Thursday, June 14, 2012

Air crash avoidable, says ex-deputy governor

Former Lagos State Deputy Governor Rafiu Jafojo has said plane crashes are avoidable, if government moves swiftly to halt the corruption in the aviation sector.

 He said the  non-compliance with safety regulations by airline operators have led to disasters that had wrecked families and left the nation in agony.

Jafojo, who spoke with reporters in Lagos, lamented the recent plane crash involving Dana Air and commiserated with the victims’ families and relations.

He urged the Federal Government to make public the report of committees set up to investigate previous air disasters, stressing that, if culprits had been brought to book, re-occurrence would have been averted.

Jafojo added: “If aviation sector is run the way it should be, then, these disasters are preventable. The rules must not be set aside. There is need for compliance because the sector must have zero tolerance for corruption. This is necessary to put an end to fear, anxiety and gloom that have encircled the critical sector.”

Coach Soto speaks with Capt. Mike Eagle Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento

Coach Soto speaks with Capt. Mike Eagle Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento. What does the Coast Guard do? 

Aviation Day set in Redding, California

Benton Airpark in West Redding will be hosting Aviation Day 2012 from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, June 17. 

 Everyone is invited and parking and admission are free.

The day's activities include helicopter rides from Air Shasta and scenic airplane rides from Hillside Aviation, antique and experimental aircraft displays, ultralight displays and radio controlled aircraft displays.

Things get under way with a ham, eggs and pancake breakfast cooked and served by volunteers from the local 99s, an organization of women pilots.

The cost for the breakfast will be $7 for adults and $5 for children 5-12.

Kids younger than 5 eat free.

Breakfast will be served until 11 a.m.


Piper Arrow II: Readying for annual inspection - Full landing gear cycling and nose wheel landing gear tests - Turlock Municipal Airport (O15), California


Jun 2, 2012 by Delslane 

"Testing normal and emergency landing gear cycling up and down. Notice the locking mechanism when it is fully extended. Also, this is after I cleaned, inspected and painted the gear. I'm getting ready for the annual inspection of my plane. Neat stuff happens in this video."


Jun 2, 2012 by Delslane 

"Viewing all three landing gear of my 1975 Piper Arrow II. Readying for the annual inspection. I'm at the great Turlock Municipal Airport here in California."

Robinson R22 Mariner, N1089N: Accident occurred June 14, 2012 in Oak Island, North Carolina

NTSB Identification: ERA12LA399 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, June 14, 2012 in Oak Island, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/10/2013
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

According to the pilot, the helicopter was established in cruise flight at 600 feet mean sea level and an airspeed of 75 knots when she entered a practice autorotation over the ocean, with the intention of a power recovery. The pilot lowered the collective pitch to the full down position and rolled the throttle to the full off position. The pilot then raised the collective pitch and the main rotor rpm started to decrease and the low main rotor audio sounded. The pilot increased the throttle and increased collective, and the main rotor rpm continued to decrease. The helicopter continued to descend until it impacted the ocean and rolled over inverted. The pilot and pilot-rated passenger stated there were no mechanical problems with the helicopter.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to properly execute the helicopter practice autorotation recovery, which resulted in a collision with the water.

On June 14, 2012, at 1637 eastern daylight time, a Robinson R22 Mariner, N1089N, registered to Watercraft Photo Helicopter LLC, collided with the Atlantic Ocean about 10 yards off shore while practicing a simulated autorotation in the vicinity of Oak Island, North Carolina. The helicopter sustained substantial damage. Visual meteorological condition prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The helicopter was operating as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The private pilot and commercial pilot passenger reported no injuries. The flight originated from Wilmington, North Carolina at 1630.

The pilot stated she was in cruise flight at 600 feet mean sea level at 75 knots, when she entered an autorotation over the ocean, with an intention of a power recovery. She lowered the collective pitch to the full down position and rolled the throttle to the full off position. She then raised the collective pitch. The main rotor rpm started to decrease and the low main rotor audio sounded. She rolled on the throttle and increased collective and the main rotor rpm continued to decrease. The helicopter continued to descend until it impacted the ocean and rolled over inverted.

The pilot rated passenger stated when the pilot informed him that she wanted to do an autorotation, replied that he did not feel comfortable with because he did not have that many hours in the left seat. In addition, he was not sure if they could do an autorotation without an instructor pilot on board the helicopter. When asked if there was anything mechanically wrong with the helicopter, before the pilot initiated the autorotation, the passenger stated no, "It was an improper use of flight controls."

Examination of the helicopter revealed one main rotor blade was damaged. The cabin floor, sidewall structure, and center console had separated from the main structure just forward of the forward cabin seats. The bottom of the fuselage was buckled. The left rear skid mount was separated and the skid assembly was displaced forward. The tailboom assembly was buckled on the lower left side at its attachment point. There was evidence of a main rotor blade strike on the tailboom assembly.

The R22 Maneuver Guide, STRAIGHT-IN AUTOROTATION WITH POWER RECOVERY states, " 1. The Entry - From level flight at 70 to 75 kts, 500 to 700 feet AGL, and headed into the wind, smoothly, but firmly, lower the collective full down without reducing the throttle. Coordinate the collective movement with right pedal; for trim and aft cyclic to maintain a 75 kt attitude....2. The Glide - After descent has been established, slowly reduce the airspeed to 60 to 70 kts and maintain this attitude throughout the glide....NOTE As the aircraft descends through 100 feet AGL, make an immediate power recovery if the following conditions do not exists: 1. Rotor rpm in the green. 2. Airspeed 60 to 70 kts. 3. Rate of descent less than 1500 feet. 3. The Flare - At approximately 40 feet AGL, begin the flare with aft cyclic to reduce forward airspeed and decrease the rate of descent....4. The Power Recovery - At approximately 8 to 10 feet skid height, begin to level the helicopter with forward cyclic."

A towboat pulls a capsized helicopter after it crashed off the shore of Oak Island on Thursday.

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) – Crews responded to a helicopter crash near the Oak Island Pier on Thursday afternoon, according to Brunswick County Emergency Management officials. 

 Several witnesses confirmed seeing the crash happen approximately 200 yards west of the pier. They said the helicopter went completely underwater quickly.

The Oak Island and the Yaupon fire departments were both at the scene.

Director of Emergency Services Anthony Marazano said a small, private helicopter crashed. It was not military-owned. The aircraft had water pontoons, which are to be used for water landings, but they didn't keep the helicopter from crashing into the water.

Two individuals were in the helicopter when it went down near the pier, which is the former Yaupon Beach Fishing Pier. Both occupants were stabilized and brought to shore with injuries that appeared to be not life-threatening. They were taken to New Hanover Regional Medical Center, but their names have not been released yet.

The helicopter, said to be an R-22 Mariner, was brought to shore shortly after 6 p.m. was painted on the side of the aircraft's pontoons and a propeller was bent.

Read more, video and photos:

Corona Municipal Airport (KAJO), California: Man arrested with stolen mail at hangar

A Norco man was arrested Wednesday, June 13, after police acting on a tip from a confidential informant say they found stolen mail, stolen blank and fake checks, as well as copiers and printers in the man’s hangar at Corona Municipal Airport.

Joshua Barbosa, 32, was arrested on suspicion of forgery, forgery of an official seal, impersonating someone to obtain property, possession of the identification of 10 people, possession of a controlled substance and being a felon in possession of a firearm, a 9mm handgun. 

Corona Sgt. Kim Velasco said Cpl. Mark DeRuyter had arrested Barbosa on June 2 on suspicion of mail theft and being in possession of a mail key. Velasco said the key was made from a folding knife and used to open community mailboxes. 

DeRuyter then received information that Barbosa had a hangar at the airport. DeRuyter went to the airport Wednesday night about 8, and Barbosa drove up, Velasco said.

Because Barbosa was on probation from a 2010 conviction for receiving stolen property, DeRuyter could search the hangar without consent. Among the property DeRuyter found was $200,000 in stolen checks from a Rancho Cucamonga business and a computer program that showed how to make fake driver licenses.  

“He did a great job,” she said.

Corona police are working with the Secret Service and U.S. Postal Service on the investigation.

Barbosa is due in Superior Court on Friday, June 15, and then on Aug. 1 for a probation hearing. Barbosa had been sentenced to 120 days in jail and three years probation on June 29, 2010.


Foothills Regional (KMRN), Morganton, North Carolina: FBI places liens against property of suspended airport manager

MORGANTON --  The federal government has a lien against the now suspended Foothills Regional Airport Manager Alex Nelson’s personal property in Caldwell County.

Nelson, along with airport employee Brad Adkins, was suspended without pay last week after FBI agents searched the airport, seizing computers and records.

The lien, filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of the state, is against Nelson’s property at 4640 Celia Creek Road, Lenoir. The document says there is probable cause to believe that wire fraud and conspiracy occurred and that the proceeds of the offenses are more than $100,000.

According to a search of Caldwell County land records, the property at 4640 Celia Creek Road, Lenoir, has a total value of $182,700 on the residence.

The order was filed, it says in part, to “prevent the flight or transfer of the property so the United States may initiate action to adjudicate forfeiture of the property.”

The order was based on an affidavit that FBI Special Agent James R. Meade presented to the court.

Federal search warrants were served on Foothills Regional Airport last week, and involved both Nelson and Adkins and any side businesses. It also included any records related to Morganton businessman and former chair of the airport authority board Randy Hullette, Hullette Aviation, Burkemont Service Center in Morganton, RANMAC Inc., Jeffrey Rose, Grady Rose Tree Service, Jimmy “Ron” Gilbert, Gilbert Grading and Construction, Simon Roofing and Parton Lumber.

The warrants also were for records of airport customers and vendors, computer hard drives, electronic media, all bank accounts, checks, credit card bills, account information and other financial records. The warrants also called for any logs, registry entries, saved user names, passwords and even browser history to be turned over.

Affidavits referenced in the search warrant have been sealed. No one has seen those except likely government and court officials, said Louis Vinay, city of Morganton attorney.

The public airport, located on NC 18, receives funding from Burke and Caldwell counties and the cities of Morganton and Lenoir. Vinay is currently acting as the authority’s attorney.

Officials with the Federal Bureau of Investigation have been characteristically tip-lipped about the case.

On Tuesday, FBI Public Affairs Specialist Shelley Lynch said, “As a matter of Department of Justice policy, the FBI can neither confirm nor deny the existence of investigations.”

It is unclear whether search warrants also were served on the two employees residences.


Watch Video: 

MORGANTON, NC — The FBI is investigating Foothills Regional Airport and two of its employees have been suspended without pay. 

A statement released Tuesday from Foothills Regional Airport Authority said a federal criminal investigation involves two employees of the airport, Alex Nelson and Brad Adkins. Nelson was the airport manager but Adkins did not hold a management position, according to airport officials.

“The Airport continues normal operations without interruption,” the statement said. “Brent Brinkley, a long time employee, has been appointed as acting administrator.”

FBI Public Affairs Specialist Shelley Lynch said, “As a matter of Department of Justice policy, the FBI can neither confirm nor deny the existence of investigations.”

According to the FBI’s website, it investigates public corruption, major white-collar crime, significant violent crime, civil rights violations and transnational/national criminal organizations and enterprises and cyber-based attacks and high-technology crimes, along with national security threats.

Airport Authority Chairman and Burke County Commissioner Chair Wayne Abele said Tuesday no one has been charged with anything and federal investigators haven’t given them any information about the investigation.

“All I know is it’s an ongoing investigation,” Abele said.

Abele said about 10 FBI personnel showed up at the airport last Tuesday, accompanied by Caldwell County Sheriff’s deputies, and seized records and computers.

“The FBI, they don’t charge people unless they have a concrete case,” Abele said.

The public airport, located on NC 18, receives funding from Burke and Caldwell counties and the cities of Morganton and Lenoir. The funding the airport received in the 2011-12 budgets of the two counties and two cities were:
  • Caldwell County — $48,254, which includes money for capital improvements; and $30,017 in property taxes the county collects on planes, said Stan Kiser, Caldwell County manager.
  • Burke County — $36,246 for operating expenses; $4,166 in capital improvement money; and $4,100 from property taxes paid on planes, said Paul Ijames, Burke County finance director and assistant county manager. He said more planes are kept on the Caldwell County side. He said even though $4,100 was budgeted for taxes, only $3,300 has been collected so far in property taxes on the 20 planes listed for the Burke County side.
  • City of Morganton — $38,088 for operating expenses and $4,166 in capital funding, said City Manager Sally Sandy.
  • City of Lenoir — $42,320 total for operating and capital expenses, said Kaye Reynolds, communications and resource director for the city of Lenoir.
None of the boards of the four governments has voted on their individual budgets for next year.

Each one of the four has a representative on the Airport Authority, which alerted the two counties and two cities about the investigation, according to the release from city of Morganton Attorney Louis Vinay. Vinay also is acting as the authority’s attorney after its previous one retired, Kiser said.

Cuts to the airport’s budget from the four member entities resulted in a $42,000 revenue shortfall on the operations side, Nelson recently told the Burke County Board of Commissioners. The airport made internal cuts, shortened operational hours and skipped on mowing to cut that amount down to about $24,000, Nelson said at the time.

The airport planned on asking each entity for additional money for this fiscal year, Nelson said.

During that recent meeting, Burke County Commissioner Maynard Taylor questioned why the airport needed more money and why it isn’t self-supporting. He also questioned what the average county resident received from the airport.

“We’re spending more money than we have every year to keep this thing above ground so to speak, but the average citizen in Burke – what are they getting for that,” Taylor said in previous reports.

The airport’s condition has improved since the authority took over, Abele said at the meeting.

At the time, Nelson said the airport is a “tourism magnet,” adding that area colleges recruiting athletes use the airport.

Burke County commissioners have put off the funding request.


Another lawsuit filed in deadly air race crash: North American/Aero Classics P-51D, N79111, Accident occurred September 16, 2011 in Reno, Nevada

Reno, Nev. (KRNV & — Another lawsuit has been filed in deadly air race crash. Jerry Bynum of Florida is suing Dirk J. Leeward and Kent A. Leeward (the representatives of the Estate of James K. Leeward (the stunt pilot of the Galloping Ghost that crashed at the air races) for the death of his wife Regina Bynum due to the crash.

The Reno Air Race Association is not commenting on any individual suits.

NTSB Identification: WPR11MA454
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, September 16, 2011 in Reno, NV
Aircraft: NORTH AMERICAN/AERO CLASSICS P-51D, registration: N79111
Injuries: 11 Fatal,66 Serious.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On September 16, 2011, about 1626 Pacific daylight time, an experimental North America P-51D, N79111, impacted terrain following a loss of control while maneuvering at Reno Stead Airport, Reno, Nevada. The airplane was registered to Aero-Trans Corp, Ocala, Florida, and operated by the pilot as Race 177 under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The commercial pilot sustained fatal injuries; the airplane sustained substantial damage. Casualties on the ground included 10 fatalities and 74 injured. As of the time of this preliminary report, eight of the injured remain hospitalized, some in critical condition. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan had been filed for the local air race flight, which departed from Reno Stead Airport about 10 minutes before the accident.

The airplane was participating in the Reno National Championship Air Races in the last event of the day. The airplane had completed several laps and was in a steep left turn towards the home pylon when, according to photographic evidence, the airplane suddenly banked momentarily to the left before banking to the right, turning away from the race course, and pitching to a steep nose-high attitude. Witnesses reported and photographic evidence indicates that a piece of the airframe separated during these maneuvers. After roll and pitch variations, the airplane descended in an extremely nose-low attitude and collided with the ground in the box seat area near the center of the grandstand seating area.

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration examined the wreckage on site. They documented the debris field and identified various components of the airplane’s control system and control surfaces. The wreckage was removed to a secure storage facility for detailed examination at a later date.

The airplane’s ground crew noted that the airplane had a telemetry system that broadcast data to a ground station as well as recorded it to a box on board the airplane. The crew provided the ground station telemetry data, which includes engine parameters and global positioning satellite system data to the NTSB for analysis. The onboard data box, which sustained crush damage, was sent to the NTSB’s Vehicle Recorder laboratory for examination. Investigators recovered pieces of a camera housing and multiple detached memory cards from the airplane’s onboard camera that were in the debris field. The memory cards and numerous still and video image recordings were also sent to the Vehicle Recorders laboratory for evaluation.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the Reno Air Race Association are parties to the investigation.

Canada’s newest Pilatus PC-12 NG makes its home in Western Canada

TORONTO, June 14, 2012 /CNW/ - Pilatus Centre Canada is proud to announce the delivery of Canada's newest Pilatus PC-12 NG, enhancing Pilatus' world-leading market position in Canada. 

 "Canada's newest PC-12 NG owner is a leading Western Canadian oil and gas services company that has long been using an aircraft as a tool within their business, "said Stan Kuliavas, Director of Sales at Pilatus Centre Canada. "The Pilatus PC-12 will allow them to grow their efficiency-based competitive advantage in the marketplace."

The client's Operations Director comments on growth with their Pilatus: "The PC-12 will allow us to better-serve our existing customers as well as facilitate our growth into previously unreachable markets." He adds that their purchase research was exhaustive, "we evaluated many different aircraft types but we kept coming back to the Pilatus PC-12. There was nothing that could haul as much weight, as safely and as cost-effectively as a PC-12. This aircraft is like every other piece of machinery that we operate - it helps us conduct our business more efficiently than we could without it, and it enables us to provide our customers with an unparalleled level of service. "

"The Pilatus PC-12 combines the best of both worlds. Its refined luxury and capability, combined with rugged durability and industry-leading reliability make the Pilatus PC-12 a natural choice for companies concerned with the bottom line," noted Kuliavas. "For many companies, business aircraft are a necessity. The Pilatus PC-12 provides flexible, comfortable capability without being overtly opulent or plush."

"The PC-12 continues to prove itself as a key business tool helping companies drive revenue," says Kuliavas; "those who aren't embracing the benefits of business aviation may find themselves being left behind."

About the Pilatus PC-12
Introduced in 1994, the Pilatus PC-12 set a new standard for efficient, cost-effective business travel. Powered by the reliable Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 engine, the spacious and quiet Pilatus PC-12 executive interior offers comfortable, all-weather durability and capability. Extensively flown in Canada's high Arctic, from coast to coast, and around the world, the Pilatus PC-12 sets the standard for value-driven executive transportation.

About Pilatus Centre Canada
Pilatus Centre Canada is the exclusive Authorized Pilatus Sales & Service Centre for Canada, specializing in Pilatus PC-12 sales, leasing and service. Pilatus Centre Canada also provides a wide range of general aviation services, including operational consulting, pre-owned aircraft brokerage, aircraft import/export, and modification and certification.

SOURCE Pilatus Centre Canada

Source: PR Newswire (

Sugar Grove museum open house aims to educate

By Hannah Meisel

 History is taught in books, but when you see it in person, it takes on a new meaning. For the sixth year, the Air Classics Museum in Sugar Grove will open its doors for free to the public for its open house. 

Hank Winkler, museum curator, said this event is aimed toward getting as many people in the community acquainted with the museum and its goals.

“Our goal is knowledge,” Winkler said. “We find that a majority of the people come in here and have no concept of what the second World War was, even problems with Vietnam. They have no idea what veterans went through, so they come back with a good chunk of history.”

Museum patrons will be up close and personal not just with the collection of eight aircraft and four full-size replicas, but also with military veterans as they present their experiences as part of the museum’s lecture series. The lectures will also include military and aviation historians to give context to the artifacts.

Winkler, a Vietnam veteran himself, said learning about the history of war is important.

“If you ignore history, you will probably do it again,” Winkler said.

Besides educating museum visitors about military history, Winkler said he loves to share his passion for airplanes and aviation at Air Classics.

“The only good thing you can say about war is the technological leaps that it makes,” he said.
And Air Classics does chronicle what was the cutting edge of technology for each era, beginning with World War II. The museum’s permanent collection includes a Bell UH-IH, or Huey, helicopter from the Vietnam War and an F-86 Sabre plane from the Korean War, both of which museum visitors can go inside and sit in the pilot seat.

Many of the museum’s unpaid volunteers, like Winkler, are veterans. Paul Linden, a World War II vet, said he volunteers all year and often speaks at schools in order to educate young people about his experiences and the American experience of World War II. At age 89, Linden’s memories of his three-year service with the military are fresh as ever.

“World War II was such a huge event in our lives,” Linden said. “I’m sure anybody that was alive will never forget many of the things that took place, all the way from Germany’s extinction of millions of Jews, bombing cities of Germany, Japan, Italy … I don’t think anybody that was alive at that time period will ever forget.”

In the course of his tour, Linden flew 39 missions over Japan, including 11 night bombing missions. 

Linden said the military had advertised that each crew would only go on 25 missions, but even through 14 extra missions, he and his crew survived and made it back to the U.S. Linden also said his crew had experienced multiple brushes with Japanese kamikaze planes in some of their 13- to 14-hour missions.

Linden echoed Winkler in his desire to educate museum visitors of both the struggles and triumphs of war veterans, especially those of World War II.

“We do have much here at the museum that pertains to World War II,” he said. “And I always (emphasize) that that’s the war I fought in. Veterans from that war are dying at a rate of 2,000 per day and it won’t be long until there won’t be many left.”

Air Classics’ Open House will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, offering free admission to all of its visitors. The museum is at the edge of the Aurora Municipal Airport in Sugar Grove. For details, visit
If you go
What: Air Classics Museum of Aviation open house
When: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 16
Where: 44W546 Route 30, Sugar Grove, at Aurora Municipal Airport
Cost: Free
Details: Visit or call (630) 466-0888

Read more and photos: