Wednesday, September 21, 2011

"The Grey": Liam Neeson Crashes A Plane And Punches A Wolf In First Teaser For THE GREY

Liam Neeson. Will. Not. Die. You can crash his plane in sub-zero temperatures. You can send a pack of wolves after him. But he just won't stop.

Clearly director Joe Carnahan spotted something appealing in the indestructible nature of his A-Team star because the two are back together for The Grey, in which Neeson leads a small band of men trying to survive a plane crash in Alaska.

A group of oil-rig roughnecks are left stranded on the sub-arctic tundra after their plane experiences a complete mechanical failure and crashes into the remote Alaskan wilderness. The survivors, battling mortal injuries, biting cold and ravenous hunger, are relentlessly hunted and pursued by a vicious pack of rogue wolves.

While Carnahan has been a bit lost in the blockbuster wilderness since his stunning breakthrough picture Narc this one seems to find a better balance. You've got the big commercial moments, sure, but you also have something more character based and I'm hoping that fusion pays off.

"The Grey" is released across the US from January 27th, 2012. A UK release date has yet to be announced.

Movie information
Release Date (USA): 2012-01-27
Rating (USA): NA
Release Date (UK):
Rating (UK) : NA

Director: Joe Carnahan
Producer: Ridley Scott,Tony Scott, Joe Carnahan, Jules Daly, Bill Johnson
Studio: Open Road Films
Writer/s: Joe Carnahan, Ian Jeffers


Liam Neeson
Dermot Mulroney
James Badge Dale
Frank Grillo
Joe Anderson
Nonso Anozie
Ben Bray
Dallas Roberts
James Bitonti
Jonathan Bitonti

Montreal Trudeau International Airport: New flight patterns being proposed

It appears not just West Island residents living in communities close to the airport will be affected by new flight paths being proposed for jets flying into Montreal Trudeau International Airport.

NAV Canada, the federal agency that oversees air traffic control across the country, is introducing a package of new arrival routes, which take advantage of satellite-based navigational aids.

The new arrival routes are expected to reduce jet fuel-burn by 5.4 million litres annually and greenhouse gas emissions by 14,300 metric tonnes while making flying safer. The changes are part of a wider overhaul of the Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal corridor.

However, the new arrival routes will mean various parts of Montreal Island unaccustomed to air traffic will end up with more planes flying overhead, in some cases, at an elevation of 3,000 to 6,000 metres.

"That's why we have put out detailed maps," said Ron Singer, a NAV Canada spokesperson. "If you know where you live ... you can determine how the changes could affect you."

Residents with concerns about the new routes have until Sept. 30 to file comments online with NAV Canada.

"Nothing has been changed yet," said Singer. But NAV Canada is hoping to make the changes in early 2012, he added.

The new routes can be seen in a series of maps posted on the federal agency's website, www. Click Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal airspace review in the left column and, then, follow the page to Montreal. Existing arrival routes for each of the Dorval airport's runways are illustrated on one set of maps and the proposed new flight paths are shown on a second set of maps.

Once you find a landmark that you can identify, it's easier to follow the new flight paths. For each of the airport's runways - 24 left, 24 right, 06 left, 06 right, 10 and 28 - there are several different arrival paths, depending on which direction the plane is coming from.

"My impression is there is no big changes for Pointe Claire," said Mayor Bill McMurchie.

But the situation may be different further away from the airport, he said, although the planes would be at a higher altitude at that point.

St. Laurent Borough Mayor Alan DeSousa said the situation is much the same for St. Laurent.

At the last meeting of Aéroports de Montréal's soundscape committee at the end of August, De Sousa said, he was shown maps of the arrival routes as was fellow committee members, McMurchie, Philippe Roy, the mayor of Town Mount Royal and Mayor Edgar Rouleau of Dorval.

Since then, De Sousa said, he is under the impression that ADM has held information sessions for elected officials of other municipalities that will "possibly" see changes in the skies overhead, including Verdun, LaSalle and the Sud Ouest borough for southern arrival routes and Île Bizard, Senneville and Ste. Anne de Bellevue for northern arrival routes.

"The idea is that everyone who may be affected, however minimal, should be told," De Sousa said.

The Gazette has requested the full list of municipalities contacted by ADM and informed of the arrival routes changes that may affect residents.

Tallahassee Regional Airport (KTLH), Florida: In Survival Mode. (With Video)

Tallahassee, FL -- September 21, 2011 --  Administrators at the Tallahassee Regional Airport say the number of passengers are declining.

Today, the airport's new leadership spoke at an economic development round table to discuss challenges, and figure out where to go from here.

A.J. Southard says she only has one complaint about the Tallahassee Regional Airport: "You cannot fly directly from Fort Myers, Florida to Tallahassee. I have to go to Atlanta to come to Tallahassee. it's been that way forever. So, for me personally, I would love to be able to get a plane in Fort Myers and fly directly to Tallahassee."

During a roundtable discussion Wednesday, the director of aviation said he projects a six percent decline of passengers for 2012.

He says one of he biggest challenges for the airport is that airlines are consolidating into large alliances and cutting back on seating compacity...prompting smaller airports like Tallahassee Regional to lose service.

"That's not a good thing because it causes a higher cost on accessing the global marketplace. The closest airport that competes with us is two hours away. That's an unacceptable loss of time for the business traveler."

Administrators say to overcome the challenges... they must identify and capitalize on new and diverse revenue streams...and seize new opportunities, such as reducing rates and charges.
Watch Video:

Colleagues Remember Department of Public Safety Pilot Killed in Vehicle Crash.

Pilot Matthew Uhl

WICKENBURG - A DPS rescue pilot on his way to work Monday night was killed in a head-on crash on US 93 near Wickenburg.

His co-workers are remembering the man who loved his family and his job.

Matt Uhl was just heading to work, filling in for another DPS pilot at the base in Kingman, when he was struck head-on.

Witnesses say the SUV that crashed into Uhl was speeding and trying to pass traffic on the two lane highway, causing the violent collision. Two other men, occupants of the other vehicle, were also killed.

A man who worked with Uhl says his death is a loss for the entire state of Arizona. The shock is still setting in for Uhl's DPS family.

"When I climbed into a helicopter with Matt, I knew I was coming home. I had no concerns at all, absolutely none," says flight paramedic Eric Tarr. He spent countless hours in the DPS Ranger helicopter with Uhl at the controls.

"He was a good family man, he talked about his kids and his wife a lot, he was very proud of them."

The scene last night on the highway was the kind of accident the crew often responded to, trying to save lives.

"None of it makes sense. Why does a child drown in a backyard? Why is this person injured in a collision versus a different person? I don't know the answer to that."

FOX 10 interviewed Uhl several times over the years. He was the pilot on a number of high profile search and rescue operations over the years, including the rescue of a 3-year-old girl and her dog after they got lost in the woods near Cordes Lakes last year.

"He never complained at all, I'd wake him up at 2 in the morning for a call and he'd have a smile on his face. Just one of those guys who just enjoyed it, he really truly enjoyed his work," says Tarr.

Uhl lived in Chandler and is survived by his wife and four children. The two men in the SUV that caused the crash were both in their 20s -- the driver was from Florida, the passenger was from New Jersey. Their names will be released once their family is notified.

Boeing 737-800: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee strains at seat belt. India.

Mid-air turbulence acquired new meaning on Wednesday with Mamata Banerjee fuming in her seat as a Jet Konnect flight circled the city for an extra 30 minutes without the pilot communicating to the passengers why the plane wasn’t landing.

When the Boeing 737-800 from Bagdogra finally touched down at 3.25pm and the doors opened, chief minister Mamata stormed out of the aircraft to meet officials and demand an explanation for not being informed about the reason for the delayed landing.

“She called up a senior official of air traffic control and then confronted the duty manager of the domestic terminal, who was waiting to receive her. The officials briefed her on what the problem was, but Mamata wasn’t convinced. She said the passengers should have been informed about it,” a member of her entourage said.

The Jet pilot had apparently faced difficulty aligning the aircraft with the runway in the rain. Once that was resolved, a Kingfisher flight running short of fuel had to be cleared for priority landing, further delaying the chief minister’s flight.

Mamata, who was returning from a tour of earthquake-hit Sikkim and north Bengal along with Union minister of state Mukul Roy, couldn’t get over it even after leaving the airport. She headed straight for Writers’ Buildings, where she had a meeting on the incident with chief secretary Samar Ghosh and home secretary G.D. Gautama.

Sources in the chief minister’s secretariat said the home department had then written to the Airports Authority of India (AAI), seeking an official explanation.

Before leaving Writers’ for the day, Mamata said she still had no idea what was wrong with flight 9W2481 that brought her and 89 other passengers to the city from Bagdogra. “It was scheduled to land at 2.55pm, but it kept hovering over the city. They told me there was a technical issue. A technical issue can persist for 10-15 minutes, not more than that,” she said.

A senior official said the AAI’s regional office had instituted an inquiry, based on the chief minister’s complaint.

The Jet Konnect flight was around six nautical miles (11.1 km) from the city when the pilot informed air traffic control that blinding rain was preventing him from aligning the aircraft with the runway for landing. “Personnel manning the tower asked the pilot whether he needed assistance, at which he sought permission for a go-around (circling the city till conditions improve),” the official said.

Senior pilots said there was nothing unusual about such a request. “This is a very common thing. If a pilot feels it is unsafe to land, nothing can force him to do so. It is also not binding on a pilot to make an announcement about any such delay,” a retired flight commander said.

As if a restless VVIP on board weren’t a problem already, an SOS to air traffic control from another aircraft forced flight 9W2481 to extend the go-around by several more minutes. The pilot of the Bagdogra-Guwahati Kingfisher flight had failed to land at its destination because of bad weather and was seeking priority clearance to stop at Calcutta for refuelling. “The pilot approached Calcutta air traffic control after being unable to land at Bagdogra. The aircraft was running short of fuel,” a source said.

The Kingfisher flight touched down at the city airport at 3.17pm, by which time a miffed Mamata was straining at her seat belt. Union minister Roy was seated beside her. “She had a window seat, 11A. Her eyes were glued to the glass, apparently trying to make out where we were. I heard her saying a couple of times that the weather was bad and the pilot could be facing problems because of that,” said an aide accompanying the chief minister.

Ratan Mukherjee, confidential assistant to the chief minister, said he was scared as the minutes ticked by without any announcement from the cockpit. “We didn’t know where we were. The situation was scary,” he told Metro.

Jet Airways, which operates Jet Konnect, hadn’t made an official statement on the incident till late on Wednesday. An official who didn’t wish to be named said the delay was a “routine thing” in bad weather. “The pilot didn’t want to take a risk and decided to circle the airport for sometime.”

A cargo flight of Etihad Airways faced a similar problem later in the day and sought permission for a go-around, sources said.

India: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee plane hovers, lieutenant Union minister Mukul Roy sees conspiracy

After the plane carrying Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee from Bagdogra was made to hover the Kolkata sky for over 40 minutes on Wednesday, her lieutenant Union minister Mukul Roy termed it as a conspiracy.

“It’s a conspiracy. We were not informed about anything. We in fact panicked,”' said Roy, who was accompanying the chief minister on the Jet Airways flight. Both were returning to the city after visiting Darjeeling and Sikkim in the wake of Sunday’s earthquake.

Mamata, however, played down the incident and instead thanked the pilot of the aircraft for “averting a disaster”.

“We had to hover in the sky for an hour. They are saying it was a technical fault. But the pilot was very good. It’s because of him that no disaster happened. I thank him for his feat,” Banerjee said before she left the Writers’ Buildings late in the evening.

Expressing surprise over Roy’s allegations, Airport Director B P Sharma said: “It’s a conspiracy by whom and against whom? I can’t understand. But you better check with the ATC.”

According to reports, Air Traffic Control at the NSC Bose International Airport directed the Jet Airways flight, which was scheduled for the 2.55 pm touchdown, and some other flights, to remain airborne as it had given permission to a Kingfisher aircraft for an emergency landing.

The pilot of Bagdogra-Guwahati Kingfisher flight had sought permission from the ATC to make an emergency landing as it could not land at Guwahati airport due to bad weather. Moreover, the aircraft was running short of fuel and it was allowed to make an emergency landing at the airport here, sources said.

LifeNet 4: New helicopter lands in Colleton County, South Carolina.

The new LifeNet 4 helicopter
(Felicia Allyn/WCIV)

WALTERBORO, S.C. (WCIV) -- After two years of waiting, and working, Colleton County has a new helicopter to call its own.

The LifeNet 4 helicopter was dedicated on Wednesday in Walterboro. It will be based at the Colleton Medical Center.

"We've proved the need exists in Colleton County, " Fire and Rescue Chief Barry McRoy said. "It won't serve just our community, but it will also serve any neighboring counties around."

The helicopter will be staffed by a team of experienced pilots, nurses, paramedics and a dedicated mechanic who will provide highly skilled, rapid air-medical transportation to the citizens of Colleton, Dorchester, Charleston, Hampton, Jasper, and Beaufort counties.

McRoy said the helicopter is expected to transport three to four critical patients a week.

"It will greatly reduce the response times for air-medical service to get patients from the rural area to a trauma center in a larger city."

Nigeria: Safety challenges threaten nation’s aviation business ...Analysts blame government interference, others

As Nigeria prepares to join twenty most economic successful nations by the year 2020, it has been observed that issues in its aviation sector, which is the gateway to the nation’s economy, may hamper such a dream if not quickly addressed.

Its safety challenges, such as poor infrastructure; poor funding; violation of contract pact; undue interference in civil aviation regulations among others, which are currently not being well addressed, pose a serious problem to investment opportunities that would eventually place Nigeria among the comity of nations.

Identifying and proffering solutions to these challenges, Akinbolaji Oni, managing director, Bristow Helicopters, Nigeria, at the inaugural lecture by Aviation Associates Club (AAC) in Lagos, noted with dismay that all the foreign airlines on the globe wanted to operate one flight or the other into Nigeria because of the economic opportunities that abound in its air transport, yet the challenges of critical infrastructure and financing are there to cope with.

According to him, “Nigeria does not need to have shining, new gigantic facilities to cope with the rising traffic or the system as long as the existing facilities are well maintained. “Although government has in recent times invested in some safety facilities in the country, we still see other competing sectors that need attention, yet aviation remains critical to the economy, this is a big challenge,” he said.

To him, a situation whereby contract agreements in the sector are not implemented to the letter by concerned parties, such always result in reducing the level of confidence of foreign investors. “Talking about Public Private Partnership (PPP) in the sector, where there is no sanctity of contract which is expected to reduce the risk level in investment, there will be no Direct Foreign Investment (DFI); we need to work on this if there must be a change,” Oni said.

While frowning at circumstances where governments change civil aviation regulations and interfere in technical activities at will, he said such, sometimes, lead agencies and airlines to cut corners while they wait for accident to happen.
According to him, “Although Nigeria is now an exception, most African countries Civil Aviation Authorities (CAAs) are not autonomous and this is an impediment to safety in developing countries where government put pressure on CAAs.”

He, however, suggests that all airlines should go through the International Operational Safety Audit of IATA for better monitoring, adding that there is also the need to improve safety management from person to person.
Harold Demuren, director general, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), noted that aviation has become the engine room for economic growth, insisting there must be improvement upon safety and security at the airports.

He frowned at a situation where for instance, the contract for the resurfacing of Lagos airport runway was awarded without the airfield lighting, adding that such oversight must be corrected. For over three years, the runway used by domestic airlines at the Lagos Airport has been without airfield lighting, hampering night landing and take off from the domestic wing of the airport.

He insisted that for safety and coordination purposes, all airlines must join the International Air Transport Association (IATA) clearing house in order to monitor their operations in line with international standards.

Pilot shot to death in hangar: Friends, detectives baffled by shooting. Elmendorf , South Bexar County, Texas.

The killing of a man shot more than a dozen times in Elmendorf has stumped his friends and baffled Bexar County detectives.

Investigators still have no motive in the Sunday slaying.

Mark Ortega, 42, was shot to death in the shower of a hangar next to a home he rented in the 14800 block of Cassiano Road. His wife Edna, returning home after a day of work and a trip to the grocery store, found him dead in a pool of blood around 7:30 p.m., said Sgt. Ray Pollard of the Bexar County Sheriff's Office.

Pollard said Ortega was shot multiple times with a small-caliber handgun or rifle, and had gunshot wounds “from the top of his head down his torso, and into his legs.”

No arrests have been made. Evidence was being sent to the Bexar County Criminal Investigation Laboratory, Pollard said.

“We've interviewed several people, and we're looking into some of his associates,” he said, “But we don't have a motive at this time.”

Those who knew Ortega, who moved into the home about three years ago, are perplexed. Jayme Power, the musical director at Sheltering Arms Full Gospel Church, said he sang nearly every Sunday at the church and was known as a friendly, devout man. A San Antonio native, Ortega sang Tejano, Christian and country and western music, Powers said.

“I've been wracking my brain for anything, but I just don't know what could have made someone do that,” she said. “It was completely unexpected. We're just heartbroken; it's a big loss.”

Ortega didn't go to church the Sunday he died because the couple shared a vehicle and his wife needed to go to work, Power said. They lived alone on a piece of property that also contains two other residences, the hangar Ortega rented and an airstrip he used to fly experimental aircraft, Pollard said.

Dorthie Hunt, 82, moved onto the property in the 1950s and still lives in a trailer near Cassiano Road, although she's since sold the land in two parcels to her sons. Hunt's late husband, a pilot, built the airstrip and ran a skydiving business at the property. She said she saw a fire truck there Sunday evening but suspected a grass fire may have sparked in the 30-plus acres behind the houses.

“I didn't pay any more attention, and I didn't know anything until Monday,” Hunt said. “They were just a lovely couple. This is just a real shock to me.”

The Ortegas were known to rescue stray dogs at the rural home, Hunt said, and were good tenants. Power said Ortega didn't have any children but was good with them, and had recently lost his mother.

“He was always willing to help out if you needed something,” Power said, adding that she and Ortega had sung a duet of “God Bless America” at church on the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

Outlaw Field Airport (KCKV), Clarksville, Tennessee: Manager steps down.

Outlaw Field manager John Ferguson resigned for personal reasons after a little over a year in the position.

Airport Authority board chairman Ronald Whitford told members that Ferguson decided he had to go to South Carolina to take care of his son and daughter-in-law, who were both seriously injured in a recent car accident.

The board unanimously approved the hiring of John Patterson, the former manager at Warren County Memorial Airport in McMinnville, as the interim manager during the search for a full-time replacement. Patterson received a warm reception and said he hopes to get the full-time position and move to Clarksville.

For more on this story, see tomorrow's edition of the Leaf-Chronicle.

VIDEO: John Travolta Joins Bombardier Team

By Bombardier videos on Sep 21, 2011

Los Angeles, September 20, 2011: John Travolta Joins Bombardier Team as a Business Aircraft Brand Ambassador.

Pakistan International Airlines ATR aircraft develops fault

KARACHI: One more ATR aircraft of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has become faulty, affecting domestic flights schedule severely.

Numerous flights are likely to be cancelled and delayed if the aircraft is not made operational soon.

Sources, who wished not to be named, said that malfunctioning of only one aircraft would cause 20 flights to be cancelled between September 21 and September 30.

They said that due to the change of engine in an ATR aircraft AP-BHJ, several flights have been suggested to be cancelled.

Three ATR aircraft of PIA broke down a few weeks ago. There was malfunctioning in the engines of two aircraft. The third crash-landed on Zhob airport after its engine caught fire.

Flights between Tokyo and Honolulu canceled because of Typhoon

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - "I parked the car in Tokyo so it should be ok," said Tokyo resident Takashi Fukuzaki as he headed to the United Airlines counter at Honolulu International Airport this morning.

Fukuzaki and other visitors from Japan don't know exactly what to expect to see when they get home. That's because Typhoon Roke pounded Japan today with 130 mile per hour winds and heavy rains. The powerful storm knocked down trees and left over a quarter million people without power.

"I'm just worried about areas that have severe damage," replied Tokyo resident Tomomi Harada.

Swollen rivers raged on as mass transit came to a halt in the Tokyo area. One train station was completely swamped. Emergency crews rescued people from high waters while others sat stranded at airports, bus and rail stations.

"I communicated with a couple of friends in Tokyo and they didn't have a train going back home," said Fukuzaki. "They spent four hours at the station, something like that. Just terrible."

In the end, more than 450 flights were reportedly cancelled.

As of this morning, there were at least five Delta flights cancelled in and out of Japan thru Honolulu with more than a dozen other flights experiencing delays.

Many Japanese travelers are taking it all in stride.

Visitor Risa Kato stated thru translation, "In the past, Japan has always been hit with natural disasters. Maybe its not good for me to say that we've become used to it, but as a nation we band together as citizens to overcome adversity."

Kato's friend from Aichi, Risa Hibino, said in English, "Japanese are very strong. Maybe we'll be better. I hope."

Leon Nicholson says his father-in-law is supossed to pick he and his wife and their friend up at the airport when they arrive at Narita International in Tokyo. The Irishman who's been living in Japan for the past five years, said the country continues to take a beating from mother nature. The medical engineer said he has seen first hand the devasation from the March earthquake and tsunami in the northeastern part of Japan.

For many residents, Typhoon Roke is just like another punch to the gut of Japan's recovery.

"It's been a hard year. We have many earthquakes in Japan, said Nicholson. "But we had a big one in March. And we've been hit by several typhoons recently also and its just, you know, on going. It's a hard one."

To check on all flights in / out of Honolulu International Airport click here:

Only airline left at Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport (KRHI) wants to take off for good.

RHINELANDER (WAOW) -- The only airline left at the Rhinelander/Oneida County Airport doesn't want to stay. One thing stands in the way of Frontier airlines leaving -- the fact that they're the only airline left at that airport.

A law put in place in the 1970's protects airline service to municipalities. Since Frontier is the only carrier flying in and out of Rhinelander, another airline needs to take its place before taking off for good.

Service at the Rhinelander/Oneida County Airport seems to be shrinking. The restaurant inside closed earlier this summer. And just this month, Delta stopped its service between Minneapolis and Rhinelander. Now, leaders with Frontier Airlines said they plan to go too.

"We have filed with the Department of Transportation to suspend our service in Rhinelander effective on March 8th of next year," said Bob Westgate, the senior director of planning and scheduling for Frontier Airlines.

Leaders from Frontier said they plan to scale back other routes around the Midwest too. In October, Frontier will stop sending flights between Milwaukee and St. Louis. And in November, six more routes will be cut. Those carry passengers between Milwaukee and six other cities -- Madison, Green Bay, Minneapolis, Des Moines, Cleveland and Dayton.

Westgate said it's nothing personal. With an economy that's keeping everyone on their toes, airlines are no exception.

"We're in the process of retiring our smaller aircrafts based on economics -- a combination of stubbornly high fuel prices, an economy which is not in the greatest condition and then just general competitive situation at the airport in Milwaukee," said Westgate.

The Essential Air Service program basically guarantees small communities the opportunity to maintain a minimal level of flights in and out of their area. The Rhinelander/Oneida County Airport is one of eleven in the state protected under the law. That's why Frontier technically isn't allowed to leave.

"We are now the only airline serving Rhinelander, and as a consequence the Department of Transportation may ask that we maintain our service there until a replacement airline can be found," said Westgate.

"I came in Rhinelander three times last year and I used that airport those three times," said Philippe St. Onge, who lives in Montreal. "It was fine. I liked the experience."

Planes still fly in and out of Rhinelander on a daily basis. The route connects travelers to Milwaukee twice a day. Some riders said they like flying through that airport, where smaller groups of people keep turbulence low.

"It's a very small airport. It's quick," said St. Onge. "It's very different from a big airport so everything is quicker. The process of going through security is quicker."

Newsline 9 tried to get in touch of representatives from the Rhinelander/Oneida County Airport but they weren't available to talk to us.

North American P-51D, N79111: Accident occurred September 16, 2011 in Reno, Nevada

NTSB Identification: WPR11MA454 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, September 16, 2011 in Reno, NV
Aircraft: NORTH AMERICAN/AERO CLASSICS P-51D, registration: N79111
Injuries: 11 Fatal,66 Serious.

NTSB investigators traveled in support of this investigation and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The Safety Board's full report is available at The Aircraft Accident Report number is NTSB/AAB-12/01.

The Safety Board's full report is available at The Aircraft Accident Report number is NTSB/AAB-12/01.

On September 16, 2011, about 1625 Pacific daylight time, an experimental, single-seat North American P-51D, N79111, collided with the airport ramp in the spectator box seating area following a loss of control during the National Championship Air Races unlimited class gold race at the Reno/Stead Airport (RTS), Reno, Nevada. The airplane was registered to Aero-Trans Corp (dba Leeward Aeronautical Sales), Ocala, Florida, and operated by the commercial pilot as Race 177, The Galloping Ghost, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The pilot and 10 people on the ground sustained fatal injuries, and at least 64 people on the ground were injured (at least 16 of whom were reported to have sustained serious injuries). The airplane sustained substantial damage, fragmenting upon collision with the ramp. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed for the local air race flight, which departed RTS about 10 minutes before the accident.

The crash at the annual National Championship Air Races in Reno Friday was the nation's deadliest air racing disaster, with 11 confirmed dead after the exploding plane sprayed shrapnel into the crowd of spectators. (Sept. 21)

Atlas Air cancels orders for 3 Boeing jumbo jets

PURCHASE, N.Y. -- Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings Inc. said Thursday that it canceled orders for three Boeing 747-8 freighters that were part of a 12-jet order announced in 2006.

The company canceled planes to be built early in the production process and said that the 747s that it gets should be better-performing aircraft.

Shares of Atlas Air tumbled $5.79, or 13.3 percent, to close at $37.65. During the day, they hit a 52-week low of $36.13.

Atlas, which runs charter flights for the U.S. military and offers cargo services, said it still expects to get three 737s this year, four next year, and two in 2013.

The Atlas announcement comes just days after Boeing announced that delivery of the first new 747-8 freighter was being delayed because of "unresolved issues" with the buyer, Luxembourg-based freight airline Cargolux.

The new plane is a larger, longer version of the 747 line that dates back to 1969. Deliveries of the 747-8 are running about two years behind schedule.

Thunder Organizer: Deadly Crash Won't Halt Future Air Shows

MARTINSBURG -- Story By Christine Miller Ford

Despite the deadly crash Sept. 17 at the Thunder Over the Blue Ridge Air Show, Eastern Panhandle residents want to see the event continue, its key organizer said this week.

"I'm not sure when it's going to be, but there will be another air show in Martinsburg," Nic Diehl said.

Since the crash, Diehl said he's gotten a flood of notes, calls, e-mails and Facebook posts expressing support and concern for the family of the pilot who died. The messages also offer support for the show's co-host, the 167th Airlift Wing of the West Virginia National Guard.

"Our community has always rallied to support the event, and now this tragedy has them rallying to show their empathy for everyone involved," Diehl said. "It's been very touching to see."

Organizers sent spectators home and called off the rest of the two-day air show following the 2:35 p.m. Sept. 17 crash at the Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport that killed John "Jack" Mangan, a 54-year-old stunt pilot from North Carolina.

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board arrived on the scene early Sept. 18. A preliminary report on the crash of the 1950s-era T-28 Warbird is expected sometime next week, NTSB spokesman Peter Knudson said Sept. 20.

After a chilly morning rain delayed Thunder's opening ceremonies, the air show had been under way for just a few hours when the crash occurred. The crash and the following explosion left the crowd stunned and silent.

The audience watching when the crash happened was smaller than at last year's air show and open house, which over two days brought some 80,000 spectators to Martinsburg.

The day before the Panhandle crash, a pilot and eight others were killed during an air race in Reno, Nev. More than 60 people on the ground were sent to the hospital.

Mangan, of Cornelius, N.C., was killed following an acrobatic maneuver with the Trojan Horsemen flight demonstration team.

He was one of six pilots taking part in the team's Salute to the Armed Forces, which has as its finale a "bomb burst," a synchronized pyrotechnic display that creates a wall of fire.

According to his obituary, Mangan, a Boston native, graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1979. After retiring from the Air Force, he owned a successful restaurant business. A mass and funeral service for him is set for Sept. 23 in Huntersville, N.C.

"We were fortunate that the safety measures put in place by the Federal Aviation Administration ensured the safety of those on the ground," said Major Gen. James Hoyer, adjutant general of the West Virginia National Guard. "Right now our thoughts and prayers are with the family members of the deceased."

As in the Nevada crash, the plane that crashed in Martinsburg was a restored propeller-driven military aircraft manufactured just after World War II.

Martinsburg resident Dave Heatwole had never seen an air show before. When the Trojan Horsemen team began its performance, he was taking photos from a seat near the barrier fence, about 30 yards in front of where emergency crews were set up.

He photographed the Trojan Horsemen planes as they took off three at a time and then as four of the planes flew in formation away from the air field. Next, the remaining pair began an acrobatic display, creating smoke trails in front of the crowd.

"The two planes formed an 'X' and appeared to be very close to each other, which startled me," Heatwole said. "And then the plane flying to the right crashed. I heard the boom, and looked over to see an exploding fireball. The plane was blown into many small pieces, and the fire was burning. It [immediately] appeared that the pilot's chances of survival were not good."

Heatwole said he is left questioning the wisdom of holding such shows.

"I wonder if the risk is really worth it. I'd just seen someone get killed, all for the sake of entertainment, and no other good reason."

Others argue that thanks to its partnership with the United Way of the Eastern Panhandle -- with visitors encouraged to make a $10 donation to the United Way as they pass through the gates onto the air base -- Thunder Over the Blue Ridge does provide more than mere entertainment.

Last year, Thunder brought in more than $100,00 in donations for the United Way to use for local charities and non-profits. Last year was the first for the Thunder Over the Blue Ridge air show, although a similar event called the Spirit of America air show dates to 2005.

Besides his work with the non-profit Thunder Over the Blue Ridge Inc., Diehl works as a business consultant with Workforce West Virginia in Martinsburg. He began planning the 2011 festival even before last year's event.

Before coming to Martinsburg, the Beckley native served as the executive director of United Way of Southern West Virginia. He said the air show and open house is important to the community because it gives the region a chance to shine.

"As someone who's from southern West Virginia, I know all about the negative stereotypes that get attached to our state. That's one of the reasons the air show is such a good thing for our community," he said. "The air show is the perfect opportunity to showcase West Virginia -- that's what's driven this from the beginning."

Regional Airline WINAIR Celebrates 50th Year

Sept. 21 -- Windward Island Airway International (WINAIR) is marking a significant milestone this year as the company celebrates its 50th year in operation. WINAIR officials, airline agents, and special invited guest gathered today at the Oualie Beach Resort in Nevis to commemorate the golden anniversary.

WINAIR was founded in 1961 and operates three de Havilland Twin-Otter aircraft and two J32 Aircraft between seven regional destinations.

Read the full story about the celebratory event in this week’s edition of The Observer.

Pilots N Paws: Soldier's Lost Dog on the Way Home. (With Video)

A lot of helping hands and good hearts came together Wednesday, to help reunite Seymour the lost dog with his owner, an active duty solider in stationed at Ft. Bliss, Texas.

The young terrier was found running loose in north Madera County a few weeks ago, sore and dirty with a rope tied around his neck. The rope had been chewed through.

A check of the dog at the animal shelter revealed an implanted micro chip registered to Army Infantry Specialist E4 Ryan Rivera, who said he missed his dog a lot and wanted him back.

"It's just not the same with out him. He was always here to greet me, when I came in," Rivera said.

Rivera said his dog had been placed with another family while his mother underwent chemotherapy and he was in the field on a training deployment. When he returned he attempted to find Seymour, but the family and the dog were gone, he said.

Rivera said the he was really surprised and never expected so many people to step up and work to help him get his dog back.

"It's amazing to me - that so many people care about a lost dog and would help me get Seymour back home. People in California, Arizona, the media, on the Internet, the pilot ... I am so grateful to them all. It's all from the microchip that he was ID'd. He means a lot to me," Rivera said.

Pilot Bruce Hedlund, a volunteer with Pilots and Paws transportation group arranged to stop in Madera and pick up Seymour and fly the dog to Phoenix at no charge, a few hours drive away from the dog's owner in El Paso, Texas.

Hedlund, a recently retired pilot and Captain with American Airlines said he was flying in the central California area to Phoenix this week and knew he had to help reunite the pair as soon as he heard about the situation.

"How could you not help, after what he's doing for us. Serving his country... it's the least I could do. I am also a dog lover and know how important they are in our lives. We came down from Calaveras County this morning, made a slight detour and made the stop here in Madera to pick him up," he said.

Helund said he had flown other dogs and they seemed to enjoy it.

"He'll sit in the back (with a passenger) and look out the window - not unlike a car ride. We'll be in Phoenix in a couple of hours," Hedlund said.

Seymour jumped up and hugged Helund and seemed eager to go on the next leg of his adventure.

Shelter volunteers said it seemed as though the dog was always looking for something, or someone, and although happy he had never completely settled into his temporary foster home, even over a period of several weeks. They said it appeared the dog was possibly still looking for his original owner, Rivera.

As the plane landed Wednesday afternoon, Seymour was met and picked up by Arizona Small Dog Rescue in Phoenix and will be fostered for a few days until his owner, Rivera, can drive up on Saturday to take him home to El Paso.

Volunteers from The Friends of the Madera Animal Shelter raised money to assist with the care and ground transportation of Seymour, a dog lover in Colorado Springs posted the story on to the Pilots and Paws website and had transportation offers within 10 minutes, she said. The initial story and Seymour's departure was covered by all local television stations.

United Airlines eyes big-spending frequent fliers

Most airline frequent flier programs were built on the idea of one mile of credit for every mile flown. That rewards distance over dollars.

In January, Southwest revamped its frequent flier program to give larger rewards depending on the fare. It said explicitly that it believes some customers will choose a slightly higher fare to get a better reward.

Now United is headed the same way. Travelers flying on first-class tickets will get up to two-and-a-half times the miles flown, and those using business class and full-fare coach tickets will get more miles, too.

The airline says it's trying to make those tickets — including full coach fares and front-of-the-plane first-class fares — more attractive.

"We absolutely have every intention of acknowledging and recognizing both the frequent traveler, as well as the travelers that are creating the most value (for the airline). We want to make sure that we're providing the right balance to the program to accomplish both of those tasks," said Jeff Foland, president of United's MileagePlus program, in an interview.

Miles in the combined program will expire after a year and a half. That's not a change for United travelers. Continental miles had no expiration date, although accounts could become inactive after a year and a half if no new miles were earned.

United Continental Holdings Inc., formed a year ago by the merger of the two airlines, is combining them into a single carrier flying under the United name.

The company's new program will have four "elite" tiers instead of three, with new levels beginning at 25,000 miles, 50,000, 75,000 and 100,000.

Even as airlines try to reward big-spending travelers, many fliers are deciding that frequent flier miles aren't as valuable as they used to be. Their value has been hurt by expirations, more miles being needed for a free ticket and limited availability of seats.

Foland said accessibility of reward seats should stay about the same under the combined program. The combined program has 85 million members.

The company has said the combined frequent-flier program will be called MileagePlus — the name of United's plan. Continental's OnePass program will end on Dec. 31, and members will later have their credits converted to the MileagePlus program. Continental frequent fliers will continue to get miles and upgrades between the end of the year and the conversion early next year, United said.

The changes announced Wednesday will begin when the two programs are combined early next year.

Track NASA's Falling, 6.5-Ton Satellite in Real-Time

In a matter of days, the sky will actually be falling.

A defunct NASA atmosphere-monitoring satellite the size of a small bus is set to plunge to Earth somewhere between Thursday and Saturday -- and the space agency's scientists say there's no way to precisely determine where it will crash, be it Africa or America, the Pacific Ocean or Pacific Heights.

But thanks to a neat widget built exclusively for by the satellite-tracking website, you can watch the UARS satellite as it courses through the heavens -- see the embedded module below.

Pinpointing where and when hurtling space debris will strike is an imprecise science. To calculate the orbit, runs information from the U.S. Air Force Space Command through a series of algorithms, and overlays it on mapping data from Google.

For now, scientists predict the earliest it will hit is Thursday U.S. time, the latest Saturday. The strike zone covers most of Earth.

Not that citizens need to take cover. The satellite will break into pieces, and NASA put the chances that somebody somewhere will get hurt at just 1-in-3,200 -- low enough that some people are making a game of the whole thing.

One Irish company is even allowing people to gamble on the crash site. Paddy Power, Ireland's largest bookmaker, has placed the odds that the satellite will crash in the Pacific Ocean at 8/11, followed by the Atlantic at 2/1.

“This is an absolute lottery," a spokesman for the site said. "It really could land anywhere, but I think it would be best for everyone if the satellite went for a dip.”

As far as anyone knows, falling space debris has never injured anyone. Nor has significant property damage been reported. That's because most of the planet is covered in water and there are vast regions of empty land.

If you do come across what you suspect is a satellite piece, NASA doesn't want you to pick it up. The space agency says there are no toxic chemicals present, but there could be sharp edges. Also, it's government property. It's against the law to keep it as a souvenir or sell it on eBay. NASA's advice is to report it to the police.

The 20-year-old research satellite is expected to break into more than 100 pieces as it enters the atmosphere, most of it burning up. Twenty-six of the heaviest metal parts are expected to reach Earth, the biggest chunk weighing about 300 pounds (136 kilograms). The debris could be scattered over an area about 500 miles (800 kilometers) long.

North American P-51D, N79111: Accident occurred September 16, 2011 in Reno, Nevada

NTSB Identification: WPR11MA454 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, September 16, 2011 in Reno, NV
Aircraft: NORTH AMERICAN/AERO CLASSICS P-51D, registration: N79111
Injuries: 11 Fatal,66 Serious.

NTSB investigators traveled in support of this investigation and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The Safety Board's full report is available at The Aircraft Accident Report number is NTSB/AAB-12/01.

On September 16, 2011, about 1625 Pacific daylight time, an experimental, single-seat North American P-51D, N79111, collided with the airport ramp in the spectator box seating area following a loss of control during the National Championship Air Races unlimited class gold race at the Reno/Stead Airport (RTS), Reno, Nevada. The airplane was registered to Aero-Trans Corp (dba Leeward Aeronautical Sales), Ocala, Florida, and operated by the commercial pilot as Race 177, The Galloping Ghost, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The pilot and 10 people on the ground sustained fatal injuries, and at least 64 people on the ground were injured (at least 16 of whom were reported to have sustained serious injuries). The airplane sustained substantial damage, fragmenting upon collision with the ramp. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed for the local air race flight, which departed RTS about 10 minutes before the accident.
The deadly Nevada air racing disaster that killed 11 people may have been caused by a missing tail trim that doubled the plane's "G-load" and made the pilot pass out, an aviation expert tells Fox News.

The WWII-era P-51 Mustang fighter plane -- named the Galloping Ghost -- crashed in Reno during an air race Friday, killing 11 people and injuring at least 70 others. The National Transportation Safety Board is examining photographs taken before and after the disaster for any clues into the crash.

Pilot and aviation expert Blake Mathis told Fox News Wednesday that a broken tail trim seen in one of the photos likely caused the plane to speed upwards into the sky, creating a "tremendous G-load" that made pilot Jimmy Leeward pass out.

"For anyone, not just a man of Mr. Leeward’s age, it could have caused him to black out or pass out," Mathis said. "It could even snap someone’s neck if they’re not prepared for that."

Mathis' theory comes a day after an aviation mechanic said another photo suggests the pilot became dislodged in the cockpit as a result of a broken seat

Aviation mechanic J.R. Walker told Fox News that Leeward would have been seen in the photo even if he had passed out and was slumped in his seat.

Walker, who has worked on similar planes, suggested that Leeward’s seat may have slipped back, causing him to lose control of the plane.

Fox News' Trace Gallagher contributed to this report.

Piper PA-23-250 Aztec, N62792: Accident occurred September 21, 2011 in Truckee, California

NTSB Identification: WPR11LA460 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, September 21, 2011 in Truckee, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/29/2012
Aircraft: PIPER PA23, registration: N62792
Injuries: 1 Serious.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot reported that before takeoff he performed his normal engine run-up and all checks were normal. After taking off, and while between 70 to 100 feet above the ground, he felt a vibration in the left engine, which was running rough. The pilot stated that he checked the engines and attempted to reduce power but that he didn’t have sufficient time to react. The airplane subsequently rolled to the left. He described the event as a "classic VMC stall." During the postaccident examination of the left engine, foreign debris was found in the No. 2 fuel nozzle, which most likely caused the engine to run rough. However, even though the left engine may have been running rough and not producing full takeoff power, the right engine was operating properly, and, if the pilot had maintained the airspeed at or above the airplane’s minimum controllable airspeed, he should have been able to maintain control. The pilot’s failure to maintain the airspeed resulted in the uncontrollable left roll and subsequent impact with the ground.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to maintain an airspeed at or above the airplane's minimum controllable airspeed, which resulted in a loss of airplane control. Contributing to the accident was the partial loss of power from the left engine as a result of a clogged fuel nozzle.


On September 21, 2011, about 0922 Pacific daylight time, a Piper PA-23-250, N62792, sustained substantial damage after impacting terrain following a loss of control during initial climb after takeoff at the Truckee-Tahoe Airport (TRK), Truckee, California. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot in accordance with Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The private pilot, sole occupant of the airplane, sustained serious injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight. The flight was originating at the time of the accident, with a destination of Bakersfield, California.

In a report submitted to the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge (IIC), and in a telephone interview with the IIC, the pilot reported that after the airplane had been fueled and the baggage loaded, he performed a preflight check of the airplane; everything looked normal. The pilot stated that he started the engines without difficulty, and taxied to the runway, performed his standard runway checks, and proceeded to take off. Upon reaching an altitude of about 70 to 75 feet [above ground level (agl)], with the landing gear still extended, he felt a vibration, and that the left engine was running rough. The pilot stated that he didn’t have time to react to reduce power on the right engine, which was why the airplane rolled over to the left. The pilot described the event as a “Classic VMC stall,” which resulted in the airplane impacting terrain and being consumed by a post crash fire.

According to an airport employee who witnessed the accident, the airplane initially climbed to an altitude of between 50 and 100 feet agl before it began to veer to the left. The airplane then simultaneously pitched up to about a 30-degree angle, and then entered a left-wing-down, nose down attitude. The airplane subsequently impacted terrain with its left wing and cart wheeled before coming to rest on the airport's west parking ramp in an upright position. A post crash fire consumed the cabin and cockpit areas. The left wing was observed separated, while the empennage remained intact.

The wreckage was recovered to a secured location for further examination.


The pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land and, airplane multiengine land. The pilot reported a total time of 2,000 hours of flight time, with 400 hours multiengine time, all in the accident airplane. The pilot's most recent biennial flight review was completed in the accident airplane on May 21, 2011.

A review of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) medical records revealed that the pilot’s most recent third-class airman medical certificate was issued on June 29, 2009, with the limitation “must wear corrective lenses.”


The airplane was manufactured in 1976. According to maintenance records provided by the pilot, the most recent annual inspection was performed on May 23, 2011, at a total airframe time of 4,760.5 hours.

The airplane was equipped with two Lycoming IO-540-C4B5 six cylinder, air cooled, direct drive, horizontally opposed, normally aspirated (fuel injected), internal combustion engines, rated at 250 horse power at 2,575 revolutions per minute.

Both engines underwent annual inspections on May 23, 2011, at which time the right engine had accumulated 560.7 hours since its most recent major overhaul, while the left engine had accumulated a total of 690.8 hour since its most recent major overhaul.


At 0855, the weather reporting facility located at the Truckee-Tahoe Airport, indicated wind calm, visibility 10 miles, sky clear, temperature 9 degrees Celsius (C), dew point 3 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.27 inches of mercury.


The airplane came to rest about 500 feet south of runway 28/10, and oriented facing north and nearly perpendicular to the active runway. The airplane remained in an upright position and basically intact, with the exception of the left wing, which had separated. The forward cabin/cockpit area was consumed by a post crash fire.

The fuselage sustained extensive ground impact fire damage. The engine controls were observed separated and mostly destroyed by fire damage. The center console fuel selector lever revealed that both left and right tank selectors were in the outboard tank position. The crossfeed selector was in the OFF position.

The vertical tail surfaces remained attached to the rear empennage. Both the vertical stabilizer and rudder surfaces sustained some thermal damage, but were otherwise undamaged.

The left wing separated during the impact sequence. The fuel gascolator and fuel selector valve remained partially attached to the main spar section, but had sustained thermal and impact damage. The aluminum fuel lines of the valve and fuel bowl were mostly consumed. The fuel bowl sustained extensive heat damage.

The fuel selector valve has a lever that was positioned in the outboard fuel tank position. The cable wire that attached to the lever remained attached. The wire was extended out of the outer cable housing, curved and bent consistent with the valve lever being in the outboard tank position.

The right wing was separated from the fuselage, and was mostly consumed by fire. The fuel gascolator and fuel selector valve remained partially attached to the main spar section, but had sustained heat impact damage. The aluminum fuel lines of the valve and fuel bowl were mostly consumed. The fuel bowl sustained extensive heat damage.

The fuel selector valve has a lever that was positioned in the inboard fuel tank position. The cable wire that attaches to the lever was broken and separated.

Both engines and propellers were recovered from the accident site for further examination.


An examination of both engines and associated propellers was performed at the facilities of Plain Parts, Pleasant Gove, California, on November 10, 2011. The examination was overseen by the NTSB IIC.

Left engine

The fuel injection servo was displaced from the engine, and the portion that remained attached at the mounting pad was secure. The fracture surface signatures were consistent with overload. The throttle/mixture controls were found securely attached at their respective control arm of the servo. The plug on the side of the injector body was secure with the safety wire in place. The servo fuel inlet screen was found properly installed and free of contamination. The fuel injection servo and induction system were examined and observed to be free of obstruction.

The fuel injection servo’s metering diaphragm section cover exhibited a puncture induced by the mixture control lever during the impact sequence. The internal diaphragm remained intact.

The fuel flow divider remained secure at the mounting bracket situated at the top of the engine. The fuel lines remained secure at each flow divider fitting and fuel injector at each cylinder. The flow divider was disassembled. There was no evidence of internal mechanical malfunction or obstruction to fuel flow. The diaphragm remained intact and undamaged.

The fuel pump was attached to the engine at the mounting pad. The fuel lines remained secure at their respective fittings. The fuel pump was removed for examination. The fuel pump remained free of internal mechanical malfunction and obstruction to flow. The diaphragm remained intact.

The fuel injection nozzles remained secure at each cylinder with the respective fuel line attached. The nozzles were removed and examined. The number five & six nozzles were the two piece type with the remainder being the one piece style. Examination of the nozzles found that the number two cylinder nozzle appeared partially obstructed at the discharge end.

The fuel nozzles were retained by the NTSB IIC and forwarded to Precision Airmotive for further examination. The examination was conducted on November 28, 2011, at Precision’s facility in Marysville, WA. According to the attached Precision Airmotive report 092111, the number two nozzle was plugged with “black debris,” which was removed utilizing 0.015 wire.

The piece of foreign material extracted from the subject nozzle during the Precision examination was subsequently analyzed by the NTSB Materials Laboratory, Washington, D.C. An NTSB chemist reported that the material was examined using a Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectrophotometer. The chemist further reported that the resulting spectrum from the unknown material was compared against a spectral library of known materials and that the closest spectral match was paint. A known sample of torque stripe paint analyzed in a prior unrelated accident found that the spectrum from the accident sample and the known torque stripe paint were a very strong match.

The two bladed constant speed propeller remained attached at the crankshaft flange. The spinner was attached to the propeller. The propeller blades remained attached to the propeller hub.

Both propeller blades were bent aft about 40-45 degrees about ¾ distance of the blade.

The propeller governor was securely attached at the mounting pad with the pitch control rod securely attached at the control wheel. The governor was not removed for examination.

Right engine

The engine remained attached to the firewall by the engine mount. The engine had sustained moderate thermal damage to the rear area of the engine resulting from the ensuing post impact ground fire. Visual examination of the engine revealed no evidence of pre-impact catastrophic mechanical malfunction or fire.

The left and right magnetos remained securely clamped at their respective mounting pads. The ignition harness was secure at each magneto. Magneto to engine timing could not be ascertained. The magnetos were not removed for examination.

There was no comprehensive disassembly beyond the cursory visual examination of the subject engine.

The two bladed constant speed propeller remained attached at the crankshaft flange. The spinner was attached to the propeller. The propeller blades remained attached to the propeller hub.

The propeller blades displayed leading edge gouging, chordwise striations across the cambered surface and trailing edge “S” Bending. The signatures were consistent with the absorption of rotational forces applied at the crankshaft at the time of impact.

The propeller governor was securely attached at the mounting pad with the pitch control rod securely attached at the control wheel. The governor was not removed for examination.


According to the Federal Aviation Administration’s Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge (FAA-H-8083-25A), Vmca is defined as minimum control speed in the air, with one engine inoperative (critical engine on two-engine aircraft) operating engine(s) at takeoff power, maximum of 5° bank into the good engine(s).

Photo Credit: Jason Shueh / Sierra Sun
A passenger plane lies destroyed at the Truckee airport Wednesday after a crash on take off.

TRUCKEE (CBS13) –- A small plane crashed under unknown circumstances while departing from Truckee-Tahoe Airport around 9:20 a.m. this morning, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

The plane, a twin-engine Piper Aztec, burned after crashing and the front end of the plane was demolished. The pilot, who was the only person on board, was transported by air ambulance to a Reno hospital with unknown injuries. The plane crashed on airport grounds, and CalFire firefighters responded to put out the flames.

The aircraft is registered to Brian J. Mettler of Bakersfield, although it was not clear if he was the pilot in today’s crash.

The Piper Aztec was first introduced in 1958. This particular plane received air-worthiness status in 1976, according to FAA records. The plane is equipped with two 250hp Lycoming O-540-A1D engines. There were 4,811 models built.

Today’s crash follows the tragedy at Reno-Stead Airport on Friday during the Reno Air Races when a plane plummeted straight down to the turf near the grandstands, killing pilot Jimmy Leeward and 10 spectators.

TRUCKEE, Calif. — A twin engine passenger plane crashed while attempting to take off at 9:24 a.m. Wednesday at Truckee Tahoe Airport yet the pilot is reported to be in stable condition, emergency officials confirmed.

Greg Burch, battalion chief at Truckee Fire Protection District, said the pilot was able to exit his plane and reported to emergency personnel his plane had somehow stalled during takeoff and then crashed.

“He staggered out of the aircraft and was helped by airport crews,” Burch said.

Burch said the engine problems caused the plane to crash between the runway and the taxiway, with the plane skidding to a halt several yards from the point of impact.

Jennifer Hutchins, communication officer at CalFire said the pilot has been flown to Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno, Nev. for serious burns.

Hutchins said fire units have just cleared the airport of the plane's debris.

Nigeria: Obasanjo Planned to Outsource Local Airports to Foreigners - Wikileaks

Following the crash of Bellview aeroplane in 2005, then President Olusegun Obasanjo and aviation minister Babalola Borishade contemplated kicking out the airport authorities in Nigeria to give way to foreign outsourced personnel, whistle blowing site, Wikileaks has revealed.

The crash had occurred on Saturday, October 22, 2005 in the Village of Lisa, Ogun State. The United States Government (USG) forensic team arrived at the crash site on November 3 for investigation into what led to the accident.

All 117 people aboard the ill fated aircraft died including the crew. All the cables were classified secret.

Specifically, Borishade said he was considering hiring experienced airport operations management personnel from abroad to oversee the international airports at Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, and Kano, out of concern the necessary expertise is not available in Nigeria. Borishade told the Consul General Brown he had discussed this with the President, who agreed, but adequate funding must be provided, the cable said.

The cable said, incoming British Deputy High Commissioner told (the US) Consul General that British Airways and other European-based international carriers serving Lagos were seriously considering cancelling that service until the lone barely functioning runway was resurfaced. He stated that the High Commission, joined by his Spanish, Italian, German and Dutch counterparts, was going to make this demarche to President Obasanjo in the next week or two."

In a diplomatic cable sent to the United States, apart from the continuous rainfall that hampered the US team investigation, the Nigerian government teams were uncoordinated and did not give the needed support to the Americans. The post was created on November 9, 2005.

The Consul General wrote "No Nigerian official is coordinating collection efforts on site. The Navy, local police, the Red Cross, a Bellview representative, one Ogun State secret serviceman, and the Nigerian Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) were at the scene, but are not acting in a coordinated manner."

Another cable created on November 10, 2005 however said the team of explosive experts from the US found no smoking gun, which effectively ruled out the possibility of an onboard explosion. Further investigations were to be done at the FBI laboratory in America, according to the post.