Monday, April 02, 2012

Judge approves Guam aircraft company's settlement of EEOC religious discrimination suit

A federal judge has approved a settlement by Aviation Concepts, Inc., an aircraft retailer and service provider for Guam, of a religious discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a press release states. Armando Perez, an assistant mechanic and practicing Jehova’s Witness, was fired after he refused to raise the U.S. and Guam flag as it conflicted with his religious beliefs. Perez told his supervisor this, was sent home, and later fired that same day.              

Aviation Concepts will pay $51,000 and furnish extensive relief to settle the EEOC’s suit. The federal agency first filed suit in September 2011. The press release states that religious discrimination violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

“Workers have the right to request an accommodation or exception to work tasks or practices that conflict with their religious beliefs,” said Anna Y. Park, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Los Angeles District Office.

Aviation Concepts agreed to revise its methods; including: appointing an equal employment opportunity consultant; changing their policies to better accommodate sincerely held beliefs; additional training how to handle requests; methods of educating employees about religious accommodations and anti-discrimination, according to the press release.

“Employers cannot ignore or summarily dismiss religious accommodation requests by workers. Companies who fire, discipline or otherwise negatively impact workers who exercise this right violate federal law,” said Timothy Riera, local director for the EEOC’s Honolulu Local Office, which has jurisdiction over Guam.

U.S. to amend Afghan plane bid terms, no full re-do

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Air Force said on Monday it would amend, rather than re-do, the terms of a potential $1 billion competition to supply light attack planes to Afghanistan.

Privately held Sierra Nevada Corp and Brazil's Embraer beat out Hawker Beechcraft to win the deal in December. But the Air Force canceled the initial contract award, valued at $355 million, when it discovered an error while preparing for a lawsuit filed by Hawker, challenging the decision in federal claims court.

The service gave no details of any proposed changes.

Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Wesley Miller said the service was still working out details, but expected to release the amendment this month. He added that a separate investigation into the acquisition process was ongoing.

Only Sierra Nevada and its rival for the contract, Hawker Beechcraft, would be allowed to submit bids, he said.

The Air Force last month abruptly terminated the contract with Sierra Nevada for 20 Super Tucano light attack planes, after it discovered inadequate documentation for the award while preparing for the Hawker lawsuit.

The service announced on March 23 that it was extending an investigation into the contracting error.

The incident has been big news in Brazil, where government officials were caught off guard by Washington's cancellation of the plane order. The issue may come up when Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff visits Washington next week.

Air Force officials have described the incident as embarrassing and disappointing, especially given a series of other acquisition problems over the last decade. They had hoped to investigate the matter quickly and move forward with a new competition to ensure that the Afghan government could still receive an initial order soon to build up its air force.

One defense official said the service was taking longer to complete because the Air Force wanted to be sure the substandard documentation was not a systemic problem across the service.

Sierra Nevada is seeking a quick re-do of the contest that would not lower the requirements set for the original bids, from which the Hawker Beechcraft's AT-6 was disqualified.

Sierra says the Embraer Super Ts are in use by six militaries around the globe.

Hawker has insisted that it's AT-6 plane is the most capable, affordable and sustainable light attack aircraft on the market. The company is urging the Air Force to revise its light attack plane requirements, arguing that not even front-line U.S. fighter jets could meet the requirements as written.

Hawker on Monday formally entered into forbearance requirements with several big lenders, giving it "time and flexibility to restructure the company's balance sheet and better position Hawker Beechcraft for the long term," said Steve Miller, chief executive of the company, which was acquired by Goldman Sachs in 2007.

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services on Monday lowered its corporate credit rating on Hawker Beechcraft to SD or "selective default," and lowered the rating on the company's secured credit facility to 'D', given its current financial straits.

Florida: Five hurt, 3 seriously, after small plane crashes into Publix in DeLand

Authorities say a small plane has crashed into a central Florida shopping center, and reports indicated at least five people have been injured.

The Volusia County Sheriff's Office reports that several people at the Northgate Shopping Center in Deland called 911 around 7:20 p.m. Monday about the crash. They described seeing the plane sputter, hit the building and burst into flames not far from a municipal airport.

The sheriff's office reports a pilot and a passenger aboard were airlifted to Orlando Regional Medical Center.

Separately, The Daytona Beach News-Journal said emergency workers reported at least five people were injured, two of them with burns. A News-Journal photographer at the scene said the plane appeared to have crashed into the roof of a Publix chain supermarket.

Immediate details remained sketchy.

DeLand — Five people were injured when an experimental airplane crashed into the roof of a Publix in this city 40 miles north of Orlando.

Two people on the plane and one on the ground received serious burns, said Sgt. Chris Estes, a DeLand police spokesman. Two more people on the ground were injured.

The crash happened about 7:20 p.m. two miles west of DeLand Municipal Airport, where the plane had just taken off, Estes said.

Roth Peeler, who lives about 300 feet behind the store at 299 E. International Speedway Boulevard, said he saw the plane go down. Afterward, he walked to the front of the store and saw people running, trying to get into their cars and out of the parking lot, he said.

"A small single-engine, yellow plane spiraled right down and through the roof and just exploded," Peeler said. "Not a piece of the plane came out. It's all in the store."

Resident Frank Plumb also witnessed the crash.

"I was sitting down, eating dinner and heard a boom," he said. "When I looked out my window, I saw a black cloud of smoke."

Though no flames are visible now, smoke is pouring out of the building. About 20 firetrucks and other emergency vehicles are at Northgate Shopping Center, where the Publix is located.

Roads in the area are shut down because of the incident, and motorists are advised to stay away from the area.

"The entire shopping center is pretty much closed at this point," Estes said.

Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson said two men were in the plane and were alive after the crash. Both were taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center with severe burns.

He said the three other injured people were inside the store at the time of the crash.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will be notified, police said. An FAA spokeswoman said she had no information on the crash.

A small plane crashed about 7 p.m. into the Publix on International Speedway Boulevard in DeLand, and rescue workers said five people were injured, two with burns.

DeLand City Manager Michael Pleus interrupted a City Commission meeting and said he heard the pilot might have been killed in the crash, and people were injured.

Randel Henderson, deputy chief of the DeLand Police Department, said he was en route to the crash and couldn't confirm whether there were injuries.

"It was pretty chaotic," he said of a description he received of the scene. "I can only imagine what I am going to find when I get there."

A News-Journal photographer, Pete Bauer, speaking from the scene said fire trucks and ambulances were outside the smoking Publix, and it appeared the plane had crashed into the roof toward the building's rear.

Finding a buyer for Aveos will be difficult

MONTREAL - The search is on for a saviour for Aveos Fleet Performance Inc. - but the ranks of potential, eligible and willing white knights and the conditions attached make the quest a daunting task.

As the MRO (aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul) industry accelerates its migration to low-wage countries, finding a solid corporate citizen willing to expand in North America is no simple task.

The first condition that investment funds, industry people and government bodies engaged in the search agree is a sine qua non for any rescue is the participation of Air Canada.

The airline provided Aveos with more than 90 per cent of its work - although only 65 per cent of its revenues - and any solution aimed at restarting the vast Aveos facility would be doomed from the start unless the Montreal carrier is firmly onboard first.

Testifying before a parliamentary transport committee in Ottawa last week, Air Canada president Calin Rovinescu expressed a general preference for working with a ``global MRO and manufacturer'' that would buy part or all of Aveos' facilities in Canada.

One such MRO, Lufthansa Technik, tried in 2007 to acquire Air Canada Technical Services, which later became Aveos.

Asked if his company, wholly-owned by Lufthansa, is still interested, Lufthansa Technik spokesperson Bernd Habbel said from Hamburg Monday that ``at this very moment, I'd have to say no.''

But he didn't shut the door definitively to expressions of interest by his firm.

``We haven't been approached with a detailed, concrete plan about this Aveos topic,'' said Habbel. ``Today, we don't have too many details, so, so far there are no serious or detailed activities in that direction.''

Lufthansa Technik is ``in growth mode'' and is ``always looking for good opportunities, that's for sure.''

``But I don't know about any such talks (regarding Aveos) today.''

Habbel said that on the one hand, the trend for MROs is to migrate to low-wage countries, in Asia and Latin America. His firm has a major centre in Manila that employs 8,000 people, and is partner of Air China in a Beijing MRO that employs several thousand people. Of Lufthansa Technik's 26,000 workers, 13,000 are in Germany and the rest in Eastern Europe and Asia. A few hundred are in Miami, New York and Tulsa, Okla.

Yet, he added, most U.S. airlines still do the bulk of their aircraft maintenance in North America, which still represents an opportunity for firms like his.

``So yes, we're looking for places and facilities (in North America) with feasible costs of labour, that's for sure.''

Serge Tremblay, executive director of the Center for aerospace manpower activities in Quebec (CAMAQ), noted that even if Lufthansa Technik were interested, they would be conducting due diligence on Aveos and would not comment on any possible interest.

Chantal Corbeil, spokesperson for Investissement Quebec, a partner in the search for investors, said that ``we're in discussion with several companies worldwide.''

She would not name them or give a time-frame for a resolution beyond saying it could be ``weeks or months.''

Patrick McQuilken, spokesperson for the Fonds de solidarite FTQ, said that his fund is willing to invest in Quebec jobs, but is not involved in the search for players.

Marcel St. Jean, president of local 1751 of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, which represents the 1,800 Aveos employees, said that ``everyone thought it was all over (two weeks ago), but that's not how we think.''

Investigator: Plane consumed by fire in DeLand Publix crash


DELAND -- The four-seater airplane that crashed into Publix was largely consumed by fire, a senior investigator with the National Safety Transportation Board said this afternoon.

"The majority of the airplane was consumed by fire," said Luke Schiada, Senior Air Safety Investigator with the National Safety Transportation Board. "It makes the investigation more difficult because of the damage to the plane."

The airplane, a Seawind 3000, is an experimental amateur-built aircraft with a 340-horsepower engine manufactured in 2002, Schiada said. It is not known who was flying the aircraft when it went down, but it's owned by Kim Presbrey, who was onboard the aircraft with Thomas Rhodes.

Investigators will spend the day documenting the wreckage inside the Publix on International Speedway Boulevard to determine what may have caused the airplane to go down, Schiada said.

The plane will then be moved to a secure facility for further examination, Schiada said.

Investigators will also be looking at the history of the aircarft, its maintenance history and the background of the pilot, Schiada said.

The airplane took off from the DeLand Municpal Airport and crashed at 7:20 p.m. It is not yet known where the aircarft was headed, Schiada said.
According to DeLand police, five people were injured in the crash. The people on the plane -- Rhodes and Presbrey -- suffered severe burns and were airlifted to Orlando Regional Medical Center.

Lisa Cordova and April Morris were treated at Florida Hospital DeLand and released last night. Brendan Beitler, 20, is still at the Oralndo Regional Medical Center in stable condition, said DeLand police Sgt. Chris Estes. Beitler, a Stetson University student, appeared this morning in a photo on his Facebook page in a hospital bed giving a thumb's up.

Crime scene tape still surrounded the parking lot this morning as county and federal officials try to determine what caused the plane to crash into the store Monday night.

DeLand Police Lt. Jack Waples, who has been inside the building, said the plane went directly through the roof. "There is a big gaping hole in what looks like aisles five and six."

He said debris is scattered all over the store.

Asked what the plane looked like Waples said, "It's burned; the only thing I recognize is the engine."

Representatives of the Federal Aviation Administration are inside the building, photographing and conducting a preliminary investigation.  They will await the arrival of the National Transportation Safety Administration, who will do the same thing.

After federal investigators finish, the city of DeLand's building inspectors will move in to check the safety and structure of the building, said Waples.
The store was crowded with shoppers when the plane went down, sending a ball of fire through the store. Officials said there is a 25-foot square hole in the roof.

As officials prepare to figure out what went wrong, a chain spokeswoman said today all the employees working at the store are acccounted for and none suffered injuries.

"All the associates have been sent to area stores to work," said Maria Brous, a Publix spokeswoman, in an interview at the store parking lot this morning.
Brous said the first concern of the business was the well-being of the associates.

The store employs about 175 associates, Brous said. Brous, who had not entered the store yet, said the loss in products in the store is the last thing they are worried about.

Brous said the store is accommodating customers who filled prescriptions at the store's pharmacy by transferring all prescriptions to nearby Publix stores where they can pick them up.

Brous said the goal is to reopen the store as soon as possible to continue serving customers but said she did not have a timeline when that would occur.

DeLand, Florida -- Shoppers got quite a shock when a small plane crashed into Publix.
It happened in DeLand, in Volusia County, about 40 miles northeast of Orlando. We know five people were hurt. 

The Publix is almost right in the flight path of the airport

Witnesses say the experimental plane sputtered and then fell out of the sky. It flew over a Lowe's and a retention pond before it smashed into the Publix supermarket.

The hero here is apparently the manager of the meat department. 

Our fellow CNN affiliate, WFTV, reports the plane crashed into that meat department at about 7:30 Monday night. 

The pilot and co-pilot climbed out of the wreckage with their clothes on fire. 

The manager was the one who put out those fires and got the two men out of the chaos inside the store.
Witnesses said the folks in the store were panicked with good reason -- one man was reminded of his time at war.

"There was a zip zoom, like artillery. If you've been on the business end of that, you know what it is," the witness told CNN affiliate Central Florida News 13.

Officials told WFTV there were 33 employees and 35 shoppers in the store at the time.
Three shoppers were hurt, but none seriously. 

The two people who were in the plane were flown to Orlando Regional Medical Center with severe burns.

Publix is based in the Tampa Bay area; its headquarters complex opened in Lakeland in 1951.

DELAND, Fla. -- Police and sheriff's officials in Volusia County confirm that a single-engine plane has crashed into a Publix in DeLand.

The crash occurred at the Northgate Shopping Center in the 200 block of International Speedway Boulevard about 7:30 p.m.

DeLand fire officials said five people were injured. Three of those injured were burn patients, and two of them were airlifted to Orlando Regional Medical Center with third-degree burns, according to fire department officials. It was not known how badly the other two victims were injured.

Chopper 2's Dan McCarthy spoke with the pilot of a medical transport helicopter used at the scene who said the plane was an experimental aircraft that took off from DeLand and suffered engine failure. The pilot said the two people who were airlifted to ORMC were the only two on board the plane and had burns that did not appear to be life-threatening.

Witnesses at the scene described seeing the plane sputter, hit the building and burst into flames not far from a municipal airport. Fire from the plane was extinguished about an hour after the crash.

A small plane has crashed into Publix Super Market in the Northgate Shopping Center in DeLand.

The shopping center is on East International Speedway Boulevard, about a mile from DeLand Airport.

Reporter Saul Saenz says a total of five people were hurt, three were seriously hurt, according to emergency crews. Two of those seriously hurt people were inside the plane. Saenz says no fatalities have been reported.

Sgt. Chris Estes with DeLand Police says three people with serious burns were taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center. Estes says this was a double prop experimental plane.

At one point, this was considered a three-alarm fire.  

Randy Felix, who says he was in the Publix at the time of the crash, said he was in the deli section when he heard the rumbling. He said lights then went off, and then a plume of fire pushed to the front of the store. Felix says it affected about five to six aisles, and seemed to happen in the center of the store. Customers started running to get out. Felix says he saw one customer with his legs badly burned.

Craig Maddox, whose son works at the Publix, told us the small plane crashed through the roof. He said he got his information from one of the Publix managers. He says all of the employees made it out okay.

Darlene Trezkop, who witnessed the crash, said the plane was flying fast and low when it crashed into the building.

Another witness, Stephen Lloyd, says he and his children saw the plane take off, turned his head for a moment, then heard the plane hit the building and saw the plume of smoke.

Evan Wallace, another witness, says he saw two people coming out of the back of the store on stretchers. He says he was told by Volusia County Sheriff's deputies that they were the pilot and co-pilot.

Pedro Pavel, 11, was outside the store with his mother. He said he heard the plane sputter, and crash into the building. He then felt the ground shake, and feared there would be a bigger explosion. He said his mother kept trying to get him in the car, but he felt paralyzed as he watched people run out of the store.

Walt Logan, a Bright House Networks employee, said black smoke can still be seen from the building as late as 8 p.m. The building is part of a strip mall with some small and large businesses. Logan, also tells us that onlookers were pushed back because the gas line to the Publix had not been shut off yet. That gas line has since been turned off.

Authorities say a small plane has crashed into a central Florida shopping center, and reports indicated at least five people have been injured.

The Volusia County Sheriff's Office reports that several people at the Northgate Shopping Center in Deland called 911 around 7:20 p.m. Monday about the crash. They described seeing the plane sputter, hit the building and burst into flames not far from a municipal airport.

The sheriff's office reports a pilot and a passenger aboard were airlifted to Orlando Regional Medical Center.

Separately, The Daytona Beach News-Journal said emergency workers reported at least five people were injured, two of them with burns. A News-Journal photographer at the scene said the plane appeared to have crashed into the roof of a Publix chain supermarket.

Cessna 414A Chancellor, C And S Manufacturing Corp., N53WT: Accident occurred April 02, 2012 at Door County Cherry Land Airport (KSUE), Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin

  Regis#: 53WT        Make/Model: C414      Description: 414, Chancellor
  Date: 04/02/2012     Time: 2247

  Event Type: Incident   Highest Injury: None     Mid Air: N    Missing: N
  Damage: Unknown

  City: STURGEON BAY                State: WI   Country: US


INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   0
                 # Crew:   2     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    
                 # Pass:   0     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    
                 # Grnd:         Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    

  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Landing      Operation: OTHER

  FAA FSDO: MILWAUKEE, WI  (GL13)                 Entry date: 04/03/2012 

The pilot who helped an 80-year-old woman land a twin-engine plane after her husband suffered a fatal attack Monday is among Door County officials who will participate in a 1 p.m. news conference today.

Robert Vuksanovic of Sturgeon Bay joined Helen Collins in the sky and helped guide her to the ground after her husband, John, became unresponsive while piloting the plane, according to a sheriff’s report released this morning.

John Collins, 81, was pronounced dead at Ministry Door County Medical Center shortly after the plane landed at Cherryland Airport. He was the president and founder of C&S Manufacturing, which builds parts for the HVAC and plumbing industries at the Sturgeon Bay Industrial Park.

According to the report, Helen Collins radioed at about 5:05 p.m. when the Cessna aircraft was about five or six miles south of Sturgeon Bay at 2,300 feet. Airport manager Keith Kasbohm contacted Vuksanovic and his wife, Catherine, both licensed pilots, who came to the airport and began speaking to Mrs. Collins via radio.

“It was decided that Robert would get another aircraft airborne to shadow the distressed aircraft and Catherine would communicate from the ground with Helen,” the report said.

The two aircraft did several fly-by maneuvers as practice runs prior to attempting a landing at about 6:09 p.m. The plane touched down roughly, bounced once and then hit the ground nose first, skidding across a grassy area and coming to rest on its nose.

Southern Door Fire Department and Door County EMS crews attended to the Collinses, who were transported to the hospital. Helen Collins complained of back pain, while John Collins was still unresponsive. He was pronounced dead at 6:38 p.m.
Earlier story: Rescuers help woman land plane after pilot husband suffers fatal attack

A Sturgeon Bay area woman maneuvered a plane to safety after her husband, who was piloting the plane, suffered a medical emergency and lost consciousness.

Authorities were notified at about 5 p.m. that a twin-engine Cessna airplane about six miles south of Sturgeon Bay had declared an emergency. After the 81-year-old pilot became unconscious, his wife, 80, who is not a pilot, began to operate the plane.

In an attempt to successfully land the plane at the Door County Cherryland Airport, a certified pilot was placed into a second plane flying next to the distressed plane and was able to provide instruction to the woman.

The woman notified rescuers at about 6 p.m. that her right engine had lost power because it ran out of fuel and she needed to land immediately.

She suffered minor injuries upon landing and was taken by ambulance to Ministry Door County Medical Center. Her husband also was transported to the hospital because of his original medical condition, where he was pronounced dead.

Emergency crews from several agencies were called to the scene, and the incident is under investigation. The Door County Sheriff’s Department did not release the name of the couple, who are from the Sturgeon Bay area, Monday night.

Green Bay Press-Gazette

STURGEON BAY - Door County officials have released the names of the people involved in a hard landing at the Door County Cherryland Airport Monday night.

The sheriff's office says John D. Collins, 81, was piloting the plane when he suffered a medical problem and passed out. His wife, Helen C. Collins, 80, took over. Both were from Sturgeon Bay. Helen Collins did not have any flying experience, but landed with the help of another husband-and-wife team of pilots. They were identified as Robert and Catherine Vuksanovic.

The plane bounced once before landing on a grassy area. Helen Collins was taken to the hospital complaining of back pain. John Collins was also taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Officials said the couple were returning from Florida and had made a stop in Georgia on their way back. The initial distress call was received just after 5 p.m. at Austin Straubel Airport in Ashwaubenon.

The plane was registered to C & S Manufacturing of Sturgeon Bay. The company's website lists a John D. Collins as president and CEO.

A news conference has been scheduled for 1 p.m. to discuss details of the situation. The Vuksanovics are expected to attend.

It was a mid-air emergency over Door County. An 80-year-old Sturgeon Bay woman was forced to land a twin-engine plane after her pilot husband suffered a medical problem during the flight.

"She took over the aircraft, she's not a licensed pilot and knows very little about flying aircraft," Sheriff Terry Vogel said.

The Door County Sheriff's Department says the twin-engine plane declared an emergency about six miles south of Sturgeon Bay.

Authorities say the 81-year-old pilot suffered a medical emergency and was unconscious, forcing his wife to take the controls.

In an attempt to land her safely, a certified pilot took off in a second plane and was able to provide instructions to the woman on the proper handling of the plane.

After running out of fuel in the right engine, she made a final approach at Door County Cherryland Airport and was able to land the plane.

Torry Lautenbach described watching from his home as the plane circled the airport and her first attempt at landing "at Mach 1" then pulling up. He said on her final landing the plane hopped twice then the nose gear collapsed, but she kept the plane skidding straight down the runway.

"She must have flew at least ten times around," Lautenbach said, "but she did a good job."

"I think there was a lot of thought and work that went into it," Sheriff Vogel said.

The woman was taken to the hospital for minor injuries suffered during the landing.

Her husband was pronounced dead as a result of his medical condition at an area hospital.

An 80-year-old woman from the Sturgeon Bay area took control of a twin-engine plane in the skies over Door County Monday evening when her 81-year-old husband who was piloting the aircraft was fatally stricken.

The woman is not a pilot but managed to land the plane with the help of a pilot who took off from the Door County Cherry Land Airport in another aircraft to fly next to her and give her a quick flight lesson.

The midair drama started at 5:06 p.m. Monday when the Door County Sheriff's dispatch center learned someone in a Cessna plane had declared an emergency.

The plane was about six miles south of Sturgeon Bay at the time. Dispatchers were told the pilot had suffered a medical emergency and was unconscious and the plane was being flown by the passenger who is not a pilot.

An hour later, at 6:05 p.m., the woman radioed rescue personnel and told them her right engine had lost power when the fuel ran out and she needed to land immediately. She made the final approach, and with the help of the pilot in the other plane, successfully landed the aircraft.

She was slightly injured in the landing and taken to Ministry Door County Medical Center in Sturgeon Bay where a Door County Sheriff's dispatcher said her condition was not known. Her husband was pronounced dead at the hospital.

The couple's names were not released Monday night.

FAA investigators were notified to assist in the investigation.

Cessna 414A Chancellor, C And S Manufacturing Corp., N53WT: Incident occurred April 02, 2012 in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin -and- Accident occurred May 05, 2007 in Sturgeon Bay, Door County, Wisconsin

  Regis#: 53WT        Make/Model: C414      Description: 414, Chancellor
  Date: 04/02/2012     Time: 2247

  Event Type: Incident   Highest Injury: None     Mid Air: N    Missing: N
  Damage: Unknown

  City: STURGEON BAY                State: WI   Country: US


INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   0
                 # Crew:   2     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    
                 # Pass:   0     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    
                 # Grnd:         Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    

  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Landing      Operation: OTHER

  FAA FSDO: MILWAUKEE, WI  (GL13)                 Entry date: 04/03/2012 

LISTEN:  Audio of the in-flight drama

Aviation Accident Final Report  -  National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Data Summary   -  National Transportation Safety Board:

NTSB Identification: CHI07LA135
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Saturday, May 05, 2007 in Sturgeon Bay, WI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/28/2008
Aircraft: Cessna 414A, registration: N53WT
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.

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

The pilot reported that about eight minutes prior to landing, the right hydraulic light on the annunciator panel illuminated. He lowered the landing gear and continued to his destination. He flew the approach with flaps deployed halfway due to a crosswind, and upon touchdown at a "normal point and airspeed," he deployed full flaps. The pilot reported that the brakes had little or no effect. The airplane overran the runway, went through a chain link perimeter fence, and came to a stop on a perimeter road 449 feet from the edge of the runway. The inspection of the runway revealed black skid marks from both left and right main gear tires continuing to the end of the runway 20, where furrows from both main tires continued through the grass almost to the fence line. The inspection of the brake assemblies by a mechanic revealed that both brake discs and pads were worn and in need of service. The right brake was leaking fluid. The mechanic reported that the left side required a new brake disc and new brake pads, and the right side required new brake pads. Wind conditions were reported as 070 degrees at 10 knots.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
Worn brakes which resulted in an overrun during landing. A fence was a factor.

Door County Cherryland Airport (SUE), Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. The private pilot and both passengers were not injured. The 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 flight departed Ford Airport (IMT), Iron Mountain/Kingsford, Michigan, at 1900 and was en route to SUE. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. No flight plan was filed.

The pilot stated that he had flown from the Denver, Colorado, area earlier in the day with a stop at IMT prior to continuing on to SUE. He reported that he did not have to use the brakes significantly at IMT (6,500 feet by 150 feet, asphalt) due to "a long, uphill sloping runway." 

Twenty-two minutes after departing IMT for SUE, the pilot reported that the right hydraulic light on the annunciator panel illuminated. He lowered the landing gear and continued on to SUE. The pilot stated that he flew his final approach into SUE with the flaps deployed halfway due to a crosswind. Upon touchdown, he then deployed the flaps to the full position. He said that he touched down on the runway at a "normal point and airspeed" and tried to apply the brakes. He stated his brakes had little or no effect. The airplane overran the runway, went through the airport's chain link perimeter fence, and stopped on the perimeter road. None of the occupants were injured.

A deputy with the Door County Sheriff's Office arrived and took measurements. The airplane came to rest 449 feet from the edge of the runway. The distance from the runway to the chain link perimeter fence was 413 feet. 

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector examined the aircraft and the accident location. He reported that when he applied the brakes from the cockpit that they were not spongy and were able to hold the aircraft in place. The brake fluid level was within limits. A visual inspection showed the wear on the brake pads was not excessive. During the inspection of the runway, the inspector observed black skid marks from both the left and right main gear tires continuing to the end of the runway, where furroughs from both main tires continued through the grass almost to the fence line. 

A licensed airframe and powerplant (A&P) mechanic who inspected the aircraft in order to prepare it for a ferry flight noted that both brakes locked up in the hangar upon inspection. The brakes also held the aircraft during a single-engine full-power run-up. He reported that when the aircraft was taxied, the brakes "were not too good." The A&P took both the right and left brake assemblies off of the airplane for further examination. He stated that the right brake showed wear on one side, while the other side showed no wear. He reported that the right brake was leaking fluid. The inspection of the left brake assembly revealed that the left brake disc was "cupped" all the way around the disc on the inboard side. He reported that the left and right brake assemblies were in need of service. He reported that the left side required a new brake disc and new brake pads and the right side required new brake pads. 

Weather conditions reported at SUE near the time of the accident were: Wind 070 degrees at 10 knots; visibility 10 statute miles; sky clear; temperature 12 degrees Celsius; dew point -1 degree Celsius; altimeter setting 30.28 inches of mercury.
Helen and John Collins in an undated photo. Helen, 80, stayed calm while landing a twin-engine airplane on Monday afternoon after her husband, who was piloting the plane, passed out. John Collins was pronounced dead later at a hospital. 

John D. Collins

The funeral for Sturgeon Bay businessman and philanthropist John D. Collins has been scheduled for 11 a.m. Tuesday at Corpus Christi Catholic Church.
Collins died Monday after suffering an apparent heart attack while flying a family airplane home with his wife, Helen. Rescuers helped Helen Collins land the plane at Cherryland Airport.

Huehns Funeral Home of Sturgeon Bay released Collins' obituary Wednesday. The Mass of Christian Bural will be celebrated with Rev. Carl Schmitt, Rev. Anthony Birdsall, and Rev. Robert Konkol officiating. Burial with military honors with the Marine Corps League Peninsula Detachment will follow at St. Joseph Cemetery.

Friends may call from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday at the funeral home, 1414 Michigan St., Sturgeon Bay, and at the church after 10 a.m. Tuesday until the time of services. A parish wake service will be held at 6 p.m. Monday at the funeral home.

Memorials may be given in his memory to Crossroads at Big Creek or St. John Bosco Catholic School.

Read the full obituary at the Huehns Funeral Home website.

Robert Vuksanovic, Sturgeon Bay, tells his story to the media April 3 of how he instructed Helen Collins, 80, Sturgeon Bay, to land her plane at Cherryland Airport in Sturgeon Bay on Monday, April 2. Her husband, John, had been flying the Cessna, lost consciousness and died. / Tina M. Gohr/Door County Advocate

STURGEON BAY - We've heard the amazing audio of an 80-year-old woman with little piloting experience landing a plane in Sturgeon Bay.

“I've got to land pretty quick. My gas gauge shows nothing,” said Helen Collins in a recording.

Now we're hearing what her son has to say about her experience.

“I'm extremely proud of my mother. What she accomplished that day was amazing considering her age,” said Richard Collins, son of John and Helen Collins.

Helen Collins is still in the hospital, recovering from the ordeal. It's a bittersweet situation for her family.

Helen Collins was reading in the back of the plane, when her husband John Collins asked her to come up to the cockpit.

“He said I think I'm having a heart attack, and I'm going to loosen up the seat belt so I can breathe,” said Richard Collins.

Collins says before his mother could take her seat, his dad was unconscious.

Richard says he saw the twin-engine Cessna fly right over the airport.

“I thought why don't they land? Why don't they land?” he said.

Richard says Helen had some flying experience, but that was 30 years ago. Pilot Robert Vuksanovic scrambled a second plane, owned by the Collins family.

“He says he's in the air, and I'm gonna fly off your wing. I'm gonna land you,” said Richard Collins.

The plane was low on fuel, but Vuksanovic provided a light moment before Helen was about to attempt to land.

“Ok Ken, go ahead and have them close the road,” said Vuksanovic on a recording.

“What do you mean?” said Helen Collins in response.

“I was talking to the people on the ground,” responded Vuksanovic.

“Don't you have faith in me?” said Helen Collins.

“I do, but I don't trust the drivers on the road,” said Vuksanovic.

“That's one thing about my mother. In the heat of the moment she can break away from what's going on, and keep an upbeat note. And that's what she did,” said Richard Collins.

After several passes, Helen pointed the nose of the plane at the end of the runway. She bounced the plane once, before coming to a stop.

“When it comes to the landing I know she was scared. She did a fantastic job. She's a hero,” said Richard Collins.

Her husband John was gone. Richard says his father loved to fly.

“He was always upbeat. Not only did he want to be their friend, but he wanted to get to know them,” he said.

Richard Collins says the damage to the plane will be temporary. The family says it will repair the Cessna as a tribute to their father.

“We know that's what he would do. We're trying to follow in his footsteps and do something nice for him that we know he would just love us to do,” he said.

Richard Collins says he hopes to bring his mother home from the hospital in a couple of days.

An experienced pilot and the 80-year-old woman he helped land a plane without a pilot’s license were hailed as heroes Tuesday by Door County Sheriff Terry Vogel.

Robert Vuksanovic, 53, of Sturgeon Bay joined Helen Collins in the sky and helped guide her to the ground after her husband suffered an apparent heart attack while piloting the plane Monday afternoon.

John Collins, 81, was pronounced dead at Ministry Door County Medical Center shortly after the plane landed at Cherryland Airport. He was the president and founder of C&S Manufacturing, which builds parts for the HVAC and plumbing industries at the Sturgeon Bay Industrial Park.

At a news conference Tuesday, Vogel recounted how Austin Straubel International Airport in Green Bay notified Door County dispatch of a distress call received at 5:05 p.m., when Helen Collins reported the medical emergency. She was spotted on radar about five or six miles south of Sturgeon Bay at 2,300 feet.

Cherryland Airport manager Keith Kasbohm contacted Vuksanovic and his wife, Catherine, both licensed pilots, who came to the airport and began speaking to Mrs. Collins via radio.

“My wife is a senior instructor and knows how to put a student at ease,” Robert Vuksanovic said. “The first thing to do is eliminate anxiety, and then they can receive instruction.”

Catherine stayed in contact from the ground while her husband talked with the Collinses’ children and coordinated going up in the family’s other plane to fly beside her. Vuksanovic piloted a Beechcraft Bonanza to keep up with the twin engine Cessna 414 that was flying at about 170 mph when first intercepted, he said.

“There are very few single engines that can do that speed,” he said. “I did a quick preflight and was up in about 10-15 minutes.”

The Collins children urged him, “Go up and save Mom,” he said.

“That was a huge load on my shoulders,” Robert Vuksanovic said. But with more  than 28,000 hours of flight time and years of training, he said he “felt fairly comfortable doing it.”

Duma transport committee chairman urges not to make hasty conclusions about ATR 72 aircraft. UTAir Avion de Transport Regional ATR-72-200, VP-BYZ, Flight UT-120, Tyumen


MOSCOW. April 2 (Interfax) - Head of the State Duma Transport Committee Yevgeny Moskvichyov has said the State Duma has created all the necessary legal conditions for flight safety, and one should investigate specific causes of the ATR 72 air crash near Tyumen.

"The main thing now is to understand what was the cause of the plane crash. Everything that needed to be done to increase flight safety has already been done by the State Duma," Moskvichyov said on Monday.

It is too soon to talk about the causes of the Tyumen air crash, they have yet to be ascertained, the committee chairman said.

"The theory that the ATR 72 model was not designed for flights in Russia is just words so far. There are dozens of such aircraft models in Russia. They were approved before being bought," Moskvichyov was quoted as saying by the United Russia faction in the State Duma.

Etihad’s inaugural flight to Nairobi touches down

DUBAI - Etihad Airways’ inaugural passenger flight to Kenya has touched down at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) in Nairobi. The new daily, two-class A320 service is the airline’s first passenger service to East Africa and a critically important step in expanding its presence in Africa.

The airline will also reach into West Africa with the introduction of flights to Nigeria in July, 2012. Etihad Airways commenced operations to the Seychelles in November, 2011, and Libya in January of this year, building on existing services to Egypt, South Africa, Morocco and Sudan.An Etihad Airways delegation of senior executives, led by chief commercial officer Peter Baumgartner, was on the inaugural Nairobi flight. Executives from the airline will meet government officials and local tourism representatives during the visit to Kenya. The delegation will also host an evening reception to celebrate Etihad Airways’ new flights.

Etihad Airways president and chief executive officer James Hogan said: “We are delighted to introduce Etihad Airways to East Africa. This year will see considerable growth for us within Africa as a whole, as we observe strong and emerging markets across the continent.

“In particular, this new route services the considerable and growing flow of people and capital between Kenya and North Asia, with major Chinese investment in Africa generating passenger demand in both directions.

“We expect to see strong loads to China, including our new destinations — Chengdu and Shanghai — and of course Beijing, though the schedule allows sub-four hour connectivity to key destinations across North Asia, South East Asia, the Indian Subcontinent and Australia.”

The A320 aircraft has 16 Pearl Business class and 120 Coral Economy class seats.

Etihad Airways began dedicated cargo services to Nairobi in March 2009 and will continue to operate five freight-only flights per week. The combined capacity of passenger and cargo aircraft will allow the airline to transport 340 tonnes of cargo each week.

Airport authority asks for loan from Stafford

The Stafford Regional Airport Authority has asked the county  for a $1.4 million loan to construct a new, permanent terminal building.

Currently, a double-wide trailer serves as the terminal west of Interstate 95 exit 136.

And while the trailer works for private pilots, the authority wants a terminal to expand the airport’s use for businesses that may use it for work-related travel.

“The corporate aviation side could do better,” Henry Scharpenberg, chairman of the authority, told the Stafford Board of Supervisors recently. “Those are the folks that bring in real revenue for the county.”

At Wednesday’s board meeting, supervisors are scheduled to authorize a public hearing on financing the $1.4 million loan.

This would also keep the airport competitive with Leesburg Executive and Manassas Regional airports, Scharpenberg said.

In 2009, Stafford eliminated personal property tax on airplanes. Since then, the waiting list for hangar space has grown—including from many plane owners outside of the county.

The Stafford airport authority would repay the county loan over 25 years, Scharpenberg said.

The Virginia Department of Aviation would provide the remainder of the $3.6 million needed to build the terminal.

The goal is that commercial use would bring in profits for the airport, through leasing land and increased fuel sales.

Six pad sites are ready for corporate hangar development.  One is under negotiation.

“These sites are for the aviation side of a business, flight departments or other aviation-related interests,” airport manager Ed Wallis said in an email.
The county would see benefits by bringing in leasehold tax revenue, Scharpenberg said.

Stafford’s Transportation Fund could advance the construction money as a loan to the airport authority, according to county documents.

Debt service could be $70,000 to $95,000 per year with a 25-year payout;  interest would total about $435,000, the county report said.

If the airport defaulted on repayment of the loan, fuels tax receipts held by the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission could be used to reimburse the county for debt service costs.

Construction of the terminal could start next spring.

Designs were done in 2009, and could be ready with slight updates. The project could be put out to bid this summer.

The airport also has long-term plans to extend its runway by 1,000 feet. It’s currently 5,000 feet, but competitors offer longer runways. That allows jets and planes to take off with full tanks of gas—meaning the airport increases its revenue from fuel sales.

But Scharpenberg said the terminal takes priority over the runway improvements to attract corporate clients.

The airport authority includes representatives from Stafford and Prince William counties, and the city of Fredericksburg.

New airport a threat to corn crop, Neuville residents say

 QUEBEC – “Le blé d’inde de Neuville” is recognized as the sweetest, tastiest summer corn consumers in the Quebec City region can buy.

But opponents of a new airport in Neuville, about 40 kilometres west of the capital, say leaded fuel used by the small propeller aircraft already taking off and landing within a kilometre of residential areas poses a health hazard to local residents and could enter the corn crop.

They point to a 2010 ruling by the Supreme Court that the federal government’s jurisdiction in aviation overrides provincial laws, meaning a private operator could build a new airport and ignore provincial environment or farmland protection laws.

The ruling was a seven-two decision, with two Quebec justices dissenting.

In addition, the Union of Canadian Municipalities is concerned there could be a proliferation of new airports across the country, said Robert Jasmin, who organized a demonstration in Neuville on the weekend attended by about 600 people.

Jasmin noted a recent study by Marie Lynn Miranda, a University of Michigan environmental health scientist, that found blood-lead levels of 2 per cent to 4 per cent in people living near airports.

“That’s small,” Miranda said. “But we’re getting more and more evidence that indicates even very small amounts of lead is bad.”

Children in particular are vulnerable to lead, which can damage young brains and nervous systems, Miranda wrote in her report, saying exposure can cause “decreases in IQ, changes in test scores, changes in attention, hearing threshold, all sorts of things like that.”

Martin Mercier, president of Neuville Aéro, the private operators of the new airport, said Monday that leaded fuel – banned from Canadian highways since 1990 but still allowed to fuel small aircraft – has been used for years in all 6,000 airports across Canada.

“I have never heard of anyone who was sick,” Mercier said in a telephone interview.

The weekend demonstration was attended by federal and provincial politicians, including federal Liberal Denis Coderre, several New Democrats and Maria Mourani of the Bloc Québécois, who raised the issue in the House of Commons on Monday.

Answering Mourani, Transport Minister Denis Lebel said his responsibility is the safety of air travellers – and “there is no safety issue here.”

When Mercier and his partners broached the idea of an airport in Neuville, Mayor Bernard Gaudreau proposed a bylaw saying no airport could be built “within five kilometres of a residential area.”

Mercier showed up at the town hall with the Supreme Court judgment, telling Gaudreau he could not block the airport. The mayor, a lawyer, realized he had no choice, so he negotiated an agreement on flight paths and hours of operation.

Townspeople raised objections and the mayor sided with them, saying he had signed “with a knife at the throat,” Jasmin said. “The citizens decided to fight.”

Last week, the National Assembly adopted a unanimous motion proposed by local Liberal MNA Michel Matte calling on Ottawa to respect Quebec’s laws in this case.

Mercier said he will not back down.

“When you sign an agreement,” he said, “you have to respect it.”


So You Want an Airplane Seat? Better Try Restoration Hardware's 'Aviator' Series

Stick this to your Pinterest boards: Restoration Hardware has a whole collection of furniture inspired by retro aviation. We're talking World War-era steel and rivets and distressed leather. It's Amelia Earhart style and though we can't imagine it'd be great to outfit an entire room with the pieces, a single item here or there would be so awesome. 

View the whole collection here. Prices range from $675 for an ottoman (but it's some ottoman) to $7,290 for a full leather sofa with chaise. Personally, we're already counting our pennies to get Jaunted HQ outfitted with the "1950s Copenhagen Spitfire Chair, a replica of the classic Arne Jacobsen "Egg" chair done up in antique ebony or slate leather, and backed by aluminum plates mimicking the structure of a vintage aircraft. 

We know that serious aviation geeks seek out actual airplane seats for conversation pieces, but really—no one wants to sit in those in the best of times.  Enjoy the interior design envy when you finally get around to throwing that Howard Hughes-theme cocktail shindig. Oh, and invite us?

Royal Jordanian expects merger with larger carrier: High fuel prices, competition and sluggish economy squeeze earnings

Amman: Royal Jordanian Airlines, a member of the British Airways-led Oneworld alliance, said a merger with a larger carrier is inevitable as high fuel prices, competition from local rivals and a sluggish economy squeeze earnings.

While Amman-based Royal Jordanian, founded in 1963 and one of the Middle East's oldest airlines, has no concrete plans for a transaction, it views consolidation as "a must," Chief Executive Officer Hussein Dabbas said in an interview.

"We are looking and reviewing options and talking to airlines to see when the time is right for us to do something," Dabbas said yesterday. "With the pressure we are seeing from mega-carriers around the world, whether European or regional, to continue as we are is going to be a difficult game to follow."

Airline earnings will likely drop 62 per cent to $3 billion this year, equal to a 0.5 percent margin, the International Air Transport Association said last month.

Royal Jordanian had a loss of 57.9 million dinars in 2011, versus a 9.6 million dinar year-earlier profit, as traffic was hurt by political unrest in the region and competition from Gulf-based rivals including Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways.

Right synergies

"It's a very difficult business environment and if airlines can find the right synergies, they should look at merging their operations and consolidating," Dabbas said by telephone. "This is the trend of many airlines around the world now."

Royal Jordanian shares rose as much as 3.5 per cent to 59 qirsh before trading at 57 qirsh on the Amman exchange.

The carrier joined Oneworld, which includes AMR Corp.'s American Airlines, in 2007, becoming the first Middle Eastern recruit to one of the three major global groupings.

Willie Walsh, CEO of International Consolidated Airlines Group, the parent of British Airways, has said he's eager to expand the company and that mergers will most likely happen between existing alliance partners. Dabbas didn't say if a transaction involving another Oneworld member was most likely.

Among Middle Eastern airlines, Etihad has the active acquisition policy, increasing its stake in Air Berlin, Europe's third-biggest discount operator, to 30 per cent and buying 40 per cent of Air Seychelles.

Carriers worldwide are being squeezed as earnings shrink. Barcelona-based Spanair collapsed on January 27, followed that week by Hungarian national carrier Malev, while Kingfisher Airlines of India may lose its licence amid cash shortages and AMR itself has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Royal Jordanian, which scrapped more than 1,300 flights in 2011 due to low demand during the Arab Spring and euro crisis, has abandoned four routes this year and cut frequencies on others. Dabbas said he's examining all remaining destinations with a view to either reducing capacity or stimulating traffic.

Still, the carrier is looking at adding services to Algiers, the Ghanaian capital Accra and Lagos in Nigeria, and the CEO said there are signs of improvement in Arab markets as political unrest eases.

Passenger numbers grew at least 20 per cent in each month of the traditionally slow first quarter, which while unprofitable was "much better" than last year.

"We're not shrinking but we're consolidating," Dabbas said. "Where we see room for improvement we'll move there, and where we see the move is fruitless and useless we'll pull out."

Fleet size

The carrier operates 32 aircraft, mostly from Airbus, with two A310 wide-bodies to be retired this month and seven of its older A320-series single-aisle jets due to be swapped for newer versions of the same type later this year. The first five of 11 Boeing 787 on order will arrive in 2014, the CEO said.

Royal Jordanian is also looking at raising equity over the next two or three years, Dabbas said, adding that many of the company's problems stem from it being "very under-capitalized."

The airline has 84.4 million shares outstanding, including a free float of 28.2 million, Bloomberg data. The examination of a capital increase already has investor approval and a decision to go ahead could be taken before the end of 2012, the CEO said.


Coast Guard: 2010 helicopter crash into Lake Huron 'could have been avoided'

A failure to maintain "situational awareness" during routine training is to blame for the 2010 crash of a Coast Guard helicopter into Lake Huron, the service reported today.

The three crew members who were aboard an HH-65C rescue helicopter when it crashed and sank the night of April 20, 2010 were rescued shortly after it went down and were unhurt.

"Although no single factor caused this mishap, it is likely that it could have been avoided had the crew been more deliberate in recognizing their limitations,” wrote Vice Adm. Brian Salerno, deputy commandant for operations, in summarizing the findings of an investigation into the crash.

The helicopter crashed as the crew attempted to transition from hovering to forward flight. The helicopter was recovered but received "significant structural damage" and remains out of service.

The report outlines several training suggestions based on the incident, focused mainly on instrument awareness during the hovering-to-forward-motion transition. The full final action report is available here.

Southwest Airlines Will Begin Service to Akron-Canton, Dayton, and Des Moines Beginning Fall 2012

Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways Revise Flight Schedules to Better Align Networks; Southwest Enters Three AirTran Markets

DALLAS, April 2, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Southwest Airlines LUV +0.24% and its wholly owned subsidiary AirTran Airways announced today revisions to upcoming summer and fall flight schedules that will provide the opportunity for Southwest Airlines to begin service to Akron-Canton Airport (CAK) and Dayton International Airport (DAY) beginning Aug. 12, 2012. Southwest's schedule in Akron-Canton will offer two daily roundtrip flights to Southwest's sizable operation at Chicago Midway and also Denver, with one daily roundtrip flight. Likewise, the airline will begin service to Dayton with one daily flight to Denver. Southwest's service in both markets will complement AirTran's existing service in these cities. AirTran's service will continue, and the airlines will jointly determine the best time to convert all AirTran's flying to Southwest.

Southwest Airlines also announced it will transition AirTran's operation in Des Moines International Airport (DSM) to a Southwest operation with Southwest assuming all flying at the airport. Beginning Sept. 30, 2012, Southwest will operate two roundtrip flights between Des Moines and Chicago Midway.

Southwest Airlines chose to begin service to CAK, DSM, and DAY to allow these markets to realize the benefits of the Southwest network, connecting them to large Southwest operations such as Chicago Midway and Denver.

"Southwest Airlines is thrilled to begin service to three markets that have for years desired to see canyon blue planes touch down on their runways," said Southwest Airlines Executive Vice President & Chief Commercial Officer and AirTran Airways President Bob Jordan. "Southwest will continue to serve these markets with exceptional Customer Service at a great value, with access to the broad Southwest network of destinations."

In January, Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways confirmed plans for Southwest to continue operations at 22 AirTran markets where Southwest Airlines does not currently operate. In addition to DAY, CAK, and DSM, the markets that will eventually join the Southwest route map include: Flint, Mich. (FNT); Rochester, N.Y. (ROC); Pensacola, Fla. (PNS); Charlotte, N.C. (CLT); Richmond, Va. (RIC); Key West, Fla. (EYW); Washington, D.C. (DCA); Memphis, Tenn. (MEM); Wichita, Kan. (ICT); Branson, Mo. (BKG); Portland, Maine (PWM); Grand Rapids, Mich. (GRR); Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (PUJ); Cancun, Mexico (CUN); Montego Bay, Jamaica (MBJ); Aruba (AUA); San Juan, Puerto Rico (SJU); Bermuda (BDA); and Nassau, Bahamas (NAS). The airline will continue to make announcements over the next several years as it solidifies plans for these additional cities subject to labor negotiations.

Additionally, Southwest Airlines announced today it will begin new seasonal flying between St. Louis and Panama City Beach as well as between Portland, Ore., and Austin with one daily roundtrip each beginning June 3, 2012. Effective the same day, the airline also will add an additional seasonal roundtrip each on routes between Boston and St. Louis and between Dallas and Austin. Finally, AirTran's new schedule includes additional frequencies out of Atlanta to markets such as Baltimore/Washington, Houston Hobby, Chicago Midway, Denver, and Los Angeles.

Southwest and AirTran are making the changes to continue aligning the two networks following Southwest's acquisition of AirTran in May 2011. The airline saw opportunities throughout the summer schedule to utilize aircraft time and make adjustments to both flight schedules. To read more about the schedule updates, please visit . To book flights, please visit: or .

About Southwest AirlinesSouthwest 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. 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 37,000 Employees systemwide.

About AirTran Airways

AirTran Airways, a wholly owned subsidiary of Southwest Airlines Co., has been ranked the top airline in the Airline Quality Rating study twice in the past four years. AirTran offers Gogo Inflight Internet Connectivity and coast-to-coast service on North America's newest all-Boeing fleet. The airline's low-cost, high-quality product also includes assigned seating and Business Class. To book a flight, visit

SOURCE Southwest Airlines