Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Caught on Video: Helicopter Cliff Rescues

Cameras attached to rescuers' helmets provided dramatic views from the rescuers' perspectives during a busy weekend when five LA Sheriff's Department airlifts were conducted in the Angeles National Forest.

The rescues included a 19-year-old South Pasadena woman who was airlifted Sunday afternoon from a cliff above Altadena. The woman became trapped about 100 feet above Millard Canyon during a hike with friends.

The woman nearly let go of the cliff to jump into the arms of Paramedic Deputy Ricky Hernandez as he was lowered to her location, but Hernandez was close enough to reach out to her, authorities said.

"He motioned to her to wait, and was able to attach the safety harness before we hoisted her up into the rescue helicopter," said Sgt. Tom Giandomenico, crew chief of the rescue. "If she had let go before we were ready, she would not have survived the fall."

Two more teens were rescued on the ground nearby.

The woman was one of 15 people rescued as part of five Angeles Forest operations during the weekend.

Sunday: Four boys were airlifted from an Azuza Canyon cliff Sunday. They were airlifted -- one at a time -- from the mountainside north of Azusa.

Saturday: Two men were injured and one was killed in a fall off Angeles Crest Highway. One of the men flagged down a passing motorist after the men fell into a deep ravine, about 500 feet over the side of the freeway.

Saturday: Three hikers were rescued in a night-time airlift in Eaton Canyon. Two men and a woman, all age 19, were all wearing light-weight clothing during a cold evening. They took an off-trail shortcut and became disoriented, according to authorities.

Saturday: In another evening rescue, search teams found two Boy Scouts and their leader in the Mount Wilson area. The were equipped for the conditions, but failed to arrive at their destination and staff members notified the sheriff's department.

by LA County Sheriff on Jan 23, 2012

A U.S. Forestry Recreation Technician working in the Angeles National Forest noticed several people who appeared to be trapped on a cliff near Altadena and called in rescuers at 11:57AM on Sunday, January 22, 2012.

by LA County Sheriff on Jan 23, 2012

A 14-year old boy managed to get cell phone reception and called 9-1-1 from an Azuza Canyon cliffside Sunday afternoon. This led to Air-5 Rescue pilots & Emergency Services Detail (Special Enforcement Bureau) paramedic deputies from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department flying in and rescuing a total of four boys, one at a time.

by LA County Sheriff on Jan 23, 2012

Shortly after noon Saturday, January 21, an injured man on the side of the road on Angeles Crest Highway flagged down a passerby and told them two other people were hurt after falling into a ravine.

Residents speak against commercial flights at Gwinnett County Airport-Briscoe Field (KLZU), Lawrenceville, Georgia.

Opponents of commercial passenger fights at Briscoe Fields kept up pressure on the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners Tuesday night.

Though the fate of the county airport near Lawrenceville was not on the agenda, about 200 opponents attended Tuesday’s commission meeting. Some testified against commercial flights during the public comment period.

David Mellard, president of the Lawrenceville Neighborhood Alliance, urged commissioners to protect the quality of life of nearby communities.

“The people around Lawrenceville, Grayson, Dacula and Lilburn, we are being sent under the bus for this airport expansion,” Mellard said.

Gwinnett recently solicited proposals from private companies interested in running Briscoe Field as it is: a small general aviation airport serving small private aircraft and corporate jets. However, the county will allow companies to share their long-term vision for the airport. One company – New York-based Propeller Investments – wants to launch commercial flights.

Supporters say such flights would create jobs and provide an alternative to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Opponents say commercial flights would mean more noise and declining property values near the airport.

Both sides have inundated commissioners with e-mails and petitions pressing their case. Most recently, opponents of commercial flights have gathered nearly 1,200 signatures on an online petition that asks commissioners to rule out scheduled passenger flights at Briscoe.

Proposals from private companies are due Feb. 8.


Cessna 152: Marshall County, Mississippi

A student pilot's first lesson covers more than just the basics of flying, when her instructor was forced to make an emergency landing. It happened around 10:30 Tuesday morning when their small plane started having engine trouble over Marshall County, Mississippi.

Fortunately both the instructor and student walked away without a scratch.

Caitlin Russell appeared calm, cool, and collected shortly after the plane she was having her first ever flight lesson in made an emergency landing in a wheat field.

"You could feel it....that something was wrong," she said.

Caitlin's instructor, Casey Lyon says he made the call to take the plane down when he noticed the engine of the 2-seater Cessna 152 wasn't producing enough power to stay in the air.

"It was constantly reving up and reving back down," said Lyon.

Lyon took control of the plane and decided to land. Caitlin says she then made the decision to just close her eyes and she was soon safely on the ground.

Caitlin doesn't consider the experience a bad omen. In fact, she plans to pursue her dreams of flying on her own one day.

"I love it. I want to keep doing it. Eventually, I want to be a pilot. You just have to get back on the horse."

New Zealand: Helipro purchases Bay Flight school

The Helipro deal does not include the purchase of the Tecnam P2006T bought in 2011 for $700,000, but does include the purchase of Bay Flight’s 10 other aircraft.

Tauranga’s only flight school will re-open its doors in February under the new name Bay Flight 2012 after being purchased by Palmerston North based company Helipro.

Staff and members of the operations team are back on site at the flight school on Jean Batten Drive after the sale to Helipro was finalised last Friday.

The flight school was put into voluntary liquidation by owner, Palmerston North based pilot Steve Rowe, in December 2011.

He cited trading difficulties and a lack of flying hours due to bad weather as reasons for this move.

Director of RHB Accountants, the Tauranga based liquidator for the flight school, Tom Rodewald, says plans were finalised for the purchase at the end of last week and the flight school will officially re-open from February 1.

“Staff are on-site getting everything ready to go and they expect the students to be back in the air by first of February. It was signed and sealed at the end of last week.”

Helipro business manager John Read says Bay Flight 2012 is an opportunity to extend the company’s training platform.

“It has a very good name and part of what we do is aviation training, with rotor wing and fixed wing, and we saw this as an extension.

“We are very pleased to have bought it and to be continuing on to be able to provide students with the courses, so they can finish their qualifications.

“We have asked all the previous staff to forward their CVs and we are currently working through putting the team together now.”

Tauranga based pilot Phil Hooker, who founded Bay Flight International in 1996 and then sold it to Steve Rowe 18 months ago, is the new chief flight instructor of Bay Flight 2012.

John says a skeleton crew is working at the school at the moment, but formal operations will begin on February 1.

“Doors are actually open now with a skeleton crew getting everything prepared, but the normal operations will be from February 1.

“It’s a fairly tight timeframe, but given that we are a large training organisation we have had all the necessary approvals and certifications so it’s a matter of getting it up and running.”

The sale agreement does not include the Tecnam P2006T purchased for $700,000 by Bay Flight Aviation in 2011, but does include the remaining 10 planes in the Bay Flight fleet.

John says they are expecting all of the students to continue training and will be looking to keep 15 staff in total at the Mount Maunganui base.

“They (the students) seemed very pleased when we met them and discussed the plan, we will be looking at providing a lot of backing support through our head office, as we do for our other bases.”

Helipro was established in 1983 by Wellington pilot Rick Lucas, who still owns the business.

“He started the business as one pilot and one helicopter.”

The business now operates a fleet of 40 helicopters from nine bases in New Zealand and one in Australia.

“Its been rotor wing flight training since 1983, but it got involved in fixed wing training in 1995 and we have been training in fixed wing in 2005 and has been training a large number of international students from that date.”

Bay Flight 2012 will operate under Helipro Aviation Training a NZQA accredited organisation that provides specialist aviation and flight training courses for helicopter and fixed wing aircraft.

John says flight training institutes have faced a number of challenges in the last year throughout New Zealand and Helipro are looking to move forward in the fixed wing training industry.

“We are working in a positive manner to make it a viable, ongoing business.”

Both John and owner Rick will be regular visitors to the region and are looking forward to the Classics in the Sky Tauranga City Airshow this weekend.

Indian Air Force: Women pilots are flying high like never before

Women pilots in the Indian Air Force are exploring new frontiers that were till recently reserved only for their male counterparts.

Squadron leader Teji Uppal achieved the rare feat when she landed An-32 transport aircraft, a twin-engine turboprop, at Daulat Beg Oldie, an advanced landing ground (ALG) located at an elevation of 15,400 feet about mean sea level (MSL) just a few kilometers away from the Line of Actual Control in Leh.

She is among the select group of women pilots who have been operating in high altitude areas which requires specialised training of northern sector on various missions.

Squadron leader Veena Saharan became the first woman pilot to land heavy lift transport aircraft IL-76 at Leh airfield.

The heavy aircraft was opened to woman pilots for flying only recently and she was among the first to graduate to the type after having flown smaller An-32s. Another officer, squadron leader Nidhi Handa, the first woman pilot in IAF from Himachal Pradesh, in a short career span of six years, to reach the B-Green category which allows her to captain an aircraft in all the roles in every sector of the country.

Officials said high altitude flying requires special skills and one has to be cleared first to operate in such environment.

Commissioners vote to keep airport security plans secret; Commissioner Hiller says she has right to them. Immokalee Regional Airport (KIMM), Immokalee, Florida.

The Immokalee airport's security plans will remain a secret.

Collier County Commissioners voted 3-2 Tuesday to keep themselves in the dark about the security at the airport.

"There is no reason for any commissioner to have access to the plan," Commission Chairman Fred Coyle said. "It's common sense. This is not something of a contest between a commissioner and the airport director.

"Releasing the plans is not a good thing to do."

Commissioners Tom Henning and Georgia Hiller dissented.

"I have serious concerns. It is our liability. It is our responsibility as the airport board," Hiller said.

Hiller had contacted Airport Executive Director Chris Curry for the last two weeks asking for a copy of the security plans at the Immokalee Regional Airport, he said. Curry denied her request and asked the commissioners for direction at Tuesday's meeting.

Florida law requires that general aviation airports open to the public, and which have at least one runway greater than 4,999 feet long, have an approved current airport security plan on file with the Florida Department of Transportation.

The Immokalee airport's plans are restricted to the airport manager, the Department of Homeland Security, the Collier County Sheriff's Office, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and FDOT, Curry said.

Some airport employees also see limited plans, Curry said.

But Hiller said she contacted the Sheriff's Office and they had not received a copy of the plans. Curry said he mailed a copy and would follow up to ensure it was received.

Henning said he believes Hiller has a right to look at the plans because under Florida Statutes only security plans for international airports are exempt from public records laws. The Immokalee airport is not an international airport.

Curry said he was told by FDOT that the public records exemption applies to all airports, not just international airports.

Henning said he was concerned there was no legal interpretation from the county attorney's office on the matter before it came before the board.

Before the vote, Klatzkow said the commissioners were facing two issues — whether the security plans were public record and whether the commissioners would like the ability to view the security plans. The commissioners do not have a policy that prohibits them from asking the Airport Authority executive director to see the plans, he said.

"It is not easy on this one," he said. "If I am being conservative ... all security documents should be protected."

Klatzkow told commissioners if they wanted to access the plans, they could develop a policy to do so. Commissioner Jim Coletta said the board does not need to see the plans for the security of the airport.

"Either you trust the airport director or you don't," he said. "We don't need to know about the security of places we do not belong and this is one of them."

Hiller said the commissioners have the ultimate authority over the airport and should be allowed to see the plans.

"I support the need for confidentiality," she said. "To deny the responsibility of the board as the airport board and the board that is the lease holder from the ability to see the plans is a violation of the public records law. We are the lease holders for that property."

Hiller said she would like a written response with the particulars of the law Curry is relying on.

"Bottom line, I don't believe the exemption includes members of the board," she said, adding that she believed the three commissioners voting to keep the plans secret from themselves were circumventing the law.

"If I am going to be denied, I want the statute that was relied upon and the reason why."

Commissioner Donna Fiala asked Hiller why she was so intent on seeing the plans. Hiller said she had repeated concerns about security at the airport and wanted to see for herself what was being implemented by staff.


South Carolina: Horry County council approves AvCraft's incentive package

The Horry County council approved a resolution Tuesday night that gives AvCraft Aviation of Myrtle Beach the promised $100,000 incentive package.

The measure passed in a vote eight to three. Councilmen Marion Foxworth, Jody Prince and Carl Schwartzkoff were against giving the company the money. Foxworth denied to comment and the other men were unavailable after the meeting.

With the money, AvCraft will be able to expand its operations and hire 150 additional employees. It was a deal worked out with the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development.

Brad Lofton, the group's director, said the approval is good news for AvCraft and Horry County.

Lofton said the company has already begun to fill the 150 jobs and encourages anyone with aviation skills to apply.


Tiny Airline Cashes In on Small Cities

The Wall Street Journal

PORTLAND, Ore.—SeaPort Airlines Inc. has carved out a niche in the Pacific Northwest by opening, and sometimes dropping, service to small cities usually bypassed by other carriers.

The tiny, closely held airline, which relies partly on a patchwork of subsidies, has a fleet of nine-seater Cessna and Pilatus propeller planes.

SeaPort's destinations include Pendleton, Ore., a busy agricultural hub between Portland and Boise, Idaho. Its flights save travelers bound from Pendleton to Portland hours of motoring along Interstate 84.

It has been less successful in the Oregon cities of Newport, Salem and Astoria, which invested thousands of dollars in subsidizing daily air service, only to experience days when barely any passengers showed up.

The airline has since pulled the plug on those flights, as it did in December on its service between Idaho Falls and Boise, after just five months.

"I'm not saying they took advantage of us," says Idaho Falls' aviation director Len Nelson. "We just overestimated the depth of their commitment."

SeaPort, which has developed a reputation for linking up with cities in exchange for cash subsidies, then dumping them when those subsidies expire, says it has to be nimble in deploying its planes between a mix of subsidized and non-subsidized routes.

"We're starting more routes than we're closing," says SeaPort President Rob McKinney .

Mr. McKinney says that on the company's few federally subsidized routes, which include Pendleton to Portland, the airline is saving taxpayers money by using planes smaller than some of the jets that used to serve these markets and which rarely flew full.

The federal subsidy program dates back to airline deregulation in the 1970s and was designed to guarantee a minimum level of scheduled air service to cities that had it before deregulation. The subsidies are likely to be scaled back, however, under a compromise funding bill for the Federal Aviation Administration slated for congressional action next month.

SeaPort doesn't disclose its revenue, but says it is profitable and its traffic is growing—to 97,000 passengers last year from 93,000 in 2010. The airline also does business as Wings of Alaska out of Juneau, and operates sister units in Arkansas, Texas, Kansas, Missouri and Tennessee.

SeaPort, whose operators arrived from Alaska in 2008, is slated to receive nearly $3 million in federal subsidies over two years under its current contract for Pendleton and got public subsidies of $4 million for the two years it served Newport and Astoria.

Though the Idaho Falls service didn't benefit from federal subsidies, the city waived terminal and landing fees to attract SeaPort's business.

"I'm a free-market person," says Mr. Nelson, the director of the Idaho Falls airport. "If there aren't enough people to support a route, that's just how it is." Nonetheless, he says he regrets that Idaho Falls didn't lock SeaPort into a long-term contract, as other cities have.

Fliers from his region of about 190,000 people still can fly to San Francisco, Denver and Salt Lake City, Mr. Nelson adds, "but it hurts our economic development not to have a quick connection to our state capitol," four hours away by car.

In 2009, Newport and Astoria used grants from the state of Oregon, matching federal funds and local money to bring in SeaPort. Newport Mayor Mark McConnell says SeaPort would overnight aircraft in Newport after flying down from Portland, and local motel owners issued vouchers to the pilots for rooms.

The pilots had a key to the terminal, to open up for the 4:30 a.m. flight," Mr. McConnell recalls. "They'd turn on the lights and turn on the coffee machine."

Mr. McConnell says SeaPort tried to make a go of things for a few months after the subsidies ended but ultimately decided there wasn't enough demand.

Company proposes general aviation terminal for Ocala International Airport-Jim Taylor Field (KOCF) Ocala, Florida.

The Ocala City Council at a workshop meeting Tuesday listened to a proposal by Ocala Jet Center to build a general aviation terminal and associated hangars on the east side of Ocala International Airport and provide fuel as well as maintenance and storage for larger airplanes.

The council directed staff to continue working on the proposal and come back with recommendations for lowering the current minimum standards.

Bill Houghton, general manager for Ocala Jet, which is owned by the Stavola family, proposed a two-story terminal building with offices and a reception area on the ground floor and a restaurant and offices on the top floor. Initially, Ocala would need 10 acres of airport land with 20 more acres held in reserve for future development.

“It may bring people to the airport for the ambiance,” Houghton said about the terminal building.

They may come to watch the planes take off and land, he said.

In addition to selling fuel, Houghton also proposed building a maintenance facility to handle Gulfstream 5 and larger aircraft and bring in a larger chain that specializes in corporate jet maintenance. He said Ocala was “prime” for that because it is located near three major airports.

The proposed facilities would be located across from the tower, east of Southwest 67th Avenue.

Airport manager Matthew Grow suggested that, perhaps, the City Council may want to consider lowering the current standards for fixed-base operators to encourage development at the airport. Ocala’s presently approved standards require a fixed-base operator under its lease with the city to provide not only retail fuel but also maintenance, avionics or radio services, aircraft rental and flight training. Those standards have been in effect since 1988, with a few revisions in 2000 and 2006.

The current fixed-base operator, Landmark Aviation, provides those services, many under subleases. Landmark’s 30-year lease with the city expires in about six years.

“Perhaps our current standards are limiting growth and encouraging a duplication of services,” Grow told the council. “Because we are requiring a specific number of support services to sell fuel, we may be limiting ourselves.”

Grow said the airport has changed over time. The runway is longer now, Southwest 67th Avenue has been constructed, the ramp space has been doubled, and the city has eight hangar buildings and 101 individual units. He said the Airport Rescue Firefighting Facility is being used, and Ocala Breeder Sales has expanded. And State Road 40, Southwest 60th Avenue and Southwest 20th Street all have been four-laned, giving good access to the airport. Grow also said the business environment has changed with the introduction of social media, which has led to requests from Europe. Grow added that Ocala’s airport has competition from Dunnellon and Williston’s airports.

He said if someone wants to come in and sell fuel they would have to provide all the services. He said changing the standards might provide more flexibility. He said the city may just want to require besides fuel, perhaps maintenance and one other amenity.

The city issued a request for proposals for aviation and non-aviation projects and three proposals were received. The review committee ranked Landmark first, Dunphy Properties second and Ocala Jet third. Staff then recommended that Landmark and Dunphy combine resources and submit a joint proposal.

Landmark requested an extended lease but Landmark and the city could not reach agreement and negotiations ceased. On Sept. 20, at the staff’s recommendation, the City Council rejected all the bids and directed staff to look for grants.

Ocala Jet has returned now with its current proposal.

“There are 680 aircraft registered in Marion County,” Houghton said Tuesday. He said Ocala only gets a “small percent” of that business. He said he would not want to offer all the services.

“If we have to provide those same items, we are going to be taking business from local people,” Houghton said. “We don’t want to put them out of business. Right now, there’s no need. But there is a need for first-class operation to bring development to the city. That’s what we are here to do.”

Terry Crawford, chairman and 30-year member of the city’s airport board, said most airport standards are similar to Ocala’s. He said Ocala used to pump about one million gallons of fuel a year. Fixed-based operators make most of their money on fuel sales. Now Ocala is pumping about 600,000 gallons. Crawford said the pie is not going to get larger. He said Dunnellon Airport has one of the lowest fuel costs in the state and Williston not far behind and pilots go there to fill up their tanks.

Crawford said Landmark Aviation is a known brand to pilots, which he likes. He said he is not “pro Landmark” and has nothing against Ocala Jet wanting to come in and compete. But he does have concern about lowering the standards.

If they want to do it and meet the same standards, have at it. I am happy for them,” Crawford said about Ocala Jet. “The airport board was very much in favor of maintaining the standards and not lowering the standards for anybody. The maintenance is here because there’s a valid reason for it to be here, just like the radio shop. We felt there was no advantage in lowering the standards.”

Crawford said the Airport Board voted unanimously against lowering the standards.

He said if Ocala Jet did obtain a long-term lease with the city, there would be nothing to stop it from selling the business.

“We are giving up our options,” Crawford said.

Source:   http://www.ocala.com

Tunisian government puts presidential jet up for sale

As the new Tunisian government begins the difficult job of undoing the more ambitious projects of its deposed President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the former presidential aircraft, an Airbus A340-500, has been put up for sale, according to reports in the French media.

It was delivered in November 2009, eventually leaving for Tarbes in France at the end of 2010, before moving to Bordeaux Mérignac.

Also reportedly for sale by the Tunisian government is a Dassault Falcon 900B, formerly owned by Ben Ali's son-in-law Sakhr El Materi, which was seized in Geneva.

All profits from the aircraft will be returned to the Tunisian exchequer.

Police helicopters head for auction block in Costa Mesa

First, Costa Mesa dumped its police helicopter program as part of a drastic austerity effort. Now,  it’s selling off the birds.

Private brokers have been retained to sell off what remains of the former police helicopter program, which once patrolled the streets of Costa Mesa and neighboring Newport from the sky, the Daily Pilot reported.

The Airborne Law Enforcement agency, which served the neighboring Orange County cities, was grounded in July after a 30-year run.

Jack Schafer Aircraft Sales will probably be the first to get a crack at selling the agency’s three police choppers while Alabama-based GovDeals Inc., an auction firm that deals mostly online, will try to sell off what equipment isn't being absorbed back into the two police departments.

Like Schafer's contract, GovDeals has a month-long agreement. Its contract charges the prospective buyer a 5% premium on top of the purchase price, giving the cities full value of its equipment.

Costa Mesa is now contracting with Huntington Beach to use its police helicopter on an as-needed basis for $700 an hour. Newport also struck its own deal with Huntington Beach for regular patrols instead of emergency responses.

The Grey Red Band Trailer

The Grey is a 2012 action thriller film directed by Joe Carnahan and starring Liam Neeson. It follows a number of men stranded in Alaska after a plane crash, and forced to survive using little more than their wits as a pack of wolves comes after them. The film will be released on January 27, 2012.

Plot Summary:
In "The Grey," Liam Neeson leads an unruly group of oil-rig roughnecks when their plane crashes into the remote Alaskan wilderness. Battling mortal injuries and merciless weather, the survivors have only a few days to escape the icy elements -- and a vicious pack of rogue wolves on the hunt -- before their time runs out.

Official Website: https://www.facebook.com/TheGreyMovie

Plane crashes near Camarillo Airport (KCMA), California.

A single-engine plane crashed in a strawberry field near the Camarillo Airport this afternoon, officials said.

The lone person in the plane apparently was not injured when the plane crashed near a large water tower close to the intersection of Las Posas and Pleasant Valley roads, according to the Ventura County Fire Department.

The first call came in at 3:51 p.m. that the plane was going down. Fire crews are now on the scene. Further details were not available.

Leesburg Executive Airport (KJYO) fund set to be moved to general fund; council not pleased. Leesburg, Virginia

The Airport Fund for Leesburg Executive Airport may be moving to the town’s General Fund after Town Manager John Wells proposed the idea to council at their Jan. 23 work session – but not without a fight.

Council seemed up-in-arms about moving the funds to a different part of the town’s finances in order to compensate for debt the airport is facing.

“Since all funds are included in town consolidated financial statements and reports, transferring the Leesburg Executive Airport to the General Fund and airport capital projects to the Capital Projects Fund has no impact on the town’s overall financial condition,” town documents stated.

According to documents, the transfer would increase the fund revenue, appropriation, expenditures, grands, liabilities, receivables, debt service, assets and depreciation. Also, the $3 million in loans and advances to the Airport Fund would be eliminated.

“This does not have a negative impact, in fact it has positive impact on the budget,” Wells said.

The transfer would better manage the town’s budget, get more accurate reporting of the town’s budget in regards to the airport, Wells said.

“It’s going to reduce the overhead expenses,” Wells continued. “We’re going to maintain the visibility of the airport with the reporting of its revenue.”
But council members were not on board with Wells’ plan.

“Instead of the focus on the airport and its debts, and it should be paying of itself, and shinning the light on the general fund. I think that does effect the taxpayers,” Council member Tom Dunn said. “I think it goes back to the responsibility of government and I’d like to see it stay a enterprise instead of on the taxpayers. I’d rather see it stay as an enterprise zone and it needs to pay for it’s own bills.”

The Airport Fund was established as an enterprise fund by council in 1965 in order to account separately for all operating, investing and financing for airport operations and capital improvements projects, documents said.

In the past, the Airport Fund revenues and grants have been insufficient to pay for daily operations and the debt service for capital projects to maintain and improve airport infrastructure, according to documents. The documents also said that the town doesn’t see that the Airport Fund will be able to meet its financial obligations and pay debt service in the foreseeable future.

Council member Dave Butler felt the proposition made Leesburg seem more like a business than a government.

“I don’t want us to fall into the trap that we are a business, because we’re not,” Butler said. “It’s not sufficient to take the revenue that comes back to the town. If we make an investment into an airport, I don’t care if we make any fees or not.”

Council was scheduled to vote on the Airport Fund during their Jan. 24 meeting.

Source:  http://www.loudountimes.com

Conway, Arkansas: City pushes forward with airport plans

The future of the Conway Municipal Airport will be on the agenda during the Conway City Council’s meeting at the District Court Building Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.

The council will consider a proposal to enter into an agreement with Garver Engineers over architectural and engineering services for the terminal building of the new airport.

According to Earl Mott, senior project manager at Garver, the company will provide “structural, mechanical and electrical engineering services necessary for the schematic design of the new airport terminal.” Garver is planning on using Architectural Alliance as a subcontractor for the job.

In addition to the terminal, the city will consider an agreement with Garver over an obstruction survey and approach date for the airport relocation. Plans are to break ground in Spring 2013 and open in 2014.

If agreed, the city will pay $80,000 for terminal schematic design and $72,905 for obstruction surveys and additional survey services.

The council will also consider a proposal to enter an easement agreement with The Village at Hendrix. Land owned by Hendrix known as the Watershed containing several paths, streams and natural features, may get a face lift in the form of a “Trails Grant” from the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department. The ability to construct additional paths and maintain improvements to the area. A condition of the Trails Grant is that the city agrees to accept responsibility of the upkeep in the event Hendrix is unable to do so.

In other council business, the council will vote on two proposed ordinances to rezone property near the Faulkner County Fairgrounds.

The planning commission has already approved rezoning of areas in the Hazelwood Subdivision from MF-2 multi-family to C-3 highway commercial. The areas surround an area already zoned C-3 along Arkansas 64. The City of Conway also received approval by the commission to rezone land next to the Hart land from MF-2 to I-3 intensive industrial in order to comply with the present use of the land, which is used for parking at the Fairgrounds and Conway Expo Center.

Its recommendation for both properties to be rezoned will be decided by the council.

The council will also consider an ordinance to update the city electrical code by adopting the 2011 National Electrical Code. A public hearing will take place at the beginning of the meeting to discuss the closure of all streets within the Turnberry Subdivision including Turnberry Drive and Edinburgh Drive.

Search for airport manager begins. Brainerd Lakes Regional (KBRD), Brainerd, Minnesota.

A rough outline of the make-up of the search committee for a new manager for the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport was discussed Monday by the airport commission’s Personnel and Budget Committee.

Meeting in the administrator’s conference room in the Crow Wing County Historic Courthouse, airport commission Chair Andy Larson and member Rachel Reabe Nystrom talked about what segments of the public they might like to see represented on the panel.

Also attending the meeting as observers were airport commission members Beth Pfingsten and recently appointed member Jeff Czeczok. Before the meeting Czeczok had questioned a recent airport commission decision to appoint Pfingsten to the Personnel and Budget Committee. As a result, Pfingsten decided to attend as an observer.

Larson and Nystrom talked about a search committee that would include three airport commission members, representatives of law enforcement and fire fighting agencies, general aviation, commercial aviation and people with knowledge of aviation. They discussed a panel that would have about seven or eight members. Among the names that were mentioned as possibilities were Crow Wing County Sheriff Todd Dahl, Brainerd Police Chief Corky McQuiston, Brainerd Fire Chief Kevin Stunek and Howard Pihlaja, a retired Delta pilot who now is a private pilot.

Larson said they would seek balance on the search committee.

“I don’t want to rush the process,” he said. “My concern is that I want to keep it expeditious,” he said.

The committee expects to have a list of names available to the full airport commission at its next meeting.

Source:  http://brainerddispatch.com

Stead Airport Users' Association Meeting Minutes. Reno/Stead Airport (KRTS), Reno, Nevada.,

The Stead Airport Users’ Association (SAUA) Meeting was held at Tom Hall’s Office on January 17, 2012, 5:15p

Anderson Municipal Airport-Darlington Field (KAID) unique position could draw more visitors for Super Bowl

With throngs of visitors flocking to Indianapolis for the Super Bowl, it is expected that 1,000 airplanes will be on the ground on game day.

And Anderson Municipal Airport manager John Coon hopes that some of those are parked on his field.

According to an Indianapolis Airport Authority news release, an increase of 40,000 passengers is expected to fly in to Indianapolis during game week. In addition to regular traffic, 75 more commercial flights and 60 additional charter flights will fly in for the Feb. 5 game.

The Anderson Municipal Airport is trying to get the word out that people can avoid that crowd by flying their corporate and private jets into a smaller and less hectic airport to work with — like the Anderson location.

It is also the nearest airport to Indianapolis that falls outside of the temporary flight restriction zone that will prohibit planes from flying into airports closer to downtown on game day.

And many people believe that unique position will benefit Anderson in many ways, including exposing visiting business owners to the city and helping the local economy.

“It’s a gateway to Indiana,” said Pam Smith, a pilot who flies out of the Anderson airport. “This will be the first and last place they see during their visit, so we need to shine. We want businesses in this town, and that’s one of the best ways to do it.”

Coon said he is a part of the Super Bowl Committee and since April 2011 worked on a plan with members of the Fixed Based Operator subcommittee, which dealt with issues relating to local airplane and jet services.

Coon contacted airports around Dallas — the location of last year’s Super Bowl — to determine how much traffic they each received, based on their distance from the stadium. About 1,000 airplanes were on the ground on Super Bowl day, and based on that research, he expects to have 20 to 30 corporate jets fly into the Anderson airport.

“We are the first airport outside of the restriction zone,” Coons said. “Nobody closer to Indianapolis can use their air space. We want to promote that.”

Unlike other smaller fields, Anderson has a permanent control tower. The airport also has hangar space in case of inclement weather.

A welcome booth hosted by the Super Bowl Committee will be set up at the airport beginning the Thursday before the Super Bowl. Committee volunteers will be on hand to receive visitors and offer information on transportation, parking and directions. They will promote Anderson as an official Super Celebration Site and direct them to Hoosier Park where there will be special activities.

“We will have a hospitality room where the crew can spend the day and watch the game,” Coon said. There will be food and beverages available, which the airport is also hoping to get donated.

Volunteers will man the room and help out in other ways.

Pam Smith is among those who will volunteer in the hospitality room. Her husband, Ron Smith, will help match guests with the transportation they requested. They are both looking forward to taking advantage of this rare opportunity to promote the airport and Anderson.

“We are really excited,” Ron Smith said. “It’s an opportunity that you have to take advantage of. We have never had it before and we may never have it again.”

Catering to Super Bowl travelers will cause the airport to incur additional expenses, but people involved with the airport think it will be a worthy investment with a bigger return.

Manning the traffic control tower for extended hours will cost an additional $400, Coon said. But city employees working for the airport will have their schedules adjusted to minimize overtime costs while still catering to the airport’s longer hours, Coon said.

About $800 will be spent on 100 extra gallons of a material used to spray the runway. The rental of the sprayer would cost $500 for the week, Coon said.

But the airport will make money off this venture as well.

Inbound flights must be reserved with a $150 deposit. If people buy fuel at the airport, that deposit will be refunded. And those fuel sales will bring in a lot of money, Coon said. Other services will be offered for a fee, such as storing aircraft in hangars and de-icing planes.

Buying fuel at the airport will be a huge boost in the local economy, said Thomas Newman, co-owner and president of M.J. Aircraft, a company located on the Anderson airport grounds that offers custom interior makeovers for corporate and private jets around the world.

The average corporate jet that will fly into Anderson can hold 500 to 2,000 gallons, Coons said. The fuel is usually sold at a at a lower price — currently $5.20 to $5.65 per gallon — than other area airports, Coons said, which will benefit travelers and Anderson.

“When these jet operations come through here they will realize, ‘We can stop through here on our way to Columbus or Detroit and get fuel for less per gallon,’” Newman said.

The people flying in on private jets are Newman’s type of clientele, so the exposure his business will get will be helpful. He and other companies will have displays showcasing their services in the airport terminal.

“These business jets can go wherever they want to get the work done, which means they may come back here,” he said.

There will be people flying in who have never heard of Anderson, Newman said, so this is a good time to make them remember that name.

“They will realize it has a casino, an airport, good low cost of living and demographics that may cause them to locate their business here. There is a lot of potential for good things to come out of it.”

At a glance

Most people flying into the Anderson Municipal Airport on corporate jets know the process and will already have hotels and ground transportation reserved, said John Coon, the Anderson Municipal Airport manager.

In case they don’t, the airport will provide information on auto rental companies, limousine services and the schedule for shuttles taking people downtown.

Coon is hoping to have a van on hand so that volunteers can drive visitors from the airport to Hoosier Park, where Super Bowl related activities will be taking place as part of Anderson being named an official Super Celebration Site.

Granbury Municipal Airport: Council okays airport manager

Things moved a little quicker than planned on the new manager for the Granbury Municipal Airport. 

The City Council agreed Tuesday night to approve the full time position, and will take a formal vote on the budget adjustment at its next meeting, said City Manager Wayne McKethan.

He tapped Nathan LaPrarie, former pilot for Congressman Bill Flores, for the job.

Arlington Municipal Airport (KGKY) Retires After Two Decades of Service. Arlington, Texas.

After 23 years and seven months, Bob Porter has decided to hang up his wings on January 27, 2012, as airport manager at Arlington Municipal Airport.

Porter’s love of aviation and his business development skills helped transform Arlington’s airport, from what was considered a small general aviation airport in disrepair, into one of the finest municipal “reliever” airports in the United States, with an economic impact of more than $100 million annually.

In 1986, Arlington was considering privatizing its municipal airport. Instead, city staff proposed developing the airport into a facility that would enhance economic development. Porter was hired as the airport manager a short time later in 1988.

With the continuous support of Mayors Richard Greene, Elzie Odom, and Dr. Robert Cluck, along with the city council, he has directed an unprecedented record of growth and development.

“I call it riding the wave,” said Porter. “Fortunately, I’m still riding it. Along the way, I got to rebuild an airport.”

Porter consistently leveraged city appropriations, along with natural gas reserves found under the airport, into major federal grants for airport improvements. He boasts a list of projects under his leadership that include: the total rehabilitation of the runway and two runway extensions; replacing the majority of asphalt pavement with concrete; expanding the overall land size of the airport and the number of businesses utilizing the facility, including Bell Helicopter which first flight tested the V-22 Osprey at Arlington’s airport; constructing an air traffic control tower; installing a precision instrument landing system; and building a new terminal.

Recently, the city council approved a $7.8 million federal grant to expand the west taxiway, which opens up the airport’s future development for the next 20 years.

“I’m leaving at a perfect time,” said Porter.

There are many things Porter says he will miss and certainly many memories he will take with him such as the time an airport employee accidentally barged in on Governor Ann Richards, who was using the ladies room, and visits from Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton who used to pilot his own plane to visit his stores in the area.

“One of my most interesting days was when former Cowboys coach Tom Landry landed his single engine plane,” said Porter. “It was just he and I in the terminal lobby and we talked about flying and never once mentioned football.”

“But mostly, I’m going to miss our great staff,” he said. “I’ll miss the team spirit at city hall, and my friends in the aviation industry. I just like being around airplanes.”

Porter says he is still going to be “riding the wave”, just a different kind.

“I’m retiring from the air to the sea,” said Porter, who is a certified scuba instructor. “My wife and I plan to surround ourselves with salt water and palm trees. It’s going to be a great adventure!” 

Special Meeting at Broken Bow Municipal Airport/Keith Glaze Field (KBBW), Nebraska.

The Broken Bow Airport Authority will hold a Special Meeting on Wednesday, January 25th at the Broken Bow Municipal Airport Terminal Building meeting room at 5:30 pm. The purpose of this meeting will be to update landowners on the FAA required Building Restriction Line/Runway Protection Zone Lane Acquisition project that is being undertaken by the Broken Bow Airport Authority. This meeting is open to the public.

Brazilian airliner TAM says plane makes forced landing in Paris because of tech problem

SAO PAULO - A spokeswoman for Brazilian airliner TAM says one of its planes was forced to return to Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris after taking off because of a technical problem.

The A330 Airbus jet safely landed back in Paris about 90 minutes after taking off Tuesday at 5:09 p.m. local Paris time.

TAM spokeswoman Antoniela Silva says Flight 8055 encountered an unknown technical problem and as a safety measure returned to Paris.

She says the jet landed with no problems and that nobody was hurt.

Silva could give no more details about the nature of the technical problem. She said the plane is undergoing maintenance.

Read it on Global News: Global BC | Brazilian airliner TAM says plane makes forced landing in Paris because of tech problem

Yaks are safe aircraft - Red Stars leader

Monday's fatal Yakovlev-52 crash in Feilding was a one-off incident and does not reflect the safety of the aircraft model, says a New Plymouth aerobatics expert.

Palmerston North doctor Ralph Saxe and former Palmerston North chiropractor Brett Ireland died when Dr Saxe's Yakovlev-52 crashed into a field, near a children's playground, in Feilding's Timona Park on Monday morning.

Dr Saxe, 51, was a seasoned pilot with decades of experience and it is believed he may have aimed for the park to avoid ground casualties once he realised he was in trouble.

New Plymouth aerobatics pilot Brett Emeny, who has 37 years flying experience, said there are only 15 Yaks in New Zealand and four of those are in Taranaki.

The four are the Red Stars aerobatics team and have a high profile in the region often seen performing elaborate aerobatic manoeuvres out to sea.

Red Stars team leader Mr Emeny, who has flown Yaks for about 15 years, said Dr Saxe had owned his Yak for about 12 months.

Mr Emeny had test flown the plane which crashed on Monday shortly before Mr Saxe purchased it.

"It's a lovely aeroplane," Mr Emeny said.

Original Yaks were Russian-built but Mr Saxe's was made in the United States and, at less than 10-years-old, was the newest Yak in New Zealand, he said.

Russian-built Yaks had nose wheels while those built in the US had tail wheels, he said.

Yaks had been in New Zealand for more than 20 years and this was the first major incident, he said. "It's a bit of a mystery to us as to what's happened there," Mr Emeny said.

The Red Stars were out training on Monday night and last night in preparation for this weekend's Tauranga Air Show and Warbirds Over Wanaka during Easter weekend.

Mr Saxe flew Yaks privately and was not part of the Red Stars team.

Those in the Red Stars were experienced pilots with hundreds of hours of flying Yaks under their belts, he said.

"It's all very disciplined and planned.

"Formation flying is probably the most specialised flying that you could do," he said.

Meanwhile, police and the CAA completed a detailed scene examination yesterday and will transport the wreck to Wellington today for further analysis.

CAA lead investigator Al Moselen said a full investigation could take up to a year, but the authority was likely to have preliminary results within a month.

Dr Ireland was a founding member of the New Zealand College of Chiropractic.
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He moved his wife Janine and three children from Manawatu to the Gold Coast in 2002 after 18 years working as a chiropractor in New Zealand.

According to the Gold Coast Chiropractic Centre website, Dr Ireland bought the Southport-based centre and settled in Australia permanently.

Dr Ireland's family was in the news over a decade ago. According to reports, his son Ethan was born deaf and blind in 1999 but developed full sight and hearing out of the blue eight months later. Doctors could not explain the shock development.

Cessna 441 Conquest II, N48BS LLC, N48BS: Fatal accident occurred December 22, 2011 in Nashville, Pennsylvania

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf 

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Cessna Aircraft Company; Wichita, Kansas
Honeywell International; Phoenix, Arizona
Hartzell Propeller; Piqua, Ohio

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

NTSB Identification: ERA12FA120
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, December 22, 2011 in Nashville, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/25/2013
Aircraft: CESSNA 441, registration: N48BS
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Toward the end of a 6 hour, 20 minute flight, during a night visual approach, the pilot flew the airplane to a left traffic pattern downwind leg. At some point, he lowered the landing gear and set the flaps to 30 degrees. He turned the airplane to a left base leg, and after doing so, was heard on the common traffic frequency stating that he had an "engine out." The airplane then passed through the final leg course, the pilot called "base to final," and the airplane commenced a right turn while maintaining altitude. The angle of bank was then observed to increase to where the airplane's wings became vertical, then inverted, and the airplane rolled into a near-vertical descent, hitting the ground upright in a right spin. Subsequent examination of the airplane and engines revealed that the right engine was not powered at impact, and the propeller from that engine was not in feather. No mechanical anomalies could be found with the engine that could have resulted in its failure. The right fuel tank was breeched; however, fuel calculations, confirmed by some fuel found in the right fuel tank as well as fuel found in the engine fuel filter housing, indicated that fuel exhaustion did not occur. Unknown is why the pilot did not continue through a left turn descent onto the final approach leg toward airport, which would also have been a turn toward the operating engine. The pilot had a communication device capable of voice calls, texting, e-mail and alarms, among other functions. E-mails were sent by the device until 0323, and an alarm sounded at 0920. It is unknown if or how much pilot fatigue might have influenced the outcome.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to maintain minimum control airspeed after a loss of power to the right engine, which resulted in an uncontrollable roll into an inadvertent stall/spin. Contributing to the accident was the failure of the airplane's right engine for reasons that could not be determined because no preexisting mechanical anomalies were found, and the pilot's subsequent turn toward that inoperative engine while maintaining altitude.


On December 22, 2011, at 1725 eastern standard time (EST), a Cessna 441, N48BS, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain near Nashville, Pennsylvania, while approaching York Airport (THV), Thomasville, Pennsylvania. The commercial pilot was fatally injured. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The airplane had been operating on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan from Long Beach Airport - Daugherty Field (LGB), Long Beach, California, to THV; however, the pilot had cancelled the flight plan and was proceeding visually via the airport traffic pattern at the time of the accident. The personal flight was operating under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to the pilot's wife, he was joining the rest of the immediate family, who had previously arrived via a commercial flight for the Christmas holidays with relatives.

Air traffic control information indicated that the airplane departed LGB about 1105 (0805 Pacific standard time) and climbed to 33,000 feet. About 1522, it climbed to 35,000 feet, and about 1639, it began a descent. At 1707, the pilot cancelled the IFR flight plan with New York Center, and at 1716, he terminated flight following with Harrisburg Approach Control.

Radar data indicated that at 1719, the airplane was about 24 miles west of THV at 1,700 feet. The airplane continued eastbound, and entered a 45-degree left downwind for runway 35. The airplane subsequently turned onto a left base, then slightly overshot runway centerline before commencing a right turn and disappearing from radar.

An airport employee stated that the pilot radioed for airport advisories, and about 4 or 5 minutes later, he saw the airplane on the [left] base leg for runway 35. When the airplane was about midway through the base leg, the pilot transmitted that he had an "engine out." The airplane did not then turn onto the final approach leg, but continued through it, heading east. The pilot then called "base to final," quickly followed by the airplane turning [right], to the south, then to the west. The employee saw the angle of bank increase to where the airplane's wings were vertical, then inverted, and saw the airplane then make at least 1 ½ "rolls" and descend in a near-vertical descent.

Another witness saw the airplane flying "awfully slow," and subsequently saw it turn to the left. The airplane then nosed over and began to dive and spin, "snap rolling nose down, tail up." The witness also noted that although the sky was dark, it was not yet pitch black.

Measurements of plotted radar positions versus time indicated an approximate ground speed of 112 knots during the downwind leg, slowing to 102 knots at the beginning of the left base leg. During the subsequent right turn, the ground speed slowed to about 75 knots while the airplane maintained altitudes of 1,100 to 1,200 feet.

The airplane was equipped with an Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS), which, according to the NTSB Specialist's Factual Report, records data on non-volatile memory for the 20 seconds prior to a warning and 10 seconds afterwards.

The report also noted that the event which most likely triggered the EGPWS recording was an "Excessive Rate of Descent Warning." Consistent data prior to the airplane's rapid descent included an uncorrected altitude of about 1,100 feet as the airplane was turning to the right, and a ground speed of about 78 knots through the beginning of the airplane's final descent.


The pilot, age 38, held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single engine land and multiengine land airplane, and instrument airplane. According to the last entry in the pilot's logbook, appearing to have been written during the accident flight, the pilot had flown 1,409 total hours with 951 hours of that being in multi-engine airplanes and 463 "turbine" hours. Between the pilot's latest insurance application and his logbook, it was estimated that he had flown 502 hours in airplane make and model.

The pilot had last completed a flight review on January 28, 2011 in a "Cessna Conquest II." His latest FAA third class medical certificate was dated November 7, 2011.

The pilot had a communication device capable of voice calls, texting, email and alarms, among other functions. Emails were sent by the device until 0323 (EST), and an alarm sounded at 0920.


The airplane was powered by two Honeywell (Garrett/AiResearch) TPE331-10N-535S turboprop single fixed shaft engines, flat-rated at 635 shaft horsepower each.

Each engine powered a four-bladed, hydraulically operated constant speed Hartzell propeller with feathering and reverse pitch capability.

According to the aircraft logbooks, the latest Phase 2 maintenance inspection was completed on July 1, 2011, at 5,890 airplane hours, and 514 hours since major overhaul of both engines. The hour meter indicated 2,874 hours at the time.

- Systems and Controls -

According to the airplane's Pilot's Operating Handbook (POH):

Minimum control speed (Vmca)

- "Vmca is the minimum flight speed at which the airplane is directionally and laterally controllable…in accordance with Federal Aviation Regulations. Airplane certification conditions include one engine becoming inoperative; not more than 5-degree bank toward the operative engine; takeoff power on [the] operative engine; landing gear up; flaps in takeoff position; and most critical center-of-gravity."

- The POH also noted that Vmca was 91 knots indicated airspeed (KIAS).

- The POH also included an FAA-approved Flight Manual Supplement for the installation of a "441 Vortex Generator Kit;" however, Vmca remained at 91 KIAS.

- The Supplement further noted that 76 KIAS was the maximum-weight stalling airspeed in the landing configuration.

Wing Flap System

- The POH stated that the hydraulically controlled flap actuator was controlled by the wing flap position switch which incorporated a select amount of wing flaps desired. "With the wing flaps set at UP, T.O., APPR or LAND positions, the corresponding inboard wing flap extensions are 0 degrees, 10 degrees, 20 degrees and 30 degrees.

- The outboard wing flaps were mechanically linked to the inboard sections, extending at a slower rate. When the inboard wing flaps were fully extended (30 degrees), the outboard wing flaps were extended 20 degrees.

Power Levers

Per the POH, '"The power lever controls engine operation in the beta and propeller governing modes. Beta mode is used during ground operation only. In beta mode, the propeller blade angles are controlled hydraulically by the power levers. In propeller governing mode, the power lever controls fuel flow, either electrically in normal mode operation or hydromechanically in manual mode operation, and the propeller blade angles are governor controlled to maintain proper engine speed.

Prior to landing in normal (computer) mode engine operation, with the condition levers in TAKEOFF, CLIMB AND LANDING and the power lever at flight idle, engine fuel flow assumes a scheduled value to obtain predictable drag during landing. In manual mode, the flight idle position will provide significantly more drag due to the lower fixed fuel flow scheduling."

The POH also discussed the "Electronic Fuel Computers" (EFCs), also known as electronic engine controls (EECs) by the engine manufacturer. The POH noted that there was one EFC for each engine and that each EFC regulated fuel flow and engine speed through output signals to the fuel control unit and the propeller governor. The POH further noted that the EFC had a self monitoring feature that automatically transferred control from "normal" to "manual" in the case of loss of power lever electrical input, low voltage, and disagreement within the computer between the power requested and the output to the fuel control. The protection was restricted to specific operating ranges of the power lever and condition lever.

Negative Torque Sensing (NTS) System

Per the POH, the NTS system operated automatically, with no controls for the pilot.

"Negative torque occurs when the propeller drives the engine rather than the engine driving the propeller. When negative torque does occur, the propeller pitch will automatically increase toward the feather position to a level that will reduce the drag of the windmilling propeller. Negative torque can occur during any normal operation when the fuel flow schedule is excessively low and will not support the engine power requirements to maintain positive torque. Negative torque sensing will always occur during an engine failure before the propeller is feathered, and during low altitude normal mode operation at flight idle."

The Garrett TPE331-8/-9 Maintenance Manual further noted that, "the NTS system effects a movement of the propeller blades automatically toward their feathered position (should the engine suddenly lose power while in flight) and precisely modulates the propeller- blade pitch angle during a propeller-windmilled engine air-start."

Propeller and Control

Per the POH, each propeller was hydraulically actuated, constant speed and full-feathering.

"The propeller governing system is interconnected with the NTS system (and the fuel control system electrically in normal mode.) Engine oil pressure, feathering springs and propeller blade counterweights are used to set the propeller blade angles. Engine oil pressure is increased by the propeller governor and transferred to the propeller hub through a beta tube. The propeller counterweights and feathering spring attempt to move the propeller blades to full feather while the oil pressure attempts to move the propeller blades to reverse pitch. Propeller blade angle can thus be set as desired by use of the power and condition levers, which control the amount of oil pressure exerted in the propeller hub.

Feathering the propeller is achieved by dumping oil pressure in the propeller hub assembly. This can be accomplished by stopping the engine-driven oil pump (engine shutdown) or by positioning the condition lever to EMERG SHUTOFF. The EMERG SHUTOFF position of the condition lever will actuate the manual fuel shutoff valve to shut down the engine and then dump the propeller oil pressure to feather the propeller."

Fuel Control

Per the POH, the fuel control system provided filtered and metered fuel to the engine.
"The fuel control system is regulated by the electronic fuel control for 'normal mode' operation, and by a manual backup system for manual mode operation.

When operating in manual mode, the pilot directly controls the engine fuel schedule with the power lever, which is mechanically connected to the propeller pitch control and hydro mechanical unit. When operating in manual mode, some of the refinements of normal mode are not available."

- Normal Procedures: Before Landing -

13. Wing Flaps – LAND below 180 knots.
14. Approach Speed – 99 KIAS at 9360 pounds.

- Emergency Procedures (Amplified Procedures) -

Engine Failure in Flight (Speed Below Vmca)

(Memory Items)
1. Power Lever – RETARD as required to stop turn.
2. Aileron and Rudder – AS REQUIRED toward operative engine to maintain straight-ahead flight.
3. Pitch Attitude – LOWER NOSE to accelerate above 91 knots.
(Non-Memory Item)
4. Accomplish procedures for Engine Failure During Flight (Speed Above Vmca)

Engine Failure During Flight (Speed Above Vmca)

(Memory Items)
1. Engine Power – ADJUST as required.
2. Inoperative Engine – DETERMINE. Idle engine same side as idle foot; also, torque and EGT will be low.
a. Condition Lever – EMER SHUT-OFF.
b. Firewall Shutoff – PUSH to close.
3. Landing Gear – UP.
4. Wing Flaps – UP above 115 KIAS.


Weather, recorded at 1753, included calm wind, clear skies, visibility 10 statute miles, temperature 7 degrees C, dew point 4 degrees C, and altimeter 30.02 inches Hg.

According to U.S. Naval Observatory data, sunset occurred at 1645 and the end of civil twilight occurred at 1716. There was no moon illumination at the time of the accident.


The wreckage was located on open, rolling terrain, about 145 degrees magnetic, 1.56 statute miles from THV runway 35, in the vicinity of 39 degrees, 53.53 minutes north latitude, 076 degrees, 51.11 minutes west longitude. There was no wreckage path, and ground indentations matching the positions of the extended landing gear, and the nose and tail of the airplane were consistent with an almost vertical descent, and an initial ground impact heading of about 060 degrees magnetic. There were then no ground marks, consistent with the airplane having bounced once, then coming to rest heading about 090 degrees magnetic.

The airplane's tail section was broken off to the left, and the left wing outboard of the left engine was broken forward. The aft portion of the right wing root was pushed into the fuselage, and the landing gear were fractured upwards. The overall damage noted was consistent with an airplane having been in a right-turning flat spin when it initially impacted the ground.

There was no evidence of either an in-flight or post-flight smoke or fire.

Flight control continuity was confirmed from all flight control surfaces to the front of the damaged cabin area, where there was cable impingement. The flap handle was in approach, and the flap actuator position equated with the flaps being extended approximately 30 degrees.

The left engine throttle was near flight idle, and the right engine throttle was full forward; however, the effects of ground impact on their positions could not be determined. Both condition levers were in the EMERG SHUT-OFF position, but according to a witness, they were pulled to that position after initial responders smelled fuel. The responder who shut off the condition levers stated that he did not touch the throttles.

About 4 gallons of fuel were drained from the right fuel tank; however, the tank and the fuel hopper were breached. There was also an odor of fuel in the soil beneath the wing. Fuel quantity from the left fuel tank could not be determined due to the extent of damage to the tank and to the wing. When the wing was lifted, fuel flowed from a breach near the wingtip.

The right propeller did not exhibit any outward signs of significant power at impact. Two of the four propeller blades exhibited no damage while the other two had some bending, but no significant chordwise scratching. The right propeller did not appear to have been in feather at impact; however, by the following day, the blades had moved toward the feather position.

The left propeller exhibited significant damage. Two of the four propeller blades were broken off at the hub, while the third blade was dangling loose in the hub and the fourth blade was bent in a direction opposite normal rotation.

The hour meter indicated 2,955 hours.

Both engines, both propellers, and several other items were retained for further examination:

- Engines -

The engines were disassembled and examined at the manufacturer's facility under NTSB oversight. The extent of damage to the engines precluded any attempt to run them.

- The right engine exhibited some impact damage, but no debris ingestion. No preexisting mechanical anomalies were noted that would have prevented normal operation. In addition:

Fuel was found within the engine fuel pump filter housing; however, with fractured fuel lines and couplings, fuel was missing from within some of the lines.

There were static witness marks on the first stage compressor impeller shroud between the 9 and 12 o'clock positions aft, looking forward (ALF). There were also rub/chatter marks between the 3 and 6 o'clock positions that corresponded to slight leading edge scoring on four vanes of the first stage compressor impeller.

The first stage also revealed about 45 degrees of rotational scoring on the aft hub with corresponding scoring on the inner diameter of the crossover duct housing seal area.

The second stage compressor housing exhibited 90 degrees of rub with corresponding scoring on the leading edges of five second stage compressor impeller vanes.

The planetary gear assembly, Negative Torque Sensor (NTS) quill shaft, and the fuel pump drive shaft were undamaged.

- The left engine also exhibited impact damage, but with debris ingestion, and metal spray deposits on turbine rotors and stators. No preexisting mechanical anomalies were noted that would have precluded normal operation. In addition:

The first stage impeller vanes were bent opposite the direction of rotation.

Fuel was found within the engine fuel pump filter housing; however, a fractured fuel manifold precluded fuel system continuity.

Earthen debris was adhered the surfaces of the first stage compressor impeller shroud, and there were rub marks from the 3 to 6 o'clock positions ALF, with corresponding rotational scoring on the impeller shroud line edge.

Rotational scoring was on the aft hub through 360 degrees with corresponding scoring on the crossover duct housing seal.

Rotational scoring was on the forward hub through 360 degrees with corresponding scoring on the inlet housing.

All first stage compressor vane leading edges were bent opposite the direction rotation at the tip.

The planetary gear mounting holes in the planet carrier mount feet were elongated with corresponding displacement of the mounting dowels in the diaphragm housing.

The NTS quill shaft was undamaged and the fuel pump drive shaft were undamaged.

- Propellers -

Both propellers were examined by the manufacturer's air safety investigator, under NTSB oversight, at the wreckage storage facility. According to the manufacturer's report:

- The right propeller was at low pitch position and not feathered, and blade damage indicated little or no rotational energy.

- The left propeller was also at low pitch position, not feathered, and was rotating, but at low power.

No preexisting mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation were noted with either propeller.

- Propeller Governors -

Both propeller governors were examined at the manufacturer under NTSB oversight.

- The right engine governor could not be functionally tested due to impact damage. The main body was disassembled and inspected, with no preexisting anomalies noted that would have prevented normal operation.

- The left engine governor was functionally tested with no anomalies noted that would have prevented normal operation.

- Fuel Flow Indicator -

The fuel flow indicator, which was not original equipment, indicated a full fuel setting of 475 gallons, and that 370 gallons were used.

An estimate of fuel consumption was also made by the engine manufacturer which indicated sufficient fuel was onboard to complete the trip, and the fixed base operator where the airplane last obtained fuel prior to the flight indicated that the fuel tanks were topped off.

- Fuel Flow Divider Functional Tests -

The fuel flow dividers from both engines were functionally tested with oversight provided by the FAA Los Angeles Certification Office. Pretesting inspection of both dividers' filter revealed no debris present in either screen, with subsequent testing of both dividers yielding "satisfactory" results.

- Electronic Fuel Controls -

The EFCs (EECs) were first tested under NTSB oversight:

- The right engine EFC initially indicated that the 80 percent speed output could not be driven by the unit.

- In addition, no adjustment could be made of the maximum speed or maximum power potentiometers of the unit.

- After removal and reinsertion of the A6 circuit card assembly, the maximum speed and power adjustments functioned properly, and all testing of the EFC was completed with satisfactory results.

- Unknown, was whether the anomaly had been present before the accident or as a result of it. According to Honeywell personnel, had the anomaly been present prior to the accident, "the engine would have remained at a flight idle power setting regardless of the physical position of the power lever above flight idle." In addition, "this would not have caused a shutdown of the engine nor would it have resulted in a speed reduction below the pilot's setting for the approach (likely 100 percent if following the published approach procedures.)"

- The left engine EFC was minimally tested to provide a comparison to the anomaly noted in the right EFC.

The EFCs were later partially disassembled under FAA oversight:

- For the right engine, the P1 connector on the motherboard was slightly displaced along one edge, and the P9 connector was displaced along one edge. During a continuity check of the P9 connector and pins 2A and 2B, it was found that a small movement of the wire bundle attached to the P9 connector resulted in a discontinuity in the connection. It is unknown whether the anomalies noted occurred before the accident, or occurred as a result of it.

- For the left engine, no anomalies were noted that would have precluded normal operation.

- Annunciator Panel -

Both annunciator panels were examined, with some evidence of filament sagging on several bulbs consistent with aging. There were also a number of bulbs found with broken filaments; however, there was no evidence of hot filament stretching found on any of the bulbs.

- Fuel Pumps -

The right main and right auxiliary fuel pumps were tested at the airframe manufacturer under FAA oversight. Both pumps produced similar pressure and flow results within allowed range utilizing less than maximum amperage.


An autopsy was completed on the pilot at Forensic Pathology Associates, Allentown, Pennsylvania, with cause of death determined to be "blunt impact."

Toxicological testing was subsequently performed by the FAA Forensic Toxicology Research Team, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, with no anomalies noted.


According to FAA Advisory Circular 61-21A:

"When an engine fails after becoming airborne, the pilot should hold heading with rudder and simultaneously roll into a bank of at least 5 degrees toward the operating engine. In this attitude, the airplane will tend to turn toward the operating engine, but at the same time, the asymmetrical power resulting from the engine failure will tend to turn the airplane toward the 'dead' engine."

The Circular also states, "Due to variations in performance, limitations, etc., of many light twins, no specific flightpath or procedure can be proposed that would be adequate in all engine-out approaches. In most light twins, however, a single-engine approach can be accomplished with the flightpath and procedures almost identical to a normal approach and landing."

NTSB Identification: ERA12FA120
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, December 22, 2011 in Nashville, PA
Aircraft: CESSNA 441, registration: N48BS
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On December 22, 2011, about 1735 eastern standard time, a Cessna 441, N48BS, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain near Nashville, Pennsylvania, while approaching York Airport (THV), Thomasville, Pennsylvania. The certificated commercial pilot was fatally injured. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The airplane had been operating on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan from Long Beach Airport - Daugherty Field (LGB), Long Beach, California, to THV; however, the pilot had cancelled the flight plan and was proceeding visually via the airport traffic pattern at the time of the accident. The personal flight was operating under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

Preliminary air traffic control information indicated that the airplane departed LGB about 1105 (0805 Pacific standard time) and climbed to 33,000 feet. About 1522, it climbed to 35,000 feet, and about 1639, it began a descent. At 1707, the pilot cancelled the IFR flight plan with New York Center, and at 1716, terminated flight following with Harrisburg Approach Control.

Preliminary radar information indicated that at 1719, the airplane was about 24 miles west of THV at 1,700 feet. The airplane continued eastbound, entering a 45-degree left downwind for runway 35. The airplane subsequently turned onto a left base, then slightly overshot runway centerline before starting a right turn and disappearing from radar.

The wreckage was located on open, rolling terrain, about 145 degrees magnetic, 1.56 statute miles from THV runway 35, in the vicinity of 39 degrees, 53.53 minutes north latitude, 076 degrees, 51.11 minutes west longitude. There was no wreckage path, and ground indentations matching the positions of extended landing gear, and the nose and tail of the airplane indicated that it had initially impacted the ground almost vertically, heading about 060 degrees magnetic. It appeared to have then bounced once, coming rest on a heading of about 090 degrees magnetic.

The airplane's tail section was broken off to the left, and the left wing outboard of the left engine was broken forward. The aft portion of the right wing root was pushed into the fuselage, and the landing gear were fractured upwards. The overall damage noted was consistent with the airplane having been in a right-turning flat spin when it initially impacted the ground.

Flight control continuity was confirmed from all flight control surfaces to the front of the damaged cabin area, where there was cable impingement. The flap handle was in approach, and the flap actuator position equated with the flaps being extended approximately 35 degrees.

The left engine throttle was near flight idle, and the right engine throttle was full forward; however, the effects of ground impact on their positions could not be determined. Both condition levers were in the EMERG SHUT-OFF position, but according to a witness, they were pulled to that position after initial responders smelled fuel.

About 4 gallons of fuel were drained from the right fuel tank; however, the tank and the fuel hopper were breached. There was also an odor of fuel in the soil beneath the wing. Fuel quantity from the left fuel tank could not be determined due to the extent of damage to the tank and to the wing. When the wing was lifted, fuel flowed from a breach near the wingtip.

The right propeller did not exhibit any signs of power at impact. Two of the four propeller blades exhibited no damage while the other two had some bending, but no significant chordwise scratching. The right propeller did not appear to have been in feather at impact.

The left propeller exhibited significant damage. Two of the four propeller blades were broken off at the hub, while the third blade was dangling loose in the hub and the fourth blade was bent in a direction opposite normal rotation.

Both engines, both propellers, and both advisory light panels were retained for further examination by the Safety Board.

York, PA - The preliminary report on a December small-plane crash in Jackson Township gives some new information but does not point to a cause.

The Cessna 441 crashed Dec. 22 in a field off Route 116 about 2 miles from York Airport, killing its pilot, Brian Robertson, 38, of Huntington Beach, Calif. Robertson was flying to York County to meet his wife and their three children to spend the holidays with family.

The National Transportation Safety Board's report, released Jan. 18, gives more details of the crash but does not suggest a cause.

"We don't lean toward a cause or cite anything . . . at this time," said Keith Holloway, public affairs officer with the NTSB. "We're just laying out factually what we know about this incident."

The report says the Cessna apparently hit the ground almost vertically, then bounced once before stopping.

Two other facts from the report:
--- The right propeller does not appear to have been working when the plane crashed; two of the four propeller blades had no damage.

--- Several gallons of fuel leaked from the plane into the soil beneath it because the right fuel tank and fuel hopper were breached. It does not indicate if the breach happened on impact or beforehand.

"It's still early in the investigation," Holloway said.

The final report likely will take 12 to 18 months to complete, Holloway said.

Robertson, an avid pilot who held instrument and commercial licenses, was CEO of Amonix Inc., a company specializing in utility-scale solar power.

Robertson learned to fly while studying for his MBA at Harvard University, said his father-in-law, James McGuire of Spring Garden Township.