Friday, November 11, 2011

AirTran to Leave Five Destinations in June

Southwest Airlines Co. AirTran unit will cease flying to five airports including Miami International and Washington’s Dulles next year because of rising fuel costs and sluggish demand.

AirTran service will be halted June 3 at the airports, which also include McGhee Tyson in Knoxville, Tennessee; Yeager in Charleston, West Virginia; and the Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington. AirTran has about 40 employees in the affected cities, and will offer them jobs elsewhere, Southwest said today in a statement.

Southwest, which bought AirTran for $1 billion in May, will continue flying to Dulles airport with its own aircraft. The Dallas-based company is making changes to AirTran’s network to cut costs and create more point-to-point flights to bigger cities to complement its route system.

AirTran had started pruning its network to drop smaller unprofitable cities such as Asheville, North Carolina, because of lack of demand before the Southwest purchase was completed.

Lawsuit: Airport authority broke Open Meetings Act in Mullin firing

The Wayne County Airport Authority violated that state Open Meetings Act several times during the hiring of ousted Metro Airport CEO Turkia Mullin, a lawsuit charges.

The suit, filed Thursday in Wayne County Circuit Court, accuses the board of operating in secret when it formed a search committee to hire the new CEO, for neglecting to keep minutes of its proceedings and for preventing public comment at a meeting.

Robert Davis, a Highland Park school board member and a frequent litigant over open meetings issues, said he filed the suit because “the meetings in which they were conducted should be open for public inspection. I think it would shed light on the issue of the very controversial hiring of Turkia Mullin by the airport authority.”

Mullin was fired last week amid a scandal prompted by the revelation that she received a $200,000 severance payment for resigning one county job for another. That and other business dealings in Wayne County prompted a pending FBI investigation.

Airport spokesman Mike Conway said Friday he could not comment on pending litigation.

Ottawa: Historic aircraft being restored by local donors

A long-neglected piece of Korean War history is being restored thanks to the efforts of veterans and donors.

The Canadian-made North Star aircraft took Canadian soldiers from B.C. to Asia to fight in the Korean War in 1950 – an American design that was re-worked with Canadian engines. 

It was the first aircraft to fly non-stop across Canada, built to take large loads a long way but doing so in less-than-silent conditions. 

"From memory, which was my first airplane ride in 1956, my ears were still ringing for three days afterwards," said Bill Tate.

When the planes were put out of service in 1965, one was sent to Ottawa for preservation. 

Forty years later, restoration group Project North Star said it's the only North Star left in the world but hasn't exactly been kept in showcase shape. 

"There are points in the wings where there are holes, where the birds had built a nest and it corroded right through the wing," said Garry Dupont with Project North Star. 

The plane had been left outside for all those years until Project North Star stepped in, taking some money from the Aviation and Space Museum but most from donations. 

"If you've enjoyed a successful career in your life, you should try and give something back to society," Tate said. "This is my way of giving back." 

If you're interesting in supporting Project North Star's restoration of this and other historical aircraft, you can visit their website.

American Jets critical Care Air Ambulance receives international accreditation

— American Jets Air Ambulance, a Florida licensed and FAA approved air ambulance provider , has received the internationally recognized EURAMI Accreditation with Special Care from the European Aeromedical Institute, the worldwide leader in air ambulance transportation accreditation.

Headquartered at the St. Lucie County International Airport in Ft. Pierce since 1981, American Jets provides a wide range of long distance air ambulance services throughout North, Central, and South America; Bermuda, Cuba, The Bahamas, and the entire Caribbean basin. Each aircraft is authorized for domestic and international operations by the Federal Aviation Administration, certified for air ambulance operations, and staffed with a critical care medical flight team. The “Special Care” accreditation level is a reflection of the caring and dedicated staff that provides exemplary care to the patients we transport,” said American Jets President and CEO James Hoehn. “We are proud to be one of only thirty air ambulance services in the world to have obtained this internationally recognized EURAMI Special Care accreditation.”

For more information on the services provided by American Jets Critical care Air Ambulance, contact media contact David O. Bump, Program Director, at 888-633-5381 or 772-380-4167 ext 301, or visit their website at

This story is contributed by a member of the Treasure Coast community and is neither endorsed nor affiliated with

Dreamliner assisted by Kiwi technology

Kiwi technology helped to design and manufacture the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner set to touch down in Auckland this morning.

3D-software firm Right Hemisphere, founded in New Zealand in 1997, develops tools allowing companies to better visualize their business processes.

For the Dreamliner, Right Hemisphere's software helped present engineering and manufacturing data in a "light-weight 3D format" that could be easily transferred among those working on the project.

"[A user would see] a three-dimensional model of, say, a piece of landing gear or a portion of the wing and it would have all the manufacturing information there - the sort of information that is useful on the manufacturing shop floor," said Mark Thomas, Right Hemisphere's founder, president and chief technology officer.

The Dreamliner is not the first Boeing project to involve Right Hemisphere and the two companies have worked together for around five years, Thomas said.

"We believe the success of this implementation will lead to more business in other programmes and projects [with Boeing]."

Right Hemisphere is headquartered in California, but has a research and development branch in Auckland, which employs 45 staff.

In September it was snapped up by German software giant SAP for an undisclosed amount.

The Dreamliner is set to arrive at Auckland Airport around 10 o'clock this morning after a non-stop trip from Seattle. It will be the first time the new aircraft has landed south of the equator.

No government bailout for Kingfisher, it can approach banks: Vayalar Ravi

The issue of bailout of ailing airline Kingfisher got political color with BJP expressing itself against such "Communist-era practice" while Congress treaded cautiously.

"There is no case for a government bail-out of Kingfisher Airline.... We cannot support such a step. The practice during Communist era when the government used to take over sick private sector units and run them at a huge cost and loss to the government has been given up," BJP leader Yashwant Sinha told reporters.

At the AICC briefing, party spokesman Manish Tewari struck a cautious note. "It will be better if you ask the question to the Civil Aviation Minister. You are raising a fundamental issue whether government should take the initiative to bailout a private company or not. In what context the government has taken the decision, he can better explain".

Tewari insisted it was a conceptual issue whether in a market economy the government should go the extra mile to bail out a sick company or allow a shakeout to take place which will ensure survival of the fittest.

As against this, BJP said the idea of bailing out a private sector unit is not acceptable today. Sinha maintained post-liberalisation the practice of supporting ailing private sector units- especially the heavy industries- was given up.

Earlier Civil Aviation Minister Vayalar Ravi said he would talk to the Finance Minister so that some assistance from lead banks is granted to the cash-strapped airline.

"Whether it is private or public sector is immaterial. It is an Indian carrier", the minister said.

Brisbane air traffic control has been accused of directing a Jetstar plane into a severe storm.

An instruction from a Brisbane air traffic controller that sent a Jetstar aircraft into a storm cell is under investigation by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.

The A320 Airbus was coming into Brisbane from Christchurch on the afternoon of October 13 when the crew received the direction.

ATSB spokesman Dan O'Malley said the investigation was in its early stages.

"We're only resourced to investigate a certain number of incidents a year so we look at those that are likely to yield a useful safety message," Mr O'Malley said.

None of the 173 passengers were injured.

Aircraft safety will again be in the spotlight next week when the Australian Airports Association Convention is held. Qantas CEA Alan Joyce will be a speaker.

Nigel Farage hopes book will be Christmas hit. Crash of PZL-Okecie PZL-104 Wilga 35A, G-BWDF. Accident occurred May 6, 2010.

UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage is set to publish an updated version of his autobiography in a bid to clinch sales in the traditional Christmas rush.

It will include a chapter on his brush with death after the plane he was flying in crashed on the day of the General Election last year.

Mr Farage, 47, who lives in Westerham, will see the updated version of Flying Free published at the end of this month in paperback.

The update will cover the crash of the light aircraft he was travelling in to tow a UKIP campaign poster, as well as his return to the leadership of UKIP in November 2010.

Mr Farage is a founder member of the UK Independence Party which was established in September 1993. He is Member of the European Parliament for the South East region and is the leader of the party.

VIDEO: Gator Flight

An alligator owner flies two of his pets from Pennsylvania to Wisconsin to see a specialist after they are injured.

Thank you, Frank at 160 Knots!

VIDEO: World War II veteran Ray Gulick flies again

World War II veteran Ray Gulick talks about his time as a bomber crewman during the war.
Watch Video:

Blackhawk Up! A med-vac pilot’s two tours in Iraq.

Phil Reeves’ family moved to Wilton in 1962 when he was three years old. He is a product of the Wilton public school system and has essentially been here his whole life, except when he goes to Iraq.

He started as a volunteer firefighter in Wilton in 1976 and decided that’s what he wanted to do with his life, so in 1980 when he had just turned 21 he got a job as a firefighter for the town of Westport. He worked there for six years, but while he was there he befriended a guy just out of the Army, who told him about a program where you could go into the Army and go right to flight school — from the street to basic training to flight school and fly helicopters for the Army. You didn’t need a bachelor’s degree, which all the other services require to be a pilot.

How hard could this be, he figured. He went through the whole process, which took about a year and a half and at the age of 28 he went to basic training. And from there right to Army flight school at Fort Rucker, Ala., and learned how to fly helicopters. He spent a year in Korea flying attack helicopters and from there to Fort Drum in upstate New York flying Cobra attack helicopters.