Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Learning to Fly the Safe Way . . .

Flying is a common sport in Montana. It provides an exhilarating feeling you have to experience to describe. Yet, it can be extremely dangerous if safety precautions are not strictly followed.

Bryan Feigum, 17, began his aviation training in June. He had trouble describing the sensation of flying, but he says, “I'm on top of the world” comes close.

Feigum grew up in a military family where planes and air shows were common. Watching pilots and planes show off for the crowds he says, “cinched it for me. Planes are pretty big part of my life now”.

He is very confident in the FAA guidelines to keep him safe. He believes, “I put myself in more danger driving to the airport than flying”.

Feigum is the pilot during lessons. He says his instructor, Vince Bakke, is there to make sure he doesn't screw up. It doesn't feel like work to Bakke. He loves the freedom and empowerment sensation. He says, “as soon as I’m up in the air I’m in my own environment. It’s a freedom not a lot of people get to experience”.

Flying helps a lot of people get from place to place in rural areas. Montana’s wide open spaces make flying a quick and efficient choice of transportation. Some of his students need their flying license just for business because driving takes too long.

Bakke advises looking for an aviation school like you are shopping for a car. He says be sure to check out the airplane, kick the tires, check for dips, and other things. If the airplane is not in good condition, for example it has duct tape on the wings, lots of dents, drippings, or anything like that, then walk away.

A plane used for instruction must be inspected once for every 100 hours of flying. Plus the student and instructor do a very thorough preflight inspection checklist before taking off. Bakke says, “if anything doesn't look right, you don't go flying”.

Plane accidents are rare. One reason is all the care taken to ensure instructors are properly qualified and the planes are in top condition. Bakke’s flight school, Cloud Catcher Aviation, LLC, is a certified 141 school which means they follow a syllabus with refined training above standard requirements. Bakke has the highest certification level of a flight instructor, Airline Transport Pilot. He has been flying since he was 17. He flew F-16s in the Air Force for 20 years. He also was an airline pilot off and on since 1999. Bakke says, “most accidents are caused by pilot errors”. In other words, the pilot isn’t taking proper care of his plane or checking everything prior to flight.

Preparing to fly a plane requires much more than putting your key in to start a car. Getting a flying license alone requires a one to two hour written test and five to six hour practical test.

Illinois: What it takes to direct air traffic from Aurora facility.

About this Article
A rare up-close tour shows how controllers at the Federal Aviation Administration's Chicago Center in Aurora work. A good controller “has a Type A personality,” veteran employee Toby Hauck explains. “You need to make quick, correct decisions." Weather and politics have created turbulence this summer and cast controllers in the national spotlight.

See article and photos:

Evans Plegazair 100, N523RE: Accident occurred August 17, 2011 in Maysville, North Carolina

NTSB Identification: ERA11LA459 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, August 17, 2011 in Maysville, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/06/2012
Aircraft: EVANS ROBERT W SR PEGAZAIR 100, registration: N523RE
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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 student pilot was making his first takeoff in his experimental light sport airplane and had the flaperons extended. He added power, and the tail of the airplane came off the ground quicker than he expected. The airplane became airborne at 30 mph in a nose-high attitude. He stated that the airplane stalled, rotated 180 degrees, and collided with the ground. The student pilot stated that there were no mechanical problems with the airplane and that he did not have a tailwheel endorsement or training in tailwheel airplanes. Review of the manufacturer's specifications revealed that the airplane will stall at 28 mph. Postaccident examination of the airframe, flight controls, engine assembly, and accessories revealed no anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The student pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed during initial takeoff climb, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall.

On August 17, 2011, at 0740 eastern daylight time, an experimental amateur-built light sport, Evans Plegazair 100 airplane, N523RE, registered to a private owner, collided with the ground during initial takeoff climb from a private airstrip in the vicinity of Maysville, North Carolina. The personal flight was operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. No flight plan was filed and visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The student pilot sustained serious injuries. The airplane received structural damage to both wings and the empennage. The flight was originating from the student pilot's private airstrip at time of the accident.

The student pilot stated he did not have a tail wheel endorsement or training in tail wheel airplanes. In addition, the accident takeoff was his first takeoff with the flaperon extended to 20 degrees. He started the takeoff run and the airplane responded differently. The tail came up quicker than he anticipated, in a nose-high attitude, about 30 mph or slower. The left wing dropped down, and the nose of the airplane veered to the left. The student pilot stated he had no memory of the accident from that point, other than there was nothing wrong with the airplane.

A friend of the student pilot stated he observed the airplane during takeoff with the flaps extended about 20 degrees. The airplane became airborne and climbed between 100 to 150 feet. The nose of the airplane was in a high attitude and the left wing dropped down. The airplane veered to the left as if it was in a stall and rotated 180 degrees, before it collided with the ground in a nose-down attitude. The friend stated there was no change in engine noise until the airplane collided with the ground.

Review of records on file with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Aircraft Registration Branch revealed the original builder applied for an aircraft registration certificate on October 26, 2005. Review of the aircraft logbooks revealed the student pilot certified that he had built the aircraft for his own education and recreation on November 23, 2007. He had inspected the airplane fully and he considered it was eligible for issuance of an airworthiness certificate. The student pilot was issued a special airworthiness certificate and experimental amateur-built limitations on March 1, 2008. Review of the aircraft logbooks revealed the last condition inspection was conducted on March 1, 2008. The next inspection was due on March 31, 2009. The student pilot stated in an interview with the NTSB investigator-in-charge that he completed the last condition inspection about 1 month before the accident, but he did not record it in the logbook. On October 3, 2008, the logbook entry stated, "A/C under powered!!Removed EA-81!! ". Installed Lycoming O-320 serial number 3876-27 with in flight adjustable IVO magnum. Installed used rpm tachometer with reading of 2476.18." The airplane was involved in an accident on January 29, 2009, at recorded tachometer time of 2480.0.

The wreckage was located in a cotton field adjacent to a private residence in the vicinity of Maysville, North Carolina. The airplane collided with the ground in a left wing low, nose-down attitude and came to rest on a heading of 270-degrees magnetic. The composite propeller blades were fragmented and remained attached to the propeller hub. The top of the engine cowling was separated. The engine assembly was displaced to the left, upward, and remained attached to the engine mounts with all accessories. The engine firewall was bucked.

The windshield supports remained intact; however, the windscreen popped out. The left and right cabin doors remained attached to the door post and both side windows were intact. The cabin roof was wrinkled. Both cabin seats remained intact and the pilot's restraint system was in use at the time of the accident. The instrument panel was intact and damaged. The tachometer at the accident site read 2485.0 hours. The fuel selector switch was in the off position. The interconnected throttle on the pilot's side was full forward. The right side throttle was full aft. The mixture knob was full rich. The flaperons were extended 20 degrees. Continuity of the flight controls was confirmed from the cockpit aft to all flight control surfaces. The right main landing gear remained attached to the airframe. The left main landing gear was partially attached to the airframe and bent outward.

The right wing remained attached at the wing root. The leading edge of the wing received damage from the wing tip extending inboard 5 feet. The upper and lower wing skins were wrinkled. The right main fuel tank was not ruptured and fuel was present in the fuel tank. The right main fuel cap was secure with a tight seal. The right flaperon remained attached at all hinge points and was extended 20 degrees. The right wing strut remained attached to the wing and the fuselage.

The empennage was not damaged. The vertical fin was intact and not damaged. The rudder remained attached to the vertical fin and was not damaged. The rudder balance weight was intact. The left and right horizontal stabilizer and left and right elevators were not damaged. The tail wheel remained attached to the fuselage and was not damaged.

The left wing remained attached at the wing root. The trailing edge of the left wing separated from the rear spar. The leading edge of the wing received damage from the wing tip extending inboard 10 feet. The upper and lower wing skins were wrinkled. The left main fuel tank was not ruptured and fuel was present in the fuel tank. The left main fuel cap was secure with a tight seal. The left attachment fitting separated from the left flaperon. The left wing strut remained attached to wing and the fuselage.

Visual examination of the engine assembly and accessories revealed no anomalies.

Review of the Pegazair 100 specifications revealed that at a gross weight of 1,450 pounds, with 20 degrees of flaps extended, the airplane will stall at 28 mph.

WITN's Carly Swain was on the scene in Maysville off of White Oak River Road. Officials told her the pilot, Robert Evans, is a local farmer who owns the plane and a private air strip. Evans has a broken arm and possibly a broken leg. He's been transported to the hospital.

Evans told officials he felt the plane bank left just after taking off. The wing got caught up in the some of his crops and spun around 180 degrees.

The emergency call went out just before 8 a.m. this morning. Jacksonville Volunteer Rescue Squad and the Belgrade Volunteer Fire Department responded.

Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen says her office is investigating the accident.

She says the aircraft was a Pegazair 100.

AirBaltic Needs Capital After $70 Million Loss, Latvia Says

AirBaltic AS, the Latvian airline that’s majority-owned by the state, will need fresh capital following a loss of about 34.2 million lati ($69.8 million) last year, the Transport Ministry said. AirBaltic’s financial situation is “serious,” the ministry said in a statement today. The Latvian airline has the lowest core capital ratio of all European airlines and needs cash to continue to operate and develop, it said.

The company’s supervisory council yesterday called for a recapitalization of at least 60 million lati, according to the ministry.  Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis said it was difficult to support recapitalization without knowing what happened to 15 million lati the state invested in the company’s capital previously, the Leta newswire reported.   Transport Minister Uldis Augulis’s suitability for his position will be reviewed if the company’s shareholder agreement isn’t revised and the finances solved, Dombrovskis said, the Riga-based newswire reported.

The Baltic country will hold parliamentary elections on Sept. 17.  The airline’s offices were raided in May amid a criminal probe by the country’s anti-corruption bureau. The Latvian state owns 52.6 percent of AirBaltic while Baltic Aviation Systems has 47.2 percent. 

Putin vows support for Russian aircraft makers.

ZHUKOVSKY, Russia (AP) — Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin vowed Wednesday to keep the development of national aerospace industries a top priority for his government.

Putin spoke at Moscow's International Aviation and Space Show at Zhukovsky air base outside the capital, saying that supporting aircraft makers will be an "absolute strategic priority."

The show features Russia's state-of-the art planes. Boeing, Airbus and other international aircraft makers also have sent their latest products to the event.

Putin hailed Russia's latest aircraft designs, including its first stealth fighter, the T-50.

"They represent the achievements of today's Russia, the efforts of our experts, who are reviving and developing the best traditions of Russian aviation and space industries," Putin said.

The T-50 closely resembles the U.S. F-22 Raptor it's intended to match. The Russian fighter made its maiden flight in January 2010, but was kept out of the public eye before its public debut Wednesday in Putin's presence.

The T-50 still lacks new engines and state-of-the art equipment, and its serial production is only expected to begin in 2015 at the most optimistic forecast. Two T-50s are currently undergoing tests, and another pair is expected to join them later this year.

Russia has signed deals with India to cooperate on the aircraft's development, and hopes that the Indian air force will become a major customer for the plane.

The only other new aircraft designed and built after the Soviet collapse has been Sukhoi's Superjet, a mid-range airliner developed in cooperation with Boeing and Italian and French companies. The plane made its first commercial flight in April, but its marketing prospects appear less favorable than initially expected.

Other Russian combat and civilian planes displayed in Zhukovsky are upgraded versions of Soviet-era designs.

Piper PA-28-181 Archer, N291HP: Pell City Mayor Bill Hereford unhurt in crash. Aircraft on landing went into a ditch. Brewton Municipal Airport (12J), Alabama.

A pilot taxiing on a runway at the Brewton Municipal Airport ran off the runway and into a ditch Tuesday morning, damaging the plane but not causing any injuries.

Airport fixed base operations manager Freddie McCall said the pilot — Pell City Mayor William Hereford — walked away but the aircraft sustained significant damage.

“He was having mechanical problems to begin with,” said McCall, who answered the pilot’s radio call when he was preparing to land.

The plane landed but the pilot continued to have trouble with its rudder, McCall said, and Hereford ran into the ditch after he was on the ground.

“I was never in any danger,” Hereford told The Daily Home newspaper. “One of the rudder pedals failed after I landed and was taxiing. It caused the plane to veer left, and it went off in a shallow ditch.”

Hereford said he was alone in his plane, a Piper Archer III that seats up to four.

Hereford said there was “good damage” to the front end of the plane; however, the spinner and propeller were intact.

“It’s not like it crashed (out of the sky),” he said. “It’s largely superficial.”

 Hereford was in Brewton to visit with city officials and learn more about the city’s Channel 6 local access station, which is used to broadcast local programming, including a talk show hosted by Mayor Ted Jennings and Roger Chapman.

Mayor Ted Jennings said Hereford mentioned the plane incident but simply said he had gone off the runway.

The Federal Aviation Administration will investigate because the plane had such severe damage, McCall said.

“There was nothing you could do to prevent it,” Hereford said. “It was a little part that went bad, we think. The FAA will investigate, but they always do that. It happened when I was traveling at a very low speed. Thank goodness it didn’t happen when I was landing.”

Hereford said no other planes were nearby when the accident occurred.

“He was very, very fortunate” to walk away uninjured, McCall said.

Pell City Mayor Bill Hereford was not injured when his private airplane rolled off the runway at the Brewton Municipal Airport Tuesday morning.

“I was never in any danger,” Hereford said. “One of the rudder pedals failed after I landed and was taxiing. It caused the plane to veer left, and it went off in a shallow ditch.”

Hereford said he was alone in his plane, a Piper Archer III that seats up to four.

“It happened about 8 a.m.,” he said. “I flew down here to look at the city of Brewton’s cable channel for ideas for a setup in Pell City. We have a government/education channel; we just need to put it in place. They have a great setup in Brewton.”

Hereford said there was “good damage” to the front end of the plane; however, the spinner and propeller were intact.

“It’s not like it crashed (out of the sky),” he said. “It’s largely superficial.”

Hereford said no other planes were nearby when the accident occurred.

“There was nothing you could do to prevent it,” he said. “It was a little part that went bad, we think. The FAA will investigate, but they always do that. It happened when I was traveling at a very low speed. Thank goodness it didn’t happen when I was landing.”


Cessna Citation: Dublin Airport to get 24-hour air ambulance.

A dedicated 24-hour air ambulance service will begin operations at Dublin Airport from tomorrow.

The move by AeroMedevac follows criticism that its current base at Weston Airport, outside Dublin, was only available during daylight flying hours.

The company was contracted to provide services to Crumlin Children's Hospital, following controversy involving other service providers in relation to the transfer of liver patient Maedhbh McGivern last month.

In a statement this afternoon, the company said they had been given assistance by the Dublin Airport Authority in relocating its medically-equipped Cessna Citation jet at the airport.

AeroMedevac Chief Executive Keith Trower said while Weston was suitable for medical repatriation flights, the move to Dublin Airport facilitated '24 hours' operations.


Nigeria: Marketers call for restructuring of airlines.

THE Chairman of Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) and Group Chief Executive Officer of Oando Group, Mr. Wale Tinubu, has blamed the rising cost of aviation fuel on the high cost of crude oil at the international market.

However, some major oil marketers have called on airlines to streamline their activities.

Tinubu, who made the observation recently in Lagos, also noted that most of the airlines were finding it increasingly difficult to buy aviation fuel on cash-and-carry basis.

According to him, the tight credit has made it difficult for the airlines to raise cash to buy aviation fuel, stressing that most of them depended on buying on credit.

In his words: ‘First of all, aviation fuel sector has been deregulated for over 10 years.

The only problem is that most of the airlines don’t have money to pay. So, we don’t sell to them, when they don’t have. We (Oando) have N1billion of bad debt from the airlines. So, we have stopped giving them credit. The money we have belongs to our shareholders. We cannot take our shareholders’ money or bank money and give to the airlines.’

He cautioned major oil marketers in the country to reorganise their operation as part of measures to cope with the rising cost of aviation fuel, adding that their inability to restructure their businesses in line with the global practice would land them to difficult operation.

However, other chief executive officers of some oil marketing companies, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said majority of the airlines were no longer credit-worthy because of the way they schedule their flight operations, while another highly placed official of a major oil marketer observed that the airlines schedule all their planes to go to one route at the same time.

He said this had resulted in planes carrying only few passengers in their return trips.

‘You cannot have 10 flights going to Abuja from Lagos, all at the same time. In other parts of the world, you come off one plane in one location and connect to another city. But all our planes go to one location at the same time and come back empty,’ he said.

Another marketer stated that unless the aviation industry is restructured to ensure collaboration among the operators, the sector would continue to experience flight cancellations due to their inability to afford the cost of aviation fuel.

‘There is no coach sharing; there is no collaboration of efforts. Until they do these, they will continue to have problems. Our business is to sell fuel and we sell fuel only to airlines that are credit-worthy.

We sell to those, who can pay our bills unless the Federal Government wants to subsidise aviation fuel and this will cost additional $2 billion. That means we will have no roads, bridges and hospitals, because all the money will be spent on payment of fuel subsidy,’ he said.

Samara’s Aviacor suggests utilization program for old aircraft.

ZHUKOVSKY /the Moscow Region/, August 17 (Itar-Tass) —— Samara’s Aviacor suggests organizing an utilization program for old aircraft, the company’s CEO Alexei Gusev told reporters on Wednesday.

He said that an application to analyze the option had been forwarded to the ministry of industry and trade and to the ministry of economic development.

There are two variants to upgrade the fleet, he said. They are state order and a program to utilize old aircraft.

The program to utilize old aircraft is similar to the program to utilize old cars, which has been over only recently and which has shown its high effect.

Civil Aviation Authority: Safety Notice. Prevention of the loss of recordings from cockpit voice (CVR) and flight data recorders (FDR).

SAFETY NOTICE, Number: SN–2011/011, Issued: 17 August 2011.
This Safety Notice contains recommendations regarding operational safety.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) has recently investigated two incidents where the operator failed to preserve recordings from either the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) or Flight Data Recorder (FDR). This prompted them to publish Safety Recommendations 2010-012, 2011-020 and 2011-025. The intent of these recommendations was to bring to the attention of the CAA, AOC operators and associated Continuing Airworthiness Management Organisations (CAMOs) the need to have procedures in place to prevent the loss of such recordings following an occurrence requiring mandatory reporting and to keep a document which presents the information necessary to retrieve and convert the stored data into engineering units.
Continued .... Read More: 

Russia's Aeroflot eyes A380 - Airbus.

The Russian national carrier Aeroflot is interested in the purchase of the Airbus A380, Airbus Vice President Chris Buckley said on Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters at the MAKS air show near Moscow, vice president Chris Buckley said the company had "started a communication with the airline."

"We are studying the possibility of Aeroflot's use of the A380," Buckley said, before adding: "This does not mean that we will sell any A380s tomorrow."

Russia's RBC business daily said the carrier, already an A350 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner customer, was considering purchasing five A380s by 2015 to help update its fleet and reach a target of 70 million passengers a year by 2025.

Seaplane landing and take-off facilities: Russians interested in Paphos tourist investment

InBusinessNews reports that a Russian investment group is planning a multi-million Euro tourist project in Paphos that includes a marina for small boats, hotel, seaplane landing and take-off facilities and a series of recreational developments.

Apparently the Russian investment group presented their plans to Savvas Vergas, the Mayor of Paphos, almost a month ago. It seems that interest in the project arose after the FIABCI world conference that took place last May in Paphos.

When Mr Vergas was interviewed by InBusinessNews he declined to reveal many details of the proposed project. But he did say that the potential investors wanted to see a willingness by the local authority to assist in obtaining the necessary permissions required to implement the project.

According to the report, Mr Vergas has accepted an invitation to Moscow to attend a screening of the project and will be launching a new restaurant called “Old Paphos” in downtown Moscow later today.


Russia to ramp up production of SuperJet 100.

MOSCOW (MarketWatch) -- Russian-Italian company SuperJet International, which this week inked a deal to sell 12 SuperJet 100s to Indonesia, plans to ramp up production to 40 planes a year by 2013 as it aims for a 20% share of the world's regional jets market, the company's chief executive said in an interview.

The 100-seater SuperJet has been presented as the great hope of Russia's civil aviation industry, which has struggled since the breakup of the Soviet Union.

The Russian aircraft industry has seen a revival over the past decade, as the government has funneled some of the country's huge oil windfall into the industry.

SuperJets are made by Sukhoi Holding Co., a unit of Russian state aviation holding company United Aircraft Corp. . SuperJet International, which markets the planes out of Italy, is a joint venture between Sukhoi and Alenia Aeronautica of Italy's Finmeccanica SpA . Alenia owns 51% and Sukhoi 49%.

Russian state carrier Aeroflot is the main buyer of the SuperJet, whose first commercial flight took place in April, with a total of 30 orders this year and next. Mexico's Interjet ordered 15 aircraft in February.

On Tuesday, Indonesian regional carrier PT Sky Aviation signed a deal to buy 12 SuperJets at the MAKS airshow outside of Moscow. "Several more" deals are to be announced over the coming days, Carlo Logli, chief executive of Superjet International, told Dow Jones Newswires in an interview.

But Sukhoi still lacks a key European certification for its new plane, a process that has caused a one-year delay in the project, Logli said. The certification should be ready by the end of the year, he said.

Sukhoi will produce 12 SuperJets this year, 25 next year and 40 in 2013, Logli said.

Logli said the SuperJet, with its new engine, is more efficient and, with a price tag of $28 million, cheaper than rivals Embraer SA and Bombardier Inc.'s mid-range aircraft.

The SuperJet 100 is primarily designed in Russia but uses Western parts, and over the next 20 years Logli said the company hopes to sell 1,000 aircraft and conquer one fifth of the global market. Six-hundred of those will be sold in Europe, the Americas and Africa, while 400 will be sold in former Soviet countries and Asia, he forecast.

"Urine trouble," airline tells French actor Depardieu. French film star Gerard Depardieu allegedly urinated in the aisle of a plane because its lavatories were closed.

French film star Gerard Depardieu stood up and urinated in the aisle of a packed flight because the plane's toilets were closed.

The drunk 63-year-old actor called out 'I need to p***, I need to p***' as the flight from Paris to Dublin was preparing for take-off on Tuesday evening.

But cabin crew told him that because the plane was taxiing to the runway he would have to wait until they were airborne and the seat-belts signs had been turned off.

So instead, the star of Jean de Florette and Green Card stood up, unzipped his flies and relieved himself in the cabin - to the horror of fellow passengers.

The Air France flight - operated by Ireland's City Jet - then returned to the stand and was delayed for two hours while it was cleaned.

A shocked woman passenger told France's Europe 1 radio: 'Mr Depardieu who was clearly drunk called out to cabin crew repeatedly that he 'needed to p***' as the plane was heading to the runway.

'An air hostess told him he's had to wait 15 minutes until we were in the air and he could leave his seat.

'She told him there was nothing she could do until then and that he would have to hold it in.

'But he replied that he couldn't wait, then he just stood up and urinated on the floor.'

Air France refused to comment on the incident today.

And it was not clear if Depardieu was allowed to remain on the flight when it eventually took off.

The actor was voted France's third most irritating celebrity in a 2010 poll.

He came behind First Lady Carla Bruni and film star Alain Delon.

Depardieu himself admitted earlier this year that he could 'often behave like a complete a***hole' in public.

FRANCE'S biggest film star Gerard Depardieu urinated in an aeroplane in front of fellow passengers after cabin crew refused to let him use the toilet.

The 62-year-old actor was caught short on a delayed flight from Paris to Dublin on Tuesday evening, but his demands to be allowed out of his seat fell on deaf ears according to another traveller speaking to French radio station Europe 1 on Wednesday morning.

"Je veux pisser, je veux pisser," implored Depardieu, according to Daniele, who was among the 127 passengers on board the Air France jet left reeling by the antics of the giant of the French screen.

"The attendant said 'I'm sorry, you'll have to wait fifteen minutes, [when] we'll be in flight. The toilets are locked'," Daniele added. Depardieu said he could not wait, unzipped his trousers and proceeded to urinate on the carpet.

"You could tell he'd been drinking," the disgusted passenger claimed.

The jet was forced to return to the gate and was delayed for a further two hours as ground crew cleaned up the mess.

Depardieu, arguably France's most celebrated living actor, has enjoyed a career spanning four decades and well over a hundred films. He is best known outside France for the film "Green Card," for which he won a Golden Globe best actor award.

Air France confirmed the incident took place in a statement to national TV station TF1, but said it was unclear what or whether action would be taken against the movie actor as the flight was operated by City Jet, a subsidiary of the national carrier based in Ireland.


Royal Australian Air Force: Big reductions from new Australian Noise Exposure Forecast maps.

The new noise map released by the RAAF will see "significant chunks of suburbs" in Port Stephens no longer classified as noise-affected by the new generation JSF fighter when it begins using the Williamtown base.


The map shows a dramatic reduction in noise-affected areas across Medowie, Salt Ash, Raymond Terrace, Oyster Cove, Swan Bay and the proposed Kings Hill development.

The new Australian Noise Exposure Forecast 2025 (ANEF) for the RAAF base and the Salt Ash Air Weapons Range was released last week and replaces the October, 2009 ANEF.

The 2009 ANEF saw 3473 properties noise affected.

But the secretary for defence senator David Feeney estimated at last week's release that "hundreds of residents" would now be better off.

Port Stephens Council will start implementing the new Aircraft Noise Exposure Forecast map for development applications immediately.

The council's sustainable planning manager, David Broyd told the Examiner as of last Thursday any development application or planning certificate processed would take into account the new ANEF.

But he said formalities to include the maps into the council's development control plan would take place in the coming weeks.

Mr Broyd said anyone who had submitted a DA for an area that was affected, but was now no longer or lesser affected, would be contacted by post and asked to resubmit or alter the documentation.


Senator Feeney said the federal government had listened to the concerns of residents to create a harmonious balance.

"Aircraft noise will never be eliminated at Williamtown, but defence is doing everything it can to minimise the impact," he said.

"Defence is making every effort to reduce the impact of aircraft noise on the local community and give certainty to local residents."

The dramatic reduction in contours was a result of research in the United States which indicated take off and landing noise levels of the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) would require less power and therefore create less noise than the current F/A-18 Hornets over residential areas.

The JSF will also not use the Salt Ash Weapons Range for bombing, the base runway will be extended to 10,000 feet and military flight paths have been reviewed to further reduce impact on residents.


Fleet Canuck float plane: Two escape injury in crash. Northern Bruce Peninsula, Gillies Lake, Ontario, Canada.

GILLIES LAKE, Ont. — Two people escaped injury after a small float plane crashed in northern Bruce Peninsula.

Transport Canada and the Ministry of Environment have been called to look into the crash on Gillies Lake around 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Provincial police say the 1946 Fleet Canuck float plane flipped while landing on the lake, about 100 kilometres north of Owen Sound.

The 69-year-old pilot from the Bruce Peninsula and a 14-year-old passenger from Corunna, Ont., were rescued by boat by people on shore.


Morgan Aircraft to take flight at Sheboygan County Memorial Airport (KSBM), Sheboygan, Wisconsin. County Board approves loan for company.

Almost two years after being announced with much fanfare, it looks like the Morgan Aircraft manufacturing facility at the Sheboygan County Memorial Airport will finally become a reality, creating hundreds of new jobs.

The Sheboygan County Board Tuesday night voted to authorize a $1 million forgivable loan from the state to the company to be used for developing the facility where the company will manufacture vertical take-off and landing aircraft.

"This has been an exciting project; a long haul," Morgan Aircraft co-founder and President Brian Morgan told supervisors.

The project was announced in 2009 with the promise that it would generate up to 2,000 jobs.

"This has the potential to be the next Kohler Co. in Sheboygan County," county Administrator Adam Payne said at the time.

But the nationwide economic downturn made a change in plans.

"The recession happened," and financing dried up, said Mark O'Halloran, co-founder and CEO of the Oostburg-based company. "It was purely the effects of the recession."

But since then the company has been able to secure $8 million in financing, he said.

O'Halloran and Payne on Tuesday also credited a more pro-business atmosphere created by Gov. Scott Walker's administration for helping seal agreements on the loan voted on by supervisors Tuesday and on another $5 million in state economic development loans over the next year if the company can secure another $10 million in private financing.

"We are in a tremendous position because of renewed and increased interest on the part of the state of Wisconsin," Payne told supervisors.

Under the terms of the agreement approved Tuesday, Morgan Aircraft will not have to repay the $1 million Community Development Block Grant for Economic Development if it invests $105 million in the project by 2015 and creates 340 new full-time jobs by the end of 2015.

If neither the investment occurs nor the jobs are created, the company is obligated to repay the loan at 2 percent interest.

The funds would be loaned through the Sheboygan County revolving loan fund program and would be administered by the Sheboygan County Economic Development Corp., officials said.

The company has acquired patents for its technology that allows the plane to take off and land like a helicopter but fly like a jet at twice the speed of the helicopter and with a range of more than 1,000 miles.

Potential uses include serving as smaller, unmanned military drones "that can take off from ships, the back of a truck or any unprepared landing surface," Morgan said.

Piloted uses include being used as air ambulances, search and rescue aircraft and as corporate jets that don't have to land at commercial airports.

The plane can carry up to nine passengers, along with a two-man crew.

"It's an entire new class of aircraft," Morgan said.

Morgan said the first delivery of the planes is slated for 2016.

The company said it intends to establish a world headquarters, research and development, and manufacturing facility at the airport in the Town of Sheboygan Falls.

The county has already made $1.3 million of infrastructure improvements to the site, including grading for a new taxiway and apron, as part of a 50-year lease and development agreement with the company.

The company plans on initially building on a four-acre parcel of land at the airport. It has an option to lease an additional 50 acres there.


AeroMechanical Services Signs AFIRS 220 Contract with Middle Eastern Airline

AeroMechanical Services Ltd. (the "Company" or "AMA") has signed a contract with a Middle Eastern Boeing 737 operator for the Automated Flight Information Reporting System ("AFIRSTM") 220.

The contract requires AMA to install the AFIRS 220 on two Boeing 737-300 aircraft serving the Middle East and North Africa. This airline’s original interest in AFIRS was for satellite voice and flight following features only. Upon learning of the other AFIRS 220 capabilities, the airline will also utilize the engine trending, airframe and engine exceedances, and Out, Off, On and In times (“OOOIs”).

"The AFIRS 220 is a valuable solution for many airlines," said Bill Tempany, Chairman and CEO of AMA. "The AFIRS 220 provides functions that offer a return on investment, operational improvement and increased safety for operators around the world. We see this product providing strong value to our customers for many years to come."

AMA will be providing equipment and services over a five year contract. Installations are scheduled to begin before the end of the third quarter. If AMA completes installation on all contracted aircraft and provides recurring service for the full term of the agreement, gross revenue to AMA will be approximately US$182,000, excluding optional services. AMA holds all the necessary certifications to provide services to this customer.

This disclosure as it relates to this agreement is subject to the following disclaimer:

When a contract is initially signed, the intended number of aircraft, pricing and potential installation schedules is agreed to by the parties. The actual installation schedules as well as the number and types of aircraft are often revised throughout the term of the agreement as the airline realigns its fleet of aircraft with its business requirements. Delays in installations can and do occur which can affect the total value of the contracts such that the revenues noted above may not be fully achieved. Fulfilment of the contract terms may also be affected if there are any changes to government statutes, regulations or rules of the applicable governing bodies. The contract terms and values disclosed herein are based on the original information available to AMA upon execution of the contract and are subject to change. For the actual revenue earned, please see AMA’s financial statements including its revenue recognition policy disclosed within the notes to the Audited Annual Financial Statements.

About AeroMechanical Services

AeroMechanical Services Ltd., under the brand name FLYHTTM, provides proprietary technological products and services designed to reduce costs and improve efficiencies in the airline industry. The Company has patented and commercialized three products and associated services currently marketed to airlines, manufacturers and maintenance organizations around the world. Its premier technology, AFIRS™ UpTime™, allows airlines to monitor and manage aircraft operations anywhere, anytime, in real-time. If an aircraft encounters an emergency, AMA’s triggered data streaming mode, FLYHTStream™, automatically streams vital data, normally secured in the black box, to designated sites on the ground in real-time. The company has been publicly traded on the TSX Venture Exchange since 2003 under the trading symbol AMA.

AFIRS, UpTime, FLYHT, FLYHTStream and aeroQ are trademarks of AeroMechanical Services Ltd.

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Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Service Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this press release.


AeroMechanical Services Ltd.
Thomas R. French, CGA
VP Finance and CFO

Egypt Air hostesses fight for hijab right; Over 1,000 women applicants for Air Saudia

Two stories on Arab airlines and women: Egypt Air brought to you by Egyptian Gazette and Air Saudi from Arab News.

Egypt Air hostesses fight for hijab right

Some have justified such a non-constitutional rule as originating in instructions of the former First Lady Suzanne Mubarak, who did not wear the hijab herself. 

Accordingly, all female broadcasters in State TV were banned from wearing the hijab and anyone daring to violate the rule would be prevented from appearing on-screen.

Similarly, EgyptAir hostesses, who decided to wear the hijab were forbidden to board any flight and were transferred to administrative work in the company’s different booking offices.

However, after the January 25 revolution, the female State TV and EgyptAir employees started calling for freedom to wear the hijab at work.

“I’ve been working as an air hostess for some five years. Five months ago, I decided to wear the head scarf but I was forced to take it off on getting onto the plane,” said Heba Hassan Abbas to al-Gomhuria Arabic newspaper.

Ms Abbas wonders what is the cause of the company’s insistence on banning the head scarf on its flights while other airlines such as the Emirate, Saudi, Malaysian and even British airlines allow Muslim hostesses to wear hijab.

Meanwhile, Eman Osman could not follow suit with her colleague and, insisting on continuing to wear the hijab, she was prevented from getting onto any flight and was demoted to being a land hostess.

“I believe that wearing the hijab is a personal freedom as long as it doesn’t negatively influence one’s performance at work. Besides, some Asian and European countries respect that principle and allow Muslim hostesses to wear it on planes.

So, what prevents a country such as Egypt, that has had a great revolution to amend past defects and to express freedom of faith and customs, from similarly respecting the right to wear the hijab?” asked Osman.

She has organised a series of strikes with some other colleagues calling for changing these harsh rules.

“Ironically, all Egyptian hostesses are forced to wear the hijab at the gates of the planes when in Saudi airports. So, we use head scarves when working on flights going to the Islamic kingdom,” said Maha Ahmed. Accordingly, she wondered why EgyptAir doesn’t allow the head scarf on other flights.

The air hostess added, “We don’t have any rules imposing or banning the hijab for any Muslim woman because it is a personal issue. Besides, in EgyptAir female workers, other than the air hostesses, are being allowed to wear it and even offer it free to them as part of the uniform. So why don’t we enjoy the same right and get a uniform agree with the Islamic teachings and remain elegant for this job.”

Meanwhile, Maysa Abdel-Hadi is one of some 200 EgyptAir hostesses urging the company to allow them to wear the hijab. “It is unreasonable to live in the country of Al-Azhar [Sunni Islam’s pre-eminent institution] and have to demonstrate in Al Tahrir Square or in front of the company’s headquarters to obtain our right to wear Islamic dress at work.” She noted that this is at a time when some other Muslim and non-Muslim countries allow their hostesses to wear it on their flights.”

Maysa has been chosen, together with Eman Osman by their colleagues, to represent them at meetings of the committee formed by the company to discuss this issue.

The committee came out with two suggestions, both of which were turned down by the hostesses. The first was that they wear Pharaonic dress and put on a wig to cover their hair, while the second was to wait until the company recovers its financial condition and can accord to pay for changing its uniform.

Abdel-Hadi criticised wearing Pharaonic dress on the grounds that it doesn’t suit work and noted that adding the head scarf to the uniform would not cost the company that much, especially given that it is provided with a suit for the land hostesses.

In this regard, the deputy Board Chairman of the Holding Company of EgyptAir, Hossam Kamal Abul Kheir has remarked that the company has considered renewing the hostesses’ uniform after the revolution.

He added, “However, there are two important points that should be considered; the first is that we cannot generalise the uniform between air and land hostesses. The second is that having a new uniform would cost around LE8 million, which cannot be considered today because of the economic difficulties the company is passing through these days.

Besides, it should be keen to protect the company’s reputation and position as a prestigious world airline”.

By Manal Abdul Aziz


Kenya Airways launched another flight

Last Friday Kenya Airways launched a new aircraft and a new route that connects Gaborone and Nairobi, bringing the number of its fleet operating between the two destinations to four over four routes.

The move that is reportedly aimed at meeting the rising demand for travel between the two cities was also said to have been introduced to encourage customers and traders to take advantage of the airline’s growing route network.

“We have added a Friday flight to our schedule, which will be flying directly from Nairobi on Fridays in response to public demand to extend our services,” said Kenya Airways Sales and Station Manager, Juliet Zintambila.She told The Gazette that their business have seen gradual growth in Botswana, adding that this will improve connectivity between the two countries.The airline previously operated on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays.

“Our conviction that Africa is the new growth frontier is vindicated by the increasing demand for air travel on the continent. It is for this reason that we see our ambition to fly to all African capital cities by 2013 as an achievable target, and we are well on course to attaining it,” noted the Kenya Airways Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr Titus Naikuni.

He added that the additional capacity is expected to take care of the surge in trader traffic and to give the airline an edge in attracting traders and their excess baggage.

Naikuni also said that the airline is well on course with the planned African route expansion program; he explained that within Southern Africa and in addition to Gaborone Kenya Airways flies to Luanda, Harare, Lilongwe, Maputo, Nampula, Johannesburg, as well as Ndola and Lusaka in Zambia.

Flexjet Launches First Learjet 85 Aircraft Fractional Jet Ownership Sales Program

- Company offering competitive prices on first four aircraft

- Technology innovations elevate the Learjet 85 aircraft as the most spacious in its class

FLEXJET LEARJET 85 Flexjet is launching its Learjet 85 aircraft fractional jet ownership sales program as Bombardier's exclusive first customer. Set to revolutionize the industry, the all new Learjet 85 aircraft, with both fuselage and wing built primarily from carbon composites, features the latest advances in aerodynamics, structures and efficiency.

DALLAS, Aug. 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- ( -- After years of anticipation, Flexjet is launching its fractional jet ownership sales program of Bombardier's Learjet 85 aircraft as the manufacturer's first customer. Designed from a clean sheet, the all-new Learjet 85 aircraft is the first FAR Part 25 certified business jet with both fuselage and wing built primarily from carbon composites and features the latest advances in aerodynamics, structures and efficiency to usher in a new class of performance and comfort.

To ensure new and current owners a seamless transition to the Learjet 85 aircraft upon its anticipated delivery in 2013, Flexjet is offering guaranteed access and availability to its elite fractional ownership program fleet of Flexjet aircraft—the youngest in the industry with an average age of approximately four years. As an added benefit for existing owners who place a deposit on a Learjet 85 aircraft fractional share, Flexjet will waive early termination fees for existing contracts on other aircraft types that will not expire until after the delivery of the Learjet 85 aircraft.

"Flexjet is thrilled to offer its owners the first opportunity to experience private aviation at its very best aboard the all-new Learjet 85 aircraft," said Fred Reid, President, Flexjet. "Designed to fly farther than any Learjet aircraft ever built, this new aircraft lives up to its legendary lineage while setting a new standard for passenger comfort."

Set to revolutionize the industry, the composite structures of the Learjet 85 aircraft enhance passenger comfort through the use of complex curves in the aircraft cross-section and thinner wall thickness to maximize cabin volume, creating the largest Learjet aircraft ever designed. Responsible for not only improving performance and minimizing drag through smoother aerodynamics, the airframe, made mostly of composite material, requires less maintenance and is easier to repair for an extended service life. Other innovations include the aircraft's state-of-the-art Pratt & Whitney Canada PW307B turbofan engine, the Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion avionics suite—one of the most advanced flight displays ever offered onboard a midsize aircraft—and an advanced entertainment and wireless Internet system.

The Learjet 85 aircraft is capable of accommodating eight passengers in a traditional double-club seating arrangement. With approximately 30 inches (76.2 cm) between each seat, passengers enjoy more room than ever when traveling on long distance flights. The aircraft offers a high-speed cruise of Mach 0.82 and a transcontinental range of up to 3,000 nautical miles (5,556 km)*, making the Learjet 85 aircraft the fastest and most efficient aircraft in its class. For more information and to learn about introductory pricing options, please call 888-503-8854 or visit

About Flexjet

Richardson, TX-based Flexjet – a division of Bombardier, the world's largest business aviation manufacturer – first entered the fractional jet ownership market in 1995. Flexjet now offers whole aircraft ownership and management, fractional jet ownership, jet cards and charter brokerage services. Flexjet is the first fractional aircraft program manager in the world to be recognized as achieving the Air Charter Safety Foundation's Industry Audit Standard, and has been honored with its 12th FAA Diamond Award for Excellence. Flexjet's fractional program fields an exclusive family of Bombardier business aircraft - the youngest in the fractional jet industry with an average age of approximately four years - including the Learjet 40 XR, Learjet 45 XR, Learjet 60 XR, Challenger 300 and Challenger 605 business jets. For more details on innovative programs and flexible offerings, visit

Flexjet has an approved fractional ownership program pursuant 14 C.F.R. Part 91, Subpart K, and manages flights for individual aircraft owners under Part 91 whole aircraft management program. All other flights (e.g. Flexjet 25 card program, charter card program, supplemental lift, etc.) are provided by U.S. air carriers in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, as Flexjet is not an air carrier.

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 or follow us on Twitter @Bombardier.

The Flexjet 25 Jet Card program is operated under Part 135 by Jet Solutions, LLC, a U.S. air carrier. Flexjet acts as an agent for Jet Solutions, LLC, in connection with the Flexjet 25 Jet Card program. Flexjet acts as an agent for the customer for the Flexjet charter card and on-demand charter brokerage programs in arranging transportation operated under Part 135 by U.S. air carriers.

Bombardier, Challenger 300, Challenger 605, Flexjet, Flexjet 25, Learjet, Learjet 40, Learjet 45, Learjet 60, Learjet 85 and XR are trademarks of Bombardier Inc. or its subsidiaries.

*Range with 2 crew, 4 passengers (200 lb each) and 100 NM NBAA IFR reserves. Assumes standard BOW, sea level departure and landing, unrestricted climb, cruise and descent with zero wind and standard (ISA) conditions en route. All data is subject to change without notice.

SOURCE Flexjet


Jensen's plane crash recovery continues: He's getting stronger, giving thanks. Beech King Air 200, N849BM. Accident occurred March 16, 2011. Long Beach Airport (LGB), California.

Mike Jensen, the lone survivor of a March 16 private plane crash at the Long Beach Airport that killed the five other passengers, posted an online update on his recovery Tuesday—the first one on the site in 2 ½ months.

Jensen gave the new accounting of his condition on, which his family has been using to provide status reports on his condition since the immediate aftermath of the tragedy.

Jensen’s communiqué was short on medical specifics, but stressed that his ongoing therapy has continued to manifest improvements in his strength. Although he did not explain why he has not posted since June 1—although that was also about the date he returned home from the hospital—Jensen was long on gratitude.

“Friends—you cannot imagine what your words of encouragement and love did for me,” Jensen wrote. “I am still going through daily therapy visits, but I am getting stronger each day. I still have a long way to go, but your love has greatly encouraged me to keep trying to improve. Thank you for all your care!”

Jensen was among a group of high-profile Greater Long Beach businessmen—all in some way associated with land acquisition, development and management—who set out on March 16 for a ski vacation to Park City, Utah, aboard a plane owned by one of them, Tom Dean.

But trouble intervened almost immediately after they left the ground. Investigators are still trying to find out why the plane suddenly turned sharply left toward the west, then dived into the airfield, where it burst into flames. Rescuers pulled Jensen from the wreckage, but the impact and fire killed the other businessmen—Mark Bixby, 44; Tom Dean, 50; Jeff Berger, 49; and Bruce Krall, 51—as well as the plane’s pilot, Ken Cruz, 43.

Russian firm builds 'helicopter for businessmen'

A Russian start-up helicopter manufacturer aims to break into the US-dominated light helicopter market with a new machine that will cost around the same as a top-end saloon car.

Berkut, based in the southern Russian city of Tolyatti, has developed a two-seat co-axial rotor helicopter. The company says eponymous Berkut copters will cost just $70,000 each for an order of ten machines or more, when fitted with a Russian-built rotary engine. The price will be around twice this for those fitted with an American piston engine.

The American Robinson R-22, which currently dominates the world light helicopter market, costs around $200,000.

Berkut say their little machine, weighing just 480 kg empty, will cost just $50 an hour to run using standard 95 octane gasoline.

The helicopter is unusual in that it has a coaxial layout, with two main rotors one on top of the other, avoiding the need for a tail rotor. Berkut say this makes it safer, more stable, and produces lower vibration levels. Traditionally, the main user of such helicopters has been the Soviet and Russian navies, which preferred coaxial designs as they are easier to fit on cramped ship's heli-pads.

The company hopes to get Russian certification to allow test flights by October.

Berkut believes the machine will be popular with students learning to fly, hobby fliers, and for business users for jobs like crop-spraying, survey and photography work, as well pipeline and powerline survey.

The company has no firm orders yet, but says it has had considerable interest in the aircraft at the show and hopes to produce at least ten a month from next year.

Original Article and Photo:

Practice lines on runway repainted at Fairbanks International Airport.

FAIRBANKS — Pilots who want to get in a little practice before moose hunting season can take advantage of a fresh paint job on the Bush practice strips located on each end of the ski strip on the East Ramp of the Fairbanks International Airport.

The markings for the two strips, which measure 25 feet wide and 600 feet long, were repainted Monday as part of a collaborative effort between the airport, volunteers from the General Aviation Association, the Ninety-nines and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.

The strips were first painted on the strip in early June as part of a Federal Aviation Administration project to reduce aircraft accidents in rural Alaska. The practice runways are meant to simulate the kind of tight conditions Bush pilots encounter landing on small mountaintop runways and gravel bars during the summer, especially hunting season.

The airport and volunteer aviation organizations that helped with the project want feedback to guide future efforts. A brief survey can be found at

Anyone with questions can call airport operations at 474-2530 or airport public information officer Angie Spear at 474-2529.

INDIA: Strict license norms to crack whip on ‘fake’ pilots. The procedure to obtain a pilot’s license will get tougher.

A government committee has recommended among other things biometrics to prevent impersonation, an entry test for aspirants to weed out non-serious candidates and online monitoring of training of all flying schools in India.

The panel, comprising eminent aviation professionals and the DGCA, was set up after the shocking ‘fake’ pilot scam where it emerged that some untrained or inadequately trained pilots were putting passengers’ lives at risk.

Not only has the panel suggested sweeping changes in the way pilot licensing examinations are conducted in India by aviation regulator DGCA, it has made it mandatory for the entire licensing process to be online.

Now, there are manual examinations at various stages.

So for the first time, the Airline Transport Pilot Licence examination, for pilots who want to become commanders, held in July was entirely online.

In a further attempt to prevent impersonation, the DGCA has made it mandatory for all licence aspirants to come with their Aadhar UID numbers from January next year.

For pilots who train abroad and want their licences converted in India, the DGCA has begun to conduct extensive verification checks - asking the foreign authority concerned on the applicant’s veracity.

Many pilots were found to have fudged flying hours at training schools abroad.

Once the veracity is established, the aspirant also has to undergo a mandatory skill test — proving that his flying experience is not merely on paper — in India. DGCA chief EK Bharatbhushan told DNA, “If the pilot does not meet the recency requirement at the time of submission of application for conversion, he would be required to comply with the recency requirement in India.”

Recency means the aspirant should have flown the particular aircraft (for which he has licence from abroad) at least six months before submission of conversion application.

“These are welcome suggestions but a lot remains to be done. First, results should be instantaneous for all pilot exams. The DGCA should either reduce the number of authorised flying schools or should begin a stricter check on these,” said aviation security expert Captain Ranganathan.

Albatross plane crash: Bodies flown to Pretoria. Tzaneen in Limpopo.

Johannesburg - The bodies of 13 people who died in the twin plane accident north-east of Tzaneen in Limpopo will be flown to Pretoria on Wednesday for post mortems to be conducted, police said.

"The bodies also need to be identified," Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said.

"Some of the bodies were burnt beyond recognition. We are going to have to do DNA testing."

The search for the two missing planes ended on Tuesday when the bodies were found among the crash wreckage on Mamotswiri Peak.

Caught fire after crash

Those on board the aircraft with registration ZU MMI were pilot Brian Gruar and passengers Marrion Anderson, Maddison and Alexandra Doak, Tess Spence, Louise Warden and Kevin Woolacott.

On board the other plane, registration ZS NJX, were pilot Peter Gildenhuys, and passengers Stuart and Peter van Oldenburg, Frans Dely, Marietjie de Witt, and Linda Pierce. Dely was a well-known Johannesburg aviation photographer.

The Albatross aircraft took off from Tzaneen Airport on Sunday at 10:30. Both planes were bound for Rand Airport in Johannesburg, after participating in the Tzaneen air show.

They were reported missing  at 13:30 on the same day, authorities said.

Bad weather and low cloud conditions initially hampered the search on Monday, Search and Rescue SA spokesperson Johnny Smit said.

A search and rescue mission followed and the crash site was found at 08:15.

Indications were that the two aircraft, carrying six and seven passengers respectively, caught fire after crashing.

The Civil Aviation Authority said investigations into the crash had commenced.

Jack Hitt, WWII bomber pilot dies at 93. War's ills, thrills stayed with pilot throughout his life.

Jack Hitt stands in front of "Aluminum Overcast," a B-17 bomber similar to the one he flew in World War II. Hitt, a retired Tulsa businessman who earned many decorations for his war service, died Friday at age 93. Tulsa World file

At 30,000 feet above the ground and a frigid 90 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, pilot Jack Hitt could barely feel his extremities.

His toes always had it the worst.

But the cold wasn't the only thing the thin aluminum sides of his B-17 bomber failed to keep out very well.

Rounds from German fighter planes and anti-aircraft guns seemed to rip through nearly unimpeded.

Unimpeded, that is, except by flesh.

Hitt lost his top-turret gunner that way once. He called out for him, and turning, found the man lying dead in a pool of blood. He had been hit in the neck.

Another time, shrapnel pierced the cockpit and lodged in Hitt's own leg.

It was impossible to feel secure, especially as the pilot.

Hitt "said the German fighters' first goal was to kill the pilot," good friend and fellow veteran Jack Wells said. "He knew they were gunning for him.

"It would wake him up at night for the rest of his life," Wells said. "He used to say 'I can still see those guys in my sleep, coming at me head-on.' "

Hitt completed nearly 80 missions as a pilot with the 8th Air Force. Among his many decorations were two Distinguished Flying Crosses, five Air Medals and a Purple Heart.

A longtime Tulsa-based real estate developer, Edward Jack Hitt died Friday in Aurora, Mo. He was 93.

A memorial service is scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday at First Presbyterian Church in Tulsa. Crafton-Cantrell Funeral Home of Aurora was in charge of cremation arrangements.

In a 2009 Tulsa World article about a local visit by a touring B-17, Hitt remarked about getting to ride along as a passenger: "It's great. It's like going home after 65 years."

Despite the dangers and conditions he'd flown in, Hitt liked to revisit the experience. He was active with the Tulsa chapter of the Commemorative Air Force, a group based at Jones Riverside Airport that restores WWII-era aircraft.

Flying on the restored planes was uneventful, though. During the war, Hitt's B-17 was even shot down once, forcing him and his crew to bail out over Belgium.

Hitt also served briefly as part of the 8th Air Force's 3rd Scouting Force, where, as the pilot of a P-51 Mustang, he helped scout ahead in advance of major bombing missions. The secretive Scouting Forces were formed in 1944 and continued for six months.

Hitt was discharged in 1945 with the rank of first lieutenant.

Born and raised in San Antonio, Hitt moved to Tulsa in 1956 from Corpus Christi, Texas.

In Tulsa, after a successful career in pharmaceutical sales, he moved into real estate development and built shopping centers, nursing homes and other projects.

In his spare time, he indulged a lifelong love of cars.

Hitt owned several race cars and was a familiar personality for years at Tulsa's annual Chili Bowl Nationals. Vintage midget racing was his passion, and he lovingly restored many old midget cars.

Wells and others worked to gather and scan more than 400 photos and documents chronicling Hitt's war experiences.

The originals soon will be archived at the 8th Air Force Museum in Savannah, Ga., Wells said.

Hitt's son Joe Hitt said his father "had a very kind heart. He always believed in helping the down and out, almost to his detriment."

Hitt is survived by three sons, Joe Hitt, Jim Hitt and Jay Hitt; a daughter, Julia Metcalf; 11 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.