Monday, May 14, 2012

Learning to Fly - Sweet Aviation at Smith Field Airport (KSMD), Fort Wayne, Indiana

Fort Wayne, Ind. (WANE) - Fort Wayne resident Patrick Borton considers himself an ordinary guy with a not so ordinary hobby. 

 In 2011, he traded his motorcycle to pay for flight lessons. "I've had motorcycles and I decided I was so sick of traffic and drivers that don't pay attention. I wanted to get away from that traffic, " said Borton.

So he cashed in his wheels to spread his wings to begin his learning to fly adventure.

Borton flies a Cessna 152 that he calls his Little Buddy. He said it got him through his flight training.

Borton is among 14 people who became private pilots last year at Sweet Aviation at Smith Field Airport.

There are a handful of flight schools in northeast Indiana. Sweet Aviation is the only one in Fort Wayne. Borton took lessons here in the summer of 2011, six months and almost $10,000 dollars later, he earned his private pilot's certificate.

"Every phase from takeoff to landing was just incredible because I'd never done it before," said Borton.

Borton doesn't own the plane he flies, but he can rent it whenever it's available. "You can take it up as long as you want as long as you have it signed out, " said Borton. "The cost is 90 to 100 dollars and that includes fuel. It's a tradeoff but it is saving you time."

The time saving factor is one of the reasons flight instructors say people pay to be their own pilot. Instructor Joel Pierce said. "it's great to be able to fly to Indianapolis in 30 minutes. it's a time saver it's also a lot of fun."

Pierce said in the last few years, he's seen more people signing up for lessons and the biggest concern isn't money. "Safety is a concern," said Pierce "If we do our job and stay proficient and we police ourselves then we're fine."

Before a plane is cleared for takeoff, it must pass a checklist. After Borton goes over the list and everything checks out, he's ready to spread his wings.


Father 'died from heart attack in mid-air' during his first solo parachute jump

 A father died in front of his wife and son after having a suspected heart attack during his first solo parachute jump.

Gareth Vaughn, 59, plummeted to the ground after apparently losing control of his parachute at around 1,500 feet.

Witnesses told how the South African businessman's wife and son watched in horror from below as he missed the designated landing spot and smashed into a wall.

Police spokeswoman Joey Jeevan today confirmed an investigation had been launched into the tragedy, which happened at around midday yesterday near the port city of Durban.

She said: 'This was the victim's first solo parachute jump, which was organized by an established company.

'At the moment all we know for certain is that the man landed incorrectly as he hit the ground.

'He had started the jump okay but at around 1,500 feet he apparently appeared to lose control of the parachute and stopped doing what he had been taught to do.

'He was due to land in a designated area which was marked by flags but instead he drifted over and hit a wall.

'We believe it is possible that he suffered some kind of attack in the air - either a heart attack or an anxiety attack which left him unable to respond to instructions.

'Sadly he suffered serious head injuries on impact and died at the scene.'

Lieutenant Jeevan said a postmortem would be conducted to establish the cause of Mr Vaughn's death.

She said: 'We cannot say for sure what killed him, or whether he was alive or dead when he hit the ground.

'All we know is that he appeared to be unresponsive from around midway through the jump.

'The postmortem should reveal what happened and we are investigating the incident.'

South Africa's Daily News newspaper today reported that Mr Vaughn had signed up for yesterday's parachute after harboring a long-term dream to complete a skydive.

The novice jumper completed a full day's training on Saturday before the static-line jump yesterday morning.

Skydive instructor Vernon Kloppers told the newspaper everything had seemed normal ahead of the routine leap at the Durban Skydive Centre in the village of Eston in South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal province.

But he told how Mr Vaughn became unresponsive after he leaped from the plane at 3,500 feet.

Mr Kloppers said: 'He jumped at 3,500 feet and his parachute automatically opened through the static line.

'He was seen controlling the parachute until about 1,500 feet.

'At this point, he became unresponsive under the canopy.

'We do not know what happened.'

Paramedics confirmed Mr Vaughn was examined at the scene of the accident and declared dead before being taken to hospital.

The family man's friend Paul Raglan-Smith told the Daily News doctors said they believed he had suffered a heart attack in mid air.

The shocked friend added that Mr Vaughn had put parachute jumping on his 'bucket list' of things to achieve before he died.

Mr Raglan-Smith told the publication he finally decided to do so yesterday to mark Mother's Day, which happened yesterday in South Africa.

He said: 'Yesterday was Mother's Day and he decided the time was right to make his dream come true. Unfortunately, it ended tragically.'

He added: 'Doctors at the hospital said they suspected he suffered a massive heart attack soon after he jumped.'

Mr Raglan-Smith said Mr Vaughn's family had been left devastated by the tragedy.

He added that his wife and son were in a state of shock after watching the horrific accident unfold.

A spokeswoman for the Durban Skydive Centre today confirmed the incident was being investigated by the Parachute Association of South Africa.

Static line parachute jumps allow novice skydivers to make solo leaps with less training than is required by normal jumps.

The skydiver is attached to the plane by a line which automatically opens their canopy as they leave the plane.

The parachutist must then use the knowledge they gained in training to control their descent to the ground.

According to the website of the British Parachute Association, static line jumps carry a risk of around one in 170 of being injured and one in 40,000 of being killed.


Cash stash on crashed plane in Ecuador

A Mexican-registered plane carrying two men, a large amount of cash and a dog has crashed in Ecuador.

Officials said that the aircraft had not filed a flight plan and they suspected the money might be related to drug trafficking.

The plane crashed into a hillside Sunday night (Monday, NZ time) near the city of Perdernales on Ecuador's central coast.

Interior Minister Jose Serrano said in a TV interview that "a great amount" of money was on board and that the dead pilot and co-pilot were Mexican. He did not say how much money was found or in what currency. He said authorities had cordoned off the area.

"We presume the money was for laundering to pay for drugs that it was going to pick up," he said.

Ecuador is a transit country for traffickers of cocaine produced in neighboring Colombia.

Mexican drug trafficking organizations smuggle the cocaine northward to the United States and send cash back.

No flight plan had been filed for the plane, Ecuador's civil aviation authority said in a statement. It said it has asked Mexico's government "to confirm the plane's origin and occupants."

Modesto, California: Making copper theft a federal crime

Stealing copper wire – common throughout the Central Valley – is usually prosecuted locally under state law.

But as two men from Modesto have discovered, location matters in more than real estate.

Robin Neal Vanderheiden, 32, and Kody Estepp, 22, have pleaded guilty to conspiring to steal copper wire -- federal property -- from the Modesto Airport.

According to court documents, on several occasions in January, Messrs Vanderheiden and Estepp broke into lighting towers at the airport and stole copper wire from the enclosed systems.

The copper wire is owned by the Federal Aviation Administration – making it federal wire.

The pair sold the stolen copper wire for cash or illegal narcotics, says U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner.

When sentenced in August, the two will face a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Had the wire not been owned by Uncle Sam, it might have been a crime prosecuted under state law. That carries a one-year sentence in the local jail – or less.


(Press Release) 32-year-old Robin Neal Vanderheiden, aka Jeremy Wayne Patrick, and 22-year-old Kody Estepp, both of Modesto, pleaded guilty to conspiring to steal federal property from the Modesto Airport, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

According to court documents, on several occasions in January 2012, Vanderheiden and Estepp broke into lighting towers at the Modesto Airport and stole copper wire from the enclosed systems. The copper wire is owned by the Federal Aviation Administration. As part of the conspiracy, the defendants sold the stolen copper wire in return for cash or illegal narcotics.

This case is the result of an investigation by the Department of Transportation, Office of Inspector General and the Modesto Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Grant B. Rabenn is prosecuting the case.

The defendants are scheduled to be sentenced on August 6, 2012 by United States District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill. They face a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory sentencing factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

Review: David Freed’s ‘Flat Spin’ is sure to be 1 of the best debuts of the year

The Permanent Press/Associated Press - In this book cover image released by The Permanent Press, “Flat Spin,” by David Freed, is shown.

“Flat Spin” (The Permanent Press), by David Freed: “Flat Spin,” the title of this debut thriller, is the name of a complex and risky flight maneuver that only the most accomplished pilots should attempt, so it’s no surprise that the hero of the story, Cordell Logan, is a first-rate aviator. He’s also a former assassin for a top-secret military squad that specializes in making terrorists disappear.

As the story opens, Logan is living in a converted garage in Rancho Bonita, Calif., where he is scraping out a living by giving flying lessons to spoiled rich kids. He’s haunted by his past, longing for his beautiful ex-wife, Savannah, and failing miserably — and hilariously — to find peace through his recent conversion to Buddhism.

When Savannah’s new husband, another former assassination squad member, is gunned down, Logan has a very un-Buddhist reaction: He’s elated. But his mood quickly evaporates when he finds himself a suspect.

So Logan sets out to solve the case himself. He takes to the air in “The Ruptured Duck,” his Cessna 172, following the killer’s trail from Oakland, Calif., to the Las Vegas Strip, from the Arizona desert to Russian Mafia haunts in West Los Angeles.

Eventually, he gets too close to the surprising truth and is targeted for murder.

The way Logan sees it, being in danger and suspected of murder are the least of his troubles. He is consumed by his longing for Savannah, the pain made so real that your own heart will ache.

When you write your first thriller, it’s wise to stick with what you know, and Freed knows this turf. He covered police for the Los Angeles Times, where he shared in the Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Rodney King riots. He reported from Kuwait and Iraq during Operation Desert Storm. He wrote computerized training simulations for the Defense Intelligence Agency. He holds a security clearance from the Department of Defense. And he’s a pilot who owns his own airplane.

Unlike some novelists with technical expertise, Freed is a superb writer. His prose is at once muscular and musical — and sometimes verges on poetry.

And he mixes a hard-boiled attitude with flashes of wry humor.

Cessna 182 practicing the impossible turn

 May 6, 2012 by motoadve 
Do NOT go out and practice this on your own. I was doing it with a very qualified instructor. Want to do it on your own, go at 5,000ft AGL. 
In this video:  500 to 700AGL power off and a 180 back to the field. The first 600ft of the runway coming from the sea has some holes, so that's why I give some gas before landing, but the runway is made. One of the attempts ipower wasn't pulled all the way (not on purpose).

Pilatus PC-6 Turbo Porter, I-CAKE, TNT Brothers, Clinceni Airfield, Bucharest, Romania

Cessna 172 Overhauled engine - initial engine run and test flight

 Cessna 172 Overhauled engine - first run and test flight