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RAF Arkansas

raf-1RAF Opens New Airstrip in Arkansas
The Recreational Aviation Foundation (RAF) announces the opening of Trigger Gap, a new recreational airstrip, this time in the beautiful Ozark Mountains of northwest Arkansas. It lies on lands owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) above the Kings River. The RAF developed this new turf airstrip through grants, donations and volunteer efforts. Its future is ensured by a long-term lease with TNC and local RAF volunteers have committed to its ongoing maintenance.
“Our success is the result of having developed a great partnership with this international conservation organization,” said RAF Arkansas Liaison Dave Powell. “This new destination will help us broaden the community of recreational flyers. It has good approaches and is three thousand feet long,” he added.
“Trigger Gap is ready for the public to enjoy now,” said RAF Director Tim Clifford. Runways are 10/28 and lined with cones on 200-ft spacing. Windsocks are located on the SW and NE corners. There are two fire rings and wood on site. A vault toilet is planned for next spring, and currently you need to provide your own water. Campers will enjoy a great view over the Kings River, famous for small mouth bass fishing. As a special treat, nearby Kings River Outfitters offers pickup and return service to the airstrip.
Clifford visualized the opportunities surrounding this location on Pension Mountain, and said the RAF is looking at similar projects throughout the Ozarks. “This recreational destination is close to the large metropolitan area around Bentonville,” Powell said, “and it offers a beautiful recreational flying destination for both experienced pilots and those new to this kind of flying.”
Why “Trigger Gap”? The nearby bend in the river resembles a trigger, according to locals.
Why “Pension Mountain”? According to local historian M.D. Anglin, the name comes from the fact Civil War veterans settled there. “Yankees drew a Federal pension, a pretty good wad for those times,” Anglin wrote. Some of their descendants still live there.
Trigger Gap is just 3.2 nm south of Carroll County Airport (4M1) where there are courtesy cars and services. Within an hour’s drive is Ridgefield, MO, and Big Cedar Lodge Resort, built by John Morris, founder and CEO of the famous Bass Pro Shops. It features World-class Top of the Rock Golf Course, wine and dining options, horseback riding, and folks can even rent a golf cart to enjoy miles of paths through Dogwood Canyon Nature Park and Lost Canyon Caves. “The Native American Heritage Museum is there, which rivals the famous Buffalo Bill Center in Cody, Wyoming,” Clifford said.

The Recreational Aviation Foundation is a public 501(c)3 nonprofit organization formed in 2003 to preserve, maintain and create airstrips for recreational access. Its headquarters are 1711 W. College St., Bozeman, MT 59715, www.TheRAF.org

New Mexico Air Museum – Grants, NM

CLICK ON TITLE ABOVE TO READ COMPLETE POST, TO VISIT MUSEUM WEBSITE CLICK ON IMAGE AIRWAYS MUSEUM AFTER GOING TO THE POST.

The Western New Mexico Aviation Heritage Museum  

By Steve Owen

It all started with Charles Lindbergh – the face of American aviation progress after 1927.  A new airline was proposed in 1928 to enhance passenger service and win profitable airmail contracts across the country. With a northern-plains airmail route just established from the East to San Francisco, a more practical all-season central airway was sought between New York and Los Angeles.

By combining daytime flights with nighttime express rail service, the new airline, Transcontinental Air Transport (TAT), would cross the nation from coast to coast in just 48 hours.  TAT joined with both the Pennsylvania and the Santa Fe railroads to provide a seamless plane-train travel experience that would combine luxury and speed.  It was Charles Lindbergh, the famed Lone Eagle, who as the line’s technical advisor, surveyed the daytime flight segment options.  He then selected the best new route, considering new airport and route beacon sites, and the stations and schedules of the partner railroads. Lindbergh also chose the stout Ford Tri-Motor for TAT as the best compromise of safety and efficiency – if not speed.

Established in mid-1929, TAT’s Midcontinent Airway across New Mexico has served airmail, military, commercial and general aviation for 85 years, with minor realignments as aircraft, navigation, and in-flight technologies advanced. Abandoned beacon sites still exist along the airway, and several historic crash sites also mark this corridor. A 1929 TAT Tri-Motor crash on Mount Taylor led to a 2009 aviation archaeology project by the US Forest Service, and that sparked the idea of an airway history museum.

This historic TAT route is a key focus of the new Western New Mexico Aviation Heritage Museum at Grants-Milan Airport (GNT) beside I-40 and Route 66.  This interpretive site recreates the Los Angles-Amarillo Airway Beacon 62, located just to the south on San Rafael Mesa in the Zuni Mountains.  Nearby is also LA-A Site 61, high on the Continental Divide, where a restored generator shed still stands.

Here at Grants, Cibola County Historical Society tells the story of the region’s beacons and airfields, the planes that flew the route (sometimes with tragic results), the visionaries who made night flying possible, and the many behind the scenes who built and maintained this lighted air highway across the West. This “air highway” of beacon lights, emergency fields, and radio/weather stations served growing air traffic until the 1960’s. Today, countless flights still pass along the route that Lindbergh pioneered for TAT.

Phase One opened in 2012 with a restored airway beacon tower and a generator shed with beacon and history exhibits, as well as a memorial to the victims of the 1929 Ford Tri-Motor crash on Mt. Taylor.  Volunteers staff the museum on Saturdays, and there are also signs and brochures for ‘walking tours’ at any time.  Inside the GNT terminal building are restrooms as well as a small airways history display that invites airport visitors “out back” to the main museum compound.  

Phase Two is ongoing, to restore the abandoned 1953 CAA Flight Service Station, where a new roof was completed over the winter.   Most of this building will become museum space, and it now has several temporary aviation exhibits.

Grants-Milan Airport (GNT) is a small but friendly airfield, with 7172 feet of runway, self-serve jet and aviation fuel, AWOS and a shuttle car – as well as this growing aviation history museum.  It’s a quiet stopover in a scenic and historic area – or just a quick pit stop – for those who choose to fly the Lindbergh Airway!

 

 

FYI: Accident Reports from the NTSB

THESE REPORTS TAKEN FROM THE NTSB ACCIDENT DATA BASE.

NTSB Identification: WPR13LA043
General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, November 16, Show Low, AZ
Aircraft: CIRRUS SR22
Injuries: 1 Minor.

On November 16, 2012, about 0726 Mountain Standard Time, a Cirrus design SR22 was substantially damaged when the airplane descended to the ground under parachute near Show Low, Arizona, after the engine experienced a complete loss of oil pressure during cruise flight. The pilot/owner received minor injuries. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and the flight was operating on an FAA instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan.

According to the pilot, he departed Animas Airpark (00C), Durango Colorado, about 0600, with an intended destination of Nogales International Airport (OLS), Nogales, Arizona. About 2 hours into the flight, while in cruise flight at 12,000 feet above mean sea level, air traffic control (ATC) cleared him to 14,000 feet for terrain clearance purposes. Just before the airplane reached the new assigned altitude, the pilot heard a loud “pop.” About 4 minutes later, the pilot received an oil pressure annunciation on his primary flight display. At that time the indicated oil pressure was about 47 pounds per square inch (psi), which was at the bottom of the normal range. Within 1 minute the pilot saw the oil pressure had decreased to 0 psi, so he shut down the engine and advised ATC. He asked for vectors to the nearest airport, was advised that Show Low Regional Airport (SOW), Show Low, was the closest, and then turned towards SOW.

During the descent, about the same time that ATC advised him that radar contact had been lost, the pilot recognized that he would be unable to reach SOW, and advised ATC that he would deploy the ballistic parachute when he was over terrain that appeared suitable for a parachute landing. The pilot estimated that he deployed the parachute between 1,000 and 2,000 feet above ground level. The airplane impacted in a field while it was swinging towards the left under the parachute, bounced at least one time, and came to rest upright. The pilot shut down the airplane and exited. He contacted assistance via his satellite telephone. The pilot and airplane were located about 2 hours after the landing, aided by his reinflation of the parachute and use of his personal mobile telephone (not satellite phone).

On-scene examination by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed that engine oil was deposited along the bottom and left side of the airplane. FAA records indicated that the airplane was manufactured in 2005, and was purchased new by the pilot. In February 2009, a Forced Aeromotive Technologies supercharges was installed in accordance with supplemental type certificate SA10925SC. The pilot held a private pilot certificate with airplane single and multi-engine and instrument airplane ratings.

The 0735 automated weather observation at SOW, located about 8 miles north of the landing site, included calm winds; clear skies; temperature 1 degree C; dew point -5 degrees C; and an altimeter setting of 30.25 inches of mercury.

NTSB Identification: ERA13FA071
General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, December 01, Pahokee, FL
Aircraft: GREEN GARY E THORP T-18
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

On December 1, 2012, about 1318 Eastern Standard Time, an experimental amateur built Thorp T-18, N118GG, registered to and operated by the pilot, was substantially damaged when it broke up in flight over Pahokee, Florida. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The airline transport pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The flight departed Pompano Beach Airpark (PMP), Pompano Beach, Florida at 1259.

According to family members, the flight was enroute to Lakeland Linder Regional Airport (LAL), Lakeland, Florida. The pilot was overdue on his arrival and an alert and rescue (ALNOT) was initiated. During the search, an emergency distress signal was received, and the local authorities located the airplane the following day at 0610.

According to preliminary information obtained from the Federal Aviation Administration, the airplane was in cruise flight for approximately 19 minutes. The pilot was not in contact with the air traffic control during the flight. A review of the radar data revealed that about one minute prior to going off radar the airplane was at a cruise altitude of 8,300 feet. Then, the airplane was observed descending to an altitude of 7,200 feet before radar contact was lost.

The airplane impacted a sugarcane field about two miles southeast of Palm Beach County Glades Airport (PHK), Pahokee Florida. The fuselage of the airplane came to rest inverted, in a flat attitude, on a course of 315 degrees. The propeller, engine, instrument panel, main landing gear, and left and right outboard wings were separated from the fuselage and have not been located at this time.

Examination of the fuselage revealed that the flight control stick was connected to the aileron and elevator control tubes. The rudder and tail wheel control cables were connected at the rudder and tail wheel attachment point. The rudder pedals were not located and the cables showed signs of overstress failure. The fuselage and empennage were buckled. Examination of the wings revealed that the left and right wings were separated at the spar attachment joint. The vertical stabilizer was partially separated from the empennage. The wreckage was removed from the field for further examination.

NTSB Identification: CEN13FA089
General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, December 04, Manhattan, IL
Aircraft: BEECH 58
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

On December 4, 2012, about 1438 Central Standard Time, a Beech model 58 impacted an open field near Manhattan, Illinois. The commercial pilot sustained fatal injuries. The airplane was substantially damaged. The aircraft was registered to and operated by Bemidji Aviation Services under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a pipeline surveillance flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was not operated on a flight plan. The flight originated from Bemidji Regional Airport (BJI) about 0915. The intended destination was Joliet Regional Airport (JOT), Joliet, Illinois, after completion of the surveillance activity.

The airplane impacted an open field about 3-1/4 miles south-southwest of Manhattan, Illinois. Initial ground impact was about 80 feet long and oriented on an approximate bearing of 168 degrees magnetic. An impact crater about 8 feet by 3 feet by 2 feet was located at the south end of the ground scar. The right propeller assembly had separated from the engine, which was located adjacent to the impact crater. The right engine separated from the wing and came to rest about 950 feet from the initial impact. The right wing separated from the fuselage at the root; it came to rest about 430 feet from the initial impact. The main wreckage consisted of portions of the fuselage and left wing, the empennage, and the left engine. The overall debris path was oriented approximately 150 degrees magnetic.

The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with single and multi-engine land airplane, single-engine sea airplane, and instrument airplane ratings. He was issued a second class airman medical certificate in May 2012, with a restriction for corrective lenses. His most recent regulatory checkride was completed in March 2012. He had accumulated about 26,000 total flight hours, with approximately 11,000 hours in Beech model 58 airplanes.

The nearest weather reporting facility was located at JOT, about 11 miles northwest of the accident site. At 1435, the JOT Automated Weather Observing System (AWOS) recorded conditions as: wind from 260 degrees at 10 knots; 10 miles visibility; clear sky; temperature 14 degrees Celsius; -1 degrees Celsius; altimeter 30.10 inches of mercury.

NTSB Identification: CEN13LA095
General Aviation
Accident Wed, Dec 05, Gurdon, AR
Aircraft: Mooney M20E
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

On December 5, 2012, about 1200 Central Standard Time, a Mooney model M20E airplane was substantially damaged when it collided with terrain during a forced landing near Gurdon, Arkansas. The private pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 without a flight plan. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the cross-country flight that departed from Austin Grider Field Airport (KPBF), Pine Bluff, Arkansas, about 1130, and was destined for Gurdon Lowe Field Airport (5M8), Gurdon, Arkansas.

The pilot reported that the accident occurred during a repositioning flight after the airplane had undergone avionic maintenance. He stated that the engine experienced a partial loss of engine power about 30 minutes into the flight. He stated that he was flying fairly low to the ground when the loss of engine power occurred, and as such, he was unable to troubleshoot the lack of engine power before having to shift his focus to identifying a suitable landing area. He noted that he did not turn-on the electric fuel pump during his brief attempt to restart the engine. He reported that a forced landing was made to a nearby gravel road. He stated that during landing roll one of the airplane’s wings contacted a bush situated alongside the road, which caused the airplane to depart the roadway and descend into an adjacent ditch. The fuselage and wings were damaged during the accident sequence.

NTSB Identification:
Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Monday, December 10, Compton, IL
Aircraft: MBB BK 117 A-3
Injuries: 3 Fatal.

On December 10, 2012, about 2016 Central Standard Time, a Messerschmitt Bolkow-Blohm model BK 117-A3 helicopter impacted the ground near Compton, Illinois. The pilot, flight nurse, and flight paramedic were fatally injured, and the helicopter sustained substantial damage from impact forces. The emergency medical services (EMS) equipped helicopter was registered to Rockford Memorial Hospital, and operated by Air Methods Corporation under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a positioning flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated on a company visual flight rules flight plan. The flight originated from the Rockford Memorial Hospital Heliport (LL83), Rockford, Illinois, about 1958 and was en route to the Mendota Community Hospital Heliport (14IL), Mendota, Illinois, where it was to pick up a patient for transport back to the Rockford Memorial Hospital.

The purpose of the accident leg of the flight was to position the helicopter for a subsequent air medical inter-facility patient transport flight from the Mendota Community Hospital to the Rockford Memorial Hospital. The request was received by the Rockford Memorial Hospital Dispatch Center and the pilot was notified at 1927. At 1959, the pilot reported to the dispatch center that he was departing from the helicopter’s base at the hospital. He reported that he lifted off with one hour forty-five minutes of fuel and three persons on board and was en route to Mendota, Illinois. At 2010, the pilot radioed that he was 12 minutes from Mendota. at 2016, the pilot contacted the dispatch center notifying that he was aborting the flight due to the weather conditions encountered. No further communications were received from the helicopter.

At 2015, the surface weather observation at the Rochelle Municipal Airport-Koritz Field (KRPJ), Rochelle, Illinois, located about 10 miles north of the accident site, was: wind 290 degrees at 8 knots, 7 miles visibility, light snow, overcast ceiling at 3,300 feet above ground level, temperature -1 degree Celsius, dew point -2 degrees Celsius, altimeter 29.94 inches of Mercury.

 

Andy’s Fly-In List For December

Merry Christmas to everyone, I hope Santa brings everyone lots of goodies. I bought myself a Dynon D1 Pocket Panel for a gift to myself recently. I
really like it. Wife is glad that she doesn’t need to shop for me also. Nowwhat does she want that I could use for the plane?
Andy

December 29 – Claremore, OK – Claremore Regional Airport (KGCM) Fly-in lunch
11am-1pm last Saturday of each month. Normally menu is hamburgers and
hotdogs and occasionally hot links or brats. Donations requested to keep the
monthly fly-in supported.  Everybody is welcome, fly in or drive. The only
time we cancel is when the weather is too bad to drive in or if it falls on
a holiday. Call the airport for more info 918-343-0931.
January 5 – Ponca City, OK – Ponca City Regional Airport (KPNC) First
Saturday breakfast. 7:00 – 10:00 AM Fantastic food; very well attended long
running event. Suggested $6.00 donation (and well worth it). Sponsored by
PNC airport booster club the first Saturday of every month rain or shine.
January 11 ** 2nd Friday Event – Joplin, Mo – Joplin Regional Airport (KJLN)
11:00 AM to 1:00 PM Join Alpha Air Center and Twisted Wrench Aviation as
they host their monthly ‘Lunch in the Hangar with Alpha Air’. Chili, soups,
breads, and dessert will be served. All donations will go to Joplin’s
‘Christmas of Hope’ to provide a great Christmas morning to children in
foster care in the Joplin Area.
January 12 – Lonoke, AR – Country Air Estates Airport (1AR9) EAA Chapter 122
UL monthly Breakfast fly-in 8:30 – 11:30 AM Donations accepted. For
additional information check: http://eaaul122.org <http://eaaul122.org/>
January 26 – Claremore, OK – Claremore Regional Airport (KGCM) Fly-in lunch
11am-1pm last Saturday of each month. Normally menu is hamburgers and
hotdogs and occasionally hot links or brats. Donations requested to keep the
monthly fly-in supported.  Everybody is welcome, fly in or drive. The only
time we cancel is when the weather is too bad to drive in or if it falls on
a holiday. Call the airport for more info 918-343-0931.
*** Sometimes plans change and it is advisable to check before you go. ***
If you would like to be removed from, or added to, this email distribution
list just send me an email.
Blue Skies,
Andy — email: andya@diamondcity.net

Air Events around AR & OK

Events around Arkansas and Oklahoma

By Andy Anderson of Diamond City AR
Not a lot of activity at this time of the year; you could say that we have
quality not quantity. These regular events are quality fly-ins. I have
attended each of them and they all have lots of aircraft and fantastic food.
Andy

December 8 – Lonoke, AR – Country Air Estates Airport (1AR9) EAA Chapter 122
UL monthly Breakfast fly-in 8:30 – 11:30 AM Donations accepted. For
additional information check: http://eaaul122.org <http://eaaul122.org/>

December 29 – Claremore, OK – Claremore Regional Airport (KGCM) Fly-in lunch
11am-1pm last Saturday of each month. Normally menu is hamburgers and
hotdogs and occasionally hot links or brats. Donations requested to keep the
monthly fly-in supported.  Everybody is welcome, fly in or drive. The only
time we cancel is when the weather is too bad to drive in or if it falls on
a holiday. Call the airport for more info 918-343-0931.

January 5 – Ponca City, OK – Ponca City Regional Airport (KPNC) First
Saturday breakfast. 7:00 – 10:00 AM Fantastic food; very well attended long
running event. Suggested $6.00 donation (and well worth it). Sponsored by
PNC airport booster club the first Saturday of every month rain or shine.

January 12 – Lonoke, AR – Country Air Estates Airport (1AR9) EAA Chapter 122
UL monthly Breakfast fly-in 8:30 – 11:30 AM Donations accepted. For
additional information check: http://eaaul122.org <http://eaaul122.org/>
January 26 – Claremore, OK – Claremore Regional Airport (KGCM) Fly-in lunch
11am-1pm last Saturday of each month. Normally menu is hamburgers and
hotdogs and occasionally hot links or brats. Donations requested to keep the
monthly fly-in supported.  Everybody is welcome, fly in or drive. The only
time we cancel is when the weather is too bad to drive in or if it falls on
a holiday. Call the airport for more info 918-343-0931.
As always, check before you go and fly safe.
<http://www.turkeymountainairport.com/>
If you have an event that you want included, click reply and send me the
information and I will add it to the next email.
<http://www.turkeymountainairport.com/>
** Note: If you do not wish to receive these emails, or if you know someone
who would like to be added to the distribution list, Just reply to this
message and it will be done. ** <http://www.turkeymountainairport.com/>
Blue Skies, <http://www.turkeymountainairport.com/>
Andy <http://www.turkeymountainairport.com/>

 

FLY-LOW Lands At Buena Vista CO

Sometimes a simple drop in landing at a new airport will bring you new friends.  That is what happened this past month when Todd Hubbard, FLY-LOW’s western division sales manager and I flew his Maule over to a great airport…  super runway…  outstanding FBO and Jill VanDeel and her staff are the best…. Loaning us a courtesy car with advise on where we could go for the best food…  Was she right?  Yes, Indeed!!!!!  Our quick trip ended up being longer than planned… and we returned and will again and again.

The runway is a distance from the surrounding mountains,  – offering no restriction to landing any directions.  FLY-LOW recommends a visit to Buena Vista for lunch and extend that time with an overnight and some Jeeping, camping, or just fish your time away.  It is a great little town, airport, mountain area….  go see them…  fuel prices are most competitive..  stop in and tell them that you saw it in FLY-LOW…

Ralph McCormick, Publisher….