Saturday, February 11, 2012

Snow causes apparent airplane incident

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Snowy conditions may have played a role in an apparent airplane incident at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport.

Suzanne Schmitt sent News 4 a Report it! video taken from her seat onboard a Delta Airlines flight that landed at the airport Saturday afternoon.

Schmitt says it felt like the plane slid off the runway while taxiing to the terminal. The flight came from Atlanta.

NFTA officials tell News 4 the plane did not slide but say that the pilot requested a tarp to help the airplane move to its gate.

No injuries were reported.

Air Force trains flight attendants for VIP trips

Executive Chef Melissa Bigelow, center, gives tips to Master Sgt. Kevin Gallagher, right, and Master Sgt. Beth Poole, left, during Air Force flight attendant training at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012. The food choices have grown more sophisticated since 2008, when the Air Force added advanced culinary classes to the flight-attendant training regimen. During a quarterly training session last week, six attendants in olive-green flight suits butterflied chicken breasts and chopped asparagus under the eyes of Bigelow, a Los Angeles-based “chef to the stars” who has cooked for Tom Cruise and Simon Cowell. 
(Ann Heisenfelt / AP)


JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. (AP) — Bret Baker welcomes customers aboard a Boeing 757 wearing a three-piece suit and a sparkling smile. His manner is all Friendly Skies but his pocket patch bears the seal of the Vice President of the United States, signaling that this is government business.

And though his brass name tag reads, simply, "Bret," make no mistake: That's Air Force Tech. Sgt. Baker ensuring that seat belts are fastened and carry-ons securely stowed. He's also responsible for making sure meals have been prepared for dozens of passengers who really didn't have time to pick up snacks before boarding, and whose far-flung destinations may not include safe or familiar foods.

Baker is a military flight attendant, part of a team serving America's top government officials, their staffs, guests and reporters aboard 19 planes flown by the 89th Airlift Wing out of Joint Base Andrews near Washington. Their customers include the president, vice president, first lady, secretary of state, secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

As attendants on Air Force One and other VIP planes flying as many as 1,000 missions a year, they perform all the safety and comfort functions of their commercial airline counterparts and more. Hurried departures and delays to accommodate impromptu news conferences are common. The attendants also must buy ingredients and prepare meals to their customer's preferences — sometimes on a day's notice.

More of them are learning advanced culinary techniques since the Air Force began flying expert chefs to Andrews in the last 18 months. During a session last week, 12 attendants in olive-green flight suits butterflied chicken breasts and chopped asparagus under the eyes of Melissa Bigelow, a Los Angeles-based "chef to the stars" who has cooked for Tom Cruise and Simon Cowell. The artfully heaped plates of chicken paillard, mashed potatoes and vegetables were a tasty testament to the five-star service the unit aims to provide.

Bigelow is with The Corporate School of Etiquette, based in Long Beach, Calif. The Air Force hired the school to teach three classes at Andrews at $22,000 per class. Before that, some flight attendants went to Long Beach on scholarships or took occasional classes at the New York-based Culinary Institute of America.

Good food can help busy government officials focus on important work during flights, Air Force officials say. And they don't want to read headlines about in-flight food complaints, as happened several years ago.

"You want that leader to be well-rested and well-fed," said Maj. Michelle Lai, the unit's spokeswoman.

"I don't necessarily want the president or the secretary of state going over to make decisions about nuclear policy on a bag of peanuts," she said.

Bringing an expert chef to Andrews is cheaper than flying the students to California, said Tech Sgt. Khristine Farmer, a flight-attendant evaluator who helped develop the advanced-cooking program.

She said fine dining should be a realistic option for clients aboard the fleet's distinctive, blue-and-white aircraft, but they can opt for more pedestrian fare.

"If they decide they want peanut-butter-and-jelly, they get peanut-butter-and-jelly. If they decide they want filet, they get filet," she said.

The prepared meals are frozen and packed on board for trips that can sometimes last for days.

In-flight food quality hasn't always been a high point. The Wenatchee World, of Wenatchee, Wash., reported in 2005 that an aide to then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice led a revolt against Wing Dings, commercially processed chicken wings, on the State Department plane.

Lai said food choices are made by the clients, not the flight attendants. "So if 'Wing Dings' were served on each trip, that was based on the party's selection, not a crew decision," she wrote in an email.

Lai said the attendants make meals from scratch whenever feasible but may use processed foods to augment menus on short notice.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said he has no complaints about any of the in-flight service.

"I think Air Force One food is great and that the personnel on board are all first rate," he wrote in an email.

The food purchasing and preparation is done solely by each flight's attendants, partly for security reasons.

"The crew are the only ones that are involved in any part of the food we serve, from start to finish," Farmer said. "No one else handles the food."

Nonperishable leftovers are saved for the next trip. The Associated Press was shown a closet shelf earmarked for the joint chiefs' chairman that held some Guinness beer and Kellogg's Nutri-Grain cereal bars. A shelf reserved for the secretary of state was stacked with cases of Deer Park water and snacks.

The Air Force is choosy about flight attendants. They must have exemplary service records and be eligible for presidential security clearance. Lai said there are openings every year for the 164 flight attendant positions. The applicants must submit three references and pass muster with a hiring board that places a high value on personality and professionalism.

Recent graduate Tech. Sgt. Erica Fowler, 30, of Phoenixville, Pa., said she applied for a flight-attendant opening after 11 years in the Air Force, most recently as dining hall manager.

"It's the best job in the Air Force," she said.

Tech. Sgt. Baker, 30, of Lakewood, Colo., has served on Air Force One and now leads the vice president's flight-attendant crew. He said he's been to 65 countries in his 4 1/2 years as a flight attendant.

"We work as a team, we work as a crew, we represent the Air Force and, of course, we represent the nation as well," Baker said.

Corporate School of Etiquette President Donna Casacchia, whose company also trains attendants for private jets, said those with Air Force experience are in high demand among Fortune 500 companies.

"Their experience, their worldwide knowledge of cultural differences and their knowledge of food is superb," she said.

Politics keeps airport ‘grounded’

CHANDIGARH: City's quest to mark its presence on international flight map appears to have been smitten by "political" bug. In December 2011, just before announcement of elections in Punjab, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal had written to Centre to accord necessary approvals for starting an international flight from Chandigarh.

However, no positive signal has been received from the Centre in the past two months. Sources confirmed that operation of international flight would depend upon the result of Punjab assembly polls, which would be announced in March. It also added that the issue has taken political colours and everyone wants to take political mileage for the international flight.

Airports Authority of India (AAI) had decided to start international flight from its newly-opened domestic terminal at Chandigarh airport till the time work at Mohali international airport is completed.

For that, in October 2011 Air Arabia airlines offered to start Sharjah-Chandigarh-Sharjah flight thrice a week and the timings of the flight were also decided, according to which flight would reach at 5.10pm at Chandigarh and would take off at 5.50pm for Sharjah.

Even status of customs airport was also accorded to the local airport by the Union ministry of finance, which is a mandatory for launching international air operations. However, the flight could not be launched because of some more necessary approvals from the ministry of defence (MOD) and director general civil aviation (DGCA).

When asked for the reasons of such unprecedented and unending delay of launching the international flight from city, director of Chandigarh Airport, Captain H S Toor, said large number of formalities are required for the international flights. "I know there is delay in launching international flights, but standard procedure in accordance with the law of land is to be followed before a final permission," Toor added.

Lapsing deadlines

July 2009 | AAI announced to launch Chandigarh-Dubai flight but the same was cancelled due to poor infrastructure

August 2009 | A private airline backed out because of non-availability of required infrastructure

April 2011 | The new terminal was made operational but was delayed again

October 2011 | Air Arabia offered to start Sharjah-Chandigarh-Sharjah flight but it failed to start

November 15, 2011 | Timings were also scheduled, but no sign of operation

December 25, 2011 | Sale of ticket was expected to start but no results

The problem

Chandigarh airport is mainly a defence airfield and any foreign aircraft can land here only after getting clearance from MoD, which is pending. DGCA can give approval only after the green signal from MoD.

Source:  http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Airline aims for regional flights from Carlsbad

CARLSBAD, Calif. -- If operators of California Pacific Airlines have their way, they’ll soon be flying out of McClellan Palomar Airport in Carlsbad to the Bay Area, Las Vegas and Mexico.

"The county has done air services studies,” said Assistant Airport Manager Olivier Brackett. “The airline has done air services studies, and gauged demand for flights out of this airport.”

Demand for such a venture is extremely high said Brackett.

“We get phone calls every day in our office with people in the community asking when CPA is going to start flying,” he said.

The airline recently passed the first phase of the Federal Aviation Administration’s certification process.

The vice president of communications for CPA said the company could be getting the companies first two planes – Embraer 170’s – by the spring, with the hopes of training staff.

The 70 passenger planes will fly non-stop to several locations including San Jose, Oakland, Sacramento, Las Vegas, Phoenix and Cabo San Lucas.

Miracle plane crash survival of son of late Segway tycoon

Aircraft lost power and missed trees and power lines before landing in a nearby field

Jimi Heselden.

The son of the late ­millionaire Segway boss Jimi Heselden said his dad was “watching over him” after he walked away from a plane crash.

Jason, 39, was in the Piper Warrior light ­aircraft with three others on a sightseeing tour when the engine cut out at 1,000ft.

As they plunged to the ground, pilot Gordon Elliott made a mayday call then managed to glide the aircraft over trees and power lines to land in a nearby field.

Jason said the plane lost power over the house in ­Boston Spa, West Yorks, that ­belonged to his father – who was killed in an ­accident on one of his ­machines in 2010.

He added: “I’m 100 percent sure Dad was ­watching over me. We couldn’t believe we were alive. We had the best pilot we could’ve had.”

Memorial Held For Coliseum Health System CEO Allen Golson


On Saturday, loved ones held a memorial in honor of Coliseum Health Systems CEO, Allen Golson. He died in a plane crash in Florida last month.

Family and friends of the late Allen Golson came together for his memorial at Christ Episcopal church in Macon.

According to Marion County and the Florida sheriff's office, Golson died of thermal burns and smoke inhalation.

Golson served as hospital administrator of Coliseum Health Systems for 30 years.

Doug Brewer worked with Golson and says he was a great person and he will be missed.

"Allen was a true leader. I work with him at the hospital as a surgeon and i found him to be a visionary a true leader. He was always looking out for the patients," said Brewer.

His wife Carol was aboard the plane and suffered non life threatening injuries.

Golson and his wife lived in Forsyth.

Caribbean Airlines to expand aggressively – Minister

Despite threats by LIAT to sue Caribbean Airlines Ltd (CAL) over allegations of unfair competition, Transport Minister Devant Maharaj says CAL would continue to service the Eastern Caribbean aggressively.  “We see CAL as having a pivotal role in the development of T&T’s tourism and it would continue to aggressively pursue markets in all territories in the Eastern Caribbean.” Maharaj said he felt the market is currently not being serviced properly and CAL, which he described as the “Caribbean’s number one airline,” would continue to expand its markets in the region. Maharaj, who was speaking yesterday at a CAL new conference held at the Piarco International Airport, said he was not willing to comment further on the matter. “Given the threat of litigation, I don’t think it would be prudent to comment on that at this point in time. I await whatever pre-action letter that would be served and then we would respond.” He said he was not depending solely on newspaper reports and is waiting to officially hear from LIAT.

Last week Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines and chairman of the shareholder governments of LIAT, said the airline’s owners felt CAL was undermining the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas as well as the Common Air Services Agreement in Caricom by engaging in unfair competition. Gonsalves said no one can stop CAL or wants to stop CAL, but shareholder governments of LIAT would like to have a level playing field and fair competition.

Asked if CAL was in breach of any Caricom or Chaguaramas treaty law, Maharaj said, “I shudder to think that any board under my remit would breach any law and that includes CAL.” Prior to this accusation, CAL came under more fire by the low-cost airline REDjet, which accused CAL of deceptive advertising. This was quickly dismissed by Maharaj, who said REDjet was looking for free advertising and was not in a position to properly comment on deceptive advertising, because many of REDjet’s flights were recently cancelled. Jokingly, Maharaj said “CAL is an airline, but REDjet is just about two planes.”

Source:  http://www.stabroeknews.com

Inside look: Remotely piloted warbirds


HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (KRQE) - The Air Force training underway for hundreds of personnel in southern New Mexico is helping keep U.S. forces safe across the world.

Holloman Air Force Base is the primary training base for some of the newest aircraft in the military.

The MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper at Holloman represent advances in technology and one of the newest career fields in the air force.

The pilots are nowhere near the aircraft they are flying.

"My unmanned aircraft can go places to where a manned aircraft could not go, maybe it's too dangerous or what not," explained Predator instructor pilot Capt. Craig, "There's less risk, if you will."

Liftoff of the remotely piloted aircraft or, RPA, happens with the pilot on the ground.

With a flight time of 15-20 hours, both models of RPAs can fly half way around the world. They offer airborne surveillance, reconnaissance and weapons.

Many RPA pilots say one of the biggest challenges is not using all of their senses such as hearing sounds and feeling the bumps as they fly. Pilots describe it as a totally visual experience.

"Because you don't have the sensation of the aircraft under you, it's difficult to tell exactly what the aircraft is doing," Squadron Leader Dex, an RPA instructor, said. "You have to rely on your instruments."

Instead, those senses are read on a two-dimensional computer screen by a sensor operator. This person monitors equipment and calls out speeds and height to the pilot.

"We don't have the physical or the visual sensation as being inside of a glass cockpit, being able to look out, but the internal sensation is there," Craig said.

Hands-on simulated missions prepare officers for real combat and force them to make tough decisions.

"What we try to do is make this as realistic scenarios for our guys that are flying these airplanes as possible," said Col. Ken Johnson, 49th Wing operations commander, .

The benefits of being remote include the option to switch out pilots every two hours. And all of the pilots remain far from harm's way.

"I definitely feel physically safer," Craig said. "I'm here in the U.S. controlling my plane that is elsewhere."

Currently, Holloman is training hundreds of personnel in its RPA program.

Johnson said RPAs help reduce the unknowns of war, but he doesn't see them completely replacing manned aircrafts.

Cessna 210 Centurion, Madewell Inc. N9619T: Accident occurred February 09, 2012 in Morgan, Utah

NTSB Identification: WPR12FA098 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, February 09, 2012 in Morgan, UT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/10/2013
Aircraft: CESSNA 210, registration: N9619T
Injuries: 2 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.

During a volunteer flight to pick up a passenger, the non-instrument-rated pilot had to divert to an alternate airport due to low ceilings at his destination. After picking up the passenger and departing, the pilot requested and received a flight-following clearance. Shortly thereafter, he reported that he was going to turn the airplane out of a valley. There was no further communication from the pilot after this transmission. The last radar target depicted the airplane at an elevation of 7,100 feet. The wreckage was located 3.5 miles from the last radar target in treed, mountainous terrain at an elevation of 7,700 feet. A postaccident examination of the wreckage revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. Weather information current at the time of the flight reported mountain obscuration and precipitation. Review of weather briefing data showed no record of the pilot obtaining a weather briefing prior to departure. Given the forecast and reported weather conditions, it is likely that the pilot encountered instrument meteorological conditions and was unable to see the trees and terrain prior to the collision.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The non-instrument-rated pilot’s poor planning and continued visual flight rules flight into instrument meteorological conditions and failure to maintain clearance from mountainous terrain.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On February 9, 2012, about 1348 mountain standard time, N9619T, a Cessna 210, collided with mountainous terrain about 9 miles east-northeast of Morgan County Airport, Morgan, Utah. The private pilot and passenger sustained fatal injuries during the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 flight. The airplane was substantially damaged. The flight originated from Morgan and was destined for Converse County Airport, Douglas, Wyoming. The pilot requested and received a flight following clearance.

The pilot was conducting a mission for the Wyoming Pilots for Christ. He was volunteering his services to transport the passenger, a nurse, from the Salt Lake City area back to her home. According to Wyoming Pilots for Christ personnel, the pilot had departed Douglas about 1000 MST and intended to land at Salt Lake City International Airport, Salt Lake City, Utah. However, the pilot landed in Morgan due to low ceilings in the area. The passenger then met him at the Morgan airport.

PILOT INFORMATION

The pilot, age 47, held a private pilot certificate with airplane and single-engine land ratings. He held a third-class medical certificate issued September 27, 2011, with no limitations or waivers. The pilot’s logbook was reviewed and showed about 553 total flight hours. He had flown about 18 hours in the last 90 days and 10 hours in the last 30 days.

AIRPLANE INFORMATION

The high wing airplane, SN 57419, had four seats and retractable gear. It was manufactured in 1961. It was powered by a Continental IO-470-E (17) engine. Review of the maintenance records showed an annual inspection was completed on February 10, 2011, at a total time of 3,465 hours. The airplane was equipped with a Garmin 430.

AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL INFORMATION

An NTSB air traffic control specialist reviewed the air traffic control information pertaining to the flight, as well as the pilot’s flight earlier that day from Sheridan, Wyoming, to Morgan, Utah.
Review of the radar track of the pilot’s inbound flight from Sheridan showed radar targets along the mountain range to the east of the pilot’s landing airport. The radar targets showed several course reversals along the mountain range. The track then ended prior to the pilot’s landing in Morgan, likely due to limited radar coverage in the area.

Upon departure from Morgan, the pilot requested and received a flight following clearance at 1346 MST, and advised that his destination was Douglas. Shortly thereafter, the pilot reported that he was going to turn the airplane out of a valley. There was no further communication from the pilot. The last radar target was at 1448 at an altitude of 7,100 feet, approximately 3.5 statute miles from the accident site.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

An NTSB senior meteorologist completed a weather study. A composite of the NWS Weather Depiction Charts for 1200 (1900Z) and 1500 MST (2200Z) on February 9, 2012, depicted a small area of reported instrument flight rule (IFR) conditions over Idaho immediately north of the accident site at 1200 MST by a shaded contour, with another area over Colorado to the east-southeast. The areas were enclosed by a larger area of marginal visual flight rule (MVFR) conditions by an unshaded contour which extended over northern Utah and the accident site.

At 1355, an aviation routine weather report (METAR) for Hill Air Force Base, located about 17 nautical miles west-southwest of the accident site, reported the following conditions: wind, calm, visibility, 7 statute miles, clouds, few at 2,700 feet, overcast at 3,200 feet, temperature, 3 degrees Centigrade, dew point, 0 degrees Centigrade, altimeter, 30.33 inches of mercury. The subsequent observations indicated a ceiling overcast from 2,100 to 2,600 feet agl or from 6,900 to 7,400 feet msl assuming normal rounding to a hundred feet, and with a period of visibility reduced to 5 miles in mist. The cloud heights would have implied a high likelihood of mountain obscuration conditions over the accident site.

At the accident airplanes altitude of 7,700 feet the sounding indicated a temperature of -3ยบ C, a temperature-dew point temperature spread of less than 1 degree C, a relative humidity of 98 percent, and a wind from 275 degrees at 9 knots. The sounding did not indicate a high probability of turbulence due to the light winds and low vertical shear. A probability of icing existed in clouds and in precipitation above 6,000 feet.

The GOES-15 infrared band 4 satellite image at 4X magnification for 1415 MST (2215Z) on February 9, 2012, depicted multiple layers of low to mid-level clouds over Utah during the period. No defined cumulonimbus clouds or thunderstorms were identified over the area. The infrared image indicated a radiative cloud top temperature over the accident site at 260 degrees kelvin or -13.16 degrees C, which corresponded to tops near 14,500 feet over the accident site.

The GOES-15 visible band 1 image at 1415 MST (2115Z) depicted low stratiform clouds over the area with a second mid-level band of altostratus bordering on the accident site. The image indicates a high probability of mountain obscuration with the low stratiform type clouds over the region.

The forecast for northern Utah indicated scattered to broken clouds at 10,000 feet layered to 17,000 feet were expected over the region. The forecast however was amended by AIRMET Sierra update 6 for mountain obscuration due to clouds and precipitation issued at the same period.
Review of weather briefing data from Lockheed Martin Flight Service, CSC DUATS, and DTC DUATS, showed no record of the pilot obtaining a weather briefing.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

Initial responders reported that the airplane impacted a northwest-facing, treed slope, at an elevation of approximately 7,700 feet mean sea level. The debris field was approximately 75 feet in length and on a general heading of west-northwest.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The Utah Office of the Medical Examiner performed an autopsy on the pilot on February 11, 2012. The manner of death was reported as an accident due to injuries as a result of the accident.

The FAA Bioaeronautical Science Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, completed forensic toxicology on specimens from the pilot. The report was negative for volatiles, cyanide, and tested drugs. The report stated 10 percent carbon monoxide was detected in the blood. Cotinine and nicotine were also detected.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

An NTSB investigator, the FAA accident coordinator, and a representative from Cessna Aircraft Company examined the wreckage. Examination of the recovered airframe revealed that it was separated into numerous pieces. The right wing was separated from the fuselage and exhibited crushing damage along the entire span of the leading edge. The right wing lift strut remained attached to the forward spar and a fragmented portion of the fuselage frame. The right flap was in the retracted position. The flap actuator measured 0.15 inches which equated to a retracted position. The aileron remained attached to its respective hinge points. Aileron control cable continuity was established to the wing root. The separations of the control cables at the wing root were consistent with cuts made by recovery personnel. The fuel bladder was fragmented. The fuel cap was secure; however the structure surrounding the fuel cap was separated from the wing.

The left wing was separated from the fuselage. The left wing lift strut was separated from the wing and fuselage. The aileron was separated from the wing structure. The flap assembly remained attached to the inboard portion of the left wing. The fuel bladder was fractured. The fuel cap remained attached to the upper wing surface and was in place. The outboard portion of the left wing was not recovered (recovery personnel reported it was in a 70-foot tall tree).

The aft portion of the fuselage was separated from the forward portion of the fuselage. The vertical stabilizer and rudder remained attached to their respective mounts. The inboard sections of the horizontal stabilizers remained attached. The elevators were separated from their mounts. The right elevator was fragmented and the trim tab was separated. The elevator trim actuator was fragmented which prevented measurement of the actuator. Flight control cable continuity was established from the elevator and rudder control horns forward to the cuts made by recovery personnel.

Control cable continuity was established from the cockpit controls to the area of cuts made by wreckage recovery personnel. Continuity for aileron controls was obtained throughout the aileron control chain to the left and right wing root. The seats and seat tracks were fragmented and separated from the fuselage. The pilot side seat engagement pin was found engaged to a separated portion of seat track.

The airspeed indicator was found separated and the airspeed needle was observed stuck at 180 knots. The altimeter setting was observed at 30.22. Both doors were separated from the fuselage. The pitot-static system was fragmented. The unobstructed pitot tube was intact and separated from the wing structure.

Examination of the Teledyne Continental Motors (TCM) IO-470-E (17) engine, serial number 088778-R, revealed that all six cylinders remained attached to the engine crankcase. All engine accessories remained attached to the engine with the exception of the starter, which was separated from its mount. The exhaust, propeller, and oil filler cap were separated. The oil sump was crushed upwards. The top spark plugs, rocker arm covers, fuel pump, oil pump, left and right magnetos, and throttle body fuel control were removed. The engine crankshaft was rotated by hand using a hand tool attached to an accessory mount pad. Rotational continuity was established throughout the engine and valve train. Thumb compression and suction was obtained on all six cylinders. Both magnetos produced sparks at all posts when manually rotated. The top spark plugs were examined and found to be consistent with worn out normal when compared to the Champion Check-A-Plug comparison card. Light gray coloring was noted within the electrode areas. Examination of the fuel system revealed no contamination or anomalies. The vacuum pump drive shaft rotated freely by hand. The vacuum pump was disassembled and the rotor and vanes were intact and undamaged.

The propeller was separated from the engine crankshaft propeller flange. Both propeller blades exhibited aft bending and blade twisting and remained attached to the propeller hub. Both propeller blades exhibited multi directional scratching on the forward face of the blade.

No evidence of pre-impact mechanical malfunction was noted during the examination of the recovered wreckage.

ORGANIZATIONAL AND MANAGEMENT INFORMATION

According to the Pilots for Christ website, “Pilots for Christ International, Inc. is a membership organization that posts public requests, for consideration by our member pilot's and non-pilot's regarding volunteer urgent travel opportunities. The decision to accept and provide travel assistance, by yourself is an individual matter between yourself and the person(s), requesting travel. Pilots for Christ International, Inc. offers communication, (contact, urgency of request and indemnity waiver) assistance, only, between the requester and yourself as a pilot or non-pilot. You must always abide by all Federal, State and local legal requirements for operating your aircraft, and/or automobile. The requirement to meet these licensed operating regulations is strictly your responsibility, and is not the responsibility of Pilots for Christ International, Inc. As a pilot or non-pilot you are not required to be a commercial or professional individual and you are not required to meet the same standards. You are a private individual volunteering your aircraft, and/or automobile and time to help all those in need of urgent transportation, within the scope of your licensed abilities.”

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association has an online course designed to assist volunteer pilots. The course “Public Benefit Flying: Balancing Safety and Compassion”, can be found at www.airsafetyinstitute.org/volunteerpilots.



Pilots for Christ, Daleray Madewell, mans the controls of his 1960 Cessna as he flies from Douglas to Casper on Oct. 10 to pick up Heather Street for a charity flight to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Madewell was killed Thursday in a plane crash in Morgan County, Utah, along with Jennifer Sebesta of Glenrock, according to a story Friday by the Douglas Budget.




Daleray Madewell and Jeniffer Sebesta

Douglas pilot and business owner Daleray Madewell and his passenger, Jennifer Sebesta of Glenrock, were killed Thursday in the Wasatch Mountains near Morgan County, Utah, when their plane crashed while flying a mission for Wyoming Pilots for Christ, according to the Douglas Budget.

National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Peter Knudson said three people were killed in the crash. An investigator is expected to arrive Saturday.

Madewell was meeting Sebesta in Salt Lake City to bring her back to Douglas but was forced to land short of the city because of bad weather on Thursday, according to a story on the newspaper’s website Friday.

Sebesta later met Madewell in Morgan County, where the two left for Wyoming. About 20 minutes after takeoff, around 2 p.m., Madewell radioed the tower in Morgan County and advised them he was turning back because of bad weather.

Shortly thereafter, radar and airport personnel lost contact with the aircraft.

Around 7 p.m., after Madewell failed to check in, emergency crews were dispatched via snowmobile to the area where the plane was believed to have gone down.

Responders hiked 12 miles up the mountain on snowshoes before poor weather forced them to retreat until morning.

When day broke Friday, a helicopter took off in search of the plane and found it wrecked in a steep canyon about nine miles northeast of the airport. When crews reached the wreckage, no survivors were found.

Madewell, owner of Double D Liquors in Douglas, was well known for his generosity and flew around 20 flights for Pilots for Christ.

He left behind five children and long-time girlfriend Denise Murphy.

Sebesta, a registered nurse at Memorial Hospital of Converse County, left behind three children.

Opinion: Flying aircraft noise a given near air base. Bob Bessette, Patrick Air Force Base

Regarding the recent letter, "Give residents break from noisy C-27 flights," imagine, an air base with flying aircraft that make noise. What a concept.

I am a retired Air Force jet mechanic. I love the sound of a military aircraft taking off or landing. It reminds me of an extremely enjoyable time of my life.

Maybe the letter writer should move next to a base with no aircraft. I wish we had a fighter squadron here; that would really upset him. The aircraft he flew must have been gliders.

Boeing worker caught under 787 wheel has legs amputated

The Boeing worker trapped beneath the wheels of a 787 Dreamliner being towed at Paine Field has had both his legs amputated below the knee.

By Dominic Gates

The Boeing worker who was crushed beneath the wheels of a 787 Dreamliner as it was towed along Paine Field a week ago has had both his legs amputated below the knee, according to two co-workers and a friend of the family.

The injured man is 30 years old and has been at Boeing since June 2010. The Seattle Times is not naming him at the family's request.

The worker was part of an escort team walking alongside a Japan Airlines 787 on Feb. 3, and somehow he was caught under the wheels. He was dragged some distance and trapped beneath the wheels for more than 30 minutes, according to co-workers.

On Friday, according to a nursing supervisor at Harborview Medical Center, he remained in serious condition in intensive care and was undergoing further surgery.

Boeing spokesman Marc Birtel said the company and the Machinists union, along with the state's Department of Labor and Industries and other agencies, are investigating how the accident happened.

Source:  http://seattletimes.nwsource.com

Greene airport work could attract jobs. Beavercreek Twp. trustees will vote on financial incentives. Greene County-Lewis A. Jackson Regional (I19), Dayton, Ohio.

By Mark Gokavi
Posted:  2:27 PM Saturday, February 11, 2012

BEAVERCREEK TWP. — The Beavercreek Twp. Board of Trustees is considering financial incentives for potential development of more than 1,000 acres near the Greene County Lewis A. Jackson Regional Airport.

The board plans to vote March 5 on a resolution to establish a tax increment financing fund (TIF) for a 19-parcel, 1,086-acre area south of U.S. 35 that could become an economic engine by serving corporate jets and new businesses. It would enable developers not to shoulder all the cost of roads, water, sewer and other infrastructure.

The mostly agricultural area stretches from Langs Chevrolet near Orchard Lane to south of the airport. The biggest parcel is a 615-acre spot owned by the Valley Springs Farm Co.

Letters of notice have been sent to the superintendents of Beavercreek, Xenia and the Greene County Career Center school districts about the proposed 10-year TIF.

“It can impact them from the standpoint that they lose revenue off of this,” Beavercreek Twp. Trustee Robert Glaser said. “But we have the option to take and make it up. We can take money out of that pool and make them whole. This puts them on notice that it’s going to happen, or it could happen.”

‘Nobody’ knows 
about TIF plan

Glaser admits most public officials and residents know little of the plan. “We’ve really had no public input on this whatsoever,” Glaser said during a trustee meeting on Feb. 6. “I don’t think the public is aware that we are doing this.

“Nobody seems to know about this. We publish these reports but who reads all this stuff? I think we need to go a little extra step and make sure that the public is aware of what we’re doing, so that there’s no surprises.”

Greene County Auditor David Graham said a TIF was used to develop the land that became The Greene.

“The developer wanted somebody to pay for the infrastructure improvements that needed to be made related to that property. There were no roads, no water, no sewer,” Graham said. “Nobody likes the theory of a TIF, but it gives you an opportunity to control a development.”

A 2008 Beavercreek citizen satisfaction survey performed by Fallon Research showed 52 percent of the city’s residents favored using a TIF-like tool and 37 percent opposed it.

Airport could be economic boon

The area near the airport has long been considered a potential economic resource. With Wright-Patterson Air Force Base positioning itself for more rounds of Base Realignment and Closure, the site could be attractive to defense contractors and others.

Glaser said the runway’s expansion to 5,000 feet is nearly completed, which will enable it to accommodate more private jets per Federal Aviation Administration rules. Glaser said the airport may need a waiver since the setback from the taxiways and some hangars do not meet the FAA regulations.

In 2008, the collection of hangars and runways was in the sights of Beavercreek and Xenia city officials when both proposed joint tax agreements with the township in order to bring services to the property. Officials from both cities hoped to have their foot in the door when the property near the airport begins to develop.

“Our county airport is strategically located. It’s a real jewel,” Greene County Commissioner Rick Perales said in July 2008 after an airport plan was presented. “This gives us a foundation to work from.”

Xenia City Manager Jim Percival said he proposed a Joint Economic Development District that included the TIF idea during a July 2008 board of trustees meeting, but that he “never heard back.”

Percival said Xenia has no plans to annex any land near the airport. He did not know about the township’s newest plan. “There’s potential with the airport, no question,” he said. “We always want to work with our neighbors to provide benefits to the entire region.”

Trustees tried to acquire farm land

Glaser said the trustees tried to purchase a 60-acre parcel just south of the airport from the Beavercreek-based Deccan Group, LLC.

“We were just looking at it as a potential investment, let’s put it that way,” Glaser said of the farm land that includes a 1900 bungalow and another structure. “This was a strategic piece of property for the future of the township . . . Control of the property was important to us on a long-term basis. . . . We couldn’t reach terms with the owner.”

County auditor records show the land was purchased for $300,000 in 2003. Neither side disclosed the negotiated prices or how far apart the sides were.

Jan Venkayya, president of Deccan, said the house is rented out and the land leased to a farmer who grows soybeans and corn. She said the township’s offer was not the right price.

“For development, anyone wants to have utilities,” Venkayya said. “I think (our land) would be very useful for the airport for them to expand. It’s an emotional issue for me. I have an attachment to that land, but maybe at some point I would be willing to sell it.”

Source:  http://www.daytondailynews.com

Should the F-35 come to Luke Air Force Base?


By: Margo Papke
Posted: February 11, 2012 at  11:27 AM

LITCHFIELD PARK - The City of Litchfield Park says Luke Air Force Base is the leading the candidate to become the training site for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, but no final decision will be made until after the environmental impact study is complete, which includes public hearings.

There have been several concerns from residents about the noise these fighter jets bring with them. A recent study shows the jets are twice as loud as the F-16's currently flown at the base.

Air Force authorities say that may sound like a lot, but the human ear actually hears no difference. They say the F-16's decibel level is equivalent to a lawn mower engine, while the F-35's level is more like a motorcycle engine.

If you want your voice heard on whether the F-35 should go to Luke AFB, you'll have several opportunities next week. Each open house will start with an information session from 5pm-6pm, followed by a presentation and formal public comment session from 6pm-8pm.

The scheduled sessions are:

Monday, February 13
The Wigwam, Wigwam Ballroom
300 E. Wigwam Blvd
Litchfield Park

Tuesday, February 14
El Mirage Elementary School Gym
13500 N. El Mirage Road

Wednesday, February 15
Sundial Recreation Center auditorium
14801 N. 103rd Ave, Sun City

Thursday, February 16
Gila Bend Unified School District cafeteria
308 N. Martin Ave, Gila Bend

http://www.abc15.com

Airport panel's search committee meets Wednesday. Brainerd Lakes Regional (KBRD), Minnesota.

The Brainerd Lakes Area Airport Commission’s Search Committee for a new manager will meet at 4 p.m. Wednesday, in the Airport Conference Room, at the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport.

Czech Airlines Makes Emergency Landing at Alexander the Great Airport

Saturday, 11 February 2012

A plane carrying passengers from Prague to Skopje, which also included Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikola Poposki, early on Saturday was forced to make an emergency landing at Alexander the Great airport.

After circling over the Skopje airport for 40 minutes, the captain of Boeing 737-700 by the Czech airline CSA reported a technical problem with the wings, due to which the jet had to perform a forced landing.

The crew then demonstrated basic measures used during forced landing.

As the plane was landing, smoke appeared from the tires and the captain managed to stop the aircraft right at the end of the runway.

Firefighting vehicles and ambulances were on standby at the side of the runway. All passengers, including EP rapporteur on Macedonia Richar Howitt and two media crews touched down safely.

Airport's concessioner TAV Macedonia said that the CSA aircraft has developed technical problems forcing the captain to make an emergency landing.

"There was no incident during the landing and there are no consequences," TAV Macedonia informed.

NATO copter crashes in Afghanistan

In Afghanistan, another helicopter operated by the US-led NATO military alliance has crashed, making it the second of such crashes this week.

According to a statement by NATO, the helicopter crashed in Afghanistan’s southern province of Zabul. No immediate reports of casualties have been made.

The US-led mission in Afghanistan says the helicopter was not a military helicopter.

NATO has not released any further details regarding the crash. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the incident.

Last month, a civilian NATO helicopter went down in the province of Helmand, killing three Americans.

Last year, Taliban militants downed a US helicopter in Afghanistan's eastern province of Wardak. Thirty-one members of the US Special Forces were killed in the incident which was the biggest single loss of lives for American forces since the 2001 US-led invasion of Afghanistan.

Following the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 which removed the Taliban from power, insecurity continues to rise in the country.

Anchorage, Alaska: Airport Cargo Volume Tied to World and Local Economic Conditions



By Kate McPherson

ANCHORAGE - The Ted Stevens International Airport is a major moneymaker for Anchorage. It pumped a billion dollars into the city’s economy last year, and put more than 15,000 people to work, according to the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation.

But it’s the cargo operations that generate much of the revenue.

For the past ten years, Ted Stevens International Airport has ranked among the world's top six largest cargo hubs when it comes to the amount of goods passing through it; currently it sits in fifth place.

There’s an overall rise in the volume of cargo coming through Anchorage’s airport after the industry took a hit in 2008 with the global financial crisis. The airport said 5.73 billion pounds of freight passed through in fiscal year 2011. There is a noticeable recovery in cargo volumes, but even a small downturn in certain economies will be felt on the tarmac in Anchorage. This is especially true for the markets of Asia.

“Every Asian cargo carrier that flies the route from Asia to North America comes through [the] Anchorage airport,” said Trudy Wassel, the airport’s business manager.

Even though cargo volumes have been increasing since 2008, it’s not always a steady growth. Wassel said revenue for fiscal year 2011 is down from the previous year, around 10 percent each month, and this is in part due to cargo operations.

"It's not because the planes are going somewhere else: they are coming, there are just less of them right now," said Wassel

“It depends on how the economy is in the Lower 48, if people are buying stuff, the stuff will come through here,” she addded.

The importance of the cargo industry to Ted Stevens International Airport is clear: 70 percent of the airport’s revenue is generated by cargo operations.

“The planes have lot of cargo. They put on less fuel. They come here and gas up and then they go down to the Lower 48 and make their deliveries,” said Wassel.

Domestic air cargo carriers operating in anchorage are also seeing steady results in their businesses, according to the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation.

ACE Air Cargo is one of the smaller air cargo services operating out of Anchorage and services many regional communities throughout the state, including Dutch Harbor, St. Paul, Sand Point, Cold Bay, Bethel, Dillingham, King Salmon and Aniak.

According to the latest report prepared for the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation, done by the McDowell Group (click here to read the full report) regional air services operating out of Anchorage were responsible for 2,800 jobs.

Greg Hawthorn is the Director of Sales and Marketing with ACE Air Cargo, one of a handful of regional services operating out of Anchorage. “A lot of the time it’s cheaper to buy the stuff here and air freight it out to the Bush than it is to buy it in the Bush,” Hawthorn said.

The cost of fuel continues to hurt the bottom line of Alaska’s domestic carriers, and the ability for people out in remote areas to pay. “We try to keep the fuel prices down as low as we possibly can but there comes a point when fuel goes up, so does the prices," Hawthorn said.

In-state cargo carriers are directly affected by the local economies, so if a fishing season hasn’t been as fruitful as expected, cargo loads will be down. But ACE Air Cargo said smaller planes and a focus on the individual have helped its business stay afloat – and grow.

"If you're a small time fisherman, and you're on the side of the river, and you're catching 3,000 or 5,000 pounds a day, how long is it going to take to get a big plane in there?" Hawthorn asked.

No matter how big or small the carrier, the importance of air cargo continues to grow for Alaska.

Source:   http://www.ktva.com

Officials: Body recovered on Lake Palestine is missing pilot

Pilot Fred Scholz

LAKE PALESTINE — KETK just learned from Cpt. Gary Dugan with the Texas Parks and Wildlife that just a little after 7:15 Saturday morning, a body was pulled from Lake Palestine, near the dam. Officials are confirming it is the body of the East Texas pilot, Fred Scholz, who's plane went down in Lake Palestine on Wednesday this past week.

KETK has a crew at the scene and will bring you more as this story develops today Live @ 5.

Jessica Wilson/ KETKnbc.com

Flight instructor charged over fatal crash

The couple were described as "wonderful" by their family


Published on Saturday 11 February 2012 13:34

A flight instructor will appear in court over a helicopter crash which killed Yorkshire millionaire Paul Spencer and his wife Linda.

The couple, from Brighouse, West Yorkshire, died when their black Gazelle helicopter crashed in woodland in the grounds of Rudding Park Hotel, near Harrogate, on January 26, 2008.

Ian King, from Wetherby, West Yorkshire, will appear at Haywards Heath Magistrates' Court, in West Sussex, on February 24, charged with intent to deceive, making a false representation for the purpose of procuring for Mr Spencer the granting of a private pilot's license.

The allegation relates to the instruction and examination Mr Spencer undertook for his private pilot's license in December 2007, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said.

Mr Spencer, 43, and his wife, 59, had just returned from a holiday in the Caribbean when they were killed.

The couple, who ran Country Baskets, a business which sold dried flowers, were regular visitors to the hotel.

Flight examiner John Jackson was charged with making or omitting entries, or destroying a log book which should have been kept, a CAA spokesman said.

He received a conditional discharge at Haywards Heath Magistrates' Court on February 3.

Source:   http://www.halifaxcourier.co.uk

Airlines secretly cash in on unused tickets



By Bob Sullivan, msnbc.com

With so much talk about airline fees lately, you might overlook perhaps the largest source of ancillary revenue for the industry — and a big headache for you — that lets airlines make money for nothing. A lot of it.

If you've ever been on a "full" flight that was full of empty seats, perhaps you've wondered: What happens to the paid fares when passengers don't show up for flights?

The airlines keep much of the money, of course. No-show fliers get vouchers for the unused value of their tickets good for a year from booking, but stiff change fees often eat heavily into that value. And much like unused gift cards, their value disappears into thin air when not used by a strict deadline.

No one knows how much money the airlines make on unused, expired tickets — they aren't required to say — but experts suspect it's a gigantic haul.

"The airlines collected $6 billion for baggage fees last year, and undoubtedly it's more than that. ... This is an issue that has been around a long time," said travel expert Chris Elliott, author of “Scammed.” "Just look at the rates of overbooking on flights — 10 to 20 percent — that's how many no-shows the airlines expect."

Consumer advocate Ralph Nader has been on a crusade for the past year trying to figure out how much money the airlines are making by flying nothing and trying to nudge the industry toward a more forgiving policy.

"We're talking billions of dollars," he said. "My drawer is often full of unused tickets because plans change. The point is, why a year? The statute of limitations for contracts is three to six years."

Before you assume Nader is tilting at windmills, recall that a similar Nader crusade helped force airlines to compensate passengers when they were kicked off overbooked aircraft.

Nader recently sent letters to all major U.S. airlines asking how much they earn from unused tickets. He got a polite refusal delivered by the industry group Airlines for America, which called the information "confidentially and commercially sensitive."

"Consumers understand that if nonrefundable tickets cannot be used, their value will be lost," the letter said.

The letter, signed by association general counsel David Berg, goes on to say expiring airline tickets are no different from time limits on refund policies of "other retail shopping outlets, from clothes to computers, and are neither deceptive nor unfair."

Nader wasn't impressed by the airlines' response.

“The writer was thrashing around for every analogy he could find, filling the page and a half with non-sequiturs," Nader said. For starters, any analogy between clothes and airline ticket return policies breaks down pretty quickly. After all, if the time to return a sweater has passed, you still get to keep the sweater.

Undeterred, Nader has filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act with the Transportation Department seeking the same data.

But is it really unfair for airlines to keep the money spent on unused tickets and to load up restrictions on refunds?

One convincing argument offered by the industry is that plane tickets are a "perishable" item, akin to concert tickets. Once the plane leaves the ground with an empty seat, an airline can't make money off it, so why should it be expected to offer easy refunds? No one who buys a ticket to a rock concert or a sporting event expects a refund if they miss the event.

Of course, that analogy breaks down, too. Airlines do, in fact, make money off seats sold to no-shows — they overbook. And concert tickets are much easier to sell when buyers' plans change. Most airline tickets aren't transferable.

But the key argument put forth by the airline industry is that traditional, self-regulating market forces take care of the problem. Consumers don't have to buy discounted non-refundable tickets. Full-fare tickets, which can be changed at will and offer refunds, are always an option.

"Consumers can choose between airlines with different service options and select tickets that vary in price, depending on their flexibility," Berg said in his letter to Nader.

Not really.

Something is seriously wrong with the price of refundable tickets. Nothing says "broken market" like swollen prices that bear no resemblance to the value of a product offered and show no signs of price competition.

The gap between refundable and non-refundable tickets is absurd. An airline industry official tried to argue the point with me during a recent chat and priced a one-way, nonstop ticket between New York and Chicago. Non-refundable cost: $112. Refundable cost: $870. Clearly, free market forces are not at play and are not effectively offering a variety of choices and conditions.

No one really believes refundable tickets are a genuine option: On the refund portion of its website, Continental Airlines states clearly that "most tickets are not refundable."

"It has nothing to do with value," Nader said. "It has to do with algorithms. It's not like you're getting a real break with non-refundable tickets. The computer has permitted this to happen. The airline could never do all the calculations which allow them to take advantage of consumers in this situation with humans — it would be too labor-intensive."

Nader isn't optimistic that the Transportation Department will offer him any useful information about unused ticket revenue, but he's already shaking the trees at another government agency: He's pestering the Federal Trade Commission's anti-trust division to investigate. He believes that because most airlines have exactly the same policy about unused tickets, there's evidence of collusion and price fixing. As evidence, he points out that, while he asked multiple airlines for data, he got a single response from an industry trade group.

"They are colluding to achieve to a uniform policy so they don't have to look over their shoulder," he said. "I've never seen anything like this. They are colluding over the information. It has got to be slapped down."
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When asked about this accusation, Steve Lott, a spokesman for Airlines for America, pointed to the letter the agency had already sent Nader. It says the trade group responded on behalf of the airlines "as a matter of convenience."

"DOT for decades has been well aware of air carrier policies and has not objected to them. Many of those policies are far superior to refund policies available to consumers in most other industries," Lott said.

The truth of the matter is that airline no-show and refund policies are unique and need to be evaluated as their own beast. If they were Nordstrom-level, no-questions-asked liberal refund policies, airlines wouldn't ever be able plan anything, as fliers would book and cancel trips constantly.

On the other hand, a harsh no-refund policy — something that was floated in the dark airline industry days after 9/11 — would be anti-consumer and probably hurt the industry by making fliers gun-shy. A clear middle-of-the-road policy is called for, along with better refundable ticket options.

The real problem is that today's no-show policies are tilted too far in the airlines' favor.

"An even bigger rip-off is when you do try to use (a ticket credit) and you get hit with a $150 change fee and the fare differential, and the credit is essentially useless," Elliott said. Also, many consumers miss the fact that the credit is valid only for one year from the original booking — not from the day of the flight or the day of cancellation.

"I hear from people every day who misunderstand that and are told their voucher is worthless," he said.

Of course, the truth is straightforward: The airlines need the money.

"The airlines are so woefully mismanaged right now that if they didn't do this, they would be unprofitable and would cease to exist," he said.

RED TAPE WRESTLING TIPS

There are many honest reasons that consumers miss flights. Even though airlines' stated polices on their carriage of contract may sound strict, many make exceptions. A common one: the "flat tire rule."

If you are late to the airport because something happens on your trip there, many airlines will simply put you into the next available flight where there's room, often without a change fee. Just ask nicely.

Elliot also points out that while airlines rarely offer full refunds, consumers can get a little money back when their unused ticket value expires. Some taxes, such as passenger security fees, are eligible for refund. Airlines won't automatically offer tax refunds; you'll have to ask.
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It's always a good idea to see whether Southwest Airlines is flying your way, as it has the most understandable change fees in the industry.

And as always, when life intervenes on your plans, don't be afraid to call the airline and ask for an exception.

Source:   http://redtape.msnbc.msn.com

Finding ‘freedom’ through flight

Hill-Murray High School senior and Woodbury resident Evan Janochoski received his private pilot’s license Jan. 29 at the Lake Elmo Airport after taking both an oral and flight test and completing 80 hours of flight time, most of which occurred in Alaska.


By: Amber Kispert-Smith, Woodbury Bulletin
Published February 11, 2012, 08:00 AM
 
Most high school students spend their summer vacations lying on the beach, maybe working a summer job, or just enjoying their time off of school. However Woodbury resident Evan Janochoski spent his 2010 summer vacation soaring to new heights in Alaska, where he learned to fly.

“I enjoy flying up in the air, it’s a whole different feeling up there from being down on the ground,” the Hill-Murray High School senior said. “There’s kind of a freedom sense to it.”

Janochoski passed his private pilot’s license exam Jan. 29 at the Lake Elmo Airport.

Aviation in Alaska

Janochoski first became interested in flying in 2010 when his family took a vacation out to Alaska. While there, the Janochoski family visited with a friend who is a licensed Alaskan bush pilot.

Janochoski was able to go up in the plane with their friend, and even fly around a little himself.

“That’s when I knew that I wanted to fly,” he said.

That summer, Janochoski went back up to Alaska for a month where he spent many hours up in the plane learning how to fly.

“I started all of my training up in Alaska flying bush planes with him,” he said.

Janochoski said learning to fly in the small bush planes, specifically tail draggers, was a unique experience since they are such basic planes and don’t include some of the technologies of other planes.

“It kind of got me ahead of the game since I started in such a basic airplane without any of the gadgets,” he said. “It’s a whole different sense of flying.”

Janochoski said flying in Alaska was one of the greatest experiences in his life because the sights were so breathtaking – the water, the glaciers and even the wildlife.

However, Janochoski said Alaska had its share of challenges. Unpredictable weather, he said, caused him to be grounded periodically.

“The weather is kind of hard to deal with sometimes,” he said. “You always hear stories about people getting stuck in bad weather and it’s always in the back of my mind when I fly.”

The flight test

In order to even qualify for a private pilot’s license, a person must complete a minimum of 40 hours of flight time, 10 hours of solo time, five hours of cross country flight, three hours of night flight and 10 night landings.

Even though Janochoski completed most of his flight time in Alaska, he did most of his night flights and cross country flights in Minnesota.

Janochoski said he has racked up close to 80 hours in flight time.

During the private pilot’s license exam at Lake Elmo Airport, Janochoski had to go through both an oral exam, which asked him specifics about the plane, and a flight exam, which required him to perform various flight maneuvers.

“Once I was up in the air, you know what you were doing and it kind of just came to you,” he said. “But at first I was a little nervous.”

Last year alone, only 1,000 private pilot’s licenses were awarded in Minnesota. East Ridge High School junior and Woodbury resident Morgan Maxwell also received her private pilot’s license last year.

Now that Janochoski has his private pilot’s license, he is able to fly solo, as well as with passengers.

Janochoski said he is excited to be able to fly to his family’s cabin in northern Wisconsin and to fly to visit family in North Dakota.

Whereas some parents might be hesitant to let their children hit the open air, Janochoski’s parents LeAnn and Dan said it’s just become the new norm.

“I have a lot of faith it what he’s doing,” LeAnn said. “I look at it as the same as having your kids on the road driving.”

The open air

Janochoski will be attending the University of North Dakota next year for commercial aviation.

In the long-term, Janochoski said he hopes to fly cargo or corporate planes – perhaps even in Alaska.

“I would love to do more of that side of flying,” Janochoski. “But if that doesn’t happen, I’d love to go back up to Alaska and fly for the small airports there or the Alaska Highway Patrol has always been in the back of mind – there’s just more opportunities to fly in Alaska since everyone flies everywhere.

“I just really like finally getting my license done.”

Source:  http://www.woodburybulletin.com