Monday, December 5, 2011

Diamond recalls workers. SALE: About 64 of 200 laid off in the spring return as deal to sell plant firms up

Workers are filtering back to Diamond Aircraft as a result of the London plant's sale to a Dubai owner.

Diamond began recalling laid-off workers last week and has boosted its workforce by 64 employees to 233, chief executive Peter Maurer said Monday.

Diamond isn't recalling about 36 other workers because there's no work for them, he said.

The plant also lost about 100 workers. Some were on contract and others left for other opportunities in the U.S. and Switzerland because manufacturers are looking for workers experienced in composite manufacturing, Maurer said.

Diamond makes two- and four-seat piston aircraft at its plant on Crumlin Sideroad and also is developing a light jet.

Last month, Medrar Financial Group in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, bought a majority interest in the London plant from the Dries family of Austria, who own Diamond and maintain a minority interest in the plant here.

The sale will allow Diamond to ramp up production of the five-seat D-Jet, a $1.5-million personal jet it hopes to sell in about two years.

It also will enable Diamond to better market its piston aircraft, Maurer said.

"We have a full agreement; it is finished and we are going through the process now to conclude it," Maurer said of the sale.

"It will help us across the board. We are able to make plans and have funding for them."

Maurer said the sale will allow Diamond to market its aircraft in South America and also offer financing options for buyers, things it was not able to do before.

"That will make it easier to sell our planes."

In the spring, Diamond laid off about half its 400 workers after the federal government refused its request for a $35-million loan to aid in developing the D-Jet.

As for its sales, Diamond has maintained a production pace, manufacturing about five piston-$powered planes a week, the same pace as last year, in a tough market.

But Diamond has increased its market share in that segment to 26% from 21% globally, Maurer said.

"It is still not good enough . . . We have a long way to go, but with Medrar's help, we will get there."

Air Zimbabwe ferries passengers in trucks

HARARE — Air Zimbabwe’s debts continue to bring misery to its passengers as a ground services firm withdrew its services because of an undisclosed outstanding debt.

Passengers on the morning flight to South Africa yesterday were ferried in trucks from the aircraft parking bays at OR Tambo International Airport.

One of the passengers who were on the flight said the shuttle bus service was also not provided.

Passengers and their luggage had to be ferried in trucks from the plane into the airport for immigration formalities.

 Acting Airzim chief executive officer Mr Innocent Mavhunga yesterday confirmed there were “disturbances” at OR Tambo International Airport.

He, however, said they had since resolved the matter and the South African company had resumed its service.

“It is true that we had an operation challenge on arrival, but that has been sorted out,” he said.

Last month, Airzim bosses were held hostage by some of the airline’s 700 workers who held a night vigil demanding payment of their outstanding salaries.

The airline owes workers an estimated US$5,6 million in outstanding salaries.

In the same month, Airzim passengers in Harare, Beijing, Kuala Lumpur and London were stranded after the airline failed to buy fuel and flights were cancelled.

It is believed the national airline owes fuel suppliers about US$1 million.

Airzim’s debts are now over US$100 million and the firm’s board chairperson, Mr Jonathan Kadzura, is on record calling for proper restructuring to ensure viability.

The Government is making frantic efforts to turn around Airzim’s fortunes.

President Mugabe last month met senior officials from Hainan Airlines to follow up on the possibility of a partnership between Airzim and the Chinese airline.

Talks were already underway between the two airlines although no deal has been reached as yet.

Campaign to honor WWII Coastal Patrol pilots

Thousands of civilian pilots volunteered for the Coastal Patrol during World War II, logging more than 750,000 flying hours, sinking two enemy submarines and attacking 57.   Now there's a campaign lobbying Congress to honor them with a Congressional Gold Medal.  In March 1942, German submarines were attacking U.S. cargo ships along the East Coast. A 90-day test period was approved to let the Coastal Patrol - a group of civilian pilots with their own aircraft - report submarine sightings to the military and force the vessels underwater, where they would need to slow down and use their limited battery power.

In Hampton Roads, a small squadron of Coastal Patrol planes became the first local Civil Air Patrol, operating out of Whitehurst Field and Municipal Airport in Norfolk and Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, according to a Virginian-Pilot story.   Soon, it was decided to arm the aircraft with small bombs or depth charges.  By a year and a half later, when the military was able to take over all patrol duties over water, 26 Civil Air Patrol pilots had died while on coastal patrol duty and 90 aircraft had been lost.  

The Civil Air Patrol began youth and aviation education programs and helped with home-front war efforts around the country, including border patrol, target towing, forest fire spotting, search and rescue, disaster relief and the emergency transport of people and supplies. By the end of the war, the civilian force had flown more than 750,000 hours and lost 64 personnel and 150 aircraft.

They had left their mark.  "It was perhaps best told by a high German official who was asked after the war why the U-boats stopped sinking allied shipping within sight of the coasts," The Virginian-Pilot reported in 1953. "He replied, 'It was those damn little red and yellow planes.' "

Modern-day members of the Civil Air Patrol, which is celebrating its 70th year, are seeking recognition of the pilots.  Legislation filed in the House and the Senate boasts 109 co-sponsors in the House, including U.S. Rep. Rob Wittman of Westmoreland County, and 45 in the Senate, including North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr.  "We want to make sure those who remain, and those who have passed, are rightly honored for their great service to America," Maj. Gen. Chuck Carr, CAP's national commander, said in a news release.

The gold medal is the highest honor Congress can bestow. Previous recipients include the Wright Brothers, Navajo Code Talkers, the astronauts who landed on the moon and, most recently, the Montford Point Marines, the first black Marines.  The Civil Air Patrol is also asking for help to identify adults who served between Dec. 7, 1941, and Aug. 15, 1945.

For more information about the effort, visit www.gocivilairpatrol.com.

Too Tipsy for Takeoff? Country Singer John Rich Kicked Off Southwest Flight After Crew Deems Him Too Drunk to Fly, Report Says

Country singer John Rich was booted from a Southwest airplane yesterday after crew members determined he was too inebriated to make the trip from Vegas to Nashville, TMZ reports.  Sources on the flight tell us the "Big & Rich" singer appeared drunk as he was boarding the flight, which was scheduled to depart at 10:50 AM.

Rich reportedly got into a verbal argument with a couple of passengers before boarding the plane and continued to display drunken behavior once he was allowed inside the main cabin.

Crew members approached Rich, determined they could not permit him to stay on the flight, and asked him to get off the plane. TMZ was told the singer was cooperative and calm as he exited the aircraft.  A rep for Southwest confirmed a passenger was kicked off the flight, but would not release the person's name.

The rep tells us, "Our crew assessed the situation and determined that the passenger was not fit for travel under governing federal aviation regulations."  The statement continues, "The customer was rebooked on a later Southwest flight out of Las Vegas, but chose to make alternative travel arrangements. We have processed a refund for the customer and his travel companion."

TMZ reached out to Rich for comment, but have not yet heard a response.

Who, What, Why: Why are so many airline bosses Irish?

The sight of airline bosses Willie Walsh and Michael O'Leary teaming up recently to urge the UK to scrap air passenger duties was a reminder of how the UK's airline industry is dominated by Irish men - and it's not only the UK's. The Celtic nation's influence extends to other airlines around the world. Why?

Like the Greeks and shipping, the Irish have a presence in the airlines business that far outstrips their size.

A day before Mr Walsh, British Airways chief executive, and Mr O'Leary, Ryanair boss, stood side by side in their air passenger duty campaign in London, trade union representatives elsewhere in the city were donning masks of another Irishman, Qantas boss Alan Joyce, to protest about the long-running dispute at the Australian carrier. He recently grounded his fleet of Qantas planes in a disagreement over job cuts.

These three men have compatriots in senior positions at airlines in Brunei and Mexico, and at other successful international aviation companies.

Mr Joyce acknowledged the remarkable place the Irish occupy in the business, in a speech in 2009.

''There must be something in the water - or the Guinness,'' said Mr Joyce, ''because there's certainly a very special Irish connection with aviation.''

He added: "The global aviation business is crowded - though not, I think, overcrowded - with Irish aviation executives like Willie Walsh, Dermot Mannion, Michael O'Leary and Conor McCarthy.''

So how come there are so many Irish playing leading roles in aviation?

The seeds were sown 75 years ago, says Conor McCarthy, who co-founded Australian airline Jetstar Airways and now runs Dublin Aerospace, which overhauls aircraft and landing gear from airlines around the world.

Aer Lingus was created in the 1930s and later became a great training ground for talent
The success of leasing company Guinness Peat Aviation in the 1970s and 80s was also an inspiration

"When air travel started in earnest in the 1930s, the Irish government was far-sighted enough, even though impoverished, to start up a national airline.

"So when the likes of British Airways - then BOAC - and Air France were starting off, the Irish got in there. It wasn't like the industrial age that passed us by as we remained an agricultural country. We were there from the start. As an island nation, we saw the necessity of air travel very early."

Successive Fianna Fail governments in the 1930s saw the aviation industry as a very positive thing, as a way to break dependence on Britain, says Irish aviation analyst Antoin Daltun.

"It was [regarded as] a remote province part of Britain rather than a state or island in its own right.

"And with the Irish diaspora in America, it was striking how in the 1930s the Irish government was keen on transatlantic operations [these finally began in the 1950s] at a stage when people who flew across the Atlantic didn't get life insurance because they might not get to the other side."

The Irish were concentrating on their civilian aviation business when other nations regarded military air forces as more important than airlines, he says.

"The idea was that Aer Lingus would be a technical driver of the economy and that it would be self-sufficient, not just buying services from everybody else, but it would be a mini British Airways."

It created jobs and there was a first wave of successful Irish people going overseas in the 1970s, to Zambia, ALM (the Netherlands Antilles airline) and East Africa Airways, he says.

Aer Lingus became a training ground for a lot of people who went on to senior positions around the world, says Mr McCarthy, himself an apprentice there aged 16. Mr Joyce began his career there and Willie Walsh was an Aer Lingus trainee pilot at 17. It was a company that offered employees plenty of opportunities to move around and widen their skills, he recalls.

"We all got fantastic opportunities and it was a great start for anyone."

Tony Ryan was another Aer Lingus graduate who went on to create Ryanair. Its rise turned Ireland into a cradle of competition, Mr McCarthy believes, and Aer Lingus had to compete with Ryanair a lot earlier than other European airlines, which honed the management and cost-cutting skills of managers like Willie Walsh.

Siobhan Creaton, an Irish Times journalist and author of Ryanair: How a Small Irish Airline Conquered Europe, says Irish dominance can also be traced back to another Tony Ryan creation, Guinness Peat Aviation, an aircraft sales and leasing company which he set up in 1975 and grew to be a $4bn company.

"Guinness Peat Aviation Industry grew to become the world's second biggest airline leasing company and that brought a lot of talent with it. That sparked a lot of interest in aviation. If you were in college in the 1970s, that would have been the sexy industry to go into because it was such a vibrant industry."

There's still a huge amount of expertise in Ireland, says Ms Creaton, and it remains a core part of the Irish economy, despite the economic problems.

There is also a more general reason why the Irish are good at running airlines, says Mr McCarthy. It's because they use them so often.

The country has a long history of emigration and a lot of diaspora based overseas, which makes them one of the most frequent flying nations in the world.

But the Irish don't have it all their own way. In 2009, Aer Lingus appointed a new chief executive, Christoph Mueller, who's German.

 http://www.bbc.co.uk

Neighborhood spat that went to trial (Singapore Airlines cabin crew)

One party in a neighborhood spat last year spurned mediation because the matter was serious and sought settlement in court.

As the two sides had different work schedules and mutually suitable court dates had to be found, the nine days of hearing stretched from September last year to April.

Both parties were supervisory-level Singapore Airlines (SIA) cabin crew who lived in different units in the same block in Upper East Coast Road.

Mr K. Parameshwara had lodged a magistrate's complaint against Mr Devinder Singh for gravely insulting him and his wife. In the incident on Jan 7, 2009, Mr Singh was said to have hurled vulgarities and distressed Mr Param. 


APEM acquires its fourth aircraft: Lombard funds new plane for high flying environmental consultancy

From left, Ian Smith, Mike Lamont, Andrew Bailey and Stuart Clough, with the new aircraft


High-flying environmental consultancy APEM has taken delivery of its fourth survey aircraft as demand continues to soar for its aerial photography services.

The Stockport-based firm, which last month won a Manchester Evening News Business of the Year accolade, has invested £612,000 to buy a six-seater, twin-engine Vulcanair plane which has a top speed of 300km per hour and a range of almost 3,000km.

APEM, which was spun out of Manchester University in 1987, specialises in aquatic sciences, in particular the study and management of freshwater and marine habitats.

Its staff conduct surveys of river, lakes and coastal habitats for clients including the Environment Agency, water and power companies, conservation agencies and planners and developers.

APEM’s turnover has rocketed by almost 50 per cent in the past 12 months to £6.3m, mainly due to demand for aerial surveys to help position offshore wind farms.

It has also opened offices in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Chester and recently recruited its 100th employee.

Managing director Dr Keith Hendry commented: “We made the decision several years ago to purchase our own aircraft and survey camera equipment and also to employ our own, full-time pilots.

“This enables us to conduct surveys under the optimal environmental conditions and this has been a significant factor behind our growth.

“We’ve made this addition to our aerial fleet to ensure that we can continue providing a fast and flexible response to our clients' needs.”

Lombard, the asset finance arm of The Royal Bank of Scotland, provided a £400,000 loan to enable APEM to acquire the new plane, which is based at Hawarden (Chester) Airport along with the rest of the company’s fleet.

Lombard’s Andrew Bailey said: “APEM has a long track record of making investments to deliver the best possible results for its clients.

“This is the second aircraft Lombard has financed in recent years and we look forward to working with them on future projects”

Lombard funds new plane for high flying environmental consultancy

High flying environmental consultancy APEM Ltd has purchased its fourth survey aircraft in response to soaring demand for its aerial photography services.

The Stockport-based company has invested £612k to purchase a new Vulcanair P68C, a six seater twin engine aircraft that has a top speed of 300km per hour and a maximum range of almost 3,000km.

Founded in 1987, APEM specialises in aquatic sciences, particularly the study and management of freshwater and marine habitats. Its aerial work includes surveys of river, lakes and costal habitats for clients such as the Environment Agency, water & power companies, conservation agencies and planners & developers.

In the last 12 months APEM's turnover has grown by almost 50% to £6.3m mainly due to sustained demand for aerial surveys to help position off-shore wind farms. The company has also opened new offices in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Chester and recently recruited its 100th employee.

Dr Keith Hendry, APEM's Managing Director, said: "We made the decision several years ago to purchase our own aircraft and survey camera equipment and employ our own full time pilots. This enables us to conduct surveys under the optimal environmental conditions and this has been a significant factor behind our growth. We have made this addition to our aerial fleet to ensure that we can continue providing a fast and flexible response to our client's needs."

Lombard, the asset finance arm of The Royal Bank of Scotland, provided a £400k loan to part fund the purchase.

Andrew Bailey, Lombard Relationship Manager, said: "APEM has a long track record of making capex investments to deliver the best possible results for its clients. This is the second aircraft Lombard has financed in recent years and we look forward to working with them on future projects."


http://www.4-traders.com

http://menmedia.co.uk

Aergo pays $34m dividend to O'Brien

LATEST ACCOUNTS for Dublin-based aircraft leasing company Aergo Capital Ltd indicate it paid a dividend of $34 million (€25.4 million) this year to majority shareholder Denis O’Brien following a highly profitable 2010.

The accounts also indicate Mr O’Brien’s fellow shareholder Fred Browne, who runs the business, was paid a dividend of €6 million this year by the company.

The payment of an interim dividend to Mr O’Brien was authorised on January 21st, 2011, according to Aergo’s accounts.

Mr Browne’s payout was given the green light on March 9th.

No comment was available from Aergo yesterday in relation to the payments.

Aergo made an after-tax profit of $26.1 million in 2010, up from $1.5 million in the previous year.

The difference was largely due to the sale of its subsidiary Safair for a gross consideration of $91.7 million in November 2010.

Aergo netted a $25.8 million profit on the sale of Safair. The sale also reduced Aergo’s exposure to foreign currency risk. Its currency losses amounted to $3.4 million last year, from $25.7 million in 2009.

While profits soared, Aergo’s revenues fell to $114.7 million last year from $150.6 million in 2009.

The directors stated they were “satisfied” with the company’s performance last year.

Aergo is involved in the leasing, management and operation of commercial aircraft.

The company generated $113 million of its revenues last year from operating lease rentals and $1 million from the sale of inventory. It also earned $493,000 from finance lease rentals.

Eighty-six per cent of these revenues were related to entities sold during the year.

The average number of staff during the year was 15, and the cost of their employment was $13.9 million. The staff figure excluded Safair.

Aergo employed an average of 166 workers in 2009. Employment costs that year amounted to $14.5 million.

Directors’ emoluments amounted to $923,000 last year compared to $1.6 million in 2009.

 http://www.irishtimes.com

Kingfisher Chairman Mallya: Expect to Meet Lenders This Week

By NIKHIL GULATI

NEW DELHI -- Kingfisher Airlines Ltd.'s management expects to meet its lenders this week, Chairman Vijay Mallya said Monday.

The meeting assumes significance as the loss-making carrier is struggling with a large debt burden of about $1.25 billion, and urgently needs funds to pay bills and keep its operations running.

While Mr. Mallya didn't give any details, people familiar with the development had said last week that a consortium of 13 lenders will likely decide on further help to the airline based on a report prepared by SBI Capital Markets Ltd. on the viability of its operations. Kingfisher has put forward a debt-reduction plan to the lenders and asked for fresh loans.

Mr. Mallya told reporters also that the airline is seeking approval from the Directorate General of Foreign Trade to directly import jet fuel, as it seeks to pare its high fuel cost.

TSA Finds Inert Grenades in Luggage at Newark Liberty International Airport (KEWR), New Jersey

The TSA found these inert grenades inside checked luggage at Newark Liberty Airport.


MYFOXNY.COM - A passenger traveling to Belgium from Newark Liberty Airport on Saturday had five inert grenades in her checked luggage, according to the Transportation Security Administration.

Screeners called in TSA explosives experts after they found the grenades on Dec. 3, 2011, officials said. The TSA explosives team determined the grenades were not operational. The passenger surrenders the grenades to security officers.

The incident did not disrupt the airport's operation, the TSA said.

Also on Saturday, Newark screeners found a credit card knife in the wallet of a passenger headed to Los Angeles. Port Authority Police responded, confiscated the weapon, and let the man fly, the TSA said.

Canadian aerospace industry braces for competition from India and China

MONTREAL - Aerospace industry-watchers said Monday that emerging powers like China and India will eventually compete in aircraft manufacturing — but it might take a while.

The head of one industry think-tank noted that Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, India's state-owned company, is heavily involved in building helicopters and plans to eventually develop its own fighters and commercial aircraft.

But Suzanne Benoit, CEO of Aero Montreal, added that India still has some catching up to do.

"It's not really a commercial company, it's a government-owned company so maybe the pace of development may not be as fast as other airframers," Benoit said in an interview Monday.

"It's not going to happen tomorrow, but you never know in India — the government may decide to put a lot of money into it."

Benoit made her comments during a two-day forum on aerospace innovation organized by Aero Montreal, a think-tank for Quebec's aerospace sector.

She stressed that, while the Chinese are also developing their own industry, Canada is still strong when it comes to aircraft innovation, concept and design.

"What we have to remember is (that's) where the market will be in the future and I don't think it's a bad thing because our companies will sell to them," Benoit added.

But she says Canada can't sit back and relax — even though she thinks it may take 15 to 20 years before the Chinese aircraft industry takes off.

"We can't sit on our laurels because the two emerging nations have an enormous number of engineers graduating," Benoit noted.

"I would say in India, 300,000 engineers a year graduate and there's also an enormous number in China."

Rod Jones, the executive-director of the Ontario Aerospace Council, agrees with Benoit that China will be a full player.

"We see them mostly active in their own market," he said. "But China is bent on building its own aerospace industry and, in the long run, the opportunities are like in 10-15 years."

Federal Industry Minister Christian Paradis says the Canadian aerospace industry can't let up.

"The best way to fight is to just keep pushing where we are strong," he told reporters after a luncheon speech.

"We have to demonstrate that we have the best products, that we have the products of the future and that we have the skilled labour."

Paradis boasts that Montreal ranks as the third-largest aerospace cluster in the world after Toulouse and Seattle.

"We are the leaders here so we have to keep pushing on this because this is a good industry with a promising future," he said.

Canada's aerospace and space sectors generate annual revenues of over $22 billion and employ nearly 80,000 Canadians in more than 400 firms across the country.

Mopa airport: Farmers want higher compensation. (India)

MAPUSA: Farmers affected by the proposed airport at Mopa have strongly denounced "pitiful rates of compensation" the government has offered to compensate them with. Farmers believe that their land has been unfairly acquired by paying a meagre compensation of 20 and 38 per sq m and has warned of a bigger agitation if the government doesn't come up with a solution before December 19.

The affected farmers from Mopa, Varkhand, Casarvarnem, Chandel, Uguem, Amerem and Poroscodem have decided to come together to fight for a better compensation for parting with their land to the greenfield Mopa airport.

The land losers from the Mopa village under the banner of 'Mopa Shetkari Saghatana' has submitted a memorandum to the chairman of the state law commission, Ramakant Khalap, urging him to pursue their matter - that they be adequately compensated for their land being taken away from them.

According to farmers, they have been offered 20 per sq m for tenant property land and 38 for ownership land. In tenancy land, 10 will go to the tenant while 10 will go to the owner. They are not happy with the compensation being presently offered to them and have therefore expressed their resentment over the project.

The farmers called on Khalap, as the commission has come up with a progressive draft land acquisition policy based on the Haryana model that attempts to address to some degree, the unfair measures in government policy for land acquisition.

Khalap addressed the farmers at a meeting on Sunday at Devi Sateri Mauli temple in Mopa in the presence of Prabhakar Narulkar, Mandar Joshi, former Mopa sarpanch Balkrishna Parab and panch Jaiprakash Parab among others.

Addressing the gathering, Khalap said the government is doing injustice to farmers by paying such an amount. "Farmers will get even more compensation if they give their land for stone quarrying purpose. The purpose of bringing the airport to Pernem will not fulfill the purpose if farmers are pillaged of their only valuable resource at low rates of compensation," Khalap said.

The farmers have now decided to convene meetings in all affected villages to unite themselves to fight for the right compensation from the government. "The government has no comprehensive policy of compensation and randomly decides the land prices. The Land Acquisition Act, 1894, is a British era act and is ruthlessly used to snatch the means of survival from the poor farmers which it is not acceptable to us," said Rajesh Parab, a Mopa villager leading the agitation.

He said a total of 90 lakh sq m of land will be acquired for the airport for which around 28 lakh sq m of land will be taken from farmers from Mopa village itself. "We will convene meetings in all affected villages with the support of Khalap to raise awareness and will decide on the course of further action after 19th of December," Parab said.

"The government is taking away land without any written assurances. For those who have already accepted compensation and parted with their land - they don't have any certificate of land sharing," Parab said. "What is the guarantee that this government will provide us jobs, we have no proof of land sharing. Tomorrow if the house is dissolved whom do we contact?" he added.

Allentown Queen City Municipal Airport (KXLL) is subject of tonight's 'Business Matters'. Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Queen City Airport's future is the topic of discussion during tonight's "Business Matters" program on WFMZ-TV.

Tony Iannelli
, host of the television show, poses the question of whether the Allentown airport should be sold for redevelopment. Guests who discuss the topic include Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski; Mike Rosenfeld of the Lehigh Valley General Aviation Association; Jay Goldstein, described in the news release as an "activist"; and Frank Kovacs of the Lehigh Valley International Airport.

The program airs at 8 o'clock.

Some Lehigh County officials have advocated the sale of the airport on the outskirts of the city along Route 78. It serves smaller planes and overflow air traffic and makes a profit of $50,000 to $80,000 a year.

Its location is prime for economic development, sale advocates say.

The Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority has said it has no interest in selling any properties without consulting with a master planner.
It is reviewing bids from 15 planners to review how it can best use its resources.

Watch the show online here.  


http://www.airnav.com/airport/KXLL

FAA looking into LA police overcharge complaint

LOS ANGELES -- Federal authorities are investigating a claim that the Los Angeles Police Department misused millions of dollars it was paid for security services at Los Angeles International Airport to pay for unrelated expenses.

The complaint was filed by the Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Association, which represents more than 400 officers from the airport department. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the allegation that LAPD overcharged for providing dozens of officers at the airport and then used the money to bolster city coffers, according to the Los Angeles Times ( http://lat.ms/t1nSB5).

If the claim is true, the city could have to repay the money to the airport because it would be a violation of federal regulations.

Audits taken of LAPD show the amount charged for the services provided are fair, said police Commander Andy Smith.

The airport is guarded by the LAPD and a separate agency, the Los Angeles World Airports Police Department. City voters rejected a merger six years ago.

Ian Gregor, an FAA spokesman, said the federal agency is evaluating the allegation to determine if there is enough evidence to request further action by the inspector general for the U.S. Department of Transportation.

In 2008, the city's airport agency, Los Angeles World Airports, paid as much as $19.5 million for up to 90 LAPD officers, including some who worked part-time, according to the complaint. The agency also paid LAPD tens of millions of dollars a year in overtime, which amounted to more than $60 million in fiscal year 2009-2010, the newspaper reported.

The money diverted by LAPD could have gone to hire more airport police officers, replace aging patrol cars and improve LAX's police station, according to the complaint.

The city agreed to repay $21.2 million two years ago to the airport agency, including $18.1 million that was given to L.A. Inc., the city's visitor and convention bureau. The FAA ordered the city to return about $31 million in LAX funds in 1996 that had been allocated to balance the city budget.

Queenstown Airport in top 10 best airport approaches

Queenstown Airport in top 10 best airport approaches in the world


The approach to Queenstown Airport features among the 10 most stunning in the world.

Placed seventh, the Airport was the only one in the Southern Hemisphere to make the international top 10.

“We already knew that Queenstown Airport is in one of the most beautiful spots in the world so it is terrific that it is now recognised internationally,” said Mr Steve Sanderson, Chief Executive Officer, Queenstown Airport. “Nobody forgets the wonderful scenery when landing here whether it’s for the first time or the hundreth.”

The list was decided by votes from travellers from around the world with a total of 79 global airports receiving nominations.

Private jet booking company PrivateFly.com, who compiled the list, looked for airport locations that offer passengers a truly inspirational view on approach.

Comments received about the Queenstown Airport approach included:

The thrill of being so close to the craggy Remarkables mountains whilst on approach has never left me in the 25 years and many, many flights over this period. It is truly remarkable.
Absolutely spectacular flying in over the mountains, lake and ski field – it literally takes your breath away.

Queenstown Airport is Australasia's fastest growing Airport. Located at Frankton in New Zealand's South Island, it serves the resort town of Queenstown and sits in the picturesque Wakatipu Basin.

The Airport is serviced by Air New Zealand, Mt Cook Airline, Pacific Blue, Jetstar and Qantas with direct international flights to/from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

It is one of New Zealand's busiest helicopter and general aviation bases.

It also has a healthy Corporate Jet business. In October a total of 8 corporate jets lined up at the Airport which is the largest number it has seen at one time.

The full top ten

1. Barra (Scotland)
2. London City
3. Jackson Hole
4. Aruba
5. Male (Maldives)
6. St Barts
7. Queenstown (NZ)
8. Gibraltar
9. Narvik (Norway)
10. St Maarten.

http://www.scoop.co.nz

Five-year plan for Pakistan International Airlines aims to double revenues

* Reduction in operational cost by Rs 14.22bn under the plan

* Replacement of 40% national carrier’s fleet with addition of 10 new aircrafts also included

ISLAMABAD: Five year business plan of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) aims at doubling of the airlines revenues in five year period, reduction in operational cost by Rs 14.22 billion, replacement of 40 percent of national carrier’s fleet with addition of 10 new aircrafts and replacement of 6 existing aircrafts.

According to the official details of Ministry of Defence provided to the parliament, government of Pakistan (GoP), is examining a five-year business plan prepared by PIAC duly approved by their Board of Directors on the direction of Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Finance.

PIA does not incur any non-development costs but have direct (cost of services) and indirect costs (distribution, administrative and others) relating to operations. To control the indirect costs and to improve the financial health of the corporation, government of Pakistan, is examining a five-year business plan prepared by PIAC duly approved by their Board of Directors on the direction of Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Finance.

Salient of the plan are to strengthen culture of ethics and compliance, aggressive marketing plans for revenue enhancement, doubling revenues in 5 years, operational restructuring to cut costs and improve efficiencies, resulting in savings of Rs 14.22 billion which is 5 percent of the controllable cost, replacement and expansion of the fleet (10 additions, 06 replacements, 40 percent of present fleet), recapitalisation to pay for legacy losses. PIA is confident that these strategies combined with the support of the GoP will put the airline on path of profitability and return PIA to its past glory.

The total income of the national carrier Pakistan International airlines stood at Rs 133.66 billion during 2010 and January-March period of 2011, July-March period of the last fiscal year 201-11 compared with expenditure of Rs 147.091 billion in the said period showing an income shortfall of Rs 13.431 billion.

Incomes: Income from passenger was Rs 87.212 billion in 2010 and Rs 23.198 billion in first quarter of the ongoing fiscal year 2011, making a total of Rs 110.41 billion in three quarters of the last fiscal year 2010-11 (July-March 2010-11). Revenues from Hajj have been estimated at Rs 8.531 billion in 2010. Incomes from excess baggage were Rs 1.072 billion in 2010 and Rs 290 million in first quarter of the year 2011.

Total incomes from freight income have been recorded at Rs 6.406 billion during 2010 and Rs 1.390 billion during the first quarter of the 2011. Air lifting of mail and post has enable the national carrier to bag Rs 440 million during 2010 and Rs 102 million during fist quarter of the 2011. National carriers has earned Rs 461 million from aircraft charters (Passenger, Cargo) during 2010 and this has earned Rs 477 million to it in first quarter of the year 2011. By rendering engineering services to other airlines national carrier has earned Rs 1.250 billion in 2010 and Rs 222 million in first quarter of the year 2011. Other revenues of the national carrier were Rs 2.161 billion in 2010 and Rs 504 million in first quarter 2011.

Expenditure: Total expenditures of PIA during 2010 and first quarter of the year 2011 were Rs 147.091 billion. The cost of Fuel and Oil born by the national carrier during the said period was Rs 44.707 billion in 2010 and Rs 13.107 in first quarter of the year 2011.

Passenger Services expenses amounted to Rs 3.694 billion in the 2010 and Rs 936 million in first quarter of the year 2011. Aeronautical, Landing, Handling charges that have been paid by the national carrier were Rs 10.422 billion in 2010 and Rs 3.139 billion in first quarter of the year 2011. Maintenance cost born by the national carrier amounted to Rs 6.796 billion in 2010 and Rs 1.679 billion in first quarter of year 2011. General and Administrative expenses were recorded during 2010 at Rs 5.243 billion and Rs 1.472 billion during first quarter of the year 2011.

Depreciation cost born by the national carrier estimated at Rs 6.214 billion in 2010 and Rs 1.473 billion in 2011. Employee pay, allowances and other benefits have put a financial burden of Rs 18.569 billion in 2010 and Rs 4.382 billion during first quarter 2011.

IS and Communication services cost born by the airlines stood at Rs 1.469 billion in 2010 and Rs 497 million in first quarter of year 2011. PIA spent on advertising services Rs 782 million in 2010 and Rs 218 million in first quarter of year 2011. Expenses on GDS were Rs 1.555 billion in 2010 and Rs 307 million in first quarter of year 2011. Finance Cost was recorded at Rs 9.300 billion in 2010 and Rs 2.393 billion in first quarter of year 2011.

Exchange rate losses were Rs 2.092 billion during 2010 and Rs 734 million in first quarter of the year 2011. Other expenses of PIA were Rs 6.039 billion during 2010 and Rs 1.341 billion during first quarter of year 2011.


Oando assures of prompt delivery of aviation fuel

Oando Plc has broken another ground as it added to its list of clientele a new airline, RwandAir, with a promise to promptly supply aviation fuel to the airline for its operations in Nigeria.

At the briefing in Lagos to flag off the inaugural flight of the airline, the Chief Operating Officer, Oando Marketing Plc, Yomi Awobokun, said Oando is proud to be part of the history making by Rwanda who has gone through a lot of crises in years past.

Awobokun said: "We are proud to associate ourselves with this noble course. The flag off of the inaugural flight of RwandAir is something to be happy about. And as one of the leading service providers in the country our intention is not only to provide quality service to RwandAir but to support Africa, the emerging giant after Asia.

"The airline caught our attention because of what they have been doing.Don’t forget that a few years ago, Rwanda was in conflict. But now they have come out of it and ready to tell the rest of the world that they are ready to go. So, what Oando is doing is to support them as they prepare to position themselves on the world map."

Awobokun stated that Oando being a world class company with the state of the art infrastructure would not only support the airline with quality service but also provide other value additions to help sustain it on this unfamiliar terrain.

"We are not only going to deliver aviation fuel to this airline but also provide other independent services from outsourcing down to after sales support. What that means is that our logo is now behind the company.We will support them to ensure that not only would they fly to Nigeria itch free but that they continue to grow as Africa’s emerging airline," Awobokun said.

Having secured the RwandAir, Awobokun noted that Oando has started considering notching other opportunities in other parts of the continent such as Burkina Faso, Cameroon and Congo to mention but few.

"There is no doubt that RwandAir is no longer a potential opportunity but a reality. But we are not resting on our oars as we are looking at other opportunities in Africa. As you may be aware, we have made our footprints in Ghana, Togo and other countries along the West Africa coast. We are currently looking at opportunities in Burkina Faso, Congo and Mali. Weare also looking at Cameroon and Congo. We are sure that in few years time, Oando will establish itself as Africa’s undisputed indigenous giant in the down stream, he said."

The Chief Executive Officer of the airline, John Mirenge, thanked Oando Plc for its support towards making the airline a dream come true.

He noted that although the airline has established itself in 13 destinations in the continent, the need to add Nigeria to the list came begging in view of the enormous opportunities that abound in the country.

He said the airline currently has seven operational aircrafts while four others would be added to the fleet by next year.

Assuring would-be passengers of comfortable and safe flight through RwandAir, Mirenge stated that the airline takes the issue of comfortability and safety seriously and this explains why the aircraft that is slated to ply Nigeria is a new one which was acquired a month ago.

Motorcyclist dies in wreck at Jack Brooks Regional Airport (KBPT) Beaumont/Port Arthur, Texas.

Photo: Broussard's Mortuary

A 24-year-old Port Arthur man died early Sunday after he was ejected from his motorcycle at the Jack Brooks Regional Airport.

Jared Rogers was pronounced dead at the scene by Justice of the Peace Brad Burnett.

According to a news release from the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, the wreck happened around 1:30 a.m. on an outer runway at the airport. Reports said it appeared Rogers lost control of the motorcycle as he traveled at a high rate of speed.

Rogers was an employee of a business that was leasing a hangar at the airport, according to the release.

An autopsy and toxicology tests were ordered by Burnett, and the accident remains under investigation.

Jefferson County Sheriff's Deputies identify a man killed in a motorcycle accident over the weekend as Jared Douglas Rogers, 24, of Nederland.

According to a statement issued Monday by the Sheriff's Office, the accident happened around 1:30 a.m. Sunday on an outer runway of the Jack Brooks Regional Airport. Investigators say it appears Rogers was going too fast and lost control of the motorcycle.

Rogers was pronounced dead at the scene by Pct. 7 Justice of the Peace Judge Brad Burnett.

Rogers was employed as a pilot with K.U.S.A. Aviation for the last two years. The company leases a hangar at the airport.

A gathering of his family and friends will be from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., Wednesday, December 7, 2011, at Broussard's, 505 North 12th Street, Nederland.

http://www.airnav.com/airport/BPT

http://www.kcentv.com

Richard Branson’s Carbon War Room Launches Jet-Fuel Reduction Initiative

The Carbon War Room, funded by Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd. founder Richard Branson, today launched a web and information site aimed at reducing the use of traditional jet fuels by as much as 50 percent.

Branson announced the creation of a ranking system for airlines that use biofuels with the largest publisher of scientific information, Reed Elsevier Plc (REL), owner of the LexisNexis database, during the climate talks in Durban.

The online resource contains information about the sector and facilitates contact between producers of biofuels and the aviation industry as “the airline industry generates about 2-3% of carbon emissions” said Suzanne Hunt of the Huntgreen environmental agency, based in Washington, D.C.

“This might not sound like much but it is accelerating very fast,” Hunt said. “We started talking to buyers and producers of aviation fuel and discovered that the technology is ready and demand outstrips supply but that there was not much information available that would connect buyers and producers.”

The Carbon War Room teamed with Elsevier as “we know that a lot of the solutions to the energy problems have to come from new technologies,” said Jan Paul Grolle of Elsevier. Interviews with hundreds of people working in the alternative energy sector “indicated they lack reliable information.”

The request was to make sure that any information is organized by experts, reviewed and made available. “And we are not only talking about jet fuel but also other biofuel sectors.” Grolle said.

“The biggest problem at the moment is the high price of renewable energy,” Hunt said, “but if demand increases, the price can come down. Producers also lack access to finance, and we are facilitating contact between investors and producers.”

Commercial skydiving begins in Pokhara

POKHARA, Dec 6: Avia Club, Pokhara has started commercial skydiving for the first time in Nepal.

Skydiving is an adventurous sport where divers jumps from flying aircraft with the help of parachute. Alexender Havard, 40, from England on Sunday became the first person to enjoy skydiving in Pokhara. He jumped from the altitude of 8,000 ft and landed at Khapaudi near Lake Side.

“I was thrilled although I couldn´t see the clear view of Himalayas because of mist,” he said, sharing his experience.

Avia Club is offering the service at Euro 110 per jump. Prabin Gauchan, general manager of Avia Club, said the company was planning to offer special discount for a limited period to attract more adventure lovers to the country. He further added that his company working on to develop a special package to promote skydiving.

“We are hopeful that this new product will help a lot in tourism promotion,” he added.

Avia club, which also operates ultra light flights in Pokhara, is deploying two-seater ultra-light aircraft for the jump.

Only the licensed divers can enjoy skydiving in Pokhara. Interested persons must get permit from Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) for the jump. CAAN issues two-week permit for $50 per person.


Aircraft Fire Training at the 434th Air Refueling Wing | Grissom Air Reserve Base



by 12StarsMedia on Nov 28, 2011

Rocky Walls, CEO of 12 Stars Media, tries his hand at fighting an aircraft fire at the 434th Air Refueling Wing at Grissom Air Reserve Base.

The 434th Air Refueling Wing, equipped with KC-135R Stratotanker aircraft, is one of the key aerial refueling units in the Air Force Reserve Command. From its home at Grissom Air Reserve Base, Ind., the wing and its people travel around the world in support of various Air Force operations and contingencies.

The mission of the 434th Air Refueling Wing is to develop and maintain the operational capability of its units and train reservists for worldwide duty. The 434th Air Refueling Wing regularly participates in exercises and front-line operations to support America's national interests. The Air Force Reserve Command provides a substantial portion of the Department of Defense\'s total aerial refueling capability. Hence, the 434th receives its share of taskings both during peacetime and times of crisis to support our nation\'s active duty military forces.

Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum Completes New Exhibit. Cape May County Airport (KWWD) Wildwood, New Jersey.

CAPE MAY COUNTY AIRPORT – Naval Air Station Wildwood (NASW) Aviation Museum has recently completed construction of a new exhibit titled “Sheet Music Covers, A Decorative Art.” Museum guests can view graphics and artwork from World War I and World War II era sheet music covers. This exhibit is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. The funds were administered by the Cape May County Culture and Heritage Commission, under the authority of the County Library Commission, for the Board of Chosen Freeholders.

NAS Wildwood Aviation Museum boasts over 26 aircraft displays as well as exhibits of military memorabilia, engines, photographs, interactive activities and more. Hours of operation are 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Mon. - Fri. Don’t forget bring your camera!

Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum is located in Historic Hangar No. 1 at the Cape May Airport, New Jersey. Cape May Airport was formerly Naval Air Station Wildwood, which served as a World War II dive-bomber training center. The museum is dedicated to the 42 airmen who perished while training at Naval Air Station Wildwood between 1943 and 1945.


Aviat A-1C-180 Husky, Shell Aviation LLC, N62WY: Accident occurred December 03, 2011 in McKinney, Texas

http://registry.faa.gov/N62WY
 
NTSB Identification: CEN12LA125
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation 
Accident occurred Saturday, December 03, 2011 in McKinney, TX 
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/30/2013
Aircraft: AVIAT AIRCRAFT INC A-1C-180, registration: N62WY
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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

After returning from a short night flight, the airplane was parked on a ramp in front of a hangar to deplane the passenger and take another person on a flight. The engine was at idle power and the propeller was turning. The pilot stated that he leaned across the airplane and opened the right door so the passenger could exit. When he saw that she was exiting toward the front of the airplane, he put his arm out and told her to walk toward the rear after exiting. Once the pilot saw that the passenger was clear of the wing strut and walking away, he lowered his arm. A witness who was walking from the hangar toward the airplane saw that the passenger was walking toward the front of the aircraft. He yelled for her to stop, and a second later she hit the propeller from the rear and fell to the ground. He noticed that the pilot immediately shut the engine down and then called emergency services. FAA Advisory Circular (AC) 91-42D, "Hazards of Rotating Propeller and Helicopter Rotor Blade,” states that a propeller under power, even at slow idling speed, has sufficient force to inflict injuries. It cautions that the engine “should be shut down before boarding or deplaning passengers.” It further states that “when it is necessary to discharge a passenger from an aircraft on which an engine is running, never stop the aircraft with the propeller in the path of the passenger’s route from the aircraft.”

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The passenger's inadvertent contact with a rotating propeller after exiting the parked airplane. Contributing to the accident were the dark night conditions and the deplaning of the passenger while the propeller was turning.

On December 3, 2011, about 2050 central daylight time, a passenger of a parked Aviat Aircraft Inc., Husky A-1C, N62WY, came into its rotating propeller after exiting the airplane on the ramp of the Aero Country Airport (T31), McKinney, Texas. The airplane was registered to Shell Aviation, LLC, McKinney, Texas, and was being flown by a private pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Dark night visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed at the time of the accident. The passenger was seriously injured and the pilot, who was the only other person remaining on board, was not injured. The flight had originated from T31 and had just returned from flying in the local area to view holiday lights.

A witness who was with the group of people who were at the airport to fly in the airplane that night reported that he and the pilot pushed the airplane out of the hanger approximately 2030 in preparation for the flight. He stated that the weather was VFR with ceilings around 3500 ft and good visibility. Several minutes after the pilot had started the airplane, he walked the first passenger to the aircraft, made specific mention to her of the propeller and to be careful, then helped her enter the aircraft and fasten her seat belts. Once she was situated in the rear seat he walked away from the aircraft and back into the hanger. The airplane then took off to view the holiday lights. After 10-15 minutes passed, he saw the airplane taxi back onto the ramp and park facing toward the north. After a brief discussion with another person in the hangar, he saw the shadow of the passenger exiting the airplane. He then began walking toward the aircraft and noticed that the passenger was walking toward the front of the aircraft. He yelled for her to "STOP", and a second later she hit the propeller from the rear and fell to the ground. He noticed that the pilot immediately shut the engine down and then called emergency services.

According to the pilot (as he recalled the event in a written statement), after landing from the planned 20-minute flight, he stopped the airplane on the ramp with the engine running in anticipation of taking another passenger to view the holiday lights. He opened the door on the right side of the airplane expecting a friend to come out and assist his passenger in deplaning. After he opened the door, the passenger started to get out of the airplane. Upon noticing that she was exiting in front of the strut, the pilot leaned out of his seat and placed his right hand and arm in front of her to divert her away from the front of the airplane and the propeller. He continued to keep his arm extended and told the passenger that she should walk behind the airplane. Once he saw that the passenger was at least beyond where the strut was attached to the wing, and walking away, he dropped his right arm and returned to his normal seat position. The pilot then looked to the left side of the airplane and opened his window to ask who was next to go for a ride. The pilot then heard someone yell, "STOP," and he immediately shut down the engine and saw the passenger lying in front of the airplane.

The NTSB did not travel to the scene of the accident, however, after notification of the event, an FAA inspector responded to the accident scene. He reported that when he arrived, the airplane was hangared, the scene cleaned up, and the injured passenger had been taken to the hospital. Local law enforcement and emergency medical personnel had processed the scene prior to the arrival of the FAA inspector. Both the FAA inspector's statement of his observations and the law enforcement report of the event are included in the supporting docket for this report.

FAA Advisory Circular (AC) 91-42D "Hazards of Rotating Propeller and Helicopter Rotor Blade,” outlines safety considerations for pilots and passengers of aircraft with turning propellers or rotors. The AC is advisory in nature and not mandatory guidance. In part, the circular states that a propeller under power, even at slow idling speed, has sufficient force to inflict fatal injuries. On page 4 of the circular, it cautions that the engine “should be shut down before boarding or deplaning passengers”...”when it is necessary to discharge a passenger from an aircraft on which an engine is running, never stop the aircraft with the propeller in the path of the passenger’s route from the aircraft.” The Advisory Circular is included in the supporting docket for this report.


NTSB Identification: CEN12LA125
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, December 03, 2011 in McKinney, TX
Aircraft: AVIAT AIRCRAFT INC A-1C-180, registration: N62WY
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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.

On December 3, 2011, about 2050 central daylight time, a passenger of a parked Aviat Aircraft Inc., Husky A-1C, N62WY, contacted its rotating propeller after exiting the airplane on the ramp of the Aero Country Airport (T31), McKinney, Texas. The airplane was registered to Shell Aviation, LLC, McKinney, Texas, and was being flown by a private pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Dark night visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The passenger was seriously injured and the pilot, who was the only other person remaining on board, was not injured. The flight had originated from T31 and had just returned from flying in the local area to view holiday lights from the air.

According to the pilot (as he recalls the event), after landing from the planned 20-minute flight, he stopped the airplane on the ramp with the engine running in anticipation of taking another passenger to view the holiday lights. He opened the door on the right side of the airplane expecting a friend to come out and assist his passenger in deplaning. After he opened the door, the passenger started to get out of the airplane. Upon noticing that she was exiting in front of the strut, the pilot leaned out of his seat and placed his right hand and arm in front of her to divert her away from the front of the airplane and the propeller. He continued to keep his arm extended and told the passenger that she should walk behind the airplane. Once he saw that the passenger was at least beyond where the strut was attached to the wing, and walking away, he dropped his right arm and returned to his normal seat position. The pilot then looked to the left side of the airplane and opened his window to ask who was next to go for a ride.

The pilot then heard someone yell, "STOP STOP," and he immediately shut down the engine and saw the passenger lying in front of the airplane.


Courtesy CaringBridge.org


Lauren Scruggs may have suffered devastating injuries during a horrific propeller accident over the weekend, but her parents said she has the indomitable spirit to endure a long and painful recovery.

At 9:30 p.m. Saturday, the 23-year-old model and editor landed at Aero Country Airport, about 30 miles from Dallas, after flying with a pilot friend to view the Christmas Lights in the area.

 
While moving in darkness toward the front of the plane after landing, Scruggs walked into the still-moving propeller. It struck her left side, severing her left hand, fracturing her skull, causing a brain injury and breaking her left collarbone. She also suffered extensive damage to her left eye, which she could still possibly lose.

Lauren's parents, Cheryl and Jeff Scruggs, appeared on TODAY Tuesday to discuss her daughter’s recovery and the outpouring of support since the near-fatal accident. The part-time model and editor of LoLo Magazine is currently resting in intensive care at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas. She was able to speak recently for the first time, telling her mother and sister, “I love you.’’

 
“She is just a fighter, and she will fight through this,’’ Cheryl Scruggs told Ann Curry. “She will make it through, and she will use it for good. She’s going to have a tough time when she finds out…everything that’s happened, and losing her left hand is really a tough thing, but she’ll fight.’’

“It’s been a really horrendous two days, but we do see some bright signs ahead, and we just thank all those who have been praying for us,’’ her father said. “We’re grateful.’’

Doctors may be able to save Scruggs’s badly damaged left eye, her parents said.

“It’s going to be several weeks before they know for sure what is going to happen with the eye,’’ said Jeff Scruggs. “They operated on her two days ago just on the eye for over six hours, which we saw as a good thing, and we’re just praying that she comes through with that. The original prognosis was that she was going to lose the eye, so that was a blessing, so we’re grateful to God for that.’’

Lauren already showed her parents some of that fighting spirit by trying to communicate with them a mere two days after the accident.

“Just seeing her just trying to open her right eye a tiny bit, and then move her lips and she said “Hi,’’ that just brought us to our knees,’’ her mother said through tears.

Rather than see the accident as a tragedy, her parents said it's a blessing that their daughter was not killed by the propeller. They are also thankful for the team of doctors — who said Lauren is lucky to be alive — that have assisted her in her recovery.

“This is a miracle,’’ Jeff told NBC News.

The plane had landed to pick up another passenger, and her parents believe Lauren was walking toward the front of the plane to thank the pilot, a friend of hers, when she collided with the moving propeller. The pilot could not be reached by NBC for comment, but Scruggs’s parents believe it was an accident and not negligence on the pilot’s part. An expert feels that the pilot should have done more to avoid the incident.

“The pilot is responsible for the care and oversight of not only the people who are flying as passengers, but anybody that may be a pedestrian around the airplane,’’ Greg Feith, a former National Transportation Safety Board investigator, told NBC News.

Doctors have told the Scruggs family Lauren's return will be long and arduous. But they are optimistic. Before the accident, Lauren was in excellent physical shape, Jeff noted.

“Lauren is a go-getter, and she has always been a go-getter,’’ her mother said. “The doctors are so pleased right now because her progress has just been phenomenal. They can’t even really believe that that’s going on.’’
“She is a strong girl,’’ her father said. “She is going to fight.’’ 

Prayers have poured in from all over the country in emails and via the website CaringBridge.org, where her progress is regularly updated. Since Lauren will need numerous additional surgeries, according to doctors, her parents have also set up the Lauren Scruggs Hope Fund as a way to raise money to help pay for her medical bills. 

“She’s just going to need a lot of care for a long time,’’ her father said. “More than anything, we just covet your prayers, especially for the next couple weeks.’’ 



Lauren Scruggs lost her left hand and suffered severe facial injuries Saturday night.




The editor of a Dallas-area online fashion magazine has been severely hurt after walking into the propeller of a small airplane following a flight to view Christmas lights.

A spokeswoman at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas says 23-year-old Lauren Scruggs of Plano was in serious condition Monday. She's editor of LoLo Magazine.

The Federal Aviation Administration says the accident happened Saturday night at a private airport in McKinney.

Family spokeswoman Janee Harrell says Scruggs had just gotten off the private plane after a trip to see holiday lights. Harrell told The Associated Press that Scruggs lost her left hand in the accident, plus suffered head, brain and shoulder injuries.

A Dallas-area model and editor lost her left hand and fractured her skull after she walked into the propeller of a small airplane following a flight to view Christmas lights over the weekend.

Lauren Scruggs, 23, of Plano was in serious condition Monday at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas after the incident Saturday night. Scruggs, a fashion model, founded and edits LoLo Magazine.

Scruggs landed at Aero Country Airport in the McKinney area, about 30 miles from Dallas, about 9:30 p.m. Saturday after viewing North Texas Christmas lights from a small private airplane, The Dallas Morning News reported. The pilot wasn't hurt.

A family friend, JaneƩ Harrell, said Scruggs was struck on the left side of her body.

"Following multiple surgeries, Lauren has received facial and shoulder reconstruction, as well as the loss of her hand," Harrell said in a statement on a website set up by Scruggs' family and friends.

Scruggs is responding to voice commands and is able to move her legs and arms, according to an update posted on the site Monday morning.