Friday, August 26, 2011

New Mexico state jet sold for $2.5M

Robert Felland, left, from Alaska, gets a hug from Gov. Susana Martinez after he bought the state's jet Thursday at the Santa Fe Airport. Martinez turned over the keys to Felland.

SANTA FE, N.M. — Republican Gov. Susana Martinez waved goodbye Thursday to a state-owned jet she calls the “ultimate symbol of waste and excess.” Her administration sold the plane for $2.5 million.

Martinez presented keys to the aircraft to the new owners, a retired couple from Anchorage, Alaska, at a ceremony at Santa Fe’s municipal airport.

“Last year when I was running for governor, I not only promised taxpayers that I would not use this state jet as a personal air taxi, I promised New Mexicans across the state that I would get rid of this symbol of greed and excess in state government.

“And today, I make good on that promise,” Martinez said.

The new owners, Robert and Linda Felland, stood next to the governor at the airport news conference — the jet as a backdrop with a large “SOLD” sign affixed to it.

“I hear it is a sweet ride but I will just have to take their word for it,” Martinez said.

The couple and their pilots later took off for Wisconsin, where they maintain a home. Martinez waved at the couple as the plane headed toward a runway.

The twin-engine business jet, a Cessna Citation Bravo, was purchased new in 2005 by Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson’s administration for $5.5 million. Richardson was a frequent flier on the jet, but Martinez never used it.

The jet was sold through a broker, which will receive a commission of 2 percent of the purchase price — $50,200.

Since Martinez took office in January, the jet remained grounded except for routine maintenance.

With the jet’s sale, New Mexico will have two planes in its fleet available for travel by government officials: a 2006 Beechcraft King Air and a 1983 Gulfstream Turbo Commander, both five-seat turboprops.

New Mexico isn’t the only state to get rid of aircraft to trim expenses during tough financial times.

Florida sold two planes earlier this year, including a 2003 Cessna Citation Bravo for $1.9 million. Michigan sold three of its planes in 2005.

New Mexico’s Cessna features seven leather seats in the main cabin.

The jet can fly at more than 450 mph and go from Santa Fe to Hobbs in far southeastern New Mexico in about 45 minutes — a trip that can take more than five hours by car. Martinez said the state’s twin-engine King Air can reach Hobbs in a little over an hour and it costs half as much to operate as the jet.

It’s estimated the state will save nearly $500,000 a year that would have spent on fuel and maintenance for the jet. Martinez said the jet wasn’t practical in New Mexico because it was designed for long-distance travel rather than short trips within the state.

Felland, 72, is chairman of the board of Dicom Corp., a printing and publishing company based in Madison, Wis.

“I’ve been dreaming about an airplane like this for years,” he said.

The couple plan to use the jet for personal travel, including visiting children and grandchildren in Minnesota, Kansas and Washington state. The plane will be based in Anchorage.

He has owned a single-engine turboprop plane but said his wife didn’t like using it over the Gulf of Alaska.

“That started the hunt,” Mrs. Felland said of their jet purchase.

EAA: Bird's-eye view for Young Eagles. Oakland International Airport ( KOAK), California.

 Salasia Green, 12, left, and Tahjae Ernsberger, 13, get a ride with Louis Martin in a Piper Archer at Oakland County International Airport in Waterford. 
photo by Tim Thompson

Youngsters from Pontiac school district were treated to free airplane rides by local pilots under sunny skies Wednesday at Oakland International Airport.

Flights took off from the runways near Pentastar Aviation, which sponsored the program for Pontiac students in Project Excel along with the Pontiac Alumni Association. Susan Siporen, a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 13, organized the pilots that came out to give more than 35 young teens a free flight in the Young Eagles program.

Each also received a certificate valued at $200 to access the online ground flying school. They also each received a certificate for a free flying lesson and links to scholarships by the EAA, Siporen said.

Anita Garner, 13, a student at International Tech Academy in Pontiac, enjoyed her flight with Rochester Hills pilot Dennis Glaeser, the coordinator of the Young Eagles for Chapter 13 of the EAA based at Ray Airport in Macomb County.

Anita said she enjoyed the flight after her initial fear of flying. However, rather than be a pilot, she thought she might be one of the nurses who fly along on the University of Michigan Survival Flight plane owned by Penastar that flies critically ill or injured patients from the Upper Peninsula to local hospitals. U-M's two helicopters are also based at Pentastar.

Aviator Steve Miller, who pilots the large U-M Survival Flight plane, showed the youngsters how the crew works to pick up nurses and patients and transports them for emergency care.

The pilots flew the teens west over the General Motors Corp. proving grounds and back, giving them a view of the area they have probably never seen.

Siporen's partner Phil Seizinger flew students in their Piper Seneca 2, a six-seater turbocharged plane, that was the largest of those flown Wednesday.

Climbing out of the plane flown by Jim McDaniel of Ortonville was Donovan Hernandez, who will be an eighth grader at International Tech this fall.

"I was amazed when he let me take the controls," said Donovan, who enjoyed the experience.

David Kirk, an eighth grader at Pontiac Middle School, said he wants to be a pilot. He was given extra instruction about the operation of plane by Pilot Dick Green, who flew an experimental aircraft he bought in California three years ago.

Also involved in the day were Western Michigan University, the Tuskegee Airmen National Museum and the City of Pontiac.

Pentastar invited Lt. Col. Harry Stewart, a Tuskegee Airman back for the second year to give the students an inspirational talk.

"These students not only have the chance to fly on a plane but go on an historical journey with Lt. Col. Stewart, said Judge Fred Mester, president and founder of the Pontiac Alumni Association.

"It is amazing how everyone came together to make this happen," said Mester, who was at the event with Bruce Turpin, a Pontiac dentist and member of the alumni association.

To learn more about the Young Eagles program, visit www.youngeagles.org.

Source:   http://www.macombdaily.com

Helicopter crashes kills 4 near Mosby Airport in Clay County, Missouri.

MOSBY, Mo. - A Lifenet helicopter crashed near Mosby Airport in Clay County, Missouri Friday evening around 7 p.m.

At 6:55 p.m. Lifenet called the Clay County Sheriff's Department stating that they had a helicopter that was missing. Shortly thereafter the crash was reported.

NBC Action News has confirmed that all four on board the flight were killed in the crash. Three of the individuals were crewmembers and a 58-year-old female passenger.

Names have not been released.

The Associated Press reported that "the Eurocopter AS-350 helicopter was en route to the Kansas City suburb of Liberty and had stopped at an airport in Mosby for fuel."

Lt. Larry Kraber with the Clay County Sheriff's Dept. said that the crash scene is being preserved for the NTSB investigation. Officials also said that it appears the helicopter tried to land, hit hard on their skids and then flipped.

The flight originated in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Source:  http://www.nbcactionnews.com

VIDEO: Metro Green Line to Los Angeles International Airport - Make Your Connection

Metro is examining ways to connect the growing Metro Rail system to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). This link will provide another option for getting to the airport. It's a connection to help you make your connection.

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport Braces For Hurricane Irene's Impact . Airlines Plan Thousands Of Flight Cancellations



DALLAS, TEXAS—
Hurricane Irene will impact air travelers all across the country this weekend, as most major airlines have already announced thousands of cancellations.

Several airlines are completely shutting down operations at some east coast airports over the weekend. If you were schedule to fly to the east coast this weekend, you'll likely need to all your airline on the phone and reschedule.

Today, there we only a few hurricane Irene related cancellations at D-FW airport. But travelers like New Yorker, Lynn Burns, say they weren't taking any chances.

"I'm really glad I'm getting out now and not trying to fly out tomorrow, because I don't know what would happened," said American Airlines passenger Lynn Burns.

Dallas-based American Airlines says it canceled 32 flights system wide today because of Irene's path. 7 were out of D-FW.

"I`m lucky. I made my flight a little earlier, so I`m not as concerned with getting home. It`s when I get home that I`m worried about," said New York resident Seth Borsuk.

But D-FW airport officials say things are bound to get worse over the weekend.

"We expect that we`ll see more significant levels of departure cancellations probably tomorrow and into Sunday," said D-FW Airport Spokesperson David Magana.

Delta Airlines says it will cancel around 1300 flights across the country Saturday through Monday. JetBlue more than 800. American will cancel 235 tomorrow alone.

"We are all standing by and waiting to see what level of impact the storm will have on flights coming to and from the east coast," said Magana.

But folks headed to the east coast say they're more concerned about what awaits them when they land.

"I`m in a evacuation zone,so when I get there I have to pack up and go somewhere. I live right on the waterfront," said New York resident Josh Yu.

"An earthquake and a hurricane in one week is just way too much for New Yorkers. We can`t deal with all this, this is too much," said Burns.

Will D-FW airport be filled with stranded passengers over the weekend? Officials say probably not. They're hoping the Advance notice will allow most travelers enough time to check with their airlines before heading to the airport.

Hurricane Irene forces virtual shutdown of New Jersey; arriving flights canceled at area airports as of noon Saturday.

The virtual shutdown of New Jersey will continue Saturday, with NJ Transit and PATH suspending rail service by noon, buses and light-rail ceasing around 6 p.m., and the Garden State Parkway remaining closed to southbound traffic near the Shore.

Meanwhile, more than 24 hours before Hurricane Irene was due to touch down, North Jersey towns were making final preparations Friday for possible flooding, downed trees and power outages as the storm slowly inched its way up the Eastern Seaboard.

The Port Authority announced late Friday that it would close its five airports — Newark Liberty International, Teterboro, John F. Kennedy International, La Guardia and Stewart International — to arriving flights starting at noon Saturday. The airports would remain open to departing flights until further notice, the agency said.

Rain from Irene is expected to begin in New Jersey this evening with the hurricane hitting the southern part of the state around 8 a.m. Sunday, forecasts show.

Irene was still a Category 2 hurricane as it approached North Carolina’s Outer Banks on Friday, triggering the cancellation of at least 6,100 flights over the next three days. It could lose power as it approaches North Jersey, but it still could pack wind gusts of up to 100 mph and dump 8 to 12 inches of rain on the region, according to AccuWeather. It may be out of the metropolitan region by 8 p.m. Sunday.

While thousands of residents were ordered to flee the state’s barrier islands, Governor Christie warned that damage will not be confined to the shore.

“This is not just going to be a coastal incident, this is an incident that’s going to be statewide for us,” he said.

“We are looking at the likelihood of record flooding,” Christie said. “We’re in for a long haul here.”

The IZOD Center in East Rutherford would be opened Saturday as a shelter, Christie said.

The Public Service Electric and Gas Co. will have about 6,000 employees on hand Sunday, including 840 linemen and 540 tree contractors available to respond to outages once Irene leaves. The utility also expects heavy rain to lead to gas outages. Water could enter the utility’s gas distribution system along with customers’ basements.

While NJ Transit, PATH and New York City subway trains will stop at noon Saturday, bus, light-rail and Access Link service for disabled riders will operate until 6 p.m. All mass transit trips that began before the scheduled service suspensions will complete the journey, the transit agencies said.

All southbound lanes of the Garden State Parkway south of Exit 98 closed at 8 p.m. Friday.

Both levels of the George Washington Bridge will be closed Sunday if winds reach a sustained 60 mph, the Port Authority said. The lower level will be closed if winds reach 40 mph; trucks, motorcycles and motor homes will be banned if winds hit 50 mph.

Bergen County Executive Kathleen Donovan said Friday that she and county officials, as well as representatives from PSE&G and Rockland Electric, will be working out of the county's public safety complex in Mahwah over the weekend.

“We’re going to be facing some enormous challenges over the next couple of days,” Donovan said.

Towns prepare

Towns across North Jersey prepared for the storm Friday.

Along Cedar Grove Road in Little Falls, public works employees reinforced a flood wall along the Peckman River with 25 to 30 cement blocks, each weighing one ton. The wall was damaged in Tropical Storm Floyd in 1999, and a swollen Peckman inundated an entire neighborhood.

“We’re not sure the wall is going to hold up to the hurricane so we’re just trying to give it a little protection,” said Phillip Simone, the township’s public works director.

David Santalla, whose house on Cedar Grove Road was damaged by Floyd, said he hoped the work would prevent the wall from breaching. “As long as it stays put we will be okay,” he said.

In Palisades Park on Friday, workers stripped Broad Avenue of flag poles, trash cans, newspaper vending machines, loose signage and “anything that could become a projectile,” Borough Administrator David Lorenzo said.

“Everything was battened down by 11 a.m.” Lorenzo said. “I think we are the readiest — if that’s a word — than we have ever been for any event.”

Paterson residents won’t find much relief in their own city. Mayor Jeffery Jones urged residents in need of shelter to use the Red Cross regional shelter at Bergen Community College in Paramus. That’s a better choice for a shelter than somewhere in Paterson, which has a history of flooding, the mayor said.

People who live along the Hudson River in Edgewater should stay elsewhere as a precaution starting Saturday night, borough officials warned Friday.

In North Bergen, Palisades General Hospital began evacuating all 80 of its patients as well as 74 residents from the nursing home next door as a precaution. The patients will be moved as a precaution to other hospitals by Saturday afternoon, officials said. contained in hospital sidbar

Oradell dispatched public works crews to clear catch basins after a rainstorm last week caused flooding in areas that do not typically flood. An emergency command center will be set up at Borough Hall on Sunday, with representatives from all municipal services.

The first aid squad in Woodland Park plans to visit residents who have special medical needs, such as using oxygen to breathe, to check on their emergency plans, Police Chief Anthony Galietti said.

PSE&G sent service trucks to several towns Friday to trim tree branches near power lines.

“The rain we can handle – it’s high winds and a loss of power that will be a real problem,” said Sam Garofalo, the public works superintendent in Garfield. “I’ve been told that if power goes out in this area, it may be out for an entire day before it’s restored.”

Residents in flood-prone areas of New Milford will be asked to voluntary evacuate by 8 a.m. Sunday. Meanwhile, in Teaneck, workers were clearing storm drains in areas that typically flood. Township officials said they were making plans to put extra police officers on duty Saturday and added that they may open a shelter if needed.

Police in Passaic will focus their attention on flooding in the city’s lower east side, near the Passaic River, police said. That area flooded during Tropical Storm Floyd in 1999, said Detective Andrew White. Officers will “follow the river, and if it gets to a stage where it will go over the banks, then we’ll send out evacuations,” White said.

Customers flocked to The Home Depot in Lodi, but found most of the in-demand equipment — generators, batteries, flashlights and sump pumps — sold out. The next generator shipment was due Friday night from a vendor out west – the only seller the store could buy from since generators are coveted up and down the east coast.

“There was a panic with the snowstorm, but nothing like this,” said Yolanda Denson, the store manager.

Tanis Hardware in Haledon was flooded with 400 to 500 customers by early afternoon Friday looking for everything from generators to charcoal for cooking if the power goes out. The Belmont Avenue store sold out of 200 flashlights by noon.

Mike Pizzi came out of the Stop and Shop on Route 17 in Paramus with some cold cuts and drinks for what he called a “one-day event.” He said the hurricane was being blown out of proportion, though he acknowledged he was worried about falling trees. “I have a lot of trees on my property,” he said.

Peter Tuttman came to buy flashlights and found none. He headed straight for the canned goods. “I’m hearing of potential outages, so better safe than sorry,” he said.

In Pequannock, homeowner Greg Dabice was busy Friday boarding up his basement windows and packing his family's belongings before temporarily relocating to a friend’s home across town. Dabice has lived in his Roosevelt Street home since 2005, and said his basement has flooded three times.

“I almost have the system down, unfortunately,” he said. “I get everything out of the basement. We have five kids, so we have a lot of stuff.”

His wife and children plan to stay with family in another part of town as the hurricane rolls in, with potential for flooding along the Pompton River near his home. But Dabice said he will stay put.

“I have four pumps now and a generator,” he said. “I have all the tools to fight it so I really want to stay with the house.”

Two major roadways to the Jersey Shore — routes 70 and 72 — were closed to eastbound traffic at 6 p.m. Friday to allow all lanes to handle westbound evacuees.

Tolls were suspended on the Garden State Parkway south of the Raritan River and the Atlantic City Expressway starting Friday morning to keep traffic moving.

Source:   http://www.northjersey.com

"Soaring 17": High school junior earns pilot's license. Lebanon-Warren County Airport ( I68), Lebanon, Ohio.

Alaina Kappner celebrated her 17th birthday in the sky as she aced her first solo flight for her pilot’s license. 
Thomas E. Smith for The Enquirer


LEBANON - Forget the usual teen birthday bash - you needed to look skyward to behold Alaina Kappner's "Soaring 17" birthday.

It started out as an exclusive party Thursday, with the only invitees being the Kings High School junior and veteran pilot John Lane, seated close in a single-engine plane, 2,500 feet up and buzzing through the clouds.

Once Alaina soared for more than hour as a solo pilot, she smoothly landed and taxied back to her family's hangar at the Warren County Airport.

As she rolled up, she was shocked to discover the hangar was now filled with more than a dozen family and friends screaming "happy birthday!"

As she stepped from her father's restored 1946 Aeronca Champ, Alaina's smile grew even wider as her test instructor Lane flashed a thumbs-up to everyone, signaling that she had successfully earned her pilot's license on the first day she was old enough to be eligible.

"Oh my gosh!" she exclaimed. "I saw everyone when I taxied up, and I was just blown away. I'm sure glad I didn't fail my pilot's test."

"Way to go, babe!" shouted her mother, Johanna, as she lined up to hug the newly certified aviator.

Everyone applauded as the teen basked in the feat's afterglow, all still lit by the final golden hues of a setting sun at the airport near Lebanon.

Planning the surprise birthday bash wasn't much of a leap of faith, said her father and fellow private pilot, Shawn Kappner.

Alaina is a top student at Kings and a quick study who has logged a long record of successfully tackling challenges, her father said.

"She has the right stuff and is way more advanced at flying than I was at her age," he said. "Her flying instructors tell me that, when they tell her something once, then it's a lock with her."

Lane, who founded Warren County Airport in 1956 and has trained and tested hundreds of young pilots, "rogered" that.

"It was a smooth flight, and she did really well," he said of their flight up to Moraine Airport south of Dayton, a flyover of the Springboro airport and return home. In between, she performed specific aerial maneuvers and navigation calculations required of all pilots.

As one of the nation's youngest female pilots to have attained a "sports pilot" license, Alaina is a rarity among the group of teenage pilots, most of whom are male.

Nationwide, only 11 percent of 72,280 student pilots are female.

It was an early morning flight near the Ohio River with her father earlier this year that gave Alaina the notion to soar.

Her father allowed her to hold the plane's wings level for a few seconds, and that was enough.

Alaina has long had an interest in birds and hopes to attend Cornell University to study ornithology. The sensation of flight intrigued her.

"Now I know what birds feel like," she recalled thinking.

Though she has no aspirations to become a commercial pilot or make a career in aviation, she's already game for new adventures.

"Next summer I'm going to try hang gliding, and after that I want to get my scuba diving license. I like adventure, and I want to try everything," Alaina said.

She chuckled and added: "I have a bucket list a mile long."

Source:  http://news.cincinnati.com

FAA: 4 dead in Missouri medical helicopter crash

MOSBY, Mo. — Authorities say a medical helicopter has crashed in northwestern Missouri, killing all four people onboard.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsford says the helicopter carrying three crew members and a patient went down Friday evening near the town of Mosby, about 20 miles northeast of Kansas City.

Lunsford says the Eurocopter AS-350 helicopter was en route to the Kansas City suburb of Liberty and had stopped at an airport in Mosby for fuel. There was no immediate indication of what caused the crash.

It was not immediately clear where the patient was from or where the flight originated. Lunsford says the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board are sending investigators to the scene.

MOSBY, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a medical helicopter has crashed near a small airport in northwestern Missouri, killing all four people on board.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsford says the helicopter carrying three crew members and a patient crashed about 7 p.m. Friday near the town of Mosby, about 20 miles northeast of Kansas City.

Lunsford says the Eurocopter AS-350 helicopter was flying to the Kansas City suburb of Liberty and planned to stop at Midwest National Air Center for fuel. He says the helicopter did not reach the airport and crashed about one mile north in a field.

The helicopter was owned by Air Methods Corp. of Colorado, a large operator of air ambulances. Lunsford says the aircraft was based in St. Joseph, Mo., but he could not confirm that the flight originated there.

India: Pilot training to get outsource push - Flying institute rides on hope, six private firms send in offers

The state civil aviation department plans to hand over the task of training youngsters to become commercial pilots to private companies.

Jharkhand Flying Institute in Ranchi, which boasts of two Czech-made Zlin aircraft, three gliders and one twin engine aeroplane, has received responses from six private firms whose technical qualifications are being evaluated by the civil aviation department.

“Six parties have responded to our tender to outsource the training aspect at the Jharkhand Flying Institute. We are evaluating the expression of interests, after which we will send our recommendations to the state government for a final decision,” civil aviation secretary V.K. Singh told The Telegraph.

The fleet of Zlin and gliders are gathering dust at the state hangar at Birsa Munda Airport for the last two years with the department finding it difficult to find anyone to use the facilities and provide training.

“Manpower crunch forced us to think of outsourcing the training bit. Let’s see whether the prospective agencies fulfil the mandatory norms stipulated by the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) as far as commercial pilot training is concerned,” said Singh.

Captain S.P. Sinha, flying in-charge at the state hangar, said all the planes and gliders were being maintained properly and all eyes were on training activities resuming at the institute, which has been lying virtually defunct.

In 2010-11, a group of 30 students from the state belonging to Scheduled Tribe, Scheduled Caste and Backward Classes categories was sent to Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh to pursue a pilot-training programme. The state government’s welfare and tribal welfare department had chosen Sai Flytech Aviation Private Limited at Bilaspur.

Efforts to train youths of the state to become commercial pilots have been going on for the last couple of years, with the state spending as much as Rs 18 lakh per student for the purpose.

In 2008, efforts were initiated to start a pilot training programme on public-private partnership at Jamshedpur Co-operative Flying Club, but little progress was made after the initial planning.

The state government bought two Zlin four-seater aircraft and power glider in 2006 for setting up the flying club in Ranchi in order to train tribal youths to become pilots. However, the DGCA refused to give its consent for the club, taking into account the air traffic congestion in the area.

“We also plan to come up with two more flying institutes in Dumka and Dhanbad for which we have recently invited proposals to upgrade the available facilities,” Singh added.

Source:  http://www.telegraphindia.com

5 New York-area airports to close to arriving flights

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — The five main New York City-area airports will be closed to arriving passenger flights beginning at noon on Saturday because of Hurricane Irene, aviation officials said.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the airports and area bridges and tunnels, said Friday that many weekend departures already had been canceled in anticipation of the hurricane.

The suspension affects John F. Kennedy International and LaGuardia airports in New York City, Stewart International in the city's northern suburbs and Newark Liberty International and Teterboro in New Jersey. Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark are among the busiest airports in the nation.

The suspension applies to domestic and international flights.

The Port Authority said Friday it was taking the action to avoid stranding passengers at the airports when the region's mass transit systems won't be running because of the hurricane threat.

Source:  http://www.chron.com

Lancair 235 (built by William C. Nichols), Donny L. Asher (rgd. owner & pilot), N777BN: Accident occurred August 25, 2011 in Heath, Ohio

NTSB Identification: CEN11FA597 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, August 25, 2011 in Heath, OH
Aircraft: Nichols Lancair 235, registration: N777BN
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On August 25, 2011, at 1856 eastern daylight time, a Nichols model Lancair 235 airplane, N777BN, was substantially damaged when it impacted trees and terrain during initial climb from Newark-Heath Airport, Heath, Ohio. The pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private pilot, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was operated without a flight plan. The local flight was originating at the time of the accident.

According to a witness, who was located on the airport, the airplane had used runway 27 for the accident takeoff. The witness stated that the airplane appeared to be "very unstable" after it became airborne, alternately rolling right and left while remaining only a few feet above the runway. The witness noted that he did not believe the pilot had control of the airplane. The airplane then turned left and proceeded off the runway directly toward the witness's position. The witness noted that the airplane continued to fly erratically, with continuous pitch, yaw, and roll changes, and cleared a row of hangars by approximately 10 feet. The airplane continued in a climb to 100-150 feet above the ground before it banked sharply to the left and entered a nose-down descent into trees. The witness stated that the engine sounded normal throughout the entire flight, with no hesitations or misfires noted.

A postaccident examination of the airport property revealed that the airplane had veered off the left side of the runway, about 1,700 feet from the approach threshold, while still on the ground. The airplane's nose landing gear collided with a runway edge light and the observed tire tracks continued on a southwesterly heading for about 100 feet before the airplane became airborne.

The airplane collided with several trees and a residential backyard located immediately south of the airport property. All airframe structural components and aerodynamic control surfaces were accounted for at the accident site. Flight control continuity could not be established due to damage; however, all observed flight control system discontinuities were consistent with an overload failure. No preimpact anomalies were noted with the main landing gear braking system that was used for directional control during ground operations. The airplane was not equipped with nose-wheel steering.

The experimental amateur-built airplane had accumulated 1,131 hours since being issued an airworthiness certificate on August 10, 1990. The pilot reportedly had not flown the airplane since he purchased it from the original builder on September 14, 2010. He had reportedly expressed concerns with the airplane's ground-handling characteristics, and in the weeks preceding the accident, was seen performing several high-speed ground tests.
==========

HEATH, Ohio - A Licking County man was killed Thursday evening when the single-engine plane he was flying crashed just after takeoff at Newark-Heath Airport. The pilot was identified as Donny Asher, 51, of Pataskala, 10TV’s Kevin Landers reported.


No one else was on board.

Witnesses said they saw the small plane clip a tree before it crashed in the back yard of a home, located across the street from the airport.  They said Asher was alive after the crash but died before he could be removed from the wreckage.

“The plane was completely demolished,” said Cassidy Clapp, who was one of the first people to reach the scene. “We saw the man in there and tried to keep him conscious, talk to him, tell him not to move.  It was horrible.”

Investigators said preliminarily that the crash appeared to have been caused by a mechanical problem, Landers reported.

Authorities were expected to continue their investigation on Friday.

Watch 10TV News and refresh 10TV.com for additional information.

PATASKALA — A Pataskala man who died Thursday night in an airplane crash in Heath is being remembered as kind-hearted person who loved flying planes, both big and small.

"We thought the world of him," said Yolanda Kincaid, a neighbor of Donny L. Asher. "It's not real yet. I just saw him come home from work yesterday and wave hello."

Asher, 50, of 6086 Mink St. SW, died Thursday night after the single-engine, single-prop Lancair 235 plane he was piloting crashed after taking off from the Newark-Heath Airport.

A detailed investigation is pending, but Ohio Highway Patrol Lt. Darrin Bolsser said it appeared a mechanical problem caused the crash.

Kincaid has lived next door to Asher for four years, and she said Thursday she could not have asked for a better neighbor.

"He was a wonderful person, a great neighbor," Kincaid said.

Kincaid often saw Asher flying small, remote-controlled gasoline-powered planes around his property and the 300 acres of farmland that abuts it.

"He loved everything about airplanes," she said. "He had the gas-powered ones and his little airplane, (which he flew)."

Asher said Kincaid had recently bought a new plane, but she was not sure if it was the two-seat Lancair 235 that crashed Thursday.

Asher sometimes flew his girlfriend of 17 years on out-of-state trips, Kincaid said, but he usually did not reveal much about his travels until the couple returned home.

"Donny was pretty private," Kincaid said. "Usually, we found out stuff after they got back. (They'd have flown to) Niagara Falls, Vegas, wherever. They just took off and went."

Asher, who had two grown sons, had worked at Battelle for 11 years. He was a team leader for a PC tech group, and he was well liked, said T.R. Massey, a Battelle spokesperson.

"He was a great guy," Massey said. "Obviously everybody around here is just stunned."

Kincaid on Thursday remembered Asher as "intelligent," "polite" and "super nice." He was so nice, Kincaid said, he often volunteered to use his IT background to fix her computer.

Massey said that sounded like the kind of thing Asher would have done.

"I'm sure he would have (done that)," Massey said. "He was very, very good at (computers)."

He also, Massey said, was a guy "everybody at Battelle liked."

To that end, Massey said Asher's coworkers on Friday were keeping his family and friends in their thoughts, considering his sudden death.

Kincaid said she will miss her neighbor and the times she sat around bonfires talking to him.

"This is just so sad."

Asher is the second Pataskala man to die in a plane crash this year.

Pataskala resident and developer Phil Key, 68, died after the airplane he was piloting crashed May 30 in the Chattahoochee National Forest in northern Georgia. Key, the owner of Key Homes, had been on a sightseeing flight with three passengers.

The National Transportation Safety Board released a report in June indicating the right wing of Key's plan collided with a tree about 50 feet off the ground and was destroyed by fire.

The Granville Post of the Ohio Highway Patrol on Friday did not have any new information on the plane crash involving Asher.

Source:  http://www.newarkadvocate.com

HEATH -- Twisted metal and debris litter the backyard of a Heath Home at 551 Heath Road while NTSB investigates the crash that killed Donny L. Asher, 50, of Pataskala.
===============

"I heard the loud noise but as you can tell I'm used to all that noise," said Mary Cottrell. She lives directly across from Newark-Heath Airport.

That's why she didn't think much of the sound of snapping trees and crunching medal Tuesday night. When she finally saw flames and people rushing to a trapped pilot she knew something was wrong.

"A woman starting talking to him, saying, 'don't move. We're going to get help for you.' He nodded his head.

But Donny Asher, a father of two from Pataskala didn't make it. National Transportation Safety Administration is are investigating a possible mechanical failure.

Almost 24-hours after the deadly crash, neighbors are paying their respects and the crash sight and remembering a fallen pilot.

"I always feel sorry it happened. I'm sorry for the family, naturally. I guess it's just part of life," said Bob Bennett.

Hundreds attend F-35 ceremony at Eglin Air Force Base (SLIDESHOW)

EGLIN AFB — After years of delays and controversy, a large crowd finally got an up-close look at the newly arrived F-35 Lightning II fighter jet Friday.

With one of the two F-35s at Eglin Air Force Base in the background, more than 600 people attended the rollout ceremony in one of the new hangars for the 33rd Fighter Wing.

“Eventually, 2,200 maintainers and 100 pilots per year will pass through these doors,” said Col. Andrew Toth, commander of the 33rd. “For the immediate future, starting in 2012 we anticipate a couple hundred pilots and maintainers going through the training center. In 2014, the program should be mature enough to have the Air Force send students fresh from basic training.

“What this aircraft behind me stands for is a visual representation of our exciting future,” Toth added. “The 33rd Pursuit Group of the past is nothing like the 33rd Fighter Wing of today, except in the long-standing spirit of air power. With the F-35 program, we foresee air dominance for our services and partner nations for the next 30 to 50 years. The Nomads stand ready to provide fire from the clouds anytime, anywhere.”

It could be awhile before local residents see the F-35s in the sky.

“We’re following an event-driven timeline, so it’s still probably going to be a few months before we actually start flying them,” Gen. Edward Rice, commander of the Air Education and Training Command at Randolph Air Force Base in Texas, said later. “We’re using the aircraft now for maintenance tech training and pilots are going through the checklists and testing. I can’t give you an exact date, but we are all anxious for that as well.”

Eglin is scheduled to receive 59 F-35s. Larry Lawson, executive vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 program, said Eglin’s next four Joint Strike Fighters should be delivered within the next month.

Lockheed Martin has 54 other F-35s in various stages of production at its plant in Fort Worth, Texas.

Lawson said Lockheed Martin now is finishing about two F-35s a month. That output is expected to increase to about three a month for the next couple of years before production ramps up even more

“I think this is an important milestone for the F-35 program, and more importantly it’s the beginning of a new era in training for the U.S. Air Force, Army and Marine forces,” Lawson said. “Never in our nation’s history have we had the opportunity to recapitalize all of our air forces and work at this level of cooperation to not only provide an incredible capability, but to figure out how to do it in the most cooperative way.”

Following the ceremony, Medal of Honor recipient and retired Air Force Col. Bud Day and his wife Doris were given an up-close look at the jet. Bud Day said the F-35 was much more complex than the ones he flew in Vietnam, but added that it is very functional.

“This is going to be a real efficient airplane when you get it out and get it on the line,” Day said. “There’s a ton of work you can do out in the combat theater with this airplane quick. It’s got a lot of internal defense built into it because of its great offensive capability.”

Read more, video and photos: http://www.nwfdailynews.com

Navy: Increase in helicopter operations has 'no significant impact'. Coronado, San Diego, California.


An environmental assessment found the Navy's plan to increase the number of helicopters stationed at the Coronado Navy base would not have a significant impact on noise levels or the environment, the Navy announced Friday.

The plan, called the Helicopter Wings Realignment and MH-60R/S Helicopter Transition, would increase Naval Air Station North Island's helicopter fleet from 151 to 203 and increase helicopter operations by up to 30 percent when the realignment is complete in 2016.

These increases would add about 35 daily helicopter flights at NASNI and about 19 daily helicopter flights at the Naval Outlying Landing Field in Imperial Beach, and would boost the number of personnel at NASNI by 800. The realignment also involves replacing older model H-60 helicopters with the new MH-60 R/S model and constructing a new hangar and supporting facilities.

The Navy released its Draft Environmental Assessment for the plan at the end of February, and received public comments on it until the end of April.

Teresa Bresler, a project manager at Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest, said the Navy received 70 comment letters from residents about the proposed plan and “heard overwhelmingly that residents in Imperial Beach have concerns about the amount of noise in air operations there.”

But, she said, most of the noise problems were actually caused by a temporary shift of all helicopter activity to a Navy runway closer to residential areas.

The Navy shifted its helicopter activity to a southern runway farther from residential areas in July. Imperial Beach officials did not respond to requests for comment on whether the noise had since decreased.

After reviewing public comments, the Navy announced on Friday the plan had a "Finding of No Significant Impact," or FONSI. It said direct, indirect and cumulative environmental impacts from the plan would range from "no impacts" to "minor impacts," with no significant impacts to the environment expected.

The environmental assessment also found the proposed plan would not result in significant noise impacts.

While it would slightly expand a baseline of noise collected in 2010 at the Imperial Beach NOLF, this noise would not extend to populated areas, according to the Navy. NASNI and NOLF have policies and specific course rules to minimize aircraft noise.

Because the FONSI means the Navy's helicopter transition plan would not impact the environment, the Navy has decided preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement is not required.

A copy of the environmental statement, including the FONSI, can be downloaded at www.navyregionsouthwest.com/go/doc/4275/1174759. They are also available at the Coronado Public Library on 640 Orange Ave., the San Diego Country Library's Imperial Beach Branch on 810 Imperial Beach Blvd. and the San Diego Public Library on 820 E St.

Source:  http://www.sddt.com

Two people die in Yak-52 plane crash near Moscow

MOSCOW, August 26 (Itar-Tass) —— Two people died in a Yak-52 plane crash in the Moscow Region, the press service of the Russian Emergencies Ministry's regional department told Itar-Tass.

The plane was on a training flight.

The Yak-52 fell near the village of Shuvoye in the Yegoryevsk district. Two people were aboard. They died in the crash, a press service source said.

There were no victims and no damage on the ground.

The Yak-52 sport plane, which crashed in the Yegoryevsk district near Moscow, fell 500 metres short of the runway, a source at the Russian Investigative Committee's Moscow inter-regional transport investigative department told Itar-Tass. The department has launched an inquiry into the accident.

At 12:03 Moscow time on Friday, the Yak-52 sport plane that flew from the local airfield of Shuvoye for a training flight fell onto the ground 500 metres short of the runway. Two people died in the crash, the source said.

A group of investigators went to the site to establish circumstances of the accident.

Earlier, a source at the Emergencies Ministry's regional department told Itar-Tass that the plane fell near the village of Shuvoye in the Yegoryevsk district. Two people were aboard. They died in the crash. There were no other victims and no damage on the ground.

Police said the plane caught fire after it fell.

Military aircraft evacuate from Irene to Mc Ghee Tyson Airport (KTYS), Knoxville, Tennessee.


Military and commercial aircraft are traveling to McGhee Tyson Airport as Hurricane Irene approaches the eastern seaboard.

According to the Tennessee Air National Guard, this is one of the largest air evacuations they have ever experienced. The Tennessee Air National Guard had more than 40 harrier ground attack planes as of Friday afternoon. The Tennessee Army National Guard had another 30 helicopters.

"We rarely have this many aircraft coming from one location for something like this," said Burl Lambert, Maintenance Group Commander of the 134 Air Refueling Wing.

He said the Tennessee Air National Guard is running out of space due to the sheer amount of aircraft that have come in.

McGhee Tyson Airport has only received a few commercial flights so far, according to Airport Spokesperson Becky Huckaby. But, she said they are expecting to see more canceled flights.

"As Irene moves through, we will have airplanes stationed here," Huckaby said.

She said airlines find McGhee Tyson to be an attractive alternative because of its proximity to the east coast, long runways and hotels.

WSK PZL Mielec, M-18 Dromader, N7070L: Accident occurred August 26, 2011 in Freeport, Illinois

NTSB Identification: CEN11LA605  
 14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Friday, August 26, 2011 in Freeport, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/27/2013
Aircraft: WSK PZL MIELEC M-18 DROMADER, registration: N7070L
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 pilot reported that the airplane would not climb after takeoff, and it stalled, impacted the field, and then nosed over. Postaccident examination revealed that the forward elevator push rod was bent. The bend did not appear to have occurred during impact. Further examination revealed that the up elevator travel was 15 degrees. Manufacturer specifications called for 27 degrees of up elevator travel. Marks on the aft elevator push rod indicated that a plier’s tool had been improperly used on the push rod, which left marks from the tool and a dent in the push rod. A shipment for the pilot/owner arrived at the airport after the accident that contained a new elevator push rod. The shipping label indicated that the package was shipped on the day of the accident. Based on this evidence, it is likely that the up elevator travel was limited and that the pilot was aware of this defect prior to the accident flight.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's decision to operate the airplane with a known defect in the elevator control system that led to his inability to control the airplane during the initial climb.

On August 26, 2011, about 1252 central daylight time, a WSK PZL Mielec, M-18 Dromader, N7070L, impacted terrain after takeoff from runway 24 (5,504 feet by 100 feet) at the Albertus Airport, Freeport, Illinois. The pilot received serious injuries. The airplane sustained impact and fire damage to the fuselage, both wings, the vertical tail, and the engine. The flight was registered to and operated by S. A. S. Aerial Application under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137, as an aerial application flight. Visual flight rules (VFR) conditions prevailed for the flight, which was not operating on a flight plan. The local flight was originating at the time of the accident.

The pilot reported that the engine operated normally during a pretakeoff run-up and during the takeoff roll. He said that after liftoff, the airplane did not climb well. The airplane almost struck a house and he turned downwind to avoid terrain. The pilot stated that the airplane stalled and landed flat in the field and flipped over. The pilot reported no mechanical failures or malfunctions of the airplane.

Examination of the airplane after the accident revealed that the forward elevator control push rod had a bend that effectively limited up elevator travel. The bend in the push rod did not appear to have occurred during the accident. Measurement of the elevator elevator control travel revealed 15 degrees of up elevator travel and 19 degrees of down elevator travel when measured at the elevator control surface. According to a European Aviation Safety Agency Type Certificate Data Sheet for the airplane, the elevator travel limits were specified as 27 degrees up elevator and 17 degrees down elevator. Additionally, tool marks and denting were found on the aft elevator control push rod consistent with use of a pliers type tool.

During the on-scene examination of the airplane it was discovered that a shipment for the pilot/owner containing a new elevator push rod had arrived at the departure airport after the accident and had not been installed at the time of the accident. The shipping date on the shipper label indicated that the package was shipped on the same date as the accident date.



NTSB Identification: CEN11LA605 
 14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Friday, August 26, 2011 in Freeport, IL
Aircraft: WSK PZL MIELEC M-18 DROMADER, registration: N7070L
Injuries: 1 Serious.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.


On August 26, 2011, about 1252 central daylight time, a WSK PZL Mielec, M-18 Dromader, N7070L, impacted terrain after takeoff from runway 24 (5,504 feet by 100 feet) at the Albertus Airport, Freeport, Illinois. The pilot received serious injuries. The flight was registered to and operated by S. A. S. Aerial Application under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137, as an aerial application flight. Visual flight rules (VFR) conditions prevailed for the flight, which was not operating on a flight plan. The local flight was originating at the time of the accident.



Freeport, Ill. —  The pilot of a small crop-dusting plane was airlifted to Rockford Memorial Hospital with serious injuries after his plane crashed on Friday afternoon in rural Freeport.

The Dromader M-18 crop duster crashed after taking off from Albertus Airport in Freeport at approximately 12:59 p.m., according to a statement from the Illinois State Police.

The plane crashed in a cornfield about 70 yards off of Baileyville Road, a short distance south of East Borchers Road.

“He came up off the runway, turned, and just crashed,” said an eyewitness, who asked not to be named. The woman was driving south on Baileyville Road when she witnessed the crash. She said the yellow plane went up in flames after it crashed. She pulled off the road and called 911.

State police officials confirmed that the aircraft overturned and caught fire. Smoke could be seen for miles leading up to the crash site until the flames were extinguished by the Freeport Rural Fire Department.

Stephenson County Sheriff David Snyders confirmed that the pilot survived the crash and was taken to Rockford for medical treatment.

Snyders said the plane was loaded with radish seeds and dry fertilizer 3,700 pounds to do aerial seeding. The pilot had also just fueled up and was carrying over 300 gallons of aviation fuel. State police officials said the pilot was en route to Leaf River.

State police will be handling the crash investigation. It is unknown what caused the crash, and police have not released the name of the pilot.

The Stephenson County Sheriff’s Office, Freeport Rural Fire Protection District, and Federal Aviation Administration assisted in the emergency response.

Source:  http://www.journalstandard.com

Close shave for Air India passengers. Air India Express Boeing 737-800, VT-AXX, Flight IX-394. Kochi, India.

NEDUMBASSERY: The passengers and crew on-board of Air India Express Flight IX 394 from Kuwait -Kochi - Kozhikdoe had a providential escape as the flight, which developed some technical snag before landing in Kochi International Airport, made an emergency landing at about 10.15 am on Thursday.

The flight crew had sought permission of the Air Traffic Control (ATC) in Kochi for a full course emergency landing as the malfunctioning of hydraulic system was noted. The ATC alerted the CIAL to provide all arrangement for a safe landing and the airport operators swung into action. Fire and Safety personnel of CIAL and nearby fire stations took position to meet any eventuality. Ambulance service from nearby hospitals also rushed to the airport. Amid all arrangements, the AI flight IX 394 landed safely in Kochi Airport. But, the flight abruptly stopped while moving to the bay to off load the passengers. The passengers, about 62 on board, were allowed to alight from the aircraft onto the tarmac. Passengers to Kozhikode were given road conveyance. The flight is expected to resume journey on Friday.

Source:  http://ibnlive.in.com

'Missionary Flights' head to hard-hit Bahamas to help after Hurricane Irene. The non-profit will make several trips to islands.


FORT PIERCE, Fla. - Supplies are being prepared to be flown from south Florida to help Bahamians who were in Hurrican Irene's path.

One of many groups from this area who are willing to help our neighbors to the east is Missionary Flights International. The group will make several flights starting Saturday morning to the hard-hit Bahamas and beyond.

The Treasure Coast-based group is will first fly to the islands with more than 600 lbs. in tarps alone. After a return trip to south Florida to reload, Missionary Flights International takes to the sky again, planning to touch down on a different, heavily, wooded island with a number of chain saws.

Fallen trees have been keeping people from getting around some of the islands. "We get ready to haul a load of supplies to someplace and they kick in for the fuel," said Dick Snook, President of Missionary Flights International. "They don't pay the pilots or the mechanics who work on it. They simply pay for the fuel for the airplane. The rest of the operation is funded by donations directly to Missionary Flights," he added.

The Salvation Army donated about 2,000 lbs. of food that will be loaded on board these flights.

Competition for the skies - Qatar Airways eyes larger slice of aviation pie after encouraging start

Calcutta is logging impressive flying miles in the once sluggish international sector, prompting new entrant Qatar Airways to consider introducing larger aircraft and increasing its daily flights to twice a day.

Qatar Airways, which started operations in Calcutta last month with a daily flight to Doha, is eyeing 80 per cent occupancy by September and hopes to build on it over the next year.

“We are happy with the growth. In six to seven months, we intend introducing bigger aircraft for our Calcutta operations,” a Qatar Airways official told Metro. “If the growth continues, we will introduce double daily flights from the city within a year,” he said.

Such a positive forecast for Calcutta by an international airline marks a change from the bleak scenario in 2009 when British Airways and Gulf Air had pulled out of the city, citing losses triggered by consistently low yield.

Signs of a turnaround came earlier this year with a clutch of international airlines, including the Singapore Airlines subsidiary SilkAir announcing plans to take off from the city. Emirates currently operates twice-a-day flights to Dubai for five days a week, but Qatar Airways will be the first to run double daily flights on a new route since Mamata Banerjee took over as chief minister.

SilkAir started its four-days-a-week service to and from Singapore on August 1 and Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific has approached the chief minister to help it resume services in the city after 41 years.

The reasons for the popularity of the Qatar Airways service are easy connections to Europe and the US from Doha and less transit time in the Qatar capital. “Around 80 per cent of those taking the Calcutta flight are headed for the UK or the US,” an official said.

The flight from Doha arrives in the city at 3.10am. The return flight takes off at 4.10am and reaches Doha at 7am local time. Passengers have to wait a maximum of one-and-a-half hours there to catch connecting flights to Washington, London and other parts of Europe.

Qatar Airways now operates an Airbus 320 with 12 business-class and 144 economy-class seats. Once the bigger Airbus 330 aircraft replaces it, seat capacity will increase to 25 in business class and 230 in economy.

Competition for the skies

Sixteen international airlines fly to 13 destinations from the city. But the list pales in comparison to Mumbai, where 47 global airlines operate.

So will Calcutta ever catch up? Travel industry officials say volumes might not match that of Mumbai, but traffic would soar from the current level. “The entry of more airlines has made the international sector competitive, which should benefit fliers. We are expecting good fares for fliers headed for Europe and the US,” said Anil Punjabi, the chairman (east) of the Travel Agents’ Federation of India.

Sixteen international airlines fly to 13 destinations from the city. But the list pales in comparison to Mumbai, where 47 global airlines operate.

So will Calcutta ever catch up? Travel industry officials say volumes might not match that of Mumbai, but traffic would soar from the current level. “The entry of more airlines has made the international sector competitive, which should benefit fliers. We are expecting good fares for fliers headed for Europe and the US,” said Anil Punjabi, the chairman (east) of the Travel Agents’ Federation of India.

Source:  http://www.telegraphindia.com

Job fair has single purpose: Bring AAR Aircraft Services to Duluth

An Illinois company is considering opening an aircraft maintenance facility at the Duluth international Airport that would bring about 250 jobs to the city, the state Department of Employment and Economic Development said in a news release.

The department is holding a job fair Monday and Tuesday in Duluth aimed solely at proving to AAR Aircraft Services that the city has a willing and able workforce to support the facility.

"The success of this career fair is an important factor as to whether AAR will locate in Duluth, so we have to show the company the depth of our talent," Mark Phillips, the department's commissioner, said in a statement. "The strength of our workforce is a critical consideration in their expansion plans."

AAR Aircraft Services is a division of a company based in Wood Dale, Ill., that works in commercial aviation around the world as well as government and defense agencies.

The state is working with the Duluth Airport Authority and a private-sector economic development organization.

The job fair will run from noon to 8 p.m. at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. Resumes may be sent to aircraft@duluth.gov.

Source:  http://www.startribune.com

Airline duo in cash chase

Mumbai, Aug. 26: Two airlines — Kingfisher and SpiceJet — are looking to raise funds to stabilize their businesses.

The board of Kingfisher Airlines today gave its green signal for a Rs 2,000-crore rights issue, while SpiceJet said it would issue preferential shares to promoter Kalanithi Maran.

SpiceJet told the bourses that its board had decided to issue 3.59 crore shares to Maran on a preferential basis at a price to be determined by Sebi regulations. The company will place a special resolution before shareholders seeking their approval at the annual general meeting on September 29.

The board of Kingfisher met on Thursday and decided to come out with a rights issue of up to Rs 2,000 crore. The airline did not divulge the time frame for the flotation.

The rights offering is being seen as an attempt by the company to bring down its Rs 6,000-crore debt. The company, which had a net loss of Rs 263 crore on a revenue of Rs 1,882 crore in April-June, has been trying to raise funds through a global depository receipts issue of $250-350 million.

The airline, which had earlier issued debentures worth over Rs 700 crore to three firms acting in concert with the founders, said in the announcement that these optionally convertible debentures (OCDs) would be redeemed prior to the rights issue in one or more tranches at the option of the board.

In the event the rights issue has not occurred during the relevant period, these OCDs will continue according to their original terms and may be redeemed at the end of 18 months from allotment.

The news did not provide any ballast to these stocks. On the BSE, the Kingfisher share fell over 6 per cent to Rs 23.55, while SpiceJet dropped over 4 per cent to close at Rs 21.75.

Source:  http://www.telegraphindia.com