Saturday, August 27, 2011

Grant to allow airport to resurface runway, taxiway. Monroe Regional Airport (KMLU), Louisiana.

Monroe Regional Airport will soon have a resurfaced runway and taxiway to complement its new showplace of a terminal scheduled to open in October.

The Federal Aviation Administration has awarded $4.2 million to rehabilitate the airport’s secondary runway and primary taxiway. The state will provide a 5 percent match to the grant.

“This project might not be as flashy as the new terminal, but it’s just as important,” Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo said. “We’re grateful (U.S. Rep. Rodney Alexander), our entire congressional delegation and the FAA made this a priority for funding.

“Once the new terminal is open and the other infrastructure improvements are made, northeastern Louisiana’s Gateway to the World will be world class.”

Alexander, R-Quitman, has consistently secured federal funding for the airport for the past decade.

“This airport is a key building block for regional economic expansion,” he said. “It connects us to the rest of the world. Companies like CenturyLink, Chase, Gardner-Denver and ConAgra must have access to a vibrant commercial airport if they are to continue to grow and create jobs here.”

Airport manager Cleve Norrell said expansions at those companies and more have helped increase boardings at the airport. Norrell said boardings were up 17 percent in 2010 and could exceed that pace for growth this year.

The new $36 million terminal is set to open sometime in October.

Norrell also is optimistic the airport will receive another $1.5 million from the FAA so the full extent of the rehabilitation projects can be complete.

“We’re confident that we’ll get it, but it has to work its way through the process,” he said.

Norrell said work on the runway and taxiway should begin within 45 days and be complete sometime early next year.

“The secondary runway is in pretty bad shape because when we added the new lighting and rehabilitated the main runway, it took all the traffic,” Norrell said. “Once the terminal opens and this work is done we’ll have a brand new facility. Monroe and our whole region can be proud of this new airport.”

Source:  http://www.thenewsstar.com

Is commercial air traffic coming to Niagara?

With the face-lift of the Niagara-on-the-Lake airport complete, Ruedi Suter is making promises of a bright new future for the region's runways.

"I cannot get into too many details right now, but I can say commercial traffic is coming to the Niagara airport," said Suter, chairman of the Niagara District Airport Commission, at the official unveiling of the renewed airport Saturday morning. "It will happen."

Suter is confident that flights to take passengers from Niagara to Toronto, or to Buffalo, and back are likely because the renovated facility makes the regional airport much more attractive.

Around $12 million in federal, provincial and municipal funding was spent to build a new airport terminal, install improved runway lights, fencing to secure planes and, critically, a taxi-way to improve the runways.

Suter said in the past, because the airport lacked modern runways or the ability to allow visiting planes to stay more than a few hours, Niagara lost out on the kind of economic opportunities the new facilities present.

"We could see people flying in from places like the Toronto Island Airport or even from Buffalo who want the wining and dining experience Niagara offers," said Suter. "They can fly in without losing hours waiting in traffic."

Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati, speaking while a reportedly $35 million corporate jet landed, said the airport can draw more than tourism dollars to Niagara. He said international economic development groups interested in Niagara need access to a proper airport for their visits.

In the past, the Niagara airport was not ideal for the quick in-and-out visits these teams engage in. Now it is, Diodati said, noting the corporate plane would not have been able to land in Niagara prior to the airport renovations.

Source:  http://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca

Kentucky plane crash victims remembered in sculpture. Comair flight 5191, Bombardier CL-600-2B19, N431CA. Accident occurred August 27, 2006. Blue Grass Airport, Lexington, Kentucky.

Photo credit: AP | 
The memorial sculpture for the 49 victims of the 2006 Comair Flight 5191 crash sits among roses on the University of Kentucky campus during a dedication ceremony Saturday, Aug. 27, 2011, in Lexington, Ky. (AP Photo/Ed Reinke)


 Five years after a plane crash killed 49 people, their relatives gathered Saturday for a tearful ceremony to unveil a striking sculpture showing a flock of birds in flight to memorialize the victims.

The people who died aboard Comair Flight 5191 were remembered in song, prayer and speeches during an hour-long service highlighted by the dedication of the 17-foot-tall metal sculpture...

Source:  http://www.newsday.com

Company identifies 3 killed in helicopter crash. Eurocopter AS 350B2, N352LN. Near Midwest National Air Center Airport (KGPH), Mosby, Missouri.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Two northwest Missouri medics and a pilot from South Dakota have been identified as three of the four people who died when a medical helicopter crashed into a field northeast of Kansas City.
 
Colorado-based Air Methods Corp. identified employees of its subsidiary LifeNet as 47-year-old Randy Bever, a flight nurse from Savannah, Mo.; 36-year-old Chris Frakes, a flight paramedic from Savannah; and 34-year-old James Freudenberg, a pilot from Rapid City, S.D.

A 58-year-old female patient also was killed.

The crash happened at 6:41 p.m. Friday near Mosby, 20 miles northeast of Kansas City. Her identity wasn't immediately available.

Transportation officials say the pilot had reported being low on fuel before the helicopter went down, but the cause of the crash might not be known for months.

Source:  http://www.ajc.com

Bangkok: Wanted hitman found working as airport guard. Suvarnabhumi Airport

A security guard at Suvarnabhumi Airport has been arrested after police confirmed he was a hitman on the Royal Thai Police's list of its most wanted criminals.

Bundit Tomuang, or Sathit Tomuang, 53, was detained recently at a house in Nakhon Sawan province, Pol Lt Col Suthin Suangdokmai of the Metropolitan Police Bureau said yesterday.

Mr Bundit is No16 on the police's list of most wanted hitmen and thugs. He has been working as a guard at the airport for five years but returned recently to his hometown in Nakhon Sawan for treatment of gout.

He has been tried, and acquitted, twice for murder. His alleged victims were a woman whom he claimed stole his cattle, and a lawyer. Mr Bundit later faced a warrant for premeditated murder and hiring someone to commit a crime.

An Airports of Thailand official said the AoT carefully examines the background of all guards. Mr Bundit may have been a hired by a contractor.

CANADA: Ottawa planespotters on Alert

Ashtyn, 2, was out spotting planes on Alert Rd. with his grandfather, Ab Dufresne. Planespotters may not be able to access the popular spot if plans go ahead top close part or al of the road next spring. 
DOUG HEMPSTEAD/OTTAWA SUN

An age-old Ottawa pastime may be in jeopardy.

Preliminary discussions are underway at the Ottawa International Airport to close all or part of Alert Rd. The curved road wraps around the runways and is a popular destination for planespotters.

Saturday there were about a dozen of them lining the fence.

Greg Walton was watching from the front seat of his car, iPhone in hand, listening to transmissions from the control tower.

“I’m here once every couple weeks,” he said. “I’m an aviation enthusiast.”

The vantage point he chooses is along the northeast end of the runway — the busiest spot and the closest to the planes.

“It’s safe, I’ve been coming here for years,” he said. “I once travelled to Los Angeles just to watch the planes at LAX. That’s as good as it gets.”

He said Alert Rd. is the choice spot for takeoffs, while Leitrim Rd. is better if you want to watch landings.

“This is a good spot for families,” he said. “The pilots wave at the kids.”

Not only them, but the patrolling Ottawa Police officers do as well, creating quite welcoming atmosphere. There are no parking signs near some of the popular vantage points, but there are also garbage cans left for planespotters to use.

Airport Authority spokeswoman Krista Kealey said it would be “premature” to say the road was closing.

“There’s a possibility of it,” she said, adding it’s not known how much of the road would be affected, but that it could happen as early as May 2012.

Kealey said the reason would be to increase security and road safety.

Ab Dufresne’s two-year-old grandson Ashtyn was fast asleep in the back seat of the car when he arrived late Saturday morning. Planespotting is something Dufresne used to do with his father, growing up in North Bay.

“That’s a shame,” he said when he learned of plans to limit access to Alert Rd. “Last time we were here a pilot waved at him. He really got a kick out of that.”

Plane photographer Doug, who didn’t want his last name used, isn’t surprised of the plans.

“I’m surprised it’s taken this long, really,” he said. “People forget we’re in a time of war.”

The nearby Hylands golf club currently has its main entrance on Alert Rd. Depending on what happens, the club may have to create a new access point via Leitrim Rd.

Councillor for the area, Diane Deans, couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Source: http://www.ottawasun.com

Officials: Helicopter low on fuel before fatal crash. Eurocopter AS 350B2 Ecureuil, N352LN. Midwest National Air Center Airport (KGPH), Mosby, Missouri.

First responders worked Friday night at the scene of a medical helicopter crash east of Kearney.
(Photo by Philip Anderson)


http://www.alecbuck.com/Photo

Officials say a medical helicopter was running low on fuel when it crashed into a northwest Missouri field, killing all four people on board.

A 58-year-old female patient, a pilot and two medical workers died when the craft went down Friday evening near the small town of Mosby, about 20 miles northeast of Kansas City.

FAA spokesman Lynn Lunsford says the helicopter was planning to land at an airport near Mosby for fuel when it crashed.

The helicopter was based at St. Joseph's Heartland Regional Medical Center, which posted condolences for the crew on its Facebook page.

The aircraft went down about 7 p.m., a mile northeast of the Midwest National Air Center, where it planned to stop for refueling, Lunsford said. It never reached the airport.

Clay County authorities said the crash occurred in a field on Cameron Road between 145th Street and Schoolfield Road.

The patient was being transported from Harrison County Community Hospital in Bethany, Mo., near the Iowa border, said Matt Smithmier, director of public relations for Liberty Hospital.

Lt. Shauna Craven of the Clay County sheriff’s office said the owner of the property where the crash occurred reported that he didn’t hear anything but said he happened to step outside and saw that the helicopter had plunged into his field.

Lunsford said the aircraft, a Eurocopter AS350 based in St. Joseph, was operated by LifeNet, a subsidiary of Air Methods Corp. of Englewood, Colo.

Air Method’s website describes it as “the nation’s largest provider of air medical emergency transport services and systems.”

Investigators from the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board were at the scene Saturday morning.

Colin McKee, airport director at Midwest National in Kearney, said the airport was notified by the helicopter’s dispatch center that it would be coming in for refueling. It was due shortly before 7 p.m., he said.

McKee said no maintenance issues were raised during that discussion. He said it’s not unusual for aircraft to refuel at that time of day.

“We refuel aircraft all the time,” McKee said.

He said he learned of the crash when an airport employee called him. He was uncertain whether that helicopter had previously visited the Midwest National airport.

He said the air center is a general aviation airport that, like the Johnson County and Wheeler Downtown airports, serves as a reliever for Kansas City International Airport.

The Star’s James Hart, Mark Morris, Elaine Adams and Joe Lambe contributed to this report.

Flydubai gets 19th aircraft

DUBAI — Flydubai has received its eighth aircraft in 2011, bringing its total to 19 overall. The latest aircraft delivery will help the airline to launch more flight operations to the Russian market next month.

The latest Boeing 737-800 new generation fleet addition arrived on schedule from the Boeing factory in Seattle and has gone straight into service across the airline’s 38 operational destinations.

“This latest aircraft has arrived in Dubai at an opportune time. As we prepare for the busy Eid holiday, flydubai will be adding more flights to its most popular destinations, so the aircraft has gone straight into service to aid this growth,” Ghaith Al Ghaith, chief executive officer of flydubai, said in an e-mailed statement to Khaleej Times.

Representing an investment of $80 million, the aircraft is the latest from flydubai’s 50-aircraft order made at the 2008 Farnborough Airshow to come off the production line.It is the 12th in the fleet to feature Boeing’s new sky interior and the revolutionary in-flight entertainment system by Lumexis.

“As the fastest growing start-up in the world, flydubai continues to set milestones on the ground as well as in the air. With the majority of our aircraft now fitted with in-flight entertainment, more passengers can enjoy a first-class on board experience with movies screened through the latest technology,” Al Ghaith said.

Established in March 2008, flydubai has one of the highest aircraft utilisation figures in the industry due to its rapidly developing global reach. The expansion of its fleet has been vital to the low-cost carrier’s growth and will further allow the pioneering airline to provide its passengers with the friendly and reliable service they have come to expect.

“It is clear that flydubai is not only happy with the Boeing 737-800 given that it has thrown the newest airplane straight into routine operations across its route network, but it also demonstrates the insatiable demand base that the airline is striving to accommodate,” Saj Ahmad, chief analyst at FBE Aerospace London, told Khaleej Times. In reply to a question about the flydubai route expansion in Russia next month, Ahmad said the airline will instantly tap into a huge pool of demand not yet serviced by full service airlines.

“By adding more routes in Russia, flydubai will instantly tap into a huge pool of demand not yet serviced by full service airlines and it will make it competitively and financially difficult for other airlines to charge more than flydubai,” he said.

Flydubai targets destinations within a 4.5 hour flight-radius of Dubai, and currently has operations to 38 cities, with five additional routes — Ufa and Kazan in Russia as well as Ukrainian destinations Kiev, Donetsk and Kharkov — are scheduled to commence in September 2011.

“With the 737-800 having a bigger range capability in contrast to the rival A320-200, flydubai is leveraging this strength to push its expansion into Russia — a market that today has very little in the way of either low-cost airline competition and even lower connections to the GCC region,” he said.

Ahmad said the Dubai-based low-cost airline is all set to dominate the market during the next couple of years.

“Flydubai’s incessant growth looks like to continue and rightfully so. With nearly 40 destinations under its belt in just two years, it is not inconceivable for flydubai to be flying to 80 or 90 destinations within the next two to the three years. This is truly phenomenal growth and with over two billion people, or over a third of the Earth’s population, within five flight hours of Dubai, it is fair to surmise that flydubai’s route growth will be matched with fleet growth,” he said.

“Flydubai is making history each day with its unprecedented growth and its seemingly limitless ambitions. As the world’s fastest growing low cost airline, flydubai is flying high and there’s nothing on the horizon that indicates that they should take the foot off the gas pedal,” Ahmad concluded.

Source:  http://www.khaleejtimes.com

VIDEO: China tests first helicopter gunship

by ITN Nnews

China is combat testing its first home-made helicopter gunship, the latest sign of the country's growing military power.

More Airports Close, Cancellations Pile Up.

By Timothy W. Martin and Doug Cameron

Four of the New York area’s five main commercial airports were all closed to arrivals as of noon Saturday, with only Long Island MacArthur Airport and Teterboro in New Jersey providing flying access.

U.S. and international airlines are canceling flights to and from New York, New England and Washington, marking the beginning of what was expected to be a widespread service shutdown along the Eastern seaboard until Hurricane Irene passes.

So far, about 4,000 flights have been canceled through the weekend, but that number is expected to grow as airlines firm up their plans, according to FlightAware.com, a website that tracks flights.

Teterboro, a key base for corporate jets in the northern county of Bergen, plans to stay open as long as possible, according to an airport official. The last flight from MacArthur is expected to leave at 4 p.m., with the airport likely to remain closed until carriers resume services Monday

Stewart International Airport in New York state, some 60 miles north of Manhattan, closed at noon, according to the FAA.

The region’s three main gateways—Newark Liberty International Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia Airport–all closed to arriving passenger flights at noon. The three will remain open to cargo and general aviation services—such as corporate jets—and departures will continue as long as possible, with British Airways’ flight at 6:40 p.m. seen as the last flight out Saturday.

The key concern for reopening New York’s main airports is possible flooding at LaGuardia, although the Port Authority said it had the staff and other resources in place for any cleanup.

Gulf carriers cancel flights as airports in Irene's path close. Emirates and Etihad say flights to New York especially affected.

Dubai: As major New York airports shut down on Saturdy ahead of the looming Hurricane Irene, Gulf carriers cancelled flights to the city's John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Strong hurricane warnings over the weekend forced US airport authorities to close the three major airports in the New York area — LaGuardia, JFK International and Newark Liberty International — resulting in the cancellation of over 6,000 flights in the US alone.

Many more flights are expected to be cancelled to cities on the US east coast which are likely to be affected as the hurricane threat intensifies.

"Due to the impact of Hurricane Irene, the Airport Authority has suspended flights to and from New York's JFK Airport," Emirates said in an operational update on its website.

The airline listed EK201 and 202 on Saturday, and EK203, EK204, EK201 and EK202 on Sunday as the cancelled flights.

Emirates added that it will continue to monitor the situation in New York.

Etihad Airways, too, cancelled two of its flights — EY101 and EY100 — on Saturday to and from New York due to Hurricane Irene, as stated by the Abu Dhabi-based carrier on its website.

Qatar Airways advisory

Qatar Airways, meanwhile, in its US east coast travel advisory on its website, stated: "Due to the projected path of Hurricane Irene along the US east coast, Qatar Airways is urging all passengers to check the status of their Qatar Airways flight before heading to the airport.

"Customers originating, departing or connecting through Washington, DC, (IAD) or New York (JFK) on Saturday, August 27, Sunday, August 28, or Monday August 29, may experience flight disruptions due to Hurricane Irene."

Natural disasters have marred the growth of the air travel industry this year, spelling worries for carriers across the world.

Airlines are still struggling to come out of the massive losses incurred due to the tsunami and earthquake in Japan earlier in the year, followed by the volcanic ash cloud eruptions in Chile, and the political uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa region.

Source:  http://gulfnews.com

Jersey Shore Cast Avoids Hurricane by Flying Private to Video Music Awards. Teterboro Airport (KTEB), New Jersey.

As Hurricane Irene threatens to destroy the East Coast, an insider tells Us Weekly that Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, Vinny Guadagnino, Deena Nicole Cortese, Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino and Sammi "Sweetheart" Giancola boarded a private jet Saturday morning in Teterboro, New Jersey.

Bomb Squad Determines Suspicious Packages Are Military Aircraft Material. The items were canopy ejectors meant for Edwards Airforce Base, police say.

Suspicious boxes found near the Vineland Avenue McDonald's. 
Credit Anthony Pardines

An LAPD bomb squad determined that two suspicious packages found near a Sun Valley bus bench today labeled "explosives" contained canopy ejectors used on military aircraft, a department spokeswoman said.

The items are "not explosives per se, but more of a gas-powered system," said LAPD Sgt. Mitzi Fierro of the Media Relations section. The canopy ejectors have "an explosive property in that (they burst), but it's not like explosive material," Fierro said.

She said the package apparently was meant to go to Edwards Air Force Base.

The LAPD's Foothill Division was notified about 6:40 a.m. that a "suspicious 2-foot-by-2-foot package with the word 'explosives' written on the side of the box" was found next to a bus bench near Cantara Street and Vineland Avenue, LAPD spokesman Richard French said. Officer from the North Hollywood Division also responded, as well as Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputites.

The bomb squad was then sent to the area.

"Our Criminal Conspiracy Section will conduct a follow-up investigation to determine whether (the package) was deliberately left there and who might have been responsible for doing that," Fierro said.

Patch reporter Anthony Pardines was on the scene of this incident, click here for the earlier version of this story.

Bid awarded for roof replacement at DuBois Regional Airport

REYNOLDSVILLE - Yesterday, Clearfield and Jefferson Counties Regional Airport Authority awarded a bid to replace the roof at the DuBois Regional Airport terminal.

Only one proposal for the project was received and accepted. Dunkel Roofing, Punxsutawney, submitted an offer for $136,812.50 to tear off the existing rooftop and replace it. Ed Nasuti of Lee Simpson and Associates Inc., DuBois, the authority's consulting engineer, when asked by a member of the authority if they should wait until spring to advertise the project a second time with the hopes of getting more competition, noted the project was advertised both locally and in state publications but his theory is roofing companies are currently busy and the project comes at the end of construction season when the push is on for companies to complete the projects they have already contracted. He recommended the authority award the project to Dunkel noting, the cost of materials will not be any less in the spring and may be more.

Nasuti estimated the current roof is about 12 years old but may be as old as 20 years in some sections. Bob Shaffer, manager, said the present roof leaks in a number of places and badly in several of the terminal's offices where it has ruined the carpeting in three locations. He said a new roof is "sorely needed."

A grant from the Federal Aviation Administration will pay 85.5 percent of the cost and the remainder of the expense will be shared equally by the state Department of Transportation's Bureau of Aviation and the authority.
Nasuti said yesterday, depending on when the funding from FAA arrives, work should start in late September or early October.

Voting to award the bid were Joe Barber, Loren Bishop, Jay Chamberlin, Gene Mineweaser, Joel Peterson and Rick Wise, authority members. Todd Arnold and David Stern were absent and a vacancy currently exists on the authority.
In a related matter, the authority also accepted a contract with Lee Simpson and Associates to design, advertise, supervise and inspect the project at a cost of $26,091.24.

In other business, the authority:

• reported work is underway to develop the property and build an access road with cul-de-sac in the air commerce park to service a five-acre parcel recently purchased by AVERA Capital Partners, Houston. The Texas-based commercial real estate development and investment firm, is constructing a building to be used by a company affiliated with the Marcellus shale gas extraction process. Components for a building to house the company are expected to arrive about mid-September.

Shaffer said the gas and water lines to service the property have been installed and work to prepare the site is progressing.

The authority approved having its access road and cul-de-sac paved in conjunction with the parking lot for the building. The authority had expected to pay $32,500 to build the road's base and top it but by piggybacking with AVERA can have the road's surface finished for an additional $18,000 more. The authority's portion of the cost for the road will be paid with a Capital Budget Grant from the Department of Transportation's Bureau of Aviation.
• hired Lee Simpson and Associates Inc., to develop a wildlife hazard assessment and management plan for the airport's property.

The plan is required by FAA to upgrade the airport's present plan. Nasuti said his company will work with a sub-contractor who utilizes staff from Penn State University, DuBois campus, to study the property, beginning in September, for a year.

Once the data has been gathered, Lee Simpson will write a plan to control wildlife and keep it from interfering with activity at the airport. The cost is $96,242 - Shaffer said the cost is much lower than ones he has heard of costing nearly $300,000.

• accepted an offer for five fire suits from Kaza Fire Services, Ebensburg, at a cost of $10,921 through COSTARS - the state's cooperative purchasing program. Shaffer said the suits currently used by airport employees are 10-years-old and have deteriorated from cleaning and exposure to the elements.

In a recent Part 139 air carrier certification inspection conducted by FAA officials, Shaffer said the examiner recommended replacing the suits, each consisting of fire-proof boots, jackets, pants, gloves, hoods and helmets.
 
• approved a one-year contract with Open Flow Gas, DuBois, to purchase natural gas to service the airport's buildings at a cost of $5.485 per unit.

The authority's next meeting is Sept. 23 at 8:30 a.m. at the DRA terminal boardroom.

Directorate General of Civil Aviation facing acute staff shortage.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is facing a shortage of around 450 posts in the staff. However, DGCA officials maintain that this has not affected the day-to-day functioning of the civil aviation regulator and flight safety checks are as stringent as ever.

“The staff shortage has not had an effect on our work. We are also getting some help from consultants and experts are being recruited on a contractual basis,” a DGCA official told Business Line.

Out of the total 997 posts in the DGCA, 437 remain vacant.

DGCA officials added that the Civil Aviation Ministry is trying to ensure that empty posts are filled up soon. An official said that the Ministry has taken up the matter with the Union Public Service Commission for “expeditious” finalisation of recruitments.

As per the Phasing Plan by the Department of Expenditure, the posts are required to be filled by April 2012.

Global standards

The United Kingdom's aviation regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority has staff strength of 1,000 while the Federal Aviation Administration of the United States of America has a staff of around 4,500 stationed at its headquarters.

Analysts said that such a staff shortage will end up affecting the DGCA's work. “The existing staff will be under pressure because of the extra work. The Ministry should ensure that adequate number of competent people are hired to ensure there are no safety lapses,” said an analyst who did not wish to be quoted.

PZL-Mielec M-18 Dromader, David S. Sheppard, N7070L: Accident occurred August 26, 2011 in Freeport, Illinois

NTSB Identification: CEN11LA605 
 14 CFR Part 137: AgriculturalAccident 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.



A crop dusting pilot is in serious condition after crashing his plane in a cornfield. The plane was taking off from Albertus Airport in Freeport en route to Leaf River loaded with 3,700 pounds of fertilizer and fully fueled. The plane crashed shortly after takeoff and started on fire. The pilot was flown by react helicopter to Rockford Memorial Hospital. The sheriff's department has handed over the investigation to the FAA.

The pilot's name is not being released at this time.

Clark Gable grandson pleads not guilty to laser charges - LAPD helicopter.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The grandson of Hollywood icon Clark Gable has pleaded not guilty to charges he pointed a laser at an LAPD helicopter.

Clark Gable III, 22, is charged with three counts of shining a laser light at the aircraft that was flying above Hollywood Boulevard on July 28.

Officials say the green laser obstructed the vision of the two officers in the chopper.

The laser was allegedly flashed two more times at the helicopter, with the officers later pinpointing that the laser beam had come from a small red car. The vehicle in which Gable was riding was stopped at Highland Avenue and Franklin Place, where he was arrested.

Prosecutors declined to file charges against the car's driver, Maximilian Anderson, citing insufficient evidence that the 23-year-old man knew the laser was being pointed at the helicopter.

Gable is free on $250,000 bail. If convicted, he could face up to three years in prison.

Source:  http://abclocal.go.com

Complaints about crop dusters rising in Indiana

SELMA, Ind. (AP) — Farmers' efforts to increase corn yields are putting some Indiana residents in harm's way, state officials say.

The state chemist's office received 24 complaints last year about crop dusters hitting people or their homes with pesticides while treating fields.

Dave Scott, pesticide program manager for the chemist's office, told The Star Press that aerial pesticide applications have risen in the last five years as corn prices have spiked. Growers hoping to increase their yields have hired people to apply fungicide, and the chemicals can only be applied from the air.

Selma, Ind., resident Sheri Stewart said she was hit with pesticide recently by a helicopter flying low over her house. She she's worried about the chemical's effects.

"I am a cancer survivor. I try so hard to avoid this stuff. I don't smoke or drink, so it's very upsetting to be poisoned in my own home. It was coating my house and it also hit me," she said.

Stewart said she heard a helicopter flying close to her house and stepped outside to check it and got sprayed.

"Our property seemed to be the turn-around spot for him, so he flew over our house many times, at times so low he couldn't have been 10 feet over our roof," she said.

James Olesen of Yorktown told WTHR a plane spraying crops in a field next to his property line drifted over and hit his house.

"At that point I said, 'Hurry up and get inside. Close the doors. Just get inside,'" Olesen said.

Scott said the chemicals will have labels warning against exposing people.

"People are not used to seeing this many planes in the air. That's not the history in this state. Some people are alarmed by how close they are to their properties. In other cases, guys are not being careful and keeping on target."

In one of the cases last year, an applicator for a Covington, Ind., helicopter firm was fined $250 for failing to follow label instructions. In another case, a Portland, Ind., firm was fined $1,250 for applying pesticides without a license after a resident complained that chemicals from an aerial application on a farm field damaged trees and other plants on his property.

Colorado Springs airport seeks to win back flights

Finding a seat on most flights leaving Colorado Springs — at any fare — has become increasingly difficult during the past four years, and is likely to get worse as jet fuel prices continue to soar.

Colorado Springs has been hit hard by flight reductions and other capacity cuts as the nation’s airlines cut costs to cope with soaring fuel prices and, later, a deep recession followed by a tepid recovery. Though the Colorado Springs Airport has not been hit as hard as many other small and midsize airports around the nation, airport officials say the cuts have meant that inexpensive fares sell out earlier and sometimes force passengers to drive to Denver International Airport to catch a flight to the same destination.

Airport officials are using a package of incentives adopted in 2007 to win back some of the flights and routes that carriers have eliminated by showing they can profitably meet demand for additional flights. Officials have met with all five carriers currently serving the Springs and three others, including low-fare giant Southwest Airlines, to provide detailed information about local air-travel demand.

“Airlines are retracting to their hubs and focusing on their core business because higher fuel prices have made more and more routes unprofitable. They are circling the wagons around the hubs at the expense of smaller and mid-sized cities,” said Mark Earle, aviation director for the city of Colorado Springs. “This is a restructuring of the airline industry that won’t likely be reversed once the economy improves; it is a permanent change.”

Seat capacity wasn’t a problem in the mid-1990s, when Springs-based carrier Western Pacific Airlines operated a hub at the local airport, offering bargain-priced flights to more than two dozen cities. But WestPac was never consistently profitable and eventually moved its hub to DIA before filing for bankruptcy in late 1997 and ceasing operations a few months later.

Too small to be a hub

The nation’s major airlines responded by expanding flights in the Springs and lowering fares, but once WestPac shut down they raised fares and reduced service. By 2000, passenger traffic had dropped by about half of the WestPac-era peak. More flight cuts followed the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the 2002-03 recession, but flight levels and traffic stabilized at about 1 million outgoing passengers annually for the next seven years, thanks to new carriers the airport attracted to the Springs.

“The population of Colorado Springs is nowhere close to the size needed to support a hub, and WestPac proved it,” Earle said. “Airlines build hubs in large cities (typically a population of 5 million or more within 150 miles) where they need a huge operation anyway to support the local traffic, and they leverage that investment by operating a hub to pass connecting traffic through that hub. Typically, connecting traffic makes up 40-60 percent of the traffic at a hub.”

Just before the last recession hit in late 2007, jet fuel prices surged and airlines responded by eliminating marginal flights and routes. The fuel-price spike even killed a few airlines, including ExpressJet, a small startup operation of a regional commuter carrier that flew to three California cities from the Springs. What fuel prices started, the recession made much worse as both business and leisure travel fell sharply after the 2008 financial crisis.

“Fuel is the biggest single expense for every major airline,” said Michael Miller, vice president of strategy for the American Aviation Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based industry think tank. “Higher fuel prices have increased the cost of operating a flight between 30 and 50 percent from four years ago. Since airlines only have a 1 or 2 percent profit margin, the difference between making a profit or losing money on any flight can often be just one passenger.”

Since the beginning of the fuel-price spike and recession, airlines have eliminated nine flights and halted service to four cities out of the Springs – reducing the number of available seats by 12.2 percent. Capacity reductions have disproportionately hit small and mid-size airports, cutting the number of seats at small airports by 15.6 percent and at mid-size airports by 17.4 percent. By comparison, capacity at major hubs is down by just 6.5 percent and seat capacity at DIA increased 3.3 percent; it’s one of just 11 airports among the top 100 that boosted capacity between 2007 and 2010.

Military presence boosts traffic

Airlines also have responded by merging — Delta with Northwest, United with Continental and Southwest with AirTran. In some cases, mergers have reduced flights in cases where both carriers flew the same route. In Colorado Springs, that wasn’t the case, but the Delta-Northwest merger resulted in a 30 percent reduction in seats to Minneapolis because Delta replaced large Airbus aircraft on the route with smaller regional jets.

“The days of flights being only 50 percent full are disappearing,” said Gisela Shanahan, the airport’s assistant director for finance and administration. “Colorado Springs has fared somewhat better than airports of the same size because we have strong underlying traffic due to our economy and the influence the military has on that economy,” especially an expansion of Fort Carson.

By reducing capacity, airlines gained more pricing power because they no longer had to discount seats as much to sell them, Earle said. That also meant that the least-expensive fares sold out more quickly. Now, fares on local flights go up sooner and to a greater extent, he said. That strategy, combined with increased fees for baggage and other services as well as aggressive cost-cutting, has put most airlines back into the black for the first time since the recession began.

Capacity cuts have reduced service to the Springs to a point where some local travelers can’t get seats on the flights they want, at least at a reasonable fare, Earle said. That has forced some travelers who want to fly out of the Springs, particularly business travelers buying tickets at the last minute, to drive to DIA to get an available seat to the same destination, he said. Capacity is still plentiful in Denver, where Southwest has added more than 100 daily flights since resuming service there in 2007.

So far, fares in the Springs haven’t gone through the roof, despite the capacity cuts. The average local fare at the end of the first quarter was up 8.3 percent from a year earlier to $409.32, slightly below the national average increase of 8.4 percent. The local average is 15.1 percent higher than the national average and nearly 30 percent higher than DIA’s average for the same period. The Springs average ranks 14th among the nation’s 100 largest airports.

Capacity cuts aren’t the only reason fares in the Springs are higher, said Mike Boyd, an Evergreen-based aviation industry consultant. The other reason: Flights from the Springs tend to be longer than average. When compared with the nation’s 100 largest airports on a cost-per-mile basis, local fares are the 13th-least-expensive, he said.

Earle and Shanahan said they are worried another fuel-price spike could reduce capacity out of the Springs still further, so they meet regularly with officials from the five carriers serving the Springs, as well as others such as low-fare carriers Alaska, Southwest and Spirit, to plead their case and discuss opportunities here. Those discussions have shifted in the past year or so from adding new destinations to restoring some of the seat capacity that has been cut, Earle said.

Goal shifts to restoring capacity

Airport officials are seeking additional flights or more capacity through larger aircraft to cities where seats are least available, including Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., Earle said. That mostly means convincing at least one of the airlines that fly to any of the nine hubs now served from the Springs to restore previously made cuts.

Airport officials also are starting to make the argument that the city can support service to cities where no airline operates a hub. So called “point-to-point flying” is rare in an industry where most airlines organize their schedules around hubs that passengers must pass through to reach their ultimate destination.

“Every small airport only has service to hubs, but Colorado Springs is getting large enough to support point-to-point service to key destinations, though that doesn’t fit most airlines’ business models,” Earle said. “Nobody does that right now, but we look for new opportunities as airlines change or adjust their business models.”

Airport officials are seeking nonstop flights to top business-travel destinations not served from the Springs — including New York and San Diego, and restored service to Phoenix, a route U.S. Airways eliminated early last year (Allegiant Air offers twice-weekly service to a suburban Phoenix airport). To help convince airlines to add a flight or city, the airport offers incentives that include landing-fee rebates, income sharing and marketing help for up to three years.

Getting any airline to add service in a foundering economy is a tough sell.

Southwest is “always learning and exploring in our dialogue with airports we don’t serve, and Colorado Springs is in that group. We are always open to markets that have demand, need and fit our criteria,” said Chris Mainz, a Southwest spokesman in Dallas.

But he also noted that Southwest is in the early stages of merging with AirTran, which he says knocks adding new cities “way down the priority list.”

Alaska Airlines “never talks about markets we may or may not serve,” spokeswoman Bobbie Egan said.

SPRINGS VS. DIA

A study completed for the Colorado Springs Airport by Seabury APG, a Vienna, Va.-based consulting firm specializing in airline service, found that about 45 percent of the passengers in south-central Colorado, which includes Pueblo — nearly 1,000 passengers a day — drive to Denver International Airport rather than use the Springs airport.

The study supports the view of Mark Earle, aviation manager for the city of Colorado Springs, that capacity cuts are sending passengers to DIA — the routes with the greatest potential to add passengers are those where flights or entire destinations have been cut, such as Dallas, Los Angeles and Phoenix. Seabury also recommended the airport try to lure more passengers from cities south of the Springs along I-25 and a wide swath of central Colorado between Monument and Castle Rock.

The study, which cost $25,000 and analyzed ticketing data from last year, is done about every five years as a tool to show airlines the size of the potential market in the Springs, said Gisela Shanahan, assistant aviation director for finance and administration at the Springs airport.

Piper PA 46-350P Malibu Mirage, N98ZZ: Accident occurred October 23, 2009 in Zephyrhills, Florida

NTSB Identification: ERA10FA028 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, October 23, 2009 in Zephyrhills, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/22/2010
Aircraft: PIPER PA 46-350P, registration: N98ZZ
Injuries: 3 Fatal.

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.

The pilot fueled the airplane prior to departure and flew uneventfully for approximately 30 minutes. The airplane then descended to 2,000 feet on approach to the destination airport, during night visual meteorological conditions. About 30 seconds after being cleared for a visual approach, the pilot declared an emergency to air traffic control and requested assistance to the nearest airport. The controller provided a vector to divert and distance to the nearest suitable airport. The pilot subsequently reported "engine out, engine out" and the airplane impacted wooded terrain about 4 miles northeast of runway 22 at the alternate airport. A postcrash fire consumed a majority of the wreckage. Examination of the wreckage, including teardown examination of the engine, did not reveal any preimpact mechanical malfunctions; however, the fuel system and ignition system were consumed by postcrash fire and could not be tested.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
A total loss of engine power during a night approach for undetermined reasons.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT


On October 23, 2009, at 2017 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA 46-350P, N98ZZ, was substantially damaged when it collided with wooded terrain, during an emergency approach to Zephyrhills Municipal Airport (ZPH), Zephyrhills, Florida, following a reported loss of engine power. The certificated commercial pilot and two passengers were killed. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulation Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the planned flight to Lakeland Linder Regional Airport (LAL), Lakeland, Florida. The flight departed Gainesville Regional Airport (GNV), Gainesville, Florida at 1943.

According data from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), at 2006, the pilot was in radar and radio contact with Tampa terminal radar approach control (TRACON). At that time, the airplane was in cruise flight at 5,000 feet mean sea level (msl). About 2 minutes later, the TRACON controller cleared the flight to descend to 3,000 feet, which the pilot acknowledged. At 2014, the controller cleared the flight to descend to 2,000 feet, and instructed the pilot to report LAL in sight. The pilot acknowledged the clearance and reported LAL in sight. The controller then cleared the flight for a visual approach to runway 27 at LAL, which the pilot acknowledged. About 30 seconds later, the pilot declared an emergency and requested assistance to the nearest airport. The controller provided a vector and distance to the nearest suitable airport, ZPH, and the pilot subsequently reported "engine out, engine out." The airplane impacted wooded terrain about 4 miles northeast of runway 22 at ZPH. A postcrash fire consumed a majority of the wreckage.

Fueling records revealed that the pilot fueled the airplane with 16.4 gallons of 100 low-lead aviation gasoline, prior to departure from GNV.

PILOT INFORMATION

The pilot, age 44, held a commercial pilot certificate, with ratings for airplane single-engine land, airplane multiengine land, and instrument airplane. The pilot's most recent FAA second-class medical certificate was issued on September 26, 2007. The pilot's logbook was not recovered. According to an insurance application dated January 21, 2008, the pilot had a total flight experience of 2,750 hours; of which, 110 hours were in the same make and model as the accident airplane.

The pilot applied for an FAA second-class medical certificate on October 27, 2008; however, that application noted 3+ glucose in the urine and was deferred due to “possible diabetes.” On November 27, 2008, the FAA sent a written request to the pilot for a “...report from your treating physician to include a statement of any complications and a current glycosylated hemoglobin (i.e., hemoglobin A1c) test…” The FAA did not receive any further correspondence from the pilot or a treating physician and the application remained in a deferred state.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The six-seat, low-wing, retractable-gear airplane, serial number 4636169, was manufactured in 1998. It was powered by a Lycoming TIO-540, 350-horsepower engine and equipped with a three-bladed, constant-speed Hartzell propeller.

Review of the airplane's maintenance logbooks revealed that its most recent annual inspection was completed on December 9, 2008. At that time, the accident engine was installed on the airplane. The accident engine had accumulated 493.1 hours since new. The airframe had accumulated 1,910.5 hours since new.

Further review of the engine logbook revealed that it had been removed from another airplane on February 17, 2006. The engine was stored and subsequently sold to the owner of the accident airplane.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

Tampa Executive Airport (VDF), Tampa, Florida, was located about 15 miles south of ZPH. The recorded weather at VDF, at 2020, was: wind calm, visibility 10 miles, sky clear, temperature 21 degrees Celsius, dew point 19 degrees Celsius, altimeter 29.90 inches of mercury.

WRECKAGE INFORMATION

The airplane came to rest inverted, oriented on a heading of 240 degrees magnetic. An approximate 100-foot debris path was observed, originating with tree strikes and terminating at the front of the main wreckage. The outboard left stabilizer was located near the beginning of the debris path, to the right of the path. The left wing was located next along the debris path, suspended about 10 feet in a tree along the right side of the path. The right wing was located on the left side of the main wreckage. The majority of right wing had separated near the root, and was embedded around a tree near the termination of the debris path. The right aileron and portion of right flap remained attached to the airframe.

The flaps and landing gear were retracted. The radar pod was located to the right of the main wreckage. The engine and two propeller blades were partially buried. None of the three propeller blades exhibited evidence of rotation. The cockpit and cabin area, including the fuel selector, were consumed by fire. The empennage remained partially intact and was charred. The vertical stabilizer, right horizontal stabilizer, and inboard left horizontal stabilizer remained attached and were partially consumed by fire.

Flight control continuity was confirmed from the forward cockpit area, to the elevator horn, elevator trim jackscrew, and rudder horn, respectively. Continuity was also confirmed from the left and right ailerons, to cable separations near the left and right wing roots, respectively. Measurement of the elevator trim jackscrew revealed eight exposed threads, which equated to an approximate neutral trim setting.

The wreckage was recovered to a hangar on October 24, 2009. The ignition system and fuel system were consumed by fire. A cursory examination of the engine, which included a borescope inspection of the cylinders, did not reveal any preimpact mechanical malfunction. The three-bladed propeller remained attached to the engine and two of the blades were partially consumed by fire. The remaining blade exhibited minor damage. The engine was retained for further teardown examination.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the pilot by the State of Florida District Six Medical Examiner’s Office, Largo, Florida, on October 25, 2009. The autopsy report noted the cause of death as "thermal injuries."

Toxicological testing was performed on the pilot by the FAA Bioaeronautical Science Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Review of the toxicology report revealed:

" 845 (mg/dl ) GLUCOSE detected in Urine
6.3 (%) HEMOGLOBIN A1C detected in Blood"

TESTS AND RESEARCH

A teardown examination of the engine was performed at the manufacturer's facility, under the supervision of an NTSB investigator, on January 12 and 13, 2010. The examination did not reveal any evidence of catastrophic failure; however, the fuel system and ignition system could not be tested due to the postcrash fire damage. During the teardown examination, three teeth were observed separated from the propeller governor drive gear. The gear and teeth were subsequently forwarded to the NTSB Materials Laboratory, Washington, DC.

Further examination of the propeller governor drive gear and teeth revealed that the three teeth separated consistent with overstress. No additional damage or malfunction was noted with the gear, which was consistent with the separation occurring during impact or recovery of the wreckage.


Tina Copeland and her daughter Cami


N98ZZ Piper PA-46-350P Malibu Mirage plane crash



Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/22/2010: http://www.ntsb.gov/Accident Report


http://www.airport-data.com/Aircraft Photo

LAKELAND - The estate of a woman killed in a 2009 plane crash in east Pasco County has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the estate of the dead pilot and several aviation companies.

Killed in the crash were the pilot, Thomas Scott Long, 44, of Hudson, and his passengers, Tina M. Stallings, 46, and her daughter, Cami Copeland, 7.

The plane was on its way from Gainesville, where Stallings lived, to Lakeland to visit her husband, Robert Stallings. His company, Citrus Aviation Inc., owned the plane.

The lawsuit filed in Circuit Court in Polk County seeks more than $15,000 in damages for Robert Stallings and her two sons.

The small airplane crashed into a wooded area on its way to Lakeland Linder Regional Airport on Oct. 23, 2009. News reports at the time said Long reported problems aboard the 1998 Piper Malibu and declared the need for an emergency landing.

Air traffic controllers directed the pilot to the nearest airport in Zephyrhills, but the six-seater plane did not make it, the Federal Aviation Administration said at the time.

Including the estate of the deceased pilot, the lawsuit seeks wrongful death damages from Piper Aircraft, Inc., Jurnigan Engine & Parts, Lycoming Engines, Precision Airmotive, Champion Aerospace and Unison Industries, among others.

In the 15-page lawsuit, lawyer Stephen C. Patrinostro contends the pilot, Long, failed to alert the Federal Aviation Authority to a blood sugar problem and did not operate the plane in a way that might have ensured a safer landing.

Almost one year before the crash, Long had written to the FAA to request a second-class medical certificate.

The agency wrote back to him a month later, requesting information about his "possible diabetes."

They never heard back from him, a National Transportation Safety Board investigation states.

The lawsuit contends the engine installed in the Piper airplane contained "flawed parts."

According to a crash analysis by the NTSB, investigators could not find any evidence of "catastrophic failure."

Source:   http://www.newschief.com

Airport to build prairie dog barrier. Parowan Airport (1L9), Utah

CEDAR CITY, Utah (AP) — Parowan Airport Manager Dave Norwood says Utah prairie dogs are burrowing holes in the runway and causing potentially dangerous situations.

He says the problem has been getting worse over the past 25 years. The Spectrum of St. George reports the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has now agreed to provide a grant to Parowan City to help pay for a barrier to keep the threatened rodents at bay.

The Utah Department of Natural Resources will also provide about $50,000 with Parowan chipping in another $50,000. The plan is to extend the barrier along 5,000 feet of runway, and eight feet deep. The Utah prairie dog is federally protected under the Endangered Species Act. The state Division of Wildlife Resources removed 123 prairie dogs from the airport in July, alone.

___

Information from: The Spectrum, http://www.thespectrum.com

Bombardier could cut production rates for regional planes next week: analysts

MONTREAL -- Bombardier could announce layoffs and production rate decreases for its regional planes next week due to a dearth of new orders received over the past several months, industry analysts say.

The Montreal-based manufacturer could disclose a change Wednesday when it reveals the results for the second quarter of its fiscal year.

Bombardier officials have long said the company was waiting for decisions from campaigns with several airlines before making any such moves.

But order intake has been weak, with no orders announced in the quarter and only five in the prior three months.

Benoit Poirier of Desjardins Capital Markets said a production rate decrease will likely be announced in light of the current economic uncertainty and delayed purchasing decisions.

"We believe Bombardier is in a difficult position -- it wants to minimize the variability of its production rates due to the associated costs, but may not have other options," he wrote in a report.

The backlog for Q400 turboprops stands at 11 months while regional jets are 18 months. Bombardier's target for both aircraft types is 18 to 21 months.

In the longer term, the retirement of older regional jets could force Bombardier to raise its production next fiscal year, Poirier added.

Company and union officials couldn't be immediately reached for comment.

Cameron Doerksen of National Bank Financial says any rate decrease would likely be focused on regional jets, since Bombardier has already announced a slowdown for turbos later this year.

"We would not be overly surprised if Bombardier were to use the occasion of its second quarter report to announce a CRJ production rate cut," he wrote in a report.

Doerksen added the impact on forecasts would be small since the production rate is already relatively low and the margins are believed to be thin.

Bombardier is reportedly in the running for an order for 25 regional jets from Indonesia's Garuda.

The world's third-largest aircraft manufacturer faces tough competition for turboprop orders from ATR and for jets from Embraer.

Analysts expect Bombardier will report 10 cents per share in adjusted profits on US$4.5 billion of revenues for the period ended July 31. That would be up from seven cents on US$4.08 billion in the same period last year.

Business jet orders are expected to be "solid" in the quarter but could come under pressure in the third quarter because of declining confidence in the economy and unsolved sovereign debt issues.

Some manufacturers blamed European debt problems for last year's temporary lull in sales.

"Nonetheless, we believe this potential decline to be temporary as corporate profits -- a very good indicator of future business jet deliveries -- remain solid," Poirier said.


Source:
http://www.canadianbusiness.com

Two British military men critically injured skydiving - collide in midair. Lake Elsinore. California.

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Two members of the British military conducting skydiving training in southern California collided in mid-air on Friday and were hospitalized with serious injuries, authorities said.

It was not immediately clear if the two men's parachutes opened before they hit the ground in Lake Elsinore, about 60 miles southeast of Los Angeles, said Cheri Patterson, a spokeswoman for the Riverside County Fire Department.

One of the skydivers was in cardiac arrest when he was taken to the hospital after the mid-air collision and the other was in critical condition, Patterson said.

Both were members of the British military training at the Skydive Elsinore facility, said Riverside County Sheriff-Coroner spokeswoman Corporal Courtney Donowho.

Authorities did not release the identities of the skydivers, but Patterson said both men were in their 20s.

A spokeswoman for the British Consulate in Los Angeles could not be reached for comment.

The British military is investigating the mid-air collision and interviewing witnesses, Donowho said.

Source:   http://www.fox43.com

Antigua: New flights to boost tourism.

ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Tourism officials are hoping that the introduction of American Airlines’ direct service to New York JFK Airport will serve as a much-needed shot in the arm for the industry.

On November 17, the airline will begin operating non-stop service on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

“The new service will be a welcome boost for the island’s hotels ensuring that adequate airlift is available to support marketing efforts ahead of the busy Thanksgiving holiday travel period which marks the start of the winter season. The new flights will be supported by an aggressive joint marketing campaign with American Airlines in the New York area,” Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority (ABTA) Chief Executive Officer Colin C James said in a statement.

In a press conference yesterday, Tourism Minister John Maginley and other officials said the service, which will see four weekly Boeing 737 aircraft touching down at VC Bird International Airport, augers well for the country.

For Maginley the new service brings about new opportunities for both the peak and off-peak seasons.

“During the summer period and the off period, a lot of the hotels complain that there is no access so even if people wanted to come, they could not. But by us signing this year-round agreement now, and its 700-odd seats a week initially, it gives hoteliers a better opportunity to plan during the summer time,” the minister told reporters.

The airline and the Tourism Authority plan to aggressively market the flights both to people residing in the tri-state area and those here in Antigua.

“It is absolutely important that we put the marketing support behind the flights. One of the things that we have been focusing on recently, and we’ve seen it in the arrival numbers, is to work with a lot of the Travelocities, Expedia.com … where we work through the online component to encourage bookings that way and that has reaped tremendous rewards for us,” James said.

American Airlines Country Manager Cathy Ann Edwards said the new service comes just in time for the 30th anniversary of the airline’s operation in Antigua and promotions will be offered to coincide with the occasion.

She also noted that the service will increase the options for connections for passengers leaving Antigua while providing further opportunities for boosting the twin island’s tourism potential.

“The flight brings an incredible opportunity to increase tourism to our island. New York is one of the largest cities in the world … Direct flights are the answer to increasing the influx of New Yorkers and others from the tri-state to our islands. We will work with the tourism authority to promote this new service,” Edwards said, adding that the airline is planning familiarisation trips for media, travel agents and wholesalers.

“We believe that once they experience the beauty and hospitality of our islands they will sell Antigua and Barbuda as the place to go,” Edwards said.

American Airlines currently serves the VC Bird International Airport with daily flights to and from San Juan and Miami. Through the new Antigua – New York (JFK) flight, passengers would have access to more than 60 non-stop connections in New York on both American and American Eagle.