Sunday, December 21, 2014

Oregon man dies after car crashes into airplane hangar

An Oregon man died after his car crashed into airplane hangar. 
(Photo Courtesy: Oregon State Police) 


Police are still investigating a fatal single-vehicle crash that occurred on Highway 207 between Heppner and Lexington on Saturday morning.

Troopers responded to the crash scene at 9:32 a.m. and found a 2002 Hyundai Elantra that had left the roadway and crashed into a nearby airplane hangar.

The driver, 21-year-old Ryan Bennett from Heppner, died at the scene. Bennett was the only person in the vehicle.

Investigators said they believe speed was a factor in the crash and that Bennett failed to negotiate a curve, which caused him to drive off the roadway.

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Owner of failed Oswego County airstrip admits bank fraud conspiracy

Syracuse Suburban Airport, in Hastings, was being rebuilt in 2010 with $3 million in federal money. Two of the owners have pleaded guilty to federal charges of conspiring to commit bank fraud. 

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The co-owner of a small, failed airport in Oswego County has admitted he and others used $3 million in federal grants to commit bank fraud.

Kenneth V. Coon Jr., 59 of Cato, pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to conspiracy to commit bank fraud. He admitted that he and others defrauded a bank out of more than $200,000 between 2004 and 2009.

In 2004, Coon and his partners in Syracuse Suburban Airport LLC bought a 93-acre reliever airport site in Hastings for $350,0000. The company received $2.9 million in grants from the Federal Aviation Administration to develop the airstrip, called a reliever airport because it could relieve air traffic at larger airports. The airstrip was never completed.

Coon admitted that in April 2005, he and his co-conspirators obtained a $650,000 line of credit from First Niagara Bank that was only supposed to be used for airport expenses that were reimbursable through the FAA grants.

In December 2005, Coon and the others submitted an invoice to First Niagara to release $125,000 in loan proceeds to buy airport equipment, according to court papers. Instead, they invested the money in a Texas real estate project, court papers said.

In 2006, Coon and others opened an investment brokerage account in the name of Gildner Road Associates, a corporation that they owned, his plea agreement said.

Two months later, they submitted an invoice to First Niagara for the release of $97,604 to buy airport equipment. Instead of using it for that purpose, Coon and others transferred $96,000 from the Syracuse Suburban account to the Gildner Road investment account without telling First Niagara, the plea agreement said.

In June 2006, Coon and his co-conspirators transferred $106,000 from the investment account to the airport checking account. Two days later they transferred $95,700 from the airport checking account to the Upstate New York Bean Company, in Marcellus.

Coon owned the bean company, court papers said.

One of the co-conspirators, David Pizio, 58, of Jamesville pleaded guilty to the same charges in July. He has not yet been sentenced.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ransom Reynolds would not say whether anyone else will likely be charged.

Coon faces up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine when U.S. District Judge David Hurd sentences him April 17.

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Don’t fleece flyers grounded by SpiceJet's woes: Directorate General of Civil Aviation

NEW DELHI: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has directed all Indian carriers to accept passengers of SpiceJet's cancelled flights without charging exorbitant spot fares. The regulator's order is "subject to availability" of seats in other carriers and refers to passengers of SpiceJet flights cancelled at the last minute.

"Spot fares are very high, especially in this peak travel season. We have asked airlines to charge a reasonable fare from passengers of SpiceJet's flights that have been cancelled at the last minute," said a senior official.

"After the Kingfisher experience, other airlines do not want to accept vouchers from SpiceJet as they are unsure of getting money from them. Hence passengers will have to pay other airlines to take their flight and get a refund from SpiceJet for the cancelled flight later," said the official.

Former SpiceJet promoter Ajay Singh — who is eying re-entry into the airline by pumping in Rs 1,200-1,500 crore along with a bunch of global PE funds — is understood to have arranged funds for the low-cost carrier to keep flying without any more hiccups. "Ajay Singh is doing a due diligence of SpiceJet and that process will take about a month. But Singh has arranged for funds for the airline to keep operating till he and his PE funds invest in the airline," said a source.

Airline industry insiders believe Singh has finalized his share purchase price with Sun Group chief Kalanithi Maran. "While Maran wants to exit SpiceJet completely, Singh has reportedly told him that the airline needs money more urgently. So, Maran will have to wait for a while before the investors buy out his over 58% stake in the LCC completely," said a source.

Singh has identified some key mistakes made by Maran after taking over the airline in 2010. Among the first changes could be phasing out of the expensive-to-maintain Bombardier Q400s that Maran inducted into the SpiceJet fleet, which earlier had only Boeing 737s. Also, a change in the management team could be on the cards.

"Maran ran SpiceJet through a team of trusted Sun Group officials, who had no clue of the airline business and led SpiceJet to the ground. Ajay Singh, on the other hand, has first-hand experience of running an airline successfully and will be able to turn around SpiceJet," said a source. 


Incident occurred December 21, 2014 near Perris Valley Airport (L65), California

PERRIS ( — The pilot of an ultralight aircraft was injured following a crash near the Perris Valley Airport on Sunday morning, according to the Riverside County Fire Department.

Emergency crews responded to a report of an aircraft crash near the intersection of Goetz and Mapes roads just before 10:30 a.m., a spokesperson said.

One person with moderate injuries was transported to a hospital by ambulance.