Friday, April 20, 2012

Small-town development fight ends in mayor’s arrest

From Saturday's Globe and Mail 
Published Friday, Apr. 20, 2012 8:20PM EDT
Last updated Friday, Apr. 20, 2012 8:29PM EDT 

Few citizens stood up to the mayor at the height of his 21-year reign, and certainly no forest, ranch or field of hay stood a chance against progress in the village-wrapped-in-a-city named Mascouche.

In a suburb where three-quarters of the population had recently fled the crime and crowding of the big city, who would have stood up? These former Montrealers came looking for peace and quiet, the privacy of a big backyard and a coveted garage. As they faced their hour-long, one-way commutes, civic oversight was not a high priority for most new Mascouchois.

But Mayor Richard Marcotte ran into one 3,000-foot strip of asphalt he could not control. The tiny Mascouche airport looked like prime real estate to him, but to Jean-Daniel Cossette and a small group of pilots, it was a jewel in a rock garden of new car dealerships and big-box stores. They fought like mad to keep the planes flying.

His Worship was in a race to transform his sleepy village into a metropolis, but he also pocketed his own share of the spoils, police allege in the charges laid against him and 14 others this week. It’s likely just a start. Cities like Terrebonne, Boisbriand and Laval grew even faster and have had their own scandals, from politicians alleged to have taken envelopes of cash to contracts for the summertime snow-clearing of fire hydrants to multimillion-dollar fraud allegations linked to spiffy new water-treatment plants. Police say 16 investigations are under way. (Construction company executives and a former mayor are among those already facing charges in Boisbriand.)

In 2001, Mr. Marcotte turned his eye to the airport with two million square feet of well-groomed land populated by a clutch of small aviation businesses. News of the plan broke to Mr. Cossette, an aerial photographer, about 18 months after the deal was already done. It was late 2002 and he’d returned to his hangar after hours to find the mayor checking out the taxiways with the man who, he would eventually learn, was the buyer. The pilots didn't even know their airport was for sale.

“The mayor tried to pull a fast one and sell it to one of his buddies,” Mr. Cossette recalls. “It was part of this Eldorado, this great gold rush.”

Eleven years later, the Cessnas and Pipers still land every few minutes at one of Canada’s busiest airports catering to private pilots. Mr. Marcotte has been charged with fraud, breach of trust, theft and corruption related to other real-estate deals and contracts around the city.

The Mascouche airport withstood the bulldozer because, for the past decade, the pilots and business owners lobbied the province, filed court injunctions, and won and lost in court to stall the selloff of land the province ceded to the city for public use.

Mr. Cossette was threatened with lawsuits for criticizing the mayor. In a city of new pavement, the handful of airport businesses have a pothole-riddled dirt road to welcome clients for flight lessons and private plane charters. Even a court injunction couldn’t get city crews out with a load of gravel. “It became personal for the mayor,” said Serge Hamelin, one of the few city councillors who opposed Mr. Marcotte.

The airport case now sits a tangled web before the Quebec Court of Appeal, but with the arrest of Mr. Marcotte early Friday morning, the pilots think their fight might finally be won.

“I’ve had dozens of calls from friends and family saying, ‘We thought of you’ and ‘Where’s the party?’” said Mr. Cossette, a 51-year-old father of two teenagers who said he has led the fight to save the airport at the cost of his marriage and thousands of dollars. “Yes, there is satisfaction. But is it really possible we will finally have some peace? I can’t tell you the price we’ve paid.”

Right into the 1980s, Mascouche was little more than a rural parish. Then francophone Montrealers decided in droves that they could no longer bear (or afford) the city. In a dozen small towns north of Montreal, hundreds of new crescents and cul-de-sacs went up at once. In the 1990s, Mascouche tripled its 8,000 people and then doubled again to a 2012 population of 45,000.

The growth has consequences beyond sprawl. In 2007, Charles Taylor, the eminent philosopher, completed a tour of Quebec including many cities of the 450 area code surrounding Montreal as he and sociologist Gérard Bouchard studied the integration of minorities.

Dr. Taylor found those distant Montreal suburbs were having a tougher time adapting to diversity than small towns and established cities. People living in those “atomistic, individualistic suburbs” are less active in their community and aren’t drawn into civic institutions that promote the benefits of diversity, he said.

Another growing body of research shows that weak social investment and civic involvement also makes such communities easy targets for corruption, especially when combined with runaway development.

“It’s so difficult to wake everybody up,” said Gilles Patenaude, a local activist who has tried to chase the mayor from office for more than two years. “People are very individualistic, they have nice big yards that are of greater concern. People are revolted, but making them move is another story.”

And then there’s the fear factor. People in Mascouche hear about mob ties to the construction industry in Quebec, and they’ve seen the price paid by people like Mr. Cossette, who chose to fight.

“We know how we feel in our hearts, but it doesn’t pay to be too up front. But I’ll tell you, we have to clean this place up,” said a restaurant owner who was desperate to keep his name unpublished.

The mayor of Mascouche clings to his title, but Mr. Patenaude, who runs a group home for troubled youth, said his city may finally be waking up.

Mr. Marcotte has ruled Mascouche with a combination of cold calculation and charm, Mr. Patenaude said, but little could stand in his way. “He was like a bulldozer,” Mr. Patenaude said. “But I think we’ve seen enough bulldozers for now. It’s time to start cleaning up.”

Cessna 550B Citation Bravo, N122NC: Raleigh-Durham International Airport (KRDU)

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Gov. Bev Perdue's plane made an emergency return to RDU International Airport on Friday, the governor's office announced. Perdue had been scheduled to speak in High Point in connection with Ashley Furniture's expansion in North Carolina. 

The state aircraft exhibited "unusual vibrations in connection with the retraction of the landing gear," the state said in a news release. Before landing, an indicator light regarding hydraulic pressure came on. The pilot asked to have emergency equipment standing by on sight for the landing, and the aircraft landed safely at RDU.

 Five people were onboard the plane during the incident -- including the governor, a staffer, security, the pilot and co-pilot. No one was injured. 

Mooney M20F Executive, N9722M: Accident occurred April 19, 2012 in McKinnon, Tennessee

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Docket And Docket Items  -  National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Data Summary -  National Transportation Safety Board:

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.

Pilot Jay Perdue

 Mooney M20F Executive, N9722M

by Adam Ghassemi
Posted: Apr 20, 2012 6:10 PM EDT  
Updated: Apr 20, 2012 6:23 PM EDT 
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Pilot Jay Perdue remembers the entire crash. It happened during what was supposed to be a quick trip to grab lunch Thursday, but ended up a way he never expected.

"I had a second, maybe two seconds to make a decision," Perdue said from his hospital room at Vanderbilt Medical Center Friday.

Perdue took off from the Humphreys County Airport in Waverly, Tenn. and tried to land his 1969 Mooney M20F at the Houston County Airport in McKinnon, Tenn., less than a hour away by car. His 81-year-old father Joe Perdue and 58-year-old friend Andrea Holinstein were on board when he suddenly realized something was wrong.

"I noticed that it was high and fast and I didn't know why," Perdue said.

He's only been a pilot since September, with roughly 250 hours under his belt. Perdue says FAA investigators told him trying to land on such a short runway, without checking the wind speed were his crucial mistakes.

"Combined speed of wind speed and flight speed would have been over 100 miles per hour when we went in," he went on to say.

Perdue tried to pull up and circle back, but the plane didn't respond. He saw a field at the end of the runway and tried to aim that direction. Seconds later he was helping his father and friend crawl out of the mangled fuselage.

"God took my mistakes and turned it into a miracle," Perdue said batter and bruised. "For three people to walk away from something like that is absolutely amazing."

Luckily, despite the trauma, Perdue says his father still found time for humor. "He leans up against the tree sitting down and looks at the plane and he says, Jay, I think it'd be a good time to sell the plane, but he said why don't you send out a picture of what it looked like yesterday," he said jokingly.

Perdue told NewsChannel 5 all three are expected to be released from the hospital Friday.

He says he should be fully recovered in eight weeks, but he doesn't plan to fly ever again unless his wife gives him the OK.

Community convinced Kestrel will fly

 Kestrel Aircraft CEO Alan Klapmeier, right, cracks a joke as he talks at the Business Improvement District annual meeting Thursday night in Superior.

(Jed Carlson, Superior Telegram)

Read the article: Community convinced Kestrel will fly

Published April 20, 2012, 07:00 AM 

By: Candace Renalls/Superior Telegram

Yes, but will it fly?

That question went to Alan Klapmeier, who plans to build his new Kestrel airplane in Superior, during a gathering of business people on Thursday.

“We don’t know; we hope so,” Klapmeier said with apparent humor. “It is a really cool airplane. There’s a lot wrong with it right now. It’s a handful.”

But that’s to be expected when a new plane is under development, he added.

Klapmeier was the featured speaker at the annual Superior Business Improvement District meeting, telling the group at Vintage Italian Pizza why he chose Superior over Maine to build the manufacturing plant for his Kestrel turboprop airplane that’s under development and will sell for $3 million.

“Three million sounds like an outrageously expensive product, but what is most surprising is how many people can afford it,” said the founder of Kestrel Aircraft Co.

From the beginning, it was a team effort in Superior with a can-do attitude, even when things went wrong, he said. It was good communication and everybody getting on the same page that helped, all of which were lacking in Maine, the other contender. And, he promised, Superior’s effort will pay off.

“We were worth it,” he said. “We’ll prove it in the long run.”

Klapmeier plans to fill a niche with his single engine turboprop designed to carry eight passengers and a pilot. He plans to construct a facility this summer in the Winter Street Industrial Park to build the plane’s composite parts. All that will transition to a manufacturing plant he intends to build next year near the city’s Richard I. Bong Airport. He promises 150 to 200 jobs for starters, which will grow to more than 600 jobs by 2016 as the plane moves into production. Jobs will cover the gamut, from engineers and technicians to construction and snow plow operators.

He says the company will make at least 50 to 60 planes a year and probably a lot more, causing some to predict it will rival the employment in the Twin Ports during the heyday of shipbuilding.

But Klapmeier admitted the Superior option seemed far-fetched at first.

“It got to the point where, not only could we do it here … but it was the right place,” he said.

Those in attendance seemed convinced.

“All you have to do is do research on Alan Klapmeier,” said Dave Minor, president of the Superior Douglas County Chamber of Commerce. “Look at what he’s done. He’s delivered on his promises.”

Indeed, Klapmeier has done it before. He co-founded and formerly led Duluth-based Cirrus Aircraft, which today has lead market share of its category of small, single-engine piston planes.

Andy Karon, owner of TLK Industries, a Superior scrap metal dealer, had no doubts it will happen.

“All the work that’s gone in by the Superior contingent and all the time and energy put in by Kestrel have led to this point,” he said. “It shows me Kestrel has put no small investment into this already and has every intention of seeing this happen.”

The choice of Superior came with an incentives package totaling $118 million in loans, grants, tax breaks and credits from various government entities.

Klapmeier said he will use local suppliers as much as possible. And as parts are built and tested and the plane moves into production, the city will see more and more of an impact on the local economy.

“People will be looking up and seeing our planes flown,” he said.

When his former company, Cirrus Aircraft came up, he stressed that Kestrel will not be competing with Cirrus’ single engine piston planes or its new light Vision Jet.

“We’re a different category,” he said, noting that Kestrel will operate more efficiently than a business jet. “We think there is a very, very large market for this airplane.”


Cessna 750 Citation X, Asia Today Ltd, N288CX: Accident occurred March 01, 2012 in Egelsbach, Germany

NTSB Identification: DCA12RA047
14 CFR Non-U.S., Non-Commercial
Accident occurred Thursday, March 01, 2012 in Egelsbach, Germany
Aircraft: CESSNA 750, registration: N288CX
Injuries: 5 Fatal.
On March 1, 2012, about 1856 local time (1756 UTC), a Cessna 750 Citation X, N288CX, registered to Cessna Finance Corp, and operated by Asia Today Ltd, crashed in a wooded area while approaching to land, about 2.5 miles east of runway 27 at Frankfurt-Egelsbach Airport, Egelsbach, Germany. The airline transport-rated pilot and copilot as well as all three passengers received fatal injuries, and the airplane was destroyed. The flight had departed from Linz, Austria.

This accident investigation is under the jurisdiction of the Government of Germany. The NTSB has designated a U.S. Accredited Representative to assist the investigation as the state of manufacture.

Any further information pertaining to this accident may be obtained from:

German Federal Bureau of Aircraft Accident Investigation (BFU)
Hermann-Blenk-Str. 16
D-38108 Braunschweig
Telephone: +49 531 3548 - 0
Facsimile: +49 531 3548 – 246

This report is for informational purposes only, and contains only information obtained for or released by the Government of Germany.

German entrepreneur Rainer Schulz was an old hand at setting up fast-fashion stores across Europe under such nameplates as Forever 18 and Colloseum.

Three years ago, the veteran retailer ventured across the ocean to expand his clothing-store empire to Southern California. In October 2010, he opened his first My Fashion Club store at the Westfield Topanga shopping center in Canoga Park, Calif. Three more California stores—in Glendale, Northridge and Bakersfield—followed.

But all four stores are closing after Schulz, 52, died when the Cessna 750 Citation X corporate jet he was piloting crashed on March 1 in Egelsbach, Germany, south of Frankfurt. He was en route from Linz, Austria. Four other people died in the crash, including Susanne Jaschke, who was in charge of the retailer’s European expansion.

The future of the company’s U.S. operations remains cloudy. In the German trade publication TextilWirtschaft (Textile Economy), an article published March 8 noted that Schulz’s wife, Silke Schulz, had been named managing director.

Calls to Silke Schulz, who, with her husband, bought a house in Malibu, Calif., a few years ago, went unanswered, as did calls to the company’s Los Angeles office.

Apparel-industry insiders noted that Silke Schulz has been busy taking care of her 2-year-old son and prematurely born triplets she had a few months ago. One remains in neonatal intensive care in the Las Vegas hospital where they were born.

But the store managers at the various mall-centric outlets that cater to the 16- to 35-year-old customer said they were informed they are shuttering their doors because of Schulz’s death.

“We are going out of business,” said Marlene Marquez, the manager of the Topanga store, which closed on April 15. She and her colleagues were packing up merchandise to send to a warehouse. “We’re sad.”

Search for possible plane crash called off: Official says there was no evidence of a plane going down in New Brunswick's Grand Lake

Alison Morash Apr 20, 2012 05:48:56 AM

HALIFAX, N.S.- Search and rescue crews will not resume a search this morning for a reported plane crash in the Cumberland Bay area of Grand Lake.  

A lack of evidence has led to a search being called off for a reported plane crash, north of Saint John.

Major Paul Doucette, with the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Halifax, confirms after an extensive air and water search yesterday, they were not able to find any evidence to support the claims of a crash.

Doucette encourages the public to stay engaged in their surroundings. "Even though sometimes it may not turn out to be the case, if the public does see something very unusual it doesn't hurt to call", says Doucette. "The caller may be right. It could save lives in the outset".

The decision to call off the search was made late last night.

Firefighters from Sussex and Oromocto joined Fredericton Police and RCMP to try and find signs of any wreckage on Thursday afternoon.


Chesapeake Sport Pilot: Searay Enjoys First Road Trip. Bay Bridge Airport (W29), Stevensville, Maryland

April 18, 2012 

There was a little something different to the pre-lunch traffic at 11 am this morning, as an airplane joined the flow, although not in the way you might expect. 

Descending not from the sky, but quietly rolled out from its roost at the Bay Bridge Airport under the eye of the Queen Anne's County Sheriff's Department, the local aviation school, Chesapeake Sport Pilot taxied its new Searay amphious plan from the Bay Bridge Airport to the nearby marina complex of the same name to go on display at this weekend's Bay Bridge Boat Show, here on Kent Island. 

Off course, they had to get it off-campus first. Safety considerations for both staff and aircraft required some good old fashioned muscle to get the plane down to the entrance of the airport so it could be powered up for its quick trip down the road.

Anchorage hunting guide now faces federal charges: Earlier state counts could have resulted in 7 days in jail; now he faces 10 years

Anchorage Daily News
Published: April 19th, 2012 10:49 PM

An Anchorage-based hunting guide accused of illegally shooting moose, leaving them to rot and then using their carcasses as bait for his clients' brown bear hunts is facing new charges in federal court.

Fred Sims, 48, was charged in state Superior Court in 2010 with 31 misdemeanor counts, including killing moose out of season, shooting them the same day he flew in an airplane, leaving the meat to waste, and using the meat as bait, according to court records. The state case is still pending.

Sims now faces two felony counts in federal court for profiting twice -- once in 2007 and again in 2009 -- when he allegedly guided clients who shot brown bears that were attracted to the rotting moose meat, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Sims was looking at a minimum seven days in jail and a $250,000 fine in the state case. He now faces the possibility, if convicted, of a maximum 10 years in federal prison and a $500,000 fine. And the federal authorities want to seize Sims' airplane, a Piper Super Cub.

"These are felony charges with serious penalties, which reflect the serious activities Mr. Sims is charged with," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Skrocki, when asked why Sims was now charged in federal court.

According to the indictment handed up by a federal grand jury this week, Sims shot and killed four moose in May 2007, on the same day he had been flying in a plane, which is illegal. After leaving the moose meat to waste, Sims waited until a bear started feeding on one of the carcasses and brought a client to shoot the bear, the indictment says.

In May 2009, Sims killed two moose, one of which was a pregnant cow, the indictment says. Again, he allegedly brought a client to the dead moose while a bear was feeding, and the client shot the bear.

Few details about the investigation are included in the federal indictment but state authorities in 2010 outlined the tactics they used to go after Sims.

A state prosecutor wrote in a charging document that Alaska Wildlife Troopers started looking at Sims in 2003. They had received complaints that Sims flew in a plane and shot moose the same day and possibly shot a bear at one of the moose-kill sites, the charges said. Troopers found a large, skinned bear at one of the sites and buckshot from the moose kill was in the bear's scat, evidence the bear had eaten the moose Sims had shot, the prosecutor wrote.

Other kill sites started to pop up, the charges say. At one point, the troopers mounted a tracking device on Sims' airplane and found the plane had visited locations where fresh moose kills were later discovered. An officer later watched as one of Sims' clients took aim and shot at what was later confirmed to be a bear, the charges say.

After the state charges were filed, Sims' lawyer said he planned to fight them. Court records show Sims apparently intended to change his not guilty plea in March but didn't follow through.

OPINION: Airport plan won't raise sound level - Murfreesboro Municipal (KMBT), Tennessee

April 19, 2012
Written by Larry Williams

 MURFREESBORO — I am an aviation safety expert with many years experience conducting safety audits, airline certifications, administration of airmen flight checks, investigating aircraft accidents and ultimately providing the safest national airspace system in the world as an FAA Aviation Safety inspector for over 30 years.

I was recently appointed as the Aircraft Owner’s and Pilots Association (AOPA) Airport Safety Network volunteer for the Murfreesboro Airport. AOPA is the largest aviation association in the world (over 400,000 members) and advocates long-term health of general aviation by educating pilots, non-pilots and policy makers on behalf of our members. The Murfreesboro Airport Commission has recently recommended the city move forward with the extension of the present runway to 5,000 feet. The FAA required environmental assessment completed in Dec. 5, 2011, states in part, “…is not anticipated to create any adverse noise impacts. Therefore, no mitigation measures for noise impacts are required.”

The study forecast a total of 11 additional turbojet operations annually and “These aircraft, and others with similar noise characteristics, are not noisier than many propeller driven aircraft currently using the airport.” The experts advise that there will be no adverse noise impact.

Unfortunately, some misinformation has been publicized by local neighborhood groups opposing the planned extension such as a recent Bradford Place Community Association’s March newsletter states: “It is the opinion of the BPCA board that extending the runway to allow light jet and turbo fan aircraft to land at Murfreesboro Airport would have detrimental effects on the surrounding communities both fiscally and in our quality of life. We do not oppose improving the airport. What we oppose is extending the runway to allow larger planes, turbofan, and jets to land at Murfreesboro Municipal Airport. We further oppose any attempt to get an exemption that would allow larger planes, turbofan, and jets to land at Murfreesboro Municipal Airport. We have been advised that we could expect decreased property value if this is allowed. Research also shows that light jet traffic is up to 30 times louder than the current prop plane traffic at Murfreesboro Airport.”

Thirty times louder? This statement cannot be true as the loudest theoretically possible sound is 358 db. The typical piston aircraft averages about 65 db, so 30 times that would equal 1,950 db, which is over five times the loudest sound possible. To put this in perspective, a Space Shuttle launch registers 215 db, and a one-ton bomb creates a decibel count of 210 at 250 feet from the impact. Government data actually show that a typical single-engine piston aircraft such as a Cessna 182 registers 70.0 db on takeoff compared to a typical corporate jet such as a Cessna Citation 560, which registers 69.4 db. Cessna Citations and many other jets now operate at the Murfreesboro Airport, and corporate jets have been operating here since 1968. Jets don’t necessarily produce more noise. A Boeing 757 is quieter on takeoff (69.6 db) than many piston aircraft such as the Cessna 182.

The extension of the runway will not allow larger or noisier aircraft to land at Murfreesboro, as the runway is weight restricted to 35,000 pounds single wheel and 55,000 dual wheel. I urge the decision makers to review the environmental assessment and examine the true facts concerning the proposed runway extension and move forward with the recommendation of the Murfreesboro Airport Commission to extend the runway.
Larry Williams is a resident of Sanford Drive in Murfreesboro.

Caribbean Airlines axing all Jamaican pilots

Friday, April 20, 2012

 TRINIDAD-OWNED Caribbean Airlines (CAL) yesterday announced that the positions of all pilots represented by the Jamaican Airline Pilots' Association (JALPA) will be made redundant next month -- a move one major trade union is likening to union busting.

Of the 75 JALPA members, 64 are currently employed to CAL, which also operates Air Jamaica, following a deal in 2009 for the sale of the Lovebird to the Trinidad Government.

In a statement released to the media, CAL said the Kingston-based pilots were yesterday morning advised by representatives of CAL and their subsidiary CARIBAL Ltd that their positions would be made redundant in May 2012.

The statement, however, provided no further details.

But in a letter from CAL's vice-president of human resources Charmaine Heslop-DaCosta to JALPA, which was obtained by the Jamaica Observer, the carrier informed them that all pilots other than those employed to CARIBAL are represented by Trinidad and Tobago Airline Pilots' Association (TTALPA).

"As you are aware, all pilots, as defined in your claim, other than those employed to CARIBAL, are represented by TTALPA as demonstrated by certificate of recognition from the Recognition Board in Trinidad and Tobago as the trade union for the pilots employed by CAL dated 30th November 2009," Heslop-DaCosta's letter said.

The letter informed further that negotiations between CAL and TTALPA have commenced and once concluded will establish the terms and conditions of employment of all pilots employed by CAL.

Yesterday, Senator Kavan Gayle, head of the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union, said this should not be allowed to happen.

"This can be categorised as union busting in order to break up JALPA as the trade union representing Jamaican pilots," he told the Observer.

He questioned how Jamaican pilots employed by CAL could be represented by a Trinidad-based association, noting that neither Jamaican laws nor any legislation in Trinidad and Tobago would allow that.

Gayle's point was supported by a JALPA source who spoke on condition of anonymity. "Our legal advice is that that can't work," he said.

Gayle said also of great concern is what will now happen with a dispute currently before the Industrial Disputes Tribunal with JALPA members operating under CARIBAL.

"What Cal is seeking to do is to make these pilots (positions) redundant and offer them new terms and conditions for which they have to attend interviews to determine who will be rehired," he said.

But according to Gayle, the JALPA members are resisting this as they believe the transition should be seamless.

"CARIBAL being a subsidiary must be knowledgeable and cognisant of the performances of all these pilots, and so there should be no reason they should undergo another interview for employment," Gayle said. "It is unfair that they should undergo this type of treatment."

As such, he said, JALPA has requested a meeting with CAL's management in a bid to resolve the matter.

The JALPA source said the association will be meeting to devise a strategy going forward as it is expected that at least 15 per cent of its members may lose their jobs with the airline.

Fuel is now officially available for purchase at Dubois Municipal Airport

Dubois Municipal Airport Manager Tim Schell refueling plane

The new self-service aviation fueling station at the Dubois airport.

By June Bonasera,

 (Dubois) — Jet A fuel and 100 octane low-lead aviation gasoline are now available for purchase at the Dubois Municipal Airport. According to airport manager Tim Schell, the fuel can be purchased with most major credit cards, including Visa, Master Card and American Express. Fuel is available 24 hours per day and is self serve.

Purchase and installation of the fuel tanks was made possible through a $249,000 Business Ready Grant as a Community Readiness Project through the Wyoming Business Council. The purpose of the grant was to help communities short of infrastructure prepare for future business development. An additional $15,000 was provided by the Town of Dubois as matching funds for the grant.

Sky Aviation of Worland is operating the facility through a lease with the Town of Dubois. Any revenue the town realizes goes back to support maintenance and upkeep at the airport. Sky Aviation’s Dubois resident manager Dave Stinson was enthusiastic in his support stating “The Town of Dubois and the Wyoming Business council were both great to work with.”

Installation of the fuel tanks was the first step in an entire airport improvement plan. A 30% preliminary design for the new Dubois airport configuration is underway and will be completed in late summer of 2012. “The improvements are an important step in economic development for the Town of Dubois, facilitating ease for travelers to engage in business, conference, and travel opportunities,” Stinson said. “On a mile of highway, you can drive a mile. On a mile of runway, you can go anywhere.”

In addition to the ability to purchase fuel, the Dubois Municipal Airport now has a courtesy car for people arriving at the airport. It is available on a first come first serve basis. For more information on fuel purchase or the Dubois Municipal Airport, please call Sky Aviation at 307-455-2061.

Search for airport chief starts

By ARJAY MORGAN | Special Correspondent
Published: April 20, 2012

ZEPHYRHILLS --   Longtime City Manager Steve Spina left one task undone when he turned over his duties to James Drumm: hiring a permanent manager for the city's airport. At the time of the transition, Nathan Coleman, a city water department supervisor, was serving as interim manager.

Drumm, the new city manager, had other priorities as he took over operation of the city, such as preparing the budget and getting acquainted with the city and its leaders. But he set a June deadline for hiring an airport manager, so the search is under way.

The city has a unique way of dealing with its airport. There is a Zephyrhills Municipal Airport Authority, its members appointed by individual council members, but the authority does not have the power to hire or fire airport employees. Its job is to oversee airport operations, set policies and priorities and report directly to the city council.

Airport employees work for the city, so they are hired and fired by the city manager, who also reports to the council but has sole responsibility for employees.

That's why Drumm was sitting at a side table in his office this week riffling through a modest stack of résumés and applications. Salary range for the manager is $52,426 to $78,624 a year. The candidates for the job had been winnowed down to four likely prospects.

One of them is Coleman, who is a licensed pilot and who has been plowing through the minutiae of airport operations since March 2011 when he was assigned the job by Spina, who had fired five-year manager Trina Sweet. His experience managing an airport is listed as managing the Zephyrhills airport.

Others on the short list are:

    Stephen Quilty of Lutz, who served as airport manager at Athens, Ga., and assistant manager at the Fayetteville, Ga., airport. He holds master's and bachelor's degrees, and he was a professor of aviation studies at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio, from 1991 to 2008.

    Katherine Hale, San Antonio, Texas, whose last job was assistant airport manager in Kirkuk, Iraq. She holds a bachelor's degree in business from Texas Christian University and a master's degree from Regis University, Denver, Colo.

    Michael Handrahan, Winter Haven, who is an airport operations specialist at Lakeland-Linder airport. From 1983 to 2011, he was general aviation supervisor for Dade County.

Drumm says he plans to set up interviews the last week of April, "and then we'll see if there is a front-runner." If not, there might be a second round of interviews. He says he hopes to have a new manager on board "by the end of May or the first of June.


Page Municipal Airport (KPGA ), Arizona - Department heads roll as city axes spending; police chief, fire chief, airport director among surprise cuts

Page Airport Director Brett Godown stands in his office, with a “million-dollar view” visible behind him.  
February 10th, 2011

Posted: Thursday, Apr 19th, 2012
BY: Michael Rinker

City officials wasted little time in cutting several high-ranking staff members in an effort to balance the 2012-13 budget.

After city council approved the use of layoffs at its meeting April 12, city manager Rick Olson the next morning set about the task of notifying a number of department heads their services were no longer needed.

Among those reportedly cut were police chief Charlie Dennis, fire chief Larry Clark, fire marshal Howard Rosenberg, airport director Brett Godown, community development director Ernie Rubi, community center director Vicki Myers, building specialist Pam Nomann and Bill Self, of the public works department.