Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Cincinnati-Blue Ash Airport (KISZ) likely grounded.



Posted: 12/13/2011
By: Scott Wegener

BLUE ASH, Ohio - The Blue Ash Airport could really use a control tower.

Not to communicate with the air traffic, but to have a dialog between the city of Cincinnati and those who fly from the aging hangars.

"If somebody from Cincinnati would return a phone call I might get some answers," complains Steve Sprovach, vice president of the Flying Neutrons, a local flying club.

He says both the pilots and business owners have been left in the dark about the fate of the tiny airport.

Cincinnati sold 130 acres of the airport, including the hangars to the city of Blue Ash to develop a park.

That sale came with an expectation that Cincinnati would use the money to build new hangars and taxiways to keep the airport operational.

"Cincinnati has just made no move to accomplish any of those tasks," says Sprovach.

Time may have already run out.

Blue Ash plans to demolish the old hangers starting August 1st.

"There is not enough time between now and August 1st to accomplish all the FAA requirements and continue operating as an FAA airport," says Blue Ash Airport Manager Fred Anderton.

The contract for the 130 acres states that "Purchaser and Seller recognize that the Blue Ash Airport is a regional community asset, benefiting both residential and business citizens. To the extent that it is operationally and economically feasible, Seller agrees to provide for the reconfiguration of the Blue Ash Airport operation onto new facilities located on Residual Property.”

Spokesperson for Cincinnati Meg Oberding says they are still evaluating what to do with the property, but that it's "difficult to make a business case" to keep the airport flying.

Sprovach says, not from his perspective.

"it's a busy airport," he says. "They (the Blue Ash Airport) run 35,000 operations a year, we've got two flight schools here."

"The location of this airport is the best on any airport that I've ever been to," says Bill Christian, who runs Blue Ash Aviation. "It's so close to interstates, it's very close to businesses, it's very close to restaurants, (and) hotels."

Once the old hangars and taxiways are gone, chances of the airport surviving may not be able to get off the ground.

The contract says Cincinnati has the stick. “If at any time between the Effective Date and the Possession Date, Seller’s estimated costs to reconfigure the Blue Ash Airport prove to be prohibitive, or if adequate grant financing assistance is not available, then the Seller reserves the right to close the Blue Ash Airport.”

Oberding says Cincinnati's request for a grant from the FAA was not approved.

She also says while federal law requires the money from the sale be used for airport operations, Cincinnati is negotiating with the FAA to use those funds for other purposes.

Pangborn Memorial Airport (KEAT) manager quits for job in Vail, Colorado.

Gregory Phillips
Pangborn Memorial Airport Director


By Christine Pratt
Tuesday, December 13, 2011

WENATCHEE — The director of Pangborn Memorial Airport has resigned to accept the top job at Eagle County Regional Airport in Vail, Colo., a mega mecca for snow sports.

Greg Phillips, who was hired 18 months ago to run Pangborn, said Tuesday that the Colorado job was too good an opportunity to pass up.

“Everybody here has been fantastic,” he said. “I’m absolutely not leaving because there’s anything wrong here. The community has been enthusiastically supportive. The ports and the airport governing board has been fantastic to work with.”

Phillips, 54, said his last day at Pangborn will be Jan. 25. He gave his notice Dec. 6 to the directors the ports of Chelan and Douglas counties, which jointly operate the airport.

Mark Urdahl, director of the Port of Chelan, said Tuesday that discussions about how to find a replacement for Phillips would begin next week.

He said the airport’s governing board would likely name an interim director until a permanent replacement is hired.

He declined to comment further until the board, together, comes up with a plan.

Currently, operations manager Ron Ross is second in command at Pangborn, Urdahl said.

Phillips is leaving an airport with 50,000 annual boardings on regularly scheduled commercial flights served by a single airline, Horizon Air.

The Eagle County airport has about 200,000 annual boardings and is served by four major airlines with connections to 11 cities all over the country, including Los Angeles, Houston, Miami and New York.

The new job will give Phillips an annual salary of $125,000, a living allowance and car. His current annual salary at Pangborn is $103,000.

“It’s a chance to take an airport with a significant resort population and work to stabilize service year round,” he said. “They’re hoping to develop an international market.”

Phillips has been a leading proponent since his hire in early 2010 to extend the runway at Pangborn to serve larger jets.

An environmental-impact study is currently underway to assess the runway project. He said the current timeline has the study wrapped up in February.

Planning is still underway to determine how much private property will need to be taken through eminent domain to acquire lands needed for the runway expansion.

Construction next spring will finish a taxiway lighting project that began last fall. The project is already designed, funded and bid, he said.

“The business I work in is not like being an accountant or an attorney, where there are 10 firms to choose from in a town,” he said. “It’s one airport to a town, and it means moving if you’re changing jobs.”

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

http://www.wenatcheeworld.com

Ireland: Family seeking release of report into David's death

A WEXFORD family are calling for the report into the air accident that claimed the life of Cadet David Jevens to be published immediately so they can 'defend his honour'.

Cadet Jevens from Davidstown, Glynn, and Captain Derek Furniss (32), from Dublin, lost their lives when their PC-9M aircraft crashed while on a military training exercise on October 12, 2009, at Crumlin East, Cornamona, Co Galway.

Donal Jevens has confirmed that it was not his family that requested a review of the report that claimed the life of his son and his flight instructor Captain Derek Furniss.

The review was been ordered by Transport Minister Leo Varadkar under a statutory instrument which has never been used before in relation to an air accident here and allows for a re-examination if a report's findings 'appear to reflect adversely on the person's reputation or on the reputation of any person, living or dead'.

'We're asking for it to be published immediately. We know the truth, but we can't defend David to anyone,' said Donal, who pointed out that he is legally prevented from discussing the contents of the report itself.

Donal said he and his wife Liz have known the details of the accident for some 16 months, since a meeting with the Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU) in August 2010.

The draft of the final report then arrived in July of this year, at which point submissions were invited. Donal said that 'a very lengthy submission was put in by an interested party at that stage'.

He said that he and his wife also made a submission based on the draft report, but that it concerned 'a very minor thing in relation to an ongoing safety issue we felt needed highlighting'.

The final report from the AAIU was distributed on October 11 and was due for publication on November 8, before it was halted by the Department of Transport.

Donal said it is a very detailed and technical report and is based on data taken from the Cockpit Voice and Flight Data Recorder, as well as eye witness reports.

'The AAIU have done an excellent job in preparing this report. These reports are nonjudgemental. They are a statement of facts - the AAIU makes no decision on blame,' said Donal.

He said he and Liz are now concerned that the publication of the report may be significantly delayed. 'We want it to be known what happened our son,' said Donal. ' We find it very, very difficult in that we can't defend his honour - that's the biggest problem for us.'

He pointed out that they can't even discuss the report's findings with close family members and said that the review of the report may also set ' a dangerous precedent' for cases like this. ' We're afraid that the review process will become an endless stream of appeals and reinvestigations,' said Donal, adding that he has 'no idea whatsoever' when the report will now be published by the Department of Transport, which can even appoint a public tribunal with judicial powers to look into the matter if it feels it's merited.

' We would find it very difficult if this drags on for the next two or three years - or longer. And if it's not published then there are no lessons to be learned,' he said.

Ireland: Crash report deferred pending internal review

THE publication of the report into the air accident that claimed the life of Cadet David Jevens has been deferred by the Department of Transport pending 'an internal review of its findings'. The tragic accident occurred just a day before Cadet Jevens was due to celebrate his 22nd birthday. The report by the Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU) was due to be published on November 8, but has been delayed pending 'an internal review of its findings' by the Department of Transport. The AAIU published a preliminary report into the accident in November 2009 – which identified no technical defects with the aircraft - and has since completed the final report.

'The final report was due to be published on November 8 of this year. However, the legal representative of one of the families has sought a review of this report under Part III, Section 19 of Statutory Instrument 205 of 1997,' said a spokesman for the Department of Transport on Sunday.

'This review will be completed within a few weeks, at which point a decision is due to be taken regarding publication,' he said.

'The final report has been made available to all interested parties. Any safety recommendations arising from the investigation have already been made available to all appropriate bodies and are being acted upon,' added the spokesman.

L.F. Wade International Airport, Bermuda: Decision imminent on $5m advertising contract

Bidding local firms Aardvark Communications and Bermuda Blueprinting Co Ltd are anxiously awaiting to see who will be awarded the lucrative five-year $5 million LF Wade International Airport advertising contract.

The tender process by Government closed on Friday with a decision expected to be made by Cabinet this week on who will be handed the contract when Rock Media’s contract ends in March.

Jim Kerwin, of New Jersey-based Kerwin Communications, owns Rock Media.

The Royal Gazette reported last month that a request for proposal was issued in April by the Ministry of Transport, who declined to give a reason why it was restarting the search again, after the May 23 deadline expired with no winning bid announced.

Ben Fairn, Aardvark Communications managing director, said that the local team of bidders headed by Aardvark was hoping to bring the creative and production jobs home to Bermudians.

“We have the local talent, knowledge and experience to make the airport a new visual experience for our tourist and business visitors,” he said.

“And having this work done by our local firms will secure and create local jobs at a time when the local marketing industry is under great pressure.”

The new vision for the airport includes large landscape visuals of beaches, golf courses, resorts and many other Island features, but Aardvark’s focus will be on making advertising both available and affordable to local businesses that desperately need good visual access to high net worth visitors, according to Mr Fairn.

He said that in the past the airport advertising had been exclusive to certain clients which has excluded local small businesses such as guest houses, smaller hotels, retailers, excursion operators jet ski and charter boat operators, and entertainment to name but a few.

“These small local businesses are the engine of our economy and need an affordable opportunity to promote their services in Bermuda’s biggest gateway facility and new visitors to the Island need to see accommodation alternatives, know where to go to rent a scooter, go deep sea game fishing find restaurants and entertainment and all the services necessary for a great vacation in the quick passing glimpse of big beautiful visual, and at the moment those vendors cannot be found in any substantial promotion in the airport,” he said.

“The visitor experience and introduction to Bermuda can be greatly enhanced. Aardvark and It’s local partners have proposed to invest more than $250,000 as part of the new five-year contract to make visitors and local alike experience the wow factor when they arrive or depart the airport.”

Aardvark became the first company to sell advertising space at the airport in 1997.

Bid to smuggle 13,600 Captagon pills foiled

DUBAI - The Dubai Customs recently foiled a bid to smuggle 13,629 pills of psychotropic drug Captagon, weighing 290gm and worth nearly Dh410,000.

The pills were confiscated from a freight heading from an Arab country to a Gulf country through the Dubai International Airport.

According to a senior official, the contraband was detected during a routine inspection of postal parcels at Dubai Cargo Village as customs inspectors suspected a cargo of 59 cloth samples.

Omar Ahmad Al Muhairi, Senior Manager of Air Cargo Operations at Dubai Customs, said unusual lumpiness was detected in some parts when the cargo was subjected to an X-ray scan. “Some pills were found concealed on the sides of the clothes,” he said. The Customs K9 dog squad was brought to the scene along with the Mobile Lab which both confirmed that the seized pills were a contraband identified as Captagon.

“As many as 13,629 pills of Captagon, weighing about 290gm and worth nearly Dh410,000, were found,” Al Muhairi told Khaleej Times.

In September this year, the Dubai Customs thwarted a bid to smuggle some 800 pills of Captagon. The contraband was seized from the vehicle of a Gulf citizen who was crossing the Hatta border checkpoint to the emirate.

While the customs seized 651,000 Captagon pills in February 2009, the Sharjah Police seized over 600,000 pills worth Dh18 million in June 2009.

Captagon invented in the early 1960s was banned worldwide but is popular as a recreational drug in some Arab countries. Al Muhairi warned that Captagon is one of the most dangerous chemical narcotics and has the same impact of cocaine. “Drug dealers tend to produce the contraband since no farms or manual labour is required in the production process.”

The case was transferred to the Anti-Narcotics Department of the Dubai Police which passed on the information collected to the destination country to arrest those involved. Al Muhairi said drug smugglers mostly try new smart techniques.

“They sometimes conceal drugs and other contraband in luggage, wallets, socks, handbags, clothes, shoes, inner guts, cigarettes, and even underwear, but our vigilant inspectors, who are trained and equipped with most 
sophisticated scanning devices, will always be ready for them.”


 http://www.khaleejtimes.com

Now, IndiGo to operate Indore-Mumbai flight

Indore: For those travelling to Mumbai frequently by air, here is good news. Low cost airline IndiGo is starting a new flight from Indore to Mumbai. The airline is expected to start operations on the route from December 20.

At present, there are four flights that are operational from Indore to Mumbai. Three of them are run by JetLite, while Indian operates a single flight to the commercial capital of the country.

However, travel experts claim that inconvenient schedules of the existing flights can benefit IndiGo. The air travellers had often been complaining about delayed Indian flights which used to leave them with only option of opting for low cost JetLite flights. The new IndiGo flight would operate on Kolkata-Raipur-Indore-Mumbai route.

At present, the low cost airliner is operating on two routes; one from Indore to Bangalore via Nagpur and second from Indore to Srinagar via Delhi. All the operational and the prospective ones are daily flights.

Significantly, one of the prominent airliners Kingfisher had scarped Indore operations due to financial constraints, leaving plenty of room for other airliners to step in.
Another low cost airliner SpiceJet has already stepped into the air space of Madhya Pradesh in October last. With prominent airliners facing cost constraints, travel experts see plenty of scope for low cost airliner in tier II cities like Indore.

Air India Pilot's Wife Found Hanging In Ghaziabad


Ghaziabad: The body of Renu, wife of an Air India pilot Deep Chand was found hanging from the ceiling of a flat in Indirapuram here on Thursday morning by police.

Police had to break open the window glasspanes to enter the room locked from inside. The body was found hanging from the ceiling fan.

There were liquor bottles inside the room and Renu had written a note on the wall, which somebody had tried to rub off.

Police believe this to be a case of suicide after a tiff with her husband, but Renu's parents allege she was murdered and then hanged.

Police however say the room in Flat number B703 in Vasundhara Sector 2, Indirapuram was locked from inside.

Renu was married to Deep Chand in 2009 after which she came to know that the pilot had extra-marital relations and he was addicted to alcohol, Ren's parents allege.

Her parents also allege that she was murdered because of dowry demand.

Police have taken Deep Chand and his relatives into custody for questioning.

Taking a closer look at airplane safety. Cessna 421C Golden Eagle, N421SY. Joe Foss Field Airport (KFSD), Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Dec 13, 2011 6:14 PM EST
By Jake Iversen

There seems to be a growing belief that small planes are risky and that cars are much more reliable. But flight instructor John Schreurs says when it comes to his safety, the choice is an easy one.

"If I was flying this aircraft I'd feel safer flying this than driving a car on the streets." Said Schreurs.

Like driving a car, skill all depends on a person's amount of practice and their judgement.

Statistics can be used to support either side but there are specific risks with each vehicle.

John says that any pilot will tell you that the most critical time of any flight is landing and takeoff.

"Altitude is your best friend basically, if you would go into a roll or a spin there's not much time to recover, at higher altitudes those situations are easier to recover from." Said Schreurs.

But even the most skilled pilot cannot anticipate engine failures or other critical problems, they just have to rely on their training and instincts.

John says pilots are taught to land straight ahead if they have an engine failure because without power handling is decreased.

"The tendency is if you lose an engine is to turn around and try to come back to the runway, that's never a good idea, I've heard of a lot of accidents that have occurred trying that." Said Schreurs.

What led up to Friday's fatal crash is still a mystery.

Pilot Brian Blake flew with several local pilots including John, who says he not only lost a friend but one of the most experienced pilots in the state and it is definitely hard on everyone.

"The aviation community is very small and I'd put Brian at the top of a short list of excellent pilots in this area... He will be missed." Said Schreurs.

Here's some interesting information we found regarding small airplane crashes.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board, last year the NTSB investigated 1435 accidents. Of those crashes, 267 were fatal, killing 450 people.

While those numbers seem high of all the general aviation flights last year only 6.86% ended in a crash and only 1.27% of flights resulted with a fatality.

Ideally you'd like to see that at zero percent but that is a very low number. 

By Jake Iversen
http://www.ksfy.com
IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 421SY        Make/Model: C421      Description: 421, Golden Eagle
  Date: 12/09/2011     Time: 2025

  Event Type: Accident   Highest Injury: Fatal     Mid Air: N    Missing: N
  Damage: Destroyed

LOCATION
  City: SIOUX FALLS   State: SD   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT CRASHED SHORTLY AFTER TAKEOFF, THE 4 PERSONS ON BOARD WERE FATALLY 
  INJURED, 1 MILE FROM THE AIRPORT, SIOUX FALLS, SD

INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   4
                 # Crew:   1     Fat:   1     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    
                 # Pass:   3     Fat:   3     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    
                 # Grnd:         Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    

WEATHER: WIND 300 AT 11 VSBY 10 CLR 

OTHER DATA
  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Take-off      Operation: OTHER


  FAA FSDO: RAPID CITY, SD  (GL27)                Entry date: 12/12/2011 

Weston, Broward County, Florida: U.S. ordered to pay $4.4 million for air traffic controller’s negligence in fatal crash

Broward Bulldog is a not-for-profit online only newspaper created to provide local reporting in the public interest. http://www.browardbulldog.org
 
By KARLA BOWSHER, BrowardBulldog.org

3:45 p.m. EST, December 13, 2011


A deadly mix of pilot error and an air traffic controller’s negligence has led a federal judge to order the United States to pay $4.4 million to the family of a wealthy Boca Raton businessman who crashed his private plane in bad weather six years ago.

The National Transportation Safety Board determined in 2007 that Michael Zinn, 52, lost control of his Cessna P337H while flying alone through, rather than around, stormy conditions.

Miami U.S. Magistrate Judge Edwin G. Torres, after presiding over a multi-day bench trial, ruled two weeks ago that Zinn was primarily – 60 percent – responsible for his own death, but that failures at Miami’s Air Route Traffic Control Center also contributed significantly to the accident.

“Neither the air traffic controllers nor Michael Zinn were bad actors in this tragic accident,” he wrote in his 97-page findings of fact. “History shows us that a pilot’s greatest enemy, more often than not, is nature’s challenges.”

The ruling supports the NTSB’s determination that the probable cause of the Oct. 19, 2005 accident was Zinn’s poor flight decisions and controller Harvey Pake’s failure to provide Zinn with weather conditions and assist him in navigation.

“Pake breached his duty of care in providing complete and accurate weather briefings when it was possible to do so and highly pertinent to Zinn’s route of flight,” the judge wrote.

Pake did not warn Zinn that he was flying into hazardous weather and allowed Zinn to fly closer to it, Torres said. “Compounding that breach of the duty of care, he then failed to provide any navigational assistance when the pilot requested,” Torres wrote.

“I’M GOING TO DIE”

Zinn lost control in a severe thunderstorm. As he plunged to earth, controllers and pilots heard him shout “Help!” and “I’m going to die!” over a period of two minutes.

Then, at 6:59 p.m., an American Airlines pilot radioed, “He’s not yelling ‘help’ any more by the way.” The plane crashed into a house in Port St. Lucie. A young man living there escaped without injury.

Pake, a Weston resident, declined to comment. He still works at the FAA’s Miami traffic control center, currently as a front line manager, according to the FAA Employee Directory.

FAA spokesman Jim Peters, based in New York, declined to comment, stating that the U.S. Department of Justice represented the FAA in the lawsuit. The Department of Justice did not respond to requests for comment.

Steven C. Marks, a lawyer for Zinn’s estate, likewise did not respond to requests for comment. Marks, of Miami’s Podhurst Orseck, had sought damages in excess of $54 million.

Zinn departed Boca Raton Airport en route to Myrtle Beach, S.C. to play a round of golf. Although he obtained his pilot’s license in 1982, he had not flown for about four months.

Zinn “set in motion the chain of events that led to the crash” by  initially abandoning his intended route to Myrtle Beach in favor of a more direct route where he knew he would encounter thunderstorms, the judge said. Then, he added, Zinn approached thunderstorm-like conditions even though the FAA’s Aeronautical Information Manual states that flying within 20 miles of a thunderstorm “should be approached with great caution, as the severity of turbulence can be markedly greater than the precipitation intensity might indicate.”

CONTROLLER’S FAILURE

For his part, Pake provided weather readings “directly in front of Zinn – at his twelve o’clock,” the judge found. But navigation rules required that he also indicate weather conditions to the west.

“With knowledge that Zinn was flying (using instruments) in a small plane with limited weather capability, this controller failed to provide sufficient accurate weather information to allow Zinn to make informed decisions,” Torres wrote.

Once in the storm, court records say, Zinn reduced power in response to turbulence even though pilots are trained not to do so in such situations. He quickly lost control and plummeted almost 10,000 feet before crashing. Zinn, 52, was killed on impact.

The multimillionaire had owned a home in Boca Raton since at least 2000, according to property records. As an entrepreneur and businessman, he made regular trips between Boca Raton and his hometown of Kingston, N.Y., where his businesses were based.

In 1976, at 23, Zinn founded alternative energy company Bio-Energy Systems Inc., now Besicorp Group. The company was later acquired for $105 million, according to The New York Times.

In 1992, the Times reported Zinn served as campaign finance manager for U.S. Representative Maurice D. Hinchey, D-N.Y.  In 1997, Zinn pleaded guilty to campaign finance fraud charges and was sentenced to six months in federal prison. He was released the following year.

Zinn’s adult daughter, Randi Zinn, and a cousin, Frederic Zinn, co-represented his estate in the lawsuit.

Randi Zinn did not respond to interview requests.
.
Broward Bulldog is a not-for-profit online only newspaper created to provide local reporting in the public interest. http://www.browardbulldog.org
 

Previously Held Mid-Week, the Atlantic City Airshow Takes to the Sky on Friday, August 17, 2012, for its 10th Anniversary

ATLANTIC CITY — The Atlantic City Airshow “Thunder Over The Boardwalk” returns to Atlantic City for its 10th year on Friday, Aug. 17, 2012.

“The Atlantic City Airshow is returning in full force to the beach and Boardwalk with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and the U.S. Army Golden Knights agreeing to headline the show once again,” says Greater Atlantic City Chamber president Joseph Kelly in a release. “The show will take place on a Friday, allowing many other events and activities to be scheduled in the days leading up to the show.”

“The Airshow has grown into an international event, with community and city-wide participation at all levels,” says Jeffrey Vasser, president of the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority (ACCVA). “The show continues to attract more and more attendees and has become Atlantic City’s signature summer event.” Along with performances and demonstrations by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and the U.S. Army Golden Knights, past airshow demonstrations and flybys have included the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, Air National Guard and civilian acts. Last year’s performance by the Canadian Skyhawks maintained the airshow’s international status for the second year in a row.

The Atlantic City Airshow Thunder Over The Boardwalk (click here for last year’s video) is a community partnership between the Greater Atlantic City Chamber; the 177th Fighter Wing of the N.J. Air National Guard; the South Jersey Transportation Authority; FAA William J. Hughes Tech Center; the Atlantic City International Airport; David Schultz Airshows, LLC; the city of Atlantic City; and the ACCVA.

Sponsorship packages are available for the 2012 show. Those interested in becoming a sponsor should contact Greater Atlantic City Chamber director of member events Elisa Monroe at (609) 345-4524, ext. 12.

Attracting an estimated 800,000 people in 2011, the Atlantic City Airshow "Thunder Over The Boardwalk," is one of the most popular events in Atlantic City, and one of the very best air shows in the country, with its heart-stopping feats, aerobatics maneuvers, formation flying and solo routines by military and civilian pilots.
.
See flybys and demonstrations that reach up to 15,000 feet and as low as 50 feet over the water in front of the Atlantic City skyline. Annual performances* include:
  • U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds
  • U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team
  • U.S. Navy Super Hornet
  • U.S. Coast Guard Search & Rescue Demo
  • U.S. Air Force Heritage Flight
  • Geico Skytypers
  • U.S. Air Force Globemaster III
  • U.S. Airforce Thunderbolt II
  • and many more acts not to be missed!
*This list subject to change as 2012 program is established

http://www.atlanticcitynj.com

Google’s 3 Top Executives Have 8 Private Jets

A surprising piece of news was buried in an article this week. Friday, The Mercury News reported the three top executives at Google, Larry Page,Sergey Brin and Eric Schmidt, are offering to pay $33 million to finish the restoration of the historic airship hangar at Moffett Field. The giant structure, built in the 1930s and called Hangar One, sits a few miles from the Googleplex and it’s well known the Google executives have special permission from NASA to park their jets at Moffett.

The jets are not owned or operated by Google. Instead, the 3 Google leaders operate the fleet through an LLC called H211. Google has no official relation with H211. Ken Ambrose, the Director of Operations for H211, announced the funding offer at a public meeting this week. He also complained that NASA, which owns Hangar One, has taken too long to respond to the offer.

On first glance, it sounds like a purely noble gesture by the Google trio. The building is in the middle of a project to strip toxic materials in its siding. Lack of taxpayer funding to complete the project has raised fears that could lead to the demolition of one of the world’s largest freestanding structures.

But, as the Mercury News reported, “There’s a catch: They want to use up to two-thirds of the floor space of the hangar to house their fleet of eight private jets.” Most of the members on the Hangar One committee, along with the local congresswoman, support the idea, although there is some concern about the public-private partnership.

But whoa. Wait a minute. The Google execs own eight jets? 2.6 jets per person, for the 2 co-founders and the executive chairman?

Video wall is on at Indianapolis International Airport (KIND), Indiana.

Travelers through Indianapolis International Airport have a 60-second view of the new video wall of 15 high definition LED screens designed to show short clips of art and advertising.

The $300,000 screen, provided by electronics manufacturer Sharp and marketing agency Clear Channel Airport, was installed over the weekend.

The advertising and art videos are timed to fit the one-minute ride from the third-floor Civic Plaza to the baggage claim on ground level.

The main art video for the next six months will be "Perm Press: The American Cycle" by Indianapolis artist Artur Silva, weaving together images from American and Hoosier history, including the Indiana State Fair Ferris wheel.

Plans announced several months ago to install the video wall kicked up complaints in the Indianapolis art community because the screens replace an iconic, traditional painting and sculpture artwork that has been in the space for three years. When airport officials and artist James Wille Faust couldn't agree on another location in the city for his work, "Chrysalis," it was placed in storage.


University of North Dakota Donates Flight Simulator to Bismarck Public Schools

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - UND's Aerospace program has donated a flight simulator to the Bismarck Public School system.

Students at the Bismarck's Career Academy will be using the simulator in its flight training course.

UND recently updated its simulators and wasn't using the training device.

UND hopes the simulator will fuel passion for the students in the Bismarck program.

"It's for their use, their students. They have an aviation program there, so this will be something that they'll have set up in their classrooms to use for a lab or learning experience for their students," UND Aerospace professor Chuck Pineo said.

About 90 students are currently attending the aviation courses at the Career Academy in Bismarck.

http://www.wday.com

Nigeria gets first female military pilot

Blessing Liman, a 25-year-old lady from Kaduna State, has become Nigeria’s first female military pilot, news publication ThisDay reported December 12, 2011.

Blessing Liman was commissioned by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) at the weekend, along with 126 others, after completing the Direct Short Service Course 2010/11 Cadets of 325 Ground Training Group at the NAF Base in Kaduna.

An elated Blessing Liman, according to ThisDay, called on her fellow women to see her feat as a challenge for them to explore their capabilities for nation-building.

The publication cited Air Vice Marshal Mohammed Dikko Umar , Nigeria’s Chief of Air Staff, as saying that the successful passing out from cadet training of the first female pilot was “a very laudable achievement” to the nation.

President Goodluck Jonathan is said to have directed the Nigerian Armed Forces to produce female combatants in order to give impetus to gender equality in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country.

By Pascal Kelvin Kudiabor

http://www.ghanabusinessnews.com

Cambrian partners with Sudbury flight academy. (Ontario, Canada)

Cambrian College in Sudbury has partnered with Discovery Aviation Academy (DAA) on a memorandum of understanding that will allow business students to simultaneously take flight training.

The MOU's objectives are to offer students enrolled in Cambrian College's business fundamentals certificate program an opportunity to obtain commercial flight training; to enhance the employability of students interested in pursuing a career in aviation; and to fill an ongoing pilot shortage in the aviation industry.

“DAA will leverage Discovery Air's extensive network to give students a unique exposure to commercial aviation that no other school can offer,” Jason Fogg, DAA program manager, said in a news release. “It is our goal to use this advantage and work with Cambrian College to offer a flight training program in which students will travel from all across Canada to attend.”

Cambrian's program is set up with a flexible schedule so that students can get their education and take flight training full time. DAA will endeavour to offer internship and employment opportunities to select, high-achieving students.

The program will begin in the fall of 2012.



News from my home airport, South Jersey Regional (KVAY) Mount Holly, New Jersey. Lumberton rethinks solar farm near airport, Lenni-Lenape burial ground


LUMBERTON — A proposal to build a 117-acre solar farm near the South Jersey Regional Airport is being reconsidered.

Last month, the Effisolar Energy Co. in Ontario received approval to construct a large ground-mounted solar-panel facility on the Inductotherm property on Stacy Haines Road, across from the airport.

Since then, the township has received at least one formal complaint asking for the Land Development Board to overturn its own decision.

The letter, from Southampton resident Karl Kilpatrick to Mayor James Conway, informed the Township Committee that the land in question is a “major historical archeological site.”

The Koens-Crispin property was one of the first archeological sites in the country to be scientifically excavated and researched about 100 years ago, Kilpatrick said.

Researchers believe the land was once occupied by a Lenni-Lenape Indian village and contained a burial ground and at least a dozen living and working areas.

Kilpatrick is asking that approvals for the massive solar farm be halted until an archeological investigation is conducted.

“It’s a humongous site, and they intend to cover it up with thousands of pounds of solar panels,” he said Friday. “I’m not opposed to solar farms, but this isn’t the right place for it.”

Township officials said the letter is being reviewed. Conway said no action was taken on the letter, but it could resurface at a future committee meeting.

“Right now, our solicitor is reviewing the letter and he is collecting information,” he said Friday. “But we won’t be talking about it until he has a chance to review it.”

Kilpatrick’s appeal also noted his dissatisfaction with a wetlands survey as well as the potential dangers of having large, reflective solar panels in close proximity to an airport.

“Most pilots will tell you they don’t mind a small solar field, but this is going to be huge,” he said. “I just think it’s a travesty to destroy this area that has such a wealth of history and archeological value.”