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Helicopter crash 7 miles short of airport, three fatalities, the pilot survived,
In this scenario a life guard helicopter was transporting an injured patient from a small town to a major airport.
Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC) with low ceilings, poor visibility, fog, and strong winds
VORTAC - out of service
The flight transitioned Terminal RADAR Approach Control (TRACON) airspace
The pilot in command (PIC) of the aircraft was in communication with ATC and under RADAR contact prior to exiting TRACON airspace. The aircraft ran out of fuel before reaching the destination. RADAR recordings showed the aircraft's track was erratic. While the PIC was obviously negligent by proceeding in marginal weather without adequate fuel, the following additional observations were made:
Considering the nature of the flight (ambulatory), and poor weather conditions (the pilot was required to navigate using pilotage), coupled with and the fact that the VORTAC was out of service, it is reasonable to consider that an experienced controller should have recognized the necessity to suggest vectors to the destination.
Further review of the RADAR track showed that the flight would have reached destination with a more direct track, e.g. there would have been adequate fuel to reach the destination
Jonathan "Jack" Frost enlisted in the Navy in 1970.
He became an Aviation Structural Mechanic specializing in airframes, hydraulics, flight controls, and environmental systems. During his early Navy years, he earned a single-engine-land private pilot rating and qualified as a Load Master and Flight Attendant on C118B (DC6) aircraft. With tenure of 10 years in aviation maintenance he also garnered experience as an Aircraft Quality-Assurance Inspector on aircraft such as the DC6 Lift Master, Super DC3, A4 Sky Hawk, T39 Sabreliner, and other aircraft. His Naval Aircrew duties brought more than 2000 flight hours of flight time as a Loadmaster and Flight Attendant on the Douglas DC6.
During 1980, Jonathan continued his aviation career over the next 14 years completing formal flight training at a Federal Aviation Administration Part 141 Flight School. There, he earned multi-engine, instrument, and commercial pilot ratings, including qualification as a Certificated Flight Instructor (CFI).
Adding to his portfolio of aviation experience, he completed formal Air Traffic Control (ATC) Specialist training and held positions as a Terminal Radar Approach Controller (TRACON), Control Tower Supervisor, ATC Facility Watch Supervisor, and Control Tower Branch Manager. During this time he also graduated from the Navy’s Facility Management and Terminal Instrument Approach Procedures Development Course. Subsequent duties included Managing the Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) and Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) facilities in Bermuda where both RADAR and non-RADAR oceanic control procedures were implemented.
The Bermuda facility brought unique opportunities where Jonathan was the single point of contact for managing vast amounts of airspace and oceanic operation areas where he spent three years as the single person responsible for coordinating and scheduling the Operational Warning Areas surrounding Bermuda.
Working with government agencies of the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States, he played a key role in assuring safe aviation operations. Those duties included negotiating formal Letters of Agreement, improving operational procedures, and maintaining oversight for major airfield and Navigation Aid (NAVAID) construction projects. As an advocate for the flying public, he worked with major air-carrier chief pilots of companies such as American Airlines, Pan American, and US Airways while chairing Air Traffic User's conferences to improve aviation services within the Bermuda FIR (Flight Information Region). As a member of two military command aviation safety councils, he played a major role providing aviation related safety recommendations to executive management.
During his 24 year Navy career, Jonathan completed college courses in aeronautics and general education, and ultimately graduated with honors from the Navy’s coveted Senior Enlisted Academy located at the Navy War College in Newport, RI.
With a passion for aviation throughout his Navy career, he kept his qualifications current teaching flying as a flight instructor and serving as president of three flying clubs. While completing his final tour of duty at Naval Air Station Brunswick, ME, he was the command's primary instructor providing airspace training to Naval Aviators during the Federal Aviation Administration's reclassification of airspace. After retiring from the U.S. Navy in 1994, he was accepted into University of Rhode Island’s College of Engineering and graduated in 1999 with a Baccalaureate Degree in Mechanical Engineering. Upon graduation he worked as a repair development engineer for Pratt and Whitney’s (PW) F100 jet-fighter (F16 and F15) engine repair program and was PW’s key logistics liaison to the U.S. Air Force. While at PW, Jonathan continued his aviation education and graduated from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University with a Baccalaureate Degree in Professional Aeronautics.
Jonathan completed a mechanical engineering career as a Subject Matter Expert for troubleshooting gas-turbine combustion systems, and conducting Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) for off-specification turbine operating conditions. These tasks include engine failure forensic investigations and developing risk mitigation and countermeasures to prevent future failures while considering factors such as safety, environmental, and cost. He has also completed training and is competent using statistical methods for analyzing and solving issues related to complex processes such as those used in the operation of aircraft.
Jonathan has passion for the aviation industry as an Aviation Consultant, commercial pilot and flight instructor. He is a member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, and is a Federal Aviation Administration’s Safety Team (FAAST) volunteer.
Completed over 35 years of aerospace experience. Aerospace expertice includes, Air Traffic Controller, working with international aviation organizations, and conducting aircraft mishap investigations to improve aviation safety. Additionally, I have garnered more than seventeen years of experience in gas turbine operations, manufacturing, component design validation and quality improvement. I am a proficient in the field of power-generation gas turbines and aircraft power-plant engineering, and conducting gas turbine component failure root cause analysis.
Highlights - Skills and Competencies
Lockheed Martin, Sikorski Helicopter, Naval Air Station Patuxent River, MD October 2018 – October 2019
Aircraft Test Director Experience
Florida Power & Light Company, Juno Beach, FL, October 2000 to October 2018
Combustion Turbine Mechanical Engineer
Teledyne Continental Motors, Mobile, Alabama, March 2000 to April 2000
Production Test Manager
Pratt & Whitney, Large Military Engines, West Palm Beach, Florida, January 1999 – March 2000
Senior Mechanical Repair Engineer
Pratt & Whitney, Assembly and Test, Middletown, Connecticut, 1996 – 1999
United States Navy, December 1970 – September 1994
Aircraft Mechanic, 10 Years
Airport and Air Traffic Control Facility Management, 8 Years
Air Traffic Controller, 6 years