Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Airport installs new fuel farm

New tank

Workers install one of the new fuel tanks at Gladwin's Zettel Memorial Airport Monday.

GLADWIN - The Gladwin Zettel Memorial Airport is back in full service now that two new fuel tanks have been installed. The tanks were delivered and installed on Feb. 13.

Although planes have been able to take-off from and land at the airport, fuel has not always been available. In 2006, the Dept. of Environmental Quality found the airport to be out of compliance with current fuel storage regulations. At the time, the facility had two 5,000 and one 12,000 gallon tank. They, along with the 38-year-old piping, were potential sources of soil contamination or other problems. Also, couldn't be monitored because they were underground. One of the smaller tanks, which held 80 low lead aviation gas, had already been shut down because this grade of gas was discontinued. The other 5,000 tank held jet fuel, which ran out over five years ago. So when the 12,000 tank of 100 low level AV gas ran out, the airport found itself "dry."

The old tanks and piping were removed and a pad was constructed for the two new above-ground tanks. This will allow on-going monitoring and easy-access maintenance. The 12,000 gallon tank will hold gas, while the 5,000 one will hold jet fuel.

The cost of the new system is $305,000, which is the lowest bid received by the airport. Obtaining funding for the project was a four-year process. The major funder is the Federal Aviation Agency's Airport Improvement Projects via the Michigan Dept. of Transportation. Of the $350,000, local costs of around $8,000 will be split between the city of Gladwin and the county.

Airport manager Mike Hargrave expects the facility to see even more activity now that fuel is once again available. "We get a lot of recreational and business activity," he commented. "But we'll have even more when businesses know they can refuel their aircraft here."

Several businesses in the area have corporate jets that would find it more conducive to land here if they can refuel here as well. Examples are Pamida, Brown Machine, and Family Dollar. St. Gorbain Plastics has been waiting for the system to be up-and-running so they can take advantage of the airport.

Hargrave sees the investment as a community effort and a wise use of federal, county, and city tax dollars. The project looks to the future and the possible business and recreational opportunities it can generate.

Gladwin City Administrator Bob Moffit agrees "This is a great day for us," he said, "and it's going to be great for our businesses and community."

Source:  http://www.gladwinmi.com

Piper PA-28-180, N4824L: DNA to identify victims in Clinton County plane crash.

OSBORN, Mo. (AP) - Authorities are awaiting autopsy results before releasing the names of two men killed in a northwest Missouri plane crash.

Missouri Highway Patrol Sgt. Sheldon Lyon says DNA was being collected Wednesday on the victims of Tuesday's crash in a rural area near Osborn, about 45 miles northeast of Kansas City. It will take the patrol's crime lab in Jefferson City 24 to 48 hours to make a positive identification.

The crashed plane was a 1967 single-engine Piper Cherokee. There were no survivors.

The Highway Patrol says people in a nearby home knew at least one person on the low-flying plane and waved as it flew by. The plane went down about 200 yards from the house. The cause of the crash is under investigation.
The crash was reported before 5 p.m. near 33 Highway, south of Southwest Rogers Road.

It happened near a farm in Osborn used by Shatto Milk Company.

The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed to 41 Action News that two people were inside the plane at the time of the crash and both were killed in the plane.

The plane is registered in Independence, Mo.

Authorities have not yet released the identities of the victims.

The FAA will investigate the incident and the National Transportation Safety Board will lead the investigation.

Two killed as small plane crashes in Clinton County

A small plane crashed in a northern Clinton County pasture this afternoon, killing two men, the Missouri Highway Patrol said.

The plane, a 1967 Piper Cherokee, crashed upside down in an open field and burned. The crash site is just north of the Shatto Dairy on U.S. 33, about eight miles west of the Cameron Airport.

The Missouri Highway Patrol and the Clinton County Sheriff’s Department were working Tuesday night to identify the men.

The FAA will begin its investigation Wednesday morning.

Patrol Sgt. Sheldon Lyon said a resident in a house adjacent to the pasture reported the crash at 4:22 p.m.

Witnesses reported seeing the plane traveling low and in circles in the area before the crash.

Lyon said the residents of the house knew at least one of the plane’s occupants. The family was outside to wave as the plane flew by. They saw the plane crash about 200 yards north of the house.

Authorities were unsure where the plane took off from or where it was headed.

The bodies will be brought to Kansas City on Wednesday for autopsy.

CLINTON COUNTY, MO (KCTV) -   A  plane crashed near Plattsburg in Clinton County, MO, and two men have died in the crash.

Two men were flying over a friend's house when their plane went down on Missouri Highway 33.

An employee at Shatto Milk Company, located at 9406 North Hwy. 33 in Osborn, MO, said the crash happened just north of their property.

Liz Cory, a spokesperson for the FAA, said there are two reported fatalities. The FAA is not on the scene at this time, but Cory said local search and rescue with the Missouri Highway Patrol will continue to handle the investigation. They said the local coroner's office will handle identifying the victims.

The plane was a 1967 Piper PA model.

The FAA will be at the scene Wednesday morning and they, along with the National Transportation Safety Board, will handle all further investigations, which could take several months.


Airport board schedules Bowman tree-study vote

The Louisville Regional Airport Authority Board is scheduled to vote Wednesday afternoon on whether to go ahead with a study of trees and other obstructions near Bowman Field.

The meeting is at 3 p.m. at the authority’s administrative office, 700 Administration Drive, at Louisville International Airport.

Trish Burke, the authority spokeswoman, said a new Airport Layout Plan for Bowman Field and the proposed Bowman Field Airport Area Safety Program will be taken up by the board as part of the authority’s five-year capital improvement plan.

Approval of both the layout plan and the safety plan are needed before the authority can proceed with hiring consultants to conduct a study of obstructions within expanded airspace zones off the ends of each runway, said Charles T. “Skip” Miller, authority executive director. Tree removal and any other obstruction mitigation would not occur until at least early 2013, airport officials have said.

Miller has said the safety program would involve identifying all trees and other obstructions that may extend into the larger protected airspace zone required by the Federal Aviation Administration to accommodate modern instrument landing systems.

Working with the FAA, it would also involve the authority purchasing airspace easements above some of its neighbors’ property to make sure the airspace remains open and safe for pilots flying in and out of the aiport, he has said.

But the safety plan has stirred opposition from some neighbors who fear as many as 1,000 trees may need to be trimmed or removed. Airport officials have said they won’t know how many trees until they conduct the survey.

Burke said people who want to speak at authority board meetings must sign up in advance of the meeting. She said that the board chairman has discretion to decide whether to allow speakers.

South Carolina animal rights group: video aircraft shot down

T&D Staff Report 
Posted: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 8:15 am

A remote-controlled aircraft owned by an animal rights group was reportedly shot down near Broxton Bridge Plantation Sunday.

Steve Hindi, president of SHARK (SHowing Animals Respect and Kindness), said his group was preparing to launch its Mikrokopter drone to video what he called a live pigeon shoot on Sunday when law enforcement officers and an attorney claiming to represent the privately-owned plantation near Ehrhardt tried to stop the aircraft from flying.

"It didn't work; what SHARK was doing was perfectly legal," Hindi said in a news release. "Once they knew nothing was going to stop us, the shooting stopped and the cars lined up to leave."

He said the animal rights group decided to send the drone up anyway.

"Seconds after it hit the air, numerous shots rang out," Hindi said in the release. "As an act of revenge for us shutting down the pigeon slaughter, they had shot down our copter."

He claimed the shooters were "in tree cover" and "fled the scene on small motorized vehicles."

"It is important to note how dangerous this was, as they were shooting toward and into a well-travelled highway," Hindi stated in the release. He said someone from SHARK called the Colleton County Sheriff's Department, which took a report of the incident.

The Colleton County Sheriff's Department filed a malicious damage to property incident report.

According to the report, Hindi told the responding deputy the group's remote-controlled aircraft "was hovering over U.S. 601 when he heard a shot come from the wood line. The shot sounded to him that it was of small caliber."

The incident report went on to state that "once shot, the helicopter lost lift and crash landed on the roadway of U.S. 601."

The deputy noted in the report that he was unable to speak to anyone at Broxton Bridge Plantation following the incident.

Hindi estimated damage to the drone at around $200 to $300.

Hindi said he will seek charges against those who shot down the drone.

"This was SHARK's first encounter with the Broxton Bridge Plantation, but it will certainly not be the last," Hindi said in the release. "We are already making plans for a considerably upscaled action in 2013."

FAA looking to hire air traffic controllers

8:12 AM, Feb 14, 2012
Written by Lindsey Tugman

UNDATED (CNN) -- Looking for a job? Well, the FAA is looking to hire some new air traffic controllers.

According to a recent report, the agency is facing a possible shortage at some of the nation's busiest airports. That's because about a third of senior controllers are up for retirement around the country.

One of the hardest hit airports is Dallas-Fort Worth International in Texas.

There, 65 percent of controllers are now eligible for retirement.

The report shows the FAA is having a hard time finding replacements because trainees are quitting their jobs at high rates.

Source:   http://www.todaysthv.com

Air passenger robbed after she's forced to check £100,000 of jewellery

Wealthy Rita Lamberg, who told airport staff she was carrying £100,000-worth of jewellery in her hand luggage was robbed of the stones after being ordered to put her bag in the hold.

By Rosa Prince, New York
2:42PM GMT 14 Feb 2012

Ms Lamberg, 69, a part-time poker player, was stopped at the boarding gate at New York's JFK airport and warned that her handbag was too large to carry on with her on her flight.

She persuaded security staff to let her take the bag on board by explaining that it contained jewellery worth $160,000 (£101,000), and that she did not want to let it out of her sight on her journey to Las Vegas via Pheonix, Arizona.

Gate staff allowed her to board the US Airways plane, but before take-off an airline worker approached her and ordered her to hand over the bag so it could be stowed in the hold.

When Mrs Lamberg and her boyfriend landed in Phoenix, where they were due to change planes for Las Vegas, they collected the bag from the luggage carousel - but it appeared to have been ransacked.

Jewellery including a ladies' diamond-encrusted Rolex watch worth $40,000 (£25,000), a 6-carat diamond ring set in white gold worth $60,000 (£38,000), and a $25,000 (£16,000) diamond ring with blue sapphires, were all missing.

Mrs Lamberg, a psychotherapist from Long Island, New York, who had been traveling to take part in a poker tournament, has offered a $10,000 (£6,400) reward for the recovery of her jewelry.

She admitted that tipping airport staff off to the contents of her bag may not have been wise.

"I told the gate attendant: 'Listen to me, I have more than $100,000 worth of jewellery here,'" she said.

On being ordered to hand over the bag, Mrs Lamberg admitted she was "nervous" about what would happen to her jewels. But she was complied reluctantly because other passengers were waiting to take their seats.

"[The worker] looked at me and said: 'You have a choice. You can either get off the plane . . . or [give over the bag] and take your seat. Nobody's going to touch your luggage,'" she told the New York Post.

A spokesman for US Airways said the matter was being investigated.

Source:  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/

Pilot identified, carried to hospital. Monroe County, Mississippi


Reported by: Mel Carlock wtva.com
Last Update: 3:15 pm

MONROE COUNTY, Miss. (WTVA) -- Itawamba County authorities say the pilot of a plane that apparently crashed in Monroe County this morning is okay.

Sheriff Chris Dickinson tells WTVA.com the pilot contacted his E911 dispatchers shortly before 10 o'clock.

Monroe County Sheriff Cecil Cantrell told WTVA's Robert Byers the crash site was located just minutes after National Guard helicopters joined the search.

Cantrell tells WTVA's Justin Lewis the pilot is identified as Greg Huggins.

Northeast Mississippi Medical Center reports Huggins remains in critical condition from injuries suffered during the plane crash.

Dickinson says the man suffered a cut to the head.

Dickinson says the pilot says he was the only person on board.

Sheriff Cecil Cantrell tells WTVA.com that a plane disappeared from radar Tuesday morning.

He says aerial searches had to wait until the cloud ceiling lifted.

WTVA News has learned it is a single engine plane traveling from Ocala, Florida to Olive Branch, Mississippi.

The plane is owned by Buccaneer Aviation of Wilmington, Delaware.

The plane apparently disappeared from Memphis FAA radar around 7 o'clock Tuesday morning.

WTVA's Robert Byers is in Monroe County and will have the complete story on WTVA News at 5 with Justin Lewis reporting live from the crash site on WTVA News at 6.

Hornbill Skyways Bell 206 returned to base due to minor snag

Posted on February 14, 2012, Tuesday

KUCHING: The Hornbill Skyways seven-seat Bell 206 helicopter tasked to fly Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Douglas Uggah to Betong, Debak and Spaoh on Saturday, had returned to the base due to a minor problem in its tail rotor vibration system, its director of Flight Operations Capt Mohd Hassan Suman said today.

He said the company’s standard operation procedure on the emergency response plan was never activated on the very day as the vibration was a common problem after a few hundred flying hours.

“A rectification carried out upon landing, where the engineering department was ready to prepare another aircraft to continue with the mission, found out that it was caused by the Bell 206′s air conditioning system,” he told a news conference here.

Uggah’s press secretary, Affendi Yusof, was quoted as saying that the minister’s scheduled trip, to meet the people, was duly cancelled.

Also on board the helicopter when it returned two minutes after the 8.30am take-off were ministry officers and Saribas State Assemblyman Mohammad Razi Sitam.

“After taking off, the pilot noticed a slight tail rotor vibration, which might not have been felt by ordinary passengers, and made a decision to return to base before requesting a replacement aircraft instead,” said Mohd Hassan.

Hornbill Skyways currently has 11 aircrafts, including the Bell 206 long ranger and euro copter, he said.

Scheduled aircraft maintenance were normally carried out after every 100 flying hours while the one involving the minister was an unscheduled one, he said.

He said declaration of emergency would only be made by an aircraft commander with respect to a situation that might jeopardize the passengers’ safety and aircraft, followed by an emergency drill to land the aircraft as soon as deemed practicable, possible or immediately. – Bernama

Can Pakistan's state airline fly through tough times?

By Qasim Nauman

ISLAMABAD, Feb 14 (Reuters) - On a recent Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight, water flowed from the toilets through the aisles during the entire journey from London to Islamabad.

"What if it reaches some electrical wires and puts us in danger?" said one concerned passenger to another after flight attendants brushed off repeated complaints.

"This could be a catastrophe."

PIA, like Pakistan, always seems to be on the brink of disaster. But now that seems closer than ever for the national flag carrier, once a source of pride for the country.

The airline is hemorrhaging hundreds of millions of dollars a year while being pummeled by competition from sleek Gulf giants like Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways.

A quarter of its 40 aircraft are grounded because the airline can't find enough money to buy spare parts. Flights are regularly cancelled and engineers say they are having to cannibalize some planes to keep others flying.

"The situation has worsened to the extent of rendering this airline almost financially unviable," said the State Bank of Pakistan in a report on the state of the economy.

In many ways the airline mirrors the way Pakistan -- a strategic U.S. ally often described as a failing state -- is run.

The same inefficiency, nepotism and corruption that critics say have prevented the government from tackling a Taliban insurgency, crippling power cuts, ethnic violence and widespread poverty also threaten to bring down the airline.

PIA lost 19.29 billion rupees ($212.7 million) in the first nine months of 2011, almost double the losses in the same period in 2010.

The airline, like the Pakistani economy, has relied on bailouts to stay in the air, and is negotiating with the state for another rescue package.

"Just like PIA has the potential to do well, Pakistan's economy does too. But both haven't because of mismanagement. In the end that is the story -- mismanagement," Salman Shah, a former Pakistani finance minister, told Reuters.

PIA officials were not available for comment on the challenges facing the airline despite repeated requests.


Over the years, critics say, governments have manipulated state corporations like PIA for political and financial gain, giving jobs to so many supporters that the size of the workforce has become unsustainable in the face of mounting losses.

"We don't have people in the right places in typical Pakistani fashion. It's about who you know not what you can do," said a PIA pilot, who like other employees asked not to be identified for fear of being fired.

Today, PIA has a staggering employee to aircraft ratio of more than 450, more than twice as much as some competitors. In the first nine months of 2011, employee expenses drained 16 percent of turnover.

"Politically motivated inductions have been the major cause of the significant increase in human resource burden in this organisation," said the central bank.

"It cannot be corrected without taking drastic steps for rightsizing and increasing operational efficiency."

That is unlikely in a country where political expediency and interests often undermine efforts to make everything from governments to corporations successful.

Frustrations with those realities are palpable at PIA.

Employees accuse supervisors of looking for kickbacks instead of trying to save the company. Some contracts are signed with companies for equipment they don't even possess.

"Management's concern is not with what planes and parts are good for the airline but what is good for them," said a senior PIA engineer.

Things were not always so gloomy. PIA used to be considered one of Asia's elite, a model for other airlines, the first on the continent to offer a jet service.

These days, flight cancellations and technical glitches are regularly reported on cable news channels, with irate passengers calling with a long list of complaints.

It has become the butt of jokes on television comedy shows. In one sketch, a young man grows old at the airport waiting for a PIA flight to arrive with his relatives.

"I wouldn't fly on PIA even if they gave me free tickets," said businessman Younis Ibrahim, 40, who regularly flies from Pakistan's commercial hub Karachi to Oman on Emirates.

"They are never on time."

Others have more serious concerns about the airline.

Just before takeoff, one PIA aircraft had to abort because smoke started to rise in the cabin.

"There was a strange smell. We immediately told the crew and they had to put us on another plane," said passenger Haroon Ali.

With little financial muscle, PIA has little chance of improving its services and many of its best pilots and engineers are joining competing airlines.

"People that PIA invested in decades in are leaving. This is what happens when you don't have a culture of merit," said a PIA engineer at Karachi airport.

Demoralized pilots and engineers say the airline desperately needs to replace its aging fleet.

The European Union banned PIA from flying to the bloc for eight months in 2007 because of concern about maintenance and the age of some aircraft. The ban was lifted after PIA addressed the concerns.

The chances of purchasing new aircraft are slim given PIA's financial predicament.

"You can't fly an airline like this," said a senior PIA pilot. "You can run it into the ground, but you can't fly it."

(Additional reporting by Imtiaz Shah in KARACHI; Editing by Michael Georgy and Robert Birsel)

Qantas slams code-share demand

By Matt O'sullivan
February 15, 2012

QANTAS has warned aviation authorities that putting an end to its tie-up with South Africa Airways for services between Australia and Johannesburg is likely to lead to one of the airlines not flying the route.

The International Air Services Commission has told the airlines - which hold a duopoly on direct services to South Africa - that it is unlikely to extend its code-share beyond this year.

It has also proposed a condition of their existing tie-up that they operate 14 flights a week between them, so as to stop the airlines from ''reducing capacity in order to cut costs and drive up load factors and fares''.

But in a strongly worded response, Qantas said the withdrawal of approval at the end of the year would ''likely result in monopolies for direct services on both the Sydney and Perth routes'' to South Africa.

Qantas criticised the commission's stance that services were unlikely to change if the deal was not extended, insisting that ''it is more likely that one or more of the incumbent carriers will reduce services or withdraw entirely from the route''. Qantas wants the commission to approve the tie-up for five years.

The airlines' stranglehold on direct flights on the route has been a point of contention for a number of years for both the air services commission and Australia's competition watchdog.

South Africa Airways has also warned that it is losing money on the route, which has been ''constrained by … uncertainty in global markets''.

The airline said it was making a small profit on its own flights between Johannesburg and Perth but losing money on the Qantas code-share flights between Sydney and South Africa.

The commission wants South Africa Airways to increase its flights to Perth from six to seven a week but the airline warned it would be ''exceptionally difficult''.

The commission has allowed the code-share since 2000, but more recently has only extended approval for one to two years.

In a draft decision in November, it warned that the tie-up might discourage other airlines from entering the route.

Static Display at Singapore Airshow 2012

A quick look at the Static Display at the 2012 Singapore Airshow. There is a wide range of aircraft on display including military jets, a lot of private jets - including Jackie Chan's own Legacy 650 by Embraer, a few helicopters, an amphibious plane, and a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner.

Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner Interior and Exterior Tour at Singapore Airshow 2012

The Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner was one of the main attractions of the Singapore Airshow 2012. With dream tour airplane - ZA003 - on the static display it gave media and VIPs attending the show the chance to get a little experience with this brand new aircraft.

In this HD video you will see the exterior of the plane, the cockpit, the economy class section as well as business class. You should note the larger windows which are dimmed electronically and can be fully controlled by the stewardesses. These windows have a slight delay built into them in an attempt to stop people playing with them too much. It takes just under a minute to go from clear to the darkest setting. Apart from all the high-tech materials used, and the fuel savings that the airlines will enjoy, customers can look forward to better cabin pressure, better humidity and a more spacious cabin which should all result in a more enjoyable flight.

It must be understood that the 787 Dreamliner is not competing with the mammoth and highly popular Airbus A380, but will be in competition with the Airbus A350 XWB when it comes out.

Is it as good as Boeing would like you to believe? Only time will tell, as their is no way that you can draw a conclusion from a test aircraft sat on a static dsiplay at an Airshow.

C-17 Globemaster III Flight Display at Singapore Airshow 2012

HD Flight Display of the C-17 Globemaster III Flight Display at Singapore Airshow 2012. This flying display rehearsal took place on Sunday, 12 February 2012 and is a very informative display from which you will learn a lot about this impressive aircraft.

Flight instructor believed to have crashed plane on purpose. Near St. Hubert Airport (Canada)

A 25-year-old pilot crashed his plane Tuesday night, Feb. 13, 2012, near Saint Hubert airport near Montreal, Que. 
(QMI Agency/Pascal Girard)

LONGUEUIL, Que. - A flight instructor who was killed in a Cessna plane crash on Tuesday morning is believed to have steered the aircraft into the ground on purpose.

Michel Beaudoin, director of the St. Hubert Airport near Montreal, tells QMI Agency that suicide is the most likely theory behind the crash of the Cessna 150 aircraft.

A 25-year-old instructor stole the plane around 12:45 a.m. and took off without clearance.

The pilot turned the plane around about 30 minutes later and headed back to the airport.

The Cessna disappeared from radar screens and police began an extensive search.

The plane was found at the end of the airport's runway about 45 minutes later.

The pilot was pronounced dead on scene.

Boeing locks in biggest plane order with Lion Air

NEW YORK — Boeing has locked in its biggest order ever.

The Chicago airplane manufacturer said Tuesday that it has finalized an order from Indonesian carrier Lion Air for 230 planes — worth a combined $22.4 billion. Lion Air also has the rights to buy 150 more. The deal is the largest commercial airplane order ever for Boeing Co. by both dollar value and number of airplanes.

The order includes 201 of Boeing's redesigned 737, which it calls the Max, and 29 extended range 737-900s.

Until this deal was confirmed, Boeing's biggest confirmed order was from Southwest Airlines Co. That order for 208 planes is valued at $19 billion at list prices, but airlines commonly get discounts. Southwest will be the first customer to get the 737 Max, which is still in testing, when it's delivered in 2017.

Lion Air is Indonesia's largest private airline but it's still very small compared to most U.S. carriers. With a current fleet of 76 planes, it's about double the size of Spirit Airlines or Allegiant Travel Co., according to Airfleets.net. But it's just one-tenth the size of United Continental, the world's largest airline company. Lion Air is also relatively small compared with other Asian carriers. Singapore Airlines has a fleet of about 120 planes, while Japan's All Nippon Airways, the first customer for Boeing's 787 Dreamliner, has a fleet of 174.

The order adds to Boeing's recent momentum in its competition against European rival Airbus.

In November, Middle East carrier Emirates ordered $18 billion worth of long-range Boeing 777s. Southwest's order for 737s was placed in December.

Those orders followed a notable win for Airbus. In July, American Airlines said it will order 200 planes from Boeing, including 100 of the Max model. But American also for the first time ordered planes from Airbus — 260 A320s, the Airbus rival to the 737.

American and its parent, AMR Corp., are now operating under bankruptcy protection. A bankruptcy court judge will now decide whether the airline can go ahead with the ambitious order.

The 737 Max is Boeing's answer to the Airbus 320neo, another plane with new engines designed to boost fuel efficiency. That plane is due out in late 2015.

Boeing has been building the short- and medium-range 737 since the late 1960s. It has sold about 7,000 of them, making it the company's most popular plane ever. Workers on Boeing's assembly line in Renton, Wash., make about one every day, but the company plans to boost production by roughly one-third in 2014 to meet new orders.

Gov. Chafee lobbies Warwick officials to drop lawsuit over TF Green Airport runway expansion

WARWICK, R.I. -- Governor Chafee called members of the Warwick City Council over the past few days, urging them to quickly resolve concerns over a planned runway expansion at T.F. Green Airport and drop their lawsuit challenging federal handling of the project.

"The governor's been very upfront and outspoken all along about the fact that the extension of the runway is key to the economic development of the state," Chafee spokeswoman Christine Hunsinger said Monday.

The calls, however, may be too late to salvage any of the 2012 construction season.

Kevin Dillon, president of the Rhode Island Airport Corporation, said he is "very disappointed" with the way talks with the council are going and it may be better to let the litigation run its course.
Information from: The Providence Journal, http://www.providencejournal.com

Cessna 172N Skyhawk, N7582D: Accident occurred February 05, 2012 in Fresno, California

NTSB Identification: WPR12LA093 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, February 05, 2012 in Fresno, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/12/2013
Aircraft: CESSNA 172N, registration: N7582D
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

A witness reported that he observed the airplane flying about the height of nearby power lines and that the engine was sputtering. The airplane then banked right and impacted the power lines before falling to the ground. Postaccident examination of the airframe and engine revealed no mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.

The non-certificated pilot was flying the airplane, which had been reported stolen. The pilot’s toxicology results indicated that methamphetamine and amphetamines were detected in the pilot’s blood and liver specimens. (Local authorities also reported finding a plastic bag containing “crystal meth” in the accident airplane.) Both detected drug quantities were above therapeutic levels and likely contributed to the pilot’s performance and failure to maintain sufficient clearance from the power lines.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The non-certificated pilot’s failure to maintain clearance from power lines. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s impairment due to performance-impairing drugs.


On February 5, 2012, about 1606 Pacific standard time, a Cessna 172N, N7582D, struck powerlines and impacted a canal bank about 5 miles northwest of Fresno, California. The non certificated pilot was fatally injured and the airplane sustained substantial damaged. The airplane was registered to a private party in Walnut Creek, California, and was reportedly stolen and operated by the deceased pilot. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 flight and no flight plan was filed. The airplane was stolen from Buchanan Field Airport (CCR), Concord, California at an unknown date and time. The airplane was seen at Byron Airport (C83), Byron, California the day prior to the accident. The airplane departed Byron at an unknown time for unknown destination(s).

A witness reported to local law enforcement that he observed the airplane flying at the height of the powerlines (about 40 feet above the ground); he mentioned that he could not see the pilot and that the engine was sputtering. The airplane banked right just before it impacted the powerlines and subsequently fell to the ground.

A second witness reported to law enforcement that he did not witness the accident, however, he heard something loud outside of his home. He mentioned that it sounded like an engine that was cutting in and out. The witness further mentioned that he did not hear the airplane impact the ground.


An on scene examination conducted by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) revealed that the airplane sustained substantial damage to the wings, fuselage, and empennage. A powerline cable was wrapped around the right wing and scorch marks were noted on the right wing lift strut, as well as the left wing leading edge. Fuel was observed in the gascolator bowl, carburetor bowl, and dripping from the right fuel tank. The fuel selector was observed in the “both” position. Control continuity was established throughout. Both propeller blades sustained damage; one was bent aft about midspan with span wise gouges, and the other was bent aft at the propeller hub; 45 degree striations were noted. A key was not present within the ignition switch, however, the magnetos were in the “Both” position.

According to the FAA and investigating law enforcement agencies, the airplane was stolen from the owner’s tie down parking location at CCR. The airplane was then reportedly observed at C83 the day prior to the accident. During the on scene examination, methamphetamine and various prescription drug bottles were found within the airplane’s cabin area.


The nearest weather reporting station located about 12 miles southeast of the accident site recorded at 2353, calm wind, 10 statute miles of visibility, few clouds at 20,000 feet above ground level (agl), scattered clouds at 25,000 feet agl, temperature 19 degrees Celsius (C), dew point -3 degrees C, and an altimeter reading of 30.03 inches of mercury.


According to the FAA medical database, the pilot was 52 years old; He was issued a student pilot certificate and third class medical in November 1987. At that time, the pilot indicated he had about 25 total hours of flight time, all of which had occurred within six months preceding the medical examination. The number of hours flown in the same make and model as the stolen airplane is unknown. The pilot’s student pilot certificate was revoked by the FAA in March 1988.


Toxicological testing was performed on the pilot by the FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI). The testing revealed that the pilot had 2.085 ug/ml of methamphetamine, and 0.113 ug/ml of amphetamine detected in the blood. According to CAMI, toxic to lethal levels of methamphetamine is between 0.600 ug/ml (toxic) and 10.000 ug/ml (lethal); Therapeutic levels of Amphetamine is between 0.0020 ug/ml (low) – 0.1000 ug/ml (high).


Post-accident examination was conducted on the airframe and engine. The examination revealed throttle and mixture continuity from the firewall to the carburetor linkages; and all linkages moved freely. The upper spark plugs were removed and no visual mechanical damage was noted; all upper spark plugs had light gray deposits with the exception of the number one cylinder plug, which displayed signs of corrosion. The oil filter was removed; no debris was noted within the filter. All four cylinders were removed from the crankcase, the number one cylinder and piston sustained corrosion and rust on the barrel and piston. The number two and four cylinder barrels contained light colored dirt consistent with dirt from on scene; each piston contained normal operating deposits. The inside of the crankcase was examined, no thermal discoloration was noted.

During the examination of the single drive dual magneto, the magneto cap and condensers were affixed to a test bench. The magneto points were connected to a multimeter and no voltage was detected. The points were cleaned and spark was obtained at multiple speed intervals.

Ray Pirro

Cessna 172, N7582D

The pilot who stole a Cessna and crashed the plane west of Fresno was extremely high on methamphetamine.

He had more than eight times the level in his system that would have caused bizarre behavior and it proved to be deadly.

52-year-old Ray Pirro had a criminal history that included theft, drugs, and assault.

Police say he stole the Cessna from an airfield in Concord two weeks ago. The plane crashed just west of Fresno.

Toxicology reports show Pirro had a high level of methamphetamine in his system, some of the highest Fresno County’s Coroner has ever seen.

“This level is so high it could cause hallucination or suicidal ideation,” Dr. David Hadden said.

Dr. Hadden says the level of meth in Pirro’s system is similar to that of Aide Mendez, the Fresno mother who killed her two children, her cousin, and shot her husband before turning the gun on herself.

Hadden says a level of 300 nanograms per milliliter of meth in a person’s system would cause bizarre behavior.

Ray Pirro had 2585 nanograms per milliliter in his system.

Aide Mendez had 25-hundred nanograms per milliliter in her system.

“The message to the public is that these people are extremely dangerous to our society. Not only does the preparation of the drug diminish our environment, but they could crash their airplane into your house,” Hadden said.
No one other than Pirro was hurt in the plane crash. The plane crashed close to homes.

Source:  http://www.cbs47.tv
  Regis#: 7582D        Make/Model: C172      Description: 172, P172, R172, Skyhawk, Hawk XP, Cutla
  Date: 02/06/2012     Time: 0006

  Event Type: Accident   Highest Injury: Fatal     Mid Air: N    Missing: N
  Damage: Substantial

  City: FRESNO   State: CA   Country: US


INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   1
                 # Crew:   1     Fat:   1     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    
                 # Pass:   0     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    
                 # Grnd:         Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    

  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Unknown      Operation: OTHER

  FAA FSDO: FRESNO, CA  (WP17)                    Entry date: 02/06/2012 

Cessna 150M, C-GYLO, Air Richelieu: February 14, 2012 near the Saint-Hubert Airport - CYHU, south of Montreal, Quebec - Canada

LONGUEUIL, Que. — A flight instructor who died in a Cessna plane crash Tuesday morning is believed to have steered the aircraft into the ground on purpose.

Michel Beaudoin, director of the St. Hubert Airport near Montreal, tells QMI Agency that the instructor left a suicide note at his flight school before stealing a plane around 12:45 a.m.

"He went up 2,600 feet and he came back at the airport," Beaudoin said. "On the radar, they saw that he made a drop of 700 feet in one shot and after that he went off of the radar."

The plane crashed at the end of a runway, but it took searchers nearly an hour to find the white plane that had settled in the snow.

The 25-year-old instructor's body was found in the wreckage. No one else was injured.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is investigating the crash.

Sources tell QMI that the dead man had worked at the Air Richelieu flight school for about four years.

Air Richelieu lists 22 flight instructors and says it has been in business since 1994.

The school trains civil service, military and commercial pilots.

Caribbean Airlines begins daily service to St Lucia

By CMC -  February 13th, 2012.

CASTRIES, St Lucia, CMC – The Trinidad-based airline, Caribbean Airlines, has begun a non-stop daily service to St Lucia with daily flights from Port of Spain to the George FL Charles Airport here.

“The addition of this route solidifies our commitment to provide our customers with more options for travel within the Caribbean,” Caribbean Airlines’ acting chief executive, Robert Corbie, told an inaugural ceremony on Saturday.

He said St. Lucia has been of strategic interest to the airline, which stepped up its intra-regional flights following the entry of the Barbados-based carrier, RedJet. Caribbean Airlines has also used the launch to mount a campaign to win students attending the region’s major university campuses in Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad.

“Our current offer for students along with added benefits of frequent flyer miles and complimentary bags will add value and exceed service expectations,” he noted. RedJet, billed as a low-cost, no-frills carrer, currently charges a minimum 10 US dollars per bag.

Caribbean Airlines’ St. Lucia service also paves the way for direct connections to South America, with a daily connection to Caracas via Trinidad for passengers whose travel originates in St. Lucia, along with four weekly connections to Paramaribo, Suriname and daily connections to Guyana, Corbie said.

“Our added value entitles all customers on our new St. Lucia route to frequent flyer miles, one complimentary checked bag up to 50 pounds and, up to 10 per cent discount is offered to senior citizens and students attending universities within the Caribbean.”

He said Caribbean Airlines continues to work closely with St. Lucia Tourist Board to ensure a consistent value-added service.

For the island’s part, minister for tourism, Lorne Theophilus, said the new service provides more access to its carnival, jazz and Creole Heritage festivals and further links the Windward Island to the southern Caribbean republic.

“We hope that this service succeeds as this will be one more bridge built in making the dream of Caribbean economic, social and cultural integration a reality,” the minister said.

Source:  http://www.antiguaobserver.com

St. Cloud airport General Aviation Building to get $136,000 in updates

11:18 PM, Feb. 13, 2012 
Written by  Kari Petrie

St. Cloud Regional Airport’s gateway for high-profile travelers is getting a facelift.

The General Aviation Building will get $136,000 in upgrades, including a new roof, carpeting, canopy and a restroom remodel. Its windows will also be tinted to make the building more energy efficient.

Minnesota Department of Transportation Aeronautics will contribute about $90,000; the rest will come out of the airport’s budget.

The General Aviation Building is separate from the main terminal. It serves private flights while the main terminal building is for scheduled commercial service.

The two services have to be separated for security reasons, Airport Director Bill Towle said.

Passengers on a variety of different aircraft go through the building, from small two-seater planes to large corporate jets.

Corporate executives come through the General Aviation Building. Recently, GOP presidential hopeful Ron Paul came through the building.

“This is the gateway to the community for them,” Towle said. “It should be a nice building.”

It is open to the public.

The improvements are focusing on areas that have passed their life span. The airport had done maintenance on the roof for years, but it’s now at the point where it needs to be replaced, Towle said.

The carpeting was replaced in 1995 and is in need of an upgrade, he said.

The window coverings will help reduce the need for air conditioning. There are shades on the windows now but they have to remain open so workers can see what planes are landing or taking off, Towle said.

Fixing the bathrooms was a top priority for St. Cloud Aviation, which leases space in the building. The company handles the corporate and flight school aircraft that fly into the airport.

Manager Jessica Filsmyer said they wanted the bathrooms updated and freshened to better serve their customers. New carpeting will also add to that updated look.

“We want to make it more comfortable for our customers,” she said.

Source:  http://www.sctimes.com

Airport Authority seeks extra funds: Council hears appeal to make up for lost revenue from National Guard agreement

February 14, 2012By John McVey - Journal-News

MARTINSBURG - Eastern Regional Airport Authority officials are looking for ways to fill a large budget gap left by the National Guard Bureau's decision to pull funding from the authority.

Bill Walkup, airport manager, asked Berkeley County Council members Monday for $49,500 for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

County Council allocated $27,000 to the Airport Authority for the current fiscal year, which ends June 30.

Walkup said the authority plans to ask Martinsburg City Council for the same amount.

For county and municipal governments to appoint members to the authority, the government entities must contribute $5,000 per member.

Berkeley County appoints three members, therefore that allocation is $15,000, and in past years, the county has allotted $12,000 for capital improvements at the airport for a total of $27,000.

"The big change is we're asking for (an additional) $22,500 to offset the loss of the National Guard Bureau joint use agreement," Walkup told County Council members Monday. "That is 50 percent of the National Guard Bureau's annual payment."

NGB is the federal agency that handles agreements between general aviation airports, like Eastern Regional Airport, and Air Force National Guard units, like the 167th Airlift Wing, which uses the Eastern Regional Airport as its base.

The Airport Authority and NGB had a joint use agreement, which expired at the end of June, that paid the authority $45,000 a year for the 167th's use of the airport.

In July, NGB offered a new five-year joint use agreement that would have paid the Airport Authority $45,000 in the first year and then the payments would have been reduced each year to $1 in the fifth year.

Airport Authority members rejected that offer by a 4-1 vote.

In November, NGB rescinded its original offer and made another offer that would pay $1 a year for the next five years.

At their meeting earlier this month, Airport Authority members voted 3-2 to table any action on NGB's latest offer until their meeting in March.

"There is some hope that a joint use agreement could be signed that might be more favorable to the Airport Authority by our March 6 meeting," Walkup said.

Airport Authority Chairman Rick Wachtel explained to County Council members Monday that U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., had contacted the authority about trying to resolve the joint use agreement impasse.

He said authority members were waiting to hear from Rockefeller's office but would take definite action on the latest NGB offer at their next meeting.

"If we sign a joint use agreement with the National Guard Bureau, we will drop our request for the $22,500," Wachtel said. "But I don't know how we're going to operate the airport without additional funding from the county and the city."

He has said that the joint use agreement payment accounted for about 18 percent of the Airport Authority's operating budget, adding that the authority has had a significant cash flow problem since July because it has not received any payments from the National Guard Bureau since the previous joint use agreement expired.

County Councilman Doug Copenhaver asked Walkup how the authority would stay afloat through the end of the year.

Walkup said the authority receives revenue from renting hangars and from some land-lease agreements it has with companies that have buildings in the authority's business park.

Also, Berkeley County Council members and Martinsburg City Council members have agreed to re-allocate $12,000 and $3,700, respectively, from maintenance funds to operating expenses.

County Council members must have their budget finished and submitted to the state for review by March 28.

New promotional video sells value of West Michigan Regional Airport

The Holland Sentinel
Posted Feb 13, 2012 @ 11:19 PM

Holland —  “Now landing business” is how the a promotional video for the West Michigan Regional Airport starts.

The West Michigan Airport Authority approved the video’s production in August. It has been completed, was presented to the authority Monday and will soon be making its way into theaters, events and promotional spots.

During the 4-minute video, an 11-year-old girl interviews business leaders and governmental officials from the area and asks why the airport is important to them.

The video was designed with the 1950s flair of a twirling newspaper with large headlines announcing news at the airport while an announcer tells the story. It was a concept agreed upon by the authority’s communication committee and Grooters Productions, said Karen Scholten, WMAA communications assistant.

“It’s been a very exciting project to go through,” she said.

“I don’t think they imagined anything like this,” Holland Interim City Manager Greg Robinson said prior to the airport authority watching the video Monday.

The authority, which budgeted $19,500 for the video, plans to use it to promote the airport extensively in the coming months as it prepares for the first millage renewal since it was formed in 2008.

It intends to show how major businesses and employers in the area use the airport to bring clients and business into West Michigan.

“We’re able to fly in potential customers from all over the United States,” Chris Nienhuis from Haworth Corp., said in the video. “In fact a group just left a few minutes ago, heading back to Boston.”

Lean Logistics and Gentex Corp. are also featured.

The airport helps Gentex get to customers quicker, Craig Piersma said in the video, adding, the quicker he can reach potential customers, the more likely he is to bring more business and jobs to West Michigan.

The authority has discussed using 30-second clips for radio spots. It will also share the video with major businesses in the area. The authority will also look at playing the video prior to movies and shows at local theaters, Scholten said.

Airport board considers building more T-hangars

Posted: Sunday, February 12, 2012 4:00 am
Robin Y. Richardson, Marshall News Messenger

The airport advisory board is embarking on a new project — the construction of 10 new T-hangars — as a possibility to bring in more revenue for the county.

“Because of the encouragement of several people here, we started to look at building 10 new T-hangars and how we could possibly pay the county match,” Harrison County Judge Hugh Taylor informed at a recent airport advisory board meeting.

This will be an addition to the other 10 T-hangars that were constructed in 2010. During that time, the project was paid for with 80 percent of federal and state funding. The county paid the other 20 percent from oil and gas revenues and timber sales from the airport property, which have to be spent on airport improvements.

Judge Taylor said last fall, he approached David Fulton, the director of the aviation division for Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), about the idea of constructing 10 new T-hangars. Fulton informed him that the project could be funded by a 90/10 grant from TxDOT, meaning the county would have to come up with 10 percent of the total project cost.

Taylor said 18 people are already on the waiting list to rent out a T-hangar. He proposed that the county’s matching portion could be financed by locals who want to participate.

“We’re faced with extraordinary circumstances where with a unique financing arrangement, we may could have the locals who want to participate put up our matching portion,” said Taylor. He said with TxDOT’s approval, the county could then pay back participants out of the revenue generated from the rental of the hangars.

“(This) means our airport funds will not be exhausted one penny,” explained Taylor.

Ken Carlile, interim chairman on the advisory board, said the financing is something new and productive.

“Essentially, I offered and others have offered to finance it on that 10 percent,” said Carlile. “We’re trying to do this where we can’t go back to the county funds, so we’re real encouraged that this will work.”

Taylor said he informed TxDOT of their intentions.

“I sent a letter of intent already to TxDOT with a blurb in there about this may require TxDOT aviation division approval to finance this project in this manner,” said Taylor. “Of course their concern is the match, which they will get in cash from local participants and then we will pay local participants back out of revenue and only out of revenue.”

Taylor noted that they have put a two-year delay on the Capital Improvement Project (CIP) for terminal renovations in order to squeeze in the T-hangar project.

“Because it’s a revenue project, we need the revenue,” he said. “I don’t have hundreds of thousands in the bank account to renovate this building, so I put the revenue project first.”

He said Sandra Braden with TxDOT approved.

“She actually indicated they may can get the T-hangar project in the 2013 (tasks) because of our willingness to move the other CIP out two years,” he said. “We had to do it to get the revenue project in front of the others.”

“She indicated to me we needed to get it done immediately because the 2013 pool would already be assigned… there wouldn’t be any CIP money there for the T-hangars so I just typed up the letter.

“I think we’d be successful,” he said.

Source:  http://www.marshallnewsmessenger.com