Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Eyes in the Sky: Chesterfield County, South Carolina, Aerial Drug Search

CHESTERFIELD, S.C. - Chesterfield County Sheriff Sam Parker calls the county's helicopter, built in the 70's, a "life saving tool." The Sheriff's Office has had it for seven years. Parker has been in office for nine. He says, "As long as I'm Sheriff, I hope we'll keep it."

The department uses it to search for missing people, criminals on the run and mostly, drugs. On Tuesday, his crew along with FOX Charlotte's Morgan Fogarty and Robert Wilder, searched for marijuana plants. Fogarty and Wilder had to be deputized to fly. Parker explains, "By you documenting what we did today, you're part of law enforcement today, that's the reason."

Working off tips from the community, they checked about 20 locations. In one hour, they found two homes with marijuana plants growing in the backyard. To protect investigators, the homes and plants couldn't be videotaped.

Parker says, "We've actually been in situations where they'll actually come out and point a gun at ya, they'll actually shoot at you believe it or not."

When pot is spotted, deputies on the ground, who are tracking the chopper, follow up and mark the address. Parker says cameras will be set up to monitor the homes and eventually, arrests will be made. Timing is everything. "Hopefully they don't take it before they get to it," he says.

The chopper was in the air for about seven hours Tuesday. It re-fuels via a mobile gas pump that travels with the ground deputies.

Parker says the county pays $24,000 a year in workers comp insurance to cover the helicopter, but the program is funded primarily through drug forfeiture money. Parker says the helicopter is crucial to Chesterfield County as it battles on in the war against drugs. He says, "If we can take one marijuana plant out of a field, to keep your child from getting it, that's what it's about. That's what we do. That's what we're good at doing."

The Sheriff says the chopper is part of the federal government's 1033 program, or "Surplus Property." That means he's gotta follow strict rules and regs to keep it in the county.

Qantas boss Joyce: Union job claims nonsense

QANTAS chief executive Alan Joyce says union claims the airline could shed more than 1000 jobs under its restructure plan are "nonsense."

Unions are considering industrial action against Qantas after it announced yesterday it would overhaul its international business.

The carrier said its five-year plan to create a premium service in Asia, and other restructuring measures, will help turn around the business.

"There's a lot of nonsense being talked about - the unions talked about there being 6000 jobs (impacted)," Mr Joyce said today in Canberra.

"There's a 1000 jobs impacted."

He said under the airline's plan, it would be able to create more jobs "here in Australia" in the future.

Mr Joyce said the comments about potential job losses had been made before.

"The same comments were made about Qantas in the domestic market 10 years ago, people were saying we're going to replace all of Qantas' flying with Jetstar, they were saying all of Qantas's jobs were going to disappear," he said.

"Today Qantas is the biggest carrier domestically ... creating more jobs domestically.

"We want to do the same in five years (internationally)."

The unions were undermining the airline, Mr Joyce said.

"We're seeing the unions continuing to trash the Qantas name, they're continuing to undermine Qantas," he said.

"They're continuing to make false accusations about Qantas offshoring which is not true, about safety concerns about Qantas, which is not true, and they're continuing to make false accusations across the board.

"That's not good for the 30,000 people employed by the company ... we don't need the union continuing to trash Qantas because this will damage their jobs."

Mr Joyce said the airline still hadn't decided where the premium Asian airline would be based but it had applied for permission in several countries.

Source:  http://www.heraldsun.com.au

Unions ramp up fight against Qantas plans.

Qantas unions expect international support for their fight against the airline’s major restructure which will cost up to 1000 Australian jobs.

Qantas unions are considering industrial action, as they ramp up the attack on the airline's plans to overhaul its international service.

Qantas yesterday revealed a five-year plan to create a premium service in Asia and other restructuring that will lead to job losses.

Unions said they were gearing up to fight the job cuts and independent Senator Nick Xenophon had promised to push for a parliamentary inquiry into whether Qantas had breached the Qantas Sale Act of 1992, which allowed the privatisation of the airline.

The Australian and International Pilots Association, together with the Transport Workers Union and Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association teamed up today in Canberra to meet politicians.

Tony Sheldon from the TWU said ballots were being taken now on industrial action and he expects support from fellow unions in the US, UK and South-East Asia.

‘‘I’m confident that those countries will take actions in support of the actions that ourselves, our members, other unions decide to take over the coming struggle with Qantas to keep the brand alive, to save the company from itself and save decent paying jobs in this country,’’ Mr Sheldon told a media conference in Canberra.

Captain Barry Jackson told the conference he expected the 1000 jobs scheduled to be lost to become 5000.

‘‘It won’t be 150 pilots it will probably be about 5000 jobs could be lost if this is allowed to continue,’’ he said.

Qantas has dismissed those figures as misleading, with CEO Alan Joyce calling them "nonsense".

‘‘There’s a lot of nonsense being talked about - the unions talked about there being 6000 jobs (impacted),’’ Mr Joyce said in Canberra. ‘‘There’s a 1000 jobs impacted.’’

He said under the airline’s plan, it would be able to create more jobs ‘‘here in Australia’’ in the future.

Earlier today, Mr Joyce hit the airwaves to defend the overhaul.

Mr Joyce said the company’s other operations were subsidising the losses made from its international business, which is losing $200 million a year due to the high Australian dollar and the rising fuel prices.

He said if Qantas didn’t change, it could follow other airlines, such as Ansett, PanAm and TWA, into failure.

‘‘We don’t want Qantas to be next that’s why we need to change and why need to adapt to where the environment is today ,’’ he told the Nine Network.

Qantas has forecast a pre-tax profit of $500 million for the 2010-11 financial year.

Pearse link lost.

End of an era: Richard Pearse's great-nephew, also called Richard Pearse, right, died in Timaru last month. He is pictured with Pearse advocate Jack Mehlhopt and the 2003 centenary replica of the Pearse monoplane.

South Canterbury lost the last close link to aviator Richard Pearse following the death of his nephew, also called Richard Pearse, last month.

Mr Pearse, who died aged 92, was 34 years old when his now-famous uncle died and had spent time with him over the years at the family home at Manse Bridge, Temuka, where the aviator – in later years living in Christchurch – would visit for Sunday dinners to catch up with family.

The South Canterbury Herald visited his son Jeffrey, who, with wife Patricia, lives in the house the aviator and inventor grew up in, on Pearse Rd at Waitohi and talked about the family's links with the world's earliest days of flying and the later controversy Richard Pearse's 1903 flight engendered.

According to witness statements, Richard Pearse flew and landed a powered heavier-than-air machine on March 31, 1903, about nine months before the Wright brothers flew their aircraft.

Since the 1960s there has been controversy around the Pearse story, with claims that the design of his plane meant he could not have flown.

For the family, being on the inside, statements by what Jeffrey Pearse calls "experts, in inverted commas" that his great uncle did not fly, have been hurtful.

He said his father was a reserved man and did not talk much about the aviation achievements of his forebear.

"Dad's sister Margaret, she was less reserved than my father and she always was a strong advocate he flew – not publicly at all, but to us younger generation. I can clearly remember her saying, `Richard flew.' She was very proud of that.

"As I say, my father was far more conservative and quiet in nature but if push came to shove he would always say that he did fly as well."

Jeffrey Pearse's grandfather, Warne Pearse, was a key witness to the early flights. Warne, the brother of the aviator, and the closest of the family to him, was there "from time to time" at Richard's neighbouring block of land, helping him start his aeroplane invention and get it airborne, "and so forth".

Warne was one of the key witnesses featured in later research into his brother's flight.

It was well documented in newspapers of the day that he was highly regarded as a most honest sportsman, and tennis player, his grandson said.

"For critics of Richard Pearse to claim that the story was a load of nonsense and that he could not have flown, really that did question the credibility of some of the witnesses, for example, Warne Pearse, and that did hurt my father," he said.

Jeffrey said there has never been a statement from the family that he flew before the Wright Brothers. What mattered to them was the controversy over whether he had actually flown.

"Certainly he was airborne in a heavier than air machine and was able to achieve short flights." Research by his biographer Gordon Ogilvie found that after considerable taxiing on his farm paddocks, Pearse made his first public flight attempt down Main Waitohi Rd adjacent to his farm. After a short distance aloft, perhaps 50 yards (45 metres), he crashed on top of his own gorse fence. (NZ History Online).

"No details were recorded, by Pearse or onlookers, of this tentative flight."

In two letters, published in 1915 and 1928, the inventor writes of February or March 1904 as the time when he set out to solve the problem of aerial navigation.

He also states that he did not achieve proper flight and did not beat the American brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright who flew on December 17, 1903.

"However, a great deal of eyewitness testimony, able to be dated circumstantially, suggests that March 31, 1903 was the likely date of this first flight attempt," according to NZ History Online.

His attempts at flying were witnessed not only by Warne, but by local farmers and pupils of Upper Waitohi School who would see him flying on their way to or from school, Jeffrey said.

Wikipedia notes that people who had left the district by 1904 remembered the events, and recalled a particularly harsh winter with heavy snow.

The controversy over whether he flew did not arise until the 1960s, after the aviator's death.

Some of the accusations were pretty aggressive but his father did not respond to them although he was upset, Jeffrey said.

Gordon Ogilvie bore the brunt of it as the researcher and argued the claims on behalf of the family.

While the flights – or lack of them were debated – it was forgotten there were real people involved, Jeffrey said.

"Twenty-two witnesses from right throughout the country all having some account of Richard Pearse and his flights – all interviewed independently so no collusion. So it's a fairly weighty lot of evidence.

"There were errors in times and dates and varying degrees of the distance he flew but they were all adamant he was airborne."

But for the family it was never in question, because of Warne's close association with his brother, and his upstanding character.

Pearse's plane lacked an aerofoil section on the wing, a necessary element of flight. The wings worked more like kites, but according to Timaru man Jack Mehlhopt who helped build a replica of the Pearse's first plane, with the fabric covering the bamboo structure not stretched tightly, the ballooning affect in flight would have acted like an aerofoil.

"It's all about the angle of attack," another local Pearse enthusiast Paul Marshall said.

Jeffrey said there has never been a statement from the Pearse family that he flew before the Wright Brothers. What matters to them was the controversy over whether he had actually flown.

"Certainly he was airborne in a heavier than air machine and was able to achieve short flights." Although Pearse's design was not available to later inventors, his concepts had much in common with modern aircraft.

"I don't think there was ever any commercial purpose. But what was absolutely categoric was his vision for flight in the early 1900s – history has shown 100 years later how absolutely correct his vision was," Jeffrey said.

Aerilons (the small flap on the outside of the wing), the propeller in front of the plane, single wings – all have been adopted as the norm.

"If he'd had a world patent on aerilons all would have been well," he said.

It was not his last aviation invention. He created an autogyro in his garage in Christchurch which was designed to be an everyday utility plane, to be driven down the road, and to take off vertically. This plane was found by aviation pioneer and early Richard Pearse researcher, George Bolt, who took it back to Auckland.

A newspaper article alerted Pearse's sisters Ruth and Florrie, and they made contact with Mr Bolt, telling them the history of its inventor, and that he flew before the Wright Brothers. That sparked off Mr Bolt's interest.

"He came down to South Canterbury [in 1958] on the suggestion of the aunts and started digging around. When he found pieces of the original plane, he started to interview witnesses," Jeffrey said.

In later years, his uncle, who never married, would worry, on visits to the family at Temuka, that others were stealing his ideas. He died in Sunnyside, in 1953, but Jeffrey said at that time the hospital was also a home for the elderly.

"It wasn't necessarily a loony place but he was no doubt very eccentric."

Jeffrey cannot pinpoint any point in time when he was told about his famous great uncle – the story was just there in the background of family life – that he had been airborne and that he was incredibly clever as an engineer.

The harshest criticism against the flight came from within New Zealand, he said. The most generous support came from overseas with the aviation publishers Jane's, recognising his contribution to aviation. There has still not been official New Zealand government recognition of his achievements, although he has appeared on a coin.

"I think it's probably in the too hard basket because there are still `experts' that will deny his achievements."

These experts are aviation people with high qualifications but who are very distant from the real story, he said.

His father, Richard Pearse, died suddenly in Glenwood Home, Timaru, in early July, the same home where Warne died in 1967. His passing marked the end of those with the closest association to the man who may well have been the first to fly a plane. 

Source:   http://www.stuff.co.nz

Measures against pilot who flew prime minister. Willemstad, Netherlands Antilles.

WILLEMSTAD--Measures will be taken against the pilot who took Prime Minister Gerrit Schotte (MFK) and a guest on a flight over Curaçao and Klein Curacao, on March 26 of this year. Minister of Transport Charles Cooper (MAN) stated this in a letter answering questions by then-still-PAR parliamentarian Anthony Hollander. Cooper confirmed that the pilot did not have the necessary permission to perform the flight.

The flight of March 26 was part of a visit to Curaçao by a delegation of ambassadors and consul-generals resorting under the Dutch Kingdom's Directorate of the Western Hemisphere. Schotte took director Mariyem van den Heuvel along for a helicopter ride over Curaçao and Klein Curaçao.

However, the flight was not performed in accordance with the "flight plan" and the incident led former Hollander to present Cooper with a series of questions on April 12.

In his reply, the minister states that the helicopter has a Venezuelan registration (YV-2715) and that an employee of the Bureau Operations of the Commander of the Royal Navy in the Caribbean Area at Parera reported that the helicopter flew over the naval base.

In the letter, Hollander asked whether Schotte had given the pilot instructions regarding the flight plan and landing. He based such on statements from the then-photographer of the young prime minister – currently his PR officer – Ramsay Soemanta, who indicated on his Facebook page on March 27 that Schotte had given "clear instructions" to the co-pilot.

Cooper refrained from answering that question, stating that he does not know, because he was not on board the helicopter that day. Nevertheless, he indicated that the pilot – and not any passenger on board – always remains responsible.

Neither do requests from individuals, including the prime minister, indemnify the pilot from observing the local laws and rules, the MAN minister stated.

According to Cooper, the helicopter landed twice at Klein Curaçao and the Motet Wharf. Both areas are not described as aviation terrain and the pilot had not requested nor been granted dispensation, based on the Aviation Ordinance.

The captain thus violated this national ordinance and can expect measures: "either an admonition or a more severe step," wrote the minister. The Directorate of Aviation is still investigating the matter.

Young vandals smash $4000 helipad lights. Goondiwindi, Queensland, Australia.

ACTING Director of Nursing Helen Jones, left, with Manager Operational Services, Kaye Macnamara.

Goondiwindi residents want vandals who smashed $4000 worth of helipad lights at the Goondiwindi Hospital on Friday night to be “named and shamed”.

Goondiwindi Regional Mayor, Cr Graeme Scheu said he understood the community anger.

“I can see why people are filthy and I believe the community has a right to know, especially when it comes to repeat offenders,” he said.

Hospital staff raised the alarm after hearing a “smashing noise” which they assumed was coming from the Bowls Club next door.

But on investigation they found five people - most wearing “hoodies” - smashing helipad lights.

Staff told Goondiwindi Police they believed it was three young boys and two girls.

The juveniles ran off.

The helipad is used for medical emergencies. Just hours before the vandalism, the RACQ CareFlight rescue helicopter landed there to take a 33 year-old man suffering seizures to Toowoomba Base Hospital.

“It can save lives. Heaven forbid that those who smashed will ever need the service, but we know how many patients have been airlifted from the hospital over the years. I’m sure they would be as horrified as us that young people would be so thoughtless,” Cr Scheu said.

Alternative arrangements were made so that patients could airlifted if the need had arisen.

Officer-in-Charge of the Goondiwindi Police Snr-Sgt Richard McIntosh said two 14 year-old boys had been spoken to and dealt with under the Juvenile Justice Act.

Under the Act we cannot provide any more information. Investigations are continuing.

Anyone with information should contact the Goondiwindi Police on 4671 7777.

Forced landing sparks alert. New Zealand.

Emergency services workers pictured during a callout to Hood Aerodrome, where the Otago Rescue Helicopter was forced to make an emergency landing while carrying a patient.

Two ambulances, two fire engines and several police cars all sped to the Masterton airport at 1.30pm when a Life Flight helicopter had to land after an onboard instrument showed a drop in oil pressure.

The helicopter was transporting a patient from Wellington Hospital to Wairarapa Hospital at the time, with the patient transferred to an ambulance for the rest of the journey.

Life Flight CEO David Irving said the sudden landing was purely precautionary.

"A gauge showed low pressure and the handbook says if that happens you land immediately," Mr Irving said. "You don't wait, you set down immediately.

"Luckily they were right by the airfield so they were able to land there."

A later check by an engineer showed the fault was with the instrument rather than the oil pressure, with the helicopter cleared to fly back to Wellington late yesterday afternoon.

"Helicopters are strange things in a way because if something does go wrong it goes wrong very, very badly," Mr Irving said.

The incident was no drama for the two crew members and nurse onboard, who landed quickly and safely before attending to the patient and calling for a helicopter engineer.

Masterton acting fire station officer Andy Simpson said the fire crews were dispatched as a precaution.

Firefighters helped transfer the patient from the helicopter to the awaiting ambulance before returning to base.

While operating as a Life Flight helicopter, the machine in question yesterday was an Otago Rescue Helicopter.

It was leased to the Wellington-based Life Flight while the Westpac helicopter was undergoing repairs, Mr Irving said.

Source:   http://www.times-age.co.nz

Taxpayer Calculator: Essential Air Service Program for Small Airports.

A federal program that provides subsidies to airlines for providing passenger service to small airports that would otherwise go without came under fire as Congress deadlocked on a recent FAA authorization leading to an agency shutdown.

But the money now looks to be safe as the transportation secretary plans to sign a waiver that overrides congressional calls to end at least some of the funding. That waiver led to Senate passage of a House FAA authorization bill that yanked the funding.

In rural areas where public transportation or highways are sparse, the Essential Air Service program seeks to support air travel. The Department of Transportation subsidizes about 150 of these communities, areas that likely would not be able to support any take-offs or landings without the federal government's substantial help.

Ely, Nevada's tiny airport provides a perfect example. It's the nation's smallest airport with commercial passenger service and the one daily roundtrip flight to Las Vegas on Great Lakes Air costs around $300 roundtrip. But the federal subsidy for the flight is more than ten times that cost for each passenger. The drive from Ely to Las Vegas is about 284 miles and takes a little over four hours.

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 106 passengers used the Ely airport in the first four months of 2011. In 2010, only 227 people used the facility.

Those fighting to keep air service at the smaller, subsidized airports say the link to larger areas is vital for passengers and is worth the cost to taxpayers. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. fought to keep the EAS.

But others say the subsidies, some of which are thousands of dollars per ticket, are a massive waste of taxpayer monies. And aviation consultant Eric Zimmerman says they the subsidies are products of a bygone era.

"The EAS was created as a temporary or intended to be a temporary program to ease the transition after airline deregulation and here we are more than 30 years later and this program is squandering more taxpayer money dollars than ever," said Zimmerman.

So just how much does the EAS program cost you? Find out by CLICKING HERE FOR OUR TAXPAYER CALCULATOR.

Fox News Correspondent Peter Doocy contributed to this report.

Air India to tone down turnaround plan; revise fleet expansion targets.

MUMBAI: Air India, the country's ailing national carrier, is set to tone down its turnaround plan and revise fleet expansion targets when a government-appointed panel meets in Delhi on Wednesday. This is the first group of ministers meet to be held after Rohit Nandan took over as the chairman and managing director of Air India last week.

The revised plan, being dubbed as moderate , is likely to rationalise fleet acquisition and growth plans of the national carrier in the domestic market. The plan will be sent to the Cabinet for final approval after it gets clearance from the GoM. In the original plan, Air India was aiming to reach a fleet size of 248 by 2015-16 . "This has now been revised and toned down by Delhi to 245 by 2018-19 ," said an Air India official, not wanting to be identified .

Air India has a fleet of 124 aircraft, including wide-body and narrow-body aircraft. The revision in targeted fleet size will lower the amount of equity support the airlines will get from the government. "The government is likely to infuse . 37,000 crore into the airlines over the next 10 years compared to . 42,000 crore under the original plan," said a person with direct knowledge of the matter. "We are working on the turnaround plan and revising down expansion of operations .

In the new turnaround plan, we aim to increase fleet expansion marginally and also financial restructuring has to change. SBI Caps is reworking the targets and will come up with a revised plan within two to three weeks," said a senior government official. The ministerial panel will also discuss the issue of fuel supply to Air India, the official added. Last week, all the three oil marketing companies had refused to refuel Air India aircraft due to non-payment of dues, disrupting operations for more than four hours.

Petroleum minister Jaipal Reddy, who will also be present in the meeting, has reportedly been stern on the issue of payment default by Air India, which owes the oil marketing companies . 2,300 crore in fuel and interest costs. On the revised growth targets the AI official said, "There is an overall change in the growth targets we want for Air India in the domestic sector and also a re-look at the market share that we want to increase in the domestic sector." "It was widely accepted that Air India growth targets have been a little over the current market growth and there is a change in that position that was earlier approved in 2010," he said.

Air India, which initially wanted to focus on the domestic sector to arrest its slipping market share that has not gone above 15% for some time now, will focus more on international routes. Air India deploys 60% of its capacity on the international routes. Industry experts said that the government should not delay giving a go-ahead for AI turnaround plan any further.

Source:  http://economictimes.indiatimes.com

$700,000 in Funding For KUNV. Runway Safety Enhancements, Terminal Improvements Scheduled. University Park Airport, State College, Pennsylvania.

U.S. Representative Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson today announced that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has awarded $700,000 through two grants, to the University Park Airport in State College. The FAA grants will assist the University Park Airport to enhance runway safety improvements and terminal operations upgrades.

“These grants help meet the transportation needs and safety requirements of our regional airport authorities,” said Thompson. “Through this federal support, the University Park Airport will meet safety requirements and continue offering quality aviation services for Centre County and the surrounding communities.”

The Federal Aviation Administration awarded the funding in the form of two grants:

· Grant I: $250,000 will provide funding for the rehabilitation of Runway 6/24 and other improvements to maintain the structural integrity of the runway’s pavement.

· Grant II: $450,000 will provide funding for improvements to the terminal building including replacement of the luggage carousel.

University Airport Director, Bryan Rodgers, offered the following response upon hearing of the news. “We are appreciative of Congressman Thompson’s support of University Park Airport. The grant funding will be used to improve the runway pavement and improve the passenger baggage handling system at the airline terminal.”

Over the last several years, Thompson has worked to help advance efforts for the newly established Air Traffic Control Tower and most recently advocated for timely disbursement of federal dollars for staffing the tower.

Representative Thompson remains committed to working with airport officials, FAA officials and local stakeholders to ensure the long-term viability of University Park Airport and continued improvement of its air transportation operations.

Source:  http://www.northcentralpa.com

Win tickets to fly on All Nippon Airway's first 787 flight. Airline offers two tickets to winner of photo contest.

Want to fly on the first public flight of Boeing's new 787 Dreamliner?

All Nippon Airways, the launch customer for the 787, is holding an “I heart 787” photo contest. The winner will receive two tickets on the Dreamliner's first flight with the carrier.

Photo entries should include a picture of the number "787" and your smile, according to the airline's Facebook post.

Enter ANA's photo contest by Sept. 5. Voting on photo entries will run from Sept. 6 to Sept. 14.

Boeing plans to deliver the first Dreamliner to ANA next month. The carrier has said the first flight will be a special charter trip from Tokyo to Hong Kong. The date of that flight has not been announced.

Like All Nippon Airways on Facebook to find out how to enter.

Source:  http://www.heraldnet.com

No official word from Boeing on end of tests for 787.

By Michelle Dunlop, Herald Writer

The Boeing Co. expected to wrap up flight testing on its 787 Dreamliner last weekend, clearing the way for regulatory approval on the new jet.

But, on Tuesday, Boeing still wasn't ready to confirm that flight testing is complete.

"We will announce the end of flight test when we're sure we've completed it," said Boeing spokeswoman Lori Gunter.

Airlines and aviation enthusiasts are watching Boeing's every move on its 787, a jet that is expected to use 20 percent less fuel than similarly sized aircraft. After more than three years of delays, Boeing intends to deliver the first Dreamliner next month to Japan's All Nippon Airways.

Jim Albaugh, president of Boeing's commercial airplanes division, said last Thursday that the company had just 24 hours of flight testing left to do on the Dreamliner. He predicted that Boeing would complete those tests last weekend.

After Boeing finishes flight tests, the company will submit documentation to the Federal Aviation Administration for its approval. Japan's aviation regulatory agency also must sign off on the 787 before ANA can fly the jet commercially.

Museum hopes to raise bomber from sea bed.

An appeal has been launched to help recover from the seabed a German bomber which was shot down over the Kent coast during the Battle of Britain.

The Dornier 17, which crash-landed on the notorious Goodwin Sands on 26 August, 1940, was rediscovered during an archaeological survey in 2008. It is thought to be the last surviving example of its kind. Infrared images show that the wreck is lying on its back 50ft beneath the waves.

The RAF Museum in Hendon, North-west London, hopes to raise £600,000 to salvage the aircraft and exhibit it in its Battle of Britain Beacon project.

CALIFORNIA: Man arrested at Los Angeles International Airport after loaded gun found in bag

Los Angeles, CA (AP) --   Police say a 25-year-old Alabama man has been arrested after federal authorities discovered a loaded handgun in his carry-on bag as he passed through a security checkpoint at Los Angeles International Airport.

Airport police spokeswoman Belinda Nettles says Joshua Banks was arrested Tuesday morning on suspicion of carrying a loaded firearm.

The Los Angeles Times say Banks had purchased a ticket for a flight to Dallas and was taken into custody at the American Airlines terminal.

Banks was taken to the airport police station for preliminary processing and booked at the LAPD's Pacific Division jail.

Piper PA-28-180 Cherokee C, Donald Kernot (rgd. owner & pilot), VH-POJ: Near Wallup, about 40km north of Horsham, VIC - Australia

Mr Kernot with his beloved plane.

ON the same evening Yarrawonga volunteer pilot Don Kernot took to the air to fly a teenage girl home from Melbourne after medical treatment, members of the Yarrawonga-Mulwala Rotary Club had decided to pay the pilot’s insurance costs to help him continue flying for Angel Flight.

Mr Kernot, 69, died when his Piper Cherokee 180 crashed in a paddock at Wallup, near Horsham in western Victoria at about 6.30pm on Monday.

His young passenger, Jacinda Twigg, 15, of Nhill was also killed.

Her mother Julie-Ann, 43, remains in a critical condition in Royal Melbourne Hospital after suffering head, chest and rib injuries in the crash.

Doc Keenan, a member of the Yarrawonga-Mulwala Rotary Club, said Mr Kernot had spoken to club members only a week before, describing how he had become involved with Angel Flight earlier this year after more than 40 years as a private pilot.

“He told us it would cost him between $400 and $500 a month and all he got back was the fuel for his aeroplane,” Mr Keenan said.

“He never came to us asking for money but after we heard him, the members said ‘we’ve got to help this bloke’.

“Last night we decided we would provide $1500 for him to pay his insurance costs, probably only an hour before he would have died.”

Mr Keenan described Mr Kernot, a pensioner and widower who had retired to Yarrawonga only last year, as “a really nice fellow” whom the club was keen to help.

“When he spoke to us the week before, he broke down telling us about some of the kids he had flown, he had tears in his eyes,” Mr Keenan said.

“It is a hell of a loss and we are all saddened by it.”

On Monday morning, Kyi Brooks, 13, of Howlong, had taken his first ever Angel Flight with Mr Kernot, headed to Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital for treatment for cancer in the muscle under his eye.

Yesterday, his father James Curran said both Kyi and his mother Jennifer Curran had told him “what a great bloke” Mr Kernot was and how he had calmed their nerves during the trip to Melbourne by pointing out all the landmarks.

“Since finding out today, they’re a bit shaken up; my wife is a bit teary and has broken down a couple of times,” Mr Curran said.

Angel Flight operations manager, Terry McGowan, said the flight from Melbourne to Nhill would have been Mr Kernot’s 20th flight with Angel Flight since he began volunteering with the organisation in February.

“He had 870 pilot-in-command hours when our normal requirement is 250 hours,” Mr McGowan said.

“He was one of our most experienced pilots.”

Mr McGowan said Angel Flight was attempting to make contact with members of Mr Kernot’s family but understood they were headed to the crash site yesterday.

“Our volunteers give up their time and money to make sure fellow Australians get access to the treatment they need,” he said.

Earlier this month, Mr Kernot told the Yarrawonga Chronicle he had bought his Piper Cherokee 180 aircraft after deciding his Cessna 150 was neither big enough nor fast enough to fly for Angel Flight.

Source:  http://www.bordermail.com.au

Read more:  http://www.abc.net.au

Two more associates of ex-Air India chief shunted out

MUMBAI: Heads continued to roll in Air India on Tuesday with two more close associates of former chairman and managing director (CMD) Arvind Jadhav being shown the door.

Captain Naresh Kumar Beri and Captain Sandip Marwah, both appointed to the post of Officer on Special Duty (OSD) by the former chairman, were shunted out of the chairman's secretariat, said airline sources.

The two pilots will now be doing flying duties. Captain Beri was accused of nepotism by the Indian Pilots' Guild (IPG), the recognized union of Air India. "He had used his position to first get his son employed in Air India Express as a co-pilot on the Boeing 737 on a five-year contract. Then, breaking all rules, within months he moved his son to Air India's wide-bodied Boeing 777 aircraft," a pilot said. The IPG had brought up this matter in several complaints to the former chairman, but to no avail. The Air India spokesperson was not available for comment.

The changes began on Friday when V Srikrishnan and P Easwarchandran, two retired Air India officials who were taken back on contract by Jadhav this year, tendered their resignations to the departing chairman. The airline's chief information officer Kamaljeet Rattan has also handed in his resignation, though unlike the former two, he has to serve notice period before leaving the company.

Following consistent complaints against Jadhav from several quarters, the government removed him from the post of AI CMD last week. Rohit Nandan, a joint secretary in the ministry of civil aviation, is now at the helm of affairs in the merged airline that has a debt of Rs 42,000 crore.

I Found Jim! Pilots Jim and Mark are getting set to fly Dehavilland Beavers for NW Seaplanes to Hakai Lodge.

Embry-Riddle celebrates three years in Rockford, Illinois.

ROCKFORD (WREX) -  Many of the key players in the Embry-Riddle recruitment process will celebrate three years of working with the aeronautical university.

Embry-Riddle brought a worldwide campus to the Chicago Rockford International Airport back in August 2008. Three years later, the city is working hard to land the university's third main campus. Embry-Riddle is still considering Rockford and Houston for the campus expansion. The university's main two campuses are located in Daytona Beach, Florida and Prescott, Arizona.

The airport will be giving away an airline ticket voucher to one lucky person attending the news conference at 1:00 p.m. inside the auditorium of the administrative building at the airport.

Biplane, police search for suspects in Rock County, Illinois.

ROCK COUNTY (WREX) - Rock County Sheriff's Police are out in full force, looking for suspects.

Some of you may have noticed officers out on Highway 51. Police say they're looking for suspects in that area, between Blackhawk Technical College and the airport. There are officers out there, plus a biplane circling overhead.

We have a crew on the scene. Right now investigators could not say much, other than that they're looking for suspects.

Source:  http://www.wrex.com

European Airline Orders Four Bombardier Q400 NextGen Turboprops.

TORONTO, ONTARIO, Aug 16, 2011 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- Bombardier Aerospace announced today that a European airline, which has requested to remain unidentified at the present time, has signed a firm order for four Q400 NextGen high-speed turboprop airliners. The transaction includes options on an additional four Q400 NextGen aircraft.

Based on the Q400 NextGen aircraft list price, the firm order is valued at approximately $126 million US.

"The technologically advanced Q400 NextGen aircraft is a large, fast, quiet and fuel-efficient regional turboprop," said Gary R. Scott, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. "Airlines everywhere are today enjoying the full profit potential of the advanced capabilities of this high-performance, high-profit alternative to a jet, and benefit from the optimized aircraft for short-haul operations in the 70- to 80-seat segment."

The transaction announced today increases Q400/Q400 NextGen firm orders to 412 aircraft, with 357 delivered as of April 30, 2011.

About Bombardier

A world-leading manufacturer of innovative transportation solutions, from commercial aircraft and business jets to rail transportation equipment, systems and services, Bombardier Inc. is a global corporation headquartered in Canada. Its revenues for the fiscal year ended January 31, 2011, were $17.7 billion, and its shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (BBD). Bombardier is listed as an index component to the Dow Jones Sustainability World and North America indexes. News and information are available at www.bombardier.com or follow us on Twitter @Bombardier.

Follow @Bombardier_Aero on Twitter to receive the latest news and updates from Bombardier Aerospace.

Bombardier, NextGen and Q400 are trademarks of Bombardier Inc. or its subsidiaries.

US Airways Pilot Convicted Of 2nd Driving Under The Influence.

LAKE WYLIE, S.C. -- A jury has convicted a US Airways pilot of driving under the influence.

Deputies said he almost sideswiped a marked patrol car while driving drunk last year.

Deputies said Samuel Hannan was driving fast and erratically and police said he told deputies that he was on his way to his crash pad in Lake Wylie after spending the day on the lake.

Last week’s conviction is Hannan’s second DUI conviction.

He was also caught driving drunk in Arizona five years ago.

A US Airways spokeswoman told Channel 9 that airline does not release personnel information, so it is not clear if Hannan is still employed by the airline.

Original Article and Photo:  http://www.wsoctv.com

Pilot convicted of driving under the influence after nearly crashing into police car.

YORK --  A York County jury convicted a pilot from Lake Wylie of driving under the influence after he nearly side-swiped a York County Sheriff's Office patrol car.

Samuel Thomas Hannan III was charged with his second offense of DUI on Oct. 9. He was convicted on Thursday, according to a press release from the 16th Circuit Solicitor's Office.

Hannan was also observed driving erratically and at a high rate of speed, the release states. He refused to submit to field sobriety testing and refused to provide a breath sample to determine his blood alcohol concentration.

According to the release, Hannan told the officer he was on his way to his "crash pad" in Lake Wylie that night after spending the day on the lake followed by a stop in at a bar/ restaurant. He admitted to drinking three beers but later confessed that he had consumed more than that amount.

Hannan was sentenced to one year in prison and a fine of $2,100, suspended on the service of five days in jail and a fine of $1,500 with court costs a, followed by five years of probation. His prior conviction for DUI was for “Extreme DUI” out of Arizona in 2006.

Original Article and Comments: http://www.heraldonline.com

Economy makes city's bid for another airline challenging. Lynchburg Regional Airport/Preston Glenn Field (KLYH), Lynchburg, Virginia.

The airline industry is shrinking, but officials at the Lynchburg Regional Airport believe the region can attract another carrier.

It will take considerable time and effort, though, because of the lagging economy, high oil prices and airline consolidation.

Airlines “are in the business of making more money,” and not moving more passengers, said Mike Boyd, president of The Boyd Group, at Tuesday’s Lynchburg Regional Chamber of Commerce meeting.

Following the loss of United Express in 2002 and Delta at the beginning of this year, Lynchburg Regional Airport has been served by only one carrier, US Airways.

US Airways flies to Charlotte six times a day and offers competitive fares, about 37 percent lower than the average airfare in Roanoke, said Mark Courtney, director of the Lynchburg Regional Airport.

Still, about 49 percent of Region 2000 flyers drive to other airports because of a lack of available airline seats in Lynchburg.

The airport’s most-recent air traffic report shows that the total number of passengers in the first seven months of this year has declined by about 20 percent from the same time period in 2010 — 105,223 total passengers in January-July of 2010 compared to 83,774 in January-July this year.

Boyd said focusing on US Airways and United Airlines makes the most sense; both offer the greatest opportunities for growth.

“We don’t think Delta’s coming back anytime soon,” said Boyd, who is helping Lynchburg create a strategy to attract airlines.

From Lynchburg, US Airways can connect to a hub in Philadelphia and United can connect to a hub in Washington/Dulles, creating more opportunities for each company.

Delta left Lynchburg in part because it was almost 400 miles from the closest hub in Atlanta.

The goal, said Courtney, is to attract “a full service network carrier that has global and domestic destinations.”

That connectivity will allow residents to see the world and “the world to get to us.”

PENNSYLVANIA: Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority committee recommends hiring of management firm to take over LVIA operations.

A committee charged with finding a management firm to take over operations at Lehigh Valley International Airport has hammered out details of a contract with the firm and is recommending the airport's governing body approve the contract.

LVIA along with Queen City Airport in Allentown and Braden Airpark in Forks Township is governed by the Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority, which for months has been debating the hiring of such a firm to manage the airports' day-to-day operations.

On Friday, the committee, comprised of several members of the authority's board of governors, met behind closed doors to negotiate with AFCO AvPORTS Management of Dulles, Va.

Authority board Chairman David Haines said following the meeting that the committee voted unanimously to recommend a contract with AvPorts.

"After the negotiating session, we came to a meeting of minds," he said, adding that the contract will go before the full board of governors for a vote next Tuesday.

If approved, AvPorts would begin transitioning into its new role on Sept. 9, with expectations that the firm would take over operations by Jan. 1, 2012, Haines said.

The contract would run for two years with the option of a one-year extension, he said.

Haines declined to release specifics because language in the contract is still being finalized by attorneys.

AvPorts' initial offer was for two years at a cost of $325,000 per year.

The contract's implications on administrative jobs with the authority remains to be seen, Haines said.

"They are going to come in and look at the whole operation from top to bottom," he said.

The authority has been operating without a permanent executive director since acting director Larry Krauter left in March to run Spokane International Airport in Washington state. His departure occurred six months after previous director George Doughty resigned. Skip Fairchild, the authority's director of public safety, is now acting executive director.

Source:  http://www.lehighvalleylive.com

Piper PA-32R-301T N492ST: Accident occurred August 16, 2011 in Graham, North Carolina

NTSB Identification: ERA11LA457 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, August 16, 2011 in Graham, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/09/2012
Aircraft: PIPER AIRCRAFT INC PA-32R-301T, registration: N492ST
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The airplane was stolen during nighttime hours and flown at varying airspeeds and altitudes for about 2 hours before it impacted trees and terrain. Photographs of the accident scene revealed damage indicative of an almost vertical descent and consistent with a stall. There was no indication of engine power at the time of impact, and no significant amount of fuel was found at the scene, in the airplane, or seeped into the ground. An individual, who had previously held a student pilot certificate, was arrested 2 days after the event. The individual refused to provide a statement to authorities. Fuel prior to takeoff and power settings used could not be determined; however, with fuel exhaustion occurring after only 2 hours for an airplane that should have had considerably more endurance if fully fueled and operated correctly, it is likely that the individual mismanaged the rate of fuel consumption.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The individual's fuel mismanagement, which resulted in fuel exhaustion and a subsequent engine failure. Contributing the accident was the individual’s failure to maintain adequate airspeed following the engine failure, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall.

On August 16, 2011, about 0425 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-32R-301T, N492ST, was substantially damaged when it impacted wooded terrain in Graham, North Carolina. No one was found in or near the wreckage; however, on August 18, 2011, a suspect with minor injuries was arrested for larceny of the airplane. The airplane departed Horace Williams Airport (IGX), Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed for the flight.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) radar information indicated that the airplane departed IGX about 0235, and subsequently made multiple turns, climbs and descents. Recorded altitudes varied between 5,100 feet above mean sea level (msl), and 800 feet msl in the vicinity of the accident site, while terrain elevations averaged about 600 feet. Numerous losses of radar contact were also noted during the flight, typically below 800 feet msl. Ground speeds also varied, between a maximum of 156 knots, and 54 knots near the accident site.

Responders found blood at the scene, but the occupant(s) of the airplane could not be located. FAA photographs revealed that the airplane came to rest next to a large tree. Tree damage was apparent almost directly above the wreckage, and there was no evidence of forward motion of the airplane.

According to a responding FAA inspector, the airplane appeared to have descended vertically through the trees. The propeller had one undamaged blade sticking up through fallen tree debris. There was no odor of fuel around the airplane, no fuel in the left tank, and the inspector couldn't tell if there was any fuel in the right tank. The owner of the airplane had arrived prior to the inspector, and had placed the fuel selector into the off position. The owner had also stated to the inspector that the airplane's fuel tanks had been full the last time he saw it and that there were 1.9 additional hours on the Hobbs meter.

According to aircraft recovery personnel, there was no postcrash fire, and no significant amount of fuel could be found either onboard the airplane or seeped into the ground when the airplane was dismantled and removed for transport.

The departure airport was owned by the University of North Carolina. On August 18, 2011, a suspect was arrested and transported to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of Public Safety, where he was charged with larceny of the airplane.

According to a detective, the suspect refused to provide a statement. FAA records for the suspect indicated that he had obtained a student pilot certificate in 2004, which expired in 2009. As of March 13, 2012, the suspect's next court date for the larceny charge was scheduled for April 10, 2012.

The detective also noted that other airplanes on the ramp were found to have been tampered with, but that it could not be verified as to when the tampering occurred.



Photos:  http://www.newsobserver.com

ALAMANCE COUNTY -- Authorities continued searching Tuesday night for the pilot that was injured when the plane he stole crashed.

Civil Air Patrol in Burlington began the search when blood was discovered in the empty cockpit of the aircraft.

The plane can seat up to five passengers and one pilot, but there was no indication how many people were on board at the time of the crash, said Chuck Pickard, on-duty supervisor at Alamance sheriff’s office.

The plane was stolen from Horace Williams Airport sometime after 9 p.m. Monday night, said Randy Jones, public information officer at the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office.

The Civil Air Patrol was alerted of the plane’s crash by a distress beacon at 7 a.m. Tuesday morning.

The beacon is designed to automatically activate after a certain amount of force is made such as in a crash, said Lt. Col. David Crawford, search incident commander with Civil Air Patrol.

The plane was located between 11 and 11:30 a.m. in woods near Wildlife Club Road with no sign of anyone on or around the plane, Crawford said.

There were no indications of a fire at the scene. Tree limbs left heavy damage on the plane, according to News & Observer Staff Photographer Harry Lynch, who was at the scene.

The search was ended at 4:45 p.m. Tuesday night after rescuers thoroughly searched the area, Jones said.

According to Jones, UNC-CH has developed a suspect in the case.

“We just know that there’s been one has been identified and last I heard they were searching for this individual in Chapel Hill,” Jones said.

UNC-CH cannot confirm or deny that a suspect has been identified, said Randy Young, spokesman for UNC-CH department of public safety.

However, if an arrest made, he expected it to be made Tuesday night or Wednesday.

The aircraft, a Piper PA-32R, is registered to LFW Investments LLC in Hillsborough, N.C., according to the FAA registry.

Efforts to reach Larry Warren, owner of LFW Investments LLC, were unsuccessful.

Photos:  http://www.newsobserver.com

Alamance County, NC -- Rescue crews are searching for the pilot that crashed a stolen plane in southern Alamance County.

The plane was found empty in a wooded area on Wildlife Club Road. The location is off NC 87 between Graham and Eli Whitney. Investigators said the plane, a Piper PA-32R-301T, was stolen from Horace Williams Airport in Chapel Hill sometime overnight.

David Leonard with Alamance County Emergency Management said when rescue crews responding to the scene, they found nobody in the plane. First responders reported that there was some blood found in the cockpit.

Leonard said they were alerted to the location of the plane by Civil Air Patrol around 12:30pm. The Civil Air Patrol first received an alert from the plane's locator beacon around 7am.

Rescue crews and sheriff's deputies are conducting a canine search and land grid search in the area near where the plane was found to search for the pilot or anyone that may have been on the plane.
- - - - - - -
A small plane was stolen between 9 p.m. Monday and 6 a.m. Tuesday from Horace Williams Airport, University spokesman Randy Young said.

The plane was later found crashed on Wildlife Club Road off of Highway 87 just outside Graham, Young said.

The individual or individuals who stole the plane have not been found, said David Leonard, emergency management coordinator of Alamance County Emergency Operations.

He said emergency crews are holding a grid ground-search to find whoever crashed the plane. He said that crews who responded to the scene reported blood in the cockpit of the plane.

“Someone may have been injured,” Leonard said. “We’re still actively searching the ground now.”

Randy Jones, public information officer for Alamance County Sheriff’s Department, said the pilot’s injuries are probably minor.

He said something — probably the crash — triggered the plane’s emergency beacon at 4:53 a.m. Tuesday, and the Civil Air Patrol crews began a ground search at around 7 a.m. after tracking the plane to Alamance County. They found the plane at approximately 12:18 p.m.

The tail number on the plane is N492ST, confirmed Paul J. Burke, Jr., manager of Horace Williams Airport.

That number is registered to a 200 Piper Aircraft single-engine plane, according to the Federal Aviation Administration website. The registered owner is listed as LFW Investments LLC, which lists a post office box in Hillsborough as an address.

The company is registered to Larry Warren, according to the N.C. Department of the Secretary of State.

Authorities discovered that the plane had been stolen after finding the crashed plane and contacting the owner — who said he thought the plane was parked in an Orange County airport — based on its tail number registration, Jones said.

Jones said the Civil Air Patrol alerted the Alamance County Sheriff’s Department when it found the plane, and the office commenced a grid search and a canine search for the pilot around 12:45 p.m.

The investigation into the crash itself will be completed by the Federal Aviation Authority, and the offense investigation from the theft will fall under the jurisdiction of the University’s Department of Public Safety, Jones said.

Young said there has been little concern in the past about the security of Horace Williams. But he said this incident could change that.

“If we receive any voiced or shown concern, then we will respond appropriately,” he said.

California Highway Patrol aerial officers honored for work in Sacramento area

Pilot Jeff Barbao and flight officer Jonathon Pierce have won the fixed wing operator of the year award sponsored by aircraft-maker GippsAero for the impact of their work.

Barbao and Pierce are assigned to the CHP Valley Division air unit based in Auburn. The division covers an area 160 miles in length and 130 miles wide, including Sacramento, Stockton and South Lake Tahoe.

The officers, who routinely work the nightshift together, fly Cessna T206H aircraft equipped with a camera that has infrared capabilities. Accomplishments in 2010 when they flew 600 hours:

-- 148 arrests

-- 1,852 assists to the public

-- 995 speed enforcement details

-- 5 LoJack stolen vehicle finds

-- 15 pursuits

-- 7 Driving Under the Influence arrests

-- 4 arrests for shining a laser at an aircraft

-- 237 allied agency assists

A CHP press release called attention to a particular call on April 17, 2010 when Barbao and Pierce watched shooting suspects flee on foot through a parking lot out of sight of ground units.

"The aircraft remained inconspicuous at an altitude of over 6,500 feet and over 2 miles offset horizontally from the scene," stated the release.

When the suspects fled, one of them tossed a bag with guns used in the shooting. The guns were later recovered thanks to the maneuvering of the airplane and the use of the onboard camera, which allowed them to see the weapons being thrown.

Officer Pierce continued to announce to others the location of the suspects. Eventually, they were captured when the aerial officers directed officers on the ground to a Dumpster where the suspects were hidden.