Friday, January 20, 2012

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Suspected hoax prompts Coast Guard search - Avon Lake, Ohio

LORAIN — The Coast Guard is investigating a suspected hoax that launched a two-hour search and rescue operation near the shores of Avon Lake.

The Coast Guard received approximately 11 Mayday calls on a radio distress channel about 3 a.m. yesterday.

Coast Guard Sector Buffalo, New York, issued an urgent marine information broadcast asking area boaters to respond if anyone saw anything.

The man believed to be sending the distress calls was then heard blowing in to the radio, repeating the broadcast information broadcast and “not sounding like a person who was in actual distress,” according to Coast Guard Petty Officer George Degener.

Despite this, the Coast Guard dispatched a 25-foot rescue boat from Cleveland and a Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Detroit. The search location was narrowed to a half mile off Avon Lake by obtaining a line of bearing from the distress calls’ signal hitting radio towers.

“They weren’t able to find anybody out there,” Degener said. “They didn’t see any signs of a boater in distress.”

The helicopter was called off mid flight when it decided the call was bogus. The Coast Guard canceled the search around 5:30 a.m., he said. The suspicious responses from the radio operator and the lack of correlating reports of missing or overdue people prompted the cancellation.

“Having these assets out on the water and searching takes away from someone who may actually be in trouble. It could cause someone to lose their life because we aren’t able to respond to the person really in need,” Degener said. “Not only does it take away from the possibility of rescuing someone, it puts our crews at risk as well.”

Degener confirmed it is possible that the radio operator was on land using a handheld device.

All distress signals are recorded, so his voice could be recognized if another call is issued and criminal charges could be pursued if he is caught, he said.

Individuals who issue false alarms face jail time and hefty fines, Degener said. He said a similar situation in Detroit recently got an individual sentenced to 18 months in jail and a $14,000 fine.

“If you are found guilty, you are responsible for the cost of the rescue,” he said.


CANADA: Airport tunnel tab flies past $500M (with video)

By Rick Bell ,QMI Agency

Now we have a number.

It’s over half a billion bucks for the airport tunnel and all the other work needed on Airport Tr. since the tunnel has been green-lighted by city council.

The number is, so say the city brass, “preliminary in nature.” There will be updates soon and often and in time the dollars will no doubt inflate.

For now, it’s about $528 million.

And the city can’t cover $200 million-plus of the tab unless the feds or province throw into the beggar bowl or council sometime in the future heads to the bank and borrows.

The $3.3 billion in dough the province turned over to Calgary for building projects until 2018 is all gone.

That cupboard is bare.

To take a trip down memory lane, almost a year ago, council thumbs-upped the airport tunnel and pledged $294.8 million for the east-west tunnel on Airport Tr. running from Barlow Tr. to 36 St. N.E. under a new airport runway along with roadway improvements.

But turning Airport Tr. into an east-west expressway costs.

Interchanges at Barlow Tr. and 19 St. N.E. and ramps to and from the airport terminal are pegged at $77 million for the city’s share.

Future interchanges on Airport Tr. at 36 St. N.E. and Metis Tr. and 60 St. N.E. add up to $132 million excluding the land cost.

Future roads east of the tunnel and buying land for interchanges ring in at about $24 million.

There is also a $42 million roadway being built on 96 Ave. N.E., what Airport Tr. is called west of Deerfoot, going from Harvest Hills Link N.E. to Deerfoot Tr. and a $3-million two-lane stretch of Airport Tr. already open between 60 St. N.E. and Stoney Tr.

The last council covered the budgeting for them.

In the report, the city higher-ups say this airport tunnel and Airport Tr. scheme will reduce travel time for airport terminal workers.

They say the tunnel will “significantly reduce vehicle travel times in the vicinity of the airport” and “congestion along Country Hills Blvd. N.E. is anticipated to be reduced.”

In a report the city paper shufflers cooked up earlier this year, they said if the city didn’t go for the tunnel and motorists went around the airport runway — by travelling northbound on 36 St. N.E. and using Country Hills Blvd. and Barlow Tr. — the travel time is roughly five to eight minutes extra.

Of course, under former mayor Dave Bronconnier the city didn’t go for the Airport Tr. tunnel and extension because of cost since the half-billion figure was being discussed.

The deep thinkers at the city transportation department told the airport people “an eastward extension of Airport Tr. was not an essential component of an effective long-term city road network” though they now say it “will advance the city-wide road network.”

With a new mayor dedicated to the tunnel and some new aldermen on board it all changed.

A much lower number, the cost of the tunnel alone, was the dollar figure most in the public eye.

And council made a decision when a whole lot of Calgarians had no idea where the tunnel was even going.

A lot of taxpayers also believed it was all about getting to the airport faster for all Calgarians rather than about an east-west expressway in the northeast.

Ald. Gord Lowe, Bronco’s budget boss and still a guy asking plenty of questions, pushed this past November to get the best numbers the city bosses could nail down.

He simply wanted to know the cost when everything is built.

“We’re now in the ballpark and it’s a hell of a big wakeup,” speaking of the $528 million he agrees is the number as we both navigate through a confusing city document.

You can tell the longtime alderman feels some vindication.

“This report validates the numbers we had when we decided we weren’t going to do it. We looked at the price tag and the benefits and they didn’t match.”

Defenders of the tunnel say the $132 million in interchanges east of the tunnel are in the future and another council’s headache.

Lowe says the taxpayer remains the same and Job One is simple.

Council has to come up with a plan to find dough beyond the usual wishful thinking and predictions of pots of gold.

“The implication for the Calgary taxpayer is immense,” he says. 

Cayman Islands: Owen Roberts International Airport runway extension going inland. Cayman Airways routes to Dallas, Panama.

The long awaited extension of the Owen Roberts International Airport is planned to commence this year.

Speaking at the Fidelity Cayman Business Outlook conference at the Westin Casuarina Resort on Thursday, Premier McKeeva Bush said the plan would be to extend the runway inland instead of into the North Sound. Previous plans had called for an extension both ways, but he said the cost of extending the runway inland would be “$8 to $11 or $12 million, maybe a little more” while extending it into the North Sound would cost $35 million.

“What say ye?” he asked the estimated 350 people in attendance, adding the decision to go the least expensive route made sense.

Mr. Bush said extending the runway inland would necessitate “moving the road”, apparently in reference to the portion of Crewe Road in between the Dorcy Drive/Shedden Road roundabout and the Smith Road junction.

“Thank God there’s no ocean to see there,” he said, taking a jab at those who have protested the proposed closure of 2,500 feet of West Bay Road because it will take away their view of the ocean. “I suspect there will be a petition.”

The extension of the runway at Owen Roberts Airport has long been cited as a need in order to facilitate larger, long-haul jets, which are seen as necessary to attract more tourism from Europe and the US west coast. Cayman Enterprise City, the special economic zone that is expected to break ground in the first quarter of this year, has also cited the runway extension as important to the scope of its success.

Mr. Bush said he hoped all the “due diligence” required on the project before it could start would be completed by August of this year.

New Cayman Airways routes

Mr. Bush said government-owned Cayman Airways, which has long been a drain on the public purse, was doing much better, something evidenced by the fact that it was hardly discussed in the political area anymore.

“It’s no longer the political football it was,” he said.

He announced two new seasonal routes are planned to commence this year.

“Cayman Airways will start a Panama route in April, something like two times weekly,” he said, adding the scheduling would run through August. “It will be seasonal for now.”

He also said regular service to Dallas would start, possibly as soon as May.

“That, too, will be seasonal,” Mr. Bush said. 

Airports of Thailand exempts charges to help flood-affected airlines

BANGKOK, Jan 20 - The Airports of Thailand (AoT) on Friday announced that it would exempt landing and parking charges for aircraft to help airlines affected by the flood crisis at Don Mueang airport last year.

AoT closed Don Mueang airport temporarily on Oct 25, as flood waters flowed onto the runways. After being flooded for almost two months, AoT is repairing airport infrastructure and the facility is scheduled to reopen on April 1.

The agency, which manages, operates and develops airports in Thailand, said the charges would be retroactive from Oct 25 until March 2012 before Don Mueang resumes normal operations.

The exemption would cost AoT some Bt110 million in revenue, it said.

The move is part of the rehabilitation measures to help the airlines which were severely hit by one of the worst flood crises in Thailand's history, said AoT.

As for the office and real property rental, service and other charges including retail shops inside and outside the terminals as well as the charges for some airlines that swiftly relocated to temporary facilities at Suvarnabhumi airport, AoT would charge them at the same rate as Don Mueang airport.

AoT estimated that Bt440 million would be spent for repair and maintenance works at Don Mueang, with Bt305 million being used to improve the eastern runway, driveway and parking area scheduled for completion in February. Maintenance work for the western runway, driveway and parking area would cost Bt135 million for commercial service expected to be ready in March.

Currently, AOT has six international airports under its responsibility -- Don Mueang, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Hat Yai, Chiang Rai and Suvarnabhumi -- all of which accommodate both domestic and international flights. 


Seaplane training: Lake LA-4-200 Buccaneer from Sheble Aviation. Sun Valley Airport (A20) and Colorado River in Arizona.

By transsib on Jan 9, 2012
"Me, training for the seaplane rating at the Sun Valley Airport (A20) and on the Colorado River in Arizona. The plane is a Lake LA-4-200 Buccaneer from Sheble Aviation."

Hop-on, hop-off a seaplane!

Air-taxis are hugely popular in Maldives.

…in Maldives, with its exquisite islands crowding a beautiful sea.  The ‘oohs' and ‘aahs' begin the the second the aircraft breaks through the cloud cover for the descent to Male airport. As far as the eye can see, in all directions there is nothing but water — dark blue in some places, light blue elsewhere and a lovely turquoise in other places. Dotting this beautiful sea are hordes of islands — 1,200 in all. Only 90 are inhabited, including Hulhule, a short boat-ride from the capital Male and our destination.

The adventure for someone from north India, who spends most of his life far removed from the sea, starts the moment the plane lands in Male and you are transferred to a seaplane to reach your hotel. And instead of blaring horns and revving engines, all one hears in Maldives is the slow drone of seaplanes taking off or landing. And rather than cars and buses, what you see on the Male waterfront are fire and rescue ships rubbing shoulders with the various boats that transfer people from one island to another.

It is no surprise then that before long you hear yourself talking about taking a boat to go shopping!

And why not? Considering that 90 per cent of Maldives is nothing but water, the main attraction of this island-state is precisely that, and all activities related to it.

You could start off with a seaplane ride that provides breathtaking views of the islands among the many different shades of blue water. In fact, so popular is the seaplane ride that Maldivian air-taxi organises up to 500 flights a week during peak season.

MARYLAND: Up in the air, Harford CAP trains young pilots

Cadet Tech Sgt. Michael Baselice on a recent orientation flight with the Harford Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol. Michael, 14, is a fourth generation Civil Air Patrol member and attends Patterson Mill High School in Bel Air. (Photo courtesy of the Civil Air Patrol, Homestead Publishing)

The day many Americans were celebrating the freedoms that Martin Luther King's life stood for, some Harford County residents were experiencing another freedom – the freedom of flight.

The Harford County Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol,U.S. Air ForceAuxiliary, took part in orientation flights with their cadets on Monday, Jan. 16. The orientation flights introduce cadets to aviation and flight instruction.

For many of the cadets, this is their first experience in flying, much less at the control of a plane.

"Our orientation flights not only allow our cadets to learn about flight, but to also experience it as a pilot," 2nd Lt. Tracy Urena, public affairs officer for the organization, said. "They always come off their first flight with the biggest smile on their face which is really rewarding."

Cadets, ages 12-18, fly airplanes and gliders in the Civil Air Patrol. These orientation flights are the first step in the cadets learning how to fly and becoming FAA certified pilots.

"This was my 6th flight. It is such an amazing experience to be able to go up in the air at 14 and already know what needs to be done to fly the plane," Cadet Tech Sgt. Michael Baselice said after landing Monday. Michael is 14 and is a fourth generation Civil Air Patrol member. He goes to Patterson Mill High School in Bel Air.

The objective of the aerospace education mission of CAP is to promote an understanding and appreciation of the impact of aviation and aerospace in participants' everyday lives.

Nationwide, CAP is a major operator of single-engine general aviation aircraft, used in the execution of its various missions, including orientation flights for cadets and the provision of significant emergency services capabilities. The civilian pilots who volunteer to fly various missions for CAP come from various backgrounds, such as airlines pilots or retired military pilots.

The Harford County Squadron meets 7 to 9 p.m. Mondays at the Harford Airport on Aldino Road in Churchville.

Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of theU.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with more than 61,000 members nationwide. CAP, in its Air Force auxiliary role, performs 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and was credited by the AFRCC with saving 113 lives in fiscal year 2010. Its volunteers also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies.

The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to the more than 26,000 young people currently participating in CAP cadet programs. CAP has been performing missions for America for 69 years. It is the largest sponsor annually of Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices ofU.S. militaryveterans.

For more information on Civil Air Patrol, visit or

More than 1,500 members of CAP serve in Maryland. Last fiscal year wing members flew 42 search and rescue missions and were credited with 31 finds. For more information, visit


Cairo airport officials seize 420 pounds of frozen cow brains smuggled by Sudanese travelers

Associated Press

CAIRO — Officials at Cairo’s international airport confiscated 420 pounds (190 kilograms) of frozen cow brains on Friday, January 13 from three Sudanese travelers who planned to sell them to Egyptian restaurants, authorities said.

An airport official said it was the fourth time this week that customs officers there had foiled an attempt to smuggle cow brains into the country, reflecting the growth of a moneymaking scheme made possible by some realities of international supply and demand: Cow brains are cheap in Sudan, and Egyptians like to eat them.

A pound of raw cow brains bought in Sudan for less than a dollar can be resold in Egypt for six times as much, airport officials said. That means Friday’s haul could have earned the men more than $1,500.

Restaurants specializing in liver and brains are popular in Egypt. Both items are deep fried and often eaten in pita bread with spicy red sauce.

Airport officials discovered the brains Friday while inspecting large freezer boxes brought in by three travelers on a flight from Sudan’s capital, Khartoum. After inspecting the boxes, the officials confiscated the brains since they couldn’t ensure they had been preserved in a sanitary manner.

The brains would be burned, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity under airport rules.

Nhulunbuy Airport , Australia: Man arrested after $60,000 kava bust.

Police seize 61kg of kava. 
Picture: NT POLICE

Northern Territory Police say they seized more than $60,000 dollars worth of kava in Arnhem Land last night.

They arrested a 46-year-old Tongan man at Nhulunbuy after he had arrived there on a flight from Cairns.

Police say they found 61 kilograms of the controlled substance kava.

Watch commander Paul Faustmann says the kava looked like it was going to be sold.

"The kava consisted of 1,080 deal bags and I do believe it has a street value of approximately $62,000," he said.

The man is expected to be charged today.

MARYLAND: Carroll County's Board of Commissioners will make a decision on the airport expansion on January 26th. Carroll County Regional/Jack B Poage Field (KDMW), Westminster.

Credit Kym Byrnes

 Credit Kym Byrnes

The Board of County Commissioners met in front of a packed room Thursday afternoon for a highly anticipated Carroll County Regional Airport discussion.

The previous board of commissioners made a master plan that included the expansion of the airport. The estimated $74 million expansion includes the purchase of 13 acres of land and an increase in the size of the runway.

Simply put, the decision is whether to expand the airport so that it can accommodate increased traffic of larger planes (C3 planes) such as corporate jets, or to remain a C2 airport that can continue to accommodate smaller planes such as single engine planes. At the very least, the current runway will require upgrades in 2017 to the tune of $5 million ($125,000 of which Carroll County will have to pay).

According to a previous article posted on Patch, if Carroll County decides to move forward with the planned expansion, the county would ultimately pay for 2.5 percent of the $74 million. Ninety-five percent would be funded by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the other 2.5 percent would be paid for by the state.

Community members weighed in at the beginning of the meeting. Several residents support the opinion of Silver Run resident James Graham who believe that the airport will not benefit most of the county residents.
"The airport expansion is using tax payer money to benefit a relatively few number of people, that aren't the tax payers," Graham said. "The idea of trying to get business to come by putting money into infrastructure has not panned out across the country, and the costs that are incurred are seldom recouped."

But there were also proponents of the plan in attendance. Barbara Biller is the president of Intellitech and the chair of Carroll County Economic Development Commission, which serves as the advisory board to the commissioners.

Biller said that the Economic Development Commission, which has wide representation in the county, unanimously voted in favor of the airport expansion.

"We have studied the airport expansion effort two times in the last three years and we have unanimously felt that the commissioners should move forward with the expansion project," Biller said.  "This project offers short term construction jobs and long term higher paying jobs."

Surdex Corporation, which provides geothermal data services, announced a proposal at a June meeting to build a 30,000 square foot facility at the airport should the expansion move forward. The facility would be used to consolidate the business' four locations.

Biller added that part of the reason Knorr Brake Company decided to expand their headquarters in Carroll County was due to the possibility of an airport expansion.

As they have done in the past two public meetings, the commissioners explored several airport options, one of which is just an update of the current runway as FAA standards dictate that the current runway would have to be resurfaced around 2017.

Deputy Director of Public Works, Jeff Topper, said that if Carroll County resurfaced the current runway, it would cost about $5 million, approximately $125,000 of which the County would have to pay. The FAA would cover the remaining cost.

The commissioners have also explored costs and benefits associated with moving forward with the planned expansion project. According to Commissioner Roush, the FAA is offering funds through the Airport Improvement Program (AIP). He said that the FAA is interested in supporting this expansion project because regional airports can help relieve some of the general aviation congestion from bigger airports (such as BWI). He also said that the FAA funds these projects for safety and access reasons.

But there are time constraints that the commissioners must consider as they make their decision. According to Roush, the environmental impact study that was done to determine if the expansion was feasible does not expire, but the findings of the study expire April 8.

The study took more than a year to complete and cost more than half a million dollars. Additionally, the environmental impact study that was done was only relevant for expansion to a C3 airport, if the commissioners decide to do a lesser project, another economic impact study will be required.

Roush said that the FAA will not fund any airport projects that are not specified in the master plan. Since the airport expansion is currently in Carroll County's master plan, if the county decided to do a project other than the expansion (such as just the airport runway resurfacing project), then it would require a whole new master plan in order to receive federal funds.

The commissioners are scheduled to vote on the airport decision next Thursday, Jan. 26.

Watch the airport discussion meeting on the Carroll County government website.


Employment Opportunity: Ad Hoc Heli Pilot. Location: Belfast.

Ad Hoc Heli Pilot
Job Reference NI 0000582
Salary: 375 to 375 / day
Location: BELFAST
Consultant: Judith Ragg
Branch: Belfast
Expires On: February 16, 2012

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

Line Pilot Duties: Line flying in government roles as and when they occur Pre-flight and turn around inspections, daily inspections of the aircraft and equipment, refuelling and ground handling to ensure that the aircraft is at maximum readiness for operational deployment Self-briefing regarding Notams, Meteorology, required security states and out of bounds locations for the area / route of operation Pre-flight briefings of crew and passengers Normal captaincy requirements as per the single pilot role

Liaison: Liaison with other line pilots and Chief Pilot in the briefing of non pilot staff in the ASU Liaison with Government Observers during flights to ensure safe flights and that they can complete their jobs/tasks successfully Liaison with Air Traffic Control

Other: Administrative functions as detailed by the Chief Pilot such as recording Flight Time Limitations and producing reports Such other duties as may reasonably be required by the Chief Pilot

The minimum requirements are: 1500hours total time, including 1000hours PIC helicopters, of which 500 hours must be PIC overland in VMC low level operations Minimum 500 hours twin turbine or 1000hours single turbine helicopter 100hours night flying, including 50hours PIC JAR CPL(H) including EC135, BK117C1 or C2 type rating Current class 1 medical. Current Government OPC and previous Line Check. Minimum 25hours PIC in Single Pilot helicopters of similar weight in last 12 months.

Desirable Criteria . Experience of using Microsoft Office / Word/ Excel/ Outlook for the purpose of producing reports, recording Flight Time Limitations (FTLs) and email.

The above reflects the main elements associated with this position it is not intended to be exclusive or exhaustive.

Please note to apply you need to have lived and worked in UK/RO for the last 3 consecutive years.

Airplane seizure at Brawley Municipal Airport (KBWC) connected to smuggling operation, feds say. Brawley, California.

BRAWLEY — Two men could face charges after U.S. Border Patrol agents learned an airplane at the municipal airport here was allegedly used to smuggle undocumented immigrants, officials said.

The arrest of the suspects that federal authorities would not identify marks the third time an airplane was seized in connection with such smuggling since 2010, a press statement reported.

Federal authorities didn’t make the news about last week’s arrest public as the information was in the process of awaiting approval, said Border Patrol Agent Jonathan Creiglow on Thursday.

Few details about the Jan. 10 arrest were available but Creiglow said it wasn’t known how long the smuggling operation has been going on.

The statement reported that Border Patrol agents were conducting “a surveillance” in Brawley and caught two suspected undocumented immigrants being dropped off at an undisclosed location.

The agents pulled over the vehicle and a subsequent interview of the driver and the passenger, who are from the U.S., was conducted.

It was learned that one of the men was a pilot who had an airplane at the Brawley airport. It was also determined that the two suspects were planning to use the aircraft “to further their smuggling operation,” the statement read.

Creiglow said he did not know whether the two undocumented immigrants that had been dropped off that day were actually flown in.

But Creiglow said the aircraft is a Piper II, which is a single-engine aircraft.

Brawley Public Works Director Yasmin Arellano said she never heard of any past connection between the smuggling of undocumented immigrants and the local airport.

But Creiglow said there had been an aircraft seizure at the Brawley Airport in August 2010 and another in 2011 but it was not clear whether that one involved the Brawley airport.

Neither name of the two suspects Border Patrol agents arrested was made available but Creiglow said the U.S. Attorney’s Office is still investigating the matter.

Naples, Florida: See, hear

Arthur Tunnell, Naples

See, hear

It's noon on another beautiful day here in paradise.

I'm sitting out in the lanai reading the Daily News.

I'm thinking, "Ya know, it just doesn't get any better than this."

That's when this small plane decided to circle around a few times (showing friends from out of town, no doubt).

He doesn't do it more than once a week, but I've been meaning to complain for three winters now. I'll bet if you ask the other pilots around here they'll know exactly who I mean — this plane is loud!

Could we start a letter-writing campaign to buy him a new muffler?

And thank you for tearing down the old Daily News plant on Central Avenue. Anywhere else in the country we'd be looking at it for the next 10 years.


Report of plane crash false alarm

HAMPSHIRE – A false alarm that a plane had crashed near Interstate 90 and Route 20 had police officers in two counties temporarily scrambling and a search helicopter in the air early Thursday evening.

Someone called 911 stating that they thought they saw a small plane crash on the horizon west of Hampshire, Kane County Sheriff’s Lt. Pat Gengler said. At about that same time, a small plane had made a normal landing at the private Casa De Aero Park Airport northwest of town, Gengler said.

Both Kane County and the McHenry County sheriff’s offices began investigating the area near I-90 and Route 20, given that the area is close to the border of both counties, and both had set up command posts, according to scanner traffic.

McHenry County at about 6:30 p.m. let search units, which had found nothing, know that there was no plane down and everyone could stop looking.


Boeing 757-200 Pilot Dies of Heart Failure in Mid-Flight

The co-pilot of a Russian UTair airliner has died in mid-air after feeling unwell while piloting a Boeing en route from Bangkok to Moscow. The plane with 239 passengers on board – all Russian citizens – was able to land safely in Siberia.

­“The co-pilot [Sergey Golev, aged 44] died at 12:25 am, Novosibirsk Time (5:25 pm GMT), three hours after takeoff,” said senior investigator Anastasia Utochkina, as quoted by Life News. “The captain made a decision to descend, while the crew called over the tannoy for a female physician who happened to be among the passengers. However, her attempts to reanimate the man, who was lying on the cockpit floor, failed.”

The captain reportedly attempted to land the plane in China, while reanimation efforts were underway. However, his colleague died during the descent, apparently from acute heart failure. At this point, a decision was taken to land in Russia instead, and the Boeing 757-200 touched down safely at Novosibirsk airport.

The Investigation Department of Russia’s transport authority has launched an inquiry into the case in an effort to uncover the cause of the incident.

Meanwhile, airport officials insist that the co-pilot was merely traveling as a passenger and in no way and at no point was in control of the aircraft.

“The deceased pilot was traveling as an ordinary passenger,” a press officer of Novosibirsk airport Tolmachevo, Irina Levit, told Life News. “The aircraft belongs to UTair airline, where Sergey Golev was employed. There was no threat to passengers.”

However, according to the investigation committee who requested the details of the crew and the results of their pre-flight medicals from Bangkok airport, no such evaluation was performed in Thailand. The last time the crew had had a medical check-up was back at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport a few days previously.


$700,000 airport ramp nears completion at Joseph A. Hardy Connellsville Airport (KVVS), Connellsville, Pennsylvania

Members of Fayette County's airport authority on Wednesday discussed a $700,000 ramp improvement project at the Joseph A. Hardy Connellsville Airport.

Jennifer Andy, a staff engineer for Michael Baker Jr. Inc., updated the board about the ongoing project that is financed by federal, state and local funding.

"We're improving the ramp in the front of the airport terminal," Andy said. "This ramp will provide space where visiting aircraft can pull up and park in front of the building. We're installing fence on both sides of the building, which is the final stage of the project."

Andy said the work should be completed by the end of January.

Board member Fred Davis asked Andy whether a sign will be placed near the ramp to alert small-aircraft pilots about the clearance risk.

"I believe a sign would mitigate any risk for clearance near the building," Davis said. "We need to make sure that a sign is installed for safety purposes."

Andy sought to assure Davis that a sign will be installed, one that will include information for pilots, warning them about the potential danger and the lack of clearance for small aircraft.

Tough to beat an airport for open space. Solberg-Hunterdon Airport (N51), Readington, New Jersey.


What was more “Open Space” than an airport founded in rural Hunterdon Country, New Jersey in 1941? There was no urban sprawl; there wasn’t any sprawl at all. There were no cell towers, there were no schools off the end of the runway and there was no one nearby to complain about noise.

Everyone who has moved into that area since knew and, could not help but know, that there was a local active airport in Readington. If they were not willing to accept the “noise” or “hazards” they associate with an airport they should not have moved there.

For at least the past 15 years there have been continuous and mean attempts by township officials to close the airport in the name of “Open Space.” But what is more “Open Space” than an airport? Except for the holes in the ground it is as open space as a golf course. The very idea that you can condemn an airport based on the concept that you are saving “Open Space” is some kind of joke. It is a great testimony to the citizens of Readington that they are so willing to contribute their tax dollars for “Open Space” that is already “Open Space.” Is this now the true definition of an “environmentalist:” Buy open space to be open space?

How many of you have seen small local airports like Solberg in the areas where you grew up? How many of those are still there? How many new small airports have you seen built and opened since the time you grew up? I do not know of one. These small airports are actually a national treasure and are the only place a person can safely and economically learn an aviation skill. Some may even be the future pilot of a commercial flight you may take some day. Or maybe you would rather that pilot be some alien recruited from England because the United States has no place to train new pilots.

Few of our future aviators will come from the military because there are not that many military pilots being trained any more and in the future there will be even fewer. Many say that airlines should be required to train their own crews and that might well be true. But where do you think this training is going to take place, Newark Airport? It will happen at small fields like Solberg that will only get bigger when those airlines begin looking for training fields.

Maybe they should be careful to what they donate those tax dollars because what they get in place of Solberg Airport may be a lot more objectionable than an airport that accommodates small aircraft and is “Open Space.”

Joseph Hitzel


Trenton, Tennessee: Gibson County Airport (KTGC) Reports Increased Traffic.

An up-tick in the Gibson County economy is coming from an unexpected source - the Gibson County airport.

Even though it is a small facility that caters primarily to businesses and private pilots, workers said their influx in business is benefiting everyone.

On Wednesday, it may have been quiet at the airport because of the weather, but for the past three months, workers said it has been quite busy.

"The year overall has been an up-tick in travel, and we've had a lot more planes coming through for fueling, going to other places and business," said manager Robert Lockard.

So busy, Lockard said they have had an estimated increase of 500 to 750 more flights in 2011 than they did in 2010.

They even had to build a new t-hanger to hold 10 more planes. It is popular for business people.

"If you're going to have businesses coming in this area of West Tennessee, you need airports for the business leaders and CEOs of companies to get to their respected businesses more efficiently and that's what the smaller airports are number one in doing," Lockard said.

Lockard said even though the airport is small and does not fly commercial, they still get travelers from all over the country, and they do not always just stop through to fuel up.

"They stop, they eat, a lot of times they use motels here, so they do contribute to the economy in West Tennessee," he said.

He said he thinks 2012 will be another up year, and hopes to build additional hangers to house more planes.

According to Lockard, the Gibson County Airport recently received grant money from the Department of Transportation, which will be used to trim trees close to the runway, which are getting too tall and could affect the safety area.