Saturday, June 30, 2012

Kirtland Air Force Base honors history-making pilot

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - The oldest active pilot in the history of the U.S. Air Force is stationed at Kirtland Air Force Base and was honored by his colleagues Friday night. 

Lt. Col. James Routt is credited with training every Air Force pilot currently working special operations and combat search and rescue around the world at some point in their career.

Routt, 64, was also inducted into the British Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators as a "Master Air Pilot." He is only the third U.S. citizen so honored joining astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, and Capt. Sully Sullenberger, who landed an ailing passenger jet in the Hudson River.

Routt was honored by the KAFB colleagues for all of his accomplishments as he approaches his retirement in September.

He retired once before in 1996 but volunteered to return to the Air Force after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Since then he has been with the 58th Special Operations Wing at Kirtland where he is chief pilot of the 550th Special Operations Squadron.

Read more here:

Boca Raton, Florida - Man takes to the sky to help those in need

Name: Daniel Diamond 

Age: 28

Residence: Boca Raton

Family: Parents, one brother and one sister

Career: Aviation business, flight instructor and aircraft mechanic

Cause: Vital Flight, a South Florida-based nonprofit that coordinates air transportation for individuals with compassionate, humanitarian or medical needs. As part of the Air Care Alliance, pilots arrange to transport qualified patients throughout the United States at no charge. It is generally used when commercial air service is not available, is a health risk or is not affordable.

Q: Why do you volunteer?

A: Vital Flight combines my two favorite activities: flying and volunteering. The man next to me in the photo is a legally blind veteran. We flew him to Palm Beach from St. Petersburg to enter a rehabilitation hospital for the blind and learn how to function with his disability. Then we flew him home. Or it could be a child who is battling cancer who smiles at me, or helping a transplant patient with a lifesaving second chance get where they need to go. The words "Thank you so much, you've helped change my life" are powerful. There is nothing more satisfying.

Q: How did you choose this organization?

A: Two years ago, I heard of a new, local, nonprofit volunteer flight organization. I met with the people and found it to be a perfect fit.

Read more here:

Friday, June 29, 2012

Of Gabriel Nderitu: A little more work he could see his dreams take flight


This is a story of one man with a an unquenchable quest to fly. Gabriel Nderitu has fabricated a craft, which is almost hitting the skies. He finally ran some tests on a real airstrip. And as Rose Wangui reports, he is very optimistic. 


Residents of Kambirwa village in Murang’a east district were treated to a rare sight when an innovator sought to test his craft at the proposed Kambirwa airstrip. After three years spent building his own craft Gabriel Nderitu ferried it to Murang’a for a flight test….. While the craft did not get off the ground, Nderitu is confident that with a little more work he could see his dreams take flight.

Greenville, South Carolina: AeroCab expands aircraft

GREENVILLE, S.C. — AeroCab, LLC — based at the Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (KGSP) — continues to expand their aircraft charter services with the addition of a Learjet 35. The Learjet 35 is the second aircraft to be added to the AeroCab fleet in the past 30 days. 

With the addition of the Learjet 35, AeroCab’s private charter and aircraft management fleet now totals seven aircraft in the Upstate SC region, which includes: a Cirrus SR-22, Pilatus PC-12, Citation V, Citation Bravo, Beechjet 400, and a Hawker 800.

The Learjet 35 seats eight passengers and includes a full entertainment system with DVD/CD and Airshow in-flight information system, a forward refreshment galley, a full enclosed lavatory, and aft locker storage with cabin access.

In addition to aircraft charter services, AeroCab is pleased to announce the establishment of Aero Flight Solutions, a Domestic and International Flight Planning Services Company, co-located with AeroCab at the GSP airport. Aero Flight Solutions provides full 24-hour service to help clients with efficient and optimized flight plans, flight following, and concierge services.

Working collectively at the GSP airport, Aero Flight Solutions and AeroCab have expanded their employee base to 23 people.

AeroCab specializes in on-demand travel with charter coordinators and flight operations available 24/7/365. AeroCab’s experienced team of incredible pilots and crew members provide the highest level of service, both in the air and on the ground. AeroCab operates in strict accordance with FAA flight standards to ensure maximum safety and security.

To learn more about AeroCab or to book a charter reservation visit or call 864-416-0065.

To learn more about Aero Flight Solutions visit or call 864-416-0041


Bellanca 8GCBC Scout, Heads Up Advertising, N87020: Accident occurred August 02, 2011 in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey 

NTSB Identification: ERA11LA437 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, August 02, 2011 in Egg Harbor Township, NJ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/26/2012
Aircraft: BELLANCA 8GCBC, registration: N87020
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 the airplane’s fourth unsuccessful attempt to pick up a banner, a witness reported that the airplane was flying about 100 feet above ground level and the wings were "wobbling." The airplane then descended, and spun before it impacted the ground. The pilot stated that he did not have any recollection of the accident or the events prior to the accident. No preimpact anomalies were noted with the airframe or engine during a postaccident examination.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot’s failure to maintain adequate airspeed while maneuvering near the ground, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall.

On August 2, 2011, at 1500, eastern daylight time, a Bellanca 8GCBC, N87020, registered to an individual and operated by Heads Up Advertising, incurred substantial damage when it impacted terrain in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey. The pilot was seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a company flight plan was filed for the Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, banner towing flight. The flight originated from Woodbine Municipal Airport (OBI), Woodbine, New Jersey, about 1450.

The responding Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector stated that the pilot fueled the airplane prior to flying towards the banner pick up area. The pilot attempted 3 banner pickups prior to the accident. He maneuvered the airplane for the fourth attempt but failed to pick up the banner. The banner ground handler looked away and started to prepare the banner for another attempt, when moments later he heard a loud impact noise and observed the airplane had crashed into the ground about half mile away from the pickup area, on the crosswind for the banner tow pattern.

According to a witness, the airplane was observed flying approximately 100 feet above ground level. She noted that the wings were "wobbling" and the airplane was not climbing although it was in a nose up attitude. Next, she saw the airplane begin to "nosedive" and start spinning but was unable to see the airplane impact the ground.

The pilot stated that he did not have any recollection of the accident or the events prior to the accident.

The airplane was manufactured in 1974 and was equipped with a Lycoming O-360 series, 180-horsepower engine. The airplane's most recent annual inspection was completed on February 3, 2011. At the time of the inspection, the reported aircraft time was 6698.0 total hours and the recorded tachometer was 2090.15 hours. The tachometer located in the wreckage 2236.91 hours.

The pilot, age 20, held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land and instrument airplane. His most recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) second-class medical certificate was issued in May 2011. He reported 600 total hours of flight experience, of which, 65 hours were in the accident airplane make and model.

A post accident examination of the wreckage by the FAA revealed that control continuity was verified to all flight control surfaces. Fuel samples were taken from each wing with no water or contaminants noted. Examination of the engine was performed and the top and bottom sparkplugs were removed and no issues were noted. The crankshaft was rotated by the propeller flange and compression was observed on all cylinders. In addition, spark was obtained from the spark plug leads during the rotation.

Jason Flood

FRANKLINVILLE, N.J. -   A FOX 29 investigation: a young New Jersey pilot survives a devastating crash only to learn that his employer does not hold the important insurance policy that is vital in getting him back on his feet.

Jeff Cole and FOX 29 Investigates have the story tonight of Jason Flood and his fight for what he believes he's owed.

A warning, some of the images in this report are hard to look at.

"...This is what it's made to do. Doing the aerobatics--flips, rolls, spins..." said Flood.

Jason Flood is happy when he's around his aerobatic plane. He feels pure joy when he's strapped in its seat, control in hand---defying gravity.

"Free. I'm at home. It's a place of enjoyment. It's freedom. It's what I love..." said Flood.

Flood is a 23-year-old pilot who flies out of a small airfield near his Franklinville, New Jersey home. However, every time he soars, he remembers the day that he came tumbling to earth.

"...August 2nd. was a very devastating, life changing event for me..." he said. "I can't talk. I am in a strange room trying to figure out where I am. I can't get up to go to the bathroom. My life changed that day."

August 2nd., 2011, He's is flying low trying to hook-on an advertising banner to pull above beach goers along the Jersey Shore. Suddenly, the engine quits and Flood spirals down.

Federal Investigators found that the 20-year-old pilot made an error.

Flood says he had just moments to lift the nose of the aircraft before it slapped the earth.

"On the scene you could hear in the police recordings they said this doesn't look good," Flood said.

Jason Flood was knocked-out. Rescue workers found him bent-over and bloodied in the cockpit. Pictures show his crumpled body in the yellow tee-shirt. Flood had suffered massive injuries including broken bones, organ damage and internal bleeding.

Flood was eventually rushed to Camden's Cooper Hospital where, after 3 weeks in a coma and multiple surgeries, he emerged with rods and pins holding his broken body together.

"...How did you survive?" asked FOX 29's Jeff Cole.

"By the grace of God..." he replied.

Jason Flood's rehab was painful and long. Furthermore, he says it was made more difficult when he learned the family friend who'd hired him to fly banner planes failed to carry state-required insurance that would have gone a long way to help him get back on his feet."

That man is Herbert Degan of Woodbine, New Jersey. He can be seen behind the wheel of the Lexis recording FOX 29's Jeff Cole and his crew with his cell phone.

You can see Degan in happier times with Jason Flood in a photo posted on a web site which documents aerobatic air shows. They're also side by side in a video of a fund raiser held for Flood.

According to a State of New Jersey Workers Compensation Order, Degan's banner business Heads Up Advertising, LLC, which is under his and his wife's names, was uninsured. It did not carry state-mandated workers' compensation insurance.

While the Degan's did pay Flood his weekly wages of about 200 bucks for half a year in 2012, Flood's won a 190,000 dollar workers' compensation judgment against Heads Up Advertising and the Degan's, but he has not collected.

And there's something else you should know about Herbert Degan. He's an air traffic controller at the Atlantic City Airport. He's directed aircraft to depart and land safely for 22 years. In fact, he's listed as the "safety rep." at the Atlantic City air traffic control Tower for the National Air Traffic Controllers Union.

Jeff Cole tried to talk to Herbert Degan, but as he approached his SUV, he noticed his young son in the back seat, so he asked Degan to take his card so they could talk later.

Degan would not talk. His bankruptcy attorney, in an e-mailed statement to FOX 29, accused Jason Flood and his parents of spreading "venomous lies" about the Degan's.

He wrote that the Degan's would like "nothing more than to respond" but are unable to because the "Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Case is still pending."

Herbert Degan and his wife filed the Chapter 7 bankruptcy in November of 2013 claiming that they owe between One-million and 10-million dollars.

Listed as creditors: Jason Flood for his 190,000 dollar workers' comp. judgment and the State of New Jersey for almost 1.2-milion dollars, most of it for Flood's medical bills. Those bills have now been cut to $400,000 and paid by a special state fund.

In a recording of the December bankruptcy hearing, Herbert Degan admits his banner business had no workers' compensation insurance at the time of Flood's devastating crash, but claimed it was an accountant's fault.

"He failed to obtain workers compensation insurance for us without us knowing," Degan said.

In the meantime, Jason Flood is back fighting gravity and battling for what he believes he's owed.

"I'm left in the dust, left at the bottom, trampled on again--even after the plane crash," said Flood.

FOX 29 called New Jersey accountant Michael Shumski who's listed on the Degans' bankruptcy filing. He said he did work for Degan's Heads Up Advertising but does not recall Degan asking him to arrange workers' comp insurance. He says he forwards such requests to insurance brokers. The Degan's Attorney calls the crash a "tragic event" which has forever altered the lives of the Floods and the Degans.

Degan's attorney says they will also not respond at this time due to an "open criminal charge" against Jason Flood's father. Flood's father was charged with harassment after he accused the Degan's of lying on their bankruptcy filing after that December hearing. Flood says he'll fight the charge.

Story, video, photo gallery:



Published on Mar 17, 2013
WARNING: Graphic material. Viewer discretion is advised.

This is a video montage of photos that were acquired by Jason Flood, an aerobatic pilot based in Southern New Jersey. On August 2, 2011, Jason was flying a Bellanca 8GCBC Scout on a routine banner tow flight when, in the process of picking up a banner, the engine seized on the airplane and he and the aircraft crashed in Egg Harbor Township.

As a result of the accident, Jason sustained the following injuries: crushed left calcaneus heel, right ankle explosion, broken right tibia and right femur, an assortment of broken ribs, lumbar spine explosion, the total loss of his left kidney and spleen, and lastly a ruptured aorta. Jason underwent numerous surgeries to fix his heel, ankle, and tibia with rods and screws as well as the insertion of plates and screws in his body, including rods and screws in his back.

Amazingly, Jason made a full recovery. He took his first airplane flight a mere two months after the accident and flew the family's Piper Cub shortly afterwards. Ten months after the accident, in late June 2012, Jason competed in the Widlwood Acroblast competition in Cape May County, NJ, placing second in the intermediate category out of nine competitors. Not even two months after that Jason flew his first airshow performance since the accident - the airshow taking place at the New Garden Flying Field in Toughkenamon, PA.

Jason would like to thank the Egg Harbor Township Police Department, the Scullville Fire Company, the Cardiff Fire Department, and their respective EMS personnel for assisting in his rescue as well as the EMTs and pilots for the New Jersey State Police's SouthStar Medevac unit, along with staff at AtlantiCare Regional Medicare Center and Cooper University Medical Center in Camden for going above and beyond to ensure Jason got the best medical care possible. He would also like to thank his family and friends for always being by his side during that time, and of course throughout the entire recovery phase and beyond.

You can visit Jason's website at 

Video of Jason's performances at the 2012 New Garden Airshow can be found at .


Published on Mar 17, 2013
WARNING: Graphic material. Viewer discretion is advised.

This is a video montage of photos that were acquired by Jason Flood, an aerobatic pilot based in Southern New Jersey. On August 2, 2011, Jason was flying a Bellanca 8GCBC Scout on a routine banner tow flight when, in the process of picking up a banner, the engine seized on the airplane and he and the aircraft crashed in Egg Harbor Township.

As a result of the accident, Jason sustained the following injuries: crushed left calcaneus heel, right ankle explosion, broken right tibia and right femur, an assortment of broken ribs, lumbar spine explosion, the total loss of his left kidney and spleen, and lastly a ruptured aorta. Jason underwent numerous surgeries to fix his heel, ankle, and tibia with rods and screws as well as the insertion of plates and screws in his body, including rods and screws in his back.

Amazingly, Jason made a full recovery. He took his first airplane flight a mere two months after the accident and flew the family's Piper Cub shortly afterwards. Ten months after the accident, in late June 2012, Jason competed in the Widlwood Acroblast competition in Cape May County, NJ, placing second in the intermediate category out of nine competitors. Not even two months after that Jason flew his first airshow performance since the accident - the airshow taking place at the New Garden Flying Field in Toughkenamon, PA.

Jason would like to thank the Egg Harbor Township Police Department, the Scullville Fire Company, the Cardiff Fire Department, and their respective EMS personnel for assisting in his rescue as well as the EMTs and pilots for the New Jersey State Police's SouthStar Medevac unit, along with staff at AtlantiCare Regional Medicare Center and Cooper University Medical Center in Camden for going above and beyond to ensure Jason got the best medical care possible. He would also like to thank his family and friends for always being by his side during that time, and of course throughout the entire recovery phase and beyond.

Music by Matchbox Twenty - How Far We've Come.

You can visit Jason's website at .
Video of Jason's performances at the 2012 New Garden Airshow can be found at .


Until last August, the only thing miraculous about Jason Flood was his youth — the young pilot flew alongside men more than twice his age.

But after a banner plane crash left him critically injured in a medically-induced coma, no one imagined he would be here, competing at the Wildwoods AcroBlast Competition that begins today.

But today Flood, 21, will go through his usual pre-flight routines this morning. He will walk around the plane, checking the aelerons and the propeller. He will walk through his routine — the dips and rolls and inverses — on the ground before taking off from Cape May County Airport.

Jason Flood was trying to pick up a banner from a grassy airfield when his single-engine airplane crashed into an area of dense brush in Egg Harbor Township. Responders spent 40 minutes freeing the bloodied pilot from the wreckage. Eventually, he was flown to Cooper Medical Center, where a series of surgeries mended his broken bones and a torn aorta, and ultimately saved his life.

While family and friends remained hopeful the aerobat would return to the skies, Jason’s recovery was a dim hope in the weeks and months that followed.

“What if I never fly again?” Flood asked his father after he awoke and the tracheostomy tube had been removed.

Read more here:

Taking the message sky high

You’re stuck in traffic. Or lying on the beach gazing up at a blue sky. Perhaps you’re hiking on Table Mountain or hanging out at a pavement cafĂ© in Parkhurst. A small plane flies overhead, quite low in the sky. It’s pulling a massive banner. You crane your neck to read what it says…

And that’s the rub: did you get the message? Did it stay with you? Did the company paying for advertising on a sky-high banner get what it was looking for?

Thomas Kritzer, from Sky Messaging, believes this particular out of home advertising media delivers major impact – and he can prove it. “Results hinge entirely on the message that clients choose to fly. We can positively demonstrate the recall rate that banners have achieved in the past, which is a result of the brand itself and/or of the message that is being displayed, that has been proven to be around 27% over 50 flight hours and as high as 48% over 100 flight hours. In one instance we even had 89% of all sampled respondents recall a banner that flew for only 10 hours!” he says.

Read more here:

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Port of Walla Walla to consider airline rent, fee reductions

WALLA WALLA -- Port of Walla Walla commissioners will consider reducing Alaska Airlines' rents and fees during a 2 p.m. Friday meeting at the port's office, 310 A St., in Walla Walla.

The port is trying to keep commercial air service at the Walla Walla Regional Airport, said Jim Kuntz, the port's executive director. Currently, Alaska Airlines provides two daily flights between Walla Walla and Seattle, and said it operates the market at a loss.

Reducing the rent is part of the port's solution to the Walla Walla market losing money, Kuntz said.

The port also may postpone negotiations with Northwest Grain Growers until after wheat harvest is complete.

Foreign pilots' body seeks Director General of Civil Aviation intervention to end IPG strike

Striking Air India pilots got backing from a global pilots' body which extended them support and sought intervention of Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to end the deadlock that entered the 52nd day on Thursday. 

In a letter to DGCA chief EK Bharat Bhushan, International Federation of Air Line Pilots' Association (IFALPA) said, "It is our view that DGCA, as the responsible regulator, is in a unique position and can make a very positive contribution towards ending this dispute.

"We would ask you to use your good offices to bring both sides back to the negotiating table so that the differing views can be resolved," IFALPA President Capt Don Wykoff said in the letter. IFALPA claims to represent over 100,000 professional pilots in more than 90 countries worldwide.

Read more here:

Boeing 737 chartered for one asylum seeker

An empty 737 plane chartered by the Federal Government was used to transfer a single asylum seeker from Christmas Island to Perth at the weekend. 

Fewer than five passengers are understood to have been on the aircraft - which usually seats 130 - including the injured asylum seeker and an accompanying Serco guard and immigration officer.

A spokesman for the Department of Immigration confirmed the Saturday morning flight and said the decision was made to use the jet to move the man because it was already sitting on standby at Christmas Island's airport.

He said it was the "quickest and best" way to get him to Perth for treatment.

The plane left for the 3-hour journey just hours before the scheduled Virgin flight to Perth departed Christmas Island that evening.

The West Australian understands the man, who was on the asylum seeker boat that sank last week, was being treated for two severed fingers.

Read more:

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Mac’s Seaplane Service: Seaplane Dream Takes Flight On The Ohio River in Rising Sun, Indiana


(Rising Sun, Ind.) – When he accepted early retirement from Comair as a commercial pilot a few years ago, Troy MacVey didn’t want to quit doing what he loved. 

The Milan resident and 30-year flight veteran began his own airline, only its planes don’t use a concrete runway. They use the Ohio River.

MacVey is the proprietor of Mac’s Seaplane Service offering aerial tours of the region and a unique experience -landing and taking off from the river in Rising Sun. His 1946 Cessna 140 two-seater uses floats where the landing gear would be to land and take off from water runways.

“It’s been busy so far. We gave 20 rides last week,” said MacVey.

The water runway on the river stretches 10,000 feet, just as long as the runways at the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport, MacVey said. In fact, the river runway is the only river runway between Minnesota and Florida.

Currently, the new business which opened June 7 does not have an office. That could change as he works with the City of Rising Sun to build a hangar near the new boat ramp.

Dozens of people have come to the Rising Sun riverfront to witness the takeoffs and landings, according to Mayor Branden Roeder.

Read more here:

Media Advisory - Media invited to see Bombardier Q400

WestJet to display the turboprop aircraft selected for its new regional airline 

CALGARY, June 27, 2012 /CNW/ - Media are invited to see the Bombardier Q400 turboprop aircraft in WestJet's Calgary hangar at 11:30 a.m. tomorrow, Thursday, June 28, 2012

In January of this year, WestJet announced it was considering launching a regional airline. In February, it revealed that 91 per cent of WestJetters who voted in a company poll supported the move. In April, WestJet selected the Canadian-made Bombardier Q400 aircraft for the new airline, expected to launch in the second half of 2013. 

On Thursday, media will have the opportunity to see and tour a Bombardier Q400 aircraft, and to interview Bombardier and WestJet representatives. 

What: WestJet unveils Bombardier Q400 aircraft

When: Tomorrow, Thursday, June 28, 2012, at 11:30 a.m.

Where: WestJet's Calgary campus, 22 Aerial Place NE
Media note: Please report to the front desk of the Campus building to sign in and receive a visitor's pass. From there, you will be escorted to the hangar.
About WestJet
WestJet is Canada's preferred airline, offering scheduled service throughout its 76-city North American and Caribbean network. Inducted into Canada's Most Admired Corporate Cultures Hall of Fame and named one of Canada's best employers, WestJet pioneered low-cost flying in Canada. Named a J.D. Power 2011 Customer Service Champion, WestJet offers increased legroom and leather seats on its modern fleet of 98 Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft. With future confirmed deliveries for an additional 37 aircraft through 2018, WestJet strives to be one of the five most successful international airlines in the world. 

Connect with WestJet on Facebook at
Follow WestJet on Twitter at
Subscribe to WestJet on YouTube at

Flight rally to take place Saturday - Harbor Springs Airport (KMGN), Michigan

HARBOR SPRINGS -- Area young people will have a chance to take to the skies on Saturday, June 30. 

For youth age 8-17, the Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 1087 will host a Young Eagles Flight Rally at Harbor Springs Airport.

The rally is part of the association's Young Eagle's Program, created to interest young people in aviation. Since the program was launched in 1992, volunteer pilots in the association have flown more than 1.4 million young people who reside in more than 90 countries.

"Free airplane rides are just one part of the flight rally," said Bill Meyer, spokesman for the event. "We hope to build one-to-one relationships between pilots and young people, giving a new generation a chance to learn more about the possibilities that exist in the world of aviation."

Pilots at the event will also explain more about their airplanes allowing young people to discover how airplanes work and how pilots ensure safety is the prime concern before every flight.

Read more here:

AeroCamp offers look at world of aviation - Mint Air at Greenville Downtown Airport (KGMU), Greenville, South Carolina

AeroCamp, a summer program designed to give kids a chance to explore the world of aviation and aerospace, will be held in Greenville July 16-20.

The camp, presented in conjunction with Mint Air flight school and the Flight School Association of America, is targeted to sixth through 12th grades.

Students will learn what makes an aircraft fly, how pilots use instruments, basic radio communication skills, and info about weather, rockettry, airport traffic patterns, basics of aeronautical charts.

The program will include one to two hours of actual flight time, which can count toward future pilot training.

AeroCamp will be held at the Greenville Downtown Airport from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day, and 10 students can participate, although more sessions may be added.

For information, visit

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Flying to their rescue: Pet project Pilots N Paws volunteers help shuttle animals to new homes

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — At Midwest National Air Center, in Mosley, Mo., a white Piper Cherokee drifts to earth like a paper airplane in the bright twilight, the buzz of its single engine only slightly louder than the chirp of grasshoppers in the surrounding farmland. 

On the ground, the plane noses down deserted runways and taxiways toward the padlocked terminal building. The propeller coughs to a stop, and the pilot unfolds his body backward through the passenger-side door.

Standing on the wing he asks his passenger, “Honey Bee, do you want to get out?”

Honey Bee, a 2-year-old bluetick coonhound, raises her head and cocks her floppy velvet ears. But she remains rooted to the backseat where she has slept most of the two hours since the gentle-voiced stranger picked her up at Spirit of St. Louis Airport and loaded her into this strange vehicle that vibrates like a pickup but is much louder.

The pilot strokes Honey Bee under the chin, then leans in and scoops up the 50-pound hound, no easy feat while trying to keep your footing on a convex aircraft wing.

Even cradling a coonhound, Sam Taylor has the squared shoulders and stick-straight posture of military servicemen. Taylor is a retired Navy helicopter pilot who flew search-and-rescue missions during the Vietnam War. Now he flies animal rescue missions in his plane for a nationwide network called Pilots N Paws.

On average, Taylor goes on one to three rescue flights a week. Most flights are in a 150-mile range, but he has flown much farther.

In September 2010, Taylor was part of a mission that rescued 171 dogs from Louisiana after the Gulf oil spill.

Taylor would go more often if he could afford it. Pilots N Paws pilots pay for their own gas, which averages $48 per hour.

Last year, Taylor spent $3,255 on gas for rescue flights. This year he's up to $2,400 already.

Crossroads pilots win Air Race Classic

After an incredible journey spanning four days, eight states and 2,862 miles, Diana Stanger and Victoria Holt are flying back to the Crossroads with new nicknames: "The Racing Aces." 

The two pilots placed first in the 36th annual Women's Air Race Classic against 56 other teams from across the U.S.

The race dates back to the 1920s and has seen competition from some of aviation's most notable women pilots.

"You feel like Amelia Earhart is patting you on the back," Stanger said.

Stanger, of Port Lavaca, and Holt, of Belton, took off from Calhoun County Airport Thursday in a Cirrus SR-22 toward their starting point in Lake Havasu, Ariz., and reached their final destination, Batavia, Ohio, by Friday.

Stanger said landing was a great feeling.

Read more here:

Pilots reach new heights: Pair take to skies in 2,400-mile race

NEW CASTLE — In a small, single-engine plane that is slower than a speeding car, Cynthia Lee and Nancy Rohr found themselves caught in a thunderstorm somewhere over Newberry, Mich. 

 But the two pilots, tucked together their Diamond DA-40, weren’t worried. They were excited.

Last week, the duo competed in the 35th annual Air Race Classic, a 2,400-mile competition from Lake Havasu City, Ariz., to Batavia, Ohio, for female aviators.

The race is composed of various timed legs and challenges where pilots compete in events including high-speed flybys, following designated routes and flying clean legs that stay within parameters. Each aircraft is handicapped for speed and engine power, with the goal of having the actual ground speed as far over the handicapped speed as possible.

“It’s a huge tradition that’s been going on for [decades],” said Lee, 57, of Avondale, Pa. “It’s beyond my wildest dreams that I would fly and be in one of these races. [It] was fantastic [and] it was the first race for both of us.”

Lee, a relatively new flyer, and her co-pilot, 57-year-old Newark resident and experienced aviator Rohr, paired up after learning about the race during a Christmas party for the Mid-Atlantic Ninety-Nines, an international organization of female pilots that began with Amelia Earhart. They wanted to carry on the tradition of other Wilmington-area pilots who competed in the event in years past.

Read more here:|topnews|text|Home&nclick_check=1

Young pilot has high hopes for record


 It’s not an average summer trip to the East Coast but Matthew Gougeon is not your average teenager.

The 16-year-old Ontario resident is hoping to set a record as the youngest pilot ever to fly a plane solo from Canada’s West Coast to the East Coast.

“I’m looking forward to it, ” says Gougeon, without a hint of nervousness about the upcoming adventure.

He will leave Tofino, B.C., around July 13 and land in Halifax around the 19th. He will be piloting his dad’s amphibious Cessna 182 airplane.

“At the start and end of the trip I’m going to try and land in each ocean, just as kind of a cool thing.”

“It’s a float plane but it is amphibious, which means the floats have wheels that come out of them, so I can land on runways, too.”

Gougeon lives in Collingwood, where he has just finished Grade 11 at Pretty River Academy, but spends his summers in Sudbury.

During his long solo flight, he expects to fly about six to nine hours a day, and will make overnight and refuelling stops in various cities across the country. His schedule is weather dependent.

“If there is weather or rain or anything like that, I can be grounded pretty easily,” he said.

Read more here:

Monday, June 25, 2012

Hendricks County Aviation: Adventuress Leslie Bailey flies an airplane - Hendricks County Airport-Gordon Graham Field (2R2), Indianapolis, Indiana

Written by Leslie Bailey, Star correspondent 

Over the hum of the plane engine, I can hear Richard Stevens' voice through my headset loud and clear: "We've gone through the checklist, and you're ready for takeoff."

Stevens, 65, Indianapolis, is my instructor for my first flight school lesson at Hendricks County Aviation.

I sit motionless for a moment before realizing that Stevens is telling me that the plane is ready to fly and I'm the one who will be responsible for getting it into the air.

Less than an hour earlier, I didn't know the difference between a flap and an aileron, and now this man wants me to lift a 2,500-pound Cessna 172 SP off the ground?

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Plane spotting, the new fad among Japanese women

Years after women Japanese train spotters were given the nickname “Tetsuko,” which loosely translates as rail girl, officials of Narita airport and nearby Narita city recently coined the word “Sorami” — air girl — to describe members of Japan’s growing band of women plane spotters.
Just as a Tetsuko would crisscross the nation to photograph different trains, so a Sorami such as Ayumi Fukuda, a 34-year-old public servant from Takaishi, Osaka Prefecture, travels from Hokkaido in the north to Okinawa in the south to capture images of airplanes.

In May she was one of 27 participants in an event organized for Sorami in Narita, Chiba Prefecture.

“I don’t understand why airplanes can fly, and that’s why I’m attracted to them,” said Fukuda, a plane spotter of five years. The event was organized by “Narita Kuentai,” a group consisting of employees of the Narita municipal government and of Narita airport that works for the development of the local community.

After gathering at a hotel in the city, the participants, mostly in their 20s and 30s, were given a tour of a park close to the airport and taken to a Japan Airlines hangar to photograph planes.

“It’s huge!” “Beautiful!” the assembled Sorami exclaimed as they entered the hangar and set eyes on JAL’s Boeing 787, the state-of-the-art passenger jet nicknamed Dreamliner. Some lay on the ground to photograph the plane from a certain angle, while others posed in front of the jet for photos with mechanics, who were acting as tour guides.

Millville, New Jersey: Boeing facility at milestone with helicopter

MILLVILLE — The 100th CH-47F to enter the work line at the Boeing Company helicopter modification center here now is ready for its first assignment with the U.S. Army, although no one was saying where that might be. 

Boeing held a rare public event at its municipal airport facility Friday morning to mark the moment. The facility has been open only since February 2010.

Its opening gave a badly needed lift to the economic outlook for the city and for the city’s airport operator, Delaware River Bay Authority.

The center employs 50 people and leases a major industrial space at a facility that still mourns the loss of Dallas Airmotive’s plant.

The twin-rotor cargo and troop transport helicopter is in heavy demand worldwide, with multiple nations, and particularly in Afghanistan. The Chinooks passing through Millville, though, are only for United States Army use.

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Sunday, June 24, 2012

NORTH CAROLINA: State hopes remote-aircraft industry takes flight

North Carolina hopes to launch one of its next big industries out of a tiny airport in Hyde County. 

The Division of Aviation, part of the state transportation department, is drafting plans for a test range where private companies and academic researchers could try out unmanned aircraft and the cameras and other devices they might carry.

If they’re successful at getting an FAA permit for the range, officials will then ask the Federal Aviation Administration to make it one of six sites nationwide the agency will use to help determine how unmanned craft can be incorporated into U.S. airspace.

Having a test range in the state could spur research and development worth billions of dollars, said Kyle Snyder, director of the NextGen Air Transportation Center at N.C. State University, which is working with the state, other universities and private industry to find uses for unmanned aircraft.

In North Carolina, Snyder said, “We could do the building, the testing, the final production, the training and the maintenance on these aircraft. We could do the full life-cycle.”

Unmanned aircraft – also called remotely piloted aircraft – have been in use for years, most notably by the U.S. and Israeli military. Large U.S. military drones have carried out attacks during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Within the United States, the FAA strictly regulates the use of unmanned aircraft. About five dozen universities and law enforcement agencies across the country are certified to operate them.

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JetBlue eyeing Naples Municipal Airport (KAPF), Florida

JetBlue has expressed interest in serving Naples Municipal Airport with nonstop, low-fare service from several New York airports. The airline recognizes the airport’s 75,000-pound weight limit for aircraft, and the City of Naples Airport Authority is investigating the airlines’ request for a waiver of that limit for specified commercial service. Under consideration by the airport authority is the possible impact of heavier aircraft on the airport’s runways and taxiways.

 “Working with our attorneys and our board of commissioners to evaluate the weight-restriction issue is only an initial step,” said Executive Director Ted Soliday. “Our bylaws require meetings with the city council and the public to change the weight limit in any manner. Whether JetBlue begins service or not, attracting the attention of this premier airline is a great achievement for the airport and the Naples area.”

“Although our modern fleet of Airbus 320 and Embraer 190 aircraft exceed APF’s current weigh limits, they have a noise footprint similar to or lower than smaller aircraft currently utilizing the airport,” Scott Laurence, JetBlue’s vice president network planning and partnership, wrote in a June 19 letter. “I am confident JetBlue can be a good neighbor and an active, positive member of the Naples community.

“We are pleased with the market dynamics of the Naples area and are confident that JetBlue’s high-quality, low-fare air service will drive significant increases in travel to Florida’s Southwest coast,” wrote Laurence.

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Cape Air shows map for success in tough times - Kirksville Regional Airport (KIRK), Missouri

By The Daily Express 


There are many who would argue small businesses can’t succeed, can’t expand, can’t get by in our recent and current economic climate.

To those people, we’d point to two words:

Cape Air.

Given the unparalleled success Kirksville’s commercial air service provider has seen, it’s easy to forget the precarious situation our local airport was in just two years ago.

Under previous carriers, ridership was down. Way, way, down. That meant the subsidy per rider, the amount the federal government was chipping in per ticket, was way, way up. Too high, in fact, to be sustained. As Air Choice One’s contract came to a close, the prospects looked dim for Kirksville to receive another Essential Air Service subsidy deal.

Enter Cape Air. Its slogan, “Mocha Hagotdi,” (which stands for “Make Our Customers Happy and Have a Good Time Doing It”), is kind of complicated. The recipe for success, however, couldn’t have been simpler.

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Prior Aviation Service at Buffalo Niagara International Airport (KBUF), New York: Keeping local aviation aloft for more than 50 years

By Emma Sapong 

Across the runways from the new terminal at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport is a long-standing, local aviation business that has played a vital role in airport operations.

Prior Aviation Service has been a profitable business, serving as the private-sector arm of airline operations at the airport for 51 years, while operating its own separate charter flight service, flight school and numerous other services for the local aviation industry.

"Western New York is very much a good market," said David E. Mittlefehldt, the company's president and CEO, said of the charter business. "In fact a lot of companies depend on it exclusively to transport their employees around the country. There's definitely a huge need here."

Prior also handles other general aviation needs as a full-service, fixed-based operator. The company provides services to private and commercial aircraft, such as maintenance, hangaring and de-icing for major carriers.

Prior's hangars house corporate jets and other planes of several area companies; its own fleet transports business executives, celebrities and other private citizens, and its nationally accredited school trains about 50 pilots each year.

Such a broad-based approach to serving the aviation industry is almost a throwback in the evolving airport business.

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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Friends hold benefit for injured Mercy Flight pilot

Friends of Joe Knox, the Mercy Flight pilot injured in a tractor accident two months ago, came together Saturday to raise money for Knox by holding a yard sale.

Besides the physical and emotional pain Knox faces, he is also burdened by medical expenses. Friends hoped by holding the yard sale they could help lift some of that burden off his shoulders.

“It’s a long process,” former Mercy Flight nurse Amanda Check said. “He has braces on, and all that costs, and just being out in Seattle, food for his family, lodging, and follow up doctor appointments, it all adds up.”

For a man who has helped save so many lives for more than 15 years, they say a yard sale was the least they could do for him.

“He’s one of the most positive guys I’ve ever met, just very hardworking, just fun to be around, overall just a great, great person,” Mercy Flight nurse Brian Schruth said.

More than 40 friends, co-workers, and others who had known Knox through Mercy Flight and his volunteering in the community, donated hundreds of items to be sold. They hoped to raise at least $1000.

With dozens streaming onto the lawn and the thought of Knox in mind, his friends said they had no doubt they could do it.

“If anybody else was in that situation, he’d be right there for them also,” Check said.

Friends will also hold another benefit Saturday, June 30, at the Sting Sports bar from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m.   There will be a raffle, silent and live auctions, and entertainment.

Virgin Galactic gearing up for first space flight


LAS CRUCES, N.M. -- Virgin Galactic is gearing up to give people a travel experience that is literally out of this world. 

The company, which is a part of Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, is preparing to be the first business to provide commercial flights to outer space.

Virgin Galactic just recently opened their new headquarters in Las Cruces, New Mexico, where they continue to work on launching their first flight.

“It certainly is a dream, and I dream all the time, and I love to try to make dreams come true,” said Branson.

So far, more than 500 people have put down a deposit to be a part of Branson’s dream.  Most of those individuals have paid the full ticket price of $200,000.

“You can compare them to the first commercial airline passengers, and the first people that bought those huge car phones back in the 80s. You know it was those people that made those businesses possible, and enabled the technology to develop,” said one Virgin Galactic employee.

If all goes well, it won’t be too long before Virgin Galactic launches their first flight. They’re hoping to embark on their inaugural voyage at the end of next year.

IndiGo plane becomes first to land using fuel-saving technology

No-frill carrier IndiGo on Saturday became the first Indian airline to carry out a landing at the Kochi airport using a system that allows an aircraft to be guided by a sophisticated on-board navigation system instead of ground-based radars. 

In carrying out this precision landing, an Airbus A-320 aircraft used the Required Navigation Performance (RNP) approach, which provides accurate and shorter flight paths and secure trajectories.

RNP, by allowing the use of on board systems and satellite-based Global Positioning System (GPS), frees the plane from dependence on conventional ground-based navigation installations.

An airline spokesperson said Saturday’s first regular RNP flight was 6E-345 from Bangalore to Kochi. RNP approach would continue to be applied by IndiGo whenever its aircraft land at Kochi, with its entire fleet being equipped with the system.

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Flight Inspections ENAV provided by Piaggio P180 Avanti II

June 22, 2012 by ENAV

Captain Enzo Maria Feliziani


ENAV is the Italian company that provides Air Traffic Control service, as well as other services for air navigation, in Italy skies and in national civilian airports.

ENAV personnel guarantees the air traffic management from 39 Control Towers 24 hours a day.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A summer camp with airplanes

GRAND FORKS — Sixteen-year-old Matt Adamson spent his Wednesday morning with his head in the clouds — literally. 

 The Plymouth, Minn., native was flying a Cessna 172S aircraft with assistance from University of North Dakota flight instructor Jakee Stoltz, as part of the 29th annual UND International Aerospace Camp.

Taking place all this week, the camp invited high school juniors and seniors from all over the country who are interested in aerospace sciences to UND. The participants were treated just like UND students and given a chance to fly planes in the university’s fleet.

“I really wasn’t expecting it to be like this,” Adamson said. “I thought I would just be riding in a plane.”

Instead, Adamson and 26 other camp participants were allowed to control the airplanes they were riding in — with guidance from their instructors of course. It’s UND’s way of giving high school students a taste of what it would be like to study aviation.

Before the young pilots could take to the skies, they spent time in lectures and flight simulators to gain a better understanding of the science of flying.

“There’s quite a big difference between having goggles on in a simulator and actually flying,” Stoltz said.

The Wednesday morning flight was the second one of the week for the camp participants. In addition to completing an introductory flight and an instrumental flight, they also got a chance to try their hand at a night flight and a cross-country flight.

Before takeoff, each camper and their flight instructor completed an aircraft inspection. Then it was up to the camper to radio to the control tower and request permission to take off.

“It was a lot of fun,” Adamson said after he landed. “I was actually flying the plane for most of the flight.”

Also included in the camp schedule were sessions on air traffic control, aviation management and unmanned aircraft systems, allowing students to hear about more than the piloting aspect of aerospace sciences.

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Akron’s inflatable airplane is oddity of sky in 1950s

The concept had sky-high potential. Unfortunately, it went over like a lead balloon. 

 In the mid-1950s, Goodyear Aircraft Corp. of Akron designed, developed and produced an experimental airplane that could fold up into a bundle and fit in the trunk of an automobile.

The Inflatoplane was an aeronautical oddity made of rubberized nylon fabric that pumped up like a tire. Within 10 minutes of unloading, the lightweight aircraft was filled with air and ready to fly.

Goodyear engineers heralded the contraption, which maintained its shape by internal air pressure, as the first of its kind in the United States.

“Named the Inflatoplane, the new Goodyear aircraft plane, developed under joint Army-Navy auspices, can be flown from a small field and attain speeds that will satisfy anyone wishing to avoid the bumper-to-bumper Sunday afternoon traffic,” the company boasted.

The prototype was a one-person craft 19.7 feet long with a wingspan of 22 feet and an empty weight of 205 pounds (or 329 pounds with its 20-gallon gas tank full).

With the pilot seated in the front, the Inflatoplane resembled a glider — albeit one composed of mattress stuffing. The fuselage, tail and cockpit were made with two walls of rubberized fabric connected by nylon threads.

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Florida man flies, rescues, his 1,000th animal

GREENVILLE, Ala. — On a recent June day, Jeff Bennett flew his four-seat plane from the mangrove-dotted Florida Keys, past some angry thunder clouds to the fertile hills of Greenville, Ala. His mission: to save 23 dogs destined for death row. 

Bennett, a 53-year-old retired businessman, donates his time, fuel and plane to Pilots N Paws, a South Carolina-based charity that enlists small plane pilots to transport animals from overcrowded shelters that have high euthanasia rates to foster homes, rescue groups and less-crowded shelters that don't kill the animals.

Bennett's been airlifting animals for more than 3 years. Bennett is a dog lover; he has four of his own, including one that he adopted after a flight.

He's carried mostly dogs, some cats, the occasional snake and once, a potbellied pig — earning his small Cirrus aircraft the nickname "All Species Airways" around the Pilots N Paws community.

But this month was special. On the Greenville trip, Bennett picked up his 1,000th animal.

"This is a mile marker," said Bennett, who had a pointy party hat decorated with pirates picked out for the special canine.

It's a number few of Pilots N Paws' 2,800 volunteer pilots reach, said Deborah Boies, the group's president and co-founder.

"We have only one other pilot who has accomplished that goal," said Boies. "It's extremely unique. He is truly one of the most dedicated people to Pilots N Paws."

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

First solo flight for Mr. Crowe - Moree, New South Wales, Australia

Mr Crowe said that getting his license has been a challenging experience. 

“I’m just lucky that I have a good instructor. Fred (Nolan) is very patient and concentrates on the main things like safety,” he said.

Mr Crowe has been in training to get his license through the Moree Aero Club and recently built up enough hours to fly solo in an Cessna 162 Skycatcher.

The two-seater Skycatcher is a newly designed aircraft from the famous Cessna manufacturer and is aimed at the rapidly expanding light sport aircraft market.

The Continental 0-200 engine has 100hp and delivers fuel economy of about 16-18 lt/hr, which at 200km/hr cruise speed, gives a very economical 8lt/100 in car talk. This is about 17 cents per kilometre aviation fuel cost.

The Cessna is based at the Moree Aero Club, of which Mr Crowe is a member.

He believes that in time he will use his license for a number of things.

“I will use my license around the farm to check up on the crops and eventually I’ll use it to go and visit relatives,” Mr Crowe said.

He has always been interested in planes and used aviation around the farm.

“I still have a lot to learn to complete the course - there is handling skills, air law, physics - so I’m an embarked student,” he said.

The Skycatcher is a new Cessna airplane and only a few of them are in Australia at present.

It is a first for Moree that it is to be based here, together with a second example owned by Malcolm Harris from Mungindi. 


SALT LAKE CITY: New Life Flight helicopters among best in the world

Mike Tillack, center, the first trauma patient transported on a new Agusta Grand, talks with nurse Andrea Clement, left. Mike's daughter Stevie Tillack is below. 
(Photo: Ravell Call, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — William Duehlmeir, with Intermountain Medical Center's trauma program, knows the importance of getting an injured patient to the hospital as fast as possible. 

"Speed matters. Seconds count," he said. "The first 60 minutes is critical."

Typically, the fastest way to get a patient to a hospital in Utah is by medical helicopter. Now, Utah has three of the most sophisticated medical helicopters in the world.

Wednesday, Intermountain Medical Center officially unveiled two of its organization's three new medical helicopters recently added to its signature Life Flight service. All of them are Agusta Grand 109s.

"They're fantastic," said Life Flight pilot Rob Anderson. "There's really not an option that's available that's not on this aircraft. If you were to draw (a helicopter), you couldn't add anything these don't already have."

The new aircraft are specifically designed for high altitude flying. The helicopters were originally made for rescues in the Swiss Alps.

In 1978, Intermountain Healthcare debuted its Life Flight program. In 1993, two K2 helicopters were added to its fleet. In 2004, they added two Bell 407 helicopters.

The new Agusta Grand helicopters are 50 mph faster than the Bells, Anderson said, can carry 2,000 more pounds of people and equipment, and the twin-engine aircraft can fly on just one engine if the other goes out.

The new helicopters include the latest safety technology, including a "collision avoidance system" to avoid mountain and midair collisions, auto-pilot and the latest navigational tools including "Highway in the Sky" and other instruments that help a pilot in low or no visibility conditions.

"The technology in this aircraft is just off the scale," said Life Flight director of operations Bill Butts.

In 2003, Life Flight suffered the only two fatal crashes in its history, both within a five-month period. The helicopters involved in those incidents were K2s. One of the fatal crashes involved a mechanical failure, the other was due to foggy conditions.

"This is much improved technology that will help us in flying in inclement weather," Intermountain spokesman Jess Gomez said of the new helicopters. He said the decision to fly is ultimately left up to the team of pilots.

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