Friday, August 05, 2011

Quicksilver MX2: Plane Crash in Ashland, Oregon

ASHLAND, Ore. -- Around 7 o'clock this morning, Tim Case took out this Quicksilver MX2. He was doing touch-and-go's around the Ashland airport when his engine died.

Case says after checking his fuel tank, he searched for a flat place to land, after crashing he got out his cell phone and called 911.

First responders were able to lift up the plane so case could crawl out un-hurt. He says despite the failed engine, the plane stayed relatively intact.

He's been flying for about 12 years, but has co-owned this plane for about the past three. Case says the scariest part is still not knowing what caused the engine to fail.

Nigerian Air Force Hercules aircraft loses tire on landing.

The tire of a Nigerian Air Force Hercules aircraft burst on Friday after landing at the Murtala Muhammad International Airport (MMIA) runway, following which other aircraft failed to land.

Reports say that the aircraft, which failed to land were Air Nigeria and Virgin Atlantic.

A source at the air traffic control unit of the airport, who pleaded anonymity, said that the aircraft developed an engine problem mid-air and requested for an air return. When contacted, the General Manager, Public Affairs of the Federal Airports Authority (FAAN), Mr Akin Olukunle, said the aircraft had been towed away to make the runway free. He, however, apologized for any inconvenience the incident might have caused other operators.

State Auditor: former airport director gave himself unauthorized pay raises. Pitt-Greenville Airport (KPGV), Greenville, North Carolina.

GREENVILLE, N.C.- A new state audit reveals a former government employee was giving himself raises during his time as director of the Pitt-Greenville Airport. We first brought you the story back in February about Jim Turcotte who's making more money in retirement than most working people make.

State Auditor Beth Wood says the Pitt-Greenville Airport Authority made its self-imposed policies very clear: no one gets a merit raise without a performance evaluation backing it up and no one gets a cost-of-living adjustment without the board's approval.

"And yet you've got this executive director who's just taking these liberties and nobody is questioning anything that he does and he's doing stuff that's never been approved by the board,” said Wood.

In her 30-page audit Wood says the board wasn't doing its job of overseeing former airport director Jim Turcotte. She says he was allowed to develop his own employment contract- including unauthorized bonuses. The audit found in his last four years as director- Turcotte made nearly $72,000 in selling back vacation days.

With only 20 full-time employees working here at the Pitt-Greenville Airport in 2009, Turcotte was making more than $283,000- topping the salaries for top administrators at both Charlotte-Douglas and Raleigh-Durham International, airports with full-time staff ranging from 250 to more than 300 employees.

In february, pitt county manager scott elliott told eyewitness news nine turcotte deserved his $173,000 annual pension paycheck. "What has been done to the airport over the last 30 years has brought us from little league status almost to, to major league,” he said.

But now that the state audit shows he is bringing in more than $15,000 a month in retirement, he's not so sure. "But in my mind that still doesn't justify the compensation package that he received in the end,” said Elliott.

Wood says it's nothing new. "Boards get complacent with very talented executive directors or finance officers when in reality they should be the ones asking the tough questions,” she told Eyewitness News Nine.

Beth Wood says it's up to the current Airport Authority to approve Turcotte's pay increases from his 30-year run as director. But she says the money he made through selling back vacation and sick days is not in compliance with state policy and it will be up to the State Treasurer whether he can keep that money. The Authority has already agreed to revise its personnel and payroll policies.

Aircraft crash north of airport injures 5. Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport (AMA), Amarillo, Texas.

A single-engine Cessna T210N aircraft crashed north of Rick Husband International Airport in Amarillo around 6 p.m. Friday evening, according to Amarillo Fire Department District Chief Kevin Brown. The crash occurred near El Rancho Road, west of the intersection of El Rancho and State Highway 136.

The plane was carrying five passengers when the engine stalled and the pilot chose to attempt an emergency landing, officials said. All five passengers were injured and two of the passengers received critical injuries, according to Amarillo Fire Department officials. All passengers were transported by ambulance to a local hospital, officials said.

Federal Aviation Administration records show the plane as having a valid registration and list Muy Flying, LLC, of San Antonio as the owner.

Potter County Sheriff's Department, Amarillo Fire Department, Amarillo Police Department and Texas Department of Public Safety staff have responded to the incident.

When Businesses Can Use Drones

Is it possible that “we now live in a drone culture, just as we once lived in a car culture”? That’s what a Rhizome writer claims suggesting that drones — remote-controlled, camera-equipped flying devices – tap into our desire to have a bird’s eye view of the world along with near-infinite data collection.

So why aren’t drones everywhere? Mainly because the air highways are much more restrictive than the land kind. At this point, the Federal Aviation Administration restricts drone use mainly to law enforcement/government and to hobbyists. It’s extremely difficult for commercial entities to legally send drones up. The FAA has issued fewer than 100 experimental certificates to private companies for drone use, and only 18 of those are in active use.

As I previously reported, that didn’t stop News Corp’s newspaper from sending a drone for a spin (twice), which the FAA is now investigating, as it may have violated current regulations. I asked the Daily whether they had legal certification for use of the drone. “We’re not going to comment on our newsgathering,” said a spokesperson.

VIDEOS: Canadian Forces Parachute Team jumps in Saskatoon

Corporal Johann Reimer and the rest of the Canadian Forces Parachute Team: The SkyHawks jumped from a Casa 212 aircraft in Saskatoon as part of a media day. The group landed behind the Sherbrook Community Centre on Friday, August 5, 2011. Reimer explains what he loves about skydiving with the SkyHawks.

This video shows some basic stacking maneuvers we SkyHawks perform. On this fun jump you get front row view from 2 helmet camera of our Canopy Relative Work, also known as CRW:

The Canadian Forces Parachute Team: The SkyHawks performed a jump for the Saskatoon media on Friday, August 5.

The group took off from John G. Diefenbaker International Airport onboard a Casa 212 aircraft before exiting the plane at an altitude of 12,500 feet.

The team eventually landed behind the Sherbrook Community Centre in east Saskatoon.

It was Corporal Johann Reimer's first jump in his hometown of Saskatoon.

Reimer has taken part in nearly 300 hundred jumps in five different countries, but had never executed one in his home province prior to Friday's exercise.

The SkyHawks will be performing in the Cameco Canada Remembers International Air Show in Saskatoon August 6 and August 7.

Tiger Airways stays grounded in Australia, hearing adjourned

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Singapore budget carrier Tiger Airways'  Australian operations will remain grounded until next week after a court hearing on the matter was adjourned Friday when the aviation regulator asked the airline for more information.

A Federal Court hearing scheduled Friday was adjourned until Thursday next week, a spokesman for the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA.L) said.

"We are still working through those issues with Tiger. There are a number of issues, some are related to documents, in some areas we are waiting for additional information," the CASA spokesman told Reuters.

Tiger warned this week its financial results in the 2011-12 financial year will be significantly affected by its Australian operations, which have been grounded due to safety measures since July 2..

Tiger Airways, which is a third owned by Singapore Airlines (SIAL.SI), has said it was preparing to relaunch the Australian operations once CASA was satisfied that it had met certain conditions.

CASA last month imposed a ban on all domestic flights by Tiger citing "serious" safety issues.

Tiger was not immediately available to comment although a lawyer for the airline was quoted by local media as saying he expected the outstanding issues to be resolved by the end of next week.

Sioux Falls: Prices Impact Air Travel. (With Video)

SIOUX FALLS, SD - What airport do you use when you travel?

That's the latest question we asked in our KELOLAND News-Argus Leader poll.

There's been a big effort over the last year to lower airfares and get more people to fly out of Sioux Falls after airport officials discovered that 45 percent of people who could travel out of Sioux Falls fly actually go to other cities because they can get cheaper tickets.

So, we asked the 800 Sioux Falls voters in our poll what influences them when they fly.

Shawn and Sheila Oleson of Madison were flying out of Sioux Falls Friday for a week-long vacation in New York City, but they don't always use the Sioux Falls Airport.

"We usually go with the best airfares, but lately we've been doing more flying out of Sioux Falls," Shawn Oleson said.

They've flown out of Omaha and the Twin Cities before because that's where they can usually get cheaper airfares, but that wasn't the case this time around.

"The detours in the summer to Omaha and the gas prices we figured it'd be cheaper to go this way," Shawn Oleson said.

Forty-three percent of the people who responded to our KELOLAND News-Argus Leader poll say they fly out of the airport with the best price or most convenient schedule. Thirty-seven percent of those polled said they typically fly out of Sioux Falls.

But, the Oleson's say even if they find a cheaper ticket price somewhere else they usually weigh their options with the convenience of flying out of Sioux Falls.

"If it's going to be less with our hotel, and our gas, and stuff we'll go with the cheaper and closer route," Shawn Oleson said.

"Having that long drive back after we get back from a long trip that kind of makes a difference too," Sheila Oleson said.

And those are differences that will keep travelers from driving to other airports.

Group sees promise in commercial flights at airport. Gwinnett County Airport-Briscoe Field (KLZU), Lawrenceville, Georgia.

LAWRENCEVILLE — A state policy institute sees merit in the controversial proposal to allow commercial flights at the Gwinnett County Airport.

“In Briscoe Field, Gwinnett County faces a promising opportunity and the potential to become home to a secondary commercial airport, an origination-to-destination airport,” Benita Dodd, a vice president of the Georgia Public Policy Institute wrote in an essay.

Dodd’s essay talked about the perils of the Federal Aviation Administration privatization program that has yet to yield a successful transition, but she said Lawrenceville’s Briscoe Field may be the best opportunity yet.

She even contradicts a recent study, commissioned by Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, that said no local airport, including Briscoe, could become a suitable reliever to the world’s busiest airport.

“Given that Briscoe’s proposed 10-gate commercial service would relieve Hartsfield-Jackson, not replace it, and serve aircraft no larger than 737s, the study’s assumptions — including a 9,000-foot runway— appear to be costly overkill,” Dodd wrote, pointing out that the study also said no homes would be affected by noise from the new flights.

The essay was good news to Fly Gwinnett Forward, a group that has organized to push for the potential economic benefit, despite the nay-sayers.

“Fly Gwinnett Forward will encourage regional leadership and county elected officials to move forward immediately with a request for proposals,” a press release from the group said. “This is the next step in exploring a unique opportunity to jump-start our economy, reduce the cost of government and bring capital improvement to one of Gwinnett’s most valuable assets, Briscoe Field.”

Three months after commissioners voted to move forward on privatization with commercial flights as an option, officials had expected to receive a report this week from a consultant about how to move forward with proposals.

The report was not available Friday.


IN PICTURES: AH-64 Apache Block III. Redstone Army Airfield, Redstone Arsenal (Huntsville), KHUA, Alabama.

The AH-64 Apache Block III, the first production prototype of the modernized Apache, landed at Redstone Airfield on Friday. The Apache Block III is the world’s most technologically advanced attack helicopter. It was flown by Maj. Joe Minor co-pilot and pilot Mike Meeley both with Aviation Flight Test Directorate part of Redstone Test Center.

See Photo Gallery:

Hey, Jim: Look what I found - helistop news from my area! New Jersey - Burlington County prosecutor says Evesham violated Sunshine Law.

EVESHAM — Township officials violated the state's Sunshine Law by emailing one another prior to a meeting concerning a controversial "helistop" project off Route 73, the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office announced Friday.

Burlington County Prosecutor Robert Bernardi made the decision after a six-week investigation into whether the Open Public Meetings Act was violated.

"Based on all the available information, I concluded that Evesham Township officials did unwittingly run afoul of the prohibitions contained in the (act)," Bernardi said in a written opinion.

He said the issues discussed in a string of emails between the mayor, Township Council members and other local officials over two days in March represented "public business" and should have been discussed in an open meeting.

"In short, the emails represent an active dialogue between members of council that sometimes occurs in almost real time," Bernardi said. "If these discussions had occurred in person, no one could reasonably dispute the violation of the (Open Public Meetings Act)."

The prosecutor declined to press charges, which could have resulted in a fine of $100 for the first offense and $500 for subsequent offenses.

Rather, Bernardi said he favored education over prosecution.

"In my view, educating public officials who may have mistakenly violated the provisions of the statute is far more effective than the imposition of nominal fines," he said. "On the contrary, the litigation of this issue would do little to ensure future compliance and would invariably penalize taxpayers, who would bear the burden of the costs of any legal action."

William J. Kearns, a special attorney hired to represent the township, said he agreed that the emails should be made public, but he didn't believe they constituted a public meeting.

"An email is the same as a letter," Kearns said. "Letters are public record, (but) you don't convert them into a meeting."

He said the township has already begun to develop guidelines regarding the use of emails and other electronic messages.

The issue came up after John Paff of the Libertarian Party filed a complaint with the prosecutor about the email exchange, which occurred March 22-23 before a meeting to amend a "helistop" ordinance that was adopted several months earlier.

The exchange centered on additional recommendations made by the Planning Board, including the creation of a larger buffer around the landing pad and a ban on helicopter taxi service.

Mayor Randy Brown opposed amending the ordinance.

"I'm against any changes to the original ordinance and will not approve any new ordinance!!!" Brown wrote in an email sent March 23 to Township Manager Thomas Czerniecki, council members and other officials.
Earlier that day, Councilman Steven Zeuli wrote that he had concerns about the proposed helicopter landing pad.

Conner Strong and Buckelew, a national insurance firm partially owned by South Jersey Democratic power broker George Norcross III, was seeking to build the pad in the parking lot of the Lake Center Executive Park off Route 73.

"Since the ‘heliport' is my neck of the woods, I have gotten some concerns from the residents about any increased helicopter traffic. I don't think it would be a bad idea to spell out that taxi service is not permitted," Zeuli said.

Deputy Mayor Joseph Howarth's response two hours later was: "Don't think that will happen. It is one guy that wants to land and take off. He needs to go up and follow Rt. 70 and 73."

In April, the mayor and council members unanimously agreed to amend the "helistop" ordinance, which included a number of the recommendations.

Two months later, the Planning Board approved the Conner Strong application. Brown was among the majority of the board who approved the application despite the objections of dozens of residents living in the area. Zeuli and Paul Cortland voted against it. Eileen Lenihan abstained.

On Friday, township officials indicated that they looked forward to moving on.

"Today, Burlington County Prosecutor Robert Bernardi concluded that members of the Evesham Township governing body ‘inadvertently' held a meeting ... through the use of electronic communication equipment. We want to thank Prosecutor Bernardi for thoroughly reviewing all the facts and finding no sanctions were warranted," the statement from the Township Manager's Office said.

Officials thanked Paff for bringing the matter to their attention and said they are "committed to transparency and (seeking) to set a high standard in this regard.

"To that end, we will be moving forward with a suggestion made by Deputy Mayor Howarth to the township manager that we implement more comprehensive OPMA training for elected officials. We will also develop new guidelines for the use of emails among elected officials and share said guidelines with the (state) League of Municipalities and others. Hopefully, Evesham can set an example for other governing bodies in the state in this regard."

The move follows Bernardi's putting the council on notice that the Prosecutor's Office construes the use of emails and similar means of communication such as text messaging and instant messaging as a means in which public officials can "meet" under the Open Public Meetings Act.

He recommended that the guidelines include the following requirements:
  • Email communications should, as far as practicable, not include an effective majority of the governing body and should never include an effective majority of the governing body where discussion of information related to the business of the township is involved.
  • Where email communications do include an effective majority of the governing body, such communications should not include any request for a response. In fact, any email communication should indicate that there should be no email reply or other responsive communication.
  • In the rare instance when a response to an email is necessary, such response must not involve any decision making or deliberative function of the governing body or otherwise addresses public business as contemplated by the OPMA. Further, the response shall not be made to the entire list of email addresses to avoid even the appearance of impropriety. Utilizing a third party, such as the clerk, does not change the requirements of the OPMA.
  • "Rolling" email conversations must also be avoided. A "rolling" email occurs when one member of the governing body or a third party contacts other members via email individually to successively discuss or gain opinions on an item of township business. This would apply to other forms of electronic communication as well. However, communications between less than an effective majority of the governing body do not violate the OPMA, provided the dialogue does not become a "rolling" discussion that ends up including an effective majority of the governing body.
New Jersey's Open Public Meetings Act, also known as the Sunshine Law, requires governing bodies to advertise any meetings or gatherings at which a voting majority of their members will discuss municipal business or issues. Most discussions must be open to the public.

Governing bodies are permitted to hold closed discussions on issues related to personnel, contract negotiations and litigation, but must pass a resolution during the public meeting announcing their intention to do so and the subjects that will be discussed.

Bernardi said he recognizes the challenges faced by elected officials as they attempt to communicate and effectively represent the public.

"While the use of email and similar means of communication is unavoidable, and often more efficient than more traditional means of communication, council members must be conscious of the requirements of the OPMA," Bernardi stated. "Full and complete compliance with all provisions of the OPMA is absolutely necessary to avoid the possibility of monetary sanctions and maintain the public trust."

Pilot Myrtle Rose prompts alert during Obama visit. Raw Video: F-16 fighter jets intercept Barrington plane on August 3 near Millrose Restaurant.

Myrtle Rose stands by her plane in Chicago, Illinois, on 5 August 2011

A 75-year-old aviation enthusiast whose plane strayed into restricted airspace during a presidential visit, prompting fighter jets to be scrambled, has brushed off the incident.

Two F-16s intercepted Myrtle Rose's aircraft as she took to the skies over the suburbs of Chicago city on Wednesday afternoon.

The widow told US media she thought the jets were just admiring her plane.

The agency which oversees air safety in America said it was investigating.

When F-16s come screaming up to you, they are probably trying to tell you something”  - Stacey Knott North American Aerospace Defense Command

Because of President Barack Obama's visit to Chicago on Wednesday to attend a fundraiser marking his 50th birthday, restrictions were in place forbidding private pilots to come within 30 miles (48km) of the city's O'Hare Airport.
'Just looking'

Ms Rose told the Associated Press news agency that before flying her Piper J-3 Cub aircraft she normally checks for any airspace restrictions on her computer, but it was not working properly that day.

"I hadn't flown in over a week," Ms Rose told AP. "It was a beautiful afternoon."

She also said she did not have her radio on. Jets were scrambled from Toledo, Ohio, when air traffic controllers were unable to contact her.

Asked what she thought when the F-16s appeared, Ms Rose told AP: "I thought, 'Oh, well, they're just looking at how cute the Cub is.'"

When Ms Rose landed on an airstrip on the outskirts of Chicago, police were waiting.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command (Norad), which scrambled the two warplanes, said there was no excuse for not knowing about the airspace restrictions.

"The biggest thing to keep in mind is that when F-16s come screaming up to you, they are probably trying to tell you something," said Norad spokeswoman Stacey Knott.

Ms Rose said she had filled out a report with the Federal Aviation Administration, which said she could face a fine, a pilot's licence suspension, or no action at all.

Piper PA-18A, N150CW: Accident occurred August 05, 2011 in Sherman, Texas

NTSB Identification: CEN11CA548 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, August 05, 2011 in Sherman, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/17/2011
Aircraft: PIPER PA-18A, registration: N150CW
Injuries: 2 Minor.

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 pilot did not visually check the fuel level prior to departure, but his fuel gauges indicated the left tank was 3/4-full and the right fuel tank was 1/4-full. He departed with the fuel selector on the left tank and flew for an hour before he picked up a friend and continued with the flight. The pilot and his passenger flew to another airport and landed. They then taxied back to the runway and departed. During takeoff, the pilot made a left hand turn and the engine began to sputter and then stopped producing power. The pilot was unable to return to the airport, and made a forced landing to a field. Examination of the airplane revealed the left fuel tank was empty and the right tank had only residual fuel inside.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's improper fuel management, which resulted in a loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion.

The private pilot did not visually check the fuel level prior to departure, but his fuel guages indicated the left tank was 3/4-full and the right fuel tank was 1/4-full. He departed with the fuel selector on the left tank and flew for an hour before he picked up a friend and continued with the flight. The pilot and his passenger flew to another airport and landed. They then taxied back to the runway and departed. On takeoff, the pilot made a left hand turn and the engine began to sputter and then stopped producing power. The pilot was unable to return to the airport, so he made a forced landing to a field. Examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed the left fuel tank was empty and the right tank had some residual fuel inside.

SHERMAN, TX - The Texas Highway Patrol is investigating a small plane crash in Grayson County this morning.

Officials say the private plane carrying two people went down on its way from Dorchester to the Sherman Municipal Airport while doing "touch and go" drills.

Both the pilot, James Finney, and his passenger, Kenton Simmons, were taken to Texoma Medical Center. The plane went down in an open field near FM 697 and Ida Road. Responders had to cut through thick brush to get to the plane.

Troopers say they are waiting for federal agents to investigate.

"At this point we're just holding scene, just making sure that no one tampers with the plane until the FAA gets here," Trooper David Taylor said.

Officials say the pilot may be taken to Dallas due to a head injury.

VirtualGlobetrotting: Aiken Municipal Airport (KAIK) Aiken, South Carolina

Description: Aiken Municipal Airport is a city-owned public-use airport located five nautical miles north of the central business district of Aiken, a city in Aiken County, South Carolina, United States. The airport serves the general aviation community, with no scheduled commercial airline service. Formerly, it was Aiken Air Force Station.

Plane At Philadelphia Airport Evacuated

PHILADELPHIA - Police and airport officials are sweeping a plane at Philadelphia International Airport after passengers were removed for what they called an unspecified threat.

The plane was a flight to Philadelphia from Glascow, Scotland. The plane was taken from terminal A to a safe location. It is a flight on U.S. Airways.

Luggage was on the ground outside the plane as it was inspected by the bomb squad.

Sources tell Fox 29 investigators may have found a suspicious note on the plane.

Philadelphia airport spokeswoman Victoria Lupica said Friday that passengers have gotten off the plane and that it is being searched as a precautionary measure.

Police said there was an unspecified threat but did not have more immediate details.

Lupica said the incident has been referred to the FBI.

Arizona Man Killed in Wisconsin Plane Crash

REEDSBURG, Wis. (AP) -- Police have identified the victims of a Wisconsin plane crash as an Arizona man and his son-in-law.

Authorities say 64-year-old Richard Reinboldt of Wisconsin Dells was piloting the small plane that he built from a kit Thursday when it crashed after taking off from the Reedsburg Municipal Airport, about 50 files northwest of Madison.

Reinboldt and his father-in-law, 81-year-old Thomas Waterman Thompson, of Tucson, Ariz., were killed.

Reedsburg Police Chief Timothy Becker says the plane appeared to develop engine problems and dropped quickly in a trucking yard less than a mile from the airport.

Becker says the plane was based at the Reedsburg airport. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating.

Wisconsin - Dells man dies in plane crash. Reedsburg Municipal Airport.

The two victims killed in Thursday's ultralight plane crash in Reedsburg have been identified as a Wisconsin Dells man and his father-in-law from Tucson, Ariz.

Pilot Richard Reinboldt, 64, and his father-in-law Thomas Thompson, 81, were killed when Reinboldt's plane that he built from a kit went down near the Reedsburg Municipal Airport shortly after takeoff.

The crash happened at 11:16 a.m. less than a mile from the airport, with the plane coming down next to a warehouse at Skinner Transfer Co.

Reedsburg Police Chief Timothy Becker said on Friday that the plane, a Challenger model built by Reinboldt about four years ago, apparently developed engine problems after takeoff, causing the plane to drop quickly.

"Based on a preliminary evaluation of the wreckage, mechanical failure represents a significant cause," Becker said in a media release.

Reinboldt, a retired truck driver, won an award for his plane in 2009 at a Challenger plane get-together in Erie, Ill, with his plane being named the People's Choice winner. He had put the Challenger 2 plane together from a kit with help from a mentor. The plane had been certified by the FAA after it was built.

The plane nose dived into the ground next to a metal barn behind Skinner Transfer and O'Reilly Auto Parts shortly after leaving the Reedsburg Municipal Airport at about 11:15 a.m. Eyewitnesses said the plane was trying to gain altitude when it began to wobble.

"It looked like it was trying to get up, and it was wobbling like it wasn't sure of itself and then we heard the bang," said Brittani Pitt, who was heading into O'Reilly Auto Parts with her boyfriend when they saw the plane.

Britt Solverson, co-owner of Solverson Aviation, which operates out of the Reedsburg airport, said based on the accounts he heard from employees who saw the crash, a stall and spin may have caused the crash.

He said plane weight, wind and air density all could factor into such an accident.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the Reedsburg Police Department are conducting an investigation to determine the cause of the accident. The National Transportation Safety Board also will conduct an investigation.

Solverson said he knows three things for sure at this point, but also was still learning details about the crash.

"The flight originated from the (Reedsburg) airport, it was an ultralight aircraft and the pilot was someone from the area," he said.

Moments after she heard the loud crash, Pitt said employees from Skinner Transfer started shouting that a plane went down and that someone should call 911. Pitt said she, her boyfriend and employees began running toward the site of the crash, which wasn't easy to find because there wasn't any smoke.

Bill Hamburg, Pitt's boyfriend, was one of the first people on scene. He said it appeared that the pilot had sustained a major head injury and neither he nor the passenger was conscious.

"It's pretty bad," Hamburg said at the scene.

He said he heard the sound of "tin hitting tin" after watching the plane wobble and guessed that it may have glanced off the top of the shed and heading straight down from there.

"It folded them up," Hamburg said.

The wings of the plane were nearly touching the ground and the cockpit of the ultralight plane was located at a nearly identical depth with the wings. There was no fire or explosion, but a strong smell of gas cropped up almost immediately after the crash, Hamburg said.

Rex Hinze, an employee of Skinner Transfer, didn't see the plane crash, but he heard it. He said it sounded like the plane still was at full throttle when it hit the ground right before the loud bang.

Private pilot explains encounter with F-16s

CHICAGO (AP) — A 75-year-old woman whose plane strayed into restricted airspace during a presidential visit says she assumed the fighter pilots who intercepted her just wanted a closer look at her antique aircraft.

Myrtle Rose told The Associated Press she didn't know she had crossed into a restricted area by flying within 30 miles of O'Hare Airport on Wednesday evening. At the time, Barack Obama was in Chicago for a fundraiser marking his 50th birthday.

After she landed her 1941 Piper J-3 Cub on her property in suburban South Barrington, friends told her about the situation. Rose says she's filed a report with the Federal Aviation Administration explaining her mistake.

Ayres S2R-G10 Thrush, N22592: Accident occurred August 05, 2011 at Memorial Field Airport (KHOT), Hot Springs, Arkansas

NTSB Identification: CEN11CA608
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Friday, August 05, 2011 in Hot Springs, AR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/15/2012
Aircraft: AYRES CORPORATION S2R-G10, registration: N22592
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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 pilot reported that he loaded the airplane for a fire suppression mission with 450 gallons of water and calculated that the airplane's takeoff weight was 435 pounds below the maximum takeoff gross weight of 11,500 pounds. Using aircraft performance data, he determined that he would be able to perform the mission given the reported temperature and calculated density altitude. The airplane accelerated normally down the runway with engine instruments all showing full power indications. After liftoff, the pilot raised the flaps and the airplane accelerated to 85 knots. He expected the acceleration to increase to 105 knots during the climb-out, but the airplane did not accelerate normally, although all engine instruments showed full power. The pilot felt the airplane drop about 50 feet straight down, so he squeezed the jettison trigger to release some water. As the airplane continued to descend, the pilot released more water and maneuvered the airplane to avoid hitting houses and trees. Finally, the pilot pulled the nose back to stall the airplane in order to avoid hitting a house. The airplane clipped power lines, hit the edge of a house, and impacted the ground. The airplane sustained substantial damage to both wings, the fuselage, and the tail section. Postaccident examination found no mechanical anomalies with the airplane or engine that would have precluded normal operation. The pilot noted that he could have jettisoned the entire load of water when the airplane was not climbing, thus reducing the airplane's total weight by 3,800 pounds. This would likely have resulted in a positive rate of climb.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's improper decision not to fully jettison the entire load of water when he realized the airplane was not climbing after takeoff.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. — A small plane en route to fight a fire crashed shortly after taking off from an airport in central Arkansas.

Hot Springs Memorial Field Airport Director George Downie says a one-seater plane laden with fire retardant and water clipped a home and crashed into a yard in Hot Springs on Friday afternoon.

Downie says the pilot was able to walk away from the crumbled plane, which didn't catch fire after the crash. He was taken to a nearby hospital, but Downie says his injuries weren't serious.

No other injuries have been reported.

A plane has crash-landed in Hot Springs after clipping the top of a house, forcing it to ground itself nearby. According to reports, the plane clipped the top of a house shortly after takeoff from the Hot Springs Airport.

Officials with the Arkansas Forestry Commission say a single-engine aircraft headed to a fire in Howard County crashed shortly after takeoff from the Hot Springs airport Friday afternoon.

Authorities say the incident happened at 2:30 p.m. near the 700 block of Main Street. Witnesses report seeing the aircraft clip the corner of one home, then crash into the backyard of a second home nearby.

The pilot was taken to a local hospital with minor injuries.

Forestry officials say the aircraft had been contracted from Western Pilot Service, and was carrying a combination of water and foam to the Howard Co. blaze.


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (KTHV) -- A small plane crashed in a Hot Springs neighborhood Friday afternoon. There were no passengers and the pilot was not hurt.

The plane crashed in the 700 block on Main Street after taking off from the Hot Springs Airport. The plane clipped a woman's house. No details have been released yet on the cause of the crash.


Direct Air Jet Makes Emergency Landing in Tampa

LAKELAND | A Direct Air flight heading to Springfield, Ill., from Lakeland Linder Regional Airport was forced to make an emergency landing in Tampa today.

The flight took off at 2:20 p.m. There were 90 people on the plane, which was flight number DYA7102.

The plane, an MD-88 Dynamic Airways jet, landed safely, said Gene Conrad, airport director at Lakeland Linder.

Conrad said Direct Air officials were sending a plane to Tampa to pick up the passengers.

He said he did not know what was wrong with the plane.

Dynamic Airways charter jet service is based out of Winston Salem, N.C. Direct Air has had a contract with Dynamic Airways since October.

Ohio - Medical helicopter shot during trips to children's hospitals

MARYSVILLE, Ohio - Federal authorities as well as central Ohio law enforcement agencies are on alert after a medical helicopter was shot in flight on Thursday.

No one was injured. The Union County sheriff’s office, Homeland Security and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating.

Authorities think the helicopter, based in Union County’s Allen Township, was shot from the ground between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m., said Union County Sheriff Jamie Patton.

A preflight inspection turned up nothing, and then the chopper made trips to Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus and Akron Children’s Hospital. During a refueling stop in Akron, a bullet hole was discovered in the rear door on the right side, said Todd Bailey, MedFlight’s spokesman.

It was immediately taken out of service for patients. After being inspected by a mechanic, the helicopter was flown back to Union County for the investigation.

Authorities discovered a bullet fragment on the floor of a storage area, Patton said. Endangering an aircraft is a fourth-degree felony. No one has been charged.

Another helicopter is being used today to carry patients, Bailey said.

Once Union County deputies took the report late Thursday night, all area police agencies and airports were notified so that aircraft could be on alert. Television news stations with helicopters also were notified, Bailey said.

Anyone with information can call the Union County sheriff's office at 937-642-6753.


ATTAWAY ROBERT H RV6A, N675RE: Accident occurred August 05, 2011 in Colorado Springs, Colorado

NTSB Identification: CEN11CA550 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, August 05, 2011 in Colorado Springs, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/03/2011
Aircraft: ATTAWAY ROBERT H RV6A, registration: N675RE
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 pilot was practicing touch-and-go takeoffs and landings when he turned too early onto the base leg of the traffic pattern and had to make a steep approach to the runway. Upon touchdown, the airplane porpoised several times, causing the nose gear to collapse. The airplane flipped over and departed the side of the runway, causing substantial damage.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to maintain control while landing.

The private pilot was practicing touch-and-go takeoffs and landings when he turned too early on the base leg and had to make a steep approach to the runway. Upon touchdown, the airplane porpoised several times and the nose gear collapsed. The airplane flipped over and went off the side of the runway.

FOX21: Kelly Helton

EL PASO COUNTY, COLO. -- A small plane landed upside down at Meadow Lake Airport in El Paso County Friday morning, injuring the pilot.

El Paso County Sheriff's deputies received a 911 call around 10:15 a.m. from the airport indicating a plane had made a "hard landing on a runway."

Deputies and Falcon fire crews responded and found the 2002 home-made RV-6A plane upside down.

The pilot, 83-year-old James MacDougald, was out of the plane but incoherant, complaining of leg and head injuries. MacDougald was taken to St. Francis Hospital for evaluation, but his injuries are unknown.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will be in charge of clearing the scene and doing an on-site investigation.

Nobody else was in the plane, and there were no injuries on the ground.

An 83-year-old pilot was OK after he landed upside down in his homemade RV6A plane shortly after taking off from Meadowlake airport on Friday morning.

James MacDougald, of Colorado Springs, walked away from his aircraft complaining of minor pain his leg and arm, and was transported to St. Francis Medical Center, according to Sgt. Mike Schaller of the El Paso County Sheriff's Office.

At 10 a.m. Falcon Police and fire departments along with El Paso County sheriff's deputies were called to the scene after MacDougald's plane had a hard landing. They heard MacDougald calling out to them from underneath his plane, according to the Sheriff's office.

Members of the National Transportation Safety Board were called to the scene to conduct an investigation.

By early afternoon, MacDougald was no longer a patient in St. Francis records, indicating that he had been released.

Plane-spotter Swift found guilty. OR Tambo International Airport, South Africa.

Julian Swift.
Picture: Ziphozonke Lushaba

Plane-spotter Julian Swift was found guilty of illegally possessing a radio receiver and using it to listen to air traffic communications by the Boksburg Magistrate's Court on Friday, the editor of the SA Flyer magazine said.

“He was found guilty on the two charges...and ordered to pay R5 000 or spend 10 months in jail,” Guy Leitch said.

Swift, 52, was arrested at OR Tambo International Airport in February last year after officials saw him taking photos of landing planes.

He was found with a radio receiver that cannot transmit but is still illegal without a radio license under the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Act.

The Independent Communications Authority of SA requires an operator of a receiver to qualify as a radio amateur.

Leitch said air traffic communications were easily accessible via internet live-streaming or at the High Flyers Bar at the end of OR Tambo's airstrip.

Swift, therefore, was accessing information which was freely available and should never have been charged.

Planespotting is the observation and logging of an aircraft's registration numbers as a hobby. In many countries, planespotters co-operate with police in reporting anything suspicious as a measure to target terrorism.


IN PICTURES: Honda Jet Demo By Crosswind Images. Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Canon Digital Photography Forums.

By Crosswind Images:

Air Canada Airbus A330-300: Taxiway Excursion. Pearson airport, Canada. C-GHLM, Flight AC-876.

An Air Canada jet is seen at Pearson Airport in the early hours of Friday, Aug. 5, 2011. (Tom Stefanac / CTV News) An Air Canada jet is seen at Pearson Airport in the early hours of Friday, Aug. 5, 2011. 
(Tom Stefanac / CTV News)

There were no injuries but lots of delayed passengers after an Air Canada plane veered off the edge of the runway at Pearson airport Thursday night.

The Frankfurt-bound plane, which was supposed to leave Toronto shortly after 10 p.m., accidentally left the runway and drove onto the grass while it was taxiing from the airport gate, an Air Canada spokesperson said.

Police say one of the plane’s wheels got stuck in the grass, which cannot support the weight of the plane.

Air Canada said there was no major damage to the plane.

Matthew Ponsford, a passenger on the plane, said the flight left the gate around 10:45 p.m.

“When the plane was going down the runway, there were three small bumps and it kind of felt like the weight shifted to one side of the plane,” he said.

Then the pilot came over the PA system and told passengers they were having some problems with the landing gear, he said.

They were told to remain seated but after about an hour, airline staff said they were going to be taken off the plane.

Ponsford said one shuttle bus relayed back and forth between the runway and terminal to carry the 265 passengers back to the airport, where they were briefed about overnight hotel bookings.

But it was only when passengers were on the bus and were looking back at the plane that they found out the front-left wheel was on the grass, said Ponsford, who was supposed to catch a connecting flight to Amsterdam from Frankfurt.

“[Air Canada] tried to inform people…but we were never told we were physically off the runway,” he said.

By 1:15 a.m., almost three hours after the flight was supposed to depart from Toronto, only about half the passengers were moved off the plane, Ponsford said.

“All the passengers took it really well. People were very patient and had good humour,” he said.

Air Canada paid for passengers to stay in hotels overnight. The flight was rescheduled to leave Friday afternoon.

Airport crews are working on moving the plane off the grass, which will probably take until Friday morning, police said.

No injuries were reported after an Air Canada jet inadvertently went off the runway and onto the grass at Pearson International Airport.

An Airbus 330 bound for Frankfurt was taxiing along the airstrip late Thursday evening when it accidentally veered onto airport grass, an Air Canada spokesperson said. It is not yet known why the plane slid off its route.

There were 265 people aboard the plane at the time. Emergency crews requested air stairs to get passengers safely off the aircraft.

Officials said there was no major damage to the jet but maintenance crews are currently inspecting the plane.

Passengers were placed in hotels overnight, Air Canada said in a statement released Thursday. The Frankfurt flight is expected to re-depart on Friday. 


Malta Air Traffic Services: 'Military sorties do not disrupt civilian traffic'

Air traffic controllers have created specific corridors for military aircraft to pass through the airspace controlled by Malta without disrupting civilian traffic according to top officials at Malta Air Traffic Services.

Chief operations officer Robert Sant this morning said that since the start of Nato air strikes in Libya five months ago, Maltese air controllers have been in constant contact with Nato to create these corridors and zones for air to air refuelling.

Malta's flight information region spans the central Mediterranean from Tunisia to Crete and military aircraft involved in sorties over Libya would have to pass through this airspace.

"We have been working very well with Nato and this enabled us not to disrupt civilian air traffic in the airspace controlled by Malta," Mr Sant said.

He explained that the coordination required for military aircraft was more intensive and sensitive because of the nature of the craft.

He said Malta's role was to ensure safe passage of military aircraft through the flight information region. It did not go into the mission these aircraft were involved in.

Mr Sant was speaking during a visit by Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi at Malta Air Traffic Services this morning.

Dr Gonzi was shown around by former army commander Brigadier Carmel Vassallo, CEO of Malta Air Traffic Services.

At the end of the visit, Dr Gonzi thanked the controllers for the work they perform especially during the Libya crisis, which entailed high levels of professionalism and technical know-how to ensure there was no disruption in civilian air traffic.

Nigeria: Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria Director, Others Lament State of Airports

Lagos — Stakeholders in the Nigeria aviation sector have called on the Federal Government to commence the upgrading of facilities at all the nation's airports.

Director of Operations, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) Mr. George Uriesi, who lamented about the situation expressed displeasure on the state of airports, regretted that "not one of our airports at present can boast of having a master plan."

He said this recently at the aviation infrastructure summit held in Lagos.

The director of operations added that it was time the Federal Government understands that if airports in the country are not functioning at optimum level, economic activities in the country would suffer huge setback.

To buttress his point, he cited Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, which he said is 33 years old, but has never received any significant facelift since it was built.

On the challenges confronting the FAAN as it affects airports development, Uriesi noted that the powers of directors in the agency were limited, pointing out that the power to make airports infrastructures in Nigeria compete with 21 century standard lies in the hands of the federal government.

According to him, "there is need for the execution of a catch up programme, critical for infrastructure and facilities upgrade and replacement, as well as urgently initiate airport master planning."

The Chairman, Aviation Round Table (ART), an aviation pressure group, Captain Dele Ore, also said that facilities at the Lagos airport have been overstretched and that they needed to be upgraded.

He regretted that same goes for most other airports in the country, adding that the aircraft and passenger traffic at the various airports have grown beyond the capacity which the facilities can accommodate.

According to Ore, "MMIA has been here since 1978 when we used to have about eight international airlines, but now the numbers of these carriers have grown close to 20, if not more, and yet there has been no significant development on the structure".

Other stakeholders, who spoke on the issue, described the current state of airports infrastructures in Nigeria as appalling, condemning the neglect and abandonment of airports terminals by the government.

According to them, most airports in Nigeria were built without well structured plans, stressing that those already functioning never get adequate maintenance and upgrade as required.

Inadequate training of fire fighters for the 19 new fire fighting trucks acquired by the FAAN has been said to be threatening the Category 1 status attained last year from the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The supplier of 10 of the fire trucks (E-ONE) has accused the FAAN of an attempt to sabotage its brand name, while the Nigerian Aviation Fire and Safety Association (NAFSA) has asked the FAAN to complete the training of its fire fighters.

Air crashes in Nigeria in 2005 and 2006 led to the procurement of the fire fighting trucks by the World Bank in 2010 and early this year.

Ten of them (Standard E1 P7) sponsored by the World Bank were acquired last year from E-ONE, a designer, manufacturer, and marketer of fire rescue vehicles with more than 23,000 in operation around the world.

E-One has its headquarters in Ocala, Florida, in the U.S.

The other nine fire fighting trucks (Modified E1 P7) were procured by the Aviation Ministry and FAAN from Kronembourg, which is based in France.

The 19 trucks have been deployed in airports across the country, and more are underway.

But these sophisticated vehicles require special maintenance and servicing arrangement for efficient and optimum benefits within their expected 35 years life circle and beyond.

It was, however, learnt that preventive and routine maintenance have not been carried out by the FAAN, although there is a budget for them by the World Bank.

The FAAN complained to the manufacturers that the fire trucks are malfunctioning.

But a letter E-ONE wrote to the FAAN Managing Director on May 4 insisted that, "Most of the faults forwarded to us were not due to product failure under warranty, but solely due to abuse, neglect, improper and no maintenance."

The letter, signed by E-ONE Regional Manager (Africa), Luke de Koker, expressed regrets that the mechanical staff and operators of FAAN have not been complying with the correct maintenance and operational procedures as no daily check sheets are kept.

Koker noted that, "No preventive and routine maintenance have been carried out on these trucks. Several of the trucks have been found with low engine oil levels, low coolant levels, and flat batteries.

"When our technician asked the fire officers why the trucks are in such a neglect state, they defended themselves by saying that they have not really used the trucks as yet and that they did not receive enough training on them.

"At a number of airports, we found a lot of tampering on the electrical system in the cab dash of the trucks. Wire insulations were cut open and left in an unprotected state, which could cause a short circuit and possible fire."

A copy of the letter, which was forwarded to the Aviation Minister and Managing Director of Praise Resources Limited, expressed displeasure that "electrical plugs and connectors within the dash were unplugged causing certain instrumentation not to function properly.

"When our technician asked the fire officers why and how it happened, no one could or wanted to answer him, which leaves us with only one reason, and that is, it has been done intentionally to sabotage the E-ONE brand name to perhaps help justify why the FAAN should not purchase any more of the trucks."

In its own letter dated June 3, NAFSA complained about the way the FAAN handled the training of fire fighters on how to operate the trucks.

The letter NAFSA President Ojeifo Lewis wrote to the FAAN Managing Director said the arrival of the trucks was expected to mark the beginning of an end to the neglect and rot in the Fire Department, "But with recent development, we are constrained to conclude that all the shortcomings faced by aerodrome rescue and fire fighting services are being deliberately imposed on it."

Lewis expressed regret that instead of comprehensive training the FAAN hurriedly trained its fire fighters for one week and commissioned the vehicles for operations.