Saturday, February 18, 2012

Helicopter crash – court date

A flight instructor has been charged over a fatal helicopter crash at Rudding Park four years ago.

Ian King, from Wetherby, is due to appear at Haywards Heath Magistrates Court in West Sussex next Friday, February 24.

Paul Spencer, 43, and his wife, Linda, from Brighouse, were killed in the crash on January 26, 2008.

He is charged with intent to deceive, making a false representation for the purpose of procuring a private pilot’s license for Mr Spencer. The Civil Aviation Authority said the allegation related to the instruction and exam Mr Spencer undertook to obtain his pilot’s license in December 2007.

Flight examiner John Jackson received a conditional discharge at Haywards Heath Magistrates Court on February 3 for making or omitting entries, or destroying a log book which should have been kept, in relation to the crash.

Indonesia's Aviation Industry Expected to Take Off

When Lion Air chief Rusdi Kirana inked a record Boeing deal at the Singapore Airshow this week, it not only propelled the airline to international fame, but also offered a glimpse into Indonesia’s rapidly expanding air industry.

The 12-year-old airline stole the limelight when it signed a $22.4 billion order for 230 Boeing 737s, the largest such deal for the United States company.

That a budget carrier - starting with just one borrowed plane in 2000 flying between Jakarta and Pontianak - could make such a purchase reflects the strong growth of Indonesia’s aviation industry, now the world’s third-largest.

Lion Air now boasts a fleet of 67 aircraft flying to 35 cities, including Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, but its latest order promises to expand the range of destinations for travellers in the region. Singapore now has air links to 15 Indonesian cities, and the addition of more planes will mean more regular flights - at possibly lower prices.

According to official data, the number of passengers going through Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta airport soared from 12 million in 2001 to nearly 50 million last year - the fastest growth recorded in any Asean airport.

Analysts attribute the growth to a confluence of factors, from the liberalization of the aviation industry in the late 1990s, to the burgeoning middle-class with their growing incomes and rising confidence in Indonesia’s economy, which grew 6.5 per cent last year, its highest in 15 years.

All these have helped to drive revenues of the 50 airlines operating here skywards. Passenger numbers are projected to grow at a healthy 13 per cent this year - double the global average last year.

Said aviation analyst Shukor Yusof of Standard and Poor’s: “Geographically, Indonesia is the perfect country for aviation to thrive, with its over 17,000 islands and diverse terrain.”

Observers say budget carriers, in particular, will benefit from the expanding aviation industry, as the domestic sector makes up three quarters of passenger numbers.

Lion Air, which controls 51 per cent of the domestic market, is hoping to tap this growth. Now flying some 27 million passengers a year, it has set its sights on an ambitious target: to take 60 per cent of the market share in five years’ time. It will consider launching an initial public offering then, Kirana told reporters.

Its subsidiary, Wings Air, also sealed a $610 million deal of 27 smaller planes to fly to more small towns and offer short-range connecting flights.

Garuda, Lion Air’s nearest competitor with 24 per cent of the domestic market, is planning to double its fleet of 89 planes to 154 by 2015, said chief executive officer Emirsyah Satar. It, too, got tongues wagging after signing an order for six Bombardier jets with an option for 18 more, in a deal potentially worth US$1.32 billion.

Not to be outdone, AirAsia Indonesia, which operates out of its own terminal in Soekarno-Hatta, is also eyeing to list.

Singapore-owned Tiger Airways has also indicated its confidence in the Indonesian market, buying a 33 per cent stake in Mandala Airlines - thus ensuring that the failed local airline can fly again.

Said its CEO Chin Yau Seng: “As one of the fastest-growing economies in the Asean region, we see great growth potential in Indonesia’s aviation market.”

One possible dampener to faster growth, however, is infrastructure and safety. More airports that are efficient and wide enough to accommodate today’s extra-large aircraft are needed, said Shukor. Jakarta also has to resolve the issue of poor safety, which has resulted in a ban on all Indonesian airlines - except Garuda - landing in Europe.

The government has put aside Rp 6 trillion ($666 million) to expand and build airports to cope with the burgeoning demand, with plans being made to build as many as 20 airports over the next 15 years.

“There is clearly room for growth,” said the secretary-general of the Indonesia National Air Carriers Association, Tengku Burhanuddin.

Australia - Aviation industry 'needs to be examined'

There are calls for the Australian aviation industry to be investigated after budget carrier Air Australia went into administration.

The Brisbane-based airline was placed in voluntary administration on Friday, grounding all flights and stranding up to 4000 passengers overseas.

Transport Workers Union (TWU) national secretary, Tony Sheldon, said the airline previously held contracts with successive federal governments and was supposed to be open about its performance.

'It does say something about ... the fact the aviation industry should be properly investigated in this country,' Mr Sheldon told reporters in Sydney on Friday.

'There is an obligation to ensure if a company is flying into our air space that they're profitable and able to operate.'

A spokesman for voluntary administrator Korda Mentha told AAP the airline employed 300 staff, most of whom would be stood down immediately.

The Australian Federation of Air Pilots (AFAP) expressed its disappointment at the announcement, saying the airline had failed to consult with it or the pilots before entering administration.

'Obviously this is bad news for our members at Air Australia,' AFAP President, Captain Bryan Murray, said in a statement.

'It is regrettable that the company did not consult with the union or the pilot body prior to this drastic step being taken.'

Mr Sheldon called on the federal government to assist the stranded travellers in getting back home, but Prime Minister Julia Gillard said Air Australia should be doing all it could to assist its passengers.

'I want to say to the administrators they need to do everything they can to ensure that these people who have been passengers with this airline get back home,' Ms Gillard said.

'I do understand that Qantas and Jetstar are stepping up with some additional seats to help people get back home.

'But I do want to see maximum support for those Australians who have been stranded ... and of course we want to see (Air Australia) deal with their workforce properly.'

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce on Friday said both Qantas and Jetstar would fly stranded passengers home, with Qantas looking at putting on supplementary services.

'If the (Air Australia) passengers come to a Qantas desk, a Jetstar desk, show their ticket, we'll give them a ticket for the same value they've paid with Air Australia,' Mr Joyce said.

Meanwhile, Virgin Australia said it would assist Air Australia passengers stranded in Denpasar in Indonesia, with US$199 fares from Denpasar to Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne.

And the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has urged all travellers affected by the airline's grounding to contact their travel insurer as soon as possible.

'Travel insurance is meant to compensate policyholders for financial losses they may incur in unforseen and unexpected circumstances. However, each insurer has different terms and conditions,' ICA CEO Rob Whelan said in a statement.

Some insurers exclude the collapse of travel service providers from policies, while about 10 per cent of Australians neglected to take out travel insurance before they left the country, he said.

Airplane dealer pleads guilty to hiding financial transactions

•  Sold planes to Mexican drug lords
•  ‘Selling to criminal elements and helping them conceal their cash is a losing proposition’

Stancil Enterprises Inc., a Placerville corporation that sold aircraft, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to aid and abet structuring financial transactions, says U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner.
The guilty plea was entered before U.S. District Judge Morrison England Jr. in Sacramento.
Joseph Stancil, the owner and president of Stancil Enterprises, spoke on behalf of the company at the plea hearing Thursday, admitting the factual basis for the plea was accurate.
As part of the plea, Stancil Enterprises agreed to forfeit $428,589 to the federal government.
Joseph Stancil and salesman Daniel Mathis were also charged with conspiracy to aid and abet structuring financial transactions.
Stancil Enterprises and its agents were required by federal law to report the receipt of cash in amounts exceeding $10,000 for a single transaction unless a bank was required to report the transaction on a Currency Transaction Report (relating to cash transactions of over $10,000 made for a single person or company in a single day).
According to the plea agreement, Stancil Enterprises sold multiple planes for cash in 2008 and 2009 to purchasers whom they believed to be Mexican, involving deposited cash they believed to be from illegal narcotics trafficking.
The company and its agents knew that the buyers were structuring cash into the Stancil Enterprises account in increments of less than $10,000 in order to avoid federal cash transaction reporting requirements, Mr. Wagner says.
The company and its agents tracked deposits by these purchasers, requiring them to alert Stancil Enterprises of the deposits and which plane sales the deposits related to. Often the purchasers faxed cash deposit tickets to Stancil Enterprises as proof to ensure credit for the payment. They made deposits in such a way that the banks could not connect the transactions to a specific buyer or plane, and could not identify the individuals making the deposits or purchasing the planes, and therefore could not make a Currency Transaction Report for large cash transactions, court documents show.
According to the plea agreement, in November 2009, an undercover agent with the Internal Revenue Service made contact with Joseph Stancil, stating that he wished to purchase a plane for his son with cash and asked for advice on how to accomplish that without having any reports filed on the cash transaction.
Mr. Stancil’s response indicated that he understood that the fictional son was engaged in drug trafficking activity in Mexico, specifically marijuana, Mr. Wagner says.
The aircraft dealer proceeded to advise the agent how “the Mexicans” did it, depositing cash in increments into Stancil Enterprises accounts. Mr. Stancil and the undercover agent proceeded into the office of Daniel Mathis, who advised the agent about Stancil Enterprises’ Form 8300 reporting requirement for such cash transactions.
When asked how they got away with not reporting “the Mexicans,” Mr. Mathis advised that no one had ever “hassled” Stancil Enterprises about the issue, court documents say.
From September 2008 and through August 2009, Stancil Enterprises received $428,589.30 in structured funds for six planes, each with a separate buyer.
“Selling to criminal elements and helping them conceal their cash is a losing proposition. Stancil Enterprises lost the planes to its customers and lost all of the payments for those planes through forfeiture to the United States, and put its employees and officers at risk of very significant time in prison,” says Mr. Wagner.
“These crimes matter – doing business with drug dealers, from Mexico or anywhere else, enables these criminals to engage in dangerous criminal activity. We urge all businesses to review their own cash accounting practices and ensure that any suspicious cash transactions are reported according to the law,” he says.
A Placerville aircraft dealership that helped several alleged drug traffickers from Mexico conceal the purchases of six airplanes has agreed to forfeit more than $428,000 as part of a plea deal.

Appearing before U.S. District Judge Morrison England Jr. today, Joseph Stancil, president and owner of Stancil Enterprises Inc., admitted that his company and its employees helped buyers from Sinaloa, Baja California and Sonora, Mexico evade federal reporting requirements for large cash transactions.

Federal law requires U.S. businesses and banks to file a currency transaction report anytime a person makes a cash purchase of $10,000 or more.

According to federal prosecutors, Stancil and Stancil Enterprises helped the buyers parcel payments totaling more than $428,000 into 57 different transactions of $9,500 or less during 2008 and 2009.

"Selling to criminal elements and helping them conceal their cash is a losing proposition," said U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner.

The plea deal covers the company, Stancil Enterprises. Joseph Stancil, a former owner of a local Toyota car dealership, and one of his salesman Daniel Mathis also were charged with conspiracy to aid and abet structuring financial transactions. They have worked out a deferred prosecution agreement.

Pilot wants careless driving charge dropped

Saturday, 18 February 2012 00:07 BY ROY AGOYA

A pilot facing a charged over a traffic offense yesterday asked a court to throw out his accuser's case.
In the case, Aquinas Burisa Orenge, a Kenya Airways captain, is charged with careless driving. Through a lawyer, Orenge told a Kibera court the charge the police brought against him was an afterthought.

He said the evidence an aide to Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi gave against him is prejudicial and will deny him a right to fair trial. Orenge is charged with driving on the wrong side of a road on the night of February 16. His lawyer said the witness failed to recall the time of the accident and had been fully indemnified.

San Diego, California - New Corporate Facility Lease Ok'd At Airport

SAN DIEGO — The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority has awarded a 37-year lease to Landmark Aviation to develop and operate a corporate and general aviation facility to provide fueling, maintenance and aircraft parking at San Diego International Airport.

The lease is expected to generate $315 million over 37 years for the airport authority, which is $4.5 million more in rent annually than is generated under the current lease, officials said. The award was approved Feb. 9.

The new $39 million facility will be built northwest of Landmark’s current fixed-base operation or FBO on the north side of the airport. It will include a 20,000-square-foot terminal, a 250,000-square-foot aircraft parking ramp and five hangars on 12.4 acres of airport property. Landmark plans to demolish its existing facility.

“The new FBO will provide the latest amenities to corporate and general aviation customers,” Thella F. Bowens, president and chief executive officer of the airport authority, said in a statement. “We have had a positive experience working with Landmark and look forward to many more years of partnering with them.”

Landmark Aviation, which operates 52 FBOs in the U.S., Canada and Europe, was picked from three finalists. In all, seven firms indicated an interest in the project when it was advertised in 2011, said Katie Jones, a spokeswoman for the airport authority.

Landmark has operated the FBO at Lindbergh for four years, since it acquired the lease from Jimsair Aviation Services, Jones said. The previous lease was in place since 1988.

“We have enjoyed working with the San Diego Airport Authority over the past four years, and are excited to continue that relationship,” Dan Bucaro, president and chief executive officer of Landmark Aviation, said in a release.

FAA: Valley International Airport (KHRL) should find a place for Sun Valley Aviation

HARLINGEN, Texas — The Federal Aviation Administration has advised city officials to find a way to allow Sun Valley Aviation to operate at Valley International Airport.

Meeting Thursday in Fort Worth with Sun Valley Aviation officials and Mayor Chris Boswell, FAA representatives said the city and VIA board should find a “pathway for Sun Valley Aviation to operate at the airport,” Boswell said Friday.

Also attending the Fort Worth meeting were David Moran, the city’s legal counsel on the Sun Valley matter, and VIA board member Sam Coats.

The FAA’s recommendation is the latest action toward resolving Sun Valley Aviation owner Patrick Kornegay’s five-year effort to open an aviation services business at VIA.

Kornegay, whose company has filed a complaint against the airport with the FAA, said Friday that the FAA asked the company to supply additional information, but did not say much more about the meeting.

David Garza, owner of Gulf Aviation, the only fixed-base operation currently at VIA, said his position hasn’t changed — there is hardly enough business for one operation at VIA, much less two.

The VIA board will meet at 7:30 a.m. Monday to vote on whether it will amend its budget to provide as much as $350,000 to build a parking lot and apron to reach a hangar that Sun Valley would build on land leased from VIA.

That VIA board meeting will be followed by a special City Commission meeting at 5:30 p.m., at which time city commissioners could act on an airport budget amendment providing money for the VIA infrastructure improvements.

“Fundamentally, the lease that’s been on the table with Sun Valley Aviation provides for the airport to just lease the ground and (SVA) would build a new hangar facility,” Boswell said. “But there’s no access to that facility unless the north apron is built. It’s basically a driveway for airplanes.

“At the end of the day, (the FAA) asked the city to reexamine its grant obligations and to look for a way to bring Sun Valley Aviation onto the airport,” Boswell said. “(The FAA) said (Sun Valley Aviation’s) desire is in and of itself an indicator of need and (the FAA) said competition was good.”

Regardless of any action taken at Monday‘s meetings, Sun Valley’s complaint against VIA remains active.
“(The FAA) couldn’t tell us what the outcome of the complaint could be,” Boswell said. “But (the FAA) did specifically discuss that if the city was found to be in violation of FAA grant assurances, that FAA funding could be withheld and that we could be made to pay back monies and that we could be fined treble damages, which is a legal term meaning three times or triple.”

But if city and airport officials can find a way to allow Sun Valley to operate at VIA, that could influence the FAA’s ruling on Sun Valley’s complaint, Boswell said.

Kornegay was mostly mum about Thursday’s meeting.

“(The FAA) asked us to provide additional information to them, and we did that,” he said.

Kornegay did say that he thought the FAA would be issuing a determination on its complaint against VIA in the near future.

Garza said his position on a second FBO operating at the airport is still the same.

“The economy, right now, is still very weak. And yes, right now, there is hardly enough business for one, much less two FBOs,” he said.

He also said that it’s false that the FAA would just immediately cancel grant funding if Sun Valley Aviation isn’t allowed to operate at VIA.

“(The FAA) basically just comes down with a ruling and asks the airport to take action to come back into compliance and they give you a date to fulfill that plan,” Garza said. “So it’s not a doomsday or a do-or-die-kind-of thing, and so much of that has been portrayed in the past. The FAA does not work like that.”
Garza alleged that City Attorney Roxann Controneo and City Manager Carlos Yerena were not allowed to attend the meeting and said he found that unusual, adding that it diminishes any chance for transparency that could have come out of the meeting.

Boswell said that allegation was false.

“There’s no truth to that. It wasn’t that they weren’t allowed,” he said. “It was just a small group that went. Moran was the outside lawyer that represents us in this matter.”

The total cost for the project would be $1.5 million, but it would only be built if a FAA grant was secured. Harlingen would have an obligation of 10 percent, or $150,000 for a north apron. A parking lot would cost an additional $250,000. The city will only apply for the grant funding if the City Commission and the VIA board approve the amended budget.

For several years, Sun Valley has been trying to open an aviation services business, known in the industry as a fixed-base operation, at VIA. Gulf Aviation is currently the only FBO at the airport.

While Sun Valley would build its own hangar on land it would lease, it also wanted the same amenities provided to Gulf Aviation, which include a parking lot and an apron.

The airport board has passed budget amendments that would allow for these features, clearing the way for VIA to enter into a lease with Sun Valley. But the City Commission must approve the airport board’s amended budget, which it has repeatedly denied.

Fly in a de Havilland Beaver to experience a hard-working piece of aviation history

Published: Saturday, February 18, 2012, 5:43 AM
By Laurie Robinson, The Oregonian

If you're flying in to the Alaskan or Canadian bush to start any kind of wilderness adventure and you have a chance to ride in a hard-working piece of aviation history with a certain no-frills, 1940s-style glamour, take it. Be excited.

De Havilland Beavers are still the workhorses of the north even though the last one was delivered in 1968. Thirty feet long with a 48-foot wingspan, they can hold up to seven people but are often set up for the pilot, four passengers and gear.

Of the 1,692 of them that were built starting in 1947, about 800 Beavers are known to still be active, says aviation artist Neil Aird of Kingston, Ontario, who has made it his mission to locate and document every Beaver on his website.

The planes were built in the Toronto suburb of Downsview, Ontario, and the U.S. military bought more than 900 of them, most of which eventually passed into civilian hands.

De Havilland originally was a British company, but the Canadian subsidiary designed the plane after asking bush pilots in the north what they needed. They needed a high-lift wing that could take off and land in a short distance -- on a small lake, for example -- even with heavy loads, and one that could be fitted for floats, wheels or skis.

"They were built tough," says pilot Warren LaFave of Kluane Airways, who uses his Beaver to fly canoeists and rock climbers into Nahanni National Park Preserve and other remote areas, and has flown it more than 15,000 hours.

"They were a very well-made, very robust plane. They just do everything safely that a bush operator wants."

Some of the old Beavers have been retrofitted with modern turbine engines, but most still have the original, distinctive radial-style piston engines that old plane buffs love. LaFave's plane has one of the typical 450-horsepower Pratt & Whitney radial engines -- a powerful engine for that size plane.

Beavers are one of the few planes in Canada that are approved to carry canoes and other loads strapped to the outside.

LaFave owns a wilderness fishing lodge for paying guests on a lake in the Yukon. He built it by carrying in all the materials with his Beaver -- 1,200 trips of 1,400 pounds each. Everything that couldn't fit inside got strapped outside, including a hot tub, deep freezes and Chesterfields (that's sofas to us).

"It's a great old plane," he says.

Aird has the individual history and photos of more than 1,200 Beavers on his site, with new entries turning up all the time. There are several in Oregon, he says, including one in Burns, one in Eagle Creek and a few in Portland. To see Aird's online project on the Beavers, go to

-- Laurie Robinson

Delaware County Regional Airport (KMIE), Muncie, Indiana: Chris Mealy combines passions of the restaurant business and airplanes

Chris Mealy poses behind the bar at Kacy J's Restaurant, 5201 N. Walnut St., in Muncie.

MUNCIE -- For a guy who loves airplanes and the restaurant business, Chris Mealy couldn't ask for a better situation.

A Pennsylvania native who grew up in seven states, he is the "all around operations" person at the Delaware County Airport's restaurant, Kacy J's, which is owned by his father, Jay.

"I run it," said Chris, who at 38 is a strapping, energetic, friendly fellow. "The concept is mine. The menu is mine."

As he spoke, he was seated at the bar, repeatedly fielding telephone calls from potential diners seeking reservations, while elsewhere the place was being readied for opening. Nearby, one wall was practically covered with a colorfully reproduced airplane poster, while a display case housed some model airplanes, among them a sharp looking Grumman F-6-F Hellcat.

Meanwhile, the classic two-seat Luscombe that Chris flies was tucked away in a nearby hangar, awaiting a nicer day to be guided aloft.

Originally, he seemed bound for a full-time career as a corporate pilot, having spent two years at Vincennes University as an aviation major, then attending Flight Safety training in Vero Beach, Fla., to earn his advanced flight ratings.

The problem was, corporate aviation's style of flying, slavishly heading from Point A to Point B and back, really wasn't his interest.

"It didn't fit my personality," said Chris, who much prefers that little old Luscombe, which is a good deal older than he is, or borrowing his father Jay's open-cockpit, two-wing Acro Sport for some aerobatics.

"I prefer being upside down rather than right side up," he said, with a laugh, of his flying preferences.

While corporate aviation lost its luster for him, however, the restaurant business, in which he had worked since long before college, beckoned.

"I truly enjoyed it," said Chris, who eventually worked his way up into three different restaurant management positions over 15 years. "I realized I could work in the restaurant business and support my habit of general aviation."

Naturally, when his father began exploring the possibility of taking over what was then a defunct airport restaurant in Muncie several years ago, he tried to sell his restaurant-manager son on the exciting opportunity it offered.

Just as naturally, Chris had a few doubts.

"I said, 'No way,' " he recalled.

But the chance to get involved in their own place, one at an airport no less, brought the young man around, and Kacy J's opened in November 2009.

In the past, previous restaurants here came and went with levels of success ranging from considerable to negligible, but Chris said Kacy J's is doing just fine.

"We're not going anywhere," he said. "My absolute goal is I don't want to have to do anything else."

To that end, Chris and Jay work to increase their customer base, hoping to disabuse potential diners of earlier notions that the place is a stuck-up "fine dining" establishment with prices to match.

"Every bit of feedback we get is phenomenal," Chris said. "Once people come out here they realize the prices are great, the food is good and it's not a ridiculous place to travel."

Indeed, it's little more than a mile away from McGalliard with its dining hordes, he continued, noting the large number of pilots who also fly in for dinner.

To Chris, of course, the fact the restaurant is at the airport is perhaps the most special thing of all about Kacy J's.

For a moment, in fact, he got a rapturous look in his eyes, picturing the runway lights brightening the gloom of night just beyond his dining room's picture windows.

"They just twinkle," he said a little dreamily, like a man who loves the sky.

WWII Honor Flight

On the Nahanni River, traveling by bush plane and canoe puts you in the Canadian tradition of spectacular wilderness tripping

Published: Saturday, February 18, 2012, 5:21 AM

By Laurie Robinson, The Oregonian

We are standing on the shore of spruce-fringed Finlayson Lake in the Yukon watching mine workers in rubber boots tumble out of the 1957 Beaver floatplane that will carry us the next day to the headwaters of the Nahanni River, one of Canada's classic wilderness canoe routes.

Our paddle trip will take us 350 miles from lichen-softened alpine peaks through sheer yellow limestone canyons to big boreal flatlands with a few pop-up buttes, twisted-rock mountains and woodland buffalo.

A short walk away from the dock is pilot Warren LaFave's fuel depot -- a collection of rusty tanks and snaking hoses -- for the floatplane and his Hughes helicopter (one that was used in the filming of "Magnum, P.I." before he bought it used).

We are in the far north now. A vastness of pristine wilderness with pockets of gourmet fishing lodges and other pockets of no-frills gritty practicality marshaled by leather-jacketed men who want to know what jokes we bring from "the south." Meaning Portland. We are pitiful in the joke department. But we tell LaFave our worries.

"Some of us are afraid of the bears," our leader, Tyrae Mahan of Southwest Portland, tells the pilot. We are a group of friends who've been doing unguided paddling trips together for 20 years. We know each other's phobias.

"Some of us are afraid of the whitewater. Some of us are afraid of the plane ride. And some of us are afraid of the mosquitoes."

Mahan is in the "afraid of bears" camp, and the first couple of nights she streaks naked through a cold rain to her tent in the long July twilight because you're not supposed to sleep near the clothes you cook and eat in.

Me, I am in the "afraid of the plane ride" camp. Warren will be strapping our canoes to the outside of the planes, which is something I've never seen done in the U.S. but is a Canadian wilderness tradition.

"Don't worry," LaFave emailed me before the trip. "I have done this many hundreds of times."

It turns out I really should have been in the "worried about mosquitoes" camp. But don't stop reading -- it really was an utterly spectacular trip. The mosquitoes were just how we paid, in blood. Not that it was cheap in dollars.

Eight of us fly into the headwaters of the South Nahanni at Moose Ponds, and LaFave takes us in two trips, with two canoes nested into each other, per trip, strapped to the struts above the floats.

We float over hillsides thick with lichen, which lies like pale green patchy snow, pocked with short spruces that would barely qualify as trees in Oregon.

We fly for about an hour, crossing into the Northwest Territories and then LaFave lands, kicks us out and we are Out There. For three weeks.

Most of the rapids are in the first 60 miles, and some of it has been described as continuous Class 3/4. I figure the ratings are probably inflated a bit to discourage the overconfident. The guidebooks and the Parks Canada website caution us to have spray covers on our canoes, but most of us didn't invest in those.

"It's not our tradition," we tell the Canadians who ask. Our tradition is Clorox-jug bailers.

New navigational aids at Cheddi Jagan International Airport

The Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCCA) under a Government of Guyana Capital project to modernise the Air Navigation Services has installed new navigational equipment, the Timehri Instrument Landing System (ILS) which includes approach Distance Measuring Equipment (DME) and the new High Powered DME co-located with the Timehri Very High Frequency Omni directional Radio Range (VOR).

The Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) says it has installed new air navigation equipment at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport to help pilots land and take off during bad weather with poor visibility, Timehri.

A release from the Authority on Friday said these were an Instrument Landing System (ILS) which includes approach Distance Measuring Equipment (DME) and a new High Powered DME co-located with the Timehri Very High Frequency Omni directional Radio Range (VOR).

“These en route navigational and landing Aids have been flight checked, tested and certified during the first week of February 2012 and have been commissioned for use by aircraft operating in Guyana’s National Airspace.

Prior to this installation, our Air Navigation Services Navigational Infrastructure was supported by a single VOR only for eight years since the removal from service of the high powered DME in 1997 and subsequently the ILS in 2003 followed by the decommissioning of the Non Directional Beacon,” the release read.

It added that navigation throughout Guyana’s airspace was accomplished with the use of the VOR complemented by satellite technology such as the Global Positioning System (GPS) and Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS).

The ILS provides enhanced capability during bad weather with poor visibility since it allows flight crews to make precision approaches for landing. The system comprises a Localizer Transmitter, a Glide Path Transmitter and Distance Measuring Equipment.

“When an aircraft approaches to land and is on final approach it intercepts the Localizer which gives accurate horizontal guidance along the centerline of the runway. When intersected at the correct angle with the Glide Path, the instrument in the cockpit will indicate to the flight crew that their aircraft is precisely on the centerline and at the correct gradient.

The Timehri ILS is category I which will safely guide an aircraft to a lower decision height of 200ft above the runway as against 520 ft when only the VOR is in use,” the GCAA stated.

The Authority added that these tools provide bearing and distance information which are used in the air traffic management environment to pinpoint aircraft positions relative to each other in order to provide a more efficient and effective service.

“Use of airspace is optimised because more precise position information is available to air traffic controllers. The air traffic controllers who manage our airspace can apply more efficient separation standards to ensure adequate spacing between aircraft, optimising use of airspace and allowing aircraft to operate at their optimum profile while ensuring safety of our skies,” the statement concluded.

Newark Liberty International Airport – Runway 11 Engineered Material Arresting System – Project Authorization and Award of Contract



Thursday, February 9, 2012

Newark Liberty International Airport – Runway 11 Engineered Material Arresting System – Project Authorization and Award of Contract

Breakdown of separation - Cessna 310, VH-XXT and Cessna 210, VH-RQD, Darwin International Airport, Northern Territory - Australia

A Cessna 210 (C210) was cleared to cross the runway after a clearance had been given to a Cessna 310 (C310) to take off. As a result the C310 took off over the C210.

The investigation is continuing.