Monday, September 19, 2011

Trouble brewing in the sky - China

About 150 private airplanes had been registered in China by April, according to media reports. Some experts estimate the growth in private plane ownership could be more than 20 percent a year. If that is correct, there will be more private planes in China than in the United States in a few years, says an article in Guangzhou Daily.

Many rich people in China own private planes. But compared with the US, the number of private planes in China is insignificant.

It is shocking to know, however, that there will be more private planes in China than in the US in a few years. This is not a wild guess, for it is based on reality, for rich Chinese are more profligate than their American counterparts when it comes to spending on luxury goods.

What is more shocking is that experts think this is possible despite domestic law on private plane ownership being stricter than the American law.

Rich Americans buy private planes for four reasons: to save traveling time, for "safety", promoting their companies' image and business cohesion.

By the way, in the US, not only owners and CEOs, but also other company employees use the planes. According to a survey in the US, only 14 percent top management executives use private planes. The rest of the users are senior managers, mid-level managers and other professionals of the companies.

In China, however, private planes are more of status symbols or "personal toys". Hardly any of the about 150 private planes owned by businesspeople in China is used for business promotion or other business purposes. That's why private plane ownership in China is nothing but a craze that threatens to grow stronger.

It is up to the government to find ways to regulate and manage the growing trend of private plane ownership. If the craze is allowed to grow unchecked, it could lead to social disorder and accidents in the sky.

Anyone missing a brightly colored ultralight? Lorain County, Ohio

 Lorain County Sheriff Capt. James Drozdowski talks about the ultralight aircraft.

ELYRIA — Somewhere, someone is missing a brightly colored ultralight aircraft, and the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office has the aircraft in their possession.

“We’re trying to find the owner,” said Lorain County Sheriff’s Capt. Jim Drozdowski. “No one has claimed it yet.”

On Sept. 6, deputies went to 10220 West Ridge Road where they found an abandoned purple-and-green single-passenger ultralight aircraft in a field, about 100 yards from the road.

“Our guys went out there and searched the area, we didn’t find anybody,” Drozdowski said, adding that there have been no reports of stolen aircraft matching the description or corresponding missing persons reports.

The homeowner, who declined to comment, told deputies that she did not see the plane land, and called the sheriff’s office after she found it in the field.

Drozdowski said that the sheriff’s office has reached out to the surrounding counties in an effort to find the aircraft’s owner, but have so far had no success.

The plane was left in the field for a week in hopes that its owner may return to claim it, Drozdowski said. When that didn’t happen, it was taken to the sheriff’s office, where it sits near a garage.

“By law, we have to hang onto it for six months,” Drozdowski said. After that time, he said, the sheriff’s office will most likely auction it. The proceeds will go to the law enforcement trust fund.

Piper PA-28-180 Cherokee C, Donald Kernot (rgd. owner & pilot), VH-POJ: Accident occurred August 15, 2011 mear Wallup, about 40km north of Horsham, VIC - Australia

VFR into IMC and Loss of Control involving Piper PA-28-180, VH-POJ, 31 km north of Horsham Airport, Victoria on 15 August 2011  

 Investigation number: AO-2011-100

On 15 August 2011, a Piper Aircraft Inc. PA‑28‑180 aircraft, registered VH-POJ, was conducting a private flight between Essendon Airport, Victoria and Nhill Aerodrome, Victoria under the visual flight rules (VFR). On board were the pilot and two passengers. The purpose of the flight was to transport one of the passengers, who had been in Melbourne, Victoria for non-emergency medical reasons, back to Nhill.

VH-POJ departed Essendon at 1600 and the pilot made an unplanned landing at Bendigo, Victoria at 1649. The aircraft departed Bendigo for Nhill at 1711.

The weather in the area around the accident was reported by other pilots not to have been suitable for VFR flight in the late afternoon.

Witnesses in, and to the south west of, Warracknabeal, Victoria reported hearing and/or seeing a low-flying light aircraft from approximately 1800 onwards. At approximately 1820, a loud bang was heard.

The aircraft's emergency locator transmitter did not activate. Witnesses raised the alarm immediately, but the crash site was not found until two hours after the accident occurred; the police and emergency services arrived at the scene a further thirty minutes after that.

Although classified as a private operation, the flight had been organized as an 'Angel Flight' by the charity, Angel Flight™ Australia.

The draft investigation report was finalised and released to directly involved parties (DIPs) on 19 September 2013 for comment by 17 October. Feedback from those parties on the factual accuracy of the draft report will be considered for inclusion in the final report, which is anticipated to be released to the public in early December 2013.

Emergency service crews could not find the downed Angel Flight that killed three people until hours after the crash because the aircraft's locator transmitter did not activate.

Julie-Ann Twigg, 43, her 15-year-old daughter Jacinda Twigg and the aircraft's volunteer pilot, Don Kernot, died after the light plane crashed in bad weather near Horsham on August 15.

An Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) investigation found the crash site was not located until two hours after the crash.

The ATSB found witnesses raised the alarm immediately but the plane's emergency locator transmitter did not activate, complicating the rescue operation.

"The police and emergency services arrived at the scene a further 30 minutes after (the plane was found)," the report said.

The preliminary investigation also reveals pilots in the area around the crash considered conditions too difficult for flying without the assistance of the aircraft's cockpit instruments.

"The weather in the area around the accident was reported by other pilots not to have been suitable for (a visual flight rules) flight in the late afternoon," the report found.

The plane departed Melbourne at 4pm (AEST) and the pilot made an unplanned landing at Bendigo, before the plane crashed around 6.20pm.

The trio were returning home on the charity flight after treatment for Jacinda's juvenile arthritis in Melbourne.

Jacinda and the pilot were killed in the plane crash but Mrs Twigg died in hospital two weeks after the accident.

Measles risk for Jetstar, Air New Zealand passengers

Passengers who flew between Auckland and Wellington last week may have been exposed to measles, health authorities say. 

Auckland Regional Public Health Service says a passenger who flew from Auckland to Wellington on Jetstar flight JQ265 on Tuesday, September 13 and returned on Air New Zealand flight NZ446 on the following Thursday was in the early stages of measles and capable of infecting others. 

ARPHS medical officer of health, Dr Richard Hoskins, said people who were on those flights should check their immune status and contact their GP if in doubt. 

Those not immune should check the ARPHS websitefor advice about quarantine. 

"Any passengers on those flights, especially young children, displaying symptoms of measles should immediately telephone their doctor or Healthline on 0800 611 116, for advice. It is important to call your doctor first because measles is highly infectious and people with it can infect others in waiting areas," Dr Hoskins said.

Measle symptoms include fever, cough, blocked nose, sore red eyes. 

The measles outbreak in Auckland is now into its fourth month and the number of cases is increasing. 

The Auckland Regional Public Health Service said there have now been 157 confirmed cases of measles in the Auckland region since May 30. 

Additionally, 29 contacts are currently in quarantine, and 23 people have required hospitalisation. 

Dr Hoskings said most of the initial cases occurred in West Auckland with some spread to Central Auckland, North Shore, and Manukau, however most recent cases have been in central Auckland and most are not linked to previous cases. 

"It's important that people in Auckland continue to take actions to protect themselves from measles, including making sure that everyone in your family is up to date with their immunisations. 

"If you are feeling unwell you should avoid any unnecessary travel, contact your doctor and stay at home, away from young children who may not be fully immunised or persons with lower immunity. Measles is highly infectious." 

He said it is never too late to receive the MMR vaccination.

2 Alaska Airlines attendants get sick on Anchorage flight

Two Alaska Airlines flight attendants working in the rear galley became nauseous and short of breath mid-way through a flight from Portland to Anchorage Sunday night and were taken to the hospital after landing, but no one else reported symptoms and the two felt better by the time they landed, an airline spokesman said.

Mechanics inspected the plane overnight and cleaned air vents and changed filters in the rear of the plane, said spokesman Paul McElroy. But, he said, "We don't know the cause. We're still monitoring" the plane.

It is back in service, he said.

The flight, Fight 137, had 141 passengers and five crew members. It left Portland at 5:49 p.m. and arrived in Anchorage at 8:42 p.m. It was met by several ambulances and emergency vehicles.

Paramedics checked out a handful of passengers from the back rows, but found no one else with symptoms, McElroy said.

The two flight attendants were taken to the hospital and released, McElroy said.

F-Bomb T-Shirt Gets Passenger Mike Bahari Tossed From American Airlines Flight at O'Hare

Chicago - Robotics engineer Mike Bahari was passing through O'Hare on Sunday night on his way from New York to Oklahoma.

But the Brooklynite missed his connection, and was stuck in Chicago overnight without his luggage. The only shirt he had was the one he was wearing, which said: "F*** you, you f***ing f***."

"It's a shirt I picked out when I was in Key West on a Carnival Cruise. I had to get it. It was just-- me," he said.

The shirt wasn't a problem, flying from New York to O'Hare on Delta; he said a Delta employee even told him it was cool, as he got rebooked on to American Airlines.

American Airlines didn't think the shirt was so cool.

"The woman in charge came out and said, 'You're not flying with that shirt on.' I said, 'Excuse me?' She said, 'No, you're denied,'" he said.

Bahari said he turned it inside out, but was stopped again. American Airlines said that all passengers travel subject to "conditions of carriage," which say the airline can reject passengers "clothed in a manner that would cause discomfort or offense to other passengers."

Bahari has a two-year-old daughter and said he wouldn't want her to see if she was old enough to read.

"I wasn't offending anybody. Everybody just walked past -- they smiled and took pictures -- 'That's an awesome shirt!'" he said as he got on a Continental flight on Monday afternoon -- with his shirt inside out.

Reno air crash: Will tragedy at air race sour public on air shows?

Air show officials are hoping that any public backlash following the tragic air crash at the Reno Air Races, in which 10 people were killed, does not extend to their industry's scripted entertainment.

A model plane lies among candles at a memorial near the entrance of an airport in Reno, Nev., Monday, where the Reno Air Races were held. The remaining Reno Air Races were canceled after the deadly crash, Friday. The crash caused a review of safety regulations, but will it also cause audiences to stay away?

Paul Sakuma/AP

The crash of a World War II-era plane last Friday that killed 10 people and injured dozens more at the Reno Air Races in Nevada will undoubtedly lead to a review of safety regulations and may give longstanding critics of the Reno event the ammunition they need to press for its cancellation.

But pending the outcome of the investigation into the tragic crash of the P-51 Mustang – the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration say initial results will be released this Friday – air show officials are expressing concerns that an anxious public not lump their industry in with the higher risk air races.

Although both events developed as an outgrowth of barnstorming – the popular form of entertainment in the 1920s in which stunt pilots would captivate small towns by landing in corn fields and then create live shows on the spot – air racing and air shows are very different and should be understood as such, says John Cudahy, president of the International Council of Air Shows (ICAS).

Both became wildly popular before World War II but the air race business has shrunk – the Reno event is the only unlimited class (i.e. vintage planes) air race event in the US, he says – while air shows continue to grow.

Air racing involves competition between pilots racing vintage airplanes up to 500 mph, whereas air shows are choreographed entertainment in which the same stunts – barrel rolls, inverted loops, wing walking etc. – are repeated performance after performance.

While the Reno Gazette has editorialized that spectators need to be better educated about the risks of air racing, Mr. Cudahy says the safety rules for air shows have been a top priority since the formation of his group in 1964. Although both have evolved over the years, he says air shows have very specific rules governing how close the planes can fly to spectators.

Cudahy cautioned against reaching any conclusions about the Reno tragedy until officials have completed their investigations. He said the safety record of air shows was a perfect, zero deaths in 2008, 2009, and 2010 before this year’s string of six deaths – three pilots and three wing walkers.

"Frankly, that three-year string of no deaths as well as this year’s string of six are both statistical anomalies,” he says. Although the industry was extremely proud of the three-year total, he said, it did not let up on its mission of maintaining and improving safety wherever possible, which it does by examining the history of mishaps and then designing rules to avoid them in the future.

Regarding the P-51 Mustang aircraft that crashed into the spectator area in Reno, Cudahy says air show rules would have completely avoided such a mishap because of a number of restrictions, among them:

• Air craft are not allowed to point toward crowds, “so in the event of a slipup, aircraft won’t plunge into spectators.”

• Air shows have setbacks ranging from 500 ft. for smaller propeller planes to 1,500 ft. for jets and include an “invisible box” – no fly zone – as long as 2 miles long, half mile wide and 12,000 ft. high above grandstands.

• Those who fly acrobatically must be evaluated by both the ICAS and the FAA at least once every year.

Villanova University sociology professor Rick Eckstein, who specializes in sports and society, applauds the rules that have evolved in air shows and says the ideas go beyond just the safety of the events to the long-term economic protection of the industry itself.

Fred George, senior editor at Aviation Week, says the investigations of this crash may eventually lead to cancellation of the Reno event, or at least a move to less populated areas. Another modification could include placing the grandstands in the center of the race track rather than where they were Friday coming out of the race’s most dangerous and final curve, so that when a plane goes out of control, centrifugal force carries it outward and away from, rather than into, the spectators.

“There are a lot of people who have been trying to get rid of this event for years. They will be trying to seize this as their opportunity to get that done,” he says.

Short of that, the venue could be placed further out in the desert, perhaps closer to Black Rock where the “Burning Man” festival is held.

Mr. George says inspection procedures are likely to get an overhaul as well.

“It’s one thing to quickly inspect the fuselage and wings, but quite another to really examine the moving parts that control the plane,” George says. “That takes more time and focus. These planes are modified so much that pilots are pretty much test pilots on every flight.”

Search continues for missing helicopter pilot - British Columbia.

As night approached Monday an expanded search team of 15 aircraft had yet to find a single trace of an experienced chopper pilot who went missing near Hope last Friday.

The unidentified 61-year-old man took off from Langley airport in an Aerospatiale A350 helicopter about 6:30 p.m., planning to fly to a residence near Kelowna according to reports. Low clouds hovered over Hope at the time of the man’s last recorded cellphone signal, which means he might have tried to fly close to the ground or land for safety, said George Miller, Langley Airport manager.

The pilot — who officials won’t name because of the wishes of his family — “has done this trip a number of times, and he’s very familiar with the Okanagan,” Miller said.

Miller said the man has been flying out of Langley for at least 15 years, and “undoubtedly he’s a good pilot.”

The man didn’t file a flight plan but he did have a “flight itinerary” — which is an unofficial safety measure consisting of notifying another person of your route plans, without having to check in with authorities after a safe landing.

“It would be unusual for me [to fly such a route at nightfall],” Miller said. “For him I don’t know, but I just think that’s late. It’s hard to say what his intentions were.”

Search spokesman Lieut. Trevor Reid said Monday’s addition of a CC-130 Hercules military aircraft to a team of 15 military and civilian craft would help expand the search area, currently focused on the densely forested mountains and valleys between Hope and Kelowna.

Reid said officials will not specifically identify the missing chopper, however industry sources indicated to The Province it is a red Aerospatiale A350 which was de-registered by a commercial operator in August 2011. It’s believed that aircraft was sold soon after.

Transport Canada registration documents show that aircraft has been operated by three different companies since it was imported to B.C. in 2007.

That aircraft is not currently listed in registry documents by Transport Canada, but Reid said “from our knowledge, [the missing chopper] is registered.”

The RCMP is not currently involved in the missing aircraft investigation and won’t speculate about any flight details, a spokesman said.

Cleveland Municipal Airport (6R3) director describes Reno air race crash as “horrendous”.

Alf Vien is the flight base operator for the Cleveland Municipal Airport, a position he has held for over two decades. Vien witnessed the September 16 crash at the Reno Air Race Championship, which has so far resulted in the deaths of ten people.

The director of the Cleveland Municipal Airport, Alf Vien, witnessed the National Air Race Championship at Reno, Nevada firsthand on Sept. 16.

Vien was at the event to offer support for his friend, Ernie Sutter, who competed and won the Sport Class Silver Heat on Friday with an average lap speed around 295 mph.

“It was great to watch but unfortunately that may be the last "Silver Race" as we know it due to the crash,” he said.

Vein described the crash of the World War II era P-51 named "Galloping Ghost" as “horrendous.”

He explained that after his friend, Sutter, had won his race, he told him he was going to the stands to watch the final races of the day. Vien said that he saw the plane descend at a sharp angle and crashed towards the airport runway instead of the audience.

“All of the debris flew at the airport and not at the crowd,” he said. “It could have been a lot worse. It was a very sad way to end the day with great loss and grief for many families.”

Vein said that following the crash, the emergency personnel responded quickly.

“I was totally impressed by the first responders,” he said. “I have never seen anything quite as orderly within chaos as this. Every one of those guys should be congratulated. Medical volunteers were called out of the crowd and within minutes ambulances and choppers were moving victims out. An evacuation plan was put into place and the crowd was hustled off the airport onto detour routes moving everyone out to Hwy 395.”

Some of the event attendees even assisted with the emergency efforts.

“There was a man in a Huey helicopter there that gassed it up and took people to the hospital in it,” said Vein.

He explained that the helicopter was originally just on display at the event and wasn’t meant to transport anyone during the event. The pilot saw the need and used it to get the injured to medical treatment quickly.

Vein said that he has been attending the air race for several years with his friends.

“I feel the races may be shut down for a couple of seasons,” he said. “I really hope not though. All of the safety measures were tremendous. People are going to have knee-jerk reactions to stop races, but there are dangers everywhere.”

He used the analogy of the danger of getting hit in the head by a line drive at a baseball game as an example.

Vein said that he did not know for certain what caused the crash, but guessed that mechanical failure was the reason.

“You can’t fault the pilot if something breaks on the airplane,” he said. “It was just a tragedy.”

City of Reno to hold memorial for air show victims

The City of Reno invites everyone to attend a memorial service for all victims, their families and others affected by the National Championship Air Races and Air Show tragedy.

The City will dedicate a tree in the arboretum of Idlewild Park to all the victims.

On Friday, September 16, 2011, pilot Jimmy Leeward’s rebuilt P-51 Mustang crashed into a spectator area at the Air Races. To date, ten people have died, including the pilot. Seventeen victims are still being treated for injuries in local hospitals.

What:  There will be a public memorial service and tree dedication.

When: The service will be held on Sunday, September 25, 2011, beginning at 6:00 p.m.

Where: The service will take place in the Idlewild Park arboretum, between the pond on Idlewild Drive at the east end of the park and the Truckee River.

Who:  Members of the local clergy will conduct the memorial service.

Lynchburg Air Show Organizers: Safety Is Top Priority

Lynchburg, VA - Ten people were killed and nearly 70 others injured after a plane plowed into spectators at a Reno, Nevada air race over the weekend.

Four pilots have died in crashes just this year. But there's one very important distinction --- the crash that happened in Reno was at an air race, not an air show, like the one put on in Lynchburg back in May.

Some speculate that pilots in air races take greater risks because they are competing for as much as $1 million in prizes.

They were terrifying final moments in Reno.

"Parts and things were flying through the air," one spectator told reporters.

"It was just like a war zone. There were body parts all over," another spectator said after Friday's air race.

Air Show organizers in Lynchburg call the fiery crash a wake-up call.

"The takeaway message is to be as safe as you can, and we work hard at that," said Jones Stanley, president of Lynchburg's Regional Air Show Corporation.

He says unlike air races, pilots know not to test their limits.

"The F-18 airplanes that the Blue Angels fly are capable of going the speed of sound. They'd be capable of breaking half the windows across Wards Road if they pushed it to that speed," said Stanley.

Show performers are required to go through extensive health checks, an aerobatic box must be cleared around the performance area, and the crowd must stay 1,500 feet away from the show line.

"If somebody gets killed out here on 460 you can say, 'Gosh that's never gonna happen to me so I'm not gonna get on 460 ever again.' People have to have a life and you have to accept that as life itself," saud Stanley.

It could be six to nine months before we know for sure whether mechanical failure, human error or a possible medical condition is to blame for the Reno crash.

It's a tragedy that's going down in history. Organizers of the Reno show say it is the first time in 40 years a spectator was injured or killed in an air race.

A Blue Angels pilot resigned after admittedly performing a dangerous maneuver at Lynchburg's Air Show back in May. Stanley says the crowd was never in danger because the safety observer acted quickly and ordered the jets to land.

But these crashes haven't deterred them from going forward with air shows in our area. Stanley says they've applied to have the Thunderbirds and Blue Angels perform in Lynchburg in 2013.

Miramar Air Show Set Up To Be Safer Than Air Races

On Monday, National Transporation Safety Board officials headed home to Washington. Investigators said they're bringing a "tremendous amount of material" back to Washington, including spectator videos and photos.

Meanwhile, preparations are under way for the annual air show at Miramar.

The air show is less than two weeks away but with the Reno crash in mind, 10News reporter Bob Lawrence looked at with why the risk is different between the two.

Historic aircraft from the Marine Aviation Museum -- like the Vietnam-era F-4 Phantom -- will be part of the static display at the Miramar Air Show which, under FAA regulations, is a far cry from an air race.

MCAS Miramar executive officer Lt. Col. Daniel Goodwin said, "All the energy, the direction of the aircraft is down the line of the runway, or away from the spectators."

The crash in Reno came during a high-speed turn.

For example, in an air-show race aircraft make high-speed turns toward spectors as they circle the course.

Goodwin said, "Though aircraft do fly over spectators at the Miramar Air Show, it's not the same as the Reno air races."

For instance, the Blue Angels fly over the grandstands but they move away from spectators and by strict regulation.

"They are always going to fly wings-level, which in an aircraft is the most stable mode of flight and very, very low-risk to the spectators," Goodwin said.

There are a number of stunt pilots who perform aerobatics at Miramar. In 2004, Sean Derosier was killed when coming out of a maneuver but it was over the runway not the grandstands.

The Miramar Air Show is a week from this Friday and according to the International Counsel of Air Shows, there hasn't been a spectator fatality at an air show since 1952.

NAS Oceana air show safety preps

Will recent air show crashes impact Vectren Dayton Air Show?

Boeing Forecasts Strong Need for Aviation Personnel in Asia Pacific. More than 400,000 new pilots and technicians essential to support rapid growth

HONG KONG, Sept. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Boeing  forecasts the Asia Pacific region will require hundreds of thousands of new commercial airline pilots and technicians over the next 20 years to support airline fleet modernization and the rapid growth of air travel.

The 2011 Boeing Pilot & Technician Outlook calls for 182,300 new pilots and 247,400 new technicians in the Asia Pacific region through 2030. The greatest need is in China, which will require 72,700 pilots and 108,300 technicians over the next 20 years.

"The demand for aviation personnel is evident today. In Asia we're already beginning to see some delays and operational disruptions due to a shortage of pilots," said Roei Ganzarski, chief customer officer, Boeing Flight Services. "To ensure the success of our industry as travel demands grows, it is critical that we continue to foster a talent pipeline of capable and well-trained aviation personnel."

North East Asia will need 20,800 pilots and 30,200 technicians over the next 20 years. South East Asia will require 47,100 pilots and 60,600 technicians. The Oceania region will need 13,600 pilots and 15,600 technicians and South West Asia will need 28,100 pilots and 32,700 technicians.

"As an industry we must make a concentrated effort to get younger generations excited about careers in aviation. We are competing for talent with alluring hi-tech companies and we need to do a better job showcasing our industry as a global, technological, multi-faceted environment where individuals from all backgrounds and disciplines can make a significant impact," Ganzarski added.

More information on the 2011 Pilot & Technician Outlook is available at .

Boeing Flight Services, a business unit of Boeing Commercial Aviation Services, is aligned with customer's flight operations function and offers integrated products and services to drive optimized performance, efficiency and safety, ranging from advanced training to improved airspace efficiency and infrastructure, airline operations, flight planning, navigation and scheduling.


Where pilots are in short supply

Asia-Pacific’s booming aviation sector is facing a serious pilot shortfall with some carriers forced to cut flights and ground new planes because of the gap, US aviation giant Boeing has said.

The region will need more than 180,000 extra pilots and almost 250,000 new technicians over the next two decades to meet demand, with China facing the most pressing shortfalls, it said.

Currently there are about 60,000 pilots and 46,000 technicians in Asia-Pacific.

“The question is where will (airlines) get all of these people and how?” Mr Roei Ganzarski, chief customer officer of Boeing’s Flight Services unit, told reporters in Hong Kong.

“Some airlines have grounded flights or reduced flights (due to the shortage)...(carriers) have had to ground brand new airplanes.”

He did not name any carrier but said countries affected by the shortfall included India, the Philippines and Indonesia.

Shortages were also happening in other regions, and the global aviation sector needed more than one million pilots and technicians by 2030, but tight supply was most acute in Asia, Mr Ganzarski added.

Earlier this month, Boeing said China would need 5,000 new planes worth $600 billion by 2030 — raising a previous forecast of 4,330 planes by 2029 — as growing wealth among the middle class triggers an air travel boom.

A total of 267 million air passenger trips were recorded in the country in 2010, up 15.8 per cent from the previous year, official figures show.

The fastest growing markets for international passenger traffic during the 2009-2014 period will be China, the United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, Malaysia and Sri Lanka, according to The International Air Transport Association.

Meanwhile, European planemaker Airbus yesterday raised its long-term forecast for aircraft production, thanks partly to strong demand for fuel efficient jets and despite ongoing turmoil on world financial markets.

“In the midst of troubled financial markets, Airbus foresees strong ongoing demand for commercial aircraft,” it said in a key report released in London, noting that there was an ongoing trend for larger eco-efficient aircraft.

Airbus, a unit of European aerospace giant EADS, forecast that almost 27,800 passenger and cargo aircraft would be sold for a total of $3.5 trillion (2.6 trillion euros) between 2011 and 2030. (AFP)

Boeing warns of pilot shortfall in Asia

Airplane maker Boeing Co. warned Monday that Asia faces a shortfall of new pilots needed to meet surging demand for air travel and that it will get harder to recruit because the profession isn't desirable anymore.

Boeing predicts that the Asia-Pacific region will need 182,300 new pilots from 2011 to 2030, with about two-fifths of that demand coming from China. The region will also need nearly a quarter million new aircraft technicians over the same period, based on long-term aircraft demand forecasts.

About 60,500 pilots and 46,500 technicians now work in Asia. The new pilots and technicians will be needed to fill new jobs as well as replace retiring workers.

But Roei Garzanski, chief customer officer at Boeing's flight services division, warned that demand for jets and air travel in Asia is already outpacing the growth in “provision of pilots and mechanics.”

It's gotten “to a point where here in Asia-Pacific we've already heard of a few airlines that have already reduced their operations or even grounded airplanes because they don't have the people to fly them,” in places such as India, Indonesia and the Philippines, Mr. Garzanski said. He didn't name specific airlines.

Mr. Garzanski said Boeing will be trying harder to attract young people to think of flying as a career because the industry is not seen as glamorous anymore.

“We're not as sexy as we used to be,” he said, adding that young people these days are more attracted to working at companies like Google and Microsoft.

Airlines have been scrambling to set up low-budget airlines in Asia to grab an ever bigger share of customers as more people join the ranks of the middle classes and can afford to travel.

Singapore Airlines Ltd., Thai Airways International and Japan's All Nippon Airways are all setting up budget carriers that are expected to start flights next year. Australia's Qantas Airways Ltd. is also setting up two new Asian airlines.

Westover Air Reserve Base, Massachusetts: Obama's plane at Westover without President. Air Force One dropped Obama in New York City then came north.

CHICOPEE, Mass. (wwlp) - Several people saw what they thought was Air Force One fly into Westover Air Reserve Base Monday night. And it turns out it is, in fact, the president's plane, but Barack Obama was not aboard.

Westover Air Reserve Base Chief of Public Affairs, Lt Col. James Bishop told 22News that the VC 25-A landed at WARB at about 6:45 Monday night. "The plane was repositioned here after dropping the president in New York City," Bishop said.

The jet is one of two highly customized Boeing 747-200B series aircraft bearing the legend "United States of America" on the fuselage. Technically, "Air Force One" is the call sign of any Air Force aircraft carrying the president.

Lt. Col. Bishop would not say how long Air Force One will be on the runway at Westover, but the website said President Obama is in New York City for 3-days during which time he'll be speaking before the United Nations General Assembly, and he'll be giving remarks at the Clinton Global Initiative.

Coincidentally, Air Force One was positioned at Westover almost exactly one year ago when President Obama took part in a world summit at the United Nations.

Air Zimbabwe plane flies with one passenger

Air Zimbabwe flew back to Harare on Sunday afternoon with only one passenger from Victoria Falls as the national airline struggles to restore customer confidence.

The airline had earlier landed in the resort town with 16 passengers on its MA60 plane from Harare. The plane carries over 60 passengers. A source at Victoria Falls International Airport said:

“The national carrier landed with a mere 16 passengers from Harare and departed from Victoria Falls International Airport with only one passenger. The flights had to be taken besides the fact that there were a few clients all in an effort to restore customer confidence following the cancellation of flights because of the strike by its workers.”

Air Zimbabwe last Thursday said it would resume flights after getting US$2,8 million from the Government. The airline said it had incurred a US$6,8 million loss because of the strike. However, no passengers turned up for the flights.

Acting group chief executive officer Innocent Mavhunga said: “There is nothing unusual about that. We have not been operating for the past two months and we only resumed on Friday. We are re-entering the market so to speak.”

He said the airline expected business to be low for the next six months. “We are looking at three to six months to resume normal loads. Clients often book flights way in advance, so we cannot expect an overnight change in the situation.”

Last Friday, flights on the Harare-Bulawayo and Harare-Victoria Falls routes, which were scheduled to resume, failed to take off because none of the five planes took off. The Harare-Johannesburg flight, which was scheduled for yesterday, was deferred to tomorrow.

Victoria Falls International Airport manager Ronnie Masawi said there was need for concerted efforts by all stakeholders to deal with the challenge. “There is a need for concerted efforts by all the stakeholders for the clients to regain confidence in the airline,” said Masawi.

While Airzim’s business started on a low note, tour and adventure operators welcomed its return. The operators in separate interviews said arrivals, specially of regional and domestic tourists into Victoria Falls had been negatively affected by the unavailability of Air Zimbabwe.

“This is the peak period of the tourism sector and we need all forms of transport to bring in tourists into Victoria Falls and therefore the return of Air Zimbabwe is a very welcome development.

“Over the past months, conferencing packages had affected hotel occupancy as well as activities as a lot of people whose flights were cancelled when the strike started failed to travel to Victoria Falls,” said Ben Tesa, the managing director at Khanondo Safaris. Members of the Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe welcomed Air Zimbabwe’s return.

Aircraft Under Alert II Warning Lands Safely In Colorado Springs, Colorado.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- A four-engine military transport plane under an Alert II warning made a safe landing at Colorado Springs Airport Monday afternoon.

30 passengers were aboard this C-130.

The plane reportedly had an engine problem.

New Century Aerosport Radial Rocket, Bearcat Aviation Inc., N91TX: Accident occurred September 19, 2011 in Socorro, New Mexico

NTSB Identification: CEN11FA652
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, September 19, 2011 in Socorro, NM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/26/2012
Aircraft: CONCANNON MILTON RADIAL ROC, registration: N91TX
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.

The pilot had purchased the airplane the day before the accident and had performed a 30-minute flight with the previous owner. During the purchase inspection, the pilot reportedly expressed concern about the electronic flight display, the autopilot, the mixture control operation, and the boost pump systems. No additional transition training was accomplished in the airplane before the accident flight. Just before the accident, a witness heard abnormal engine sounds (“popping”) and observed the airplane flying erratically in the traffic pattern. While maneuvering toward the airport, the airplane's wings were rocking back and forth, which was consistent with a near stalled condition, before the airplane pitched up then entered a nose-down descent into terrain. The previous owner stated that proper mixture control position and boost pump position was critical during landing, or the engine may stumble or experience a brief shutdown. A postaccident examination of the wreckage did not reveal any evidence of preimpact anomalies. It is likely that the pilot, due to his limited training (30 minutes) in the airplane make and model, was unfamiliar with the unique characteristics of this airplane and its avionics, and that contributed to his failure to maintain airspeed while maneuvering.

In a 2012 safety study on "The Safety of Experimental Amateur-Built Aircraft," the NTSB concluded that "purchasers of used [experimental amateur-built] (E-AB) aircraft face particular challenges in transitioning to the unfamiliar E-AB aircraft. Like builders of new E-AB aircraft, they must learn to manage the unique handling characteristics of their aircraft and learn the systems, structure, and equipment, but without the firsthand knowledge afforded to the builder." Thus, the NTSB recommended that the Federal Aviation Administration and the Experimental Aircraft Association "complete planned action to create a coalition of kit manufacturers, type clubs, and pilot and owner groups and (1) develop transition training resources and (2) identify and apply incentives to encourage both builders of experimental amateur-built aircraft and purchasers of used experimental amateur-built aircraft to complete the training that is developed."

Postmortem toxicology testing for the pilot indicated positive results for ibuprofen, lorazepam and tramadol. The pilot had not reported any medication on his most recent medical application about 10 months before the accident. Although such medications can have sedating and/or impairing effects, it was not possible to determine to what extent the pilot may have been impaired.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed during the visual approach to the runway, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall. Contributing to the accident were the pilot’s lack of experience in the airplane make and model and the possible sedating effects of medication.


On September 19, 2011, at 1310 mountain daylight time, a Concannon Radial Rocket experimental amateur-built airplane, N91TX, sustained substantial damage when it impacted terrain while maneuvering near the Socorro Municipal Airport (ONM), Socorro, New Mexico. The commercial pilot and pilot-rated passenger sustained fatal injuries. The airplane was owned and operated by the pilot. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan was not filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The flight departed Dallas Executive Airport (RBD), Dallas, Texas, at 0939 central daylight time.

According to the previous owner of the airplane, the pilot and passenger arrived in Mississippi to purchase the airplane on September 17th. On September 18th, the pilot, passenger, and previous owner spent several hours examining the airplane and reviewing its systems. The previous owner and pilot then performed a flight for approximately 30 minutes in which the pilot completed various basic flight maneuvers. The previous owner stated the pilot was very smooth and coordinated on the flight controls. The previous owner then gave the pilot-rated passenger a ride for approximately 10 minutes. For another couple hours after the flights, the group continued to review the airplane. During that time, the previous owner discussed items relative to flight and engine operations during critical phases of flight. The previous owner stated the pilot had concerns with the complexity of the electronic flight information system (EFIS), autopilot system, use of the mixture control, placement of switches, and use of the boost pumps (The pilot owned a Yak 52 with a similar engine, other than there was no mixture control on his Yak 52). The previous owner also stated the pilot had difficulty focusing on where the airspeed and altitude readouts were located on the EFIS display. The previous owner felt the pilot was attentive, asked appropriate questions, and demonstrated an understanding of what was discussed during the day.

The pilot and passenger then departed Mississippi approximately 1535 central daylight time en route to the Dallas, Texas, area to stop for an overnight before proceeding to Arizona.

The previous owner mentioned he originally planned to spend approximately 10 days with the pilot to perform a detailed inspection and several flights. The pilot indicated he was comfortable and decided to depart from Mississippi on September 18th.

The pilot and passenger then flew the airplane to RBD, and spent the night in the Dallas area. After the arrival at RBD, the pilot had the airplane fueled with 16.5 gallons of aviation gasoline. In addition, the pilot asked one of the lineman at the fixed based operator (FBO) for some tools. The lineman observed the pilot and passenger perform some type of repair to the left main landing gear.

The airplane departed RBD on the morning of September 19th. Prior to the flight, the passenger contacted flight service and requested the winds aloft along the planned route from RBD to Arizona. When asked what type of airplane, the passenger stated a Cessna 172.

Data extracted from a handheld global positioning system (GPS) unit recovered from the wreckage showed a departure from RBD and a descent towards ONM. The recorded flight track ended approximately 2 miles prior to the accident site.

One witness, who is a mechanic for a emergency medical services company based at ONM, observed the airplane prior to the accident. He heard a loud pop which brought his attention to the accident airplane. The mechanic saw the airplane heading from east to west toward ONM. As the airplane approached Interstate Highway 25, which runs north and south on the east side of ONM, the airplane turned to the north. During the turn, the airplane appeared to be waving with its wings rocking back and forth. As the airplane continued to the north, the wing waving increased. The witness stated it seemed as if the airplane was losing power and it was getting difficult for the pilot to maintain altitude. As the airplane turned to the west, the airplane was struggling to maintain altitude, wobbling, and waving. The airplane then turned to the south, lost lift, and nosed down. He lost sight of the airplane and observed black smoke a few seconds later. The witness did not see any smoke from the airplane during the flight; however, he heard popping noises from the engine.

Another witness, located near the accident site, observed the airplane prior to the impact with terrain. The witness reported observing the airplane in a low altitude which he described as a “crop duster” type operation. The witness observed the airplane briefly pitch nose up and then impact the terrain.


The commercial pilot, who was seated in the front seat position, held single-engine land airplane, multi-engine land airplane, and glider ratings. The pilot reported 4,000 total flight hours on his Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) first-class medical certificate dated November 15, 2010. The pilot reported no use of medications on his medical application. No personal flight records were located for the pilot.

On September 16, 2009, the pilot's commercial certificate was suspended for 100 days, and the suspension period ended on December 24, 2009.


The Concannon Radial Rocket was a two-place composite airplane with fixed conventional landing gear. It was powered by a 400-horsepower supercharged M-14P nine-cylinder radial engine. The airplane was issued an experimental, amateur-built airworthiness certificate on November 10, 2006. The last conditional inspection was completed on June 4, 2011, at a tachometer time of 183.2 hours. The tachometer at the accident site was destroyed; as a result, the total airframe and engine times could not be determined. The aircraft maintenance records, builders log, and other information were partially consumed by the postimpact fire. Portions of the engine records and builders notes were recognizable.

According to the previous owner's notes that were recovered from the accident site, the owner recorded, in part:

1. Boost must be on...(remaining words not recognizable due to fire damage).
2. Boost 2 must be on for takeoff and landing (5 minutes).
3. Mixture must be full rich for takeoff, landing, rapid throttle movements.
4. Failure to do #2 and #3 may result in engine stumble or brief shutdown.


At 1315, the ONM automated weather observing system reported the wind from 140 degrees at 9 knots, clear sky, temperature 28 degrees Celsius, dew point 5 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 30.24 inches of Mercury.


The accident site was located on a rocky embankment adjacent to an interstate highway on/off ramp approximately 1 mile northeast of ONM. Postaccident examination of the accident site revealed the airplane impacted the lower portion of the embankment and came to rest on the upper portion of the embankment next to the on/off ramp roadway. The wreckage debris path was orientated on a 185 degree heading. The airplane was consumed by a postimpact fire.

The main wreckage consisted of the fuselage, both wings, engine, and empennage. Portions of the main landing gear and the underside of the fuselage were found between the initial impact point and the main wreckage. The cockpit/cabin area was destroyed by fire. The instrument panel was destroyed, and the instrument face plates were unreadable.

All of the flight control surfaces were located with the main wreckage. Flight control continuity was not established due to fire damage. All flight control surfaces remained partially attached to their respective airframe positions. No flight control anomalies consistent with a preimpact failure or malfunction were noted. The left flap actuator was extended, which was consistent with the flap control surface extended, and the right flap actuator was consumed by fire.

The three-bladed wooden propeller hub remained attached to the engine. Two of the blades were separated at the hub and were found splintered into several pieces within the debris field. The outboard section of the third blade was separated and splintered. The leading edges of the blades displayed gouges and large dents.

The engine remained attached to the mount, and the mount remained attached the firewall. The engine and components displayed thermal damage, and the fuel lines were consumed by fire. The propeller governor, right magneto, fuel pump, and fuel servo remained attached to the engine. They sustained thermal damage. The starter, starter ring gear, and the left magneto were separated. The fuel servo valve was found in the full throttle position and free to rotate. The cockpit to engine controls remained attached to the propeller governor, mixture and throttle levers. The fuel servo was removed, and the fuel screens were clear of debris. The fuel servo mixture valve was not free to move. The fuel pump was partially removed, and the fuel pump drive shaft was intact. All fuel lines were found attached to their respective components.


The University of New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator completed an autopsy on the pilot and passenger. Cause of death for both was listed as multiple blunt force and thermal injuries. Toxicology specimens of the pilot were retained for testing by the FAA Toxicology and Accident Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

The Bioaeronautical Research Science Laboratory, FAA, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma performed a postmortem toxicology of specimens from the pilot and passenger.

Review of the toxicology report for the pilot revealed the following drugs:

Ibuprofen detected in Urine
2.203 (ug/mL, ug/g) Lorazepram detected in Urine
Blood (Heart) unsuitable for analysis of Lorazepam
2.293 (ug/mL, ug/g) Tramadol detected in Blood (Heart)
Tramadol detected in Urine

Review of the toxicology report for the passenger revealed the following drug:

Lorazepam detected in Urine

No carbon monoxide, cyandide, or ethanol were detected in either occupant.


In a 2012 safety study on "The Safety of Experimental Amateur-Built Aircraft," the NTSB concluded that "purchasers of used [experimental amateur-built] (E-AB) aircraft face particular challenges in transitioning to the unfamiliar E-AB aircraft. Like builders of new E-AB aircraft, they must learn to manage the unique handling characteristics of their aircraft and learn the systems, structure, and equipment, but without the firsthand knowledge afforded to the builder." Thus, the NTSB recommended that the Federal Aviation Administration and the Experimental Aircraft Association "complete planned action to create a coalition of kit manufacturers, type clubs, and pilot and owner groups and (1) develop transition training resources and (2) identify and apply incentives to encourage both builders of experimental amateur-built aircraft and purchasers of used experimental amateur-built aircraft to complete the training that is developed."


Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board will be in New Mexico today to look for clues to the fatal crash of a small plane Monday.

The plane crashed into an I-25 overpass Monday afternoon, killing two men aboard and burning their bodies beyond recognition.

Police have still not released the identity of the men and say everything aboard that could be used to identify them was destroyed.

However, officials from the Federal Aviation Administration say someone filed a flight plan showing the plane was headed from Dallas, Texas to Mesa, Arizona.

Socorro police say they will keep the California Street exit off I-25 closed until mid-morning so the wreckage can remain untouched until the federal agents see it and begin their investigation.

It is believed the plane may be been in the Socorro area to refuel.
An Interstate 25 exit south of Socorro remains closed after a small plane crashed into the side of an overpass Monday afternoon, engulfing into flames and killing both people onboard.

Just after 1 p.m. witnesses said they saw a small, single engine plane in a nose dive south of Socorro. Police Sergeant Richard Lopez said the explosion was incredibly powerful.

"I was approximately three miles north of where the crash took place when it took place and you could see it from there," Lopez said.

Lopez said the flames melted metal, wires and the identification number on the tail of the plane. He said there was no chance of anyone surviving that crash.

"Both victims were burned beyond recognition and we were able to identify that they were two males, but there's nothing in that plane we can use to positively identify these people at this time," Lopez explained.

Officials with the Federal Aviation Administration said the plan was headed from Dallas, Texas, to Mesa Arizona.

"They did not call in a flight plan to anybody so we're still unsure as to who the victims are. They did call in a weather report, but they did not identify themselves," Lopez said.

The FAA does not require flight plans for small planes so until The National Transportation Safety Board agents arrive, there will be more questions than answers.

"Some speculation is that they might have been trying to land at Socorro…probably for fuel. This would be a destination for them to stop," Lopez said.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, both passengers aboard the Radial Rocket plane died.

New Mexico State Police said the small aircraft crashed about 1:15 p.m. near mile marker 147 just south of Socorro.

Witnesses said the plane appeared to hit an air pocket, dropped to the ground, crashed and was engulfed in flames.

"At this point we're just trying to gather any evidence we can," Socorro Police Department Sgt. Richard Lopez said. "One of the witnesses tried to walk up to see if he could do something, and immediately the plane kind of exploded on him."

Both of the plane’s passengers were male. Their bodies were burned so badly that authorities are having a hard time identifying them.

Authorities could not retrieve the plane’s tail number because it was completely burned in the crash. The plane was flying from Dallas Executive Airport to Mesa, Ariz.

According to Socorro police, the crashed plane is on an freeway offramp, but it's not affecting traffic on Interstate 25. The debris will stay on the ramp until the investigation is finished.

The FAA said there was no emergency call from the plane before it crashed. The National Transportation Safety Board and FAA investigators are investigating the crash.

Arizona Man Sentenced in New Jersey Aviation Drug Seizure. 20 Years for Heroin, Coke Pilot in Record Drugs Seizure.

An Arizona man who flew a planeload of drugs into New Jersey, leading to the biggest general aviation heroin seizure by Homeland Security Investigations, has been sentenced to nearly 20 years in prison.

Lorenzo Alvarez, 43, of Yuma, Ariz., was sentenced to 235 months in prison and five years of supervised release in Newark federal court Monday.

On Nov. 21, 2008, Alvarez flew a private airplane containing 24 kilograms of heroin and 48 kilograms of cocaine into New Jersey's Essex County airport, according to federal prosecutors. Special agents on the ground said they saw him take three suitcases and two smaller bags from the plan, load them into a rental car, and drove off the grounds.

When he was pulled over by a local police officer in Fairfield, Alvarez provided him with written consent to search the vehicle, according to prosecutors. While waiting in the back seat of the patrol car, he tried to hide a key to the suitcases.

The suitcases were found containing the drugs. Authorities also recovered a narcotics ledger from the plane that contained handwriting matching Alvarez's.

The seized drugs were worth millions of dollars, prosecutors said.

Alvarez pleaded guilty to distributing and possessing with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine.

10 dead in Nevada air crash shared love of aviation. National Championship Air Races and Air Show, Reno Stead Field, Reno, Nevada. N79111, P51 Mustang.

RENO, Nev. -- They came from every corner to the Nevada desert to watch the nation's premier air race, a daring competition between speed-hungry pilots that pushed the limits of safety. They all had one thing in common: a deep affection for aviation.

One was a wheelchair-bound recent college graduate who was thrilled to be at the races. Another was a former airline pilot who owned a vintage airplane. Still another was at his first race, attending it at the urging of his father and brother.

They were among the 10 people who died when one of the planes in the race, a WWII-era P-51 Mustang fighter plane called The Galloping Ghost, plunged into the VIP section. The 74-year-old stunt pilot also died in the nation's deadliest air racing disaster.

The shrapnel from the crash sprayed the crowd, leaving dozens more with severed limbs, including fingers, legs and arms.

Since the crash, authorities in Reno have been flooded with calls from around the country, as relatives and friends worried about the whereabouts of spectators. Medical officials used fingerprints and DNA to identify the remains of the victims.

"We've had some emotional calls, and it's because of the uncertainty," said Kathy Jacobs, executive director of the Crisis Call Center in Reno. "It's terrifying for those individuals not to know what has happened to their loved ones."

A Kansas family saw four of its members taken to a Reno hospital for serious injuries after the crash.

The matriarch, Cherie Elvin, went missing after the plane hit ground. The injured included her husband, Chuck Elvin, their two sons, Bill and Brian Elvin, and Brian Elvin's wife, Linda. All had lost some part of their leg, according to a website used by the family.

Gary Umscheid, whose daughter, Rachel, is married to Bill Elvin, described Cherie and Chuck Elvin as "very typical Midwestern folks who love family." "The family has a distinct love of aviation," Umscheid said.

The National Championship Air Races draw thousands of people to Reno every September to watch various military and civilian planes race. Local schools often held field trips there, and a local sports book took wagers on the outcomes.

During the races, planes flew wingtip-to-wingtip as low as 50 feet (15 meters) off the ground. The competitors follow an oval path around pylons, with distances and speeds depending on the class of aircraft. Pilots reached speeds of up to 500 mph.

The pilot, James Leeward, was the 20th pilot to die at the races since it began 47 years ago, but Friday's crash was the first where spectators were killed. Some of the injured described being coated in aviation fuel that burned.

Leeward and his team had modified the plane beyond recognition, taking a full 10 feet off the wingspan and cutting the ailerons - the back edges of the main wings used to control balance - by roughly 28 inches.

Leeward was a veteran air racer from Ocala, Fla., who flew in Hollywood films. His father worked in aviation and taught him the trade. He was married with two adult sons. Leeward loved speeding, on the ground or in the air, and had recently taken up racing cars.

Dan Martin, of San Jose, Calif., flew with Leeward on the set of the "The Tuskegee Airmen" in the early 1990s. Martin competed in one of the Reno competition's slower races last week, and was watching at the time of the crash.

"He could fly just about anything, and he always took a very professional approach to everything he did in aviation," Martin said.

Among the others killed were Sharon Stewart, 47, of Reno; Greg Morcom, 47, of Marysville, Wash.; George Hewitt, 60, and Wendy Hewitt, 57, both of Fort Mohave, Ariz.; Michael Wogan, 22, of Scottsdale, Ariz.; and Regina Bynum, 53, of San Angelo, Texas.

Dave Haskin, 50, was working with Stewart for $10 an hour cleaning trash at the race grounds. When he saw the plane go straight up, he said he knew something was wrong. Moments later, the plane exploded on the ground.

"There were arms and legs and this guy whose torso got cut in half," Haskin said.

Morcom was attending the air races in Reno for the first time on the recommendation of his father and brother, who had attended many times. He was at the show with four family members.

The Hewitts attended the show with a Washington-based group of vintage airplane owners. George Hewitt flew as a pilot with Air Canada for more than 40 years. The Seattle Times reported that Hewitt owned a small post-World War II plane originally built by the same company that made the model Leeward crashed in Reno.

Bynum's husband, Jerry Bynum, said the couple was enjoying the race from box seats with five friends when the plane crashed about 300 feet away. She was struck in the face and arm by the debris. Everyone else in their group was untouched.

"Why did that one piece seek her out?" her husband, a pilot, said during a telephone interview. "I just don't understand it at all, and I don't think I'll ever get an answer."

Regina Bynum was a branch office assistant for an investment company. She had three children from a previous marriage and four grandchildren. She raised boar, goats and Yorkshire terriers on the family's ranch.

"She was a very outgoing, very bubbly person," he said. "She would immediately start talking to strangers like she had known them forever."

Wogan was sitting in an area for wheelchairs with his father when the plane hit the ground. He, like two of his brothers, was diagnosed at an early age with muscular dystrophy and was wheelchair-bound his entire life. He had no way of protecting himself from the flying debris.

"Michael liked to get out and travel, and he was so excited about getting on a plane as part of this trip," said his brother, James Wogan, in a statement.

Michael Wogan studied finance, graduated with honors in May from Arizona State University and didn't consider himself disabled, said Cindy Simonsen, a family friend who sat with Wogan on the board of a nonprofit organization that helps low-income families. He ran his own business and was gearing up to start a new one, she said.

"It was never enough," she said. "He was always going."

The Arizona Republic reported that his father lost an eye and fingers and suffered serious facial injuries in the crash.

Wogan's mother had turned to her faith, Simonsen said.

"Her comment was that, `Michael is running around now on legs never before used,'" Simonsen recalled.