• MARGATE – New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin is planning to meet with local officials early next month to discuss alternatives to the pending dunes construction project.

    Mayor Michael Becker said he received a call from Martin last week to arrange a meeting or two to discuss “unresolved issues with the specification of the plan, including drainage.”

    Becker said the 15-minute conversation was cordial and that Martin suggested a second meeting in mid-November to meet with the city’s technical consultant about the project.

    “I think it is a big step forward for the commissioner to call us,” Becker said. “He is aware of our issues and will set the time and place for the meetings.”

  • VENTNOR – The Board of Education agreed Wednesday, Oct. 22 to partner with Atlantic City in its effort to win the Georgetown University Energy Prize national competition, which carries a $5 million prize for the community that most effectively reduces its per-capita energy consumption over a two-year period starting Jan. 1, 2015.

    Action taken at the meeting will pave the way for other Downbeach communities to join Atlantic City in an interlocal agreement that benefits residents and helps the environment.

    Atlantic City is one of 52 municipalities nationwide that made it to the quarter-finals of the competition, which is designed to create a more energy efficient America. The prize challenges communities to incorporate innovative ideas to reduce energy consumption.

  • VENTNOR – The Board of Commissioners Thursday, Oct. 15 introduced an amendment to the city’s salary ordinance to set into motion an intergovernmental transfer that would allow the city to hire an Atlantic City employee as its next emergency management coordinator.

    Longtime Emergency Management Coordinator William Melfi will retire in two weeks, Mayor Michael Bagnell said. He is currently using up his sick days and his last day of employment will be Nov. 1.

  • Margate engages DEP and Army Corps to discuss options to building dunes

    MARGATE – The Board of Commissioners approved a resolution Thursday, Oct. 16 that preserves the city’s rights in fighting the dunes project. The commission entered a “tolling and standstill” agreement with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, which will allow the municipality to negotiate alternatives to building sand dunes on Margate’s beach.

    Assistant Attorney General David C. Apy filed with the Atlantic County Clerk three administrative orders to effectuate a taking of partial easements not voluntarily granted by shorefront property owners, including the City of Margate, to build the dunes. The state will use its powers of eminent domain to negotiate good faith compensation due to 10 shorefront property owners and 16 riparian grant owners.

NTSB issues preliminary report on Katz plane crash

Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail

The National Transportation Safety Board issued a preliminary report June 13 that details the crash of a corporate jet that claimed the lives of billionaire philanthropist Lewis Katz, who summered in Longport, Longport resident Anne T. Leeds, and five others at Laurence G. Hanscom Field in Bedford, Mass., May 31.

Katz’s Gulfstream G-IV was taking off for Atlantic City International Airport at 9:40 p.m. when the plane failed to attain altitude and crashed into a gully.

An explosion killed all seven souls on board, including the pilot, co-pilot and flight attendant along with Susan Asbell, a part-time summer resident of Margate, and Marcella M. Dalsey of Haddonfield, president of the KATZ Charter School and executive director of the Drew A. Katz Foundation.

The report states that a flight plan was filed for the flight to Atlantic City International Airport, according to federal regulations. Weather in Bedford was clear and calm, with winds of 10 miles per hour.

The plane, which was based out of New Castle Airport in Wilmington, Del., had flown to ACY earlier in the day to pick up Katz and his guests and then flew to Bedford, where the entourage attended an educational fundraiser at the home of historian Doris Kearns Goodwin.

The plane was cleared for take-off on Runway 11, which is 7,011 feet long. A witness saw the plane going at a high rate of speed with little or no altitude, the report stated. The plane rolled off the end of the runway onto a safety area and then into the grass, where it struck an antenna before it came to rest in a gully 1,850 feet from the end of the runway.

A fire consumed the plane behind the cockpit. The nose gear and the left main landing gear separated from the plane, but all portions of the plane were accounted for at the site.

The report said the pilots began breaking about 1,300 feet from the end of the runway, and tire marks continued for another 1,000 feet.

Investigators recovered the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder, which included 49 seconds of recording after the plane began to roll. Upon initial review, investigators said the recording captured callouts of 80 knots, V1, and rotate, before recording statements concerning aircraft control. The airplane reached a maximum speed of 165 knots, but did not lift off the runway.

Thrust reversers were deployed and brakes were used to decelerate the plane. The data ended about 7 seconds after thrust reverser deployment, with the airplane at about 100 knots. There was no catastrophic engine failure reported.

The findings suggest that a flight control check was not done prior to departure.

“Review of (flight data recorder) data parameters associated with the flight control surface positions did not reveal any movement consistent with a flight control check prior to commencement of the takeoff roll,” the preliminary report states.

The flap handle in the cockpit was at the 10-degree mark, however, data indicated a flap setting of 20-degrees during the takeoff attempt. The plane was equipped with mechanical gust lock system, which would lock ailerons and the rudder in a neutral position, and an elevator which, when in the down position, protects the plane from wind gusts while parked.

“The (flight data recorder) revealed the elevator control surface position during taxi and takeoff was consistent with its position if the gust lock was engaged. The gust lock handle, located on the right side of the control pedestal, was found in the forward (OFF) position, and the elevator gust lock latch was found not engaged,” the report states.

The NTSB retained the wreckage and its quick access recorder for further investigation.

Pilot James McDowell of Georgetown, Del., had 18,500 hours of flight experience and co-pilot Bauke “Michael” De Vries of Marlton logged 11,250 hours of air time. Both had completed Gulfstream’s pilot-in-command course in September last year.

When it crashed, the airplane had recorded 4,950 hours of flying time and 2,745 landings.

Read the full text of the preliminary report below: 


blog comments powered by Disqus