NTSB Identification: WPR16FA046
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, January 04, 2016 in Alpine, WY
Aircraft: AEROSTAR S A YAK 52, registration: N912EB
Injuries: 2 Fatal.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
On January 4, 2016, about 1615 mountain standard time, an experimental Aerostar S A YAK 52, N912EB, collided with terrain while maneuvering near Alpine, Wyoming. Wyoming Wings LLC was operating the airplane under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. The private pilot and a private pilot-rated passenger sustained fatal injuries. The airplane was destroyed during the accident sequence. The local personal flight departed Alpine about 1530. Visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.
Family members reported that the pilot departed, and went northwest of the airport to perform aerobatic maneuvers. The passenger's father departed on a local sightseeing flight, as did the pilot's son. The passenger's father returned to the airport, landed on runway 13, and was facing southwest on a taxiway as he prepared to depart on runway 31 (standard practice at the airport with winds permitting). He heard the pilot's son report on a 3-mile final straight in for runway 13, and observed the YAK performing aerobatics west of the airport. He departed runway 31, and immediately turned 90 degrees to the west to clear for the landing traffic. As he reached pattern altitude, he observed the accident pilot's son's airplane on a 2-mile final, and then he observed the debris field forming. He flew over the site, and broadcast that the YAK was down. He made a couple of passes over the site before landing.
The pilot's son stated that he departed after his father, and flew along the east side of the reservoir before deciding to turn south to overfly the family's home. He returned to the north and at the bird sanctuary on the south side of the reservoir near the start of the Salt River, he maneuvered to the west side of the reservoir to proceed north. As he proceeded towards McCoy Creek, he dropped over the reservoir, which at that point was frozen over, and covered with snow. He stated that the surface was flat with no cracks, and the lighting was flat as well so that he had difficulty judging his height above the ground. Proceeding north, the surface started to crack, which helped height visualization. Over an open area boat ramp about 7 miles north of the airport, he transitioned to the east side of the lake, and headed south toward the airport. He observed on his GPS that he was about 5 miles from the airport, and made a radio call that he was going to land on runway 13. He observed the passenger's father's airplane take off, and turn to the west. He was about 100 to 200 feet agl over the reservoir about 3 miles out when he heard his father in the YAK make a radio call indicating that the YAK was either going to join up or do a flyby. Because of that transmission, he decided to do a go-around and fly over the airport rather than land. He reported that he and his father had done formation flying, join ups, and flybys previously, and typically his father would break the maneuver off after the join up and low approach. He looked over his shoulder for the join up at his 4- and 7-o'clock positions, and was expecting a call as to which side that would occur. The call did not come, and he never saw the YAK. He then heard the passenger's father contacting him, and after several stressed calls realized that something had not gone right. He proceeded to the area where the other airplane was, and saw a disturbance in the snow. He flew above the other airplane until it departed to land.
An airport resident who had heard the radio transmissions went to his window, and was looking for the YAK to fly over. After hearing the conversations, he contacted the pilots in the air, and notified the local emergency authorities.
Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) examined the wreckage on site. The debris field was 550 feet long along a magnetic heading of 122 degrees. The first identified point of contact (FIPC) was the principle impact crater (PIC). On the left side of the beginning of the PIC was a piece of the left wing tip, and the pitot tube with about 1 foot of it buried in the soft dirt; a few feet further was a piece of the left aileron. At the end of the PIC was a separated propeller blade. The left wing fragmented into several pieces, and most of them were in the first half of the debris field. The inverted right wing was about 400 feet into the debris field along the debris path centerline. The main wreckage consisting of the fuselage and empennage was 500 feet into the debris field. The last major component was the separated engine at the end of the debris field.
A postaccident wreckage examination identified all control surfaces and major components of the airplane. All identified disconnects in flight control push-pull tubes were angular and jagged; all identified disconnects in flight control cables were splayed.
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Casper FSFO-04
CHAPEL HILL -- Support is pouring in for the East Chapel Hill high senior killed in a plane crash, last week.
At last check a GoFundMe page set up to honor Mackenzie Ruston's legacy surpassed more than $46,000.
Ruston recently earned her private pilot's license.
She was killed in a crash near the Wyoming border, along with the plane's owner, 61-year-old Reade Genzlinger.
The money raised through the GoFundMe campaign will support the Bouncing Bulldogs, a program that was near and dear to Ruston’s heart for the last 13 years.
To donate to the GoFundMe, click here.
From left, Kenzie Ruston, 15, of East Chapel Hill High, and Anna Reeb, 14, of Carrboro High, perform with the Bouncing Bulldogs in 2013.
CHAPEL HILL (WTVD) -- News of Mackenzie Ruston's death hit her teammates on the Durham Chapel Hill Bouncing Bulldogs competitive jump rope team hard. They knew her as just Kenzie, their team captain and someone who pushed them to be their best.
"If she needed to pat you on the back she would do that if she needed to step on your toes she would do that," said Kenzie's long-time coach Ray Fredrick.
And he said she had no problem voicing suggestions to the coaches if she thought the team would benefit.
"She taught me that coaches can learn from the athlete," Fredrick said.
Mackenzie, 17, a senior at East Chapel Hill High School, died in a plane crash Monday in Wyoming. It happened one day before her 18th birthday.
KIDK reported that Mackenzie and 61-year-old Reade Genzlinger of Bryn Athyn, Penn., were both killed after their plane crashed about 2 miles north of the runway at the Alpine Wyoming airport.
The two were in a Yak 52 Russian trainer aircraft on a recreational flight, KIDK reported. The cause of the crash is unknown.
School officials said no one else from Ruston's family was involved in the accident.
Tom Forcella, Superintendent of Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools expressed his condolences.
"Today we grieve as a community. This is the hardest day any of us will ever face," Forcella said. "We will rely on the comfort of one another, and we will do everything in our power to support Mackenzie's family, friends and loved ones."
Kenzie traveled the world with the team and helped win five world championships, most recently in late 2015. She was a fierce competitor and loved to try new things. Her friends say she had her pilot's license, but investigators say she was not at the controls when the recreation flight she was on crashed.
"She was always there, always ready to give a helping hand," said Isabel Osborne, Kenzie's jump-rope co-captain.
Her coach said Kenzie started on the competitive jump rope team when she was just 4 years old. He said right from the beginning, her dedication to the sport was evident. Through the years, the team's typical practice schedule spanned six days a week. Fredrick said she was the first to show up and the last to leave.
"She was a dedicated person to the program and to the sport of jump rope and well loved all over the world and probably one of the most humble individuals I ever met," Fredrick said.
Photographs of happy memories line the wall outside the gym where the Bulldogs practice in Chapel Hill. These images now serve as reminders to the teammates she leaves behind of her smile, her friendship and her drive for the sport.
"Stay in your lane and follow your passion, don't try to live someone else's life and that's who she was," Fredrick said.
East Chapel Hill High School principal Eileen Tully said counseling would be available for students.
"Our condolences certainly go out to Mackenzie's family, friends and her loved ones. Counseling support has been added to our school today from the district to assist students and staff with grieving," Tully said. "If you would like any sort of advice or assistance on how to best engage your child in this difficult conversation, please don't hesitate to call on us. This is a very difficult time for everyone, and your continued support is greatly appreciated."
Story and video: http://abc11.com
Bonneville County authorities responded to a reported crash Monday afternoon at the edge of Palisades Reservoir, about two miles north of the Alpine Airport. Rescue crews used snowmobiles and rescue sleds to reach the area, which had 2 to 3 feet of snow.
Mackenzie Ruston, 17, of Chapel Hill, and pilot Reade Genzlinger, 61, of Bryn Athens, Pa., were killed at the scene, Bonneville County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Bryan Lovell said. Both are part-time residents of Alpine, Wyo.
The victims’ family members were flying nearby in two other aircraft when Genzlinger’s small plane – a Yak 52 Russian trainer aircraft – went down less than a mile from the Idaho state line, Lovell said. The other planes landed safely, he said.
“The plane (carrying Ruston) had been flying low and went in to the ground,” he said. “They were going up and down around the area ... and crashed just off the end of the runway.”
The mountainous area is a popular spot for recreational flights, Lovell said, and the small town of Alpine has many part-time residents living in cabins along the runway. While crashes are not common, he said, another pilot was killed in an October crash in the same area.
The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating Monday’s crash, Lovell said.
Ruston was a senior at East Chapel High School and a member of the Bouncing Bulldogs jump-rope team for 13 years, beginning when she was 4 years old.
East Chapel Hill Principal Eileen Tully told students and parents in a recorded statement Tuesday that “this is the worst kind of phone call a principal will ever make.”
“Yesterday, we lost a beloved member of our school family,” Tulley said.
“Our condolences certainly go out to Mackenzie’s family, friends and her loved ones,” she continued. “Counseling support has been added to our school today from the district to assist students and staff with grieving. If you would like any sort of advice or assistance on how to best engage your child in this difficult conversation, please don’t hesitate to call on us.”
Coach Ray Frederick, who founded the competitive jump rope team in 1985, said Ruston was one of two members he has coached from age 4 through their senior year of high school.
“I felt deep down in my heart this young lady is going to have a major impact on the world,” he said.
Ruston, one of the two co-captains of the 140-member team this year, was part of a four-person group that finished first in the World Jump Rope Competition single rope speed relay event last year in Paris. She was known for a front tuck with a rope in which she would do a front flip with the rope passing beneath her feet before she landed.
Ruston posted a video montage about jumping rope to YouTube in October, saying “what we do cannot always be explained with words.”
“I’ve traveled around the world, making new friends everywhere I go,” she said in the video. “I’ve learned discipline, hard work, communication, leadership, community service, respect creativity and teamwork. Each day I work to be a mentor and a positive influence for the next generation of jumpers.”
Ruston was humble and “would always give the credit to some one else,” Frederick added. “She was always the last to leave the gym. She expected the most out of herself. She was one of he few jumpers who could challenge me.”
At 6 a.m. Tuesday, when many of the Bouncing Bulldogs jumpers gathered for practice at Timberlyne shopping center in Chapel Hill, Frederick said co-captain Isabel Osborne took a headcount.
“When Isabel counted 72, I said, ‘Add one more,’” he said. “That’s the impact she had. Her spirit was in that room.”
Story, photos and video: http://www.newsobserver.com
BONNEVILLE COUNTY, Idaho (WTVD) -- School officials said Mackenzie Ruston, a senior at East Chapel Hill High School, died in a plane crash Monday in Wyoming.
KIDK reports that 61-year-old Reade Genzlinger of Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania and Ruston, 17, were both killed after their plane crashed about 2 miles north of the runway at the Alpine Wyoming airport.
The two were in a Yakovlev (Aerostar) Yak-52 aircraft on a recreational flight, KIDK reports. The cause of the crash is unknown.
School officials say no else from Ruston's family was involved in the accident.
Tom Forcella, Superintendent of Chapel Hill - Carrboro City Schools expressed his condolences.
"Today we grieve as a community. This is the hardest day any of us will ever face," said Forcella. "We will rely on the comfort of one another, and we will do everything in our power to support Mackenzie's family, friends and loved ones."
East Chapel Hill High School principal Eileen Tully said counseling would be available for students.
"Our condolences certainly go out to Mackenzie's family, friends and her loved ones. Counseling support has been added to our school today from the district to assist students and staff with grieving," said Tully. "If you would like any sort of advice or assistance on how to best engage your child in this difficult conversation, please don't hesitate to call on us. This is a very difficult time for everyone, and your continued support is greatly appreciated."
BONNEVILLE COUNTY, Idaho -
Bonneville County Sheriff's Office has released the names of the two people killed in plane crash near Palisades Reservoir Monday evening.
The victims of the crash were 61 year old Reade Genzlinger of Bryn Athens, Pennsylvania and 17 year old Mackenzie Ruston from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The name of the teen was confirmed by administrators at the East Chapel Hill High School where Ruston was a student. Both victims are part-time residents of Alpine, Wyoming.
The two victims were flying in a vintage Yak 52 Russian trainer aircraft. They were on recreational flight that left from the Alpine area and were flying with two other planes at the time.
The cause of the crash is still unknown at this time. The FAA has been contacted for help in investigating the crash.
The crash scene was located approximately two miles north of the runway at the Alpine Wyoming airport in Palisades Reservoir. The plane did not crash in the water, but the area was covered with 2 to 3 feet of snow. Rescue crews used snowmobiles and rescue sleds to recover the victims.