Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sheriff's helicopter follows fleeing burglars

PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - Three people are accused of burglary after they were reportedly caught breaking into a Port Charlotte business Wednesday night. Investigators are currently searching for a fourth suspect.

According to an incident report, the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office helicopter responded to a burglary call at the B&M Auto Group in the Whidden Industrial Park.

When the unit arrived, authorities spotted three males running from the business and then hopping into a getaway car.

"They're bad luck is we had our aircraft up," said Charlotte County Sheriff Bill Cameron.

Investigators say the driver, later identified as 17-year-old Eric Day of Fort Myers, then turned off the car's lights to avoid getting caught.

Unfortunately for the suspects, the helicopter was equipped with night vision and infrared cameras, allowing the unit to follow them and responding patrol cars to catch up, the report said.

"They left the neighborhood with their lights off, but to the helicopter that means nothing," said Sheriff Cameron.

Day, his 15-year-old brother Darren, and Vincent Williams, 20, of Lehigh Acres, were each arrested and booked into the Charlotte County Jail.

This is the second time in as many weeks the helicopter has helped in making an arrest. Last week, the unit pursued a dangerously low-flying aircraft over Port Charlotte's hospital area.

The plane pilot was later arrested for dangerous operation of an aircraft in violation of FAA regulations.

Read more, photos and video:

Proximity to stadium helps snag jet traffic

Greenwood airport director Ralph Hill expects as many as 45 aircraft to use hangars at the airport for the Super Bowl, and even more could land to drop off passengers for the big game.

Corporate jets and private planes will fly into Green­wood Municipal Airport from as far away as Canada in the days leading up to the Super Bowl.

News and security helicopters will touch down and lift off in Greenwood because the helipad downtown will be too busy.

The city-run airport caters mainly to recreational pilots and typically sees two or three jets land a day but expects to play host to as many jets as it can pack in next week. Air traffic controllers will monitor the comings and goings.

Airport director Ralph Hill has been making plans with the Super Bowl Host Committee for weeks because the Greenwood airport is one of the closest small airports to downtown.

This story appears in the print edition of Daily Journal. Subscribers can read the entire story online by signing in here or in our e-Edition by clicking here.

Plane runs out of fuel, lands safely.

AVONDALE, Ariz. -- A plane had to make an emergency landing near 99th Avenue and Indian School Road after it ran out of fuel Thursday afternoon.

Avondale police said a small plane was flying into Glendale Municipal Airport, from southern Arizona, when it ran out of fuel. The pilot was foced to make an emergency landing on a dirt road. He was the only person on board and was uninjured. No one on the ground was hurt either.

The Federal Aviation Administration will investigate this incident.

Indiana Man Arrested, Cited With Gun Charge at St. Petersburg-Clearwater Airport

Michael Shelton was charged with carrying a concealed weapon at the St. Petersburg-Clearwater Airport Thursday afternoon.
Credit Pinellas County Sheriff's Office 

An Indiana man was taken into custody for concealing a firearm, discovered at a security checkpoint at the St. Petersburg-Clearwater Airport late Thursday afternoon.

The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office reports Michael Shelton, 57, of 10936 Hickory Tree Road in Fort Wayne, Ind., was arrested 4:17 p.m. when Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials discovered a nine-millimeter Smith and Wesson pistol in a brown leather duffel-type bag going through a monitoring device at a security checkpoint.

TSA authorities immediately summoned Pinellas County deputies who took Shelton into custody, charging him with carrying a concealed weapon. The deputies were on site, already assigned to patrol the airport.

Shelton attempted to board an Allegiant Flight 890 destined for Fort Wayne, Ind. Deputies say Shelton was visiting the area, was fully cooperative and apologetic, claiming he forgot the pistol was in the bag.


‘Nigeria Has Highest Air Safety Standard in Africa’

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Director General, Dr Harold Demuren, has said Nigeria has the highest safety standard.   He also said that was why Nigeria has not had any major accident in the recent past, adding that no aircraft can fly in this country today without maintenance and safety record.

Speaking to reporters at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos he said “We do auditing every week. It’s all over the place and we have a Safety Management System (SMS) that works in place. Our key oversight has reached the highest standard.

“The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), an Agency of the United Nations that oversees global aviation also carries out safety audit on member states including Nigeria regularly. We come out clean. The America Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) also carries out Security Audit on Nigeria, particularly on the major airports.

“We performed creditably well and for your information that is the reason that Nigeria got Category 1 in the last audit of the country by the American Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in its International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) audit programme.

Demuren said that this has enabled a Nigerian registered aircraft to fly directly from Nigeria to the United States of America “and that was what it meant, that you are now number one and that’s what we’ve achieved we are in the Premier League.”

He further said nobody can bring airplane with questionable safety papers to Nigeria. “It’s just a figment of their imagination. No aircraft can fly in Public Transport Category carrying passengers for hire and reward without having a valid Air Operation Certificate (AOC)”, he said.

He added that to get it is hectic and for maintenance, flight operation, and training, the head of crew of the aircraft and everything concerning it would be scrutinised.

Homebuilt airshow underway. (With Video)

About 80 homebuilt aircraft are expected to arrive in Tauranga today for the Sport Aircraft Association of New Zealand annual general meeting.

The SportAvex event acts as a double with the Tauranga City Airshow ‘Classics of the Sky’ event on this weekend.

See video of Bill Sisley talking about the SportAvex element of the Tauranga City Airshow weekend.

There are about 200 people and about 80 aircraft registered for the AGM tonight followed by a day of flying at Whitianga on Saturday.

“Tomorrow morning, before the airshow, most of the planes fly out about 9.45am to Whitianga,” says the association’s president and airshow co-director Bill Sisley.

“They will be doing an economy run to Whitianga to see which is the most economical aeroplane and then they do their competitions up there – bombing and spot landing.

“They will be at Whitianga for most of the day, then they will return home after the airshow, 50 planes flying back in after the airshow and landing at Tauranga here.”

The SportAvex flyers will also be attending seminars on safety and other aspects of recreational flying.

There will be some SportAvex aircraft on display on Saturday, with a greater number on Sunday.

The Sport Aircraft Association has about 580 members New Zealand-wide.

“There’s something like 400 homebuilt aircraft flying in New Zealand and we are putting out about about two new homebuilt aircraft a month,” say Bill.

“They go from the real very early type of wooden or fabric build, and the very latest ones are metal, and a lot of fibreglass planes now – and very high performance some of them.

“So we go from the very bottom of the homebuilt like Richard Pearce used to build, right through to things that do 250 knots (463km/h).”

Watch Video:

Air ambulance had to stand by after chopper crash

Fatal crash An air ambulance had to delay taking off after this helicopter crashed at the Region of Waterloo International Airport.
Robert Wilson/Record staff

BRESLAU — An Ontario air ambulance delayed taking off from Toronto when called to a helicopter crash at the regional airport, frustrating paramedics who struggled to get to the scene.

A paramedic attending the crash felt that had the ambulance helicopter been faster, it “would have been a lot closer to the patient and we would have had an easier time getting the patient out,” said John Prno, regional director of emergency medical services.

Pilot Tiffany Hanna died at the crash site Nov. 28. Flight student Scott Puillandre was badly injured but survived.

The takeoff delay triggered an investigation by the Ministry of Health and an internal review by the Ornge air ambulance service. Regional government is also reviewing the troubled emergency response to the crash.

According to a timeline prepared by The Record, the two-seater helicopter crashed into an airport drainage pond at 11:32 a.m. Emergency dispatchers immediately requested an air ambulance. But the air ambulance did not rush to the Region of Waterloo International Airport.

Instead, its crew stood by in Toronto waiting for a regional ambulance to get there and assess if rescue by air was needed. That’s under a policy, since rescinded, to delay takeoff if a land ambulance is 10 minutes from a crash.

“It was a money-saving practice,” Prno said. “Every time a helicopter takes off it costs them a lot of money. And they were ending up cancelling a lot of flights.”

It actually took paramedics up to 19 minutes to reach Puillandre and a further 34 minutes to load him into an ambulance, according to the newspaper timeline. They were delayed by confusion over location, uncertain communication among emergency dispatchers and rough terrain.

By this time, the air ambulance was still not on its final approach to the airport. Following provincial policy, paramedics did not wait but rushed the injured survivor to Grand River Hospital in Kitchener. “If they’re not there, we’re going to a hospital,” Prno said.

The air ambulance flew to the heliport near the hospital and collected Puillandre for transport to Hamilton.

Prno does not believe Hanna could have been saved. The pilot died before emergency responders arrived.

This month Ornge abandoned its policy of waiting before takeoff.

“We’re happy that they’ve made this change,” Prno said. It’s now more likely an air ambulance will reach the scene before paramedics are ready to leave, he said.

Ornge spokesperson James MacDonald explained by email that the provincial service started delaying takeoffs last June “to reduce the number of calls where our helicopter was cancelled en route, which have been a concern both from an aircraft availability and cost perspective.”

That was before a policy review found “unexpected delays in helicopter response.” MacDonald would not comment further on investigations into the Nov. 28 crash.

Ornge is currently facing three reviews, including two audits by provincial ministries and an internal review.

Regional politicians have promised a public report on the helicopter crash, amid renewed calls to streamline 911 dispatch systems that struggled to respond.

Up to six dispatch services were involved, including police dispatchers, two fire dispatch systems, land ambulance dispatchers, air ambulance dispatchers and a separate airport system.

Prno said emergency responders intend to learn from the crash. “There were a lot of unusual things that happened that day,” he said.

What else went wrong?

A Record probe into the Nov. 28 helicopter crash found that:

The rescue launched in confusion after a 911 call from the airport control tower misidentified the location of the crash.

The airport fire truck could have reached the crash within three minutes in ideal conditions. But it took 12 minutes to get there and arrived damaged after exiting the airport and colliding with part of a security gate.

Cambridge and Woolwich firefighters did not know where the helicopter crashed even after a second 911 call clarified the location and even after Waterloo Regional Police reached the scene.

Fire dispatchers were so confused they tried to send the wrong firefighters from 23 kilometres away in Wilmot Township. When Woolwich Township firefighters were correctly dispatched, they did not know the crash location until almost seven minutes after police reached the scene.


Settlement reached in California helicopter crash

Lawyers for the family of two men who died in a 2006 Riverside County helicopter crash say they've reached a settlement in the negligence case they brought against the aircraft's manufacturer.

City News Service says the confidential settlement was reached Thursday after a day of opening arguments in the case against Robinson Helicopter Co., a Torrance-based firm.

The two men, Leo Straatman and Frank Verellen, were flying in a Robinson R-44 Raven II when the tail boon shook off and the main rotor hit the cabin.

The aircraft went down between Blythe and Coachella 85 minutes into its maiden voyage. The flight destination was southern Ontario, Canada.

Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority decided which events will receive funding this year

RENO, Nev. (KRNV & - Today, the RSCVA announced how they will allocate their nearly 200-thousand dollar budget for special events, and the National Championship Air Races received the most support. The announcement was made by the RSCVAs special events and Marketing Manager, Nina Maestas.

A panel made up of independent anonymous members was unanimous in their decision that the top priority for 2012 funding was to support the National Championship Air Races, given the tragic crash in September 2011. The air races will be awarded $75,000. 100% of the funds applied for the next most financially supported event was the Reno Open PGA Tour, which will be awarded $40,000 of the $1 million they applied for. The best in the West Nugget Rib Cookoff did not receive any funds.

REDjet denies future in jeopardy

(Barbados Nation) Chief Executive Officer of REDjet Ian Burns has denied that its future was in jeopardy and it needed an $8 million injection to keep operating.

He was reacting Tuesday to statements attributed to the low-cost carrier’s Barbadian shareholder Ralph “Bizzy” Williams in the Saturday Sun last November and a more recent report about cancellation of flights.

“I can assure you there is no issue between the investors,” he said.

“Bizzy Wiliams made his comments in November and the article tried to link us rescheduling flights and Bizzy Williams’ comments as showing REDjet was in financial difficulty. No, that is not the situation.”

Williams was reported to have said that $8 million invested in REDjet for operating expenses in the initial months of the business had to be used otherwise and suggested the airline was in need of an injection of funds to fulfill its investors’ mandate to provide affordable transport for Caribbean people.

But Burns suggested Williams’ comments may have been made out of frustration, as he acknowledged the airline had faced continuous obstacles.

“In terms of the issue as to REDjet and as to where it is today, REDjet has clearly demonstrated that we have made the investment and that we have moved beyond the comments of Mr Williams,” Burns stated.

He said since Williams’ statement, REDjet had brought in its third aircraft, had invested in upgrading in its maintenance facilities, taken on another batch of pilots (eight captains and first officers) and invested in the upgrade of the call centre by employing another ten people.

“We have invested in the infrastructural development of REDjet as it looks to expand the business for 2012, and we are also looking to commence services to Central America,” he added, pointing out there was an air services agreement between Panama and Barbados which he thought would help to facilitate the launch of a Barbados-Panama REDjet route “in the summertime”.

Burns flatly dismissed the media report which said the airline had been forced to cancel several flights.

“The real story behind that is that we have done some rescheduling of our flights for a couple of reasons. One reason is that in our schedule, we will be announcing within the next week or two, new routes and so we have had to make space within our existing schedules in order to accommodate those routes.

“Secondly, we are an airline that is consumer-based and consumer-driven and some of the flights that we have put on, the timing of those flights has not suited people.”

He maintained the amount of flights cancelled in the rearrangement was “a very small number in our schedule”.

REDjet operates seven routes in six Caribbean countries and Burns gave the assurance the airline was “here for the long haul in terms of being a significant partner in the aviation industry within the Caribbean”.

Police: Teens Planned to Bomb School, Steal Plane From Ogden-Hinckley Airport (KOGD) Ogden, Utah.

(Image Credit: Weber County Sheriff's Office)

School resumed as normal today at Roy High School in Roy, Utah, only one day after police arrested two students who were allegedly planning to bomb their school assembly and make their getaway in a stolen plane.

Dallin Morgan, 18, and Joshua Hogan, 16, were arrested Wednesday after a female student received a troubling text message from one of the suspects.

“It was a text she felt was a threat and a danger and so she immediately went to the administration,” Roy Police Department spokeswoman Anna Bond told Bond declined to reveal what the text message said because of the ongoing investigation.

Administrators contacted police, who executed four search warrants on the students’ homes and vehicles, and conducted a thorough sweep of the school.

No explosives turned up during the search,” Bond said. “However, investigators found “maps of the school and information about security systems had been prepared with plans for an escape using a plane from the Ogden Hinckley Airport.

“We know for certain they had been planning this for at least three months,” she said.

Authorities also discovered the two boys had trained on flight simulation software in preparation for their getaway.

The FBI and its Regional Forensics Computer Laboratory will assist in analyzing any confiscated computers, but declined to comment on the case in a statement.

Morgan, who is an adult, is being held at the Weber County Jail. Hogan is being held at the Weber County Detention Center.

Missing man's wife searches from sky

RUIDOSO, N.M. (KRQE) - The family of a Ruidoso man who went missing last Friday is stopping at nothing to try and find him. Thursday his wife got into a plane to search for any sign of him.

Thursday marks day six since Kenneth Payne, 73, was last seen. He suffers from Alzheimer's disease and walked away from his home.

On Thursday morning Payne's wife of 32-years took to the sky to try and find her husband.

"He loves art, and he loves flying," Karen Payne said. "Doing all this flying today reminds me of how many times we've flown."

Kenneth Payne was a local artist and sculptor. A man of many trades, his wife said he used to own a plane and flew until four years ago.

A year and a half ago he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

Local pilot Ron Massey volunteered his time to help with the search, something he said, he hopes someone would do for him in the same circumstance.

"It's like looking for a needle in a haystack, but we feel we've at least eliminated the idea that he might have fallen down a ledge, down the side of the highway or something like that," Massey said.

Their search covered the country from Hondo toward Roswell.

At one time Kenneth managed the Lovington Airport, and Karen said much of his flying was in and out of Texas, a place his family thinks his memories may lead him.

Kenneth was last seen by truck drivers around 2 p.m. Friday walking in Hondo. His wife said she thinks he may be hitchhiking.

"I'm very concerned about him," she continued. "He has no money, he has, no warm clothes.

"He's easy to love, and I just can't imagine that someone wouldn't help him if they see him."

She said someone may not have noticed his condition right away, but without his medication, Karen said her husband's Alzheimer's is likely more noticeable.

"We just want to know that he's safe, and I hope to have a call from Texas, anywhere you know," she said. "Many people will be so happy to have him home. We all love him so much."

She said Kenneth would often go for walks around their home, so she wasn't worried at first. But he's never been gone for more than a couple hours.

Kenneth Payne is considered an endangered missing person due to his health condition.

Anyone who sees him is urged to call police.


Cessna 172: FAA investigating flight student's hard landing of plane at Honolulu International Airport

HONOLULU — The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating a flight student's hard landing of a Cessna at Honolulu International Airport.

The FAA says the Cessna 172 veered off the left side of a runway, went into a grassy area and come to a stop on another runway with the landing gear collapsed Thursday.

The state Department of Transportation says the 20-year-old female flight student was the only person on board. She was not injured but the plane has substantial damage.

Airport firefighters helped her out of the plane, which was removed during a brief closure of the runway.

Transportation spokesman Dan Meisenzahl says there were no disruptions of any aircraft landings or departures.

Pilot makes emergency landing in farm field.

WINCHESTER - A pilot en route to Hemet-Ryan Airport was forced to make an emergency landing in a field near Winchester today when he encountered mechanical trouble.

The non-injury accident happened around noon just east of Warren Road, close to Domenigoni Parkway, according to the Riverside County Fire Department.

The pilot of the Cessna 210 Centurion was traveling from McClellan- Palomar Airport in San Diego County to Hemet when the aircraft apparently experienced mechanical difficulties, prompting the aviator to land the singe- engine plane in a farm field, a fire department spokesperson said.

There were no passengers on board.

Pictures of the plane showed it landed with its gear retracted and was intact, with propeller blades bent.

The National Transportation and Safety Board was investigating the accident.

Glendale, Arizona: Emergency Landing in Field

GLENDALE - A pilot of a small place was forced to make an emergency landing in an agricultural field Thursday afternoon near 99th Ave and Indian School Road.

The plane was put down safely, and no one inside was hurt.

The pilot did a good job avoiding homes, as there are a lot of subdivisions in the area.

It's not clear where the pilot originated from or where he was heading.

Piper Seneca PA-34-200T, N111SM: Suffolk Executive Airport (KSFQ) Suffolk, Virginia

SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - A plane made an emergency landing in the grass at Suffolk Executive Airport on Thursday afternoon.

The twin engine 6-seater airplane reported that it was experiencing issues with its landing gear around 11:35 a.m., a news release from the City of Suffolk said.

After circling the airport several times to burn off fuel, the pilot brought the plane down around 12:20 p.m.

Two people were on board and no injuries were reported.

The plane left the Suffolk Executive Airport around 9:45 a.m. on a business trip to Cambridge Maryland, a trip which normally takes an hour.

Pilot George McClellan of McClellan Aviation Services reported that he was experiencing problems with his nose landing gear and aborted his initial attempt to land in Cambridge, returning his plane to Suffolk.

The plane had about 60 gallons of fuel on board, but there was no post-crash fire.

There was minor damage to the plane.

The crash is under investigation by the Virginia State Police, who handle all downed aircraft incidents.

Beech King Air 300: Police want to shed light on laser lout. Kamloops Airport, British Columbia - Canada.

This was a laser show that could have lit up the night sky with carnage.

Police and airport officials are left with little to go on after a potentially catastrophic incident in Kamloops on the night of Wednesday, Jan. 25.

At about 7:15 p.m., a pilot flying a Beech 300 aircraft at 24,000 feet contacted air-traffic control at Kamloops Airport to report a green laser being continuously directed at his plane.

The pilot said the laser was coming from somewhere in the Rayleigh area. He described the light as "bright and throbbing."

The air-traffic controller called Kamloops Mounties, who sent an officer to Rayleigh.

"We weren't able to locate the source," Kamloops RCMP Const. Bernie Ward told KTW.

"We stayed out there for an hour-and-a-half in the area, looking for any green light emitting from any residences or hillsides."

Ward said the pilot reported the laser was impeding his vision.

The plane, being flown by a commercial operator from Prince George to Kamloops, landed safely.

However, according to Kamloops Airport manager Fred Legace, the laser could have done a lot of damage.

"They're dizzying and blinding to the pilots, so that's the issue," Legace said.

"If it's dark out, the pilot loses night vision and can lose contact with the ground visually. It could potentially be catastrophic."

Lasers being pointed at aircraft has become a problem in larger cities in recent years, especially in the United States.

This is believed to be the first such incident in Kamloops.

"I can never recall hearing something like this from Kamloops before," Ward said, noting the culprit could potentially face serious charges if caught.

"It could be mischief or it could even be something like attempted manslaughter, because you could take a plane down.

"If you knew this person was actually trying to make the plane crash, the charge could be very serious."

Last summer, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration announced a plan to impose civil penalties — in the form of $11,000 fines — on anyone caught shining a laser into the cockpit of an aircraft.

American government figures indicate there were an estimated 2,800 incidents in the U.S. in 2010.

Newly formed air fleet for Pinal County Sheriff's Department

Credit: Pinal County Sheriff's Office

Lt. Scott Elliott pictured prior to a flight in the 1976 Piper Super Cub

Florence, Ariz. -- The Pinal County Sheriff's Department now has an airplane and a helicopter to assist in various operations.

The plane is a 1976 Piper Super Cub. It was obtained from the U.S. Border Patrol through a state surplus transfer. The helicopter is a MD 500E recently purchased with money from the state of Arizona. The aircrafts will be used for search and rescue missions and to combat human and drug smuggling.

The airplane has already assisted Pinal County deputies by providing crucial air support while warrants were served during Operation Pipeline Express in October. That operation targeted the Sinaloa Drug Cartel and resulted in the arrest of dozens of suspects and the seizure of thousands of pounds of marijuana.

According to Lieutenant Scott Elliott, head of the Pinal County Sheriff's Office, "With the size of our county being what it is and the demand for air support having become a daily need over the past several years, its time for us to have the tools needed to do the job ourselves and stop relying on other entities to do it for us."

"The use of an aviation unit during these critical missions will help us locate missing people faster and provide us the ability to immediately help those injured," said Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu.

"The use of a helicopter minimizes risks to our deputies on the ground in hostile terrain and during vehicle pursuits. Last year we had over 200 calls to locate missing individuals. The use of an Aviation Unit during these critical missions will help us locate missing people faster and provide us the ability to immediately help those injured."

Within the past month, the helicopter has been called out on a variety of cases to assist other agencies such as the U.S. Border Partol, Casa Grande Police, and the Pima County Sheriff's Office.

City Requests Final Amount for Taxilane Work at Washington Regional Airport (KFYG) , Missouri.

City officials hope to receive the final amount needed for a taxilane paving project at the Washington airport, so that work can begin this summer.

At the administration/operations committee meeting Monday evening, Washington City Council members reviewed a draft letter asking for the funds.

Currently, the taxilane project, estimated to cost roughly $545,000 for construction and engineering work, is short by $123,000.

Over the last three years, the city has received a total of $422,428.43 through nonprimary entitlement grants through the Missouri Department of Transportation’s Aviation Division. That amount includes a total local match of $21,121.43.

Brian Boehmer, assistant city administrator, said the city is prepared to provide the local match for the remaining funds necessary.

“By sending this letter off, we are committing ourselves to the matched portion,” Boehmer told the council.

Because the city has a shovel-ready project, it may be favored to receive the funds, Boehmer said.

“When you have projects ready to build, you’re in a much better light,” Boehmer said.

In conjunction with the taxilane project, the city will fund a related, but separate, project — a new 12-unit T-hangar building. The hangar will house 10 smaller units and two large units.

The total estimated cost for the hangar is $573,956.35, which includes costs for design services.

The hangar will be paid for solely out of the city’s half-cent capital improvement sales tax fund.

The city plans to reimburse the fund through rental fees the city will collect from individuals or companies renting hangar space.

In 2011, the city awarded separate contracts to Crawford, Murphy & Tilly Inc., to design both projects.

According to the draft letter, the T-hangar could be under construction by June 2012 and completed by August 2012.

Work on the taxilane could start by September 2012 and finished by November 2012.

The airport currently has 20 single hangar units and four large units and there is a waiting list for hangar space.

Both the Washington 353 Redevelopment Corporation and the Civic Industrial Corporation have endorsed these projects.


Knox County Regional Airport (KRKD) Seeks Nominees for Advisory Committee

The Airport Public Advisory Committee (APAC) of Knox County Regional Airport in Owls Head is requesting nominations for people to fill three of its seats that will become vacant in 2012.

The nine-seat committee is designed to provide a link between the midcoast communities, the airport manager and the County, by facilitating airport communications flow to and from local communities and citizens, as well as providing aviation, environmental and business advice for airport management.

Committee members are appointed, with staggered terms. Expiring this year are the terms for the District 3 seat (representing Appleton, Camden, Hope, Isle au Haut, Matinicus, North Haven, Union, Vinalhaven and Washington), the Business seat, and the Environmental seat. The County Commission will fill these seats, for three-year terms, during their April 10 meeting.

Nominations should be sent to Airport Manager Jeff Northgraves ( or any current member of the APAC by April 2. The APAC will compile the nominations and provide recommendations to the County Commission. Citizens interested in becoming a member of the APAC should notify their town office, Chamber of Commerce or environmental organization (prior to March 30). In addition, any citizen may also submit their interest to the County Administrator prior to April 5 or directly to their Commissioner prior to April 10.

The APAC normally meets the second Monday of each month in the airport manager's office at 4 p.m. There are three standing subcommittees (Environmental/Public Relations, Operations/Maintenance and Business Plan) which meet as needed. The meetings are open to the public and anybody interested in serving on one of the subcommittees should contact the airport manager or any of the APAC members:

District 1 Seat: Gray Smith, South Thomaston (term expires 2013);

District 2 Seat: John Curtis, Thomaston (term expires 2014);

District 3 Seat: Jim Kirstead, Camden (term expires 2012);

Environmental Seat: Kathy Allain, Owls Head (term expires 2012);

Nearby Citizens Seat: Pennie Alley, South Thomaston (term expires 2014);

Business Seat: Bill Maddox, Rockland (term expires 2012);

Airport Business Seat: Shane Burns, Appleton (term expires 2014);

Flying Club Seat: Dale Flint, Union (term expires 2013);

Commercial Pilot: Kevin Waters, South Thomaston (term expires 2013).

Additional information including the APAC charter, bylaws, meeting agendas and meeting minutes can be found at

Aviation Insurers Return to Profit as Fatalities Fall to Fewest Since 1984

Aviation insurers, a group including American International Group Inc. and Allianz SE, probably had their first underwriting profit in five years as fatalities fell to the lowest level since 1984, broker Aon Corp. said.

Insurers collected about $1.8 billion in renewal premiums last year, and incurred an estimated $1.13 billion in claims, the Chicago-based insurance broker said in a report today.

“The low level of claims in 2011 has meant that the market is estimated to have enjoyed healthy returns overall,” Aon said in the report.

Insurers benefited from reduced costs after the 2009 Air France crash off the coast of Brazil and engine failure on an Airbus SAS A380 jet operated by Qantas Airways Ltd. (QAN) in 2010 contributed to industrywide underwriting losses those years. Flying is now about twice as safe as it was 15 years ago, according to a report this month from Ascend, a data and analytics provider for aerospace investors.

Last year’s worst crash happened July 8, when 83 people died after a Hewa Bora Airways Boeing Co. 727-100 undershot the runway on landing in Kisangani, Congo, Ascend said. Thirty-five people survived the crash.

Other fatal incidents included an Iran Air Boeing 727-200 crash that killed 69 passengers and nine crew members in Orumiyeh, Iran, in January 2011. A Rusair Tupolev 134 crash in Petrozavodsk, Russia, killed 45 people in June. In September, a Russian plane carrying the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey team crashed into a river juts after takeoff, killing 44, according to Ascend.
Airline Fatalities

There were 175 fatalities covered under standard liability policies through the first 11 months of last year, compared with an average of 582, Aon said in a report last month. Not all incidents are covered by insurance.

AIG sells the most aircraft protection among U.S.-regulated providers, with 21 percent of the market, according to 2010 data compiled by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Allianz (ALV) ranks second and Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK/A) is third.

Prices for hull and liability protection fell 3 percent for coverage placed in 2011, as the low level of claims increased capacity, pressuring rates, according to Aon. Premiums may be little changed or decline in 2012 for airlines that have well understood risks, the broker said.

“A single major incident could harden the market quickly, however, particularly given the high level of claims prior to 2011,” Aon said.

A 'who's who' of majesty: Snowy owls at the Syracuse Hancock International Airport (KSYR), Syracuse, New York.

The patience Dr. Gregory Craybas learned as a dentist also serves him well as a wildlife photographer.  

Craybas, whose office is in downtown Syracuse, often stays in one place for hours at a time to capture great images of, say, a bald eagle at the Montezeuma National Wildlife Refuge.

Every now and then, hard work leads to good luck.

So it was for Craybas this month at Syracuse Hancock Airport, where area birders had been expressing joyous disbelief about what they describe as a phenomenon: separate sightings of at least three snowy owls at the airport. Owl enthusiasts across the region grabbed their cameras and headed for spots along the airport fence where visitors are allowed to keep watch.

Craybas joined them. He has learned to scan the landscape carefully for owls — from a distance, as Syracuse raptor expert Tom Carrolan likes to say, it’s easy to mistake a “snowy” for a grocery bag or a plastic jug. The owls are nocturnal, and Carrolan said they’ll often sit by day for hours in an open place, “like a Buddha.”

On his first airport visit, Craybas got a few shots from long-range. One morning, on a whim, he went back. A snowy owl, apparently a young male, was perched atop a light post, not far from the airport entrance. Craybas got a rare chance to fully appreciate the 5-foot wing span, the golden eyes and the stunning white plumage speckled with a few dark spots.

 “With the airport, you’re in that very condensed and very familiar area, and then to see something that’s not from here ... it just takes you to a different place,” Craybas said. “You just feel a lot of emotion, and a lot of respect going back and forth.”

That reaction is shared by anyone lucky enough to be part of this unusual burst of snowy owl sightings. The great birds, native to the Arctic, are occasionally seen in the northern U.S. Yet as the New York Times reported recently, this winter has been different. Bird experts speak of an “irruption” of snowy owls, some turning up as far west as Kansas.

Bill Purcell of Hastings is regional coordinator for, a global web site run jointly by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon that records and tracks bird sightings. “This is pretty unusual,” said Purcell, of the owls at Hancock. “Nobody’s ever reported (so many) in that area in the past.”

Read more and photos:

FAA looking to relocate offices to Alliance site

The federal government has an option to buy 45 acres at the northeast corner of Heritage Trace Parkway and Interstate 35W in north Fort Worth where it wants to relocate the Federal Aviation Administration's Fort Worth operations.

The land is just north of the Alliance Town Center shopping center. Bill Burton, senior vice president for Hillwood Properties, declined to comment on the deal.

The site was revealed during the 2012 Tarrant County Commercial Real Estate Forecast Thursday at the Fort Worth Convention Center this morning.

Tina Jaegerman, public affairs officer for the General Services Administration, which is handling the bidding process for the FAA, also declined to confirm the site.

A spokesman for the FAA was not immediately available for comment. The FAA's Southwest Region office is located at Sylvania Avenue and Meacham Boulevard in Fort Worth.

The GSA is looking for a developer and has begun sifting through about 100 "expressions of interest" from companies that might be interested in building the project. That will be narrowed to about 10 and those companies will be asked to submit more detailed project proposals. A developer should be selected by the fall, Jaegerman said.

According to the GSA, the agency wants to lease a 357,214-square-foot office building. The project will include 1,700 parking spaces, conference center, cafeteria, fitness center and credit union. It will also have a heli-stop.

Jaegerman said the project should break ground in 2013 and be completed by December 2015.

Obituary: Orville F. Jenkins Jr.

Orville F. Jenkins Jr., an Army/Air Force veteran of World War II, passed away peacefully at home on Monday, Jan. 23, 2012, surrounded by his loving family. He was 88 years young.

Born in Philadelphia on Sept. 16, 1923, he moved his family to Willingboro in 1960.

Orville is survived by his wife of 63 years, Edna (Beuerle) Jenkins and sisters, Barbara Haig and Vanessa 'Toni' Varrese.

He was preceded in death by his brother, Edgar 'Bud' Jenkins.

Orville loved to fly and flew his first plane at the age of 14. He was still getting together periodically with his good friend, J P Ray, from those early days. J P only knew him as Junior all these years. Throughout his career in aviation, he was a corporate pilot and a private pilot. He was one of the originators of the AOPA when he worked at Main Line Airport. He worked at North East Philadelphia Airport and managed several airports including Wings Field Airport, Bader Field, and South Jersey Regional Airport.

He switched careers and became an agent for Prudential in 1970 until his retirement at the age of 71.

He leaves six children, Patti Weir, Barry Jenkins, Wendy Marousek, Cindy Valenzano, Wayne Jenkins and Karen Jenkins and their spouses; 12 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

Services will be private.

In lieu of flowers, please give of yourself by doing a good deed for someone in need.

Runway extension process soars to new heights

In order to provide more opportunity for public input on the Oshawa Municipal Airport’s proposed 1,000-foot runway extension, City staff has recommended an in depth process filled with public meetings and information sessions.

At a recent Development Services Committee meeting, several recommendations were outlined to streamline the public consultation process, including $25,000 to pay for advertising, venue rental and consultant attendance. This cost could come out of the, “2012 contingency and transferred to the project in the event it is approved.”

A previous public meeting in December on the issue was postponed due to large public turnout, which prompted staff to look into more public feedback options. Many residents are for the proposed extension, while others who live near the airport, are concerned about noise and other safety matters.

The recommendations state that staff would hold three evening and three afternoon public open house sessions in a drop-in style format at a large off-site venue. During these sessions airport staff and the City’s aviation consultants would be on hand to answer questions from the public.

A formal public meeting would also be scheduled at a large venue during the evening to discuss issues raised during the open houses. From there, a staff report would be prepared to consider the issue further.

Specific venues and dates are still to be decided and these recommendations do need final approval from council.

One avenue that will not be discussed at these meetings is the “attraction of a scheduled airline services to the airport.”

According to staff, this issue will “not be pursued or promoted, and, further, that in the event a scheduled airline service expresses an interest in the future that it be required to specify the proposed nature of its activities (size of planes, frequency and time of flights, noise impacts etc.).”

This recommendation comes after a flyer, which was not from City Hall or from the airport, was handed out prior to the December meeting stating that large planes, possibly 747s, could be landing at the airport.

Juneau, Alaska: Rotating beacon on FAA tower shorted out

• At 10:14 p.m. Tuesday, CCFR responded to a report of arcing, shorted electrical equipment on Shell Simmons Drive, and investigation found a rotating beacon on the FAA tower shorted out. Airport maintenance will repair the beacon, and flight service was notified by building security of beacon repairs.

Clark asks for relief from airport verdict: Attorney says Property Owners’ objection not filed in time. Clark Regional Airport (KJVY), Jeffersonville, Indiana.

JEFFERSONVILLE — Clark County is seeking relief from a ruling that puts it on the hook to pay a property owner more than $600,000 for land it took to expand the Clark County Regional Airport.

According to a motion filed in Clark County Circuit Court on Jan. 17, attorney Greg Fifer claims the property owner, Margaret Dreyer, did not file an objection to the original value at which her property was assessed in a timely fashion, therefore negating any other decisions regarding the case made during a subsequent jury trial and appeal to the Indiana Court of Appeals.

Citing Indiana Code, Fifer said, “exceptions to the assessment must be filed no later than 20 days after the filing of the report.”

He said the Dreyers received the assessment from the county on May 7, 2009, by certified mail. Under the 20-day time frame, an objection to the amount offered would have needed to be filed by May 27. Fifer said the exception to the assessment was not filed until July 6, 2009, 61 days later.

Fifer’s motion for relief came less than a week after Dreyer’s attorney, John W. Mead, filed a motion on Jan. 13 to enter judgment against Clark County in order for his client to receive the more than $600,000 awarded to her by a jury.


The land in question, 72 acres along Beam Road, is being sought by the airport for an ongoing project to expand a runway to 7,000 feet. The project is being paid for through $11 million in Federal Aviation Administration grants, with state and local matching funds at 1.25 percent and 3.75 percent, respectively.

Dreyer has received $203,605 for a portion of the property. However, when the remaining acreage was assessed by the county, there was a large discrepancy — nearly $890,000 — in estimated value between what the county said the land is worth and what Dreyer’s apprasier said the land is worth. The difference led to Dreyer filing a suit against the air board, seeking remaining payment for her land.

When the case was heard by a jury, it was discovered that the appraisal conducted on behalf of the air board was not done according to FAA standards, which requires the board to use the “highest and best use” valuation of the property. In this case, the county’s appraiser estimated the value according to agricultural standards instead of light industrial standards, which resulted in a substantially lower dollar amount. In addition, the land was within the floodplain and modifications to raise the property were not factored in when determining the “best value” of the land by the county.

The jury awarded Dreyer be paid $865,000 for the 72-acre parcel, a decision the air board appealed but was later upheld by the state court of appeals late last month.


The Dreyers have received $203,605 for their property and are seeking $661,395 remaining from the jury verdict, along with plus attorney’s fees and interest to-date of $159,324.

But because Fifer’s motion alleges the Dreyers did not object to the original assessment within the timeframe allowed under law, he said the Dreyers are only entitled to the money they have already received for their property and the county should not have to pay the additional $661,395 and subsequent interest and fees because the issue should never have gone before a jury to decide what was owed to the Dreyers for the land.

“My opinion is the court lacked jurisdiction to have a jury trial,” he said.

But Mead said the Dreyers’ objection to the original assessment was clear from the beginning.

“I disagree totally [with Fifer],” Mead said. “I think they objected very early.”

He said the Dreyers submitted a written objection shortly after they were presented with the offer.

According to Clark County Court records, a report of the appraisal was filed April 24, 2009 with Clark County Circuit Court; signed certified mail was received by the court from Margaret Dreyer on May 11, 2009 and dated May 7; and on July 7, 2009 Mead filed defendants exceptions and demand for a jury trial.

Mead said he will file a response to Fifer’s motion some time next week.

However, it could still be some time before the issue is resolved.

Clark County Circuit Court Judge Dan Moore recused himself from further hearings and a special judge will need to be appointed to decide on the newly filed motions.

The county is under a time crunch to get an answer to Fifer’s motion because if the ruling again goes in favor of the Dreyers, additional interest will accrue in the time it takes to hear the legal challenge and payment is required within one year of the verdict.

“If we don’t get that relief judgment it says we have to pay that judgment within one year,” Fifer said of the previous rulings.

He added if the money isn’t paid, the county could lose the land as it would be returned to the Dreyers.

Calls made to air board attorney Jack Vissing, who handled the case on the air board’s behalf through the appeals process, were not returned as of press time.


Essex Skypark Association: Petition to SAVE the Skypark from being closed by Baltimore County

Why This Is Important

Essex Skypark is a small, general aviation airport that is publicly owned and open for public use.The Skypark is surrounded by over 500 acres of undisturbed and pristine wetlands and heavy forest. With a 2,100 foot paved runway and one of the few seaplane facilities on the east coast, Essex has been a haven for aviation enthusiasts. It is our intent to demonstrate the viability and need of Essex Skypark to Baltimore County, the State of Maryland and our local community.   Visit our webiste to learn more:

Essex Skypark Chapter IV from eric klimt on Vimeo.
Former NASA Astronaut Tom Jones reminisces about his experience as a young aviation enthusiast and Essex Skypark

Essex Skypark Chapter I from eric klimt on Vimeo.

Jet Diverts To San Antonio When Man Lights Cigarette

SAN ANTONIO (AP/ CBS Houston) —- A passenger has been accused of smoking and causing a ruckus on a California-bound Continental Airlines jet, which then diverted to San Antonio.

A detention hearing is scheduled Friday for Manolin Jesus Villaverde of Miami.

The FBI says Villaverde has been charged with interfering with flight crew members Tuesday night.

Investigators say Villaverde became unruly, on Continental Flight 1287 from Houston to Ontario, Calif., when he lit up twice and was told to put out the cigarettes. Other passengers helped a flight attendant subdue Villaverde.

The pilot then landed in San Antonio and Villaverde was removed. The jet continued on to its destination, arriving about two hours late.

The fine for smoking on an airplane can range from $2,200 for smoking in a seat or cabin to $3,300 for smoking in an airplane’s bathroom.

Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain, C-GOSU

Brian Shead, with his wife Tracey (right), spoke to the reporters about being the sole survivor of the Jan 10 plane crash of a Piper Navajo at North Spirit Lake.
Four out of five people aboard Keystone Air Flight 213 died in the plane crash earlier this month in North Spirit Lake First Nation, Ont. Four out of five people aboard Keystone Air Flight 213 died in the plane crash earlier this month in North Spirit Lake First Nation, Ont. 
(Transportation Safety Board)
A photo from the Transportation Safety Board shows the wreckage from the plane crash in North Spirit Lake. 

Watch live streaming video from winnipegfreepress1 at

The sole survivor of a fiery plane crash in northwestern Ontario earlier this month said he tried in vain to unstrap fellow passengers, only managing to pull out the pilot before collapsing in the snow.

Brian Shead, 36, has been in hospital in Winnipeg since the Jan. 10 crash in North Spirit Lake First Nation.

Speaking for the first time since the crash that claimed four lives, Shead told reporters he was reading a book during the flight with no concern about the upcoming landing or the blustery weather.

"It seemed to be a routine landing. In an instant that changed," he said from Winnipeg's Health Sciences Centre.

'I can't reconcile how my life was spared or why.'— Brian Shead

"I relive it every night. Could I have done something different? [There's] a lot of what-ifs, a lot of questions I'm struggling with."

Shead crawled from the burning wreck, suffering a broken nose, foot and ankle.

"But I escaped with my life," he said. "I had some very good friends in that plane. I can't reconcile how my life was spared or why. An event like this changes a person. I won't take life for granted."

The four who died are:

Ben Van Hoek, 62.
Colette Eisinger, 39.
Martha Campbell, 38.
Fariborz Abasabady, the pilot, 41.

All were from Winnipeg except for Van Hoek, who was from Carman.

The plane, an eight-seat Piper PA-31 Navajo operated by Keystone Air, was on its landing approach when it slammed into a frozen lake and caught fire about a kilometre from the runway in the remote community.

"I wish I knew why the horrible incident happened. I do not understand why this crash happened or how it happened and I have no answers," Shead told reporters.

He described being strapped in his seat after the crash and seeing the right wing on fire. He called to his fellow passengers but they were “unconscious and unresponsive to my pleas.”

After trying but failing to unlock their seat-belts, Shead managed to unstrap the pilot and haul him away from the craft. He said he likes to think that no one else was still alive and suffering at that point.

The plane had been chartered by Aboriginal Strategies, a Winnipeg company that provides financial management services to First Nations.

The Transportation Safety Board has not yet revealed the cause of the crash.