Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The sky's the limit: Barry Cardno doesn't let anything get in the way of flying. New Zealand.

Fiona Goodall

HIGH FLYER: Manurewa's Barry Cardno 


 
Flying sets Barry Cardno free. He might have been confined to a wheelchair since a crash in a top-dressing plane 16 years ago but he hasn't let anything ground him.

"It seemed like my life had been shattered the moment the plane hit the ground," he says of the crash.

But he's not one to dwell on things for too long and is of the mind that "you have two choices: you either do or you don't".

"If you choose the second you're at home by yourself – I tried that – or you're outside doing stuff."

So he set about doing. In the time since his accident he's written a book, regained his pilot's licence and is now studying at Manukau Institute of Technology.

Originally from Dunedin Mr Cardno has relocated to Manurewa so he can study for a diploma in shipping and freight and build a new career for himself.

And to get his flying fix he joined the Airline Flying Club at Ardmore airfield where he is "chuffed" to have been appointed club captain.

As captain he rallies other club members as he leads them into flying competitions, showing a distinct appreciation for "the upside down business".

But it hasn't been an easy path for Mr Cardno who lost his licence after his crash.

The Civil Aviation Authority told him that because he had suffered a head injury in the crash he was at a higher risk of post-traumatic epilepsy.

It told him his case might be reviewed 10 years down the track.

So 10 years came and went and he thought "bugger applying again" and took to flying in microlights like many other recreational pilots.

He clocked up the required hours in the little aircraft and is now back behind the controls of a Cessna.

Through all of it he's had immense support from his family and the friends he has met along the way.

The hand controls he uses to work his Cessna's rudder and brakes – usually operated by pedals – belonged to his mentor Professor Alan Clarke.

The professor had been head of the spinal unit Mr Cardno was in after his accident and was also confined to a wheelchair.

At Mr Cardno's first assessment "Prof Clarke" took him flying to show him what was possible. After the professor's death three years ago Mr Cardno was gifted the hand controls he now uses.

Now he's hoping to be able to share the "joy and freedom of flying" with others and has plans to set up a charity to take disabled kids up in the air.

Life has thrown a lot at Mr Cardno but nothing so far has been able to keep him from success.

"I've been in a wheelchair for 16 years and I consider the wheelchair part of who I am – at worst it's a minor inconvenience."

Cessna Grand Caravan: Air Force plane crash in Brazil kills 8

Brazil's Air Force says one of its planes crashed in the country's southeast, killing all eight people aboard.

An Air Force statement says the single-engine Cessna Grand Caravan C-98A crashed Tuesday afternoon near the city of Bom Jardim da Serra in the state of Santa Catarina.

The statement says the Air Force is investigating the cause of the crash.

Lt. Col. Altair Rodrigues, a spokesman for the Santa Catarina fire department, says the plane burst into flames after crashing in a deserted rural area.

1 Dead In Lincoln County Ultralight Aircraft Crash. Near Fayetteville Municipal Airport (KFYM), Fayetteville, Tennessee


FAYETTEVILLE, Tenn. – A pilot has been killed after an ultralight plane crash in Lincoln County. The pilot was identified as Larry Sheaks of Fayetteville.

The crash happened around noon Tuesday south of Fayetteville near Old Lincoln Road and Cut Off Lane, not far from the Fayetteville Municipal Airport.

Officials said the ultralight aircraft was found upside down.

Lincoln Medical Center spokeswoman Mary Beth Seals said the ultralight crashed near the pilot's family property.

At least one ambulance and several sheriff's deputies were on scene. NewsChannel 5 sister station WHNT reported Lincoln County Sheriff Murray Blackwelder was also at the crash site.

Information about what led to the crash was not available.

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board were advised.

Flying in packages as you sleep

Ready to deliver: Captains Roger Williams, left, and Tim Sullivan in the Fokker F-27, which moves the region's courier packages overnight.

We may hear them coming, but their wives can smell them.

The 3am pilots at times carry a memorable load out of Blenheim, says Captain Tim Sullivan.

"We carry a lot of the locally produced garlic and when we get home our wives think we have been eating it. One and a half tonnes is a lot of garlic.

"You know when you're carrying fish as well."

Tim flies the trusty Fokker F-27 freight plane – colloquially known by residents as the mail plane – along with fellow captains Roger Williams, Jerry Chisum and First Officer Mike Hyson. They work for Express Couriers Ltd and deliver courier packages for the top of the South Island five nights a week.

The pilots work in pairs, flying three to four nights a week. They leave Blenheim about 9pm, dropping packages in Wellington, Auckland and Palmerston North, and land back in Blenheim with a fresh load at about 3am.

The plane carries 6 1/2 tonnes of cargo and businesses can charter any spare space leading to some interesting loads. Roger, an ex- air force pilot, fell in love with Marlborough while working at Woodbourne Air Force Base in 2001 and moved back to Renwick in 2008.

He was flying passenger planes, but moved to freight flying this year to have more time for his young family.

"I came here so I can be home after school," he said.

Tim has been flying planes since 1978 and moved to Marlborough nine years ago from the United States. He enjoys the area so much he is hoping to come back for weekends when his job moves to Auckland to fly a 737-300F in September.

Night flying required a lot of hard work, but from fellow pilots down to the crew refuelling the night flying community, all help each other along. Having no uniform was a big bonus, but they couldn't get too relaxed, Tim said.

"We did have a pilot that turned up once in jandals and I had to send him home."

Getting used to the night shifts was hard initially, but it was a lifestyle choice being free during daylight hours, he said.

"We may work nights, but we have seven days off every week and get paid for that."

They do their utmost to keep the packages on time and were only late a handful of times a year, said Roger.

"If your package is late, blame Auckland," Tim joked. In reality, the planes only stopped when it was unsafe and only three things ever made them late, he said.

"Weather, weather and weather".

Although the sound of their engines wakes some Blenheim residents at 3am, Roger said they cut their noise levels as much as possible, by flying at minimum power.

"Unfortunately that's the only time of the day we can fly if everyone wants their courier package today."

Although their plane, a 1985 model, was getting old, Tim said its age meant it could also be treat for residents who wake to it.

"The noise of that Rolls Royce Dart engine is a noise that won't be around much longer and it's a beautiful noise, a beautiful noise. When the wind is right you can hear us, but it's 90 seconds that you know you've got your package."

Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport: Worker Trapped Under Machinery.

Crews work to rescue a man who became trapped under a piece of machinery at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on Tuesday, August 2, 2011
(Photo credit: Wesley Allbritton).

COLLEGE PARK, Ga. - Emergency crews at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport were working to try and free a worker who became trapped under a piece of machinery on Tuesday afternoon.

It happened in the cargo area on the north side of the airport, which is a good distance away from the terminal and passenger gates.

Somehow, authorities say the person became trapped under a hydraulic lift.

A medical helicopter was standing by at the scene as Atlanta police and fire rescue crews worked to free the man.

An airport spokesperson said the accident happened around 4 p.m., and that the victim would be airlifted to the hospital soon. No other details were given immediately.

Stay with FOX 5 and myfoxatlanta.com for updates on this developing story.

Piper PA28-140, N4533R: Search Continues for Plane Stolen in Gulf Shores and Believed to have Crashed into Gulf



GULF SHORES, AL: August 2 – The Federal Aviation Administration reports that a Piper PA-28 Cherokee took off from Gulf Shores’ Jack Edwards Airport at 7:05 a.m. Monday piloted by a man who was not authorized to fly the plane and – it is believed – the plane later crashed into the Gulf of Mexico.

Jack Edwards Airport Manager Russ Kilgore reports that the man who piloted the plane is a licensed pilot who was scheduled for a flight lesson but left without his instructor.

The U.S. Coast Guard reports that after about 4 hours in the air the stolen plane suddenly fell 600 feet in 3 minutes falling off radar screens about 40 miles southeast of Venice, Louisiana.

In a press release the U.S. Coast Guard reports that after hours of searching a 2,500 square mile area -- using a Coast Guard cutter and a helicopter -- within proximity of where contact with the plane was lost they have found no evidence of a downed plane or a debris field indicating a crashed airplane.

Authorities say the pilot, who is believed to be the only person aboard the aircraft, never communicated with them or anyone from the plane since he took off.

The plane is registered to Jack Edwards Airport based Gulf Air Charter, Inc.

CONGRATULATIONS going out to Jaime Giandomenico, Manager of Bay Bridge Airport (W29), Stevensville, Maryland. OCEAN CITY: Resort names new airport manager

 OCEAN CITY — Jaime Giandomenico will take over as Ocean City’s new municipal airport manager on Aug. 29.

The Annapolis resident has been serving as Manager of the Queen Anne’s County Bay Bridge Airport in Stevensville since 2007. Prior to that, Giandomenico was an Aviation Systems Planning Officer at the Maryland Aviation Administration for seven years. He has also served as a three-term President of the Maryland Airport Manager’s Association. Giandomenico holds an FAA Airman Certificate with Private Pilot, Airframe and Power Plant, and Inspection Authorization Privileges.

“I have enjoyed visiting the Town of Ocean City with my family for many years and I am looking forward to becoming a permanent resident and member of the community," Giandomenico said.

“Mr. Giandomenico’s historical background of employment with the Maryland Aviation Administration, coupled with his recent employment as the Airport Manager at the Bay Bridge Airport, provides an excellent foundation of hands-on experience that the Ocean City Municipal Airport was searching for,” said resort Public Works Director Hal Adkins.

Source:  http://www.delmarvanow.com

Palm Springs airport's new control tower drywall ruined by rain

Construction halted so abruptly on the new air traffic control tower at Palm Springs International Airport that the workers didn't have time to protect the drywall from the elements.
/ Courtesy of Swinerton Builders

Last week, the warning was out there: Palm Springs' unfinished air traffic control tower could be damaged if it rained before construction resumed.

Rain is a rarity in the desert. But almost on cue, the Palm Springs airport saw 0.34 inches of rainfall Sunday, quenching the dry desert floor and damaging exposed drywall in the unfinished tower.

Spoiled drywall is the local impact of Congress' standoff over Federal Aviation Administration funding, which brought work on the $24.5 million tower to a surprise halt last week.

“We did have some water damage. It looks like it must have rained pretty good,” Bob Graf, the Swinerton Builders superintendent who is overseeing the project, said Monday.

The impasse in Washington halted construction so abruptly that workers in Palm Springs didn't have a chance to cover the exposed sections, Graf added.

He did not have a dollar estimate on the damage but did not consider replacing the drywall to be a major setback. About $2,000 in rental fees for equipment, trailers and fencing is wasted each day the site sits idle.

The FAA is losing an estimated $30 million each day in airline taxes that aren't being collected because the legislation is stuck.

The work stoppage also affects about 60 builders at the Palm Springs tower, including at least four iron workers who won't be returning to the job, Graf said Monday.

The iron workers have union agreements that return them to a work pool for new jobs if they're laid off more than a few days, Graf said.

Other trades have similar provisions that will kick in if the impasse continues, Graf added. He said he won't know how many workers were lost to other jobs until the standoff ends.

“The longer it goes, the more likelihood they will have find other jobs,” Graf said.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., chairman of the committee that oversees the FAA, hoped to bring a bill to end the shutdown to the Senate floor as early as Monday night

Meanwhile, in his second phone conference with reporters on the FAA standoff in a week, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on Monday urged Congress to end the impasse before taking its summer break from Aug. 8 to Sept. 5.

Unregistered experimental Rans S18: Accident occurred August 02, 2011 in Fayetteville, Tennessee.

NTSB Identification: ERA11FA435 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, August 02, 2011 in Fayetteville, TN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/17/2013
Aircraft: RANS S18, registration: NONE
Injuries: 1 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.

The pilot was making his inaugural flight in the recently purchased, recently reassembled unregistered experimental airplane. After the pilot's initial takeoff from his home airstrip, witnesses saw the airplane turn back toward the runway then lost sight of it behind a tree line. They continued to hear the airplane's engine operate until hearing the airplane impact the ground. Postaccident examination of the airplane revealed no preexisting mechanical anomalies, and structural damage indicated that it had impacted the ground in a stall/spin to the right. The pilot had not flown in about 6 years, and when a family member suggested that he get some refresher flight training before his first flight in the airplane, the pilot declined to do so.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed, which resulted in an inadvertent stall/spin. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's lack of recent flight experience.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On August 2, 2011, about 1110 central daylight time, an unregistered experimental Rans S18 light sport airplane was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain near a private turf airstrip in Fayetteville, Tennessee. The certificated private pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight, which was operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

Family members stated that the accident flight was the pilot's first flight in the airplane, but that he had taxied it on the grass airstrip several times in order to familiarize himself with the flight controls.

Two witnesses, located approximately 1/4 mile north of the north-south airstrip, stated that they heard an airplane that "sounded like a crop duster." They then observed the airplane airborne behind trees at the departure [northern] end of the runway, and stated that it appeared to bank sharply to the left, back towards the runway. They lost sight of the airplane, and afterwords, heard the sound of an impact. They also stated that the airplane's engine was running "loudly" until the sound of impact.

PILOT INFORMATION

The pilot, age 70, held a private pilot certificate. According to the pilot's logbook, his last recorded flight was on August 14, 2005. A family member stated that the pilot's wife had urged him to get some flight instruction prior to flying the airplane by himself, since it had been some time since he had flown; however, the pilot declined to do so. The pilot's latest medical certificate was issued on June 6, 2005, and at the time, he indicated 640 hours of flight time.

AIRPLANE INFORMATION

The two-seat airplane was powered by a Rotax 503 engine. According supporting documentation, the airplane was purchased during an on-line auction on July 12, 2011, and a bill of sale was signed for it on July 14, 2011. After transport, the airplane was reassembled on the pilot's property. No maintenance logbooks were located; however, the advertisement for sale stated that it had approximately 200 hours of total airframe and engine time, that it had always been hangared, and that it had previously flown under an "ultralight instructor exemption."

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The nearest recorded weather was at an airport about 12 nautical miles south of the accident site, about 5 minutes after the accident, and included clear skies and calm wind.

AIRSTRIP INFORMATION

The turf airstrip was mowed into a larger field, and partly indiscernible from its surroundings, oriented about 010/190 degrees magnetic, approximately 1,400 feet long and 50 feet wide.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane came to rest inverted approximately 300 feet east of the airstrip near its southern end, in the vicinity of 35 degrees, 6.29 minutes north latitude, 086 degrees, 32.58 minutes west longitude. Two ground scars were located underneath the wreckage, each measuring about 1 foot in length, and oriented toward 080 degrees magnetic.

The nose and cockpit area exhibited significant fore-to-aft crush damage, and when the airplane was righted, the nose was observed bent upwards about 80 degrees.

The left and right wings, vertical stabilizer, horizontal stabilizer, flaps, ailerons, and elevators remained attached to the airframe. Continuity was confirmed from all flight control surfaces to the cockpit area.

The wooden propeller remained attached to the engine, although one blade was fracture-separated opposite the direction of rotation about one-quarter of its length from the hub. The leading edge of the separated portion of the blade exhibited gouging and chordwise scratching. The propeller rotated freely by hand, and crankshaft continuity as well as thumb compression on both cylinders were confirmed.

MEDICAL AND TOXICOLOGIOCAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was conducted on the pilot at the Tennessee Office of the Medical Examiner, Nashville, Tennessee, where the cause of death was determined to be "multiple blunt force injuries."

Subsequent toxicological testing was performed by the FAA Forensic Toxicology Research Team, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, with the following results:

Amlodipine in blood and urine, diphenhydramine in blood and urine, and rosuvastatin in urine only.

According to the National Institute of Health online reference, amlodipine is used to treat high blood pressure and chest pain, diphenhydramine is used to relieve symptoms of common cold, hay fever or allergies, and rosuvastatin is used to reduce cholesterol and other fatty substances in the blood.







FAYETTEVILLE, Tenn. – One person has been killed after a small plane crash in Lincoln County.
The crash happened around noon Tuesday south of Fayetteville near Old Lincoln Road and Cut Off Lane, not far from the Fayetteville Municipal Airport.

Officials said the aircraft was found upside down.

The Tullahoma News has reported one fatality.

At least one ambulance and sheriff's deputies were on scene. NewsChannel 5 sister station WHNT reported Lincoln County Sheriff Murray Blackwelder was also at the crash site.

Information about what led to the crash was not available.

The identify of the pilot was not available.


FAA spokesperson Kathleen Bergen confirmed that an investigator has been sent to Lincoln County after the report of a small plane crash there.

She said that it was not known if it was a small aircraft or an ultra-light plane.

If it is an ultra-light, the FAA will not investigate.

EARLIER REPORT

The Lincoln County Sheriff's Department confirms that officials are on the scene of the crash of a small plane.

The dispatcher said more information would be forthcoming.

Lincoln County, TN - Several fire departments and the Lincoln County Sheriff's Department are on the scene of an incident off Cut Off Trail just outside Fayetteville.

Witnesses tell WAAY 31 that a small plane crashed in the area around noon.

The scene is directly northeast of the Fayetteville Municipal Airport's runway, and southeast of the city of Fayetteville.

SpiceJet plans new regional routes, but headwinds remain

SpiceJet Ltd hopes to launch fresh operations connecting towns and cities in South India this month, but the carrier is still awaiting aircraft import approvals.

India’s second largest low-fare airline, controlled by Kalanithi Maran of Sun TV Network Ltd, has secured slots at various airports to run the regional operation, due to start on 24 August.

But the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has not yet permitted the carrier to import the Bombardier Q400 aircraft it plans to deploy.

The aviation regulator will allow SpiceJet to import the planes only after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) permits the airline to finance its purchase with the help of a Canadian bank.

“The airline’s regional schedule will be cleared after this,” said a government official, asking not to be identified.

SpiceJet said the import permission is not a serious concern.

“At the moment, the thing is stuck with RBI. It is not something under our control,” chief executive officer Neil Mills said. “If I don’t have money, how can I pay for it (aircraft)?”

Mills said the 24 August launch date was tentative and will be reviewed this week.

SpiceJet plans to use Q400s with 80 seats each to connect South Indian towns and cities. The first flight of its regional operations will be to the temple town of Tirupati from the airline’s regional hub Hyderabad. Other likely routes include Hyderabad-Goa, Hyderabad-Madurai, Hyderabad-Bangalore, Bangalore-Visakhapatnam, Tirupati-Visakhapatnam, Hyderabad-Mangalore, Hyderabad-Bhopal, Indore-Bhopal, Hyderabad-Nagpur, Hyderabad-Aurangabad, Hyderabad-Cochin, Cochin-Trivandrum, Trivandrum-Chennai and Hyderabad-Pune, said an official familiar with the matter, asking not to be identified.

Just five Q400s will service all these routes to start with, the official said.

While an Airbus A320 or Boeing B737 can do six-seven flights a day, the Q400 can average eight flights over shorter distances. With 15 Q400s joining its fleet by July, the budget carrier can add 120 daily flights for short-haul operations.

SpiceJet currently has a 14% market share and flies 30 Boeing 737 aircraft, of which at least two have been grounded for maintainance in the past few days due to separate incidents.

Mills said one of these will be back in service in a few days.

He also said the airline will have two more hubs in the South and one in the West. The northern region, he added, is not a priority in the short term.

The launch of regional operations will make SpiceJet a rival of full-service carriers Kingfisher Airlines Ltd, Jet Airways (India) Ltd and Air India Ltd, which have so far controlled the profitable small-town routes with 27, 20 and 11 short-haul aircraft in their fleet, respectively.

These three airlines fly either turboprop ATRs or Bombardier CRJs on these routes. The government charges a lesser tax of 4% on fuel for aircraft with less than 80 seats, compared with up to 30% for aircraft such as the Airbus A320 and Boeing B737. It also waives landing and parking charges at airports for the smaller aircraft.

Increasing competition will lower the fares for passengers, said Keyur Joshi, chief operating officer of the travel firm MakeMyTrip India Pvt. Ltd.

“We have lopsided capacity where connectivity in smaller cities is extremely poor—Ludhiana, Surat, Ranchi, Madurai, Mysore, etc.,” he said. “We need fares from India and not necessarily point to point. With connectivity and good hub and spoke operation (and pricing) the market will grow to tier-2 and tier-3 cities significantly.”

A few years ago, Alliance Air used to operate two-three flights a week to Dehradun, Joshi added. “Kingfisher introduced a double daily and it was one of highest yielding routes for them.. Now there are many flights and all are doing well. Same with Amritsar.”

SpiceJet’s stock has fallen nearly 64% from Rs.81.90 a share in January to Rs.29.55 on Tuesday. The Bombay Stock Exchange’s benchmark index Sensex lost nearly 12% to 18,109.89 from 20561.05 points in the same period.

Mooney M20E: Plane makes emergency landing on Arizona highway.

A stuck throttle forced a single-engine plane to make an emergency landing on a highway outside of Payson, according to federal and state officials.

The Mooney M20E landed on the southbound lanes of Arizona 87 near milepost 241 about 10 a.m., according to the state Department of Public Safety and the Federal Aviation Administration.

The plane was not damaged and no injuries were reported.

Authorities said the plane was pushed out of the traffic lanes and there are no road closures.

Crash report reveals helicopter pilot's rescue skills. Cairns, Queensland, Australia.

Crash report: The damaged helicopter is brought back to Trinity Wharf after it was salvaged.

A Cairns helicopter pilot who smashed his head into a side door and struggled against rising water after the chopper plunged into the sea had to manually free each of his three passengers, a safety report has revealed.

The Heli Charters Robinson 44 chopper had been forced to ditch into the ocean after the engine failed during a routine tourist flight to Green Island on January 3.

An Australian Transport Safety Bureau crash report revealed the pilot smashed his head into a side window upon impact with the ocean, breaking the window and causing water to rush into the cabin.

The pilot was then forced to remove each of his three passengers, believed to be Chinese tourists, from their seats and inflate their life jackets because they could not understand his instructions in English.

"He noticed fuel flowing from the helicopter but was unable to convey to the passengers the urgency of the situation, so he quickly pushed them into the water," the report stated.

"He swam away from the helicopter with the passengers and, after about 10 minutes, two fishermen in a small boat arrived and pulled them from the water."

The report stated a previous pilot had advised of a "slight vertical vibration of the main rotor" while flying the helicopter, but his failure to record the defect in a maintenance log meant the issue did not spark a mandatory maintenance inspection.

The report found the pilot decided to return to base soon after taking off from Cairns airport but the engine failed en route.

"The pilot reduced speed to 70 knots and, at about 4.15pm, transmitted a Mayday call, stating that he was ditching at the mouth of the Barron River," the report stated.

"The helicopter impacted the water about 300m from shore and rolled heavily on to its right side, breaking off one rotor blade and damaging the other."

The helicopter sank in about 3m of sea water and was salvaged four days later on January 7.

Charter company Heli Charters introduced a range of safety measures after the crash landing, including GPS-based flight monitoring system installed on passenger carrying aircraft, cutters for harnesses to be carried on all aircraft and safety briefings to be carried out in small groups of four to six passengers at a time.

Source:  http://www.cairns.com.au

Lockheed Off the Hook for Greek Fighter Jet Deal

CHICAGO (CN) - The 7th Circuit tossed a 22-year-old lawsuit claiming that two plane manufacturers cheated the U.S. government in a $700 million deal to supply the government of Greece with 40 F-16 fighter jets in 1987.

The purchase was financed through a U.S. government loan, which reimbursed General Dynamics directly for the jets' production, before Lockheed Martin took over the contract when it bought General Dynamics' production plant.

Dimitri Yannacopoulos, a former General Dynamics employee, first filed suit in 1989, claiming the company owed him a $39 million commission on the contract. A federal jury in Chicago rejected his claims.

Undeterred, Yannacopoulos filed a qui tam lawsuit, which is a kind of whistleblower complaint where a litigant files on behalf of himself and his government. He accused General Dynamics of, among other things, concealing from the U.S. Defense Department that it used $50 million of the loan to support Greek business development. Including the side deal in the jet contract allowed Greece to effectively capitalize a company using U.S. funds, Yannacopoulos claimed.

Prince shells out for plane to end diplomatic row


Thailand's Crown Prince has agreed to pay more than €13.5 million ($22 million) to secure the release of an impounded aircraft at the centre of an unlikely diplomatic spat between his nation and the German authorities.

Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn said he would pay the bond from his own funds to ensure the return of the Boeing 737, which he owns, to end an uncomfortable stand-off between the two countries.

"The Crown Prince has no connection with the dispute," the Prince's secretariat said. "To avoid any impact to the good relationship between Thailand and Germany and to end the dispute on good terms and in an expeditious manner, the Crown Prince will provide his personal funds to end the dispute."

The tussle between the two countries has triggered fresh speculation about why the Crown Prince's private jet was in Munich.

This year, United States diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks referred to unsubstantiated rumours about the Prince's health and whether he was travelling to Germany for medical treatment.

The aircraft was seized last month in Munich by insolvency officials pursuing what they said was a 20-year-old debt owed by the Government of Thailand to a now-defunct German construction firm, Walter Bau AG.

The impounding of the aircraft infuriated Thailand's Government, which said it was the personal property of the Prince. It sought to have the aircraft released without payment.

"We are confident that the aircraft belongs to the Crown Prince. He is not involved with this case and the documents are very solid, so there is no need to pay the guarantee," said Thailand's Foreign Minister, Kasit Piromya. 

Source:  http://www.nzherald.co.nz

Plane crashes in Syracuse, Utah; pilot has minor injuries. (With Video)


SYRACUSE, Utah— A pilot sustained minor injuries Monday night after a crash landing in a vacant field in Syracuse.

It happened around just before 10:00 p.m. near 700 South and 2200 West. The pilot had been flying solo above the Great Salt Lake. The small plane began to have engine problems, and the pilot requested an emergency landing at the Ogden-Hinckley Airport. When the pilot realized he wouldn't make it to Ogden, he decided to bring the plane down in a Syracuse alfalfa field.

"It was great on his part to even try to find a place [to land] in the dark," said Sgt. Phillip Rogich of the Syracuse Police Department. "He got pretty far away from all the buildings and didn't really do any damage to any property other than his plane."

During the crash landing, the plane flipped and came to rest upside-down. The pilot walked away from the crash site with a sprained ankle and no other injuries. The Federal Aviation Administration completed their investigation Monday night. It was unclear why the engine lost power.

Watch Video: http://www.fox4kc.com

12,000 planes fly into 59th EAA AirVenture. Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

Lawn chairs sit unoccupied Sunday in the North 40 camping area as a plane departs from Runway 9 at the Experimental Aircraft Association's AirVenture. The weeklong aviation event wrapped up Sunday. / Adam Jungwirth/Gannett Wisconsin Media

OSHKOSH — "I thought I'd died and gone to heaven."

Pilot and airplane enthusiast Tony Gooch's words dissolved in the roaring engines of Cessnas, Pipers, Warbirds and fighter jets taking off from the runway Sunday morning, marking the final day of this year's Experimental Aircraft Association's AirVenture.

"Every time I look around there's another airplane," said the 72-year-old from South Africa, who came to the convention for the first time.

He said he has gone to other air shows in the past, but none of them will ever be the same now that he's attended AirVenture.

"Everything was so wonderful, I don't know if I have a favorite part," he said.

EAA officials said they believe the 59th annual event could be one for the record books, despite some soggy weather in the middle of the week and traffic frustrations with construction along U.S. 41.

"Mostly it's the airplanes that brings us all together, and we had a record number of airplanes — well over 10,000," said EAA President and CEO Rod Hightower. "It looks like it will bump up to around 12,000."

Early estimates show attendance increased about 5 percent over last year when 536,000 visitors poured into Oshkosh, Hightower said.

Attendance was down in 2010 because of poor weather.

"The more the merrier," said Chris Pace of Elwood, Ind., about the crowds.

Pace spent two days on his feet looking at the mass of planes and exhibits. On Sunday he sat back in the shade beneath a tree to relax and watch the planes take off and reminisce. It's the same way most spectators left on on Sunday spent their last moments before heading home.

"I've seen a lot of changes in the 15 years I've come. It's bigger and more commercial, but the heart of it is still here — the homebuilt and experimental side," said Kurt Wascow, 51, of Toddville, Iowa.

Major attractions this year included the last flying B-29 Superfortress bomber, a tribute to legendary airplane designer Burt Rutan and the first-ever public tours of an experimental Boeing 787 Dreamliner commercial airliner.

"The Dreamliner was a huge draw, not only for local markets, but aviators across the country are still talking about it," Hightower said.

Several celebrities made appearances throughout the week including actors Harrison Ford and Robert Hays, who played the character Ted Striker in the movie "Airplane!" Film director George Lucas also attended AirVenture for the first time.

Hightower offered a glimpse into what AirVenture 2012, the 60th anniversary of the convention, might offer, including a tribute to the iconic Piper Cub and a tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen, the first black pilots to fly in a combat squadron during World War II. All living members of the Airmen are expected to make an appearance at the event.

— Adam Rodewald writes for The Oshkosh Northwestern.

Source:  http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com

Mooney M20F Executive 21, N3534X Associates LLC, N3534X: Accident occurred July 17, 2011 in Winslow, Arizona

NTSB Identification: WPR11FA331
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, July 17, 2011 in Winslow, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/15/2013
Aircraft: MOONEY M20F, registration: N3534X
Injuries: 2 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 a cross-country flight, the pilot landed at the accident airport to refuel. After the airplane was refueled, witnesses saw the airplane depart toward the east. After takeoff, the pilot advised via radio that he was returning to the airport due to a rough running engine. Witnesses near the airport saw the airplane make a steep turn and then descend into an uncontrolled spiral. The airplane impacted in an inverted position at the departure end of the runway and slid about 65 yards. Postaccident examination of the airplane and engine revealed that the fuel injector servo had a substantial amount of rust and contamination inside the unit. The pilot had an issue with water contamination in the fuel system previously and suspected that he needed to replace the fuel bladders.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
A loss of engine power due to fuel system contamination, and the pilot’s subsequent failure to maintain an adequate airspeed, which resulted in a loss of control.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On July 17, 2011, about 1025 mountain standard time (MST), a Mooney M20F, N3534X, crashed while attempting to land at Winslow-Lindbergh Regional Airport (INW), Winslow, Arizona. A co-owner/pilot was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. The private pilot and one passenger sustained fatal injuries; the airplane sustained substantial damage by impact forces. The cross-country personal flight was departing Winslow at 1000, with a planned final destination of Chino, California. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

During the cross-country flight the pilot had landed at INW to refuel the airplane. Airport personnel refueled the airplane with 41 gallons of 100LL Avgas.

Witnesses saw the accident airplane depart from INW using runway 11, heading eastbound. Another witness, who was flying inbound to land, heard the accident pilot report on the Unicom frequency 122.8 that he was departing using runway 11, and was going to continue eastbound. A few minutes later, the inbound pilot heard the accident pilot say he was returning to the airport due to a rough running engine. No other communications were received from the accident pilot.

Witnesses on the ground near the airport saw the accident airplane in a steep turn, and then saw it descend in an uncontrolled spiral. None of the witnesses saw the actual impact due to the terrain or visual obstructions.

The airplane impacted the approach end of runway 29 inverted and slid about 70 yards in a westerly direction.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

A review of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airman records revealed that the 35-year-old pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land.

The pilot held a third-class medical certificate issued on August 4, 2009. It had no limitations or waivers.

The pilot completed a biennial flight review on August 27, 2010.

No personal flight records were located for the pilot. The IIC obtained the aeronautical experience listed in this report from a review of the FAA airmen medical records on file in the Airman and Medical Records Center located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The pilot reported on his medical application that he had a total time of 127 hours with 1.0 hours logged in the last 6 months.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane was a Mooney M20F, serial number 670071. A review of the airplane’s logbooks revealed that the airplane had a total airframe time of 4,776.1 hours at the last annual inspection. The logbooks contained an entry for an annual inspection dated August 16, 2010. The tachometer read 933.9 at the last inspection; the Hobbs hour meter read 2,104.0 at the last inspection. The tachometer read 933.9 at the accident site; the Hobbs hour meter read 2,122.7 at the accident site. A review of the logbooks indicated that the tachometer installed in the accident airplane was not operational, and numerous entries on various dates all indicated the same tachometer reading of 933.9.

The engine was a Lycoming IO-360-A1A, serial number L-1637-51A. Total time recorded on the engine at the last annual inspection was unknown total hours, and time since major overhaul was 52.7 hours.

Fueling records at INW established that the airplane was last fueled on July 17, 2011, with the addition of 41 gallons of 100LL octane aviation fuel.

Interviews with the co-owners of the airplane revealed that the pilot was having issues with what he believed to be water in the fuel tanks. He had reported that previously he had a loss of engine power during takeoff but was able to restart the engine. The accident pilot previously opined that maybe he would install new fuel cell bladders if the problem continued.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

Investigators examined the wreckage at the accident scene. The first identified point of contact (FIPC) was a ground scar. The airplane impacted in an inverted position with fragments of the left wing tip located along the right side of the approach end of runway 29. There was an impact mark from the right wing near the centerline of the runway. Midway between the two wing impact points was an impact mark from the propeller and spinner. The debris path was along a magnetic heading of 290 degrees and was 65 yards long. The orientation of the fuselage was inverted on a heading of 230 degrees.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The Coconino County Coroner completed an autopsy of the pilot on July 19, 2011. The cause of death was listed as: multiple injuries due to a plane crash. The manner of death was an accident.

The FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI), Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicological testing of specimens of the pilot. Analysis of the specimens contained no findings for carbon monoxide, cyanide, and volatiles.

The report contained the following findings for tested drugs: Amlodipine, a blood pressure medication, was detected in the blood and Urine.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

Investigators examined the wreckage at Air Transport, Phoenix, Arizona, on January 17, 2012.

Except for the fuel injection servo, the airframe and engine were examined with no mechanical anomalies identified that would have precluded normal operation.

The fuel injection servo was displaced from the engine, and the portion of flange that remained attached at the mounting pad was secure. The fracture surface signatures were consistent with overload. The fuel injection servo and induction system were examined and observed to be free of obstruction. The throttle/mixture controls were found securely attached at their respective control arms of the servo. The plug on the side of the injector body was secure with the safety wire in place. The fuel injection servo was opened for examination. Investigators observed debris and corrosion within the servo fuel inlet filter screen, internal diaphragm cavities and mixture control mechanism bore, which appeared to be consistent with previous water contamination.

The fuel injection servo was retained for further examination.

On February 2, 2012, the fuel injector servo was examined at Precision Airmotive LLC, Marysville, Washington. The servo was disassembled during the examination and was not bench tested. The full report is attached to the docket. The results of the examination confirmed the servo had rust and corrosion present throughout the unit.




Photographer: Elise and Rob Wilson

http://registry.faa.gov/N3534X


The airplane carrying two California police officers that crashed July 17 in Winslow apparently had engine problems before it spiraled to the ground, according to a preliminary report released by the National Transportation Safety Board released Tuesday.

Brian Hayes, 35, and his girlfriend Nicole Anderson, 32, were killed when the fixed-wing, single-engine Mooney M20F airplane crashed while attempting to land at the Winslow-Lindbergh Regional Airport about 10:30 a.m. July 17.

Officials initially reported that the plane crashed while taking off from the airport, but authorities have since determined that the couple was returning to the Winslow airport when the crash occurred.

The couple was on a cross-country, personal flight when they departed the Winslow airport about 10 a.m., according to the NTSB report. A witness said that a short time after taking off, Hayes said over the radio that he was returning to the Winslow airport due to a rough running engine.

According to the NTSB report, witnesses on the ground saw the plane in a steep turn and then saw it descend in an uncontrolled spiral. No one saw the plane actually crash.

The airplane hit the ground upside down and slid about 70 yards, according to the NTSB report. Hayes and Anderson were killed instantly.

Hayes had been involved with the Anaheim Police Department since he was 15 and was in the Police Explorer program. Hayes became a full-time officer in 1999. Anderson had been a full-time officer with the Simi Valley Police Department since 2003.

The Mooney M20s are a family of piston-powered, propeller-driven general aviation aircraft, featuring low-wing and tricycle gear, manufactured by the Mooney Airplane Company..

Sky Ranger, N7501Y: Accident occurred August 01, 2011 in Wautoma, Wisconsin

NTSB Identification: CEN11FA531  
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, August 01, 2011 in Wautoma, WI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/31/2013
Aircraft: EDWARDS DOUGLAS L SKY RANGER, registration: N7501Y
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious.

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.

The pilot took off from a grass runway to the east for the cross-country flight. An eyewitness observed the airplane climb to an altitude of about 100 to 150 feet above the ground. Over the east end of the runway, the airplane began a left turn to return to the airfield. During the turn, the airplane entered an aerodynamic stall, the nose of the airplane dropped, and the airplane descended and impacted the ground. The airplane was examined at the accident site. Flight control continuity was established from the cockpit control stick and rudder pedals to each respective flight control surface. An examination of the wreckage showed the engine, engine mounts, cowling, firewall and forward cockpit bent and crushed aft and twisted counterclockwise about 30 degrees, consistent with the airplane being in a left hand, nose-down spiral when it impacted the ground. An examination of the engine and other airplane systems showed no preimpact anomalies that would have contributed to the accident.

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

The pilot’s failure to maintain proper airspeed and attitude control of the airplane in the turn, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall.


On August 1, 2011, about 0820 central daylight time, an Edwards Sky Ranger, experimental light sport airplane, N7501Y, owned and operated by a sport pilot, impacted terrain following a loss of control during initial climb after takeoff from the Wautoma Metropolitan Airport (Y50), Wautoma, Wisconsin. The sport pilot was seriously injured and the sole passenger sustained fatal injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan had not been filed for the cross-country flight destined for a private airstrip near Maquoketa, Iowa.

The pilot stated that he took off heading east from the grass runway at Y50 and climbed to about 200 feet over the east end of the runway. He said he circled around to do an over fly of the airport. He said that after he “straightened out there was no control over the horizontal tail.” He pulled back on the control stick several times “with no result.” The airplane then “dove straight down” impacting the ground 100 feet from the end of the runway.

An eyewitness to the accident reported that he had owned three Sky Rangers at different times, had logged hundreds of hours instructing in them, and had taught the accident pilot to fly 15 to 16 years ago. According to the eyewitness, following a preflight which included topping off the 20 gallon fuel tank and checking the oil, the pilot began his takeoff roll along runway 08. After liftoff, the pilot leveled the airplane just above the runway and built up airspeed before performing a “sharp” pull up. The airplane climbed to 100 to 150 feet before the airplane began a left hand turn as if the pilot was going to fly back over the eyewitness. While in the turn, the airplane appeared to stall, and dropped out of the eyewitness’s view. Seconds later he heard the airplane impact the ground. The eyewitness further reported that the airplane’s engine sounded really smooth during the flight and that it sounded like it was at full power as the airplane was descending towards the ground.

The National Transportation Safety Board Investigator-in-Charge conducted an examination of the airplane at the accident site. The crash site began with an impact scrape followed by an eight foot long, three foot wide impact crater that preceded the airplane main wreckage. The impact crater contained pieces of the propeller and Fiberglas from the cowling and windscreen. The accident site proceeded along a 242-degree heading. About 62 feet from the initial ground impact scrape was the airplane main wreckage. The main wreckage came to rest upright in a 35-degree nose down attitude and was oriented on a 142-degree heading. All of the airplane components were accounted for.

The cowling with the engine, engine mounts and firewall underneath and behind were crushed aft and twisted about 30 degrees counterclockwise. The forward cockpit area and main landing gear were crushed and bent aft and upward.

Both wings remained attached to the fuselage. The left wing rear spar was fractured at mid span and bent upward. The left wing strut was bent upward. The right wing was undamaged. The fuselage, aft of the cockpit, and empennage showed no damage.

All three blades of the carbon fiber propeller were found broken aft and splintered. The propeller spinner was crushed aft and twisted.

Flight control continuity was established from the cockpit control stick and rudder pedals to each respective flight control surface. An examination of the engine and other airplane systems showed no preimpact anomalies that would have contributed to the accident.



NTSB Identification: CEN11FA531 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, August 01, 2011 in Wautoma, WI
Aircraft: EDWARDS DOUGLAS L SKY RANGER, registration: N7501Y
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. 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.

On August 1, 2011, about 0820 central daylight time, an experimental light sport Edwards Sky Ranger, N7501Y, impacted terrain following a loss of control during initial climb after takeoff from the Wautoma Metropolitan Airport (Y50), Wautoma, Wisconsin. The sport pilot was seriously injured and the sole passenger sustained fatal injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan had not been filed for the cross-country flight destined for a private airstrip near Maquoketa, Iowa.

There was one eyewitness to the accident. The eyewitness reported that he had owned three Sky Rangers at different times, had logged hundreds of hours instructing in them, and had taught the accident pilot to fly 15 to 16 years ago. According to the eyewitness, following a preflight which included topping off the 20 gallon fuel tank and checking the oil, the pilot began his takeoff roll along runway 08. After liftoff, the pilot leveled the airplane just above the runway and built up airspeed before performing a "sharp" pull up. The airplane climbed to 100 to 150 feet before the airplane began a left hand turn as if the pilot was going to fly back over the eyewitness. While in the turn, the airplane appeared to stall, and dropped out of the eyewitness's view. Seconds later he heard the airplane impact the ground. The eyewitness further reported that the airplane's engine sounded normal during the flight and that it sounded like it was at full power as the airplane was descending towards the ground.

Investigators examined the airplane at the accident site. All major components were accounted for and control continuity was established from the cockpit flight controls to each respective flight control surface. All three blades of the carbon fiber propeller were found splintered.




http://registry.faa.gov/N7501Y

WAUTOMA – The passenger in an airplane that crashed shortly after take-off at Wautoma Municipal Airport Monday has died of his injuries.

Matthew K. Schabilion, 50, of Davenport, was a passenger in a plane flown by Douglas L. Edwards, 55, Long Grove, Iowa. Both men were air lifted to Theda Clark Medical Center in Neenah following the 8:23 a.m. crash. Initially they were both listed in critical condition.

Edwards remains hospitalized.

The plane, identified as a Sky Ranger, crashed on a grassy area adjacent to the paved runway just south of the airport terminal, according to Waushara County Sheriff David Peterson.

The pilot was attempting an emergency landing when the crash occurred, Peterson said in a press release.

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the accident.

Source:  http://www.thenorthwestern.com

Helicopter Hunting: Shooting feral hogs from the sky: Changes coming - feral hog hunting takes flight in Texas

Credit: The Texas Tribune


Throughout the month of August, The Texas Tribune will feature 31 ways Texans' lives will change come Sept. 1, the date most bills passed by the Legislature — including the dramatically reduced budget — take effect. Check out our story calendar here.

Day 2: Licensed hunters will be allowed to shoot feral hogs from helicopters.

Cattle rancher and retired peace officer James Stone of Lockhart shakes his head at the mention of his greatest enemy these days: feral hogs. He calls these 200- to 700-pound creatures a "nuisance" because they are wreaking havoc on his land and his small herd of livestock. So far this year, he says he has trapped 90 hogs and removed their carcasses himself. The hogs have torn through his fences and uprooted his trees. Though the drought has kept the hogs at bay recently, he fully expects they'll return in droves. And when that happens, he fears for any living being that crosses paths with the ferocious hogs.

Among rural and urban lawmakers alike, there is little doubt feral hogs have become a statewide problem. More than 2 million of these wild animals are venturing into communities and destroying any property or livestock that stand in their path. The state estimates feral hogs cause about $400 million worth of economic damage every year.

To control the population, the Texas Legislature is legalizing the practice of allowing licensed hunters to buy seats on aircrafts and shoot the animals themselves. Sport hunting of feral hogs could also benefit landowners, who would be able to earn revenue by allowing hunting on their land, according to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department biologists.


Thrilled as landowners may be about the prospect of ridding their lands of these "nuisance" animals, hog hunting isn't cheap. Houston-based Vertex Helicopters, for example, is offering a "Helicopter Hog Hunting" package at an hourly rate of $475 per flight hour, with a 3-hour minimum requirement.

Stone says he doesn't plan to pay to hunt the hogs from the air, but he welcomes the Legislature's new rule and hopes it is the solution to a problem that has eaten away at his time and his money.

Becca Aaronson contributed to this article. Additional helicopter video courtesy of Black Bore Productions.

**As part of The Texas Tribune's ongoing effort to explain the fallout from the 2011 regular and special sessions, we encourage you to engage with us and be part of our coverage. Respond to our stories below. Post a comment on our Facebook page. Send photos to our Tumblr site. We may come to you in the future to help us tell the story of how Texas is changing.

(Check out the Tribune's interactive data visualization to see the current demand for helicopter hunting by landowners, how many hogs Texans have already killed from the sky and landowners' reported reasons for needing to kill hogs.)

Source:  http://www.kens5.com

Arizona's oldest landing field: Rimrock Airport (48AZ), Rimrock, Arizona

RIMROCK - Sometime around 1924, a daredevil pilot by the name of Russell Boardman built a small airstrip on a mesa next to the Stoneman Lake road, just east of Montezuma Well.

It had ample room to land a large aircraft, a hangar for his single-engine Travelair and a windsock.

Boardman was a friend of Romaine Lowdermilk, an entertainer who had married one of Camp Verde's native daughters, Virginia Finnie.

Mr. and Mrs. Lowdermilk, who met when the two were working in Phoenix at the Arizona Biltmore, had recently partnered with Boardman to build the first of what would be a handful of dude ranches in the area that became known as Rimrock.

Boardman, who had already gained a reputation as aviator before he arrived in Arizona, began a regular service shuttling visitors to the Rimrock Ranch.

Read more and photos: http://campverdebugleonline.com

Passengers Face Israeli-Style Behavior Screening at General Edward Lawrence Logan International Airport (KBOS), Boston, Massachusetts.

A new layer of airport security aimed at screening passenger behavior will begin testing Tuesday at Boston's Logan International Airport.

The Transportation Security Administration will train screeners on sparking more conversations between screeners and passengers at Logan's Terminal A security checkpoint -- a first-in-the-nation initiative modeled after Israel's enhanced airport screening methods.

"TSA has long recognized the value of a layered, threat-based approach to transportation security and the need to focus more of our resources on people who potentially pose a threat to aviation safety in addition to the system's current focus on high-risk items," TSA spokesman Greg Soule told Fox News.

Under the new program -- part of a projected $1 billion national program called the Screening Passengers by Observation Techniques, or SPOT -- behavior officers will ask passengers non-intrusive questions and look to see how passengers respond. Those who exhibit suspicious behavior like avoiding eye contact and struggling with answers will be pulled aside for more screening.

"The advanced training the officers receive includes both classroom and on-the-job experience designed to enhance their communication skills and engage in conversations with passengers to verify or dispel suspicious behavior and anomalies," Soule said.

"The vast majority of passengers will experience a 'casual greeting' conversation with a behavior detection officer after they provide their ID and boarding pass," he said. "A small portion of passengers may get selected for an extended, but still limited conversation."

Around 60 TSA officers are scheduled to take part in the training.

Logan is the first airport in the nation to roll out the pilot program, which is targeted to officially begin in mid-August.

TSA will evaluate how this pilot program impacts security, screening operations and passenger flow. The results will determine how the agency proceeds with the program.

Weather hampers British Columbia chopper crash investigation

Investigators of a northern B.C. helicopter crash that killed three people are hoping for better weather Tuesday as they head towards the remote crash site.

Vancouver Island Helicopters said conditions are hampering efforts in the area of Meziadin Lake on Nelson Glacier, a nearly 400 kilometre drive north of Prince Rupert.

RCMP Corporal Dan Moskaluk said the victims are a 35-year-old pilot from Abbotsford and two passengers — one of Powell River, the other from Quebec.

The names of the victims have not been released and the company is asking for the families' privacy.

Transportation Safety Board of Canada spokesperson Bill Yearwood said the chopper was either just arriving or just leaving a landing site at about 1700 metres above sea level.

"We're not sure at this point whether the pilot was attempting to drop off or pick up the two passenger,s but we know something terrible went wrong and the aircraft crashed and broke apart."

Yearwood said investigators are still working to determine how to examine the helicopter.

"If the site is accessible by trained mountaineers that can hook up the wreckage and lift it out by helicopter, we would consider that if it was too dangerous for us to be on site, and then look at the wreckage in a more controlled environment."

The helicopter was carrying a pilot and two passengers when it went down near Stewart, about 160 kilometres north of Prince Rupert on B.C.'s northern coast.

Police say the helicopter was under contract to a mining company, and the two passengers on board were conducting a geological survey in the area.

The investigation is being led by Transport Canada, along with the B.C. Coroners Service and the RCMP.

Nothing new in Polish report on Smolensk air crash - official. Accident occurred April 10, 2010. Tupolev 154M. Smolensk Air Base, Russia.

The Polish report into the last April Smolensk air crash that killed the country's president Lech Kaczynski, his wife and 94 top-officials contains nothing new, the head of the technical commission of the Interstate aviation committee (IAC) Alexei Morozov said Tuesday.

According to Morozov, the Polish investigation committee only repeated a number of remarks, earlier rejected by the IAC.

He stressed that the airdrome near Smolensk where the president’s plane was supposed to land was in full operation and not temporarily open as it was stated in the Polish report. Morozov reiterated that the main reason for the accident was a decision not to divert the plane to another airport with better visibility and weather conditions.