Monday, July 25, 2011

Piper J3L-65 Cub, N81BF: Two dead after plane crashes in Lake Winnebago about 10 miles north of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Boaters unable to help victims after plane plunges into lake.

A man and woman are dead after their small plane crashed in Lake Winnebago about 10 miles north of Fond du Lac.

Dive team members pulled two people from the yellow plane within about 45 minutes after the crash, but both were pronounced dead at the scene, said Fond du Lac County Sheriff Mick Fink.

The 1940 Piper Cub is registered to an Illinois owner.

The plane crashed about noon today about a quarter mile off the west shore near Wendt’s On the Lake, N9699 Lakeshore Drive.

According to reports on the police scanner, there were two people in the plane. Early on, a woman passenger who was unresponsive was being held above water near the plane.

At 12:38 p.m. a woman was pulled from the water by the dive team, according to scanner reports. A second person was pulled from the water about 12:47 p.m.

Robert Abraham, 90, of town of Friendship, saw the plane crash into the lake.

He said the plane was headed south when it hit the water and spun 180 degrees and ended up facing north.

The plane, Abraham said, started to sink right away. About five minutes later a fishing boat was able to make its way to the plane.

Abraham said he watched the plane through a scope, but could not see any movement after the crash.

Dive team members from the Fond du Lac and Winnebago county sheriff’s departments were called to the crash.

A decontamination area was set up about 1 p.m. for Winnebago County dive team members who encountered fuel during the rescue attempt.

A Navy helicopter was called off about 1 p.m.

First responders from Van Dyne and North Fond du Lac also are at the scene.

Upcoming Aero City project makes IGI airport vulnerable

Boasting of high-tech security gadgets, scanners, huge presence of security personnel and strict frisking at all check-in points, the country's one of the most modern airports -- Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport -- might give a sense of safety to the passengers, but the reality seemed different after a reality check.

A Headlines Today special investigation team circumvented all those layers of security and simply walked in with a camera to the point from where aircraft taking off and landing could be easily filmed.

After the completion of the Terminal 3 (T3), there has been another big project - Aero City, a mega hospitality centre - underway at the airport. The Aero City is being built adjacent to the airport terminals and well within the crucial airport security perimeter, adjoining the Delhi-Gurgaon highway.

There has been a major gap in the perimeter wall to facilitate transportation of construction material at the construction site. The gap could lead one to some highly sensitive areas within the airport premises. Moreover, no security personnel were found anywhere to secure the entry as the Headlines Today team entered the compound.

The TV crew walked into the airport premises without being checked by any security personnel. The team reached a temple and took a slip path leading to the construction site where large-scale construction was on in full swing for the upcoming 45 acre hospitality hub where more than 10 five-star hotels and malls are being constructed.

Thousands of labourers have been working day and night at these sites, dangerously close to some highly sensitive areas of the airport. The investigation discovered a route that took the Headlines Today team past the building sites, closer to some sensitive zones. The team walked towards the runway fearing a shout any moment that would put a stop to the investigation. But that did not happen.

The investigation team even managed to reach right next to the localiser wall and nobody could check it. The Headlines Today team spent about half-an-hour at the spot and no one noticed its presence right next to the runway. A terrorist in this place could have had a clear shot at a landing aircraft.

While going back towards the Aero City site, the Headlines Today team reached a spot just a few metres from the Aviation Research Centre hangar, which is used to park Research & Analysis Wing (R&AW) aircraft. Here also, the team waited for around 30 minutes for somebody to notice the security breach. However, like everywhere else, there were no checks.

Plane in Ohio County, Kentucky makes emergency landing

OHIO CO, KY (WFIE) -  A man and his grandson were not hurt when their plane crashed on Sunday afternoon in Ohio County.

The sheriff's office says Joseph Floyd and his six-year-old grandson were flying from Bowling Green, Kentucky to Wisconsin when their small plane had engine trouble.

The pilot tried to make an emergency landing on the Natcher Parkway, but there was too much traffic. Deputies say instead, the plane hit the guardrail.

Both Floyd and his grandson were able to walk away with no injuries.

Van's Aircraft RV-6: Emergency runway: Bowling Green pilot lands experimental plane on Natcher Parkway.

Joe Imel/Daily News
A plane belonging to Joseph B. Floyd of Bowling Green is transported Sunday down the William H. Natcher Parkway to the Morgantown Road exit. It made an emergency landing Sunday on the Natcher Parkway in Ohio County. Floyd built the two-seat, RV-6 plane in his garage.

Joe Imel/Daily News 
A Bowling Green pilot, Joseph B. Floyd, of 670 Covington Ave., made an emergency landing Sunday afternoon on the William H. Natcher Parkway in Ohio County. Floyd, built the two-seat, RV-6 plane in his garage. The plane was pulled onto a flatbed truck and transported to Bowling Green. According to Wikipedia, the RV-6 is a two-seat, single-engine, low-wing homebuilt airplanes sold in kit form by Van's Aircraft. It was first flown in 1985. Over 2400 kits have been completed and flown.

Joe Imel/Daily News
A Bowling Green pilot, Joseph B. Floyd, of 670 Covington Ave., made an emergency landing Sunday afternoon on the William H. Natcher Parkway in Ohio County. Floyd, built the two-seat, RV-6 plane in his garage. The plane was pulled onto a flatbed truck and transported to Bowling Green. According to Wikipedia, the RV-6 is a two-seat, single-engine, low-wing homebuilt airplanes sold in kit form by Van's Aircraft. It was first flown in 1985. Over 2400 kits have been completed and flown.

A plane belonging to a Bowling Green man landed on the southbound lanes of the William H. Natcher Parkway on Sunday morning after losing power at 7,000 feet.

The plane, registered to Joseph B. Floyd of Bowling Green, landed about a mile south of the interchange with the Western Kentucky Parkway, according to Ohio County Sheriff David Thompson.

Floyd’s RV-6 kit aircraft is categorized as an amateur-built experimental plane.

Thompson said Floyd and his 6-year-old grandson were headed to Wisconsin when the engine stalled.

Thompson said Floyd tried to get the plane to the airport in Hartford, but when he realized he couldn’t make it, he decided the next best option was to try to land on the Natcher Parkway.

According to Thompson, Floyd was afraid he was going to hit a car in the northbound lane, but was able to avoid it before eventually crossing through the median and coming to a stop in the southbound lane. The highway was closed for about two hours.

There were no injuries.

“He did a great job in keeping him and his passenger very safe on the road,” Thompson said.

Thompson added that both Floyd and his grandson were both “very calm” following the landing.

“They’re very fortunate and very lucky that no one was injured.”

According to previous reports by the Daily News, Floyd finished building the plane in 2005. He built the plane in the one-car garage of his Covington Street home.

Floyd said at the time the plane cost him $48,000 to build and would fly at 175 mph.

Floyd could not be reached this morning for comment.

Clay County man injured in ultralight plane crash

NEBO, W.Va. (AP) — A Clay County man is in the hospital after his ultralight plane hit trees as he was trying to land.

State Police Sgt. K.D. Horrocks says 53-year-old Elvis Dawson of Ivydale fell about 40 to 50 feet. Dawson was taken to a Charleston hospital with injuries that weren't life threatening.

The accident occurred Sunday night on Tanner School Hollow Road in Nebo.

Horrocks says Dawson has limited flight experience.

Cessna 182, N7304S: Missing Plane's Engine, Propeller Found on Douglas Island, Alaska

JUNEAU, Alaska— Rescue crews are searching for the pilot of a small plane that crashed on Douglas Island just west of Juneau.

Parts of the wreckage, including the engine and a propeller, were discovered at the base of a 50-foot cliff near the island's Eagle Crest Peak late Sunday afternoon. Search teams had to turn back due to bad weather and rough terrain, but they expected to resume looking Monday with proper equipment to climb the cliff.

The Coast Guard plans to provide a Jayhawk helicopter to help Alaska State Troopers with the search.

The Cessna 182 was en route from Hoonah to Juneau with only the pilot on board when it disappeared Sunday morning.

Aviation Expert Ron Wilson Dies: Ron Wilson, who spent more than four decades as the spokesperson of SFO, passed away over the weekend.

Ron Wilson 

Longtime Belmont resident Ron Wilson, the spokesperson of San Francisco International Airport for 43 years and most recently an aviation consultant at ABC7, died over the weekend.

Wilson worked at SFO as the director of public affairs from June 1959 to December 2002, according to Wilson's Facebook page.

During those four decades, if you saw a news article or segment about SFO, Wilson was more than likely at the center of the story.

After he retired in 2002, Wilson worked as an aviation consultant for ABC7, where KGO News Director Kevin Keeshan said Wilson was known as "a gem of a guy who was always gracious and accommodating."

"He brought understanding to sometimes complex aviation issues and made all of us smarter with his explanation," Keeshan said in an e-mail to Belmont Patch. "He will be missed for his expertise, but even more so for his kind hearted disposition and enthusiastic love of aviation."

In an article on ABC7's website, the news agency calls Wilson "a walking encyclopedia of institutional history" and says he not only was an aviation icon but a trusted and reliable spokesperson.

The article states Wilson was almost always available to the media, even on Christmas Eve.

Wilson reportedly passed away of cancer.

French investigators to release crash report

PARIS -- French investigators will release new findings from the flight recorders of an Air France jet that crashed in the Atlantic in 2009 and was recovered after nearly two years of search efforts.

The French air accident investigation agency, the BEA, said it will release Friday a report on the crash.

It says in a statement Monday that "this report will present the exact circumstances of the accident with an initial analysis and some new findings based on the data recovered from the flight recorders."

All 228 people aboard Air France Flight 447 from Rio de Janeiro to Paris died when it crashed. Investigators are still trying to determine the cause. The black box flight recorders were retrieved from the ocean floor in May.


VIDEO: Graduate flies high

Graduate Charlotte Voce has a high-flying career ahead of her - as a wingwalker with an aerobatics team performing handstands strapped to a biplane.
Watch Video:

TSA stands for 'Thieves Steal at Airports'

They were allegedly thick as thieves.

A TSA screener is suspected of teaming up with a baggage handler at Kennedy Airport to loot the luggage of at least one flier in the latest in a rash of theft allegations against metropolitan-area airport workers, The Post has learned.

JFK screener Jamel Martin, 30, was fired after allegedly filching an expensive camera from an East Hampton photographer's bag in late June.

Surveillance video and cellphone records caught him searching the bag of a 49-year-old photographer and then making a cellphone call to a baggage-handler cohort at JetBlue, sources said.

After canceling annual air show in 2010, Wyoming Air Guard resumes show this year

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — The Wyoming Air National Guard will resume its air show during Cheyenne Frontier Days this year.

The show will take place next Wednesday at the guard base next to the Cheyenne airport.

The guard didn't hold the show last year because of deployments, lack of money and other issues.

This year's show will include displays of military aircraft, a parachute demonstrations and flyovers. There will be other displays and activities specifically geared toward children and families.

It is free to the public.

The annual air show by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will also be held that day.

Positive Impact: Pilot offers free flights to promote aviation to youths

For 19 years, Fred Wright has been giving airplane rides to area youths as part of the Experimental Aircraft Association's Young Eagles Program. 
/ Chris Crook/Times Recorder

For more information about the EAA and Young Eagles programs, go to or

ZANESVILLE -- Lifting off the ground, Fred Wright wonders what goes through youngsters' minds as they enter the atmosphere.

"It's a joy to take the kids up in an airplane and see their expressions and maybe what they're thinking," Wright said.

For the past 19 years, the Zanesville pilot has been actively promoting aviation to the youth population with his involvement in the Experimental Aircraft Association's Young Eagles Program.

Every summer, the local EAA Chapter 425 offers pancake breakfasts and airplane rides to children to get them involved with Young Eagles. When the weather cooperates, turnout generally consists of about three dozen eager children. Since 1992, Wright has given more than 200 young people free plane rides.

"I think it's a wonderful program," Wright said. "They go all out; it's a big program in more than 90 countries."

Young Eagles is geared toward children ages 8 to 17. Volunteer EAA pilots such as Wright donate their time to flying and describing the safe operation of airplanes and principles of flight.

"I go through and explain what makes a plane fly, what makes it turn and where the lift comes from," Wright said. "I also let them fly a little bit while I'm up with them.

"I always wonder how much kids are really interested in it," he continued. "Some just want to look out and take pictures, and others are thrilled and you can't do enough for them. The flights usually last about 15 minutes. We usually go over the Y Bridge, out to West Muskingum and Dillon (State Park), then back (to Riverside or Parr Airport). I also try to pick out something they know like where they live, and that winds them up."

Each participating child receives a signed log book from their pilot, and their name is added to the World's Largest Logbook on permanent display in the EAA AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh, Wis., and on the Young Eagles website.

A humble Wright credits local program success to his fellow pilots who also have tirelessly worked to reach out to children.

"Once it was introduced into the schools, that sparked the interest quite a bit," he said. "A lot of kids didn't and still don't realize this is going on."

Oddly enough, considering his last name, flight has been in Wright's blood for quite some time. He has been flying for more than 30 years, and owns a Piper Tri-Pacer, a small, three-passenger plane. His son, Doug Wright, also is a pilot. While Doug flies with ABX Air, he also lends his time to the Young Eagles.

"It's fun to see the big smiles on kids' faces," Doug said. "It's rewarding, and I know Dad thinks so, too."

"Over the years, I've met a lot of nice kids, and I really enjoy it," Fred added. "It's about promoting aviation."

For more information about the EAA and Young Eagles programs, go to or


India flies second light combat helicopter prototype

India has successfully test-flown the second prototype of its indigenous high altitude Light Combat Helicopter (LCH).

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Chairman and Managing Director Ashok Nayak told India Strategic defence magazine ( in interviews at the Paris Air Show and in New Delhi that the second aircraft was a “considerable improvement” over the first prototype as HAL and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) scientists had been able to achieve substantial weight reduction.

“Not only that, the human and weapons payload capacity of the rotorcraft had already been exceeded than the parameters mandated by the Indian Air Force (IAF).”

Although a derivative of the advanced light helicopter (ALH) Dhruv, the LCH has been re-designed and reconfigured from the beginning to operate at the Himalayan heights of 20,000 feet. It carries two pilots, one as a weapons operator, in tandem seating. The helicopter is powered by the same Shakti engine that is used by the ALH.

The first helicopter was flown last year, for 20 minutes in the first flight, and the second June 2011-end. The combined hours that the two helicopters, prototype-1 and prototype-2, have done by now are 76.

Nayak said the second prototype was flown to a height of 10,000 feet with an all-up weight (AUW) of 4,900 kgs. The parametres successfully tested by HAL test pilots included general handling, slow speed handling, basic automatic flight control system (AFCS) checks and 60 degree bank turns.

Images of the helicopter in flight, with digitally designed camouflage paint, have been made available to India Strategic. Later, radar absorbent coating to increase its stealth features would also be added.

After the basic tests are conducted and all parameters established, the helicopter would progressively be taken to higher altitudes like Leh, Kargil and Siachin as also in the deserts of Rajasthan.

A few more prototypes and several more tests are scheduled before the LCH gets into the production line and becomes operational in about five years. The initial operational clearance (IOC) is however targeted to be achieved in 2013, Nayak said, adding that the IAF is actively involved in all stages of the aircraft testing and system approvals.

The IAF has a highly reputed Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE) in Bangalore which checks and approves all kinds of aircraft. Test pilots constitute the crème-de-la-crème of any air force, and these daredevils take even the new machines to their extremes before they are put into routine flying operations.

Nayak said that the desired weight of the LCH is 5.5 tonnes. Besides the two pilots, it will have a glass cockpit, gun and rocket pods, air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles to attack and destroy hostile positions high in the mountains like the ones set up intruding Pakistani troops during the 1999 Kargil War.

Suitable applications as are found possible during the testing would be carried out to boost the lethality and survivability of the aircraft.

At present, the IAF deploys the Soviet vintage Mi-35 combat helicopters. These are being replaced with 22 newer combat helicopters, and the IAF is just about to announce its choice from two contestants, an up-rated Russian Mi-35 and the US Boeing Apache AH 64D with a new generation combat radar.

The winner is likely to be the one which, first, qualifies in the Air Staff Qualitative Requirements (ASQR) tests, and second, if both go through that, then the lower bidder in terms of initial price, operating costs and life cycle costs over 40 years.

As for operations in 20,000 feet terrain, although some helicopters built by leading foreign companies reach those heights, they are not designed to operate from there as nowhere in the world are there high altitude battlegrounds like Siachin, where helicopters are the lifeline to support the troops against foreign intrusions and attacks.

The LCH requirement is unique for India, and the IAF accordingly had projected a need for several combat helicopter squadrons to operate from the Himalayan bases. The initial requirement was given as 66 in 2006 but the numbers could well touch 100 once the production line is going in about five years.

Notably, for high altitude operations, a substantial chunk of any aircraft or helicopter has to be made of composite materials and metals like titanium to withstand exposure to extreme temperatures and environment. This makes the machine expensive but enables it operate, and that also with higher payloads from high altitude bases.