Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Purdue aviation program keeps wary eye on FAA rule

Posted at: 09/13/2011 10:57 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) - Federal rules that will require more flight hours to become an airline pilot are raising concerns among collegiate flight schools, whose officials worry that new requirements could force graduates to spend thousands of dollars to increase their airtime.

The Journal & Courier reports that pilots graduating from Purdue University's Department of Aviation Technology usually have accumulated about 300 hours of flight time. But a law passed by Congress last year in response to the crash of a plane in Buffalo, N.Y., could require a minimum of 1,500 hours.

"The question being asked now is, how do you get from 300 hours to 1,500 hours?" said Mike Suckow assistant department head for academic programs in Purdue University's Department of Aviation Technology.

The law, which takes effect in August 2013, stems from the February 2009 crash of Colgan Air Flight 3407 near Buffalo, N.Y. All 49 people on board and one person on the ground died in the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board said both pilots were probably fatigued but that wasn't a direct cause of the crash.

Some aviation groups have requested that the Federal Aviation Administration consider decreasing required hours for pilots who are trained at programs like Purdue's Professional Flight Technology.

Suckow noted that Purdue students have the rare ability to graduate with a jet flight rating as part of their undergraduate degree, and he contends Purdue's training should be sufficient.

"If we offer a program that offers the skill with the certified training, then why not?" he said.

Aviation masters student Greg Taylor, who logged about 550 hours during four years as a Purdue undergraduate and part-time flight instructor, said he agrees with the 1,500-hour rule for pilots who have never been through military or collegiate training.

"I think there absolutely should be an exception for collegiate programs," he said. "But if they wanted to make the rule for 1,500 I don't think it is bad. You need to be 100 percent confident of when you are flying people around."

He said he is worried the FAA rule won't specify what type of flight is required to reach 1,500 hours.

"Is it going to help if you get to 1,500 by flying banners around?," he said. "If the rule happens, some of my friends won't be able to get jobs right out of graduation."

http://www.whec.com

Reno air races: 6 jets grounded and F-22 Raptor can't fly

9:46 PM, Sep. 13, 2011

Six jets scheduled to be racing in the 2011 National Championship Air Races won’t be flying because of safety concerns, and the military F-22 Raptor fighter — earlier billed as one of the stars of the show — also won’t be roaring over Stead this week.

The Air Force in May grounded its F-22 Raptors, the world’s most sophisticated stealth fighter planes, because of problems with its oxygen system. The flight ban hasn’t been lifted. Instead, the Air Races will feature a demonstration of the Navy’s F-18 Super Hornet, a carrier-based fighter.

On Tuesday, Air Race officials grounded six of the 21 jets scheduled to race. The decision was made after consultations with officials of the Federal Aviation Administration. Phil Fogg Sr., a pilot, said safety concerns grounded the five Czech-made L-29 and one L-39 jet.

The concerns surrounded engine modifications to make the aircraft go faster. The jets race at speeds of up to 500 mph and are sometimes screaming by at just 50 feet off the ground.

“It came down to safety, the safety of the spectators and the safety of the pilots,” Fogg said. “It wasn’t an easy decision for anyone, but we had to err on the side of safety.”

The scratched planes include Viper, No. 77, piloted by Curt Brown, the winner of the 2010 jet class that reached 515 mph. Some pilots, including Heather Pepper, the pilot of Raju Grace, will race in substitute planes that haven’t had the engine modifications of the six grounded jets.

The six aircraft are expected to be back in 2012 after the safety concerns are addressed, race officials said in a news release.

“Safety is our foremost priority here at the National Championship Air Races,” Mike Houghton, president and CEO of the Reno Air Racing Association, said in a statement. “The Reno Air Racing Association along with Racing Jets, Inc. always work with the FAA to create the safest environment possible for our pilots, volunteers and fans.”

The racing jets are former military aircraft that can be modified to include different engines that conform to race and FAA rules. During a practice event this summer, a modified jet encountered problems, which led to a review by the FAA, officials said.

This week’s 48th Annual National Championship Air Races and Air Show in Reno is billed as the premier air racing event in the world. The races, today through Sunday at Reno Stead Airport, feature the Air Force Thunderbirds and other aviation shows and displays.

GROUNDED PLANES

Viper, No. 77; Suka, No. 10; Pip Squeak, No. 2; Screaming Eagle, No. 32; Blue Tones, No. 79; and Raju Grace, No. 21.

SUBSTITUTIONS
Heather Penney will pilot Raju II, No. 21; John Kokshoorn will be flying jet No. 32; and Mike Mangold will pilot No. 32. Curt Brown, Joe Gano and Cliff Magee won’t be competing in the jet class.

If you go
Tickets
» Online/prepurchase general admission ticket prices are $12-17 juniors ages 8-16; $10-24 adults older than 16; $5-25 seniors and military. Online/prepurchase reserved ticket prices are $11-$40 daily. (Prices are higher on Saturday-Sunday.)
» Tickets purchased at the gate during the races will be priced $2 higher.
» Children 7 years old or younger receive free general admission when accompanied by an adult.

Parking
» Shuttles are available from the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa, the Eldorado Hotel Casino, Harrah’s Reno, John Ascuaga’s Nugget, the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino, the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino and the Sands Regency Casino & Hotel.
» Shuttle prices are $11 one way, $19 round trip, $51 for a weekend pass (Thursday-Saturday or Friday-Sunday) and $68 for a season pass (Thursday-Sunday).

Details
www.airrace.org or 775-972-6663

http://www.rgj.com

Reno's National Championship Air Races could be faster than ever

There's fast, and there's 500 mph fast. With at least four planes capable of surpassing 500 mph this year at Reno's National Championship Air Races, Mike Houghton expects this year's race to be faster than ever.

"We've got probably the fastest racing class," said Houghton, Reno Air Racing Association president and CEO. "It's going to be very hot, fast racing."

Qualifying runs for the 48th year of the event start Tuesday morning at the Reno Stead Airfield. The first public performances begin Thursday.

"They love airplanes, they love racing," Houghton said.

In addition to the races around the pylons, air shows are performed throughout the day. This year, the U.S. Thunderbirds are set to give a full show on Thursday, with partial shows on Wednesday and Friday. Because of the Sept. 11, 2001, anniversary, the Thunderbirds are in big demand this week.

However, the Navy Leap Frog team of parachutists will perform as will the Patriot Jet Team, a civilian demonstration consisting of former Blue Angels and Thunderbirds. In addition, for the first time at a West Coast event, the Shockwave Jet Truck, a jet-powered Peterbuilt truck that runs at more than 300 mph, will race airplanes.

Because at the air races, it's all about speed.

Houghton, who is not a pilot, has gone 420 mph on the race course as a passenger.

"It's a thrill," he said. "It helped me understand the adrenalin rush."

An excited rookie pilot stopped Houghton after his inaugural run earlier this week. "'I just want to thank you guys for holding this race. I can't believe it's legal'," Houghton said, relating the conversation.

"Well," Houghton said. "It's only legal here."

If you go

» Online/prepurchase general admission ticket prices are $12-17 juniors ages 8-16; $10-24 adults over 16; $5-25 seniors and military. (Prices are higher on Saturday-Sunday.)
» Online/prepurchase reserved ticket prices are $11-$40 daily. (Prices are higher on Saturday-Sunday.)
» Children age 7 years or younger receive free general admission when accompanied by an adult.
» Tickets purchased at the gate during the races will be priced $2 higher.
Parking
» Shuttles are available from Atlantis Casino Resort and Spa; Eldorado Hotel & Casino; Harrah’s Hotel & Casino; John Ascuaga’s Nugget; Grand Sierra Resort; Peppermill Hotel Casino; and Sands Regency Casino Hotel.
» Shuttle prices are $11 one way, $19 round trip, $51 for a weekend pass (Thursday-Saturday or Friday-Sunday) and $68 for a season pass (Thursday-Sunday)
More information
Details: www.airrace.org or 775-972-6663

Tuesday and Wednesday
8 a.m.: Qualifying heats begin.
3-4 p.m. Wednesday: Thunderbirds practice

ThursdayHomage will be paid to 9/11 victims and survivors.
Heats begin at 8 a.m.
9:50 a.m.-10:05 a.m.: Eddie Andreini performs
10:55 a.m.-11:05 a.m.: David Martin performs
12:45 a.m.-1:30 p.m.: Thunderbirds Show (Remote)
3:15 a.m.-3:25 p.m.: Jim Peitz performs

Friday
Salute to military and armed forces, with veterans from World War II, Vietnam and the Gulf War.
Heats begin at 8 a.m.
9:50 a.m.-10:05 a.m.: Jim Peitz performs
10:55 a.m.-11:05 a.m.: Eddie Andreini performs
1:20 a.m.-2 p.m.: Patriot Jet Team performs
4:05 a.m.-4:15 p.m.: David Martin performs

SaturdaySalute to U.S. Navy flyers, marking the 100th anniversary of naval aviation.
Heats begin at 8 a.m.
9:50 a.m.-10:05 a.m.: Jim Peitz performs
10:50 a.m.-11:05 a.m.: Eddie Andreini performs
12:55 a.m.-1:20 p.m.: F/A-18E Hornet/Legacy Flight
2:10 p.m.-2:50 p.m. Patriot Jet Team performs

Sunday
Salute to past air race champions.
Heats begin at 8 a.m.
2:10 p.m.-2:50 p.m.: Patriot Jet Team performs

http://www.rgj.com

Ryanair cancels Dublin route and pulls out of Aberdeen. The low-cost Irish airline has pulled its service from Aberdeen Airport after failing to agree terms with BAA.


13 September 2011 14:59 GMT

Budget airline Ryanair has announced it will scrap its only Aberdeen to Dublin route next month after failing to reach an agreement with airport operator BAA.

The Irish firm said its last flight from Aberdeen would depart on October 28, citing an impasse with BAA over the cost of using the north-east airport.

Any passengers who have booked flights after that date are to receive full refunds.
Ryanair cancels Dublin route and pulls out of Aberdeen

Ryanair spokesman Stephen McNamara said: “Ryanair regrets the forced closure of its one remaining Aberdeen (Dublin) route, after the BAA refused an extension to our low cost deal from 29th October and failed to match the competitive cost deals which are available to Ryanair from other UK and European airports.

"Ryanair’s last Aberdeen - Dublin flight will depart on 28th October, and any passengers who are booked to travel after this date will receive a full refund.”

Aberdeen Airport Managing Director Derek Provan said customers would bear the brunt of the decision.

He said: "We have spent months in negotiation with Ryanair to investigate future leisure opportunities, however, they feel unable to consider these options. This is disappointing in the light of considerable investment in our infrastructure as we continue to try and grow our leisure routes.

"We have kept the door open to the airline to allow any future discussion if they so wish, however, we appreciate that at the end of the day it is our passengers who will feel the brunt of this decision. The route is served by other carriers and as such we hope they will not be too dramatically inconvenienced in the long term."

Brian Adam, MSP for Aberdeen Donside, also expressed his disappointment at the plans to withdraw the service.

Mr Adam said: "I am sorry to hear that Ryanair are going to withdraw from Aberdeen Airport.

“They provided a cheap alternative to visitors from the Irish Republic to visit the north-east of Scotland for events like the Walker Cup held at the weekend.

“I know that BAA Aberdeen were in discussion with Ryanair over the future of the route and it is unfortunate that they were not able to reach a compromise and find a way forward at this time."

U.S. Armed pilots say security needs strengthening



WFAA
Posted on September 12, 2011 at 10:58 PM

DALLAS - Ten years after the attacks on 9/11, the Federal Flight Deck Officers Association said gaps remain in aviation security and it's about to begin urging Congress again to correct them.

"We have been the quiet professionals," said Marc Flagg, president, FFDOA. "But now it's time to speak up and we need to fix this program, and we need Congress to act."

Much of the Federal Flight Deck Officer program remains shrouded in secrecy. Flagg said the types of weapons they carry and even the number of armed pilots cannot be made public, because that remains sensitive security information. Still, according to the FFDOA president, they're the fourth largest law enforcement organization in the country after the FBI.

Hundreds of airline pilots from every major carrier, including Dallas-based Southwest Airlines and Fort Worth-based American Airlines, have voluntarily taken the training from Federal Air Marshals after Congress enacted the FFDO program in 2002.

There have never been enough Federal Air Marshals to protect every airliner, plus they're more expensive for taxpayers than Federal Flight Deck Officers.

"These men and women provide four times the coverage of the Federal Air Marshals at 1/25th of the cost," Flagg said.

Flagg is a cargo pilot who helped push the bill through Capitol Hill. His parents were passengers on American Airlines Flight 77 when terrorists flew it into the Pentagon.

Ten years later, Flagg said the TSA remains more reactive than proactive.

Flagg wants secondary barriers, which are wire fences, to protect cockpits so pilots can step out to the lavatory.

United Airlines continues to be the only carrier to install these protective gates to increase protection for the cockpit.

Flagg said his organization is also about to restart efforts in Congress to urge lawmakers to let pilots carry concealed weapons outside the cockpit.

But, Flagg said, Congress needs to invest more money.

"We had the original operation budget of about $25 million for the first year in 2003," Flagg said. "We've grown 100-fold and that budget has not increased."

A backlog of pilots who want training continues to grow, Flagg said. That's why he worries.

A decade after 9/11, security still isn't as strong as it could be and pilots who want to protect their plane and passengers await Congress to make the next move.

Watch Video: http://www.wfaa.com

Army gets first 6 craft in MD Helicopters deal. Copters built in Mesa will be used to train Afghan pilots

by Art Thomason - Sept. 14, 2011 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic

In a ceremony punctuated with patriotic themes and commitments to save American jobs, the Army on Tuesday took the keys to six helicopters to train Afghan pilots just days after they were manufactured in Mesa.

The helicopters are the first built by MD Helicopters Inc. as part of a defense contract to produce up to 54 aircraft at a cost of $186 million for training missions described as critical in development of the Afghan military.

The deal sweetens the rebound of a helicopter company that was in financial chaos six years ago and allows the Army to dramatically upgrade helicopter-pilot training with modern rotorcraft and technologies.

The Department of Defense was criticized by members of Congress last year after the Pentagon spent $648 million to buy or refurbish 31 Russian Mi-17 transport helicopters for the Afghan National Army Air Corps.

Pentagon officials said that the deal was struck because Afghan airmen had trained on the Russian helicopters for years and that the rotorcraft were designed for Afghanistan's desert and mountainous terrain.

But this year, the Defense Department bought American. MD Helicopters landed the contract and is delivering the rotorcraft to the Army 45 days ahead of schedule.

Army officials didn't lose sight of the unexpectedly early completion, praising it as an example of the enterprise and work ethic that will keep America strong.

"You are the underpinning and the enablers to train them (pilots)," Maj. Gen. Tim Crosby, the Army's program executive officer for aviation, told company employees, Army officials and others who gathered near the MD plant's production lines for the ceremony.

"Those soldiers over there don't know who you are, but they know there are workers in Mesa, Arizona, who are helping them. I thank you from the bottom of my heart and for every soldier over there."

MD owner Lynn Tilton, who rescued the company from near-liquidation when she and her $6 billion private-equity firm, Patriarch Partners, acquired it in 2005, said the helicopter production for the Army is more than business.

"It's love of country, but not love of money," she said.

"I can say today that I'm very proud. I get up each day to create jobs in America and to sustain jobs in America. . . . This is what it takes to rebuild America. We are manufacturers. Until we respect and honor those who stand together and turn the wrenches, we will not change."

Mesa Mayor Scott Smith said, "MD Helicopters has persisted through a very difficult environment. It's no small feat to beat a production deadline on a tight six-month schedule, and they're doing it right here in Mesa."

Tilton said the Army pact could lead to additional defense contracts for the company, which is located at Falcon Field Airport.

Crosby said that "there have been some inquiries" about eventually arming the helicopters with weapons.

Although MD is known for its line of commercial helicopters, it has manufactured helicopters for military use.

The company also is continuing discussions with the Boeing Co. as part of a contract to collaborate on production of the Boeing AH-6i light-attack/reconnaissance helicopter for the global market.

Boeing builds its Apache helicopters at facilities just northwest of Falcon Field.

Packed airplanes bring little comfort to fliers. Don't expect much elbow room on flights this fall. Planes have never been so full.

By SCOTT MAYEROWITZ

NEW YORK — Don't expect much elbow room on flights this fall.

Planes have never been so full. There was barely a spare seat this summer, and the next few months should be the same. To the list of things airlines have taken away — hot meals, blankets, headphones — you can add personal space.

That makes sense for airlines and the people who invest in them. Consolidation, partnerships and a push to eliminate unprofitable routes have caused airlines to adjust schedules to match demand and charge more.

But customer comfort is an afterthought. Not to mention space in the overhead bin.

"There are some days on some flights when there are simply no physical seats left," says Jim Reichart, vice president of marketing and sales for Frontier Airlines, which sold 91 percent of its seats in July and August.

Frontier and US Airways both had their best August for percentage of seats filled.

The figures shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who fought over an armrest this summer. With 130 million people flying, little perks like empty middle seats or flying standby were hard to come by.

Airline executives used to add flights and routes to protect market share. This often meant there were more seats than travelers.

"In the past, we had the problem of people operating airlines based on ego," says airline consultant Michael Boyd. "Now they're operating on the basis of how much money they can make."

Overall, 86.4 percent of seats were filled by paying customers in July and August, according to an Associated Press analysis of preliminary data reported by 16 major U.S. airlines. That edges last summer's record of 86.3 percent.

Add in seats occupied by off-duty airline staff, who often fly free, and passengers who redeemed frequent-flier miles, and there was hardly any room.

Analysts say there may be more space this fall, but not much, if the economy slows further. Either way, flights around Thanksgiving and Christmas will be packed. And fuller flights anytime mean you're less likely to get a seat if your flight is canceled.

Airlines generally lose money on empty seats because they are already paying for fuel, pilots and flight attendants. But how many seats are filled is only one factor in profitability. Airlines have to make enough money from fares and fees to cover fuel and labor costs.

"The question then becomes whether fares paid to fill those seats are sufficient enough to not only cover our costs but also generate a return for investors, repair balance sheets and invest in the product," says Steve Lott, spokesman for the Air Transport Association, the industry's trade and lobbying group.

All the major airlines except American have made money this year. United charged about 8 percent more for each seat in July than last year, and 11 percent more in August.

Airlines often make money in summer and struggle the rest of the year. They run a reduced scheduled in the fall, but Delta's post-summer cut of 20 percent will be much larger than usual, said company President Ed Bastian.

"It's what you need to do," Bastian said. "For us to make money in the summer and give it back in the winter — we're done doing that. We need to make money year-round."

With summer travel over, airlines are cutting seats available in the U.S. by about 2 percent this fall, according to Barclays Capital. Lucrative international flights, which make up a smaller number of airline routes, will increase by 3.5 to 5 percent.

On Tuesday, major U.S. airlines said they would limit available seats, most likely by cutting more flights. That could reduce the airlines' costs while driving up ticket prices.

Investors loved the pragmatic approach, and airline stock soared.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com

Louisiana: Aerial mosquito spraying Wednesday and Thursday

Published: Tuesday, September 13, 2011 at 6:27 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, September 13, 2011 at 6:27 p.m.

To combat a major hatch-off of mosquitoes after Tropical Storm Lee, Cajun Mosquito Control, the Terrebonne's mosquito-control service, will conduct aerial sprayings Wednesday and Thursday evening.

Weather permitting, the sprayings will begin at sunset, and will include Dularge, Bayou Black, Chauvin, Montegut and Pointe-aux-Chenes.

During the aerial spraying, people sensitive to chemicals or wanting to avoid exposure to insecticides should remain indoors. Others can conduct normal outdoor activities. You may notice a low-flying aircraft over your community conducting the spraying, but do not stare up at the plane or attempt to follow it.

Tropical Storm Lee's floodwaters triggered a massive hatch off of mosquitoes in the bayou communities. Parish mosquito control officials are working overtime to spray communities morning and night, according to Cajun Mosquito Control owner Jessie Boudreaux.

If you have any questions or mosquito related problems feel free to contact our office at 879-3677.

NATO troops training at Camp Atterbury, Indiana.




Updated: Tuesday, 13 Sep 2011, 8:52 PM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 13 Sep 2011, 8:52 PM EDT

By: Jay Hermacinski

COLUMBUS, Ind. (WISH) - Hundreds of NATO ground and air forces are training right now at Camp Atterbury.

The 750 service members from 13 countries are taking part in Operation Bold Quest, a joint forces exercise focusing on combat identification issues.

On the airfield at Camp Atterbury sit giant cargo planes. Not American C-130s, but one plane from Italy and two from Germany. Inside the planes, NATO combat identification training is under way.

"It is especially important to test it in an international environment because we need to be interoperable," said Major Markus Stury, a pilot with the German Air Force.

Pilots are testing computer systems designed to identify friendly forces on the ground. They want to ensure that a German jet fighter can digitally identify coalition forces from all NATO countries.

One of the goals of Operation Bold Quest is to cut down and eliminate friendly fire deaths in combat zones.

"We need to have one system that works for all the troops. To test this up here is important before we can field it in theater," said Stury.

The two-week exercise is a bi-annual event, but it’s the first time it is being held at Camp Atterbury.

"It's a chance for everybody to see how the other countries work, and for us as well," said Capt. Domenico DiGiulio, a test pilot for the Italian Air Force.

Platoon leader Lt. Rune Emlien from Norway echoed those sentiments.

"It's a good opportunity for us to come here and see how you guys are doing it and train in this type of terrain,” he said.

Operation Bold Quest continues through Sept. 23. Once the exercise is over, a computer anaylsis will be done to see how well the individual computer systems interacted with one another.

Watch Video: http://www.wishtv.com

J3 Piper Cub Shine

by Captual on Sep 9, 2011

"After buying my new J3 Piper Cub in Nebraska and flying it home 1,568 miles and 30 hours, the local boys helped me to buff it up and give it new leather seats, painted black prop, overhaul the instruments, chromed exhaust valve covers etc. As one person said, "all it needs is a smoking jacket, electric cig. lighter and pop up ashtrays in the seats". 1946 J3, C-85, no electric, hand prop."

India: Mahindra Group successfully test-flies a five-seater aircraft.

MUMBAI: In what is being described as a milestone for both the country's indigenous civil aviation and the public-private partnership programmes, the software-to-transportation Mahindra group in collaboration with CSIR National Aerospace Laboratories has successfully test-flown a five-seater aircraft.

The project , which took three years to move from the drawing board to the skies, is billed to revolutionize Indian transportation over the next decade.

The aircraft has completed five tests in the last ten days and it could take six months or more before it gets the FAR 23 certification, which guarantees the highest standards of safety. It could then go for commercial development. Once ready, each aircraft is expected to cost around $400,000 (about Rs 2 crore) and would also be the first such commercial aircraft in the world which offers afive seat configuration.

For the Mahindra group, it is the second leap into aviation after it acquired the Australiabased aircraft maker Gippsland Aviation about two years ago. For the $12.5-billion Mahindra group, it's like reliving its own heritage and marks the third major intervention for the group in transportation after the introduction of Jeep in the mid-40 s and Scorpio in 2002-both of which left an indelible mark on the country's transportation roadmap.

"It may not have the sex appeal of jets but it would open up areas which were virtually not accessible earlier and aviation would become an alternate mode of transport to connect such remote locations," a visibly excited Anand Mahindra told TOI describing the reach and potential of the initiative.

Top group officials compared the potential of the programme to the Scorpio, the group's SUV, which helped increased the M&M market cap around 50 times, seen to have been the game changer for the group. It also brings Anand Mahindra , one small step closer to his cherished dream of being the Embraer (a Brazilian aircraft manufacturer) of India. "It has the potential of democratizing aviation," he added.

The running cost of the aircraft (in terms of per seat km) would be only 30% more expensive than a car, Hemant Luthra, chairman of Mahindra Aerospace said. The market for small aircraft (20 seats and below) started to de-grow in 2007 and stands at roughly 2000 a year and is expected to turn the corner in 2011 with a small growth, he said. The main competitors for Mahindra in the segment include Cessna and Piper. CSIR director general Samir Brahmachari , is equally excited.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com

New Jersey airports to receive $27M in federal grants

Published: Tuesday, September 13, 2011, 9:13 PM
By Steve Strunsky/The Star-Ledger

TRENTON — New Jersey airports will get $27 million in federal grants, most of it for safety improvements at Teterboro and Trenton-Mercer airports, officials announced today.

Trenton-Mercer, a county-owned airport, will get $13.4 million to improve its runway safety area, according to a joint announcement by New Jersey’s two U.S. Senators, Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez. Teterboro Airport, a general aviation facility in Bergen County owned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, will get $10.6 million for similar improvements, the senators announced.

Newark Liberty International Airport, also owned by the Port Authority, will get $3.2 million to rehabilitate its taxiways, the senators said, while Morristown Municipal Airport will get $190,475 to improve its runway approach.

"These upgrades will help us strengthen our economy, accommodate business travelers and welcome tourists," Lautenberg said in a statement.

http://www.nj.com

U.S. Department of Transportation orders Delta to continue serving Sioux City, Iowa.

Posted: Sep 13, 2011 7:41 PM EDT
By Matt Breen, Evening Anchor

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -   The U.S. Department of Transportation has ordered Delta Airlines to continue to serve Sioux City-- and three other Iowa cities-- through mid-November.

Delta was set to end service to Sioux Gateway on October 13th if it didn't get funds from the federal government. The "Essential Air Service" act would ensure Delta gets the money it needs. It also requires at least one airline serve Sioux Gateway with four daily flights.

But, The E-A-S grant is on the chopping block in Washington.

That said, Transportation Director Curt Miller says passengers won't see a disruption of service between October 13th and the new November deadline.

Miller also said-- starting next month-- the D-O-T will start accepting proposals from other airlines to serve Sioux City. At that time, Miller says, Delta will begin qualifying for subsidies to support their service to Sioux City. But, the airline has to prove it needs the subsidies to continue flying to Sioux Gateway.

http://www.ktiv.com

President Obama's proposal could hurt Kansas' two largest industries

By Megan Strader KWCH 12 Eyewitness News
5:59 p.m. CDT, September 13, 2011

(WICHITA, Kan.)  President Obama has laid out his economic stimulus and jobs plan, but two of the ways he wants to help pay for that plan, aren't popular with a lot of Kansans.

The president has proposed changing the length of time companies can use to deduct the cost of purchasing a business jet, impacting several of Wichita's largest employers.

He's also proposing changing how oil companies can deduct the cost of digging wells.

Oil and aviation make up two of Kansas' largest industries. Coming up at ten, we're going to break down the impact President Obama's plan would have on local companies.

http://www.kansascw.com

Fuel concerns lead to more Delta Air Lines flight cuts

5:42 p.m. Tuesday, September 13, 2011
By Kelly Yamanouchi,  The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Delta Air Lines will cut its flight capacity by another 2 to 3 percent next year, its response to continuing high fuel costs that have the leading airlines either cutting operations or remaining flat.

The Atlanta-based airline already said it would reduce its fourth-quarter flight capacity up to 5 percent, with the biggest cuts coming on trans-Atlantic flights to Europe, plus a shrinkage of its Memphis hub and cuts to Japanese flights.

"We now anticipate that fuel is going to stay at the levels we see today, if not continue to grow," Delta president Ed Bastian said Tuesday at the Deutsche Bank aviation and transportation conference for investors.

Of the other top airlines, United Continental Holdings Inc. planned to keep its flying levels flat next year and AMR Corp.'s American Airlines will cut more flights than it originally planned for the fourth quarter.

Delta will not only decrease its overall flight capacity for next year, but also planned to make deeper seasonal cuts during the slower winter season, Bastian said. The airline will drop its flight capacity by 20 percent in the winter compared with the summer.

"We need to make money year-round," Bastian said. "We'll make more money in the summer, but we're no longer interested in giving it back in the winter."

Delta has experienced a 3-percent increase incosts outside of fuel and aims to reduce those costs, Bastian said. Layoffs of 200 employees, buyouts and early retirements for more than 2,000 workers, retiring older aircraft and consolidating facilities have been instituted.

Delta received a $70 million revenue increase from the 13-day shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration in late July and early August. Delta previously reported that it expected $4 million to $5 million extra per day. For the quarter ending in September, Delta's operating margins were expected to be 9 to 11 percent -- better than expected, according to Bastian.

Southwest Airlines, which acquired AirTran Airways to gain a foothold in Atlanta, recorded a $56 million increase from the FAA shutdown, according to chief financial officer Laura Wright Tuesday.

In a separate issue, Bastian said Delta is considering adding its "economy comfort" section with extra legroom and other benefits, in exchange for a fee, to domestic flights after getting a good response on international flights.

http://www.ajc.com

Airlines plan to reduce flying next year

By DAVID KOENIG, JOSHUA FREED
updated 1 hour 12 minutes ago

Airlines are putting next year's growth plans on hold, with high fuel prices and a sluggish economy forcing them to reconsider which flights make money and cut the ones that won't.

Beginning Tuesday, travelers with just one carry-on item will be able to breeze through Pittsburgh airport’s new Express Security Lane, believed to be the first of its kind in the nation.

Delta Air Lines Inc. said it will reduce 2012 flying by 2 percent to 3 percent. The company that runs United and Continental airlines said it will hold next year's flying flat at 2011 levels. Southwest Airlines Co. won't grow next year and probably not in 2013 either.

The plans announced Tuesday suggested that airlines will match the supply of seats to the number that passengers are willing to buy.

Investors loved the pragmatic approach, and airline shares soared.

The biggest flying cuts came from Delta. Besides reducing next year's flying, it will cut operations in this year's October-to-December quarter by 4 percent to 5 percent compared with the same period last year. It will also reduce flying to Europe by up to 12 percent, with smaller cuts of 1 percent to 3 percent in the United States and across the Pacific to Asia.

Airlines often make money over the busy summer months and struggle the rest of the year. They always run a reduced scheduled in the fall, but Delta's post-summer cut of 20 percent will be much larger than usual, said company President Ed Bastian.

"It's what you need to do," Bastian said. "For us to make money in the summer and give it back in the winter — we're done doing that. We need to make money year-round."

United Continental Holdings Inc., which is combining United and Continental into the world's largest airline, said it will trim U.S. flying next year but increase international offerings.

President and CEO Jeff Smisek told an investor conference in New York that his plan is to increase international flying as much as demand will support, and to make the domestic network as big as needed to supply passengers to international flights. Smisek said the airline can adjust 2012 flying levels depending on demand and the moves of competitors.

Southwest Airlines Co. said it will hold off on expanding its fleet because of the weak economy. It bought AirTran earlier this year, which expanded Southwest's size by one-fourth.

Southwest had previously said it expected capacity to be flat or down slightly next year. On Tuesday, Laura Wright, its chief financial officer, said it may not grow in 2013, either.

American Airlines said it would cut fourth-quarter flying a half-percent more than it had previously planned. In late August, it began reducing Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday flights by about 4 percent.

Cutting capacity, as American promised Tuesday, can help airlines save money on fuel and crews by running fewer flights. It also can help push fares higher by reducing the supply of seats.

JPMorgan airline analyst Jamie Baker noted that Delta's capacity cut was bigger than other airlines promised.

Among airline executives, "only Delta is (thus far) taking the threat of weakening global economic trends seriously and adjusting its business plan accordingly, in our view," he wrote in a research note.

In addition, US Airways president Scott Kirby said September revenue for each seat flown one mile would rise 13 percent. That's a strong showing for a key revenue measure. He also said demand remains strong.

Airline shares all rose sharply. Chicago-based United Continental Holdings Inc. rose $1.32, or 7.4 percent, to close at $19.28. Delta Air Lines Inc., based in Atlanta, was up 61 cents, or 8.3 percent, to $7.99. American parent AMR Corp. in Fort Worth, Texas rose 18 cents, or 5.5 percent, to close at $3.45. Dallas-based Southwest rose 35 cents, or 4.4 percent, to close at $8.31. Shares of US Airways Group Inc., based in Tempe, Ariz., rose 79 cents, or 16.3 percent, to close at $5.64.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com

Plane returns to KGSP after takeoff. Greenville Spartanburg International Airport, Greer, South Carolina.

GREER, SC (FOX Carolina) - Airline officials said an Express Jet flight from GSP International Airport to Cleveland had to return to GSP shortly after takeoff Tuesday afternoon.

Flight 2243 was operated by Express Jet on behalf of Continental Airlines.

An Express Jet representative said the pilot got an oil pressure indicator message for one of the aircraft's two engines after takeoff.

The plane returned to GSP and landed safely and without incident.

Officials said the passengers had to make new travel arrangements Tuesday night after the emergency landing.

http://www.foxcarolina.com

EU decides pilots can continue flying after 60

4:00PM BST 13 Sep 2011

The European Court of Justice ruled that governments can impose certain restrictions on pilots in their 60s but that they should not be barred from the cockpit altogether.

"Prohibiting airline pilots from working after the age of 60 constitutes discrimination on grounds of age," the court said in a statement.

"While the right to act as a pilot may be limited from that age, total prohibition goes beyond that which is necessary to ensure air traffic safety."

Three Lufthansa flight captains, Reinhard Prigge, Michael Fromm and Volker Lambach, brought legal action before German courts to challenge their dismissal after they turned 60 – a limit set in the airline's collective agreement.

The German federal labour court asked the Luxembourg-based Court of Justice whether a collective agreement with an age limit of 60 for airline pilots was compatible with EU law.

While the judges ruled that the age limit was discriminatory, they said EU rules allow governments to adopt measures to ensure public safety.

The court noted that international and German legislation provide that, between age 60 and 64, airline pilots can only continue to fly if they are part of a crew and the other pilots are under 60.

Flight instructors ground student pilots Tuesday because of low visibility. Fires Near Florida/Georgia Border. Craig Municipal Airport (KCRG), Jacksonville, Florida.

At Craig Airfield, instructors grounded student pilots Tuesday because of the low visibility. Flight instructor Shannon Harrison said visibility in the air was about three miles, and she said that's dangerous for inexperienced pilots.

FOLKSTON, Ga. -- Months after lightning started wildfires in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge and the Osceola National Forest, the blazes continue to smolder.

Since April, 478 square miles, or 307,000 acres, have burned in the Honey Prairie Fire in Georgia. In recent days, wind has carried smoke from the blazes back into the greater Jacksonville area. The smoke in Jacksonville on Tuesday was the worst it's been in months, causing low visibilities around town, including over the St. Johns River downtown.

The city of Jacksonville issued an air quality advisory Tuesday afternoon due to elevated levels of fine particulate matter. It's warning residents to avoid exposure by staying inside or refraining from strenuous outdoor activity. The city is also banning all open burning in Duval County to reduce the particulate matter levels.

The Honey Prairie Fire in the Okefenokee continues to smolder and creep near the western most portion of the refuge. Firefighters say low humidity, high west winds and low fuel moisture combine to keep the fire active.

The fire has burned mostly swamp and prairie land just north of the Florida-Georgia border, but the charred landscape has taken some of the green out of the pockets of local businesses like the Okefenokee Swamp tours.
Portions of the park have been shut down for weeks at a time since April. Many canoe trails remain closed, and rentals and tours are only allowed for the day.

Since these fires are a natural part of the habitat and it's life cycles, refuge Ranger Art Webster said they don't work to put the fires out, only work to keep them within the park limits and from threatening any homes. At last report, the fire was 76 percent contained.

Webster says admission has dropped to a trickle. In May, their busiest month, their visitors were half of what they were the previous year. In June and July, more than 80 percent fewer people made the trip.

The Georgia Forestry Commission said another fire jumped containment Monday afternoon between Homerville and Fargo and has burned about 650 acres.

The Florida Division of Forestry said it's dealing with small brush fires between 20 and 40 acres in Union County, Clay County near Live Oak Lane and the Duval County line, and the Osceola National Forest.

At Craig Airfield, instructors grounded student pilots Tuesday because of the low visibility. Flight instructor Shannon Harrison said visibility in the air was about three miles, and she said that's dangerous for inexperienced pilots.

"You can look up and you can kind of tell by looking at just the smoke around you," she said. "I mean, you can see over there it's hazy. You can barely see the tower that way."

In the last day or so, Dr. Andrew Schmidt, of Shands Jacksonville Medical Center, said he's heard an increase in complaints from people with lung problems.

"We saw a couple of patients who have underlying lung disease for different reasons coming and saying their symptoms have been worse the last couple of days," Schmidt said. "They've experienced more coughing, a shortness of breath, wheezing."

"You just keep an eye on your children a little better, especially if they have underlying diseases like asthma," Schmidt added. "It may be a better day to keep him inside and watch a movie."

http://www.news4jax.com

Delta Air Lines spending delays dash Bombardier hopes

By Greg Keenan
From Wednesday's Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Sep. 13, 2011 7:40PM EDT
Last updated Tuesday, Sep. 13, 2011 7:42PM EDT

Delta Air Lines Inc. is delaying an order for new narrow-bodied aircraft for several years, dashing hopes that Bombardier Inc.  is about to land the biggest order yet for its new C Series airplane.

The Atlanta-based airline announced three weeks ago that it will buy 100 Boeing Co. 737 planes and was believed to be set to follow that up with the purchase of 100 smaller narrow-bodied planes later this year or next year.

“We are done talking about aircraft for the near to medium term,” Ed Bastian, Delta’s president, said on Tuesday. “There’s no second step of aircraft [purchases], whether it be with Bombardier or Embraer or Boeing or Airbus.”

Montreal-based Bombardier and Embraer SA of Brazil were believed to be the two contenders for an order for planes that would seat between 100 and 150 passengers in a deal that would almost double the number of orders for the C Series.

Airlines have ordered 133 C Series planes, which represent Bombardier’s $3.4-billion bet that it can compete in the biggest segment of the commercial airplane market and challenge the duopoly Boeing and Airbus SAS have enjoyed for decades.

The delay of several years in replacing some DC-9 airplanes that have been in service for 33 years is another sign of growing concern among U.S. companies about the health of the U.S. and global economies.

“This was about Delta, not about the airplanes,” said industry analyst Scott Hamilton, a principal at consulting firm Leeham Co. LLC. Bombardier went more than a year without landing orders for the C Series before several airlines signed on around the Paris Air Show in June.

“The declining U.S. economy in particular, the softening global economy and the narrowing of profits in 2011 versus 2010 caused Delta to pull back from the 100-150 seat airplane order for now,” Mr. Hamiton said. Delta did not want to place an order now that would have included down payments, progress payments as the planes were being built and additional debt on its balance sheet, he said.

The order for Boeing planes is worth about $8.5-billion (U.S.), while an order for 100 C Series planes would have been worth about $6-billion at list prices.

Delta needs to reduce the $13.8-billion on its balance sheet and the risk that brings to the company, Mr. Bastian told a Deutsche Bank AG transportation conference in New York on Tuesday.

The plan, he said, is to maintain annual capital expenditures in the $1.2-billion to $1.4-billion range to 2014. Delta’s capital expenditure hit $2.2-billion in 2008, but fell to $1.3-billion in 2009 and is expected to be $1.2-billion this year.

In addition to delaying airplane purchases, Delta will trim fourth-quarter flights by between 4 and 5 per cent, Mr. Bastian said, and by 2 to 3 per cent next year.

The number of transatlantic flights will be cut by at least 10 per cent in the fourth quarter, he noted.

Dallas-based American Airlines, a unit of AMR Corp., said it will cut capacity in the fourth quarter while United Continental Holdings Inc. said it will hold its 2012 flight levels steady at 2011 levels.

The first flight of Bombardier’s C Series is scheduled next year and the first planes are scheduled to be delivered to customers in 2013.

The biggest single order is from Republic Airways Holdings Inc., which operates Frontier Airlines and other regional U.S. carriers. Republic has 40 of the planes on order and options for another 40, but also said during the Paris Air Show that it will order A319 planes from Airbus.

The A319 with more fuel-efficient engines competes directly with the C Series.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com

Geese face wing-clipping due to Belfast bird strike fear

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

New fears over passenger safety could spell the end for geese living in the shadow of the George Best Belfast City Airport.

Numbers of greylags show little sign of decline within Victoria Park in east Belfast despite repeated measures to thin flocks.

Aircraft are particularly vulnerable to bird strikes which can cause a potentially catastrophic failure in both engines.

Now Belfast City Council, which owns the parkland, wants to press ahead with the airport to eliminate the winged airborne threat to flights.

One major problem is that the greylag geese are encouraged to remain because they are so used to being fed.

A public awareness campaign is to be mounted, including signs and leaflets, urging park visitors to halt the practice.

Further steps will also include continuing the controversial measure of egg pricking under licence.

And the existing low-level wire fence around the lake’s islands will be replaced with a more effective barrier to prevent access to safe breeding areas.

City councillor Jim Rodgers said: “These heavy greylag geese do pose a serious threat to aircraft landing and taking off and it’s something that must be addressed.”

Claire Ferry, a senior conservation officer with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, also supports the ‘non-lethal’ geese controls. “The airport must take effective measures to reduce the risk of a bird strike,” she said.

But the planned action to make the park less inviting to greylags has ruffled the feathers of the Animal Rights Action Network.

Michael Motley, spokesman for the campaigning group, said: “We will be contacting the authorities and all those involved to offer discussions on how passenger safety can be accommodated alongside wildlife protection.”

KLRU to Receive Millions for Upgrade - Las Cruces International Airport, New Mexico.

By Lauren Zimmerman
Tuesday, September 13, 2011 - 1:36pm

LAS CRUCES- U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman today announced that the City of Las Cruces will receive a total of $5.48 million to make upgrades the airport.

Last week the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced it would release $5.33 million for taxiway rehabilitation and repair at the Las Cruces International Airport. Today the FAA released an additional $150,000 for the project.

“Airports play an important role in the economic development of a community. I am glad the federal government is investing in the Las Cruces Airport and the surrounding community,” Bingaman said.

http://www.ktsm.com

Cessna 182H, N2404X : Accident occurred September 12, 2011 in Stanley, Idaho

NTSB Identification: WPR11FA448 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, September 12, 2011 in Stanley, ID
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/12/2013
Aircraft: CESSNA 182H, registration: N2404X
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On the afternoon of the accident, after receiving weather information about the route of flight, the pilot flew to his destination, with tentative plans to return later that night after dark. Because he knew there was a possibility of clouds and precipitation along the route, before making the decision to initiate the return flight, the pilot called two of his pilot-rated acquaintances to discuss the weather conditions, both of whom told the pilot that they thought he should stay at his location overnight and return home the next day after it was light. The pilot, who did not hold an instrument rating, told the acquaintances that he was going to go ahead and take off, but that he would return to his point of departure or another en route airport if he ran into any weather. About 45 minutes after departure, on what was reported as a dark night, the pilot encountered an area of precipitation; radar data indicates that he then initiated a left turn and reversed his course. Shortly after rolling out of that turn, the airplane entered a steep left turn and descended into the terrain, most likely due to the pilot’s spatial disorientation. Infrared satellite imagery revealed that the area around the accident site was under a solid cloud cover, and the cloud tops in the area around the time of the accident were about 21,000 feet. A postaccident examination of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to maintain airplane control due to spatial disorientation while executing a turn to reverse his course in dark night and low-visibility conditions. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's decision to initiate the flight into an area of known low visibility.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On September 12, 2011, about 2313 mountain daylight time, a Cessna 182H, N2404X, impacted the terrain about three miles southwest of Stanley, Idaho. The private pilot and his passenger received fatal injuries, and the airplane, which was owned and operated by the pilot, sustained substantial damage. The 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 flight, which departed Salmon, Idaho, about 45 minutes prior to the accident, was being operated in night visual meteorological conditions. No flight plan had been filed. There was no report of an ELT signal being transmitted.

On the afternoon of the day of the accident flight, after checking weather information on the internet, the pilot called a friend of his who was also a pilot. During that phone call he discussed with the friend his plan for the flight to Salmon that afternoon with a return after dark. He then asked the friend to call Flight Service to get a briefing for the area between Caldwell and Salmon. According to his friend, after he received the briefing, he advised the pilot that there had been some reports of thunderstorms and reduced visibility due to smoke along the route. The pilot then said that he would be able to see and fly around the thunderstorms on the way up to Salmon, and the friend then reminded him that he might not be able to see them if he returned at night. The friend then suggested to the pilot that because the forecast indicated a possibility of rain and clouds at the projected time of the return flight, that he might want to stay in Salmon overnight and come home in the daylight. He also suggested to the pilot that prior to making any decision to come back at night, he should call Flight Watch and get an update on the weather.

According to two passengers, who the pilot dropped off in Salmon before he departed there for his return to Caldwell, the flight to Salmon departed Caldwell between 1830 and 1845. When the pilot reached a point near Sweet, Idaho, which is located about 25 miles northwest of Boise, he contacted Salt Lake Flight Watch for an update on the weather along the route. He first advised the flight watch technician that there was a storm about 10 miles to his east, and then asked for any other pilot reports along the route. The technician advised him that he did not have any other current reports, but that there was a convective SIGMET (Significant Meteorological Information) for the area east of Sun Valley. He also advised the pilot that his radar was showing a rain cell northeast of Boise, and that its northern edge was about 30 miles north-northeast of Boise and moving to the south. He further advised the pilot that he could probably get around the cell by deviating slightly to the north, and that he did not see anything else on the radar up in that direction at that time. He then advised the pilot that he did not have a full current weather report for Stanley, but that Stanley had been reporting calm winds and a temperature of the 18 degree C. He also advised the pilot that Salmon was reporting a visibility of 10 miles, and clear below 12,000 feet.

The pilot then continued on toward Salmon, but, according to the two passengers, he had to make a significant deviation to the north to avoid a big storm that stretched from just north of Boise to an area just south of Stanley. He then continued to deviate to the north of the direct line to Salmon in order to avoid a number of smaller storms that stretched all the way to the Salmon area. Ultimately the pilot flew a route that took him from Caldwell to Emmett, to Black Canyon, near to Double D Ranch, to Deadwood, then north of Salmon, with a right turn to approach Salmon from the northeast. The flight, which according to the passengers, had taken the pilot about 75 minutes in the past, took about 2 hours and 15 minutes, ultimately arriving in Salmon after dark. Along the route the air was bumpy most of the time, but only turbulent when the airplane was close to clouds. The flight did not pass directly through any rain, but the occupants could see storms to their east along most of the route until it turned dark. Once it turned dark, they could not see any of the storms, but the passengers stated that it was a very dark night, and that the storms were not producing any lightning.

After landing at Salmon, the pilot, his brother-in-law, and the two passengers went to a nearby firefighting command post, which was located about 10 minutes from the airport. The pilot and his brother-in-law stayed there for about 45 minutes, and then returned to the airport. According to both passengers, after they landed at Salmon, the pilot and his brother-in-law were talking about the weather, and discussing whether or not they should fly back to Caldwell that night or wait until the next morning. Neither passenger paid attention to the specifics of what the pilot and his brother-in-law were saying, but reportedly they were clearly attempting to make a decision about whether to stay or go back that night.

Once the pilot got back to Salmon, he called the friend who had assisted him with the weather information earlier in the day. He discussed the weather situation with the friend, and said that the visibility had been good at the command post, and that he could see some openings in the sky from there. He further stated that he was going to go ahead and take off, and if everything looked well he would head home via Challis, Stanley, Warm Springs, and Lowman. At that point the friend told the pilot that he thought he should just stay in Salmon overnight and fly home in the morning.

The pilot then called another friend, who was also a pilot, and had a similar conversation about the weather conditions. He told that individual that he was going to take off from Salmon, but if the visibility did not look good, he would not continue, but instead land back at Salmon. He further told this individual that if he did go, but ran into weather en route, he would return to Challis and spend the rest of the night there in the airplane.

According to recorded radar data, the pilot departed Salmon about 2230, and followed a route adjacent to Highway 93 south to Challis. At Challis he turned about 30 degrees to the right, and flew on a fairly direct line to a point about ½ mile north of Stanley Airport. During the portion of the flight from Challis to Stanley, the airplane reached an altitude of about 13,500 feet, but when the pilot reached Stanley he was at 10,500 feet (about 4,000 feet above ground level). Just after passing the north end of Stanley Airport, which is located near the intersection of State Highway 75 and State Highway 21, the pilot made a right turn of about 80 degrees to parallel State Highway 21. That turn was consistent with the routing he had mentioned to his friend earlier, as Highway 21 runs between Stanley and Lowman. But, after paralleling the highway for about 2 miles, the pilot entered a left turn with a diameter of about one mile, and remained in that turn through about 180 degrees of heading change. Then about 30 seconds after rolling out of the left turn, the airplane entered another left turn, this one much tighter than the first. The airplane then descended near vertically into the terrain at an altitude of about 6,600 feet.

According to a witness in the area, who heard but did not see the airplane, the airplane sounded as if it was circling the area at a fairly low altitude. The witness said that the engine sounded like it was running strong and smoothly, but that all of a sudden it sounded as if the pilot had applied full power. Soon thereafter, the witness heard the sound of an impact, and the sound coming from the running engine suddenly stopped.

PESONNELL INFORMATION

The pilot was a 55 year old male who held a private pilot certificate with an airplane single engine land rating. He did not hold and instrument rating. At the time of the accident, he had accumulated approximately 640 hours of total flight time, of which about 520 hours was in the make and model of the airplane involved in the accident, and 105 of the hours were at night. He purchased the subject airplane in 2002, and had flown it about 35 hours in the 90 days prior to the accident. Of those 35 hours, approximately 4 were at night. His last Federal Aviation Administration Airman’s Medical, a third class, was completed on June 1, 2010.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane was a 1965 Cessna 182H Skylane, with an O-470-R engine, and a McCauley D2A36C29XE two-blade propeller. Its last annual inspection was signed off on 8/8/2011, which was about one month prior to the accident. At the time of the annual inspection, the airframe had accumulated 4,951.83 hours, and the engine had accumulated 1,458.73 hours since a major overhaul. During the annual inspection the number two engine cylinder was removed for low compression. It was sent out for reconditioning, and then reinstalled on the engine.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

Infrared satellite imagery revealed that the area around the accident site was under a solid cloud cover, and according to an NTSB senior meteorologist, the cloud tops in the area around the 2300 timeframe were about 21,000 feet. The meteorologist characterized the weather around the area at the time of the accident as rain showers moving from east to west over the mountainous terrain. Although low level weather radar beam readings near the accident site were blocked by mountainous terrain, both the Pocatello and Boise radar stations recorded an image of precipitation at 17,000 feet over the area of the accident between 2301 and 2303.

The 2251 recorded aviation weather surface observation (METAR) for Stanley showed calm winds, a temperature of 11 degrees C, a dew point of 07 degrees C, with an altimeter setting of 30.37 inches of mercury.

The witness that heard the airplane’s impact and called the sheriff’s office, reported that it had been raining lightly around the area most of the evening, that the area was covered by clouds, and that it was raining lightly just prior to the crash. When he went outside to look around for the airplane, it was no longer raining, but there was a very low "mist" hanging in the air that reduced the visibility and caused all the house lights to be blurred. A short while later another steady light rain began. And although National Weather Service records show that there was a full moon on that night, the witness said that because of the cloud cover and the rain it was quite dark out, and that the valley was dark and eerie because of the mist.

A review of the records of the two Direct User Access Terminal Service (DUATS) providers showed that no services were provided on the day of the accident for anyone associated with N2404X. Also, a review of the Lockheed Martin Flight Services records indicated that they had not provided an update weather briefing to the pilot during the time he was at Salmon, and that the only briefing associated with airplane N2404X was the one given earlier that day to the friend of the pilot.

AIRPORT INFORMATION

About three minutes prior to the accident, the pilot flew within .5 miles of the north end of Stanley Airport. He then initiated a right turn to the northwest, followed about 45 seconds later by a continuous left turn that took the airplane about 3.75 miles west of the airport, and then back in the general direction of the airport. It was after rolling out on a heading that would have taken the airplane back toward the airport, the airplane entered the rapid descent into the terrain. A review of the Flight Guide and Airport Frequency Manual for Idaho revealed that this combination turf and dirt airstrip does not have any permanent or pilot activated runway lighting, nor does it have a rotating beacon. Another pilot, who was a close friend of the accident pilot, said that he (the accident pilot) had been into Stanley Airport before, and he thought the pilot was aware that it was not lighted.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane impacted lightly forested rocky terrain. The ground itself was made up of soft dirt and a high percentage of boulders ranging in size from that of a bowling ball to about twice that size. The initial impact point was about 300 feet south of Iron Creek Road, at 44 degrees, 12 minutes, 04 seconds north, by 114 degrees, 59 minute, 30 seconds west. Although the airplane had impacted three closely spaced trees about 50 feet above the ground, its ground impact location was nearly vertical from the tree impact points. The airplane dissipated a high degree of energy upon impact, and all primary structural and engine components were torn or fractured into numerous pieces. Both wings and the entire empennage had separated from the fuselage, and the fuselage itself had been torn into more than a dozen pieces. Both wings had been torn into multiple small pieces, and the only flight controls that were still attached to a part of the wing structure were one flap and a portion of one aileron. The empennage was also torn into numerous small pieces, with the only part remaining relative whole being the left elevator, which itself was torn, buckled, and twisted. Due to the extent of the damage, no flight control continuity check was able to be performed, but all control cable points of separation displayed the uneven individual wire failure locations and broomstrawing associated with an overload failure. The engine had separated from the airframe, and the crankcase had fractured into more than two dozen pieces. The majority of the engine was found at one location, with the largest single piece being the crankshaft. The crankshaft had fractured through the crank cheek between the number 5 and number 6 connecting rod journals. The number 1 through number 5 connecting rods were still attached to their journals, and the number 1 and number 2 pistons, still lodged within their respective cylinder’s, remained attached to the small end of their connecting rods. The cylinder heads were still attached to cylinder barrels number 1 through number 4, but cylinder barrels number 5 and 6 were found without their heads attached. The side walls of cylinder barrel number 5 had been crushed inward toward each other to the extent that the barrel was nearly flat and the opposing walls were within 3 inches of touching each other. The number 5 cylinder head was not found, and no pieces clearly discernible as having come from that specific head were located. Many pieces of the airplane could only be identified as having come from either the engine or the airframe, but their exact location could not be determined.

After recovery from the accident site, the airplane was taken to the facilities of SP Aircraft in Boise, Idaho, for further examination of the engine. That examination determined that the carburetor and all of the engine accessories had separated from the engine. Both magnetos were broken into numerous pieces. Portions of one of the magnetos were not found. Both magnetos had cotter pins on their drive shafts, and neither showed any evidence of electrical arcing on the body of their coils. Five of the sparkplugs were not found, but all of the remaining plugs exhibited normal operating signatures, with no evidence of preimpact contamination or excessive lead buildup. A portion of the carburetor was located, and it was determined that the inlet screen was clear of obstructions, and the float valve seat assembly was clear of obstructions and showed no abnormal wear. The oil pump was recovered, and although damage prevented its drive shaft from rotating, the pump cavity showed normal wear signatures, and the relief valve seat was clear of obstructions or debris. Also noted was a residue of oil and two marks where the gear teeth, all of which were intact, had come in contact with the oil pump interior body wall. The oil cooler was recovered, and although it exhibited significant crushing damage, there was no evidence of any preimpact anomaly. The camshaft, which was bent in a gradual progressive arc of about 30 degrees along its length, was recovered, and its lobes and journals exhibited no indication of lubrication distress or hard particle passage. The camshaft drive gear was fractured into three pieces, but the largest section was still bolted and securely safety wired to the shaft. Of the total of 12 lifters (cam followers) in the engine, five were located. The faces of all five displayed a residue of oil, and none showed any unusual wear patterns or evidence of preimpact damage. Only a portion of the propeller governor was recovered. It showed significant impact damage, and the governor oil screen was not located. Both propeller blades were recovered. Both blades exhibited “S” bending and a slight degree of longitudinal twisting along their span. Both blades displayed numerous multi-directional scratches and a number of deep leading edge and trailing edge gouges. At the completion of the examination it was determined that no evidence had been noted of any anomaly that would have prevented the engine from achieving rated horsepower.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

Due to the level of energy dissipated during the airplane’s impact with the rocky terrain, the Ada County Coroner’s Office was unable to perform a formal autopsy on the pilot. Instead, the coroner’s office completed an Anthropological Inspection and Analysis of the pilot’s remains. That analysis determined that the cause of death was blunt force trauma secondary to a high speed impact.

Although the FAA provided the Ada County Coroner’s Office a forensic toxicology samples kit, the Ada County Coroner’s Forensic Supervisor advised the FAA that they were unable to obtain any usable samples from the pilot.









http://registry.faa.gov/aircraftinquiryN2404X


BOISE – Authorities say there were no survivors found in the wreckage of a small plane that crashed near Stanley.

The single engine plane plane left Salmon around 10:15 p.m. Monday and was bound for Caldwell, but never showed up.

Multiple agencies from across the state spent the day searching just west of Stanley for the missing Cessna 182 with two people aboard.

Custer County Sheriff's deputies and Search and Rescue members located the crash at 4:40 p.m near the Iron Creek Trail Head. The plane impacted the ground and the pilot and passenger were killed instantly.

The plane was supposed to land around midnight, but when it didn't arrive, concerned family members called the authorities.

According to the Idaho Transportation Department, which oversees the Aeronautics Division for the state, authorities say around 11:30 p.m. a cabin owner near Stanley reported hearing what he described as a stalling aircraft engine.

“The person who called is a pilot and knows what a normal airplane engine sound would be, and he reported the airplane seemed to be in a distress mode, that the engine seemed to be failing,” said ITD spokesman Mel Coulter.

The call is also consistent with the last radar contact of the plane. Radar tracking indicated the plane lost altitude and descended rapidly.

Helicopters from the Idaho Air National Guard and the Forest Service searched the heavily forested area, as well as three Civil Air Patrol aircraft.

The plane is registered to a Caldwell address, however the name of the pilot and passenger are not being released at this time. Family members have been notified.

The FAA and NTSB are investigating the crash.

BOISE – Authorities have found the wreckage of a small plane that was supposed to land at the Caldwell Airport Monday night, but never showed up.

Multiple agencies from across the state spend the day searching just west of Stanley for the missing single engine, Cessna 182 with two people aboard.

Mel Coulter with the Idaho Transportation Department says aerial crews spotted the wreckage lodged in a tree around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. No word yet on whether there are any survivors.

The plane left Salmon around 10:15 p.m. Monday bound for the Caldwell airport.

The plane was supposed to land around midnight, but when it didn't arrive, concerned family members called the authorities.

According to the Idaho Transportation Department, which oversees the Aeronautics Division for the state, authorities say around 11:30 p.m. a cabin owner near Stanley reported hearing what he described as a stalling aircraft engine.

“The person who called is a pilot and knows what a normal airplane engine sound would be, and he reported the airplane seemed to be in a distress mode, that the engine seemed to be failing,” said ITD spokesman Mel Coulter.

The call is also consistent with the last radar contact of the plane. Radar tracking indicated the plane lost altitude and descended rapidly.

Helicopters from the Idaho Air National Guard and the Forest Service have been searching the heavily forested area, as well as three Civil Air Patrol aircraft.

On the ground, members of the Custer County Search and Rescue Team have been looking for any signs of the missing plane.

The plane is registered to a Caldwell address, however the name of the pilot and passenger are not being released at this time until their status is known.

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