Thursday, July 5, 2012

Chief Executive Officer hopeful of REDjet’s return

St. John”s Antigua- The Chief Executive Officer of low-cost carrier REDjet is optimistic that the airline will return to the skies. Speaking on OBSERVER Am yesterday Ian Burns said the vision to bring affordable air transportation to the region remains very alive. 

“The spirit behind REDjet was the people of the Caribbean and that’s what we were doing; bringing something they wanted. Over the next coming months, that spirit of want and need will develop stronger and when that position is right, then REDjet will come back into the skies, but it may well be in another part of the Caribbean,” Burns said.   He continued that passenger numbers on the airline’s routes out of Guyana had surged by 80 per cent, while the Trinidad to Barbados route grew by 53 per cent.

“Any international expert in low cost carrying development would say that we have done well in the amount of passengers and revenues we got, which can be attributed to the fact that we brought in brand new distribution methods and the ability for people to buy tickets. The problem we faced was that the Barbados government, which is an investor in the airline and also the regulator, used its position to strangle the business and that has been a major problem,” he said.    
Read more here:

Volunteers help rebuild Yankee Air Museum

Rebuilding the Yankee Air Museum has been a labor of love for the members of the Yankee Air Force. With only four paid employees, including Executive Director Kevin Walsh, much of the work is done by the volunteers who painstakingly restore aircraft, create a resource library and organize fundraisers to benefit the museum.

Volunteers have been busy rebuilding the museum after its collection of artifacts, memorabilia and several planes were destroyed in a 2004 fire that leveled the hangar it had called home. The historic wooden building had been used by Henry Ford to build B-24s during World War II.

Luckily, the heart of the museum's collection — the B-17, C-47 and B-25 aircraft — were moved out of the building by volunteers before the fire reached them. Those three planes are the only flyable aircraft in the museum collection and are going somewhere every weekend. Museum volunteers serve as their flight crews.

“I don't get paid, but I get to fly, it's one of the perks,” said volunteer Bob Catalano, who serves as the assistant manager of collections.

The fire was a setback for the museum, which didn't re-open until October 2010. Volunteers have been steadily adding displays and restoring aircraft. Many of its planes are leased from the U.S. Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio. However, one industrious group of volunteers is building a French SPAD XII World War I fighter from scratch. The plane will look as it did as part of 103d Aero Squadron in 1918, complete with the recognizable Hat in the Ring emblem.

Yankee Air Museum puts planes up for ‘adoption'

When Uncle Sam needed recruits in World War II, he pointed to the masses with his finger. Now that iconic finger is pointing again as the Yankee Air Museum looks for groups of people interested in “adopting” one of its airplanes.

It's a no-cost arrangement, and no need to worry about where to park the planes. They're on display at the museum and its air park on D Street at the Willow Run Airport.

Those who like their airplanes on the large size can consider adopting the museum's B-52 Stratofortress. Too big? No problem, the museum also has smaller planes like the Martin Canberra, F-4C McDonnell Phantom II and the UH-1H Bell Iroquois “Huey” helicopter available for adoption.

The only requirement is a commitment to clean the aircraft twice a year. The Yankee Air Museum will provide the supplies needed to take care of the airplane.

“We want the community to get involved,” said Bob Catalano, the assistant manager for collections. “We're looking for families, businesses, scout groups, veterans organizations, Civil Air Patrol, or ROTC groups to help clean the planes one day in the spring and one day in the fall, do painting as needed, and, as capable, do some minor repairs.”

Catalano got the idea from the museum at the Selfridge Air National Guard Base. The museum curator “has a nice program like this in place” and a waiting list for adoptive groups.

Read more here:

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Emirates in major network expansion to the East and West

Emirates is embarking on a major expansion of its route network with three additional destinations to be launched in the next six months, on top of the 12 new routes already being rolled out in 2012.

From November 1, Emirates will launch four weekly flights to Adelaide, rising to a daily service from 1st February 2013. Adelaide will be the airline’s fifth destination in Australia which is currently served with 70 flights per week.

The airline’s current double-daily service to Perth will grow to 19 weekly flights from December 1, becoming a triple daily operation from March 1 next year.

On the western side of the globe, the French city of Lyon will be added to the Emirates’ network from December 1, the carrier’s third point in France after Paris and Nice. Emirates will operate five weekly flights to this vibrant economic and tourism centre of south eastern France.

From February 6, 2013, Emirates will begin flights into Poland, where recently the World bank predicted the highest economic growth in the Central and Eastern European region. The airline will operate a daily service to the capital, Warsaw.

Read more here:

AUDIO: Fighter pilots to get cockpit instructions from female voice 'because it relaxes them more' (but they've already nicknamed her Nagging Nora)

A Joanna Lumley-sounding voice is giving danger warnings to Typhoon pilots

Nagging women drive men crazy, but in a fighter pilot’s cockpit she is the one he’ll sit up and listen to. 

In extreme and stressful flying conditions, fighter pilots are more likely to take notice of a female voice a study has found.

Plane makers BAE are letting loose a Joanna Lumley-type voice to give recorded warnings to fighter pilots in their state of the art Typhoon jets when things get heated.

The voice, which gets sterner and louder the longer she is ignored, has already been nicknamed ‘nagging Nora’.

Andrea Kay, from BAE, said: ‘We have conducted studies to find out what pilots who are flying under both stressful physical and mental conditions are more receptive to.’

It turns out that, particularly in combat situations, pilots were able to pick out the female voice amid the flurry of radio chatter in stressful situations.

‘If you don’t listen, she gets harsher and louder in both tone and volume,’ she said.

The male voice has been relegated to giving straightforward information like altitude and location.

‘There is as much psychology in the cockpit as there are clever systems. A voice warning and recognition system is one way of helping the pilots,’ Ms Kay said.

‘The female voice gets the most important messages across in the most effective way.’

The female warning system has taken years to develop and in the test stages a Lancashire voice was used.

She said: ‘It’s about making sure it’s intuitive and we are delivering the best information to them in the most effective way. It’s about making the aircraft the best that it can be’.

Pilots flying in one of BAE’s state-of-the-art Typhoon jets are being told what to do by a stern-sounding woman. 

 Studies have shown that pilots take more notice of the female voice under extreme conditions – and these findings have been used by BAE. 

It is the first time the company, which has bases in Samlesbury and Warton, have used a female voice – which has been nicknamed ‘nagging Nora’ – to deliver recorded warnings to pilots. 

Read more and audio:

Russia’s Yak-130 Combat Trainer to Debut at Farnborough 2012

MOSCOW, July 4 

(RIA Novosti)

 Russia’s Yakovlev Yak-130 Mitten trainer/light attack aircraft will be showcased for the first time at the Farnborough International Air Show as part of a large Russian exhibit. 

 Russian companies, including 19 defense industry firms, will take part in the airshow near London on July 9-15 to exhibit the latest achievements in the Russian aircraft industry.

The Yak-130 combat trainer is a subsonic two-seat jet aircraft developed by the Yakovlev design bureau. Development of the plane began in 1991, and the maiden flight was carried out in April 1996.

It is a highly maneuverable plane with an extended range of about 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles) and a maximum speed of 1,060 km/h (600 m/h) in level flight. It can carry a combat payload of up to 3,000 kilograms (6,600 pounds), consisting of a variety of Russian and Western developed weapons.

In 2005, the plane won a Russian government tender for training aircraft and in 2009, the first planes entered service with the Russian Air Force, which placed firm orders for 55 aircraft.

The first export orders were signed in 2006, when Algeria ordered 16 Yak-130s and Libya put an order in for 6 planes.

Deliveries to Libya were expected in 2011–2012, but after the downfall of the Gaddafi regime, the Libyan National Transitional Council canceled Libya's order for Yak-130s in September 2011 as part of a review of all existing arms contracts.

Syria agreed to buy 36 Yak-130s for $550 mln in 2011.

The overall foreign market capacity for the Yak-130 is estimated at 250 aircraft.


Bird’s eye view: Taking flight in an Allegro LSA ✈ Halifax-Northampton Regional Airport (KIXA), Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina

For more information on flight lessons or the Allegro, call LSA America at 252-586-1200.

July 4, 2012 

by Roger Bell

I’ve never been one to love flying, but my time in the Allegro aircraft just might have changed my mind.

The Allegro is a two-seat light sport aircraft manufactured in Littleton by LSA America, which recently broke ground at the Halifax-Northampton Regional Airport. LSA President Doug Hempstead, naturally, is a big believer in the plane, which, in addition to only costing around $100,000, has excellent fuel economy and can be powered by 87 octane automobile gas.

“You get more bang for your buck with the Allegro,” Hempstead said.

“What we deliver is real value. It’s not cheap, because cheap catches up with you, but it’s a real value.”

He added the Allegro is a very successful student airplane and is relatively easy to learn how to fly.

“This is one of the most fun things I’ve ever flown,” said Ross Kennedy, test pilot for LSA and the man with, perhaps, more hours flying the Allegro than any other person.

It was a clear, sunny, cloudless day when Kennedy and I climbed into the surprisingly roomy Allegro at Halifax-Northampton Regional Airport, and after putting on our headsets, the two of us were airborne only minutes later — it only took about 450 feet for the small plane to take off, and Kennedy said it can be done even more quickly.

For the first few minutes, I have to admit, I felt a little uncomfortable. In my childhood, long ago now, I used to have a fear of heights, and the Allegro’s visibility means you can see easily all around you and down to the ground. For a few minutes, the old fear came back, but I was able to tamp it down and started to take some photos of the Roanoke Valley from the air. 

South Jersey: Atlantic Cape Aviation Information Session Rescheduled for July 17

MAYS LANDING — Atlantic Cape Community College will host an information session about its four aviation programs at 6 p.m., Tues., July 17, in Cafeteria B, at the Mays Landing Campus, 5100 Black Horse Pike.

Anyone interested in learning more about exciting careers in aviation, aerospace engineering and air traffic control should attend the session, which will give an overview on admission to Atlantic Cape’s programs and what the programs cover.

•Aviation Studies (Associate in Science): Prepares students to pursue further education in a variety of fields, such as airport management, aviation business administration, air traffic control and air transportation management.

•Aviation Studies – Option in Professional Pilot (Associate in Science): Leads to Federal Aviation Administration certification as a commercial pilot. Atlantic Cape will offer Private, Instrument and Commercial pilot courses through a partnership with Big Sky Aviation.

•Pre-Aerospace Engineering (Associate in Science): Students can begin their education in aerospace engineering and transfer to a four-year program on completion.

•Air Traffic Control Terminal (Associate in Applied Science): Through the use of simulation, learn the rules, regulations and procedures relating to a career in air traffic control.

To register for the information session, visit

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Wings and Wheels to highlight classic aircraft - Roseburg Regional Airport (KRBG), Oregon

ROSEBURG, Ore. -- Officials with the Roseburg airport are having their own celebration of graffiti weekend. 

 On Saturday, the Roseburg Regional Airport will host Wings and Wheels.

From 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., the airport runway will be full of small, privately owned antique, classic and experimental aircraft.

Airport director Mike Danielle says he likes to invite the public to the airport so people can feel a connection to it. "Everybody drives around the airport and you've got this very foreboding looking real estate that's surrounded by a chain link fence with barbed wire topping. It looks a little forbidding, and we want people to understand this is the Roseburg Regional Airport, it belongs to the people here in Roseburg," he said.

The Oregon Antique and Classic Aircraft Club will be there, along with several local plane owners.

All together, Mike is expecting about 50 airplanes to be on display.

There will also be rides available, and the event is free and open to the public.


GMF AeroAsia to build $52m hangar in September

PT GMF AeroAsia, a subsidiary of national flag carrier PT Garuda Indonesia, is going to construct its fourth hangar in September with investment of US$52 million to keep up with Garuda’s expanding fleet.

The new Hangar 4, which will be used to hold aircraft in protective storage, will also enable GMF to repair and overhaul more aircraft, helping it to generate more revenue.

“The aviation industry in the country continues to grow because every airline expands its fleet. This hangar will ensure that we keep up with growing demand and deliver the best services to enhance aviation safety in Indonesia,” GMF’s corporate secretary, Dwi Prasmono Adji, told The Jakarta Post.

The Garuda Group, for instance, will operate 194 aircraft, with an average fleet age of five years by the end of 2015, through its Quantum Leap program. Meanwhile, the country’s largest budget carrier, Lion Air, will operate as many as 178 aircraft by the end of 2016.

Lion and private carrier Sriwijaya Air also use GMF’s hangars, in addition to Garuda.

Hangar 4 will be constructed on an 18,000-square-meter plot of land and will be equipped with a purpose-built docking platform for heavy maintenance of narrow-body aircraft, such as the Boeing-737 family, according to Dwi.

The hangar will also be able to house 16 narrow-body aircraft at the same time.

“Construction will take approximately one year and we expect it to be operational by the end of 2013,” said Dwi.

GMF facilities currently cover 480,000 square meters of built-up floor space, comprising the 22,000-square-meter Hangar 1, and Hangars 2 and 3, which cover 23,000 square meters each.

The existing three hangars are now able to accommodate as many as 29 aircraft.

GMF was also planning to build a fifth hangar, which would house four wide-body aircraft, including the B-747 series and Airbus 330s, at the same time after the fourth hangar’s construction has been completed, Dwi added.

The fifth hangar is projected to commence its commercial operations by the end of 2014.

GMF plans to spend $17 million in investment throughout this year to increase its capability to carry out an overhaul of the B-737 Next Generation series and A-320s’ landing gear. These two planes were currently the most popular ones in the world, Dwi said.

“Local carriers don’t have to send their aircraft to have their landing gear overhauled abroad anymore because GMF already has the facilities. This will also help the carriers to reduce their operating costs,”
he added.

GMF will be able to provide the overhaul service for A-320 aircraft in the middle of next year as the company is currently developing the facilities. The new overhaul facilities will help the firm to collect $113 million in additional revenue.

As of today, GMF AeroAsia has facilities to undertake A-Check — light maintenance — to D-Check, the most comprehensive checks for an airplane. It has also been able to conduct Section 41 modification work on Boeing 747s for the
last 10 years.

Section 41 modification involves replacing or reinforcing the aircraft’s skin, frame, stringer, intercostals and other components in the nose area of Section 41, based on the Service Bulletin published by the US-based Boeing Company.


South Jersey: Banner-plane crash survivor Jason Flood places second overall in Cape May County aerobatic competition

Photo by Edward Lea 
 Jason Flood, 21 who crashed his plane last year, poses in front of his airplane in Hammonton, New Jersey

By WALLACE McKELVEY, Press of Atlantic City

Jason Flood finished second this weekend in the Wildwoods AcroBlast competition, the 21-year-old pilot’s first since a near-fatal banner plane crash last August. 

 “To come back with no practice in 11 months and come in second, that’s pretty awesome,” he said Monday.

Flood, of Franklin Township, Gloucester County, finished second out of nine competitors in the intermediate category. The AcroBlast was held at the Cape May County Airport in the Erma section of Lower Township.

The Aug. 2, 2011, crash left the young pilot with numerous broken bones, a crushed lower spine, a torn aorta and extensive internal bleeding.

Will Morey, whose Morey’s Piers sponsored the competition, said Flood’s performance was exceptional. His story of resilience made it a special event, he said.

“It was an aerobatic competition and a celebration of Jason’s return, not only to aviation but to his life,” Morey said.

The event tested competitors’ ability to complete three sets of maneuvers: one known months in advance, one handed out the night before and a third chosen by the pilot. Any deviation from the pre-approved flights was counted against the pilot’s score.

While Flood was in first place after Saturday’s competition, points deducted from Sunday’s flight — he came in fourth place on the final flight — kept him from the top spot. That was still good enough for second place on the final leaderboard.

Flood said he received zero points for one of his figures Sunday, but he recovered and finished the rest of the maneuvers.

“Luckily, I kept a cool head and didn’t worry about it then and there,” he said. “I could’ve zeroed the entire flight if I didn’t keep my composure.”

Morey said it’s one thing for a pilot to recover from the injuries Flood suffered, but another to go on to compete at this level.

“Aerobatic flying looks graceful from the ground, but there’s a lot of (gravitational) forces and strenuous activity involved,” he said. “It’s phenomenal he had the physical stamina to be able to get back into that airplane and compete as well as he did. It’s nothing short of amazing.”

That kind of endurance is the result of incredible focus, Morey said.

“It was clear to me afterward that the flight took a bit of a toll on him,” he said. “I don’t know how much reserve power he had left, but he was able to stay focused and do a great job.”

Flood said the three-day competition was physically taxing but personally rewarding.

“The air temperature was 90-something, but inside the cockpit itself it was 100 degrees,” he said. “When the flight was over, it was like getting out of a swimming pool — I was drenched in sweat.”

After each day’s competition, Flood said he used a friend’s air mattress to take naps in the shade.

“People would make fun of me lying down,” he said. “But I had to get off my feet and give my ankles a break.”

Based on his performance this weekend, Flood is hopeful for the future. He already has an airshow performance scheduled this August, with two more competitions later this year.

“Before the accident, this was about how well I flew,” he said. “I need practice, but that’s real easy to fix.”


Jamaica Defence Force Air Wing marks 49 years today

Major Victor Beek ran the JDF Air Wing alone for several months

The Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Air Wing will observe its 49th anniversary today with a luncheon at Up Park Camp, the army headquarters in Kingston.

According to Major Victor Beek (retired), the luncheon will be attended by army veterans as well as some current members of the Air Wing.

Yesterday, Major Beek, a World War II Royal Air Force veteran, told the Jamaica Observer that the Air Wing was established on July 3, 1963 after he was invited to take charge of the unit by the then chief of staff, Paul Crook.

A few days later, Beek said, the American Government sent the unit an Independence anniversary gift of four single-engine Cessna 185 aircraft.

It took several months before three additional pilots were added to the unit, and during that time the Air Wing was referred to as the 'One Man Air Force'.


Cape Air flights out of Quincy Regional Airport (KUIN) are on the rise

QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -- The number of passengers flying out of the Quincy Regional Airport continues to increase. 

 Since Cape Air took over the air service in December, passenger boardings are on an upward trend and are running 10.6 percent ahead of year-to-date 2011 boardings and 37.6 percent ahead of year-to-date 2010 boardings.

In June alone, the number of passengers was 789 in 2011 and 848 in 2012.  The year-to-date total for this year is already at 451 more boarders than last at this time last year.

If Cape Air transports 10,000 passengers out of Quincy by the end of the year, the city will qualify for $1 million of Federal Grant money for capital infrastructure and safety improvement projects at the Quincy Regional Airport.

Last year, Cape Air was assigned to provide essential air service to Quincy for a four-year period from December 1, 2011 to November 30, 2015.

The service operates nonstop to and from Lambert-St. Louis International Airport using nine-passenger Cessna 402 aircrafts.

Cape Air said they plan to continue providing safe, reliable, and convenient air service to the Tri-State area at a cost effective price.

If you are looking into flying with Cape Air, visit the ticket office at 727 Hampshire St.


Monday, July 2, 2012

Tweed-New Haven (KHVN), New Haven, Connecticut: Airport launches flight tracking feature

Tweed New Haven Regional Airport on Monday launched a new Web site with flight tracking to meet the demands of its growing customer base.

The new allows customers to price flights and tack flights throughout the world. The site relaunch also comes with a new logo and mobile applications for the Web.

Tweed is served several times a day by U.S. Airways Express, flying connecting flights to Philadelphia. The airport is trying to grown its awareness in the community, touting its convenience to downtown New Haven.

Last year, Tweed had its second busiest year ever, growing 11 percent over 2010 to 39,791 passengers. The increase marked the third annual increase in the number of passengers using the airport. The record was set in 2005.


Cirrus Aircraft Pilots and Owners to kick-off Migration Event

Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) -- Owners and pilots of Cirrus Aircraft's "SR" series aircraft, along with their families, will arrive in Duluth early this week to kick off the 10th annual Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association's Migration Event. 

The event is expected to take off on July 5th.

Aviation Author to sign book at July 4 Fly-In Breakfast

This book is a memoir of a unique aviation career that included a stint as an F-4 Phantom pilot in the Far East, 10 years as a Learjet private jet charter pilot flying the rich-and-famous, and 22 years as a Boeing 727 captain for many airlines. He travelled to 44 countries in a 36-year career and his book is full of aviation anecdotes and stories from many of these 44 countries. Ace will have copies of his books for sale and signing.

The Penn Yan Flying Club Fly-In/Drive-In Breakfast is held rain or shine at the club’s clubhouse,  a big red barn at 2487 Bath Road south of Penn Yan ; serving from 6:30 to11:30 a.m.

Along with watching the arriving and departing aircraft, patrons are entertained by live music, exhibits and more. Rides in planes and helicopters will be available. For more about the Flying Club, visit the website.

Service Credit Union Boston-Portsmouth Air Show: Event organizers mull plans for future air shows

PORTSMOUTH — There is one thing that many attendees of the Service Credit Union Boston-Portsmouth Air Show said they want: more

This weekend’s aerobatic extravaganza was the third in a three-year agreement between organizers to hold an air show at Portsmouth International Airport on the Pease International Tradeport. Faced with the prospect of seeing Seacoast skies filled with stunt planes, remarkably loud fighter jets and other flying daredevils for the last time, those in attendance sent a clear message to organizers.

“I think we should certainly do it. Why not keep it going? This is where kids are having a lot of fun,” said Jeffrey Cogar Jr., 10, of Somersworth.

If it were up to the thousands of kids who watched the spectacle this weekend, the air show would be, at a minimum, an annual event.

“I think they should keep on going,” said Brandon Miano, 12, who drove with his family six and a half hours from Hannibal, N.Y., to see the show before spending the week at Lake Winnipesaukee. “There’s always (people) who have never seen it before. I hope everyone gets a chance to see this someday.”

Read more here:

Program offering at Hinds Community College Rankin campus

PEARL, Mississippi –    Hinds Community College is adding an aviation technology program to the Commercial Aviation D.

The program, to be offered at the Rankin County campus in Pearl, will lead to an associate of applied science degree.

Hinds officials say the school was encouraged to develop training programs that will prepare people for non-flying positions.

Official say graduates will be prepared for national certification in airport operations, aviation security technology and air traffic control.

Hinds already offers programs in aviation maintenance, commercial aviation and avionics at its John Bell Williams Airport and air traffic control at the Rankin campus.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Delaware: Students experience flight, explore career; Summer program offers instruction in aviation topics

CHESWOLD — When he was in the air, Chiebuka Emeinke, 15, tried to look down and find his house. 

The Dover High School student flew for the first time Saturday in a Piper Warrior airplane. A pilot was at the controls, but the student was given instruction on what it takes to fly and had a chance to get a feel for the controls.

“I felt some butterflies in my stomach,” he said. “It was amazing.”

Emeinke was one of about 30 students who are taking part in a summer camp at Delaware Airpark that aims to encourage youngsters to think about careers in aviation. The Aviation Career Education Academy is one of 20 offered across the country by the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals.

On Friday, students at the weeklong camp got a chance to fly. The day was just part of the instruction. They also heard from National Guard pilots and other speakers. Participants in the camp also have gone on field trips and received assistance from the Delaware State University flight training program run by Steve Speed.

Read more here:

Arlington Fly-In July 11-15: Arlington Municipal Airport (KAWO), Washington

When: July 11-15. The main gate will be open 8 a.m.-6 p.m. July 11-12, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. July 13-14 and 8 a.m.-2 p.m. July 15.

Where: Arlington Airport, Arlington

What: This annual event is a mix of flying and driving machines. There will be air shows, guest speakers, festivities and more.

Air show: Performances will be 2-5 p.m. July 12-14. Among the performers will be aerobatic pilots Ken Fowler, Eric Hansen and Vicki Benzing; John Mrzaek flying his Harvard Mark IV; glider pilot Paul Hajduk; and Hans von der Hofen, who is know for importing Czech Aero L-29 and L-39s into the United States

Airplane highlights: This year’s show will include a 75th anniversary of the Piper Cub airplane; a collection of planes on display from the Flying Heritage Collection, based at Paine Field in Everett; an appearance by a 1933 Stinson Model O; and there will be a hot air balloon night glow on July 14. Visitors also can take a ride onboard a 1930 D-25 biplane or the World War II B-17 heavy bomber Sentimental Journey. The cost of those rides is in addition to the admission price.

Other events: There will be an expanded car show on July 14. Visitors will have the chance to board a Vietnam era river patrol boat. There will be displays of military vehicles and a demonstration by a tank.

Tickets: Admission is $15 on July 11, $18 July 12-14 and free on July 15. Children 15 and younger are admitted free. Online discounts are available. A weekly pass is $40.

Information: Go to

Pilots focus on mountain training

ASHEVILLE — Civil Air Patrol pilots doublechecked their equipment before takeoff during the annual Mountain Fury Pilot Training on Saturday. The five planes used during the training exercise were painted red, white and blue. 

“It’s a great refresher for mountain flying,” pilot Bill Hawke of Winston-Salem said. “We get the feel of it again.”

Challenges to flying in the mountains include the winds. Observer Rich Auger of Asheville said the heat also can be a challenge.

“An airplane doesn’t fly so well when it’s hot,” Auger said. “Air gets thinner. The airplane doesn’t perform as well.”

Capt. Clint Parker, spokesman for the Asheville Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol, said about 15 pilots took part in the training, which started Friday and was scheduled to conclude today.

Parker said the Civil Air Patrol’s mission includes aerospace education, search and rescue, and disaster relief. Nationwide, Civil Air Patrol squadrons helped find 58 people in 2011 — mostly in downed aircraft. Parker said in North Carolina, the CAP has participated in 10 to 12 search-and-rescue operations. Parker added that the pilots also have assisted with disaster relief and have helped to determine the extent of damage during disasters, which they did during Hurricane Katrina and following the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Read more here:

Burnett County (KRZN), Siren, Wisconsin: Fly-in to show value of airport to community

SIREN—The annual fly-in at the Burnett County Airport on July 21, according to Jeremy Sickler, is meant to show what an asset the airport is to the county.

Sickler, airport manager, made his comments to the county’s infrastructure committee last week.

“Even though it’s called a fly-in, we want people to feel comfortable driving in — the public is more than welcome,” he said.

He said a new club at the airport has raised about $4,000 for the fly-in.

“The newly-formed Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) is attempting to bring in new attractions such as vintage military aircraft and vehicles,” Sickler explained.

In addition, committee chairman Chuck Awe said the sheriff’s department will have its evidence trailer and a SWAT vehicle at the airport plus the Webster Fire Department will have its ladder truck on scene.

“We are trying to get stuff out there so we can draw people to the airport to show it’s an asset,” he reasoned.

Wisconsin State Patrol maintains aerial program

Agency: Flights to nab speeders, improve safety worth cost 

MADISON — Tight state finances haven’t clipped the wings of the Wisconsin State Patrol. 

This year, a decade after state budget cuts temporarily grounded aerial patrols, officers are up in the air clocking speeders.

In 2011, as the state wrestled to balance a $3.6 billion deficit, the State Patrol spent about $54,000 flying the planes, Gannett Wisconsin Media found in reviewing the program.

State Patrol officials defend the flights as an important part of making roads safe. In March, the agency announced it was stepping up aerial enforcement in construction zones, which many motorists will contend with this week on Fourth of July getaways.

“It’s one of those things that nobody would ever realize how vital the program is until it’s gone,” said Maj. Brian Rahn, director of the State Patrol’s Bureau of Field Operations.

Last year, the State Patrol flew its three planes for a total of 453 hours at a cost of $120 an hour, not including ground expenses in speeding enforcement stings that can involve up to eight squad cars, Rahn said.

For the past several years, the agency has not closely tracked the number of speeding citations issued during aerial patrols, he said.

But at the height of the flights in 2000, the state had four planes that flew for more than 600 hours. Officers wrote 4,681 tickets, or about seven per hour, according to an unofficial count provided by pilots for the State Patrol’s annual report that year.

Based on the 2011 costs and the 2000 ticket-writing pace, it’s possible the agency caught some 3,200 speeders last year.

John Bowman, communications director for the National Motorists Association, a group that encourages drivers to fight speeding tickets in court, questioned the Wisconsin program’s cost and effectiveness.

“Common sense would tell you … that it has to be incredibly expensive compared to having a couple of patrol cars working the side of the road,” Bowman said. “Fuel costs, the cost to operate the plane, insurance, you have to have a qualified pilot flying, none of that is cheap.”

Read more here: