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Published: Friday, November 03, 2017 @ 11:25 AM
Excessive air speed coupled with landing too far down a wet runway caused a Thunderbird F-16 fighter jet to leave the airstrip and flip over at Dayton International Airport on the day before the Vectren Dayton Air Show last June, an Air Force accident investigation concluded.
The mishap injured team narrator and F-16 pilot Capt. Erik Gonsalves, who was hospitalized for leg injuries, and destroyed the $29.2 million fighter jet on June 23, according to the Air Force. A second crewman who was a backseat passenger in the F-16D jet was uninjured, the Air Force said.
An accident investigation board also concluded that rain on a canopy windscreen contributed to the accident, along with not following proper braking procedures during the landing, the report said.
Approach and landing speed, how far down a runway an aircraft lands, and the condition of the airstrip can be key factors in a mishap, said Michael L. Barr, a former Air Force fighter pilot and a University of Southern California aviation safety expert. Barr has conducted past accident board investigations for the Air Force.
Fighter pilots “are trained to land in any kind of weather,” he said. “If you’re flying a fighter, then you’re qualified to land.”
Still, mishaps involving aerial precision jet teams like the Thunderbirds and the Navy’s Blue Angels are not common, he said.
“They’re very few and far between considering how many flights they fly each year,” he said. “They are really safety conscious.”
‘You make a little bit of a judgment’
The Air Force Thunderbirds, which fly six jets in precision formation flying, scrubbed appearances at the Vectren Dayton Air Show after the incident, and had canceled a team practice the day of the accident because of weather conditions, the report said.
During the F-16 jet’s final approach on June 23, the Dayton air traffic control tower advised the pilot of “wind shear and extreme precipitation over the field,” the report noted.
Still, investigators concluded the single F-16 jet on the first of what was planned to be three crew familiarization flights that day could have landed within the conditions, the report said.
The Thunderbird jet landed nearly 4,800 feet down the 10,900-foot-long runway, and was traveling above recommended speeds given the wet conditions, the report said.
“They tell you on a wet runway to try to land firm and try to land as close as you can to the end of the runway to have enough distance” to stop, said Richard Lohnes, a former F-16 pilot and prior commander of the 178th Fighter Wing at Springfield Air National Guard Base. “It was sure not the perfect situation to land the F-16, but that’s quite a bit of runway.
“In that situation, you make a little bit of a judgment one way or the other and it can make a big difference in the outcome,” Lohnes said.
Once the plane left the runway and rolled into a muddy, grassy area, the landing gear collapsed and the jet flipped, trapping both the pilot and passenger for more than an hour. Rescuers used a circular saw to cut through the broken canopy and hydraulic spreaders to free the trapped crew.
Dayton International Airport and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base rescue crews were cautious handling the damaged jet, working carefully to avoid triggering the ejection seats, said Gil Turner, airport deputy director.
“That was a huge challenge with the aircraft being upside down and understanding the hazards of a military jet,” he said Friday.
The front ejection seat had become dislodged from the jet and added to the difficulty of extracting the pilot, the report said.
Gonsalves has returned to the team as narrator, but has not been medically cleared to fly, Maj. Malinda Singleton, an Air Combat Command spokeswoman, said Friday.
The extent of the pilot’s injuries have not been disclosed, but the report described them as “significant.”
Gonsalves had nearly 1,700 hours flying time, most in the A-10 Thunderbolt II, with nearly 150 hours in the F-16 Fighting Falcon at the time of the accident, the report said.
The investigation did not find mechanical failure as a cause in the accident and the jet had passed recent inspections, the board report said.
The Thunderbirds’ cancellation, along with heavy rains, led to a drop in attendance at this year’s air show, said Terry Grevious, executive director.
Still, the show managed a small profit, he said.
The Thunderbirds cancellation was the second consecutive year a military jet flight team scrubbed performances in Dayton. The Blue Angels canceled a 2016 appearance at the Dayton Air Show and several other locales in the aftermath of a pilot’s fatal crash during a practice demonstration flight in Tennessee.
The Blue Angels are scheduled to return to the Dayton Air Show next June.
Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 8:16 PM
MIAMI VALLEY — The average price of gas in Ohio drops 10 cents this week.
Ohio has topped the charts for the biggest weekly change in gas price averages in the country; Ohio is the 11th lowest in the nation at $2.70 per gallon.
Nationwide, 44 states have less expensive or steady gas price averages compared to last Monday. However, the cheaper trend may be reversing. “If demand continues to strengthen and inventories decrease in the weeks ahead, motorists can expect gas prices do a reversal and start to increase again,” said AAA spokeswoman Jennifer Moore. “AAA expects the national gas price average to range between $2.85 and $3.05 through Labor Day, likely seeing the summer’s highest prices in June.”
Moving into this week, another factor that will influence gas prices in the near and long-term will be outcomes from the June 22 OPEC meeting in Vienna, Austria. The cartel, along with other major producers including Russia, will discuss increasing oil production ahead of the year-end scheduled dissolution of its production reduction agreement.
Motorists are spending $69 or more a month for gas compared to last year, but that won’t stop their summer travel. Gas expenses are accounting, on average, for 7% of an American’s 2018 annual income.
Visit https://gasprices.aaa.com/ to check the latest gas prices.
Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 7:23 PM
Updated: Tuesday, June 19, 2018 @ 8:25 AM
The suspect involved in a nearly six-hour SWAT standoff was placed into custody Monday night but was not arrested, according to Lt. Matt Beavers.
The Dayton police SWAT team responded to the suspect’s home in the 100 block of Livingston Avenue around 4:20 p.m. in Dayton. Police also checked a vacant home neighbors said the man spends time at in the 200 block of Livingston Avenue.
According to Beavers, the suspect was not located in either home but was found and detained a short while later at another location out of the city.
He [the suspect] was wanted for a violent crime that occurred over the weekend; and after investigation, there were believed to be weapons in the house, according to Beavers.
Police used a bullhorn to attempt to communicate with the suspect and approached the home with caution.
On entering the house safely, Beavers said, “It’s safer for not only us and him, but also to the neighborhood, to do everything slow and methodically--instead of just sending a couple officers in and kicking a door and maybe being greeted by someone with a weapon.”
Several neighbors said they were alarmed to come home to find a huge police presence outside their homes.
“You know, I just got off work at 8 o’clock, come home, and I have police telling me I can’t park in my parking spot...It’s ridiculous. We have three kids that live in the house, so I thought something for the worst happened,” said a neighbor.
Police have not released the name of the suspect.
SWAT on bullhorn again: “If there’s anyone inside, come out with your hands up.” pic.twitter.com/6GxwA0WcUL— Lauren Clark (@LClarkWHIO) June 19, 2018
Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 9:26 PM
LIMA — A former Ohio Sheriff has been accused of taking bribes from drug dealers, and tipping them off to raids.
Former Allen County Sheriff Sam Crish faces a six-count indictment following a 21-month investigation by the Cleveland Office of the FBI.
Crish is accused of asking for and accepting bribes from drug dealers, along with allegedly tipping them off. Investigators say Crish would also make promises to people arrested in prostitution stings if they gave him money, and he would hit up suspected gamblers.
He now faces 75 years in prison.
“It is offensive as it is audacious, it’s brazen, it’s arrogant,” said U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman. “It absolutely does demean, everything that somebody who takes the oath of office to serve in law enforcement, it demeans everything about that. The actions alleged in the indictment are that of a crime boss, not a sheriff.”
Crish turned himself in to the FBI earlier today, but right now he’s out on bond. His attorney says he’s allowed to travel for his job, and to Florida next month to attend gambling addiction treatment. Crish admitted to a gambling problem shortly after his office was raided in 2016.
Published: Monday, June 26, 2017 @ 10:33 AM
Updated: Monday, June 26, 2017 @ 10:33 AM
— The Supreme Court on Monday announced that it would listen to arguments surrounding President Donald Trump's controversial travel ban during its October sitting.
SCOTUS will review the travel ban— SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) June 26, 2017
Travel ban will be argued in October— SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) June 26, 2017
The decision came down as justices announced their final opinions of the term ahead of a summer break. Justices will review arguments over whether the ban violates constitutional protections against religion-based discrimination, among other things.
The court also agreed to lift preliminary injunctions that blocked the government from barring foreign nationals without connections to the U.S. from entering the country.
SCOTUS lifts injunction against travel ban, except with respect to individuals with bona dude relationship to the US— SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) June 26, 2017
Justices said in their filing Monday that upholding the injunctions “would appreciably injure (America’s) interests without alleviating obvious hardship to anyone else.”
The court left in place injunctions that affect “foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States."
Trump hailed the high court’s order as a “clear victory for our national security.” He said in a statement that his “number one responsibility” is to keep the American people safe.
The Trump administration appealed to the Supreme Court on June 1 after a lower court blocked the travel ban from going into effect.
The administration argued that an injunction issued by the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in May was too broad in blocking the government from banning foreign travelers from six Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. for 90 days.
The travel ban was the second executive order addressing travel to the United States signed by the president after key provisions of the first were blocked by a federal court.
Trump signed his original executive order in January, barring foreign nationals from seven countries Muslim-majority from entering the U.S. for 90 days and suspending the U.S. refugee program for 120 days.
A federal judge blocked several key provision of the ban a week later. An appeals court declined to lift the order and the government announced it would put together a new travel ban.
The second version of the executive order was signed March 6 and barred foreign nationals from six Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S.: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
Major parts of the second executive order were blocked by a federal court in May, which determined that the government was likely to lose its case, because its arguments appeared to target people based on their religion rather than on national security concerns.
The president has numerous times argued that his travel ban is necessary to ensure the safety of Americans.