Sunday, October 16, 2011

Parachute School of Toronto: Residents seek to ground skydivers

Fed up with deafening noise, noxious fumes and rogue skydivers landing on their properties, residents of Georgina, on the southern shore of Lake Simcoe, are petitioning their town council to take action against the Parachute School of Toronto.

Some 200 irate Georginians have signed the petition and presented it to local politicians. A town council report on the matter is expected next week.

“If they wreck anything, say they land in your azaleas and destroy them, that’s criminal trespass,” says resident Paul Nicholls, who is spearheading the protest.

The school has been operating since 1974, though it used to run out of Arthur, Ont. It relocated to Georgina in 2002 to be closer to Toronto customers. It runs from May to October, 9 a.m. to sunset, five days a week, during which about 1,000 flights take place.

Mary Kay lives about 60 metres from the airport. The noise had been tolerable, she says, but things changed in the summer of 2010 when a new, louder plane came into use. Now the noise and fumes are unbearable, she says.

“It is hard on the blood pressure when you get all wound up about something like this,” says Kay, 76.

Adam Mabee, president of the parachute school, says he has yet to talk with the petitioners.

Of the 400 jumps conducted weekly, he says just a couple of skydivers miss their target, the airport.

“Statistically, that’s pretty low,” he says. The worst damage happened two years ago to an awning, he says, and he paid for repairs.

In fact, he says, people whose property they land on are pretty friendly about it. “On a Sunday afternoon they’ll be sitting out on a back porch sipping a drink and enjoying the show.”

As for the offending aircraft, Mabee says it’s a “big ugly plane great for jumping out of.” He says he doesn’t notice it being louder than others.

Still, as far as Kay is concerned, the airport was never meant to house such a large operation. “It’s just a roar,” she says. “You just grin and bear it and close the windows.”

Float plane makes emergency landing in lake due to mechanical issues. (Canada)

RCMP in Halifax say a small float plane had to make an emergency landing in a lake today after experiencing mechanical difficulties.

Constable Dal Hutchinson says the two people on board - a pilot and passenger - were not hurt.

Police had few details, but say they were told the pilot decided to land in Grand Lake near Lower Sackville at about 1:20 p.m. after detecting mechanical problems.

Police are investigating.

Beech 33 Bonanza, N7011N: Accident occurred October 16, 2011 in Daggett, California.

NTSB Identification: WPR12FA012
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, October 16, 2011 in Daggett, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/30/2013
Aircraft: BEECH E33, registration: N7011N
Injuries: 3 Fatal.

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

While in cruise flight, the pilot transmitted that he was in trouble and thought the airplane had experienced a propeller failure. The air traffic controller provided the pilot with instructions to the nearest airport, which was about 21 miles away. The pilot radioed that he thought that he could make it and began a descent toward the airport. A witness near the accident site observed the airplane flying in a southwesterly direction about 500 feet above ground level. As the airplane approached a set of suspended power lines, it pitched up 15 degrees, increased altitude by 100 to 200 feet, yawed to the right, made two 360-degree rotations descending vertically, and impacted terrain, consistent with an aerodynamic stall/spin.

Postaccident examination of the engine revealed a 2-inch hole in the top of the crankcase between the Nos. 3 and 4 cylinders. The No. 1 piston connecting rod had separated from the crankshaft, bending the end cap flat with no thermal discoloration evident. Laboratory examination of the bearing insert half identified circumferential wear marks on the back side of the bearing insert. The wear marks on the backside of the intact insert, the lack of heat damage to the connecting rod journal, and the lack of heat damage to the connecting rod and end cap suggest that the bearing began to spin, which led to extrusion/ejection of half of the connecting rod bearing. Once the bearing was free, fragments of bearing material worked their way up between the piston and the cylinder wall causing damage to and embedding in the piston skirt. The increased clearances between the connecting rod end cap and connecting rod journal caused large stress amplitudes that resulted in a fatigue fracture of the connecting rod bolts.

In 1998, after 1,002 hours of operation, the engine was top overhauled. A top overhaul does not inspect or replace items inside the crankcase, such as the main bearings or connecting rod bearings. At the time of the accident, the engine had accumulated 2,601 hours. The engine manufacturer recommends that the time between overhaul be 1,500 hours or every 12 years.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
A loss of engine power due to the separation of a connecting rod, and the pilot's failure to maintain airplane control during a sudden maneuver to avoid power lines during the descent, which resulted in an unrecoverable aerodynamic stall and subsequent spin. Contributing to the accident was noncompliance with the manufacturer-recommended engine overhaul schedule.


On October 16, 2011, at 1256 Pacific standard time, a Beech E33, N7011N, reported experiencing a loss of engine power, and subsequently impacted terrain during the forced landing 9 miles northeast of the Daggett-Barstow Airport, Daggett, California. The airplane was operated by Fly Corona! as a rental airplane under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The pilot, who had rented the airplane, sustained fatal injuries along with the two passengers. The airplane was substantially damaged. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a visual flight rules flight plan had not been filed. The flight originated from North Las Vegas Airport, Las Vegas, Nevada, about 1200, with a planned destination of Corona, California.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) provided a video file containing the radar track of the airplane and associated radio communications. A review of the video file revealed that the pilot checked in with Los Angeles Center at 1253:02, stating that he was level at 8,500 feet mean sea level (msl). At 1253:30, the pilot radioed that he was in trouble, and that he thought the airplane had experienced a propeller failure. At 1253:47, Los Angeles Center radioed to the pilot that the Daggett Airport was at his 1 o’clock at 15 miles. Although the controller stated that the airport was 15 miles away, the radar track plot shows that the airport was 21 miles away at the this time. The pilot said that he thought he could make it to Daggett. Between 1254 and 1256, the pilot and Los Angeles Center exchanged information regarding the number of people on board, fuel state, and airplane color. During this time the airplane continued on a southwesterly course, stabilizing at 105 knots ground speed, and descending from 7,900 feet to 5,400 feet msl. Los Angeles Center continued to call traffic that was ahead about 2 miles, and about 1,000 feet below the airplane; however, the pilot never reported positive visual contact with the traffic. At 1256:29, the final radar return was recorded traveling at a ground speed of 105 knots, at 4,800 feet msl, approximately 3,000 feet above ground level (agl), and 13.7 miles from Daggett. The final radio transmission by the pilot was made at 1257:03, where he stated that he was still watching for the traffic that Los Angeles Center had identified ahead of him.

A US Army helicopter pilot in the area at the time of the accident, reported that he heard the pilot state on the Daggett-Barstow airport radio frequency that he had an engine problem, and was 10 miles north of Barstow-Daggett Airport. He then observed the airplane flying on a southwesterly course about 500 feet agl as it approached a series of power lines. The airplane then pitched up 15 degrees, yawed to the right, and made two 360-degree rotations while in a vertical descent before the impacting terrain. There was no post impact fire.


The pilot, age 35, held a private pilot certificate for airplane single-engine land rating issued June 26, 2011, and a third-class medical certificate issued on October 13, 2010, with no limitations. The pilot’s logbook was recovered and examined. His total flight time as of the last logbook entry on September 25, 2011, was 94.4 hours, which included 21 hours in the make and model of the accident airplane. The pilot’s most recent flight review was his FAA private pilot check ride on June 25, 2011.


The four seat, low wing, retractable landing gear airplane, serial number CD-1123, was manufactured in 1967. It was powered by a remanufactured Teledyne Continental Motors IO-470K3, 225-hp engine, installed on March 19, 1992. The airplane was equipped with a McCauley model 3A36C343 constant speed propeller, which was installed on June 16, 1998. A review of copies of the maintenance records showed that the most recent annual inspection was completed on July 27, 2011, at a total airframe time of 5,468 hours. The engine was last serviced on October 4, 2011, at an engine total time of 2,581.89 hours, with Aero Shell 100 oil.

The engine logbook documented that on February 27, 1998, at 1,002.72 hours total time, a top overhaul was completed. The work order for the top overhaul listed the parts that were replaced which included; valve guides, exhaust valve, seals, hose, shaft, gasket set, ring set, clamps, bolds, nuts, gaskets, grade 80/SAE 40 aviation mineral oil, and the overhaul of 6 cylinders. Not included in the parts list were the main bearings or connecting rod bearings. Advisory Circular 43-11 Reciprocating Engine Overhaul Terminology and Standards, defines a Top Overhaul as follows: “Top overhaul consists of repair to parts outside of the crankcase, and can be accomplished without completely disassembling the entire engine. It can include the removal of cylinders, inspection and repair to cylinders, inspection and repair to cylinder walls, pistons, valve-operation mechanisms, valve guides, valve seats, and the replacement of piston and piston rings. All manufacturers do not recommend a top overhaul. Some manufacturers indicate that a powerplant requiring work to this extent should receive a complete overhaul.” On July 1, 2010, trace amounts of metal were found in the oil filter. The engine logbook indicates that the subsequent eight oil filter inspections did not reveal any metal in the filter elements. The total time on the engine at the time of the accident was 2,601.76 hours; time since the top overhaul was 1,599.04 hours.

Teledyne Continental Motors Service Information Letter SIL98-9A states that the time between overhaul (TBO) for the IO-470 series engines is 1,500 hours or every 12 years.


The wreckage was located in a shallow dry desert gully, resting on a 30-degree slope. Witness marks on the slope the same length of the wing indicated about 30-degree angle of bank to the left at the moment of ground impact. The propeller had separated from the engine and was located 15 feet up hill above the main wreckage. The propeller blades were not deformed, and each blade shank was in its proper location relative to the propeller hub. The blades exhibited some light erratic scratches. The engine, firewall, and cockpit floor decking had been pushed up and back into the cockpit and cabin space. The wings exhibited leading edge crushing and hydraulic deformation along the entire length of each wing; the fuel cells had been breached and no fuel was identified within either wing fuel cell. The landing gear main mounts were extended. The ailerons on both wings were attached, the flaps were extended, with both flap actuators exhibiting about 6 inches of extension. The aft section of fuselage and tail were intact with the rudder attached to the vertical stabilizer and the elevators attached to the horizontal stabilizer. Aileron, elevator, and rudder control continuity was established by tracing the control cables from their respective bell cranks to the cockpit. The left side of belly of the airplane exhibited a uniform coating of oil and dirt along its entire length.

Examination of the engine revealed a 2-inch hole in the top of the crank case between the number 3 and 4 cylinders. Metal flakes were identified in the folds of the oil filter, and metal flakes were observed distributed on the interior surface of the oil sump. The number 1 piston connecting rod was not attached to the crankshaft; the end cap was bent flat, and was not discolored. The number 4 and 6 connecting rods had separated from the crank shaft and exhibited black discoloration consistent with extreme thermal stress. The number 5 connecting rod was attached to the crankshaft with its end cap attach bolts in place, however, it was discolored brownish-black, and the bearing had deformed, extruding from between the crankshaft and connecting rod yoke. The number 2 connecting rod was attached to the crankshaft and had dark discolorations. Mechanical damage to the interior of the engine case was evident with the most damage observed by the numbers 1, 2, and 4 cylinders.


An autopsy was performed on the pilot on October 20, 2011, by the San Bernardino County Medical Examiner, San Bernardino, California.

The FAA’s Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI) performed the toxicology on specimens from the pilot. The report indicates that the specimens had experienced putrefaction. No carbon monoxide or listed drugs were detected in the blood samples. The following concentrations of ethanol were detected; 144 mg/dl in muscle, 40 mg/dl in heart, and 20 mg/dl in vitreous. Additionally, 44 mg/dl of n-butanol was detected in muscle, and 1 mg/dl of n-propoanol was detected in vitreous. Toxicological review determined that the ethanol detected by CAMI toxicology was most likely from sources other than ingestion.


NTSB Material Laboratory Examination of Engine Components

The components that were examined by the lab consisted of the number 1 piston assembly (part no. 649044), piston pin, connecting rod (part no. 646126-B), fragment of the number 1 connecting rod yoke, number 1 connection rod end cap with bolt fragment, one connecting rod bearing shell, and one bolt fragment (part no. 629340). The yoke and the end cap each have a slot to accommodate an anti-rotation tang located on each bearing shell. When the connecting rod is assembled, these slots face one another. For convenience, the side of the yoke and end cap with the slot was referred to as the slot side and the side without the slot was referred to as the plain side. The bolts that attached the end cap to the yoke were fractured approximately midway along their length. The fractured ends were mechanically damaged and had no identifiable fracture features. The threaded bolt ends, along with their respective nuts, were missing, as was one of the connecting rod bearing shells.

The piston skirt exhibited a matte grey appearance in some regions, below the pin boss, and a brown tinting in other regions. The underside of the piston exhibited multiple nicks and divots around both pin bosses and the adjacent skirt. The piston was fractured along a 45° spiral path starting at the bottom of the skirt and progressing around and toward the top of the skirt. A lip was observed along the edge of the fracture surface, consistent with an overstress fracture.

The matte grey areas on the piston skirt were examined using an optical microscope. Multiple depressions and scratches were seen on the surface as were multiple embedded third-body particles. This part of the skirt was sectioned from the rest of the piston and examined using a scanning electron microscope (SEM). A backscatter image of the region shows bright regions that are embedded third-body particles and the dark regions are the aluminum piston. Multiple embedded particles were detected. One of the third-body particles was examined using energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS). The particle was composed primarily of copper (Cu), iron (Fe), lead (Pb), and tin (Sn), consistent with the materials used to manufacture the connecting rod bearings.

The end cap was flattened and mechanically damaged. A bolt fragment on the plain side of the end cap was trapped in the bolt hole. The bolt on the slot side had separated from the end cap. On the slot side, the end cap bolt hole outer strap was split apart. The bearing surface on the end cap (the backing surface for the bearing insert) had a shiny appearance and exhibited circumferential wear lines that were consistent with burnishing of the surface.

One fragment of the yoke had fractured from the connecting rod. The fracture surface had a rough appearance, consistent with an overstress fracture. The bearing surface on the yoke has a burnished appearance, similar to the end cap. The material around the bolt hole was mechanically damaged except for the material around the outer strap, which had a burnished appearance.

The connecting rod bearing shell was visually examined. The tang was fractured from the bearing, but the fracture surface had no interpretable features. On the inside of the shell, the Babbitt was worn through exposing the copper under layer at the edges. In the center of the bearing surface, Babbitt material was still present. The backside of the shell had a shiny appearance and exhibited circumferential wear lines consistent with burnishing of the surface.

The entire Materials Laboratory Factual Report is located in the official docket of this investigation.

 NTSB Identification: WPR12FA012 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, October 16, 2011 in Daggett, CA
Aircraft: BEECH E33, registration: N7011N
Injuries: 3 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On October 16, 2011, at 1256 Pacific daylight time, the pilot of a Beech E33, N7011N, reported experiencing a loss of engine power and the airplane subsequently impacted terrain during the forced landing nine miles northeast of the Daggett-Barstow Airport, Daggett, California. The airplane was operated by Fly Corona! as a rental airplane under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The private pilot who had rented the airplane and his two passengers were fatally injured, and the airplane was substantially damaged. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from North Las Vegas, Nevada, about 1200.

A US Army helicopter pilot in the area at the time of the accident reported that he heard the pilot state on the Daggett-Barstow airport radio frequency that he had an engine problem and was 10 miles north of Barstow-Daggett airport. He then observed the airplane flying on a southwesterly course about 500 feet above ground level (agl) as it approached a series of power lines. The airplane then pitched up 15 degrees, yawed to the right, and made two 360-degree rotations while in a vertical descent before the airplane impacted terrain. There was no post impact fire.

Examination of the engine revealed a 2-inch hole in the top of the crank case between the number 3 and 4 cylinders. Metal flakes were identified in the folds of the oil filter, and metal flakes were observed distributed on the interior surface of the oil sump. The number 1 piston connecting rod was not attached to the crankshaft and the end cap was bent flat. The connecting rod and end cap were not discolored. The number 4 and 6 connecting rods had separated from the crank shaft and exhibited black discoloration consistent with extreme thermal stress. The number 5 connecting rod was attached to the crankshaft with its end cap attach bolts in place, however, it was discolored brownish-black. The bearing had extruded and deformed between the crankshaft and connecting rod yoke. The number 2 connecting rod was attached to the crankshaft and had dark discolorations. Mechanical damage to the interior of the engine case was evident with the most damage observed by the numbers 1, 2, and 4 cylinders.

Champion off-road racer Rick Huseman was killed this afternoon in a plane crash near Barstow, California. While unrelated to the death of Dan Wheldon, it's another sad occasion in what will long be remembered as a dark day in motorsports history.

The accident occurred approximately 2:00 pm Sunday afternoon when the plane, a Beech 33 Bonanza, was attempting to make an emergency landing at the Barstow/Dagget Airport. Huseman and his family were returning from the Monster Energy Cup held in Las Vegas last night. According to DIRTNewz, his younger brother Jeff was one of the three people killed. It's unclear who the third victim is.

Huseman has been racing 1997 and was the first PRO4X4 Traxxas TORC Series Championship in 2009, garnering six wins and 10 podium finishes. In 2010, Husman won the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series Pro-4 Championship. He was in second place in the 2011 Lucas Oil Series following the most recent race in Arizona, just 23 points behind the leader.

Huseman was 38 years old.

Plane crash at South Island golf course - New Zealand.

CRASH SCENE: Emergency services at the site of the crash on the Arrowtown Golf Course.

LATEST: A Cessna has broken in half after crashing on the Arrowtown golf course, in the Otago region.

A reporter at the scene said it appeared to have nose dived into the bottom of a small hill on the golf course.

The front was pressed into the ground and the tail had snapped and bent backwards about half way down.

Golfers at the course said they did not see the crash, but heard it.

There were emergency services all around the site and firefighters appeared to be extinguishing a fire within the plane.

A policeman confirmed three people were injured.

Fire engines from Arrowtown, Queenstown and Frankton had been called to the crash site and a rescue helicopter from Dunedin is also understood to be on the way.

Growth in business travel spending is expected to slow in 2012

Although spending on business travel has surged this year, anxiety over an uncertain economic climate is expected to slow travel spending growth next year.

That is the forecast from the Global Business Travel Assn., a Virginia-based trade group for business travel professionals. The group estimates that spending on business travel in the U.S. will rise 6.9% this year over 2010, hitting $250.2 billion.

But the trade group predicts that a tentative economy next year will slow the trend, leading to growth of 4.3%, or $260.9 billion in spending.

A bright spot in the forecast is continued growth in spending for international travel, which the group estimated will grow 7.7% in 2012 to $34.3 billion.

"While international trips are more expensive and time consuming, their reward can be worth every cent," said Michael W. McCormick, executive director of the association.

•Airport security bin supplier to expand operations

Hoping to deliver advertising to more affluent air passengers, a company that puts ads on plastic bins that hold the belongings of fliers at airport security checkpoints plans to expand its operations.

SecurityPoint Media of St. Petersburg, Fla., supplies plastic bins plastered with ads for 30 airports across the country, including Los Angeles, Ontario and San Diego international airports, and John Wayne Airport. The ads reach an estimated 1.2 million travelers per day, according to company officials.

The company announced last week that it had joined with a venture capital group and a sales consulting firm — two subsidiaries of the Raptor Group, a Boston financial services firm — to expand its bin business to airports domestically and globally.

SecurityPoint Media founder and Chief Executive Joseph Ambrefe Jr. said he hopes the partnership will help his company expand to 30 new airports in the next 12 months, including airports in Canada and Europe.

"This is an opportunity to really build out our media network," he said.

Airline travelers are a valued target for advertisers because air passengers are more likely to have an annual household income of $50,000 or more and are likely to shop for designer clothes, luxury cars and high-tech digital devices, according to a study by Arbitron Inc.

•World's largest passenger plane lands at LAX

Amid a shower from water cannons, Korean Air landed the world's largest passenger plane, the Airbus A380, on the Los Angeles International Airport runway last week, becoming only the third airline to fly that aircraft into L.A.

The plane can seat up to 500 passengers. But to provide passengers more legroom, Korean Air configured the plane with 407 seats, including 12 first-class suites that resemble office cubicles, three bars, a business lounge and a duty-free shop.

"Bigger is better," John Jackson, Korean Air's vice president of marketing and sales, proclaimed during last week's ceremony before the launch of the A380 flight from LAX to Seoul.

But the A380 is so big — nearly 240 feet long and 80 feet tall — that LAX has only two gates at the Tom Bradley International Terminal that are wide enough and tall enough to serve the super jumbo jet.

That is expected to change in December 2012, when the new $1.5-billion Bradley West Terminal project is slated to open. Under construction next to the existing international terminal, the new terminal will include 18 new gates, including nine gates that can serve the A380 and the giant Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

The next-generation jumbo jets and the new terminal will be a boon to the Los Angeles economy, said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who attended the A380 launch ceremony.

He cited a 2007 study by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. that estimated that a daily transoceanic flight traveling round trip from LAX generates $623 million in spending annually and helps sustain 3,120 jobs in Southern California.

During a tour of the massive jet, the mayor tested out the first-class lie-flat seats as a swarm of photographers snapped photos. Joked Villaraigosa: "The things I do to create jobs in L.A."

Activists protest Santa Monica Municipal Airport (KSMO), California.

SMO — Residents of three communities reiterated their concerns about Santa Monica Airport Sunday with a midday protest focused on noise, pollution and, above all, safety.

Protesters from Santa Monica, West Los Angeles and Venice lined the sidewalks at the intersection of National Boulevard and Bundy Drive, hoisting signs that read "Fly Clean or Don't Fly" and "Santa Monica: No on cigarettes, soft on jet pollution" as motorists buzzed by, many signaling their support with rhythmic honking.

Extra signs lay waiting for willing hands, like one man who set down his groceries and joined the protest.

Los Angeles City Councilmember Bill Rosendahl also attended to show his support for closing SMO, which the councilmember has said negatively impacts his constituents without any of the economic gains that Santa Monica enjoys.

"We're trying to let the public and the airport know that we're concerned about safety issues," said Roger Allen, of Sunset Park.

Allen moved into his home near Penmar Golf Course 15 years ago. Despite an overall drop in operations, Allen said, the noise and pollution emitted in large part by jets flying into SMO has impacted his quality of life.

"We want to be able to sit outside and relax, or sleep in on the weekends," Allen said.

Pollution also remains a major concern for protesters, who find the exhaust emitted by the jets and the leaded fuel used by the small propeller planes at odds with Santa Monica's reputation as a "green" city.

The protest capped a weekend of events for activists, several of whom had attended the West Los Angeles stop of the Aviation Justice Express the night before hosted by the Concerned Residents Against Airport Pollution, led by West Los Angeles resident Martin Rubin.

Aviation Justice Express was originally envisioned as a speaking tour for United Kingdom activists John Stewart and Dan Glass.

Stewart headed up a group that successfully scuttled plans for a third runway at London's Heathrow Airport after almost a decade of pressure, while Glass is an environmental activist best known for his creative ways of drawing attention to his cause, like super-gluing himself to then Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Neither man made it into the United States for their anticipated speaking tour. According to British media outlets, Glass was never given a visa, and Stewart actually landed in New York before being turned around and flown back to London.

The FBI, who allegedly questioned Stewart in New York, did not return a call for comment.

They did manage to teleconference in, said Stephanie Body, a 20-year resident of Venice who attended the event, and impart some of their experience on the crowd.

The talk covered five main points, Body said.

Glass and Stewart encouraged the group to make their coalition as broad as possible, engage politicians in the cause, back their positions up with hard facts like economic analyses, keep up a constant presence and present a "positive alternative" to the problem.

Local activists have been working regularly for the last 10 years to close the airport or minimally change some of the aviation operations located there, like the presence of large jets, so the methods, at least, were nothing new, said Santa Monica resident Virginia Ernst.

The results of those efforts, however, were inspiring.

"They were able to accomplish a great deal," Ernst said.

Although residents have been raising hue and cry against SMO for several years now, they now feel there's reason to believe they might be successful, Body said.

An increasing number of politicians like Rosendahl, Rep. Janice Hahn (D-Torrance.) and State Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) have voiced either opposition to the airport, some airport activities or its environmental impacts.

And, as politicians begin lining up behind anti-SMO activists, the year 2015 inches closer.

That date has a great deal of significance to Santa Monica officials, who believe that both an agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration and a grant obligation to the federal government expire in 2015, giving them more latitude over operations at the airport and the use of SMO land.

The FAA holds that the actual expiration of the grant obligations is 2023, and that the airport must be operated "in perpetuity," no matter what.

Either way, the date has prompted Santa Monica officials to begin a visioning process for the airport, and galvanized those that oppose it, even if it means simply a reduction in the air traffic that many believe put their lives and peace of mind in danger.

"A lot of people have a lot of hope that the airport will close at that point," Allen said.

Cirrus SR22 GTS G3 Turbo, Cirrwood LLC, N438CP: Accident occurred October 16, 2011 in Danbury, Connecticut

NTSB Identification: ERA12FA030 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, October 16, 2011 in Danbury, CT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/21/2012
Aircraft: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP SR22, registration: N438CP
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

While on final approach in night visual conditions, the airplane struck a lighted 100-foot-tall hazard beacon tower. The purpose of the hazard beacon tower was to alert pilots to an area of higher terrain (a hill) prior to the runway. The tower was located about 3/4 mile from the runway threshold, and its top was 750 feet mean sea level (msl), which was 292 feet above the airport elevation of 458 feet msl. Two flashing red lights located at the top of the tower were operating at the time of impact. Additionally, the runway had a displaced threshold of 734 feet. To strike the tower, the pilot had to fly a lower-than-standard approach. Further, the pilot could have altered course left or right to clear the tower. Examination of the wreckage and the airplane’s non-volatile memory did not reveal any preimpact mechanical malfunctions. There was no record of the pilot previously flying to the destination airport.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot did not maintain clearance from a lighted tower during final approach in night visual conditions.


On October 16, 2011, at 2010 eastern daylight time, a Cirrus Design Corp. SR22, N438CP, operated by a private individual, was substantially damaged when it impacted a hazard beacon tower during approach to Danbury Municipal Airport (DXR), Danbury, Connecticut. The certificated private pilot was fatally injured. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the personal flight conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The flight originated from Easton Airport (ESN), Easton, Maryland, about 1845.

According to radar and communication data provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), at 1944, the airplane was at 5,000 feet and in radio contact with New York Approach. At 2000, the pilot was provided the current altimeter setting and cleared direct to DXR, which he acknowledged. At 2003, the pilot advised the controller that he had DXR in sight and the controller cleared the flight for a visual approach. At 2004, the controller instructed the pilot to contact DXR tower, which he did. The DXR tower controller then instructed the pilot to report a midfield right downwind for runway 26. At 2007, the DXR tower controller cleared the flight to land, which the pilot acknowledged. No further communication was received from the accident airplane.

Runway 26 was 4,422 feet long, 150 feet wide, and consisted of asphalt with a 734-foot displaced threshold. The runway was equipped with medium intensity runway lights and runway end identifier lights, but not a visual approach slope indicator.

Review of radar data revealed that the airplane flew a 45-degree entry to the right downwind leg of the traffic pattern at 2008. At 2009, the airplane turned onto a base leg for runway 26. At 2010, while on final approach, the airplane struck an approximate 100-foot-tall hazard beacon tower. The airplane subsequently impacted trees and came to rest inverted against a residence. The hazard beacon tower was located in a residential area, about 3/4 mile from the runway threshold. The top of the tower was 750 feet mean sea level (msl), or 292 feet above the airport elevation of 458 msl. Two light bulbs were located at the top of the tower, in a red glass and metal enclosure, and provided a flashing red illumination. The impact dislodged a section of the glass and metal enclosure. The purpose of the hazard beacon was to alert pilots of the higher terrain hazard prior to the runway. Specifically, a residential neighborhood was located on a hill along the approach to the runway. A witness, who was walking his dog at the time, confirmed that the beacon lights were operating when the airplane struck the tower.


The pilot held a private pilot certificate, with ratings for airplane single-engine land, airplane multiengine land, and instrument airplane. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on September 27, 2010. At that time, he reported a total flight experience of 2,300 hours. The pilot owned and operated the accident airplane, which he purchased new on September 30, 2008.

Review of the pilot's most recent logbook revealed that he had accumulated approximately 2,606 hours of total flight experience; of which, 195 hours were flown in the accident airplane during the previous 2 years. The pilot flew about 57 hours and 6 hours during the 90-day and 30-day periods preceding the accident, respectively. All of those hours were in the accident airplane. Additionally, the pilot had accumulated about 8 hours of night flight during the 90-day period preceding the accident. His most recent flight review was completed on November 7, 2010. Review of the pilot's logbook did not reveal any previous trips to DXR.


The four-seat, low-wing, fixed-gear airplane, serial number SR22-3258, was manufactured in 2008. It was powered by a Teledyne Continental Motors IO-550-N, 310-horsepower engine and equipped with a Hartzell propeller.

A review of the maintenance logbooks revealed that the airplane's most recent annual inspection was completed on October 8, 2010. At that time, the airplane had accumulated 278.8 total hours. According to a Hobbs meter, the airplane had accumulated 466.5 total hours at the time of the accident.


The recorded weather at DXR, at 2022, was: wind from 200 degrees at 8 knots; visibility 10 miles; scattered clouds at 9,000 feet; overcast ceiling at 11,000 feet; temperature 16 degrees C; dew point 5 degrees C; altimeter 29.75 inches of mercury.

Review of information obtained from Lockheed Martin and direct user access terminal service (DUATS) revealed that the pilot did not obtain a weather briefing for the accident flight; however, he did file an IFR flight plan with DUATS.


An approximate 400-foot debris path extended on a 260-degree magnetic course, from the hazard beacon tower, to the main wreckage. The right outboard section of the wing and right aileron were located near the base of the tower. About 300 feet along the debris path, the right inboard section of the wing was suspended in an approximate 60-foot-tall tree. One separated composite propeller blade was located about 50 feet north of the tree. The propeller blade exhibited s-bending and leading edge damage. The airplane came to rest inverted against a residence, oriented about a 230-degree magnetic heading. The Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS) had discharged, consistent with impact forces.

The left section of the wing had separated and was lodged under the main wreckage. The left flap remained attached and the left aileron had separated from the wing. The left aileron was located in the driveway of the residence. The roll trim motor was found in a mid-range position between neutral and full left roll trim.

The rear fuselage had partially separated and was canted left. The vertical stabilizer had separated from the empennage and the rudder separated from the vertical stabilizer, which were both located near the main wreckage. The horizontal stabilizer had separated from the empennage and was also located near the main wreckage. The left elevator separated from the horizontal stabilizer and was resting in the driveway. The right elevator had also separated and was located near the engine. The elevator pitch trim motor was located in an approximate neutral pitch trim position.

The cockpit remained partially intact. Rescue personnel had cut the front left seatbelt and shoulder harness. The fuel selector was positioned to the right main fuel tank. The flap actuator jackshaft was found in the full flap extension position. Elevator and rudder cable control continuity was confirmed from the flight controls to their respective bellcrank at the rear of the airplane. Aileron control cable continuity was confirmed from the center console pulley to the left and right wing pulleys, respectively.

The propeller hub remained attached to the engine and one blade root remained attached to the hub. The third composite propeller blade was not recovered. The top spark plugs were removed from the engine. Their electrodes were intact and light gray in color with some oil-soaking. Fuel was recovered from the engine driven fuel pump. It was clear and consistent in odor and color with 100-low-lead aviation gasoline. When the propeller hub was rotated by hand, camshaft and crankshaft continuity was confirmed. Thumb compression was attained on all cylinders. The magnetos were removed from the engine and produced spark to all top leads when rotated by hand.

The airplane's remote data module (RDM) and two flash memory cards from the multi-function display were retained and forwarded to the NTSB Vehicle Recorders Laboratory, Washington, D.C., for data recovery. The two flash memory cards contained database information and did not provide any data from the accident flight. The RDM was successfully downloaded and contained 145 hours of data, including the accident flight. The global positioning system (GPS) data, recovered from the RDM, was consistent with the radar data; however, radar contact was lost when the airplane descended below 1,400 feet msl on base leg, whereas the GPS recorded until impact with the hazard beacon tower. A GPS plot was generated and revealed that the airplane turned on to final approach at 2010:15, at a GPS altitude of 1,211 feet. At 2010:40, the data indicated the airplane was at a GPS altitude of 747 feet, and groundspeed of 75 knots, when it struck the tower. Review of the RDM data did not reveal any prior flights to DXR. Additionally, review of the engine and control parameters did not reveal any preimpact mechanical malfunctions with the airplane.


An autopsy was performed on the pilot by the State of Connecticut, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Farmington, Connecticut on October 18, 2011.

Toxicological testing was performed on the pilot by the FAA Bioaeronautical Science Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The test results revealed, "Naproxen detected in Urine.


According to a representative of the airplane manufacturer, the accident airplane's avionics system was equipped with a terrain awareness and warning system (TAWS) B and synthetic vision system (SVS) software option, which were enabled. The version of software installed on the accident airplane did not record TAWS B or SVS warnings. The obstacle database used by both TAWS B and SVS did not include towers less than 200 feet above ground level. The TAWS B would have, by design, provided a routine aural alert when the airplane descended below 500 feet in an airport environment. Additionally, the terrain database used by SVS was of sufficient resolution to depict the hill at the base of the tower on the primary flight display.

DANBURY ——  One man has died after the plane he was piloting glanced a house, then crashed in a wooded area by Wooster Heights Road and Dartmouth Lane Sunday night, according to the Danbury Fire Department.

The plane went down at 8:10 p.m., after losing contact with the central tower at Danbury Municipal Airport, said Federal Aviation Authority spokesman Jim Peters. The Fire Department said that the pilot was the only person in the plane.

The plane came within inches of a house, said Danbury Fire Cpt. Bernie Meehan, knocking off a gutter. No one in the home was injured by the crash.

The FAA said that the plane was a single-engine propeller-driven aircraft — a Cirrus SR-22. The plane is registered to Cirrwood LLC., at 5650 High Drive in Mission Hills, Kansas.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.

Danbury officials are confirming that a plane has crashed in the area of 58 Wooster Heights Road.

Fire officials at the scene say a single engine Cirrus was approaching the airport at around 8:05 p.m. on Sunday when it suddenly lost contact.

The plane clipped a house before crashing into the yard. At this time, officials are confirming that the pilot of the plane was killed. His name has not been released.

A woman who was in the home was uninjured.

Pilot Fatally Crashes Next to House of Danbury Woman, 91

The Danbury Fire Department is on the scene of an airplane crash in Danbury near Wooster Heights.

The Danbury Fire Department is on the scene of an airplane crash Sunday evening near the airport, reported to be near Wooster Heights.

Dispatchers at the Fire Department asked callers to wait another 30 mintues for any kind of statement.

PHOTO: The wreckage of a PNG Airlines de Havilland Dash 8-100, P2-MCJ, Flight CG-1600. Papua New Guinea.

28 killed: Wreckage at the site of the crash
AAP: Scott Waide
See image:

AAP: Scott Waide

Passengers losers in airport fee spat - Wellington International Airport, New Zealand.

Air passengers will be the losers if Wellington International Airport is allowed to over charge airlines $117 million in landing fees over the next five years, airlines say.

The airlines are accusing the airport of ignoring pricing guidelines set by the Commerce Commission by trying to push through a 71 per cent increase in landing charges to $95m by 2017.

Board of Airline Representatives executive director John Beckett said under the consumer watchdog's guidelines, landing charges should actually reduce by 11 per cent next year and then hold steady.

Instead, landing charges on domestic routes would increase on average by between $3.55 per passenger for jet services and up $11 on smaller planes after five years, Barnz says in its submission on the proposal.

"These increased charges ultimately end up in airfares," Beckett said.

Changes to the international departure fee, however, meant a saving of between $4.47 and $5.54 on trans-Tasman services.

The airport said domestic fees would rise by no more than $8.95 on average and the international fee by at least $6.65.

Beckett said Wellington Airport had blatantly ignored the Commerce Commission's principles for airport pricing established last year.

Wellington Airport was using too greater land valuation and return on capital to setting its prices, he said.

"Barnz strongly opposes the airport exercising its monopoly power in such a brazen manner to rort the travelling public." He called on the Government to impose stronger regulation on Wellington Airport.

"Otherwise the airport will just continue ratchetting up its asset values and the return on them in order to keep earning higher and higher monopoly profits at the cost to travellers," Beckett said.

The airport says the new fees placed it in the mid-range of Australasian airport in terms of cost per passengers.

The airport was not bound by the commission's guidelines for setting its price setting, but the commission would review the effectiveness of the regime next year.

Wellington Airport is appealing against the guidelines.

Fairbanks could see tourism boost as Japan Airlines adds flights

FAIRBANKS — An expanded charter flight schedule could deliver as many as 1,300 additional Japanese visitors to Fairbanks this winter, adding to a tourism segment that has become one of the Interior’s most reliable.

Japan Airlines will offer 18 flights to Fairbanks this winter, originating from cities such as Osaka, Tokyo, Nagoya, Hiroshima and Fukuoka. It’s a 50 percent increase from last winter and the most local flights the carrier has offered in three years.

Deb Hickok, the president of the Fairbanks Convention and Visitors Bureau, said Japanese visitors are among the most visible winter tourists in the area. Seeing the aurora is a dream for many Japanese, she said, and some save for a lifetime to take a visit to witness it.

She said FCVB staff traveled twice this summer to attend trade shows in Japan and lobby for additional visitors.

“It’s been a lot of hard work, but we’re thrilled,” she said.

Japanese visitors are common enough that many visitor destinations, such as Chena Hot Springs Resort, have signs in both English and Japanese. The segment also boosts niche tourism businesses that offer dog mushing demonstrations or aurora viewing.

Kory Eberhardt, who owns Taste of Alaska Lodge, said the additional flights have added enough business that he’s planning to hire additional staff for the first time in several years.

“It’s filling out my winter quite well,” he said.

Aurora Borealis Lodge gets about 70 percent of its winter business from Japanese tourists looking for a glimpse of the aurora atop Cleary Summit, co-owner Mok Kumagai said.

“That’s definitely the main reason the guests come up,” he said. “Everything else is just a bonus.”

He said this winter’s JAL schedule is more favorable than in previous years, Kumagai said, since the charters are spread over a three-month span from December to March. He said last year the Japanese tourists came in a quick three-week burst, which made it tough for small businesses to take full advantage of the flood of visitors.

The expanded schedule is also a good sign for JAL, which filed for bankruptcy in early 2010. Those financial problems contributed to a drop in Fairbanks-bound passengers from its peak in 2008.

As part of its restructuring plan the carrier also replaced its fleet of massive Boeing 747s with smaller Boeing 767 jets.

CANADA: Traffickers choosing domestic cargo flights

Canadian drug rings are using overnight courier services to fly dope and other contraband hassle-free because of a lack of checks, say some Pearson International Airport officers.

Domestic air delivery, which often comes with a 24-hour-or-it’s-free guarantee, has become as popular as the commercial trucks that traffickers use to distribute “B.C. Bud” marijuana and other drugs because of lax screening, say border officers.

They cautioned a lack of screening for contraband in the domestic courier service can pose a threat to national security. More emphasis is paid to intercepting banned items arriving in packages from abroad, the officers said.

“Courier packages being sent inside Canada are rarely looked at,” one veteran said. “Once in a while a drug dog is brought in but that’s rare.”

Inspectors of the Canada Border Services (CBSA) and Canada Food Inspection Agencies said by the time they get to packages that require examination, the items have been delivered and must be tracked down.

“There are goods coming and going from here 24-hours,” another officer said. “Inter-Canada goods are a low priority for checks.”

Officers said they are under pressure from courier giants to expedite parcels since goods must be delivered by strict deadlines or the service provided by some firms is free.

Most of the major courier companies operate from buildings at Pearson, with the largest being FedEx and Purolator.

Workers take millions of packages, boxes and crates from courier company jets and send them to massive airport depots where they are cleared for delivery.

The RCMP said it is not their responsibility to examine goods being moved by couriers.

CBSA spokesperson Antonella DiGirolamo said her officers travel to courier warehouses on a daily basis to conduct examination activities.

“Based on their experience and training ... CBSA officers risk-assess goods entering Canada to determine shipments that require extra scrutiny,” DiGirolamo said by e-mail.

She said the agency receives information about shipments prior to arrival and uses an electronic tracking system to risk-assess and select goods for more in-depth examination.

Whatever happened to Bellanca? Who's still making 'little airplanes'?

"I came across a Bellanca Super Viking, and it struck me: Whatever happened to Bellanca? It seems their assets were sold in 1982, and again in 2002. AviaBellanca has a website that's been 'under construction' since 2004. I guess they're out of the game.

Cessna quit for eleven years, but they're making piston-engine singles again.
Piper is still hanging in there.
Beechcraft still makes the Bonanza.
Maule are building.
Mooney have quit making airplanes, but are hopeful they can re-start.
I think SOCATA stopped making piston-engine singles.
Newcomer Cirrus is giving competition to Cessna and Piper.

There are others still making FAA-certified piston-engine singles. Anyone have a list?"

Single Engine Plane Down Near Airpark East Airport (1F7) Dallas, Texas

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One person was seriously injured when a single engine plane went down in Rockwall County.

It happened at about 8 a.m. Sunday near Airpark East Airport on Highway 205 at Dower Road.

The Sheriff's Department says the single-engine plane flipped as the pilot tried to take off.

The pilot was taken to the Baylor Unversity Medical Center at Dallas hospital by CareFlite.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating.

Maryland: Need a Getaway? Fly Like a Bird in Ridgely. (With Video)

A friend of mine recently learned of a place in Ridgely (MD) on the Eastern Shore that offers hang gliding lessons and tandem flights for first-time hang gliders. We fall into the first-time hang glider category.

The place is Highland Aerosports. It is an hour drive from Edgewater.

We paid $145 for the tandem flight, which lasted about 25 minutes. They also offer pilot solo tows for $23, or a ten-book for $200.

The owners of the company, Sunny Venesky and Adam Elchin, used to work in Kitty Hawk, NC, one of hang glidings top schools. Venesky said that they got tired of working for someone else and started a business of thier own.

They've been at it a dozen years, so they must be doing something right.

As for us, the trip was a blast, and it seemed only fitting to pass along to Patch readers what fun awaits just an hour away.

Watch Video:

Gulf Air launches Sky Hub offering live TV on flights

Beginning next month, Bahrain national air carrier Gulf Air will offer Sky Hub technology onboard its flights, which makes high speed broadband connectivity and live TV viewing possible even at an altitude of 37,000 feet.

“This is another important milestone in our customer service journey and we are bringing, for the first time in the world, fully-integrated broadband connectivity offering high speed internet, voice over internet, streaming videos and the world’s first in-flight live TV satellite stream across continents,” Gulf Air CEO Mr Samer Majali said.

Sky Hub, which is joint venture between Gulf Air, Panasonic, Deutsche Telekom and Aeromobile, will enable access to emails, text messages, phone calls, web surfing and live TV streaming while in the air.

Although the project costs several million dollars, Mr Majali says the system will pay for itself. “It puts us at the forefront of competition and we will recoup the investment...,” he said.

So far, one aircraft is equipped with a functioning Sky Hub service. A new plane will be fitted with the equipment every two weeks. Gulf Air expects to have its entire fleet outfitted with the technology within five months.

Editorial: Investment in airport will serve Sanford well: Sanford Regional (KSFM), Maine

Two marketing firms were recently hired to show how they could promote the Sanford Regional Airport, and we’re glad to see this plan to invest in one of the town’s most valuable assets. The town’s Industrial Development Corporation hired consultants Ron Price of QED, based in Florida, and Lois Kramer of Kramer Aerotek of Colorado to create a business plan for the airport, which the town owns. The two consultants, both of whom have experience marketing in the aviation industry, have come up with some great ideas to help promote the airport, which will open up some exciting opportunities for the town once they are implemented.

The consultants were wise to focus on the recreational and educational opportunities at Sanford Regional Airport, since they recognize that commercial use will probably not be as attractive in Sanford, with so many larger airports nearby. Their ideas include a branding campaign for the airport, which might include a new name, and attracting an aviation education facility or convention center. The town might also seek to draw related businesses to the site of the airport, such as an aircraft refurbishment company, a firefighting training center, or a transient corporate aviation hub. The possibilities are many and could have a major impact on the area.

Already, the Sanford airport draws pilots from throughout the region who are looking for an interesting destination, and they spend their money in Sanford – buying fuel and renting hangars at the airport itself, and buying goods and services in town. Much investment has been made at the airport, with the Federal Aviation Administration recently providing most of the $7 million used to renovate the runways, a new taxiway, ramps, GPS runway approaches and more. More than 30 new hangars have been built there in the last six years alone, bringing the total to 63, and there are 88 aircraft based at Sanford Regional Airport, which is 10 percent more than in 2005, according to the consultants’ report.

Clearly, the airport is ripe for marketing to pilots and others, and it is a perfect time to promote its improvements. By expanding its uses and marketing to more people and pilots, the airport can help boost the local economy even more. Students could take field trips to an educational center at the airport to learn the history and mechanics of flight. Aviation enthusiasts could hold conventions at the airport if a hotel and meeting space were built there, as could businessmen and women who travel by corporate jet. It’s invigorating to consider the different options that Sanford could pursue in developing the airport and heartening to see the town recognize what an asset this facility can be.

Aviation has changed a lot since the days when Sanford Regional Airport was used for training during World War II. It is much more focused on recreation now at the small, municipally-owned airports, and the town can make the most of that market, beginning with this new planning process.

The Industrial Development Corporation should be applauded for taking this step to promote the airport and expand its uses, as a way to boost the local economy. It’s unfortunate that nearby Biddeford has not recognized the potential of its own municipal airport in the same way that Sanford has. That facility could be more of a draw for residents further north, but the political will and public support is unfortunately missing for the Biddeford Municipal Airport.

If Sanford moves forward with the ideas proposed in the consultants’ plan, Biddeford will find itself left on the runway while Sanford soars.

Indian Air Force Buying Radars to Stop Bird-Hits

New Delhi, Oct 16 (IANS): The Indian Air Force (IAF) will soon buy 41 specialized radars to help monitor bird activity around air bases to prevent bird-hits that are responsible for nearly a tenth of its air crashes.

"We have issued a request for information recently. We are receiving information on various Avian radars that are available in the market now. Soon we will release a request for proposals (tender) for these radars," a senior IAF officer told IANS.

The official did not want to be identified as per service rules.

The air force decided to induct sophisticated radars in important air bases on being concerned over bird-hits grounding its combat and transport fleet and resulting in an adverse impact on its operational readiness.

Several of these air bases are now located within the limits of heavily populated cities and towns such as Agra, Bareilly, Gwalior, Srinagar, Chandigarh and Tezpur.

A recent parliamentary standing committee report had pointed out that nine percent of the over 1,000 air crashes that have taken place since 1970 were due to bird-hits.

The number of bird-hits recorded by the IAF in the last 40 years is relatively small compared to either 39.5 percent caused by technical troubles faced by the aging fleet or the 39 percent human error cases due to inadequate pilot training.

But the purpose of buying the Avian radars is to save both aircraft and pilots from accidents caused by bird-hits, which can be easily avoided, the officer said.

The Avian radars will be put to use for collecting data on bird activity close to an air field so that the flight operations there could be reoriented to evade birds.

Other bird hazard control measures adopted by the IAF at present include 'zone guns', automated scarecrows and special frequency transmitters.

The air force station also regularly conducts awareness campaigns among residents of localities around the air bases for efficient garbage disposal and solid waste management.