Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Plane Makes Emergency Landing At Bradley International Airport (KBDL), Windsor Locks, Connecticut

A commuter plane was forced to make an emergency landing at Bradley Airport Wednesday afternoon.

A Continental passenger plane being operated by Commute Air requested an emergency landing after someone reported smoke coming from the luggage compartment, according to Bradley Airport Operations.

Flight 4827 was en route from Providence to Newark with 32 passengers onboard when the pilots declared an emergency.

The plane landed without incident around 5:30. Fire crews inspected the luggage compartment and did not find smoke or fire. The plane taxied to a gate for further inspection, but the incident is being classified as a false alarm.

Helicopter on apparent rescue mission went down on Togwotee Pass

(Lander) — Fremont County Search and Rescue officials were called in late this afternoon to assist Teton County with an apparent downed helicopter in the vicinity of the Togwotee Mountain Lodge between Dubois and Moran Junction. Sheriff Skip Hornecker said the request for assistance was for personnel to assist with an incident command center as a search was being organized. Hornecker said the FCSO obtained a helicopter from Worland, it picked up the S&R team members in Lander headed by Captain David Good and they were en route to the scene.

According to Sheriff Hornecker, a Teton County helicopter was on an a mission to the scene of a snowmobile accident on the Teton County side of Togwotee Pass when the helicopter crashed. Hornecker said there was no other information available.

The Teton County Sheriff’s Department has confirmed that a helicopter has crashed, but no other details were immediately available.


Air Force T-38 from Beale AFB blows tire on landing at Mather

A T-38 Talon aircraft from Beale Air Force Base sustained minor damage after a tire blew out upon landing at Mather Airfield this afternoon.

About 1:30 p.m., the aircraft, carrying two pilots, was on a routine training mission known as "touch and go's", when upon landing at Mather, a tire blew out, according to a Beale Air Force Base news release. Officials said crosswinds pushed the aircraft, causing a second tire to blow out.

Officials said no injuries were reported.

Beale Air Force Base safety and maintenance crew members are en route to Mather. The cause of the blow-out is under investigation.

Valkaria AirFest prepares for takeoff at South Brevard airfield: 6th annual event features rides, displays and demonstrations

Valkaria Airport Manager Steve Borowski, right, helps pull out a experimental aircraft built and owned by Art Irvine, left, of Palm Bay

Things are looking up at the Valkaria Airport, as evidenced by recent improvements and exciting plans for Saturday’s Valkaria AirFest.

Sponsored by the Valkaria Aviation Association, the sixth annual event will feature aircraft rides, displays and model rocket and aviation demonstrations. But it also will give airport officials a chance to explain recent and planned improvements on the South Brevard airfield.

“The airport has changed dramatically over the last five or six years by the improvements and the popularity of AirFest,” said airport manager Steve Borowski. “When we started, people didn’t even know where the airport was, but we’re on the map now.”

VAA board chairman Art Irvine of Palm Bay is proud to show several experimental aircraft he has built, including a gyrocopter and a high-speed aerobatic Midget Mustang.

“The show’s a lot of work, but it’s important because we’re working to develop a positive relationship in the community,” he said.

Taking the theme “Rides, Rides and Rides” literally, rides will be available for an additional charge in an open cockpit biplane, aerobatic airplane, glider, helicopter, powered parachute, (tethered) hot air balloon, Cessna and gyrocopter.

Other offerings include a land demonstration by high-speed airboats by the Indian River Airboat Association, static display of an Air Force C-130 Hercules cargo plane and the show’s first-ever demonstration of a Military Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, sometimes called a “drone.”

“We’ve had small radio-controlled aircraft before, but this is a big aircraft and a jet. It’s a drone like the ones they fly over Afghanistan,” Borowski said.

Aviation history also will take center stage as, in the wake of the release of George Lucas Films’ “Red Tails,” some original members of the Tuskegee Airmen will sign books and hold a photo session.

Other planned appearances include champion aerobatic pilot Patty Wagstaff and James Bond’s jet pilot Corky Fornof.

The event will take on a special quality when a twilight airshow will be performed by the AeroShell T-6 night performance team during a hot air balloon glow and just before a fireworks display.

The details

What: Valkaria AirFest 2012

When: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday. The daytime air show will be from 1 to 4 p.m. and the evening air show will be from 5:45 to 6:45 p.m.
Where: Valkaria Airport, 2865 Greenbrook St., Malabar
Cost: The cost is $10; free for county employees with ID.
Info: Call 321-952-4590 or visit

Reno Air Racing Association welcomes aviation expert Michael Stollings to board


With nearly four decades of extensive military and commercial flight experience, Michael Stollings is the newest member to join the Reno Air Racing Association Board of Directors. Stollings’ knowledge in aviation safety and flight operations will contribute to the overall growth, safety and success of the National Championship Air Races.

With nearly 40 years of combined commercial and military aviation experience, Stollings is seasoned in the realm of flight safety. As a retired commercial airplane flight deck chief engineer for Boeing, Stollings was responsible for everything from flight deck safety to operation efficiency for all in-service Boeing airplanes, including the 787.

Early in his military career, Stollings completed 3,000 hours of high operational responsibilities as a North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) senior alert pilot and continued on to become the supervisor of flying for the United States Air Force (USAF). In his role, Stollings was responsible for the safe conduct of all flight operations. He was both timely and precise in all decisions made to ensure the proper control of scheduled flight activities and ground traffic operations. Stollings also served as operations officer at the Air Defense Alert Facility and was responsible for the safe and efficient operational conduct of six tactical alert fighter aircraft.

In addition to his commercial and military flight experience, Stollings participated in several accident investigations and operational incidences; served as a Commander in the U.S. Naval Reserves; has extensive flight experience with military planes including the F-4 and F-15; was commanding officer for the USS Independence Unit, Whidbey Island NAS; and was awarded “Outstanding Commanding Officer” Whidbey Naval Air Station Reserves.

For more information about the National Championship Air Races, visit or call 775.972.6663.

Crash pilot 'should not have flown solo'

The pilot of a plane that crashed into Mt Tauhara near Taupo should not have been flying solo because of a heart condition, an inquest has been told.

The crash, on February 2, 2005, killed Australian businessman Bernard Lewis, his wife, Christine, and pilot Steven Brown, of Auckland.

The Lewises' son, Mark, told the inquest in Rotorua yesterday that his parents' deaths were avoidable and the result of "no single event or action" but a "significant chain of events and circumstances" made by Mr Brown, Christian Aviation, which chartered the plane, and Civil Aviation.

Mr Brown had shown poor airmanship, and Christian Aviation gross negligence in events leading up to the crash, while Civil Aviation had placed "money before safety" in ignoring recommendations to adopt international medical certification standards for all pilots, Mr Lewis, 45, said.

It was unknown why Mr Brown was 3½ nautical miles, or 30 degrees, off course from the approach path to Taupo Airport when the Piper Seneca plane hit the mountain, killing all three occupants on impact.

"There was not only a string of poor decisions on the day but also significant lack of supervision by Christian Aviation, poor attitude to safety by Civil Aviation and gross lack of airmanship by the pilot."

Mark Lewis, a former Royal Australian Air Force pilot with 15 years' experience, said the autopsy on Mr Brown showed his aortic valve was damaged, and his heart condition would have restricted him from flying as a solo pilot if he was working in the United States or Europe.

Mr Lewis said Civil Aviation had ignored placing restrictions on Mr Brown's flying.

His parents had set out with Mr Brown for Kerikeri from Ardmore earlier in the day but were unable to land on two attempts because of weather conditions.

Mr Brown's father, David, a director of Christian Aviation, told the inquest the flight should not have taken off, but it was the pilot's decision to do so.

Mr Brown flew south from Kerikeri to Taupo, where the Lewises were booked to stay at Huka Lodge.

About 11.30, as the plane approached Taupo, the emergency locator beacon was activated. Police found the wreckage, with three bodies inside, on the northwest side of Mt Tauhara about 2.10pm.

All three had suffered severe head injuries and both wings of the plane had been torn off on impact.

Mr Brown's body was found in his pilot's seat "encased" in dirt and debris, Detective Sergeant Kevan Verry told the inquest.

The autopsy showed traces of alcohol and cannabis in his body, but it was not possible to determine whether Mr Brown was affected by these drugs at the time of the crash, he said.
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Mr Brown's wife, Lorna, told the inquest her husband was against drug use and she had never seen him use cannabis.

Coroner Wallace Bain adjourned the inquest for further investigation of evidence.


Taupo crash problems listed

Navigational beacon failures, a pilot with a heart condition and with traces of alcohol and cannabis in his system as well as poor flying have all been cited as possible causes for a fatal light aircraft crash near Taupo seven years ago.

The Piper Seneca crashed in thick fog into Mt Tauhara, east of Taupo, killing prominent South Australian businessman Bernie Lewis, 66, his wife Christine and the pilot Steven Brown in February 2005.

Mr Lewis founded Bernie Lewis Home Loans and was former chairman of the Adelaide 36ers basketball team.

Mr Lewis's son Mark, a former Royal Australian Air Force pilot with 15 years' experience, told the coroner's inquest in Rotorua on Wednesday the crash was caused by a "significant chain of events and circumstances" made by Mr Brown, charter company Christian Aviation and Civil Aviation, Fairfax reported.

Mr Brown had shown poor airmanship, Christian Aviation gross negligence in events leading up to the crash and the Civil Aviation Authority put "money before safety" by not adopting international medical certification standards for all pilots, Mark Lewis said.

Mr Brown had a heart condition, which would have restricted him from flying as a solo pilot if working in the United States or Europe.

A post-mortem showed traces of alcohol and cannabis in his body, but it was not possible to determine if they affected him at the time of the crash.

The pilot's father, David, a director of Christian Aviation, told the inquest the flight should not have taken off, but it was the pilot's decision to do so.

The aircraft was also 30 degrees off course from the approach path to Taupo Airport when it crashed.

Air New Zealand reports showed Taupo's directional beacons were deviating by 15 per cent up to half the time, but the information was not shared with authorities, Radio New Zealand reported.

Aircraft engines are big business at Peeble's GE Testing Station

PEEBLES - The members of the staff at GE Peebles Test Station are not only optimistic about the future of the facility, they are downright enthusiastic about the seemingly endless flow of aircraft engines coming in.

"There are three types of work that is done here, production testing, development and overhaul," Tim Stentz, plant leader explained recently.

The production engines are new engines that come for testing to ensure that they meet the customer's requirements. Once the testing is done and any necessary adjustments are made, these engines are shipped straight from Peebles to the customer.

A portion of the staff is dedicated to development of new engines or parts, according to Stentz. Development is ongoing to meet regulatory requirements and FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) standards. Certain tests are performed to ensure the design is "flight worthy."

Other engines are brought in from the field for overhaul work. After repairs are done, these engines undergo power assurance tests before being shipped back to the owner.

"On the production side, GE has received a record number of engine orders," Stentz said.

"For CFM International, the joint venture between GE Aviation and France's Snecma, 2011 was a record year with 1,500 orders for the CFM56 engine, which has seen over 1,000 orders per year since 2006. The GE Aviation facility in Peebles tests the CFM56 engine, and these orders mean long-term stability at the Peebles facility as well as gradual employment growth," Rick Kennedy, spokesperson of GE Aviation said in a press release in January.

The GE90 engine also experienced a record year in 2011, with airline and freighter operator commitments of 400 engines, surpassing the previous 2007 record of 250 commitments. This engine is a commercial jet engine, with 115,000 pounds of thrust, specifically designed for the Boeing 777.

All the GE90 engines are tested at the Peebles facility, while one-half of the CFM engines are tested here. The other half of the CFM engines are tested in France.

"The next generation of engines are being engineered on the development side (of the Peebles Test Station)," said Stentz. "Engines developed over the next five to 10 years will be used for the next 20 to 30 years. We are currently in the development stage of a number of engines. The GE9x will certify for service in 2018. There are three models of the LEAPx, which will replace the CFM engines. They will start certifying in 2015."

Along with the work at Peebles with commercial jet engines, a much smaller engine for six to eight passenger planes is now being tested. These engines are on site through a partnership with Honda Jet.

There are 10 indoor and outdoor test cells at the Peebles Test Station, located on a 7,000 acre tract of land at Peach Mountain. The tract is one of the largest privately owned nature preserves in Ohio, according to Stentz.

"GE takes great pride in its relationship with the environment," he said. "The creeks are regularly at pristine levels and are home to a variety of species of salamanders, fish and flora."

Production engines are typically at Peebles for two to five days, while engines under development are there for months. Delivered engines are picked up from the truck and taken by monorail into the test station. The tests are all computerized from running the engine to pulling data. The engines are checked for balance, comparable to balancing a tire on a car.

In the interest of the customer, the engines are checked for fuel consumption, operating temperatures, oil consumption, leaks and vibration. They are in the test cell for 10 to 12 hours, and run for about eight hours.

The indoor test stations have intake and exhaust vents. An engine will pull 8,000 pounds of air through the test cell. The test cells are built with acoustic treatment to lessen the impact on the test station's neighbors. In addition, the engines themselves have improved in sound abatement, according to Stentz.

In the outdoor cells, the engines are tested by creating ice storms, hail storms and cross winds. Things that engines may ingest while in flight, such as hail, ice slabs and birds, are pulled into them to check their reaction.

"We run many tests you will not see in other parts of the world," Stentz said. "Some tests have to eliminate the effects of nature to understand the nature of the engine, then add the effects of nature."

As a result of design and stringent testing, the GE90 has an in-flight shutdown rate of one in one million, and usually if it does shut down, the engine can be restarted in flight, according to Stentz.

After an engine successfully completes the tests, it is set on a trailer and shipped from Peebles to Boeing in Seattle, Wash. Special limitations apply to shipping the engines over the highways, according to Stentz, and they can't be shipped on weekends or holidays. The GE90 is too large to travel fully assembled, so the propulsor and the fan case are shipped separately.

Last year, 170 GE90s were shipped out of Peebles, and this year 180 will be shipped. The number is expected to be 225 by 2014, which amounts to 450 trips in and out of the facility by semi tractor-trailers carrying the 10-ton engines. Fuel trucks add to the traffic in and out of Jay Bird Road where the entrance to the Peebles Test Station is located.

Two phases of improvements to Jay Bird Road are underway. The first phase is to straighten a curve, and the second is to put in a turn lane on state Route 73.

"The improvements are necessary for driver safety," said Stentz.

In addition to truck traffic, the Peebles Test Station draws people into Adams County from around the world, most recently from Saudi Arabia and its neighbor, the United Arab Emirates.

"And they all come through Peebles," said Dane Clark, a manager at GE. "We host tours for GE's customers and partners. We have 150 tours a year with about 2,000 people going through the facility."

Each year the test station has a Family Day for extended family and friends of the employees to visit the facilities. Students from local schools are brought to the facility to help them develop an interest in looking for careers.

Currently the Peebles facility employs 275 people, which Stentz said would be increased to 310 this year and to 350 by 2014.

"Along with the successful sales of GE engines, we are really in a booming trend for employment," he said. "We pull from areas around our facility. We're always looking for technicians and engineers."

Generally, applicants need to have a bachelor of science degree in engineering - civil, electrical, general mechanical or aerospace. Shop positions require an associate degree, while shop floor positions require trade training.

Delegations of employees from Peebles have had the opportunity to travel around the world to visit other facilities in places such as Florida, Canada, France, Brazil, Wales and China.

The Peebles Employee Community Fund also gives thousands of dollars each year to local charities.

Legislators come to aid of embattled Essex Skypark: County wants to plant trees on current location

Baltimore County told the Essex Skypark last month it had five years to find a new location and vacate its current spot off of Back River Neck Road.

Supporters of the Skypark, including the members of the 6th District state legislative delegation and other eastside legislators, insist the airport is fine right where it is.

The county’s reasoning is noble enough: it wants to plant trees on the site to help protect the watershed and replace forests uprooted by development elsewhere in Baltimore County.

But the Essex Skypark Association and its supporters point out it’s easier to find places to plant trees than find a new location for an airport.

“It’s quite a little gem,” said Del. John Olszewski Jr. (6th District), chairman of the Baltimore County House delegation. “There’s not a lot of airfields like this.

“It’s also a park for people who don’t necessarily fly, a place for families to go and watch pilots do their thing.”
Olszewski and several other legislators, both Democrats and Republicans, met with Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz earlier this month to discuss allowing the skypark to remain in its current location.

“It’s an important part of local aviation history and a valuable commercial and recreational asset,” Olszewski said. “It provides an opportunity not really available elsewhere. If we lost it, we would not really see it again.

“Closing it for planting; I don’t really see the reasoning there.”

Nearly 70 years old, the Essex Skypark is the last light aviation airfield open to the public in Maryland, and one of the few airfields on the East Coast with a seaplane landing strip.

Several small aviation-related businesses involved in flight instruction, aerial photography, antique aircraft restoration, flight simulation instruction and banner towing operate out of the Skypark.

Sen. Norman Stone (6th District) and 6th District delegates Olszewski, Michael Weir Jr. and Joseph “Sonny” Minnick are among the co-sponsors of a bill that would designate the skypark as a historic property.

“I would hope that would save the skypark,” said Weir, one of the lead sponsors of the bill (H.B. 1108).

Other legislators are looking into getting grant money from the Federal Aviation Administration that would allow the Essex skypark Association to buy the property from Baltimore County.

The county purchased the skypark property in 2000 as part of a 500-acre purchase from the Shapiro family.

The skypark started in 1942 when a man named William Diffendahl built an airport and called it Diffendahl Field (which is why the road leading to the skypark off Back River Neck Road is called Diffendahl Road).

The first airport had two intersecting turf runways of 2,200 and 1,800 feet.

During the 1940s, more then 100 pilots flew out of the airfield.

In 1949, J.S. Shapiro bought the land and renamed it Eastern Airport. It was renamed Essex Skypark in 1967.

The current airport has a new 2,084-foot by 28-foot asphalt runway built since 2005. About 46 aircraft are currently based at the skypark.

A Baltimore County spokeswoman did not say the county’s plans for the skypark property have definitely changed.

“[County Executive] Kamenetz assured [the legislators] he would have [chief of staff] Don Mohler meet with the Skypark Association and [6th District] County Councilwoman Cathy Bevins,” Ellen Kobler said.

“They will discuss possible solutions, and Kamenetz is optimistic the meeting will resolve this issue,” Kobler said.

Baltimore County purchased the land containing the skypark through the Maryland Environmental Trust, Kobler said, for purposes of open space, reforestation, and protecting vulnerable areas leading to the Chesapeake Bay.

Weir, who has been heavily involved in environmental issues, said, “Everyone who’s looked at the Environmental Trust feels there’s no way they should be able to close the skypark down.
“The airport would have to be abandoned for one year for Baltimore County to take it over,” Weir said. “That’s why they’re trying to give the Skypark Association five years to abandon it and find another site.”

Weir said he doesn’t see the skypark closing, but they’ll continue working on the bill to grant it historic status.

Del. Pat McDonough (7th District) has also introduced a bill to prevent the skypark from being booted from its current location.

The bill, also sponsored by Del. Rick Impallaria (7th District), would prohibit Baltimore County from assuming ownership of the skypark and only allow an airport at the current location.

“We want the skypark to continue,” McDonough said. “There was no debate, no disagreement on this, just a solid wall of support from all legislators.

“Kamenetz clearly said [at the meeting with legislators] he was taking the idea of planting trees [on the skypark property] off the table, and he would meet with the Skypark Association to discuss a new lease and a productive future for the county and the skypark at that location.”

Some ideas include expanding the “park” aspect, with benches and tables for families to hold picnics.

And, yes, more trees.

“There still has to be some tree planting,” Olszewski said. “It just doesn’t have to happen at the expense of the runway and the hangars.”


Canadian Aviation Award To Bushplane Centre: Museum plans vintage craft's restoration

A plane that "gave birth" to the water bombing of forest fires is being restored by Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre.

The museum plans to spend $30,000 over three years to replace the canvas on the Fairchild KR-34.

The fabric, about 20 years old, covers most of the 82-year-old plane except the cowl and the cockpit area. The canvas will be stripped off and a longer-lasting polyester fabric put on.

The plane's lengthy history includes ties to Sault Ste. Marie.

The KR-34 was flown by Herbert Passmore, president of Fairchild Aircraft Company.

Ontario Provincial Air Service used the KR-34 from 1931 to 1944.

Carl Crossley tapped the plane to experiment with water bombing beginning in the late 1930s. He placed a 45-gallon drum in the passenger compartment and doused a staged bush fire.

His attempt marked "the birth of water bombing," said Todd Fleet, centre curator. Present-day water bombers can carry 5,000 or more litres of water.

Frank MacDougall, superintendent of Algonquin Park, used the aircraft for aerial patrols.

Air-Dale Ltd., of Sault Ste. Marie, purchased the KR-34 in 1945. Engine failure caused the plane to crash in 1948 on the shore of Wildcat Lake in the Muskokas. No one was hurt.

The wreckage was retrieved in 1963 and brought to Sault Ste. Marie. The KR-34 was restored to mark OPAS's 60th anniversary in 1984.

The plane, donated to the museum in about 2005, is only one of only a handful in North America. It's the only one of its type still in flyable condition.

An association of female pilots is helping with the plane's restoration. The Ninety-Nines presented the museum with $1,500 and its Canadian Award in Aviation.

"Bushplane history is a unique piece of the North," said Gayle Manley, a retired Sault teacher who presented the award on behalf of the Ninety-Nines.

"It opened up a lot of areas in the North."

The museum wants to raise another $7,000 this year on top of the Ninety-Nines donation. The centre's goal is to restore the KR-34, as much as possible, to its original condition "to preserve for future generations."

Sponsorships of the restoration start at $500. Tax-deductible donations can be made online at or by visiting the museum on Bay Street. 

Help is also being sought for the project. Training is provided. 

"We're trying to involve the community because it is part of local heritage," said Fleet.

Press Complaints Commission: Northern Echo crash victim photo was intrusive (UK)

Paper found to have breached editors' code with photo supplied by local search and rescue team

ON July 4, 2011, The Northern Echo published a story on its website ( headlined Lucky escape as glider crashes into field, in which it reported on a glider crash near Appleton Wiske, in North Yorkshire.

Alongside the report, it published a picture supplied by Cleveland Search and Rescue Team that showed the wreck.

The following day, The Northern Echo published a story in print headlined Crash pilot trapped for hour and a half, which was accompanied by another picture, again supplied by the rescue team, that showed the injured pilot receiving medical assistance.

Mrs Leigh Blows, the wife of the pilot, complained to the Press Complaints Commission that the two articles published by The Northern Echo had intruded into her husband’s grief and shock in breach of Clause 5 (Intrusion into grief or shock) of the Editors’ Code of Practice.

The complaint was upheld.

The article reported on the crash-landing of the complainant’s husband’s glider in a local field. He had been trapped in the wreckage for over an hour while the emergency services attempted to locate him. The July 4 report – published on the day of the crash – included a photograph of the site in which the tail number of the glider was visible.

The report on July 5 included a photograph of the complainant’s husband being treated by emergency services.

The complainant said that the July 5 photograph of her husband, who had been left with significant injuries, was extremely intrusive. It had been taken, she said, without consent on private land at a time when her husband had been in severe shock and pain.

Her husband (who had not been named in the story) had been clearly identifiable in the photograph through a combination of his facial features, distinctive clothing and the tail number of his glider. This had led to a number of distressing telephone calls from friends. In addition, the complainant was concerned about the 4 July photograph: by showing the tail number, it had effectively identified her husband on the day of the crash as the victim to those who shared his interest in gliders and who communicated with him using this number.

The newspaper said that significant local resources had been devoted to the search and rescue process, including the police, fire and ambulance services. The published photographs had been taken and supplied to the newspaper by a local search and rescue team, which had been involved in the search for the complainant’s husband: the team had supplied media outlets with pictures from rescue sites for years. Although it had not been aware of this at the time of publication, it also noted that parts of the operation had been filmed by the BBC and subsequently broadcast (with consent) as part of a programme about the work of the emergency services. The newspaper said that, before publication, it had made inquiries with the police and received a detailed account of the victim’s injuries, from which it had determined that they were serious but not life-threatening.

While it understood the complainant’s position that the July 5 photograph had been intrusive, it was satisfied that its publication had not been gratuitous.

The complainant said that the film crew at the scene had specifically obtained her husband’s consent to record the events. It had subsequently taken care to confirm his consent and to ensure that the resulting programme was accurate.

The adjudication is as follows: Clause 5 of the Editors’ Code of Practice states that publication must be “handled sensitively” at times of grief or shock. Although the photographs had been taken by a third party, the newspaper (by publishing them) took responsibility for their content and how they had been obtained.

The Commission noted the complainant’s concerns that the July 4 photograph had effectively identified her husband as the individual concerned with the glider crash to others he knew. However, the image contained no personal information about the complainant’s husband and did not feature him personally.

The Commission did not consider that the publication of a photograph showing the general scene of the crash – which had been the subject of an intensive search by a number of rescue workers – represented a failure to be sensitive on the part of the newspaper.

The Commission did not find a breach of Clause 5 in relation to the July 4 photograph.

However, the July 5 photograph had identified the complainant’s husband and had shown him in a state of shock and upset, receiving medical attention for significant injuries.

The Commission has previously made clear that timing is an important consideration in complaints made under this Clause, because one of its functions is to protect individuals in the period when they are most vulnerable following significant incidents.

There was a difficult balance to strike here, as the Commission had strong regard for the important role of newspapers in informing their readers about significant events in the public interest.

This had clearly been the intention of the newspaper, which was reporting on a matter of clear relevance to its readers. Nonetheless, the Commission was not persuaded that the publication of a revealing photograph of a person receiving medical treatment, published so soon after the accident without consent, could be said reasonably to be sensitive.

The complaint was therefore upheld in relation to the July 5 photograph.


The PCC said in its ruling that it had "strong regard for the important role of newspapers in informing their readers about significant events in the public interest, and it acknowledged that the newspaper's pursuit of the story was legitimate".

However, it said it was "not persuaded that the publication of a revealing photograph of a person receiving medical treatment, published so soon after the accident without consent, could be said reasonably to be sensitive".

PCC director Stephen Abell said in a release: "Ultimately, whilst newspapers are entitled to report matters of relevance to readers, they need to ensure that publication is handled sensitively in line with the requirement of the code.

"The commission decided that in publishing a photograph of a man in a state of shock and upset, the newspaper fell short of this requirement on this occasion. It has upheld the complaint as a result."

The adjudication has been published on page 4 of the newspaper and also appears online

Read more:

3 killed when plane crashes at Mount Si at North Bend, Washington

NORTH BEND, Wash. -- Three people were killed when the small plane they were in crashed early Wednesday near North Bend.

Sheriff's Sgt. Cindi West said the single-engine Cessna 172 hit a shear face at Mount Si just after 2 a.m., killing the woman and two men who were on board.

Officials said several people in the area called 911 after hearing a sputtering engine from a low flying plane. The callers told dispatchers the plane's engine cut out before the crash.

The Federal Aviation Administration picked up a signal from the plane's emergency transponder, and a King County sheriff's helicopter flew over the area to locate the wreckage.

Search and rescue crews on the ground made it to the crash scene about 7:30 a.m. and found the bodies.

It was not known where the plane was headed, and the names of the people who were killed have not been released.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Mike Fergus said preliminary information indicates the plane was not in contact with air traffic control.

Congo suspends 2 airlines after crash

Congo's government has suspended the licenses of two aviation companies operating in the Central African nation after one of their planes crashed over the weekend, killing a top adviser to President Joseph Kabila and four others.

Minister of Transport Joseph Martin Kitumba said in a statement released late Tuesday that the licenses of Air Katanga Express and Katanga Wings had been suspended as Congolese and American experts investigate the crash of the Gulfstream 3 jet.

The Katanga Express plane went down Sunday as it attempted to land at Bukavu airport in eastern Congo. Among the five bodies pulled out of the wreck was Augustin Katumba Mwanke, described in United States diplomatic cables as "the power behind the throne" in Kabila's administration, according to WikiLeaks.

The plane's two pilots were also killed. There were 10 passengers on board.

The minister announced that a special commission will investigate the causes of the crash. Congo has one of the worst safety records in the world. Just two weeks ago, an Antonov plane crashed after it left the same airport in eastern Congo. Officials found the debris from the destroyed plane around 6 miles (10 kilometers) from the town of Namoya, where it was supposed to land an hour later.

Last July a plane operated by a different airline crashed, killing 85 people on board. The forested country has almost no good roads outside of the capital, forcing people to rely on badly-maintained flights or boats.

Each time, Congolese officials have promised an investigation. The death of the presidential adviser, who on Wednesday was posthumously awarded an honor, may finally prompt a more-in depth review. In addition to Mwanke, who was also the former governor of copper-rich Katanga province, the minister of finance, a provincial governor and one of Kabila's at-large ambassadors were also injured. The three were evacuated to South Africa for treatment.

"Given the urgency and the necessity, an investigative commission has been created and charged with leading an investigation into the probable cause of the accident, and determining responsibility," said the statement.

Congo expert Jason Stearns wrote on his blog that Mwanke's influence cannot be overstated. He had a direct hand in the country's mining contracts.

"He was the mastermind behind crucial financial deals, including most of the big mining deals concluded in the past decade. ... 'No mining contract is signed without Katumba's approval,' is a phrase I heard more than once among Kinshasa businessmen," wrote Stearns, author of a history of Congo's conflict. "Rasputin, Dick Cheney, eminence grise -- these were all epithets applied to Katumba."


Meeting to seek airport planning feedback: Update needed to request grant money for changes

City officials say plans need to be laid now in order to keep up with current and future demand at the Salem Municipal Airport.

The runway is too short, city planners say, and taxiways, lighting and navigation systems need to be improved.

In order to appeal to both the federal government and the state of Oregon for financial aid to fund these improvements, the city must first take inventory and update an airport master plan.

The city will seek feedback at a public meeting 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Airport Terminal Building, 2990 25th St. SE.

Flights coming into Salem are forced to reduce freight loads or fly with less than a full tank of fuel in order to safely navigate the 5,800-foot runway, according to city records.

The city has plans to extend the runway with a majority of the money coming from Federal Aviation Administration grants and the state of Oregon.

Last updated in 1997, the Airport Master Plan provides a vision and road map for development of the site during the next 20 years.

The city estimates a 22 percent increase in take-offs and landings during the next 20 years. Cargo handled at the airport is expected to increase 45 percent.

The council will consider the draft master plan at a public hearing at its regularly scheduled meeting 6:30 p.m. Feb. 27 in council chambers at Salem City Hall, 555 Liberty St. SE.

The 750-acre airport has been a landmark in the community since it was created by voters in 1928 and named McNary Field. It is a hub for corporate, cargo, military and general aviation.

Texas Legislators, Private Planes, and Your Money - by Carol Morgan

Written by Carol Morgan on February 14, 2012 - 6:42pm

Like Mulder said, “The truth is out there”. There are so many tools for voters to use in the quest for facts. If people would only use them!

One of my favorite websites that documents Texas spending issues is Susan Combs’ Texas Transparency at: The per diem listings are confidential; but everyone knows per diem is how legislators compensate their anemic salaries. If a lawmaker takes the maximum 140 days of per diem at the rate of $150, he/she can obtain an additional $21,000 annually.

Per diem aside, I’m more concerned about the amount of money Texas lawmakers spend on travel. In 2011, The Texas House of Representatives ($5,670,390.52) and the Texas Senate ($1,592,167.13) spent a combined total of $7,262,557.60.

Examine those travel figure closely and you’ll discover that certain lawmakers consider themselves far too special to fly commercial “cattle class” like the rest of us; or even like their more frugal fellow lawmakers. There are six Texas legislators who choose to use a private aircraft for travel; but insist that taxpayers foot the bill.

Below is the list of legislators (along with the amounts, per the Comptroller’s website) who billed the taxpayers of Texas in 2011 for the use of their private aircraft:

John Frullo (House-R-Lubbock) $7,678.08 (single engine aircraft mileage)

Kelton G. Seliger (Senate-R-Amarillo) $1,830.24 (single engine aircraft mileage)

Kelton G. Seliger (Senate-R-Amarillo) $1,830.87 (twin-engine aircraft mileage)

Craig L. Estes (Senate-R-Wichita Falls) $10,659.04 (twin-engine aircraft mileage)

Stephen E. Ogden (Senate-R- Bryan) $255.44 (twin-engine aircraft mileage)

John J. Carona (Senate-R-Dallas) $15,032.52 (turbine aircraft mileage)

Kelton G. Seliger (Senate-R-Amarillo) $27,316.60 (turbine aircraft mileage)

Troy Fraser (Senate-R- Abilene/Killeen area) $3,238.88 (turbine aircraft mileage)

Troy Fraser (Senate-R- Abilene/Killeen area) $2,762.30 (out of state turbine aircraft mileage)

That’s a total of $70,603.97 for private aircraft travel...

Maryland - Welcome to Easton/Newnam Field Airport, Aviation Gateway to the Eastern Shore

Easton Airport/Newman field (KESN) is a general aviation airport located two miles north of Easton, Maryland in beautiful Talbot County. The airport currently serves general aviation needs for the Mid-Atlantic region of Easton and the surrounding Mid-Shore communities. Easton Airport is one of the busiest general aviation airports in the region providing essential access for corporate pilots, businesses and aviation enthusiasts linking Talbot County to the northeast. Easton has been identified by the FAA as one of the top 3% Regional Airports in the United States.

Owned and operated by Talbot County, Easton Airport was first constructed for use by the military during World War 11 and later returned to Talbot County, where it provides a variety of services to the flying public. Easton Airport maintains the highest levels of security in keeping with Homeland Security requirements and specifications.

ESN is sensitive to environmental concerns having constructed two EPA compliant Fuel Truck Parking Spill Containment Pads which prevent inadvertent contamination of the wetland located near the airport.

ESN was named "Best in the State" for the year 2000; it is one of the few general aviation airports in the country with an ILS (Instrument Landing System) facility. The Air Traffic Control Tower was completed in 2007. In 2008, ESN was named the FAA Eastern Region General Aviation Airport of the year. In 2010 radar service was added to the tower, improving safety and capacity.

Ideally situated alongside US-50 and on the edge of the Chesapeake Bay, Easton Airport is just outside of the busy and restricted airspace of Baltimore and Washington. All major destinations on the Delmarva Peninsula are an hour's drive or less from Easton and Washington DC and Baltimore just minutes more.

Gold Coast Airport: Safety still up in air with ILS delay

GOLD Coast Airport will be without vital landing equipment for up to 18 months.

Airservices Australia has confirmed the tourism capital's airport will have to beat other airports -- including Sydney and Canberra -- for priority in a slice of a $906 million infrastructure pie that could deliver the safety technology.

Pilots slammed the Gold Coast Airport for having "Third World" technology after storms last month caused dozens of missed approaches to the runway.

Some planes had to be diverted to Brisbane.

The incidents exposed the airport's inability to operate during bad weather and forced authorities to step up looking at the feasibility of installing an instrument landing system (ILS) at the airport -- Australia's sixth busiest.

An ILS guides pilots to the runway when visibility is low, giving a flight path and angle of approach.

Airservices Australia spokesman Matthew Wardell said yesterday the equipment could not just be "bought off a shelf".

Extensive consultation, investigation and installation were required and this could take 18 months or longer.

Land resumptions and development application requirements with the council could slow the process even further.

Airlines this month will meet with Airservices Australia to determine where an ILS for the Gold Coast lies on the priority list.

The airport will have to compete for priority with other airports vying for new or refurbished systems, including Sydney and Canberra. Mr Wardell said full-scale planning for an ILS could only start once it had been decided which end of the runway it should be installed.

Most recently, a new ILS was installed at Wagga Wagga. The local council which operates the airport, the Federal Government and Rex Airlines helped fund it.

"At this stage we just can't answer the question of how soon it will be installed, but clearly our position and the airport's position is to get it done as soon as possible," said Mr Wardell.

"To install it within 12 months is possible but is it likely? We just don't know.

"It is not a funding issue.

"It is a technical and engineering issue and one around what consultation is required potentially with the community to get that done."

But Gold Coast Airport chief executive officer Paul Donovan said he was confident the ILS would be installed within a year.

"I would hope it would be in place within 12 months," he said.

"We would all like to see it in place as soon as possible. The scoping is under way now. It has been totally budgeted for and no amount of extra money could advance it any quicker."

V. C. Bird International Airport Runway Goes Dark

Antigua St John's - The lights on the runway at VC Bird International Airport went off unexpectedly Tuesday evening, affecting at least one flight.

Chairman of the Airport Authority Gatesworth James was unable to give the time of the power outage, or say how long it lasted. He told, “The lights went out because of some situation, but they are back on now."

James said he could not tell whether any flights were affected, but LIAT Communications Manager Desmond Browne confirmed that flight 512 from Barbados was diverted to St Kitts.

The airline had to make arrangements to accommodate the passengers who were to deplane in Antigua in Basseterre.

That flight had been travelling from Barbados to Antigua, then St Kitts and Anguilla.

Last year, the airport had recurring problems with holes that developed on the runway.

Plane lands safely at Portland International Jetport after landing gear scare

PORTLAND — Fire and rescue crews from Portland and South Portland were called to the Portland International Jetport on Tuesday night after a commercial airline pilot reported having problems with his plane's landing gear.

Paul Bradbury, the jetport's director, said the pilot, who was approaching from the west with about 20 passengers on board, called the jetport tower to report that his cockpit instrument panel indicated his landing gear was malfunctioning.

However, the landing gear worked properly and the plane landed safely around 9:30 p.m., Bradbury said.

Bradbury said the twin-engine turboprop plane is one of the smaller commercial planes that operate out of the jetport.

He did not know which airline operates the plane.

Caribbean Airlines in St.Lucia

Caribbean Airlines commenced its non-stop daily service to George F. L. Charles Airport, Castries, St. Lucia on Friday. The air carrier says the St. Lucia service paves the way for direct connections to South America with a daily flight to Caracas via Trinidad for passengers whose travel originates in St. Lucia. Tourism officials here reveal the new service provides an opportunity for the islanto tap into a potential lucrative market. CAL reiterates that St. Lucia is of strategic interest to the airline and it is excited to offer CARICOM neighbours reliable scheduled airlift within the Caribbean.