Friday, February 5, 2016

North American P-51D Mustang, Big Beautiful Doll, N551JP: Fatal accident occurred February 05, 2016 near Ak-Chin Regional Airport (A39), Maricopa, Pinal County, Arizona

http://registry.faa.gov/N551JP

NTSB Identification: WPR16FA064
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, February 05, 2016 in Maricopa, AZ
Aircraft: NORTH AMERICAN F51, registration: N551JP
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 February 5, 2016, about 1157 mountain standard time, a North American F-51D, N551JP, sustained substantial damage when it impacted terrain about 6 miles southwest of Maricopa, Arizona. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. The commercial pilot and a passenger, who was an airline transport pilot, were fatally injured. Visual (VMC) meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed. The local personal flight departed Stellar Airpark (P19), Chandler, Arizona earlier that morning, at an unknown time.

A witness located about 1 mile from the accident site reported observing the airplane in a nose down spiral about 1,500-2,000 feet above ground level, until it impacted the ground. Another witness located near the accident site stated that the airplane was in a dive and that he did not observe the airplane pull out of the descent.

Examination of the accident site by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), investigator-in-charge (IIC), revealed that all the major components of the airplane were located at the main wreckage site. A debris path extended from the forward part of the airplane about 150 feet and contained various debris including fragments of the canopy. A majority of the fuselage structure and wings were consumed by a post impact fire. The power lines located adjacent to the main wreckage were not damaged.

The airplane was recovered to a secure facility for further examination.

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Scottsdale FSDO-07

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email eyewitnessreport@ntsb.gov,  and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov.



Nicholas 'Nick' Tramontano


Jeff Pino


STRATFORD, Conn. — Two witnesses said the vintage World War II plane piloted by the former president of Stratford-based Sikorsky Aircraft was in a “nose down spiral” before its fiery crash in Arizona, according to a report from the National Transportation Safety Board.

Jeffrey Pino, 61, was killed in the crash along with his friend and fellow pilot, Brookfield resident Nicholas Tramontano, 72.

The deadly crash of the The plane, a P-51 Mustang dubbed the “Big Beautiful Doll,” occurred at at noon Friday, Feb. 5, about six miles southwest of Maricopa.

A witness about a mile from the accident site reported observing the airplane in a nose down spiral about 1,500 to 2,000 feet above ground level, until it crashed, the report said.

Another witness near the accident scene said the airplane was in a dive and that he did not see it pull out of the descent, the NTSB said.

A debris path extended for about 150 feet at the crash scene. Most of the fuselage structure and wings were consumed by a post-impact fire. The power lines located near the main wreckage were not damaged.

No flight plan had been filed when the restored airplane — owned, registered and flown by Pino — left Stellar Airpark in Chandler, Ariz., earlier that morning at an unknown time, the NTSB said.

The airplane was moved to a secure facility for further examination. No preliminary cause for the crash was included in the NTSB report.

Pino led Sikorsky from 2006 until retiring in 2012. There, he was responsible for the development of strategic plans, mergers and acquisitions, advanced programs, worldwide sales, marketing, communications, and the execution of commercial programs.

He later became vice chairman of XTI Aircraft, which is working on the TriFan 600, an experimental aircraft designed to take off and land vertically.

Pino was a retired master Army aviator and served in U.S. Army active, reserve, and National Guard assignments for 26 years. He was a certified airplane and helicopter instructor pilot and an aerobatic and air show performer.

Tramontano, the passenger who died in the crash, was famous at Oxford Airport , where he was flew his own World War II aircraft.

His airline career spanned 33 years, starting at New York Airways and retiring from FedEx.

Tramontano owned a World War II-era Beechcraft Model 18, which he allowed children from Sandy Hook Elementary school to tour weeks after the mass shooting as part of a field trip.

Source:  http://trumbull.dailyvoice.com



Jeff Pino and  Nick Tramontano



Jeff Pino


Jeffrey P. Pino, who led Sikorsky Aircraft during the Stratford-based manufacturer’s wartime expansion and development of a revolutionary high-speed helicopter, died Friday after a World War II-era fighter plane he was piloting crashed near Maricopa, Ariz. Pino was 61.

Nick Tramontano, known to some as the “mayor” of Oxford Airport, was also killed.

Pino led Sikorsky between 2006 and 2012, a period in which the company bid successfully for multiple contracts totaling billions of dollars, including a new helicopter to replace the aging Sikorsky fleet used by the White House.

Sikorsky’s Stratford plant is the single largest manufacturing plant in Connecticut; under former owner United Technologies, the company has long been Fairfield County’s largest employer, with new parent Lockheed Martin having committed to maintaining the Stratford plant following its acquisition of Sikorsky last year.

The cause of the crash had yet to be determined as of Saturday; Pino owned a P-51D Mustang fighter named “Big Beautiful Doll,” with the Associated Press citing a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman saying the aircraft that crashed appeared to be a Mustang and the Arizona Republic reporting that Pino was the registered owner of the plane that crashed.

Sikorsky released a statement on its website from Dan Schultz, whom Lockheed Martin named in November as president of the manufacturer.

“During his six years as (president) of Sikorsky, Jeff brought personal energy and passion for aviation innovation to our industry,” Schultz said. “We remember Jeff as a leader, pioneer, innovator and advocate.”

David Faile, president of the Friends of Sikorski Airport, identified Tramontano as the second man killed in an email to Hearst Connecticut Media.

“Nick, known as the ‘mayor’ of Oxford Airport ... was a key member of the aviation community known and befriended by many,” wrote Faile. “He will be sorely missed.”

On Saturday, employees and others reflected on Pino on Sikorsky’s Facebook page, including Charles Romano Jr.

“The coolest president we ever had,” Romano wrote. “The only president that would actually stop in the hallway or the shop and say hello and ask how you were doing.”

After retiring from Sikorsky in 2012, Pino moved to Chandler, Ariz., where in 2013 he became CEO of Macquarie Rotorcraft Leasing. Later, Pino became vice chairman of Colorado-based XTI Aircraft, which is planning an experimental aircraft called the TriFan 600, designed with ducted fan engines to take off and land vertically, reminiscent of the aircraft in the movie “Avatar.”

In a statement on XTI’s website, the company’s founder called Pino “a brilliant strategist, visionary and expert in all things aviation.”

“Jeff loved flying and he was genuinely excited about what the TriFan 600 will mean to the future of flight,” stated David Brody, founder and chairman of XTI. “As a man with big ideas, and even bigger dreams, Jeff was committed to bringing the TriFan 600 to market, and now, more than ever, so are we.”

Pino joined Sikorsky in 2002 from Textron subsidiary and rival Bell Helicopter, and in March 2006 was promoted to president even as Sikorsky was in the throes of a strike that would last six weeks. Major Sikorsky milestones during his tenure included the acquisition of PZL Mielec in Poland to serve as a secondary manufacturing plant for international variants of Sikorsky’s Black Hawk helicopter; a huge expansion driven by Pentagon demands for helicopters and parts for combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq; and competitions for massive contracts, including a new helicopter for White House use as Marine One, combat search-and-rescue helicopters for the U.S. Air Force, and the heavy-lift helicopter CH-53K King Stallion for the U.S. Marine Corps.

Pino also oversaw the final development of the Sikorsky X2, a high-speed helicopter designed with stacked rotor sets that rotate in opposite directions and a rear-mounted “pusher prop” to help the aircraft achieve speeds a third faster than the Black Hawk and other traditional helicopter designs. Sikorsky’s successful design and flight of the X2 would win it the 2010 Robert J. Collier Trophy from the U.S. National Aeronautic Association, the top prize in U.S. aviation awarded annually. Sikorsky hopes to sell the Pentagon on the design as the base platform for a new generation of fast scout helicopters.

During Pino’s years, Sikorsky also saw its share of challenges as well, the worst being the crash of a Sikorsky-built S-92 helicopter off the coast of Newfoundland that killed 17 people, the cause later determined to be a gearbox failure that resulted in the loss of oil. Sikorsky saw other setbacks as well, including a Department of Defense reprimand for quality issues in the months after the 2006 strike that prompted UTC to dispatch future CEO Louis ChĂȘnevert to Stratford to get production back on track; and technical problems that resulted in delays delivering new maritime helicopters to Canada, sparking criticism in Ottawa and losses that hit UTC’s bottom line.

If Mick Maurer, the man who succeeded Pino as president in 2012, won wide respect at Sikorsky for his engineering acumen, in Pino the company had a leader who had spent plenty of time in the cockpit, dating back to his days as a U.S. Army pilot after graduating in 1976 from the University of Arizona with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. While serving in the Army, he would obtain an MBA through a distance learning program offered by Webster University.

Pino often appeared animated when talking about flight, including at a 2012 ceremony commemorating the installation of the Black Hawk fuselage outside the company’s plant in Stratford, when he jocularly referenced his own skills.

“I want to dispel a myth that our chief test pilot landed it on the pedestal,” Pino said at the time. “He didn’t. ... I could have.”

One individual eulogizing Pino on Sikorsky’s Facebook page noted an entry on Pino’s own page from October, in which he posted a video taken while aloft, catching an expanse of clouds below and blue sky above, while quoting from the poem “High Flight” penned by aviator John McGee just a few months before his death during World War II.

“I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,” Pino wrote.   

Poem ends "put out my hand and touched the face of God". 

Rest in peace Jeff.

Story and photo gallery:  http://www.ctpost.com


Pino

Jeffrey Pino congratulates Sikorsky Aircraft Chief Test Pilot Kevin Bredenbeck in September 2010, after a flight of the experimental Sikorsky X2 prototype helicopter.

Sikorsky Aircraft's X2 helicopter in flight in May 2010, with the aircraft developed during the tenure of Jeffrey P. Pino, Sikorsky's former president who died in a plane crash on February 5, 2016.



Jeffrey Pino shakes hands with Major General James Myles of the U.S. Army's Aviation and Missile Command at Sikorsky Aircraft in Stratford, Conn., following the ceremonial signing of contracts for H-60 Black Hawk and Seahawk helicopters for the U.S. Army and Navy.

Jeffrey Pino speaks at Sikorsky Aircraft in Stratford, Conn. during a 2008 ceremony marking the signing of contracts for H-60 Black Hawk and Seahawk helicopters for the U.S. Army and Navy.


Jeffrey Pino, who as president of Sikorsky Aircraft oversaw development of a high-speed prototype for the company's S-97 Raider aircraft, died February 5, 2016 in the crash of a World War II-era airplane.

Jeffrey P. Pino speaks in April 2006 at Sikorsky Aircraft's headquarters in Stratford, Conn., one month after he was named president of the helicopter manufacturer during a labor strike.

Jeff Pino, left, and Stratford, Conn. Mayor John Harkins unveil a plaque dedicating the Black Hawk helicopter on display in front of Sikorsky Aircraft's headquarters on February 1, 2012.

Jeffrey Pino, second from right, cuts the ribbon during an October 2011 ceremony unveiling a power plant at Sikorsky Aircraft in Stratford, Conn.

Jeffrey Pino, center, accepts the Robert J. Collier Trophy in May 2011 from Jonathan Gaffney, CEO of the National Aeronautic Association, right, and then-NAA Chairman Walter Boyne

Sikorsky Aircraft employees and visitors congregate in February 2012 beneath the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter unveiled in front of the company headquarters on Main Street in Stratford, Conn.


A image of Sikorsky Aircraft's CH-53K King Stallion heavy-lift helicopter, designed during the tenure of Jeffrey P. Pino, Sikorsky's president between 2006 and 2012 who died on February 5, 2016 in a plane crash in Arizona.

A U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopter aloft at sunset over Baghdad, Iraq in October 2007. Jeffrey P. Pino, who led Sikorsky Aircraft between 2006 and 2012, oversaw a major wartime expansion of the company to meet Department of Defense demand for helicopters and parts for use in Afghanistan and Iraq. Pino died February 5, 2016, after a plane he was piloting crashed in southern Arizona.


FLORENCE, AZ (KPHO/KTVK) - Authorities have identified the passenger of a World War II-area plane that crashed and burned near Maricopa Friday. The passenger was Nickolas Tramontano, 72, of Brookfield, Conn., according to the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office.

Earlier Saturday, PCSO released the name of the pilot, Jeffrey Pino, 61, of Chandler.

 Pino, the former president of Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, was the registered owner of the plane.

Sikorsky Aircraft is the largest helicopter manufacturer in the United States and has supplied Marine One, the helicopter used by the president, for decades.

David Brody, founder and chairman of  XTI Aircraft Company, released the following statement Saturday morning on the Pino's death:


"There are no words to express the grief and sadness we feel at the passing of our very dear friend and colleague Jeff Pino on February 5.  As the former President of Sikorsky Aircraft, Jeff was a true leader, pioneer and industry legend. As the Vice Chairman of XTI Aircraft Company, Jeff was a brilliant strategist, visionary and expert in all things aviation. As our friend, he was all of that and so much more."

"Jeff loved flying and he was genuinely excited about what the TriFan 600 will mean to the future of flight.  As a man with big ideas, and even bigger dreams, Jeff was committed to bringing the TriFan 600 to market, and now, more than ever, so are we. Inspired by Jeff's leadership and legacy, our team fully intends to do just that.


"Fly west, dear friend."


At least two witnesses heard the plane's engine "sputtering" before the impact near Papago and Ralston roads. The aircraft crashed within a few hundred feet of several homes.

"I heard an engine cutting out, and I was like, 'Boy, that doesn't sound good.' Then I heard a huge explosion," said Suzanne Barnes. The plane clipped a power line on West Peters and Nall Road, knocking out electricity to Barnes' home. 

Another witness, Phillip Gonzalez, said he saw the World War II-era fighter plane do several diving maneuvers before the crash.  

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the single-engine North American F-51D, originally known as the P51 Mustang, crashed under unknown circumstances. Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board remained at the crash site as of 6:30 p.m., looking into the cause.

After the impact, volunteer firefighters from the neighborhood worked to contain the flames.

"They don't have fire equipment, so they were shoveling dirt on it," said Suzanne's husband Steve Barnes. "One thing that was very clear from the moment you saw it, this was not a rescue operation."

Several people called 911 to report the crash, Pinal County Sheriff's Office spokesman Mark Clark said. Deputies arrived to find the single-seat vintage military aircraft wreckage on Peters and Nell roads, west of Ralston Road.

Around 5 p.m., a vehicle from the Pinal County Medical Examiner's Office arrived on the scene. The medical examiner is handling the official identifications.


Story, video and photo gallery: http://www.tucsonnewsnow.com



PINAL COUNTY, AZ - Authorities say a World War II-era plane crashed and burned near the town of Maricopa, killing two people.

Mark Clark of the Pinal County Sheriff's Office said deputies arrived at the scene and found the burning aircraft wreckage in the western part of the county, near Papago and Ralston roads. 

Two people died, including the pilot, 61-year-old Jeffrey Pino from Chandler.  The second victim has not yet been identified.

Air15 video showed a damaged and charred plane and fire officials actively spraying fire suppressant on it.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said preliminary information on the crash indicated the plane was a P-51D Mustang, a type of single-engine American fighter used during World War II.

Suzanne Barnes lives nearby and said she hears planes fly overhead all the time but this time was different.

“I heard the engine cutting in and out, in and out, in and out, then an explosion, the power goes out, I walk out the front door and I see a huge black plume of smoke and am like ‘Wow, I think there's been a plane crash,'" Barnes said.

She says the lights were out for about 40 minutes. She was told the surge of the explosion knocked the power out. 

The spokesman said the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash.

Maricopa is about 35 miles south of Phoenix.

Story, video and photo gallery:  http://www.abc15.com




MARICOPA, Ariz. (KSAZ) - MARICOPA, Ariz. (KSAZ/AP) -- Pinal County deputies have released the name of one of the victims killed after a World War II-era plane has crashed near Papago and Ralston Road.

Mark Clark of the Pinal County Sheriff's Office said authorities responded to the scene of the crash and found two bodies in the wreckage.  On Saturday, Clark released the name of one of the two victims: 61-year-old Chandler resident Jeffrey Pino.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said preliminary information on the crash indicated the plane was a P-51D Mustang, a type of single-engine American fighter used during World War II.

Gregor said the preliminary information indicated the plane caught fire after crashing.

The spokesman said the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash.

Maricopa is about 35 miles south of Phoenix.

Story, video and photo gallery: http://www.fox10phoenix.com



MARICOPA — Authorities have identified the pilot of a World War II-era plane that crashed and burned in western Pinal County, leaving two dead.

Mark Clark of the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office said the pilot was 61-year-old Jeffrey Pino of Chandler. Authorities haven’t identified the second victim in the Friday crash.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said preliminary information on the crash indicated the plane was a P-51D Mustang, a type of single-engine American fighter used during World War II.

The spokesman said the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash.

Pino retired as president of Sikorsky Aircraft, United Technologies Corp.’s helicopter division headquartered in Stratford, in 2012. Following his retirement Pino served as a consultant for the company.

Pino was a former Army test pilot who came to Sikorsky in 2002 from competitor Bell Helicopter. He presided over the development the X2 prototype helicopter, which was honored as the highest achievement in aerospace in 2010. The X2 flew at 250 knots, an unofficial speed record. according to a 2012 article in the Hartford Courant, Foreign Black Hawk helicopter production grew under Pino’s leadership, with assembly lines established in Poland and Turkey.

The plane crashed in a field near the City of Maricopa, between Peters and Nall Road. Fire crews had to put out flames that engulfed the remains of the plane, which caught fire after the crash, according to preliminary information from Gregor. Officials are not sure yet why the plane crashed.

“It’s a devastating impact that pretty much destroyed the plane,” Clark said.

Maricopa and Ak-Chin fire crews responded to the crash.

P-51 Mustangs were used to escort bombers in raids over Germany and more recently were featured in the 2012 movie “Red Tails” about the Tuskegee Airmen.

After the Korean War, many Mustangs were converted for civilian use, especially air racing, and increasingly, preserved and flown as historic warbird aircraft at airshows.

According to a listing of surviving P51D Mustang’s, Pino’s plane was called “Big Beautiful Doll.”

Story and photos: http://www.trivalleycentral.com







































NTSB Identification: WPR15IA035
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Incident occurred Thursday, October 23, 2014 in Mesa, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/05/2015
Aircraft: NORTH AMERICAN P51 - D, registration: N351BD
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various sources and may not have traveled in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft incident report.

The pilot reported that, after taking off and retracting the landing gear, he noticed that the landing gear lights did not indicate a normal landing gear retraction. The pilot extended the landing gear and then flew by a nearby helicopter, and the helicopter pilot informed him that the right main landing gear was extended but that the left main landing gear was not extended. The pilot’s attempts to troubleshoot the problem were unsuccessful, so he chose to return to the airport. After burning off fuel, the pilot made an uneventful gear-up landing. The reason for the left main landing gear’s failure to operate normally could not be determined during postincident examination.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this incident as follows:
The failure of the left main landing gear to extend, which resulted in a gear-up landing. The reason for the left main landing gear’s failure to operate normally could not be determined because postincident examination of the landing gear system did not reveal any anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

On October 23, 2014, about 1215 mountain standard time, a North American P-51D airplane, N351BD, sustained minor damage following a gear up landing at the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport (IWA), Mesa, Arizona. The commercial pilot, who was also the owner of the airplane and the sole occupant, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local flight, which was being operated in accordance with 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91, and a flight plan was not filed. The flight departed Stellar Airpark (P19), Chandler, Arizona, about 1117.

In a statement provided to the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge, the pilot reported that after taking off and retracting the landing gear, he noticed a burning smell, either rubber or electrical, and the gear lights did not indicate a normal retraction. The pilot stated that he extended the landing gear and did a flyby of an accompanying helicopter that was filming him, and was informed that the right main landing gear was extended, and that the left gear was not. The pilot opined that he then flew into open airspace and began troubleshooting the gear malfunction, and performed the emergency procedures numerous times, but with no success; he then instructed the helicopter pilot to inform the IWA air traffic control tower operator that he would be doing a gear up landing here. The pilot reported that after he had burned off most of his fuel, the IWA controller cleared him to land on Runway 30R. The pilot stated that he performed a normal full stall, gear up landing, after which the airplane slid to a stop on the right center of the runway; only minor damage to the belly scoop was observed. The airplane was subsequently recovered from the runway to a secure location for further examination.


On April 1, 2015, under the supervision of a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) aviation safety inspector, a certified FAA airframe and powerplant mechanic who specializes in older warbird type airplanes performed an examination of the landing gear in an attempt to determine what precluded it from operating normally. The mechanic initially reported that after disassembly of the left main landing gear oleo strut, the only thing he could determine was that the chevron seals might have grabbed the strut, not allowing the oleo to extend on lift off. The mechanic further reported that he also checked the run out on the inner strut to see if it was bent, which it was not. He also opined that the strut gland nut might have been too tight, which could have compressed the seals against the inner strut, which could have caused the strut to extend too slowly, not giving it enough time to extend before the landing gear was retracted, which then may have caused the left main landing gear to get caught on the wheel well structure. However, after the mechanic performed further disassembly, inspection, and reassembly of the landing gear, he reported in an additional statement to the NTSB IIC, that he was unable to provide a definite cause that would explain why the landing gear became caught on the wheel well. The reason for the landing gear failing to operate in its normal extension and retraction modes could not be determined during the investigation.


The plane can be seen coming into land with it's flaps down but no landing gear. October 23, 2014 


The pilot slowed the aircraft down to the minimum airspeed he could without stalling the aircraft.  October 23, 2014 

Although the landing was as gentle as possible, sparks still flew from the underside of the plane as metal scraped along the runway. October 23, 2014

After making it out alive, pilot and owner Jeffrey Pino sits on the tarmac to count his blessings.

October 23, 2014 


October 23, 2014 


The airport fire department were on-hand just in case of any flames. October 23, 2014 

As the plane came to a halt, the propellor stopped entirely. Smoke can be seen coming from the rear.  October 23, 2014 

The Mustang's Merlin engine, prop and underside will cost a lot of money to be repaired.  October 23, 2014 

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