Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Airport to require contracts before giving money to nonprofits

The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority indicated Wednesday that it will seek signed contracts from now on for money it gives to nonprofits such as the Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce.

The authority has given money to civic groups without a written agreement, including the chamber and some of its related groups.

That can lead to misunderstandings, said authority board member Frank Kruppenbacher.

"It's left things to anybody's interpretation," said Kruppenbacher, who sought for and received a report from

Kruppenbacher's request came after a series of stories in the Orlando Sentinel detailing how tax dollars have been given to the Central Florida Partnership and its subsidiaries such as the chamber.

The four-page memo from Airport Director Phil Brown said almost $110,000 was sent to nonprofits during the 2011-12 fiscal year. United Arts received the biggest check, $50,000, while the chamber got $7,600. Neither had a signed deal.

Since 2005, Workforce Central Florida, a taxpayer funded jobs agency, has given more than $250,000 to the partnership and its related groups. Other agencies receiving tax dollars have given to the partnership, too, including an arm called, that has received about $2 million since 2002.

Overall, the airport authority has given $63,255, with a little less than half going to, according to a memo Central Florida Partnership President Jacob Stuart recently sent to members.

Kruppenbacher, whose sister-in-law Shelley Lauten is president of myregion, said he was not objecting to the contributions, just that they should be done in a "transparent" manner.

It is important that contracts are made so both sides understand "here is what we are paying you for. Here is what we will get," he said.

Authority Chairman Cesar Calvet said he supports having contracts with nonprofits and defended the chamber and its groups. "I'm a great believer," he said.

Brown said the chamber and affiliated arms helped the airport market itself to airlines, aided top officials in strategy sessions and provided access to top business executives in the area.

Board members did not comment publicly on Kruppenbacher's remarks Wednesday nor did they vote on any policy changes. But Brown said after the meeting that Kruppenbacher's suggestions would be followed.

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, who also serves on the airport board, made a similar request about contributions to chamber groups from the Orlando Orange County Expressway Authority. Jacobs serves on the expressway board, too.

Stuart did not respond to requests for comment Wednesday, but in a Feb. 18 email to civic leaders he wrote that "we should not hesitate to combine our efforts ... and leverage our resources for the good of the community."

Piper division receives parts contract

VERO BEACH — Piper Aircraft Services-Manufacturing has received a contract for about $90,000 in machined parts from Triton Submarines LLC of Vero Beach.

Piper President and Chief Executive Officer Simon Caldecott said Triton's "vigorous design goals and manufacturing standards are consistent with Piper's precision manufacturing process. This is a perfect example of the kind of work that Piper Aircraft Services can accomplish."

Triton Chief Executive Officer Bruce Jones said the partnership "seems like a natural fit in that both our products are manufactured to high safety standards and are relied upon in harsh environments. We are looking forward to partnering on additional work beyond this first contract."

Triton was established in 2007 to manufacture manned submersibles designed exclusively for yacht-based deployment. It is a subsidiary of U.S. Submarines Inc.

Piper Aircraft Services-Manufacturing is a business unit of Piper Aircraft Inc.

Beechcraft 35 Bonanza, Sale Reported (Alchemation LLC), N3871N: Accident occurred March 21, 2012 in Glencoe, Minnesota

NTSB Identification: CEN12FA196 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, March 21, 2012 in Glencoe, MN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/11/2012
Aircraft: BEECH 35, registration: N3871N
Injuries: 3 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The non-instrument-rated private pilot was conducting the accident flight under visual flight rules without a flight plan. Witnesses in the area reported hearing the airplane flying from east to west but could not see the airplane due to the low clouds and reduced visibility. Subsequently, the witnesses heard a loud crack and then the impact of the airplane with the ground. Based upon witness statements and reported weather conditions near the accident site, the flight encountered instrument meteorological conditions. The distribution of the wreckage was consistent with an in-flight breakup starting with the separation of the left wing followed by the separation of the empennage. All fracture surfaces were consistent with overload failure. An examination of the remaining systems revealed no anomalies. There was no record of the pilot receiving a preflight weather briefing from a recorded source.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The non-instrument-rated pilot’s continued flight into instrument meteorological conditions, which resulted in the design limits of the airplane being exceeded and an in-flight breakup.


On March 21, 2012, at 1112 central daylight time, a Beech 35, N3871N, was substantially damaged when it impacted an open field under unknown circumstances five miles north of Glencoe, Minnesota. A post impact fire ensued. The non-instrument rated private pilot and two passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated without a flight plan. The flight originated from Crystal Airport (KMIC), Minneapolis, Minnesota, and was en route to Craig, Colorado.

Several witnesses in the area reported hearing an airplane flying low and hearing a loud snap or pop. One witness heard a second explosion as the airplane struck the ground. These witnesses described the weather as low overcast skies with limited visibility due to light fog and mist. There was no radar data available from the Federal Aviation Administration for the accident flight.


The pilot, age 52, held a private pilot certificate with a single engine land rating. He was issued a third class airman medical certificate on October 28, 2011. The certificate contained the limitation “must wear corrective lenses.” At the time of application for his airman medical certificate, the pilot reported a total time of 250 hours, and no flight time within the preceding six months.

The pilot’s family provided the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Investigator-in-Charge two logbooks for review. A third logbook, the pilot’s training logbook was not requested and was retained by the family; 57.5 hours of flight instruction and 41.1 hours of solo flight time were recorded in this logbook. The first logbook covered the time between June 23, 2005, and June 13, 2009. During this time, the pilot logged 117 hours in an Alon A-2A. There were no endorsements recorded in this logbook and no instrument flight hours logged.

The second logbook covered the time between November 10, 2011, and March 11, 2012. During this time, the pilot logged 32.6 hours of flight time, 24.2 of which were logged in the accident airplane. On November 12, 2011, the pilot completed the requirements of a flight review and received a pilot-in-command endorsement for the operations of complex aircraft. The two logbooks did not reflect any instrument training or instrument experience. The pilot did not have an endorsement for operating high performance aircraft.


The accident airplane, a Beech 35 (serial number D1113), was manufactured in 1947. It was registered with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on a standard airworthiness certificate for normal operations. A Continental Motors E-185-11 engine rated at 205 horsepower at 2,600 rpm powered the airplane. The engine was equipped with a two-blade, propeller. According to the previous owner, the airplane was not certified, nor was it maintained for flight into instrument meteorological conditions.

The airplane was maintained under an annual inspection program. A review of the maintenance records indicated that an annual inspection had been completed on March 22, 2011, at an airframe total time of 4,744.0 hours, and a tachometer time of 595.7.


Surface observations from Glencoe Municipal Airport (KGYL) in Glencoe, Minnesota, which was located approximately 5 miles south-southeast of the accident site, indicated instrument flight rule (IFR) conditions prevailed at KGYL at the time of the accident. At 1116, a KGYL automated observation reported: wind from 200 degrees at 7 knots, visibility of 5 miles, mist, ceiling overcast at 900 feet above ground level, temperature 14 degrees Celsius (C) and dew point temperature 13 degrees C, altimeter setting 29.98 inches of mercury, Remarks: station with a precipitation discriminator, hourly temperature 14.1 degrees C and hourly dew point temperature 12.7 degrees C.

METAR KGYL 211515Z AUTO 20007KT 5SM BR OVC009 14/13 A2998 RMK AO2 T01400127
METAR KGYL 211536Z AUTO 20008KT 5SM BR BKN007 OVC019 14/13 A2998 RMK AO2 T01400127
METAR KGYL 211556Z AUTO 19007KT 4SM BR BKN007 OVC016 14/13 A2998 RMK AO2 T01420130
METAR KGYL 211616Z AUTO 20007KT 5SM BR OVC009 14/13 A2998 RMK AO2 T01410127
METAR KGYL 211636Z AUTO 22006KT 5SM BR OVC007 14/13 A2998 RMK AO2 T01420126

Imagery retrieved from the WSR-88d weather radar near Minneapolis, Minnesota (KMPX), indicated the area of the accident site would not have been affected by phenomena associated with convective weather.

Wind data below 3,000 feet retrieved from commercial aircraft arriving and departing Minneapolis-St. Paul International/Wold-Chamberlain Airport (KMSP) near the accident time identified relatively light wind magnitudes (< 10 knots). Data from these aircraft identified the freezing level to be between 9,500 and 10,000 feet.

There were no publically disseminated pilot reports made within two hours of the accident time in Minnesota. An Airman’s Meteorological Information (AIRMET) advisory for IFR conditions was active for the accident location at the accident time. An AIRMET advisory for moderate icing between the freezing level and flight level 180 was active for the accident location at the accident time. No AIRMETs for turbulence were active below flight level 180 for the accident location at the accident time. No SIGMETs were active for the accident location at the accident time.

The Area Forecast active for the accident time forecasted: for southwest Minnesota – ceiling overcast at 2,500 feet mean sea level (msl) with occasional visibility of 3 to 5 miles, light rain and mist; for southeast Minnesota – scattered clouds at 3,000 feet msl, broken ceiling at 5,000 feet msl, widely scattered light rain showers, with ceiling lowering to between 3,000 and 3,500 feet msl after 0700.

The pilot contacted the Direct User Access Terminal System (DUATS) on March 21, 2012, at 0536 universal time coordinate and requested temporary flight restriction information for the continuous United States. The pilot did not request weather information for his route of flight, nor did he file a flight plan. Investigators were unable to locate any evidence that the pilot obtained a weather briefing through recorded services.


The wreckage was scattered over 900 feet between two plowed fields divided by a field service road. The northern field was a dormant cornfield and the southern field was a dormant soybean field. Small red paint chips were scattered throughout the entire debris field and along the flight path described by the ground witness. The debris field was oriented from west to east, with the energy vector on a measured heading of 108 degrees.

The western most portion of the debris field initiated with a portion of the leading edge skin from the left wing. The sheet metal was 70 inches long and was torn and wrinkled. Several additional pieces of torn sheet metal and ribs from the left wing were located 15 feet to the east of this portion of the left wing.

A second piece of sheet metal from the left wing was located to the east of the start of the debris field. The pitot tube remained attached on the bottom portion of the skin and was impacted with mud. Plexiglas, the landing light lens, navigation antennae, paint chips, the lower spar cap, and small pieces of torn sheet metal were all located within the initial portion of the debris field.

The left aileron and a portion of left wing skin were found next in the debris field. The piece was 80 inches long, and was torn and buckled. The bell crank separated from this portion of the left wing assembly. A small portion of the aft wing spar remained attached.

The left flap and a portion of left wing skin were next in the debris field. The piece was 87 inches long and included a portion of the rear left wing spar cap. The left flap actuator was attached to the separated left wing aft spar and the left flap attachment. The left flap actuator extension was measured and found to be approximately 2 and 1/16 inches, which corresponds to a 2 degree flap position.

An inboard leading edge portion of the left wing root, to include the fuel tank bladder was 47 inches long. The fuel bladder was torn and no residual fuel was present in the tank.
The empennage was located on the service road between the north and south fields. The empennage included the ruddervator, the stabilator, and the aft portion of the fuselage. The right leading edge was unremarkable. The left leading edge was crushed and dented. The skin on the fuselage, adjacent to the left leading edge attach-point, contained black marks. The ruddervator remained attached to the stabilator. The elevator trim actuator extension was measured and found to be 13/16 inch, which corresponds to a 10 degrees trim tab trailing edge down. The bottom portion of the empennage skin was crushed up and broken.

Both ruddervator counter weights were located in the north field, east of the empennage.
The left main landing gear assembly included the wheel, tire, brake assembly, and gear door cover. The assembly was impact damaged and embedded with mud but was otherwise unremarkable.

The first extensive ground scar initiated in the southern field, just south of the service road. The scar was 8 feet long and 8 inches at its widest point. The scar was shallow in depth and the ruts of the field prevented an accurate measurement of depth.

The second ground scar started 17 feet southeast of the end of the first ground scar. The second ground scar had two larger craters with dirt displaced towards the southeast. The scar was 18 feet in length, 10 feet 6 inches at its widest point, and approximately 12 inches at the deepest point. There was a strong smell of aviation fuel within the dirt of the crater. The second scar contained structure from the wing, fragmented fuselage skin, and wood from the cabin flooring.

The differential mechanism assembly for the elevator and rudder control was located within the debris field and remained entangled with a piece of fuselage skin. The left and right rudder cables were intact. Both cables were attached to their respective bellcrank mechanism and both were separated from the forward bellcrank. The rudder balance cables were intact. One end of the cable was attached to the left rudder differential mechanism while the other end was separated from the right rudder differential mechanism. The UP elevator cable was attached to the differential mechanism. The UP elevator cable was separated with signatures consistent with tension overload. The DOWN elevator cable (small cable), between the differential mechanism and the reduction bellcrank, was attached to the differential mechanism, but was separated from the reduction bellcrank. The DOWN elevator cable (long cable) was attached to the separated reduction bellcrank and the other end of the cable was separated with signatures consistent with tension overload. The elevator trim cables were intact and attached to the trim tab bellcrank and to each trim control surface.

The main wreckage was located 80 feet southeast from the end of the last ground scar. The main wreckage included the right wing assembly and forward fuselage.

The right wing included the right flap, right aileron, the right main landing gear assembly, and part of the main carry through structure. The right wing came to rest inverted and was separated from the fuselage. The bottom portion of the right wing exhibited thermal damage. The fuel tank was compromised and exhibited exposure to heat and fire. There was no residual fuel. The inboard leading edge was crushed at the landing light. The landing gear actuator was in a position consistent with the landing gear being retracted or up. The rear main carry through spar separated at midspan and remained attached to the right wing. Aileron continuity was confirmed from the aileron quadrant located at the center section of the fuselage to the right aileron and to the left aileron outboard bellcrank assembly. The left aileron push/pull tube was separated. Each of the separated ends was attached to the left aileron bellcrank and the left aileron. The aileron quadrant located at the center section of the fuselage was separated. Continuity from the quadrant to the cockpit was confirmed with cable separations consistent with tension overload. The right flap actuator was attached to the right wing aft spar and the flap attachment. The flap actuator extension was measured and found to be 1 and 3/4 inches, which corresponds to 0 degrees - a flap up position.

The engine separated from the airframe and came to rest 20 feet to the south of the main wreckage. The engine contained the propeller, propeller flange, and engine accessories. Blade A was bent aft and twisted. Blade B was relatively straight and exhibited slight twisting, leading edge polishing, and chord wise scratches. Both magnetos remained attached to the engine. The leads were mangled during the impact. Both magnetos were removed from the engine and rotated by hand; both produced a spark at each lead. Valve covers were removed on both sides. The cylinder 2/4/6 side of the engine sustained impact damage and the rocker arms and valve train area was embedded with mud. The top bank of spark plugs was removed revealing normal operating signatures as compared to the Champion Aviation Check-A-Plug chart. A boroscope of the engine cylinders revealed no anomalies. The engine was rotated through by hand and power train continuity was confirmed. Thumb compression was noted on all cylinders except the number four cylinder. The intake valve on the number four cylinder would not close fully due to impact damage. The vacuum pump rotated, by hand, without hesitation or binding. Air movement was noted during the rotation.

A portion of the forward fuselage was adjacent and east of the right wing. The forward portion of the fuselage included the forward cabin structure, and the instrument panel. The instrument panel and cabin structure was charred, melted, and partially consumed by fire.
The cabin door and fragmented pieces of the fuselage were scattered to the east of the main wreckage. The fuselage structure exhibited exposure to heat and fire. Only the frame of the cabin seats remained and the skin and seats where charred, melted, and partially consumed by fire.

The top forward fuselage skin, antenna assembly, and battery were the farthest east components in the debris field and were located 15 feet east of the cargo door.


The Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office performed the autopsy on the pilot on March 22, 2012. The autopsy concluded that the cause of death was multiple blunt force injuries and the report listed the specific injuries.

The FAA’s Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI), Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicological tests on specimens that were collected during the autopsy (CAMI Reference #201200056002). Tests for carbon monoxide and cyanide were not performed. Results were negative for volatiles and drugs.


The wreckage was recovered and relocated to a hangar in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The left wing was laid out on the hangar floor in the correct anatomical position to understand damage, fragmentation, and impact angles. When laid out, the left wing exhibited bending in an upward direction. The left wing was fragmented into several smaller pieces. The leading edge of the left wing separated into two main sections. The first section extended from the wing root out board to the landing light. The tops skin on this section near the wing root exhibited an upward compression bend. The outboard section was crushed and wrinkled. The forward upper and lower spar caps separated from the wing spar. Both spar caps were twisted and bent. The lower spar cap was partially separated at midspan.

The flap assembly remained attached to the separated wing section. The flap actuator remained attached to the flap and the wing structure. The outboard separation point was at the junction of the wing flap and aileron. The flap exhibited aft diagonal buckling, at midspan, in an upward direction.

The aileron remained attached to the separated wing section. The wing skin and aileron were bent approximately 45 degrees at the outward hinge point. The aileron push pull rod was separated; one end remained attached to the aileron and the other end was attached to the separated bell crank. The aileron and wing skin exhibited extensive red paint transfer and scratching. The aileron exhibited paint transfer scratches consistent in spacing with rivets.
The forward carry through spar had been modified by supplemental type certificate SA 222 – CE. The carry through spar separated partially approximately midspan. The second point of separation was outboard towards the left wing root. The second point of separation exhibited upward bending and forward to aft twisting. The corresponding mating surface was impact damaged and fragmented. The rear carry through spar was broken into several smaller pieces.

The forward upper and lower carry-through spar were secured and sent to the NTSB Materials Laboratory in Washington, DC, for further examination. The fracture surfaces on the components were cleaned and visually examined. All fracture surfaces exhibited slant fractures consistent with overstress failure.

Investigators examine the wreckage of a plane that crashed Wednesday, March 21, 2012 in Glencoe, Minn. A local sheriff says three adults have died in the crash of a small plane in central Minnesota's McLeod County.

What happened in Glencoe?

As usual in the immediate aftermath of a plane crash, some of the initial facts and witness accounts don't quite add up. That's the case for the plane crash in Glencoe today that claimed three lives.

The accident occurred around 11 a.m.

The plane was not under air traffic control supervision, according to FAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Isham Cory.

That's one part that doesn't add up. Here's why: This is the weather observation at the nearby airport at the time of the crash, according to the website, FlightAware.

The weather at the time of the crash was five miles visibility and overcast at 900 feet above the ground. In that area, the so-called Class E airspace begins at 700 feet above the ground and requires the pilot to stay 500 feet below clouds. That's fairly impossible in this case, it would have required the pilot to fly 200 feet above the ground (and there are three towers in the vicinity that are at least 300 feet high). Just minutes before the crash, the cloud cover was reported as "broken," indicating deteriorating weather.

That means the pilot was likely operating in instrument flight conditions, which would have required him/her to be in some sort of contact with air traffic control. If he/she wasn't -- as the FAA indicated -- it means the pilot was flying by visual flight rules in conditions when VFR flight isn't allowed.

Meanwhile, just a few dozen miles away at Flying Cloud airport, the clouds were 2,700 feet above the ground, plenty of room for legal VFR flight.

In the other direction -- Marshall -- the cloud ceilings quickly went from 4100 feet to 600 feet around the time of the crash.

There is, of course, no proof that the pilot wandered inadvertently into instrument conditions, however we know a couple of things: (a) the conditions were right to trap a pilot into flying into so-called IMC and (b) inadvertent flight into instrument meteorological conditions is one of the most common causes of aircraft accidents.

Here's what it looks like when it happens:

It's not known -- yet -- whether the pilot in today's crash was instrument rated. If so, he/she would've contacted air traffic control. If not, it's very easy to lose situational awareness and a sense of which way is "up," that often leads to a stall/spin. So can efforts to stay out of such conditions.

It's possible -- since we don't know where the plane was traveling from or to -- that the plane encountered an engine malfunction, but the relatively concentrated area of the wreckage does not suggest an attempt at an emergency landing, at least judging by this photo from MPR photographer Jeffrey Thompson.


That, of course, is not to say there wasn't an attempt at an emergency landing, but even with wet and plowed fields, the flat terrain in the area is conducive to a successful emergency landing attempt. The Star Tribune reported a witness in the area heard "popping sounds" shortly before the crash, but such reports have been shown to be notoriously unreliable in previous crash investigations.

It's a mystery, but not one without clues to consider.


GLENCOE, Minn. - Authorities are confirming that three people are dead after a small plane went down in McLeod County Wednesday afternoon.

McLeod County Sheriff Scott Rehmann says the plane crashed in a field about four miles north of Glencoe and broke apart. He says there are no survivors in the crash.

The Federal Aviation Administration says the crash was reported at 11:12 a.m. Wednesday. Witnesses report hearing a popping noise and then heard the impact of the plane hitting the ground.

Rehmann reports that the medical examiner is at the scene, and FAA investigators are en route.

Witnesses tell KARE 11 that the plane was flying close to the ground before it crashed, and that low clouds or fog may have contributed. They describe the plane as a Beechcraft Bonanza 35 airplane.

Those who arrived on scene before emergency personnel say the victims appeared to be a family, describing them as a man, woman and teenage child. They say there was a bakery bag from St. Cloud with three scones in it, indicating the flight may have originated there.

There were also three dogs on board that did not survive.

The small plane went down in a field about four miles north of Glencoe, authorities said.

"Right now, we're just trying to piece together what happened," said McLeod County Sheriff Scott Rehmann, who went to the scene of the accident.

Rehmann said witnesses heard a loud pop from the single-engine prop plane, and then heard the aircraft crash.

The Federal Aviation Administration says it understands three people died.

Rehmann said he did not know where the plane was headed or where it took off from. The victims have been identified. But their names won't be released until family members are notified.

GLENCOE, Minn. (AP) — Federal investigators have arrived at a single-engine plane crash in Minnesota that killed all three people aboard.

McLeod County Sheriff Scott Rehmann (RAY'-muhn) says the plane went down in a field about four miles north of Glencoe, which is about 50 miles southwest of Minneapolis. Rehmann says witnesses reported hearing a popping noise and then the impact of the plane crashing. He says the plane broke apart and there are no survivors.

Rehmann says all three victims were adults. Names of the victims have not been released.

The sheriff says investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration arrived about 3 p.m. Wednesday. He says the National Transportation Safety Board also is expected to investigate.

The FAA says the crash was reported at 11:12 a.m.

 Photo Gallery

GLENCOE, MINN. - Richard Gebhardt was heading across his farmyard to repair a tractor when he heard a roar and looked up into the low, drizzling clouds just after 11 a.m. Wednesday.

"At first I thought it was a jet; it was so low and so loud it almost made me want to duck," Gebhardt said. "Just that quick, it swooped right over and was gone."

The sound of a double explosion shook the muddy farm fields, and Gebhardt saw black smoke billowing across the road. He jumped in his pickup, called 911 on his cellphone and rushed to the scene.

But his hope of being able to help was quickly dashed when he found the bodies of three adults and three pet dogs thrown from the wreckage amid flames and smoke.

A relative identified the victims as 52-year-old pilot Stuart Dahlberg of Brooklyn Center; his mother, 76-year-old Mae Dahlberg of St. Cloud, and his wife, Ivelisse.

David Dahlberg said his brother was flying the three of them to Colorado to watch a high school play that his sister, a choral and drama director, was opening this weekend.

A classical pianist and longtime piano teacher, Mae Dahlberg rarely missed the performances of her daughter's students, David Dahlberg said.

Investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration combed through the crash site late into the night, hoping to figure out what went wrong.

"My brother is a careful guy when it comes to flying," David said, adding that Stuart Dahlberg owned the four-seat plane they were traveling in, a 1947 single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza.

David Dahlberg said his mother, an only child, earned a music education degree from Concordia College in Moorhead and married her husband, Francis Dahlberg, after graduation. She was a North Dakota farm wife for a big part of her life, cooking four meals a day for hired hands, keeping the house and teaching her children piano as part of their upbringing.

The family transitioned to an urban life when his father decided he wanted to work instead as a stockbroker specializing in commodity markets and moved them all to Minnetonka in the early 1970s, David Dahlberg said. Francis Dahlberg died in 2010.

Stuart Dahlberg, a computer programming consultant, was once an avid motorcycle rider, a master scuba diver, certified ski patrol member and flew airplanes for the past several years, his brother said. He had flown their mother to Colorado at least once before, he said.

David Dahlberg, who spoke on the phone from New Jersey, said his family is close, even though two of the four children live out of state. Another sister lives in Alexandria, Minn.

Mae Dahlberg was "difficult to rattle, never worried about much," he said. "My mom was my best friend after my wife."

Stuart Dahlberg was "idiosyncratic, a very bright guy, a stubborn guy," his brother said. It was ironic that his brother died in a plane crash, he said, after surviving a lot of near-misses in his life, including falling at a construction site as a boy and totaling motorcycles as an adult.

David Dahlberg said the family was in shock Wednesday night over what had happened.

The plane's wreckage was scattered over a 250-yard swath of black farm soil and crop stubble. Blue tarps covered the bodies until they were removed about 5 p.m.

"It sounded like 50 pileups at once -- it was a great big bang," said Matt Odenbrett, who was feeding calves on his farm about 3 miles away. He thinks he heard the plane's engine misfiring and wonders if the pilot was trying to land.

Gebhardt, 60, who has lived on his soybean and corn farm about 4 miles north of Glencoe his entire life, said the plane was traveling very fast. He said it was heading west when it came over his farm. But the scattered wreckage looked like it crashed while heading east, so he wonders if the pilot was trying to turn around.

A small grove of trees stands nearby, and Gebhardt thinks the plane was flying so low it might have clipped some branches with its wings.

"My initial reaction was that he was going too fast and too low," Gebhardt said. "This is awful, this is a total disaster and there was nothing in the world we could do."

Etihad will use iPad for aircraft training - Licensed aircraft engineers take part in trial

Dubai: Etihad Airways said it is one of the world's first airlines to roll out aircraft type training courses using tablet technology.

The airline is training its 200 licensed aircraft engineers with an iPad app developed by SR Technics.

Eleven Etihad Airways licensed aircraft engineers took part in an initial trial, which focused on type training for the airline's fleet of 11 Airbus A340 aircraft. Now Etihad Airways is using aircraft type training course tablet technology for its complete range of technical type training.

Only licensed engineers who have successfully completed a recognised aircraft type training course are authorised to certify maintenance work carried out on a particular type of aircraft. SR Technics, part of the Mubadala Aerospace Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) Network, is one of the first companies in the world to introduce tablet technology into aircraft type training courses, the aim of which is to replace traditional training manuals and enhance the training experience.

Etihad Airways senior vice president technical Werner Rothenbaecher said: "We have found that using such technology allows for more efficient and effective training, and one of the major benefits of the iPad is that additional supporting materials may now be included in the interactive manuals such as images, videos, cockpit voice recordings and incidents reports." 

American Eagle to cut about 13 percent of operating costs

ARLINGTON - AMR could lay out more job cuts today, with their aim likely at pilots, flight attendants, mechanics and ground workers at American Eagle.

Union members met with AMR leaders to discuss the proposed cuts at the American Airlines Training Center in Arlington today.

AMR announced they will be cutting roughly 13 percent of American Eagle's operating costs, which is seven percent less than was previously cut from American.

A source who was in the meeting this morning said AMR wants $78 million in concessions from its American Eagle unions. Specific cuts were to be laid out later in the afternoon.

American Eagle employs about 13,000 people. Analysts said they expect the bulk of the layoffs to hit mechanics and ground workers.

AMR announced $1.5 billion in cuts for the larger American Airlines on February 1. The cuts equaled to a nearly 20 percent reduction across the board.

Analysts said for American Eagle to compete with other regional carriers, it will need to operate larger planes that carry 70 to 90 passengers versus the smaller 50-seater air crafts. That will require major work rule changes for pilots.

The Transport Workers Union, which was targeted for nearly 9,000 jobs of American's 13,000 total cuts, said it expects to take the brunt once again. They expects to see outsourcing for maintenance and cabin crews as part of American Eagle's plan.

The flight attendants have already scheduled meetings with accountants and attorneys for Thursday. They want to define the cuts and start negotiations as soon as possible.


Bahrain Air announces 4 more flights to Kerala

Dubai: Bahrain Airways has announced four more flights to Trivandrum, underlining that Kerala is an important destination for the airline as a large number of Indians living in the Gulf are from the state.

Bahrain Air has announced four flights a week to Trivandrum with plans to increase it to seven flights a week by the summer.

With the milestone of seven flights a week to Trivandrum, Kerala will constitute 80 per cent of Bahrain Air's India capacity, with 17 flights a week across Cochin, Calicut and Trivandrum.

The airline's Managing Director Captain Ibrahim Al Hamer said that the Indian Sub Continent remains a key focus area for Bahrain Air and Kerala continues to be an important destination.

"Currently there are about 350,000 Keralites in Bahrain and another 400,000 in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. This new route to Trivandrum, once again reiterates our commitment to improve our services and meet the needs of our customers within the region," he said.

"We are positive for the future and traffic rights permitting we will continue to increase flights to India as we take more aircrafts in the future," he added.


Southwest Airlines introduces first of new, larger Boeing 737s in its fleet

DALLAS — Southwest Airlines Co. is rolling out some new, larger planes that will start hauling passengers next month.

The airline introduced its first Boeing 737-800 on Wednesday during a launch party for several hundred employees in a hangar at its Dallas headquarters.

The plane holds 175 passengers, compared with 137 on the biggest jet now in Southwest’s fleet, the 737-700. The extra 38 seats should mean more revenue per flight.

“It’s going to make us more profitable from day one,” said chief operating officer Mike Van de Ven.

The new plane has higher ceilings and more overhead bin space than other Southwest planes and will be equipped for wireless Internet access.

Southwest plans to get 33 of the new planes this year, and 41 next year, while retiring a similar number of older jets. Southwest has more than 550 planes, not counting its AirTran Airways subsidiary.

If it passes operating tests, Wednesday’s plane will join the fleet on April 11. Southwest plans to use it and other 737-800s mostly on long-haul flights out of Baltimore, Chicago and Florida airports, then in Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

It could also be used at New York’s LaGuardia Airport and Washington’s Reagan National Airport, where Southwest has limited takeoff and landing slots, Van de Ven said.

Eventually the new plane could allow Southwest to fly to Hawaii and the Caribbean, said CEO Gary Kelly. First, the airline needs to negotiate Hawaiian-trip pay scales for union pilots and flight attendants, he said.

“As long as you have the demand for 175 customers, it’s a really good business decision,” Kelly said.

Extra seating is a recurring theme at Southwest, which needs more revenue to offset high jet fuel costs. The airline is installing new, thinner seats on its 369 Boeing 737-700s, making room for another row with six seats.

The 737-800 is Southwest’s first new model since it added the 737-700 in 1997. The bigger plane means Southwest flights will require an additional flight attendant, but executives said that will be offset by more revenue and lower fuel and maintenance costs than with older jets.

Southwest has the world’s largest all-Boeing fleet.

Southwest Airlines Announces Executive Changes in Technology Department

DALLAS, March 21, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Southwest Airlines LUV -0.83% today announced executive changes within the Technology Department at the Company.

Randy Sloan has been named Vice President and Chief Information Officer. In this role, Sloan will oversee all Technology functions at Southwest Airlines. Sloan comes to Southwest from Pepsi Co., where he worked for 25 years in various management roles. Most recently, Sloan served as Senior Vice President and CIO for PepsiCo International with responsibilities for all business transformation and supporting technology for PepsiCo's Europe, Asia, Middle East, Africa, and Latin America businesses. Prior roles held include Vice President and CIO for PepsiCo's European businesses based in Switzerland, Vice President of Enterprise Systems Development including the support of all supply chain capabilities within the North American businesses, and many management roles primarily supporting the manufacturing, supply chain, and go-to-market functions. Prior to PepsiCo, Sloan began his career with Texas Instruments as a programmer.

Kathleen Wayton, Southwest's current Vice President Change Leadership and Business Performance, has been promoted to Vice President Technology, Commercial Portfolio. In this role, Wayton will oversee an expanded portfolio that charts the course for future strategic commercial capabilities and provides solutions for, Network Planning & Revenue Management, Customer Loyalty Programs (Rapid Rewards), Airport Concourse, Customer Support & Services, and Optimization Solutions. Wayton joined Southwest in 2004 as a Director in Technology, leading the Enterprise Data Team. She was then promoted to Senior Director over the Rapid Rewards and teams. In April 2007, she moved to the Strategic Planning group as a Senior Director. Prior to joining Southwest Airlines, Wayton worked for Capital One Auto Finance in their technology organization, and has more than 20 years of experience in the travel and transportation industry.

Jeff Buhr, Southwest's current Senior Director Technology, has been promoted to Vice President Technology, Aircraft Operations Portfolio. In this role, Buhr will be responsible for Leading Southwest's Technology solutions for Crew & Operations, Maintenance, Operations Coordination Center (OCC), as well as Airport Operations/Cargo/Ramp. Since joining Southwest Airlines in February 2010, Buhr has served in a Senior Leadership role within the Technology Department. Prior to joining Southwest, Buhr founded Trinity Integrated Solutions, Inc., a company that provides business process consulting and I.T. solutions to clients across various industries, including food and beverage, health care, and logistics. He served more than 13 years in various Leadership positions at Frito-Lay, Inc., where he was ultimately responsible for delivering supply chain and process-changing solutions across their manufacturing/distribution facilities and logistics network.

All changes are effective April 2, 2012.

For photos and bios, visit .

About Southwest AirlinesIn its 40th year of service, Southwest Airlines continues to differentiate itself from other low-fare carriers--offering a reliable product with exemplary Customer Service. Southwest Airlines is the nation's largest carrier in terms of originating domestic passengers boarded and has recently acquired AirTran Airways, now a wholly owned subsidiary of Southwest Airlines Co. Southwest serves 73 cities in 38 states and is one of the most honored airlines in the world known for its commitment to the triple bottom line of Performance, People, and Planet. To read more about how Southwest is doing its part to be a good citizen, visit to read the Southwest Airlines One Report(TM). Based in Dallas, Southwest currently operates more than 3,200 flights a day and has more than 35,000 Employees systemwide.

SOURCE Southwest Airlines

JetOptions Adds One Way and Empty Leg Private Jet Charter Segments to its Website

JetOptions, a worldwide on demand private jet charter company, announces enhanced ability to arrange One-Way and Empty-Leg Charter Flights.
Dallas, TX (PRWEB) March 21, 2012 

JetOptions Private Jets has added One Way and Empty Leg Private Jet Charter segments to its website in order to enhance their consumers ability to save on private jet charters worldwide. The link to access these special rates is One way flight or empty legs can work for travelers wishing to save on private air travel if they are flexible. If a person is only flying one way because they are staying a long time or have other transportation for the return, a one-way or empty leg flight is definitely something to consider – if a match can be found. The price of the flight is absolutely negotiable. 

Sometimes, starting and ending points are negotiable, too. ”We will consider traveling to any city between these two points and adjust the price accordingly, but you don't always need an empty leg to save because we offer excellent one way and point to point pricing,” said Gus Lira, Jet Charter Sales VP at JetOptions.

Empty Leg flights also come with a few caveats and limitations. Here are some examples:

To match up with another customer’s flight, the charterer may need to be flexible on travel dates, times of departure and aircraft type.

A flight could be impacted by the other customers’ schedule changes. Potential travelers on empty leg segments should ask how these changes will affect them.

A cancellation fee may be charged if plans change last minute. 

Empty Leg flights aren’t always the perfect solution. Flexibility and willingness to negotiate are necessary in order to save money. But money isn’t everything. A charter company should be qualified along with the aircraft and crews before booking.

About JetOptions

JetOptions Jet Charter is a world-class provider of on-demand private jet charter services. Operating worldwide, 365 days a year, the company uses over 3500 aircraft, 5000 airports and a unique online booking system to allow its customers to charter a jet to any corner of the globe with a moment’s notice.
With 20 years of experience, the company has grown to have offices located in Dallas, Malibu and Miami. The company has jet charter sales experts who can arrange a private jet for it's clients often in 2 hours or less and with point to point pricing.

Piper PA-23-250 Aztec D, Royal Air Charter Service Inc., RP-C6883: Accident occurred March 21, 2012 at Roxas Airport (RPVR), Philippines

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Philippines—A four-seat light plane carrying live fish bound for Manila crashed while taking off at around 9:30 a.m. Wednesday from the municipal airstrip of Roxas town, some 90 kilometers north of the provincial capital.

Both the pilot and his co-pilot, the only persons on the single engine aircraft with tail number RPC 6883, escaped with no injuries but the plane itself was split in the middle upon impact on the ground, according to an initial police report.

The report said the plane was unable to complete its takeoff and crashed at the end of the runway in Barangay (village) Retac, Roxas.

Man who shone laser at police helicopter forced pilot to make emergency landing

A man  who shone a laser pointer at a police helicopter while out walking his dog forced the pilot to make an emergency landing.

Stuart Bowering, right, now faces a possible jail sentence after a court heard his actions impaired the crew's vision and caused them to abort their intelligence-gathering mission.

The incident last December is just one of what police say is a growing number of attacks on aircraft with laser pointers, which emit a concentrated beam of light and are designed for indoor use to highlight items during presentations. But they can dazzle and distract drivers and pilots at long distances if shone at their eyes.

At Bristol Magistrates' Court yesterday Bowering pleaded guilty to a charge of negligently acting in a manner likely to endanger an aircraft.

The court heard the 31-year-old was walking his dog near his home in Hawkfield Road, Hartcliffe, at about 9.10pm on December 3, when the laser pointer he was shining into the sky connected with a police helicopter. The green light from the pen refracted from the cockpit canopy and impaired the vision of pilot Paul Maddox, forcing him to head to seek a landing at the nearest possible opportunity at Bristol Airport.

Jeremy Oliver, prosecuting, said: "Mr Maddox says he saw a green light enter the cockpit, which lasted for approximately 15 seconds. He said, 'I was aware that the laser light could distract me and put temporary black spots in my vision'."

Richard Simms, who was riding alongside Mr Maddox as an observer when the incident occurred, said: "The shafts of light were moving around the cockpit, restricting me from my task."

Bowering was immediately traced after police were alerted on the ground and when arrested he told them he had borrowed the laser pen from a friend and did not realise the beam would reach so far.

Mr Oliver added: "When the defendant was shown the CCTV images from the helicopter he said he was shocked at the power of the beam."

Emily Evens, defending Bowering, said: "He says he was shining it in the sky and it was making a pretty pattern when the helicopter flew into the beam.

"He was aware it was an offence to shine a laser pen at a helicopter."

Presiding magistrate Michael Loughlin told Bowering he would have to be sentenced at Bristol Crown Court as the magistrates – who can impose a maximum sentence of six months' imprisonment – did not feel they would be able to impose an adequate sentence.

During the hearing a statement from a Metropolitan Police expert described the dangers laser pens can cause.

It read: "A pilot needs approximately 13 minutes to adapt to night flying. The low level that they fly at means they need to have very good vision. Through the refractions on the glass, a laser pen could obscure this vision from inside the cockpit."

After the case Chief Superintendent Lawrie Lewis, Avon and Somerset Police's Head of Operations, told the Evening Post of his concern at the increasing number of similar incidents.

He said: "In 2010 there were 90 reported laser hits against aircraft and last year more than 100 incidents involving aircraft and vehicles.

"This is something we take seriously. Anyone who shines a laser at an aircraft performs a dangerous and reckless act.

"When a laser is directed at any aircraft it puts life at risk and, in the case of the police helicopter, can hinder the apprehension of offenders and delay the investigation of crime.

"Those who use the pens need to know that they face arrest and possible prosecution if they are caught."

In the UK, the sale of laser pointers with a power greater than one milliwatt is illegal. But imports are not restricted and their availability on the internet means that they are now more common in this country.

A spokesman for the Civil Aviation Authority said: "The danger to aircraft is when the lasers are in range they are usually coming in to land and this is exactly when pilots need maximum concentration."

James Gore, head of communications at Bristol Airport, said: "The growing number of incidents of this nature at airports across the UK is a concern for all involved in aviation."

Judge ensures cleanup of Pakistan airport

RAWALPINDI, March 20: Sensitive people suffer silently gaudy political banners and posters dirtying and disfiguring public places, but, hopefully, no more.

On Tuesday, an honourable judge saw to it that the Benazir Bhutto International Airport is swept clean of the myriad of posters and banners of political groups inside and around the building.

Like many others, Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa of Balochistan High Court found the sight revolting when he arrived at the airport to board a flight for Quetta.

Airport sources said while walking to the Rawal Lounge, he asked his protocol officer to call the airport management, security officials and PIA station manager to seek an explanation for the unsavoury display.

But the explanation that the posters were put up for PIA workers union election held last week did not satisfy the chief justice, who also heads the Supreme Court Commission probing the memo case.

Since the publicity material should have been removed after the union elections but were not, Justice Isa ordered them to be removed ‘now’ and left to board his PIA flight PK-363.

But the pilot aborted the flight after noticing some technical fault while taxiing for takeoff.

Once the plane came back to a bay, and the passengers disembarked, Justice Isa called for a “compliance certificate” from the officers that his order had been carried.

“We provided him the certificate after removing the banners in a short time. The staff officer of the honourable chief justice inspected the site and verified the same,” airport manager Azhar Faheem Khattak told Dawn.

How he managed the task is not known. It can only be imagined.

Airport ponders Claridge cases

BERRYVILLE -- A bid for shades to block out the searing sun was considered by members of the Carroll County Airport Commission when they met for their monthly meeting last Thursday.

Also debated was a display cabinet proposal to house the extraordinary model airplane collection the commission has been offered -- if the collection can be properly displayed and protected.

Appearing before the commission was Toni Rose, with New Legacy business products, who said she had met with Airport Manager Shelia Evans previously to discuss display cabinet options.

She suggested cabinets manufactured by Claridge, a Harrison based business, and proposed two models for the commissioners to consider. Both were lit, free-standing locking cases standing 78 inches high and featuring glass on all four sides. One had storage in its base and the other didn't. She also proposed placing one or more between the lounge and kitchen areas as a divider in the terminal.

Commission Chairman Dave Teigen said he preferred the model with storage, and he liked the idea of freestanding units to use as a divider to allow them more flexibility.

Two cases with added shelves, they guessed, would accommodate most of the model airplanes that have been valued at $55,000 or more.

Compared to a quote for cabinets from the state prison system, the commissioners decided to pursue the purchase of Claridge cabinets.

Rose said the list price for the model they selected was $5,610 but the "negotiated" price was $2,841, plus a $155 freight fee, unless they haul it themselves.

The commissioners decided to look for funding and to measure the model airplanes to see how many can be placed in each cabinet.

They also considered a bid for blinds from Rose, who quoted $3,800 for the installation of Solar Shades and accompanying valances to cover all the glass at the south end of the terminal. The price, she said, was for a dark grey fine mesh that allows a view but reduces UV rays by 97 percent. She also noted there was no mark-up on her end. Commissioners wanted to know the product's life expectancy and to see a sample before proceeding.

In other business, the commissioners welcomed Heath Worley as a new commissioner. The life-long Carroll County resident who has worked on airport property as a foreman and equipment operator with Heavy Constructors, said he lives about four miles south of the airport on a small farm with his wife, and he's always had an interest in the airport and obtaining his pilots license. He is filling a vacancy that was created when Bill Batson decided not to seek another seven-year term when his expired the first of the year.

Commission Chairman Teigen announced that the eight-year-long effort to buy back a 99-year lease was completed this past Tuesday when the buyout was "signed, sealed and delivered."

Dan Clinton presented his monthly report and received the go-ahead to seek bids for the construction of eight new hangers.

The commission is set to meet again at noon on Thursday, April 12, at the Carroll County Airport Terminal.

Panama route to begin direct flights 31 May

PANAMA CITY, Panama – Cayman Airways will start twice-weekly direct flight service to Panama 
on 31 May.

Speaking at the Cayman Night in Pamana reception to mark the start of a four-day trade mission to Pamana organised by the Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce, Cayman Islands Premier McKeeva Bush said having Cayman Airways establish a direct air route to Panama had been talked about for years and that it was 
time to actually do it.

“No, Cayman Airways’ inaugural flight [to Panama] was not today,” he said. “What I’m saying is 
soon come.”

This year’s trade mission marks the fourth time the Chamber of Commerce has arranged such a trip to Pamana, but it is the first one since 2008. In his address at the reception, that was attended by a number of government and business leaders from Panama, Chamber of Commerce President David Kirkaldy noted that the first trade mission took place six years ago this week.

“The chamber’s objective then was to open the door of opportunity between our two countries,” he said. “We wanted to introduce local representatives from the public and private sectors who would be motivated to work together to develop relationships. Most importantly, we wanted to create a level of trust that would encourage businesses in both of our countries to establish strong partnerships that would lead to a robust level of trade 
and investment.”

Mr. Kirkaldy said the original goals had been achieved, as evidenced by the level of trade 
and cooperation that now exists between the Cayman Islands and Panama.

“Since the Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce started our visits six years ago, many millions of trade in goods and services has transpired,” he said. “Shipping and cargo services, which were limited at the start, are now significantly improved and export is a simple procedure with regular shipping services provided through Miami.”

One of the key aspects of that trade involves Cayman businesses sourcing and importing various goods from the Colon Free Trade Zone, Mr. Kirkaldy said, noting however that the connections between the two countries had evolved much beyond that.

“An impressive level of international financial business is being transacted between our countries as more attorneys, bankers, accountants and hedge fund managers discover the advantages of working together,” he said, adding many Caymanians have also purchased real estate in Panama.

”I am certain there are other areas on which we can work together to improve business, including the tourism, investment and development sectors,” he said. “Both Panama and the Cayman Islands are exceptional tourism destinations and there are lessons that we can share with each other to improve our product offerings so that more tourists may enjoy what our countries have to offer.”

Mr. Kirkaldy translated some of the passages of his address into Spanish as a courtesy to the Panamanians present. When Mr. Bush began his speech, he joked about his inability to speak the language.

“I’m not going to try and speak Spanish, OK?” he said.

Mr. Bush spoke about the long historical relationship Cayman has had with Panama.

“There exists a history and friendship between the two countries,” he said, noting many Caymanians worked on the Panama Canal, built boats in Panama and created family connections.

The new direct air route will run through November to coincide with the winter months in key South American cities like Sao Paulo to “facilitate and support existing South American leisure travel patterns”, Mr. Bush said.

“This venture that we have embarked on will not only further strengthen the mutually beneficial business and leisure interests that we share in common, but I am confident it will continue to open the door to bigger and better opportunities for us all – Caymanian businesses, Panamanian businesses and international businesses that ply between the two countries.”

Mr. Bush said extensive customer research and a compelling business case had been made to justify the funding, time and resources required to needed to establish the route. He said he supported the new route and that the government sometimes had to “venture” in order to create new economic opportunities.

Cayman Airways will partner with Panama’s COPA airline to maximise connectivity from key South American gateway cities.

“The Cayman Islands strategic plan for the South American market has long called for greater outreach in Panama, which essentially meant that an additional airline partner was needed to align with our objectives to grow market share,” Mr. Bush said. “I am pleased to say that in looking for such an airline with the connectivity that we desired, we could not have found a better partner than COPA Airlines.”

The trade mission continues until Friday.

On Wednesday, the two-day ExpoComer Trade Show opens. ExpoComer is the largest trade show in Central America, hosting more than 600 booths from more than 30 countries. For the first time this year, the Cayman Islands will have two booths at the ExpoComer, one from Cayman Airways and one from the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism.

Mayor's Office Investigating Noise From Columbus Municipal Airport (KBAK), Indiana

Responding to residents’ complaints of noise due to the increased air traffic at the Columbus Municipal Airport, Mayor Kristen Brown has put a number of procedures in place to both alleviate the problem and give city residents an opportunity to give input on the situation.

“We are responding to this issue as quickly and safely as we can", said Brown. "We have heard from residents in the northwest quadrant of the city and understand their frustration with the increased noise and traffic. I’ve directed Rod Blasdel, Airport Director, to develop noise abatement procedures to deal with the situation and look at alternate flight patterns for planes to use”.

The Mayor's Office says Blasdel has issued new procedures for pilots to use regarding runways and departure procedures. Pilots are directed to utilize runways 5 and 32 during calm conditions, which send planes in a northeast or northwest direction, away from residential areas.

When wind conditions dictate that pilots use runway 23, flying over neighborhoods in the northwest area of Columbus, pilots are asked to use departure guidelines issued by the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA). These guidelines encourage reduced speed and slower climbs, which will result in decreased decibel levels. Air safety is of highest priority for planes at the airport, but Blasdel believes these actions will not compromise safety and will significantly reduce noise levels on the ground.

The increased traffic at the airport is related to an upsurge in demand at NTN Driveshaft, resulting in parts being shipped to various locations throughout the United States.

The Mayor’s office has also established a phone line and website contact form to deal with comments concerning increased noise and traffic at the airport. This will help officials pinpoint the location and times of any future ground noise problems to resolve the issue.

Residents can call the Columbus Municipal Airport Comment Line at (812) 3767-2499 or visit the News section at the top right of the city website Homepage at to give input.

Columbus Residents Concerned About Air Traffic Near Homes

The airport in Columbus has seen increased traffic, but that means more noise and disturbances for nearby residents.

The Columbus Municipal airport’s business has increased since adding a direct flight to Detroit in November. But residents living near the airport have begun voicing concerns over large cargo plane traffic that tends to come into the area late at night.

John and Jeanette Menter have lived a mile from the Columbus airport for almost ten years. John Menter works out of his home and has always noticed the air traffic, but he says it only became disruptive in the past week.

“And for the most part our familiarity with this airport has been small private planes, and you know and that has never been a problem, but when you got cargo jets every fifteen minutes taking off at a time and at all hours of the night, then you’ve got a problem,” he says.

Airport Director Rod Blasdel says demand for the airports services have increased because local businesses are shipping more products out of the area.

“Primarily what it is is local industry, because they’re ramping up so quickly, that putting trucks on the road does not get the parts to their customers in time so consequently that they have to hire air carriers to transport those parts to countries and in the United States,” he says.

Blasdel says there are not any real restrictions on the airport and just about any type of aircraft can be accommodated.

He says in light of the complaints and because the airport is open 24 hours a day, they have implemented noise abatement procedures. But he says increased traffic is good for the airport and the region’s economy.

Nonprofit offers medical patients divine intervention: Angel Flight names Bethesda volunteer its Maryland Pilot of the Year

Bill Ryan/The Gazette
 Peter Winik, of Bethesda, who was chosen as Maryland Pilot of the Year by Angel Flight Mid-Atlantic, points out safety features of his plane at Frederick Municipal Airport on Saturday.

Bill Ryan/The Gazette 
Peter Winik, of Bethesda, who was chosen as Maryland Pilot of the Year by Angel Flight Mid-Atlantic, with his plane at Frederick Municipal Airport on Saturday.

Bill Ryan/The Gazette
Peter Winik, of Bethesda, who was chosen as Maryland Pilot of the Year by Angel Flight Mid-Atlantic, with his plane at Frederick Municipal Airport on Saturday.

Paul Spearman knows it will not be long before he dies.

Diagnosed four years ago with a rare genetic disorder, Fabry’s disease, the 44-year-old is unable to process lipids — fat-like substances that include oils, waxes and fatty acids, according to the National Institutes of Health. Pain and shortness of breath have left him unable to work, or stand for more than 10-minute intervals.

“Now I can’t even work in a grocery store,” he said, in a telephone interview from his home in Georgetown, Del. “It got really hard, and each day got harder and harder. That’s when I explained to my doctor, and he said I was done, I was done working.”

His only hope is an experimental treatment in Fairfax, Va., that might add a few years to his life. But the distance presented a problem.

Spearman’s twice-monthly treatments, which he started about a year ago, were made possible by Angel Flight Mid-Atlantic pilot Peter Winik of Bethesda, and others like him.

Angel Flight is a nonprofit that recruits volunteer pilots to transport people in need of distant medical treatment.

More than once, Spearman was a passenger on Winik’s four-seat plane, a Cirrus SR22, which he stores at Frederick Municipal Airport.

Since Winik joined Angel Flight in 2009, the lawyer has flown 17 missions. For his charitable contributions, Angel Flight recently named him Maryland Pilot of the Year.

“All of our pilots are extraordinary, to be sure, but Peter stepped up to the plate more times, and that is pretty amazing considering that he’s not retired (as many of our pilots are) and works full time as an attorney,” Suzanne Rhodes, a spokeswoman for Angel Flight Mid-Atlantic, said in an email.

Angel Flight Mid-Atlantic stretches from Virginia to Ohio and Pennsylvania. The organization has more than 630 pilots and traces its roots to the mid-1970s, when four pilots decided to dedicate their skills to a good cause, and formed Washington Aviation Ministry. WAM became Mercy Medical Airlift in 1987, Angel Flight’s parent company.

Winik said he always wanted to fly, but cost and family responsibilities, like helping raise his two children, prevented him. He started taking lessons in 2007, after his youngest went to college. It took him nine months to get his pilot’s license, and another nine to get his instrument rating, a license that allows him to fly through the clouds.

He heard about Angel Flight through the flying community, and kept track of his hours until he had enough to qualify for missions. The 250 flight hours Winik needed has since been bumped up to 500 hours.

Volunteering for Angel Flight was a goal he targeted early in his flying career. As a young man, he was busy building his career and spending time with his children. Now middle-aged, he finally has time to give back.

“It’s really just a great feeling to be able to do something good with this skill we have of being able to fly,” Winik said.

Passengers of all ages are accepted but must demonstrate financial need, provide their own ground transportation and lodging, be medically cleared to fly in a nonpressurized small aircraft, be ambulatory and sit upright in a standard aircraft seat, not require medical care en route, not have a communicable disease and if supplemental patient oxygen is required, it must be provided by the patient and be in a Department of Transportation pressure test approved bottle.

Last year, Maryland pilots completed 36 missions, representing a public benefit of nearly $36,000. Of those, Winik flew eight.

Pilots provide the aircraft and handle all associated expenses, including fuel and maintenance. Prices vary, but Winik’s flights cost about $300 each.

“They’re angels, and that’s what I call them,” Spearman said. “They’re my angels, and they’re always there for me. If it’s safe, they fly. And they love doing it.”

Despite suffering short-term memory loss, Spearman said he remembers his pilots.

“It’s incredible,” he said. “I wish I could give something back to them. But with my situation, my financial situation and the condition I am in, I can’t.”

For more information, visit To request a flight, call 800-296-3797. For questions regarding becoming a pilot, email Steve Craven at