Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Aviation Concepts settles lawsuit in Jehovah's Witness case

A local air ambulance company that was sued for allegedly demanding a Jehovah’s Witness raise a flag has agreed to pay a $51,000 to the former employee.

Aviation Concepts Inc., which discontinued its “CareJet” air ambulance services last year, has agreed to the settlement in the District Court of Guam.

The settlement also requires the company to follow the procedural mandates of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission set forth in a consent degree, like appointing an equal opportunity consultant. The consent decree and settlement won’t be final until approved by a federal judge.

The EEOC sued Aviation Concepts last October on behalf of Armando Perez, who worked as a as a mechanic at the company until June 2010.

According to the lawsuit, Perez was allegedly fired last summer after he refused to raise American and Guam flags outside of the Aviation Concepts office in Barrigada. Jehovah's Witnesses are forbidden from raising flags, which is deemed as sacrilegious because it demonstrates allegiance to a symbol of government. In a response, Aviation Concepts denied any discrimination.


Another money dispute sparked in Jasper County by tower lights

The Jasper County Sheriff's Office issues a warning to county officials over a communications tower in Carl Junction.

The issue centers around aviation lights on the tower.

There is a quarter cent sales tax in Jasper County to support law enforcement. Of that quarter percent, 4.3% goes to a grant fund.

In 2010, members of Jasper County's Law Enforcement Sales Tax board awarded grant money to the Carl Junction Police Department for a new communications tower. Board members at the time were chosen by Sheriff Archie Dunn.

Some say there was also enough money to pay for warning lights on the tower.

"The liability would probably be on everybody involved in the project," says Lt. Matt Stoller of the Jasper County Sheriff's Office, and a former L.E.S.T. board member. "It would probably be Carl Junction, it would probably be the commission, it would probably be the sheriff's office."

And taxpayers could foot the bill.

The tower helps Carl Junction police better communicate with officers. Carl Junction police had asked for a 100 foot tower, but the grant board felt a 195 foot tower would maximize the goal.

"To make it a regional asset and that was always what the grant was about, was improving interoperability, and the ability of agencies to communicate with each other," says Lt. Stoller. "We had some line of sight studies done, but we did those internally. We have the software."

The tower's completion last year ended with a price tag of $105,000. Of that, $2,000, was budgeted for aviation warning lights, which were installed before the tower was put up.

It was about this time when new members took over the Law Enforcement Sales Tax grant board. They were chosen by county commissioners, not the sheriff.

Current L.E.S.T. board member Jim Woestman says they do not have a problem with the communications tower.

The debate is over the aviation lights on the tower.

"It was so close to their new community center and I thought, well, if they have an accident out there, if a senior citizen or anybody else has a medical issue and they're going to need life flight flying in there to pick somebody up, I wanted to make sure our tower wasn't run into by a helicopter," says Lt. Stoller.

The bill for the aviation lights didn't come until July, when the new sales tax board members were in command.

"Carl Junction did not order that second section to be put on that tower, the sheriff did," says current board member Woestman. "So that top of the tower is the sheriff's part, and he needs to pay for it."

But board members say the do see the need for the lights.

"You don't have to have lights until you're 200 foot high, but it is 195 feet, so common sense would tell you it would be best to have lights on it," says Woestman.

Again, as current board members point out, the FAA does not require lights on the tower based on its height. But some believe it may still be a risk without them.

If the lights are not paid for they may be taken down. County officials do not know how much that would cost, in addition to everything else in the past.


Officials say Guatemalan air force helicopter goes down, killing all 10 aboard

GUATEMALA CITY — A civilian helicopter crashed in bad weather Tuesday, injuring three aboard, and a Guatemalan air force helicopter sent to help went down soon afterward, killing its 10 crew and passengers, officials said.

The helicopter involved in the fatal crash was on its way to a base in the northern province of Peten when it got word of the crash of a civilian helicopter about 125 miles (200 kilometers) away, Defense Minister Ulises Anzueto told reporters.

The crew on the air force aircraft determined the three civilians in the crash had been evacuated to a hospital and the helicopter was headed back to Peten when it crashed.

Seven officers and three air force specialists were killed, including the pilot and co-pilot.

Peten Gov. Henry Amezquita told The Associated Press that there was bad weather in the mountainous area where the military helicopter crashed.

Miami-Dade wants the mother of all aerospace trade shows (With video)

MIAMI -  In Tuesday's State of the County address, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez indicated he would not take "no" for an answer for plans to bring an international aerospace tradeshow to the Homestead Air Reserve Base.

"We'll continue to work to get the federal support we need to land that show," Gimenez told a full audience inside the county commission chambers.

County elected officials have continued to work on plans to bring a version of the venerable Paris Air Show to the HARB despite a rejection letter from the Secretary of the Air Force last summer.

"I went to the Paris Air Show in 2005, saw what it did, the kind of economic impact it can have on the area," Gimenez said.

The projections top a half billion dollars for the biannual show's economic impact.

The Paris show, held in the suburb Le Bourget, draws more than 2,100 exhibitors and more than 150,000 buyers, more than a third of whom fly in from abroad, according to event producers.

A similar show in Miami-Dade would be the only trade show to bring the aircraft, parts, supplies and support services to one place in the Western Hemisphere.

Such a tradeshow already has a dedicated more than $7 million in General Obligation bond money for infrastructure and roads around the base.

Florida's senators and congressmen and women have already signed off in a bipartisan show of support.

In the rejection letter last summer the Secretary of the U.S. Air Force wrote that a trade show on a U.S. base would require a change in policy, as the Air Force does not permit private aircraft on military runways and he did not support setting that precedent.

Commissioner Lynda Bell, who represents portions of South Miami-Dade, said that argument is flawed.

"That doesn't quite pan out, because they already allowed this with the Salt Lake City Olympics," said Beell. "The thing is, I don't think they knew we knew that."

The county has reason to be optimistic. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta sent a letter last month to Congresswoman Ileana Ros Lehtinen telling her he has directed the Air Force Secretary to revisit his decision.

Denver Bound Plane Diverted To Nashville

NASHVILLE, Tenn.- A Denver bound flight from Atlanta was diverted to Nashville International Airport Tuesday night.

The flight was diverted due to a strange smell in cockpit. Officials said that oxygen masks were released in the cockpit. The plane was able to safely land in Nashville. No injuries have been reported.

The flight landed around 7:40 p.m. It was a Frontier Airlines flight.

Airport officials were investigating and said that customers would be rebooked on different planes out of Nashville.

Feds charge 2 men with airborne hunting in Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa—   Two men charged with violating a federal ban on hunting from the air are expected to appear in court.

Craig T. Martin and Paul W. Austin were indicted last week for one count of violating the Airborne Hunting Act. They're due to be arraigned in federal court Wednesday in Des Moines.

The indictment says the men used planes Nov. 16 in Polk County "for the purpose of harassing birds, fish and other animals." A spokesman for prosecutors says the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service investigated the case.

Federal prosecutors are seeking to seize their single-engine planes. One is registered to Martin's company, Des Moines-based Wisecup Willows Aviation, and the other is registered to Austin.

Martin didn't immediately return a phone message, and contact information for Austin could not be found.


Tailwind problem affecting night landing – LIAT

Regional airline Liat has been explaining the real reason for its reluctance to fully embrace night landing at Dominica’s Melville Hall airport.

In a letter to Dominica News Online in response to recent comments from Tourism Mininster Ian Douglas on the matter, Liat’s Manager for Corporate Communications Desmond Brown said “all of Liat’s aircraft have night landing capability for Dominica and the majority of captains have been checked for night landing”.

The Liat spokesman also indicated that the navigation instrument system installed at Dominica is common throughout the airports in Liat’s network and that no additional training is required.

“The real issue is that Dominica has a tailwind limitation of 10 knots for night landings beyond which aircraft are not permitted to operate into that airport no matter its size or type,” Brown said in his letter to DNO.

He indicated that Liat had, after careful consideration by the Company’s Flight Operations Department, supported by a risk assessment, applied to the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority for this limitation to be increased and was awaiting a formal response.

Tourism Minister Douglas at a news conference last Friday in seeking to explain the Liat night landing situation, said he couldn’t fully recall the reasons given by the airline, but seemed to remember officials suggesting that Liat has limited planes with night landing capability, and that some of its pilots have to undergo training to use some of the equipment involved.

The minister said at the time that while there were some Liat flights undertaking night landing, he would like to see the airline making much more use of that facility.


28th February 2012

Dear Editor:

This letter is in reply to an article, dated February 24, 2012, appearing on Dominica News Online which contained inaccuracies.

In particular, I would like to address the portion of the article which stated that: “The tourism minister said LIAT has explained that it has limited planes with night landing capability, and that some of its pilots have to undergo training to use the navigational instruments involved.”

The following response is being made:

All of LIAT’s aircraft have night landing capability for Dominica and the majority of captains have been night checked into Dominica.

The navigation instrument system installed at Dominica is common throughout the airports in LIAT’s network therefore no training is required.

The real issue is that Dominica has a tailwind limitation of 10 knots for night landings beyond which aircraft are not permitted to operate into that airport no matter its size or type.

After careful consideration by the Company’s Flight Operations Department, supported by a Risk Assessment, LIAT has applied to the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA) for this limitation to be increased.

The Company is awaiting a formal response from the ECCAA.

Yours sincerely,
Desmond Brown – Manager, Corporate Communications – LIAT (1974) Ltd.


Cessna 172E, N3879S: Accident occurred February 03, 2012 in Dinsmore, California

NTSB Identification: WPR12LA090 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, February 03, 2012 in Dinsmore, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/14/2013
Aircraft: CESSNA 172E, registration: N3879S
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor.

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

According to postaccident statements from both pilots, the flight instructor took control of the airplane from the student pilot either at touchdown or just before. The airplane bounced several times after touchdown while veering to the right, and the right main wheel rolled off the 48-foot wide runway into the grass. The flight instructor added full engine power to go around. The flight instructor stated that he pulled back on the yoke to try to clear the trees beyond the end of the runway, and the airplane stalled and hit the ground. After the airplane’s right wing tip contacted the ground, the airplane reversed direction and came to a stop. Shortly after the airplane came to rest, a postimpact fire began, which consumed the airplane. The student pilot, who was the airplane owner, reported no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The flight instructor's delayed remedial action, inadequate recovery from a bounced landing, and failure to attain/maintain adequate airspeed during an attempted go-around.

On February 3, 2012, about 1230 Pacific standard time, a Cessna 172E, N3879S, veered off runway 27 during an aborted landing at the Dinsmore (uncontrolled) airport, Dinsmore, California. The airplane came to rest in a field about 50 yards beyond the runway’s end. A post impact ground fire occurred, which consumed the substantially damaged airplane. The commercial pilot holds a certified flight instructor (CFI) certificate, and he was seriously injured. The CFI was providing flight instruction to a student pilot, who was the airplane’s registered owner. The student pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The flight was performed under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. No flight plan was filed. The flight originated about 1115.

The student pilot reported to the National Transportation Safety Board investigator that the CFI directed him to land at the Dinsmore airport. However, on final approach, the CFI took the flight controls away from him. The student released the controls, and he did not touch them again. The wing flaps were extended to the 30-degree setting, and the CFI attempted to land. After touching down on the runway, the airplane bounced several times, the right main wheel rolled off the 48-foot wide runway into the grass, and the CFI attempted to go around. The CFI added full engine power, and the stall warning sounded as the airplane veered back across the runway as it continued to bounce. After the airplane’s right wing tip contacted the ground, the airplane reversed direction as it cartwheeled to a stop. Shortly after coming to rest, a post impact fire began, which consumed the airplane.

During a telephone conversation the CFI said they took off from Garberville about 1130 for an instructional session. He said he does not recall completely but believes he took over the controls either just after the student had landed or just before he touched down. The airplane was veering to the right and he decided to do a go around. The stall warning was going off during the go around at the west end of the runway. He said he was trying to go over the trees beyond the end of the runway; he pulled on the yoke to clear the trees and the airplane stalled and hit the ground.

The student pilot owner said there were no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane.


Jesse Gray gives the thumbs after a successful loading of his friend Dennis Lichty into the aircraft at Sacramento Executive Airport. Blue Star Gas founder and co-pilot Bill Stewart is all smiles because no one got a hernia or threw their back out in the process. Dennis is all smiles... really... it’s just a little harder after all his front teeth were knocked out.


Pilot Jeff Stewart with father and pilot Bill Stewart, wanna-be pilot Randal Locke and pilot Jesse Gray just before leaving from Rohnerville Airport in Fortuna to pick up Dennis Lichty at U.C. Davis Medical Center in Sacramento.

Randal Locke, Dennis Lichty, Bill Stewart and Jesse Gray right after loading Dennis into his comfy bed at Seaview Rehabilitation and Wellness Center just south of Eureka. This picture was taken by Lindsay Locke, President of EAA Chapter 1418 in Fortuna, who met the plane at Rohnerville, and drove EAA1418 member Dennis in her car to Seaview.

The recent private aircraft crash on Feb. 3, at Dinsmore Airport resulted in the student pilot, Garberville resident Tyler Lewis walking away from the wreck; the airplane owned by Tyler being burned to a cinder; and the flight instructor, Whitethorn resident and Garberville Airport supervisor Dennis Lichty, being airlifted by Reach Air Ambulance in critical condition to Mercy Medical Center in Redding.

Though the precise cause of the accident will not be reported by the NTSB for some time, the real story, besides that both pilots survived, is what happened after the accident. Although it was initially reported that Dennis’s injuries were not major, in fact he was severely injured.

Student pilot, passenger, and owner of the plane Tyler Lewis said when the aircraft crashed, he was able to “go fetal” and curled up in a ball, which is why, despite a bloody nose and some cuts and bruises he was able to escape the wrecked airplane and walk away. In fact Tyler gave a TV interview to KIEM TV that afternoon from the scene.

However, Dennis Lichty had his legs extended on the control pedals and his hands on the yoke while he rode the plane down to the ground where it crashed on its right side, the side Dennis was in. As a result both of his feet were badly mangled and his face slammed into the control panel, causing multiple facial fractures, and knocking out most of his upper front teeth, some of which ended up stuck deep in his left lung. The bruised knees, cuts, badly bruised neck and severe concussion simply added to the situation the first responders had to deal with.

Caltrans employees, Dave Ackley and Dain Heartman, heard and saw the crash. They assisted after the crash and were justifiably given credit for their efforts by Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Matt Helm.

However, it appears that there was another hero who apparently wishes to remain anonymous. During the live call-in Pilot Lounge radio show on KMUD at 7 p.m. on Feb. 10, a gentleman called in to the program and said that he was a 74-year-old, 135-pound pilot who was at the Dinsmore Airport at the time and witnessed the crash. He described in vivid detail how he was the first person to attempt to extricate Dennis Lichty from the plane and how he called out to Dave Ackley to assist, which Dave and Dain did. Additionally, the many other first responders deserve credit even though they too are largely anonymous.

Dennis was airlifted from Dinsmore Airport to Mercy Medical Center, where due to massive swelling of his face and neck his windpipe became constricted. He lost the ability to breath voluntarily, and he was intubated and placed on a respirator. Mercy emergency room and ICU staff stabilized Dennis as best they could and performed X-rays, CAT scans and the normal battery of tests conducted on trauma patients. Mercy Medical Center then decided to airlift Dennis to U.C. Davis Medical Center, around 8 p.m. on the evening of the accident.

Dennis remained on a ventilator for five days and endured multiple surgeries over the next two weeks including two separate rounds of surgery on his feet, the last operation lasting eight hours. The teeth in his lung had to be left there initially because the ventilator tube down his throat prevented a bronchoscopy from being performed. After his facial and skull surgeries, an attempt was made to retrieve the teeth. The attempt failed. Three days later another attempt was made and this time succeeded. Dennis was now out of danger and was moved out of intensive care.

U.C. Davis then notified Dennis’s friends Jesse Gray and Randal Locke that Dennis would be released from the medical center no later than Feb. 20, (Presidents Day) and would have to go to a skilled nursing facility either in Sacramento, or if transportation could be arranged, to a facility in Humboldt County. Unfortunately, the cost and discomfort (even hazard) of transporting Dennis by ground put that option out of the question. And Dennis did not want to stay in Sacramento. He wanted to come home.

While Jesse and Randal plotted and schemed on how to get their friend home, a call came in from Bill Stewart, founder of Blue Star Gas, who said his son Jeff had offered to fly Dennis from U.C. Davis to anywhere in Humboldt. Bill and Jeff also offered to fly Jesse and Randal to Sacramento so they could assist in loading Dennis into the plane as well as provide the “companion ride-alongs” requested by U.C. Davis in the ambulance and the aircraft.

With the vexing transportation issue solved by the generosity of Jeff and Bill, the search began for a place that Dennis could come home to that was acceptable to Dennis’ doctors and U.C. Davis. Jerold Phelps Community Hospital in Garberville was the obvious choice, and with the help of Kathy Duke RN, and case manager for the trauma department at U.C. Davis, the search for a bed was initiated there.

Unfortunately, Jerold Phelps had no skilled nursing or “swing” beds available, and said they would not know if they might have a bed until 8:30 a.m. Monday morning, the day of the airlift! Very quickly the search became desperate, as one by one, every facility in Humboldt County told us they had no place for Dennis. In the next few days, Duke became the “Angel of U.C. Davis.”

After a fruitless five-day search, and with the wonderful, patient and dogged assistance of Duke and Gabrielle ‘Gabby’ Dubuque at Redwood Healthcare Services, a bed was finally located at Seaview Rehabilitation and Wellness Center in Eureka late Friday, Feb. 17.

Duke verified everything with Gabby; Jesse and Randal made arrangements with Jeff and Bill; and then they made arrangements with EAA1418 President Lindsay Locke to assist in ground transportation from Fortuna to Seaview Rehabilitation. Naturally the weather report for Monday was not good, but not to worry. Jeff Stewart is an Instrument Rated Pilot and his plane is a twin-engine pressurized Cessna 421C which can handle almost any weather. Everyone relaxed a bit over the holiday weekend knowing everything was in place and that if they got lucky they might even get Dennis into Garberville. At least that’s what they thought. Fools.

The first four hours of Monday turned into panic. By 8:30 a.m. it was confirmed by a personal visit from Jesse Gray that Jerold Phelps could not, or would not, be able to take Dennis. It was a holiday and there was no one who could verify if a bed was available or not. At 9 a.m. it was learned that the bed originally scheduled at Seaview Rehabilitation was no longer available due to mandatory placement of someone over the weekend. Suddenly there was no place for Dennis to go.

Jeff and the airplane were poised to go in Santa Rosa. Randal and Jesse were poised to fly from Garberville to Fortuna to meet Jeff in Fortuna because the weather prevented him from landing at Garberville safely. Lindsay Locke was on standby to drive to Fortuna and meet them when they returned. But now it looked like the whole plan was busted.

At 10 a.m. it was learned that Jeff Stewart was scheduled for knee surgery on Wednesday morning and could not fly for 12 days afterwards. That meant any reschedule could only be for the next day, Tuesday. After that, Dennis would have to be placed in a still unidentified facility in the Sacramento area.

Constant phone calls between all the participants continued with Kathy Duke and Gabby Dubuque doing everything in their power to save the situation. Coincidently, Joe Reis, marketing director of Redwood Healthcare Services just happened to be returning from a much needed three-day vacation in Las Vegas, and was driving up Interstate 5 when he got an “I’m sorry to call you on your vacation” call from Gabby. After talking with Gabby, Joe took it upon himself to swing by U.C. Davis and do a personal assessment of Dennis in his hospital room. Randal and Jesse were notified by Gabby that the process might take one or two hours and everything and everyone was kept on hold, waiting expectantly for the verdict.

Just before noon, Randal received the news, and it was good. Joe Reis had gotten corporate sanction to make sure Dennis had a bed at Seaview. The race was on. By this time the weather had deteriorated so Randal and Jesse couldn’t fly to Fortuna. Randal picked up Jesse and Bill Stewart in Redway and the three of them drove to Rohnerville Airport. Jeff landed at the airport at the exact same time they arrived. Dr. George Jutila met the group at the airport five minutes later and gave them orthopedic straps, a wheel chair and a pulse oximeter, and the four men took off for Sacramento Executive Airport.

After a 75-minute flight at 15,000 feet, they landed and Jesse jumped into a cab to go and accompany Dennis in the ambulance. Jesse was surprised to learn that Dennis didn’t know he was leaving. "You mean I’m leaving now?" said Dennis. Jesse said "Yes, right now."

Within minutes Dennis was moved to a gurney, and he and Jesse were in an ambulance on their way to the airport. When they arrived, Jesse gave Dennis his aviator’s jacket that Dennis thought had burned in the crash. The jacket had been handed to Tyler Lewis by emergency personnel after Dennis was pulled from the plane before it exploded. Everyone there witnessed a moving and special moment when Dennis took the jacket and placed it over himself. With the help of the two ambulance drivers, the six men heaved and squeezed the nearly naked 260-pound Dennis into the aircraft. Before taking off, they helped Dennis put on his jacket. No one, especially Dennis, could stop grinning.

With a 30-knot tailwind, the ride back to Fortuna was quicker, and with an infectious happiness permeating the cabin, a lot more fun. Dennis was going home. After a flawless landing at Rohnerville Airport, Dennis was stuffed like a pimento in an olive into the back seat of Lindsay Locke’s Ford Focus and driven to Seaview, where he is today, recuperating happily and singing the praises of both the staff and the food. The food? "Yes" Dennis says, "It’s great." Go figure.

Maybe the moral of this story is that ultimately everyone can be a hero. They can be: Caltrans workers, anonymous strangers, firemen, policemen, air ambulance pilots, administrative assistants, doctors, and of course friends and family. Ultimately it is love, generosity and caring by everyone that makes it all happen. Of course the consummate skill of the professionals who make this kind of work their career turn tragedy into joy. Dennis is doing very well with his therapy, and says thank you to everyone. He looks forward to moving one hour south as soon as he is able.

Of course his friends have to find him a bed first.

NTSB Identification: WPR12LA090
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, February 03, 2012 in Dinsmore, CA
Aircraft: CESSNA 172E, registration: N3879S
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On February 3, 2012, about 1230 Pacific standard time, a Cessna 172E, N3879S, veered off runway 27 during an aborted landing at the Dinsmore (uncontrolled) airport, Dinsmore, California. The airplane came to rest in a field about 50 yards beyond the runway’s end. A post impact ground fire occurred, which consumed the substantially damaged airplane. The commercial pilot holds a certified flight instructor (CFI) certificate, and he was seriously injured. The CFI was providing flight instruction to a student pilot, who was the airplane’s registered owner. The student pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The flight was performed under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. No flight plan was filed. The flight originated about 1115.

The student pilot reported to the National Transportation Safety Board investigator that the CFI directed him to land at the Dinsmore airport. However, on final approach, the CFI took the flight controls away from him. The student released the controls, and he did not touch them again. The wing flaps were extended to the 30-degree setting, and the CFI attempted to land. After touching down on the runway, the airplane bounced several times, the right main wheel rolled off the 48-foot wide runway, and the CFI attempted to go around. The CFI added full engine power, the stall warning sounded, and the CFI lost control of the airplane. After the airplane’s right wing tip contacted the ground, the airplane reversed direction as it cartwheeled to a stop.

Police: Flight Attendant Stole From DC-Bound Travelers

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Police at Newark Liberty International Airport say they’ve nabbed a sticky-fingered flight attendant.

Police say Jean Paulino lifted about $140 in cash and two driver’s licenses from a couple as they went through a security checkpoint Tuesday.

The United Airlines flight attendant was in uniform when he allegedly chatted with one of the travelers, waited until the other turned his back, then plucked the items off the X-ray machine.

Transportation Security Administration screeners notified police from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and they retrieved video footage that allegedly showed Paulino taking the money.

Paulino was arrested as he prepared to board a flight to Washington. He’s charged with theft.

A phone number couldn’t be found for Paulino; it’s not known if he’s retained an attorney.

Oroville Municipal Airport (KOVE), California: Pilots like what city has in mind for base

Tom Hagler checks the new 3,000 gallon Jet A Refueler truck at the Oroville Airport on Wednesday. A full service jet fueling program is planned to start within the next few weeks.
 (Photo Credit:  Ty Barbour)

A rendering of the remodeled Oroville Airport is seen here. 
(Contributed Photo)

OROVILLE — A handful of pilots attended a workshop Wednesday to review and comment on the city's preliminary plan to give the building housing the fixed base at the Oroville Municipal Airport a facelift, and all seemed to like the idea.

City Councilman David Pittman and Vice Mayor Thil Wilcox sit on the fixed base operator committee that scheduled the workshop to talk to pilots.

The committee unveiled the preliminary layout and exterior renderings for the project to get comments and suggestions from the pilots on the final plan, Wednesday afternoon.

"It's very, very nice," said David Martin. "It looks very professional, and it looks like a place I would like to come to."

Martin lives in Gridley, and is one of the pilots who rents a hangar for his airplane at the Oroville airport.

He said the airport building improvements would pull a lot of people into he area, especially if the city partnered with the golf course cafŽ next door to accommodate pilots.

The Table Mountain Golf Course Clubhouse that includes the cafŽ is now undergoing a $400,000 remodel.

Martin said pilots fly into airports that just offer cafŽs, but Oroville has to much more to attract pilots including the casinos, Lake Oroville, local restaurants, and other attractions and recreational activities including hunting and fishing.

The city has completed a preliminary layout to renovate the fixed base building at the airport.

City Administrator G. Harold Duffey said the city had been working on the plan for a little more than a year.

He said the airport improvements are part of the city's MIDAS projects, an acronym for Municipal Investment in Development to Achieve Success.

He said the city has earmarked $290,000 for the remodel.

Duffey said after incorporating the pilots' suggestions, city staff will develop a report and final plans to advertise for contractor's bids.

The proposal would go to City Council for final approval, probably in July, he said.

Duffey said the new city architect hired to fast forward MIDAS projects, Patrick Cole, had crafted the preliminary plan for the airport.

Duffey said the city could make the building nice, but he is looking for corporate and commercial sponsorships for additional improvements and amenities that could include a kiosk with local attractions or shuttle bus services.

Renovation of the building will benefit the airport and the aviation community, as well as attracting many visitors into the community, he said.

The improvements will also complement the full service jet fueling program planned to start within the next few weeks.

Plans call for American's With Disabilities Act-compliant restrooms, a pilot's rest and changing area, kitchen facilities, a training and meeting room, a manager's office and an enhanced public waiting area.

Cole showed a plan he said adds improvements to the existing steel framed building and structure "and adds only what you need to jazz it up."

That would include facade changes such as adding a glass atrium to the front of the building and a wing shaped addition to the roof to complement an airport theme.

An apron of colored concrete would go around the front of the building to provide easy access to visitors and to people with disabilities.

Outside entrances to the remodeled restrooms would have some type of security code that would allow pilots to access them when the office is closed.

The plan includes new furnishings inside as well as a reception area that would be revamped and moved to the center of an entrance walkway that separates the waiting area into two separate areas.

Pilots all approved the plans with minor suggestions.


Thunder Over Utah air show adds F-22 Raptor to lineup

ST. GEORGE –The Thunder Over Utah Air Show has added the United States Air Force F-22 Raptor to its lineup. The Raptor will perform high speed loops, slow speed passes, as well as high speed passes. This aircraft can go from 70 to 700 mph in less than 60 seconds.

The air show will held on March 17-18 at St. George Municipal Airport.

The F-22 Raptor will be accompanying the leading act, the U.S. Navy Blue Angels as another military feature attraction. The F-22 Raptor will perform at less than 20 sites throughout North America this year.

The F-22 Raptor is a single-seat, twin-engine fifth-generation supermaneuverable fighter aircraft that uses stealth technology. It was designed predominantly as an air superiority fighter, but has other capabilities that include ground attack, electronic warfare and signals intelligence roles.

In early 2011, the Raptor was pulled off the air show circuit due to a problem with the onboard oxygen generation system. This show marks the Raptor’s first return since it was taken out of commission.

“Our spectators are in for a real treat with the Raptor. No one will want to miss what this incredible aircraft demonstration does in the air”, said Kevin Walsh, Executive Director of the Thunder Over Utah Air Show. “We are very privileged to be able to bring two such high-profile military demonstrations to the skies of St. George.”

Indianapolis International Airport (KIND) gives cash for bat study

The Indianapolis International Airport has awarded a nearly $505,000 contract to Indiana State University to track the bats that live or roost on hundreds of acres of airport land.

The Indianapolis Business Journal reports ( http://bit.ly/A1gjyU ) that the airport's 2-year contract awarded this month boosts to $2.5 million the amount the airport has paid ISU since 2004 to track the flying mammals as is required under the federal Endangered Species Act.

The airport must monitor and report its findings each year until 2017 on the endangered Indiana bat and eight other bat species.

ISU biology professor John Whitaker says the school's work at the airport on Indianapolis' southwest side has generated a treasure trove of information on bats and how to best accommodate them, particularly the Indiana bat.

FAA A No-Show at Meeting: Town-Village Aircraft Safety and Noise Abatement Committee - Malverne, Garden City, New York

Rockville Centre resident Jeff Greenfield sarcastically said the FAA stands for "Failure to Answer an Account."
Credit: Carisa Giardino

John Taylor, a resident of Nassau Blvd. in Malverne who reported the black sludge incident.
Credit: Carisa Giardino

Mary-Grace Tomecki, Floral Park TVASNAC member, says village residents are seeking a more equitable distribution of air traffic and a more frequent rotation of runways. 
Credit: Carisa Giardino

Larry Hoppenhauer, TVASNAC member from Malverne, addresses the black sludge that fell in Malverne Thursday evening.
Credit: Carisa Giardino

Noise planes and falling sludge discussed but are residents' concerns falling on deaf ears? 
Already aggravated residents in Malverne, Garden City and surrounding communities were even more peeved when they learned Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Port Authority officials were a no-show at Monday night's packed Town-Village Aircraft Safety and Noise Abatement Committee (TVASNAC) meeting in Garden City.

Kendall Lampkin, TVASNAC executive director, said officials from the FAA, Port Authority and the NextGEN division in Washington, D.C. all declined the invitation.

"Last time I checked the FAA is a federal agency. Their employees are paid with our tax dollars. And the fact that they're not here is outrageous," said Ray Gaudio, a TVASNAC member who represents East Williston, to rousing applause. "Our federal senators and congresspersons take note and compel them to come before a hearing possibly under oath to answer the questions we have."

Laurence Quinn, Garden City village trustee and fellow TVASNAC member, told Patch the committee learned that FAA officials weren't attending on Thursday and Friday. "They were coming as of two weeks ago ... Between Thursday and Friday we got this bevy of emails saying 'we can't show.' So it wasn't that something came up. They decided they weren't going to show up."

Approximately 150 people did show up, from as far away as Rockaway, Queens, to hear what FAA officials had to say about the recent surge in aircraft coming in and out of JFK airport and what the administration was doing to improve what residents' describe as their diminishing quality of life.

Larry Hoppenhauer, TVASNAC's newest member, represents Malverne. He addressed the Thursday night incident in which black oily sludge allegedly fell from a plane onto a couple enjoying the unseasonably warm weather in their yard. "The FAA said they are going to investigate but they don't work weekends and said they'd come Monday ... I don't know honestly where that's at. I can't get any information," he said. "After three days we're presuming the 'sludge' was harmless but it could've been something worse and we have a right to know what's falling from the sky."

Irene Villacci, representing Sen. Dean Skelos, also addressed the incident. "To have this sludge fall from the sky was a sign of destruction of our quality of life," she said. "The senator is actively involved in this .. As of an hour ago the most that our office was told by the FAA was that they had not concluded the investigation yet and they were not releasing any information yet about the plane or the airline..."

Larry Major, Jr., who posted his neighbors' bizarre incident on the "I Love Malverne...our village, our schools & our merchants" Facebook page, attended Monday night's meeting. "The response we received from the FAA and Port Authority I'll be honest was awful," he said. "If this is an example of what they're going to provide in response to the communities it's going to be a long, long year."

Mary-Grace Tomecki, a TVASNAC member who represents neighboring Floral Park, says residents in her village live under the arrival flight path of runways 22L 22R specifically what is known as the Instrument Landing Approach or the ILS approach. "Floral Park on any given day, or more specifically if winds are out of the south, would expect to experience approximately 60 to 80 planes flying over the community in a parallel runway approach. It affects approximately 70 to 80 percent of the homes in Floral Park."

Tomecki notes these same planes are flying directly over East Hills, New Hyde Park and a section of Mineola. "We want an equitable distribution of air traffic," she said. "We want more frequent rotation of runways."

Quinn said Garden Cityites live under runway 22R, which brings even more planes over the village. "In 2004 we got 14-15 percent of all volume and we weren't complaining. If you look now we're getting 32 percent of all volume. That's two-and-a-half times more volume. There's an issue. Secondly, there used to be an approved altitude. You should be coming over my house at 2,500 feet ... Mary-Grace Tomecki is fortunate enough that in her community she has a Port Authority air monitor. Last month's data said it was an average 61 decibels. The runway that affects us, the other 22, the VOR approach, which comes over my community, we're getting more planes than over Floral Park at the same altitude but they don't have a monitor here so you figure out the math. They've got 61 decibels with fewer planes. We got more planes, same altitude. Both altitudes [are] way too low. That doesn't sound safe to me."

Quinn, who grew up in New Hyde Park, said for 50 years he's lived within two miles of where he resides right now. "They're lower and they're louder," he said. "Right now on a nice day in July, August, September when I want to have my barbecue outside and the planes are coming over every one minute, 40 seconds, which is the average, at about 60 decibel, I can't enjoy myself," he said. "They used to at least rotate the runways every four hours. I can deal with four hours of nonsense. But now they're doing it 17, 18, 19 hours. So once they start coming over my house I know the rest of my day is ruined."

New Hyde Park TVASNAC representative Kurt Langjahr looks at the situation like this: "If you think of it like a highway in the sky, that instrument landing highway in the sky there's only one lane. If that lane was five, each community would get approximately 20 percent if there were five lanes coming into Kennedy. Twenty percent you could tolerate," he said, adding that federal representatives like Rep. Carolyn McCarthy and Sen. Chuck Schumer can help.
The FAA reauthorization bill, which passed Congress, provides funding for the NextGEN procedure. Shams Tarek, representing McCarthy, said the congresswoman voted against the bill because of its lack of a requirement for an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

"It was not an easy vote for someone to take because there are a lot of things in that bill that keeps our aviation system running, has labor protections for workers and things like that. As far as she was concerned, the lack of requirement for an Environmental Impact Study was enough for her to say no ... Unfortunately it's a very local issue to us but there are 435 members of Congress voting and as you know the bill passed."

Tarek said McCarthy continues to work with her Senate colleagues and talk to FAA officials and community members so hopefully there can be enough public response. "Moving forward there may be another opportunity to get some kind of an EIS," he said. "It's not required of course but that doesn't mean it can't happen"

Lampkin said this kind of advocacy is critical. "The Port Authority runs Kennedy airport, but it also runs LaGuardia and it also runs Newark and it runs Teterboro. Because of that it's one of the few airport sponsors that do not have to what's called a Part 150 study. A Part 150 study is a study that makes an airport take a look at every possible opportunity to mitigate noise. If they can't they have to say why. The Port Authority is grandfathered into not having to do this and because of that this lack of an EIS ... is critically important."
Lampkin added, "Quality of life is so important.

For more information on this issue, visit www.quietskies.net and/or www.quietovergc.com. Email the FAA noise complaint mailbox at 9-aea-noise@faa.gov. The public comment period on NextGEN ends March 7.


Helicopter flight proves learning controls harder than Piper Cub

By Hank Billings

Writing last week’s column about never riding in a Ford tri-motor reminded me that a fellow staffer was assigned to ride in one.

In the 1930s, Lucile Morris Upton was sent on the TWA (then Transcontinental and Western Air) inaugural flight from Springfield to St. Louis.

“Did you notice the wicker seats had no seat belt?” she asked a fellow passenger.

“That’s nothing. Our pilot only has one eye.”

Good grief, could that be Wiley Post, killed with actor Will Rogers in a crash at Point Barrow, Alaska?

No, a call to St. Louis confirmed that Post hadn’t flown for TWA.

American Airways, forerunner to American Airlines, also operated a Ford tri-motor through Springfield.

Jimmy Adkins was co-pilot for the Assembly of God B-17 after WWII.

Adkins also flew for American Airlines. He spent a summer flying a reconditioned tri-motor to American cities, including Springfield, but I missed the boat, or rather, the plane

Flying or riding in a variety of aircraft, over a span of 30 years, eased the pain of missing the Ford tri-motor.

There were blimps advertising Stag Beer and Goodyear Tires.

The takeoff and subsequent steep ascent left me sweating. Trying that in a fixed wing plane (except for a jet) would be asking for a stall and/or spin.

But the blimps leveled off at an altitude where their ads could be read from the ground and blimp riders could have a liesurely (40 to 50 mph) look at the countryside.

The Missouri Highway Patrol gave me and son John (then about 2 years old) a ride in its helicopter from its headquarters on West Sunshine Street to what is now the Springfield-Branson National Airport.

I don’t recall who owned the helicopter. I do remember the pilot let me take the ’copter controls long enough to learn that a whirlybird is a lot harder to fly than a Piper Cub or even a B-17.


Epilogue: David Demarande Layman - Daredevil restaurateur had a family connection to Amelia Earhart

PLANT CITY — By all outward appearances, David Layman lived the life of the consummate adrenaline junkie.

He raced everything from go-carts to airplanes. He went to Australia to dive the Great Barrier Reef. Back home, he turned the heads of neighbors — and sometimes police — as he zipped around Plant City in a red Ferrari.

Though his family's wealth meant he did not really need a paycheck, Mr. Layman threw himself into several careers, no two of them very much alike. He had been a cop and a firefighter, an information specialist and a manager at a "cowboy theme park."

The owner of Earhart's Runway Grill came from an adventurous line.

His great-grandfather, lawyer David T. Layman, was an early supporter and friend of Amelia Earhart, whose handwritten correspondence decorates a wall of the restaurant on the second floor of Lakeland Linder Regional Airport.

His father, Paul Layman Jr., launched himself off ski ramps and raced vintage planes, which he landed wherever it occurred to him.

Mr. Layman, who followed in their adventurous footsteps, died Feb. 14 at Melech Hospice House of small-cell carcinoma. He was 53.

Everyone at the airport knew Mr. Layman, from pilots to mechanics to his fellow "hangar rats," whom he saw while tending to the Piper Archer he kept at the airport.

He was the first to greet customers at Earhart's, where you can wash down a Tower Burger with a beer or watch commercial jets unloading passengers just below.

Though he had grown up hearing about Earhart, a frequent guest at his great-grandfather's home in the Hamptons, his interest increased as he became an adult.

So he decorated part of the restaurant with Vogue-worthy portraits of the aviator and news stories about her still-unsolved disappearance, along with copies of letters from Earhart and polar explorer Richard Byrd, whom David T. Layman and his wife, Sally, had also helped.

Born in New York, Mr. Layman grew up dividing his time between a waterfront home in Westhampton Beach, where his father kept World War II fighter planes in the back yard (one of which, a Pitts S-1C Little Stinker, now resides in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum), and Palm Beach.

His diverse resume included study at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, stints as a police officer in Daytona Beach and a firefighter in Palm Beach County, and going back to school to sharpen his computer skills.

In lengthy chunks of time between jobs, he raced at Daytona International Speedway, hung out at air shows and took diving trips around the world.

Mr. Layman married and divorced twice before meeting Romina Hernandez, a native of Venezuela, on an Internet dating site.

At first, she wondered about the daredevil streak that seemed to run in the family. But she was drawn to a quiet side that seemed to run deeper.

Especially, she liked the way he talked to his mother on the phone.

They married in Las Vegas and settled in Plant City. Mr. Layman gave his time to the Child Abuse Council and the South Florida Baptist Hospital Foundation, the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce and the Boy Scouts.

He opened Earhart's in April 2010, with Romina as head chef. He called the restaurant his "legacy," perhaps because it combined many aspects of a wide-ranging personality into a single endeavor.

"He was a daredevil about so many things," said Teresa Corbett, the airport's property manager. "But he was as calm and dedicated to (the restaurant) and to Romina as he could be. This is what he wanted."

Then, in July, he discovered a lump under his arm. Doctors diagnosed small-cell carcinoma, an aggressive cancer that had already spread to the bone.

"He said, 'How long?' " recalled Romina, 40. "They said, 'If I were you, I would get my affairs in order.' "

As his health deteriorated, she broached a difficult issue: How would he want his cremated remains to be interred? In recent years, companies have expanded the idea of a final resting place dramatically for adventuresome types like her husband.

Would he want his ashes encased in an underwater cemetery or even blasted into space?

"He said, 'Let's not get too complicated. You keep the ashes,' " his wife said.

To her, that sounded like the real Mr. Layman — measured, and grounded.


Editorial: Treasure Coast governments, businesses can learn a lot from American Energy Innovations' decision to return state, local incentives

By Editorial Board

An unexpected recent twist in a high-profile, economic-development story in Martin County percolates with lessons for governments and businesses throughout the Treasure Coast.

After all, it's not every day a company that had banked $825,000 in state and county incentives announces it is returning the money. But such is the case with American Energy Innovations, an affiliate of Stuart-based American Custom Yachts.

In April, AEI accepted $3.94 million in state and local incentives and planned to build a $7 million plant to build turbine components in Martin County. The project promised to generate a $28.4 million payroll and create 600 jobs, paying an average annual wage of $43,350. Martin County officials — on the recommendation of the county's Business Development Board — chipped in $435,000 worth of incentives (to be distributed over five years) to keep AEI in Martin County.

In September, the Business Development Board named American Energy Innovations its business of the year.

Fast forward to the present: AEI officials announced recently the company is changing its product line, has laid off 25 of its 40 new hires, is returning taxpayers' initial investment of $825,000 and is refusing the additional state and local incentives.

What caused the about-face? Glitches in product design frustrated AEI's efforts to build seamless blades for wind and water turbines.

"We wanted to be proactive and honest in our approach to returning the incentive moneys," said AEI controller Ed Kelley, in an email to Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers. "We still believe that Martin County is the best location to develop our product and we intend to move forward in this community."

What can we learn from this story?

First, local governments may not have the expertise to conduct proper due diligence on highly technological startup ventures like American Energy Innovations. Public investments in companies of this nature increase the risk that taxpayers' money will be squandered.

Public officials have an obligation to know intimate details of a company's business plan, market share and related factors before risking any public funds. Recruiting businesses is one thing; investing public money in them is a different matter.

Second, when a company's business plan fails to materialize or misses projections, the proper course of action is for the company to return the incentives. Typically, this requirement is included in the contract negotiated between the company and the government entities that grant incentives. However, not all companies reimburse taxpayers when the former fail to achieve their goals.

For example, Piper Aircraft, which received almost $10.7 million in incentives from the state and Indian River County in 2008, failed to reach employment benchmarks in 2011. Piper was required to employ 948 workers by the end of the year. Actual employment reached 730 to 740. But instead of repaying $950,000 to the state and $571,000 to the county, plus interest, as required by contract, Piper officials sought to renegotiate the agreement and avoid repayment.

By contrast, the professionalism of AEI officials with respect to the repayment of incentives is refreshing. AEI has set the standard up and down the Treasure Coast.

Third, some critics of government-incentive programs will use the AEI story to ridicule the value of such programs. However, this story actually reinforces the value of these programs. There is less risk to taxpayers when businesses operate with integrity.

There remains a place for government-incentive programs in local economic-development projects. However, if we've learned anything from the new twist in the AEI story, it's that local governments must proceed with caution — and with eyes wide open.

Air Racers 3D Official Trailer 2012 HD Documentary Movie

Air Racers 3D Official Trailer 2012 HD 
Documentary Movie
Genre: Documentary
Release Date: April 5th, 2012 (limited)
Director: Christian Fry, Jean-Jacques Mantello
Screenwriter: Christian Fry, Rick Dowlearn
Studio: 3D Entertainment Distribution
MPAA Rating: N/A
Cast: N/A

Fly into Nevada's "Valley of Speed" for a breathtaking exploration of the fastest race in the world combined with spectacular air show entertainment: the legendary Reno National Championship Air Races. Join today's elite pilots as they fight for position at twice the speed of a Nascar race. Learn about the history and science behind the sport, whose concept dates back to the dawn of aviation. Narrated by Paul Walker of "The Fast and the Furious" series, "Air Racers 3D" puts you in the cockpit to experience the intensity and high-speed thrills of a sports event like no other for the very first time in IMAX 3D.

Sudan minister survives helicopter crash

Sudan’s minister of agriculture and forestry Abdel Halim al-Mutafi (dressed in traditional Jalabiah) is welcomed by Sudanese police personnel at his arrival in Khartoum on Monday 27 Feb 2012

February 27, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese minister of agriculture, Abdel Halim al-Mutafi, has escaped certain death in a helicopter crash which killed three people on Monday.

Al-Mutafi emerged almost unscathed from the mishap which took place in Sudan’s eastern state of Al-Qadarif, where an Mi-17 helicopter carrying him along with six of his aides and two Iranian investors caught fire during take-off.

Official sources said that the minister and his entourage were on a trip to inspect agricultural projects in the state.

The minister appeared in good health as he was shown on Sudan’s national TV being evacuated from the site of the crash aboard an aircraft belonging to the ministry of interior.

In a statement following the incident, Al-Mut’afi recounted that the helicopter caught fire shortly after it took off, adding that those who survived managed to do so after they broke the helicopter’s windows.

However, he regrettably announced the death of his ministry’s director of agricultural research, Al-Tahir Sidiq, and spokesperson, Al-Rashid Issa, plus an aviation engineer working for Al-Raia al-Khadra Company from which the helicopter was chartered.

Sudan Tribune has learned that two of the dead bodies were completely burned while one body was taken to the capital Khartoum.

Meanwhile, a source close to Al-Raia al-Khadra Company was quoted by the Sudanese Media Center (SMC), a website linked to security services, that investigations were already under way to determine the causes of the incident.


Sukhoi Su-30MK2 Caught Fire Before Crash – Investigators. Komsomolsk-on-Amur, Russia

The crew of a Su-30 fighter that crashed earlier on Tuesday in Russia’s Far East reported an engine fire before the crash, a spokesman for the Main Military Investigative Directorate said, according to RIA Novosti.

The Su-30MK2 fighter jet crashed 130 km northeast of Komsomolsk-on-Amur during a post-construction test flight. Both pilots ejected safely, although one of them was hurt on landing.

“While executing acceleration to a maximum speed, the first pilot reported a fire in the right engine,” the spokesman said. “The flight controller immediately ordered the crew to eject.”

“The investigators are taking all necessary steps to establish the cause of the crash,” the official said.

The aircraft belonged to the Komsomolsk-on-Amur factory where Su-30s are manufactured.

The Russian military earlier said that the plane had been built for export.

Su-family fighters constitute the bulk of Russia`s arms exports.

Variants of Su-30 Flanker fighters are in service with air forces in several foreign countries, including India, Indonesia, China, Algeria, Vietnam and Venezuela.


Viking Air looks for Indonesian opportunities

Canadian aircraft maker Viking Air Ltd, which produces the Twin Otter 400 series, is looking for further opportunities to capitalize on the Indonesian market this year, an executive revealed on Tuesday.

"[The] chartered flight business is growing in Indonesia and we are pleased to offer aircraft that can operate in the world's harshest environments," Robert Mauracher, Viking Air’s vice president of business development, said at the scene of demonstration flights at the Halim Perdanakusumah Airport in East Jakarta.

He said that Viking Air has sold aircraft in several countries, including to the Peruvian government, and a second major purchase agreement for four Viking Series 400 Twin Otters has been executed with PT Airfast Indonesia.

Each aircraft costs US$6 million.

The aircraft are scheduled for delivery in 2012 and 2014, and will be configured for land operations to expand Airfast Indonesia’s current fleet of three legacy Twin Otters, used for charter-flights for the mining industry.

"This Summer, we are going to start certification with your regulator," he said.

The aircraft will also be made available for viewing by commercial, military, and government organizations in Surabaya on March 1.