Sunday, January 29, 2012

Airport manager search continues; public works director says interim during outstanding job

The city’ of Monroe’s public works director hopes to shift the sitting interim airport manager into a permanent role if his “outstanding” performance continues to stay steady through this transitional period for the airport.

To find a full-time airport manager, Public Works Director Tom Janway said he’s been talking with consulting companies that have helped place executive managers or people in aviation-type jobs.

For instance, Kutchins and Groh out of Ft. Worth, Texas has helped the airport with its financial plans, airline lease negotiations, passenger facilities charges and grant applications. The company has an office in New Orleans, too, so Janway said he considered it local.

Janway has also been in contact with Chicago-based Pace Group, which has placed airport managers, he said. According to the company’s website, these consultants specialize in executive searches for economic development, chambers of commerce, health care executives, and other senior-level positions.

Additionally, there have also been some discussions with ADK Executive Search out of Florida. This company specializes in airport management, he said.

But so far, Janway said he’s been pleased with interim airport manager Ron Phillips’ work so Phillips is on the top of Janway’s list to fill the permanent position.

“What we’re doing right now, we’re trying to tie up all the loose ends,” Janway said.

The new airport terminal opened in October, but phase II, which is the expansion of the parking lot and tearing down the old building to replace it with baggage claim and car rental services, is still underway. That’s expected to be completed by Aug. 13. In the meantime, some kinks for phase I of the project are still being ironed out.

“The interim director is doing an absolutely fantastic job,” Janway said last week. “We’ve moved forward with new leases for the airlines ... I met with him (Phillips) for an hour today and we went over setting up billing for rental car agencies, finalizing our contract with Coca-Cola ...”

The airport is also gearing up for a Federal Aviation Administration regulation inspection that will take place within the next six to eight weeks. The FAA will evaluate the airport’s training records, basic emergency medical training curriculum, tenants’ fueling fire safety inspection records, emergency plan and records of safety self-inspections.

In addition, Phillips has been working on a new general services contract for engineering at the airport and with the fire chief to establish a new fire station on the airport property, Janway said. There’s also a new airport shuttle he’s put in place to carry passengers from the terminal to parking, but Janway said Phillips is going to improve that even more by procuring a larger van which will have more features.

Moreover, Phillips has set up a customer service center staffed with two temporary employees.

When asked why a customer service center would be necessary for an airport the size of Monroe’s, Janway said the representatives are available to help passengers with the inconveniences caused by current construction. For instance, passengers have complained that the airport’s baggage claim and parking situation is confusing at times.

The temporary employees get paid about $8 an hour, Janway said

“At some point, when the project finishes and when the airport is more user-friendly, we may re-evaluate that,” he said.

When asked whether Phillips might be able to stay on as the full-time airport manager, Janway said, “Absolutely.”

Janway said he’s known Phillips more than 20 years and that Phillips has served as an executive in the private industry and worked for the Louisiana Workforce Development Commission. He’ll also review Phillips’ performance as he continues to work through issues while the airport is cleaning up work in phase I and implementing phase II.

“I’m going to evaluate him based on the work he’s doing now and to date it’s been outstanding,” Janway said. “I’m going to be giving him the opportunity to complete most of these tasks. If he can handle the transition, he can handle the day-to-day activities.”

Eventually, Janway said he and Mayor Jamie Mayo will have to decide to “open up” the job, even if they choose to hire Phillips. In such a case, the city can limit the application process to city employees only, and Phillips can apply, Janway said.

Then, he would probably be the most qualified, Janway said.

Initially, city officials said they would conduct a national search to find a new airport director.

Cleve Norrell, who had managed the airport for more than 20 years, was fired on Nov. 22.

Now however, Janway said Phillips has shown interest in staying in the role and based on his performance, Janway’s “very satisfied.”

On Friday, Phillips said working in this capacity has been exciting.

“From a career standpoint I would consider it, but I haven’t made a definite decision yet,” he said.

In November, city spokesman Rod Washington said the city’s goal is to have a new director in place by May 2012.

Last week, Janway said he isn’t restricted by any deadlines to hire a full-time airport manager, so he’s not going to be hasty.

Source:  http://www.thenewsstar.com

New Orleans student takes off on quest for pilot's license

Photo by Brett Duke, The Times-Picayune
Andrew Glapion Jr. checks out the plane before taking to the air during a training class at the Lakefront Airport in New Orleans. Glapion, a St. Augustine High School senior, is training at the Flight Academy of New Orleans to get his pilot's license on his 17th birthday. 

 Photo by Brett Duke, The Times-Picayune
Glapion goes through his pre-flight checklist.

The Cessna 172 rolled onto the tarmac at New Orleans Lakefront Airport as Andrew Glapion Jr., 16, finished practicing his takeoff and landing in preparation for his private pilot license. "When I'm in the plane and in the air, nothing can touch me. Everything is just perfect," said Glapion, a junior at St. Augustine High School.

Having already completed 32 flights, two of which were solo, Glapion is out at Lakefront Airport at least once a week clocking the mandatory 36 hours of flight time while counting down to April 30, his 17th birthday -- two requirements to obtain his private license.

Krystal Hukmani, managing director of the Flight Academy of New Orleans, said that in 2009, Glapion became the youngest student to enroll at the Flight Academy. The flight simulator on his home computer wasn't enough for him anymore; he needed the real deal.

"My first flight was May 7, 2009, right after my 15th birthday," Glapion said. "I begged (my parents) to send me on a flight, and they purchased a demo flight for me, and from there I have been flying."

Getting a private pilot's license normally takes three to six months, but because of age restrictions, Glapion has had to complete it over a two-year period.

His flight instructor, Matt Gradidge, knows how beneficial this will be later on.

"Andrew getting his private license now will actually put him ahead of the game when he gets to college. It will be a few less classes he will have to take," Gradidge said.

There is no doubt in Glapion's mind that this is what he wants to do with his life. With the aim of becoming an airline pilot, he has his sights firmly set on studying aerospace engineering at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla.

During his lesson with Gradidge, Glapion made it all look easy. Typically he flies a Cessna 152, but on this particular day, he flew the Cessna 172, a four-seater aircraft, with two extra passengers -- a first for him.

This didn't faze him, though. After Gradidge demonstrated what he expected, Glapion was in total control, performing the smoothest of landings.

"Landing is the best part. I got to land at Armstrong airport once, just for experience," Glapion said.

A typical lesson starts with a debriefing, when Gradidge tells Glapion what is expected for that lesson. Glapion does a preflight check, walking around the aircraft anf ensuring the instruments and the plane are in good working order.

Glapion and his instructor practice take-offs and landings, aerial maneuvers and emergency procedures.

After an hour or so at 2,500 feet above Lake Pontchartrain or over the marshes, the pair land, and Gradidge goes over any areas that need addressing.

"You have to be 16 to solo the aircraft, so we were getting him prepared for that. Now what we are doing is getting him ready to where he can get his license," Gradidge said.

It won't stop there. Once Glapion has his private license, the next step will be to get his instrument rating. Then once again he will have to wait until his 18th birthday to get a commercial license.

When Glapion first approached his father, Andrew Glapion Sr., about flying lessons, the senior Glapion was unenthusiastic, worried about his son's safety. But Andrew proved to be very persuasive.

"I told (Andrew) it was dangerous, but he said he had a better chance at dying in a car crash," Glapion said. "He is so confident and competent, and with a passion like that all you can do is support it."

Glapion works summer jobs to help pay for his lessons, and he takes time out from flying to play baritone sax in the St. Augustine Marching 100.

"This has actually taught me a lot about using my time management," Glapion said. "I don't know how I get it all done, but I do."

Source:  http://www.nola.com

Rep. Greg Walden Honors Retiring Redmond Airport Manager. Presents Carrie Novick With Framed Congressional Record Remarks. Roberts Field Airport (KRDM), Redmond, Oregon.

BEND, Ore. -- Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., on Friday presented long-time, retiring Redmond Airport Manager Carrie Novick with a framed, ceremonial copy of a Congressional Record statement he submitted on the House floor Wednesday that recognizes and honors her service to Central Oregon.

The full copy of the Congressional Record statement is below:

HON. GREG WALDEN

OF OREGON

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

________

Tribute to Ms. Carrie Novick

Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I take this opportunity to honor Ms. Carrie Novick on the occasion of her retirement. Since 1990, Carrie has served as the airport manager for Roberts Field, Redmond Municipal Airport in Redmond, Oregon. She will leave her position next Tuesday after nearly 22 years of exemplary public service to the citizens of Redmond and central Oregon.

During her tenure as airport manager, Carrie has transformed a sleepy municipal airfield into a first class regional transportation hub. Nearly two years ago, Carrie completed an airport terminal expansion project that more than doubled the size of the existing airport to 136,000 square feet, tripled its operations capacity to 45 flights per day, and allowed for more than 200,000 passengers per year to pass through its gates. For nearly ten years, Carrie worked passionately to make this fantastic project a reality.

Carrie’s tenacity and good stewardship of public resources modernized the facility, increased flight availability, and improved passenger safety and services. Carrie fulfilled her vision to transform the Redmond Airport into a regional economic engine powering tourism, trade, and industry, all while improving the quality of life for area residents.

Carrie has always been eager to share her vision and passion for her work. She always made an effort to meet me whenever I was flying to or departing from the airport to brief me on the latest airport developments, offer her counsel on aviation policy, or just share a cup of coffee with me at the gate. I will miss her candor, quick wit, and indomitable spirit. I’m proud to call her my good friend.

Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to join me in commending Ms. Carrie Novick for her outstanding contributions to the city of Redmond and the communities of central Oregon, and to wish her well upon her retirement. Carrie has given her time and efforts selflessly to the region and her service is worthy of the highest praise. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.

Watch Video: http://www.ktvz.com

Piper PA-28-180 Cherokee G, Condor Flying Club Inc., N1352T: Accident occurred January 29, 2012 in Thomasville, Pennsylvania

NTSB Identification: ERA12FA163 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, January 29, 2012 in Thomasville, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/13/2013
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-180, registration: N1352T
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.

The private pilot was conducting a cross-country flight and landed at his destination airport, on runway 17 without incident. He taxied back to the beginning of the runway, took off, and entered a left traffic pattern for another approach to the same runway. The airplane was on final approach when it stalled and descended toward the ground. The airplane's left wing initially impacted the ground, followed by the nose. The airplane came to rest in a corn field about 1/4-mile from the approach end, and about 400 feet to the left of the extended runway centerline. Examination of the accident airplane’s global positioning system data revealed that the flight track data for the accident flight was similar to the flight track during the previous landing; however, the ground speeds during the final approach phase of the accident flight were significantly slower than during the previous landing. The airplane’s last recorded ground speed was 45 knots. According to the airplane’s performance charts, its stall speed for the landing configuration would have been 53 knots. Postaccident examination of the wreckage did not reveal any preimpact mechanical malfunctions that would have precluded normal operation. The wind reported at the airport about the time accident was from 230 degrees at 13 knots, gusting to 20 knots.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to maintain airspeed during an approach in gusty crosswind conditions, which resulted in an inadvertent aerodynamic stall.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On January 29, 2012, about 1242 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-28-180, N1352T, operated by a private individual, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain while on approach to the York Airport (THV), Thomasville, Pennsylvania. The certificated private pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed for the flight that originated from Frederick Municipal Airport (FDK), Frederick, Maryland, about 1200. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

The airplane was owned by a flying club and based at FDK. According to the President of the flying club, the pilot was one of nine owner-members. He believed the pilot was interested in building up cross-country flight experience and intended to pursue an instrument rating.

A sectional chart, located in the cockpit of the airplane depicted a highlighted route from FDK to the Carroll County Airport (DMW), Westminster, Maryland, to THV, and back to FDK.

Witnesses at THV observed the airplane on approach to runway 17, a 5,188-foot-long, 100-foot-wide, asphalt runway. They reported that the airplane looked "very low," "slow" and was rocking from side-to-side when it made a sudden left turn, pitched up, and then descended toward the ground nose-first. The airplane's left wing initially impacted the ground, followed by the nose.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 56, held a private pilot certificate, with a rating for airplane single-engine land. His most recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) third-class medical certificate was issued on March 25, 2011. At that time, he reported a total flight experience of 120 hours, which included 3 hours during the previous 6 months. His most recent biennial flight review was conducted on July 18, 2011.

The pilot's logbooks were not recovered. Based on information provided by the flying club and an insurance company representative, it was estimated that at the time of the accident, the pilot had accumulated about 130 hours of total flight experience, which included about 13 hours in the same make and model as the accident airplane.

According to flight logs, the pilot's most recent flight in the airplane prior to the accident was on January 8, 2011, for 1.7 hours.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The four-seat, low-wing, fixed-gear, all-metal airplane, serial number 28-7205287, was manufactured in 1972. It was powered by a Lycoming O-360-A4A, 180-horsepower engine equipped with a Sensenich propeller.

According to FAA Records, the airplane was purchased by its current owner, Condor Flying Club on April 21, 1995.

A flight log for the accident flight that was found in the cockpit, listed 18 gallons of fuel in both the left and the right fuel tanks.

At the time of the accident, the airplane had been operated for about 6,775 hours since new, and the engine had been operated for about 710 hours since overhaul. In addition, the airplane had been operated for 32 hours since its most recent annual inspection, which was performed on November 2, 2011.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The reported weather at THV, elevation 495 feet mean sea level, at 1253, was: wind 230 degrees at 13 knots, gusting to 20 knots; visibility 10 statute miles; clear sky; temperature 4 degrees Celsius (C); dew point -9 degrees C; altimeter 30.16 in/hg.

WRECKAGE INFORMATION

The airplane impacted in a corn field approximately 1/4-mile from the approach end, and about 400 feet to the left of the extended centerline of runway 17. The airplane came to rest upright on a heading of about 265 degrees. All major components of the airplane were accounted for in the immediate vicinity of the main wreckage.

The left wing was separated at the wing root, at the main spar forward and aft attach points and was folded back along the side of the fuselage. The pitot/static mast was clear of any visible obstructions. The stall vane was impact damaged. The right wing remained attached to its respective main spar attach points; however, it was bent upward approximately 45 degrees. In addition, the right wing leading edge contained aft crush damage from the wingtip to the inboard root area. The rudder, vertical stabilizer and horizontal stabilator exhibited minor damage. Flight control continuity was confirmed from all flight control surfaces to the forward cockpit area. The flaps were observed at an approximate 25-degree setting.

The engine was canted downward about 45 degrees. The propeller remained attached to the crankshaft flange and was partially buried in the ground. Both propeller blades contained leading edge gouges near the tip, and chordwise scratches. The crankshaft was rotated via the propeller. Continuity was observed through the accessory section and all respective cylinder rocker arms. In addition, thumb compression was attained on all cylinders. All spark plugs were removed. Their electrodes were intact and dark gray in color. Both magnetos were secure and rotated freely after removal. They subsequently produced spark on all towers when placed on magneto test bench. The gascolator was compromised; however, the screen was absent of contamination. Fuel was present in the fuel line to the carburetor and the carburetor bowl. The fuel was absent of contamination and consistent with 100-low-lead aviation gasoline.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the pilot on January 31, 2012, by Forensic Pathology Associates, Allentown, Pennsylvania. The autopsy reported listed the cause of death as injuries that were consistent "blunt impact."

Toxicological testing performed on the pilot by the FAA Bioaeronautical Science Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, revealed both Amlodipine and Glipizide detected in urine and only glipizide detected in blood. Both medications, as well as the pilot's history of diabetes mellitus and hypertension were reported to the FAA during the pilot's most recent third-class medical examination.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Airplane Flight Manual

The airplane flight manual listed the airplane's power off, wings level stall speed at a gross weight of 2,450 pounds, as 61 mph (53 knots) for 40 degrees of flaps, and 68 mph (59 knots) in a flaps retracted configuration.

A Garmin 496 global positioning system (GPS) receiver was recovered from the cockpit and forwarded to the NTSB Vehicle Recorders Laboratory, Washington, DC, where it was successfully downloaded.

Review of the GPS data for the accident flight revealed that the airplane departed FDK about 1200, flew past DMW about 1215, and arrived over THV at a GPS altitude of 2,450 feet about 1225. The pilot entered a left downwind for runway 17, and landed at 1232. He subsequently taxied back to the beginning of runway 17, took off at 1237, and entered a left traffic pattern for runway 17. The airplane's flight track on the accident flight was consistent with the flight track on the previous landing. At 1241:32, the airplane was about 1/2 mile from the threshold of the runway, at a GPS altitude 748 feet (253 feet above ground level [agl]) and a ground speed of 58 knots, about 9 knots slower than the previous landing. At 1241:38, the airplane was at a GPS altitude of 692 feet (197 feet agl) and a ground speed of 49 knots, about 19 knots slower than the previous landing. The airplane's last GPS target was at 1241:54, in the vicinity of the accident site at a GPS altitude of 564 feet (69 feet agl) and a ground speed of 45 knots, about 24 knots slower than the previous landing.



A Maryland man was killed when his plane crashed while landing at the York Airport. 



Northern York County Regional Police and Pennsylvania State Police are at scene of the plane crash investigating.

Sadly, this wasn't the first time a "loud thump" outside has startled Marlyn Stambaugh.

A neighbor of the York Airport for 60 years, the 87-year-old Jackson Township man has witnessed more than his fair share of plane crashes. On Sunday, Stambaugh pointed out the window of his home toward another heap of twisted metal.

"I'm kind of used to it," he said softly, recalling earlier tragedies near his home.

About 12:45 p.m. Sunday, a small plane crash-landed in the corn field next to Stambaugh's house - just 5,000 or so feet short of the runway on the other side of Route 30.

The pilot, Douglas Helms, 56, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to York County Deputy Coroner Onalee Gilbert. She said Helms flew out of an airport in Frederick, Md. about 11 a.m.

An autopsy is planned for Tuesday, Gilbert reported.

The National Transportation Safety Board reported on its website that the agency is investigating the crash. The agency reported the plane was a Piper PA-28 180.

Helms was a member of the Condor Flying Club out of Frederick, said Mike Pressimone, one of the club's instructors.

"He was a very conscientious individual," Pressimone said. "It's one of those things where you just kind of want to know what happened."

Pressimone said news of the crash came as a shock to the club, whose members collectively agreed to keep public comments to a minimum.

"We kind of all want to get together and talk. We want to understand what happened," he said.

Meanwhile, the mood was somber Sunday at York Airport, where manager Richard Fuess leaned over a fence to watch airplane after airplane make soft landings on the runway. As many as 100 planes land at the airport in Thomasville on an average day, he said.

"It's windy, but it's not too windy," he said, momentarily trailing off in thought. "This is absolutely horrible."

Fuess said he doesn't think he knows the pilot, but it's a tough day nonetheless.

"It's just sad because he was on his way here," he said.

To make a bad situation worse, memories are still fresh of another fatal crash near the airport just a few weeks ago.

Pilot Brian Robertson, 38, of Huntington Beach, Calif., was flying into York to spend the holidays with family when his plane crashed Dec. 22.

That crash is still under investigation but the NTSB's preliminary report details new information, including the fact that the overall damage to the twin engine Cessna 441 was consistent with its having been in a right-turning flat spin when it hit the ground.
 ================
Update, 4:18 p.m.
York County Coroner Barry Bloss said the pilot who died in the crash is a 56-year-old man from Maryland. His name will be released after his next-of-kin is notified.  An autopsy on the pilot's body will be conducted Monday at Lehigh Valley Hospital, Bloss said.

A man is dead following an airplane crash in a field near York Airport in Jackson Township on Sunday.

Emergency crews were dispatched to the crash at 12:43 p.m., according to York County 911.

York County Coroner Barry Bloss confirmed a Maryland man was killed in the crash. The man was the only person killed.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash, Bloss said.

As of 2 p.m., responders were holding a blue tarp in front of the plane, probably to shield the public's view as they remove the crash victim.

The field is located just across Route 30 from the airport.

Media at the scene are waiting for official word about what happened and how many people were on the plane.

Marlyn Stambaugh, 87, said he has lived across the street from the airport for 60 years. His home sits next to the corn field, just a few hundred feet from the crash site.

"I'm kind of used to it," he said, recalling earlier tragedies near his home.

On Sunday, shortly before 1 p.m., Stambaugh said he heard a "loud thump." He looked outside, but didn't see anything.

A tree limb must have snapped, he thought.

Then the sirens and lights and people started to arrive.

Stambaugh looked out his window again. This time he spotted a crumpled airplane in the field.

"It's bad when they hit," he said.

Richard Fuess, the airport's manager, said he has "no idea" why the unidentified pilot crashed into a cornfield just about 5,000 feet from the runway.

"It's windy," he said, "but it's not too windy. This is absolutely horrible."

Fuess said as many as 100 planes land at the airport in Thomasville on an average day. As he spoke, two small planes made soft landings.

Fuess said he doesn't think he knows the pilot, but it's a tough day nonetheless.

"It's just sad because he was on his way here," he said.

Traffic is moving slowly, but steadily along Route 30, near the crash site.

A littler over a month ago, pilot Brian Robertson, 38, of Huntington Beach, Calif., was killed in a plane crash near the airport.

Robertson was flying into York to spend the holidays with family when his plane crashed Dec. 22.

That crash is still under investigation but the NTSB's preliminary report details new information, including the fact that the overall damage to the Cessna 441 was consistent with it having been in a right-turning flat spin when it hit the ground.

Update, 2:55 p.m.
The media has been moved to the parking lot at York Airport where a statement will be made. No time has been set for that statement.

Update, 2:25 p.m.
Emergency crews reported that one person is dead. Northern York County Regional Police, Pennsylvania State Police and the coroner are on the scene.

The plane landed on a cornfield with its fuselage twisted. Foam was sprayed on the field, and investigators are combing the fields, apparently looking for pieces of debris.

Ralph Bentzel, who lives nearby, described the crash as a "pile of metal." He said he remembered a crash in the same cornfield several years ago, but it was further back from Route 30.

Traffic is still moving through the area, but be careful because many drivers are slowing down to look at the crash.

This is the second fatal plane crash the area has seen in a little over a month.

On Dec. 22, Brian Robertson, of Huntington Beach, Calif., was killed when his plane crashed about 2 miles from the York Airport in Thomasville.

Cessna 340A, Flying G Aviation LLC, N340HF: Accident occurred January 27, 2012 in Ocala, Florida

http://registry.faa.gov

http://flightaware.com

NTSB Identification: ERA12FA161 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, January 27, 2012 in Ocala, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/15/2013
Aircraft: CESSNA 340A, registration: N340HF
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious.

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.

The pilot entered the left downwind leg of the traffic pattern to land to the north. A surface wind from the west prevailed with gusts to 15 knots. Radar data revealed that the airplane was on final approach, about 1.16 miles from the runway and about 210 feet above the ground. The airplane then crashed in a pasture south of the airport, in a slight left-wing-low attitude, and came to rest upright. The cockpit and cabin were consumed in a postcrash fire. The pilot's wife, who was in the aft cabin and survived the accident, recalled that it was choppy and that they descended quickly. She recalled hearing two distinct warning horns in the cockpit prior to the crash. The airplane was equipped with two aural warning systems in the cockpit: a landing gear warning horn and a stall warning horn. The pilot likely allowed the airspeed to decay while aligning the airplane on final approach and allowed the airplane to descend below a normal glide path. Examination of the wreckage revealed that the landing gear were in transit toward the retracted position at impact, indicating that the pilot was attempting to execute a go-around before the accident. The pilot made no distress calls to air traffic controllers before the crash. The pilot did not possess a current flight review at the time of the accident. Examination of the wreckage, including a test run of both engines, revealed no evidence of a pre-existing mechanical malfunction or failure that would have precluded normal operation of the airplane.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed and altitude on final approach, resulting in an impact with terrain short of the airport.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On January 27, 2012, about 1227 eastern standard time, a Cessna 340A, N340HF, was substantially damaged following a collision with terrain during approach to Ocala International Airport (OCF), Ocala, Florida. The certificated private pilot was fatally injured and one passenger received serious injuries. The airplane was registered to a corporation and was operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed. The flight originated from Middle Georgia Regional Airport, Macon, Georgia, about 1117.

An examination of recorded radar data revealed that the pilot entered a left downwind leg on a southerly heading, about 6 miles west of OCF. The airplane was abeam the approach end of runway 36, and about 1,800 feet mean sea level (msl), when a left base turn was initiated. The pilot then initiated a turn to final about 2.5 miles from the runway approach end, at an altitude of about 700 feet msl. The last radar return with an altitude readout other than zero occurred about 1.16 nautical miles south of runway 36, at 1727:27 (HHMM:SS) at an altitude of about 300 feet msl (about 210 feet above the ground).

According to recorded voice transmissions between the accident pilot and Ocala FAA Contract Tower (FCT) personnel, the pilot checked in at 1723:51. The local controller provided the pilot with the current wind information and the pilot reported turning left base at 1724:07. The local controller reported that the airplane was not in sight and issued a landing clearance to the pilot. At 1725:41, the local controlled advised the pilot that he had him in sight. At 1727:52, the local controller stated, "zero hotel foxtrot altitude altitude." No response was received from the pilot, and there were no distress calls received from the pilot.

The pilot's wife was seated in the aft cabin and reported the following after the accident. During the descent for landing at OCF, she recalled the "choppy" and "bumpy" conditions, and the "ground was coming up on them quickly." She recalled hearing two distinct warning horns in the cockpit prior to the crash. She also reported that, during the final phase of the flight, the airplane veered left noticeably two times. Prior to the crash, her husband made no comments regarding any mechanical difficulties with the airplane.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, airplane multiengine land, and instrument airplane. He reported a total flight experience of 1,005 hours on his latest third-class medical certificate application, dated June 10, 2011.

According to the pilot's logbook that was located in the wreckage, as of January 21, 2012, he recorded about 416 hours in single engine airplanes, about 632 hours in multi-engine airplanes, and about 828 hours as pilot-in-command. His first recorded flight in the accident airplane was on December 19, 2011, and he recorded about 14.2 hours total time in the accident airplane.

The pilot's last recorded Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part 61.56 flight review occurred on December 28, 2009. The flight included an instrument proficiency check and was conducted in a single-engine Cessna 182. The accident pilot's last flight review in a Cessna 340A occurred on November 3, 2007. The certified flight instructor (CFI) who administered the examinations was interviewed by the NTSB investigator-in-charge following the accident. The CFI reported that he last flew with the accident pilot in 2011. The CFI also owned a Cessna 340A and asked the accident pilot to fly the airplane to Albany, Georgia for him, since the CFI was injured from a recent fall. The CFI reported that the flight from Florida to Albany was uneventful until entering the traffic pattern for landing. The accident pilot lined up on an incorrect runway, and the CFI provided verbal guidance to correct the situation. Once aligned on the correct runway, the accident pilot allowed the airspeed to decay on short final to the point where the CFI responded out loud, "power, power!" The airplane landed hard on the runway, and a hard landing inspection was accomplished after the flight with no damage found.

A friend of the accident pilot, who was also a CFI, provided dual instruction following the pilot's purchase on the accident airplane in December, 2011. The CFI was interviewed by the NTSB investigator-in-charge following the accident. He stated that he did not administer a flight review to the accident pilot. During recent dual instruction, the accident pilot flew precise, smooth approaches and landings. He stated that the accident pilot would have passed a flight review based on how he flew when they were together. The CFI and the accident pilot conversed prior to the flight, and he was aware that the accident pilot needed to be in Ocala by 12 o'clock noon on the day of the accident to meet with a realtor.

The CFR part 61 addresses certification of pilots. The following pertains to flight reviews:

Except as provided in paragraphs (d), (e), and (g) of this section, no person may act as pilot in command of an aircraft unless, since the beginning of the 24th calendar month before the month in which that pilot acts as pilot in command, that person has—
(1) Accomplished a flight review given in an aircraft for which that pilot is rated by an authorized instructor; and
(2) A logbook endorsed from an authorized instructor who gave the review certifying that the person has satisfactorily completed the review.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane was a twin-engine, low wing, retractable gear airplane, serial number 340A0624. It was powered by two Continental TSIO-520 engines with RAM conversions rated at 335 horsepower each.

According to the aircraft maintenance records, the last annual inspection on the airframe and engines was performed on April 18, 2011, at a total aircraft time of 5,057.4 hours.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The 1227 surface weather observation for OCF reported wind 260 degrees at 9 knots with gusts to 15 knots, visibility 10 miles or better, few clouds at 2,800 feet, ceiling 3,400 feet overcast, temperature 19 degrees C, dew point 14 degrees C, and altimeter setting 30.00 inches of mercury.

At 1224, the Ocala FAA Control Tower local controller provided with following wind information to the accident pilot, "…wind two seven zero at nine and uh gust one four." The pilot acknowledged the transmission.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The accident site was situated on level ground and was an active livestock pasture. The main wreckage was located about 0.65 nautical miles south-southwest of the approach end of runway 36. The airplane fuselage came to rest on a heading of 120 degrees. Small flecks of white paint and a broken portion of the left wing navigation light were found with the first ground scar along the wreckage path. The straight line distance from the initial impact scar to the main wreckage was about 86 feet and was on a heading of 300 degrees.

An initial examination of the wreckage revealed the following. The cockpit and cabin were extensively burned from a post-impact fire. The landing gear handle was found in the retracted position. The position of the landing gear actuator linkage indicated an "in transit" position and was in close proximity to the up/retracted position. The wing flaps were found extended about 15 degrees. All engine controls were found near the full-forward positions.

Control cable continuity was established from the cockpit controls to the rudder and elevators. The left aileron cables were attached to the bell crank with overload separations noted near the wing root. The right aileron cables were continuous from the wing bell crank to the wing root. The pilot and co-pilot control wheels were linked together by the chain.

The left engine remained attached to the airframe via the engine mounts and thermal damage was evident to the accessory section. The engine-driven fuel pump was removed by investigators and the drive coupling was intact. The pump did not rotate freely by hand. The fuel metering unit/mixture control exhibited thermal damage and both control arms moved freely by hand. The crankshaft rotated by hand when the propeller flange was rotated manually with a hand tool. The turbocharger compressor wheel turned freely by hand and was coupled to the turbine wheel.

The right engine remained attached to the airframe by three of the four mount legs and thermal damage was evident to the accessory section. The engine-driven fuel pump was removed by investigators and the drive coupling was intact. The pump did not rotate freely by hand. The fuel metering unit/mixture control exhibited thermal damage and both control arms moved freely by hand. The crankshaft rotated by hand when the propeller flange was rotated manually with a hand tool. The turbocharger compressor wheel turned freely by hand and was coupled to the turbine wheel.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

A postmortem examination of the pilot was performed at the District 5 Medical Examiner's Office, Leesburg, Florida, on January 28, 2012. The autopsy report noted the cause of death as "Acute carbon monoxide poisoning and thermal injuries due to fire due to airplane crash" and the manner of death was "accident."

Forensic toxicology testing was performed on specimens of the pilot by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory (CAMI), Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The CAMI toxicology report indicated 31 percent carbon monoxide detected in blood and 1.3 ug/ml of cyanide detected in blood. No ethanol was detected in vitreous fluid. No drugs were detected in the urine.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

The engines were shipped to the Continental Motors, Inc. (CMI) facilities in Mobile, Alabama for further examination. The investigation team reconvened on April 3 through 5 to perform the examinations. After an initial evaluation of overall condition, it was concluded that test runs of the engines would be attempted.

Left Engine

Due to impact and thermal damage, the following items were substituted or repaired prior to the test: fuel manifold valve fittings, the throttle control link rod, the induction system "Y" pipe, and the exhaust system.

The engine was fitted to the test stand and a test club propeller was installed. The engine started normally on the first attempt without hesitation or stumbling in observed RPM. The engine RPM was advanced in steps for warm-up in preparation for full power operation. The engine was advanced to 1,200 RPM, 1,600 RPM , and 2,450 RPM and held for 5 minutes at each RPM setting to stabilize. The engine throttle was then advanced to the full open position and held for an additional 5 minutes to stabilize. Throughout the test phase, the engine accelerated normally without any hesitation, stumbling, or interruption in power and demonstrated the ability to produce rated horsepower. The engine fuel system was not adjusted and was found to be set at a lean condition as compared to CMI specifications.

Right Engine

Due to impact and thermal damage, the following items were substituted or repaired prior to the test: fuel pump fittings, the induction system "Y" pipe, and the engine starter.

The engine was fitted to the test stand and a test club propeller was installed. The engine started normally on the first attempt without hesitation or stumbling in observed RPM. The engine RPM was advanced in steps for warm-up in preparation for full power operation. The engine was advanced to 1,200 RPM, 1,600 RPM, and 2,450 RPM and held for 5 minutes at each RPM setting to stabilize. The engine throttle was then advanced to the full open position and held for an additional 5 minutes to stabilize. Throughout the test phase, the engine accelerated normally without any hesitation, stumbling, or interruption in power and demonstrated the ability to produce rated horsepower.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The airplane was equipped with two aural warning systems, a landing gear warning horn and a stall warning horn.

According to the Cessna 340A Information Manual, the landing gear warning horn was controlled by the throttles and the wing flap position. The horn would sound intermittently if either throttle was retarded below about 15 inches of manifold pressure with the landing gear retracted or if the wing flaps were lowered past the 15 degree position with the landing gear in any position except extended and locked.

The stall warning horn would sound 5 to 10 knots above the stall in all flight configurations.








A Saturday investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board of the plane crash that killed Coliseum Health System Chief Executive Officer P. Allen Golson found the plane’s gear handle in the up, or retracted, position.

Pilots usually place the gear down for landing, according to Ralph Hicks, senior air safety investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board, though he said investigators will need to have a closer look at the plane to make any determinations.

Golson, 55, died Friday after his Cessna 340 twin-engine plane crashed in a field about half a mile south of the Ocala International Airport in Florida and caught on fire at about 12:30 p.m. Golson was the pilot, and his wife, Carol, 52, was the only other passenger on the six-seat plane. The investigation also found that at the time of the crash Carol Golson was sitting in one of the plane’s aft cabin seats, and not in the cockpit with her husband.

The accident happened about an hour and 10 minutes after leaving Macon.

Earlier this month, Golson announced he would be stepping down from his Macon job after seven years to become CEO of Ocala Health System.

Carol Golson is in stable condition at the Ocala Regional Medical Center after sustaining minor injuries in the crash, according to Merita Burney, the Coliseum’s chief nursing officer. Carol was expected to be moved to another room Saturday afternoon after spending time in the intensive care unit for observation, Burney said.

The aircraft wreckage has been removed from the crash site, and Hicks expects investigators to be on the scene in Ocala until Monday or Tuesday. The entire investigation could take six to nine months, though. A preliminary report will also be released in a week, he said.

Investigators also discovered that only two of the aircraft’s six fuel tanks had fuel in them at the time of the incident. The other four tanks in the plane were ruptured in the post-crash fire, said Hicks. The NTSB is investigating the crash with the assistance of the Federal Aviation Administration.

“This is strictly a fact-finding phase,” Hicks said. “We’re documenting the facts right now.”

Golson was cleared for a visual approach by a flight tower in Ocala, but contact with Golson’s plane ended there. Golson did not make any emergency or distress calls before the crash, Hicks said.

According to paperwork filed with the FAA, Golson recorded over 1,000 hours of flight time over the summer.

Burney, who lives in the same River Forest subdivision as the Golsons in Monroe County, said neighbors have expressed “shock, disbelief and sadness.”

“It’s a great loss for all of us, the family at the Coliseum and the neighbors at River Forest,” Burney said Saturday. “He will be greatly missed.”

New Jersey Mooney Pilots KVAY Sunday Lunch Fly In. (South Jersey Regional Airport)

Earlier today we dropped by KVAY, our home airport, to introduce ourselves to members of the New Jersey Mooney Pilots who flew in for a luncheon get together.  It seemed a great excuse to get out of the house.  We spent about an hour discussing Mooneys, our planes, and aviation stuff in general.  The planes looked great, as the following pictures show. As with pilots in general, a very congenial and fun group.














Cambridge, Ohio: Chance encounter goes well

By Carl La Rue

Every once in a while, we encounter a situation where something we did previously comes home to roost. It usually has the potential to be embarrassing. Such was the case when I visited the Cambridge airport last Monday.

Sitting on the ramp with an open door was a beautiful Citation Jet 500. As I arrived the passengers were just leaving the terminal, obviously on the verge of departing. None of them were familiar to me but I tagged along, hoping for a few words with the pilot as we are generally kindred spirits.

Imagine my surprise as one of them eyeballed me and asked "are you the writer?" Cover blown, I admitted that I was Carl La Rue, and he identified himself as Craig McGonigle, whom I had talked to on the phone but hadn't met.

That brought another person up to me who offered to shake hands. "I'm Shawn Mack, the pilot, and we just spoke a couple of days ago"

(I had called him, among others, in the process of doing a "hangar needs" survey.)

Names and aircraft identification tumbled rapidly into -- gasp -- recognition! This was the airplane that I had colorfully written about where the owner had fallen ignominiously on his posterior, slipping on the mess created when the pilot had been forced to deice the airplane before takeoff with antifreeze and a hose.

Shawn anticipated my question just as I began to ask: "This is David Dachner, the president of Amarado Oil Company." Just that suddenly I was face to face, and shaking hands with, the gentleman whose unfortunate fall I had described unflatteringly, albeit in critique of our airport's shortcomings.

I stammered an apology for his unfortunate encounter with our pavement and he couldn't have been more gracious about it. In answer to my question about future visits to KCDI, he replied that there would be "many more in the future." I allowed that there might be a heated hangar for them to use in the future and he simply said "good" while the pilot nodded his head vigorously.

Before entering the plane, Mr. Dachner asked for a copy of the article that I had previously written (oh, oh!) and handed me his card. "One side is my profession," he said, "and the other side is my passion." Of course, I turned to the passion side immediately: www.abundantlifefoundaton.net. Anyone who enjoyed my unceremonious description of his pratfall owes it to him now to access his website.

The pilot had our ramp rat, Dave Mourer, do something that I had never seen before. Standing behind the Number 1 engine for a couple of minutes before engine start, Dave held a floor mat up against the tailpipe, blocking the tail wind from blowing into the engine. When the pilot gave him the word, he removed it and the pilot immediately began the starting sequence on that engine.

Why? It seems like a tail wind acting on the turbine vanes gets the engine turning in the wrong direction and that's not a good time to engage the starter. I'll ask Shawn about that later, when we fly together in my Lancair. I offered the ride by saying "at least we can go upside down in my plane."

"That would be nice," he said, "I'm not a stranger to upside down. I used to fly F-15s and F-16s."

Gulp.

Guess I'm in for another adventure.

carl.larue@live.com

Eye in the sky guards pylons


Hovering just metres above the ground, on the look-out for dangerous hotspots and potential power cuts, a fleet of helicopters armed with hi-tech equipment patrol the Midlands.

The region’s electricity provider Western Power Distribution has a squad of seven choppers – including two new, £3.5 million models – which monitor the network.

Gone are the laborious days of a man in a cherry-picker lift climbing up to inspect the pylons himself – instead, powerful cameras and thermal imaging equipment take around 20,000 pictures a day which are then examined by engineers.

The choppers can cover up to 130km of cable a day, and generally inspect around 100,000km of cable every year.

Spokeswoman Stella Hayward said today the on-board cameras were used for preventative measures, as well as spotting faults.

“The cameras take very detailed pictures, while the thermal image cameras show any hotspots, where heat is escaping,” she said.

“This can mean there is a weakness there and we can make sure any necessary works are carried out to fix it before a power cut happens.” Other electricity firms have been so impressed by the operation they have now joined a consortium, borrowing the helicopters whenever they have faults on their own network.

The new helicopters have been invested in to expand the fleet, which gets calls from all over the country as part of the consortium. They also make around 60 per cent less noise – which, when they are flying over farmland, is useful as it means cattle and horses are less likely to be spooked, leading to fewer complaints from angry farmers.

The helicopter unit consists of five pilots and five observers, who record the results of each trip using touch screen laptops kitted out with a programme which can identify every single pylon, pole and substation in the country.

This means any fault or potential threat identified, such as trees growing through the power lines – which can cause severe damage in a storm – can be transmitted almost immediately to engineers.

Pilot Robin Tutcher said the choppers get as low as 40ft from the ground to inspect cables as closely as possible.

“Helicopters are expensive – we know that,” he said. “But depending on fault severity, time of day, weather and availability we can get anywhere in the Midlands within two and a half hours.”

Video: Pilot killed in plane crash at Pallamanna Airfield, Murray Bridge - South Australia.

A pilot has been killed when his plane crashed into a farm paddock in rural South Australia.

Video: U.S. Coast Guard rescues four in Portage Bay

A Coast Guard helicopter aircrew from Kodiak hoists four crew-members from the ice. Harsh weather grounded the fishing vessel Kimberly in Portage Bay. Video provided by the U.S. Coast Guard.


Air Station Kodiak rescues 4 from Kimberly from anchoragedailynews on Vimeo.

Jailed Janardhan Reddy can't fly anymore, helicopter seized

Bellary, Jan 29: In an another setback for the Reddy brothers, the investigation agency, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) seized their helicopters. The CBI on Sunday, Jan 29 raided the Reddys' residences in Bellary, Karnataka and seized the helicopters.

According to sources, the CBI had suspected that they might get more unauthorized money and jewellery from houses of the mining baron. However, the CBI stated that they will submit all details of the things which they have seized from Janardhana Reddy's house.

Here it can be mentioned that following an early raid by the CBI, the former Karnataka minister (Gali) along with his brother-in-law were arrested over alleged illegal mining scam in Karnataka and currently have been lodged in a jail in Andhra Pradesh.

Source:  http://news.oneindia.in

Video: Brand New Cessna Grand Caravan Landing El Paso, Texas

Video by mmurphy147 on Jan 28, 2012

Brand New Cessna Grand Caravan Landing El Paso, TX, Runway 22. G1000 with Synthetic Vision


Gander Airport Hopes For New Hangar. (Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada)

The town of Gander and the airport authority hope that a new hangar or aeroplex facility will get the green light from the federal and provincial governments. Gander Mayor Claude Elliott says they believe the hangar would be a big asset in attracting new business to the airport. He says every major airport has a hangar. They hope to have something concrete in the next couple of months.

The airport authority and the town have each committed a half-million dollars toward the project.

Source:  http://www.vocm.com

Airline may offer flight between Helena and Billings

Billings Gazette

Philip LeFevre talks about the Gulfstream’s essential Air Service routes in Montana at Billings Logan International Airport in April. Gulfstream changed its name to Silver Airways in December. The 19-seat Beechcraft 1900D plane pictured is likely the same model of plane that would be used on a possible route linking Helena and Missoula with Billings.

A Florida-based airline is close to making a decision on whether to offer a flight between Helena and Billings, directly linking the state’s Capital City with the its largest city, officials say.

The decision on the new flight could come in the next week or so, said Mickey Bowman, a vice president and spokesman for Silver Airways Corp.

“We are still sort of doing our due diligence on it,” Bowman said late last week. “We hope to have a decision by the end of the month or shortly thereafter.”

Ron Mercer, the Helena Airport director, said his staff has made a firm proposal to Silver Airways and expects the matter to be presented to the airline’s top management and board of directors soon.

“They are moving forward and we are encouraged,” Mercer said.

Talks between Helena airport officials with Gulfstream International began last fall after local leaders informally surveyed local residents about potential interest in a flight to Billings. The response to the query was strong, with many business and government officials expressing clear interest in the possibility of a one-day, round-trip service to Billings.

Last month, the air carrier has changed its name from Gulfstream International Airlines to Silver Airways. Silver is the airline that provides federally subsidized flights to a number of eastern Montana communities through the Essential Air Service program.

Based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., the airline’s core business centers around 100 daily flights linking 29 cities in Florida, the Bahamas, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. It began flights in eastern Montana last year, taking the Essential Air Service reins from Wyoming-based Great Lake Airlines.

Bowman said the eastern Montana flights and passenger comments highlighted interest in a flight linking Billings, Silver’s Montana hub, with Helena. The flight would have no federal subsidy.

“We have to proceed carefully,” Bowman said. “This is what we term at-risk flying, since there is no subsidy involved. We have to be able to pay the bills.”

At the same time it’s been talking with Helena officials, the airline has also talking about a potential flight to Missoula and Williston, N.D., a city at the epicenter of the Bakken oil boom.

“All of those things are sort of in the pot right now,” said Mercer.

But Bowman offered few hints about whether the airline would consider adding more than one flight or pick one city over another. Mercer and Cris Jensen, the director of the Missoula airport, have been working together to some degree to win a flight that would link Missoula and Billings, with a stop in Helena.

“It’s our understanding that it would be similar to what Big Sky (Airlines) did back before they ended service in 2008,” said Jensen. “But we will be happy with whatever they give us.”

Jensen said the oil boom, while hundreds of miles away from western Montana, is at the root of the interest for a flight from Missoula to Billings. The boom is also driving interest in Billings for a Williston flight. Silver currently offers a flight to Sidney, another Bakken hotspot.

“We know there are a lot of contractors and business people from our area are driving over there now,” Jensen said. “Without the direct air service, it’s pretty time consuming and expensive to fly through Seattle or Salt Lake City.”

Bowman said his airline and has been doing market research on each of the potential destinations. In some cases, airport officials have offered incentives to land Silver. (At one point, Silver was looking at a flight from Butte to Billings, but recently failed to land the EAS money.)

Mercer said he believes the Missoula airport has offered to waive or reduce the landing fees it charges, a common approach by airports looking to woo new carriers. Mercer said Helena already has low landing fees, and he fears backlash from existing carriers if the airport lowered the fees to snag Silver.

“We said we would provide them with some marketing money,” Mercer said. “But we haven’t made any commitments. We need more information on how they would intend to operate here.”

While Silver officials have little doubt about the interest in a Helena and Missoula link, number crunching will play a key role in any decision.

“It’s absolutely imperative that we consider all the costs,” Bowman said.

Flying across Montana has been a financial challenge for others carriers. Big Sky Airlines went through at least one bankruptcy reorganization and several ownership and management shake-ups in its turbulent 20-year history.

Silver itself was formed in 2011 after investors bought some of the assets of Gulfstream, which had filed for bankruptcy in November 2010. Silver is owned by Victory Park Capital, a Chicago-based investment concern. Victory Park owns a number of companies, including an aviation-services provider. But its money- making ventures stretch to Giordano’s pizza restaurants and the Fuller Brush Co.

Mercer and Jensen agree that that flight path combining and Helena and Missoula offers the best chance to fill the 19-seat Beechcraft 1900D planes that Silver uses on its current Montana routes. Full seats are a big step towards a profitable airline operation.

“I think it would be best if they did both cities,” said Mercer.

Source:  http://helenair.com

Spain takes legal action against Spanair

Spain's government has launched legal action against the now-defunct airline Spanair.

An estimated 22,000 passengers who had booked seats on more than 220 cancelled flights have been left looking for alternative arrangements and instructions on how to seek reimbursements.

Spanair, owned by a consortium based in the northeastern region of Catalonia, shut down its operations late Friday because of a lack of funding.

The legal proceedings begun by Spain's government could lead to Spanair being fined 9 million euros ($A11.14 million) for two 'serious infringements' of aviation security legislation, Development Minister Ana Pastor said. The alleged infractions related to obligations linked to continued service and passenger protection.

Chairman Ferran Soriano said the airline had failed to attract inward investment and consequently the regional government of northeastern Catalonia took the decision to stop providing funds. Spanair, whose hub was Barcelona airport, employed around 2,000 people and used the services of about 1,200 ground staff.

Spanair's financial woes were exacerbated by a 2008 crash that killed 154 people. Eighteen people survived what was Spain's worst aviation disaster in 25 years. The airline, which also ran a commuter service between Madrid and Barcelona, was in trouble financially before Spanair Flight JK5022 - an MD-82 jet - crashed on takeoff on August 20, 2008 as it tried to leave Madrid bound for the Canary Islands.

In 2010 Spanair, which was Spain's No. 4 airline, reported an operating loss of 115 million euros and had survived thanks to finance provided by the Catalan government and some private investors.

The Catalan government cited the 'current economic climate' and 'European legislation concerning competition' as the major factors influencing its decision.

In Brussels, the European Low Fares Airline Association said those of its members flying overlapping routes with Spanair would offer specially discounted fares to enable stranded passengers to return home. Offers are subject to seat availability, said the organisation of budget airlines - which includes Ryanair and EasyJet.

The association's secretary-general, John Hanlon, said in a statement the aim was to assist Spanair passengers who were experiencing difficulties with travel plans. National carrier Iberia Spanish Airlines SA said it had also offered to help.

Queensland, Australia: Flight diverts to Mount Isa after smoke fears

A Boeing 747 with 170 passengers aboard has been grounded on its way to Darwin after pilots reported a smell of smoke in the cockpit and diverted to Mt Isa.

The plane landed at the Mt Isa airport to meet two fire trucks just after 8pm, according to Queensland Fire and Rescue Service officers.

"We investigated the aircraft, and we found no readings of smoke," an officer said.

Passengers also had to be helped down from the plane by a wheelchair lift, in lieu of the right-sized staircase for the 747, which doesn't normally land at Mt Isa airport, according to QFRS.

Hardwick Field has served community for more than century. Hardwick Field Airport (KHDI), Cleveland, Tennessee.

— Second in a series —

Air service to and from Cleveland will change drastically this fall with the start of operation at the city’s new aviation facility in the Tasso community.

The Cleveland Regional Jetport has long been a goal of the city and the local business and industrial community, because of the limitations at Hardwick Field on North Lee Highway.

The old airfield has served the community faithfully for more than half a century.

The 3,300-foot runway at Hardwick Field has long been a hindrance to larger airplanes used by local industries and businesses. The 5,500-foot runway at the new Jetport will serve the community’s air traffic well into the future.

The opening of the new air-service center this fall will signal the end to an era of more than 60 years of aviation endeavors at the city’s Hardwick Field on North Lee Highway. It will also mark more than 100 years since powered flight was first introduced to the community by daredevil biplane pilot Charles K. Hamilton in 1911.

The eventual future of the city’s Hardwick Field property has yet to be determined.

Hardwick Field was constructed in the early 1950s when World War II veteran George Castings Jr. built a dirt landing field to be used as a training facility for flight students. Castings had flown P-47 fighter planes in World War II.

In the late 1950s, Castings sold the training center and property to the city of Cleveland for $10,000. The facility, at that time, consisted of a 2,000-foot runway, a 1,000-gallon fuel tank and a six-plane concrete hangar.

In 1959, the city extended the airstrip to 3,300 feet and paved it with asphalt. This facility met the community’s needs until late in the 20th century when it was determined the runway was too short for many of the more-modern aircraft.

During its early years, the facility was called simply the Cleveland Airport.

In the late 1960s, late Cleveland businessman and City Commissioner Bobby Taylor, also a World War II veteran, recommended the airfield be named in honor of longtime entrepreneur and president of Cleveland Woolen Mills C.L. Hardwick. Hardwick was also a former police commissioner for the city.

Hardwick was an early Bradley County resident, having been born in 1827 at the Cherokee Agency (now Charleston). His grandfather had been an agent for the Cherokee Nation.

Cleveland’s Woolen Mill employed about 60 workers and was one of the area’s largest workplaces. Hardwick also owned a farm, a store and banks in Dalton, Ga., and Cedartown, Ga. He was also a big supporter of Centenary Female College in Cleveland.

The local airfield has carried Hardwick’s name for about 50 years.

The airport, still located on North Lee Highway, services single- and double-engine aircraft. The field has a pilot’s lounge, outdoor tie-down space, aircraft maintenance facilities and 20 hangars that are leased to private individuals. Most of these individuals will be transferring their leases to the new Jetport.

The city has leased the airport facility to several individuals and organizations over the years, leading up to current management by A. Taylor Newman and his Crystal Air company.

Other managers over the past 50 years include Cleveland Flying Service (1957), LeRoy Fields (1959), Dr. M.M. Ellis (1961), Carl Rymer (1963), Sky Services Incorporated (1971), So Col Aviation (1972) and J.C. Garrison from late 1972 until Crystal Air took over.

There have been a number of improvement projects at the airport in recent years. In 2005, the Tennessee Aeronautics Division approved a major resurfacing of the runway. Despite Cleveland Airport Authority’s pursuit of a new airport, the paving project was approved for safety reasons. The state approved a $450,000 grant with a $50,000 local match, and the project was completed in 2006.

In 2006, the state approved a $24,075 grant (with a 10 percent city match) for installation of security cameras. The state also approved a contract of $9,900 for replacement of the airport’s rotating beacon and windsock.

Cleveland’s Municipal Airport Authority has been responsible for all maintenance and upkeep of Hardwick Field, using the assistance of the city’s Public Works Department’s Landscaping Division for mowing, brush clearing and herbicide treatment. Public Works has also maintained security fencing and electric gates.

The Airport Authority was formed in 2004 to maintain and fulfill the aviation needs of the community. This has included managing and upgrading Hardwick Field, as well as striving for a new Cleveland airport for the future.

The new airport has been a seven-year process, with environmental assessment and all other steps finalized for the construction and opening of the new Cleveland Regional Jetport this fall.