Saturday, March 31, 2012

Syrian pilot flees to Jordan


AMMAN - A Syrian pilot fled to Jordan Saturday morning, Amman-based Khaberni news website reported.

The pilot, who crossed the barbed wires on the border line between Jordan and Syria, left his helicopter on the Syrian territories, according to Khaberni.

The pilot flew by his helicopter from a military airport in Daraa in southwestern Syria, and headed towards the Jordanian borders, the report said, adding that the pilot also escaped anti- aircraft missiles.

The report could not be independently verified till the moment.

STOL UC-1 Twin Bee, N65NE, fatal accident occurred February 23, 2019 near Winter Haven Regional Airport (KGIF), Polk County, Florida -and- Cessna 208 Caravan I, N208SS, accident occurred March 24, 2012 off Abalone Caye, Port Honduras Marine Reserve, Belize

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Orlando, Florida
Lycoming; Williamsport, Pennsylvania  

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

https://registry.faa.gov/N65NE

Location: Winter Haven, FL
Accident Number: ERA19FA106
Date & Time: 02/23/2019, 1243 EST
Registration: N65NE
Aircraft: STOL Aircraft Corp UC-1
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious, 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional 

On February 23, 2019, about 1243 eastern standard time, a STOL Aircraft Corp UC-1 amphibious airplane, N65NE, impacted a residence shortly after takeoff from Winter Haven Regional Airport (GIF), Winter Haven, Florida. The flight instructor was fatally injured, the commercial pilot receiving instruction sustained minor injuries, and there was one serious ground injury. The airplane was owned by ESP Aviation LLC and privately operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local instructional flight which departed at 1239.

According to the commercial pilot receiving instruction (the pilot), he and a colleague were receiving initial airplane multiengine sea training from the flight instructor in the accident airplane. The accident flight was the third flight of the day.

According to the pilot, the instructor advised him before takeoff that he would introduce a simulated engine failure at some point during takeoff or climbout. Shortly after takeoff from runway 23, about 200-300 ft above ground level (AGL), the instructor reduced the throttle on the left engine and the left engine stopped producing power, and the propeller feathered. They identified the failed engine, the instructor took over the flight controls, and selected a forced landing site.

During the descent, the flight crew's engine restart procedures were unsuccessful and they determined that the airplane would not reach the selected forced landing site. The instructor then chose a lake to the airplane's left as an alternate site. During the left descending turn, the airplane slowed, the left wing dropped, and the airplane impacted a house, seriously injuring one of its occupants.

A witness in a fuel truck at GIF stated she watched the airplane fly overhead. She saw both propellers rotating and watched as the left propeller stopped rotating. The witness said she then watched as the airplane "sank" in a descending left turn until it disappeared from view.

The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single engine land, airplane single-engine sea, and instrument airplane He held a flight instructor certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine. His most recent FAA second-class medical certificate was issued October 24, 2017. He reported 820 total hours of flight experience on that date.

The flight instructor held an airline transport pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single- and multiengine land, and single- and multiengine sea. He held a flight instructor certificate with ratings for airplane single- and multiengine. His most recent FAA first-class medical certificate was issued January 25, 2019. He reported 15,000 total hours of flight experience on that date.

The five-seat, twin-engine, high-wing, amphibious airplane was manufactured in 1986. It was powered by two Lycoming IO-360, 180-horsepower engines, equipped with Hartzell two-blade, constant-speed propellers. A review of the airplane maintenance records revealed that a 100-hr inspection was completed on February 23, 2019.

Examination of the accident site revealed that the airplane came to rest inside the house and rested in a near vertical, nose-down attitude. All major components were accounted for at the scene. The cockpit area was destroyed and crushed inward. The top of the fuselage between the engines was crushed inward. The fuselage beyond the fifth seat was intact and undamaged. The throttle quadrant, which ran along the top of the cockpit, was separated during the impact sequence. The wings remained attached and were removed for recovery. After recovery of the airplane, control continuity was traced from the cockpit, through several cable breaks to all flight control surfaces.

The right-wing leading edge inboard of the engine was crushed inward. The front and inboard side of the cowling was crushed. The right-engine propeller blades displayed chordwise scratching and tip curling. The wing outboard of the engine was undamaged. The left-wing leading edge inbound of the engine was crushed. The left propeller blades were feathered and undamaged. There was damage to the outboard portion of the wing, which included wrinkled skin, and upward folding of the wing and skin. The wingtip was crushed inward.

The left and right engine crankshafts were rotated by hand at the propeller hub, and continuity was confirmed through the powertrain to the valve train and accessory section. Compression was confirmed on all cylinders of both engines using the thumb method. All of the ignition harness leads were intact and undamaged. The right engine's magnetos were manually rotated and produced spark at all terminal leads.

A test run of the left engine mounted on the left wing was attempted. An external battery and engine controls were connected, and an external fuel tank was plumbed directly to the fuel pump inlet. The engine started immediately, accelerated smoothly, and ran continuously at all selected power settings without interruption.

No evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunction was noted during the examination of the recovered airframe and engines.

At 1153, the weather conditions reported at GIF included, wind from 170° at 12 knots, gusts to 17 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, few clouds at 3,400 ft, temperature 29° C, dew point 20° C, and an altimeter setting of 30.15 inches of mercury.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: STOL Aircraft Corp
Registration: N65NE
Model/Series: UC-1
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KGIF, 146 ft msl
Observation Time: 1153 EST
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 29°C / 20°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 3400 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 12 knots / 17 knots, 170°
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.15 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Winter Haven, FL (GIF)
Destination: Winter Haven, FL (GIF)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious, 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude:  28.056111, -81.753333

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email eyewitnessreport@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov. 


Timothy Sheehy, the 33-year-old student pilot who was involved in a plane crash in Florida over the weekend, is also a Purple Heart recipient and the CEO of Ascent Vision and Bridger Aerospace in Belgrade, Montana.
















WINTER HAVEN, Florida (FOX 13) - One person has died after a plane crashed into a Winter Haven home Saturday afternoon.

The crash happened around 12:45 p.m. at a home on a Idylridge Way, just south of the Winter Haven Airport.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said 64-year-old instructor pilot James Wagner of Lakeland and 33-year-old student pilot Timothy Scheehy of Bozeman, Montana were on board when the plane took off from the Winter Haven Airport. They were scheduled to perform simulated engine failure training when the plane crashed.

Wagner died in the crash, but Judd said Scheehy was able to climb out of the wreckage on his own. He suffered minor injuries.

According to the sheriff's office, three people were inside the home at the time of the crash, and three children, ages 2, 11 and 15, were playing in the front yard.

Carmelle Ngalamulume, 17, was in one of the bedrooms and became pinned and trapped after the crash.

"We're shocked at how minor her injuries are," Judd said, noting the teen was transported to the hospital.

Judd said Carmelle's brother, 20-year-old Joel, was in an adjoining room and tried to free his sister. Their mother, Emerance, was taking a shower when the plane went down into the home.

"As tragic as this was for Mr. Wagner, it was a blessing today that we didn't have an entire family wiped out," Judd said. "It is an unbelieveable set of circumstances. We certainly expected to find the worst."

Original article can be found here ➤ http://www.fox13news.com

Cessna 208 Caravan I, N208JS: Accident occurred March 24, 2012 off Abalone Caye in Punta Gorda, Belize


 

The wreckage of a float-equipped Cessna 208 Caravan I that crash landed on March 24th, 2012 in the waters offshore southern Belize has been recovered. No one was hurt in the incident. The sole occupant of the aircraft at the time of the incident was pilot James Glen Wagner. An alert viewer of Love Television snapped these photographs of the plane being towed away from the site of the crash-landing . 

Love News understands that the plane was being towed north towards the mouth of the Monkey River.  The float-equipped Cessna 208 Caravan I went down in the Caribbean Sea near Abalone Caye around three thirty on March 24, 2012. According to the pilot, he had just dropped off some guests in Placencia village and was attempting to land the aircraft in the sea when it flipped over.  Investigators from the Civil Aviation Department are conducting an aircraft accident investigation.

Source:  http://www.lovetv.com.bz


March 24th, 2012
Cessna 208 Caravan I, N208SS


On March 24th, 2012, a routine maneuver shook up 57-year old James Glen Wagner, the pilot. 

Wagner of Lakeland Florida said that on March 24th, 2012 after taking guests to Placencia Village in his float-equipped Cessna 208 Caravan I, he took off again and intended to land in the sea near Abalone Caye. But the 

But the Cessna 208 Caravan I, N208SS, flipped on contact.

Wagner did not sustain any injuries and the plane was later moored on Abalone Caye. Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Orlando, Florida

Crashed into house due to unknown circumstances.

E S P Aviation LLC

https://registry.faa.gov/N65NE

Date: 22-FEB-19
Time: 13:00:00Z
Regis#: N65NE
Aircraft Make: STOL
Aircraft Model: UC 1
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: FATAL
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: INSTRUCTION
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
Operation: 91
City: WINTER HAVEN
State: FLORIDA

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email eyewitnessreport@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov. 


Timothy Sheehy, the 33-year-old student pilot who was involved in a plane crash in Florida over the weekend, is also a Purple Heart recipient and the CEO of Ascent Vision and Bridger Aerospace in Belgrade, Montana.
















WINTER HAVEN, Florida (FOX 13) - One person has died after a plane crashed into a Winter Haven home Saturday afternoon.

The crash happened around 12:45 p.m. at a home on a Idylridge Way, just south of the Winter Haven Airport.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said 64-year-old instructor pilot James Wagner of Lakeland and 33-year-old student pilot Timothy Scheehy of Bozeman, Montana were on board when the plane took off from the Winter Haven Airport. They were scheduled to perform simulated engine failure training when the plane crashed.

Wagner died in the crash, but Judd said Scheehy was able to climb out of the wreckage on his own. He suffered minor injuries.

According to the sheriff's office, three people were inside the home at the time of the crash, and three children, ages 2, 11 and 15, were playing in the front yard.

Carmelle Ngalamulume, 17, was in one of the bedrooms and became pinned and trapped after the crash.

"We're shocked at how minor her injuries are," Judd said, noting the teen was transported to the hospital.

Judd said Carmelle's brother, 20-year-old Joel, was in an adjoining room and tried to free his sister. Their mother, Emerance, was taking a shower when the plane went down into the home.

"As tragic as this was for Mr. Wagner, it was a blessing today that we didn't have an entire family wiped out," Judd said. "It is an unbelieveable set of circumstances. We certainly expected to find the worst."

Original article can be found here ➤ http://www.fox13news.com

Cessna 208 Caravan I, N208JS: Accident occurred March 24, 2012 off Abalone Caye in Punta Gorda, Belize


 

The wreckage of a float-equipped Cessna 208 Caravan I that crash landed on March 24th, 2012 in the waters offshore southern Belize has been recovered. No one was hurt in the incident. The sole occupant of the aircraft at the time of the incident was pilot James Glen Wagner. An alert viewer of Love Television snapped these photographs of the plane being towed away from the site of the crash-landing . 

Love News understands that the plane was being towed north towards the mouth of the Monkey River.  The float-equipped Cessna 208 Caravan I went down in the Caribbean Sea near Abalone Caye around three thirty on March 24, 2012. According to the pilot, he had just dropped off some guests in Placencia village and was attempting to land the aircraft in the sea when it flipped over.  Investigators from the Civil Aviation Department are conducting an aircraft accident investigation.

Source:  http://www.lovetv.com.bz


March 24th, 2012
Cessna 208 Caravan I, N208SS


On March 24th, 2012, a routine maneuver shook up 57-year old James Glen Wagner, the pilot. 

Wagner of Lakeland Florida said that on March 24th, 2012 after taking guests to Placencia Village in his float-equipped Cessna 208 Caravan I, he took off again and intended to land in the sea near Abalone Caye. But the 

But the Cessna 208 Caravan I, N208SS, flipped on contact.

Wagner did not sustain any injuries and the plane was later moored on Abalone Caye.

American Airlines improving its Los Angeles International Airport terminal despite bankruptcy

Even though it's mired in bankruptcy proceedings, American Airlines is touting a series of improvements to its terminal at Los Angeles International Airport - one of the five hubs the carrier will heavily develop as it restructures financially.

The aim, officials say, is to improve service to travelers as a way to drum up business and drive down costs.

"We're in bankruptcy, but that doesn't mean we're not improving the customer experience," Mary Frances Fagan, director of corporate communications for American Airlines, said while showing off a series of renovations inside LAX's Terminal 4.

"We're proceeding ahead with business as usual and implementing plans we've had on the drawing board for a while," Fagan said. "One of those things was make the facility we have here at LAX bigger, better and more useful for the customers."

Just days before Fort Worth, Texas-based American filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November, the company opened its first Flagship Check-in facility for discerning travelers passing through LAX.

The premium concept - reserved for select travelers or those who pay an extra $125 - is akin to registering at a hotel, complete with a doorman, red carpet and personalized service hidden just past a discrete doorway tucked between Terminals 4 and 5.

After checking in, travelers are whisked up an elevator and moved to the front of the security line.

Two months later, crews literally worked

overnight to transform the entire ticketing lobby inside Terminal 4 to resemble similar concepts adopted at airports in Chicago and Orlando.

After complaints that the space was too small and narrow, American Airlines created additional room by equipping the west end of the terminal with six banks of self-serve kiosks, where coach passengers can retrieve their own tickets.

The east end of the building was refurbished for first-class travelers, complete with tall signs that serve as dividers. Travelers are then able to take an escalator up to a new security station that sits above the check-in desk.

The simple move eliminated paparazzi photographers who had previously gathered on a bridge that led to the terminal's original security checkpoint, which is still used by coach passengers.

"We knew there was an issue at the checkpoints with the paparazzi creating a logjam and disturbing our celebrity passengers," Fagan said. "You just don't see them gathered up there anymore."

As part of its restructuring plan, American will cut flights from smaller airports while bolstering departures from LAX and airports in Dallas, Chicago, Miami and New York by 20 percent over the next five years.

The carrier also is purchasing new fuel-efficient planes that will lead to cost savings over the long run, Fagan said. In the next several months, American also plans to upgrade several airline gates inside LAX's Terminal 4.

Fagan declined to say how much the airline is spending on the terminal renovations, citing it as "proprietary information" while noting that many of the plans were in place before the carrier filed for bankruptcy in November.

"When you spend a little money to improve customer service ... it makes people want to come here and it ultimately saves jobs," Fagan said.

Ever since American filed for bankruptcy, the carrier's flight attendants, mechanics and ground workers have staged demonstrations to protest a plan to eliminate 13,000 jobs while also reducing wages, health benefits and pension contributions.

Last week, American executives asked a bankruptcy judge to break its labor contracts in an attempt to speed up the company's reorganization. A ruling is expected later this month.

"I understand American Airlines has got to sell its product by beautifying its facilities, but they need to show some of that same respect to their employees," said Donny Tyndall, president of Transport Workers Union Local 502, which represents 1,150 maintenance and ground crew workers at airports in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Las Vegas, Tucson and Phoenix.

"Just a small portion of that renovation could save hundreds of jobs for this company, but instead they are rubbing it in our faces," Tyndall said. "It's really sad to see these fine people who have given their adult lives to this company and then treated like they are nothing." 

Source:  http://www.dailybreeze.com

Air India's financial revamp plan cleared

Grappling with a fragile financial position, Air India's financial restructuring plan (FRP) has been approved by a consortium of banks, which may enable the ailing carrier save several hundred crore in the first year itself.

As part of the FRP, Air India signed four agreements with the SBI-led consortium late Friday. These were Master Restructuring Agreement, Working Capital Facility Agreement, Appointment of Facility Agent Agreement and Appointment of Trustee Agreement, airline officials said.

“The Cabinet approval for infusion of funds is still awaited and is expected to be received some time next week,” the officials said.

Implementation of the FRP would begin after the Union Cabinet approves additional equity infusion into the airline, they said. Officials of at least 19 banks were present at the signing ceremony here.

One of the major highlights of the agreements is conversion of about Rs.10,500 crore of the airline's working capital in to long-term loan, carrying an annual interest of 11 per cent.

“The first year interest would accumulate in a funded interest term plan,” they said, adding these would lead to substantial savings of about Rs.1,000 crore in 2012-13 itself.

In addition, non-convertible debentures (NCDs), guaranteed by the government, worth Rs.7,400 crore would be issued, the officials said, adding proceeds from the NCDs would be used to repay the lenders.

Apart from this, part of the working capital of about Rs.3,500 crore would be restructured as cash credit arrangement. Under the FRP, Air India has proposed that the government should infuse equity of about Rs.30,231 crore in the 2012-21 financial period.

It also includes conversion of short-term working capital loan of Rs.7,000 crore into cumulative preferential shares or NCDs and more time to repay a debt amount of about Rs.14,000 crore.

The government has so far infused equity of Rs.800 crore in 2009-10, Rs.1,200 crore in 2010-11 and another Rs.1,200 crore in 2011-12.

The debt-ridden carrier has outstanding loans and dues worth Rs.67,520 crore, of which Rs.21,200 crore is working capital loan, Rs.22,000 crore long-term loan on fleet acquisition, Rs.4,600 crore vendor dues besides an accumulated loss of Rs.20,320 crore.

In December last year, the airline had a total of Rs.21,714.38 crore as short-term working capital loans. It pays an interest of over Rs.2,600 crore annually.

The financial restructuring exercise began in May 2010 with SBICaps being appointed financial advisers to the transaction.

The FRP is based on the airline's overall turnaround plan aimed at providing immediate relief to Air India through provisions such as funded interest term plan, repayment moratorium of long term loans and upfront equity infusion by the government. 

Source: http://www.thehindu.com

Search for clues begins in Alberta copter crash as RCMP identifies pilot killed - Bell 206 JetRanger, Kananaskis Heli Tours

Investigators will focus their immediate attention on interviewing the survivors of a helicopter that crashed into a mountain while on a sightseeing trip near Banff National Park, a Transportation Safety Board official says.

John Lee said any information that is considered “perishable” like witness accounts, or the wreckage itself, is the top priority for investigators. Other information, such as weather data or emergency communications, he said, is already stored on databases and can be retrieved later.

“Perishable evidence is paramount at the moment,” Mr. Lee said on Saturday. “We, of course, have some more interviews to conduct with the passengers.”

The pilot, Matthew Goodine, 28, of B.C. died while being airlifted to hospital after the helicopter hit Grotto Mountain, near Banff National Park, on Friday morning.

Two British couples suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the crash and police say they have been released from hospital.

The helicopter's operator was Kananaskis Heli Tours.

Mr. Lee said the wreckage will need to be airlifted out of the remote location, which he said will likely happen in the next few days depending on the availability of a helicopter capable of the job, as well as weather and safety conditions at the crash site.

Investigators, Mr. Lee said, will look at the wreckage to determine if there was any obvious mechanical failure, and he said they could ship any suspect pieces to Edmonton for further investigation.

He said the cost of the job, as well as the logistics, will be handled by the operator's insurance company.

Police said it started to snow around the time of the crash and it was windy and snowing all day off and on. The weather also impeded rescue efforts, police said.

Mounties have said they didn't hear about the crash until about two hours after the chopper went down, saying officials at Canadian Forces Base Trenton notified them after getting a signal from an emergency beacon.

Police said it was then another two hours before a search and rescue team from Kananaskis EMS got to the site by helicopter.

Mr. Lee said he didn't know what time the beacon signal was received, but he said that information is preserved electronically and can be examined later.

Police said it took several hours to get all of the victims out of the wrecked chopper and to hospitals.

They said the pilot was the first to be taken off the mountainside, but his injuries proved too severe.

Piper PA-18-150 Super Cub, N7276D: Accident occurred March 30, 2012 in Sleetmute, Alaska

NTSB Identification: ANC12FA028 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, March 30, 2012 in Sleetmute, AK
Aircraft: PIPER PA-18, registration: N7276D
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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. 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.

On March 30, 2012, about 1730 Alaska daylight time, a ski-equipped Piper PA-18 airplane, N7276D, sustained substantial damage when it collided with trees and snow-covered terrain following a loss of control while landing, about 26 miles south of Sleetmute, Alaska. The airplane was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) cross-country personal flight under Title 14, CFR Part 91, when the accident occurred. The uncertificated pilot, and the one passenger, both sustained fatal injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The accident flight originated at the Sleetmute Airport at an unknown time.

During a telephone interview with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC) on March 31, a witness and personal friend of the pilot and passenger, reported that the airplane was being used to shuttle fuel and camping supplies to a remote cabin on the banks of the Holitna River. He said that before the airplane arrived, he and another friend used snow machines to pack-down a makeshift landing site on the frozen, snow-covered river. After the pilot finished transporting all of the fuel and supplies, the pilot and passenger departed the site to check the condition of the river ice upstream. About 30 minutes later, he said he saw the airplane flying towards the makeshift site, flying "low and slow" over the treetops as it approached. He said that as the airplane flew towards the landing site threshold, it began a slight right turn, and then he heard the engine speed increase to a very high rpm setting. The airplane then nosed down abruptly, and it began a 3/4 spiral turn downward, while descending from view into the trees at the approach end of the site.

The airplane collided with the snow and tree-covered terrain in a near-vertical attitude.

On March 31, the NTSB IIC, along with two Alaska State Troopers, and a Federal Aviation Administration operations inspector from the Anchorage Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), examined the wreckage site. No mechanical anomalies were noted during the wreckage examination.

The closest weather reporting facility was the Sleetmute Airport, 26 miles north of the accident site. At 1716, a weather observation from the Sleetmute Airport was reporting, in part: Wind, 020 degrees (true) at 4 knots; visibility, 10 statute miles; clouds and sky condition, 9,000; temperature, 39 degrees F; dew point, 16 degrees F; altimeter, 29.30 inches Hg.

-------------

 RED DEVIL, Alaska —Alaska State Troopers say two men died Friday evening after their plane crashed while attempting to land near the Holitna River. 

 It happened about 5:30, when troopers say the Super Cub's pilot, 42-year-old Richard Wilmarth of Red Devil, attempted to land on a private airstrip. 

His passenger, Sleetmute Tribal Administrator Kenneth Mellick, also died in the crash. The 45-year-old was also an Alaska Power Association board member. 

Troopers say that the cause of the crash has not yet been determined and the investigation is ongoing. A plane crash Friday near the village Red Devil killed two men landing on a private airstrip, Alaska State Troopers said. 

The red and white Piper Super Cub, registered to pilot Richard Wilmarth, was landing close to the Holitna River when it crashed for reasons so far unknown, according to troopers. Wilmarth, 42, and passenger Kenneth Mellick, 45, both died, troopers said.

Investigators from the Federal Aviation Admistration and the National Transportation Safety Board were said to be looking into the cause of the crash.

Mellick, a resident of Sleetmute, was the village's tribal administrator and an Alaska Power Association board member.

The bodies of Wilmarth and Mellick will be flown to Anchorage for an autopsy, troopers said.

Sleetmute and Red Devil are both along the Kuskokwim River.
=========== 

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A man who was piloting a plane when it crashed near Red Devil was not a certified pilot and took the plane without his father's permission. 

The plane crashed Friday evening, killing Richard L. Wilmarth, 42, and a passenger, 45-year-old Kenneth Mellick, according to Monday's Anchorage Daily News (http://bit.ly/HMOUmb ). Mellick lived in Sleetmute, where he was the village's tribal administrator and an Alaska Power Association board member.

Richard C. Wilmarth said his son struggled with drug abuse and was in and out of trouble, so he never got his pilot's license. But, he said, his son was a capable pilot and had been doing better the last few years.

The younger Wilmarth took the Piper Super Cub to ferry fuel, food and camping gear to a remote cabin where some friends were planning to spend the weekend snowmachining. The plane crashed south of the western Alaska village of Red Devil as the two were checking out conditions for snowmachining. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.

Wilmarth said his son had been flying the Super Cub since he was a teenager. But, he said, he told him not to fly this winter because he didn't want him using all the aviation fuel.

Two of the friends were on the ground when the plane crashed and told transportation investigator Clint Johnson what they saw. Wilmarth had already dropped off the supplies when he took off with Mellick. They were heading back, maybe 25 minutes later, sometime after 5 p.m. Friday, Johnson said. Both the men on the ground saw the plane coming in.

"When they first saw it, it was low, very slow," Johnson said. They heard the engine rev up.

"They noticed the airplane was nose down, spinning, and got about two spins in before it hit the ground," Johnson said. It slammed into the ground nose first, he said.

Johnson and two state troopers flew out to the crash site over th e weekend. Johnson said he found nothing wrong mechanically with the Super Cub.

The witness descriptions indicate the plane went into "an aerodynamic stall" and that the pilot lost control, Johnson said. He said the investigation is in its early stages.

Richard L. Wilmarth lived in Red Devil in the family home where he spent much of his youth, his father said. The crash happened about 40 miles south of Red Devil. The family settled there so the older Wilmarth could work as a miner.

"I had told him not to use the airplane, although he was a very capable pilot, who was flying that same airplane when he was 13, 14 years old," the father said.

Smoke Reported On China Eastern Flight At Los Angeles International Airport

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The Los Angeles Fire Department reports the situation is static after smoke was reported on a passenger jet at LAX Saturday.

Reports came in of smoke in the cockpit of an Airbus jet just before 12:15 p.m.

A representative for LAX confirmed there was a problem with a power unit on China Eastern flight 586. The aircraft was an Airbus 340-600.

The flight was preparing to leave gate 105 of the Tom Bradley International Terminal when the smoke was reported.

The fire department says there was no flame and no injuries.

Low-cost airlines vie for Kingfisher routes

After the cash-strapped Kingfisher Airlines withdrew its Hyderabad flights, several other airlines are vying to fill the vacated airspace. 

The national carrier, Air India, has reintroduced its Hyderabad-Kolkata flight while SpiceJet, amongst the low-cost carriers, is at the forefront in this competition.

“We we have already announced services from Nanded (Maharashtra) to New Delhi, Mumbai, Trivandrum and Aurangabad,” said a SpiceJet spokesperson, a route operated chiefly by KFA.

The forecast is that the Chennai-based SpiceJet might make Delhi airport its second base for regional flights. Meanwhile, the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport here at Shamshabad, serving as the hub for the two airlines' southern region operations, will witness enhanced to and fro traffic.

A number of airlines have applied to the DGCA for a go-ahead to ply the routes vacated by KFA, which had begun with 35 to and fro flights and come down to seven. “The void is huge,” said an airport official and so is the passenger strength. Under these circumstances those airlines that can afford to cash in on the situation, would grab the opportunity.

Air India has already announced its summer schedule and a bonanza of specials, such as an increase in the number of seats on certain sectors for the holiday season, new flights and sectors on its domestic and West Asia network and several special fares.

Lucknow airport, which had refused to service KFA due to non-payment of dues, is also being tapped by various airlines.

More flights the key to tourism industry success

Opening up more flights is the key to a successful tourism industry, says one of the businessmen at the heart of Malta’s tourist revival.

Tony Zahra, the president of the Malta Hotels and Restaurant Association, told members of the Jersey Hospitality Association this week that the Mediterranean island transformed a declining tourist industry by signing a deal with Ryanair allowing them to base an aircraft there.

He says that the move opened up new markets and brought visitors flooding back. 
.
Runway
But the Malta solution may not work for Jersey – Economic Development Minister Alan Maclean says Ryanair’s aircraft cannot operate in Jersey because our runway is too short.

Silver Airways set to deploy new planes on Bahamas routes

SILVER Airways yesterday said it has received Us regulatory approval to operate Saab 340Bplus aircraft, which it will use on its Florida-Bahamas route network.

Darrell Richardson, chief executive of the Fort Lauderdale-based airline, said: "This is a momentous day for our airline, and one that will certainly be celebrated by our employees and passengers - many who were pleasantly surprised today as they boarded our new, enhanced aircraft. 

"We are committed to providing our customers with the highest-quality flight experiences by delivering premium service, and the comfort and convenience they value and deserve."

Silver Airways has secured agreements with Saab Aircraft Leasing to purchase 12 Saab 340Bplus aircraft. The airline has accepted delivery of the first three to date, with the remaining aircraft expected to complete integration into the Silver Airways fleet by September 2012. 

Silver Airways operates more than 100 daily scheduled flights to and from 29 gateways in Florida, the Bahamas, Montana, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The company is owned by Victory Park Capital, a Chicago-based investment firm. 

The Silver Airways fleet is comprised of three Saab 340Bplus aircraft (maximum seating capacity of 34 passengers) and 21 Beechcraft 1900D aircraft (maximum seating capacity of 19 passengers). The new aircraft will be used to upgrade service on existing routes, increase frequencies and allow Silver Airways to add new service in additional markets.

Source:  http://www.tribune242.com

South Sudan: Government Forms Committee to Investigate Wau Plane Crash - Feeder Airlines Fokker 50, ST-NEX, Flight FDD-360

Juba — South Sudan has formed a technical fact finding committee to investigate the cause of a plane crash at Wau Airport on Thursday morning, according to officials.

Multiple eyewitnesses told Sudan Tribune that no lives were lost in when the Feeder Airlines commercial flight crashed near the capital of Western Bahr el Ghazal State.

Mayom Kuoc Malek, South Sudan's Deputy Minister of Transport told Sudan Tribune that he learned of the incident from relative of some of the passengers who survived the crash but did had not received a detailed report.

He said that the fact finding committee he was establishing would discover whether a technical or human error caused the accident.

Morris Ukel, who works at Wau Airport, said that the plane crashed on Thursday at 9:30am but declined to comment on reports that some passengers had lost some of their belongings.

"It was an unfortunate incident but we thank God that no lives were lost. There were only slight injuries" Ukel told Sudan Tribune.

He attributed the cause to a technical failure, explaining that one wheel refused to return inside plane after takeoff.

Feeder Airlines, which takes its name from the aviation network which operated in southern Sudan in the 1970s, has been running out of Juba Airport since 2007 connecting Juba, Rumbek, Malakal and Wau.

The company also flies to the Sudanese capital Khartoum and Uganda's Entebbe Airport.

Source:  http://allafrica.com

Fiji floods and stormy weather strands travellers

Travel plans came to a standstill yesterday for people heading to Fiji, and there's little hope of stormy weather clearing in the next few days.

The main runway at Nadi International Airport was closed leaving travellers stranded in Fiji and disrupting the travel plans of at least 1000 in Auckland.

Heavy rains on the west of the main island of Viti Levu caused rivers to burst their banks. Officials said the rains were worse than the six-day deluge in January that claimed 11 lives.

Tutukaka resident Kate Malcolm was in Fiji for her sister's wedding when the storm hit. Malcolm told the Herald on Sunday a 800m stretch of road had been washed away and Navo Bridge been damaged.

The Dive Tutukaka manager is staying at the Intercontinental Resort and Spa with her daughter and partner, and said winds gusts reached between 40 to 60km/hr.

Malcolm said about 60 people had checked into the Intercontinental Hotel yesterday morning, after they had tried to reach Nadi airport and were turned back.

Her father, former Minister of Immigration Aussie Malcolm, had tried to leave Fiji yesterday. He told the Herald on Sunday he had flown by helicopter to Nadi airport hoping to get a flight out but found on arrival all flights leaving Fiji had been cancelled.

The hotel had begun to conserve water in preparation for resources running out. Malcolm said the running water had been shut off and all the restaurants apart from one had been closed.

Air New Zealand cancelled a flight to Nadi on Friday and two flights yesterday, affecting 700 passengers.

An Air New Zealand spokesperson said extra flights would be available today if the weather improved.

Air Pacific diverted a Nadi flight to Apia on Friday and cancelled a flight from Los Angeles to Nadi. Qantas and Air Pacific cancelled nine flights from Auckland yesterday and were uncertain about flying today.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz

Aer Lingus chief's pay deal flies past O'Leary's

Mueller earned €1.24m for running the smaller airline

AER Lingus chief executive Christoph Mueller has overtaken Michael O'Leary when it comes to pay, even though he runs the smaller airline.

Mr Mueller was paid €1.24m last year, according to the Aer Lingus annual report published yesterday. His pay is up 10pc compared to 2010. Revenue was up 6pc in the same period. Passenger numbers were up 1.8pc to over 9.5 million last year.

The massive pay packet is made up of salary of €475,000 and a €611,000 performance bonus. He also receives a pension contribution of €119,000.

Mr Muller's pay packet is more than the €1.1m pay of Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary in 2010, the latest figures available for the bigger airline. Mr O'Leary has also made a fortune from share options.

Ryanair has a market capitalisation of €6.5bn compared to €500m for Aer Lingus.

Aer Lingus chairman Colm Barrington was paid €126,000. Director fees for most directors, including businessman Leslie Buckley and trade unionist David Begg, are set at €32,000 a year, according to the annual report.

Net profit at Aer Lingus for the year rose 65pc to €71.2m.

That rise was in part down to exceptional items including a one-off €21m gain booked when the company handed back a leasehold interest in its Dublin headquarters.

Controversial

Aer Lingus is no longer state controlled, but Mr Mueller's pay is sure to prove controversial because the Government still holds a 25pc share in the business.

That stake is set to be sold off as part of the privatisation target set by the bailout providers.   Ryanair owns 29.8pc of Aer Lingus.

In his chairman's statement, Mr Barrington said he believed Ryanair's stake in Aer Lingus was damaging to the company.

"Ryanair's actions during the year, including the issuing of unsuccessful High Court proceedings in relation to our annual general meeting, disruptive behaviour at our annual general meeting and investor day. . . represent a continuing attempt to distract Aer Lingus and are not in the best interests of all shareholders," he said.

Ryanair said yesterday that it bought back 15 million of its own shares due for cancellation at €4.45 each, in line with a stated plan to buy back €200m of shares.


Airline's image on the up

Indonesia's major carrier has a history marked by tragedy but it is straightening out its act.

After nine "fatal events" since 1970, culminating in the 2007 Yogyakarta crash that killed 21 and injured many more, Indonesia's national carrier has refreshed its fleet and is now compliant with best-practice maintenance and safety standards. Garuda Indonesia has also overhauled its inflight service in a bid to become one of the best airlines in the world.

It must be doing something right - the carrier has come up as best international airline for January 2012 in a recent Roy Morgan survey of airlines.

It's the latest in a long list of accolades, so Sky Report decided to do our own survey to see if the punters actually agree with the press releases.

We took to social media to seek the opinions of recent Australian Garuda customers. And apart from some minor gripes about food, the mood was generally very positive.

Each of the respondents (we got about 10 via Twitter and SourceBottle - we're no Roy Morgan) said they had chosen Garuda on price. (One got Amsterdam-Sydney for $1000 return.) Several had not chosen at all - the choice was made by a travel partner. One respondent wasn't happy at the time, telling Sky Report he said to his wife: "Why did you book them? They fall out of the sky."

However, he was pleasantly surprised by the experience of flying with them.

None knew of Garuda's hard-targeted transformation drive, in play since 2008, but each had glowing things to say, ranging from "the smiling crew was amazing with our 13-month-old baby", to "the inflight

entertainment was great". Some said the economy cabin appeared to be roomier than others in which they had flown.

To sum up, one of our respondents, who flew Garuda to Bali for a conference and "wouldn't have considered booking them myself", had this to say: "Overall, the experience was so good we've made a point to rave about it to anyone we know that travels to Bali. Their service had the effect of breaking the flight up so that when we arrived we felt fresh and relaxed. It certainly opened my eyes. Watch out Jetstar; I think Garuda is going to show you the value in treating passengers as people and not cattle." High praise indeed.

Service, please

This may be old news to some but there is only one public bus that stops within Australia's busiest airport, Sydney.

Sky Report discovered this on a recent trip, when we walked out the wrong door for the taxi queue and found ourselves at a bus stop, with only one STA service using it. Fortuitously for us, it was for the 400 service - which heads to Randwick, where we wished to go - so we jumped aboard.

But not everyone wants to go to Randwick (or Burwood, where the bus ends up) and with Sydney Airport passenger movements expected to reach 50.6 million by 2020 (from exceeding 35.7 million at present), the one-bus-only situation is a puzzling ineptitude.

Of course, there's a train to Central (expensive) and a fair few private shuttles (requires some organisation) but if those aren't ideal for flyers, they certainly don't suit the millions of commutes a year that airport workers clock up.

"More than 16,000 people from surrounding neighbourhoods and beyond, employed by hundreds of companies, work at the airport every day and many of them have no choice but to drive to work," says the Sydney Airport communications manager, Tracy Ong.

The public transport woes and flow-on traffic congestion are a key feature in the Joint Study on Aviation Capacity for the Sydney Region, released last month, which optimistically contains a raft of recommendations to improve the airport run for everyone.

Much publicised are the Commonwealth and NSW governments' plans to improve major roads around the airport, as well as a strategy to encourage rail use by reducing the cost of the train to something akin to the regular CityRail fare.

But what of those not directly on a train line? Well, the joint study does note the need for new bus services - but only two.

"A significant portion of airport users are from Sydney's lower north, with a concentration of commuter/staff trips to Sydney [Kingsford-Smith] Airport from the Sutherland Shire - both areas which are not currently well served by public transport to the airport," the report says.

It suggests as a "possibility" the introduction of a St George-Sutherland bus service largely for airport staff, and a lower north shore service.

But it also notes the good folk of the leafy lower north aren't exactly great users of public transport.
"While the pool of commuter patronage from the lower north shore is relatively small to warrant a direct service, a Metrobus service could provide a direct bus link from the lower north shore to the airport, also connecting other areas in between," it says.

Confiscation crazy

Next time the guy in front of you in the airport screening queue is emptying his pockets of coins, keys, money clip and the remains of his lunch into a plastic tray, spare a thought for your counterparts in the US and what they get held up behind.

The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) allows its officers a blog and on it, they've itemised some of the zanier items they have confiscated.

From snakes to stun guns, the TSA sees it all and, according to Reuters, confiscates an average of four pistols a day.

Spear guns are apparently commonly confused for something that can be carried on. One officer even detected a chainsaw (not exactly a discreet item), fully fuelled with petrol.

And you thought your can of hairspray was a hazard ...

Route watch

Qantas has ceased flying its own planes between Hong Kong and London. Qantas fares booked for Australia-Hong Kong-London will now have the latter leg provided by British Airways.

In the meantime, Hong Kong Airlines has launched a business-class-only service between London and Hong Kong.

The airline is flying one service a day on Airbus A330-200s between Gatwick and Chek Lap Kok.

Reported and advertised fares have been running about a half to a third of the cost of business class on Cathay Pacific.

Source:   http://www.smh.com.au

Tulabut: No-loko promo

By Noel G. Tulabut 
My Palm Notes 
 Saturday, March 31, 2012  

MORE tourist arrivals. 

This is what definitely the new Philippines’ Air Asia flights would bring to Clark (Central and Northern Luzon areas too) and other destinations where it has just opened routes to.

With its maiden Clark-Davao-Clark and Clark-Kalibo-Clark flights, Air Asia would be serving as bridge to these foremost places of interest in the other two major islands of the Philippine archipelago. Considered as a gateway to Mindanao, Davao is the largest city in the country with its bustling metropolis that is highly progressive. The Kalibo route, on the one hand, is a jump-off point to the famous Boracay beaches and other destinations in the western Visayas like Iloiolo and Bacolod.

You see, the so-called catchment area of the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in Clark has about 25 million people throughout northern and central Luzon. This means a potential travel market not only for Air Asia but also for other airlines that ply the Clark routes.

Two regional directors of the Department of Tourism – the respectable Ronnie Tiotuico of Region 3 and the youthful Art Boncato of Region 11 – agree that there will be “spikes in visitor and tourist arrivals” in their places of operations. While they are still recalculating exact projections in the visitor arrivals, they both agree that Air Asia’s flights would boost tourism and business.

Air Asia flights between Clark and Davao would make it a lot easier now for tour operators and event organizers to be planning trips, meetings, conventions as the two places (including Subic which is 30 minutes away from Clark via the SCTEX) are known for great places for both leisure and business.

+++++

Air Asia (of Malaysia) first mounted Clark flights some seven years ago and its big boss Tony Fernandes could only be thankful for the success of his growing aviation empire.

Prior to the Philippines’ Air Asia’s inaugural and pioneering flights on March 28 where Tony personally sent off passengers from Clark, the company is successful too in their operations in Indonesia, Thailand and other regional hubs and destinations.

Its slogan “Now, Everyone Can Fly” is becoming a reality as it stages more and more budget flights to various regional destinations. With their reasonable airfare rates, I was able to bring my family (with mother-in-law and a nephew in tow) to Malaysia and Singapore in 2005 via DMIA of course. I remember writing a column piece after that trip titled “Have budget flight, will travel” which was commended by then CDC President Tony Ng.

What is more significant now with Air Asia is that its Philippine operation is anchoring their pricing schemes on a more transparent manner.

The lovely broadcaster-turned-corporate executive Maan Hontiveros, president and CEO of Philippines Air Asia, has made it a point that there will be no hidden charges in their announced airfares.

That will be a “no-loko promo” there.

It means that if they announce it for P275 each for either a Kalibo or a Davao flight, then, that should be it. No more add-ups of government taxes, surcharges and what have you.

It means not straining your eyes trying to look for the fine prints of this and that charges which is usually the case with other budget carriers.

It also means that the flying public can expect better and much affordable airfares, even as other airlines mount the same routes first pioneered by Air Asia such as the Kalibo and Davao flights.

Maan says that “transparency will be the hallmark of (their) offers and promos” while making it clear though that Philippines Air Asia is not “cheap” as it boasts too of two brand new A320s that were custom fitted with leather seats and all. Another two similar aircraft are coming direct from Airbus Industrie’s plant in Toulouse, France in time for the Puerto Princesa, Palawan flights this April.

“Low fare but high value,” she adds.

Air Asia and other airlines’ flights and the infra build-up in Clark are a result of hardwork of Clark leaders like Chichos Luciano and Ping Remollo, president of Clark International Airport Corp. and Clark Development Corp., respectively.

Air Asia flies twice daily from Clark to Kalibo (7 AM and 8:35 AM) and twice daily also to Davao, 10:10 AM and 5:50 PM, with the latter being mounted until April 20, 2012 only.

+++++

During the launching of Air Asia’s inaugural flights last March 28, DOTC Secretary Mar Roxas witnessed the signing of agreement between Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao and the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in Clark. It was a sister airport undertaking that is fully supported by Davao City Mayor Sarah Duterte (who flew in to Clark the day before) and Mabalacat Mayor Marino Morales.

Also present during the program were BCDA, CIAC, CDC, DOTC officials who were recognized by Sec. Roxas as part of the government team that put some action on much needed infrastructure like airport and the aviation industry.

In Davao, the Metro Angeles City Chamber of Commerce and Industry through its president Dr. Frankie Villanueva has signed a sister chamber agreement with the Davao Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

This particular pact is part of the Partnership for a Better Infrastructure by the Research, Education, and Institutional Development Foundation, Inc.

Source:  http://www.sunstar.com.ph