Thursday, December 30, 2010

Husband and wife killed as light aircraft crashes in central Minnesota, U.S.

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Husband and wife killed as light aircraft crashes in central Minnesota, U.S.

Husband and wife killed as light aircraft crashes in central Minnesota, U.S. ~ Trends In Retail
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Husband and wife killed as light aircraft crashes in central Minnesota, U.S.

A husband and wife have been killed today after the light aircraft they were flying in crashed in central Minnesota, United States. An aviation official said the pilot reported there were problems with the flight controls of the single-engine Piper PA-46 aircraft.

The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are investigating the incident. The couple aboard are thought to be the owners of a company manufacturing recycling equipment; an employee said they were flying to visit their parents in Texas. "They were both such wonderful, wonderful people," the employee said. "It's hard to believe."

An FAA spokeswoman said air traffic controllers lost contact with the aircraft. "We were talking to them and then lost the radio," she said. The wreckage was located in Milaca, Minnesota, 15 minutes after it was reported missing, she said, adding there was no information on what caused the aircraft to crash.

Piper PA-46

The Piper PA-46 is a family of light aircraft manufactured by Piper Aircraft of the United States. The aircraft is powered by a single engine and has the capacity for one pilot and five passengers. Early Malibus were all piston-engined, but a turboprop version, the Malibu Meridian, is also available. The piston powered Malibus may be converted to turboprop with the Jetprop DLX conversion.

The aircraft is the third pressurized cabin class piston powered aircraft with only one engine to ever reach the market (the Mooney M22 and Cessna P210 Centurion being the others). It is sold mainly for civilian customers; small airlines (such as air tour companies) may also use this aircraft.

National Transportation Safety Board

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent U.S. government investigative agency responsible for civil transportation accident investigation. In this role, the NTSB investigates and reports on aviation accidents and incidents, certain types of highway crashes, ship and marine accidents, pipeline incidents and railroad accidents. When requested, the NTSB will assist the military with accident investigation. The NTSB is also in charge of investigating cases of hazardous waste releases that occur during transportation. Deborah Hersman was appointed as NTSB Chairman in July 2009. Mark Rosenker was appointed as Vice Chairman in 2003, and served as Acting Chairman from March 2005 to January 2009. The agency is based in Washington, D.C.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is an agency of the United States Department of Transportation with authority to regulate and oversee all aspects of civil aviation in the U.S. (National Airworthiness Authority). The Federal Aviation Act of 1958 created the group under the name "Federal Aviation Agency", and adopted its current name in 1967 when it became a part of the United States Department of Transportation.

The Federal Aviation Administration's major roles include:

* Regulating U.S. commercial space transportation
* Regulating air navigation facilities' geometry and Flight inspection standards
* Encouraging and developing civil aeronautics, including new aviation technology
* Issuing, suspending, or revoking pilot certificates
* Regulating civil aviation to promote safety, especially through local offices called Flight Standards District Offices
* Developing and operating a system of air traffic control and navigation for both civil and military aircraft
* Researching and developing the National Airspace System and civil aeronautics
* Developing and carrying out programs to control aircraft noise and other environmental effects of civil aviation

Air Traffic Control

Air traffic control (ATC) is a service provided by ground-based controllers who direct aircraft on the ground and in the air. The primary purpose of ATC systems worldwide is to separate aircraft to prevent collisions, to organize and expedite the flow of traffic, and to provide information and other support for pilots when able. In some countries, ATC may also play a security or defense role (as in the United States), or be run entirely by the military (as in Brazil).

Preventing collisions is referred to as separation, which is a term used to prevent aircraft from coming too close to each other by use of lateral, vertical and longitudinal separation minima; many aircraft now have collision avoidance systems installed to act as a backup to ATC observation and instructions. In addition to its primary function, the ATC can provide additional services such as providing information to pilots, weather and navigation information and NOTAMs (NOtices To AirMen).

In many countries, ATC services are provided throughout the majority of airspace, and its services are available to all users (private, military, and commercial). When controllers are responsible for separating some or all aircraft, such airspace is called "controlled airspace" in contrast to "uncontrolled airspace" where aircraft may fly without the use of the air traffic control system. Depending on the type of flight and the class of airspace, ATC may issue instructions that pilots are required to follow, or merely flight information (in some countries known as advisories) to assist pilots operating in the airspace. In all cases, however, the pilot in command has final responsibility for the safety of the flight, and may deviate from ATC instructions in an emergency.

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