Monday, October 31, 2011

Cessna 172K Skyhawk, N7276G: Accident occurred October 30, 2011 in Florence, Montana

NTSB Identification: WPR12CA025 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, October 30, 2011 in Florence, MT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/18/2012
Aircraft: CESSNA 172K, registration: N7276G
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

After a series of takeoffs and landings at several nearby airports, the pilot was returning to his home airport and descended to a low level to follow a river. The pilot reported that the conditions were turbulent for most of the day but that, during that low-altitude leg, the airplane seemed to perform abnormally. While still airborne, a passenger observed that the brake line that was attached to the right main landing gear strut was severed. As a result, the pilot conducted a precautionary landing at a nearby airport. The pilot and passengers observed multiple damage sites on the airplane but, since no one was present at that airport, they reboarded and departed for the home airport where they landed uneventfully.

A postaccident investigation revealed that the airplane struck and severed one of several electrical power lines that spanned the river. The wire height at mid river was about 30 to 40 feet above the water. The propeller, cowling, exhaust stack, right wing (multiple places), right wing strut, right main gear brake line, right landing gear wheel fairing, right fuselage, and vertical stabilizer were damaged by the wire strike, and the rear window was punctured. The pilot stated that he did not see any wires and that he was not aware of the wire strike until he examined the airplane after the precautionary landing. Neither the pilot nor the passengers incurred any injuries.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The pilot's failure to maintain clearance from a power line during a low-level flight along a river. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's decision to fly at a low altitude.

The pilot departed, conducted a touch-and-go at one airport, landed at another, and then flew north to a third airport, where another touch-and-go was conducted. The airplane then headed south towards the home airport, and the pilot descended to low level and followed a river for a portion of that flight leg. The pilot reported that the conditions were turbulent for most of the day, but during that low-altitude leg, the airplane behavior seemed abnormal. While still airborne, a passenger observed that the brake line that was attached to the right main landing gear strut was severed. As a result, the pilot conducted a precautionary landing at a nearby airport. The pilot and passengers observed multiple damage sites on the airplane, but since no one was present at that airport, they reboarded and departed for the home airport, where an uneventful landing was made. Investigation revealed that the airplane struck and severed one of several electrical power lines, which spanned the river. Those lines were strung between two poles, one on each side of the river. Both poles were set back from the river edge, and the west pole was situated in a loose stand of trees. The approximate wire span was 464 feet, and the wire height at mid river was approximately 30 to 40 feet above the water. Airplane damage from the wire strike included the propeller, cowling, exhaust stack, right wing (multiple places), right wing strut, right main gear brake line, right landing gear wheel fairing, right fuselage, and vertical stabilizer. In addition, the rear window was punctured. The pilot stated that he did not see any wires, and that he was not aware of the wire strike until he examined the airplane after the precautionary landing. Neither the pilot nor the passengers incurred any injuries.

HAMILTON - A low-flying airplane clipped power lines near Florence on Sunday afternoon, knocking out power to at least one residence.

The Ravalli County Sheriff's Department responded to a call around 4:20 p.m. from a citizen between Florence and Stevensville near the Bitterroot River. The homeowner reported that their power had been knocked out just as a small airplane flew by at a very low altitude, said Sheriff Chris Hoffman.

"It does appear from our initial investigation that the airplane may have struck power lines and that there was apparently substantial damage to the aircraft," Hoffman said.

The plane - a small Cessna prop plane - was able to make a safe landing at the Ravalli County Airport, just outside Hamilton.

The aircraft is owned by North Star Aviation and was being rented. The pilot and the two passengers on board were not injured. The Federal Aviation Administration will investigate the incident as well.

Flight schools get bad grades, Directorate General of Civil Aviation warning

Aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has found fault with almost all the 40 flying schools in the country, issued notices to over 20 of them giving them a 30-day deadline to comply with regulations.

One school in Bermi, Rajasthan has been asked to shut down due to gross non-compliance. One of the country’s oldest flying clubs, the Bombay Flying Club, has been allowed to conditionally restart operations even as the DGCA continues to keep it under strict watch.

“None of the 40 flying schools in India were following rules. They would be either logging false flying hours or they lacked adequate infrastructure to train pilots. We have given each school 30 days to fall in line otherwise their licenses would be suspended,” DGCA EK Bharatbhushan said on Monday.

During the audit of these schools, DGCA took the help of ATC concerned on whether a particular club really allowed candidates some real flying experience and the results were then matched with log book of candidates.

Earlier this year, the regulator began a comprehensive audit of all flying schools in the country after some were found fudging their logbook entries to help candidates get licences. Many pilots were arrested for using forged mark sheets and fudging flying hours to get licences. Thereafter, the DGCA set on overhauling the entire pilot licensing process by computerizing the process of examination and documentation. The first online pilot exams would be held this November.

Also, the DGCA decided not to take the licences issued by foreign flying schools at face value but cross check with the local regulator of each issuing country to authenticate the certification, flying hours and other documentation of a foreign licence holder.

Already, all pilot licenses obtained from Manila in Philippines have been cancelled accordingly. There are about 4,500 pilots working in India, 1,500 of them commanders and 500 expatriates.

Socata TBM700, Peter J Karoly, N944CA. Accident occurred February 02, 2007 in Dartmouth, Massachusetts

NTSB Identification: NYC07FA065. 
 The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Friday, February 02, 2007 in Dartmouth, MA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/20/2007
Aircraft: SOCATA TBM 700, registration: N944CA
Injuries: 3 Fatal.

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.

During the flight, the private pilot/operator was most likely seated in the left seat. He obtained his instrument rating about 7 months prior to the accident, and had accumulated approximately 300 hours of flight experience; of which, about 80 hours were in the accident airplane. The commercial pilot/company pilot was most likely seated in the right seat. He had accumulated approximately 1,000 hours of flight experience; of which, about 125 hours were actual instrument experience, and 80 hours were in the accident airplane. The commercial pilot had filed a flight plan to the wrong airport, received a weather briefing for the wrong airport, and therefore was not aware of the NOTAM in effect for an out of service approach lighting system at the destination airport. When the commercial pilot realized his error, he changed the flight plan, but did not request another weather briefing. According to radar information, the airplane flew the instrument landing system runway 5 approach fast, performed a steep missed approach to 1,000 feet, and then disappeared from radar, consistent with a loss of control during the missed approach. No preimpact mechanical malfunctions were identified with the airplane during the investigation. The reported weather at the accident airport included an overcast ceiling at 200 feet, visibility 1 mile in light rain and mist, and wind from 160 degrees at 4 knots. The investigation could not determine which pilot was flying the airplane at the time of the accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
Both pilots' failure to maintain aircraft control during a missed approach.

This report was modified on December 11, 2007.


On February 2, 2007, about 1940 eastern standard time, a Socata TBM 700, N944CA, was destroyed when it impacted terrain in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, during a missed approach to New Bedford Regional Airport (EWB), New Bedford, Massachusetts. The certificated commercial pilot, certificated private pilot, and a passenger were fatally injured. Night instrument meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight that departed General Edward Lawrence Logan International Airport (BOS), Boston, Massachusetts, about 1917. An instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed for the business flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

The airplane was based at Lehigh Valley International Airport (ABE), Allentown, Pennsylvania. The private pilot operated the airplane through his legal practice, and was visiting Massachusetts to meet colleagues. The commercial pilot was employed as a company pilot for the legal practice.

According to data from Lockheed Martin Corporation, the commercial pilot contacted the Williamsport Automated Flight Service Station (AFSS) about 0925 on the day of the accident. He filed an IFR flight plan for a trip from ABE to BOS, with a proposed departure time of 1300. The flight service specialist accepted the flight plan, and provided a standard weather briefing for the flight, which included Notices to Airmen (NOTAM). The airplane subsequently flew uneventfully from ABE to BOS.

The commercial pilot contacted the Williamsport AFSS again about 1600. He filed two IFR flight plans. The first flight plan was from BOS to "Bedford B-E-D," (erroneously, not New Bedford) with a proposed departure time of 1700. The second IFR flight plan was from Lawrence G. Hanscom Airport (BED), Bedford, Massachusetts, to ABE, with a proposed departure time of 2000. The commercial pilot requested a weather briefing for the flight from BOS to BED, and was provided a standard weather briefing, which included NOTAMs for BOS and BED.

The commercial pilot contacted the Williamsport AFSS a third time, about 1710, and advised that he needed to make changes to two IFR flight plans. First, he asked that the destination of his first flight plan be changed from "Bedford" to "New Bedford." The commercial pilot then asked if the flight service specialist knew the three-letter-identifier for New Bedford as the commercial pilot was not near a map or computer at the time. The flight service specialist then provided the correct "EWB" identifier for New Bedford. The commercial pilot also changed the departure time from 1700 to 1730.

For the second flight plan, the commercial pilot changed the departure point from BED to EWB, for the return flight to ABE. The flight service specialist then stated that he would change the flight plans. The commercial pilot thanked the specialist and ended the telephone call. The commercial pilot did not request a weather briefing for the flight to EWB.

While at BOS, the airplane was fueled, and then departed for EWB. According to radar and voice data provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the flight proceeded toward the instrument landing system (ILS) approach for runway 5 at EWB.

At 1935, the flight intercepted the localizer course, about 3 miles prior to the NEFOR intersection. At that time the airplane's radar target indicated an altitude of 1,900 feet and a groundspeed of 180 knots. The flight was handed off from Providence Approach Control to New Bedford Tower, and subsequently cleared to land.

At 1936, the flight crossed NEFOR. At that time, the airplane's radar target indicated an altitude of 1,400 feet and a groundspeed of 200 knots. The EWB tower controller advised the flight that two preceding aircraft landed about 10 to 15 minutes prior, and "broke out" about 300 feet, which was acknowledged.

At 1937, the flight was approximately 1 mile from the runway 5 threshold at EWB. At that time, the airplane's radar target indicated an altitude of 300 feet and a groundspeed of 160 knots.

About 15 seconds later, the airplane's radar target indicated a left climbing turn to 1,000 feet, at a ground speed of 140 knots. The radar target was subsequently lost. During that time, one of the pilots reported a missed approach to EWB tower. No further transmissions were received from the accident airplane after the radar target was lost. The investigation could not determine which pilot was flying the airplane at the time of the accident.

The accident occurred during the hours of night; located about 41 degrees, 40.06 minutes north latitude, and 70 degrees, 58.57 minutes west longitude.


The commercial pilot, age 23, held a commercial pilot certificate, with ratings for airplane single engine land, airplane multiengine land, and instrument airplane. He also held a flight instructor certificate, with ratings for airplane single engine land and instrument airplane. The commercial pilot reported 1,700 hours of total flight experience on the application for his most recent FAA first class medical certificate, issued January 8, 2007.

The commercial pilot completed formal training for the make and model accident airplane in July 2006, at SIMCOM, Pan Am International Flight Academy.

The commercial pilot's logbook was recovered; however, the last entry was dated September 29, 2006. There was no record of all of his flight time between the last entry and the day of the accident. According to the logbook, as of the last entry, the commercial pilot had accumulated a total flight experience of approximately 1,037 hours; of which, about 113 hours were in multiengine airplanes, and 924 hours in single engine airplanes. The commercial pilot also recorded about 125 hours in actual instrument meteorological conditions, 91 hours in night conditions, and 65 hours in the accident airplane.

The private pilot, age 53, held a private pilot certificate, with a rating for airplane single engine land. He obtained his private pilot certificate in November 2005. The private pilot also obtained an instrument rating on July 24, 2006, and reported 300 hours of total flight experience on his most recent FAA third class medical certificate, issued on December 14, 2006. The private pilot's logbook was not recovered. According to a witness who spoke to the private pilot about 1 week prior to the accident, the private pilot reported 80 hours of flight experience in the accident airplane.

There was no record that the private pilot completed a formal training course for the make and model accident airplane.

According to a flight instructor that had flown with both pilots, during the month prior to the accident, the private pilot flew from the left seat, with the commercial pilot in the right seat. The flight instructor described the commercial pilot as a fantastic instrument pilot.

The flight instructor added that the private pilot flew during a 6-year period, about 10 years prior to the accident. He did not have a pilot license at the time, but flew about 600 to 700 hours as a student pilot receiving instruction, primarily in multiengine airplanes. The private pilot subsequently misplaced his logbook containing a record of that flight time. The private pilot did not count that time when applying for his private pilot or medical certificates. The flight instructor estimated that the private pilot had accumulated about 400 to 450 hours of flight experience since the lapse in flying. The flight instructor described the private pilot as a low experience instrument pilot, who occasionally became distracted or fixated on one instrument.


The airplane was manufactured in 2001. The airplane's most recent annual inspection was completed on July 7, 2006. At that time, the airplane had accumulated 478.8 total hours of operation.

The airplane was equipped with an engine monitoring system, which periodically recorded data during different phases of flight. According to the last record, captured during the cruise portion of the accident flight, the airplane had accumulated 647.38 hours of operation.

Review of a pilot's information manual for the same make and model as the accident airplane revealed that the published approach speed with the flap in the landing configuration was 80 knots. Further review of the manual revealed that the flap operating range was from 60 knots to 122 knots. The flaps could be selected to three positions: UP (0 degrees extension); TO (10 degrees extension), and LDG (34 degrees extension).


The reported weather at EWB, at 1939, was: wind from 160 degrees at 4 knots; visibility 1 mile in light rain and mist; overcast ceiling at 200 feet; temperature 33degrees Fahrenheit (F); dew point 34 degrees F; altimeter 29.58 inches Hg.


Runway 5 at EWB was 4,997 feet long, 150 feet wide, and consisted of asphalt. The runway was equipped with a medium intensity approach lighting system with runway alignment indicator lights (MALSR), which was out of service, and a NOTAM was in effect at the time of the accident. The runway was also equipped with high intensity runway lighting (HIRL), which was operating at the time of the accident.

The instrument landing system approach for runway 5 at EWB had a decision altitude of 274 feet mean sea level (msl), 200 feet above ground level (agl), with a visibility requirement of 1/2 mile. The outer marker was NEFOR, which was 3.9 nautical miles from the runway threshold. The crossing height at NEFOR was 1,339 feet msl.

The missed approach procedure was a climb to 700 feet, then a climbing left turn to 1,700 feet, direct to NEFOR and hold.


The wreckage was located in a wooded area about 1 mile west of EWB, and was examined on February 3 and 4, 2007. All major components of the airplane were accounted for at the site. A debris path was observed, which originated with severed trees at descending heights, on an approximate 260-degree magnetic heading for about 30 feet to an impact crater. The main wreckage was located about 30 feet beyond the impact crater, and the debris path terminated at the right wing, located just beyond the main wreckage. The main wreckage was resting on its right side, and oriented about 100 degrees magnetic. The horizontal stabilizer had separated from the main wreckage, and was located to the right of it. The cockpit area had also separated from the main wreckage, and was resting to the left of it. The left wing, the left main landing gear, and the nose landing gear were located near the impact crater. The propeller was located near the left wing, and the engine was located near the cockpit.

The left wing separated near the wing root, outboard of its attachment point, and the left aileron remained attached to the wing. The left flap had separated from the left wing, and was resting near it. The left aileron control cables were fragmented and the cable ends were broomstrawed, consistent with overstress. The right wing also separated near the wing root, and outboard of its attachment point. The right main landing gear remained in the right wing. The right aileron and right flap separated from the wing, and were located nearby. The right aileron control cables were also fragmented and the cable ends were broomstrawed, consistent with overstress. Each wing contained three flap actuators. One flap actuator was recovered from the left wing, and two flap actuators were recovered from the right wing. Measurements of all recovered actuators corresponded to an approximate 20-degree flap extended position.

The horizontal stabilizer had sheared off its attach points. The left elevator remained attached, and the right elevator had separated, and came to rest near the horizontal stabilizer. The left elevator trim tab was deflected upward and locked, consistent with impact damage, and the right elevator trim tab was approximately neutral. Flight control continuity was confirmed from the cockpit area to the rudder. Flight control continuity for the elevator was confirmed from the cockpit area to the point of horizontal stabilizer separation.

All four propeller blades exhibited s-bending, and one blade was sheared at the tip. The engine was disassembled for inspection. Rotational scoring was noted on the gas generator and turbine rotors. Examination of the cockpit revealed that the landing gear switch was in the down position; however, the switch lever had separated consistent with impact damage. Both altimeter setting windows displayed "29.58," and the radar altimeter bug was positioned to 280 feet. The flap indicator needle was mid-range between the takeoff and landing setting. The rudder trim needle indicated "center," and the elevator trim needle was missing.


Autopsies were performed on the pilots by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Boston, Massachusetts.

Toxicological testing was conducted on the pilots at the FAA Toxicology Accident Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.


A handheld global positioning system (GPS) unit was recovered from the wreckage and forwarded to the Safety Board's Vehicle Laboratory, Washington, D.C. Due to damage sustained in the accident, no data could be extracted from the unit.

On February 3, 2007, the FAA conducted a flight inspection of the ILS runway 5 approach at EWB. Review of the Flight Inspection Report revealed that the facility operation was found to be satisfactory.

Photo Credit: Express-Times
Peter Karoly and his wife, Lauren Angstadt, who were killed in a plane crash in February 2007. 

A senior Northampton County judge is set to decide a will dispute over the multimillion-dollar estate left behind by attorney Peter Karoly and his wife, Lauren Angstadt, after they died in a 2007 plane crash.

Senior Judge Isaac Garb is presiding as a special master over a trial that aims to determine whether a 2006 will presented by Karoly's brother, John Karoly Jr., or a 1985 will supported by the Karolys' three sisters is the final, legal document.

Kim Karoly Luciano, of Kissimmee, Fla.; Joanne Karoly Billman, of Monks Corner, S.C.; and Candice Pamerleau claim John Karoly Jr. created a second will dated in 2006 to replace one Peter Karoly had drawn up in 1985.

The 2006 will leaves a significant portion of Peter Karoly’s estate to John Karoly Jr., while the 1985 document splits the estate among the couple’s surviving family members.

Testimony began today. John Karoly Jr. is not a party to this week's proceedings.

In May 2007, federal prosecutors began investigating John Karoly Jr. for allegedly forging his brother’s will. During that investigation, federal authorities found errors in Karoly’s tax filings and charged him with failing to pay $1.5 million on $4.1 million in income in 2002, 2005 and 2006. He also defrauded two charities out of $500,000 in a scheme to avoid taxes and keep the money for personal use.

In 2008, John Karoly Jr. was indicted along with J.P. Karoly, who is John Karoly Jr.'s son, and Dr. John J. Shane for allegedly faking the wills of Peter Karoly and Angstadt.

John Karoly Jr. pleaded guilty in July 2009 to tax evasion and fraud in exchange for prosecutors agreeing to dismiss the fake will charges against Karoly, his son and Shane. Prosecutors dismissed the fake will charges without prejudice, meaning the charges could be refiled in the future.

Under the plea agreement, Karoly was to withdraw from the civil will case, which he did, but he also directed that any of his interests in the estate should be transferred to his younger son, Joshua Karoly.

Supporting the 2006 will are Joshua Karoly and three other beneficiaries. Joshua Karoly and Gregory Azar Jr. are represented by attorney Robert Goldman, who represented John Karoly Jr. in his federal criminal case.

Today’s testimony began with Roy Miller, a friend of Peter Karoly and an employee and investor in eRAD inc., a medical and diagnostic imagining company that was founded and owned by Peter Karoly and Angstadt.

Miller said he knew Peter Karoly had a brother and sisters. Miller acknowledged he knew Karoly Billman because she operated two of eRAD’s centers in South Carolina.

Miller said the first time he met John Karoly Jr. was at Peter Karoly’s funeral, but that he had seen John Karoly Jr. one time before. Miller said that during a lunch meeting, Peter Karoly had pointed out his brother was at the restaurant, but didn’t call John Karoly Jr. over.

At a separate dinner meeting, Miller said, an eRAD board member asked what would happen to the business if something happened to Peter Karoly. Miller testified Angstadt didn’t say anything but pointed to Miller.

Also today, the executor of Angstadt’s estate and a trustee of Peter Karoly’s law firm discussed noted discrepancies in the 2006 will.

Notably, there was only one witness to the 2006 will when Peter Karoly would have wanted more, the witness testified. Also, Peter Karoly had a will policy of having clients sign each page of the will on the bottom right-hand side, but the 2006 will does not have those signatures, according to the testimony.

Flying high for the ‘big one’: Sonoma Skypark Airport (0Q9), Sonoma, California

MIKE MILLER, right, radio operator/observer and pilot Frank Russo, left, lift off at Sonoma Skypark Airport in Russo’s 1945 Piper J-3 Cub during “The Great California Shake-Out” drill.

Not if, but when, Sonoma Valley experiences a serious earthquake or other catastrophe, first responders will play a critical role in managing the disaster.

Sonoma Skypark Airport’s experienced pilots will take to the air, each plane with an observer, to survey and report damages on water tanks, roads and bridges. This vital data will be relayed via disaster response volunteers such as Sonoma Valley Auxiliary Communications Service amateur radio operators and Valley of the Moon Amateur Radio Club members (VOMARC) stationed at the Skypark on Eighth Street East and in the city’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at the Sonoma Police Department.

From there information would go to police, fire and rescue, PG&E, public works and water agencies and the local hospital. Skypark would be a pivotal site for evacuation of the injured and transporting food, water and medical supplies to and from the airport.

Darrel Jones, Sonoma Skypark pilot and board member, said “We’ve had previous drills and talked about being the center of operations for aircraft response; the CHP, sheriff and Civil Air Patrol all could land here to stage and refuel … We have a lot of aircrafts that could be used for airlifting in relief supplies and evacuation of victims.”

On Thursday, Oct. 20, the City of Sonoma and the Sonoma Disaster Council staged a simulated earthquake exercise in conjunction with the California statewide “Great Shake-Out” to raise community awareness of disaster preparedness.

At about 10:20 a.m. the “quake” struck Sonoma Valley. Within a short time, pilots arrived at Skypark as did VOMARC radio operators and a retired U.S. Coast Guard flight surgeon.

The EOC, a special room in the Sonoma Police Department, filled up quickly with police, fire and rescue personnel, city department heads, Auxiliary Communications Service volunteers and representatives from Sonoma County Office of Emergency Services. Everyone knew what their role was.

Back at the airport there was an unexpected setback – fog.

“Federal Aviation Administration rules require a 1,000-foot ceiling and three miles visibility in controlled airspace, or that they be clear of clouds in uncontrolled airspace before planes can launch,” said Jones. Their part of the mission was on hold.

In the meantime, 10 community groups and three public and private schools that had signed up to take part in the drill, called the EOC to report their status that included “number of injuries and damage to structures.” They had all practiced “duck and cover” maneuvers.

Participating in the call-in were the Sonoma Valley Unified School District, the Sonoma Community Center, Vintage House, Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau, Sonoma Developmental Center, Chanterelle and Creekside homeowners associations, Pueblo Serena and Adele Harrison and Sonoma Charter schools.

At the Skypark, once the fog lifted just after noon, pilot Frank Russo and observer/amateur radio operator Mike Miller were able to take off in Russo’s Piper Cub and complete an aerial survey of three Valley water tanks – near the Gen. Vallejo home, and tanks on Norrbom Road and at the end of East Napa Street. Observing, photographing and relaying information at all locations took approximately nine minutes.

In the event of a real disaster, airborne radio operators would transmit damage reports directly to the EOC that would immediately be dispatched to appropriate personnel.

As veteran Skypark pilot/flight instructor Andy Smith put it, “I always leave my airplane fuel tank full, just in case of an emergency I can get up quickly even if power goes out at the gas pump.”

Skypark Airport is a privately owned, public-use airport providing aviation services for Sonoma City and Valley at no public expense.

To learn more about their services, visit the website at

8 people died waiting for first aid after Spanair flight JK5022 crash

AT least eight people died waiting for First Aid after the Spanair flight JK5022 crash at Madrid Barajas Airport in 2008, according to the victims’ association.

According to the Emergency Plan Report carried out by the Association of Victims of Flight JK5022, which will be presented this week before the judge in charge of the case, the emergency services didn’t make it to the runway quickly enough. The report concludes that the emergency plan was not activated soon enough, with emergency personnel taking 40 minutes to arrive on the scene.

It explains that eight people died from multiple injuries because they were unable to move and were burned to death.

Legal sources claimed that a pilot landing at the time alerted the tower of the crash.

The crash, which claimed 154 was caused by pilot error, Spanair, owners of the ill-fated MD-82 aircraft, claimed.

Spanish CIAIAC accident investigation commission issued a 92 page, exemplary report in 2009 and another this year also concluding that the accident was due to pilot error and the aircraft was not configured correctly for takeoff.

AEROS LTD TRIKE, N6111F: Accident occurred October 30, 2011 in Amherst, Virginia

NTSB Identification: ERA12CA054 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, October 30, 2011 in Amherst, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/06/2012
Aircraft: AEROS LTD TRIKE, registration: N6111F
Injuries: 1 Serious.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The student pilot was conducting his first solo flight in the experimental light sport, weight-shift control aircraft. He reported that he lost control of the aircraft during the initial climb after takeoff. According to a witness and the pilot's flight instructor, the pilot stalled the aircraft several times while maneuvering around the traffic pattern. During a right turn onto the final leg of the traffic pattern, the aircraft entered a steep descent and impacted the ground, which resulted in substantial damage to the airframe. The pilot stated that there were no preexisting mechanical anomalies with the aircraft. He reported 16 hours of total flight experience, which included 1 hour in the same make and model as the accident aircraft.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The student pilot's inadequate aircraft control and improper airspeed while maneuvering to land, which resulted in a stall. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's lack of experience in the make and model of the accident aircraft.

The condition of a Delaware man who crashed his experimental plane in Amherst County Sunday improved from serious to fair Monday afternoon.

Vance Phillips, 49, of Laurel, Del. injured his back in the crash, and according to public safety officials, destroyed the aircraft. Phillips was taken to Lynchburg General Hospital before being airlifted to the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville.

A hospital spokesman would not comment about Phillips’ injuries, citing privacy concerns. The Associated Press reported Phillips broke his back.

“He had a hard landing,” said Ron Dixon, who operates Buffalo Ridge Airsports near Amherst, where the plane crashed. “He bounced off the runway.”

Virginia State Police were called to the scene around 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Amherst County Public Safety Director Gary Roakes said the plane appeared to have been destroyed.

Dixon said Phillips had been getting flight lessons in Tennessee, then chose to fly at Buffalo Ridge because it was halfway between there and his home in Delaware, where he serves as a Sussex County councilman.

Dixon said Phillips had flown at the airpark before. He was practicing solo landings when he crashed, Dixon said. Buffalo Ridge offers flight training in planes like Phillips’ and in hang gliders.

Phillips’ showed off his Aeros “trike” on his Facebook page on Oct. 23, calling it his “new toy.” (The News & Advance erroneously reported Monday that the plane was a North Wing make.)

Considered experimental by the Federal Aviation Administration, the Aeros plane consists of a two-seat open cockpit and 65 horsepower engine suspended under a hang glider. When a friend on his Facebook page joked he could use it as a crop duster, he replied, “Survival is first priority.”

FAA records still show the plane registered to a Tennessee man. Dixon said Phillips hadn’t owned it long enough for the paperwork needed to change registration to be processed.

The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash.

The August 2010 crash of a North Wing aircraft that took off from Buffalo Ridge remains under investigation by the NTSB pending a final report.

That crash claimed the lives of pilot John Milhous and passenger Carl Weber. Witnesses reported that plane had suffered engine trouble before the crash.

Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria members battle Aerocontractors over aborted flight

LAGOS— Aerocontractors was, Monday, locked in a battle of wit with members of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, PSN, following its inability to fly them to their destination.

While the PSN members agitated for a refund of their money, the airline insisted on putting them in another flight to Enugu, where they were billed to attend the association’s annual conference commencing today.

Trouble started when the aircraft flying the group to Enugu developed a technical problem, which compelled the pilot to make an air return to the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, where it took off.

Vanguard learnt that as soon as the aircraft touched down in Lagos, the airline management made frantic efforts to discharge the passengers into another aircraft for continuation of the journey to Enugu.

However, it was learnt that closure of the airport to traffic by 6:00 pm put paid to that plan, and this was said to have prompted the passengers to clamour for a refund of their money, which the airline officials refused to accede to.

One of the pharmacists on board the plane, Tijani Ayobola, expressed regrets about the shabby manner they were treated by Aero officials, and appealed to the airline management to prevail on its officials at the airport to refund their money.

The airline officials at the airport kept mum when Vanguard sought their comments about the development.

California: After 30 Years Of Growth, Ontario Is Among The Nation’s Fastest-Declining Airports

ONTARIO (CBS) — After three decades of steady growth, LA/Ontario International Airport is now struggling to stay afloat.

Once on Forbes’ list of the nation’s top alternative airports, it is now among the fastest declining mid-size airports in country.

The airport lost almost a third of its 7.2 million passengers between 2007 and 2010, and according to the Los Angeles Times, is on track to lose another 200,000 by the end of this year.

Passengers have left as the number flights and destinations have dropped. Fares, in many cases, have also risen.

Some passengers say the cutbacks have been a huge inconvenience.

“I work for the University of California and I used to travel a lot to the Central Valley, and there was a small company flying from Ontario to Visalia and that flight doesn’t exist anymore,” Georgios Vidalakis told CBS2’s Kara Finnstrom.

Leaders in Ontario say the airport is struggling because it needs better advertising and strategic support. They are hoping to gain control of it from the city of Los Angeles, which operates Los Angeles World Airports.

Los Angeles International Airport, LA/Ontario International Airport and Van Nuys airport all function under LAWA.

Military jet operations on rise in Palm Springs; officials say it's out of their control

If it seems as if the roar of military jets landing at or taking off from Palm Springs International Airport is heard more often these days, that's because it is.

Airport statistics show that through September there were 1,555 military aircraft operations — takeoffs or landings — at the airport, compared to 1,397 operations in all of last year. The total through the first nine months of this year exceeds the full-year total of military operations for each of at least the past five years.

And while airport and city officials have taken steps to urge military flyers to be “good neighbors” and limit their noise in any ways they can, no one is asking the military if it can limit its local landings.

Airport executive director Thomas Nolan said Palm Springs International Airport has received more than $100 million in federal grants over the years. Those grants include provisions that the airport must allow government aircraft to use the facilities without restriction or charge, he said.

“I'm basically prohibited by federal law from talking about prohibiting federal aircraft,” Nolan said.

Added City Manager David Ready, “We cannot prevent military jets from landing. Our whole goal is when they do land in Palm Springs, they take appropriate measures to reduce the noise. That's been the goal all along.

“We understand it's a problem, and we understand it's ongoing. The things we have been able to do so far have not solved the problem, because we're still getting complaints, and the number of (military) flights are up.”

Part-time city resident Bonnie Baggett, who lives less than a mile southeast of the airport and finds the military jet noise a frequent problem, wonders why city officials don't at least ask the military if it can adjust its activities, either diverting some of its flights to other airports that will still accomplish the same training goal, or attempting to limit activity in Palm Springs to during daytime hours and the work week. Baggett said she wasn't surprised that the city's and airport's efforts have focused on signs and messages.

“That takes the pressure off and allows them to say, ‘I am doing something,'” she said.

No explanation

It's unclear why military jet flights have increased in Palm Springs in the past year.

“We have no way of knowing why that is; nor will the military share it with us,” Ready said.

But why the military comes to the airport is more apparent — fuel.

Palm Springs is one of about 350 airports nationwide contracted with the Defense Energy Support Center, a logistical support wing of the Armed Forces. Atlantic Aviation, a fixed-base operator providing fuel and other services at the airport, is contracted to provide fuel and other services for military aircraft on demand.

Nolan said the military takes 1 million gallons of jet fuel at the airport annually.

Palm Springs FBO Two LLC — Atlantic's operation at the Palm Springs airport — in March 2010 received a $5.4 million contract from the Department of Defense to provide fuel for the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and federal civilian agencies. The contract lasts through March 2014, and isn't the first one for a fixed-base operator at the airport.

Contacted for comment, Atlantic Aviation general manager Karin Davidson said the military activity at Palm Springs “is a great economic benefit” to the community, but declined further comment.

“We used to use Palm Springs occasionally for refueling,” said retired Army Lt. Col. Tom Lasser, who commanded the Los Alamitos Army Airfield in Orange County from 1996 to 2001.

“Army aircraft would not operate out of [Palm Springs International] routinely but mainly on cross country flights requiring fuel or overnight stay.”

Navy and Marines officials did not provide answers to The Desert Sun's questions this week.

In June, Navy Lt. Aaron Kakiel, spokesman for U.S. Naval Air Forces at North Island Naval Air Station in San Diego — the command center for all Navy aviation activities west of the Mississippi River — said photos The Desert Sun showed him of Navy T-45 Goshawk jets at Palm Springs airport were from the Navy's Training Air Wing 2 in Kingsville, Texas. Student pilots are required to undertake cross-country flights that include take-offs and landings as part of their training, Kakiel said.

“We try and minimize the amount of time we are doing that outside of our normal training areas,” he said. “We understand it does cause some inconvenience to local residents, but appreciate their patience while these pilots and air crew conduct vital training that is part of their mission to defend the United States.”

Ready said the airport officials observe the military jets landing, taking on fuel and taking off again most often, but occasionally staying the night before leaving. Palm Springs airport's size is probably just right for such activity, he noted.

“I don't think you're going to get those kinds of military jets in the larger airports where there's a more significant amount of commercial traffic,” he said.

Following area resident complaints last summer, airport officials put up signs on the air field, a letter on the airport's website and have sent letters to military bases asking incoming military flyers to practice “good neighbor” techniques and fly as quietly as they can, Nolan said.

Understanding that the airport cannot prohibit the military flights, Nolan cited their positive impacts.

“There is an economic benefit from the military using the airport,” he said, adding that Atlantic Aviation receives “well over $250,000 to maybe $500,000 in gross revenue” from the military jets' fueling.

“They employ people who live and work in this community,” he said.

When crews stay overnight, “they eat in restaurants ... they stay in hotels,” Nolan said. “That means transient occupancy tax; that means supporting local business.” He added that it's unclear how much of that kind of revenue military activity generates.

The Rev. Michael Adams, a retired priest who lives in the Mountain Shadows complex near the airport, said city and airport officials should act with more of a sense of “urgency, determination or concern” with the military.

“They've got to set up their own hierarchy of values and determine what's more important, the goodwill and peaceful living of their constituents, or an extra buck?” he said.

Ready, however, said economic considerations aren't driving the city's actions.

“The military jets, the money that the city gets from fuel, that is not a driving force in this at all,” he said, adding that the city's cut of military fuel sales from Atlantic is “under $50,000 a year.”

“It's not a tourism issue; it's not a hotel tax issue,” Ready said.

Nolan said city officials recognize that the military aircraft are louder than others.

“If they were to voluntarily reduce their operations here at the airport, and help reduce the impact to the residential community, we would not feel bad about that in any way,” he said.

Mayor Steve Pougnet responded to a request for comment with an emailed statement, saying he will ask the city manager to form a subcommittee of the council to further explore the issue.

Ready said he also will update the council on the “significant steps taken up to now” on the military jet noise issue, and explore possible future steps, including, perhaps, requesting that the military voluntarily take actions to reduce its jet traffic in Palm Springs.

Baggett said the city should undertake a noise study, as its last one was done in 1994 and much — including the increased military jet activity — has changed.

She noted people in other parts of the valley often “say people who object to the military noise are unpatriotic.”

“Spend the weekend in my place; let's see if we're unpatriotic,” she said.

But Leo Priest, a World War II veteran and Pearl Harbor survivor, also lives on the airport's flight path less than a mile south of the facility, and said he supports the fighter jets coming into the airport.

“If the military feels it's necessary to do what they are doing, in my book it's A-OK,” he said.

The noise is only for a few moments, Priest said. “But the fuss (some) raise about that noise is ridiculous. They don't think about what it's about. They only think of themselves.”

New jobs coming to Lee County, Alabama


Alabama governor Robert Bentley was joined by other state and local officials to celebrate the groundbreaking of two different companies today. Both companies are hoping to bring new jobs to Lee County.

The state of Alabama currently has a 9.8 percent unemployment rate but soon that will change in Lee County. Pharmavite, a supplement and vitamin manufacturing company, broke ground on its soon to be 330,000 square feet facility in Opelika.

The company hopes to bring at least 280 jobs to the area within its first year.

Another major company also broke ground in Alabama today.

Last fall, GE Aviation, a world leader in commercial and military engine production, announced its plan to open a new manufacturing facility in auburn. Slated to open next year, the facility is expected to be home to between three and four hundred people.

Governor Robert Bentley explains how even one job can help sustain a community, "if you use the multiplier effect, for one job, it's tremendous, so every time you announce one job, you're really talking about the multiplier effect, maybe three or four.”

GE Aviation Vice President and General Manager, Colleen Athens, is confident that her company will only benefit the area.

Between Pharmavite and GE Aviation, Lee County could ultimately add eight hundred jobs.

Like the Blue Angels? There's an app for that

The Naval Aviation Museum Foundation last week released a Blue Angels app for both the iTunes and Android markets that allows mobile device users to get the latest news on the Blues.

The app, which was released Oct. 25, includes current show schedules, the team roster, photography of the team and descriptions of aerobatic maneuvers. 

From the app description:
“The Blue Angels mobile app is your go-to source for the latest news, schedules, team roster and information on the Blues and their mission. Learn the maneuvers, the aircraft, and the history through magnificent aerial video and photography, gaining a pilot’s-eye-view of the Blue Angels’ intense performances. Save air show dates to your calendar and follow the Blue Angels across the nation. With the Blue Angels mobile app, you become a part of the team as you get to know the personnel that make up the Blue Angels and what it takes to ensure their continued success.”

The $1.99 app can be purchased at the following links. 

Photos of plane damage may be fuel-dumping Delta jet

Photos circulating by e-mail purport to show damage to the engine of the Delta Boeing 747 that dumped fuel over Livingston County Oct. 23. 
The Daily Press & Argus cannot confirm the photos to be authentic.
Submitted photo

Original article, photos and comments:

 Photos circulating on the Internet reportedly of the Delta Boeing 747 jet that dumped an undisclosed amount of fuel Oct. 23 above Livingston County appear to show serious damage to the plane.

The photos were submitted to the Daily Press & Argus by retired Northwest Airlines pilot and Brighton resident Ray Dahl, who said he received the photos through e-mails from friends in his aviation circle. The Daily Press & Argus has not been able to independently confirm the photos are of the plane involved in the incident last week.

Dahl, who flew commercial jets for 39 years, does not question the validity of the photos. He said they highlight just how serious a situation has to be for a jet to dump fuel.

"With the kind of damage that plane had, it would have been foolish for them to continue flying, not knowing what the damage was," said Dahl, who recalled only dumping fuel one time in his entire career.

Before he retired, Dahl regularly flew Boeing 747s. Dahl said the pilots would not have been able to see the plane's exterior damage from the cockpit.

"When jets dump fuel, society generally thinks something is going to die because fuel is going in the air, but it is a very unusual thing for a plane to do," Dahl said. "These photos help people get a further understanding."

Delta Air Lines Inc. spokesperson Anthony Black did not confirm the authenticity of the photos. He indicated Delta would only share internal information with authorized agencies. The paint scheme of the jet in the photos does match that of Delta.

"I'm not saying those could not be legitimate photos, but they are not authorized by us," Black said.

Black added that Delta operates 750,000 flights annually, and he stated that fuel dumping is "a very rare occurrence."

Black also downplayed the dangers of last week's engine malfunction.

"The aircraft was under control at all times," Black said.

On Oct. 23, a Boeing 747-400 containing 392 passengers and a 14-member crew on Flight 275 to Tokyo was forced to dump fuel after an engine malfunction to one of the plane's four engines.

Tony Molinaro, a spokesperson for the Federal Aviation Administration, said the incident is under investigation.

Fuel dumping occurs when planes need to land for emergency situations and cannot because of excess or imbalanced weight. Instances in which fuel dumping occurs, though rare, must be reported to the FAA.

With this flight, Molinaro said, fuel was probably dumped to equalize the weight of fuel in different engines.

"You want it perfectly balanced if it's heavier than normal when landing," Molinaro said.

The FAA requires fuel dumping to occur as high in flight as possible.

Because of the height and speed at which the plane was moving, Black said the fuel "evaporates" before it would ever hit the ground.

He said there should be "no cause for concern" for individuals below where the fuel was dumped.

"There's a minimum height which the aircraft would go to do a dump or fuel drop — and they do it, it evaporates," Black said.

"With this flight, the fuel basically evaporates on contact with the air," he added.

Ex-airport janitor cleared. Elias Alonso had been accused of possessing about $20,000 worth of methamphetamine. Walla Walla Regional Airport (KALW), Washington

WALLA WALLA -- A man working as a janitor at the Walla Walla Regional Airport late last year has been cleared of a charge accusing him of possessing methamphetamine, which was found in the terminal, while intending to deliver it.

A Superior Court jury Friday couldn't unanimously agree whether Elias Alonso, 40, of 620 Chase Ave., was guilty or not guilty of the felony charge of possession with intent to deliver.

But the panel then acquitted him of a lesser charge of simple possession of the controlled substance, thereby ending the case.

Deliberations lasted about 3 1/2 hours. The trial began with jury selection Oct. 24.

Officials said nearly seven ounces of suspected meth -- with a street value of about $20,000 -- were discovered in the janitorial room at the airport Dec. 14.

Ron Dzwonkowski: Airport CEO Turkia Mullin had to go; board that hired her should be next

If Turkia Awada Mullin is as good as she claims to be at what she does, the now-former boss of Detroit Metro Airport shouldn’t have any trouble landing a new job, maybe in the private sector where she can be paid what she thinks she’s really worth.

In the meantime, the board that runs the airport — one of those obscure public bodies that never makes news until they screw up — did right to cut their losses on Mullin after seven weeks, even if those losses amount to another $700,000 (plus damages and legal fees.) Eating crow never tastes good, but it goes down better while still warm.

Mullin was damaged goods and Metro Airport is far too important to the economic redevelopment of southeast Michigan to keep her in charge of it. She has too many credibility issues of her own making to be an effective leader not just of a vital, world-class aviation hub but of the long-planned “aerotropolis” growth that’s supposed to be happening around it.

The seven-member airport authority, political appointees all, wouldn’t say what the specific reasons were for their 5-2 vote to oust Mullin, other than catch-all language in her contract defining just cause as “dishonesty, theft, willful misconduct, breach of fiduciary duty or unethical business conduct.” Mullin brought a lawyer to the meeting and said she’ll sue for full payment of her two-year contract, which the lawyer figured at $708,000.

If Mullin gets it, the traveling public can look to pay its share soon in airline tickets and parking fees.
Authority members who hired her in the first place are accountable for that, and they all ought to think about doing what Mullin wouldn’t — resigning. They could have saved a lot of money and trouble by checking into Mullin’s grandiose resume, which the Free Press had little trouble deflating last week. Clearly, Mullin has not been the job-creating dynamo she claimed in taking credit for just about every economic development in Wayne County since Cadillac’s arrival Detroit in 1701. And that resume was the main reason she got the airport job — to at last get the aerotropolis plans rolling.

The $200,000 going-away present Mullin accepted from Wayne County when she took the airport job created a smelly mess that has yet to be fully fumigated but that’s not an airport problem. That’s between Mullin, the county, and now the FBI.

However, what should have been an issue for the airport folks is the thousands more county dollars Mullin took for unused sick time nine days after signing a document that the $200,000 severance was all she was entitled to. That’s an integrity issue.

Last week, Wayne County Executive Bob Ficano effectively pulled the rug out from under Mullin when he said she’d become a distraction. Once Ficano, chief promoter of all things aerotropolis and a singer of Mullin’s praises when she sought the airport job, said, in effect, he couldn’t work with her, the major part of Mullin’s raison d’hiring at Metro went pfffft.

What a sorry mess. Back in 2002, when then-Gov. John Engler and then-County Exec Ed McNamara jointly announced creation of the new board to oversee Metro, the Free Press hoped for seven people who would bring “a new spirit of professionalism, efficiency, integrity and openness” to the troubled airport.” We should have included competence.

Yakovlev 42D, YAK Service, RA-42434: Accident occurred September 07, 2011 near Yaroslavl-Tunoshna Airport (IAR), Russia

Having trained on a Yak-40, pilot Andrei Solomentsev thought he was putting his feet on footrests when he was actually slowing the plane down. Then, as he tried to lift off, he jammed on the brakes even harder, investigators said.

As a result, the Yak-42 failed to gain enough speed on the runway. It began to fall moments after takeoff, clipping a navigation beacon before slamming into the ground and bursting into flames.

Forty-four passengers and crew — including nearly the entire Lokomotiv team and Canadian head coach Brad McCrimmon — died in the crash. Only mechanic Alexander Sizov survived.

Investigators say it is not uncommon for Yak-40 pilots to confuse the pedals on the newer Yak-42s, but in most cases, the errors are quickly recognized and corrected. The Interstate Aviation Committee, which is running the investigation, has ordered airlines to conduct additional pilot training.

Solomentsev's decision not to abort the flight after the Yak-42 failed to take off has been more difficult to explain. Investigators believe he was afraid that he and his company, Yak-Service, would be punished if Lokomotiv was late for its season-opener in Minsk. He also might have worried that braking at 185 kilometers per hour — the plane had already rolled off the runway — was dangerous.

The results of the investigation into the crash would be made public on Wednesday, the committee said.

PHOTOS: In the event of a water landing… flooded airport pictures show extent of Thai crisis which is worst in over half a century.

As emergency services in Thailand battle against the country's worst flooding in half a century, parts of the nation's infrastructure remained literally at a standstill.

Advancing floodwater in Bangkok saw commercial flights at Don Mueang Airport shut down, as the wheels of decommissioned jetliners on the flood-hit runways were left completely submerged.

The floods in Thailand have so far claimed 381 lives, while the country's government is considering a recovery plan which could cost $30billion.

A further 2.5million people are thought to have been affected by the flooding.

At Don Mueang Airport, high floodwaters have swamped internal roads and poured onto the runways themselves, grounding commercial flights.

The flooding at Don Muang Airport, which is mainly used for domestic flights, is one of the biggest blows yet to government efforts to prevent Bangkok from becoming submerged.

The airport also houses the government's emergency Flood Relief Operations Centre, and one of its terminals has been converted into an overcrowded shelter filled with tents for 4,000 people forced to leave their homes.

Thai Orient Airlines and Nok Air, the two main carriers at Don Mueand Airport, suspended operations and diverted flights to Suvarnabhumi Airport because of the flood threat.

The airport's director, Mr Kantpat Mangalasiri, said its commercial runways would be closed until Tuesday to ensure safe aircraft operations.

Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra told residents of Bangkok to be 'confident' as she headed into a government crisis meeting, saying there may be overflow into some areas but that it would not cause any great damage.

'We will recover soon,' she said.

Floodwaters have submerged entire towns across the country's heartland and shuttered hundreds of factories over the last two months.

In the past week, the waters have reached into outer neighborhoods of the capital, while its central districts of skyscrapers, apartment towers and glitzy malls have remained dry.

This weekend's high tides were described as the greatest test of the capital's flood defenses, and many wary business owners hastily built temporary cement-and-brick walls around their entrances.

While downtown Bangkok was bone-dry, areas along the city's outskirts saw flooding spread.

Seven of Bangkok's 50 districts - all in the northern and western outskirts - are heavily inundated.

Eight other districts have seen less serious flooding.

Thousands of Bangkok residents used a special five-day holiday to leave town, with some wary of confusing warnings regarding the flood threat and others concerned about sparse supplies in stores due to weeks of panic buying and flood-related distribution problems.

In the past few days the situation at Don Mueang Airport is said to have become chaotic.

Aswell as housing stranded passengers, more travellers have turned up without knowing their flights were cancelled.

Last week, the government declared public holidays from last Thursday until today in affected areas of Thailand.

The Education Ministry also ordered schools in 12 affected provinces and the capital to close until Nov 7.

Panel fires airport CEO Turkia Mullin; she'll 'seek legal remedy'

The Wayne County Airport Authority just released a statement about the firing of Mullin, but it doesn't say why she was fired.   Commissioners, who met in secret to discuss the action before voting 5-2 to terminate the airport CEO, said they will not discuss the reason.  "The board will not discuss any further matters about her contract -- which our Legal Counsel will address with her privately," the statement says.

Mullin, who sat at the board table long after the other board members left, said the firing was disappointing, but she expected it. She even produced written remarks, which she delivered in a measured voice. 

"I now find my career coming to an unexpected and disappointing and abrupt halt," Mullin said, reading the statement. "I am proud of the leadership and vision I brought to the airport." 

Mullin said she expects to take legal action against the county.
Read more:

Texas: Garland Man Indicted for Allegedly Pointing Laser at Plane

GARLAND, Texas - A 45-year-old Garland man is the first person in North Texas to face a federal indictment for endangering an aircraft because he allegedly shined a laser pointer at it.

Sammy Don Ladymon is facing one count of interference with an aircraft, according to U.S. Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.

Ladymon was arrested on Friday, Oct. 21 and later released on bond, but allegedly committed the crime at his home back in June.

The FBI and Garland police believe he pointed a green laser beam at a Southwest Airlines jet as it made its approach to Love Field.

Ladymon admitted during a jailhouse interview with NBC5 that he purchased a laser and had pointed it at other aircraft because he was tired of helicopters circling above his home.

If he's found guilty, Ladymon could face a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for interfering with an aircraft.

His federal trial is December 19.


Ted Smith Aerostar 601P, N76VK: Tijuana, BC - Mexico

Firefighters work on the wreckage of a light aircraft, after it crashed in a neighborhood in Tijuana October 31, 2011. The aircraft was carrying a pilot and his daughter who died instantly, along with a resident who was passing by a vehicle repair shop when it crashed, reported local media. 

Mexican soldiers guard the site of an accident that claimed three lives when a twin-engine airplane crashed shortly after takeoff from Tijuana's A.L. Rodriguez International Airport near the U.S. border. A pilot, a passenger and a victim on the ground in Colonia Libertad died. 

TIJUANA — Three people were killed Monday when a twin-engine aircraft crashed near the border in Tijuana’s Colonia Libertad shortly after takeoff at 11:10 a.m. from A.L. Rodriguez International Airport

A spokesman for Tijuana’s Fire Department identified the victims as Francisco Zermeño, the pilot, and his daughter Olivia, 17, who was the lone passenger; the third victim, killed at the auto shop, was identified as Alberto González Ochoa.

Fire officials said the crash caused the mechanic's shop and seven vehicles to catch fire. Mayor Carlos Bustamante, interviewed by reporters at the scene, said that the plane was heading for Loreto in Baja California Sur. Inititial indications showed that the plane lost power shortly after takeoff, the mayor said.

The airplane was a Piper Aerostar with a U.S. registry, said Antonio Rosquillas, Tijuana's Civil Protecion Chief. Investigators with Mexico's federal Communications and Transportation Secretariat are looking into the incident.

Update:  Both people aboard the plane, pilot Francisco Zermeño and his 17 year old daughter, died on impact.  The third fatality was a man on the ground who has yet to be identified. 

TIJUANA — Three people were killed today when a twin-engine aircraft crashed near the border in Tijuana’s Colonia Libertad shortly after takeoff at 11:10 a.m. near the U.S. border from A.L. Rodriguez International Airport

The dead were not immediately identified, but included the male pilot, a female passenger, and a male victim killed when the plane crashed into a mechanic’s shop, said Antonio Rosquillas, Tijuana’s civil protection chief.

The mechanic’s shop and four vehicles in the street caught fire in the incident.

The airplane, a Piper Aerostar with U.S. registration, was going to fly over the city, Rosquillas said.

TIJUANA BC 11:20 .- OCTOBER 31, 2011 (AFN) .- Around 11:10 hours on Monday, there was a plane crash that killed three people.

They reported that a plane that was bound to the city of Loreto in Baja California Sur, collapsed moments after taking off from this border town on Pine Street, between Poplar Street and Boulevard in Colonia Cuauhtemoc Freedom top.

The plane crashed in a body shop, where a person died, as well as the male pilot of the plane and a female passenger.

The Mayor of the city, Carlos Bustamante arrived a few minutes to where the incident record

The lane crashed near the  International Airport Abelardo L. Rodriguez in the city of Tijuana.

In place are working to rescue elements of the body and the Red Cross to control the fire. Elements of the Municipal Police guard the area surrounding the incident closed blocks to protect the safety of citizens and allow the work of firefighters and paramedics.