Wednesday, June 20, 2012

First solo flight for Mr. Crowe - Moree, New South Wales, Australia


Mr Crowe said that getting his license has been a challenging experience. 

“I’m just lucky that I have a good instructor. Fred (Nolan) is very patient and concentrates on the main things like safety,” he said.

Mr Crowe has been in training to get his license through the Moree Aero Club and recently built up enough hours to fly solo in an Cessna 162 Skycatcher.

The two-seater Skycatcher is a newly designed aircraft from the famous Cessna manufacturer and is aimed at the rapidly expanding light sport aircraft market.

The Continental 0-200 engine has 100hp and delivers fuel economy of about 16-18 lt/hr, which at 200km/hr cruise speed, gives a very economical 8lt/100 in car talk. This is about 17 cents per kilometre aviation fuel cost.

The Cessna is based at the Moree Aero Club, of which Mr Crowe is a member.

He believes that in time he will use his license for a number of things.

“I will use my license around the farm to check up on the crops and eventually I’ll use it to go and visit relatives,” Mr Crowe said.

He has always been interested in planes and used aviation around the farm.

“I still have a lot to learn to complete the course - there is handling skills, air law, physics - so I’m an embarked student,” he said.

The Skycatcher is a new Cessna airplane and only a few of them are in Australia at present.

It is a first for Moree that it is to be based here, together with a second example owned by Malcolm Harris from Mungindi. 

Source:   http://www.moreechampion.com.au

SALT LAKE CITY: New Life Flight helicopters among best in the world

Mike Tillack, center, the first trauma patient transported on a new Agusta Grand, talks with nurse Andrea Clement, left. Mike's daughter Stevie Tillack is below. 
(Photo: Ravell Call, Deseret News)



SALT LAKE CITY — William Duehlmeir, with Intermountain Medical Center's trauma program, knows the importance of getting an injured patient to the hospital as fast as possible. 

"Speed matters. Seconds count," he said. "The first 60 minutes is critical."

Typically, the fastest way to get a patient to a hospital in Utah is by medical helicopter. Now, Utah has three of the most sophisticated medical helicopters in the world.

Wednesday, Intermountain Medical Center officially unveiled two of its organization's three new medical helicopters recently added to its signature Life Flight service. All of them are Agusta Grand 109s.

"They're fantastic," said Life Flight pilot Rob Anderson. "There's really not an option that's available that's not on this aircraft. If you were to draw (a helicopter), you couldn't add anything these don't already have."

The new aircraft are specifically designed for high altitude flying. The helicopters were originally made for rescues in the Swiss Alps.

In 1978, Intermountain Healthcare debuted its Life Flight program. In 1993, two K2 helicopters were added to its fleet. In 2004, they added two Bell 407 helicopters.

The new Agusta Grand helicopters are 50 mph faster than the Bells, Anderson said, can carry 2,000 more pounds of people and equipment, and the twin-engine aircraft can fly on just one engine if the other goes out.

The new helicopters include the latest safety technology, including a "collision avoidance system" to avoid mountain and midair collisions, auto-pilot and the latest navigational tools including "Highway in the Sky" and other instruments that help a pilot in low or no visibility conditions.

"The technology in this aircraft is just off the scale," said Life Flight director of operations Bill Butts.

In 2003, Life Flight suffered the only two fatal crashes in its history, both within a five-month period. The helicopters involved in those incidents were K2s. One of the fatal crashes involved a mechanical failure, the other was due to foggy conditions.

"This is much improved technology that will help us in flying in inclement weather," Intermountain spokesman Jess Gomez said of the new helicopters. He said the decision to fly is ultimately left up to the team of pilots.

Read more:  
http://www.ksl.com

Yakima, Washington: CubCrafters finds upward flight path



This editorial appears in the June 21, 2012, Yakima Herald-Republic. 

 Yakima is developing a niche aircraft industry on planes big and small. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner, with the landing gear designed and manufactured by Yakima's GE Aviation Systems, began carrying passengers late last year. On a smaller scale, or at least on smaller planes, Yakima's CubCrafters is taking off with its production of light sport aircraft.

The Dreamliner is a twin-engine commercial jetliner with room for 210 to 290 passengers. CubCrafters seeks a different market entirely; nearly 90 percent of its production is in the light sport category, the Sport Cub and Carbon Cub. Both of those Cubs are single-engine, propeller-driven craft that seat two.

A common theme that applies as they ply the skies: Whether large commercial craft or small sport craft, the highest potential for growth lies overseas.

CubCrafters especially is in an expansion spurt and is on pace to build 60 new planes this year, up by almost a third over last year. The company now has 125 to 130 employees, higher than its peak employment levels before the economic recession ravaged the industry in 2008, and up from 70-80 workers four years ago. Base prices run from $134,950 for the Sport Cub to $163,280 for the Carbon Cub.

The company just entered the European Union market with shipments to the United Kingdom. The EU, Australia and Brazil have eased sales of the light sport category by adopting the industry's design standard.

The domestic market is more mature, with many pilots weighing the benefits of rebuilding an old plane versus buying a new one. CubCrafters gets about 20 percent of its business in rebuilds, but the company profits most from selling new planes. Down the road, the highest profit potential, the company believes, is overseas.

Like the export-dependent agricultural commodities this area produces, the aircraft industry needs to know its overseas market and adjust its strategies accordingly. It also needs elected officials who understand the importance of trade and can serve as advocates for its industries.

Whether a 200-seater or a two-seater, it's a global market -- one in which the Yakima Valley increasingly finds ways to play a role.
 
* Members of the Yakima Herald-Republic editorial board are Sharon J. Prill, Bob Crider, Frank Purdy and Karen Troianello.


Source:   http://www.yakima-herald.com 

Virginia Beach man charged with pointing laser pointer at Oceana aircraft

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - 56-year-old Robert Bruce of Virginia Beach was indicted on six counts alleging that he aimed a laser at Naval aircraft. 

According to Peter Carr with the U.S. Attorney's Office, Bruce aimed shined a laser pointer at Naval Aircraft flying from Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach on or about April 11, 2012 and June 2, 2012.

A law was passed in February 2012 making it illegal to aim a laser pointer at an aircraft.

Carr said Bruce was charged on two counts of interference with flight crew, two counts of aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft and two counts of assaulting, resisting or impending certain officers or employees.

According to Carr, Bruce could have a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for each of the interference charges, a maximum of five years in prison for aiming a lase pointer at aircraft, and a maximum of 25 years in prison on each charge of assault. 

Source:   http://www.wavy.com

Airplane part crashes through man’s roof - Bangor, Maine

Courtesy of the Bangor Fire Department 
The 3 inch airplane engine piston that crashed through a Bangor man's roof Tuesday, June 12, 2012.


 
The hole in the ceiling caused by the airplane engine piston that fell through the roof of a Bangor man's house Tuesday, June 12, 2012.

Dylan Martin, Bangor Daily News 

The hole in the ceiling caused by the airplane engine piston that fell through the roof of a Bangor man's house Tuesday, June 12, 2012.

“We got to around 1,500 feet and we heard a loud bang and the plane started shaking,” said Rick Eason, faculty adviser for the University Flying Club in Orono, who took off with the pilot at around 7:25 p.m.

After the two made a safe emergency landing at Bangor International Airport, Eason said he was soon contacted by the airport’s control tower, “and they asked if I lost something from my plane.”

As Eason soon figured out by comparing data from his GPS device with the time of the incident, as well as a reported call to Bangor Fire Department’s Station 6, a small piece of the Cessna 172 did break off. It crashed through the roof and into the front room of a Bangor man’s house on Peruvian Way in the Judson Heights neighborhood, according to the Bangor Fire Department.

“He said it was still hot,” Interim Fire Chief Rick Cheverie said.

The unidentified falling object turned out to be a piston connecting rod, a part 1 inch in diameter and 4 inches long that connects the arm and head of a piston inside a plane engine’s cylinder, Cheverie said. It fell through the attic and sheetrock ceiling of the house, leaving a noticeable mark on the hardwood floor of the foyer.

The fire chief said no one in the house was hurt, but he estimated the house had more than $5,000 in damage.

“It could have been a much different outcome,” Cheverie said, referring to a child who was cycling near the house at the time of impact.

Eason said the homeowner, who asked not to be identified, was 15-20 feet away when the small destructive object came crashing through his roof.

“We’ve never had anything like this. We haven’t had any in-flight problems like this,” the flight instructor said.

Eason said he reported the incident to the Flight Standards District Office in Portland, a regional division of the Federal Aviation Administration, in accordance with FAA regulations.

“We don’t know why it happened,” said Soren Hansen, the flying club’s mechanical officer.

Apparently, Hansen said, one of the engine’s six cylinders split in half and the piston rod shot out and crashed through the Bangor man’s roof. The Cessna 172 is one of the flying club’s two available aircraft.

The maintenance officer said this plane in particular was “probably” getting close to its overhaul period, a recurring time when mechanics take the engine apart for maintenance. Hansen said he estimated it was around hour 1,500 out of the 1,800-hour limit for time between maintenance checks.

FAA spokesman Jim Peters said a federal inspector has confirmed the details of the incident, and the FAA is now waiting for Eason to send a report after the aircraft is repaired. Peters said the FAA is also awaiting contact with the Bangor homeowner to record the details of the accident.

It’s important for FAA to record all details of an incident like this, because if similar occurrences have been reported, it could point to a larger manufacturing problem with the plane’s model, Peters said. However, this does not appear to be the case in this instance, he added.

Source:   http://www.sunjournal.com

GREAT STORY: Business is soaring for CubCrafters

SARA GETTYS / Yakima Herald-Repu 
Zeus Wilson welds intake tubes at the newly expanded parts and welding shop at CubCrafters on Wednesday, June 13, 2012. The shop makes parts for both the planes CubCrafters builds and also parts for rebuilds and kits.



Story and photos:    http://www.yakima-herald.com

By MAI HOANG
YAKIMA HERALD-REPUBLIC


YAKIMA, Wash. — In the lobby at CubCrafters headquarters on South 16th Avenue, the company has posted maps of the United States and the world.

Various places on each map have little pins with flags showing sales of CubCrafters. Most of those pins are currently on the U.S. map. But more and more, they’ll be showing up on the world map.

Growing worldwide interest in light sport aircraft, a category of less-expensive planes, has contributed to recent growth for the Yakima manufacturer.

So far this year, the company has increased production by 25 percent and has outgrown its welding and machine shop, which prompted it to lease 15,000 square feet at the former Western Recreational Vehicles facility on West Washington Avenue. Employment has increased from 70 to 80 workers during the economic downtown four years ago to 125 to 130 now, surpassing peak employment levels from early 2008.

CubCrafters, founded in 1980, is on pace to build 60 new planes this year, which would be a 28 percent increase from last year and the most ever in one year, said owner Jim Richmond.

"There’s more optimism" about the market, he said.

Outlook brightens

Nearly all those planes — 90 percent — will be light sport aircraft. The company currently manufacturers two light sport models: the Sport Cub and the Carbon Cub.

The Carbon Cub is the more powerful younger brother of the Sport Cub, the initial light sport model introduced in 2005, shortly after the category was adopted by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Light sport aircraft has become appealing because it’s less pricey: The base price of the Sport Cub, for example, is $163,280, about 32 percent less than the Top Cub, the standard category aircraft that CubCrafters also builds. The Sport Cub is even less expensive, with a $134,950 base price.

Over the last few years, several countries, including those in the European Union, Australia and Brazil, have adopted the light sport aircraft design standard set by the industry, enabling manufacturers like CubCrafters to sell their aircraft without having to make big changes.

Unlike the United States, other countries do not have a large inventory of used planes, so the price point of light sport aircraft is appealing for those looking to buy a new plane, said Dick Knapinski, a spokesman for the Experimental Aircraft Association, a recreational aviation organization based in Oshkosh, Wis.

"CubCrafters, to their credit, are taking advantage of it," he said.

Recently, CubCrafters shipped two Carbon Cubs to the United Kingdom, marking its entrance into the European market.

Dan Johnson, who runs bydanjohnson.com, a website about the light sport and recreational aircraft industry, believes there’s great potential in the world market. He speculates that in 20 years, most light craft will be sold outside the United States.

"(Manufacturers) could end up selling substantially more aircraft outside the U.S.," he said.

Busy with rebuilds

That’s not to say that CubCrafters’ business in the United States has matured, although the company has seen a year-over-year increase in domestic sales of its aircraft, Richmond said.

He said it’s taken a few years for a significant number of U.S. general aviation pilots to experience a light sport aircraft first hand.

And those pilots don’t hesitate to document and share their experiences on social media outlets like Facebook and YouTube. Such posts often prompt more interest from potential buyers.

"The fleet is selling airplanes for us," he said.

Still, CubCrafters faces tough competition — not from other plane manufacturers, but from the thousands of older planes still in operation.

Many pilots are often faced with the decision of either rebuilding an existing plane or buying a new one, and many choose to rebuild. CubCrafters still benefits from this market, as about 20 percent of its business comes from rebuilding old planes, repairs and assembly kits, which provide parts.

This side of the business has kept the company’s parts and welding shop busy. While the company finishes a new plane every four days — about 5.4 planes a month — the shop can generate up to 10 planes’ worth of parts in the same period.

But rebuilds are hard to schedule because they are all different. That is, some planes may have more damage than others, so it’s better to sell a new plane, Richmond said.

That has driven the company to keep innovating on new models. With the parts and welding shop relocated to a new facility, the company now uses space at its main plant for research and development, experimenting with modifications and new features.

"The challenge is to come up with something compelling enough to make the choice of buying a new plane rather than to rebuild," Richmond said.

Story and photos:    http://www.yakima-herald.com

Volunteers needed for Great Reno Balloon Race

Volunteers are needed for the Great Reno Balloon Race on Sept. 7-9 at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park in Reno.

The Great Reno Balloon Race is the world’s largest free hot air ballooning event.

Those who register will be a part of the Aeronauts, the official volunteer group of the event.

Volunteers are trained in crewing hot air balloons and have the opportunity to serve on chase crews during the event. In addition, Aeronauts help with security and setting up and breaking down the field.

Shifts are available to fit varying schedules, ranging from four to six hours.

Anyone interested is encouraged to attend the upcoming Aeronaut meetings to learn more:

• Wednesday
• July 18
• Aug. 15

All meetings are at 5:30 p.m. at the SANGA Club, 1776 National Guard Way, in Reno.

Details: www.renoballoon.com/Volunteer/ or Kitty Harris at 775-233-5578.

Gulfstream Aerospace G-IV VQ-BMT Take Off at Airport Bern-Belp

 
Gulfstream Aerospace G-IV VQ-BMT take off at Airport Bern-Belp in Switzerland.

Cessna 172S, N767CL ✈ HD Video

Meteorite report grounds firefighting aircraft in Colorado

BELLVUE, Colo. (AP) - Authorities say reports of a possible meteorite or meteor shower briefly grounded firefighting aircraft battling a central Colorado wildfire.

Meteorologist Scott Entrekin of the National Weather Service says emergency officials in Chafee County reported a possible meteor in the skies near the Springer Fire. They briefly grounded four single-engine aircraft fighting the 1,100-acre blaze west of Colorado Springs.

Entrekin said Wednesday that the crews of 2 commercial aircraft flying over Liberal, Kan., reported what appeared to be a meteorite at 1:47 p.m. Central Daylight Time, or 12:47 p.m. Mountain time. He said the Colorado sighting occurred at about the same time.

The Federal Aviation Administration says it has no confirmed reports of a meteorite. It says there were no reported disruptions to commercial airline.

Source:   http://www.koamtv.com

Outdated Weather Radar Tied to Fatal Small-Plane Crashes

By Alan Levin - June 20, 2012

Weather radar images sent to small- plane cockpits with new technology can be as much as 20 minutes out of date and have been linked to two fatal crashes, a U.S. safety agency warned. 

The National Transportation Safety Board told pilots yesterday that the so-called Nexrad radar display can mislead pilots into thinking they are viewing current weather information.

“Remember that the in-cockpit Nexrad display depicts where the weather WAS, not where it IS,” the safety board wrote.

The government is broadcasting weather and other data to properly equipped small planes as part of the Federal Aviation Administration’s broader overhaul of the U.S. air-traffic system known as NextGen.

Nexrad is a long-range weather radar system jointly owned and operated by the FAA, the U.S. National Weather Service and the Defense Department, according to a fact sheet posted on the FAA’s website.

While airliners carry weather radars on board that allow pilots to see storms, small planes typically have not had access to that technology.

The gap in weather information has arisen in two accidents that killed a total of eight people, the NTSB said.

On March 25, 2010, a pilot and two flight nurses were killed near Brownsville, Tennessee, when an air ambulance helicopter encountered severe weather.

On Dec. 19, 2011, a single-engine Piper Cherokee broke up in flight and crashed near Bryan, Texas, killing all five aboard.

Miles Away
In both cases, storms depicted on radar in the planes’ cockpits were between 5 and 8 minutes old and miles away from their actual location, the alert said.

Compounding the issue is that the Nexrad displays the age of the radar image. That time-stamp indicates when the image was created, not how old the data is, according to the NTSB.

“Weather conditions depicted on the mosaic image will always be older than the age indicated on the display,” the alert said.

The FAA has been alerting pilots to the time delay for several years, the agency said in an e-mailed statement. The information is contained in an online training guide, a manual for flying in different weather conditions and in the FAA Safety Briefing magazine.  

Source:   http://www.bloomberg.com

IN PICTURES: Salt Lake City’s Intermountain Healthcare unveils new high-tech copters ... Life Flight » New models are faster and safer in responding to medical emergencies

(Chris Detrick | The Salt Lake Tribune) 
Mike Tillack, the first trauma patient transported on the new Augusta Grand helicopter, speaks at the Intermountain Medical Center on Wednesday, June 20, 2012. The helicopters have a top speed of 193 mph.
~


By dana ferguson
The Salt Lake Tribune

After a bullet ricocheted off a steel target and lodged itself into his skull, Mike Tillack rushed to Sanpete Valley Hospital in Mount Pleasant. Doctors there determined Tillack needed to be transported to a bigger hospital. The ambulance ride would take nearly two hours in traffic; Tillack arrived via Life Flight helicopter in 27 minutes.

Fortunately for Tillack, IMC acquired three new Augusta Grand helicopters this spring, one of which raced him to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in Provo before the bullet fragments pushing against his brain created any irreparable damage.

The Augusta Grands can reach speeds of up to 190 mph in the Intermountain region. They can travel even faster at lower altitudes.

"The [emergency medical responders] were surprised at how quickly we showed up to the scene because [the helicopter crew] responded so quickly," said Jerry Morrison, Life Flight executive director.

The helicopters feature additional safety technology, including a complete digital cockpit display, twin-engine power, retractable landing gear, a collision avoidance system and "Highway in the Sky" technology that aids pilot navigation.

Tillack, the first patient to ride one of Intermountain Healthcare’s newest copters, carries the bullet fragment the crew extracted from his skull to remember just how close he came to death two weeks ago.

At a media event Wednesday, IMC nurse practitioner Bill Duehlmeier explained what physicians call the "golden hour." The first 60 minutes spent dealing with a trauma are key in saving a patient’s life.

"Speed matters. Seconds count," Duehlmeier said. "That first 60 minutes are critical."

About a dozen patients have been transported in two of the new helicopters since Tillack’s journey June 4, Life Flight spokesman K.D. Simpson said.

The third helicopter has been in use for nearly a year in St. George and already has racked up 300 medical runs.

Story and photo gallery:  http://www.sltrib.com

Airports Authority of India: Now pilots to get pre-departure information on screen inside cockpit

NEW DELHI: In a move that would enhance safety and efficiency of air operations, pilots from now on will receive take-off instruction on their screens right inside the aircraft's cockpit. 

For the first time in the country, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) has introduced the Data Link Communication system for pre-departure clearance of aircraft at the Mumbai airport on trial basis.

Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh, along with Secretary, Civil Aviation Nasim Zaidi and AAI Chairman, V P Agrawal, had recently launched the trial operations at the Mumbai airport.

In addition to Mumbai, the Data Link Departure clearance (DLC) systems were being deployed at Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad International Airports.

"The new system would eliminate possibility of human error and enhance safety and efficiency of operations," a statement from the Civil Aviation Ministry said.

Pre-departure clearance is an authorisation issued by Air Traffic Control (ATC) to the pilot regarding the runway to be used, route to be flown from departure to destination and the cruising height that the aircraft is expected to maintain.

At present, an air traffic controller on request from the pilot issues pre-departure clearance through voice communication using VHF radio from ATC tower. The pilots are expected to read back the entire clearance to confirm correct receipt of the same, again through voice communication.

Such procedures, sometimes led to potential misunderstanding between the pilot and the controller.

Apart from this, the procedure also led to loss of valuable time for the pilot waiting for his turn to get the clearance as it is not possible for more than one pilot to talk to the controller at a time.

The Data Link Communication technology would eventually replace the present system of voice communication. Under this new system, a pilot's request for pre-departure clearance from the ATC using Flight Management Computer in the cockpit.

The controller gets the information about the aircraft requesting the clearance on his work-station and he selects the appropriate clearance from the data base and sends the requisite information to the cockpit via Data Link.

Thus, getting the information both on screen and print via Data Link confirms issue and receipt of correct clearance, saves time for the pilot and eliminates human errors thereby enhancing safety and operational efficiency, the statement said. 

Source:   http://economictimes.indiatimes.com

Fort Missoula: Decorated pilot revisits helicopter for 1st time since Vietnam

Ricky Geronis hadn’t seen Army helicopter gunship 19-A for 43 years, but it only took a few minutes for the emotions to come surging back.

Geronis earned a Distinguished Flying Cross in Vietnam flying the Bell UH-1H “Huey” that now rests outside the Rocky Mountain Museum of Military History at Fort Missoula. Although he hasn’t been at the controls of an aircraft since his Army service, Geronis was pleased to find the seat still fit fine. He learned the helicopter was in Missoula while doing some Internet research and decided to come get reacquainted.

“It might come back to me pretty quick,” the Burien, Wash., resident said Tuesday as he gripped the collective control bar. “I’d be pretty rusty though.”

The memories were plentiful of the months of 1969 when he was based in Ban Me Thuot, in the central highlands of Vietnam during one of the toughest years of the war. Geronis was steered into helicopter training soon after he was drafted, and found himself promoted to aircraft commander a few months after reaching the battle zone.

“It had a carcass like an old jalopy, but it had pretty good power,” Geronis said of 19-A. “You could do some things with this one that others couldn’t.”

Like one time when he was picking up soldiers in a mountainous crater with little room to maneuver. The soldiers had just broken off a fight with North Vietnamese combat troops and were desperate to leave. Geronis hovered backward to the edge of the jungle, and then powered the helicopter forward toward a V-shaped gap in the trees.

“The body of the helicopter just got through the slot and the rotors were going over the treetops,” he said. “The lights were blinking and there was the warning tone in my ear that we were losing RPM. We just fit.”

Read more and photo: http://missoulian.com

Yuma International Airport: New hangar project

Local contractors met Tuesday to learn about a new hangar that will be built at the Yuma International Airport. 

The hangar will be part of the Aviation Industrial Center.

Contractors met with architects during today's pre-bid meeting to see diagrams and walk the site before placing a bid to build the facility.

Once the hangar is completed, defense contractors will be able to rent mechanical equipment and office space.

The bid opening will be in July to reveal which local contractor gets the bid to build the new facility.

Aspen, Colorado: Airport plan not nailed down yet

Janet Urquhart 
The Aspen Times
Aspen CO Colorado


ASPEN — Pitkin County commissioners aren't yet ready to give up on a plan for the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport that would keep future development on the east side, along Highway 82, where it is currently centered.

Commissioners met Tuesday to discuss the financial feasibility of proposed facilities outlined in an updated airport master plan, but the location of at least one facility remains a matter of debate. The majority of the board asked for further analysis of putting a second fixed-base operator on the east side of the airport rather than the west side, off Owl Creek Road.

That means submission of the proposed master plan for Planning and Zoning Commission review next month, and potential formal review by commissioners in August, will be delayed, said Jim Elwood, the airport's aviation director.

Commissioner Jack Hatfield asked why a second east-side fixed-base operator wasn't presented as an option in the latest iteration of the master plan after asking that it get another look; consultant Mark McFarland said he gave up on that option.

“It didn't work well enough that I was not embarrassed to show it,” McFarland said.

“The bottom line is that … if you have two east-side fixed-base operators, you run into several congestion issues,” he said.

Commissioners, however, said the issue remains a sticking point for some in the community.

“I want you to prove me wrong — that it can't happen,” Hatfield said.

“We need to be able to look at it … and say, ‘Yes, this just doesn't work,'” Commissioner Rachel Richards agreed.

Commissioner Rob Ittner also called for further exploration of fitting everything on the east side, though consultants predict it will affect what can be done with parking and planning for a new commercial terminal.

Commissioner George Newman said he was satisfied with the planning done to date, which puts a second fixed-base operator on the west side of the airport, and he warned his colleagues that two east-side, fixed-base operators would not preclude an operator from proposing a west-side operation. The Federal Aviation Administration has said the county can't close off the west side from development. Only the airport's operations center exists there now.

“That's one of the consequences — just so everyone understands that's one of the consequences,” Newman said.

The airport currently has one fixed-base operator, operated by Atlantic Aviation, which services general aviation and sells fuel to private and commercial aircraft.

During Tuesday's review, Ittner also urged commissioners to consider how quickly they want to see airport improvements move forward once the master plan is adopted. It's a 20-year plan, but the financial analysis puts projects, including a new terminal and parking facilities, and the addition of a second fixed-base operator, into a timeline that starts next year and concludes in 2018.

The FAA requires specific years, but 2013 simply represents Year 1. Year 1 isn't necessarily 2013, commissioners were told. Still, the financial analysis is based on fund balances and interest-rate projections that are tied to actual years, starting with 2013, said County Manager Jon Peacock. The master plan, once it's adopted, is likely to drive actual development proposals, he confirmed.

“We'll probably be back to you, if not next year, then probably soon,” Peacock said.

“I think the board needs to make a decision on its tolerance level of actually starting this project next year,” Ittner said. “This is a budget for specific aspects of development.”

The process of developing a new facility, not actual construction, could begin next year, Richards clarified.

The financial analysis pegs future improvements outlined in the master plan at $171.3 million, including $120.8 million allocated to construction of a new terminal and associated roads and parking, including a parking garage. The plan envisions borrowing $50 million, to be repaid through airport revenues. Of the total sum, $69.5 million is not eligible for federal funding or revenues from the passenger facility charge collected for each passenger that boards a commercial aircraft in Aspen, according to financial consultant Steve Horton. A big part of the $69.5 million is parking facilities, he said.

The financial plan doesn't call for any local taxpayer support for future development, but fee increases at the airport will go toward the projects, Horton said, and Richards asked for specifics on the fees to be charged for parking.

Ittner questioned why government dollars would go toward building a taxiway parallel to the runway on the west side to serve a second fixed-base operator if one is built there. Such a project is eligible for grant funds, Horton said. Repayment by the fixed-base operator would be a matter to be negotiated, he said.

The financial plan anticipates private dollars to develop other facilities associated with a second fixed-base operator.

The airport, which operates without a local tax subsidy, remains financially healthy under the development scenario that's proposed, Peacock noted, citing the financial analysis.

Source:  http://www.aspentimes.com

Malawi's head of state: 'Why I'm selling presidential jet'




STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Joyce Banda was sworn in as president of Malawi in April
  • Malawi, one of world's poorest countries, has devalued its currency by 40%
  • Banda explains why repairing relations with the IMF was so imperative for the country's future
  • She also speaks about why the African Union Summit will no longer be held in Malawi

Missing Plane Likely Crashed in Reservoir

20 June 2012 
 The Moscow Times

Rescuers on Wednesday found the likely crash site of a hijacked An-2 biplane that went missing more than a week ago with 13 revelers on board.

An emergency services source told Interfax that a large patch of oil was discovered on the surface of a reservoir to the north of Serov, the Urals city from which the light aircraft disappeared on June 11. The source said this oil spot was presumably a trace of the missing plane.

The source also said search teams had been redirected to the reservoir and that rescuers specializing in working in the taiga had been deployed.

The latest rescue efforts come after more than 1,000 emergency situations staff, police, hunters, fisherman and tourists were reported scouring the surrounding area Monday.

Sverdlovsk region investigators believe that the head of the local traffic police and at least one of his subordinates were traveling on the missing plane, which they reportedly hijacked while drunk.

Source:  http://www.themoscowtimes.com

Plane attempting to pick up an OBX banner at Dare County Regional Airport (KMQI), Manteo, North Carolina

 

 June 18, 2012 by searaybobpoq 

"Plane attempting to pick up an OBX banner at the Manteo NC Airport. Notice the hook on the tail of the plane. The hook picks up the banner on the runway, but in this case it didn't snag it."

Plane Crash Blamed on Faulty GPS: CASA C-212-CB Aviocar 100, Aero-Service SARL, TN-AFA, Republic of Congo

Plane Crash Blamed on Faulty GPS

By JACK BOUBOUSHIAN
   
     CHICAGO (CN) - A plane crash that killed 11 people in the Republic of Congo, including six Australian mining executives, was caused by the plane's defective Garmin GPS unit, 25 relatives of the victims claim in Federal Court.

     Hong Cassley and 24 co-plaintiffs sued Garmin International, Sundance Resources, Cam Iron, Aero Service SARL, and Raymond Griesbaum, for the June 19, 2010 crash.

     The plaintiffs, citizens of China, the United Kingdom and Australia, sued individually and as representatives of their late relatives' estate.

     "On June 19, 2010, plaintiffs' decedents were passengers onboard a Casa 212 aircraft performing a charter flight from Yaoundé, Cameroon to Yangadou, Republic of Congo," the complaint states.

     "On a date prior to June 19, 2010, defendant Garmin designed, manufactured, assembled, and sold the Map 496 Global Positioning System unit installed onboard the accident aircraft.

     "At the time the GPS unit left the custody and control of defendant Garmin, it was defective and unreasonably dangerous in one or more of the following respects, among other defects:

     "a. The GPS unit installed on the accident aircraft failed to provide relevant and/or accurate information regarding the aircraft's position,

     "b. The terrain avoidance functionality of the GPS unit failed to provide timely alerts of approaching and hazardous terrain, and

     "c. The GPS unit did not contain any warning of these or other defects.

     "As the direct and proximate result of one or more of the aforesaid defective and unreasonably dangerous conditions, the accident aircraft failed to avoid mountainous terrain while in flight and violently crashed into the ground near Avima, Republic of Congo.

     "As the direct and proximate result of the aforesaid crash, plaintiffs' decedents were killed."

     The English newspaper The Telegraph reported that 11 people were onboard the plane, including the director of Sundance Resources, Ken Talbot, one of Australia's richest men. Talbot's relatives are not a party to this case.

     The plane was chartered by Sundance to take members of its board of directors on a tour of the Mbalam iron ore fields owned by Cam Iron in northwest Congo-Brazzaville, which are worth billions of dollars, according to The Telegraph.

     Cassley says his relative, James Cassley, worked for GMP Securities Europe and "was required to travel to specific locations at specific times, and in the manner determined by defendants Sundance and Cam Iron."

     "At all times relevant hereto, Defendants Sundance and Cam Iron owed plaintiffs and plaintiffs' decedents a duty to use reasonable care in selecting a charter flight operator so as to not cause injury to, or the deaths of, plaintiffs' decedents," Cassley says.

     "Plaintiffs and the other heirs and next of kin of their respective decedents have suffered a loss of support, loss of net accumulations, loss of household and other services, loss of care, comfort, companionship, guidance and society and mental anguish, sorrow and grief as the result of the deaths of plaintiffs' decedents," the complaint states.

     The plaintiffs demand damages for negligence and seven other counts which are not precisely explicated in the complaint.

     They are represented by Floyd Wisner. 


Russian Air Official Charged over 2011 Plane Crash: Tupolev 134A-3, RA-65691, RusAir Flight 9605


A senior aviation official has been charged with negligence over a plane crash in northwestern Russia a year ago in which 47 people died. 

Eduard Voitovsky, the air transport agency Rosaviatsia's radio and radar flight systems safety chief, did not inspect Petrozavodsk airport's meteorological apparatus on time, Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin told journalists in Moscow.

The Tupolev Tu-134 jet, a RusAir flight from Moscow, hit a road just short of the runway in heavy fog on June 20, 2011. Five people survived.

Two airport officials were also charged over the crash, which investigators blamed on pilot error, Markin said.

The navigator of the airliner was "in a light level of alcoholic intoxication," an official report said last year.

Source:  http://en.ria.ru

'4 hours of hell’: JetBlue Airbus A320-200, N552JB, Flight B6-194 (Hydraulic systems failed)


A mechanical failure sent a JetBlue plane like this one careening wildly through the skies, sparking panic among the 155 people aboard the Las Vegas to New York flight, passengers told The Post yesterday. 

“It was four hours of hell,” said Travis McGhie, who described how the plane kept lurching from side to side and going into steep turns when its hydraulic system failed Sunday. 

“People were getting sick. Some people were throwing up. There were a lot of people getting nauseous,” said another passenger, Tom Mizer.

The crew did everything they could to prevent panic. One flight attendant walked down the aisle saying: “Look at me — I’m smiling. If I was scared, you would know it. If I’m not scared, you don’t need to be,” Mizer said.
  
There was no screaming, but “there were definitely people reacting out loud,” said McGhie.Mizer and McGhie, both Brooklyn residents, realized something was wrong as soon as the full Airbus lifted off from the Vegas airport.

“You could hear a screeching — an obvious mechanical screeching,” said Mizer. “We were bouncing around a lot.”

One of the pilots declared an emergency and radioed Las Vegas controllers that they were dealing with “quite a few things, but the initial thing is . . . we’ve lost two hydraulic systems.”

The plane was loaded with five hours’ worth of fuel. Because the A320 is incapable of dumping excess fuel, the pilots circled the area south of the Vegas Strip until they’d burned enough to allow the crippled plane to land safely.


Australia: Westpac chopper to fly South Coast for another year

 
CHOPPER FUNDS: Westpac Surf Life Saver Rescue Helicopter CEO Stephen Leahy, NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell, Minister for Police Emergency Services Michael Gallacher and Surf Life Saving NSW CEO Phil Vanny.

NSW PREMIER Barry O’Farrell and Minister for Police and Emergency Services Michael Gallacher on Monday announced $1.5million in funding for Surf Life Saving NSW to assist the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter.

 “This funding will ensure this vital search and rescue helicopter service continues to provide a 24/7 service in the Greater Sydney Region and a second service on the NSW south coast, operating daytime, year round” Mr O’Farrell said.

Police and Emergency Services Minister, Michael Gallacher said the search and rescue service had saved countless lives in almost 40 years of operation.

“This search and rescue service has been integral in major operations in our history including the 1998 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, the Waterfall train disaster and the Thredbo landslide in 1997,” Mr Gallacher said.

“The helicopter also played an important role during the floods in Moree, the south coast and Wagga Wagga earlier this year,” he said.

In the Narooma area, the helicopter has conducted numerous searches for missing persons at sea, as well as routine surf patrols.

Westpac Life Saver CEO Stephen Leahy welcomed the funding announcement.

“We are thrilled with today’s announcement,” Mr Leahy said.

“This allows us to provide dedicated search and rescue helicopters to the communities of the Central Coast, Sydney, right down the Victorian border and beyond.

“We continue to work closely with our colleagues at Surf Life Saving NSW, the NSW Police Force, the NSW State Emergency Service, Rural Fire Service and Australian Search and Rescue in providing a rapid, responsive rescue service.

“Just as importantly, we will be working closely with Surf Life Saving NSW to provide regular helicopter patrols along the coastline during the warmer months and this will assist their important work in reducing drownings.”

The announcement was made at the helicopter service’s Cape Banks base by Mr O’Farrell and Mr Gallacher and they were joined by the Minister for Sport and Recreation Graham Annesley, the Member for Coogee Bruce Notley-Smith, the Member for Bega Andrew Constance and the Surf Life Saving NSW CEO Phil Vanny.