Sunday, August 28, 2011

Victims names have been released in deadly helicopter crash. Eurocopter AS 350B2 Ecureuil, N352LN. Midwest National Air Center (KGPH), Mosby, Missouri.

Randy Bever, 47, Chris Frakes, 36, James Freudenberg, 34, and Terry Tacoronte, 58

MOSBY, Mo. -- Names have been released of the victims on board the deadly helicopter crash that killed four people near Kansas City.

Randy Bever,47, Chris Frakes, 36, James Freudenberg, 34, were killed on the medical chopper when it crashed Friday night near Mosby. Terry Tacoronte, 58, a patient on board, was also killed.

The crew was on their way to a local airport to refuel before they went down and now the NTSB is looking into the possibility that they ran out of gas.

Jim Silliman of the NTSB said, "Well, there's a lot of possibilities. We're certainly looking at that because he had notified the airport that he was coming in for fuel, so that certainly is a main area of concern that we're looking at as a possibility. There's other possibilities as well."

Officials say the chopper took off from a hospital in Saint Joseph. They say the skies were clear when the helicopter went down.

Gulf Air flight GF 270 overshoots runway at Kochi airport, 7 injured.

At least seven passengers were injured when a Gulf Air flight from Bahrain with 137 passengers on board, deviated from the runway just before landing at the Kochi International airport early Monday. The runway has been closed for bigger aircraft following the incident, airport director ACK Nair said.

One passenger who was injured has been admitted to a nearby hospital and the others were discharged after first aid. It would take another 10 hours for the airport to be fully operational. However, smaller ATR aircrafts can land, he said.

The Gulf Air flight GF 270 with six crew which deviated from the runway at 4.10am on Monday morning. Some passengers in panic, jumped down from the aircraft through the emergency door even before the ladder was brought to the flight, airport sources said.

Saithmohed (47) from Palakkad who suffered some fractures has been hospitalized.

According to sources, the mishap could have occurred due to heavy wind and rain at the time of landing of the aircraft.


Belite aircraft crash: Owasso, Oklahoma

It's a quick and nimble aircraft, a Belite aircraft, seen here in a promotional video, but Sunday evening, the whir of the engine was replaced with a much different sound.

"Heard a loud boom or bang or whatever," said neighbor Frank Robertson.

He lives just a few hundred yards away from where the aircraft owner lives.

"The airplane hangar two houses over," he said.

And that would be the sum total of the distance for this very short flight.

"He took off next door, went up, banked, turned and hit the building," said Robertson.

The propeller? Smashed to bits, the landing gear, bent. A red parachute, un-deployed. The pilot, alert and awake.

"He was conscious, looking around, as far as we can tell he may have bruised some ribs and maybe a slight concussion," he said.

A landing you probably won't find on a promotional video, but any one that a pilot can walk away from has got to be a good one.

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

Julie-Ann Twigg

Jacinda Twigg got on with life despite her pain only to die in a plane crash. 
The plane crashed into a paddock in Wallup in bad weather. 
Picture: Jon Hargest
The mother of a girl who was killed in a light plane crash in western Victoria two weeks ago has died in hospital in Melbourne this morning, just hours before her daughter was due to be buried in their hometown.

Julie-Ann Twigg was critically injured in the Angel Flight crash that killed her 15-year-old daughter Jacinda and the plane’s pilot, Don Kernot two weeks ago.

As the small town of Nhill, in western Victoria, prepared to farewell Jacinda at a funeral this afternoon, the Twigg family confirmed that Mrs Twigg had died in the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

Mrs Twigg, 43, suffered critical head and chest injuries in the August 15 crash and was flown to the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

Last week her condition improved from critical to serious, however at the time her husband Len Twigg said she was still to undergo a number of surgeries.

He said his wife had woken from the coma and asked about Jacinda, but he did not want to tell his wife that their daughter was dead until after she had undergone further surgery.

He suspected his wife knew that Jacinda had died, he said.

"I think she does. She did ask me," Mr Twigg said.

"I don’t want to tell her yet because when she has the operation she will be obviously put back under quite heavily and then when she comes back again we’ll probably have to tell her again. I just want to try and wait and tell her one time so we can grieve together and she won’t have to go through more pain than she has to."

Jacinda and Mr Kernot were killed instantly when the light plane that had transported Jacinda to a medical appointment in Melbourne crashed in a paddock at Wallup, about 40 kms north of Horsham, on August 15.

A farmer called triple-0 about 6.30pm after seeing a low-flying plane and then hearing a loud crash, and the wreckage was found two hours later.

Jacinda was taking her 20th trip with the Angel Flight charity to receive treatment for juvenile arthritis when the plane crashed in a paddock at Wallup, near Horsham, on August 15.

Mourners were gathering to farewell Jacinda at a funeral to be held this afternoon from 2pm.

A memorial service was held last week at her secondary school.

On a Facebook page dedicated to Mrs Twigg, family and friends have begun paying tribute to the 43-year-old.

‘‘Well Julie has found her peace and passed away this morning, glad that she will be with beautiful Jacinda, so sad for Len on an already sad day xxx,’’ wrote Shirley Twigg.

‘‘Thank you for all the prayers and love and light, I know we all helped make Julie’s journey a little better and gave the family some peace during a sad sad time, I’m glad we kept the faith and hope, and I’m so thankful that Len had some time with the love of his life.’’

Dean Miller, the chief executive of the local shire council said it was an absolute tragedy.

‘‘All the signs indicated that she was pulling through and becoming more alert, for this to happen on the day of the funeral is an absolute tragedy,’’ he said.

Ms Twigg’s husband Len worked at the Hindmarsh Shire Council.

With Paul Millar

Cathay Pacific gives away 1,800 air tickets as 'Connecting Your World' contest draws to a close

28 August 2011 -- Cathay Pacific Airways announced today that 900 people from the 18 districts of Hong Kong have won 1,800 round-trip air tickets in the airline's "Connecting Your World" Contest, held as part of the celebrations to mark 100 years of aviation in the city.

"Connecting Your World" invited local residents to share their thoughts on how air transport connects Hong Kong with the world, from the creation of jobs and business and learning opportunities, to building bridges between people and places, and enriching the culture and lifestyles of local people.

The contest drew to a close today with a prize-presentation ceremony held at Windsor House in Causeway Bay. Cathay Pacific Chief Executive John Slosar hosted the event with Convenor of the Non-official Members of the Executive Council, The Honourable Leung Chun-Ying, and Director General of Civil Aviation Norman Lo as officiating guests.

Over the past 65 years, Cathay Pacific has played an integral role in the growth of the local aviation industry, and as the city's home carrier the airline is committed to securing Hong Kong's position as an international aviation hub and prime tourist and business destination. The airline has worked tirelessly to promote aviation to the Hong Kong public and through "Connecting Your World" invited people to share their thoughts on how air transport relates to their daily lives.

More than 6,000 submissions were received over a two-month period, ranging from literary works and photos to graphic illustrations and video clips. All the submissions were carefully screened and the champion and top 50 entries from each of the 18 districts were selected by a judging panel consisting of a creative professional and representatives from the district council office and Cathay Pacific.

The champion in each district will receive two Economy Class round-trip tickets to any destination served by Cathay Pacific and Dragonair, while the other 49 winners in each district will receive a pair of Economy Class round-trip tickets to any regional destination served by the two airlines. The contest results can be found on the contest website,, where the 18 winning entries can also be viewed.

Speaking at the ceremony, Cathay Pacific Chief Executive John Slosar remarked on the success of the Hong Kong International Airport which has won numerous "World's Best Airport" awards, and that Hong Kong is now acknowledged as one of the leading international hubs for both passenger traffic and freight.

He said: "This is a remarkable achievement and we at Cathay Pacific are extremely proud to have been a part of Hong Kong's success story. We are delighted to have this opportunity to share our success with the community by giving away 1,800 air tickets to residents."

Mr. Leung Chun-Ying said that air travel, more than anything else, has made the world bigger and smaller at the same time. "The world has become bigger because we can now easily visit, work or live in faraway countries, while only decades ago we only read about them. Now that we are all connected, the world has become smaller at the same time. Without leaving Hong Kong, we can now mingle with visitors and enjoy products and produce from countries that we were unfamiliar with," he said.

Director General of Civil Aviation Mr Norman Lo spoke about the strong connectivity of the Hong Kong International Airport in the celebration event. He remarked that the airport, as the gateway to the Mainland and the rest of the world, enjoys the additional competitive advantage that 50% of the world's population is within five hours' flying time.

As the public consultation period for the Hong Kong International Airport Master Plan 2030 draws to an end, Mr Lo also encouraged the public to join hands to continue strengthening Hong Kong's position as an international and regional aviation hub.

The Connecting Your World Contest was organised with the support of the Home Affairs Department as part of its "Get into Discovery" campaign. Throughout 2011, Cathay Pacific has run a number of initiatives to tie in with the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department's celebrations to mark the centenary of powered flight in Hong Kong, including placing a specially designed commemorative logo on a Boeing 747-400 aircraft, taking part in an aircraft pull event that set a new Guinness World Record, and an Aviation Knowledge Contest which attracted more than 780 local secondary students to compete for much-coveted prizes including a trip to the Boeing factory in Seattle.

For more information, please visit

(press release)

Gulf Air receives official global safety audit certification

Gulf Air passes safety audit requirements to get IATA certification

Manama: Gulf Air on Sunday said it has officially received its IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) certificate from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

In May this year, the Bahraini national carrier renewed its place on the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) Registry until 2013 after successfully completing the International Air Transport Association's (IATA) safety audit requirements.

"The IOSA certification reassures our customers that they are flying with an airline that conforms to strict international safety standards. Passenger safety is top priority for Gulf Air and the IOSA certificate is a testament to our commitment that we fly our aircraft to the highest level of operational safety," Gulf Air's Chief Operations Officer, Capt. Nasser Al Salmi, said in a statement.


Gulf Air Airbus A320 skids off runway at Kochi airport, 7 injured. (India)

Kochi: A Gulf Air flight from Bahrain overshot the runway at Kochi airport on Monday. 137 passengers were on board, seven have been injured and the others are safe.

Airbus 320 Gulf Air was coming from Bahrain to Kochi. It overshot the runway while it was landing at the airport around 3:55 am on Monday.

The Kochi airport has been closed for 10 hours following the incident.

Small Plane Crashes In Owasso, Oklahoma.

The pilot of an ultralight aircraft was injured in a crash which happened in Owasso Sunday evening. A Rogers County Sheriff's deputy said the pilot suffered a possible concussion and a possible broken rib when his single-seat craft crashed into a garage in the Timber Gate addition about 6 Sunday evening.

The plane had just taken off and began to bank when, for an unknown reason, the pilot tried to land it in a neighbor's yard where he crashed into a garage. Investigators will try to determine a cause.

No estimates of the amount of damage to the garage or to the airplane were available. The homeowner said this is the second time an aircraft has crashed on his property.


At least 2 hurt when plane ends up on Napa highway. Near Napa County Airport (KAPC), California.

Authorities say at least two people were hurt when a small plane ended up on a highway near Napa County Airport.

California Highway Patrol spokesman Trent Cross says the plane hit a car as it made a crash landing on Highway 29 at 12:37 p.m. Sunday.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Mike Fergus had said earlier that the single-engine Beech aircraft lost power, made a "gear-up" landing at the airport and skidded onto highway, hitting the back of a car.

Two people were in the car and two people were on board the plane. The FAA says the two people in the car suffered minor injuries, but the CHP says four people were hurt. The CHP did not know the extent of their injuries.

The plane suffered what was described as "substantial damage."

The incident is being investigated by the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board.


Impersonator held in commercial pilot license exam. (India)

AMRITSAR: Police on Sunday arrested a Mumbai resident on impersonation charges. They said Ganesh Sahu had appeared in the commercial pilot license (general navigation) examination in place of Rahul Patel. Director Amritsar Civil Aviation Club Capt (retd) Rashpal Singh said examination supervisor VC Rathak got suspicious when he found that date of birth of the candidate did not match with the one mentioned on the examination form. A mobile phone was also seized from the accused, said police.

6 Bangladeshis arrested near border: Six Bangladeshi youths were arrested by BSF personnel on Saturday for allegedly trying to cross over to Pakistan from the Harowal forward post at the Dera Baba Nanak border. Officials also seized Rs 16,555 of Indian currency and some Bangladeshi currency and a mobile handset with a Bangladeshi sim from them. The accused told the BSF personnel during interrogation that they had paid Rs 30,000 per person to a travel agent and were hiding in difference places since Friday night.

Longowal anniversary: On the occasion of the death anniversary of Sant Harcharan Singh Longowal in Sangrur on Sunday, a number of political and religious leaders criticized Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and called him an "anti-Sikh." Those who were present on the occasion included Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak committee chief Paramjit Singh Sarna, SAD (Longowal) president Surjit Kaur Barnala and former minister Baldev Singh Mann.

Delta Connection flight lands safely after reporting an in-flight emergency. Monroe Regional Airport (KMLU), Louisiana.

The Monroe Regional Airport went on alert status this afternoon after receiving a call that an inbound Delta connector plane had a shattered window.

The incident was reported shortly after 4:30 p.m.

The plane landed safely about 4:55 p.m. There were no injuries.

Third chief in two months for Tiger Airways

Tiger Airways has appointed veteran Singapore Airlines executive Chin Yau Seng to replace its Australian chief Tony Davis, in the latest drama to hit the discount airline.

Mr Chin steps in as acting chief executive and will officially take over on November 1 when Mr Davis will leave the company, Tiger said today.

Mr Davis only got the top job in July when Crawford Rix stepped down as chief executive after the Civil Aviation Safety Authority suspended Tiger from flying in Australia following reports of unsafe landing approaches by its pilots.

Mr Chin is the former CEO of Singapore Airlines subsidiary Silk Air. Mr Chin is a 15 years veteran of Singapore Airlines, which owns one third of Tiger.

The tumultuous two months of uncertainty for the discount airline dealt a blow to the discount carrier whose public imaged had already suffered from public anger over its customer service.

Plane crash victim to be farewelled at funeral. Piper PA-28-180 Cherokee C, VH-POJ. Wallup near Horsham, Australia

A 15-year-old girl who died in a plane crash near Horsham this month will be farewelled at a funeral today.

Jacinda Twigg, from Nhill was killed when a charity flight crashed at Wallup near Horsham on August 16.

She was being flown home from having medical treatment in Melbourne.

The pilot of the Angel Flight plane, Donald Kernot, 69, also died in the crash.

Ms Twigg's mother was seriously injured in the crash.

The funeral will be held at Nhill.

The Jacinda Twigg Trust Fund was set up to help the teenager's family.

Honour for Gulf Air

MANAMA: Gulf Air has received its IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) certificate from the International Air Transport Association (IATA). In May this year, Gulf Air renewed its place on the IATA IOSA Registry until 2013 after successfully completing IATA's safety audit requirements.

"The IOSA certification reassures our customers that they are flying with an airline that conforms to strict international safety standards," said Gulf Air chief operations officer captain Nasser Al Salmi.

"Passenger safety is top priority for Gulf Air and the IOSA certificate is a testament to our commitment that we fly our aircraft to the highest level of operational safety."

One of the prime objectives of Gulf Air is to connect Bahrain to the Middle East countries and the rest of the world.

As such the airline currently operates the largest network in the Middle East with non-stop flights while providing onward connections to other international destinations. The airline's current network stretches from Europe to Asia, connecting 51 cities in 33 countries, with a fleet of 35 aircraft.


Agency boss decries aging workforce -Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority

The director general, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Harold Demuren, on Thursday decried the aging workforce in the transport sector.

Mr Demuren said this at a transport sector and human resources forum organised by the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management in Nigeria in Lagos.

The forum had as its theme: "Manpower Development as a Catalyst for Effective and Efficient Management of Transport System in Nigeria."

The director general noted that the decay in the transport sector, including the aviation sector, were similar, saying that the government should put in place an efficient manpower development system.

"Nigeria has an ageing workforce and we must replace them with the young ones to avoid accident. We need quality people to man the transport sector.

"Aviation has been a key driver to the national development. We create about 3.6 million employment in the sector annually," he said.

Mr Demuren predicted that international aviation needs would be doubled in the next 20 years, stressing that if nothing was done urgently, the demand for aviation professionals would be strained.

He added that the major problem in the nation was the migration of the Nigerian youth to other countries.

The chairman of the occasion, Grant Akata, said the decay in the transport sub-sector had led to a drastic decline in employment skills.

Mr Akata said the transport sector had the potential to mop up youths and offer them gainful employment locally.

"Manpower development for the sector can only be professionally driven if the sector is in itself fully revamped," he said.

Crash compensation. Airblue Airbus A321-231, Flight 202, July 28, 2010. Near Islamabad, Pakistan.

Written by Meekal A Ahmed

In the articles I have written over the past few months on the Airblue accident, I suggested that the one reason why we in Pakistan do not publish air accident reports is because of the very high compensation that may need to be paid out for the damages incurred. I would like to clarify. Based on my interactions with the ‘Air Crash Victims Families Group’, a self-financed and pro bono international umbrella organisation of survivors, individual victims and bereaved of family associations of major air transport tragedies, compensation in their experience is limited to provable “damages” according to the laws of the jurisdiction of the state, or the domicile of the victim described in Article 33 of the 1999 Montreal Convention or otherwise. The extent of those damages is either negotiated between the victims and/or their representatives and the insurers of the carrier and/or any other third party that may be fully or partially liable for the damages.

Recoveries usually include any quantifiable damages like the loss of income or support of the victim’s dependents, cost of children’s care and guidance, in some states loss of companionship, conscious pain and suffering of the decedent in the knowledge of his impending death or others. Non-pecuniary damages or punitive damages are recoverable only in some states. Where permissible, legal representation of the victim’s families may be available on a contingency fee basis – that is the legal representative receives a negotiated percentage of the damages awarded less any deductibles. In some cases – and according to state laws, the carrier/insurer/third parties pay the legal fees and expenses of the claimant.

The damages resolution is independent of the investigation into the probable causes of the tragedy, or from the subsequent judicial criminal proceedings. In fact, most of the time damages incurred are settled or adjudicated long before the accident investigation is completed and judicial proceedings are addressed. A fixed sum of Rs5 million that Airblue is purported to be offering to the families once a ‘succession certificate’ has been presented is a little odd since it does not take into account the specific circumstances of the diseased. It is up to the affected families to ask that differential damages be assessed for each individual on board that fateful flight based on their specific circumstances. Or they should seek the advice of the Air Crash Victims Families Group mentioned above whom I have found to be helpful, forthcoming and educative.

Meekal A Ahmed
Virginia, USA


Police: Pilot 'Extremely Lucky to be Alive' After Plane Crash. Stanton Airport (I50), Kentucky.

A Kentucky man had a near-death experience on a personal flying machine Sunday. The aircraft is called an 'ultralight plane' and they can hold one or two people at one time.

Officials say the man flying the plane, Stephen Lowther of McKee, Kentucky, is very lucky to be alive, after a gust of wind forced the plane to crash.

The plane was attempting to take off from the Stanton Airport around 11:30 Sunday morning, when police say a gust of wind spun the plane off to the left. When rescuers showed up to the scene, they expected the worst. But the man was not only conscious, he had only suffered a broken leg. Considering how far he'd been blown off course and how small the plane is, rescuers say they were surprised he survived at all.

"He was calm and coherent and he's the one who called 911 from his cell phone," says Sgt. James Watson with the Stanton Police Department. Police also say Lowther was wearing a helmet.

Lowther was taken to UK Hospital to be treated.

Watch Video and Photos:

Four die as two small planes collide in Austria

Read More and Photo Gallery
Vienna - Four people were killed Sunday when two small aircraft collided during landing on an airfield in the Austrian Alps, police said.

The wings of the motorized airplanes carrying one man and one women each touched as they were nearing the airstrip in Zell am See in Salzburg province.

The planes crashed in a meadow. All four were trapped in the wrecks.

'Three died on the spot,' police spokesman Michael Korber said. The fourth was transported to a hospital but died there in the evening.

One man and one woman in one of the airplanes were Austrians, the other two were from Germany. 


VIDEO: TAKE OFF off from Belize City Municipal Airport (TZA). Mayan Air Cessna Caravan.

by philipaftuck on Aug 28, 2011
Great takeoff on Thursday August 25, 2011 from Belize City Municipal (TZA) to San Pedro Island (SPR).

VIDEO: LANDING at San Pedro Island (SPR). Mayan Air Cessna Caravan

by philipaftuck on Aug 28, 2011
Landing on Thursday August 25, 2011 from Belize City Municipal Airport (TZA) to San Pedro Island (SPR).

Beech aircraft loss of power, gear-up landing, off runway, collided with car. 2 injured. Napa County Airport (KAPC), California.

NAPA, Calif. -- Authorities say two people suffered minor injuries when a small plane skidded off a runway at Napa County Airport and collided with a car on a nearby highway.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Mike Fergus says preliminary information indicates that the single-engine Beech aircraft lost power and made a "gear-up" landing Sunday afternoon.

Fergus says when the plane skidded off the runway it hit the back of a car on Highway 29.

Two people in the car suffered minor injuries. Two people on board the plane were not hurt, though Fergus says the plane suffered "substantial damage."

The incident is being investigated by the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board.

Quebec businessman, granddaughter among the dead in helicopter crash.

Yvon Beaudoin, a prosperous Quebec businessman who loved flying his own helicopter, remarked on how it was a perfect evening to take to the skies – little wind, high visibility, the stars winking above – before the bad weather blew in.

Minutes later Saturday night, with Mr. Beaudoin at the controls, the aircraft went down suddenly just after takeoff at the tiny airport outside St-Ferdinand, about 115 kilometres south of Quebec City.

All four aboard – Mr. Beaudoin, 65, his wife Marie-Paule, his son Eric, 43 and Eric’s 8-year-old daughter, Mélizandre – perished in the crash, around 9:15 p.m.

“I saw them off at the airport,” said Marc Vaillancourt, a business partner of Mr. Beaudoin who drove them the to air facility after they had enjoyed a dinner party at Mr. Vaillancourt’s cottage on Lac William in the St-Ferdinand area.

“He said how beautiful the evening was,” recalled Mr. Vaillancourt, 45, who described Mr. Beaudoin, the founder of a successful plumbing firm in St-Nicolas, near Quebec City on the south shore of the St-Lawrence River, as someone who was passionate about flying but who was also cautious and safety-conscious.

He even declined the offer of a glass of wine several hours before his planned departure time, said Mr. Vaillancourt, who owns a construction firm.

“The weather was ideal. The only thing I can think of that went wrong is mechanical failure,” he said in an interview.

Chris Krepski, a spokesman for the federal Transportation Safety Board, said two investigators are on site and in the early stages of trying to determine the cause of the accident involving a Robinson R44 helicopter.

“We’re gathering witness statements, we’re identifying pieces for further analysis,” he said.

Among the elements being looked at are the weather at the time of the crash, aircraft maintenance records and air-traffic control communications, he said.

The four-passenger helicopter was destroyed but there was no post-crash fire, he added.

Sergeant Claude Denis of the provincial police confirmed the identities of the dead and said an investigation into the crash continues.

Mr. Beaudoin has two other sons, Marco and Carl. All three sons were involved in the family business, founded by Mr. Beaudoin in 1976.

Child among four family members killed in Quebec helicopter crash.

ST-FERDINAND, QUE.—Four family members, including an 8-year-old girl, were killed late Saturday in a helicopter crash in a wooded area south of Quebec City.

Officials say the helicopter went down at 9:15 p.m. near St-Ferdinand, some 115 kilometres from the provincial capital.

Quebec provincial police received a call just before 11 p.m. and arrived at the crash site shortly after midnight.

“Unfortunately there were four people inside the helicopter ... and they were all found dead,” said Richard Gagne, a police spokesman.

The owner of the helicopter was Yvon Beaudoin, 65, from St-Nicolas, near Quebec City.

He died along with his wife, 67-year-old Marie-Paule Frechette, his son Eric Beaudoin, 43, and his granddaughter, 8-year-old Melizandre Beaudoin.

Two investigators from the federal Transportation Safety Board arrived at the scene Sunday morning.

Chris Krepski, a spokesman for the safety board, said they were still trying to determine the cause of the accident.

“It's very early going in an investigation,” he said.

“We're on the site now to begin documenting the wreckage.”

Investigators will also examine the aircraft maintenance records, the weather at the time of the crash, and whether there was any communication between the pilot and air traffic control, Krepski said.

He said the helicopter, a Robinson R44 that seats four people, was not required to have a black box.

The aircraft was destroyed but there was no post-crash fire, he said.

Helicopter Lost Signal Before Deadly Crash. Eurocopter AS 350B2 Ecureuil, N352LN. Near Midwest National Air Center in Mosby, Missouri

CLAY COUNTY, Mo.—  The investigation into what caused a deadly helicopter crash in Clay County continues. FOX 4 is learning more details about the minutes before Friday night's accident that killed three Life-Net of the Heartland crew members and one patient on board.

The medical helicopter lifted off from Rosecrans Memorial Airport in St. Joe to pick up a patient at Harrison County Community Hospital in Bethany, Mo. The transport was supposed to take the patient to Liberty Hospital.

"Pilot recognized the need to put additional fuel on the aircraft and diverted to Midwest National Air Center in Mosby, Missouri," said Craig Yale.

Refueling with a patient on board is not common according to the corporate vice president of Air Methods, the company that owns Life-Net of the Heartlands.

"We try to do our flights in such a way that we don't have to add fuel while the patient is on board," Yale said.

On the way to re-fuel, the aircraft lost contact with the communication center at 6:41 p.m.

"When we lost that ping, we notified the airport to see if we could find out if the aircraft had landed," he said. "They were not able to do that."

Police were notified of the coordinates of where the last ping was received and confirmed the aircraft had crashed.

"Just short of the field at Mosby, the aircraft had a catastrophic crash," he said.

Officials say they are unaware of any distress signals the pilot have have sent before the helicopter crash.

"I've not been told in anyway that there was any type of distress call," Yale said. "A mayday. And nothing from what, the conversation he had with our community center would suggest that there was an issue."

Air Methods Corporation says the pilot was extensively trained. He had worked for the company for about a year after a deployment to Afghanistan.

Air Methods is the largest air medic provider in the world with more than 400 aircraft. According to the corporate vice president, their deadly accident rate is about six per 1,000 hours flown. They fly about 200,000 hours a year.

Patient thanks her flying doctor, (Royal Flying Doctor Service)

As if performing brain surgery is not tricky enough, Dean Boyatzis pulled it off during a bumpy flight from Kununurra to Perth.

Dr Boyatzis received a Spirit of Flynn Award at Saturday's Royal Flying Doctor Service ball for performing a lifesaving procedure on Savanna Addis when a blood clot re-formed on her brain during a flight in February. The 10-year-old, who has made a remarkable recovery from brain damage, made a surprise appearance at the ball where she gave Dr Boyatzis $8000 she had raised for the RFDS.

"She was really close to dying from having too much pressure on the brain," Dr Boyatzis said.

"We were still six hours from Perth so there was no alternative, I had to remove the clot.

"I have done some pretty crazy stuff in emergency departments but never by myself and never in that stressful a situation."

If the journey was not fraught with enough difficulties, they were forced to land in Telfer because of a storm front and were stranded there almost three hours because the fuel pump was broken.

Mother Helen Addis told of how flight nurse Jocelyn Forbes called on the Derby Baptist minister to pray for a break in the weather so they could get to the Camp Nifty mine site to refuel and continue on to Perth. Lo and behold, their prayers were answered.

"But it still took us 17 hours to get from Kununurra to Perth, although everyone that day did all that was humanly possible with the resources they had," Ms Addis said.

"It was a horrible flight, the weather was really bad and turbulent so when we finally got to Perth she looked like she had come out of a war zone."

Ms Addis said she was eternally grateful to the RFDS, without which she did not think people could live in the North West.

"People would die. The RFDS basically underscores regional Australia," she said.
"Out of Savannah's school of 200 students, there have been four evacuations in the last six months."


Cessna 180D, N6425X: Pilot error led to float plane crash, NTSB. Accident occurred July 24, 2011 in Oscoda, Michigan. Report

OSCODA — Pilot error appears to have caused a July 24 float plane crash in the Au Sable River.

Daniel V. Gary was attempting to land the 1960 Cessna 180D when the aircraft flipped in the water above Foote Dam, Iosco County Sheriff Allan L. MacGregor has said.

Gary, 52, of Oscoda, reportedly told National Transportation Safety Board investigators that he neglected to raise the wheels after takeoff from a paved runway.

Gary was practicing water landings at the time of the crash, an NTSB report shows.

The wings of the plane sustained “substantial damage” but Gary escaped unharmed, the NTSB reported.

Investigators may spend another week at Resolute Bay crash site: Transportation Safety Board.

A week after First Air flight 6560 crashed near the Resolute Bay airport on August 20, investigators with the Transportation Safety Board continue to comb the crash site to gather as much information as possible about wreckage and are likely to spend another week there.

“We’re recovering (items), and documenting photographically the site,” said Transportation Safety Board spokesperson John Cottreau in an interview from Resolute Bay. “We’re identifying parts of interest that we want to take for further study and our team is transporting those to take back to our TSB laboratory in Ottawa for a more thorough analysis.”

Three people survived the crash that killed 12 people.

Cottreau couldn’t say if the TSB will actually reconstruct parts of the Boeing 737-200C aircraft to see what went wrong Aug. 20 — as has been done in some other air crashes.

“It’s really too early to say what measures will have to be taken for the investigator in charge and his crew to get an understanding of what happened at the time,” Cottreau said. “That still needs to be thought out and decided on.”

But the black boxes containing voice and flight data, retrieved shortly after the crash, have been listened to, although the recordings of conversations that went on in the cockpit are protected, and won’t come out until the final TSB report, and then, only if the information they contain is important to the investigation, he said.

That final report could take as long as a year to produce.

“We’re going to take the time we need to do a thorough report and to answer the three questions for us and for everybody: what happened, why did it happen and what can we learn to help us make sure it never happens again. We are going to do our very best to find out the answers to those three questions.”

While some media reports suggested the TSB had focused on the weather in its initial report Cottreau says the TSB has made no report or statement about meteorological conditions at the time of the crash.

For now, he said investigators are focusing entirely on gathering as much data as they can.

“We’re not concentrating on any analysis yet. Once we leave the site, we want to be sure that we have everything we need to do a thorough analysis. That is consuming us right now,” Cottreau said.

Twenty-three investigators are now at the site of the crash. This number includes investigators from First Air, the United States National Transportation Safety Board and from Boeing, the company that manufactured the 737-200C.

The crash site continues to be a hazardous site to work in due to high winds that can blow sharp metal fragments around, Cottreau said.

Hughes 369D, Vanuatu Helicopters, YJ-HEL: Fatal accident occurred August 26, 2011 in Unua village, Malekula, Vanuatu

Collision with terrain - MD Helicopters Inc.369D, YJ-HEL, Unua village, Malekula, Vanuatu, 26 August 2011

On 26 August 2011, the pilot of an MD Helicopter Inc. 369D helicopter, registered YJ‑HEL, was conducting sling load operations near a small village 183 km north‑north‑west of Port Vila, Vanuatu. As the helicopter approached the village, with two passengers onboard, witnesses heard a single, loud bang and watched the helicopter fall 10 to 15 m to the ground before coming to rest on its right side. One of the passengers received minor injuries and was able to exit the helicopter unaided. The other passenger received serious injuries and the pilot was fatally injured.

The ATSB found that as the helicopter approached the village to land, the wire rope attached to the helicopter’s cargo hook contacted a tree. That contact resulted in the rope fouling on the main rotor blades, which in turn led to the detachment of segments of the rotor blades and the tail boom. This rendered the helicopter uncontrollable. It was also found that the occupants of the helicopter were not wearing the installed shoulder harness restraints or using flight helmets during the flight.

Read more here:

In Vanuatu, the pilot of a helicopter is dead after his aircraft crashed in the mountainous terrain of South Malekula.

The Daily Post newspaper says the pilot’s two passengers, both Telecommunications Vanuatu Limited technicians, received serious injuries.

They were rushed to Norsup Hospital Malampa Province and later flown to Vila Central Hospital in Port Vila.

It is not clear how the crash happened.

The aircraft is owned by Helicopters Vanuatu, which are piloted by highly experienced pilots.

This is the first helicopter crash in the country.

Bahamas “open for business” post Hurricane Irene

NASSAU, The Bahamas - The Bahamas is open for business following the passage of Hurricane Irene.

Bahamas' Minister of Tourism and Aviation Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace said: “All 28 Government owned and operated airports including the 16 international airports are open and operating. Most resorts suffered only minor cosmetic damage but some of the smaller ones will remain closed for the near term.

All main arteries to and from the airports are cleared so we declared ourselves “open for business” as of midday today (Aug. 27).”

UPS Joins FedEx in Planning Delivery Service on August 29 as Damage Permits

United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) and FedEx Corp. (FDX), the biggest package-delivery companies, said they intend to resume normal operations tomorrow as damage from Tropical Storm Irene permits.

“Our intent is to dispatch Monday everywhere we’re allowed,” Norman Black, a spokesman for Atlanta-based UPS, said in an e-mail.

FedEx, which operates the world’s largest cargo airline, is preparing to move aircraft back to airports that were in Irene’s path as soon as the airports open and it can get employees in position to handle the planes and packages, said Scott Fiedler, a spokesman for the Memphis, Tennessee-based company.

Some customers may experience delays in pickups and deliveries because of downed trees and power failures, said Fiedler, who estimated that FedEx has more than 10,000 employees in the Irene storm zone.


Niagara-on-the-Lake airport set to soar

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," Suter, chairman of the Niagara District Airport Commission, said 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.

Some $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," Suter said. "They can fly in without losing hours waiting in traffic."

The changes are attractive to pilots who found the limitations of the old set up at the airport frustrating.

"The terminal was OK, but the runway really wasn't adequate," said Mike Tessier, who had his Piper Aztec twin-engine plane on display at the airport Saturday.

Tessier said in the past pilots would have to taxi their planes to the end of the runaway before turning around for take-off. Along with using up fuel and time, the procedure ensured the runaway could not be used for any landings. Any plane wanting to land would have to stay in the sky until the plane on the ground left.

"We don't need to do that with the new taxi-way," he said. "You just take the taxi-way to the end of the runway and then take off."

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.


First Air Boeing 737-200, C-GNWN, Flight 7F-6560

Pilot Blair Rutherford, who died when his plane crashed in a remote area in Canada's Arctic near Resolute Bay, Nunavut last weekend.

A Leduc pilot killed in Resolute Bay last week who was a devoted father that was passionate about flying will be remembered in a memorial service Monday.

“He was such a good father,” said the pilot’s wife, Tatiana Rutherford, reached by the Sun on Saturday. “He was always very patient. He was such a great dad. We are just taking this day-by-day. One day at a time.”

Blair Rutherford, a 48-year-old pilot for First Air, died after the Boeing 737-200 plane he was flying crashed near its Resolute Bay, Nunavut, destination around lunchtime Aug. 20.

Out of 15 people aboard the flight, only three survived the crash.

The pilot also left behind a nine-year-old boy, Nolan Rutherford, and a daughter, Hannah Rutherford, 11.

Rutherford’s wife says the family will be holding a memorial service at 2 p.m. Monday at the North Caribou Hangar, east of the Edmonton International Service.

In lieu of flowers, people are being asked to donate to the children’s trust fund at the Royal Bank at 10 Leduc Town Centre in Leduc.

“He would always commute from Yellowknife and he would always come home quite a bit,” said the pilot’s wife, who is also a flight attendant for First Air.

“He would come home every chance he got.”

Officials with the Transportation Safety Board say the investigation into what caused the crash is still continuing.

That investigation could take months before it is released to the public.

Investigators in Ottawa planned to download data from the flight and cockpit voice recorders last week, but the analysis could take a few days.

Boeing 737-210C, First Air, C-GNWN: Accident occurred August 20, 2011 - E of Resolute Airport, NU (YRB), Canada

The crash site of First Air Flight 6560 eight kilometres outside Resolute Bay, Nunavut.

Tray tables were up, seat belts were fastened and the 11 passengers and two crew members sitting in the tail of First Air Flight 6560 were already starting to see the hills and sheet-metal buildings of Resolute Bay come into view through the thick fog.

Their Boeing 737 was a “combi” plane, meaning it was configured to carry both cargo and passengers. The passengers, a mixture of workers and researchers, were crammed in four rows of seats. In front of them, five cargo pallets were piled high with food and provisions for Arctic hotels and research labs.

Gabrielle Pelky, 7, had made this trip before. Air travel is a rare treat for the typical Canadian seven-year-old, but in Nunavut, aircraft are the sole means of transportation between communities. By the time many Nunavummiut start first grade, they have been aboard dozens of helicopters, bush planes and airliners. According to Gabrielle, as Resolute Bay airport approached, “everything seemed fine.”

Shoes, baguettes, body parts, donuts, boxes of pork ribs and torn metal were strewn around her. Several dozen metres away, tattered scraps of the airplane’s fuselage were on fire. The white noise of an airliner coming in for a landing was soon replaced by little more than the sound of arctic wind.

Dazed but relatively uninjured, Nicole Williamson, 23, stumbled toward the sound of the little girl’s crying. Finding the girl on a rock with a broken leg, she scooped her up and carried her away from the smoldering wreckage.

Ms. Williamson’s co-worker, 48-year-old geologist Robin Wyllie, was not nearly as mobile, but aside from a crushed chest, he was fine. He and Ms. Williamson were stopping in Resolute Bay enroute to do survey work further north, on Axel Heiberg Island.

All around them, the pilot and 11 others aboard Flight 6560 were dead. In some cases, they were “unrecognizable, even to family,” according to RCMP superintendent Howard Eaton.

It was only 20 minutes before the site was swarmed by khaki-clad soldiers, and the three survivors began a confusing gauntlet of evacuation procedures: a quick helicopter flight to a nearby hospital tent, the dull grey hold of a C-17 Globemaster, Qikiqtani General Hospital in Iqaluit, another cargo plane and finally a hospital bed in Ottawa.

That night, and into the next morning, friends and family were patched in for surreal conversations with the survivors. “He didn’t say anything about the crash, he was cracking jokes is what he was doing,” says Gary Vivian, president of Aurora Geosciences, the employer for both Ms. Williamson and Mr. Wyllie.

The parents of Ms. Williamson described their daughter as being nearly incomprehensible through the combination of shock and medication. Gabrielle was described as joking with relatives at her bedside. A photo taken by her uncle, Terry Audla, shows her smiling peacefully under a bundle of blankets at Iqaluit’s Qikiqtani General Hospital, her wrist bound by a small splint.

“There’s always been some debate as to why, when you have mass destruction of an airplane, some people survive and some don’t,” says Greg Feith, a former senior investigator with the United States National Transportation Safety Board.

For years, the generally accepted advice has been to sit in the back of the plane. In a 2007 study, editors at Popular Mechanics pored over the seating charts of every United States jet crash since 1971 that yielded both fatalities and survivors. On average, they found, First Class passengers seated near the cockpit had only a 49% chance of making it out alive. At the extreme rear of the plane, the survivability rate was as high as 69%.

“Normally one looks at the fuselage to see if it provided a survival vessel much like looking at an auto accident,” says Jeff Roy, a United States air safety consultant. Perhaps tellingly, one of the few pieces of Flight 6560 to come to a stop in one piece was the tail. Even then, until investigators have pieced together how the Boeing 737 rolled and came apart upon striking the ground, they are hesitating to make any guesses.

“I’ve been out to accident sites where the aircraft was relatively intact … but you open up the door and you see four dead people inside,” says Mr. Feith. The force of hitting the ground did minor damage to the fuselage, but it was enough to rip the victim’s hearts free from their chests. In that sense, the near-complete disintegration of Flight 6560 may ultimately have been the one thing that kept its three survivors alive. “You have an energy driving you towards the ground, but that is dissipated by the aircraft — it’s just like an airbag in a car,” says Mr. Feith.

As the combi plane broke apart, it was left to pure chance whether those in the tail of Flight 6560 would be able to ride out the crash intact, or be crushed by flying debris. Children usually have an advantage in this regard; their small size provides a better shield from small debris. In at least six cases since 1950, children under 13 have been the sole survivors of airliner crashes that killed everyone else on board. Most recently, in May 2010, a 10-year-old Dutch boy was the only survivor of the crash of a Libyan Afriqiyah Airways plane that killed 96 people.

Of course, that does little to explain why Gabrielle’s sister, six-year-old Cheyenne Eckalook, was among the dead. “A lot of it, you attribute to luck,” says Mr. Feith. “They happened to be in the right seat, and the environment around them didn’t happen to present any life-threatening injuries.”

Within hours of the crash, RCMP forensics teams had transformed an $11-million network of new laboratories and living quarters for Arctic scientists into a temporary morgue. Martin Bergmann, director of the Polar Continental Shelf Program, who was killed in the crash had been enroute to Resolute Bay to give Governor General David Johnston and Prime Minister Stephen Harper a tour of the new facilities.

One body, believed to be that of Cheyenne Eckalook, has been turned over to family in Resolute Bay. The others have been flown to Ottawa where a team of coroners are struggling to identify them.

Back at the site, Canadian Rangers have taken up position to watch for approaching polar bears, drawn to the more than two tonnes of food that were on board. When they get too close, the Rangers use bear bangers — tiny explosives charges — to “persuade” them to leave, says RCMP Sgt. Paul Solomon.


Sri Lanka Air Force AN-32 aircraft lands in Chennai

A Sri Lanka Air Force AN-32 aircraft made an emergency landing at the Chennai airport yesterday morning when the pilot detected a technical failure, Indian media reported yesterday.

Reports quoting airport sources said, the aircraft carrying seven Lankan army officers, was bound to the Eastern Naval Command headquarters at Visakhapatnam. When the aircraft was flying over Chennai, the pilot detected the snag and sought permission to land.

The Air Traffic Control (ATC) allowed the aircraft to land after seeking permission from its headquarters in New Delhi. As some Lankan Army officers were on board, the ATC authorities in Delhi directed the airport authorities to extend them courtesy. Necessary arrangements, including security through armed striking force personnel for the army officers on board, were made.

After the aircraft landed safely, spare parts were brought from Bangalore. The seven army officers remained inside the aircraft.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Air Force Spokesman Andrew Wijesinghe confirmed the report to the Daily Mirror saying the AN-32 had developed a technical fault during an overseas tour and made an unscheduled landing at the Chennai airport yesterday morning. Claiming that there were no passengers on board except the crew, the spokesman said steps had been taken to rectify the technical defect.


KVAY and N14 Battens down for massive Hurricane Irene. South Jersey Regional and Flying W. Mt. Holly, Lumberton, New Jersey

Small aircraft at the Flying W in Medford and South Jersey Regional Airport in Lumberton were stored away in giant hangars to shield the planes from the anticipated high winds.”

“We moved all our school planes over to South Jersey Regional and all the customer planes were tightly tied down,” said Tom Molnar, an employee at the Flying W. “People all over South Jersey have been around looking for hangar space.”

South Jersey Regional was able to accommodate some of those requests.

“We have big hangars that can fit about 40 aircraft,” said Andrew Hartman, a manager at South Jersey Regional. “We have brought in about 25 airplanes from around the state. Everything else is being tied down and we are keeping our fingers crossed that the storm doesn’t damage anything.”

Air Burundi to restructure

BUJUMBURA, BURUNDI - Air Burundi is to undergo a restructuring which could produce one of three results; privatisation, restoration of the airline as a national carrier or a revamping of the current bilateral cooperation to upgrade the current operations.

In a press conference a fortnight ago, the Air Burundi managing director, Mr. Melchior NAHIMANA, said the company had completed negotiations with Turkey on Bilateral Service Agreements (BSA) which could see the Turkish airlines fly to Burundi. In an exclusive interview, Melchior said there is also a partnership agreement with Air Uganda to possibly commence operations in October with a direct flight from Entebbe to Bujumbura.

The managing director revealed to East African Business Week that there is an on-going operation to restructure the airline and that bids had already been responded to and six companies pre-selected to propose a restructuring process.

Funds have already been secured by government of Burundi to finance this project. From the group of one US Company, three Europe based companies and two companies that have both European and African shareholding; one will be selected to propose a restructuring plan.

East African Business Week was not able to establish the cost of the entire project by press time.

Melchior also said the Airline had been in the exploratory phase for a possible revamping of the airline through the acquisition or leasing of aircraft possibly through partnerships or outright purchase of two aircraft to increase on the number of aircraft to help resume operations which ended in September 2009 when the single aircraft in operation, a Raytheon Beech 1900C Airliner had consumed it's flight time of 12,000 hours and had to be grounded to allow regular maintenance operations, worth at least $1m. 


Buddha Air to fly between Pokhara, Bhairawa

POKHARA, Aug 28: Buddha Air - one of the leading private carriers in the country -- is preparing to operate direct flights between Pokhara and Bhairahawa, targeting domestic tourists as well as Indian pilgrims heading to Muktinath.

Gautam Baral, station manager of the airline in Pokhara, said the airline will fly three times a week on the route from September 27.

“We are operating on the route to serve domestic as well as international tourists, including Indian pilgrims heading to Muktinath,” added Baral.

Buddha Air will deploy 18-seater Beechcraft 1990D on the route.

“We will operate 47-seater ATR-42 aircraft on the route if passenger flow increases,” Baral said, adding that the airline´s new flight will help increase number of Indian pilgrims to Muktinath.

The fare for the 15-minute flight has been fixed at Rs 2,650.

Baral said they have already accepting bookings on the new route.

Meanwhile, Buddha Air is also preparing to operate mountain flights from Pokhara itself.


$1.5bn air tickets sold in Nigeria annually- report

A total of $1.5 billion is realized from ticket sales in Nigeria annually, a report sourced from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) at the weekend indicates.

The report says the tickets were sold by the 21 international airlines operating into Nigeria, including five Nigerian airlines on international routes and other 20 domestic airlines.

The traffic figures which culminated in the ticket sales show that domestic airlines airlift 3. 5 million passengers annually while their international counterparts contribute 4.0 million passengers’ tickets to the revenue with additional 122, 700 tons of cargo being airlifted annually.

The report is however of the opinion that out of 140 million population in Nigeria, only a little percentage travel by air, adding that though the economy is not buoyant, there is need to make air travel more accessible to the average Nigerian.

Average yearly traffic growth shows that domestic passenger grows by 17 percent; international passenger grows by 21 percent while aircraft movement grows by 1 percent.

Speaking recently at the 2011 transport sector human resource forum, Harold Demuren, director general of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, said it is noteworthy that air transport generates vital benefits for any economy, including Nigeria, by providing critical connections to both local and overseas markets and facilitating the growth of trade, tourism and investment. He said with it, jobs are created while Gross Domestic Products and tax revenues are boosted.