Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Pilots remembered. Crash of de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter, C-GARW, Arctic Sunwest Charters. Yellowknife, NT - Canada.

Capt. Trevor Jonasson,36, and first officer Nicole Stacey, 26, died while attempting to land their Twin Otter floatplane on Yellowknife Bay. - photo courtesy of Arctic Sunwest Charters

Heather Lange
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, September 28, 2011


The gymnasium was a sea of white and maroon ribbons clasped over hearts Sunday as family, friends and co-workers gathered at St. Patrick High School to celebrate the life of Nicole Stacey and Trevor Jonasson, killed in a horrific plane crash Sept. 22.

Arctic Sunwest Capt. Trevor Jonasson,36, and first officer Nicole Stacey, 26, died while attempting to land their Twin Otter floatplane on Yellowknife Bay upon return from Thor Lake, 100 km southeast of the Yellowknife. The aircraft clipped some power lines and the Aurora Geosciences building before crashing between two buildings on McDonald Drive in Old Town. All seven of the crew's passengers survived.

Rev. Ron McLean of the Holy Trinity Anglican Church opened the ceremony, recounting his memory of learning how to fly himself in the 1970s and the feeling of joy he experienced on his first solo flight. McLean expressed his gratitude that there weren't more casualties in the crash and none on the ground.

"We don't know what all took place. What I do know is that we had two heroes in the front of the plane in the cockpit," said McLean.

E-mails from friends and family were read out to the crowd of more than 300 people. The congregation watched a slide show presentation showing the pair in their uniforms smiling while seated on the floats of their plane.

Keith Shergold, an Arctic Sunwest pilot, read from a statement about Stacey from other pilots working at the company.

"None of us were prepared for this single force of nature who inspired us with her fierce determination, optimism and sense of purpose. To Nicole, the world was a colourful place, full of interesting things and endless opportunities for adventure," he read.

"I'm not even sure if Nicole knew how highly regarded she was. All of her crew mates always looked forward to seeing her, hearing about her adventures, seeing her pictures. Nicole Stacey made the world a better place and she will be acutely missed by everyone she came in contact with."

Capt. Conrad Schubert of the Loyal Edmonton Regiment 49th Battalion's Yellowknife C Company, said Stacey, who held the rank of master corporal with the reserves, was originally from Inuvik but grew up in Yellowknife. She finished her high school education in Alberta and joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 2002, becoming a signaler. After returning to Yellowknife in 2009 to pursue her dream of becoming a commercial pilot, she became an instructor in voice communications and chemical and biological defence with the Yellowknife C Company.

"She was a really fantastic instructor. She could use her personality to teach with humour instead of sarcasm. If her recruits made a mistake, she could correct it without making the person feel bad," said Schubert.

Chris Van Drunen, another pilot with Arctic Sunwest Charters, spoke on behalf of company pilots about Jonasson.

"Capt. Trevor Jonasson arrived in Yellowknife in the spring of 2010 from Pickle Lake, Ont., where he had been working as a bush pilot, flying to communities and camps in the Northern woods. His love of machines and the great outdoors gave him a passion for flying that eventually led him and his dear partner Betsy to move to Yellowknife.

"Trevor, who was known to most of his friends as T-Bone, distinguished himself with his calm, serious approach to flying. He earned the respect of his co-pilots with his hard work and consistent leadership. T- Bone was always ready for adventure in his beloved Twin Otter, whether he was flying greasy drill parts on skis at 40 below or slinging groceries and rolling drums onto rickety docks from his floatplane.

"Our friend Trevor has left a gap in our ranks that will never be filled. His love of flying and his cheerful hard work had an effect on all of us, and we loved our own work more because of the example he set for us," read Van Drunen.

Shergold's wife Jacki McKinnon spoke for the spouses, families and friends of the pilots and what they deal with when they watch their loved one go out the door everyday to fly for a living.

"When you fly a plane in the North, it is unlike anywhere else. Our pilots up here are the best in the world. This is the spirit that built the North; that fearless, heroic strength of character. Every pilot I know has had character and Nicole and Trevor are shining examples of that," said McKinnon.

Avalon Rare Metals Inc., which had three employees on board the Twin Otter on Thursday, also had a message for the congregation.

"We would like to pass on our deepest condolences on their tragic loss of life. In those final moments before the crash, we know both Trevor and Nicole took whatever actions they could to save the life of all on board and for this we will be forever grateful. Please note our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with you," read Thom Pilgrim, manager of Arctic Sunwest Charters.

Pilgrim thanked the people of Discovery Air, the RCMP, Yellowknife emergency personal, Stanton Territorial Hospital and the Yellowknife community at large, including people who helped during and after the crash, local businesses and customers for their overwhelming support.

"Nicole and Trevor were two people whose professionalism was unmistakable. Their attitude and passion towards life was infectious to all that came in contact with them. They were taken away prematurely and will be missed by all. Trevor and Nicole, rest in peace," said Pilgrim.

There will be a celebration of life ceremony for Jonasson at the Buffalo Airways hangar today at 1 p.m. A funeral for Stacey will be held today at 2:30 p.m at the Holy Trinity Anglican Church.

Pakistan International Airlines finalizes arrangements for carrying Hajj pilgrims

KARACHI: PIA has finalised arrangements for carrying over 109,000 intending Hajj pilgrims to Saudi Arabia from seven major cities of Pakistan.

PIA's Pre- Hajj flights will begin from September 30, a spokesman of the airline said here on Wednesday.

He said that the Pre-Hajj flight operation will begin from Quetta on September 30. PK 1901 is expected to depart at 6:30 PM, the intending Hajjis will be seen off by Managing Director PIA, Nadeem Khan Yousufzai, followed by first Hajj flight from Peshawar PK 1601 at 8:45 PM.

On October 1, the first flight from Islamabad PK 1401 is expected to leave Benazir Bhutto International Airport early morning 1:00 AM, from Karachi PK 1701 at 1:50 AM and Lahore PK 1201 at 2:20 PM, the same day.

These inaugural flights from the major cities will carry a total of 1,737 intending pilgrims to Jeddah. The Pre-Hajj flights from Sialkot and Multan will commence from October 9 and October 13 respectively.

The Pre- Hajj operation will be completed on October 31 through 305 flights to Jeddah carrying over 109,000 intending pilgrims.

PIA will undertake 10 flights daily. PIA will operate 78 Pre- Hajj flights from Quetta carrying 15,190 intending pilgrims, 66 flights from Peshawar carrying 19,100 intending pilgrims, 46 flights each from Islamabad and Lahore will carry about 21,810 intending pilgrims respectively. PIA will operate 38 flights from Karachi carrying 16,722 intending pilgrims. While, from Sialkot and Multan PIA will operate 7 and 24 flights carrying over 3,320 from Sialkot and over 11,378 intending pilgrims from Multan.

A total of 07 aircraft will be utilised for the Hajj operations which include 03 Boeing 747s, 02 Airbus A310s and 02 Boeing 777s while 02 Boeing 747 aircraft are being kept as a stand-by to immediately replace an operational aircraft if it develops fault.

PIA spokesman said that keeping in mind maximum comfort to intending pilgrims, an integrated Hajj operation has been chalked out in close coordination with Saudi Agencies such as General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), King Abdul Aziz International Airport (KAIA), Ports Projects Management and Development Company (PPMDC), General Intelligence Department (GID) etc as well as Pakistani authorities such as CAA, ASF, ANF, Customs, Immigration etc.

He further stated that PIA along with other stakeholders carried out numerous brain storming sessions and has made travelling arrangements to better facilitate the intending Hajj pilgrims from Pakistan.

The waiting time for the pilgrims before commencement of their journey has been reduced to half by eliminating processing at Haji camps, that is, from 16 hours to 8 hours and processing of travel documents would be done only once at the airports of Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, Sialkot and Quetta. Only at Multan, due to shortage of space as construction work is ongoing at the airport; the Hajis will have to reach the Haji Camp where the check-in and baggage acceptance will be done while the remaining processing of their documents will be at MultanAirport.

PIA has prepared an information CD for the Hajis in which PIA policies, correct filing of travel papers and clearance from immigration have been explained. The CD also explains the intending pilgrims of the articles they may be allowed to carry in their hand baggage.

PIA's Post Hajj operation will commence from November 10 and conclude on December 10, 2011, the PIA spokesman added.

Tour operators are violating Hajj policy: Religious Affairs Secretary

Religious Affairs Secretary Shaukat Hayat Durrani said that several tour operators are violating Hajj Policy by booking Hajj seats with airlines other than the ministry has approved.

Talking to Express 24/7, Durrani said the Hajj Policy 2011 clearly states that only Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), Saudi Arabian Airlines, Al-Naas and Shaheen Airlines are the designated carriers of Hajj pilgrims.

This rule by Ministry of Religious Affairs is likely to result in offloading of passengers travelling with carriers other than the designated airlines.

The change came just few days before the departure of first Hajj flight.

According to sources, around 50,000 pilgrims are likely to be offloaded under the new policy.

It was reported earlier that the PIA had requested the federal government to ensure that the national carrier remains the primary airline to transport Hajj pilgrims to Saudi Arabia.

In a letter to the interior secretary, PIA’s managing director claimed that Hajj group operators took pilgrims through the other airlines, which resulted in a financial loss to PIA and cancellation of a number of flights.

Commercial flight makes emergency landing at Victoria Regional Airport (KVCT), Victoria, Texas.

A United Airlines flight en route from McAllen International Airport to a Houston airport was grounded for an hour in Victoria after an open cargo door light came on mid-flight Wednesday morning.

The flight was grounded safely at the Victoria Regional Airport for about an hour, said Faye Turner, operations manager.

"It has happened before," Turner said. "We can definitely handle it."

The flight made the landing at about 11:30 a.m. before finishing the last leg of the flight to George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Turner said.

The flight's 74 passengers were never in danger and the open cargo door was checked and fixed by a mechanic, Turner said.

The plane had reached its destination Wednesday afternoon.

Airport Authority director retires as investigation deepens. San Bernardino International Airport (KSBD), California

SAN BERNARDINO – There’s been a top-level retirement in the upper echelon of the troubled San Bernardino International Airport Authority.

Executive Director Don Rogers submitted his retirement letter effective immediately.

The SBIAA is under investigation for possible fiscal irregularities questioned by a Grand Jury. In a statement issued Wednesday, the authority said it will enforce all provisions of its agreements with developer Scot Spencer.

Mike Burrows will oversee the business operations of the authority and the Inland Valley Development Agency.

The SBIAA has also hired a law firm as special litigation counsel.

The executive director of the San Bernardino International Airport Authority on Wednesday announced his retirement, a week after FBI agents raided the government agency as part of an ongoing criminal investigation.

Donald L. Rogers submitted his retirement letter during a closed-door meeting of the airport authority board, which was accepted and will take effect immediately, according to board clerk Kelly Berry.

The FBI executed search warrants last week at the airport authority and Inland Valley Development Agency in San Bernardino, agencies that were accused of rampant mismanagement and possible financial wrongdoing in a recent county grand jury investigation.

Both agencies oversee the development of the airport -- the old Norton Air Force Base, which was decommissioned in 1994 and converted to civilian use.

After a nearly two-hour closed-door meeting held by the airport board Friday, San Bernardino County Supervisor Josie Gonzalez promised that the agency would be more transparent and cooperate fully with federal investigators. Gonzalez sits on both boards that are targeted in the investigation.

Among the findings in the civil grand jury report was that airport developer Scot Spencer received millions of dollars worth of questionable contracts from the airport authority. Spencer is a convicted felon who served time in federal prison for bankruptcy fraud and was banned from the aviation industry by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The investigation is being handled by a special joint corruption task force set up last year because of corruption allegations in San Bernardino County.

The government agencies are in the process of "reviewing and enforcing" all contracts with Spencer and his company, according to a statement released Wednesday.

Saudi national airlines steward molested passenger, 2000 lashes, 10 years prison

Jeddah - A Saudi Airlines steward convicted of attempting to rape a female passenger in the plane's toilet has received a prison sentence of 10 years. Additionally he was sentenced to the punishment of 2000 lashes.

Sex crimes often go unpunished or the guilty receive lenient sentences. Not so in Saudi Arabia where on September 27, a court at Burayadah convicted an air steward and sentenced him to 10 years in prison and 2000 lashes. The unnamed man was found guilty of attempting to rape a woman in mid-air during a domestic Saudi Airlines flight in the Kingdom.

Emirates 247 first reported the case in June, when an unnamed Australian woman of Lebanese origin who was traveling with her husband, made a complaint. As an investigation was launched, Saudi Airlines

“considered the complaint as strange because it came a long time after the flight…officials wondered why the woman did not complain to the cabin crew or the pilot at the time of the incident.”

At the time the steward faced losing his job if the charge of molestation was founded. The man was then arrested and the company stated it was trying to contact some of the passengers seated near to the toilet so they could testify in the case.

The latest report from Emirates 247 says the woman testified

“the steward pressed his hand on her mouth to prevent her from screaming and tried to rape her.”

The court has said the steward may appeal the verdict.

Whilst a prison sentence may be warranted, the additional punishment of 2000 lashes is extremely harsh. It is a penalty that is applied under Saudi’s sharia law for sexual deviants. The punishment would be fatal if meted out at one time, but the Saudi system allows for the flogging to be carried out in installments.
According to Corporal Com

“Saudi floggings are intended primarily as symbolic humiliation rather than intensely painful retribution, and is in line with a rule in the Koran that the operator is required to keep a copy of the holy book under his arm, so that he will not swing the whip from the shoulder but only from the elbow.”

However, video evidence shows that floggings routinely take place without the impediment of a book to limit the swing of the whip.

The 2000 lashes could be inflicted by a long cane, a whip or a leather strap. If the punishment is applied in installments the steward will be able to recuperate in his cell between floggings.

Avior Airlines Boeing 737-200, V495T aircraft makes emergency landing in Maiquetía

An Avior Airlines plane, Boeing 737-200, registration plate YV495T, covering the Maiquetía-Aruba route, made an emergency landing at 3:50 minutes in the afternoon on Wednesday at the Simón Bolívar International Airport, in Vargas state, north Venezuela, after a loss of hydraulic fluid pressure, said the Ministry of Transport and Communication.

Lorllys Ramos, the president of the Board of Inquiry into Civil Aviation Accidents (Jiaac), reported that five minutes after takeoff, the plane crew declared an emergency and had to land hastily in Maiquetía Caracas.

She said that the 37 passengers that were aboard were evacuated unharmed.

Ramos stressed that this incident did not result in the suspension of operations.

Jiaac experts are to conduct the relevant investigations to determine the causes of the incident, added Ramos.

Pilots Report More Laser Attacks in North Texas

Pilots are reporting more laser attacks in the skies above above North Texas.

"Laser attacks on aircraft, and we do call them attacks because they are very dangerous, they're on the increase", says Scott Shankland with the Allied Pilots Association.

The bright light from a laser can leave pilots momentarily blinded.

The latest incident occurred just before 10:30pm Tuesday, when American Airlines Flight #657 to Albuquerque was still climbing after taking off from DFW airport. The green laser light filled the cockpit as the MD-80 was about two miles above North Forth Worth.

"You've got a very dark cockpit and all of a sudden the cockpit is illuminated with a very bright light. it's equivalent to having someone stick a flash camera in front of your face in the dark and set it off" says Shankland. "About 93 percent of the attacks are by green lasers and the problem with green lasers is they are much more powerful they have a far greater range and the wavelength of the green lasers are the ones that can actually cause permanent eye damage."

Pilots have already reported 2500 incidents nationwide this year -- nearly the same number as all of last year. There have been 64 this year in North Texas alone, and four of them happened just this week.

"A lot of people like to think of this as a prank or a science experiment to see how far they can shine the laser, but we consider it to be a potential threat to human life," says Lynn Lunsford, the regional spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration. "Many of the events that we have are probably inadvertent, but there have been quite a growing number of events that are clearly on purpose"

In a written statement, American Airlines spokesman Tim Smith emailed "aiming a laser at any aircraft is an extraordinarily dumb thing to do".

When violators are found, the FAA is cracking down with fines up to $11,000 per incident.

Plane crashes in Eastern Bay of Plenty, New Zealand

One person was in the topdressing plane which crashed near Downard Road, White Pine Bush, near Taneatua.

St John team manager Glen Taylor told The Daily Post they had a call at 10.20am to say a light plane had crashed just north of Taneatua at Downard Rd.

A man was treated for moderate injuries. The Tauranga-based rescue helicopter service was on its way to the scene.

One White Pine Bush Rd resident said he didn't know there had been a plane crash but had noticed a lot of emergency service vehicles in the area.

Fire service shift manager Steve Smith said firefighters were stood down soon after they arrived at the scene.

He said the pilot was walking after treatment. "I guess it's a lot better than we thought"

Two fire trucks from Whakatane and two from Edgecumbe were dispatched to the scene.

Helicopter maker says it did not hide crash report

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The manufacturer of a helicopter that crashed in Louisiana in 2009, killing eight people, is defending itself against accusations that it hid a damning internal report to conceal its liability.

The owner of the helicopter, PHI Inc., wants a federal judge to sanction Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. for allegedly hiding a report by 1 of its engineers that concluded that Sikorsky's faulty design caused its helicopter to crash near Morgan City.

On Wednesday, lawyers for Sikorsky acknowledged making mistakes during court proceedings, but said the company did not hide the document.

U.S. Magistrate Karen Wells Roby took the case under advisement, saying the charges were serious and that she would not make a hasty ruling.

Cessna A185F Skywagon, N2530S

NTSB Identification: CEN11CA291
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, April 28, 2011 in Hot Springs, AR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/22/2011
Aircraft: CESSNA A185F, registration: N2530S
Injuries: 4 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot approached the runway for a full stop landing with the wing flaps fully extended. On touchdown the airplane bounced twice and the left wingtip impacted the runway. The pilot was able to regain control of the airplane and taxied to parking. The airplane’s left wing and aileron sustained substantial damage during the impact. Seven minutes before the accident, the automated weather observing system (AWOS) at the airport reported variable wind at 6 knots. The pilot reported that there were no mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane prior to the accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s improper recovery from a bounced landing.

A small plane ended with its nose in the grass at Meacham International Aiport in Fort Worth on Wednesday afternoon.

FORT WORTH — An small plane crashed at Meacham International Airport Wednesday afternoon.

According to initial reports, the pilot experienced a "loss of control" but was not injured. No passengers were reported to be on the plane.

An aerial view of the scene showed the single-engine Cessna Skywagon nose-down in the grass alongside a runway, with its tail in the air at a 45-degree angle.

The six-seat aircraft was built in 1973 and is registered to a Fort Worth business, according to federal aviation records.

The same aircraft was involved in an accident at the airport in Hot Springs, Arkansas exactly five months ago.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board, the plane was coming in for a landing on April 28 when it bounced twice on touchdown and the tip of the left wing struck the runway.

The pilot was able to regain control, but there was "substantial damage" to the left wing and aileron. The pilot and three passengers were unhurt.

The NTSB determined that the probable cause of the accident was "the pilot’s improper recovery from a bounced landing."

Police launch raids in probe suspicious helicopter crash

Ten individuals, including active duty military officers, were detained on Wednesday in simultaneous operations in five provinces across the country as part of an investigation into the death of the leader of the Grand Unity Party (BBP), Muhsin Yazıcıoğlu, who died in a helicopter crash in 2009 along with five others.

The operations were carried out by the Malatya Specially Authorized Prosecutor's Office following the emergence of new details suggesting that the helicopter crash was more than an accident.

The investigation of Yazıcıolu's mysterious death entered a new phase when an unknown army officer sent a video to President Abdullah Gül of the helicopter crash site where Yazıcıoğlu and five others perished. Three officers can be seen in the video; one is removing the black box containing two recording devices from the front panel of the helicopter, while two others look on.

Within the scope of the Malatya Specially Authorized Prosecutor's Office's decision taken on Tuesday, police carried out operations in Malatya, İstanbul, Ankara, Antalya and İzmir on the early hours of Wednesday to find the missing parts of the crashed helicopter, incident reports, images of the crashed helicopter and other relevant sources of information. Police carried out operations at various gendarmerie offices, Civil Aviation Association buildings, at the Civil Aviation General Directorate (SHGM), at the Department of Aviation Standards and in army housing complexes.

Police got hold of the incident reports found at the SHGM and started an investigation into these documents as well as all the reports created since the time of the incident. Transportation Minister Binali Yıldırım stated on Wednesday that there had been no arrests made during the SGHM searches and that police have just questioned some SGHM employees regarding the Yazıcıoğlu case.

With the order of the Malatya prosecutors, a search was conducted at former Air Force Commander General M.Ç.'s home in Antalya province. M.Ç. has recently resigned from his post in the military. The resigned general was not at home, but his wife disclosed M.Ç.'s whereabouts and police are now searching M.Ç. using the information provided by his wife. Antalya Counterterrorism officers did not find any documents in M.Ç.'s home.

It was reported by the police department on Wednesday that a total of 51 army officers have been involved in the rescue operation of the crashed helicopter in 2009, including a mountaineering team of 20, a land forces unit of 20, a team of seven in the Sikorsky helicopter that carried out the search in area and five technicians.

The Presidency's State Audit Institution (DDK) has been investigating the cause of the crash, which has been mired in suspicion since it happened in May 2009. The DDK's findings confirm allegations that military jets were in the same area as the helicopter minutes before the crash. There is also a four-minute blackout of all radars in the area that coincides with the time of the crash. The DDK's recent findings indicate that a critical map drawn up by the Telecommunication Directorate (TİB), using the victims' cell phone coordinates to aid in search and rescue efforts was not used by the gendarmerie search teams looking for the crash site.

TİB officials say two maps showing the coordinates of the crash site were created on the day of the crash, one drawn up at 4.55 p.m., and the other at 10.30 p.m., using GSM signals from the victims' phones that still had running batteries. However, the DDK report found that the maps were deliberately concealed by the gendarmerie commanders conducting the search.

Earlier, a parliamentary commission also looked into allegations that the crash was the result of sabotage. Testifying to this commission, Lt. Col. Hamza Tiryaki from the Kahramanmaraş Gendarmerie Office, who was in charge of coordinating the rescue efforts, said, “The coordinates of the spot where the crash occurred were not given to us, but we were given coordinates of a region, where we subsequently conducted our search.”

The DDK in its report said that the search and rescue operation conducted on the day of the crash was staged to keep up appearances with the local villagers, saying persistent disregard of the maps created by Akdoğu based on TİB data point in this direction. The search teams looked for the wreckage in the wrong locations for long hours in vain.

The helicopter carrying BBP leader Yazıcıoğlu and five others crashed in Kahramanmaraş while returning from an election rally. The eventually unsuccessful search by rescue teams was hindered by snowstorms and heavy fog and a lack of knowledge of the exact location of the crash site in a mountainous area of more than 30 square kilometers.

Yazıcıoğlu, BBP Sivas provincial branch President Erhan Üstündağ, BBP Sivas provincial branch Vice President Yüksel Yağcı, Sivas City Council candidate Murat Çetinkaya and İhlas News Agency (İHA) reporter İsmail Güneş along with pilot Kaya İstektepe had been traveling from Kahramanmaraş to Yozgat when the accident occurred. The victims' snow-covered bodies were found by local villagers 72 hours after the crash.

Massachusetts Man Plotted to Blow Up Pentagon, U.S. Capitol Using Model Plane, Feds Say. (With Video)

 (Thanks Jim!)

A 26-year-old Massachusetts man was arrested Wednesday and accused of plotting to blow up the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol using large remote-controlled aircraft laden with explosives, as well as attempting to assist Al Qaeda in attacking U.S. troops overseas.

Rezwan Ferdaus of Ashland, Mass., was arrested Wednesday in Framingham after undercover FBI agents delivered weapons Ferdaus allegedly sought for the alleged plan. The stash included what he thought was 25 pounds of C-4 explosives, as well as three grenades and six fully-automatic AK-47 assault, a press release from the Department of Justice reads.

Ferdaus was arrested after he took the the materials and locked them in his storage unit, according to an affadavit that says the storage unit was rented under a false name in June.

The public was never in danger from the explosives, as undercover agents monitored the alleged plot and kept up frequent contact with Ferdaus, the press release read. More than 30 federal, state and local agencies in the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force worked together in the operation, including police departments in Worcester, Ashland and Framingham and the ATF.

In recorded conversations, Ferdaus said he planned to attack the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol using aircraft similar to “small drone airplanes” that were guided by GPS equipment, the affidavit said. The plan called for three remote-controlled aircraft to carry out the attacks, along with six other gunmen divided into two teams, with Ferdaus coordinating the operation.

Read more and watch video:

Huey Chopper Owners Reflect on Air Races Crash. (with video)

Moments after the deadly Reno Air Races crash, a group of men jumped in to help with their vintage Huey helicopter.

"As soon as you heard the thud. ‘Cause you just knew something was wrong," says pilot Brent Marker.

Marker along with Ray Murphy and Chris Miller were all at the 47th annual National Championship Air Races with their vintage chopper on September 16th.

Within minutes they brought the Huey out of retirement – transporting victims to Pickett Park across from Renown Regional Medical Center. "Someone requested ‘can you help.' Basically our team jumped into action. We got the wheels on the helicopter. The group that was next to us came over and helped everyone push it out onto the tarmac," says helicopter co-owner Chris Miller.

They pushed the 6,000 pound aircraft up a slope.

Everyone they transported that day survived – and this crew says they're happy the Huey was up to the task. "The old baby did it. And I was pleased to have been there to watch her do it," says pilot Murphy.

Murphy has been flying since 1966, including two tours in Vietnam a career in the U.S. Army and with the FAA. He's part of a team based out of Buchanan Air Field.

Eleven people died when pilot Jimmy Leeward crashed his modified WWII-era P-51 Mustang dubbed the ‘Galloping Ghost' nose-first into a section of VIP box seats.

Watch Video:

Robins Air Force Base completes work on first C-130J

Master Sgt. Justin James 339th Flight Test Squadron looks over the propellers for any nicks or dings on a C-130J at Robins Air Force Base Wednesday. The C-130J is the first serviced under the new Progressive Maintenance Program.

WARNER ROBINS -- Robins Air Force Base was ready Wednesday to release its first C-130J aircraft -- the newest variant of the transporter aircraft.

“The C-130J is one of the newer aircraft in the United States Air Force,” said Col. Randy Burke, head of the aircraft maintenance group at Robins.

Robins is the home of the C-130, he said. The base works on more C-130s than any other aircraft.

The C-130J sat in a line with other C-130 aircraft Wednesday, making it hard to tell it apart at first glance.

One main difference is the engine. The J-series features a six-bladed propeller instead of a four-blade like the older models. The other main difference is in the cockpit, Burke said. The C-130J also has a more modern avionics suite.

The aircraft underwent more than 100 days in a new depot maintenance program. Originally projected at 90 days, Burke said they are still developing and refining the maintenance process.

Unlike Programmed Depot Maintenance, the Progressive Maintenance Program uses customized maintenance packages developed specific to each plan depending on the number of flying hours it has acquired.

More than 40 civilian technicians had a hand in the process, which included removing parts, stripping the aircraft of paint, inspection, repair and reassembly.

The aircraft was set to return to its home station at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark.

Another C-130J is set to arrive at Robins Air Force Base this week, Burke said. The base is scheduled to deliver eight of the aircraft within the next fiscal year, which starts Oct. 1.

U. S. Coast Guard crew of C-130 Hercules nabs drug sub in Western Caribbean. (With Video)

Watch Video:
MIAMI, FL - The U.S. Coast Guard stopped a drug-smuggling submarine in the Western Caribbean earlier this month.

The crew of a C-130 Hercules plane spotted the self-propelled semi-submersible (SPSS) vessel on September 17th.

They radioed the crew of the Cutter Mohawk, which tracked down the drug sub and detained its crew.

The Coast Guard was able to seize some cocaine from the vessel before it sank – part of the sinking was captured on video.

Both the drugs and the crew were turned over to federal law enforcement.

It's only the second drug sub incident in the Western Caribbean. Coast Guard officials say the subs are usually built in the jungles of South America and normally less than 100 feet long.

They typically carry four or five crew members and can haul up to 10 metric tons of cargo up to 5,000 miles.

They're also built to be quickly sunk at the first sight of law enforcement, making recovery of the cargo difficult.

The SPSS vessels are commonly used in the Eastern Pacific to smuggle drugs, according to the Coast Guard.

"The use of self propelled semi-submersibles is relatively new in the Caribbean so it's a serious operational challenge for the cutter fleet, Cmdr. Mark Fedor, Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk's commanding officer, said in a written statement.

"They are a significant threat to our nation and our friends throughout Central and South America because they can smuggle massive amounts of narcotics as well as other illicit goods or people. I am proud of my crew for stepping up to this challenge. Through their professionalism and courage, we were able to stop millions of dollars of cocaine from reaching the streets of America. That's why we're out here."
Watch Video:

VIDEO: Navy Tests Aircraft Launch System at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. E-2D Advanced Hawkeye command and control aircraft was launched using the technology.

Watch Video
Members of the media were invited to the Lakehurst site of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst to watch a launch of a Navy aircraft using a new catapult system.

The Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System, known as EMALS, is set to replace the steam catapult systems that have been used to launch planes from aircraft carriers for over 50 years. The interface that connects the catapult to the aircraft remains the same, though the technology underneath is more advanced.

"I'm a former launch and recovery officer so this is very important to me," said Capt. James Donnelly, program manager for Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment.

Donnelly said in a briefing before the Sept. 27 launch of an E-2D Advanced Hawkeye at a full-scale EMALS system installed at a Lakehurst runway that the more advanced technology will require less maintenance and afford sailors more free time to rest and recover, something he considers "one of the biggest benefits of this system."

EMALS had its inception in 1999, said Sue Wojtowicz, director of Launch and Recovery Programs for General Atomic, and 95 manned aircraft have been launched using the system.

Donnelly said that the program is about 80 percent complete and officials hope to have the system certified for ship use on Gerald R. Ford-class carriers in 2015.

"EMALS delivers the necessary higher launch energy capacity as well as substantial improvements in system maintenance, efficiency, and more accurate end-speed control," said a Joint Base press release. "The system’s technology allows for smooth acceleration at both high and low speeds, increasing the carrier’s ability to launch aircraft in support of the warfighter."

Watch Video:

Lockheed Martin Delivers Four C-130J Super Hercules Airlifters to Qatar

MARIETTA, Ga., Sept. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- At ceremonies today at the Lockheed Martin facility here, company officials formally delivered four C-130J Super Hercules airlifters to the State of Qatar.

The Qatar Emiri Air Force's new Super Hercules are the longer fuselage or "stretched" variant of the C-130J. The aircraft will be used for humanitarian relief and military missions for the defense of the State of Qatar. The new airlift fleet will ferry to Qatar in October.

"It is a historic day for both the Qatar Armed Forces and Lockheed Martin as we welcome Qatar into the global C-130 family," said Lorraine Martin, Lockheed Martin vice president for C-130 programs. "This acquisition of a fleet of C-130Js provides Qatar with a highly flexible airlift capability. As the first C-130J operator in the Middle-East, Qatar takes a unique place in C-130 history."

This is Qatar's first experience with C-130s and Lockheed Martin is providing a complete solution package. "The package includes the four aircraft; aircrew and maintenance training; spares; ground support and test equipment; and a team of technical specialists who will be based in Qatar during an initial support period.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 126,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation's 2010 sales from continuing operations were $45.8 billion.

For additional information, visit our website:

SOURCE Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company

Raw video: F-15C fighter jet enforcing a 30-mile Temporary Flight Restriction on biplane during President Obama's bay area visit . Santa Cruz. Watsonville Municipal Airport (KWVI), California

The pilot never had a chance. He was flying a 1942 biplane when he was intercepted by an F-15 fighter jet. In terrestrial terms it’s like a Model-T Ford taking on an M1A1 tank. The problem was that he had violated a temporary 30-mile no-fly zone put in place during President Obama’s visit to LinkedIn headquarters in Mountain View. “Dang, that looks like Top Gun,” said County Sheriff Phil Wowak, who happened to witness the incident.

It was one of four intercepts that occurred during the President’s visit to the Bay Area earlier this week. Though Watsonville Municipal Airport issued email warnings to pilots about the restricted area, Interim Manager Rayvon Williams said that it is not uncommon for pilots to forget to check the latest notices.

The biplane belongs to John Bernard of San Francisco, but it is unclear whether he was piloting it at the time of the incident. Read more at Santa Cruz Sentinel.

Sept. 26, 2011

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. - In the past 24 hours F-15C fighter jets under the direction of the North American Aerospace Defense Command intercepted four separate general aviation aircraft in the vicinity of San Jose, California.  In each incident, the civilian aircraft, which entered the Temporary Flight Restricted area, were intercepted and then departed the area without incident.

Tinker Airmen Accused Of Attacking Woman At Party In Norman, Oklahoma. (With Video)

NORMAN, OK -- It's a question only police can answer. Are men who are set to deploy and protect our country fighting the wrong fight here at home? A 21-year-old woman says yes.

Stevie Colvin just took portfolio pictures to be a model. It's a dream she'll have to put on hold while her face heals.

Colvin said it all started at a house party in Norman on September 17. She said she was attempting to break up a fight when a mob of men allegedly attacked her.

"I got choked and grabbed up and they all punched on me while I was in the choke hold and that's the last thing I remember. Next thing I knew, I woke up in a puddle of blood," Colvin said. She spent the night at Moore Regional Hospital.

That's not how Brett Corriveau remembers it. He said there was no beating that happened, and he claims Colvin instigated the black eye, bloody face and 37 subsequent stitches.

Corriveau said they didn't hit Colvin, and she fell to the ground.

"She fell pretty hard and she was drunk, and we did try and restrain her. I told her if she stopped fighting we'd let her go and she hit her face very hard on the ground," Corriveau said.

"I'm very upset, it's not like I went in there ghetto and trashy," Colvin said.

Corriveau claims Colvin was drunk. He said she damaged his car, as well as his roommates' vehicles.

The airman said Colvin then almost hit someone before speeding off.

There are four Tinker Airmen implicated in the attack, but Corriveau pointed out that the focus in this house was on another fight.

"We are all going different ways because we are all deploying. We are not trying to get involved in anything that would stop us from doing that. We have other goals," Corriveau said.

We spoke to Norman police, who cannot comment on a case while it's under investigation.

Some of the pictures Colvin shared were too graphic for television, but you can view the unedited versions in the slide show in this story.

Our calls to Tinker Air Force Base Tuesday were unreturned. The airmen are set to deploy November 1.


RAW VIDEO: Outside de Havilland Beaver float plane on take off . Northern Labrador - Canada.

Video by Flowers River on Sep 24, 2011

Taking off from Char Lake enroute to Flowers River Lodge in Northern Labrador with goPro camera mounted on port rear float.

Police Confiscate Medical Marijuana Found At Airport. Woman Had Prescription For Marijuana, Police Say. Indianapolis International Airport (KIND), Indiana.

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indianapolis airport police plan to destroy medical marijuana seized from a breast cancer patient from California who was boarding a flight on Tuesday.

Transportation Security Administration screeners found the marijuana and a pipe in luggage after it passed through an X-ray machine at Indianapolis International Airport.

According to a police report, a 36-year-old woman from Van Nuys, Calif., told police she has breast cancer and showed them a medical card confirming that she was prescribed the marijuana.

Authorities told her that while it was legal to possess and smoke medical marijuana in California, it's illegal to do so in Indiana.

The woman was not charged, and police said they intend to destroy the marijuana.

Syrianair to buy Tupolev aircraft

The Tupolev company has signed a memorandum of intentions with the Syrianair for deliveries of the new Tupolev-204CM passenger aircraft.

The Tupolev press-service reported today that the contract stipulates the initial delivery of three Tupolev-204CM starting with 2013.

The Tupolev -204CM is a Russian air-liner equipped with the latest achievements of Russian aircraft-building. Serial production is planned for 2012.

State grounds Sunrise Powerlink helicopters. The California Public Utilities Commission cites eight incidents, calls for safety stand down.

At a December 2010 groundbreaking for the Sunrise Powerlink, this helicopter was on display.
Image from PUC report on June 7 incident

State regulators issued a stop-work order Tuesday against San Diego Gas & Electric’s Sunrise Powerlink transmission line project, saying they were troubled by a continuing pattern of safety risks.

The order, which took effect immediately, grounded all helicopter operations related to the $1.9 billion, 117-mile construction project. The project had been flying an average of 14 to 21 choppers per day.

The order came three days after The Watchdog reported two tail-rotor strikes that went unreported by SDG&E in recent months.

No one was injured in the helicopter mishaps. Regulators at the Public Utilities Commission said they should have been notified.

The order came during a difficult month of aerial operations for the utility. Three times in the past two weeks, equipment was dropped from helicopters as a result of rigging failures, the commission said.

“The pattern of Sunrise Project helicopter incidents is troubling to the CPUC and is of serious concern due to the safety risks such incidents impose on the residents of Imperial and San Diego counties and project personnel,” commission director Julie Fitch wrote to SDG&E.

Flights cannot resume until a series of worker-safety and training conditions are met to the commission’s satisfaction. It is not clear how much time that will take.

Utility President Michael Niggli issued a statement Tuesday afternoon saying it would comply with the order and work diligently to meet the commission’s demands.

“SDG&E is committed to improving all helicopter and construction practices related to the project and will comply with the additional training and incident reporting requirements contained in the CPUC’s order,” he said.

According to Niggli, company officials informed state officials last week they planned to conduct a “safety stand down” to address the number of incidents.

“We recognize the commission’s concerns about recent incidents involving helicopters working on the project and are resolved to improve and maintain safe construction practices,” he said. “Safety is — and always has been — the company’s top priority in all of our operations.” [Full statement]

Imperial County Supervisor Gary Wyatt said state regulators have done a good job overseeing the Sunrise Powerlink construction, but they may have overreacted Tuesday.

“When you have big industrial projects, it’s inevitable there will be some issues,” he said. “You have to deal with the safety issues and move on.”

Michael Shames of the Utility Consumers’ Action Network said the stop-work demand reflects the new personality of the state commission, a five-member panel appointed by the governor.

“This is a shot across the bow. This is a wake-up call,” Shames said. “The utility now knows the regulators are going to be more aggressive in protecting the public interest.”

The Sunrise Powerlink will be a network of more than 440 steel-lattice towers stretching across Imperial and San Diego counties. SDG&E says construction is 40 percent completed.

Construction of the power line is heavily reliant on helicopters, with 75 percent of the overhead portion being built with copters.

The commission’s order was met with praise by opponents of the project.

“We’re very pleased to see that the CPUC has stepped up to the plate and called SDG&E out on its unsafe shortcutting of environmental and public-safety standards,” said attorney Stephan Volker, who represents several citizens groups fighting in court to stop the transmission line. “It’s a long time coming.”

Lisa Wood lives on just under two acres in El Monte Valley, where she raises horses. She said the helicopter traffic frightens her animals and other riders.

“It’s been like living in Saigon during the evacuations,” said Wood, who was relieved to hear the copters were temporarily grounded. “The helicopter noise during the day is almost constant. It puts the horses on edge; it puts the riders on edge.”

Supervisor Dianne Jacob, who sent a letter to utilities commissioners Monday in response to The Watchdog’s weekend report, said Tuesday that the regulators did the right thing.

“I commend the CPUC for putting public safety first and grounding helicopter operations for this dangerous, fire-inducing monstrosity,” she said in a statement. “The CPUC must hold SDG&E accountable for its reckless antics and flagrant disregard for CPUC rules.”

The Watchdog reported Saturday that the rotor of an SDG&E-contracted helicopter struck a boulder during construction operations Feb. 12. The Federal Aviation Administration opened an investigation but the utility did not report the accident to state regulators.

On Aug. 23, the rotor of another helicopter struck a fence post — an accident that similarly injured no one and was not reported to the state.

The February case resulted in a 100-day license suspension for the pilot, and the August incident remains under investigation.

In its order to SDG&E, state officials for the first time attributed the August mishap to “pilot error.” The letter cites eight incidents that led to the order, including the rotor strikes.

In June, a mechanical failure caused a sky crane to drop a 16,000-pound piece of a tower from 200 feet above the Imperial County desert. No one was injured.

Three days later, another mechanical failure caused a second slip, although the crane in that case was able to lower the equipment to the ground safely.

Another helicopter dropped an air compressor on Aug. 4, causing no injuries but spilling up to 60 gallons of diesel fuel. There also were the three separate rig failures since last Monday.

Not referenced in the commission letter was an incident in March, when an SDG&E contract helicopter pilot violated restrictions by flying into nesting areas for golden eagles three separate times.

Sheltair Selected to Be FBO at John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York.

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla., Sept. 27, 2011 -- /PRNewswire/ -- Sheltair, a nationally recognized network of fixed base operations (FBOs) and airport properties, announced today that it has entered into a lease agreement with the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey to manage and operate an FBO serving general aviation passengers and flight crews at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). This will be the company's 14th FBO location and sixth in New York state.

Sheltair will become the first private FBO ever to service general aviation at the airport replacing the Port Authority which has run the general aviation service operation there since 1947 as the sole service provider.

Jerry Holland, Sheltair CEO, said, "We are thrilled to bring Sheltair's unmatched customer service and facilities to JFK International, one of the world's most prestigious and recognized airports. Our team of highly-trained professionals is excited to begin the work that will make this location an excellent addition to our current FBO network and one of the best in the nation."

Sheltair will be making significant investments in ground support equipment, facility improvements, and will provide customers a branded offering including all the benefits of a full-service FBO.

The lease includes a 3,100 square foot general aviation executive facility on 4.53 acres of land. The remodeled facility will feature a pilot's lounge, flight planning room, and passenger lounge among its other amenities. Sheltair will also offer crew car availability and complimentary shuttle service to JFK's domestic and international terminals.

About Sheltair

Sheltair is a Fort Lauderdale, Florida based company offering services in FBOs, Properties and Construction. The company currently serves aviation communities through their network of 13 fixed base operations throughout Florida, New York and Georgia, as well as through their properties division and construction division covering 18 airports. Sheltair employs more than 300 people.

SOURCE Sheltair

Southwest Fires Back: Passengers Not Removed for Lesbian Kiss, But for Loud Profanity

Southwest Airlines came under fire this week when former “The L Word” star and “Uh Her Her” musician Leisha Hailey claimed that she was removed from a flight for kissing her girlfriend, Camila Grey.

“Southwest Air endorses homophobic employees. Since when is showing affection toward someone you love illegal? I want to know what Southwest Airlines considers a ‘family,’” Hailey tweeted.

In an initial statement issued by Southwest, the airline said it had received complaints that the behavior was “excessive” and that the “crew, responsible for the comfort of all customers on board, approached the passengers based solely on behavior and not gender.”

However, in another statement issued to FOX411’s Pop Tarts column late Tuesday, Southwest said that the removal was a result of inappropriate language, and had nothing to do with any public display of affection.

“Additional reports from our Employees and Customers onboard flight 2274 during a stop in El Paso on Sunday now confirm profane language was being used loudly by two passengers. At least one family who was offended by the loud profanity moved to another area of the cabin," the statement said. "Although we have reports of what Customers characterize as an excessive public display of affection, ultimately their aggressive reaction led to their removal from the aircraft. We do not tolerate discrimination against anyone for any reason. In this situation, their removal was directly and solely related to the escalated conversation that developed onboard the aircraft.”

“Our tenets of inclusion and celebration of diversity among our Customers and Employees—including those in the LGBT communities—anchor our Culture of mutual respect and following the Golden Rule," the satement continued. "The more than 100 million people who fly Southwest each year reflect the great diversity of our country and our Company — and ALL are valued and welcome. In fact, we've been recognized as a leader in diversity throughout our 40 years of service.”

The Customer Advocacy Team also told FOX411 that they reached out to extend goodwill and a full refund for “an experience that fell short of the passengers' expectation.” Soutwest declined to elaborate any further regarding precisely what unacceptable language was used, and what the PDA between the pair entailed.

All Nippon Airways Boeing 737-700, JA16AN, Performing Flight NH-140. Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. Incident occurred September 6, 2011.

ANA Incident UPDATE #1

Japan Economic Newswire Via Acquire Media NewsEdge 
TOKYO, Sept. 28 -- (Kyodo) _ EDS

Updating number of passengers that complained of feeling unwell, adding ANA's disciplinary action, other information.

An All Nippon Airways jetliner briefly flew almost belly up when it nosedived off Shizuoka Prefecture en route to Tokyo early this month, the Japan Transport Safety Board said Wednesday.

Flight 140 from Naha, Okinawa Prefecture, with 117 crew and passengers aboard, managed to land at Haneda airport in Tokyo despite dropping around 1,900 meters from a height of about 12,500 meters in 30 seconds. Two flight attendants were slightly hurt, while six passengers later complained of feeling unwell.

The safety board's head, Norihiro Goto, told a news conference that data from the Boeing 737-700's digital flight recorder showed that in the incident on the night of Sept. 6, the twin-engine jet rolled to the left and descended after slightly rolling to the right when a co-pilot mistakenly operated the rudder trim knob in the cockpit.

The narrow-body aircraft continued to roll until it reached 131.7 degrees to the left, leaving it almost belly up, according to the board. Its nose pointed down as much as 35 degrees at one point.

"The centrifugal force (exerted by the maneuver) may have helped lessen the impact on the passengers," Goto said, adding that darkness outside may have prevented those aboard realizing that the plane had turned almost upside down.

The passengers are believed to have been buckled up at the time.

Following the revelation that the airplane had flown almost belly up, Shin Nagase, a senior executive vice president of All Nippon Airways Co., said at a separate news conference, "We deeply apologize for causing tremendous trouble and anxiety to our passengers." ANA reprimanded four officials with stern warnings on Sept. 7, including Mitsuo Morimoto, senior executive vice president in charge of safety promotion, and Koichi Uchizono, president of Air Nippon Co., an ANA group company that operated the flight.

The unintended maneuver was caused when the co-pilot, in trying to unlock the cockpit door for the captain who was returning from a rest room in the cabin, mistook the rudder trim knob for the cockpit door lock switch nearby.

By the time the co-pilot stabilized the aircraft, it was close to heading in the opposite direction, according to the safety board.

The incident occurred at 10:50 p.m. on Sept. 6 while the aircraft was flying over the Pacific about 40 kilometers south of Hamamatsu.

The transport safety board is investigating the incident, including the maneuver the co-pilot apparently performed to stabilize the jetliner.

Qantas staff stood down for voicing safety concerns: court

Six Brisbane aircraft maintenance engineers claim they were unfairly stood down for three months after they reported faulty cockpit doors on 20 Qantas aircraft could be opened with Paddle Pop sticks.

The airline faces fines up to $33,000 if found to have taken "adverse action" against the six engineers.

The Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association is pursuing the airline in the Federal Court on behalf of the six QantasLink employees, under "adverse action" provisions of the Fair Work Act.

Barrister Eugene White, for the union, said each of the six engineers were stood down, docked four hours' pay and had an official warning letter for misconduct placed on their permanent record after they reported faults with the cockpit doors of the Dash 8 planes, operated by Qantas subsidiary Sunstate Airlines.

Mr White told the Federal Court today one engineer noted on October 16 last year that the cockpit door could be opened by leaning against an adjacent toilet wall in the plane.

Another engineer discovered the cockpit doors could be opened with an ice-cream stick or a rolled-up boarding pass the following day.

Four other engineers noted the same defect in more planes the next day.

The court heard each engineer received a letter from Qantas later that month, accusing them of misconduct and claimed the complaints were part of unauthorised union action.

"In effect it's alleged that the men didn't perform their work in good faith, that they colluded to cause damage to Sunstate, and that it was part of industrial action," Mr White said.

"It is alleged they raised these defects as part of a campaign."

QantasLink engineers were involved in industrial action over an enterprise bargaining agreement at the time the defects were found, but Mr White told the court there was no evidence to suggest "there was any industrial action taken other than the authorised industrial action".

Outside the court, ALAEA secretary Steve Purvinas said the six engineers were "threatened, intimidated and bullied" by their employer over the incident.

"These engineers received threatening letters and were stood down for three months not knowing what their future was. When they were finally allowed back to work, an official misconduct warning was placed on each of their files," he said.

"I would like to see the names of our members cleared and see Qantas fined for the second time for taking adverse action against its employees."

The union is acting under new provisions in the Fair Work Act which allows employees to bring an "adverse action" claim against their employer where a workplace right has been breached or is threatened to be breached.

In a written statement, a Qantas spokesman maintained the grounding of the six aircraft was part of industrial action against the airline and there was "no airworthiness or safety issue" with the cockpit doors.

"The cockpit doors on all QantasLink turboprop aircraft meet all relevant aviation security regulatory and manufacturer requirements," he said.

"At the time these employees said that the cockpit doors were unsafe all of these aircraft were fully airworthy.

"Both the Office of Transport Security and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority investigated the alleged door issue and found that there were the cockpit doors were fully compliant with their standards."

Sunstate Airlines, a wholly owned subsidiary of Qantas, operates 21 QantasLink planes flying to 23 destinations in Australia.

The Federal Court hearing, before Justice John Logan, is expected to continue for the rest of the week.