Thursday, April 19, 2012

Skykits Savannah ADV, Captain Cruise Inc., N5089F: Accident occurred April 19, 2012 in Ookala, Hawaii

NTSB Identification: WPR12LA176 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, April 19, 2012 in Ookala, HI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/09/2014
Aircraft: SKYKITS USA CORP SAVANNAH ADV, registration: N5089F
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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 owner/pilot topped off both fuel tanks in the special light-sport airplane, flew uneventfully to another airport, and departed shortly thereafter. About 75 minutes after the initial departure, while in cruise flight at an altitude that the pilot estimated as between 2,500 and 3,000 feet, the engine lost power. Due in part to the airplane’s low altitude, the pilot did not attempt any corrective actions, and focused on finding a suitable landing location. The pilot selected a young cornfield for the landing but stalled the airplane a few feet above the ground, which resulted in a near vertical impact trajectory in a flat attitude. The pilot reported that he believed that the power loss was due to asymmetric fuel feed from the two wing-mounted fuel tanks due to a plugged fuel vent in the left tank. Although the fuel vents were not examined, no mechanical failures or deficiencies that would have precluded continued engine operation were observed during examination of the airplane. Accordingly, the investigation did not determine a specific reason for the power loss, or the specific reason(s) why the pilot stalled the airplane.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
A loss of engine power during cruise for reasons that could not be determined because postaccident examination did not reveal any anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s failure to avoid an aerodynamic stall at low altitude during the forced landing.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On April 19, 2012, about 1039 Hawaiian standard time, a special light-sport Skykits Savannah ADV airplane, N5089F, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain near Ookala, Hawaii, following a partial loss of engine power in cruise flight. The pilot/owner was seriously injured. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) flight plan was filed for the flight.

Two witnesses working at a dairy farm heard the airplane fly overhead. One noticed that the engine did not sound right, saw the airplane descending, and believed that it was going to crash. The witnesses tracked it visually and then got in a car to follow, but lost sight of it. Shortly thereafter they saw that the airplane had impacted in a field of young corn plants. On reaching the wreckage, they saw that the pilot was seriously injured, and telephoned 911 for assistance.

According to the pilot, he based the airplane at Hilo International Airport (ITO) Hilo, Hawaii. Prior to departing ITO, the pilot topped off both fuel tanks. He departed ITO, flew northwest along the coast, and landed at Upolu Airport (UPP), Hawi, Hawaii. He did not exit the airplane, and departed UPP a few minutes later. About 75 minutes after the departure from ITO, while in cruise flight at an estimated altitude between 2,500 and 3,000 feet, the engine decreased to "about 25 percent" of its normal cruise power. It briefly returned to near-normal, and then lost power again. The pilot immediately began seeking a place to land. After the power loss, he did not attempt any corrective actions, troubleshoot the problem, or attempt to restart the engine.


PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot held a private pilot certificate that was issued on the basis of his Canadian pilot's license. Examination of the pilot's records indicated that he had a total flight experience of about 596 hours, including about 548 hours in the accident airplane make and model. His most recent FAA second-class medical certificate was issued in 2006.

No records of any FAA-required flight review were located. According to the pilot, he was unaware of the FAA flight review requirements. He did not participate in the FAA "Wings" program, and he had never attended any aviation safety seminars or clinics.


AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane was manufactured in 2006, and was equipped with a Rotax 912 ULS engine, and a Kiev Prop three blade composite propeller. The airplane was equipped with carburetor heat and a fuel boost pump. The airplane had two equal-size fuel tanks, one in each wing. The total fuel quantity was variously listed in the airplane documentation as 19 and 21 gallons. The fuel selector valve had two positions, ON and OFF. A placard in the cockpit indicated that the fuel consumption at 75 percent power was "19 lt/h," which equates to about 5 gallons per hour.

The pilot operated the engine on "mogas" (automotive fuel) which the pilot purchased from a local automobile service station, and which was the manufacturer-recommended fuel for the engine. The engine manufacturer's operating manual stated that the fuel must comply with ASTM D4814, which permits up to 10 percent ethanol. The pilot reported that he filtered the fuel with a "Mr. Funnel" device prior to putting it in the airplane. It was not determined whether the pilot was aware of, or verified, the ethanol content of the fuel.

Although registration information indicated that the pilot had purchased the airplane in November 2010, the airplane journey log and pilot's log information indicated that he was the primary pilot of the airplane since 2006.


METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The ITO 1053 automated weather observation included winds from 320 degrees at 4 knots, visibility 10 miles, few clouds at 7,500 feet, temperature 24 degrees C, dew point 18 degrees C, altimeter setting of 30.01 inches of mercury, and rain showers in the vicinity.

Temperature and dew point information from a nearby airport indicated that carburetor icing would only be expected when the engine was being operated at "glide" (low) power settings.


WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

On-scene examination by an FAA inspector revealed that the wreckage was located in a soft, lightly-vegetated field. The field was situated at an elevation of about 1,500 feet, and about 21 miles northwest of ITO. There were no ground or vegetation scars anywhere except immediately under the airplane. The airplane came to rest upright. All three landing gear were deformed upward, so that the fuselage rested on the ground. The aft fuselage was buckled and folded down about 30 degrees. The empennage was mostly intact, and the left wing was deflected slightly down. All three blades of the composite propeller were fractured.

According to the responding FAA inspector, the left fuel tank was about two-thirds full. The right tank was compromised, and contained very little fuel, but the inspector was unable to accurately determine the quantity.

The FAA examination of the airplane did not reveal any obvious reason for the loss of engine power. In his written submission to the NTSB regarding the accident, the pilot stated that the fuel "tanks did not equalize" due to a plugged vent in the left fuel tank, which led to the power loss and his forced landing.

The airplane was equipped with a Dynon Avionics EFIS D100 model electronic flat-panel display, and several mechanical instruments. No mechanical airspeed indicator was present; the airspeed information was presented on the D100. The validity of either the airspeed or stall speed information was not determined by the investigation. The airplane was not equipped with a stall warning system.

The airplane was equipped with a "Kiev Prop" brand, Model 283 composite propeller. One fractured blade appeared to contain newspaper, with Cyrillic-like text, that was embedded into it during fabrication. The text was not translated, and the propeller blade was not examined further, since the fracture was impact-related, and not a factor in the loss of engine power.

The examination of the airplane did not reveal any mechanical deficiencies or failures that would have precluded normal operation and continued flight.




OOKALA, Big Island(HawaiiNewsNow) - The Federal Aviation Administration says a single-engine Savannah ADV made a hard landing in a corn field in O'okala, about 20 miles northwest of Hilo International Airport on the Big Island. 

It happened at 10:30 a.m.

The FAA, says the pilot, who was the only person on board, was taken to a hospital with unknown injuries.

The aircraft is registered to Captain Cruise Inc. of Papaikou, Hawaii.

The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the incident.

Flock of Seagulls Prompts Scary Emergency on LAX-Bound Delta Flight 1063


NEW YORK (WABC-TV) -- A Delta flight bound for Los Angeles is believed to have sustained a bird strike shortly after takeoff from JFK Airport in New York.

The FAA says Delta Flight 1063, a Boeing 757, declared an emergency for an engine related problem shortly after takeoff at 3:10 p.m., and the pilot turned around. The plane landed safely at JFK.

The plane was carrying 172 passengers and 7 crew members.

Delta says the flight landed without incident. No injuries were reported. The airline was working on getting the passengers on another flight.

Nantucket Memorial (KACK), Massachusetts: Airport Commission finalizes offer to manager candidate

(April 19 , 2012) The Airport Commission on Thursday finalized its job offer to Tom Rafter, a candidate from New Jersey who emerged as the commission's top choice for the Nantucket Memorial Airport manager position.

The deal now includes a $140,000 base salary, a higher figure than commission announced earlier this week. The increase came after Rafter said he would waive the health insurance offered by the town in exchange for a larger base salary. Rafter would receive a pension and ongoing health care coverage from his current employer, the Atlantic City International Airport, if he accepts the Nantucket job.

The Airport Commission's offer to Rafter also features:


• Two weeks of vacation time per year.

• 15 sick days per year.

• A June 4 start date.

• A relocation benefit of $10,000.

• A contract term of one year.



Read more about Rafter and the Airport Commission's search for a new manager in this week's Inquirer and Mirror.

 http://www.ack.net

Air Victory Museum hosting 'Family Night' - South Jersey Regional Airport (KVAY)

LUMBERTON — The Air Victory Museum will host "Family Night at the Museum" from 7 to 9 p.m. May 11.

Guests can speak with volunteers about aviation history, watch movie footage or take a tour.

The nonprofit museum at the South Jersey Regional Airport on Stacy Haines Road contains displays of aircraft, engines, artifacts, models and military vehicles.

Family Night features discounted admission for guests. A family of four is admitted for $10, with an additional $1 for each extra member. Individuals cost $2.50. For more information, call 609-267-4488.

Rescue crews respond to plane crash in the Cumberland Bay area of New Brunswick

Search and rescue crews are on the scene of a small plane crash in the Cumberland Bay area of New Brunswick.

Cumberland Bay is a small community, located on the shore of Grand Lake, just east of Fredericton.

There are unconfirmed reports that the plane went down in Grand Lake, though it's unclear how many people were aboard.

A Cormorant helicopter and a CC1 aircraft from 14 Wing Greenwood in Halifax are among the rescue aircraft responding.

Witnesses to the search effort say the aircrafts are flying in a grid pattern over the area.

Local emergency crews are also on the scene.

Memetic 'Skateboarding Professor' continues hobbies on ground, in air

 
Kyle Bruggeman | Daily Nebraskan 
 Professor Tom Winter stands next to his 1967 Cessna 150 at Silverhawk Aviation on Wednesday. "I never make a habit of leaving an airport too early," Winter said.

Tom Winter has kept his head right where it belongs, despite newfound Internet glory: in the clouds.

While a photo of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln professor skateboarding continued to circulate on the website Reddit, Winter was partaking in another one of his favorite hobbies, flying over Nebraska in his 1967 Cessna 150 personal airplane.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln classics and religion professor garnered Internet fame last week when Marisol Saldana, a junior international business major, snapped a photo of Winter skateboarding to class and uploaded it to Facebook.

“I was walking from Burnett Hall, and I had my phone in my hand and just took the photo,” Saldaña said. “It’s not everyday you see a 68-year-old man in his work clothes on a skateboard, and that’s why I took the picture.”

Kevin Luparello, a junior political science major, saw it on Facebook and uploaded it to Reddit, a social news and link-aggregate website on April 4.

By April 5, it became the top item on the site, spawning its own meme and hundreds of image macros.

“I’m pretty proud of it, it’s just this feeling of overwhelming happiness,” said Luparello. “It’s another reason for UNL to be this big amazing school. Look, we have a 68-year-old who skates. I wanted to show how cool he was to everyone on the Internet.”

Winter isn’t sure what all the fuss is about.

“There’s something about seeing a person of my years skateboard; that makes people happy,” Winter said. “I couldn’t tell you number of times I’ve gotten the feedback, ‘It makes my day.’ I can roll, but I can’t hide.”

James Brown, a sophomore mechanical engineering major, saw Winter in Andrews Hall and asked if he was aware he was famous. Winter just laughed.

“I freaked out when I saw (the photo) was from Nebraska,” Brown said. “I’m mad someone beat me to it.”

Sidnie White Crawford, a classics and religious studies professor who has known Winter for 15 years, said she and others who know Winter have found the entire thing entertaining.

“It’s great publicity for the university — we’re trying to increase our enrollment,” said Crawford.

As long as Crawford has known Winter, she said he’s always been on the move.

“He’s always riding his bike or skateboard,” Crawford said. “Some of it is for ecology reasons, but he always gets around under his own power.”

Winter doesn’t know who the photographer is, but has no hard feelings about his Internet fame. He finds it quite amusing.

“It’s a great picture. I’d be proud to take that picture,” Winter said. “The big risk with the skateboard is having to have one knee bend and have the other one scooting and the transition from the propulsion to the ride. The photographer caught that deep moment of transition. My hat is off to the nameless photographer.”

Saldana has never taken a class from Winter and didn’t even know what he taught at UNL.

“I wouldn’t mind talking to him,” Saldana said. “I thought about stopping by his office, but what would I say?”
Winter drives to work and parks off-campus, then skateboards to class. He used to ride his bicycle to work but realized a skateboard would be more convenient and, more importantly, more fun.

“I started realizing I was having fun,” Winter said. “I started wishing I had parked further away so I could have more fun. At that point I treated myself to a new board. Arbor Pocket Rocket and it just fits inside a desk drawer.
Slick. My parking place is a steel-cased drawer.”

Winter estimates he’s been skateboarding for 12 to 15 years, and he said he doesn’t believe he’s been out of shape in any of his 68 years. He finds vigorous activities that he loves and loves to do — even though he broke one of his ribs doing a wheelie on his skateboard once.

“In my 20s, it was tennis,” Winter said. “I cured my tennis elbow by quitting tennis. The next was swimming. I lapped up my lunch for years, and then my skin rebelled from all the chlorinated water, so I gave that up. Then I discovered racquetball, then handball at 40. Then the hip joints forced my retirement from all court games. The next fun vigorous exercise was skating.”

In addition to his vigorous physical exercises, Winter has performed in seven plays at the Lincoln Community Playhouse, played violin in the Lincoln Civic Orchestra and he is the founder of Linc-In-Liners In-Line Skating Club, to highlight just a few of his numerous accomplishments.

“Live long enough and you get around to everything,” Winters said. “I didn’t get my pilot’s license til my mid 50s.“

Winter, in his 42nd year at UNL, has no plans to stop skating or to stop teaching anytime soon.

“Well, I think the students and I are still having fun learning,” Winter said.

“I’m still learning new things in my field and making new realizations. If I read Homer for maybe the 60th time, and get nothing new out of it, then I’ll know it’s time to retire.”

If the comments on Reddit are any indication, Winter can except students to flock to his classes in the fall.

“I’ve had many people say ‘I don’t care what class he teaches, I want to take that class,” Saldaña said.

For now, Winter said he will keep rolling with his Internet and campus fame.

“I’m living my life the only way I know how to live my life,” he said. “Gee, it’s not my fault — I could quote Lady Gaga — ‘Born This Way.’"

http://www.dailynebraskan.com

Black Hawk Helicopter Crashses In Afghanistan, likely killing 4 Americans

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A Black Hawk helicopter crashes in Afghanistan, a U.S. military official says
  • All four of its crew members -- all of them American -- are believed to be dead
  • Troops waiting to be picked saw the aircraft go down, the official says
(CNN) -- A Black Hawk helicopter crashed Thursday in southern Afghanistan, likely killing all four of its crew members -- all of them Americans -- a U.S. military official said.

The crash occurred in bad weather, though the official said "we cannot yet rule out enemy action."

Troops at a combat outpost in the area waiting to be picked up saw the crash happen, the official said. Another helicopter flying nearby was not affected.

http://www.cnn.com

Mooney M20F, N9722M: Accident occurred April 19, 2012 in Mc Kinnon, Tennessee

NTSB Identification: ERA12LA292 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, April 19, 2012 in McKinnon, TN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/09/2013
Aircraft: MOONEY M20F, registration: N9722M
Injuries: 3 Serious.

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 airplane was on approach to runway 8, a 3,000-foot-long runway. The airplane was high and fast, and the pilot attempted to perform a go-around; however, the airplane was not able to climb before impacting trees, located about 700 feet beyond the end of the runway. Examination of the airframe and engine did not reveal any mechanical malfunctions that would have precluded normal operation nor did the pilot report any. The airplane was found after the accident with the landing gear extended and the wing flaps in the full down position. Witnesses reported that the wind was from the west at 10 to 15 knots, at the time of the accident. In addition, the pilot reported that the wind had shifted from east to west and that he did not note the position of the airport wind sock prior to landing. He also stated that the 3,000 foot-long runway was the shortest runway he had attempted to land on. Had the pilot retracted the landing gear and the flaps during the attempted go-around, he should have been able to execute a successful go-around.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's delayed decision to go-around after failing to recognize that he was attempting to land with a tailwind, and his failure to retract the landing gear and wing flaps for the go-around, which resulted in a collision with trees and terrain near the departure end of the runway.


On April 19, 2012, about 1130 central daylight time, a Mooney M20F, N9722M, operated by a private individual, was substantially damaged when it impacted trees while attempting to perform a go-around at the Houston County Airport, McKinnon, Tennessee. The private pilot and two passengers were seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the flight that departed Humphreys County Airport, Waverly, Tennessee. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

The pilot reported that the airplane was on approach to runway 8, a 3,000-foot-long, asphalt runway. The airplane was "high and fast" on the approach, and he intended to go-around. The airplane did not climb as expected and subsequently impacted trees that were located about 700 feet beyond the end of the runway. The airplane sustained substantial damage to both wings and the fuselage.

Examination of the airframe and engine by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector did not reveal any mechanical malfunctions that would have precluded normal operation. In addition, the pilot reported that he did not experience any mechanical malfunctions. The FAA inspector found the landing gear extended and the wing flaps extended to the full down position after the accident.

Winds reported an airport located about 30 miles northeast of M93, at 1155, were from 100 degrees at 7 knots; however, witnesses reported that winds were from the west at 10 to 15 knots at the time of the accident. In addition, the pilot reported that the winds had shifted from east to west during the flight; and he did not note the position of the airport wind sock prior to landing. He also stated that the 3,000 foot-long runway was the shortest runway he had attempted to land on.

In the Operator/Owner Recommendation section of the NTSB Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident/Incident Report, the pilot stressed the importance of making a decision to go-around in a timely manner and without hesitation, particularly when attempting to land on runways less than 4,000 feet long.



















FAA IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 9722M        Make/Model: MO20      Description: M20F
 
 Date: 04/19/2012     Time: 1631

  Event Type: Accident   Highest Injury: Minor     Mid Air: N    Missing: N
  Damage: Destroyed

LOCATION
  City: MCKINNON   State: TN   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT ON LANDING WENT OFF THE END OF THE RUNWAY, MCKINNON, TN

INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   0
                 # Crew:   1     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   1     Unk:    
                 # Pass:   2     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   2     Unk:    
                 # Grnd:         Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    


OTHER DATA
  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Landing      Operation: OTHER


  FAA FSDO: NASHVILLE, TN  (CE19)                 Entry date: 04/20/2012 


A small single-engine aircraft piloted by Erin businessman Jay Perdue crashed during landing around noon Thursday at the McKinnon Airport in western Houston County near the Tennessee River.

Also in the plane was his father, Joe Perdue, 81, and a female family member, whose name was not disclosed.

Witnesses at the site said all three were airlifted to Vanderbilt Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries. Perdue, of Erin, owns Perdue Acoustics.

Houston County Sheriff Darrell Allison said Perdue was trying to land and came in at too steep an angle. He tried to power up, but the plane did not respond. The plane passed between two trees and ended up in a grassy area east of the runway, Allison said.

Perdue’s wife and son came to the site and said that no one appeared to have any serious injuries, although Jay Perdue may have a suffered a broken nose.

 
HOUSTON COUNTY, Tenn. (AP/NewsChannel 5) – A small plane has crashed in Houston County, injuring three people.

Authorities said the plane crashed about noon Thursday at the end of a runway at McKinnon Airport. The three were taken by LifeFlight to Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville in undetermined condition.

The three apparently were the only ones aboard. Police said the three people injured were identified as 81-year-ol Joe Perdue, 58-year-old Jay Perdue and 58-year-old Andrea Holinstein. Sheriff Darrell Allison said the three appeared to have non-critical injuries.

Sky 5 showed an orange and white plane with its tail bent, and engine outside of the plane.

Whiting Field bids farewell to T-34 Turbo Mentor today


The venerable T-34C Turbo Mentor made its final student training flight at Whiting Field Naval Air Station in Milton today, landing at about noon.

The final training flight included student 1st Lt. Sarah Horn and instructor Cmdr. John Hensel, the commanding officer of Training Squadron 2.

The T-34, which has been in service at Whiting Field since 1977, has been replaced by the more modern T-6B Texan II.

Training Squadron 2 — known as the “Doerbirds” — retired the T-34 today, marking the last unit at Whiting’s Training Air Wing 5 to cycle out of the old plane.

“From this day on, the Doerbirds will forever be known as the squadron that flew the T-34C into history here at Wing 5 and NAS Whiting Field,” said Col. James Grace, commander of Training Air Wing 5.

Whiting Field has been home to 400 T-34s over the years. Most of remaining crafts will be sent to Corpus Christi Naval Air Station, where the Navy continues to train with them.

“If only these planes could talk and tell us about the thousands of aviators who took their first flight in the T-34C,” Grace said. “The anxiety, fear, fright and excitement. The total joy of that first solo flight or being absolutely sick to their stomach from air sickness. The highs, the lows, the dreams realized and the dreams taken away. The first loop, first spin, first takeoff and first landing.”

An estimated 22,600 students have trained on the T-34 at Whiting Field, completing more than 2.8 million hours of flight.


Armchair aviator builds Boeing 737 simulator in his garage

 

 Most flight enthusiasts are content having the latest version of Microsoft Flight installed on their home computers, but not James Price of Pleasanton, California. An air traffic controller at Oakland International Airport, Price has spent the past 12 years building a fully functional Boeing 737 flight simulator in his garage, using the cockpit and nose section from an actual commercial jet.

What's more, Price designed and programmed his own simulation software, which not only produces the lifelike visuals projected onto a massive wrap-around screen in front of the simulator, but also interfaces with the working instruments, knobs, and switches. Price, a private pilot, says that 90% of the original instruments from the Lufthansa 737 his cockpit comes from are functional in the simulator, including a number of LCD screens.

The only thing missing is motion. Given Price's obvious level of commitment to his hobby, it wouldn't surprise us if putting his stunning sim on hydraulics — fluid-filled pistons that can tilt the cockpit, creating a sensation of movement — is his next decade-long project.

[via Geekosystem]

Ex-FAA worker gets prison for flight-test aid: Former Air Force pilot was sentenced to a year and a day for taking $300 tips from pilots. Flying W Airport (N14), Lumberton, New Jersey

Thursday, April 19, 2012, 3:01 AM  


A 64-year-old former Federal Aviation Administration employee from Burlington County was sentenced Wednesday to one year and a day in prison for accepting $300 tips from pilots to whom he gave flight tests, a lapse in judgment that struck even the judge as incongruous.

More than 100 times over seven years, Harrington Bishop accepted the tips. The former Air Force pilot, who lives in Pemberton, wasn't supposed to take payments and he wasn't authorized to give the tests or grant licenses on his days off, as he did.

The government did not try to claim that his actions endangered public safety in any way, even though nearly everyone he tested at the Flying W Airport in Medford passed.

"I truly regret my actions, sir," Bishop told Judge Robert Kugler during his sentencing at U.S. District Court in Camden on Wednesday. "I had good intentions of assisting fellow military pilots."

He explained that he administered flight tests to former military pilots who sought credentials to fly commercial passenger and cargo planes. Usually, he did so on Saturdays at the airport, but only after spending Friday evening instructing them on the difference between military and civilian flight rules.

As Edna Bishop, his wife of nearly 41 years, watched in the courtroom, he said he always told his clients that he could not accept payments.

But he said a student told him that he wanted to tip him - not for the test, but for the instruction the night before.

After he accepted, Bishop said, it spread by word-of-mouth that he should be paid $300.

Bishop kept offering the services even after the FAA told him to stop in 2006 and again in 2010.

He said nearly all his clients were military pilots. A few were commercial copilots who wanted to move to the captain's seat.

Scott McBride, a federal prosecutor, said that when a testing service passes more than about 85 percent of its pilots, inspectors usually monitor it to make sure it's not a "mill."

There is no indication that anyone received a license from Bishop who could not have gotten it legitimately, McBride said.

Bishop pleaded guilty in October to receiving an illegal gratuity as a public servant and agreed to pay the federal government $70,000 in restitution.

Federal sentencing guidelines called for 21 to 24 months in prison. But after reading letters in support of Bishop and hearing in court from his wife and pastor, the judge decided to sentence him to a year and a day.

"He's a hardworking man, a military veteran, the kind of guy you go to when you have a problem and need help," Kugler said. "He's very unselfish."

Yet Bishop had been told to stop the improper tests, the judge noted. "For reasons none of us understand, he chose to ignore that advice." 

Source:  http://www.philly.com

Air Show to send Fort Lauderdale beach business soaring

By Doreen Hemlock, SunSentinel
7:06 p.m. EDT, April 18, 2012


Fort Lauderdale beach expects to host at least 200,000 people at its first ever Air Show next weekend, and area hotels and restaurants hope for a skyward boost to business.

At the 650-room Marriott's Harbor Beach Resort and Spa, at least 30 percent of rooms sold next weekend will be directly linked to the show, said sales and marketing manager Jay Marsella.

"We're expecting to be sold out the whole weekend. The show really helps," said Marsella, noting that rooms at special Air Show rates starting at $299 a night have been nearly all snapped up.

The mid-priced Café Bluefish near Sunrise Boulevard expects at least twice the sales of a usual April weekend, said bartender Cindy Burlingame. The 165-seat cafe will offer a limited menu to serve customers fast. And it will make lots of frozen drinks, popular for event goers trying to cool down.
Graphic video: Report: Woman charged after driving into Publix

"We're expecting quite a bit of overflow from everyone coming across the bridge," Burlingame said. "They've got to get out of the heat."

The new Air Show fills a void left with the 2007 shutdown of the previous Air and Sea Show that drew up to 500,000 spectators to the beach and ranked as a marquee event for tourism in the area.

Beachfront hotels that have opened since 2007 are eager supporters.

The 517-room W Fort Lauderdale serves as the show's headquarters hotel.

"I'd be surprised if we don't sell out," said marketing manager Leia Bosco. She said the W has been offering show rates starting at $349 a night, and its restaurants, including Steak 954, feature viewing packages for locals.

The 240-room B Ocean Fort Lauderdale touts a $239 per person day-pass for the view, buffet and bar at its penthouse ballroom and for valet parking nearby, said general manager Eduardo Fernandez.

Not everyone is thrilled.

At the Casablanca Café, an upscale restaurant catering mainly to locals, the former Air and Sea Show hurt business. The shutdown of the beachfront road the Monday before the show made it hard to reach the cafe for days. Parking fees soared on the weekend, turning off people not attending the event. And many show goers picnicked on the beach, rather than dine out, said manager Dave Townsend.

Casablanca might have cashed in by selling beer and burgers on its sidewalk on show days, but former show organizers limited street sales to an out-of-town company, said Townsend. He hopes for better coordination with organizers and more opportunities for local business with the new show.

Long street closures also worry others along AIA, including owners of McSorley's Bar, Sundeck and Lounge who expect business during the Air Show to be "absolutely crazy."

"It's really compressed. You get very busy for two days, but you lose your business for days before and after," said co-owner Donal Kearney..

On each show day, McSorley's plans to sell out its upscale rooftop lounge to 150 guests paying $250 per person for open bar and food. The downstairs pub likely will be packed, as planes soar above the sea.

"It's something new. It's good for the city," said Kearney. "It will be fun."''

http://www.sun-sentinel.com

REDjet seeking government assistance

By Anika E Kentish - Thursday, April 19th, 2012.

GEORGETOWN, Guyana  – The Donald Ramotar government is not yet ready to make any commitments regarding grounded carrier REDjet. The airline, which ran into financial hardship, last month suspended its operations with the hope of finding the necessary funds to get its planes back in the air.

In an effort to recapitalize, REDjet principles have approached, among others, the Guyana government for financial assistance. But while Ramotar and his cabinet do not dispute that fact, they remain tight-lipped on the specifics of the proposal put forward by the low-fare carrier.

“I’d be frank to say that REDjet officials, they came for a meeting. They made a presentation to the government of Guyana. That presentation is now on the desk of the desk of the president and it will be brought to cabinet,” Acting Tourism Minister Irfann Ali said.

He explained the airline presented an assessment of the carrier’s impact since entering the market and a financial viability plan for the cabinet to be considered.

“We haven’t come to any conclusion on that,” Ramotar told media attending a tourism conference. “I think it might be more difficult to do that at this point…but the important thing is to look.”

Ramotar and his cabinet would not disclose the amount the troubled carrier is seeking, but indicated that they are still considering their options.

“We haven’t concluded, we haven’t made decisions in that direction but we haven’t ruled anything out as yet either. We want to study it very carefully. My information is that while REDjet was flying, there was a fairly sizable increase in arrivals in Guyana so it’s something that we have to study,” Ramotar said.

Guyana gained considerable benefits from the additional airlift REDjet provided. At the time of suspension, the airline had direct flights from Cheddi Jagan International Airport to Barbados and Antigua.

The acting tourism minister said the absence of the airline created a void, especially with its link to Barbados. He added that a regional forum was necessary to discuss the state of regional travel.

REDjet Chief Executive Officer Ian Burns has publically suggested that governments give serious consideration to subsidizing the carrier.


Cowling Emergency Incident Flying in Pattern over Republic Airport (KFRG), Farmingdale, New York in a Piper PA-28-181 Archer II

 
April 16, 2012 by BigAppleFlyers 

While climbing out of KFRG (Farmingdale's Republic Airport) flying a left pattern out of runway 14 our cowling became loose resulting in an immediate return to the airport, landing on the same runway without leaving the pattern. The aircraft flown is a Piper PA-28-181 Archer II (N31754). The lesson learned from this incident is to double the effort during pre-flight checks and never take anything for granted (at the end we show what caused the issue). Although short, one of the best and definitely my most memorable flying lesson thus far.

Paulding Northwest Atlanta (KPUJ): Airport Restoration Contracts Starting Next Week

Damage to a hangar at the Paulding Northwest Atlanta Airport following the March 2012 tornado.
Credit John Barker 


The Paulding County Airport Authority is turning the corner this month with its operations to clean up and restore the airport facility after the March 2 tornado caused millions of dollars in damages.

The monthly PCAA and Industrial Building Authority meetings continue to be held at the Watson Government Complex in Dallas while repairs continue at the site; the entities met Wednesday morning.

Repairs to the airport terminal’s roof, windows and water damage and also repairs to fences on the site will begin next week, according to Blake Swafford, director of the Paulding Northwest Atlanta Airport. Those restorations are expected to take until June and additional construction to restore private hangars crushed by the storm will take longer.

IBA members during their meeting voted to approve several of the construction contracts slated to start next week at the airport site, including Dallas Metal Products to replace the terminal building roof and Fox Fence to repair or replace fencing.

Swafford also told officials that Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) officials have told him that the site involved in the collapse of the commercial hangar that claimed the life of one construction worker and injured another earlier this year could be cleared of the metal and other material. OSHA officials asked that the material be secured and remain available for some finite period—probably about six months, Swafford said—for future inspection. OSHA’s official findings could still be several months away.

Officials Wednesday also learned that the new film production studio in Hiram has a 12-week commitment for a feature film project. Preparations begin soon and actual filming will begin at the site in June, Swafford said, and added that an announcement and more details regarding the project could be released as early as next week.

Jeremy Hariton, spokesperson for Roadtown Enterprises, told IBA members last month that additional promotional efforts for the new facility through social media are underway, and that a website being constructed is intended to include online 3D tours of the facility.

Officials: Future looks good for airport’s new hangars, October air show

Lynda Jo Norred, a spokesperson for Paulding Jet Center, reported that total fuel sales increased 9 percent from last month. Following the storm, PJC is currently left with two tie-downs. Hangars lost in the storm are expected to be replaced by July. Along with most of hangars, 17 aircraft were lost in the March storm.

But PJC General Manager Jeff Beale told the board last month that a waiting list still exists for hangar spaces, which could help to fill the void going forward when the new hangars are completed this summer.

The PCAA members voted last month to grant a 60-day waiver of rent and fuel flowage fees to PJC to help offset downtime of its operations during the rebuild. Fuel flowage fees are a 16-cent tax tacked onto the per-gallon gas price.

Air show committee member David Carmichael, who is point man for the October air show, said that plans for the show are on schedule and that 14 performers are currently lined up.

And, according to Spectrum Media CEO Darren Callahan, a spokesperson for the show, a website devoted to the air show is slated to be up and running later this week.

In other business, Rob Stephenson with Prime Contracting Inc. addressed board members regarding an alternative construction contract award method in association with the National Joint Powers Alliance, a public agency, member-driven service cooperative. NJPA offers a multitude of contracted products, equipment and service opportunities to education, government and other non-profit entities. Stephenson said that the normal bidding process could be considerably shortened by establishing a business and service alliance between member buyers and contracted suppliers. Swafford said that a resolution would be presented at next month’s meeting regarding a future relationship with Prime Contractors Inc.

And IBA members during their meeting approved lease agreements for Everything Wireless LLC, a vendor involved with the Hiram studio, and a lease agreement for the studio facility.

http://dallas-hiram.patch.com

New T-Hangar to Be Built at Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport

Thursday, April 19, 2012
By George Nelson

VIENNA TOWNSHIP, Ohio – Since his appointment to the Western Reserve Port Authority’s board of directors in 2004, Scott Lynn has wanted to see new T-hangars constructed at Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport. At its meeting Wednesday, the port authority took a major step closer to making that a reality.

The board voted to take out a $470,000 loan to construct the first of three new T-hangars which will replace the existing ones at the airport. The 20-year loan will be provided by Farmers National Bank, Canfield, at 2.84% interest for the first five years and at an adjustable rate for the balance of the loan.

“At one of my first board meetings I was asked what I would like to see done and I said I would like to see some hangars built out here,” said Lynn, a pilot for now the port authority’s chairman.

Construction of the new hangar will take place in conjunction with a $1.1 million taxi lane project under way, said Dan Dickten, aviation director of the airport. Bids for the hangar will be in by the end of April and construction should be completed by the end of August, he said.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Dickten said. The airport already has 14 lease commitments for the new hangar, including 11 that are in the airport’s existing hangars or one of two community hangars. Moving the smaller aircraft into the new T-hangar will free space in the larger hangars for corporate aircraft. “Two are looking for space around the June time-frame and we expect additional corporate aircraft needing cover as a result of the Utica shale activity,” he said.

Dickten reported that the port authority’s request for funds through the state’s Job Ready Sites program to purchase the former Davis air cargo building had been rejected.

Kevin Kern, director of special projects at the airport, noted only about $10 million was available in this final round of Job Ready Sites funding and the state only accepted seven projects.

“We’re pursuing other options,” Dickten said. “We have some interested parties. There is a big initiative here for air cargo and we’re pursuing those options,” he said.

Lynn said the port authority would continue to search for a tenant for the building and it is making “a lot of progress” with one company. The building, located on airport property, is owned by the real estate arm of Millwood Inc.

“The company we’re looking at is somewhat interested in purchasing that building and lining up a couple of tenants to start moving freight in and out of there,” Lynn said.

Beechcraft F90 King Air | Quick Tour Cabin and Cockpit | N911CF | HD



 April 19, 2012 by Helicopterpilot16
Beechcraft F90 King Air
Quick Tour Cabin and Cockpit | N911CF | HD 
 Camera: Sony HDR-CX160

Cessna 421C Golden Eagle: Quick Tour Cabin and Cockpit . . . Owned by Custom Fire Apparatus in Osceola, Wisconsin


April 18, 2012 by Helicopterpilot16 
Cessna 421C Golden Eagle | Quick Tour Cabin and Cockpit

Aviation mechanics a high-flying field

By NATALIE MORRIS
Thursday, April 19, 2012
The Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. —

Deregulation created turbulence for commercial airlines. The economic crunch grounded many private pilots. But the biggest challenge facing the aviation industry, as a whole, is finding enough workers to keep planes ready for takeoff.

A third of the students in Lincoln Land Community College's aviation mechanics program leave classes in Hangar 4 at Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport to head to work at the neighboring StandardAero — a global leader in aviation maintenance services.

"(Commercial) airlines is what everyone sees," LLCC instructor Rick Stillman said. "They were having a rough time . so people don't look at going into this field."

Program director Jim Van Kleek said despite the attention focused on commercial airlines' woes, the aviation industry is a great employment opportunity.

"I get calls continuously from companies looking for aviation mechanics," Van Kleek said. "A lot of people just don't realize aviation is a good career to go into."

Hourly wages begin at $15 to $20 for newly certified workers.

Boeing released a study in June saying the industry will need 650,000 new maintenance technicians globally by 2030 to keep up with growth, as well as replace a coming wave of retirements.

That breaks down to 32,500 new technicians annually.

The bulk of the growth is occurring in the Asia Pacific region, Boeing's study said. China alone is projected to create more than 108,000 technician jobs. But demand also is strong in North America, where 134,800 new aviation technician jobs are expected.

If so, that would nearly double the number of U.S. employees working in the field. The 2010 U.S. Census figures showed there are 140,000 aviation mechanics nationwide, 80 percent of them over the age of 40.

Tyler Spain, 47, didn't need a study to point him to the field.

The former auto-body mechanic got a job at StandardAero in the paint department. It wasn't long much later when he enrolled in LLCC's aviation mechanics program.

"An airplane is the only thing I hadn't painted," the Springfield resident said. "I wanted to try something different, and now I'm on the inside. I can broaden my horizons in many ways."

Spain will graduate in five weeks, ready to take the Federal Aviation Administration airframe and power-plant mechanics certification exam, after logging the program's 1,921 hours training. That's 21 hours more than FAA requirements.

At StandardAero, he's already been promoted to mechanic's work in the company's service department.

LLCC's aviation mechanics program celebrates its 11th anniversary next week. During that time, the program has prepared 147 graduates and has become a regional draw for those interested in the career.

Currently there are 19 students enrolled.

"We are the only community college south of Rockford with an aviation mechanics program," said David Green, LLCC's dean of business and technologies. "We have agreements with a lot of community colleges for their students to study here."

Green said there are three out-of-district students in the program now, coming from Bloomington, Decatur and Peoria.

Even so, Van Kleek said there is a need to let the public know classes are available locally.

The program offers three classes that run simultaneously from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Justin Skelton, 24, of San Jose said he learned about careers in aviation mechanics from an Internet search that led him to the Aviation Institute of Maintenance in Indianapolis. He transferred to LLCC after learning he could get the same degree for less money and commute from home.

The 18-month program for airframe and power-plant certification costs $12,700.

"I grew up really liking airplanes," he said. "Obviously, the fact there's plenty of jobs out there is a bonus."

Dale Forton, president of the Professional Aviation Maintenance Association, said demand also is rising because other industries are hiring certified mechanics away from aviation.

"Amusement parks are learning to hire them, and lately, the biggest trend is wind-turbine manufacturers," Forton said. "They are all trained in physics, torque, electrical inspection and other items that are very important to a big propeller turning in the air."

Forty percent of people with airframe and power-plant certificates were working outside aviation, according to 2010 Census figures.

Forton said aviation companies have begun to take the lead to educate the public about job opportunities. One airline repair company has begun giving middle school students tours of its facilities in hopes of igniting their interest.

"We're seeing smaller corporations doing job shadows. PAMA goes to job fairs," he said. "There are a bunch of small efforts that are starting to become a large effort to educate."

StandardAero — then Garrett Aviation/General Electric — played a role in bringing the aviation mechanics program to Springfield.

LLCC began exploring the possibility of an aviation mechanics program in 1998, when it learned the University of Illinois was phasing out its program. Startup costs were reduced with the help of equipment donations from the U of I and Garrett Aviation.

Van Kleek, a former sheet metal technician at StandardAero, said the company still provides equipment for instructional use. And many of the instructors, like Van Kleek, have or still work for the company.

Forton said few community colleges are able to offer aviation mechanics programs because of the expense.

"It's a large overhead," he said. "You have to have airplanes for students to work on. That's a large asset to just sit there."

___

Information from: The State Journal-Register, http://www.sj-r.com

Lufthansa still in talks over sale of low-cost carrier Bmibaby, but Flyforbeans not in the running

Sion Barry 
WalesOnline
Apr 19 2012

GERMAN airline Lufthansa said it is still in sale talks over its loss-making low-cost carrier Bmibaby.

The airline is looking to strike a deal to offload its Bmibaby and Bmi Regional subsidiaries, while its sale of Bmi to British Airways parent company IAG will be completed later this week.

IAG has agreed to pay £172m for the BMI business, but if Lufthansa is unable to offload Bmibaby and Bmi Regional, the value of the deal could be reduced by up to £80m.

If the two airlines transfer to IAG, it could look to offload the two business divisions to new owners. However, it is unlikely it would look to integrate the businesses into its operations, which would put a question mark over their futures.

Vale of Glamorgan-based Flyforbeans had been in exclusive talks with Lufthansa earlier this year over taking over Bmibaby, before Lufthansa confirmed in March that it had also entered into talks with a European-based operator.

A deal would see Bmibaby staff being transferred to new owners, with Lufthansa providing finance to support the new venture with the aim of creating a sustainable and profitable low-cost airline.

Flyforbeans, was established in 2008 with the initial aim of setting up a low-cost base from Cardiff Airport providing routes across Europe.

One of the founding directors of the business, Professor Jeremy Stone, was declared bankrupt last December.

His resignation details from Flyforbeans were published by Companies House in March.

Prof Stone is currently in the Arctic on a fundraising expedition for the Prince’s Trust.

Yesterday, Tim Lee, managing director of Flyforbeans, said: “We do not comment on rumours or speculation.”

However it is understood that Flyforbeans is no longer in talks over Bmibaby.

In a statement yesterday, Bmi said; “Regarding Bmibaby and Bmi Regional, discussions with potential buyers continue.

It added: “The completion of IAG’s purchase of Bmi from Lufthansa is due to take place later this week, and as a consequence there will be some changes to the management team at Bmi. At the point of completion, Wolfgang Prock-Schauer and Joerg Hennemann will step down as the chief executive and chief commercial officer of Bmi.

“Simone Menne will stay with Bmi as chief financial officer.

“A senior team from British Airways will join Bmi for the duration of the proposed integration process.

“Peter Simpson will become Bmi managing director, Gavin Halliday Bmi commercial director and David Lebrecht Bmi people director.

“The Bmi summer schedule will operate as planned and Bmi will continue to manage its own operations during the integration process.”

Malaysian airline to operate flights to Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan

By Mindanews | Thursday| April 19, 2012

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/18 April) – A Malaysian airline has bared interest to operate routes to Kota Kinabalu and Sandakan, both in Sabah in Eastern Malaysia, through its 68-seater turboprop aircraft.

Dato’ Capt Mohd Nawawi Awang, chief executive officer of MASwings, said in a press briefing during the 1st Equator Asia Air Access Forum at The Marco Polo Davao Wednesday that they are looking to start their Davao operations within this year or early next year.

“Once we start our operations in Davao, we targeted to gain 60 percent of the passenger load factor,” he said.

He said they are planning to have three flights a week from Davao to the two destinations in Malaysia and or vice versa. The company has currently 10 turboprop aircrafts since the airline was launched in 2007, offering affordable fare rates.

The company also plans to acquire narrow-bodied jets like the Boeing 737-400/800 or the Airbus 320/319.

He said they would ensure that their Davao operations will sustain through strengthening the tourism promotions and marketing support. He said there should be a collaboration between the government and the tourism industry.

The company will further study the economic growth, particularly of Davao City.

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines reported that the number of passengers in the Davao International Airport is seen to increase from about 2.5 million last year to 2.8 million by the end of this year.

Of the number of passengers last year, 1.284 million were in-bound passengers.

Transportation and Communication Secretary Mar Roxas, in his speech delivered by Undersecretary Jose Perpetuo Lotilla, said that they are looking into the Davao International Airport as the largest international airport in Mindanao.

He said the national government is currently improving the facilities in the country’s main gateways to gain 10 million foreign visitors and 30 million domestic travelers by 2016. About P500 million was allocated for the installation of additional security screening equipment in all 45 airports, including Davao International Airport.

MASwings also eyed to service Puerto Princesa and Zamboanga City to Kota Kinabalu. (MindaNews)

http://www.mindanews.com

Caribbean Airlines jet in Mexico - New questions over London route

By Vernon Khelawan
Thursday, April 19 2012


DEFUNCT state-owned airline British West Indies Airways (BWIA) dropped the London route because it was losing millions of dollars annually. So what made former Caribbean Airlines (CAL) chairman George Nicholas III and his board believe they could turn the situation around and make the trans Atlantic route profitable?

Business Day learnt from Ian Bertrand, a former chief executive of BWIA, now an aviation consultant, that the only time the London route was profitable was during the period during which the L-1011TriStar (BWIA had four of these airplanes) was operating the service. He explained that the TriStar was a flexible aircraft in that it could have been pressed into service to any of the airline’s North American destinations, particularly New York and Toronto.

According to Caribbean Airlines (CAL) insiders, the decision to return to London was that of Nicholas, who publicly announced the plan during a function in Kingston last year. Earlier at the signing of the order for nine ATR-72-600s in Port of Spain, Nicholas told Business Day, he was re-introducing the London route to Heathrow in July 2011 using leased B-777s. Business Day understands the resumption of the London service was never a board decision.

Having caught his management team and fellow board members off guard with his announcement, it turned into a mad scramble to put things in place to get the service going by June 14, 2012 and not to Heathrow but to Gatwick instead, using not B-777s, but rather two used B-767-300ERs owned by the South American airline Lan Chile.

The first of these two aircraft was due in Piarco last week Tuesday (April 10), but its arrival has been delayed by a month, but no explanation for the delay has been given by the airline. However, Business Day has learnt that the aircraft, which has already been painted in CAL’ colours is sitting in a hangar at an airport in Mexico City, Mexico. Configuration of that aircraft, which will be registered 9Y-LGW, is 30 First/Business Class and 191 in Economy. There has been no word on the second aircraft, which will be registered 9Y-LGH, except the promise it would be in Trinidad by the end of May. Industry observers are questioning the wisdom of Nicholas’ decision to return to London, albeit Gatwick, given that the conditions for such a service is now much worse than when the airline started in 2007. While CAL enjoys a generous subsidy from the Trinidad and Tobago government, the four times a week service would account for a substantial increase in fuel consumption, more so, given the age of the chosen aircraft to operate the route.

Other factors include the current high transAtlantic fares, the pernicious Airport Passenger Duty (APD) imposed by the British authorities, the soft economy which now exists in the United Kingdom and a severe reduction in the Caribbean diaspora in Britain. Information about reservations for London reflects a large number of inquiries, but not a high percentage of bookings.

But the fact that airplanes, ordered by CAL are ready for delivery, but not being delivered, has raised question in many circles. There are two brand new ATRs sitting in Toulouse, France and there is a B-767-300ER, in CAL’s colours and livery in a hangar in Mexico City and the word is money problems.

Business Day has learnt that the ATR company is not prepared to release the aircraft without some proper monetary arrangements being put in place. As a matter of fact it is understood that a team from ATR will be in Trinidad this week for discussions with CAL and government officials on how to proceed with the other five planes which have been ordered, as well as the two (TTC and TTD) that are ready for delivery.

Meanwhile a question still floating around the corridors of the Iere House headquarters of the airline at Piarco, is the real reason behind Nicholas’s sudden departure? Managers, as well as line staffers refuse to believe it was because of the rating given him by Transport Minister Devant Maharaj during a recent television interview.

Most people believe that seeing the financial mess in which the airline had found itself, Nicholas decided he did not want to be around to do any cleaning up when it finally hit the fan. Insider reports indicate that the finances of the company are in total disarray and since Corporation Sole has not been brought up to date with all the financial issues, much support has not been forthcoming from that source.

The situation in which CAL today finds itself has been a direct result of a board of directors whose members were so far removed from aviation that it was almost impossible to create policy and give proper guidance to the company operating in such a highly competitive environment. This allowed the chairman to become autocratic and reduced the board to being “yes men”. Nobody stood up or argued with Nicholas and the two people who attempted to do so – Allan Clovis and Susan Smith — were dismissed.

And while Minister Maharaj’s counter to this argument that management skills were most important does in fact carry some weight, the present environment, added to the volatility of the industry, makes it imperative that the board has some real understanding of the industry. Additionally, there is no comparison between the present board and the quality of the previous leaders.

It is no secret that following one of Nicholas’ previous resignations, the present board assured the line minister they would work with the chairman for the betterment of the airline. Obviously that has not worked to the benefit of CAL’s fortunes. Now that Nicholas has left, is there any real reason they should stay?

Business Day has also learnt that when possible Chief Executive Officer designate Pedro Fabregas, wooed from American Airlines, was last year invited to a CAL board meeting, he was moved to request that he be allowed to bring in a team to work at turning around the airline, but his request was denied. Although it was never spelt out, Fabregas felt he alone could not effect the changes needed in the airline.

Fabregas never took up the job and up until today the vacancy, created when Ian Brunton was dismissed, still remains unfilled, as does the position of Corporate Communications Manager, vacant since the dismissal of Laura Asbjornsen almost a year ago.

The call is being made again from many quarters for Minister Maharaj to use this opportunity to reconstitute the airline’s board by selecting persons who can actually make serious efforts to turn the airline around, before continuing to throw good money after bad. Also, the call is being made to chairman designate Rabindra Moonan to request a review of the current board, so that his job could be made easier.

Failure to at least make the request, could end up with even more problems regarding the airline’s operations.

http://www.newsday.co.tt