to blame human error as the cause of the Air France Flight 447 crash that killed 228 people. The flight recorders or "black boxes" from the June 1, 2009 crash were recovered from the depths of the Atlantic Ocean just weeks before the second anniversary of the crash and sent to Paris for analysis. Early examinations of the flight data recordings suggest that there were no technical issues with the Airbus SAS A330 jet that crashed into the Atlantic. But crash investigators are also quick to point out that there is still a lot of data to be looked at before they reveal their conclusions on the cause of the crash. An interim report on the cause of the crash is expected to be released in July or August with a final report due in early 2012.

May 16, 2011
U.S. Pilots Convicted of Negligence in Brazil For 2006 Plane Crash
Two U.S. pilots were found guilty of negligence by a Brazilian court on Monday for their role in a 2006 plane crash that killed 154 people, one of the worst air disasters in Brazil's history. A federal judge later suspended the four-year sentence, instead requiring both pilots to do community service in the United States. The American pilots were flying a business jet that clipped the wings of a Boeing 737 operated by Brazilian carrier Gol, which caused the 737 to crash into the Amazon rain forest. The American pilots have repeatedly denied responsibility for the crash. A 2006 Brazilian Air Force report said both planes were cleared to be flying at 37,000 feet at the same time, which casted a shadow on air traffic controllers.

May 7, 2011
Two Dead in Single Engine Plane Crash Near Conroe Airport
Two people were killed Saturday morning when a single engine Ravin 500 plane crashed shortly after takeoff just a half mile north of Lone Star Executive Airport in Conroe, Texas. The two killed, a father and daughter flying to Temple for the Central Texas Airshow, were the only passengers on the aircraft. The plane's pilot declared an emergency shortly after takeoff, reporting smoke in the cockpit to air traffic controllers. The plane was attempting to return to the airport when it crashed and exploded. Authorities from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) are investigating the cause of this fatal crash.

April 28, 2011
Franklin County Jury Awards $48 Million To Families Of Fatal Plane Crash Victims
A Franklin County, Missouri jury awarded the families of five victims in a 2006 skydiving plane crash $48 million on Thursday night. The jury had previously awarded $4 million to each of the five families for the loss of their child before awarding $28 million in punitive damages against Doncasters, Inc., an airplane parts manufacturer. The attorney for the families cast blame on Doncasters, Inc. for selling a part that caused the right engine to blow up on a July 2006 skydiving flight that killed six people. One of the six victims was not named in the lawsuit.

It was revealed in court proceedings that Doncasters, Inc. misled the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the certification process of the defective part in question. A certification officer for the FAA testified that Doncasters, Inc. hid documents that detailed failed performance tests of the part. The jury also heard from a Doncaster, Inc. official who testified that the company planned to continue selling the defective part in spite of the failed performance tests.

April 22, 2011
Plane Crash Kills Family of Four Outside Topeka
A twin engine plane crashed into a cornfield outside of Topeka, Kansas, on Friday afternoon, killing a family of four. The pilot of the Beechcraft Baron 58 did not send out a distress call before crashing a mere eight miles away from the Phillip Billard Airport. Authorities from the Kansas Highway Patrol said the crash occurred around noon when the plane was circling back to the airport for another landing attempt after a failed first attempt. An eye witness said there was a sputter in the engine right before the plane went down. Both the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) are investigating the cause of the crash.

April 11, 2011
Airbus A380 Jet Collides With Passenger Plane in New York's JFK Airport
A superjumbo Airbus jet operated by Air France clipped the tail of a smaller passenger plane as it taxied out to the runway at JFK International Airport Monday night, spinning the plane out as hundreds of passengers in both aircrafts sat helplessly. No injuries were reported in the runway incident. The Airbus A380, which is the world's largest commercial passenger jet, was taxiing to the runway when it's massive left wing clipped the tail of the smaller plane operated by Comair for Delta Airlines, causing the smaller plane to spin around 90 degrees. The weather and the darkness may have been factors in the runway incursion, as well the demanding nature of air traffic control duties at a congested JFK airport. "This wasn't just two airplanes bumping together. The Air France plane really creamed the regional jet," said the president of the Flight Safety Foundation. The National Transportation and Safety Board will investigate the cause of the collision.

April 5, 2011
FAA Orders Emergency Inspections For Boeing 737s
Coming on the heels of last Friday's massive fuselage failure on Southwest flight 812, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has ordered an emergency inspection of older Boeing 737 airplanes. In a statement issued by the FAA, around 175 planes will need to be inspected around the world, including 80 in the United States.

Southwest flight 812 was heading to Sacramento, California from Phoenix, Arizona when a piece of the fuselage tore away, leaving a gaping hole in the airplane that caused a sudden drop in cabin pressure. Amazingly, only two people were injured. Investigators from the National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) found other cracks in the plane after further inspection. Southwest cancelled hundreds of flights to inspect the 737s in their fleet with eddy-current technology, which reveals damage to metal not seen by the naked eye. These inspections revealed "subsurface cracks" in three of Southwest's 737s, which are now out of service. The FAA's emergency order calls for the same eddy-current technology to be used in the inspection of all 737s that have been in use for more than 30,000 take-offs.

April 4, 2011
Southwest Flight Makes Emergency Landing Due to Tear in Fuselage
A Boeing 737-300 operated by Southwest Airlines was forced to make an emergency landing in Arizona on Friday, after a large tear in the fuselage caused a dangerous loss of cabin pressure. The aircraft, carrying 118 people, had taken off from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport when the fuselage suddenly burst open at 34,400 feet, causing a five-foot-long gash. Fortunately, the pilots were able to make an emergency landing and no one was seriously injured. Authorities inspected the damaged aircraft and found the cause to be extensive cracking on the fuselage, a problem that was not discovered during routine maintenance. The mishap has prompted Southwest Airlines to cancel 300 flights and ground 80 planes. The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the incident.

April 2, 2011
Twin Engine Plane Crashes Kills Four in New Mexico
A twin engine Gulfstream IV luxury business jet crashed shortly after take-off from Roswell International Air Center on Saturday, killing all four people on board. Authorities from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) say the tip of the plane's right wing hit the ground seconds before it was airborne. The plane was off the ground for mere seconds before it slammed back down to the ground and burst into flames as it skidded down the runway. The four people killed were all from Savannah, Georgia. The cause of the crash has not been determined as authorities continue their investigation.

March 30, 2011
Small Plane Crash Kills Two in Pike County, Kentucky
A twin-engine airplane crashed during a landing attempt at Pike County Airport in Pikeville, Kentucky on Wednesday, killing the only two men on board. The Cessna 310 airplane crashed into a road below the airport after noon. First responders found the bodies of two men in the plane, both were pronounced dead on the scene. The Cessna took off from Wright Brothers Airport in Dayton, Ohio with Pikeville as its destination. The small plane was registered to Miller Aviation out of Portland, Indiana. Authorities from the National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) are working with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to determine the cause of the fatal plane crash.

March 29, 2011

Small Plane Crash in Southern Michigan Kills Three
A single-engine Piper Malibu Mirage airplane crashed into a city soccer field in Monroe, Michigan on Tuesday afternoon, killing all three passengers on board. The small plane was heading to Custer Airport in Monroe from Bedford County, Pennsylvania, when the Piper clipped some trees and crashed into the soccer field. Eye witnesses ran toward the crash site only to find burning wreckage. The three men, who worked together at Ohio-based Conforming Matrix Corp., were returning to Monroe from a business trip. The National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) is heading the investigation into the cause of the deadly crash with assistance from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

March 27, 2011
Vintage Plane Crash in Texas Kills All Three On Board
A single-engine 1946 Stinson 108 plane went down in Dickens County, Texas, on Sunday afternoon, killing all three people on board. The vintage plane was traveling from Dickens to Rockdale, Texas when it crashed in a field. The pilot of the aircraft was a 40-year-old man from Lubbock, Texas, and the two passengers on board were his parents, both from Rockdale. According to authorities, the owner of the field came upon the wreckage at around 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon. The Federal Aviation Administration is currently investigating the cause of the fatal plane crash.

March 26, 2011
Pilot Killed in Horrific Plane Crash at Florida Air Show
A man was killed instantly Saturday when his single-engine Yak-52 plane spiraled out of control and crashed in front of thousands of air show spectators. The Cold-War era plane and its pilot were part of the Red Thunder Air Show team, performing Saturday and Sunday in Flagler, Florida. Three other planes were in formation with the Yak-52 when the pilot lost control. None of the other planes were affected. According to reports, the pilot killed in the crash had been flying for over 30 years. Authorities are unclear if the plane encountered technical difficulties potentially causing the pilot to lose control. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the fatal plane crash.

March 16, 2011
Five Confirmed Dead in Small Plane Crash Near Long Beach Airport
A twin-engine Beechcraft King Air plane caught fire during take-off on Wednesday morning, killing five of the six people on board. The small plane had just taken off from Long Beach Airport in California at around 10:30 a.m. when it crashed. First responders found the plane completely engulfed in flames, with five people dead on the scene. The only survivor was rushed to an area hospital in critical condition. Three of the five people killed in the crash were identified to reporters as "community leaders" who were apparently traveling to Park City, Utah on a ski trip. The cause of the crash has not been determined as authorities continue their investigation.

March 15, 2011
NTSB Calls For Improvements in Rules Governing Pilot Fatigue
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) took a step toward changing the rules that dictate how airline pilots fight fatigue on Tuesday, saying that pilots should be allowed to take carefully monitored prescription sleep aids the night before a flight. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) currently prohibits pilots from using prescription sleep aids like Ambien within 24 hours of a flight, but according an NTSB senior human performance investigator, Ambien and similar drugs leave the system relatively quickly and can potentially give pilots the sleep they need while working odd hours.

The NTSB's call for reform stems from a 2008 plane crash in Minnesota that killed 8 people. Both pilots failed to get a good night's sleep the night before the fatal flight, and both may have had undiagnosed sleeping disorders. A spokesman for the FAA says they will study the NTSB's recommendation.

March 8, 2011
Two Men Dead in Twin-Engine Plane Crash
Two men from the Atlanta area were killed in a small plane crash near Tara Field in Henry County, Georgia late Tuesday morning. Officials say the twin-engine DeHavilland DHC-6-100 crashed into the woods near the airfield shortly after take-off. The aircraft was based in Texas, though National Aerotech Aviation was doing some maintenance work on it at Tara Field. The two men flying the plane worked for National Aerotech Aviation, and were conducting test runs on the aircraft when it crashed. Officials from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) were at the crash site investigating on Tuesday, though it may take months to determine the cause of the crash.

March 7, 2011
Single-Engine Plane Crash Kills One and Injures Another
A Canadian search and rescue helicopter found the wreckage of a single-engine plane that crashed on the Maine-Canada border on Monday afternoon. The crash killed one man and the plane's other passenger was airlifted from the crash site and taken to a hospital in Quebec with serious injuries. The pilot of the Diamond DA-40 was heading to Quebec from Halifax, Nova Scotia when he radioed in to air traffic controllers that the plane was encountering icing problems. The plane's emergency responder was activated shortly thereafter. Emergency responders from Maine and Canada participated in the search for the crash site, and the wreckage was found Monday night in Somerset County, Maine. Authorities are currently investigating the cause of the fatal crash.

March 3, 2011
Contra Costa County Reviewing Towers After Fatal Plane Crash
Officials in Contra Costa County, California, have decided to review the permitting process for meteorological towers after a plane crash took a life earlier this year. On January 10, 2011, a man was dropping seed on Webb Tract Island in California when his small plane struck an unmarked meteorological tower. The crash killed the man, and authorities say it is likely he never saw the 198-foot tower. Local pilots have raised concerns about unmarked towers in the past, so it is possible that county officials will change the rules regarding tower permits to improve safety.

February 26, 2011
Investigation into Phoenix Area Plane Crash Begins
Authorities are beginning an investigation into the cause of a plane crash that killed all three people on board near Phoenix, Arizona last Friday. The single-engine Piper Cherokee, which departed from Deer Valley Airport at 7:30 p.m., was reported missing at around 8:30 p.m. when it failed to return. Search crews found the wreckage and the bodies of a TransPac Aviation Academy flight instructor and two students early Saturday morning in a mountainous area 19 miles away from the airport. The recovered wreckage was taken to a salvage yard in Phoenix where investigators will start reconstruction to determine the cause of the fatal crash.

February 19, 2011
Plane Crash Victim's Family Files Suit Against Aircraft Manufacturer
The parents of a Jacksonville Beach, Florida woman killed in a plane crash outside of Buffalo, New York in 2009 have filed suit against Bombardier, the plane's manufacturer. The lawsuit states that Bombardier was "negligent and careless" in the plane's design by not providing efficient mechanical systems. The family filed suit to avoid any claim being thrown out after a two-year statute of limitations took effect. A National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation concluded that the pilot of the doomed aircraft may have overreacted after an automatic warning system sensed the plane was dangerously slowing down. According to investigators, at around 1,600 feet the automatic warning system shut off the autopilot and moved the Bombardier Dash 8's nose down to regain speed. Authorities believe the pilot pulled back too hard, pitching the aircraft upward 31 degrees and causing it to plunge for about 26 seconds before smashing into the suburban home. The NTSB's report also blamed the fatal plane crash on "Colgan Air's inadequate procedures for airspeed selection and management during approaches in icing conditions." The attorney representing the Florida family maintains that their fundamental claim is against the airlines.

February 10, 2011
Family of 2006 Comair Plane Crash Victim Awarded Nearly $8 Million
A U.S. District Court judge on Thursday ordered a family to split $7.1 million in damages stemming from an August 27, 2006 Comair crash that killed 49 people. The Louisville, Kentucky judge also granted $750,000 to the victim's wife for her pain and suffering. This was the last lawsuit to be resolved from the crash of Comair flight 5191 that occurred near Blue Grass Airport in Lexington, Kentucky, when pilots failed to recognize they were taking off from a runway that aviation authorities deemed too short for commercial jets.

February 4, 2011
Small Plane Crash in Iraq Kills Seven
A small plane crashed shortly after takeoff in northern Iraq on Friday, killing seven. The plane, which went down close to the airport in Sulaimaniya, had executives from MerchantBridge and JPMorgan onboard, as well as a pilot and three crew members. There were no survivors in the crash. Airport officials said the executives had flown to Sulaimaniya to visit the offices of AsiaCell, one of Iraq's mobile providers. Investigators are currently looking into the cause of the crash.

February 3, 2011
One Dead and One Seriously Injured in Single Engine Plane Crash Near Cal Poly
Two men flying a World War II era aircraft had to make an emergency crash landing near California Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo, California on Thursday morning, seriously injuring the pilot and killing an 86-year-old passenger. The two friends were out for a day of flying when the plane started sputtering, prompting the pilot to tell air traffic controllers there was an emergency. At around 10 A.M. witnesses saw the plane make an emergency crash landing in a creek bed. The two men were taken to Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center. The 86-year-old passenger, who was a World War II pilot, was pronounced dead on Friday. The crash is currently being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board.

January 31, 2011
Two Injured in Single Engine Plane Crash
A single engine plane crashed into a hillside near Glendora, California, on Monday afternoon, injuring a man and his flight instructor. Officials said the flight instructor took control of the Cessna 172 aircraft and for unknown reasons was forced to make a crash landing. Due to the terrain, the small aircraft remained wedged into the hillside brush overnight until officials could determine the best way to remove it. The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

January 31, 2011
Fatal Helicopter Crash Kills One and Injures Three in Pima County
A helicopter operated by the Pima County Sheriff's Department crashed Monday morning northwest of Tucson, Arizona near the intersection of Waterman Mountain Road and Silverbell Road. Of the four people on board, one was pronounced dead at the scene. The three injured were taken to University Medical Center . The chopper was identifying potential locations for radio towers in a part of Ironwood National Forest when it crashed. The circumstances surrounding the crash have yet to be determined.

January 30, 2011
Three Dead in Eastern Oregon Plane Crash
A single engine plane crashed in eastern Oregon on Sunday, killing two men and one woman. The wreckage of the Cessna was found at 10 a.m. Sunday morning on the side of a hill after the plane failed to arrive in Nampa, Idaho. The three deceased are from the Boise area and their names have not been released. The fatal plane crash remains under investigation.

January 11, 2011
NTSB Study Says Airbags Needed on Airplanes
The National Transportation Safety Board announced on Tuesday that it has adopted a study showing that airbags can provide additional occupant protection in general aviation. According to the NTSB, the study found that airplanes equipped with airbags provided added protection in accidents involving survivable forward impacts. The study also found that shoulder harness/lap seat belt combinations provide much greater protection in General Aviation accidents than a lap belt alone. The board found that wearing just the lap belt alone raised the risk of fatal or serious injury by 50 percent compared to the combination lap/shoulder belt. The NTSB also is recommending that the Federal Aviation Administration require the retrofitting of shoulder harnesses on all general aviation airplanes, among other recommendations. The complete safety study will be available on the NTSB website by February 2011.

January 6, 2011
Two Killed in California Single Engine Plane Crash
A small plane crashed in Plumas County, California, killing two people. The single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza crashed at Rogers Field Airport in Chester, California, the Federal Aviation Administration said. Authorities said the plane crashed at the end of a runway. It is unclear why the plane crashed. The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.

January 5, 2011
One Person Dead After Small Plane Crashes in Alabama
One person was killed when a small plane crashed in Birmingham, Alabama, on Wednesday. According to authorities, the Beech BE-58 crashed as it was approaching the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport. The plane crashed in a neighborhood in an area about 50 feet from a house. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said that the cause of the crash has not yet been determined. The FAA and NTSB are investigating the fatal plane crash.