Saturday, August 06, 2011

Tennessee man in jail after disrupting flight. A plane was forced to land in Madison, Wisconsin, so a passenger could be arrested.

 Mitchell R. Wilnoit
Courtesy: WMTV, Madison, Wisconsin

A Tennessee man was jailed Saturday after he was accused of disrupting a flight heading to Knoxville from Minnesota.

Sheriff's Deputies in Dane County, Wisconsin say a Delta Flight from Minneapolis to McGhee Tyson Airport was diverted to Madison Saturday afternoon.

31-year-old Mitchell R. Wilnoit was allegedly intoxicated and smoking on the plane.

Deputies took Wilnoit into custody shortly after the plane landed in Madison.

He is currently being held in a Wisconsin jail.

The flight did continue on to Knoxville and landed shortly after 8 p.m.

First Boeing 787 to be delivered to Japan's ANA airlines rolled out

EVERETT, Wash. - The warning bell sounds on a Boeing Everett Paint hanger ,as the doors open for a debut.

While the company has built dozens of 787s beyond the first six test airplanes, it hasn't been able to deliver them. That will change next month and the Dreamliner will be the first to actually be handed over to an airline - Japan's biggest airline, ANA.

ANA executives waited a long time for this, and despite frustrating delays, it is more than happy to point out in no uncertain terms that this airplane is a Boeing 787.

The Dreamliner is not only a breakthrough because of what it's made out of, mostly of super strong carbon fiber and plastic composites, but because of the interior.

Even the seats are different. Instead of having somebody's seat recline right into your face, the seat backs stay upright and it's the seat bottom that slides out.

And the windows aren't like anything you've seen, there are no shades. Instead they are electronic and 30 percent bigger than on other jets.

Boeing carefully studied attitudes people have about air travel and found that by the time passengers navigate the airport and security, they're ready for a break. The spacious interior is designed to give them that.

Even for the man who helped drive the design, it was a big day.

“One of our key goals is to to help reconnect people to this magic of flight, and you do that by looking outside, and you can see it from anywhere on this airplane,” said Boeing Interiors Expter Kent Craver.

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Piaggio P180 Avanti, N149SL: Aircraft safely makes emergency landing at Blue Grass Airport (KLEX), Lexington, Kentucky

It happened quickly, a call for help from the skies as the pilot of a plane realized his aircraft was having major mechanical problems.  

The plane was due to arrive at Blue Grass Airport just a couple of minutes before 1:00 Saturday afternoon. But as it got close, the pilot called for help when he realized his landing gear wasn't working. The pilot reported the plane was having hydraulic failure, causing the steering and landing gear to stop working.

Crews immediately rushed out to the main runway where the plane was set to land at any minute.

Aviation sources confirm the Piaggio P-180 Avanti had come from Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts and was headed back to the northeast to Farmingdale, NY.

The pilot, a co-pilot and a third person were on board.

Crews were ready for anything, but luckily the pilot was able to get the landing gear down and land the plane safely.

But then, because the plane's steering was not working, crews had to tow the plane all the way down the tarmac from the runway over to the Tac-Air Terminal.

Thanks to the Wings of Freedom tour going on this weekend at the Aviation Museum of Kentucky, many people were around to witness the emergency landing.

No one was hurt, simply some tense moments at the airport. The emergency landing did not interfere with any other flights in or out of the airport.

Officials tell us the pilot of a private twin turbo propeller plane asked for help after his landing and steering gear became inoperable.

Some tense moments at Blue Grass Airport today, after a plane made an emergency landing.

Officials tell us the pilot of a private twin turbo propeller plane asked for help after his landing and steering gear became inoperable.

The plane landed safely without incident. Airport officials say they provided a tug from the runway to TAC Air.

Neither the pilot nor the two other people on board were hurt.

Rose State College to get Aviation Program

DURANT, Okla. -- New classes will be offered a Rose State College in Midwest City. Southeastern Oklahoma State University's Aviation Sciences Institute will being its programming at Rose State.

"The school is proud of its long association with the aviation industry and its partner, Tinker Airforce base," Rose State President Dr. Terry Britton said.

Classes will be offered at Southeastern's campus in Durant, and Tinker, at Oklahoma City Community College and Rose State.

The Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission says the aviation and aerospace industry creates about 144,000 jobs and has an annual payroll of $5 billion.

The average salary for the aviation and aerospace industry is nearly $55,000 per year.

Ferguson Aircraft Fergy 1 light sport aircraft (LSA), N2515E: Accident occurred August 06, 2011 in Falcon, Colorado

NTSB Identification: CEN11FA572 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, August 06, 2011 in Falcon, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/20/2012
Aircraft: FERGUSON AIRCRAFT FERGY 1, registration: N2515E
Injuries: 2 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.

Witnesses saw the airplane take off and climb to about 75 to 100 feet. The airplane banked steeply to the right--one witness said about 90 degrees--before the nose dropped 45 degrees and the airplane impacted a hangar. The student pilot told first responders that he didn't know what happened. He reportedly told ambulance personnel he heard a "pop" and thought a rudder cable had snapped. He later told his wife that he thought a thermal or wind gust pushed the airplane. According to the sheriff's report, the student pilot said something on the aircraft had broken. The student pilot reported to the NTSB that he did not recall saying that a rudder cable had snapped. Although control continuity was traced throughout the structure, there were numerous control cable separations. The cable separations were consistent with overload failures, likely due to impact forces.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
A loss of control for undetermined reasons.


On August 6, 2011, about 0720 mountain daylight time, a Ferguson Aircraft Fergy 1 light sport aircraft (LSA), N2515E, registered and operated by the student pilot, was substantially damaged when it impacted a hangar shortly after taking off from runway 33 at Meadow Lake Airport (KFLY), Falcon, Colorado. The flight instructor and student pilot on board were seriously injured. The instructional flight was being conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed. The local flight was originating at the time of the accident.

Witnesses said they saw the airplane take off and climb to about 75 to 100 feet above ground level. The airplane banked steeply to the right –- one witness said about 90 degrees -- the nose dropped 45 degrees nose down, and the airplane crashed into a hangar. A mechanic working nearby went to the scene and reported finding the engine running and fuel leaking on the ground.

When asked what happened, the student pilot told first responders, “I don’t know. It just went, it just went.” He reportedly told ambulance personnel he heard a "pop" as the airplane was taking off and thought a rudder cable had snapped. He later told his wife that he thought the airplane had climbed 200 feet when “a thermal or wind pushed the airplane.” According to the El Paso County Sheriff's report, the student pilot said "something on the aircraft broke." When this investigator interviewed him at his home on December 6, he did not recall saying a rudder cable had snapped.


The instructor pilot, age 59, was a corporate pilot and held an airline transport pilot certificate with an airplane multiengine land rating, and types ratings in the Raytheon 400, Cessna 525, Hawker Siddeley HS-125, and the Mitsubishi MU-300. He held commercial privileges with an airplane single-engine land rating, and a flight instructor certificate with airplane single/multiengine and instrument ratings. His first class medical certificate, dated February 21, 2011, contained the restriction, “Must wear corrective lenses and possess glasses for near and intermediate vision.” At that time, the pilot estimated he had accrued 8,100 total flight hours. His logbook was not made available and it is unknown if he had previous experience in the Fergy 1. However, he was the registered owner’s only flight instructor and the owner reported they had logged 2.1 hours in the airplane. The date of the instructor-pilot's last flight review is unknown.

The student pilot, age 70, was the registered owner of N2515E. He did not hold a medical certificate, and was operating under his driver’s license. He had logged a total of 2.1 hours. The accident flight was the third flight in his training.


N2515E, serial number 2589, was a kit manufactured by the Ferguson Aircraft Company of Dallas, Georgia, later to become Precision Tech Aircraft of Cartersville, Georgia. It was powered by a Rotax 582ULDCDI-99 engine (serial number 5306757), rated at 65 horsepower, driving a Powerfire 64-inch, 3-blade, fixed pitch, composite propeller. The airplane had an empty weight of 400 pounds and a gross weight of 900 pounds. It was 22 feet long and 5 feet, 8 inches tall. It had a wing span of 29 feet, 6 inches, giving it a wing area of 140 square feet. Construction of the airplane commenced on April 4, 2000, and was completed on July 7, 2007. The first flight occurred on July 15, 2007. The accident student pilot was the third owner of the airplane.

The last conditional inspection was made on October 15, 2010. At that time, 25 hours had been accrued on the airframe. At the time of the accident, 33 hours had been accrued on the airframe.


The following pertinent METARs (Meteorological Observation message for Routine Aviation) were recorded at Meadow Lake Airport (KFLY) on August 6 at 0711, 0731, and 0751, respectively:

Wind, 360 degrees at 7 knots; visibility, 10 miles; ceiling, 11,000 feet broken; temperature, 18 degrees C.; dew point, 7 degrees Celsius (C).; altimeter setting, 30.24 inches of Mercury.

Wind, 330 at 4 knots; visibility, 10 miles; sky condition, 11,000 feet scattered; temperature, 17 degrees C.; dew point, 7 degrees C.; altimeter setting, 30.24 inches of Mercury.

Wind, 300 degrees at 10 knots; visibility, 10 miles; sky condition, clear; temperature, 20 degrees C.; dew point, 9 degrees C.; altimeter setting, 30.24 inches of Mercury.


Meadow Lake Airport (KFLY) is an uncontrolled airport, located 3 miles northeast of Falcon, Colorado, and situated at an elevation of 6,874 feet msl (mean sea level). Runway 33 is 6,000 feet long, 60 feet wide, of asphalt construction, and has a 1.8% uphill gradient.


A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector from the Denver Flight Standards District Office responded to the accident site. He reported finding evidence consistent with the airplane striking a hangar in a 45-degree nose-low inverted attitude, bouncing off the hangar roof and skidding across Taxiway Echo before colliding with another hangar’s door. The airplane’s nose section, inverted right wing, and left main landing gear penetrated the hangar door, leaving holes measuring 3 feet by 3 feet, 3 feet by 4 feet, and 1 foot by 1 foot, respectively, the highest point of impact being 5 feet above ground level. Although control continuity was traced throughout the structure, there were numerous control cable separations. The inspector was unable to determine if the separations were pre-impact or the result of impact. However, a follow-up examination of the wreckage conducted by the National Transportation Safety Board found that all cable separations displayed signatures consistent with overload failures.

Watch Video:

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- A twisted mess of metal is what's left of a two-seat small plane, which crashed at Meadow Lake airport just before 7:30 Saturday morning.

Chris Heidlebaugh was at the corner of State Highway 24 and Judge Orr Road searching for his lost dog when he saw the tragedy unfold.

"I was sitting here and then I saw an airplane starting to take off," said Heidlebaugh. "Then all of a sudden the plane veered to the left and it just seemed like it nose-dived really fast."

A number of pilots and flight instructors like Greg Baker use Meadow Lake airport.

Baker operates what's called a Pit-Special bi-plane, and he teaches about flight safety daily and even offers flying lessons.

"The biggest thing about flying in Colorado is the altitude," said Baker. "It's much thinner air and we're going a lot faster than our airspeed indicates and we have a lot less performance with the planes."

El Paso County Sheriff's Office and firefighters from the city of Falcon raced to save the two men after the plane slammed into a nearby hangar.

The sheriff's office said the passenger was flown by helicopter to a local hospital. The pilot was taken by ambulance.

"It was not during take-off or on landing which is often times the case," said Lt. Lari Sevene with the El Paso County Sheriff's Office. "They were actually in flight when whatever the malfunction was that caused the plane to make a hard right turn."

The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate.

Watch Video:

Seaplane Tangles With Parasailer’s Tethers

The US Coast Guard and the FAA responded to a parasailing accident in Gulf Shores Saturday afternoon. Police say all parties refused medical treatment.

GULF SHORES, Alabama - Around 3:00pm Saturday, a seaplane clipped the tether of a parasailer just offshore in front of Bahama Bob's. A parasailer made a hard landing in the water and received minor injuries.

Gulf Shores police say all parties refused medical treatment. The seaplane was damaged and was forced to make an emergency landing in the Gulf. Since it's a seaplane, the pilot was able to land on the water and anchor the plane.

The Coast Guard and the FAA are trying to determine if any laws were broken and if any charges should be filed.

Below is the press release from Gulf Shores Police:

On August 6, 2011 at about 3:01 PM the Gulf Shores Police responded to the main beachfront area for a report of a possible accident involving a plane and a parasail boat. It was reported that a private amphibious airplane was flying in the area of the main beachfront in Gulf Shores when it collided with the tow rope of a person aloft on a parasail being towed behind a boat. At the scene all parties refused medical treatment. The plane was able to land safely in the water further down the beach.

Agencies from the Coast Guard and FAA as well as the Gulf Shores Police department have been notified and are investigating. The aircraft involved was an Aerofab, Inc. model Lake LA-250 “Lake Amphibian”

This case remains under investigation.

KANSAS: Rural Douglass man injured Saturday in ultralight aircraft crash.

ROCK — An ultralight aircraft resembling a hang glider crashed at approximately 5:30 p.m. Saturday north of the Cowley-Butler county line, near Rock.

Pilot Fred Lepper, 44, of rural Douglass, and passenger Mike Anderson, also of rural Douglass, were flying in a light blue and lime green aircraft when Anderson noticed that the aircraft's engine was sputtering and they were losing altitude.

The crash occurred when Lepper was looking for a place to land, according to Butler County Sheriff Kelly Herzet.

Lepper was transported by LifeWatch helicopter to a Wichita hospital with a severe laceration to his leg.

Anderson was treated by EMS and released at the scene.

"The FAA has been notified and will be investigating the crash," Herzet said.

According to the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Aviation, an ultralight aircraft is an extremely lightweight aircraft with a low flight speed, power and fuel capacity, used for sport or recreation.

Aerofab Inc. model Lake LA-250 Lake Amphibian: Aircraft hits parasail tow rope at Gulf Shores; no serious injuries reported.

Two people riding a parasail at Gulf Shores are pulled airborne in this file photo. A parasailer riding a similar device escaped serious injury Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011, when a low-flying seaplane struck the parasail's tow line. The plane suffered propeller damage and had to make an emergency landing, and the parasail floated to the water. No serious injuries were reported in connection with the incident.

GULF SHORES, Alabama -- A seaplane flying near the main beach in Gulf Shores snagged the lines of a parasailer, authorities said this afternoon, but no serious injuries were reported.

Gulf Shores police responded to the main beachfront area about 3 p.m. for a report of an accident involving a plane and a parasail boat.

According to a press release issued by the Police Department, reports indicated that a private amphibious airplane was flying near the main beach when it hit the tow rope of a person aloft on a parasail as it was being pulled by a boat.

No one involved in the collision sought medical attention at the scene, Gulf Shores police said.

The plane, an Aerofab Inc. model Lake LA-250 Lake Amphibian, landed safely in the water farther down the beach, police said.

According to Sgt. Jody Kelley with the Alabama Marine Police, the plane was apparently flying too low when it cut the parasail rope, but the pilot had not reported trouble prior to the incident.

The tow rope damaged the plane’s propeller, he said. The parasail floated to the water, while the plane made an emergency landing near Little Lagoon Pass, Kelley said.

The names of those involved were unavailable, Kelley said Saturday evening.

The Gulf Shores Police Department, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Federal Aviation Administration were continuing an investigation of the incident tonight.


Air traffic program ready for takeoff at Elizabeth City State University

Success of a new air traffic control program at Elizabeth City State University might come in part from a decision that shocked the nation 30 years ago.

On Aug. 5, 1981, President Ronald Reagan dismissed more than 11,300 air traffic controllers during a strike called by the now-defunct Professional Air Traffic Controllers Association over salary and benefit negotiations.

Now, as those post-strike replacements reach retirement age - estimated to be 10,000 over the next decade - ECSU stands poised to play its part in filling those jobs.

As part of North Carolina's only four-year aviation degree, ECSU plans to offer a minor in air traffic control anchored by a retired Navy instructor who guided military aircraft for 26 years and a state-of-the-art simulator.

"This is a sizeable air traffic control simulator cabin," said Anthony Sharp, director of ECSU's aviation program.

In one large room, computer stations show radar indicators of aircraft for en-route control while four wide screens portray a lifelike view from the airport tower at Daytona Beach International Airport, complete with the famous race car track in the background.

A few clicks by Willie Brown, an aviation instructor, and the busy scenario begins. A small private jet approaches for landing, followed by a Southwest Airlines flight, trailed by an American Airlines flight. A UPS cargo plane taxies out for its turn to take off, and then a C-130 military-style plane appears, also awaiting a takeoff.

A student air traffic controller would have to manage it all, talking steadily to the pilots.

"Otherwise, you're going to have a big ball of fire," Sharp said.

The simulator and computers will be part of the curriculum for the first time this fall, said instructor Robin Mangham. The program will not be easy, and the attrition rate can be high, much as it is in the real, high-pressure profession.

"I've known quite a few who didn't make it," she said.

Not everybody's got the talent for it, she said. A prospective air traffic controller must be able to think well spatially, have a knack for anticipating what will happen next and make quick decisions under pressure, said Mangham, who taught at Pensacola Naval Air Station for five years.

"I will be able to tell whether they have it or not," she said.

Sharp expects an ECSU board to approve the air traffic control minor before classes begin in a few weeks.

But ECSU still seeks a coveted FAA designation held by only 36 schools in the country.

The FAA will not be approving any more schools for the designation called the Air Traffic-College Training Initiative or AT-CTI in the "near future," said Kathleen Bergen, an FAA spokeswoman.

Every air traffic controller must pass the FAA academy in Oklahoma City. The FAA gets its academy students from three sources - graduates of one of the AT-CTI schools, a pool of experienced controllers, such as from the military, and from the general public.

Last year, of the 998 who graduated from the academy and were hired by the FAA, 252 were graduates of the certified schools and 226 had previous experience, leaving 520 hired from the general public, according to a 2010 FAA report. It takes about two to three years to get fully trained, including the academy and supervised field training.

An ECSU graduate would be considered part of the general public pool, but the aviation degree with the air traffic control minor would carry a lot of weight and help an applicant pass the FAA selection examination, Sharp said.

"These screens are exactly like those air traffic controllers use," he said. "I would think it would make a difference to the people looking at the applications."

Kitfox IV: Aircraft stuck in mud, flipped over - Nolanville, Texas

NOLANVILLE - A local pilot was able to walk away from a single engine plane crash uninjured Saturday morning.

Levi Noguess, 49, of Belton, was flying his Kitfox IV along a dried up lake between F.M. 2484 and Union Grove at the time.

He was practicing what are called touch-and-goes on the dry lake bed when the accident happened.

One of the wheels of the single engine plane got stuck in the mud; causing the aircraft to flip over.

Aerofab Inc LAKE LA-250 Lake amphibian: Plane accident in Gulf Shores, no injuries

GULF SHORES, Ala. -- Saturday at about 3:01 PM the Gulf Shores Police responded to the main beachfront area for a report of a possible accident involving a plane and a parasail boat. It was reported that a private amphibious airplane was flying in the area of the main beachfront in Gulf Shores when it collided with the tow rope of a person aloft on a parasail being towed behind a boat. At the scene all parties refused medical treatment. The plane was able to land safely in the water further down the beach.

Agencies from the Coast Guard and FAA as well as the Gulf Shores Police department have been notified and are investigating.

The aircraft involved was an Aerofab, Inc. model Lake LA-250 "Lake Amphibian"

This case remains under investigation.

Nigeria: Animals’ invasion of runways.

THE Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority recently raised the alarm over the continued incursion by animals on the nation’s runways, amid concerns over widespread decay at the airports. Speaking at the closing ceremony of the West African Wildlife Management Workshop, the Director-General of the NCAA, Dr. Harold Demuren, said the lack of airfield lightings and invasion of runways by animals were giving the authority “serious concerns.” He bemoaned the sordid state of air transport infrastructure in the country, warning that the authority would not certify any airport that did not meet global safety standards as specified by the International Civil Aviation Organisation. While appreciating the funding challenges bedevilling the sector, Demuren identified airfield lightings, runways condition and perimeter fencing as critical projects that need to be urgently looked into. For sometime, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria that is charged with the maintenance of the nation’s airports has been in the eye of the storm over perceived neglect of airport facilities.

The concern over bird hits and wild animals straying onto the runways is not exaggerated. Animals on runways can cause serious problems at airports. Facilities at the nation’s airports have been deteriorating with grim implications for safety. There are no barriers to prevent incursions onto the runways by animals and other objects. An Air France aircraft with over 200 passengers on board collided with cows that had strayed onto the runway of the Port Harcourt International Airport in Rivers state. Also recently, a chartered aircraft, ferrying some Action Congress of Nigeria chieftains ran into cows that were crossing the runway at the Bauchi airstrip. Such incidents would have been averted if the prescribed perimeter fencing had been in place. ICAO once reckoned that nearly one third of airplane accidents worldwide occur on the ground due to poor runway designs or air traffic control miscues.

The United States Federal Aviation Administration defines runway incursion as “any occurrence at an airport involving an aircraft, vehicle, person, or object on the ground that creates a collision hazard or results in loss of separation with an aircraft taking off, intending to take off, landing, or intending to land.” Experience has shown that contrary to assumptions, potential danger is not yet over even after a plane has landed. Between 1995 and 2008, there were 1,429 airline accidents worldwide, 431 of which occurred during take-off or landing, which saw aircraft skidding off runways. The increase in runway incursions is today considered one of the most significant safety issues facing air travellers. Though there has been a drop in the number of aircraft accidents since 2010, the expected 70 per cent rise in air traffic volume within a decade, according to the International Air Transportation Association, will require enhanced safety measures.

There is therefore, an urgent need for government’s response to the declining standards. Experts suggest enclosing 100 per cent of airport perimeters with partially buried fencing, which keeps animals from tunnelling underneath. Frequent maintenance is also crucial because many of the animals enter the airports through damaged fences. In March, FAAN said it had embarked on the construction of perimeter and operational fences at eight airports in the country while work on 14 others under its control would soon commence.

For most airports in the country, any worthwhile facelift must involve runway rehabilitation and extension, perimeter fencing, terminal building remodelling, rehabilitation of access roads and improvement in power and water supply. Many of the nation’s projects have been bedevilled by lack of commitment and poor funding. Despite FAAN’s repeated assurances to upgrade the airports’ infrastructure, issues like underfunding, massive debt overhang and undue intervention have hampered its performance. Yet, without increased funding, none of the agency’s targets can be attained. FAAN will require over N3billion to rehabilitate a runway of about 3,000 metres.

Besides, successive managers of the industry have been accused of diverting funds meant for reviving the sector. An industry pressure group, Aviation Round Table, blamed the Ministry of Aviation for the crisis in the industry. The group accused the ministry of unduly promoting political interference, corruption and decayed infrastructure. Some officials were specifically alleged to have embezzled funds meant for new radars and perimeter fencing and other equipment.

Decades of corruption, neglect and under-investment have turned the nation’s airports into death traps. In 2005, three big domestic passenger planes crashed, killing more than 300 people and raised serious questions about the nation’s air safety and its ability to turn itself into an important hub for air travel in West Africa and beyond. For instance, the N19.5bn intervention fund released by the Olusegun Obasanjo administration in the wake of three successive air mishaps between 2005 and 2006, was allegedly misapplied, leading to the arrest and prosecution of two former ministers of aviation, Babalola Borishade and Femi Fani-Kayode, an Austrian contractor, George Eder, and the former Managing Director of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, Roland Iyayi.

Experts have also blamed the decadence on the building of airports for political reasons and the authority’s financial dependence on only five viable airports in the country for the maintenance of all the unprofitable ones.

Immediate steps should be taken to stop animals from straying to restricted operational areas, including the runways. The N12 billion allocated for the execution of safety-critical projects, including perimeter fencing, should be properly managed. The new Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah-Ogiemwonyi, requires a workable roadmap to rehabilitate the infrastructure at the various airports and stem the decay in the sector. All the ongoing projects need to be completed before awarding new ones. Meanwhile, NCAA should be resolute in its decision not to certify any airport that does not meet expected standards.


One person is in critical condition after plane crashed along the Butler/Cowley County line, Kansas.

According to Butler County Dispatchers, just after 6:00 p.m. Saturday, an ultra-light plane crashed in a field east of U.S. 77, and south of southwest 230th road.

Two were inside the plane at the time of the crash, and one is being taken via air ambulance to a hospital in critical condition. The other person inside the plane has minor injuries.

We have a crew headed to the scene, and we’ll have more tonight on KAKE News at 10!

Air Canada flight flight bound for Seoul makes abrupt return to Vancouver.

An Air Canada flight carrying 221 passengers bound for Seoul, South Korea made an abrupt return to Vancouver an hour into its flight.

Flight AC-063 landed at YVR airport at around 2:30 p.m. after a flight attendant fell ill shortly into the flight, Angela Mah, a spokeswoman for Air Canada, confirmed in an email.

“No emergency was declared in flight,” Mah said.

She said no fuel dumping was required in flight, and the landing was “routine.”

Any emergency response vehicles that attended would have been there as a standard precaution, Mah said.

The flight will take off as soon as it is “re-crewed,” she added.

An employee of the YVR Airport Authority said the aircraft is a Boeing 767-300.

There is no word yet on the condition of the flight attendant.

Labor showdown is US Airways’ latest obstacle.

US Airways’ labor dispute with its pilots union has become one of the most contentious in an industry with a long history of fierce labor fights, and Charlotte fliers could be in for turbulence as the case goes to court.

Tempe, Ariz.-based US Airways sued the pilots union in federal court late last month, accusing the union of conducting an illegal work slowdown to pressure the company in contract negotiations. The US Airline Pilots Association, based in Charlotte, denies the accusation, and says the company is trying to intimidate pilots and force them to fly unsafe planes.

“It’s hard to imagine them coming together,” said Seth Kaplan, who publishes the trade magazine Airline Weekly. “The two sides are really far apart.”

In its lawsuit, US Airways paints a picture of a union using safety concerns – sometimes sent anonymously, through emails from names such as “Pilot Bob” – as a subtle way of telling pilots to slow down the operation, a claim the union vigorously denies.

USAPA must file a response to the lawsuit by Aug. 15. After that, a hearing will likely be set, and a federal judge in Charlotte will decide whether to order the union to stop the alleged work slowdown.

It’s the latest hurdle for an airline that has survived bankruptcy court twice, successfully merged with another airline once and tried to merge three more times in the last decade. US Airways is the smallest of the nation’s big five airlines, behind Delta, American, United and Southwest, with about 8percent of the market.

But in Charlotte, US Airways is the biggest game in town. The city is the airline’s busiest hub, with some 6,900 employees based here. US Airways operates 90 percent of the daily flights at Charlotte/Douglas International. The airline claims the alleged slowdown is disproportionately affecting flights to and from Charlotte.

The problems stretch back a decade, to post-9/11 financial problems that pushed US Airways into bankruptcy court in 2002 and 2004. The pilots took salary and benefit cuts that the union says amounted to 50 percent to help the airline survive.

When US Airways merged with America West in 2005, the pilots were unable to agree on a combined seniority list, spawning lawsuits, slowing negotiations and amping up the bitterness.

“It’s the management vs. the pilots, then you have the pilots vs. the pilots,” Kaplan said. “It’s sort of like a love triangle, without the love.”

The conflict has escalated significantly this year. The pilots have accused US Airways of ignoring safety concerns in a rush to get planes in the air and demanded the ouster of the airline’s safety chief. USAPA has also sued the airline in federal court, alleging that it is dragging out negotiations.

US Airways, in its lawsuit filed July 29, says the union’s safety concerns are a smokescreen to slow down flights and put pressure on management.

The airline says the alleged work slowdown – involving tactics such as slow taxiing to and from the gate and unnecessary maintenance write-ups – could cost up to $377,000 a day, as well as delaying tens of thousands of passengers.

The pilots can’t go ahead and strike or openly engage in a work slowdown, because their negotiations fall under the Railway Labor Act. That federal law specifies that airline and rail unions can’t strike while under mediation, which can stretch indefinitely.

Air-travel writer Joe Brancatelli is still surprised that the airline’s labor problems have dragged on for so long.

“If you’d have told me in 2005 we’d all (still) be talking about a split union and a new contract, I’d be laughing at you,” he said. “It’s literally unprecedented.”

The sides remain far apart on the key issue: money. US Airways has said that it has offered the 4,200 pilots a raise of about $120 million a year to their approximately $680 million total compensation.

USAPA says the offer would still leave them as the lowest paid pilots in the industry; the airline has countered that the union’s demands would break the company.

“The biggest issue is the economics of it,” Kaplan said. “They are so far apart. If they could make the money work, they’d get over all the bad feelings.”

Alleged secret messages

Much of the lawsuit hinges on unusual, secretive messages the airline claims have been circulating among the pilots, telling them to slow down.

As an example, US Airways alleges that stickers bearing the message “+16” have been found on airplanes and clipboards – a signal to pilots to arrive late to the gate, the airline says. The U.S. Department of Transportation counts a plane as on time, an important measure for airlines, if is within 15 minutes of schedule.

Also, the airline cites union-produced safety videos telling pilots to close the door to flight attendants during pre-flight checks and to write up what the airline considers deferrable maintenance. Those are code words, the airline says, for slowing down operations.

The airline said pilots have been contacted by anonymous emails, such as one on April 25 from “Pilot Bob” at the address pilotsarepissedoff@gmail. com. According to the airline, the message described steps that were to be taken starting May 1, such as “Taxi speed is NO faster than a brisk walk” and “Reserve pilots just call in FATIGUED.”

Union spokesman Capt. James Ray said the union doesn’t sponsor or support any organized slowdowns, and has told pilots so. Ray said he doesn’t know where the alleged anonymous messages came from.

Moreover, he said, safety concerns are real. US Airways is trying to intimidate pilots into flying on time no matter what safety or maintenance issues they see, he said.

“Every cockpit that flies in and out of Charlotte, the conversation, I guarantee, is about job security and safety,” Ray said. “The safety issues are a huge concern. ... If flying a safe airplane means the operation has to slow down because the pilot wrote something in the logbook, that’s doing the right thing.”

Ray said 60 pilots have been called in for disciplinary hearings in response to writing up their maintenance concerns in the past month alone, and that a US Airways pilot was escorted out of the Philadelphia airport by security and put on leave for three weeks for refusing to fly a potentially unsafe plane.

Brancatelli said that if the airline is in fact calling in pilots for writing up safety issues, that would “smack of intimidation.”

Kaplan said unions would be ill-advised to use safety allegations to gain leverage at the negotiating table.

“You do run the risk, albeit a small risk, of a boy who cried wolf scenario,” Kaplan said. “You want to believe that when someone calls something unsafe, it really is a critical safety issue.”

Negative public image

Ongoing labor strife is unlikely to help US Airways improve its image with the public. The airline was recently named one of the nation’s 19 Most Hated Companies by The Atlantic magazine, which cited complaints such as proliferating fees (although Delta, United and American also made the list).

The airline’s on-time flights at Charlotte dropped from 86 percent in May 2010 to 73 percent in May this year, while remaining virtually unchanged at about 88 percent in Phoenix, according to government statistics. In its lawsuit, US Airways says the difference is because former America West pilots are based in Phoenix, and they have less loyalty to USAPA than the old US Airways pilots, based on the East Coast. The two pilot groups still operate separately.

Ray, the union spokesman, said Charlotte’s worse on-time percentage was due to bad weather in the South this spring, airport construction and operational changes, and denied that any concerted pilot effort is to blame.

Brancatelli said the largest impact on US Airways from passenger dissatisfaction is likely to be in cities with more choices than Charlotte. For example, in Philadelphia, passengers can drive an hour to Newark’s airport and avoid US Airways.

US Airways’ lawsuit says the airline could lose hundreds of millions of dollars if passengers start booking other airlines to avoid it – a particularly serious prospect in the face of sharply higher fuel prices.

The pilots’ issue is not the only labor problem US Airways faces. The airline is in mediated negotiations with its flight attendant and mechanics unions, and flight attendants at one of its wholly-owned subsidiaries are hinting at a strike.

As the airline continues to face high costs and the overall economic uncertainty, CEO Doug Parker has said a merger with some other carrier could be an attractive prospect. But the labor issues could stand in the way.

“Nobody wants them,” said Brancatelli, “partly because of the toxic labor situation.”

UK: New Rolls-Royce engine test plant may go abroad, company admits.

Rolls-Royce is embroiled in a new row over manufacturing jobs leaving the UK after admitting that a new hi-tech facility is likely to be based in Germany or the US instead of Derby.

The company told workers that it was considering non-UK locations for new aircraft engine test-beds rather than Derby, its biggest engine site. The news comes a month after Bombardier dealt a blow to manufacturing in the city and in the UK by announcing the loss of 1,400 jobs at its train-making factory after the government chose Germany's Siemens for a £1.4bn carriage contract.

A senior official at the Unite trade union, which represents around half of Rolls Royce's 11,000-strong workforce in Derby, said the test-bed move would benefit workers in Germany or the US over the UK. "This has potentially long-term implications for Derby's manufacturing base," said Adrian Uxtell, regional secretary for the East Midlands. "Work follows the experimental test-beds and a significant number of jobs in Derby are linked to development projects. Rolls-Royce, with the support of the government, need to do everything possible to maintain its development projects in Derby in the long term."

One trade union source said the announcement, briefed to Derby employees last week, hit staff "like a ton of bricks" and exacerbated concerns about the future of manufacturing in Derby in the wake of the Bombardier announcement. Uxtell added: "The uncertainties arising from Rolls-Royce's plans go to show why the government should support Bombardier when it can instead of allowing the work to go to Germany." Rolls-Royce employs 39,000 people and manufactures in 20 different countries.

The announcement by Bombardier that it intends to cut 1,400 jobs has cast a pall over Derby and triggered widespread soul-searching about Britain's industrial competitiveness, as well as the structuring of government procurement contracts that are forbidden, under Brussels guidelines, to show bias to domestic manufacturers. Unite's executive officer, Tony Woodley, said he expected the 172-year-old train plant to close, losing a further 1,600 jobs, if the government finalises the deal with Siemens, which is the preferred bidder to build 1,200 carriages for the Thameslink route.

Woodley, who will address Bombardier workers on Tuesday, said that without that deal the Canadian-owned firm could not keep the factory going until the next major UK order, for the £16bn Crossrail project. "It is not possible for a company this big to survive without work between now and Crossrail."

Rolls-Royce dismissed concerns that the strategy for test-beds, where engines are put through their paces before delivery, was a further threat to UK jobs. It said the decision to built test-beds outside the UK would have no impact on the group's domestic plans, where the Derby plant will continue to build and test the Trent XWB engines for the new Airbus A350 aircraft due to launch in 2013.

The Trent XWB has received more than 1,100 orders so far, making it the fastest-selling engine in the company's history. Rolls-Royce's order book, dominated by demand for its aircraft engines, is now worth £61.4bn. It is understood that the new test-bed facility in the US or Germany will be modest in size.

A Rolls-Royce spokesman said: "Rolls-Royce is investing billions of pounds, in the UK and around the world, so that it can keep up with customer demand and fulfil its £60bn order book. For example, the company needs to double the number of Trent engines it produces to power the next generation of wide-body planes. As part of that expansion we have confirmed we will assemble and test Trent XWB engines … in Derby, which is our centre of excellence for large engines. This will sustain jobs at Rolls-Royce as well as in the hundreds of British companies in our supply chain. We also need additional engine testing capacity, and we have formally opened consultation regarding potential options."

Former Navy SEAL, Lawmakers Weigh-In On Chopper Crash. Members Of Navy's SEAL Team 6 Among Those Lost. (With Video)

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BOSTON -- U.S. forces have suffered their worst losses in a single incident since the war in Afghanistan began. Insurgents shot down a helicopter in eastern Afghanistan early Saturday, killing 30 service members.

Among the 25 U.S. special operations forces killed in Wardak province were 22 Navy SEALS. Seven Afghan troops also died.

Most of the U.S. troops were members of the Navy's SEAL Team 6, the same unit that carried out the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

President Barack Obama said the incident is a "reminder of the extraordinary sacrifices" members of the military and their families are making.

Tony O'Brien, of Marshfield, spent 13 years as a Navy SEAL and retired as a commander.

"SEAL teams are not a large organization and obviously who they are and where they're deployed to and what numbers there are, it's all classified information for obvious reasons," O'Brien said. "But to lose 20 or more guys in one operation for any reason is certainly a difficult loss."

He said the casualties make the gains difficult to appreciate.

“When you’re in Afghanistan you’re not anywhere near the coast so you either have to come in by foot or vehicle or helicopter,” O’Brien said. “A lot of the areas that they go into -- they’ve done a good job of trying to determine who’s there -- bad guys, good guys, etc. And we’ve made a lot of great gains in Afghanistan.”

Massachusetts lawmakers also weighed in on the tragedy.

"Anytime you loose any life in battle, it's a tragedy," said U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass.

"It's very said," said U.S. Sen. John Kerry, D- Mass. "The faster we can transition to the Afghans, the better.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said he is deeply saddened by the loss, and vowed that the U.S. will stay the course to complete the mission to make the world a safer place.

Former Massachusetts governor, and 2012 GOP presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, released the following statement on the incident:

“Our hearts are filled with sorrow for the families of the American soldiers who perished in the downing of a helicopter in Afghanistan,” said Romney. “The memory of their loss will always invoke in us a deep appreciation for the sacrifices that have been given in this war to protect the liberty and freedom of us all.”

Air force struggling to get chopper squad off the ground

A military search and rescue helicopter from CFB Greenwood in Nova Scotia prepares for takeoff from the J.A. Douglas McCurdy Airport in Sydney, N.S., Friday August 6, 2010, to assist in the search for a twin-engine airplane which disappeared from radar over Lingan Bay about 15 kilometres northeast of Sydney at about 11:30 p.m., Thursday. Officials from the search and rescue centre in Halifax said no signs of the plane or two men onboard were found Friday.
Photograph by: Sharon Montgomery-Dupe, Cape Breton Post

The air force is scrambling to find the personnel to staff a new helicopter squadron of more than 480 people at Canadian Forces Base Petawawa.

The military hopes to come up with a plan by the fall that would “identify necessary divestment to source the required positions” needed for the squadron, according to November 2010 briefing documents obtained by the Ottawa Citizen under the Access to Information law.

The documents note that 482 personnel are needed for the squadron that will operate new Chinook helicopters. That capability is supposed to be up and running by 2014, so the first personnel should start being assigned to the Petawawa, Ont., squadron starting some time next year, according to the briefing.

But those records also chronicle the ongoing problems the air force is having in finding enough personnel. At one point, military planners suggested boosting the overall size of the air force to take into account the need to create the squadron.

However, air force senior staff later point out that the decision has been made that no new regular force personnel would be added for the new squadron. The needed people, described in public service parlance as PYs, or person years, would have to come from other organizations or units throughout the air force that could be scaled back or shut down.

“All PY sourced from offsets,” one document noted.

It is unclear exactly how the air force will staff the new squadron as it did not provide comment to the Citizen on the issue.

But the documents noted that one recommendation was that personnel who had been earmarked to be involved with a new unit to operate unmanned aerial vehicles be used for the helicopter squadron.

In 2007, the air force also looked at shutting down several squadrons operating Griffon helicopters and using those personnel for the new Chinook squadron.

In a January 2010 briefing, military planners also recommended that the initial cadre for the Petawawa squadron be made up of Griffon aircrews that have experience on Chinooks.

According to planning documents, the size of the Chinook squadron will be slowly ramped up with 118 personnel assigned in 2012, 185 coming in 2013 and 65 arriving in Petawawa in 2014. By 2016, the unit will have its full complement of 482, according to the documents.

Petawawa Mayor Bob Sweet said the creation of the squadron is big boost for the town. “It’s a small industry that is coming to town if you think about it,” he said.

Sweet said two new schools are being built in the area, one costing $30 million, and the other, $10 million. That is being driven by the need to serve military families, he added.

The building of facilities for the new helicopter squadron is also playing a key role in the ongoing expansion at CFB Petawawa.

In December, politicians and senior military personnel attended a groundbreaking ceremony for the new hangar at the base, which will house the CH-147 Chinook helicopters. Fifteen Chinooks will be located at the installation.

EllisDon Corporation of Ottawa was awarded the contract for the hangar, valued at a little more than $134 million.

The 50,000-square-metre hangar will consist of five main areas, including maintenance bays and training schools for crews, as well as a warehouse and command suite.

Construction is expected to be completed by the summer of 2013, according to the Defence Department.

To prepare for the arrival of the helicopters, the base also will need a new ramp, a refuelling facility, and a fenced-in parking area.

The first Chinook is expected to arrive in the summer of 2013.

Originally, CFB Edmonton, CFB Bagotville, and CFB Petawawa were in the running as the operating location for the new helicopters.

But Chief of the Defence Staff Walter Natynczyk pointed out that Petawawa was chosen because it provides the best support to army and special operations forces, many of which are co-located there, while minimizing the associated infrastructure costs for the new fleet. The Chinooks will maintain a high-readiness posture for rapid deployment, military officers have said.

India plans own 90-seater aircraft series by 2017

In a move that is seen as more strategic than just commercial, India plans to rope in a private sector player to manufacture 90-seater passenger aircraft over the next five years. Having received an in-principle approval from the Planning Commission earlier this week, the Department of Science and Technology will soon move a Cabinet note proposing series production of the aircraft at a total cost of Rs 7,555 crore.

According to senior government officials, the overall configuration of the aircraft has been finalised and specifications of the three major sub-systems — engine, avionics and control systems — drawn up. “While the commercial viability of the project has been confirmed, the design and development phase — estimated to cost Rs 4,500 crore over three years beginning January 2012 — is proposed to be fully funded by the government,” the official told The Sunday Express.

The officials said the project would be executed by a joint venture company with majority participation by the private player. “The Cabinet’s approval is being sought for releasing an expression of interest to rope in an Indian company or a global original equipment manufacturer (OEM) as a JV partner. It is proposed that the CEO will be from the private sector. He will work under an institutional governance structure chaired by an eminent technocrat, probably appointed by the Prime Minister himself,” the official said.

When contacted, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia confirmed the development. “With India expected to become the largest economy over the next 30 years or so, it is important we enter such complex manufacturing areas,” he said. Plan Panel member Arun Maira said a private sector player would bring “management expertise and appropriate technology” — two key ingredients for success of such a “daring” venture.

According to Maira, aircraft development — a sophisticated and complex activity — will stimulate the domestic manufacturing sector and spawn a new set of ancillary industries. This is seen as a big spin-off benefit that will come with such a project. “The Tatas and Mahindras have demonstrated that we can produce quality cars at a low cost. India is still quite competitive when it comes to manpower and design costs,” he said.

The government also considers this as an appropriate time to foray into civil aircraft production given the domestic industry’s growth projections of 10-15 per cent over the next 15-20 years. It is estimated that revenue passenger kilometre will witness a five-fold growth till 2025. During the next two decades, India is estimated to see a demand for 500 aircraft, much of it in the 70-100 passenger segment. This space is currently catered to by Embraer that has a history of over 40 years.

In the presentation made by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research - National Aerospace Laboratories, the primary partner for the project, it is projected that the JV company would produce at its peak 36 aircraft every year. It is expected to break even in the second year of reaching full capacity by 2022 with revenues of Rs 5,000 crore and profits of Rs 15 crore. The company is expected to start production with about five aircraft as early as 2017, the fifth year after the project launch in January 2012.

India Market
* Civil aircraft requirement will be over $100 billion for India over the next 20 years
* Air traffic in India, the next most important market after China, is growing 10-15%
* India is the only BRIC country that does not have a civil aircraft programme
* India is estimated to require 500 aircraft over the next 15 years, the world 7,000

The New Venture
* Private sector to have majority stake in proposed joint venture company
* CEO from private sector to be supported by an institutional governance structure
* Project to cost Rs 7,555 crore, of which Rs 4,500 crore in design & development phase
* First aircraft to take off in 2017; peak production of 36 aircraft expected in 2021

Pilot uninjured when plane lands, sinks

WALTERVILLE — A Texas man escaped injury Saturday when his biplane overturned in the McKenzie River after he made an emergency landing on the waterway.

John Proctor, 65, was flying a biplane equipped with floats when he landed on the river near the Bellinger boat landing just before 8 a.m. According to a Lane County Sheriff’s Office report, he was heading for Detroit Lake but had to look for an alternate landing site due to fog.

He landed in the river but one of the pontoon floats apparently struck submerged debris and was punctured. The front end of the plane then sunk up to the cockpit.

People along the river saw Proctor standing on the tail end of the plane above the water and called 911. A sheriff’s office search and rescue boat was able to reach the plane and get him off.

East Tennessee Ninety-Nines100-year-old original founder paved the way for women pilots.

Aviation pioneer Gladys Lacey Jones with her Taylorcraft airplane. 
(Betty Jones Noble, News Sentinel)
When 100-year-old Gladys Lacey Jones tried to enlist in the Army as a woman pilot shortly before World War II she was turned down.

In fact, the East Tennessee native was turned down each of the three times she attempted to enlist.

She stands 5 foot, 1 inch tall and said the military wouldn't accept a pilot so short, even after she offered to put booster blocks on the airplane's pedals.

"But I could have done it anyway," Jones said.

That setback didn't deter Jones from her love of recreational flying or from becoming a founding member of the Tennessee Chapter of the Ninety-Nines 71 years ago.

The Ninety-Nines, originally founded in 1929 by Amelia Earhart and 98 other pilots, is a national coalition of women interested in coordinating the advancement of women in aviation.

There is an overwhelming sense of community present among all of the women in the group, and Ninety-Nines member Ernesteen Hunt said that when a woman is getting her pilot's license, friends are what she needs most.

"There's this great camaraderie among these pilots because we ate, slept and dreamt airplanes," Charlotte Meek, a Ninety-Nines member with more than 17,000 flying miles, said. "Some of us can't fly anymore, but my spirit says that we're still pilots and especially still lady pilots."

Gladys Lacey Jones, left, talks with Judy Wayman, center, and Linda Haynes during a reception for the 71st anniversary celebration of the Tennessee Chapter of the Ninety-Nines on Saturday, August 6, 2011 at McGee Tyson Airport.

After working as a secretary at the Bemberg Rayon Factory in Elizabethton, Tenn., in the 1930s, Jones enrolled in a pilot training program sponsored by the Civil Aeronautics Authority that aimed to increase the number of pilots in the United States.

All men and women could enroll, but only the top 10 men and top two women scorers in a preliminary instructional class would be awarded with 50 hours of actual airborne flight training.

Jones was one of the top scorers and went on to receive her pilot's license.

"I'm just so proud of her. I always think of her as a generation ahead of her time because she was a career woman," said Bette Noble, Jones' daughter.

Jones met the man who became her husband when he was giving flight lessons at the Tri-City Airport.

Although she took a break from work to raise her children, Jones eventually returned to work to help send her kids to college and remained a recreational pilot as long as she was able.

"You might think these women are just little old ladies, but not at all," Martha Miller, chair of the Tennessee Chapter of the Ninety-Nines, said.

Miller said women are still underrepresented in the aviation world but that the original Ninety-Nines paid no heed to how seemingly nonexistent female pilots were in the 1930s.

"If Gladys hadn't done what she did, East Tennessee wouldn't have been able to participate in the Ninety-Nines," Miller said.

The Tennessee Chapter has 33 members and focuses on raising money to provide flight scholarships for women.

Nigerian drug trafficker dies on board aircraft enroute Doha

Lagos (WorldStage Newsonline)-- A 25 year old Nigerian, Chilaka Ogbonna Emmanuel, suspected to have ingested some wraps of substances that tested positive to narcotics has died onboard an aircraft on his way to Malaysia enroute Doha

Ogbonna who travelled with a Nigerian international passport, left Murtala Muhammed International Airport on Tuesday August 2, 2011.

The sudden death of the suspect forced the pilot to divert the flight to Mumbai, India, where Ogbonna was confirmed dead in a Mumbai hospital.

A post mortem conducted on the late suspect revealed that he had ingested narcotics. Mumbai police found an Italian visa application form and his Catholic baptism certificate in his bag.

NDLEA sources said nobody has come forward as a relation of the suspected drug trafficker who hailed from Okpofe, Mbaise Imo State.

Chairman/Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Ahmadu Giade has ordered a probe into the death.

Giade who lamented the rate at which Nigerian youths died as a result of ingesting hard drugs, described the incident as sad and unfortunate.

"This is sad and unfortunate. It is one death too many. I want to know exactly what happened and take proactive action against future occurrence. I have ordered full investigation of the incident and I am expecting a detailed report in few days". NDLEA boss said.

Giade equally reiterated his call for stringent measures against drug culprits. "This is a wake-up call for stakeholders to heed our call for tough measures against drug offenders. The increasing number of arrests made by the Agency speaks volumes of the punishment meted to drug offenders. Even when we oppose bail application for second time offenders, they still grant them bail. These are the people that smear the image of our country for their selfish interest". He added that over 68 drug suspects apprehended at the Lagos airport between January and July 2011 and charged to court are currently on bail."

NDLEA statement noted that the monetary reward for drug trafficking is high and to discourage people from the criminal trade, the punishment must be commensurate. This according to the anti-drug Agency is imperative and will drastically reduce the number persons that get involved in drug trafficking

Recently a suspected drug trafficker Offiah Gozie Vincent who was arrested at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos died few days later in a Lagos hospital.

Ofoyeju Mitchell, Head, Public Affairs of the agency who confirmed the story said, "Authorities are working on how to contact relatives of the deceased who is from Okpofe, Mbaise Imo State."