Saturday, May 12, 2012

No injuries after crash at Steamboat Springs Airport/Bob Adams Field (KSBS), Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Photo Credit: Matt Stensland

Three men were able to walk away from an aircraft that flipped onto its roof during a crash landing shortly after noon Saturday at Steamboat Springs Airport.

Steamboat Deputy Police Chief Bob DelValle said the single-engine propeller plane was coming from Eagle County and had three occupants, whose names were not immediately available. The men had only minor injuries, including lacerations and abrasions and did not need to go to a hospital.

“Landing actions like this with airplanes like this, it’s not unusual for people to walk away with minor injuries,” said DelValle, who is also a pilot.

He said the pilot had built the Murphy aircraft himself.

“Unfortunately, it looks pretty wrecked,” DelValle said.

The aircraft approached the airport from the southeast.

“The wind on his landing may have switched to a tailwind, which does create a problem because most aircraft try to land into the wind,” DelValle said.

The plane is known as a taildragger because it has two main wheels and a small wheel at the tail.

Based on the five strike marks from the propeller in the dirt to the left on the runway, it appeared that the nose of the aircraft came forward and the aircraft flipped onto its top.

Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue firefighters remained on scene because it was thought that fuel might have leaked from the plane and fuel still was in the tanks located in the wings of the plane.

The airport was closed after the crash and reopened at about 2:45 p.m. after and airport officials removed the plane from the side of the runway.

The National Transportation Safety Board is expected to investigate the crash.

The last major incident involving an airplane in Routt County was Feb. 19 when a private Cessna 414A from Texas crashed short of the runway at Yampa Valley Regional Airport during a snowstorm Sunday afternoon. Two people were killed and four more were injured.

Watch Video:   http://www.craigdailypress.com/video

India: Delhi's businessman comes under own plane’s wheels

NEW DELHI: A 37-year-old entrepreneur, Yogesh Garg, was killed after being hit by his own plane barely two hours after he completed his solo flight. "He wanted his friends to witness his feat. After he successfully flew the aircraft around 8am, his colleague Purvi boarded the X-Air trainer aircraft along with pilot Anil Gupta from the local Pankh Aviation. The plane was about to land after a sortie when Garg decided to click pictures of the landing. As he got riveted to the camera, Garg misjudged the distance between him and the plane. Gupta tried to gain height at the last moment to avoid collision but the wheels and bottom half of the plane hit him, killing him instantly," said Thapar.

The plane was damaged as it went off the runway and hit the ground. Both Gupta and Purvi escaped unhurt.

Meerut city SP Om Prakash, however, maintained that the rotor blades caught Garg as he got dangerously close to the runway when the plane landed. Police said investigation was on to ascertain if there was any lapse on the part of authorities by allowing Garg to walk on the runway when the aircraft was landing. Additional district magistrate Neeraj Shukla, who reached the spot soon after the accident, said a preliminary inquiry revealed that Pankh Aviation was not allowed to use the airstrip. The company, however, said they had the requisite papers and were training flyers for the past four months.

Official sources said the BR Ambedkar airstrip was not in commercial use, only occasionally used for joyrides by businessmen and real estate owners whose small planes are parked in the hangar.

Garg expected to undergo training for another two months before he could get a licence, police said, and had plans to make it big in the aviation sector through his aviation club. While shocked colleagues recalled him as a warm worker and senior, his family sought privacy.

Source:  http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Emergency landing in Lovers Lake near Chatham Municipal Airport (KCQX), Massachusetts

 
Investigators are trying to determine the cause of this small plane crash Saturday afternoon in Lovers Lake in Chatham. 
Steve Heaslip/Cape Cod Times 


 
(Photo credit: David G. Curran/ SatelliteNewsService.com)



By CAPE COD TIMES 

CHATHAM -- Two men escaped from a small plane this afternoon after it had engine trouble and crashed into the water in Lovers Lake off Lakeshore Drive. 

Rescue workers and investigators were called to the scene around 2:40 this afternoon.

 Officials said the plane was about to land at nearby Chatham Municipal Airport when it has some kind of engine problem, dropped down into the water and landed right-side up.

 The men were able to get out of the plane and were not injured. The tail of the plane can be seen above the water about 20 feet from shore, in the backyard of a private homeowner.

Source:  http://www.capecodonline.com

CHATHAM, Mass. (AP) — Rescue workers say the pilot and a passenger were not hurt when their small plane that was flying over Cape Cod suffered mechanical failure and made an emergency landing into a small lake.

Chatham Fire Capt. Kate Hansen says the plane sunk into Lover’s Lake after landing there Saturday afternoon.

Emergency responders checked the pilot and a passenger at the scene and released them.
There was no immediate information on the identities of the pilot and passenger, the origin of their flight and their destination.

Authorities are investigating the incident.

The incident was first reported by the Cape Cod Times.

 Source:  http://boston.cbslocal.com

Midnight was movie time for air traffic controllers

Alan Levin | Bloomberg News

WASHINGTON - When midnight rolled around and flight traffic thinned out, air-traffic controllers guiding planes in the busiest U.S. corridor whipped out laptops to watch movies, play games or gamble online.

Controllers on break inflated air mattresses and napped on the floor. Some left before their shifts were over. They cursed at managers, refused to train new controllers, and flouted rules requiring them to pass on weather advisories to pilots.

"It was blatant and in your face," Evan Seeley, a former manager in the Ronkonkoma, N.Y., tower who came forward last year, said in a phone interview Thursday.

Those and other allegations made by Seeley were corroborated by investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration, according to reports released last week by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, an agency formed to help and protect whistle-blowers inside federal agencies.

Special Counsel Carolyn Lerner sent a letter on Tuesday to the White House and Congress detailing findings in Seeley's case and six other verified whistle-blower complaints, saying the FAA and Department of Transportation were slow to address them or hadn't acted.

In New York, investigators found a facility in which FAA managers were unwilling or afraid to discipline controllers' union members, the reports said. Supervisors who tried to enforce the rules had their cars vandalized or were threatened. The result was widespread violations of rules that undermined safety, reviews by the special counsel and FAA found.

Seeley, who'd worked in Fort Worth, Texas, before coming to New York in February 2010, said he was shocked by what he saw.

"The advice from the seasoned front-line managers was: you keep your head in the sand," he said.

The FAA has a higher rate of employees seeking whistle- blower protection than any other U.S. agency, according to the special counsel office's preliminary review.

"There did not seem to be the level or urgency that we thought many of these claims really deserved by the agency," Lerner told reporters that day.

The New York case was an exception to Lerner's concerns in one regard: As the FAA was rocked last year by disclosures that controllers were sleeping on the job across the United States, agency teams descended on the facility on Long Island. Within months, they'd corroborated most of Seeley's allegations.

On Sept. 6, the FAA replaced the facility's top managers and brought in experienced supervisors from other locations to serve as mentors for the remaining staff.

"It is clear, given the number of Mr. Seeley's allegations that were substantiated in this investigation, that significant corrective actions are required," the FAA's internal investigation found.

While Lerner said she was satisfied with the outcome, she noted in her letter that the response occurred after Seeley took his concerns to the media.

The FAA didn't respond to questions for this story about specific complaints, saying in an emailed statement that it has an office dedicated to investigating charges by employees of impropriety and safety lapses. That division, the Office of Audit and Evaluation, oversaw the investigation in New York, according to documents released by the special counsel.

"We are concerned when we hear about rare examples that deviate from the high standards we set for ourselves and are determined to work with the FAA to correct any such issues," Paul Rinaldi, president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, said in an emailed statement Friday.

Safety is the top priority of the union, which represents about 15,000 controllers, and it's working with the FAA to improve professional standards, Rinaldi said in the statement. "NATCA condemns any behavior in the control facility that undermines that goal," he said.

Seeley arrived at the New York Center at age 25 after entering a one-year training program to become a manager. He said he was told he was the youngest tower supervisor in the country.

Friends in Fort Worth warned him about the reputation of the New York Center, which oversees higher-altitude traffic in the skies above parts of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland, he said.

Even with the warning, he said, he was stunned by what he saw.

A controller cursed out another supervisor in front of Seeley his first day on the job. Within a week, copies of a photo from Seeley's Facebook page appeared all over the facility, including in the men's room. The manager who had informed him of the photos said it didn't warrant a response, he said.

"She said they are just trying to get under your skin," Seeley said. "They're hazing you a little bit. If you make a big deal out of this, it will just get worse."

One night, a controller using his laptop failed to notice a warning on his radar screen that he needed to switch to a backup system, Seeley said.

Seeley hadn't made any effort to stop the use of personal electronics at that point. This was different, he said, because of the warning. So the young manager reported the controller.

Another manager urged him not to press the matter. "He said you need to think twice," Seeley said. "I wouldn't do this. It's not going to go over well for you."

Within weeks, someone ran a sharp object across Seeley's car, scratching the paint, he said. On another occasion, one of his tires was slashed.

FAA regulations are precise in describing how controllers must issue instructions so that their staccato radio transmissions aren't misunderstood. The regulations also require that controllers pass on weather reports and other information to pilots.

These rules often weren't followed in New York, Seeley said. When investigators visited the facility last year, they listened in on 32 hours of activity. Almost half of the controllers they evaluated weren't complying with FAA rules, according to the agency's findings.

On Jan. 2, 2011, Seeley was demoted from his management position to controller. His supervisors told him his performance was sub par. Seeley said it was retribution, though that wasn't part of his whistle-blower complaint.

Later that month, as he was studying for his new job, he returned to his desk to find a message on a blackboard next to his desk:

"Rat fink, watch ur back," it said, according to Seeley. An arrow pointed to the chair where he'd been sitting. Seeley complained to the special counsel.

On Jan. 20, an American Airlines jet and two U.S. Air Force C-17s almost collided while under the control of two New York controllers. They passed within 200 feet vertically and less than a mile of each other, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

Poor communication between the controllers, one of the issues Seeley had raised, was one of the reasons for the incident, he said. He decided to take his story to the New York Post.

A short time later, he was offered a transfer back to Fort Worth and accepted.

Seeley said he hasn't seen the issues he saw in New York at other facilities. While there was tension within the Texas center when he returned, that has mostly died down, he said.

"Now I have as normal a career as I can expect," he said. 

Source:   http://www.journalgazette.net

Grumman American AA-5 Traveler, CF-RRO: Ganaraska Forest, Peterborough County, ONT - Canada

Remote plane crash site full of wreckage 

CAMPBELLCROFT -- A ring of scorched forest floor surrounds the ruins of a plane in the Ganaraska Forest.

Pieces of the four-seater AA5 Grumman plane are scattered in a remote part of the forest.

The search for the aircraft came to a sad conclusion on Thursday, May 10 when the plane, along with the body of its 61-year-old pilot, was found in the forest, four kilometres northwest of Elizabethville.

The site of the crash is not visible from main trail routes or roadways. The path to the site takes many turns through dense forest. The trees and ground immediately around the plane crash site are burned.

The fire was contained to a small part of the forest. It was raining and foggy on the evening of May 7 when the plane came down.
During the search period, military air assets including two CH-146 Griffon helicopters and two CC-130 Hercules aircraft from 424 Squadron at 8 Wing Trenton, and one CC-130 Hercules aircraft from 435 Squadron at 17 Wing Winnipeg assisted with the effort. Several civilian aircraft from various locations in Ontario and Quebec joined in the search. OPP investigated the site on the evening of May 10 and then turned the scene over to the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSBC). The board sent two investigators to the Ganaraska Forest, TSBC spokesman Chris Krepski said on May 11. There is no anticipated finish date at this point in the investigation, he added, saying “each case is different” based on a number of relying factors.

“(Investigators) will document and photograph everything,” Mr. Krepski said. “Pieces of interest will be collected and examined more closely.”

An insurance company was expected to start removing the wreckage on May 12, said Northumberland OPP Constable Phil Clarke. The OPP were no longer on scene and TSBC investigators had left on May 12.

 The Ganaraska Forest will remain open to visitors, said Amy Griffiths, marketing and communications officer for the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority (GRCA). The flags were at half mast of May 12.

“Our thoughts are with the pilot’s family at this difficult time,” said Linda Laliberte, GRCA’s chief administrative officer. “We ask that all users of the Ganaraska Forest please respect the needs of the police officers and other officials as they investigate this accident by not attempting to visit the crash site during the investigation.”

The search for the downed plane began after the pilot failed to arrive as scheduled at Buttonville Airport. He had departed from St. Mathieu De Beloeil in Quebec at 6:40 p.m. on May 7, and was scheduled to arrive at Buttonville Airport at 11 p.m.
 
Photo Gallery:  http://www.durhamregion.com

Cessna 208B Grand Caravan: Takeoff from Kasane Airport, Botswana


May 11, 2012 
By zeekzilch 

Small planes are a lot more fun than those big jets! In this video we're taking off from Kasane, Botswana (southern Africa) en route the Khwai airstrip.

Here's my personal webpage about our trip through southern Africa:
http://www.rogerwendell.com/africa_southern.html

Here's my page about travel in general:
http://www.rogerwendell.com/travel.html

Discount airlines shy away from Minneapolis-St Paul International/Wold-Chamberlain Airport (KMSP), Minneapolis, Minnesota

Article by: WENDY LEE,  Star Tribune 

The Metropolitan Airport Commission's ongoing quest to get more airlines into MSP is running into a tough reality: Smaller airlines aren't eager for a fight with dominant carrier Delta Air Lines.

Every month or two, commission staffer Brian Peters makes his pitch to JetBlue Airways. The quest has been underway for five years, without success, even as JetBlue's network grew to more than 70 cities from Boston to Bogota.

Getting JetBlue, or fellow discount carrier Virgin America, into the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport could give travelers more options with lower fares. But Delta transports nearly 80 percent of passengers at the airport and could easily drop its own prices to make things tough for a newcomer.

Virgin and JetBlue "are not hankering to have an all-out fight with a legacy airline that is likely to protect its hub city like a bear with its cubs, especially their most lucrative business travelers," said Rick Seaney, CEO of travel website FareCompare.com.

Courting discounters is an important mission as airlines consolidate, reduce flights and hike fares to offset rising fuel costs. Average roundtrip airfares at MSP are $425, among the highest in the nation.

The airport scored a victory recently by luring ultra discounter Spirit Airlines to the Twin Cities. The Miramar, Fla.-based carrier will kick off service at the end of the month, offering three flights a day to Chicago's O'Hare Airport and a daily nonstop to Las Vegas.

But for prices to drop significantly, the airport needs to also land service from JetBlue and Virgin or get Southwest to add thousands of flights a year, analysts said. That's a tall order, especially considering Delta's colossal footprint at MSP.

"Delta is the 800-pound gorilla," said Vaughn Cordle, chief analyst for investment research firm AirlineForecasts. "Delta has the ability to kill any competitor because of their size and market share."

Delta says it is prepared for new rivals at MSP, its second-largest hub, and that its customers are willing to pay the higher prices that come with nonstop flights. Delta said it successfully competes with discount carriers elsewhere and that customers stick with Delta for its global network and amenities.

"In a hub city like Minneapolis ... when you've got a nonstop route, people are willing to pay for the convenience that comes with it," said spokesman Trebor Banstetter.

While Delta says it offers customers nonstops to many destinations and premium services like in-flight Wi-Fi, some fliers say they'd rather save money.

Anoka nurse Amanda Kelly said prices are so high that she's weighing whether she'll drive more than seven hours to board a flight out of Chicago because the airport there offers cheaper routes to Mexico.

"It's outrageous," Kelly said of MSP's steep fares. "It makes it too expensive to hardly go anywhere."

Seeking business input

 Greater MSP, the area's economic development authority, is surveying businesses on their air service needs.

That input is crucial because business travelers spend more on airfare because they often book last-minute. If they shift their dollars to a discount carrier, that will likely affect overall fares.

"The consumer has it within his or her power to control fares [more] than they ever realized. It's simply by the choices that they make," said Terry Trippler, owner of airline rules website ThePlaneRules.com.

St. Paul-based Ecolab, one of the world's largest manufacturers of cleaning agents, advises its employees to go for the lowest fares. The firm spent $18 million for flights in North America last year, up 7 percent from 2010.

"We do know where there is competition, the airfares are more favorable," said CEO Douglas Baker, who is also chairman of Greater MSP.

But with soaring fuel costs, airlines are weighing whether they can afford new routes. It can cost millions to add flights because it requires more planes and employees. Plus, airlines at MSP have to factor in Delta's ability to undercut their prices.

"Our formula is profitability first, growth second," said Stan Gadek, CEO of hometown discount air carrier Sun Country Airlines. "We would rather grow slowly and profitably, than grow for the sake of growth."

Sun Country, with just 14 planes, took a risk last year when it added flights to Costa Rica. It added two aircraft to its fleet, which required adding 12 pilots and 24 flight attendants for each plane. But just a week before Sun Country launched its flights, Delta started service to Costa Rica.

"It's frustrating, but we just have to factor that into our equation," Gadek said.

JetBlue has not ruled out launching service at MSP. It has already entered markets with a dominant carrier, including Dallas/Fort Worth and Newark Liberty. However, the only Delta hubs it serves are Salt Lake City and New York City. JetBlue exited Delta's largest hub in Atlanta in 2003 because it was uprofitable.

"We like MSP because it is the fourth-largest destination from Boston that we don't yet serve," a JetBlue spokesman said in an e-mail.

Virgin America said it does not have "immediate plans" to launch service here.

But there are signs of more competition from Southwest, which has been gradually adding flights since it arrived at MSP. But analysts say it will take years before it has a meaningful impact. Southwest flies nonstop to just four cities from Minneapolis: Chicago, Denver, Phoenix and St. Louis.

Meanwhile, Peters continues his quest. It took more than 20 years of effort for MSP to land Southwest, which launched service in 2009.

"The airlines hold all the cards," Peters said. "The airlines ultimately decide when the time is right for them to enter this market."

Source:   http://www.startribune.com

Flight from Philadelphia lands in New York after smoke report

May 12, 2012 (WPVI) -- A US Airways flight from Philadelphia to Albany, N.Y. landed safely after the crew reported smoke in the cockpit.

Albany County Airport Authority spokesman Doug Myers says the plane was about 4 minutes away Saturday when it reported the problem.

After the aircraft touched down, the 38 passengers and crew were evacuated on a taxiway as a precaution.

Mechanics were examining the plane, which was operated by US Airways subsidiary Piedmont Airlines.

Plane pull pulls in over $40K

The Third Annual United Way Plane Pull Challenge attracted 33 teams trying to pull a Convair aircraft 20 feet down the tarmac.

Building on the success of their first two years, the United Way is reporting they raised over $40,000 during yesterday's pull.

While some teams posted times more easily measured with a calendar, others practically flew down the runway.

The Kelowna Flightcraft team recorded the best time, needing just 9.29 seconds to complete the course. The PCL Highrisers were a close second with a time of 9.88 seconds.

Other awards were presented to "Grant Thornton’s Nice Assets" for best team spirit, while "Farris Bueller's Day Off" took top honours for having the best costumes on.

Interior Savings Credit Union, well known for its generosity and fundraising efforts, received the nod for raising over $3,000, the most of any team competing.

Source:  http://www.castanet.net

Meerut, India: Businessman killed after being hit by private plane




Meerut: A Delhi-based businessman was on Saturday killed when a two-seater micro-light private plane met with an accident at the Partapur airstrip, though the pilot and his colleague escaped unhurt.

The incident occurred around 10 AM when the businessman Yogesh Garg was clicking pictures of the private plane on the airstrip while it was taking off and was hit by one of its wings, police said.

Yogesh, who ran a consultancy company at New Delhi, died on the spot, they said.

Anil Thapa, spokesman of Pankh Aviation, which runs the flying club, said the wing and a wheel of the plane was damaged in the incident, but its pilot Anil Gupta and his colleague Purvi escape unhurt.

He claimed that the accident took place as Yogesh came on the airstrip to take pictures of the micro-light aircraft while it was taking off from the runway.

Police said that the matter was being investigated and they were trying to find out who allowed Yogesh to come on the runway and take pictures.

Additional District Magistrate Neeraj Shukla, who reached the spot, said that preliminary inquiry has revealed that Pankh Aviation was not allowed to use the airstrip.

However, the company claimed that it was giving flying training from the last three-four months. The ADM said that records of last three-four months were being checked.

Beechcraft Bonanza at Harnett Regional Jetport Airport (KHRJ), Erwin, North Carolina

 

 ERWIN, N.C. (WTVD) -- A small plane crashed Saturday at the Harnett Regional Jetport located at 615 Aiport Road.

 Officials confirmed the crash happened around 12:45 p.m. and estimated that six people were on board.

The plane was described as a single-engine, Beechcraft Bonanza.

The plane's owner said engine trouble was to blame.

The pilot, Michael Weeks of Benson, had to land the plane in brush just east of the runway's edge.

The aircraft ascended 40 feet off the ground before it crashed, authorities said on Saturday.

No one was injured.

"The pilot set it down. The passengers on, and him, were fine, and they walked away which is fine, "said Airport Manager Stanley Bass. "The engine sputtered. He lost some power, and he set it back down."

Weeks said he was flying people to NASCAR races in Darlington, South Carolina, and said the engine started to skip after he took off.

Despite the problem, airport officials said the plane is a dependable aircraft.

"If you were going to compare it with a car, it would be a Cadillac. Nice plane," said Bass.

It was unclear how much damage the crash caused. FAA officials are due Monday to examine the wreck.

Meerut, India: City businessman hit by plane on runway ,dies






A 40-year-old Delhi-based businessman was killed on Saturday at the Partapur air strip here after being hit by a microlite plane he owned as he clicked its pictures. Police said the plane - VT-UAG - belonged to consultancy firm owner Mukesh Garg, the victim. 

Official sources said the government-owned BR Ambedkar air strip was not used for commercial purposes and was used off and on for joy rides by businessmen and real estate owners whose small planes were parked in the hangar, some 70 km from Delhi. 

The victim came to the airport for a joy ride with friends and family members on Saturday. But he chose not to fly and asked his friends to take the small flight as he shot their pictures from the ground. The two friends, after a 15-minute flight, were set to land around 11 am when Garg apparently got dangerously close to the air strip and was hit by one of the rotor blades. 

Garg suffered serious gashes on his head and slumped on the strip. By the time the plane halted and people rushed to the spot, he had died. Pilot Anil Gupta and his colleague in the plane Purvi received minor injuries while the front wheel and a rotor blade of the plane were damaged, said Anil Thapa, spokesman of Pankh Aviation which runs the flying club with which Garg was associated. 

 The district administration has ordered a probe, which would also cover the apparent lapse by civil aviation authorities because of which Garg was allowed to go on to the runway. District Magistrate Vikas Gothawal said he had ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident including the rights of Pankh Aviation. An inquiry would be conducted to find out whether Pankh Aviation observed safety and aviation rules. The criminal aspect of the probe would be looked into by police. Police said the matter was being investigated and they were trying to find out who allowed Garg to come close to the runway and take pictures.   


Meerut:  A Delhi businessman was killed after he was hit by his two-seater aircraft near the outskirts of Meerut today.

The owner of the micro-light private plane, Yogesh Garg, a resident of Delhi, was reportedly killed at around 11 am while he was trying to take pictures of the aircraft when it was landing.

According to reports, Mr Garg had come to the airport with two of his friends, but chose not to fly and asked his friends instead to take a small flight as clicked pictures from the ground. As the plane was about to land, Mr Garg reportedly got dangerously close and was hit by the propeller. According to reports, he suffered major injuries on his head and died on the spot.

Anil Thapa, spokesman of Pankh Aviation, which runs the flying club, said the wing and a wheel of the plane was damaged in the incident, but its pilot Anil Gupta and his colleague Purvi escaped unhurt.

The district administration has reportedly ordered a probe, which would also cover the alleged lapse by the civil aviation authorities as Mr Garg was allowed to go on to the runway. The police said they also were trying to find out who allowed Mr Garg to come on the runway and take pictures.

Official sources said that the BR Ambedkar air strip in Partapur is not used for commercial purposes and is used by businessmen off and on, who have their private planes parked in the hangar. 

 Meerut, May 12:  Yogesh Garg, CEO of power consultancy firm Infraline Technologies, was killed this morning in a freak mishap on the Partapur airfield near Meerut, when a 2-seater micro light aircraft took off even as Garg was taking photographs on the airstrip.

The wing of the X-air micro light gliding aircraft struck Garg’s skull, severing it from his body, spilling blood on the airstrip.

The pilot of the aircraft, Anil Gupta then suddenly applied brakes, and one of the wheels came off. Gupta and his associate Poorvi were inside the aircraft at the time of takeoff. 

The aircraft belongs to Pankh Aviation Club and Yogesh Garg, the owner of the club, had come from Delhi for an early morning gliding. Meerut Police is investigating as to how Garg was allowed to take pictures on the airstrip, as photography is banned on the airfield.

Pilot who crashed at Mt. Salak 'one of the best in Russia' - Sukhoi Superjet 100-95 (Indonesia)

 

JAKARTA - The pilot of the Sukhoi Superjet 100 that crashed into Mount Salak in Bogor, West Java, was one of the best in Russia, according to the aircraft's maker.

 The statement, made by United Aircraft Company (UAC) president Mikhail Pogosyan on Friday, apparently contradicts Russian media reports that said the crash was most likely due to pilot error.

 "I know the pilot who flew this Sukhoi Superjet 100 so well," Pogosyan told reporters though a translator at Halim Perdanakusuma airport in East Jakarta. 

"As an aviator, Alexander Yablontsev was one of the best in the country. He started from zero until he earned a [flight] certificate from the Russian authorities. He has always been one of the best," Pogosyan said.

Prior to the crash, Yablontsev requested permission from air-traffic controllers to descend from 10,000 feet to 5,900 feet, lower than Mt.Salak, which stands at 7,254 feet. It was Yablontsev's first time flying in Indonesia, according to reports. 

http://www.thejakartapost.com

What happens when you line up four cats for landing: Airplane engine sound

Clouds, showers may dampen Great Tennessee Air Show

SMYRNA — Overcast skies and occasional showers may dampen today's Great Tennessee Air Show over Smyrna.

Flight demonstrations aren't slated until later this afternoon, so there is a chance the skies could clear enough for performances to go on as scheduled. Hundreds of spectators are already filing into the airport to get early seats on the tarmac and to view the many displays of aircraft and military vehicles on the ground.

The US Navy Blue Angels precision flight demonstration team is headlining the event, which also continues Sunday. Their last Great Tennessee Air Show appearance was in 2008.

"The Great Tennessee Air Show is a fantastic opportunity for Tennesseans to get up close and personal with aviation," said John Black, executive director of the Smyrna Airport. "We strive to produce one of the most entertaining air shows in the country and to inspire our youth, our next generation of pilots."

This year's show is also scheduled to feature many other exciting aerobatic acts, military and civilian aircraft on display, and a Kid Zone, presented by the Smyrna/Rutherford County Airport Authority.

The 2012 Great Tennessee Air Show will also include performances by renowned pilot Corkey Fornof, the iconic stunt pilot who has more than 17,000 hours of flight time in nearly 300 different aircraft and has appeared in several Hollywood movies and the grace and magic of power-less flight by paraplegic Dan Buchanan in his TK-17 Hang-glider.

Rob Holland, 2011 National Unlimited Aerobatic Champion and World Aerobatics Freestyle winner, and Viper pilot Jason Newburg are returning favorites, joined this season by Matt Chapman in his Embry-Riddle 580 Eagle, Michael Wiskus in the Lucas Oil Pitts and John Klatt in his Air National Guard Staudacher S-300 racing Neal Darnell's Jet Dragster in their Max Adrenaline Wall of Fire.

War-bird enthusiasts will particularly enjoy the show when Scott "Scooter" Yoak in his P-51 Mustang and Dave Folk in his F4U Corsair take to the skies. Veteran announcer Danny Clisham will return to give his play-by-play of what's happening in the sky. New this season will be appearances by the U.S. Navy Seals' Parachute team, the Leapfrogs.

Static displays include the following aircraft: WC-130, C-5, KC-10, T-38, UH-60, UH-72, MH-60S, MH-53, F/A-18, F-15, KC-135, AH-1W, UH-1N, F-5, and M-142.

Gate admission is $10, and children under age 4 are free. Adult tickets are $25 at the gate the day of the show. Premium Box Seating and Flight Line Club tickets are also available. Free parking is available.

This year's air show coincides with Nashville Navy Week (May 7-13). The goal of every Navy Week is to give area residents an opportunity to meet some of the Navy's Sailors and learn about the Navy's critical missions and its broad ranging capabilities.

Sam Ridley Parkway approaching the Smyrna Airport will be closed to traffic from 3 to 5 p.m. today and Sunday while the aircraft take to the skies.

Memorial service today for Ice Pilots' Arnie Schreder

 
Ice Pilots NWT star and pilot Arnie Schreder died in B.C. May 5 at age 69. A memorial service will be held Saturday afternoon in Yellowknife. (Dan Cattoni)

      

Family and friends will say their final goodbyes to former Buffalo Airways pilot Arnie Schreder at a service Saturday afternoon in Yellowknife.

Schreder, 69, died of lung cancer May 5 in British Columbia. A service was held Thursday in B.C.

His family flew to Yellowknife on Friday with his ashes. His daughter, Yvette Schreder, said her father's final wish was to fly back North.

"After spending 40 years here, it was his home still, I suppose, even though he didn't want to be here anymore because of the cold,” she said.

“But he wanted to come home and we wanted to do that the best way we could and this was it. This is dad's final flight coming home."

On arrival at the airport, fire trucks showered the DC3 with an arch of water as it approached the Buffalo Airways hangar.

"When a pilot retires, it’s a tradition to have two fire trucks make an arch and have the plane taxi through on its last flight coming in,” said Mikey McBryan, general manager of Buffalo Airways.

“It's a tradition. Sometimes it’s a happy one, or a sad one, like today."

For 40 years, Schreder worked and lived in the North and mentored younger pilots. He retired from Buffalo Airways in 2010.

He's remembered by many for his appearances in the television show Ice Pilots NWT.

A memorial service for Schreder will be held Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Buffalo Airways hangar in Yellowknife.

Source:  http://www.cbc.ca

Editorial: Praying for a Miracle; And Some Answers - Sukhoi Superjet 100-95, RA-97004 (Indonesia)

 

Editorial: Praying for a Miracle; And Some Answers

Unfortunately, I feel that the pilot will probably end up getting blamed for this tragedy. The aircraft maker and the control tower/ organizers have too much to lose and the "dead" pilot makes an easy scapegoat.

From what I've heard, pilots that are not experienced for this area should not be going anywhere near the Salak mountains unless they are at a safe altitude, which is significantly higher than the 6,000 feet for which the Sukhoi pilot had apparently been cleared. I'm not sure if anyone had sat down to carefully explain to the pilots about the risks of flying too low around Mt Salak (which should have been done by the organizers and the authorities). There are no media reports of the pilots informing the ground control of any emergency on-board (assuming they had enough time), so as I mentioned the pilot will probably get blamed. However, even if it is proven to be the case, the ground control and organizers should also look at what they could have done better to avoid this tragedy.

I admit that at this stage, there are no results from the investigation, but let's not underestimate the "political" nature of aircraft accident investigations.

As we come to terms with the tragedy of the Sukhoi crash, the immediate priority is to reach the wreckage and find any survivors. It may take a miracle but the rescuers must not give up.

The Sukhoi Superjet 100 that went down in the mountains in Bogor lost all radio contact on Wednesday afternoon, about 50 minutes after it took off from Halim Perdanakusuma Airport in what was supposed to be a second showcase flight.

The 45 people confirmed to have been on board, including airline representatives and journalists, have yet to be found and we fear the worst.

There will of course be questions as to what happened and what caused the Sukhoi to go down. For example, why did the pilot ask to descend from above 10,000 feet to 6,000 feet and why did the authorities allow the plane to do so in a mountainous area where the peaks reach 7,000 feet at their highest point?

To find the answers, a full investigation will have to be conducted with no stone left unturned. There cannot be a cover-up of any kind if public trust in the authorities and the system is to be maintained.

Indonesia’s Transportation Ministry has been quick to say that the Sukhoi had secured the documents required for the demonstration flight, but Russian investigators immediately opened a criminal probe into possible misconduct during the flight preparations.

Who is to blame for this tragedy is not an issue at the moment. But if any party is found to be at fault, they should be severely dealt with. According to media reports, Wednesday’s incident was the sixth accident on and around Mount Salak since 2003. Why the area was chosen for the demonstration flight also remains to be explained.

We urge the authorities to move quickly to answer these questions.

ADJKT 
May 12, 2012 

Source:  http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/editorial

Merpati employees to strike

The employees and crewmembers of state-owned PT Merpati Nusantara Airline are expected to go on strike on Sunday in protest at the planned replacement of the current board of directors.

Action coordinator Capt. Eman Supriatman told The Jakarta Post on Saturday that crewmembers and ground staff would refuse to work on any domestic or international routes until the government cancelled the planned replacement.

"The company has performed well under the current management. The replacement that will be carried out on Monday is only because the directors oppose the government's plan to purchase 40 units of Russia's Sukhoi Superjet 100," Eman said.

Eman said Merpati had been in need of new aircraft and the management preferred to buy Boeing and Airbus planes, while the State-owned Enterprises Minister and the chief commissioner had instructed the management to purchase the Russian Sukhois.

Eman said Merpati employees supported the management's plan to purchase Boeing and Airbus planes, because the management knew best what the company needed.

"We are suspicious of collusion and conspiracy behind the minister's order to purchase the Sukhoi planes."

No air show, but Naval Air Station Fort Worth will open to public today

FORT WORTH -- Naval Air Station Fort Worth won't be hosting an air show this year, but the installation is still opening to the public today.

The open house begins at 4 p.m.; a concert begins at 7 p.m. All events are free. Access to the base will be from a southern entrance near the Ridgmar Farmers Market on U.S. 183.

Static aircraft, such as the F-16, C-130 Hercules and F/A-18 Hornet, will be parked on the tarmac, along with ground vehicles.

For more information, go to http://www.airpowerexpo.com

Watchdog report blasts Federal Aviation Administration over whistleblowers

(CBS/AP) The former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board said that, despite the "terrible" revelations in recent government watchdog agency reports on air traffic controllers, he believes work and safety conditions have improved because of recent changes made by the government agencies responsible.

In a report released earlier this week by the Office of the Special Counsel, or OSC (which protects whistle-blowers), controllers at one of the world's busiest air traffic control facilities in Long Island, N.Y., slept in the control room at night, left shifts early, used personal electronic devices while on duty, ignored proper procedures, and manipulated work schedules to gain overtime pay.

The report also charged that airline safety regulators have lagged in responding to urgent safety problems, including takeoff and landing procedures at one airport that caused some planes to nearly collide.

Special Counsel Carolyn Lerner, whose job is to protect government employees who expose mismanagement or wrongdoing from retaliation, has sent the White House and Congress letters detailing seven FAA whistle-blower cases in which safety allegations have been substantiated. In five of the seven cases, the FAA has failed to follow through fully on promised corrections, her office said.

The office said that the FAA (which oversees air traffic controllers) has one of the highest rates of whistleblower filings per employee of any executive branch agency, with 178 whistleblower disclosures since FY 2007, about half (89) relating to aviation safety. OSC referred 44 of those cases to the Department of Transportation investigation, which substantiated all but five in whole or in part. 


Among the problems revealed by whistleblower complaints: Emergency service helicopters used by first responders nationwide were incorrectly retrofitted for night vision goggles, posing a potential threat to pilots' ability to read instruments; and air traffic controllers in the greater New York area airspace slept in the control room, left their shifts early, used personal electronic devices while on the job, and used dangerously imprecise language when directing aircraft, resulting in a near-crash. 

Lerner said it took the "years-long persistence of one whistle-blower and two referrals from my office for FAA to acknowledge that its oversight was lacking" with regard to the night vision googles problem and begin safety corrections. 

The cases show a pattern dating at least to 2007 in which employees have complained to the special counsel that the FAA refused to heed warnings about significant safety issues and then promised to correct the problems only when forced by oversight agencies, Lerner said. 

The cases "paint a picture of an agency with insufficient responsiveness given its critical public safety mission," Lerner said in her letter. 

The allegations about controllers at the Long Island center were made public last year by Evan Seeley, a controller who has since been transferred to another facility at his request. The FAA has since replaced most of the center's top managers.

On "CBS This Morning: Saturday," Mark Rosenker, the former head of the NTSB, said that last year's report dealing with the Ronkonkoma Air Traffic Control Center was one that "really tipped me over as it related to the behavior of the controllers in that particular facility. 

"They were using laptops while they were on duty," Rosenker said. "They were using cell phones, they were, in fact, leaving their shifts early. They demonstrated insubordination to their management - Clearly, the kind of behavior we saw there was not adding to our safety in the aviation community."

Rosenker called "disturbing" the indication that management seemed to be going along. "They seemed to be afraid of the controllers there. The particular individual who went to the Office of Special Counsel, the whistleblower if you will, had been threatened, his car was vandalized, he got demoted. This was a terrible, terrible work environment." 

However, Rosenker said that despite the new report, "99.9 percent of the people that are working in these jobs are very dedicated. They're very skilled. And they do an excellent job. There are 50,000 operations that occur every day. They occur without incident. They occur routinely. They occur safely."

He also said he does not think the situation is getting worse. "Remember, [the new report's cases] could go back as far as 2010. What we've seen is a significant improvement. Remember, last year we saw a number of controllers that were asleep on their job. That was not because they wanted to come in and fall asleep; it is because of the way the system had been geared. 

"Once, in fact, the Department of Transportation and FAA really began to look at what was happening out there, they made substantial changes," including shifting hours to prevent fatiguing work schedules.

Source:  http://www.cbsnews.com

St. Clair Regional (K39), Missouri: Aldermen OKs Additional Funds for Airport

 Aldermen approved upping the ante on the amount of money needed to spend for a third appraisal that will determine the highest and best use of the St. Clair Regional Airport land.

The additional appraisal is required by Federal Aviation Administration officials as the first of four steps the city must take if it wants to have a chance to close the local facility to make room for proposed retail development on the 80-acre site located on the north side of the city between Interstate 44 and Highway 47.

The FAA must approve the closure since the city used federal grants, the last in 2006, for airport improvements.

During last Monday’s board of aldermen meeting, City Administrator Rick Childers reminded the aldermen that the third appraisal is a requirement and told them that more money is needed to get it done.

“We’ve already done two appraisals,” Childers said. “And we asked the board earlier to approve up to $1,500 for the third. It’s (amount) a little higher than that. The one proposal submitted has a total fee of $5,000 payable upon completion.”

The aldermen approved the lower amount during an April board meeting, and a request for proposals was sent to a handful of commercial real estate appraisers. Only one proposal was submitted back to the city, and it was from Lauer Appraisal Co. of St. Louis.

“They do have experience doing what we are looking for,” Childers said, adding that QED Airport & Aviation consultant Ron Price stated that the $5,000 appraisal bid price was “not out of line.”

According to the submitted proposal, Lauer has conducted appraisals for several banks, St. Louis County and the state of Missouri, the cities of St. Louis and St. Charles, the Veterans Administration and the U.S. General Services Administration.

“The appraisal will be prepared in a self-contained format utilizing the sales comparison approach to value the property on an ‘as is’ basis,” Lauer President Russell J. Lauer wrote in his appraisal bid to the city. “We have appraised property for the expansion of Lambert St. Louis International Airport and for the acquisition of leased land under Spirit of St. Louis Airport. We have also recently completed an appraisal of land for the Veterans Administration that also met the state (seller) and federal (buyer) appraisal requirements.”

Lauer, whose company has been in the real estate appraisal profession since 1986, said the completed appraisal should be able to be submitted to the city by the end of June.

Childers and Mayor Ron Blum also said the $5,000 would be a “recoverable expense” upon closure of the airport.

“The FAA has told us that,” Blum said.

Before the board unanimously voted to approve the $5,000 for the appraisal and to have Lauer conduct it, Childers said he could again attempt to contact other appraisers in an effort to get additional bids.

“It’s about a four- to six-week process to do that,” he said. “But I think it’s in our best interests to move forward.”

The aldermen agreed.

“I don’t have a problem moving forward with this now,” Ward 1 Alderman Nathan Tate said. “I think if it’s reimbursable, we can make the decision to do it now at this price.”

The motion then was made, seconded and approved.

Background

Before the city sent out the bid proposal requests for the appraisal, local officials worked with the FAA on the language needed to make sure the federal agency was satisfied with what the city was seeking and that it follows specific specifications.

Terminology centered on the appraisal being performed to determine the “highest and best use of the land.”

Childers told The Missourian that the FAA “provided us with very specific and detailed requirements for the appraisal to help get a clear idea of the value of the land at its ‘highest and best use.’”

Having another appraisal of the 80-acre parcel of land the airport sits on was the first of four points the FAA discussed with Blum when he met with federal officials in late March in Washington, D.C., regarding the city’s process to close the facility.

The FAA’s other three points were the city providing a more complete explanation of what the net benefit to aviation will be by closing the airport, providing a history of the facility itself and noting why it has been lagging financially compared to other area airports, and showing why the city has not had the financial resources to fund the airport.

The city previously had two appraisals done on the property, and they were included in a 200-page closure document sent to state and federal officials last year. But the FAA mandated the third one to make sure it includes the highest and best use of the land.

On April 2, the aldermen unanimously approved spending up to $1,500 on the appraisal of the airport property.

“The appraisal needs to be on proper FAA forms for them to formally approve it,” Blum said during that meeting.

Source:  http://emissourian.com

The Needles on the Isle of Wight: Search for plane crash at called off

A search for a light aircraft thought to have crashed at The Needles on the Isle of Wight has been stood down.

A member of the public raised the alarm with Solent Coastguard at around 12.10pm.

The coastguard immediately launched an investigation but by 2pm nothing had been found.

They were looking for a twin engine aircraft south west of The Needles, nearly two miles out.

It is now believed to be a false alarm, possibly caused by a low flying aeroplane on its way to Alderney.

Portland Coastguard's helicopter lifted at 12.20pm to join in the search.

Isle of Wight police, Yarmouth RNLI, the Solent coastguard helicopter and The Needles coastguard were also involved.

Guests at The Needles Old Battery on High Down, Totland Bay, thought they saw a white aircraft dropping into the sea as they sat in the cafe.

Hannah Griffiths, custodian at the National Trust property, told the Daily Echo: "It was our visitors who reported it travelling low over The Needles and ditching in to the sea about five miles off."

Police officers and coastguards are now on site investigating, she said.

"Our cafe has panoramic views of the spot so they were just drinking cups of tea when they saw it occur," she added.

"They saw a fleeting glimpse and got their binoculars out."

This day in history: May 12, 1957 - By Vancouver Sun

Mountaineer Elfrida Pigou in a 1957 photo.

Wreckage found on St. Slesse of TCA 810 airplane crash. 
Photograph by: HANDOUT, VANCOUVER SUN


Canadian mountaineer Elfrida Pigou made a grisly discovery while leading a group of climbers up Mount Slesse: the wreckage of TCA Flight 810, B.C.’s worst air crash.

The plane crashed on the mountain’s upper slopes, near Chilliwack, on Dec. 9, 1956, killing all 62 people on board. Among the dead were five pro football players who had been in Vancouver for the Canadian Football League’s East vs. West all-star game at the new Empire Stadium: Winnipeg Blue Bomber Calvin Jack Jones and Saskatchewan Roughriders Melvin Howard Becket, Mario Joseph DeMarco, Gordon Henry Sturtridge and Raymond Nicholas Syrnyk.

Pigou insisted on carrying a large piece of the wreckage back down the mountain. It was examined by transport officials in Vancouver and immediately identified as part of Flight 810.

The startling discovery made headlines for days. Reporters and photographers rushed up the Fraser Valley to Chilliwack. Vancouver Sun reporter and aviation specialist Ron Thornber flew over Slesse in a small plane. He wrote: “I flew where death wears a snaggle-tooth grimace high atop Mount Slesse almost within sight of the broad and peaceful farmlands of the upper Fraser Valley.”

Pigou would die just three years later, in July 1960, when she and three other climbers were caught in an avalanche during an ascent of Mount Waddington.


Marion, Iowa: After 50 Years, McBride Airport has Landed its Last Plane


MARION, Iowa — Church bells ring in the distance as the sun shines brightly overhead and a breeze ripples through the grass landing strip at McBride Airport. It would be a great day to fly. 

 But, gaze through a window of the metal-sided hangar and the only airplane inside is a skinless fuselage. No windsock flits above the nearby administration building to indicate the wind direction. Once the bells stop, the silence seems as if it will last forever.

“Shutting it down is not easy for me,” says Ivan McBride, whose late father, Melvin, founded the airport half a century ago. But, with increasingly expensive liability insurance, it was time.

As Ivan plops a box full of scrapbooks onto a picnic table, he grins.

“This should only take six hours,” he says, opening a scrapbook. “I have to admit it’s been fun looking at the photo albums to find some old pictures and just to reflect on these memories.”

There’s a photo of his father propping up a sign to McBride Field. That’s what it was called in 1961 when Melvin began leveling the farm field in the family since the 1920s. He would shape a 2,400-foot, 150-foot wide east-west grass runway, have the hangar built and relocate an old service station/cafe from near Marion’s Highway 13 to serve as the office. Although planes would test the field the following summer, the airport didn’t officially open until Oct. 14, 1962.

“I’m not going to plow up the rest of the runway until we hit Oct. 14,” says Ivan, symbolically hitting the 50-year mark even though the last plane left a couple of weeks earlier and the airstrip would officially close May 10.

With churches popping up around the airport along the C Avenue Extension north of Cedar Rapids, some people speculated the 80 acres would be sold for another church or development. But no — it will be farmed by Ivan’s son, Calvin, 19, (an agriculture student at Iowa State University) just as his grandfather had once farmed it.

About 1940, Ted Saxon had relocated his airport from land where Rockwell Collins headquarters now sit south of Blairs Ferry Road NE to a farm across C Avenue Extension from here. Even though his wife ran it for a few years after Ted died, that airport closed. Folks thought the area could still use an airport.

Melvin McBride didn’t know how to fly but he liked the idea. Ivan, 57, was just old enough to be impressed.

“As a kid, I remember 30-some planes based here,” Ivan says. “It was an active little strip back then.”

Melvin died in 1972, but Ivan would solo on this field at age 19 (in the family’s 1952 Piper Tri-pacer), study aircraft mechanics and become a corporate pilot who has been with Rockwell-Collins for 26 years.

For a time Ivan and his family — wife, Lyn, and their children, Leanna, now 25, Sarah, 22, and Calvin — operated the airport. Other managers included John Tibben, who would found Tibben Flight Lines in Cedar Rapids, and Perry Walton, who owns the Marion airport.

Through the years, McBride Airport has been home base to flying clubs like Cloud 9 and Mercury. Regular nightly flights used to leave here for Chicago for Bank of Iowa Computer Service. During a three-day period in 1983, more than 700 planes landed here as it was designated the official airport for the nearby Farm Progress Show.

“There’s no question this airport defined my career and my life,” Ivan says. “I met a lot of people, made a lot of friends, as a result of this little airport."

Read more:
http://thegazette.com/2012/05/11/after-50-years-mcbride-airport-has-landed-its-last-plane/


http://www.kcrg.com/news/local/After-50-Years-McBride-Airport-Has-Landed-Its-Last-Plane-151129045.html

Air Canada: 70-year-old woman accused of grabbing a flight attendant

RICHMOND, B.C. — A 70-year-old woman from North Vancouver, B.C., has been charged in an incident on an Air Canada flight in which a flight attendant was grabbed.

Richmond RCMP Staff Sgt. Dave Conrod says it happened on a flight between London, England and Vancouver on Jan. 4.

He says a flight attendant was told a passenger was behaving strangely and when the attendant went to check on the situation she was grabbed by the neck.

The attendant was not hurt and the plane carried on to Vancouver, where the RCMP investigated.

Conrod says Moira Gentry has now been charged with endangering or interfering with an airplane crew performing its duties.

http://www.ctvbc.ctv.ca