Sunday, September 11, 2011

United/Continental's Statement on Sunday's Emergency Landing of CO 197. A.B. Won Pat Guam International Airport

Last Updated on Monday, 12 September 2011 10:29 
Written by News Release Monday, 12 September 2011 10:19

Guam - United/Continental's Director of Corporate Communications for the Asia/Pacific has issued the following statement on Sunday's emergency landing of Continental Flight 197 from Fiji.

Corporate statement from Koji Nagata, Director of Corporate Communications for Asia/Pacific for United/Continental Airlines:

"Yesterday’s CO197 from Nadi to Guam declared the emergency when landing at the Guam Airport due to a possible malfunction of an air-speed indicator for the first officer. However the flight landed safely at the airport at 04:54 local time, 6 minutes earlier than the scheduled arrival time. There were 67 passengers on board. Continental is now checking the cause of the malfunction."

As PNC News reported SUNDAY, Continental flight 197 from Fiji made the emergency landing early Sunday morning.

Guam Airport Police Chief Bob Camacho told us that the pilot advised the control tower that an instrument panel was not functioning correctly. Chief Camacho said that it was reportedly flickering on and off. He did not know what function that panel performed.

Airport Fire & Rescue was activated under conditions that Chief Camacho described as an Alert 1, which is the lowest level of alert.

Flight 197 touched down at 4:35 am without incident.

Amelia Earhart goggles, photos fetch $30,000 at auction

GOGGLES worn by Amelia Earhart and photographs of the famed aviatrix have fetched more than $US31,000 ($29,339) at an auction in the United States.

A spokesman for Clars Auction Gallery says the winning bid for the set of 1920s Luxor aviator goggles with a cracked left lens was $US17,775.

The goggles previously were owned by Barbara Englehardt, a Contra Costa County resident who got them from a friend about 20 years ago.

In addition to the goggles, 24 photographs were auctioned off in Oakland, California, today for a total of $US13,509.

The photographs included shots of Earhart making preparations for her round-the-world flight, as well as her plane taking off on March 17, 1937.

The March flight was one of two attempts Earhart made that year to circumnavigate the globe.

Her plane disappeared in the Pacific during the second attempt a few months later.

Swearingen SA.227BC Metro III, Aerocon: Bolivian Amazon

The sole survivor of a plane crash in Bolivia stayed alive by eating insects, drinking his own urine and painting an arrow in the ground with his blood to show rescuers where he was, according to an interview published in a Bolivian newspaper.

Minor Vidal, centre, who survived the plane crash, with members of the Navy after being found along the banks of the Ibare River 

The sole survivor of a plane crash in the Bolivian Amazon stayed alive in the jungle for three days by drinking his own urine and eating insects and by trying to alert rescuers by drawing arrows with his blood.

With a broken shoulder blade and ribs, punctured lung and a head wound, Minor Vidal was barely able to wriggle free from the wreckage of the aircraft. He was finally rescued when a navy patrol boat spotted him waving his shirt on a river bank.

The 35-year-old medicines and cosmetics salesman was one of nine passengers and crew on a flight with the Bolivian airline Aerocon, travelling from Santa Cruz to Trinidad, when it crashed 10 miles from its destination on Tuesday evening.

Mr Vidal yesterday described the panic as he suddenly realised that the aircraft's approach was "strange". "It was descending, flying around Trinidad, and it descended too much," he told La Razó* newspaper.

"Everyone was shouting. I told them to have faith in God, that God would help them.

"Then everyone went quiet. There was fire and the smell of gasoline. Then I couldn't see anything or anyone. That moment was horrible. The next day I realised that everyone had died. The plane was smashed to pieces."

Mr Vidal was seriously injured and trapped in the wreckage. "I was sitting in the last row. I tried to get out, with all the pain. I opened up a hole but my ribs and chest stopped me from getting out. Little by little, dragging my body, I began to climb out."

Using skills learnt on camping and fishing trips and in the Scouts, Mr Vidal survived another 62 hours in the jungle as he set off in search of help.

That knowledge allowed him to filter drinking water through his shirt, leave signs along his path and wait by a river bank – one of the few open areas in the rainforest where he could make himself visible to the people who eventually rescued him.

He was eventually picked up on Friday evening and taken to a hospital in Trinidad, where he was treated for injuries including a collapsed lung and a gash on his forehead in which insects had laid eggs during his jungle ordeal. Doctors expect him to make a full recovery.

On Saturday, he was transferred on another Aerocon flight to a hospital in Cochabamba, where he received a string of visitors, including his family. From his wheelchair, he gave a thumbs-up to a cheering crowd as he arrived inthe city.

News of Mr Vidal's survival generated national celebrations in Bolivia over the weekend.

"He is a very brave man," said Defence Minister Cecilia Chacón. "With such a heavy impact and so many hours in the jungle, it really is a miracle that he survived."

Aerocon spokesman Nelson Kinn said the company would pay for Mr Vidal's medical costs.

The aircraft's black box has been recovered and sent to Brazil for analysis, he said , and that at the time of the crash, visibility had been affected by heavy smoke from seasonal fires started by ranchers.

PHOTO: A crop duster flies over fields Wednesday - Indiana.

A crop duster flies over fields Wednesday near County Road 1250 South in White County.
(By Brent Drinkut/Journal & Courier)

A Purdue University agricultural economist says Indiana farmers will see record farm income this year due to strong global demand for grains.

REDjet call centre upgrade coming


Plans on stream to upgrade the call centre facilities of low-fare carrier REDjet.

The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of REDjet, Ian Burns, explained during a press conference on Tuesday, that they had underestimated the demand on the call centre when they began operation, but since starting to operate, together with the downtime they experienced at the end of the last month, they have had to re-evaluate the system.

“Our call centre has been overwhelmed by the response. People said that they could not get through to our call centre numbers and our call centre has been under much greater demand for business than we had anticipated.

“I think it is fair to say that we had anticipated load factors round about 55 per cent in July and August on our routes and the load factors to Guyana in July and August were 70, 85 per cent, that is a phenomenal amount of traffic,” he said.

He continued, “We started selling our tickets to Trinidad on July 18, effectively for service that commenced on August 8; in August we would have achieved a load factor of 69 per cent from a standing start; that is incredible in international aviation statistics, that that kind of volumes can go through, we clearly did not anticipate those kinds of volumes.”

With that in mind, he said that they have looked again at their capabilities and are in the process of upgrading – increasing the number of people who man the centre as well as increasing the number of lines that will be available.

“...We are working very hard to get those things right, but they just don’t happen overnight, because obviously the facilities where we are, we have to look at that.

“We have to look at the infrastructure in terms of additional lines and we obviously have to train people,” he added.

Meanwhile, the CEO said that in spite of the disruption in service at the end of August, REDjet remains the best performing airlines, with fewer cancelled flights, more on-time flights, less lost baggage and greater customer satisfaction.

He said that prior to the disruption in service, they recorded a 92.5 per cent on-time performance, the best in the region and that dropped to 83 per cent since the disruption, just short of the international mark of 85 per cent; while flight completion dropped from 100 per cent to 95 per cent over the same period.

Shut down unreliable airlines: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev

September 11 2011 at 08:40pm

Moscow - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Sunday ordered his government to shut down unreliable airlines after 43 people were killed in a chartered plane crash that wiped out a top hockey team.

The decision came as the nation mourned the latest in a string of deadly air accidents that earlier saw Medvedev request the removal from operations of Russia's older Soviet-era jets.

A Kremlin spokeswoman said Medvedev instructed his government to draft measures by November 15 that would let the authorities “discontinue the operations of air carriers incapable of ensuring flight safety”.

A separate set of proposals to be submitted for parliamentary approval in December would raise penalties for air safety violations and allow inspectors to ground dangerous planes without court orders.

Medvedev also told his government to subsidise charter carriers that pass certification and provide additional financial assistance to regional carriers as the number of airlines shrinks.

The Kremlin said Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has been put in charge of the airline overhaul Ä an operation whose most important elements are designed to be completed by the next presidential election in March.

The 18-year-old Yak-42 plane crashed on takeoff Wednesday in the central Russian city of Yaroslavl. Those killed included 36 players and coaches of the local Lokomotiv hockey team.

The accident happened on the eve of Medvedev's scheduled visit to the city and he vowed on paying homage at the crash site to reduce the number of air carriers in Russia as a safety precaution.

Officials have thus far blamed the tragedy on pilot error or aircraft malfunction and believe the jet hit an airport antenna mast after having trouble climbing on takeoff.

The crash also claimed the lives of several former NHL stars and has had a profound effect on both Russian sports and global hockey.

Russia has delayed the start of its 2011-2012 season and has still not decided how to rebuild one of the country's most popular teams.

An estimated 100 000 people paid their last respects to the team at a memorial service at its home arena on Saturday that was also attended by Putin.

A service led by Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko was held earlier in the Minsk arena where Lokomotiv was due to have opened its season.

Fans in several European countries including Slovakia and the Czech Republic have also gathered in public squares to commemorate local players who died in the crash.

California: Residents say low flying plane caused power outage near Balboa Park and Mission Hills

Posted: Sep 11, 2011 3:08 PM EDT 
Updated: Sep 11, 2011 7:57 PM EDT

SAN CLEMENTE (CNS) - A part of southern Orange County was left without electricity Sunday, but it was not clear if problems at San Diego Gas & Electric Co. facilities were related to last week's massive blackout, or this weekend's thunderstorms.

At midday, 228 accounts were without power in SDGE's Talega area, in San Clemente. The power went out at 8:50 a.m. and was expected to return at 12:30 p.m., according to an automated SDG&E web site.

A second, possibly-unrelated outage in the Old Town and Mission Hills sections of San Diego left another 40 accounts there without power. That outage occurred at 6:27 a.m., and power was expected to return at 3 p.m.

No SDGE spokesperson was available Sunday to explain the outages, which came three days after SDG&E customers in Orange County were blacked out in a region-wide cascading series of disconnects, triggered by a malfunction or mistake in a switchyard at Yuma, Ariz. Scattered thunderstorms were in the San Clemente area on Saturday, as well.

Wind plays havoc with pilots' plans

Kerri Burns-Taylor | 12th September 2011

SATURDAY'S choppy weather put a dampener on the Wings Over Warwick event on Saturday, with a number of pilots unable to make the rough and bumpy trip to the Massie Aerodrome.

However, local pilots braved the strong, icy winds that descended upon the region at the weekend, much to the pleasure of guests who took to the tarmac to admire the machines.

Queensland Recreational Aircraft Association (QRAA) president Kelvin Hutchinson said the strong winds over the range had made it dangerous for planes to travel, forcing numbers down.

"There are definitely fewer people here than we would normally have," he said.

"It's unfortunate that we have had this weather.

"We usually have a lot of people come from the coast, Archerfield, Ballina and Caboolture."

Phil Wagner has been involved in the event since it began in 2001 and said he was disappointed to see such miserable weather.

"The weather is not conducive to flying and it's a shame because we have had such good weather in other years," he said.

Mr Wagner said a number of aircraft were expected to attend the event in the afternoon, including Boomerang fighter aircraft and radials, which he said were huge crowd pleasers.

"(Radials) are the V8s and Harley Davidsons of the aeroplane world," he said.

But it wasn't just big, shiny planes on display at the weekend.

A number of people exhibited impressive historic cars, and the Ulysses motorbike club also made an appearance.

Group member Bill Doran said the club felt it was important to support fellow local groups, and even set up a fundraiser on the day.

Visitors were able to vote for their favourite bike and a show and shine also took place, with all funds raised going towards the Flying Doctors.

Ultralight plane crashes: Bolingbrook's Clow International Airport (1C5), Bolingbrook, Illinois

BOLINGBROOK — A pilot walked away unharmed after crash landing in a bean field Saturday.

Police Lt. Mike Rompa said it was 4:24 p.m. when the pilot, who had just taken off from nearby Clow International Airport, began having problems.

“He heard funny noises and was going to land on Essington Road, but decided to put the small ultralight plane down in a bean field at Essington and 119th Street,” Rompa said.

Rompa said the pilot was fine and the plane would be towed from the field.

Air India may go for younger cabin crew to lure flyers

In a desperate bid to woo paying passengers, Air India is thinking of imposing an age limit of 40 or 45 for cabin crew.

Saurabh Sinha, TNN | Sep 12, 2011, 04.31AM IST

NEW DELHI: Flight attendants on Air India could soon stop reminding you of the elderly and portly headmistress who rarely ever smiled at you in school. And they could be more nattily dressed too.

In a desperate bid to woo paying passengers, the airline is thinking of imposing an age limit of 40 or 45 for cabin crew. At present, they can fly till they turn 58.

During the ongoing brainstorming sessions to improve aircraft occupancies, two factors emerged as requiring improvement - on-time performance and overall passenger experience at airports and inside aircraft.

Focusing on in-flight experience, an official said, "About 1,000 flight attendants in the age group of 20-27 have been hired recently. Once they are trained, there can be a correct mix of youth and experience." If the age limit proposal is accepted, those above the cut-off age could be put on ground jobs like most private airlines do.

Also, the current red-and-black sari that flight attendants wear was found to be a sore point with passengers. Even airhostesses haven't found it comfortable, especially in summer. "National Institute of Fashion Technology, Delhi, is being asked to design a more aesthetic uniform for the crew," the official said.

But airline employees wonder if AI hopes to make them smile just with a new dress. "We are not getting our salaries. This month no payment has come so far," said a cabin crew member.

Air India may be brainstorming about providing a more pleasant in-flight experience for its customers by getting a younger cabin crew and a different set of uniform, but flight attendants say it is difficult for them to smile at their guests when their minds are clouded by various problems like unpaid salaries.

"In August we got some money only because the Prime Minister was quizzed on the issue in Parliament. How can employees smile if the thought of unpaid rents, bills, EMIs and an uncertain future dominates their mindscape? Sometimes even passengers ask us out of curiosity how are we managing and we just shrug our shoulders," said a flight attendant.

The management says it is aware of this issue. "The 2-3 month credit period which we are getting from oil companies will free up some cash for us to pay salaries. But we need to improve revenue to generate cash and for that we need to get back in good book of passengers. It is a fight for survival," said a senior official.

On OTP side, the airline is aiming at over 90% flights operating on time. AI's new CMD Rohit Nandan is learnt to have spent several hours on aircraft maintenance which have suffered in past few cashless months. He has released some money for this purpose to reduce the number of grounded planes. The management knows that unless there are some solid operational improvements, getting more money from the government could be tough as the CAG has warned against doing so without.

How can employees smile if the thought of unpaid rents, bills, EMIs and an uncertain future dominates their mindscape?

Ryanair Chief executive Michael O’Leary tells Shannon Airport it has 'priced itself out of existence'

The Irish Times - Monday, September 12, 2011

RYANAIR CHIEF executive Michael O’Leary has claimed that Shannon Airport “has priced itself out of existence” in a letter to Clare County Council.

The claim met with an angry response from the Shannon Airport Authority, which described the letter as “self-serving and having no basis in fact”.

In the letter, Mr O’Leary states that traffic at Shannon “has continued to implode” as a result of cost increases imposed by the Dublin Airport Authority and “will fall below 1.5 million in 2011”.

In a table contained in the letter, Mr O’Leary estimates that traffic out of Shannon this year will be 1.4 million – almost half its 2007 peak of 3.6 million.

In the letter, Mr O’Leary states: “Ryanair has consistently stated that it can and will deliver rapid traffic growth at the main Irish airports”.

He writes: “Sadly, the imposition by the last government of a €10 travel tax in April 2009 destroyed our low cost base in Shannon and at a stroke switched off thousands of our price sensitive inbound visitors”.

A spokesperson for the SAA said it was “ bizarre and ironic considering that Ryanair, in accusing the airport of over-pricing, has itself recently introduced a compulsory €2 each-way ‘improbability charge’ for all passengers.

“Ryanair’s so-called ‘estimate’ for traffic at Shannon is false and bears no relation to the true expected position at the airport for 2011. Passenger charges at Shannon increased by €1.58 per passenger in late 2010. This was the first adjustment in six years.”

The letter by Mr O’Leary to the council arose from the local authority passing a motion calling on Ryanair to deliver on its commitment to increase passenger traffic at Shannon following the abolition of the €10 air travel tax.

Mr O’Leary described the motion as “inaccurate in fact and absurd”.

Nigerian registered airlines must join International Air Transport Association - Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Adaeze Oduah

On September 12, 2011 · 

It is now mandatory for all Nigerian registered airlines to join the clearing house of the International Air Transport Association(IATA).

The Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Adaeze Oduah has directed while briefing journalists in Abuja in commemoration of the 100 days of the President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s administration.

This directive, She explained was aimed at sanitizing the air transport business and ensure transparency in all their financial transactions coupled with ensuring seamless interlining of travelers with world renowned carriers.

According to her, in charting a new vision for the industry, the Ministry has developed initiatives to enhance growth in the aviation industry by:” Mandating all airlines to join IATA platform in the revenue collection process and enable inter-airline ticket endorsement.

Airline members of IATA enjoy the support of an internationally renowned organization that represents leads and serves one of the most dynamic industries in the world.

From 57 founding members in 1945, IATA now represents some 238 airlines in over 115 countries from around the globe. Carrying 93% of the world’s international scheduled traffic, IATA members include the world’s leading passenger and cargo airlines.

She further noted that IATA membership is open to airlines operating both scheduled and non-scheduled services that covers two categories ranging from active membership and associate membership.

Mrs. Oduah noted that active membership are for airlines operating either international services or international and domestic services while that of associate membership are for airlines for airlines operating domestic services only adding that the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) is a pre-requisite of IATA membership.

To assist the airlines in the area of high operational cost, the Minister said the Ministry has intervened by setting up a committee to look into the scarcity of aviation fuel and how it could be procured at affordable price to lower the cost of operations and the air fares being charged.

On the issue of Concessions entered into by the Ministry/Agencies of Government with some companies, Princess Oduah said the Ministry was set to review all of them in favour of the people and Government of Nigeria, adding that,:” You enter into concession where you do not have the skilled manpower so that it can be beneficial to you.

But in the case of concession entered into with this companies the reverse is the case. Nigerian government must benefit from the concessions and improve the revenue base”

She said the Ministry in conjunction with various were pursuing the redemption of huge debts owed by airlines and that henceforth there would be no room for accumulation of debts with tha introduction of electronic system of payment.

She further disclosed that the recertification of pilots, engineers and Aircraft Maintenance Organizations (AMO) was being embarked upon in line with standard aviation procedures so as to improve on safety.

Aircraft flies with 'backlog' passengers, new ones suffer

TNN | Sep 12, 2011, 04.27AM IST

LUCKNOW: Call it a chain of errors. Even as an aircraft arrived at Lucknow airport from Jeddah to take the 270-odd passengers who were stranded after the Saudi Arabian Airlines aircraft developed a snag in its engine on Saturday, a fresh batch of another 280 passengers arrived on Sunday. Not surprisingly, the new comers had to be taken to a hotel.

According to reports, the aircraft SV-879 arrived on Sunday afternoon to ferry away the Jeddah-bound passengers. But peculiar situation arose when another batch of 280 passengers arrived at Amausi airport on their scheduled journey day only to be told about the backlog.

Surprised, some of the passengers entered into a heated argument with the airlines officials.

The passengers were later made to stay at hotels in Sarojininagar. Airlines officials maintained that most of the passengers were communicated about the problem.

The Airport Authorities of India (AAI) officials said that they have asked the Saudi Arabian Airlines to clear the backlog as soon as possible so that flight operations are not affected and no administrative problems arise. The problem will ease out from Monday as there will be no flight and so no more passengers will arrive.

Meanwhile, a dozen-odd passengers entered into a heated argument with the airport authorities after they were stopped from boarding the Jeddah-bound aircraft by the immigration officials as their visa had expired.

Raw Video: Bells Toll for Flight 93 Victims

Sep 11, 2011 by Associated Press

Nearly 5,000 people listened as the names of the passengers and crew who were killed when United flight 93 crashed into a field in Pennsylvania were read aloud while bells tolled. (Sept. 11)

Aero Turbines rekindles maintenance repair and overhaul interest

Shishir Arya, TNN | Sep 12, 2011, 04.04AM IST

NAGPUR: Aero Turbines India Ltd, which had earlier planned to set up a maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO) depot at the Mihan-special economic zone (SEZ) but had put the venture on hold, now appears ready to go-ahead with the project.

The company had earlier tied up with Duke Equity and funds were supposed to be sourced from the US. The partnership, however, did not work out as funds could not be arranged on account of 2008 recession. This left Aero Turbines looking for new allies in the venture.

It had obtained a letter of intent from Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC), the SEZ's developer, for allotment of land but had not gone ahead with formalities pending arrangement of finances. It obtained an in-principle approval from lenders last week for Rs 120 crore loan. The deal with the private equity financer is nearing finalization too. Hence, the company plans to get the land allotted. The company will be acquiring 36 acres in the SEZ.

"With a change in allies, the land will be acquired under a new name Aero Facility India Pvt Ltd. The new entity will be incorporated soon with Aero Turbines as the promoters," said Ajit Karnik the chairman of Aero Turbines. He mentioned in-principle approval of loan by bankers and an equity infusion of Rs 60 crore from a sovereign wealth fund but refused to divulge the names citing business interests. The lenders are a public sector bank and the sovereign fund is based in middle-east, was all that Karnik would say.

Karnik claimed the fund normally did not partner with a start-up venture but Aero Turbines has been an exception. It will exit after four years when the company will go public, he said.

"Although it may take another four to six weeks for the bankers' due diligence to be completed, the company will go-ahead with acquisition of land in a week. Since the company is confident about the funds' tie-up it will not wait until a formal approval is received. The construction work is expected to begin in a couple of months or so," said Karnik.

The venture would initially focus on airframe maintenance and later expand. The MRO is designed to handle five narrow bodied aircraft of Boeing 737 and Airbus 320 family but can also accommodate one wide-bodied plane at a time. If everything works out, this will be the second MRO in the SEZ to begin work. Boeing, which is setting up the facility for Air India, has already started the work. Max Aerospace, another aircraft maintenance company, has been allotted 15 acres. It has proposed to start work in a part of the land, added a source in the MADC.

Frontier flight situation may have been triggered by sex in plane's bathroom

METRO AIRPORT (WXYZ) - A security situation at Metro Airport has been cleared.

It began when a plane was taken to a remote inspection area after the flight crew called for police assistance.

The flight involved is Frontier Airlines flight 693 from Denver. The plane is an Airbus A 318 that departed Denver at 10:40 a.m. It landed at Metro at 4:22 p.m.

The ABC News National Security team is telling Action News that their sources say the flight was disrupted by two people have sex in one of the bathrooms. The FBI in Denver has released the following statement:

At approximately 3:15 PM EDT, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was notified of passengers allegedly behaving suspiciously onboard Frontier Airlines Flight 623 from Denver International Airport (DEN) to Detroit Metro Wayne County Airport (DTW). Out of an abundance of caution, NORAD scrambled F-16 jets to shadow the flight until it landed safely at DTW at approximately 3:30 PM EDT. Law enforcement met the flight, which was brought to a remote area of the airport. The plane was swept with negative findings and cleared at 5:15 PM ET.

A passenger sent pictures into the Action Newsroom showing passengers being taken off the plane and loaded onto buses.

Watch Videos:

According to officials, police a plane that landed Sunday at Detroit Metro Airport.Officials said the pilot of Frontier Airlines flight 623 from Denver to Detroit alerted the airport tower of an emergency on board.
IMAGES: Plane Met By Police At Detroit Metro The plane landed safely and was met by police. 

Three passengers who were making multiple trips to the bathroom were taken into custody once the plane landed.Passengers got off the plane and boarded buses. They were taken to a separate secure location where they were questioned.Police determined the situation was not a serious threat, but were investigating.

 Flight 623 left San Diego at 6:30 a.m. Sunday. It stopped over in Denver before finally landing in Detroit at 4:22 p.m.

METRO AIRPORT (WXYZ) - A security situation at Metro Airport has been cleared.

It began when a plane was taken to a remote inspection area after the flight crew called for police assistance.

The flight involved is Frontier Airlines flight 693 from Denver. The plane is an Airbus A 318 that departed Denver at 10:40 a.m. It landed at Metro at 4:22 p.m.

The ABC News National Security team is telling Action News that their sources say the flight was disrupted by two people have sex in one of the bathrooms. 

The FBI in Denver has released the following statement:

At approximately 3:15 PM EDT, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was notified of passengers allegedly behaving suspiciously onboard Frontier Airlines Flight 623 from Denver International Airport (DEN) to Detroit Metro Wayne County Airport (DTW). Out of an abundance of caution, NORAD scrambled F-16 jets to shadow the flight until it landed safely at DTW at approximately 3:30 PM EDT. Law enforcement met the flight, which was brought to a remote area of the airport. The plane was swept with negative findings and cleared at 5:15 PM ET.

A passenger sent pictures into the Action Newsroom showing passengers being taken off the plane and loaded onto buses.
Passengers got off the plane and boarded buses.

Fox 2 is following breaking news at Metro Airport. Three people are removed by agents after a disturbance on this Frontier Airlines plane.

Russian president Medvedev orders airline shutdown after crash

Published on Sep 12, 2011

MOSCOW (AFP) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Sunday ordered his government to shut down unreliable airlines after 43 people were killed in a chartered plane crash that wiped out a top hockey team.

The decision came as the nation mourned the latest in a string of deadly air accidents that earlier saw Mr Medvedev request the removal from operations of Russia's older Soviet-era jets.

A Kremlin spokesman said mr Medvedev instructed his government to draft measures by Nov 15 that would let the authorities 'discontinue the operations of air carriers incapable of ensuring flight safety'.

A separate set of proposals to be submitted for parliamentary approval in December would raise penalties for air safety violations and allow inspectors to ground dangerous planes without court orders.

NORAD: Military jets safely escort flight to New York City. Passengers cause security scare on American Airlines Flight 34 by behaving suspiciously in bathroom.

Three passengers on an American Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Kennedy Airport caused a scare by behaving suspiciously in a bathroom, sources said.

One source said they locked themselves in, another said they were going in and out of the restroom.

NORAD said fighter jets escorted the plane to JFK, where it landed safely just before 4:30 p.m.

Air Marshals were on board, law enforcement sources said.

American Airlines spokeswoman Andrea Huguely said the Boeing 767 was not in any danger.

"The captain and crew assessed the situation and they did not feel as though there was a security issue on board," she said.

"People have walked off the plane normally," she said.

There were at least two other major security incidents around the U.S. amid widespread jitters over a possible terror strike on the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

In Los Angeles, part of the city's Koreatown neighborhood was shut down Saturday night after a 62-year-old man planted a fake bomb on a bus, sheriff's officials said.

Frightened passengers were evacuated from the bus at around 6 p.m. after Eugenio Paredes came aboard carrying a shady-looking suitcase with exposed wires and began threatening the driver, cops said.

Metro trains and buses were diverted from the area for about four hours while police investigated the scene.
Paredes was arrested suspicion of making a terrorist threat and possession of a hoax device.

Earlier Saturday, a Southwest Airlines plane traveling from Albuquerque to Baltimore was forced to land in Nashville after the flight crew reported that a man was acting strangely.

The flight remained on the ground for about two hours, and a suspicious package was found near the rear bathroom, officials said.

FBI officials in Nashville told The Tennessean newspaper that the package turned out to be "non-explosive."

Flight attendants had become spooked after a man went to the bathroom twice, once while the plane was on the ground and once while in flight, Southwest officials said.

The unidentified flyer was detained and interviewed in Nashville and then later cleared to fly. He was not charged with a crime.

Meanwhile, the other 117 passengers were rescreened by security before boarding again.

Flight plan may backfire for Air India

Rory Jones
Sep 12, 2011 

Restricting the influence of Gulf airlines in India could prove counterproductive and damage the profitability of Air India, above.

The expansion of Gulf airlines into new territories in recent years has provoked protectionist responses from rival carriers worldwide, with the latest fault lines emerging in India.

But restricting the influence of Gulf airlines in India could damage the profitability of domestic airlines on the subcontinent, experts say.

India's national auditor last week called for Gulf carriers' services to the country to be reduced because they disadvantaged Air India, the country's ailing flag carrier.

But commentators say Indian airlines have much more to lose from such a drastic move and that Air India's lack of profitability is not a competition issue. "They're playing the blame game, there's very little substance to their critique," said Saj Ahmad, an analyst at FBE Aerospace in London. "Air India is no different to Emirates [Airline]. Both are state-supported, they both have reciprocal rights, one is prospering and one is not."

In its report to parliament last Thursday, the comptroller and auditor general (CAG) of India said the ministry of civil aviation had ignored "the interest of the Indian carriers including that of Air India" in allowing Middle East airlines to continually add flights to their Indian routes.

The report focused particularly on Emirates Airline as a cause of Air India's plight.

The dominance of Emirates Airline has been the subject of a number of complaints from airlines and countries in the past year, including a row with Air Canada that evolved into a diplomatic row between the UAE and Canada.

Globally, the consensus remains that the liberalisation of airspace improves competitiveness and the growth of economies involved.

The Economic Impact of Air Service Liberalisation, a report conducted on behalf of organisations such as Airports Council International, World Tourism and Travel Council and the International Air Transport Association, found that traffic growth after the liberalisation of air services agreements between countries typically averaged 12 to 35 per cent. Tim Clark, the president of Emirates Airline, makes the carrier's policy on liberalisation clear on its website.

"More and more countries are recognising that liberal air access has a multiplier effect on their economics and protection of their national carriers no longer stacks up in the cost-benefit equation or serves their national interest," he said.

Mr Ahmad believes Indian carriers such as Air India and IndiGo, which began services to the UAE only this month, would be "killed" by the move to restrict Gulf carriers, because the UAE would also apply similar restrictions.

"The UAE would hit back straight away," he said.

"The competitive landscape has changed and Air India thinks it can survive without structural change itself."

Vayalar Ravi, India's civil aviation minister, announced recently that Air India earns 360 million rupees (Dh28.29m) a day from its operations but spends 570m rupees daily.

The company reported a net loss of 60 billion rupees in the fiscal year that ended on March 31, struggling under a debt burden of 400bn rupees.

"It is a widely known fact that Indians do not love or opt for their national carrier," The Times of India declared in an editorial comment at the weekend.

"The fact that the CAG report has sidelined the low quality of services provided by [Air India] to its passengers including the lack of a passenger-friendly attitude, has generated widespread dissatisfaction from the general public," it said.

India is the ninth-largest and fastest-growing aviation market in the world, with passenger numbers expected to grow from 52 million last year to 180 million by 2020.

Kapil Kaul, the chief executive for the South Asian region at the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation, a research group based in New Delhi, told The National that Air India's problems were due to mismanagement.

"Fundamentally, the airline has reached a dead end," he said.

Action sought against Patel for Air India mess

TNN | Sep 12, 2011, 02.52AM IST

NAGPUR: The Centre for Protection of Rights (CPR) has urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to sack former civil aviation minister Praful Patel, who now holds heavy industries portfolio, from the Union cabinet. A similar demand has been raised by Peasants and Workers' Party after the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report squarely blamed the minister for pushing national carrier to bankruptcy during his seven year tenure in the ministry.

In a letter faxed to the prime minister on Friday, Gopal Kondawar, founder president of CPR, has urged to consider his complaint dated April 24 asking the PMO to order a CBI inquiry against Patel. "Our stand has only been vindicated by the CAG report tabled in Parliament on the concluding day of the monsoon session on Thursday. We strongly believe there was total mismanagement of the aviation ministry during Patel's tenure. Today Air India is finding it difficult to even pay salaries to staff. The CAG report has only confirmed it," said Kondawar.

"The CAG has raised serious doubts over Patels' decision of merging Indian Airlines and Air India. Members of parliament have also demanded a white paper and a JPC probe into the affairs of Air India whose accumulated losses had mounted to over Rs 10,000 crore in 2008-09," said Kondawar in his letter.

In a scathing indictment of UPA government, Patel and the civil aviation ministry, the CAG report had held that unholy haste was displayed and a large number of aircraft were purchased to cripple Air India. It also pulled up government for opening up the aviation sector too fast. The CAG raised questions on the decision to acquire 111 planes by Air India through debt and said it was "a recipe for disaster" and should have raised alarms in the government.

Terming the move for getting of a "large number" of planes as "risky", the CAG said the aircraft acquisition had "contributed predominantly" to the airline's massive debt liability of Rs 38,423 crore as on March 31 last year. The matter is fit for CBI probe and sacking of Patel from the Union cabinet, Kondawar said.

The CAG report called the merger of two erstwhile state-run carriers- Air India and Indian Airlines- as "ill-timed" and said that "the financial case for the merger was not adequately validated." Besides fleet acquisition, merger, huge debt burden, delay in joining the global airline grouping Star Alliance and its financial and operational performance were also blamed for the airlines' slide under Patel's tenure.

On Friday, city MP Vilas Muttemwar blamed Patel for failure of Mihan-SEZ project in Nagpur to take off. "Had Patel transferred the airport to state-controlled MADC well in time before the onset of global slowdown (in 2007), the project would have flourished. But he kept dilly-dallying for years and the transfer was effected when it was too late," said Muttemwar.

The once high flying NCP leader was conspicuous by his absence at the party's preparatory meeting for the local bodies' election held in city on Saturday. Meanwhile, Peasants and Workers' Party also demanded resignation of Patel. PWP which is part of the Republican, Left, Socialist grouping RDLF, has said that it would meet Anna Hazare and urge him to take up the issue of Patel's role in aviation ministry.

Amphibious aircraft makes emergency landing on Lake Quassapaug, Connecticut.

Updated: Sunday, 11 Sep 2011, 2:56 PM EDT
Published : Sunday, 11 Sep 2011, 2:56 PM EDT

Middlebury, Conn. (WTNH) - An amphibious plane made an emergency landing in Lake Quassapaug.

The plane landed around 7:47am on Sunday morning.

The aircraft, known as a Sea Plane, had mechanical difficulty with one of it's landing gears. The problem was caused by a hydraulic line issue.

The pilot was in touch with Oxford Airport and safely landed the plane on the lake. The problem was repaired, and the plane was able to take off within an hour of landing.

Middlebury Police and the FAA do not consider this a crash and just consider this incident just an emergency landing.

The pilot's name is not known at this time.

No One Hurt When Plane Crashes At Muskegon County Airport (KMKG), Michigan.

Carl Gustin FOX 17
11:14 a.m. EDT, September 11, 2011

MUSKEGON— Nobody was injured in a minor plane crash at the Muskegon County Airport on Sunday morning.

The incident involved a small private plane and occurred at about 10 a.m. at the airport, located at 99 Sinclair Drive in Muskegon. There were no injuries and the aircraft was towed back to a hangar.

The Norton Shores Fire Department was called to the scene.

No further details were available.

Air India: No Money to pay for the 27 Boeing 787s ordered - Civil Aviation Minister Vayalar Ravi.

by ndtv on Sep 10, 2011

After the CAG report criticizes Air India's 'excessive acquisitions', Civil Aviation Minister Vayalar Ravi tells NDTV the airline has no money to pay for the 27 Boeing 787s that it has ordered.

New Airbus A320 at Nadi International Airport heralds new era for Solomon Airlines.


Solomon Airlines yesterday proudly flew its new Airbus A320 into Nadi International Airport on a proving flight. It came with prospects the airline could soon begin flights linking the four Melanesian Spearhead Group nations using the Airbus.

The plane spent two and a half hours at Nadi during the Honiara-Nadi-Port Vila (Vanuatu)-Honiara flight. The previous day it had operated a similar flight Honiara-Port Moresby-Honiara.

Guests on the Nadi flight – including three Solomon Islands Government ministers and former prime minister Dr Derek Sikua – attended a reception while at Nadi. This was organised by Solomon Airlines Fiji manager Raj Prasad at the Trans International Hotel.

Solomon Airlines chief executive officer Captain Ron Sumsum was also aboard the flight in a dual role, CEO and as one of a team of pilots. He welcomed Fiji guests at the reception.

Captain Sumsum is a highly experienced jet airliner pilot. Others in the flight crew on yesterday’s flight included former Air Pacific and Air Vanuatu jet captains.

Tomorrow Solomon Airlines begins four return services a week Honiara-Brisbane-Honiara using its own aircraft instead of the chartered aircraft it used in recent years.

It follows certification from Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority after an intensive approval process to allow it to operate the Airbus into Australian airports.

Solomon Airlines is now looking at flights from Honiara to Nadi, Port Vila and Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea) as well. Talks are expected to be held with Air Pacific, with which it currently has a code-share partnership, with seats on Air Pacific’s Nadi-Port Vila-Honiara flight.

Solomon Airlines General Manager Operations and Commercial Services Gus Kraus said: “It is a very exciting time for us. We have been waiting for so long to have ownership over an Airbus, and we are confident that this will be a success for us”

Mr Kraus said Solomon Airlines was willing to work with Air Pacific in helping develop air services in the Melanesian Spearhead Group.

He recalled close co-operation between the airlines in the past.

He also recalled how in the past Solomon Airlines had operated its own plane on a flight linking Auckland-Nadi-Honiara-Port Moresby.

Mr Kraus said: “It is fantastic knowing that we have approval to fly to Australia and Papua New Guinea. We are also trying out Fiji, and if all goes as planned then we will be flying to Fiji.

“We’re still studying the market and we hope to develop something in the end - a good friendship between us and Air Pacific. The time is right.”

Mr Kraus said the A320 carries 16 passengers in business class and 120 passengers in economy.

Solomon Airlines is also expanding its domestic fleet. It is planning to bring in its own Dash 8-100 turboprop to replace one it currently charters for its main daily domestic services. It already has its own Twin Otter and Britten Norman Islander planes.

Royal Canadian Air Force can't train enough pilots: report. Air force enticing ex-members to re-enlist to fill the gap.

By David Pugliese, Ottawa Citizen September 11, 2011

The air force is not training enough pilots to meet its demands while at the same time it faces a wave of retirements as well as the recruiting of skilled staff by airlines.

Lt.-Gen. André Deschamps, the head of the air force, has told Vice Admiral Bruce Donaldson, the vice chief of the defence staff, that he cannot produce the 125 new pilots he needs each year, according to documents leaked to the Citizen.

To fill part of the gap, the air force is asking its retired pilots to rejoin the service. So far this year, a dozen retirees have re-enlisted.

Deschamps told Donaldson he expects to reach his target of 125 pilot graduates in the next fiscal year, ending in the spring of 2013.

But defence insiders are questioning whether that will happen and point out that the problem with producing enough trained pilots has been going on for years.

"The air force acknowledges the need for more trained pilots and is working hard to invest in the appropriate resources to meet its personnel requirements," spokeswoman Maj. Sonia Dumouchel Connock stated in an e-mail.

She noted that the air force intends to increase pilot production to meet present and future requirements for positions across the Canadian Forces. At the same time, the air force is trying to entice retirees to return to the service.

Dumouchel Connock pointed out that there have been significant enhancements to the Canadian Forces pay and benefits package over the past few years, adding that some former service members miss the excitement and opportunities of military life.

"The principal challenge with personnel attrition is the fact that the air force is losing its cohort of Baby Boomers who are reaching the end of their career," she explained. "It is a regular occurrence for civilian industry to recruit members of the Canadian Forces who are extremely well trained and have received a wide variety of experiences to support their business ventures."

Air Canada has recently embarked on a hiring spree to replenish the ranks of its pilots. The airline estimates that between 2009 and 2013 about 20 per cent of its 3,000 pilots will retire.

So far this year it has hired 48 new pilots.

But defence insiders point out that the main problem lies with the air force's training system. Young pilots have to wait lengthy periods before they can get training time on aircraft and some become discouraged, eventually leaving the military.

Dumouchel Connock said the air force is looking to improve its training by tailoring instruction to operational needs and increasing the use of simulators.

In addition, in the coming months the air force will alter its pilot selection methods to identify those candidates most likely to succeed in training.

"In other words, a better baseline candidate is more likely to pass pilot training and is more likely to be a better pilot in the end," noted Dumouchel Connock. "This will allow us to better select the right people for the organization."

The air force has also had difficulties attracting personnel to other aviation jobs.

Earlier this year, the Citizen reported that the service was launching a drive to find more flight engineers for search-and-rescue helicopters as it struggled to fill those ranks decimated by retirements and recruitment of highly trained staff by private firms.

The exodus of flight engineers has been building over the last several years, with a 2010 air force report warning that such personnel levels were "dangerously low."

That situation could become even worse as over 60 per cent of the air force's flight engineers are now in a position to retire with pensions, air force officers have warned.

Flight engineers play a critical role on the helicopters, operating the rescue hoist, helping guide the aircraft as it maneuvers in confined areas, and performing the job of an in-flight mechanic.

A Canadian Forces "Tiger Team" report in April 2010 highlighted the problems, noting there were only 12 operational flight engineers available to support the search and rescue mandate for the main search and rescue (SAR) units.

"The next five years, and the next twelve months particularly, will prove exceptionally difficult if nothing is done to preserve our core capability to deliver SAR services to the Canadian public," the team warned. "Recruiting has been deficient and must be improved," it added.

Kenya: Aviation regulator triples pay to curb poaching of pilots

The compensation for pilots has nearly doubled over the past three years, industry analysts and executives say, putting pressure on margins as airlines spend millions of shillings yearly on training.

Posted Sunday, September 11 2011 at 21:01

The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority has tripled salaries for pilots and aircraft engineers to stem the poaching of its staff by private airlines in an effort to boost the country’s air safety record.

The authority has been losing staff to private carriers racing to employ more pilots and engineers to meet their expansion plans amid a shortage of this critical staff, which has sparked a rally in salaries.

Now, the authority has sought exemption from Treasury to break its pay scale and place pilots in the private sector on retainer for short-term contracts to strengthen its regulatory capacity in a market experiencing a boom.

This has seen KCAA raises pilots salaries three- fold to between Sh200, 000 and Sh500,000 per month depending on experience from a range of Sh120,000 and Sh170, 000.

It is in the process of tapping 40 more pilots and engineers from the private sector for short-term assignments, says the Transport ministry.

“We want to get some experts and put them on retainer and we can then call on them to inspect aircraft from other airlines.

They will be supplementing the KCAA team during the inspections,” said Mr Mutia Mwandikwa, the authority’s spokesperson.

“We have restructured our pay to see if we can also compete with other airports and airlines,” he added.

The authority has been facing a shortage of inspectors, especially in flight operations and airworthiness, who are normally pilots and aircraft engineers, putting the country’s air safety records at risk.

This has been worsened by increased demand for this segment of staff by private airlines both within and outside Kenya’s boarders on better pay.

“We have about 37 professionals who have left and who have not been replaced because of this competition,” Mr Simon Ogari, an assistant minister in the Transport ministry told Parliament recently.

“The shortage is because of lack of these people worldwide.

So, we are trying to add more funds to the KCAA, train as much as possible and hire from airlines like other countries are doing.”

Already, KCAA is on course to increase charges including annual inspection fee, safety charge on tickets and pilots’ licence fee by between 100 and 400 per cent to boost its revenues and reduce its reliance on the government.

Suspicious Device Shuts Terminal Down At Kansas City International Airport, 1 Taken Into Custody For Questioning.

POSTED: 11:40 am CDT September 11, 2011
UPDATED: 1:25 pm CDT September 11, 2011

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Terminal B at Kansas City International Airport was closed Sunday after a suspicious device was detected at a security checkpoint.

Airport spokesman Joe McBride said the device was detected at a checkpoint at Southwest Airlines. The road at Terminal B was closed.

As of 1:15 p.m., part of Terminal B remained closed so authorities could investigate.

"At approximately 9:30 a.m. CDT, security personnel at Kansas City International Airport (MCI) discovered a suspicious item located in carry-on baggage at the Southwest Airlines checkpoint. Out of an abundance of caution, the checkpoint was closed and the surrounding area was evacuated. Local law enforcement and EOD are on the scene," according to a Transportation Security Administration statement.

"A customer was proceeding through security checkpoint. A TSA representative asked to open the customer’s carry on bag. The customer refused and the customer was taken for further questioning," said Chris Mainz of Southwest Airlines.

Information from KCI Airport's Twitter account said that Delta and Southwest flights were operating from Terminal B, but with some delays. Terminals A and C are still operating

Efforts to reach plane crash site in West Paupa in Indonesia put off

September 11, 2011 9:47PM

BAD weather has again hampered efforts by Indonesian authorities to reach two pilots feared killed in a light plane crash in remote jungle in Papua province.

But there was relief today when a search-and-rescue team that tried to reach the crash site yesterday finally arrived safely at Wamena in Papua, almost 24 hours after going missing.

A spokesman for the Indonesian transport ministry said efforts to reach the crashed plane would now be postponed until Monday.

The two pilots - identified as David Cootes, 29, from Queensland, and Slovakian Tomas Munk - were flying a turbo-prop single-engine aircraft when it crashed in poor weather midway through a one-hour flight from Wamena.

Authorities say they hold little hope for the pair after a search-and-rescue team that spotted wreckage from the air yesterday reported the aircraft was extensively damage.

The Cessna 208-B Caravan, owned by Susi Air, was carrying four drums of diesel fuel and other cargo when it went down en route to the village of Kenyam.

There had also been fears for five soldiers aboard a military helicopter dispatched to the crash site yesterday after contact was lost with the group for almost 24 hours.

The Bell 412 helicopter went missing about 20 minutes after it left the mining town of Timika yesterday afternoon.

It finally arrived in Wamena at about 2.30pm local time on Sunday.

Authorities said the bad weather had affected the helicopter's communications equipment.

Indonesia has a poor aviation safety record, while bad weather in Papua has been blamed for several air accidents in recent years.

International Air Transport Association's Tony Tyler: The impact of 9/11 on aviation

On September 11, 2001 anyone associated with aviation knew that the industry would never be the same. What we did not know was how resilient the industry would be in the aftermath of the tragedy or the direction in which it would change.

A decade after the event, there can be no doubt about aviation’s resilience. By 2004 revenues and traffic surpassed 2000 levels. And by 2006 aviation had returned to profitability—albeit with a weak 1.1% margin. In the interim airlines dealt with SARS, additional terrorist attempts, wars, and rising oil prices.

It took three years to recover the $22 billion revenue drop (6%) between 2000 and 2001. When the global financial crisis struck in 2008, 2009 revenues fell by 14% ($82 billion) to $482 billion. This was largely recovered in the following year when industry revenues rose to $554 billion and airlines posted an $18 billion profit. Clearly the restructuring of the decade has left airlines leaner and more resilient in the face of crisis.

Over the decade, the dimensions of global aviation have also changed. IATA expects 2011 airline revenues of $598 billion—nearly twice the $307 billion of 2001. Airlines are also expected to carry 2.8 billion passengers and 48 million tonnes of cargo. That’s a billion more people flying and 16 million more tonnes of cargo than in 2001.

While it is difficult to isolate the impact of the events of 2001, we can say that they were a part of a chain of events that cost the industry three years of growth. The 2008 global financial crisis cost another two years of growth.

The legacy of 9.11 is felt most in airport security. Aviation is more secure today than in 2001. But this has come at a great price in terms of passenger convenience and industry costs.

As we move forward, there are five major lessons in security over the last decade:

• Governments must coordinate the development and deployment of security measures to ensure harmonised global standards and eliminate overlapping and redundant requirements among nations.

• Governments are obliged to foot the bill for security threats which are national challenges in the same manner as they would do in any other sector. Airlines and their passengers currently pay a security bill that had ballooned to $7.4 billion by 2010.

• Passengers should and do play an important role in helping keep air travel safe. Vigilance and cooperation with authorities are crucial.

• Governments need to embrace a risk-based approach to security screening.

• We must accept that there is no such thing as 100% risk-free security. Governments must focus on the probable and not all that is possible and avoid policies driven by knee-jerk reactions.

A good place to start is by removing the hassle that comes between check-in and boarding at many airports. The building blocks to do a better job exist. The vision for IATA’s Checkpoint of the Future is for passengers to be able to get from curb to gate in a seamless and convenient process. For this, we need a risk-based approach to security powered by the enormous amount of data that we can and do collect on travelers. Combined with this will be technology that will allow most passengers to simply stroll through a checkpoint that can detect metal and harmful substances without stopping, stripping or unpacking.

Parts of this vision could be realised with technology that exists today. Others are in development with a three to seven year horizon. The important thing is to keep focused on evolving the 40-year-old concept of today’s airport checkpoint into one that is more convenient, more effective and that can handle the ever increasing volume of people who want and need to fly.

Finally, as we commemorate the tragedy of 9.11, the thoughts and prayers of the industry are with the families of the victims—passengers, crew and bystanders. Our best tribute to their memories is a resilient aviation industry. Aviation is a force for good and an instrument of peace that promotes trade, spreads wealth and facilitates understanding among the peoples and cultures of our world.