Monday, April 09, 2012

Safety fears after crack on Scottish ambulance helicopter rotor blade

SCOTLAND’S air ambulance helicopters are undergoing daily checks after a safety scare where a crack was found on a rotor blade – a defect experts claim could cause the aircraft to crash.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (Easa) issued an emergency alert over the Eurocopter EC135 model after a fault was found with one of the Scottish Ambulance Service’s two aircraft.

Daily inspections are now being carried out on the helicopters, based at Inverness and Glasgow.

The crack on the main rotor blade was discovered during a routine inspection and led Easa to order a worldwide inspection of about 1,000 helicopters of the same model.

The Scottish Ambulance Service said its helicopters were “safe and serviceable”.

A spokesman said: “The part was replaced immediately and Bond is carrying out detailed daily inspections of the aircraft in line with the Easa directive.”

It is the second time in two years that the safety of the EC135 model has raised concerns.

In October 2010 air safety bosses warned that part of the transmission to the main rotor was not up to standard.

The latest fault was a crack on the lower hub-shaft flange of a main rotor hub shaft.

A report by Easa said an engineering and laboratory investigation has already found that deformed safety pins used to secure blade bolts could have caused them to rotate.

It adds: “This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to further crack propagation, possibly resulting in main rotor hub failure and consequent loss of the helicopter.

“The investigation is on-going and the cause of the cracking has not been determined year.”

Easa has ordered safety inspected to be carried out on aircraft before their first flight each day while the investigation continues.

The agency said the fault could also affect Eurocopter’s EC635 model, an aircraft used by the Swiss air force and the armed forces of Jordan and Iraq.

A spokesman for Bond Air Services said it was working with Eurocopter to identify the exact cause of the defect and was doing all it could to comply with the new safety orders.

He added: “Upon detecting a crack during a scheduled maintenance check on one of our EC135 helicopters, we followed our safety plan and immediately notified Eurocopter and our client, the Scottish Air Ambulance Service.

“A special check of all our EC135s was immediately carried out before their next flight, without a further finding.

“Eurocopter also promptly initiated a worldwide EC135 fleet inspected, which has confirmed this, up to now, the only occurrence across the worldwide fleet in over 2.3 million flight hours since the first helicopter was manufactured over 15 years ago.

The two EC135s were handed to the Scottish Ambulance Service in 2000. The organisation also has two fixed-wing planes,.

Based in Inverness and Glasgow they respond to emergency calls such as road accidents and requests from remote, rural or island clinicians to provide speedy medical care and transportation to mainland hospitals.

Augusta-area airports close out high-volume Masters Week

Masters Week ramps up the volume of customers for restaurants and hotels, and the airports are no different.

Officials at Daniel Field, Augusta Regional Airport, Thomson-McDuffie Regional Airport and Aiken Municipal Airport all agreed that this year’s tournament week brought excellent traffic levels and smooth logistics.

Statistics and exact numbers won’t be available for several weeks, but Becky Shealy, Daniel Field’s vice president for business development, said this year’s numbers should be high.

Wednesday seemed to be the busiest day, Shealy said, followed by Friday as, she assumed, visitors wanted to be home for the weekend. On Friday, there were more than 100 airplanes parked at Daniel Field.

The high volume of traffic through Daniel Field and other regional airports is especially notable this year, she said, since Masters Sunday coincided with Easter.

“Anytime Masters falls on Holy Week, that Sunday we’re a little slower,” she said. “Wednesday through Friday, though, were incredible.”

Keith Bounds, the manager for the Thomson-McDuffie Regional Airport, said his airport had great traffic numbers this year but definitely saw an impact from the Easter weekend.

“It was still a great week, but we never really ran out,” he said. “We’re assuming that’s because of the Easter holiday.”

Masters Week brought in a significant amount of extra traffic at Aiken Municipal Airport, said Mike Laver, the owner of Aiken Aviation Enterprises Inc., which operates the airport.

“We believe that we had twice as many airplanes as last year,” Laver said. “I think people are traveling more again in corporate jets. There was a period on Friday where we had airplanes landing every few minutes.”

At one point, Laver said he counted 50 jets parked at Aiken Municipal Airport, not including others that had already come and gone. He is still compiling a final count.

Corporate jet travel has been rebounding in the past few years, after travel “totally deteriorated” from 2007 and 2008 with the economic downturn, he said.

“This year, we’re back to seeing huge numbers,” Laver said.

He added that he received a call Friday asking whether Aiken Municipal Airport had available space because airports in Augusta and Thomson had reached their parking capacities.

He also attributes the increase in traffic to facilities and services recently added to Aiken Municipal Airport. In January, an instrument landing system was installed, and a new lighting system was completed a week before the tournament, he said.

New facilities have also been added, and runways were recently painted. The instrument landing system, in particular, has been an asset.

“In a lot of cases, some of the large, corporate flight departments will not plan to go into an airport that doesn’t have these services and facilities. The airport is looking good, and we have good capacity here,” Laver said. “When it all boils down, we’re really not a lot further in time from the Augusta National than the other airports.”

Augusta Regional Airport communications manager Lauren Smith said there were no major delays, and airport officials expected to see many travelers leave Augusta through Monday and into Tuesday.

“We still consider it a Masters travel day,” she said.

Recovered bomber: 'There's Canadian blood in that aluminum'

OTTAWA — After a half century rusting at the bottom of a Belgian swamp, Canadian Halifax bomber LW682 will shine again, but this time atop the Bomber Command memorial in London.

Aluminum from the vintage warplane will be formed into sheets and used to make the memorial's roof.

A uniquely Canadian contribution to the grand new memorial — the largest built in London in 200 years — the edifice's history-soaked roof holds special meaning for Karl Kjarsgaard.

"There's Canadian blood in that aluminum," he said. "We know that wreckage contains (the crew's) essence."

A director of the Bomber Command Museum of Canada — located near his home in Nanton, Alta., 98 kilometres south of Calgary — Kjarsgaard has made it his personal mission to recover and restore downed Halifax bombers wherever they may be.

Shot down over Nazi-occupied Belgium in May of 1944, Halifax LW682 crashed into a swamp. All eight crewman — seven Canadians and one Briton — perished. Five bodies were recovered and buried by German troops while the remaining three were lost to the bog when the plane sank.

In 1997, with a grant from Heritage Canada, Kjarsgaard led a group called Halifax 57 Rescue (Canada) to Belgium to recover the bomber. After draining the swamp and digging down almost eight metres, they struck pay dirt.

Read more:

"Missing Man" Formation - Gamla Uppsala Kyrka

by Sundbro Ponderosa on Apr 9, 2012 

Missing Man" flygning över Gamla Uppsala Kyrka 30 mars 2012

Poles protest president's plane crash outside Russian Embassy

PROTESTERS have set fire to an effigy of Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, claiming the 2010 plane crash in Russia in which Polish President Lech Kaczynski and 95 others died was an assassination.

Supporters of Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the dead president's twin brother, rallied in front of the Russian Embassy in Warsaw today (yesterday local time) - the eve of the anniversary of the April 10, 2010, crash.

They said they do not believe the crash was an accident, as probes by Russian aviation authorities and Poland's government commission have concluded.

Kaczynski, the leader of the opposition nationalist Law and Justice party, has been fuelling assassination theories.

His backers also protested in front of Prime Minister Donald Tusk's and President Bronislaw Komorowski's offices.

A More Affordable Private Jet

Victor CEO Clive Jackson on his new private jet charter service

SeaRey - Almost Done! Chesapeake Sport Pilot, Bay Bridge Airport (W29), Stevensville, Maryland

The SeaRey will be on display at the Bay Bridge Boat show April 19-22nd at the Bay Bridge Marina.  

Air Tanzania’s only plane crashes in Kigoma after bodged takeoff attempt, 39 passengers and crew all survive

The financial input by the government of Tanzania into a rescue attempt for ATCL has yesterday come crashing down, pun fully intended, when the airlines single operating plane, a Bombardier Q300 crashed upon a bodged takeoff attempt in Kigoma, according to reports from a regular aviation source in Dar es Salaam.   Thankfully there were no casualties reported amongst the 39 passengers and crew of flight TC119 but the aircraft suffered severe damage to the hull, the undercarriage and had one engine and part of the wing torn off, resulting in a probably write off for the plane.   

Perhaps the government now sees that they have been flogging a dead horse.

Read more:

Florida-Based Silver Air May Replace Colgan Air at Bridgeport, Morgantown Airports

We've told you that Colgan Air is dropping its service from three of West Virginia's airports including those in Bridgeport and Morgantown but will continuing to serve them until the airports find a substitute.

North Central West Virginia Airport Interim Director Rick Rock said Florida-based Silver Air has bid on the service through the Essential Air Service program.

Rock said Silver keeps its planes at Dulles in Washington so it may make plans more accessible but overall the changes will be minimal.

"Schedule will be the same," Rock said. "So the average customer is not going to see a lot. But hopefully they'll see an improvement in the operational effectiveness."

Silver is the only airline that bid on the service.

Sheriff's volunteer pilot alleged to transport illegal aliens. Imperial County Airport (KIPL), California

By SILVIO J. PANTA | Imperial Valley Press

A volunteer pilot with the sheriff’s Air Squadron is among four defendants who face federal charges in connection with the alleged transporting of undocumented immigrants, officials said Thursday.

Philip Kubeck, a 52-year-old Calexico resident, was arraigned last week along with two other co-defendants in El Centro federal court following their arrest Saturday for allegedly trying to smuggle a group of six immigrants who were here illegally at the Imperial County Airport.

Kubeck is suspected of getting paid $10,500 for a flight to Salinas with undocumented immigrants on board that day, court records read.

A fourth defendant who was also arrested in a separate incident at the airport that same day was 38-year-old Lionel Ramirez, who Border Patrol authorities believe is a pilot tied to the attempted smuggling of more undocumented immigrants.

Kubeck, who Imperial County Undersheriff Fred Miramontes said was with the squadron since 2005, posted bail. He and co-defendants Antonio Alvarez-Naja and Claudia Rivas-Heras, two Mexican nationals who have not posted bail, faces charges of illegally transporting aliens, harboring illegal aliens and aiding and abetting, according to the criminal complaint.

The next court appearance for all four defendants is Thursday.

On July 15, Border Patrol authorities saw a vehicle later determined to be registered to Kubeck leave a suspected stash house and head to the county airport, according to the complaint.

Six people exited Kubeck’s vehicle and ran toward an airplane they boarded before it quickly went airborne. Kubeck not only piloted the aircraft but “is the most frequent pilot of the airplane,” the complaint read.

Border Patrol agents conducting surveillance at the county airport last weekend spotted a group of four people “hastily” walk toward an airplane followed by two others with Kubeck opening the pedestrian gate for them, the court record reported.

“The six individuals and Kubeck entered the plane and Kubeck closed the door to the airplane,” the complaint read.

Material witnesses, identified as Antonia Manjarrez-Camacho, Arturo Sanchez-Ramirez and Salvador Garcia-Avalos — all of whom were here illegally — told authorities they were going to pay about $1,500 each to be flown to the Salinas Airport, the complaint read. It did not specify whether Kubeck was to a receive all, or a portion of, that money.

The court record did say Manjarrez and Sanchez have been passengers on flights Kubeck piloted in the past. In addition, Alvarez told authorities that he had been in contact with Kubeck and agreed to pay him $10,500 for the flight to Salinas.

“Alvarez stated this was the fourth time he has used a charter flight with the same pilot to circumvent U.S. Border Patrol checkpoints,” the court record reported. Alvarez identified Kubeck as the pilot in an alleged smuggling event of which authorities took a photo, according to the record.

Miramontes said this is the only time a volunteer pilot with the squadron was arrested in connection with flying undocumented immigrants. Kubeck is no longer a member of the volunteer air squadron, Miramontes said.

While he was careful to note that Kubeck’s alleged role in the smuggling case is the isolated act of “one individual,” Miramontes said Kubeck’s arrest has nothing to do with the squadron of 20 volunteers, most of whom are retired.

As the pilots are volunteers, “they are governed by themselves,” Miramontes said.

“This is the first time this has happened,” the undersheriff said of the squadron. “It doesn’t mean the group is bad.”

U.S. Border Patrol Agent Adrian Corona said that authorities “do see this as a threat” and are going to use whatever resources in keeping a watchful eye on airports in the Imperial Valley.

Corona declined to give too many specifics about the investigation, but said surveillance of the airports has stepped up since 2010.

Anyone who knows of suspicious activity going on can call the Border Community Threat Hotline at 1-800-901-2003.

Kings Point, Florida: Seaplane makes emergency landing - No injuries reported

This seaplane made an emergency landing in the Kings Point community. 

(Ari Hait/WPBF)

KINGS POINT, Fla. - A seaplane made an emergency landing late Monday afternoon, WPBF 25 News has learned.

Few details were immediately available, but WPBF reported the landing happened in a lake or a canal near the intersection of Linton Boulevard and Jog Road in Kings Point.

The pilot set the plane down in a body of water shortly after 4 p.m., Capt. Don DeLucia, spokesman for Palm Beach County Fire Rescue, said.

There were no injuries, DeLucia said.

Gulfstream hires former Navy test pilot to safety officer position created after fatal crash

SAVANNAH, Ga. — Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. has hired a former Navy test pilot to be its first aviation safety officer, a position the business jet manufacturer created after four employees were killed in a crash a year ago.

The Savannah-based company announced Monday that the job will be filled by Tom Huff, a pilot with more than 25 years of experience who retired from the Navy earlier this year. Huff's last job in the military was commanding the Maryland-based Naval Test Wing, Atlantic.

He comes to Gulfstream after one of the company's G650 jets crashed in New Mexico in April last year. Investigators said the plane went down after takeoff as the crew was simulating an engine failure. Four employees died.

Gulfstream says Huff will have independent safety oversight over its flight operations.

Kingfisher employees get salaries after 4 months

MUMBAI: A large section of Kingfisher Airlines employees, including pilots and engineers, received their salaries today after a delay of nearly four months, airline sources said on Monday.

"In fact, we paid the salaries of all employees on April 4 itself. However, due to some back-end problem in one of the banks, a section of employees could not get it then," they said.

Chairman of the crisis-hit airline Vijay Mallya had on last Tuesday assured his employees that their salaries would be disbursed in a staggered manner from April 4 to 10.

The airline has salary accounts in HDFC Bank, Axis Bank and ICICI.

Besides, the airline has also paid the second instalment of Rs 9 crore towards the TDS as per the directives of the Tax tribunal, the sources said. The airline has outstanding dues of about Rs 349 crore.

Mallya is also understood to have informed DGCA about the payments made, as the aviation regulator had expressed concern that delays in salaries would impact Kingfisher's operations and affect the air travellers.

Facing the heat from employees, particularly the pilots and engineers who had had put the airline on notice by giving a deadline of April 20 to clear all their pending dues, Mallya had issued an e-mail to pacify the agitating staff.

Admitting that the salaries were "seriously overdue", Mallya in his letter promised to pay their salaries and other dues in a staggered manner, saying the problem had arisen as its bank accounts were frozen by tax authorities.

The tax authorities had last week de-freezed the accounts on March 31 after the airline paid Rs 44 crore to the Income Tax department and another Rs 20 crore to the Service Tax authorities.

Flight with seaplane from Mirihi Island Resort to Conrad Maldives Rangali Island


This is the complete seaplane flight from Mirihi Island Resort to Conrad Maldives Rangali Island with great aerial views on Mirihi.  Enjoy!

Helicopter crash kills 6 foreigners in in Niger's Tenere desert

NIAMEY, April 9 | Mon Apr 9, 2012 3:51pm EDT

(Reuters) - Four Chinese employees from state oil firm CNPC and two French crew members were killed in a helicopter crash in Niger's Tenere desert, two Nigerien security sources said on Monday.

"We found the remains of the private helicopter that went missing when it flew over the desert and all the occupants - the four Chinese and the two French crew members - were killed," a military officer said.

A second officer said the helicopter had taken off from CNPC's Agadem oil block in eastern Niger, heading towards the town of Fachi on Friday but never reached its destination. No reason was given for the crash.

(Reporting by Abdoulaye Massalatchi; Writing by David Lewis; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

This Is Why You Don’t Stand Behind A Jet Engine

Saint Martin's Princess Juliana International Airport is about as close as you can get to landing/departing passenger aircraft without special security clearance. It makes for spectacular photos and videos, which encourages the kind of stupidity on display here.

It might seem like a good idea to stand behind a Jet Blue Airbus A320 along the fence in front of the beach right up until the moment that the unbelievable amount of thrust picks you up, launches you in the air, and propels you head first into a concrete barrier.

The woman in this video is shown getting medical treatment on the scene later, so hopefully she made it out with nothing more than a seriously bruised ego. Although, she may not be able to spare the braincells.

Cessna 152, P & K Aviation Inc., N25212: Accident occurred April 09, 2012 in Lee's Summit, Missouri

NTSB Identification: CEN12CA293
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, April 09, 2012 in Lee's Summit, MO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/28/2012
Aircraft: CESSNA 152, registration: N25212
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The student pilot was conducting the second landing of his first solo flight. After touchdown, the airplane began to veer off the runway. The pilot attempted to correct; however, the airplane exited the runway surface, entered a ditch, nosed over, and came to rest inverted. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the firewall. The student pilot reported no mechanical problems with the airplane prior to the accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The student pilot’s loss of directional control while landing.

The student pilot was conducting the second landing of his first solo flight. After touchdown, the pilot was preparing to perform a touch and go when the airplane began to veer off the runway. The pilot attempted to correct; however, the airplane exited the runway surface, entered a ditch, nosed over, and came to rest inverted. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the airframe firewall. The student pilot reported no mechanical problems with the airplane prior to the accident.


 Emergency crews responded to reports of a single-engine plane leaving the runway around 11:30 a.m. April 9 at Lee’s Summit Municipal Airport. The pilot, who was the only occupant, was not injured.

Investigation at the scene revealed that the pilot of the plane, a Cessna 152, lost control while attempting to land on the soutbound runway.

After landing, the aircraft left the runway and its nose wheel collapsed. The accident also caused damage to an airport sign and landing lights.

The plane was quickly removed, and the airport remained open using the alternate runway.

Since the damage was minor and there were no injuries reported, there will be no external aviation investigation.

de Havilland Canada DHC-8-311Q, Air Tanzania, 5H-MWG: Accident occurred April 09, 2012 at Kigoma Airport (TKQ), Tanzania

The ill-fated Dash 8-300 aircraft that skidded off the runway at Tanzania's Kigoma airport while taking off April 9, 2012.

 Dar es Salaam/Kigoma. Thirty five passengers and four crew members got the scare of their lives yesterday when a Dash 8-300 aircraft belonging to Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL) skidded off the runway at Kigoma airport.  The plane was trying to take-off for Dar es Salaam via Tabora but ran aground after its tyres got stuck in muddy potholes. No one was hurt in the drama.Aviation officials reported that the airplane, the only one owned by the national flag carrier, was seriously damaged in the 10.15am accident.

The acting Kigoma regional police commander, Mr Kihenya Kihenya, said all the passengers and crew on Flight TC119 were rescued shortly after the incident. One engine and one wing of the aircraft piloted by Captain Emmanuel Mshana were damaged, according to the deputy minister for Transport, Mr Athuman Mfutakamba.

Speaking on the phone from the western Lake Tanganyika shore town of Kigoma, the regional commissioner, Lieutenant Colonel (rtd) Issa Machibya, said he rushed to the airport when he received information about the accident. “I thank God when I found that nobody was injured although the plane was seriously damaged,” he said.

Ministry of Transport and ATCL officials held a crisis meeting yesterday to discuss the matter, according to permanent secretary Omar Chambo. In the meantime, efforts were underway to rescue the passengers stranded in Kigoma. ATCL acting chief executive officer Paul Chizi said aviation experts were expected to travel to Kigoma to assess the extent of damage done to the plane.

“I am waiting for a report from the experts but I am told the plane has been badly damaged,” he said, adding that ATCL was working on the possibility of acquiring a charter plane to ferry the stranded passengers.

Efforts to hire a government plane came to naught because the only one that could have been hired had  other scheduled flights.

Mr Chizi added that his office was communicating with PrecisionAir to see whether they could spare a plane to ferry the stranded passengers.
The national carrier resumed operations in November last year after being out of business for eight months, with daily return flights from Dar es Salaam to Kigoma via Tabora.

According to the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) chief executive officer, Mr Fadhili Manongi, the authority has reported the accident to an independent investigation team at the ministry of Transport.This is the second aviation accident this year. There were nine such accidents reported in 2010/2011.

Shocked passengers had a variety of stories to tell, with Bishop Silas Kezakubi of the African Inland Church and his wife Yunis saying the plane skidded off the runway as it gained momentum to take-off. “Instead of taking-off, the plane came to an abrupt stop before it skidded off the runway,” said Bishop Kezakubi, who was travelling to Tabora. “I was shocked when I learnt that we were in trouble,” he added: “I became more shocked when the crew announced that the plane had problems and we should prepare to disembark.”

The cleric said he saw smoke coming out of the plane’s right wing. The MP for Kasulu Rural on the ticket of NCCR-Mageuzi, Ms Agripina Zaituni Buyogera, who was travelling to Dar es Salaam on her way to Dodoma to attend the Bunge session that begins today, said she could not believe that she was alive.

“I don’t want to talk about the accident,” she declared. “I am still in shock.”  A passenger who identified himself as Mustafa Yamungu said some passengers had noted that one of the plane’s engine propellers was not working properly. In 2006, a United Nations Boeing 737 crashed in the same area. The plane was ferrying supplies for UN peace keepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Guyana says it will not revoke REDjet’s license

GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC) - The Guyana government leaves the door open for low cost carrier REDjet to resume its flights, saying it will not revoke the carrier’s license.

Cabinet Secretary Dr Roger Luncheon told reporters there’s no need for the country to take such action, the Demerara waves online news service has reported.

“I don’t know it’s possible that Guyana might, but then again we don’t have to because REDjet is not flying so we don’t need to. I don’t believe that you’re going to pile on unnecessary agony because once you revoke it you’ve got to go through the whole process of providing them once more with the licence."

Luncheon’s comments follow those of Antigua and Barbuda’s Tourism Minister John Maginley, who said last Friday that his government is not contemplating withdrawing REDjet’s license.

Four days after Redjet grounded its operations on March 16, Barbados, the home of the carrier, revoked its Air Operating License (AOC).

Details of Barbados' action were revealed in a brief statement by the Trinidad and Tobago Civil Aviation Authority (TTCAA) which said it had "no option" but to revoke REDjet's licence because the airline no longer had a "valid" air operator's certificate from Barbados.

“The suspension of REDjet’s AOC by the Barbados Civil Aviation Department (BCAD) would therefore invalidate Section 6 (1) (a) of the TTCAA regulations, which states that as one of the conditions to grant a provisional licence is that the carrier “…has a valid AOC issued by the foreign authority.”

Barbados’ Director of Civil Aviation, Mitchinson Beckles later explained that the decision to suspend REDjet’s AOC was in keeping with local air transport rules.

“The regulations state that if you are not meeting (operating) conditions, your certificate will have to be suspended or revoked,” he said.

Dr Luncheon confirmed that REDjet has been holding talks with Guyana and other regional governments in a bid to resume services.

“What we have experienced in our discourses with REDjet is some proposals dealing with improving the financing of the enterprise. I’m suspecting and reasonably so that that has also been taken to other governments in CARICOM for refinancing or support for refinancing and putting REDjet on a more sustainable financial and economic platform,” he said.

Barbados’ International Transport George Hutson revealed last week that the Freundel Stuart administration is examining new strategies to get the airline back into the air.

He said the government is contemplating granting REDjet a provisional licence which could be valid for at least year.

Beech King Air 200 N871C: Plane theft case hearing postponed as jailers fail to escort main suspect

Santo Domingo.- The preliminary hearing against John E. Percival Matos, his wife and two others was postponed for May 7, in the case of an airplane stolen from La Isabela International Airport at Higuero, because the main suspect wasn’t taken to court.

Percival, a major in the Army, wasn’t taken to the Santo Domingo Province 3rd Instruction Court for the hearing morning Monday, while the Najayo jail authorities didn’t provide the reason for his absence.

The officer is accused in the theft of the twin engine craft, found several days later in a Venezuela rural airstrip, where it has remained since.

Plane lands near I-95. Ormond Beach Municipal Airport (KOMN), Florida

A single-engine airplane crash landed in a field south of State Road 40, according to a Volusia County Sheriff's spokesman.

The plane was reported "running rough" while trying to make it to the Ormond Beach Municipal Airport and dispatch calls indicated it crashed about 1:23 p.m. west of Interstate 95, said sheriff's spokesman Gary Davidson.

A Mosquito Control helicopter hovering over the crash site reported two people walking around the plane and no visible flames.

Ormond Beach police and sheriff's deputies were headed to the scene.

More information will be provided as it becomes available.

New Advanced Search Engine Debuts for Private Jet Charters

New York, NY (PRWEB) April 09, 2012 For years, travel search engines like Kayak and Expedia have helped travelers find the best price on public/commercial flights. Now, CharterHound gives charter clients the same powerful search capability for private jet charters. Using advanced search technology, CharterHound instantly reviews raw, real-time pricing from major aviation suppliers, brokers and databases. Prices change dramatically, often from hour-to-hour, but CharterHound never rests until it finds the best price in the market.

When the search engine finds the best deal on a specific itinerary, notification is sent instantly. 

CharterHound's intelligent algorithm also prompts users to consider minor changes to their itinerary which could save thousands of dollars each way.

How CharterHound works:

1. One site. Global Search: Unlike most brokers who only have access to a limited selection of jets... CharterHound scours major aviation suppliers, brokers and databases to find the absolute best price

2. Instant Price Alerts: Enter trip details and CharterHound starts hunting down the best deal. 

When it finds the best price, users are notified instantly

3. 24/7/365 Service: No matter when or where you need to go, CharterHound never sleeps... call, chat or email the folks at CharterHound anytime.

4. Total Privacy: CharterHound eliminates the need to enter personal info on multiple, unknown broker sites.

5. It's free (no kidding): CharterHound is 100% free. Users can call or search as often as desired. There's no sign-up, no membership, no fees... ever.

About CharterHound:

CharterHound is a free service dedicated to helping travelers find the lowest price on their next private jet charter. 

Just input your destinations into CharterHound and it will start hunting down the best deal. There's no sign-up, no membership, no fees... the service is 100% free.

CharterHound uses advanced search technology to instantly review raw, real-time pricing from all the major aviation suppliers, private jet companies, brokers and databases. Prices often change dramatically, often from hour-to-hour, but CharterHound never rests until it finds the best price in the market.

Contact CharterHound at (855) 669-JETS or visit

Tulsa travel: Economy tough on airlines, airports

These are the worst of times for the airline industry - with so few good times in recent years that airlines and airports feel fortunate to be holding the line, industry officials say.
In this market, airlines and airports must be creative, they say.

High fuel prices, a weak economy and a sluggish travel market have reduced the industry to a shadow of what it was a dozen years ago, executives said.

To survive, airlines have cut flights, parked their least fuel-efficient aircraft and exited markets that weren't profitable.

 Some smaller airports have been left holding the proverbial bag, without any commercial airline service, industry analysts say.

Among the hardest-hit medium-sized markets is Tulsa International Airport, which had 92 flights and 9,428 seats a day in 2001.

In 2012, Tulsa International has 64 flights a day, down 30 percent from 2001, and 5,914 seats a day, a 37 percent decrease.

"Airlines were operating with overcapacity before 9/11," said Alexis Higgins, Tulsa deputy airports director of marketing. "And the industry as a whole has been operating in the red for a long time. Airline profit margins are 2 percent. They are operating on a shoestring."

Higgins said the recession pressured airlines to examine their flight schedules and determine which flights are most profitable.

"If they're not selling tickets at a high enough fare to make a profit, they will take that plane and put it in another market," she said.
Downsizing trend
During the past decade, Tulsa had nonstop service to Albuquerque, Austin, Kansas City, Oklahoma City, Ontario (Calif.), San Antonio and San Diego - but no longer.

Airports across the country have experienced similar losses of service, sometimes due to insufficient traffic, others because appropriately sized aircraft for the market weren't available, industry executives said.

Tulsa now offers nonstop flights to 16 cities - Atlanta, Chicago (O'Hare only), Dallas (Love Field and DFW International), Denver, Detroit, Houston (Hobby and Intercontinental), Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Memphis, Miami, Minneapolis, Newark (N.J.), Phoenix, Salt Lake City, St. Louis and Washington, D.C.

"We only have so many aircraft, and we're not growing this year or probably next year," said Chris Mainz, spokesman for Southwest Airlines. "We're looking for markets that are under-served and over-priced. You're also looking at leisure and business demand, competition, how many seats are in the market and how close it is to another Southwest market."

Reduced airport service levels and shrinking airline fleets have intensified competition between airports to keep or grow airline service, airport executives said.

That has led to a proliferation of incentive plans offered to airlines by some airports for new or expanded service, officials said.

"We're waiving fees - landing fees, terminal rents - for new carriers to new markets," said Tulsa Airports Director Jeff Mulder.

Mulder said airport executives also speak regularly with their airline counterparts about service.

"It probably takes more than that, but it doesn't hurt," Mulder said. "It took a couple of years talking to United (Airlines) to get them to start the Tulsa-to-Washington Dulles (International Airport) service last April."
Attracting airlines
A few years ago, airport staff and the Tulsa Airport Authority decided they needed to be proactive about attracting airline service.

With its "Air Service Incentive Program," TAA announced it is willing to sweeten the pot for airlines beginning new service in Tulsa.

"Tulsa International Airport seeks to increase competition, expand our current service and diversify our carrier base by offering an incentive program targeted at carriers that currently do not serve the Tulsa market and incumbents looking to grow," TAA says in its introduction to the program. "Our program is designed to offset the initial investment required to enter into or expand a market by offering incentives and marketing support for new routes and route expansion."

TAA's top five targeted nonstop markets are Kansas City, Seattle, San Francisco, New York LaGuardia and JFK airports and Orlando, Fla.

Airlines not serving Tulsa that begin service with at least 11 weekly departures can receive a range of incentive credits, depending on frequencies:

  • From 50 percent to 100 percent credit on all landing fees (now $2.91 per thousand pounds of gross landed weight).
  • From 75 percent to 100 percent credit for per-use charges associated with the use of airport jet bridges and baggage claim areas.
  • From 25 percent to 50 percent credit on terminal rental fees associated with ticket counters, office space, gate hold rooms and crew rooms.
Credits are accumulated for 12 months and applied after the first year of operation, TAA executives said.

In addition, airlines beginning new service are eligible for marketing incentives:

  • $75,000 to the first carrier to initiate nonstop service to an East or West Coast hub airport;
  • $10,000 to the first carrier to initiate nonstop service to an airport that is not an East or West Coast hub.
  • $5,000 to an airline that adds frequency to a nonstop market already served from Tulsa.
"Adding new air service is always a challenge. It's like an extra-long marathon," Higgins said. "We can only present the best possible business case for our city so that when airlines are ready to expand their network, they will think of Tulsa."

Keeping clients


In.some cases, it's easier to retain or attract airline service.

An airport's location, business or leisure traffic sometimes are sufficient to attract and retain airline service.

"In our market, we've been very fortunate in terms of service, destinations and frequencies," said Scott Van Laningham, spokesman for the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport. "It's clearly driven by the business market."

At the Northwest Arkansas airport in Bentonville - where Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is based, suppliers Proctor & Gamble, Sara Lee and Rubbermaid are nearby and corporate offices of J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. and Tyson Foods Inc. are down the road - 64 percent of the passenger traffic is business travelers, surveys have shown.

While the Northwest Arkansas market has a third less population than Tulsa County's 603,403, its regional airport's 50 flights a day rival Tulsa International's 64. Its five airlines providing service are one more than Tulsa's four - American, Delta, Southwest and United.

Thanks to the state capital, Tinker Air Force Base, Boeing Co. and other aerospace and energy companies, Oklahoma City also provides a robust business passenger market at Will Rogers World Airport, said Marketing Manager Karen Carney.

"We have been pretty fortunate the last couple of years to not only garner air service but to see frequencies increase," Carney said. "A lot of what's happening in Oklahoma City is due to the business climate."

Will Rogers has 69 flights a day, five more than Tulsa International, and 6,655 seats a day, 12.5 percent above Tulsa's 5,914.

Carney said since the fuel and economic crises of 2008, it is harder to keep and attract air service.

"Obviously, all the airlines have tightened their belts, and they are limited in the aircraft they have," she said. "We have talked to airlines who said, yes, this is a good market, but we are out of planes. Airlines are controlling capacity more than they were prior to 2008."

By the numbers

Tulsa International Airport

  • Daily flights: 64
  • Daily seats: 5,914
Will Rogers World Airport, Oklahoma City

  • Daily flights: 69
  • Daily seats: 6,655
Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport, Bentonville

  • Daily flights: 50
  • Daily seats: 2,120

Airports, airlines can get connected, but make it quick

Airlines and airports are controlling expenses, so Airports Council International, a professional services and development organization for airport managers, sponsors JumpStart Air Service Development Program each year at rotating sites.

The process is sort of like speed dating for airport and airline executives, said Alexis Higgins, Tulsa deputy airports director of marketing. The program pairs airport and airline executives in one-on-one meetings for 20 minutes before airport executives move to another meeting with a representative of another airline the airport hopes to attract.

JumpStart will be held June 6-7 in Sacramento, Calif., as part of ACI's Marketing and Communications Conference.

"Typically, in a conference, you would meet with six or seven airlines over two days," Higgins said. "Airlines on our wish list this year are US Airways, Alaska Airlines, Vision Airlines, Spirit Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, Southwest Airlines and Sun Country Airlines."

United, Delta, American and Southwest already serve Tulsa, but Higgins said she wants to update their representatives on the progress of the concourse renovation projects as well as make a pitch for expanded service.

"It's very competitive," Higgins said. "We're competing with airports across the nation that are similar in size to Tulsa. We're going to make the best possible case we can."

Original Print Headline: Altitude adjustment

United Airlines plane blows tires during landing at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (KDCA), Washington, District of Columbia

According to flight information, United 1075 left Houston at 8:11 a.m. EDT. The actual arrival time was 11:09 am. EDT.  United Airlines says no one was injured when a jet blew two rear tires upon landing at Reagan National Airport Monday morning.

The Boeing 737-700 was towed to the terminal after landing around 11:15 a.m.

A United Airlines flight blew two rear tires Monday morning at Reagan National Airport, but landed safely.

United Airlines Flight 1075 from Houston arrived at Reagan just after 11 a.m.

No injuries were reported. After landing, the Boeing 737-700 was towed to a gate.

The runway re-opened at 11:30 a.m.

There were 122 passengers and five crew members on board, according to the Associated Press.

Baltic Aviation Academy: Airbus A320 Auto Landing Tutorial

by marketingBAA on Apr 6, 2012 

Airbus A320 is known as a highly automated aircraft. This time Pranas Drulis, ATPL integrated student at Baltic Aviation Academy, tried to prove it by showing how autolanding of A320 works in zero vertical visibility and 50 meters of horizontal visibility.

Web map tracks where you are when you fly

Photo credit: Handout provides a moving map that shows you exactly where you are and what you're looking at as you fly over. takes in-flight entertainment beyond books, movies, music and games. It is a moving Web-based map that shows you where you are and what you're looking at as you fly over. 

It's a fun distraction if you have in-flight Wi-Fi, but you also can use it on the ground. From the website, track a flight by airline and flight number or, if you know it, by the tail number of the aircraft. The MondoWindow map shows you what you are flying over, with info pins describing towns, landmarks and geographical features.

But if you're earthbound and just want to look at pretty scener

‘Sit Next to a Vegan’ Commercial Targets American Airlines

Want some extra room next time you fly? PCRM's new commercial portrays the new "Sit Next to a Vegan" option that would allow passengers to reserve the seat next to them for a trim and fit vegan for a small fee. Learn more at

Ad on Dallas TV Pushes Policy to Help Passengers Avoid Being Squeezed by Overweight Seatmates

WASHINGTON—Want some extra room next time you fly? A new commercial airing this week on Dallas-area TV stations and nationally on the CNN Airport Network portrays the new “Sit Next to a Vegan” option recently proposed to American Airlines. Developed by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, the initiative allows passengers to reserve the seat next to them for a trim and fit vegan for a small fee. The commercial airs March 29 and is also on YouTube.

The ad shows two passengers in the aisle seats of a plane. One chose the “Sit Next to a Vegan” option for a small fee and gets a slim, trim seatmate—no elbow-jousting here. The other, who didn’t, gets squeezed by a more ample neighbor. A narrator explains, “For a small $10 charge, we’ll save you a seat next to a vegan. You’ll have all the room that you want.”

PCRM president Neal Barnard, M.D., has written to cash-strapped American Airlines president Thomas W. Horton, asking the Fort Worth-based airline to launch the “Sit Next to a Vegan” option. Many airlines already ask some obese passengers to pay for a second seat. Now, passengers wary about their space being encroached upon in tiny airline seats would be able to pay a $10 surcharge to reserve the seat next to them for a person following a vegan diet.

“People who skip the meat and cheese tend to be much slimmer,” says Dr. Barnard. “We’re taking a tongue-in-cheek approach to getting the word out, but the epidemic of obesity is no joke. It has brought diabetes and other health problems to a dangerous new level.”

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Air Tanzania de Havilland Dash 8-300 runway excursion on domestic flight

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (PANA) - An Air Tanzania plane crashed early Monday while taking off from a domestic airport in Kigoma, in the Western port town on Lake Tanganyika, but there was no fatality, according to official reports.

The twin-engine Bombardier Dash 8 aircraft, with 35 passengers on board, failed to take off and overran the runway after one of its engines ceased, the state-run TBC1 television reported.

The plane was on a routine daily flight between Kigoma and Dar es Salaam.

Thanks to prompt action by the airport fire brigade, there was no explosion and all passengers were safely evacuated, though unconfirmed reports indicated there were minor injuries.

The airline resumed service in November last year after the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority withdrew its Air Operator Certificate for reasons related to unsatisfactory safety and operational manuals in December 2008.

 PANA AR/SEG 9April2012

Spartanburg City Council to consider plans to lease airport land for hangar

An entity of Johnson Development Associates has asked Spartanburg City Council to lease about 2½ acres at the Spartanburg Downtown Memorial Airport to build a second hangar.

Council is set to consider the proposal at today’s meeting.

Wyoming Associates Inc., a Johnson Development group, leases land at the airport for a corporate hangar, according to a city memo.

Assistant City Manager Chris Story states in the memo that an expanded lease with Wyoming would increase direct airport revenue by at least $20,000 annually, and city staff is negotiating other details in the agreement, which would be complete before final reading on the ordinance.

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Grief to joy: Misidentified crash victim alive - UTAir Avion de Transport Regional ATR-72-200, VP-BYZ, Flight UT-120, Tyumen Airport

A plane crash victim who was assumed dead has been found alive in a hospital under a different name. The tragic incident killed 31 people a week ago. Information emerged on the man’s social network page, where friends have been mourning his death.

Dmitry Ivanyuta, 25, was listed among the dead after ATR 72-200 plane crashed near the western Siberian city of Tyumen last Monday. However, on April 7, a post appeared on his social network page claiming that Dmitry is very much alive and in a hospital, though registered under a different name. 

This information has not been officially confirmed.

“Dima is alive. He was in intensive care. While there are no positive or negative trends, but there is a chance that he will get better,” one of Ivanyuta’s friends wrote on his “wall”. 

This message reversed the flood of mourning posts on Dmitry’s page. People went from mourning to rejoicing in a matter of minutes. 

Details emerged 12 hours later with a new post saying: “He was mixed up and identified as a different man. In fact he was in intensive care, and remembers everything and can move, so everything should be fine. The doctors said he would get better!!! Light a candle and pray with us for his health!!!! He is alive!!”

Ivanyuta’s former college professor, Denis Trushnikov, said Dmitry spent a week in the intensive care unit registered as Konstantin Pail, while his own name was on the list of those who died in the crash.

Rumors about the confusion in the lists of victims and survivors emerged after the preliminary results of the DNA examination that was unable to identify four bodies. This allegedly prompted Dmitry’s relatives to search for him among the 11 hospitalized survivors.

Ivanyuta has already been identified by his relatives, reports Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper.

“Even though the results of the DNA test are not ready, we are positive that Dima is alive,” said his sister, Anastasiya Ivanyuta. “I don’t want to talk about it right now. It must be so hard for the relatives of Konstantin Pail.”

Following Anastasia’s statement, the parents of Konstantin Pail immediately took a blood test that confirmed their son had indeed been killed in the crash. His funeral will take place in his hometown on Monday.

No comments from Tyumen’s region health department have been available so far. The final results of the DNA test will be revealed on Monday.

A total of 11 survivors remain in Tyumen hospitals. Two of them have been transferred to a general ward and another nine remain in a critical but stable condition.

The French-Italian-built ATR-72 heading to Surgut crashed 30 kilometers from its departure point of Tyumen shortly after takeoff. The aircraft burst into flames and broke into three pieces upon impact. Forty-three people, among them 39 passengers and four crew members, were on board. Thirty-one were killed and 12 seriously injured.

Investigators name failure to de-ice the ATR 72-200 as the most likely cause of the disaster.

­Elena Ostroumova, RT

A passenger listed among the deceased was discovered alive in a Tyumen hospital a week after a deadly plane crash that killed 32, Interfax reported Monday.

Denis Trushnikov, a former professor and teacher of Ivanyuta, relayed the news on social networking site Vkontakte.

"Everybody! Dima Ivanyuta survived! So many days in the intensive care unit under a different name, and now the news! He's Alive! Pray for him! God willing, everything will be fine!" he wrote in a post.

Dmitry Ivanyuta, 25, spent a week in intensive care listed as Konstantin Peil. Ivanyuta was recognized by his sister, and a blood test confirmed that Peil had indeed died in the crash, Interfax reported.

The news has not yet been officially confirmed.

The ATR-72 aircraft crashed just minutes after takeoff from Tyumen April 2, killing 31 of the 43 on board. At least four bodies from the crash were unrecognizable.

KIM DALE, Plaintiff, v. HAWKER BEECHCRAFT, Defendant. No. 11-1036-CM. United States District Court, D. Kansas

KIM DALE, Plaintiff,
No. 11-1036-CM.
United States District Court, D. Kansas.

April 6, 2012.

Kim Dale, Plaintiff, Pro Se.

Hawker Beechcraft Company, Defendant, represented by Brett D. Legvold, Martin, Pringle, Oliver, Wallace & Bauer, LLP -- Wichita & Terry L. Mann, Martin, Pringle, Oliver, Wallace & Bauer, LLP -- Wichita.


CARLOS MURGUIA, District Judge.

Defendant Hawker Beechcraft moves to strike plaintiff Kim Dale's response to defendant's second motion to dismiss and the exhibits attached to her response (Doc. 40). Defendant argues that plaintiff's response should be stricken because it discusses the terms of a confidential and irrelevant settlement agreement and that her exhibits should be stricken because the exhibits include an unsigned copy of that settlement agreement. Defendant also moves for sanctions against plaintiff. Specifically, defendant requests that the court sanction plaintiff because she discussed and attached the settlement agreement in bad faith. As a sanction, defendant requests an award of the attorneys' fees incurred in preparing the motion to strike.

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