Friday, September 2, 2011

2 planes collide in mid-air, 1 plane lands safely. Near the village of Nightmute, Southwest Alaska

By CASEY GROVE
Published: September 2nd, 2011 07:09 PM
Last Modified: September 2nd, 2011 07:10 PM
 
Two planes flying from separate Southwest Alaska villages collided today in the air near Nightmute, according to the National Transportation Safety Board and Alaska State Troopers. A spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration says one pilot was apparently able to land his aircraft on tundra, and flaming debris from another plane was seen nearby.

The incident was reported to troopers as a midair collision about 4 p.m., said troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters. Troopers and medics responded in a helicopter from Bethel, about 100 miles east of the Nelson Island village, she said.

"We're on our way to see what we're up against," Peters said as the helicopter flew toward the crash site.

The planes are about 10 miles north of the village, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

One is a Cessna 207 operated by rural freight carrier Ryan Air, said the company's president, Wilfred Ryan. The Ryan Air pilot -- the only person onboard -- landed, got out and was talking to other pilots flying over the area, Ryan said.

"The report we had was that he was safe and walking around," said Ryan Air president Wilfred Ryan.

The other plane -- a Cessna 208 Caravan operated by air taxi and cargo operator Grant Aviation -- was reportedly on the ground in flames, NTSB investigator Clint Johnson said. Grant Aviation reported the Caravan's pilot was alone on the plane, Johnson said. The pilot's fate is unknown, according to troopers, the NTSB and the FAA.

The Ryan Air plane took off from Tununuk headed to Bethel, Johnson said. The Grant Aviation plane departed from Toksook Bay, also flying toward Bethel, the investigator said.

Another second Ryan Air pilot reported the incident to the company, which immediately notified federal and state authorities, Ryan said.

Ryan said the company has so far been unable to talk to their pilot. They don't know the circumstances of the accident, he said.

The cause of the collision and the extent of any injuries remains unknown, according to troopers and the NTSB.

Johnson said he would be heading to the crash site early Saturday to investigate further.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

http://www.adn.com

A vow to rebuild at Johnson City airport: Weekend fire destroys hangar, airplane.


While the cause of a weekend fire at the Johnson City Municipal Airport that destroyed a small airplane hangar and its contents remains under investigation, plans are already under way to rebuild as soon as the investigation is concluded.

“We’ll take a front-end loader and get this stuff out of here and then clean that slab off and try to build another one back,” co-owner Preston Eldred said Monday as he surveyed the charred remains of the hangar that was destroyed early Saturday morning.

Although the smell of smoke lingered in the air, the day-to-day routine of people flying in and out of the site hasn’t been affected by the fire, Eldred said.

“It’s away from the runway. Planes have been taking off and landing already today. It’s just here to clean up, eventually,” he said.

According to a news release, the Johnson City Fire Department responded to a structure fire at the airport around 4:30 a.m. Saturday with three fire engines, a ladder unit, a command vehicle and 11 firefighters.

Eldred said several people who live around the airport called 911 after hearing explosions, which he said were probably caused by the fuel tanks of the Piper Malibu plane, a car, mower and two jet skis that were housed in the hangar.

Eldred said he arrived at the airport just before 5 a.m.

“By the time we got here, they had it suppressed, but it was already gone,” he said.

The smaller hangars on the property are wood frame buildings that basically act as storage for tenants.

“They’re not built with high-tech insulation and everything. Basically, it’s a tin building with wooden frame, so it’s not a really expensive building to build,” he said.

The only problem the firefighters ran into while battling the hangar fire was the possibility of a “hot-spot” that began burning on the hangar next to the one that was engulfed in flames. Firefighters had to break a lock on the door and were able to put it out with a fire extinguisher.

After it was extinguished, Eldred said he moved the two planes out of that hangar to keep them from being harmed.

When he saw the number of firefighters battling the blaze, Eldred said he wasn’t really worried about the fire spreading anymore than it already had.

“The Johnson City Fire Department responded with great expediency and did their job admirably. They were right on top of it,” he said.

Johnson City Fire Marshal Lori Ratliff said the hangar was fully involved when firefighters arrived at the airport.

Ratliff estimated the airplane’s value at around $300,000.

The cause of the fire is undetermined at this time and Ratliff is continuing to investigate it. She said she would return to the scene today for further inspection.

American International Group airplane leasing unit ILFC files plans for IPO

The large airplane leasing unit of bailed-out insurer American International Group Inc. filed for an initial public offering on Friday, aiming to spin off into a separate company.

NEW YORK — The large airplane leasing unit of bailed-out insurer American International Group Inc. filed for an initial public offering on Friday, aiming to spin off into a separate company.

ILFC Holdings Inc., a newly formed holding company that is a subsidiary of AIG, said in a regulatory filing it will own 100 percent of International Lease Finance Corp. before the offering takes place.

AIG, which bought ILFC in 1990, will receive the proceeds of the stock sale. The filing listed a figure of $100 million to be raised in the sale but that number can change as plans solidify for the actual IPO.

The New York-based insurer has been selling off subsidiaries to raise money to pay back taxpayers portions of the $182 billion bailout package it received from the U.S. government during the financial crisis that began in 2008. The IPO filing states the Treasury Department still owns about 77 percent of AIG's common stock.

ILFC has seen a number of changes in the past two years, including a management shake-up that saw former Airbus executive Henri Courpron named president and chief executive in May 2010 and other top executives replaced. It has raised more than $14 billion by selling new debt, extended bank loans and sold some of its aircraft.

The company leases more than 1,000 aircraft to airlines and other customers in more than 80 countries, including AeroMexico, Air France, China Southern Airlines, Emirates Airline and Virgin Atlantic Airways. Last month, it announced plans to acquire airplane engine management unit Aero Turbine Inc., from AerCap Holdings NV for $228 million plus the assumption of about $298.6 million in debt. That deal is expected to close by the end of the year.

In midday trading, AIG shares fell 78 cents, or 3.2 percent, to $23.99 as the broader market slipped on concerns about the economy following a weak employment report.

http://www.thenewstribune.com

Canard Pusher E-Racer: Pilot Dr. Mitch Hargin Builds Experimental Aircraft

Clarinda Pilot Dr. Mitch Hargin sits in the cockpit of his Canard Pusher E-Racer. Hargin built the plane from scratch and in July flew the aircraft to AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis. The popular air show was honoring Burt Rutan, the designer and inventor of Conard airplanes. Hargin has been a pilot for 30 years and has built or restored five planes.


Dr. Mitch Hargin has a better understanding than most pilots what it must have been like for Orville and Wilbur Wright to make their historic first airplane flight at Kitty Hawk, N.C., in 1903.

Like the Wright Brothers, Hargin has built or restored five experimental aircraft, and was the first person to test pilot each of those aircraft after they were certified to fly.

“It gives you a real sense of satisfaction that you’ve accomplished something,” Hargin said.

Most recently, Hargin built a Canard Pusher E-Racer and made his first maiden cross country voyage with the airplane Saturday, July 30, when he flew to Oshkosh, Wis., to attend AirVenture.

“AirVenture is the state fair of airplanes, so anyone that’s excited about airplanes goes to Oshkosh. It’s the Mecca of homebuilt aircraft. If you want to show off your airplane that’s the place to go,” Hargin said.

However, it took approximately seven years for Hargin to take his Canard Pusher E-Racer from the drawing board to the runway at AirVenture.

Hargin purchased the first materials for the construction of the Canard Pusher E-Racer in 2004 and eventually had the plane certified in August of 2010.

Although there were plenty of milestones during the construction process, Hargin admitted he also hit his share of turbulence.

For example, Hargin said he had difficulty getting the $25,000 motor in the plane to start and was beginning to fear there was a problem with the motor.

“We were having a party at the hangar and I asked Milo Beery about it. He looked the motor over and pointed at the mixture control and said I had it on backwards. I turned it around and it started right up. That was great,” Hargin said.

Hargin also said getting the retractable landing gear to work properly was quite an ordeal, but with the assistance of his friend Karl Booker those issues were also eventually resolved.

“Building the plane was actually easier than I thought, but it takes a lot of time,” Hargin said.

Once Hargin was able to get the airplane certified in August of 2010, he still had to complete 40 hours of test flights to ensure there were no mechanical issues with the airplane and confirm that it was safe for prolonged flights.

“After a plane is certified, you have to fly 40 hours within a 25 mile radius of where it’s based. It took me about a year to fly those hours off,” Hargin said.

When the Wright Brothers made their historic first flight they were airborne for all of 12 seconds.

Although Hargin fared better than that, he only managed to shave approximately three minutes off of his 40 test hours the first time the Canard Pusher E-Racer was airborne.

“It was scary. On the first flight I had no aileron control, which means you can’t roll left or right. So I had to turn the plane with the rudder and make an emergency landing,” Hargin said.

Hargin said he had no idea the plane did not have aileron control when he took off. He estimated a month passed before he resolved the issue and was able to make another test flight.

“At first, every time I went up I had something to work on to get all the bugs out. It seemed like I would fly for an hour and then spend a month working on the plane,” Hargin said.

Finally, Hargin took off Saturday, July 30, with the hopes of attending AirVenture. He surpassed his 40 hour mark just within the 25 mile radius of the Clarinda airport and was able to proceed to Oshkosh, Wis., for the air show.

Hargin said he wanted to attend AirVenture because Burt Rutan was being honored for his contributions to aviation. Rutan was the designer and inventor of Canard airplanes like the one built by Hargin.

“A lot of people think they’re flying backwards when they look at them because the propellers are in the rear and push the plane,” Hargin said.

Even though Canard airplanes were being featured at AirVenture as part of the salute to Rutan, the Canard Pusher E-Racer turned plenty of heads at the event.

The futuristic looking airplane has side by side seating with center joystick control and is faster and more economical on fuel than a standard airplane.

“A lot of people asked what it was because there are only five of this particular design that are flying and there is only one other one with the retractable landing gear configuration this one has,” Hargin said.

Since it is so rare Hargin said he plans to keep the airplane, but he has started construction of another plane of the same type.

In addition, Hargin said he is offering free Ground Instrument Training Thursday nights at Hargin Chiropractic Office, 218 N. 16th St. in Clarinda, in an effort to promote aviation in the community.

Hargin received his pilot license in June of 1982 and spent four years in the United States Marine Corp. accumulating 1,000 flight hours as a KC130 navigator.

He received his Instrument Pilot License in February of 2008; his Commercial Pilot License in December of 2009; and his Certified Ground Instructor license in November of 2010.

Currently, Hargin is working on earning his Certified Flight Instructor License and his next goal is to begin training for an Airfame and Powerplants License on Certified Aircraft and a CFII License.

“Being an instructor makes you a much better pilot. A good pilot never stops learning,” Hargin said.

http://southwestiowanews.com

China: Airline adds nonstop from Los Angeles International Airport

LOS ANGELES - Liu Jiakun, an MBA student at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, didn't expect to be part of Air China's history making.

The airline launched its second daily nonstop flight between Beijing and Los Angeles on Thursday. Liu was one of the inaugural passengers, which he didn't know when he booked his ticket in July.

"I chose this flight because the time is convenient," Liu said. He had never taken Air China's existing nonstop flight from Los Angeles International Airport to Beijing Capital International Airport because it takes off at midnight.

"The new flight time is more humane" Liu commented. The new flight takes off in the early afternoon for Beijing.

Chi Zhihang, general manager of Air China North America, said at the inauguration ceremony held at LAX: "It is a momentous moment in Air China's history. It's the very first time we have launched a double daily flight to an international destination."

Air China is the only carrier operating nonstop flights between Los Angles and Beijing.

"Nonstop flights between Los Angles and Beijing is one of our most competitive products," said Yang Rui, deputy general manager of Air China's Los Angeles office.

Yang said as China's economy has been steadily growing for decades, the market size for Air China's international flights, especially those between China and the US, has tremendously expanded. More Chinese travel to the US as the country opened its gate wider to Chinese tourists and students.

"Though China and the US don't always see eye to eye with each other on political or ideological issues, the economic ties between them gets tighter," Yang said.

As famous as China is for its exports, it is buying more and more from the US. According to the US-China Business Council (USCBC), China is the third-largest US export market, ranking only behind US' two immediate neighbors. And, China as a buying market continues to expand rapidly.

"In 2010, exports to China rose 32 percent - faster than export growth to any of the US top five export destinations," USCBC reported in a recent study. "Taking a longer view, total US exports to China from 2000 to 2010 rose from $16.2 billion to $91.9 billion, up 468 percent. Total US exports to the rest of the world increased 55 percent during this period."

Economic exchange boosts the air traffic over the Pacific Ocean. In 2001, 7,058 nonstop flights traveled between 11 major cities in the US and three in China - Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou - according to the Air Transportation Association. These flights are operated by four US-based carriers and six China-based carriers, of which Air China plays a leading role.

Air China opened its route between Beijing and Los Angeles in 1982. Wang Yinxiang, vice-chairman of Air China, shared at the inauguration that it took 24 years to turn the flight to a daily one in 2006, but it only took five years to add another nonstop flight.

In 2008, Air China consolidated its North America offices and started a call center in Los Angeles, the airlines' North America headquarters. It's a milestone in the carrier's localization, which makes it more competitive in the US market.

Air China is proud of the call center because of the type of customer service it offers. "When customers call us, 80 percent of them don't need to wait more than 20 seconds," Yang said.

Beyond concrete statistics, the serving attitude is more impressive to Annie Ye, secretary-general of the Chinese Enterprise Council based in Los Angeles. Air China is one of its more-than-a-hundred members.

Ye recalled that Chi, the vice-president and general manager of Air China's North America operation, sometimes sees through issues reported by customers himself to make sure problems are solved. "Maybe not all of the problems can be solved, but the attitude is what matters more," said Ye, who used to be China Southern Airlines' general manager in North America before the consolidation.

During the inauguration, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said there is "good reason" to celebrate the new flight, from a local perspective. China is California's top trading partner. An average daily round-trip transoceanic flight at LAX contributes $623 million annually to the local economy and supports 3,120 jobs in Southern California, according to the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation.

Zhang Yesui, China's ambassador to the US, sees beyond the economic point of view.

"It is our hope that this will also serve to promote a closer exchange between the US and China, not only in trade but also among its people."

Chinese travelers now make up the majority of Air China's customer pool. To enlarge the group, the carrier has been seeking high-end, non-Chinese speaking passengers. It will fly a trade and investment mission team from the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation to Shanghai later this month. The 16 members of the team are "top notch experts and business leaders" in a variety of industries.

Yang said that hardware improvement will be a focus for next year. They will replace the four-engine Boeing 747s for Boeing 777-300ERs for its cross-Pacific flights. The new two-engine aircrafts will further reduce the operation fees of Air China, which continues to make profits while many other airlines are struggling to survive.

http://www.chinadaily.com

Balloon safety standards still inadequate: report

By Tracy Holmes - Peace Arch News
Published: September 02, 2011 4:00 PM

Four years after two devastating hot-air balloon crashes – including one that killed two women in South Surrey – recommendations aimed at addressing a "lack of adequate standards and regulations" in the industry have yet to be implemented.

"Simply put, not enough has been done," writes Wendy Tadros, chair of the Transportation Safety Board​, in her report, Balloon Safety Too Often Left Up in the Air.

According to Tadros, basic risks have caused 15 reported balloon incidents since 1997 – including one at Hazelmere RV Park & Campground in 2007 that killed a Langley mother and daughter and injured 11 others.

Following the tragedy, the TSB made two recommendations to Transport Canada​, Tadros notes: ensure that passenger-carrying balloons provide a level of safety equal to that required for other passenger-carrying aircraft; and, ensure such balloons have an emergency shut-off valve.

Tadros notes that while the regulator has promised a "risk assessment" of hot-air balloon operations, the process "can take years."

Transport Canada spokesperson Melanie Quesnel said by email that the department is speeding up its regulatory process "to implement aviation regulatory actions at a quicker rate in response to recommendations from the TSB."

Quesnel notes Transport Canada's previous response to the recommendations were deemed satisfactory by the board, and that efforts are ongoing to make improvements to existing regulations.

The department has no legal obligation to act on board recommendations.

http://www.bclocalnews.com

Chile air force plane crashes with 21 aboard, including popular TV host Felipe Camiroaga

Felipe Camiroaga, TVN Presenter, confirmed on the Juan Fernández flight.



SANTIAGO – FACh announces the official list of passengers that were on board of the disappeared Chilean air force plane by the Juan Fernández Island.

From Televisión Nacional de Chile (TVN) – Felipe Camiroaga, Roberto Bruce, Sylvia Slier, Carolina Gatica y Rodrigo Cabezón.

From Desafío Levantemos Chile (charity foundation to aid building efforts after the 2010 earthquake in Chile): Felipe Cubillos, Sebastian Correa, Joel Lizama, Catalina Vela Montero, Jorge Palma y Joaquín Arnold.

From the cultural advisory (Consejo de Cultura): Galia Carolina Díaz Riffo y Romina Isabel Irarrázabal Faggiani.

From FACh (Chilean air force): group commander from the Department of Communications, Rodrigo Fernández, and department journalist, José Cifuentes.

From the crew: 26-year-old pilot Carolina Fernández (considered a heroine for rescuing a PDI investigator from the Andes who was suffering a pulmonary edema in July in the same plane which has now disappeared), Flavio Olivo, Juan Pablo Mallea, first sergeant Eduardo Jones, Eduardo Estrada and Erwin Núñez.

Search and rescue teams are already en-route to the area last recorded by the plane, and a Hercules C-130 will take off from the national air force base at 4:00 am.

TVN was supporting the Desafío Levantamos Chile. This was the second time that the team was traveling to the area to work on re-building projects.

According to Grupo 10 of FACh, the plane left Santiago at 13:52 on Friday, September 2. The plane was approaching the island, first circling twice before landing. On its final approach the plane disappeared off radar. Strong winds were reported in the area and may be the cause for the plane’s disappearance.
Two civilians that were waiting for the plane saw it circling over the runway, and saw it veering away to the right.

Source: http://ilovechile.cl


Rescue mission for disappeared Chilean air force plane


The Island of Juan Fernández’s municipal magistrate has stated that a backpack has washed up on the beach and that a piece of the plane’s fuselage has been found (though this is not yet confirmed by FACh), but no bodies have been reported, following the Chilean air force plane disappearance on Friday night.

The maritime governor of Valparaíso has also confirmed that a door from the disappeared plane has been found approximately 2 km from the landing strip at Robinson Crusoe Island.

Air force rescue divers have already been deployed in the area where the plane was last detected. Eight air force officers parachuted over the site. A FACh Hercules C-130 plane is being prepared to depart from mainland Chile to the site at 4:00 am. The rescue efforts will be lead by the Grupo 10 (group 10) of the Chilean Ar Force (FACh).

Two naval ships (the Lynch and the Condell) have been launched from Valparaíso to aid the rescue effort. They are expected to arrive in 14 hours at full speed.

FACh’s general states that they have not yet detected any transmissions from rescue beacons which would be part of any activated rescue equipment. This does not necessarily mean that they have not been activated.

Meanwhile, in Santiago, members of the public have begun to gather outside the TVN studios to show their support for the missing passengers, particularly Felipe Camiroaga, a popular TV presenter. They have lit candles and are saying prayers for the passengers.
 
Source:  http://ilovechile.cl

President Piñera speaks about missing Chilean Air Force plane

The Chilean President, Sebastián Piñera, expressed tonight from Group 10 of the Chilean Air Force, his solidarity with the families of the 21 people aboard the airplane that disappeared off the coast of the Juan Fernandez archipelago, and ensured that the military will do “everything necessary” to find them.

“We have received a briefing from General Rojas, commander of the Chilean Air Force, and the Chilean Navy. We also spoke with the Mayor of Juan Fernandez, and I have two things to say: first, we are sharing the anguish and uncertainty that all the relatives of the 21 passengers on the plane are experiencing at this moment. I want to show solidarity with them and tell them the whole country shares their anxiety and that uncertainty, and give the fullest assurance that both the Government and the Navy, Air Force and the City of Juan Fernandez, are and will continue to do everything necessary to investigate the circumstances of the ‘possible accident’ and to provide any assistance that may be useful and necessary to the alleged accident, “said the visibly shaken president.

He also announced that this Saturday “at 4 am, the Defence Minister and Commander in Chief of the Air Force, will leave for Juan Fernandez, to assist in these tasks of search and rescue.”

The Head of State acknowledged that “this is a blow to our country, but would like to convey that in these moments of anguish and uncertainty that require the unity and solidarity of all Chileans. I ask God to help us in these difficult circumstances, “he concluded.


A FACh CASA C-212 airplane carrying popular Chilean TV Host Felipe Camiroaga, 44, along with TVN (Chile’s national television network) crew disappeared in Chile’s Juan Fernández Island today after losing contact with ground crew around 5:48 p.m. The team was headed to the island with Chilean businessman Felipe Cubillos, Executive Director of Desafio Levantemos Chile (Twitter @felipenavegante) and his staff to report on a story on the progress of the reconstruction of the island after the February 2010 8.8 earthquake.

Confirmed on the flight were TVN presenter Felipe Camiroaga, host of ‘Buenos Dias Todos’ (Good Morning Everyone) and his fellow TVN staff members - Roberto Bruce, a popular Chilean journalist, Sylvia Slier, Carolina Gatica and Rodrigo Cabezón.

Also on board were key staff of del Desafío Levantemos Chile, which is a Chilean program that was established to help Chile rise after the earthquake and assist earthquake victims. Staff members on board included businessman Felipe Cubillos, Sebastian Correa, Joel Lizama, Catalina Vela Montero, Jorge Palma y Joaquín Arnold.

Two members of the Chilean Ministry of Culture include Galia Díaz y Romina Irarrázabal.

FACh (Chilean Air Force): Journalists José Cifuentes and Rodrigo Fernández.

Crew: Lt. Carolina Fernandez (pilot), Corporal Flavio Olivo, Juan Pablo Mallea Lieutenant, Sergeant Jones, Corporal Eduardo Estrada, Erwin Cape Nunez.

Marcelo Rossi, president of the fishers union in Juan Fernández told the press, “We have no expectations of waiting for someone alive. The port of the island is closed to small boats for harsh weather conditions. The crash was due to strong wind in the area. ”

Navy authorities confirmed the crash and reported that debris, a cooler and torn clothing had been found floating in the ocean.

According to Lacuarta.cl, the flight attempted to land two times before crashing.


The official list of passengers on flight is:

1.- Silvia Slayer - TVN
2. Rodrigo Cabezón TVN
3.- Carolina Gatica TVN
4.- Felipe Camiroaga - TVN
5.- Roberto Bruce TVN
6.- Carolina - Desafío Levantemos Chile
7.- Sebastian Correa - Desafío Levantemos Chile
8.- Felipe Cubillo - Desafío Levantemos Chile
9.- Joel Lizama - Desafío Levantemos Chile
10.- Jorge Palma - Desafío Levantemos Chile
11.- Joaquin Arnold - Desafío Levantemos Chile
12.- Galia Díaz - Consejo Cultura y Artes
13.- Romina Irarrazaval - Consejo Cultura y Artes
14.- Rodrigo Fernández - FACh
15.- José Cifuentes - FACh
16.- Carolina Fernandez - Pilot
17.- Juan Mallea - Pilot
18.- Eduardo Jonhs
19.- Hermes Nuñez
20.- Flavio Olivia
21. -

The search has been called off and is scheduled to resume at 4:00 a.m. September 3, 2011.

SANTIAGO, Chile — A Chilean air force plane with 21 people aboard, including a popular local television host, crashed in the ocean Friday near the Juan Fernandez islands off the country’s Pacific coast, authorities said.

The CASA military plane tried twice to land at the airport on the remote island but strong gusts of wind buffeted the plane and it later was lost from sight, said Felipe Paredes, a local council member who was in the airport’s control tower at the time.

Rescuers in boats were searching for the plane but the mayor of Juan Fernandez, Leopoldo Gonzalez, said “the accident must be accepted as a fact.” He added that some luggage had been found in the water.

“The scenario facing us is particularly difficult,” said Defense Minister Andres Allamand, who added that the status of the plane is still listed as “missing.”

Authorities said popular Chilean television personality Felipe Camiroaga was flying to the island to do a program on the reconstruction of Juan Fernandez island following the Feb. 27 magnitude-8.8 earthquake and tsunami that wiped out its main town.

The 44-year-old TV presenter was one of five people from Television Nacional’s, or TVN’s, program “Good Morning Everyone” who were traveling to the island.

Besides hosting the morning program, Camiroaga also hosts the popular program “Nocturnal Animal” and co-hosted the Vina del Mar music festival in 2009 and 2010.

“We are extremely upset,” said TVN executive director Mauro Valdes.

The remote Chilean archipelago, about 830 kilometers (515 miles) west of Chile’s coast, is known for possibly having inspired the novel Robinson Crusoe.

Also on board was businessman Felipe Cubillos, who had been working on post-earthquake reconstruction efforts.

The CASA air force plane took off from the capital, Santiago, at 2 p.m. local time (1700 GMT), and lost contact with air control almost four hours later, according to a statement from aviation authorities.

“It’s a difficult runway, but not impossible,” Julio Subercaseaux, president of Chile’s federal aviation authority told state television.

Santa Monica Airport Crash Statistics Revealed; City Prepares Action Report

posted Sep. 2, 2011, 6:23:00 pm
By Brenton Garen 

The student pilot of the single-engine Cessna 172 that crashed after taking off at Santa Monica Airport on Monday becomes part of an ever growing list of accidents connected to the airport.

The plane, manufactured in 1973, went down at 2:29 p.m. Monday into a home at 21st and Navy.

Since the accident, City of Santa Monica staff has developed multiple approaches to attempt to reduce the impact of the flight schools on the community, according to a City action report released today.

First, City staff will travel to Washington D.C. to meet with FAA officials to discuss flight school operations and safety at SMO.

Flight schools are a prescribed activity under the 1984 agreement. The City alone cannot restrict flight school operations outside of the Santa Monica Municipal Code, Federal Air Regulations or provisions of their respective lease agreements.

Second, City staff has begun a review of flight school leases to ascertain what flexibility we have in relation to their operations.

Third, City staff will meet with flight school operators to discuss strategies to lessen their impact on the community.
The following is a partial list of airplane crashes connected with Santa Monica Airport, based on the National Transportation Safety Board database and newspaper accounts:
 

1978 - 1987 - Eleven "landing off the runway" incidents involving airplanes that used SMO occurred during these years.

Summer of 1980 -- Santa Monica Councilman and former Mayor Pieter van den Steenhoven died when his light plane crashed into the ocean.

1/19/1982 -- CESSNA 182E -- Nonfatal

4/10/1982 -- PIPER PA-38-112 -- Nonfatal

7/5/1982 -- Beech 60 -- Nonfatal -- At 700 ft, the left engine failed, the right engine lost power, and the plane crashed into the ocean about 2,000 yds from the Pier. Life guards rescued the pilot when he surfaced.

7/21/1983 -- CESSNA 172M -- Nonfatal

9/18/1983 -- Mechanical failure during touch-and-go landing practice resulted in a loss of power.

2/18/1984 -- BEECH A36 -- Nonfatal

10/8/1984 -- CESSNA 180 -- Nonfatal

5/4/1985 -- BEECH V35A -- Nonfatal

5/17/1987 -- CESSNA 182L -- Nonfatal -- After losing power shortly after takeoff, the single engine Cessna 182 aircraft crashed into 3 cars while trying to land on Rose Ave. in Mar Vista. The the pilot, two passengers, and a motorist were injured.

7/15/87 -- Cessna T210L -- Fatal -- The plane departed from SMO headed for San Jose. Witnesses on a boat saw the aircraft in a steep climb altitude just below the bases of the clouds, followed by rolling over and diving steeply to the ocean off of Marina del Rey.

8/11/87 -- Pilots of a Boeing 737 reported that a near-collision occurred 2.5 miles east of the Santa Monica VOR. The co-pilot took evasive action and estimated that they passed the unidentified aircraft with about 100 ft of separation.

9/22/1987 -- CESSNA 172P -- Nonfatal

7/7/1989 -- CESSNA 150M -- Nonfatal -- Cessna 150 aircraft crashed on Rose Ave. in Venice.

7/9/1989 -- Cessna 210 aircraft crashed at Hillcrest Country Club in Rancho Park.

8/6/1989 -- CESSNA 152 -- Nonfatal

9/2/1989 -- P-51 Mustang crashed into a home on Wade St. in Mar Vista. The pilot and a passenger were injured.

10/26/1989 -- Wheeler Acft. Co. EXPRESS 100 -- Nonfatal -- Experimental Wheeler Express aircraft crashed into 3 homes on Greenfield Ave. in West Los Angeles, causing a fire. Pilot and passenger injured.

2/26/1990 -- REID LONG-EZ -- Fatal (1) -- Home-built Long Eze aircraft crashed into the ocean near Santa Monica Pier in heavy fog, about a half hour after takeoff. The pilot died.

8/4/1990 -- Hughes 369D -- Nonfatal

2/24/1991 -- PIPER PA46-301P -- Nonfatal -- Piper Malibu aircraft crashed into a home on West Sherbourne Drive in West Los Angeles while attempting an emergency landing.

10/4/1991 -- Cessna 152 -- Nonfatal

10/4/1991 -- Cessna 421C -- Nonfatal

1/18/1992 -- MOONEY M-20-C -- Fatal (2) -- Mooney Ranger M-20 aircraft clipped a utility pole, burst into flames, and ended up in the front yard of a home on Dewey St. at Walgrove in Santa Monica. The pilot and passenger died.

3/9/1992 -- CESSNA 172P -- Nonfatal

9/5/1992 -- CESSNA 182A -- Nonfatal

4/29/1993 -- CESSNA 172N -- Nonfatal -- The pilot failed to recover from a bounced landing, which subsequently collapsed the nose landing gear.

6/2/1993 -- Piper Comanche aircraft crashed into the ocean off of Malibu. Pilot injured.

11/26/1993 -- SIAI-MARCHETTI F-260 -- Fatal (3) -- The student pilot failed to maintain minimum air speed during a turn, which resulted in an inadvertent stall/spin. The aircraft crashed into the carport of an apartment building on 4th St. near Bay. Contributing to the accident was improper weight (90 pounds over the gross weight limit), improper balance, inadequate altitude, and inadequate supervision. The pilot and 2 passengers died.

12/7/1993 -- CESSNA 177RG -- Nonfatal -- Runway overrun.

3/11/1994 -- PIPER PA-28-180 -- Fatal (1) -- Piper Cherokee aircraft crashed into a home on Barrington Ave. near National. Investigators blamed a loose engine cowling. The engine cowling, improperly fastened after repairs, came loose as the pilot attempted to return to the airport, creating so much wind resistance that the aircraft could no longer fly. The passenger died, and the pilot was injured.

4/20/1994 -- PIPER PA-32R-301T -- Fatal (1) -- Moments after takeoff, the engine began to sputter and then quit due to running out of gas. The plane crashed into the backyard/garage of a house on Ashland Ave. near 23rd St. The pilot died on impact. After this accident, the Santa Monica Airport Commission established a Safety Committee, which made 37 recommendations.

4/23/1994 -- FAIRCHILD SA-227 -- Incident -- SCHD

11/22/1994 -- BEECH 95-B55 -- Nonfatal

5/7/1995 -- DAVENPORT LONG-EZ - Nonfatal - The home-built experimental aircraft apparently lost power as it approached SMO, snagged power lines, narrowly missed a home, and crashed into a garage home in the 13000 block of Warren in Mar Vista. The pilot was critically injured, with severe head injuries.

7/13/1995 -- MOONEY M-20-M -- Nonfatal

2/7/1997 -- Cessna 310Q -- Nonfatal (crashed in Los Angeles)

6/16/1999 -- Cessna 180K -- Nonfatal

7/11/1999 -- Rose VELOCITY 173/FG-E -- Nonfatal -- Veeroff while landing

9/23/1999 -- Cessna 421C -- Nonfatal

3/28/2001 -- Cessna 172N -- Fatal (3) -- An inexperienced pilot rented a Cessna 172 from Justice Aviation  at the airport and subsequently lost control of the aircraft over the ocean. The pilot and 2 passengers died.

11/13/2001 -- Cessna 340A -- Fatal (2) -- The Cessna skidded off west end of the runway and burned on the embankment next to 23rd St. The pilot and passenger died.

2/4/2002 -- Beechcraft took off from S.M. Airport and crashed near High Desert Airport in Joshua Tree.

6/6/2003 -- Beechcraft took off from S.M. Airport and crashed into an apartment building near Fairfax High School -- 5 fatalities (pilot, passenger, 3 residents), 10 people injured (5 critically)

3/16/2004 -- Mooney M20K - Fatal (2) - Aircraft crashed into a Mar Vista home while trying to land at fog-shrouded S.M. Airport -- The pilot and his wife died.

12/4/2004 -- Piper PA-28-181 -- Nonfatal

3/13/2006 -- Beech A36 -- Fatal (2) -- After departing from SMO, the plane lost power. The pilot tried to return to the airport, then planned to attempt to land on the beach, and ended up ditching into the ocean, where the plane sank in 20 feet of water. The pilot (game show host Peter Tomarken) and his wife died.

1/13/2008 -- DeSousa Jabiru J400 -- Nonfatal -- The brakes on the home-built aircraft failed, the plane overran the runway, and it landed on a service road.

3/11/2008 -- A single-engine Cessna experienced a malfunction with the landing gear mechanism, which prevented the left main landing gear from extending to the full down and locked position.

10/7/08 -- Iniziative Industriale Italian Sky Arrow 600 Sport -- Nonfatal -- Witnesses observed the plane flying low over the water, and then, while making a steep left turn, they saw it nose over and impact the ocean off Malibu. The student pilot and instructor were injured.

1/28/2009 -- SIAI-MARCHETTI SF-260C -- Fatal (2) -- The single engine plane lost power during takeoff, crashed on the west end of the runway, and burst into flames. The pilot and passenger died.

8/2/2009 -- Davenport DAVE-EZ -- Nonfatal -- The aircraft experienced engine failure after takeoff. The pilot attempted to turn back to land but crashed on the taxiway.

7/1/2010 -- Cessna 152 -- Fatal (1) -- Cleared by the tower for touch-and-go pattern work, the pilot failed to maintain adequate air speed during initial climb, resulting in a stall. The plane crashed nose-down near the 8th hole of the Penmar Golf Course, and the pilot died. The plane was rented from Justice Aviation.

8/29/2011 -- Cessna 172 -- According to newspaper reports, the pilot, after 40 hours of instruction,  had attempted to land at SMO and was instructed to go around. The plane crashed at 21st and Navy, and the pilot and one person on the ground were injured. The plane, owned by Justice Aviation, was built in 1973. 
http://www.smmirror.com

Plane wreckage pulled from ocean

September 3, 2011 - 11:43AM

The wreckage of the light plane that crashed into the ocean, killing its pilot, has been salvaged off Sydney’s coast.

A spokesman for NSW Police said the wreckage of the two-seater ultralight plane was on its way to Bankstown Airport, where it would be investigated by the authorities.

He said the salvage operation, which started at about 7am today was completed sometime by 11am.

A rescue helicopter hovers over the area where the plane went down at North Curl Curl.

The plane crashed into the the sea off Curl Curl beach shortly after sending out a mayday alert about 10.15am yesterday.

It disappeared off the radar shortly afterwards.

The passenger, a 32-year-old man, managed to swim the surface and was helped ashore.

But the pilot Gary Malane, a 60-year-old man from Bonnet Bay in southern Sydney, was killed in the crash.

His body was later retrieved from the wreckage by divers.Surfers, lifesavers, police and shocked locals took to the water to also drag the surviving passenger to shore.

‘‘We did everything within our powers,’’ said Chief Inspector Colin Green, who was one of the first on the scene.

Two local surf lifesavers also tried reach the pilot, while other members of the public assisted the passenger on the shore, he said.

Superintendent Doreen Cruickshank said the plane appeared to get into difficulty as it was flying north across the beach.

A spokesman for the Australian Transport Safety Bureau said the Recreational Aviation Australia would be carrying out the investigation into the crash because the aircraft was registered as recreational.

Plane crash near Lampson Field Airport (1O2) Lakeport, California

LAKE COUNTY: Just before 5 pm it was reported that a plane crashed in a vineyard in the vicinity of Matthews Road and George Street in the unincorporated area of Lakeport. County emergency crews are on scene.

Saggy pants cost Green Day singer his airline seat

Posted: 3:05 pm PDT September 2, 2011
Updated: 4:16 pm PDT September 2, 2011

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Green Day lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong was tossed from a Southwest Airlines flight bound for Burbank because he was wearing saggy pants, according to a posting on his Twitter site.

Armstrong fired off a tweet Thursday night complaining – “Just got kicked off a Southwest flight because my pants sagged too low.”

The award-winning musician was traveling from Oakland to Burbank when he was asked to leave the plane.

In another posting on his Twitter account, Southwest posted an apology, saying they were “very sorry for your experience tonight.”

Armstrong is best known as the principle songwriter in Green Day. One of the cornerstone bands of the East Bay's burgeoning underground punk movement that was centered around weekly shows at Berkeley's Gilman Street Project, Armstrong and his bandmates -- bassist Mike Dirnt and drummer Tre Cool -- rose from indie success to MTV stardom with the release of their major label debut 'Dookie' in 1994.

The trio would go on to become one of the biggest punk bands of the decade in the wake of Nirvana's mainstream breakthrough. Green Day has continued its critical and commercial success ever since with their politically charged concept albums 'American Idiot' in 2004 (which inspired the hit Broadway musical of the same name) and '21st Century Breakdown' two years ago.

Armstrong’s ejection from the flight came more than three months after Deshon Marman, a University of New Mexico football player, was arrested when he refused to obey an order from a US Airways flight crew to leave a jet at San Francisco International Airport because he was wearing saggy pants.

Marman, who was boarding Flight 488 to Albuquerque, N.M., was instructed by airline crew members several times to pull up his pants to cover his underwear, both before he boarded and on the plane, according to San Francisco police Sgt. Michael Rodriguez.

Marman allegedly refused to pull up his pants and when he sat in his seat, he pulled them all the way down, Rodriguez said.

Eventually the plane's captain told other passengers on the aircraft to deplane, ordered Marman to leave the plane and then placed him under citizen's arrest for trespassing after he refused the order, according to Rodriguez.

Marman was escorted off the plane by police and then allegedly resisted officers when they tried to handcuff him. One officer received a cut to his hand and a sprained knee in the struggle. After reviewing the case, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe decided not to press any charges in the case.

"While we believe the officers on scene acted appropriately and professionally during the over one hour that they were in contact with Mr. Marman and repeatedly attempted to resolve the situation without difficulty, and while Mr. Marman could have quickly obviated the need for further intervention, we do not believe that criminal charges are warranted," Wagstaffe said.

Busted Airspace: NORAD F-15E Fighter Jet Intercepts Piper Aircraft Near Camp David, Maryland.


Published : Friday, 02 Sep 2011, 8:23 PM EDT

A military fighter jet intercepted a small Piper airplane near President Barack Obama's retreat at Camp David, Md., Friday.

According to the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), an F-15E fighter jet intercepted the Piper general aviation aircraft, which was out of radio communication, about 4:45pm.

The civilian aircraft was intercepted and departed the restricted airspace before it landed at the Martinsburg Airport, W.Va., the NORAD statement said.

Earlier Friday The Wall Street Journal reported that President Obama's helicopter flight to Camp David Friday afternoon was cut short because of bad weather.

Obama left the White House on Marine One with his daughter Sasha around 12:30pm local time. But mid-way through the trip, he switched from the helicopter to a motorcade, driving the rest of the way to the presidential retreat in Maryland, according to a statement from the White House.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said that just before the president left Washington, officials made "a last-minute bad weather call." He said in an email that "Marine One diverted to an alternate landing area and the president motorcaded the rest of the way to Camp David." 



http://www.wjla.com

Sad anniversary for family of UPS pilot


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Tomorrow will mark a sad anniversary for the family of a Louisville UPS pilot.

On September 3rd last year, Doug Lampe and another pilot from Florida were killed when their plane crashed just after takeoff in Dubai. It was the first fatal crash in UPS' history.

An accident report released by the Dubai government says fire broke out in lithium batteries that weren't declared as hazardous cargo.

Aruba wants to register more aircraft

ORANJESTAD — Between 90 and 100 aircraft owners will participate with the International Aviation Summit to be held on Aruba on October 26th and 27th. With this event the Aruban government wants to register more aircrafts on the island. Two international companies specializing in aircraft registration will sponsor the event.

Up to last year, the registration of aircrafts yielded 500,000 to 600,000 florins on extra revenues, says Minister of Transport, Otmar Oduber (AVP). In the past two years, the government attempted to expand this activity. Eighty-five aircrafts and helicopters are currently registered on Aruba and with the arrival of another nine aircrafts in the coming months, the government hopes to have registered 100 aircrafts before the turn of the year. At that time, the government expects to have gained 1 million florins from this registration. The target is to have 250 aircrafts in total in 2013 in the Aruban aircraft register, which is to fill the treasury with an extra 5 million florins.

Certification

In addition to registering the aircrafts, Aruba also provides for certification of the aircrafts, the pilots and the maintenance facilities of those aircrafts abroad, while this inspection is also be performed by Arubans. Every month, Aruban inspectors will fly to the facilities in question, says the Minister. The accident several years ago with a Kazakhstan aircraft that was registered on Aruba, had no negative consequences for the register. “The cause of such an accident usually doesn’t have anything to do with the inspection of the aircraft,” Minister Oduber maintains. Five international institutes in that field recognize the Aruban aircraft register and its certification program, he says. In addition, there are agreements with The Netherlands on the observance of the highest safety criterion for the aviation industry.

Luxury section

The Minister points out that the high safety standards actually ensure that Aruba can focus on the registration of aircrafts in the highest luxury section. Many of the aircrafts in the Aruban register are namely luxury private models, which for example are used by heads of state, wealthy investors and multinationals. Serving that executive section could involve positive side effects for the island, says the Minister. “Besides generating revenues with the registrations, one also establishes bonds with possible investors for the island.” This way traffic bureau ATA could also tap the market for conference tourism, he says. “We are not the cheapest nor do we wish to be. We want to continue focusing ourselves on the current market with important names and large countries.”

The website from the Aruban aircraft register www.airsafetyfirst.com advertises the register as a facility where owners can have their aircraft registered entirely anonymously. In addition, owners are exempted from paying income tax, sales tax, import duties or stamp tax. Within five working days, after all the paperwork has been completed, aircrafts can be certified and registered on Aruba.

http://www.amigoe.com

Sibson plane crash: Pilot killed after power line collision ... hotel diners “saw aircraft come down” (UK)

The plane crashed in a field after reportedly flying into an electricity pylon

7pm: MANAGERS at a hotel near the site of a plane crash at Sibson Airfield this afternoon say diners saw the aircraft come down, while polce have said the A1 will be closed overnight.

The A1 is currently shut and will remain closed overnight after the light aircraft collided with power lines at Sibson Airfield at 2.15pm. The plane came down on the western-edge of the A1 at Water Newton.

It has been confirmed that the plane had one pilot and no passengers. National Grid engineers are in attendance to survey the damage to the power line.

Mark Prime, business manager of the Sibson Inn Hotel on the A1, said a guest alerted him to the crash which happened about 200 yards from the hotel.

Mr Prime said: “We were alerted by a diner who saw the crash. The hotel manager called the airfield who had already called the ambulance. The air ambulance was on the scene pretty quickly.

“Diners saw the plane clip the cable and they thought they saw the wing come off. The plane came down in a hedge about 200 yards south of the hotel. There was no fire or smoke.

“We get planes coming by us all day long. They have to manoeuvre over the pylons and look like they are flying pretty close. It’s one of the hazards you have to deal with when you land.”

Hotel manager Simon Black has clocked up about 20 hours’ flying time at Sibson Airfield and knows the approach over the pylons well.

He said: “The diners ran in shouting that a plane had dropped out of the sky. You can see where the plane hit the the cable.

“As a student at the airfield I hated flying across those pylons because they are so tall.

“The top cable is a single strand and is especially difficult to see in bright sunshine. The pilot would have been flying into the sun.

“It’s very easy to get it wrong. I am surprised they hadn’t wrapped it in red and white tape to make it more visible. You have to drop down quickly after the pylons to catch the runway.”

The crash has caused chaos in the area and visitors to Burghley Horse Trials are being told to find alternative routes other than A1 following the crash. The event will remain open later than planned to enable visitors to avoid potential congestion.

Electricity wires over the road were damaged, causing police to close the road in both directions between the A47 junction at Wansford and junction 17 at Haddon near the A1(M) Peterborough Services.


http://www.stamfordmercury.co.uk

Billy Drake was fighter ‘ace’ for Royal Air Force

LONDON — Billy Drake, a British fighter ace whose daring and skill made him one of the Royal Air Force’s most successful pilots of the Second World War, died Aug. 28, the Daily Telegraph of London reported. He was 93. The cause and location of death could not be confirmed.

Group Captain Drake was credited with 24.5 aerial kills — another pilot was given half of one kill — and he reportedly destroyed a dozen more enemy planes parked on the ground.

He harboured an interest in flight since a boyhood ride in a biplane. He decided to join the Royal Air Force in his late teens, after seeing a recruitment call in a magazine.

After Germany invaded Poland in 1939, Drake was sent to France, where he spent the first months of the war sitting idle. At that point, France was not equipped with sophisticated radar, so the pilots had no early alert in the event of aerial attack.

He told interviewers that the first sign of an enemy plane often was the condensation trail the aircraft left as it swept through the moisture-rich sky.

Following one such contrail, Drake scored his first victory against a German Messerschmitt fighter plane in the spring of 1940.

During another sortie not long after, he had to abandon formation because his plane was not equipped with an oxygen supply for high-altitude flying. On the way back to base, he encountered several German Dornier bombers and attacked with his machine guns. He watched one bomber catch fire and crash.

Distracted, Drake didn’t notice a German fighter swooping in behind him. Seconds later, his cockpit was engulfed in flames. He bailed out and landed in the countryside.

“The French farmers thought I was a German because I was very blond in those days, so they walked toward me very cautiously with scythes and pitchforks,” he said. But after “I was able to show them my wings, they couldn’t have been nicer.”

Badly wounded by shrapnel in his back and legs, he was taken to a hospital in France and then back to England. After recuperating, he flew reconnaissance missions over the English Channel during the Battle of Britain.

“I would land, grab a cup of tea and I’d be shouting, ‘Fuel her up — let’s go again,’” he said.

Drake later commanded units based in North Africa and on the Mediterranean island of Malta.

Many of his fellow pilots became casualties. “You accepted that they could be shot down, and if they were, bad bloody luck. That’s war,” he explained. “You’d go up to their room and see if there was anything you could borrow.”

After the war, he served as an military attache in Switzerland and retired in 1963 as a commander at a Royal Air Force base in Devon.

Drake said he was not haunted by memories of his wartime experiences.

“You never thought about the fact you’d taken a life,” he told Britain’s Daily Express in 2004. “When you got involved in an aerial battle, it was metal versus metal.”

A descendant of British naval hero Francis Drake, Billy Drake was born Dec. 20, 1917, in London. He spent much of his childhood in Switzerland.

His father’s passion for clay pigeon shooting aided the development of young Billy’s hand-eye co-ordination before his military service.

Upon retirement, Drake spent 20 years in the Algarve coastal area of Portugal, where he managed properties and ran a bar. In recent years, he lived in Teignmouth, Devon. The Telegraph said he was twice married and is survived by two sons from his first marriage.

Drake flew nearly every sortie wearing a cravat in the colors of English Epsom Derby winner Hyperion around his neck.

“By God, we had a good time. That’s not to say we behaved in the way Hollywood likes to portray Battle of Britain pilots. Of course, there were a few randy ruffians who would chase any girl,” he told the Sunday Mirror, a British publication, last year. “But generally we all had girlfriends, and we didn’t use the war as an excuse to sleep with them. We were gentlemen.”

Washington Post

http://www.therecord.com

New radar for Kochi airport in 6 months

KOCHI: Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) will have a new airport surveillance radar (ASR) within six months, airport director ACK Nair told TOI on Friday.

The new radar system will make it possible to reduce the holding time of the aircraft before landing from the present level of 12 minutes to three minutes. "This means that we can have four aircraft landed within 12 minutes whereas it will take about 40 minutes for this currently," he said. "We can also have more accurate alignment tracking for landing of the aircraft," Nair said.

The proposal for installing an ASR at Cochin airport has been mooted long back. "It is the Airport Authority of India which has to install the radar system. We have to provide only the building and other facilities for it. We are on the job already. The radars will be installed near the runway. There were some legal issues in the tendering process for it. Now we have been told those issues have been sorted out. Normally it takes about six months' time for the delivery of the radar," he said. The radar at Cochin airport will be networked with the systems at the Mangalore, Chennai and Thiruvananthapuram airports.

An airport spokesman said the radar is expected to cost about Rs 25 lakh and it will be imported from France.

Nair said the friction levels in the airport runway will be tested next week. "These tests have to done every four months, to maintain the runway as per the international standards. Last time we tested the runway was in June. The global norms mandate that the runway should have a minimum friction coefficient of three whereas the Cochin airport was found to have coefficient value of seven. This meant that we were maintaining the runway at minimum friction levels. But we have to maintain this quality through regular inspections and adopting appropriate correction measures," he said.

The airport spokesman clarified that the friction level inspection had very little to do with the recent skidding off of the Gulf Air aircraft. "This is a routine inspection. The probe team from the director general of civil aviation (DGCA) has already clarified that aircraft had skidded off the runway because of the pilot's error. It had nothing do with the friction level of the ariport runway."

Plane makes emergency landing near Alamogordo, New Mexico.

New Mexico State Police say a small plane made an emergency landing on Highway 54 south of Alamogordo at Milepost 32 on Friday.

There were no injuries and the plane sustained only minor damage to the right wing tip and the landing gear.

The cause of the emergency was mechanical failure, police said.

Coast Guard considers ban on airboats in Hocking River

LOGAN— Although airboats are currently allowed on the Hocking River, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Watercraft says the U.S. Coast Guard is considering a ban.

According to Carl Vance, area supervisor for the division of watercraft, which has jurisdiction over the Hocking River, the U.S. Coast Guard is looking into the matter in light of ongoing complaints they’ve received about airboats in the river this summer. It’s the noise, size and speed that concern some people.

Flight ops go awry after mishap

Soubhik Mitra, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, September 03, 2011

For nearly an hour Pooja Kanwar was stuck in an aircraft crawling in a long queue of planes scheduled to fly out of the city on Friday. Hundreds of fliers were stranded at the city airport on Friday after a near mishap involving a Turkish Airways flight grounded operations on the airport’s main runway.

At 4:13 am, a Turkish Airways flight, with 104 passengers and 11 crew members on board, skidded of the runway and got stuck in slush near the main runway. Consequently, five city-bound flights were diverted to other airports, while many others had to wait mid air and on the ground.

An airport spokesperson said that about 15 minutes before the incident, airport safety staff had inspected the runway. “All the air side infrastructure were operational. Two flights were also operated successfully before the incident,” said the spokesperson.

After the incident, the main runway was shut and flight movements continued from the secondary runway. However, airline schedules went awry, as the smaller runway is not equipped with ground aids necessary for low-visibility operations.

“The airline staff was clueless about the revised timings,” said Pooja Kanwar, 22, a fashion designer travelling to Bangalore.

At 8.40 am, all operations were suspended for 12 minutes when visibility dropped. A spokesperson from the Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) said that the main runway would be reopened at 2.00 am on Saturday.

A Singapore Airlines flight was diverted to Bangalore, as the airline’s safety policy does not allow use of the secondary runway.

The airport staff was unable to tow the aircraft till 7pm, because cargo in the plane’s front belly made it too heavy. An external power unit was attached to the plane, to open its door.

“A notice to Airmen (NOTAM) has been issued to clear the aircraft by midnight on Friday,” said Bharat Bhushan, director general of civil aviation (DGCA).

http://www.hindustantimes.com

Rain is scapegoat: Runway excursion. Turkish Airlines Airbus A340-300, TC-JDM, Flight TK-720. Mumbai, India.

Recovery operations under way near the plane at Mumbai airport on Friday.

Mumbai, Sept. 2: A Turkish Airlines plane from Istanbul skidded off the taxiway after landing here at 4.13am today, but the 93 passengers and 11-member crew were evacuated with no injuries reported.

The Airbus 340-300, its nose wheel and landing gear damaged, was still stuck in the mud late tonight at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport.

Turkish Airlines blamed the incident on “excessive rainfall” — the same reason cited when a Gulf Air plane from Bahrain skidded off the runway in Kochi four days ago, causing injuries to seven.

The directorate-general of civil aviation (DGCA), whose Delhi office was quoted as saying the incident had been categorised as “serious”, has ordered a probe. “It would be premature to point out the reason. We are in the process of inspecting vital evidence,” a DGCA official said.

Daylong efforts to remove the plane caused five international flights to be diverted to other airports and an average delay of 15 to 20 minutes in arrivals and departures, the Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) said.

The main runway was shut as the aircraft was very close to it, and the second runway was used. A late-night PTI report said the main runway could be opened sometime after 2am on Saturday.

Initially, the MIAL had sought time till 8pm to remove the aircraft but the deadline was extended because of the wet ground. “Cargo in the front belly of the aircraft needs to be removed to reduce the weight on the nose to facilitate the removal of the aircraft,” MIAL spokesperson Anindita Sinha said.

“Since the door of the cargo hold requires power for opening, external power source would be required to connect to the disabled aircraft.”

A temporary pathway was created over the slushy ground for movement of cargo trolleys. “Once the cargo is removed, the aircraft will be towed away to clear the area for flight operations on the main runway,” Sinha said.

The MIAL said all emergency procedures were activated after the incident, and added that the last inspection of the runway was carried out at 3.58am on Friday, a quarter of an hour before the landing.

“All airside infrastructure/facilities were found operational/functional” during the last inspection, an MIAL statement said. “One landing & take-off also took place after the runway inspection and before the excursion.”

Source:  http://www.telegraphindia.com

21 small planes: Crackdown on cocaine air bridge nets 30 alleged traffickers, seized planes

By Associated Press,   Friday, September 2, 4:07 PM

BOGOTA, Colombia — In a joint U.S.-Colombian operation against a major trafficker, police arrested 30 people and seized 21 small planes that were ferrying cocaine to Central America, officials announced Friday.

Officials also announced a $2.7 million reward for the Colombian trafficker Daniel “Loco” Barrera. They said he was supplying Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel, which ships the cocaine to the United States.

The suspects, who were arrested in Colombia early Friday, were mostly pilots and air traffic controllers, said Colombia’s chief prosecutor, Viviane Morales.

Several of the suspects were in their 50s and 60s and had piloted cocaine flights for the late Medellin cartel kingpin Pablo Escobar, authorities said.

Investigators said most of the planes were seized this past week in Guatemala and Honduras, which have become key transit points for Mexican drug cartels due to extremely weak or nonexistant state control.

Barrera’s organization was smuggling at least 10 tons of cocaine a month by plane to Central America, said Colombia’s police director, Gen. Oscar Naranjo.

The suspects were wanted for extradition on U.S. indictments handed up in Miami, whose U.S. attorney, Wifredo Ferrer, attended the news conference along with President Juan Manuel Santos.

U.S. and Colombian authorities said they had been tracking drug flights for months into Central America but have little chance of making arrests there because security forces in Guatemala and Honduras are either weak or compromised by organized crime.

“I would say that general aviation (small planes) as a popular mode of drug trafficking has come back into fashion in the past five years,” the regional head of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Jay Bergman, told The Associated Press.

That’s partly because interdiction of cocaine-smuggling semi-submersibles on the high seas has been so successful, he added.

Such maritime interdiction encouraged traffickers to build their first fully submersible submarines, two of which have been seized, and to increasingly turn to small planes.

“They’ve filled the cocaine pipeline to Central America, which is causing a lot of problems,” Bergman said.

___

Frank Bajak contributed to this report from Lima, Peru.

Source:  http://www.washingtonpost.com