Saturday, July 21, 2012

Crop dusting in Iowa - KCCIs Eric Hanson reports

BA pilot on £100,000 a year sacked for texting crude photo of himself to woman he met on a plane

A British Airways pilot has been sacked after he allegedly sent a sexually explicit photograph of himself to a woman. 

Martin Greathurst is understood to have met the woman on a flight operated by another airline. The pair were both passengers.

The pilot is alleged to have later sent her a mobile phone picture message of a sexual nature.

BA managers became aware of the incident after the woman – who is not a BA employee – complained to the police, according to airline sources.

Mr Greathurst, a pilot for more than 20 years, was dismissed for gross misconduct following a disciplinary hearing.

He has since appealed against the decision.

The 51-year-old, who earned about £100,000 a year, began his career with Dan Air, which was Britain’s biggest independent charter airline before it ran into financial problems in the Eighties.

Read more:

Akron, Ohio: Low-Flying Plane Spotted, Concerned Residents Call Police

Low-flying plane creates buzz in Akron area 

A low-flying plane buzzing along rooftops in Summit County prompted a flurry of calls to local police departments.

A plane doing stunt-like maneuvers was reported flying in the area around 7 p.m. Friday.

Copley Township Police Chief Mike Mier said his officers observed what appeared to be a stunt plane flying low and performing maneuvers along the Copley-Fairlawn border.

At one point, Mier said, something fell out of the plane — prompting numerous calls to 911 from witnesses who thought someone had jumped out of the aircraft and may have been hurt.

Mier said officers found pieces of fabric and two cans of Pledge furniture polish in the parking lot of the Aldi’s store on South Cleveland-Massillon Road that witnesses said came from the plane. No one was injured on the ground.

The chief said it appears the stuff may have fallen out of the aircraft by accident during one of its maneuvers.

A check of area airports, Mier said, turned up no clues about the plane. Airport operators told authorities that a small plane flying at lower altitudes would not always file a flight plan with local towers.

The plane also was sighted buzzing the skyline in downtown Akron.

Anyone with information about the aircraft is asked to call Copley police at 330-666-4218.


Piper PA27 Aztec: After a much needed overhaul and new paint job, C-FHLI is back flying! (CYOO)


July 20, 2012 by Mitch Byers 

After a much needed overhaul and new paint job, C-FHLI is back flying!!! Also you can skip the first 3-4 minutes (Edit Program Fail) 

Left Engine Start: 4:33
Right Engine Start: 5:18
Run-up: 6:08
More Run-up: 6:50


July 20, 2012 by Mitch Byers 
 Flown by Kevin Akai, Filmed by Max Udaskin

Early morning plane buzzes Aspen on pheromone drop

A small, low-flying airplane that shook Aspenites out of bed early Tuesday morning was targeting pine trees on private property on Smuggler Mountain with bark pine beetle pheromones. 

The plane flew over town around 6 a.m., en route to spray the trees.

The aerial treatment spreads flakes of verbenone over stands of pines. Verbenone is a beetle pheromone that, when applied to trees, can fool the insects into thinking a tree is already infested, causing them to back off. The chemical has been applied to trees on public lands on Smuggler in recent years for the same reason, but it was stapled to trees along trails, not spread from the air.

It is biodegradable, and not believed to be harmful to humans.

The private land treated in Tuesday’s flyover includes about 50 acres southeast of the public Smuggler land. Its owner couldn’t be confirmed Friday.

City of Aspen parks and open space director Stephen Ellsperman said he had been told in advance that the plane treatment would be used on the private holding this summer.

The flight was overseen by Bill Murray, a professor at San Jose State University specializing in forestry. He couldn’t be reached for comment on Friday, but he has worked with the local preservation group For the Forest — now part of the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies — to combat bark pine beetle infestation in the Aspen area.

The city of Aspen and Pitkin County began using verbenone on Smuggler in 2009, and some of the old packets are still up in the area. They haven’t used aerial treatments, and aren’t doing beetle mitigation work there this summer.

“We’re not seeing high levels of beetle activity,” said Ellsperman. “They’ve been on the decline over the last two years.”

The city and county had planned to remove beetle-kill trees from the area, along with a slate of forest health measures on Smuggler and in the Hunter Creek Valley this summer.

But the projects were called off earlier this summer, as extreme drought led to a local fire ban. It was to include extensive clearing of beetle brood trees and habitat projects that would require the use of chainsaws and hot equipment.

“With the fire danger it wasn’t worth it this year,” said Pitkin County land steward Gary Tennenbaum.

If recent rainfalls persist, the governments may spearhead some late summer or fall forest health projects in the area, both men said.


Italy Signs Gulfstream G550 Airbourne Early Warning System from Israel

Gulfstream Photo; The Conformal Airborne Early Warning (CAEW) G550 (pictured in the foreground) and the Special Electronic Mission Aircraft (SEMA) GV special mission aircraft were developed by Gulfstream for the Israeli Ministry of Defense. They are shown flying over the Georgia coastline.
Current fleet of Gulfstream G550 CAEW  
'537'  s/n 5037  delivered new to Israeli Air Force 2006 
'017'  s/n 5044  delivered to Israeli Air Force May 2007 to  Singapore Air Force Feb 2009
'018'  s/n 5132  delivered to Israeli Air Force Dec 2007  to  Singapore Air Force Aug 2010
'019'  s/n 5143  delivered to Israeli Air Force Jan 2009   for Singapore Air Force 

From Gulfstream; 

Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. yesterday delivered its first Conformal Airborne Early Warning (CAEW) special-mission aircraft to the Israeli Ministry of Defense (IMOD). In 2003, the large-cabin, ultra-long-range Gulfstream G550 aircraft was chosen as the platform for IMOD’s Airborne Early Warning surveillance system because of the aircraft’s overall performance, safety, reliability and low operating cost.

"The G550’s exceptionally long range enables it to remain on station for extended periods – a critical requirement for military surveillance missions," said Pres Henne, senior vice president, programs, engineering and test, Gulfstream. "Also, compared to earlier surveillance aircraft, the G550 offers considerably greater operating efficiencies, yielding exceptional capabilities at much lower total cost."

Following the aircraft’s delivery to IMOD in Tel Aviv, Israel , ELTA Systems will provide and install state-of-the-art electronic equipment. ELTA Systems Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI).

The CAEW aircraft features the most extensive modifications on a Gulfstream aircraft to date and like the Gulfstream V (GV) Special Electronic Mission Aircraft (SEMA) – the first of which Gulfstream delivered to IMOD last year – the modifications to the CAEW G550 platform were developed entirely by Gulfstream engineers. Using state-of-the-art design tools, including a full Computer Aided Three-dimensional Interactive Application (CATIA) electronic mockup and computational fluid dynamics to ensure high efficiency and low drag, the CAEW platform is equal in capability to aircrafts that weigh twice as much.

During development of the CAEW platform, Gulfstream originated significant increases in the baseline aircraft capability, all of which will be approved by the Federal Aviation Administration by the end of this year. To accommodate the weight of ELTA’s mission-essential equipment, Gulfstream increased the G550’s maximum zero fuel weight using a Mid-Wing Fuel Ejector that pumps fuel from the inboard side of the wing and redistributes it to the outboard fuel cells, resulting in reduced wing loads at the fuselage. This modification is available to current in-service GV, G500 and G550 business-jet operators who require additional payload capacity.

To power the extensive electronics, Gulfstream installed two additional generators – one to each of the two G550 Rolls-Royce BR710 engines. As a result, the CAEW now delivers three times the electrical power of a standard G550 business jet. To compliment the electrical power increase, Gulfstream developed a low-drag liquid cooling system that provides the optimum environment for the onboard electronic equipment. Additionally, a mission control room and a number of on-board mission operator stations were designed by Gulfstream.

"For all practical purposes, we’ve provided ELTA a ‘plug-and-play’ special mission platform," Henne added.

BEDEK Aviation Group, also a division of IAI, is providing maintenance and integrated logistic support for both CAEW and SEMA aircraft. 

Thanks Rob "Biz Jets"!!!!

Bangladesh out of unsafe civil aviation list

Dhaka, Jul 21 ( – Bangladesh has come out of the list of countries with unsafe civil aviation system, three years after being 'blacklisted' by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). 

 Director of the Safety and Regulation Division Wing Commander S M Nazmul Anam told that they got the message of delisting on Saturday.

Bangladesh had been on the list of Significant Safety Concern (SSC) countries since Jun 2009 when an ICAO's audit had found that air operations were not being conducted in accordance with the international norms.

Due to the ignominious label, officials said, no new Bangladeshi aircraft was permitted to fly international in the last three years.

The Red Arrows are set to make their first appearance in five years

THRILLSEEKERS will be flying high at the East Fortune Air Show as the Red Arrows are set to appear for the first time in five years.

The show, which will take place next weekend, showcases the best of Britain’s aviation 

In addition to the top-flight RAF aerobatic team, which will be flying two men short, crowds will be treated to a recreation of a First World War dog fight, a host of vintage planes and the chance to meet a Concorde pilot.

The air show will be held on Saturday, July 28 and is expected to attract thousands of visitors.

Star attractions the Great War Display Team will begin making their way to the East Lothian airbase several days before the event begins. They will take off from various bases in England and slowly make their way north, stopping periodically to refuel.

Group founder Doug Gregory, a winner of the Distiguished Flying Cross for his exploits during the Second World War, said members of the team would fly to East Fortune in replica First World War aircraft, though he himself was unable to take part this year.

The 88-year-old, who still occasionally flies with the team, said: “When we are all together there’s about ten of us flying replicas of planes that were flown in the Great War.

“We put on a display of a dog fight as it would have been in 1917. There are some British and some German planes. We have an SE5 — a British aircraft — and a German Junkers plane.

“If it’s blowing or raining it’s not much cop being in an open cockpit.

“It will take them a couple of days to get there. Many are coming from Boscombe Down, near Sailisbury, and they only go about 60 or 70 mph. They’ll also have to stop to get fuel, they don’t carry enough petrol to fly all that distance.”

Norm Webster, the air show flight director, said the aerobatic display would be launched by an old-style airship.

“That will set the scene,” he said. “Because East Fortune was started as an airship base for the navy during the First World War.”

Though reluctant to give much away for fear of spoiling the day for the audience, he said they would be treated to a mixture of high-powered jet engines and more vintage  aircraft.

“We close the first half with the Red Arrows,” he said. “Their display will start at 2.15pm. I’m really pleased we got them, we had a really good response from the UK military in that everything we asked for, we got. We’ve been very lucky.

“The second half will begin with the Great War Display Team. We will have four aircraft dog fighting right in front of the crowd.”

For those who prefer to keep their heads out of the clouds, the air show is also providing plenty of entertainment on the ground.

The Squibb motocross display team will aim to delight the crowd with spectacular jumps and stunts, while Aviatrix will provide a performance of aerial displays and a circus skills  workshop.

For those who dream of being a pilot, there will be the chance to meet a UH1 ‘Huey’ helicopter pilot and the crew from a Royal Navy Sea King helicopter, as well as the opportunity to fly a Spitfire in a flight simulator and explore a Concorde.

Grant MacKenzie, general manager at the National Museum of Flight, said: “This year’s air show has a fantastic line-up of entertainment, both in the air and on the ground.

“We’re obviously delighted that crowd favorites the Red Arrows are returning to the National Museum of Flight and we have lots of other wonderful displays and activities that we know will delight our visitors. There is something for everyone at this event, which is one of Scotland’s best family days out.”

Man seriously injured in hang-gliding accident

Hang glider collides with power lines in the Golan 

Initial investigation suggests gust of wind swept glider, causing it to collide into electric cables; man evacuated to hospital by helicopter

A 30-year-old man crashed into electric cables while hang-gliding in south Golan Heights on Saturday.

 He suffered serious injuries including burns and fractures as a result of his fall and because he was electrocuted while crashing into the electric cables. Rescue services transported the man by helicopter to Rambam Medical Center in Haifa.

 An initial investigation into the incident suggests that the glider was swept by a gust of wind, causing it to collide into electric cables.

 Magen David Adom spokesperson Zaki Heller said "the man suffers from many fractures in his limbs and burns on his hands as a result of electrocution.

 "The more severe injures were caused by the fall, although it was not a very high altitude. He was evacuated to the hospital in stable condition and in full consciousness."

Commercial pilot nabbed in ‘shabu’ buy-bust operation - Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency

MANILA, Philippines—For this pilot, there are other ways of getting high. 

 A 40-year-old commercial pilot was arrested by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Taguig City after he was caught selling methamphetamine hydrochloride or “shabu” to an undercover agent a week ago, the agency said Saturday.

Rioklyn P. Toledo, a local airline pilot and resident of ParaƱaque City, was caught red-handed selling two plastic sachets of shabu, weighing a little over 9 grams, to a PDEA agent posing as a buyer, the PDEA said.

In a statement, PDEA Director General Jose S. Gutierrez, Jr. said the entrapment operation occurred on July 14, at about 2 a.m., when Toledo agreed to a rendezvous with the PDEA agent at the corner of Rizal and 29th Streets.

At the pre-arranged signal, agents from the PDEA Regional Office National Capital Region under Director Wilkins M. Villanueva moved in to arrest the suspect, Gutierrez said.

The operatives seized a .45-cal. pistol and a Nissan Navarra from the suspect, who did not resist arrest, the official said.

“Mr. Toledo was reported to supply the needs of some of the pilots and some foreign tourists,” the PDEA said in the statement without providing details.

Toledo, who is temporarily detained at the PDEA jail facility in Quezon City, will face a charge of violating Section 5, or sale of dangerous drugs, under the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act.  If convicted, he will face life imprisonment and a fine ranging from P500,000 to P10 million.

ANTI-NARCOTICS agents have collared a 40-year-old commercial pilot in Taguig City after selling methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu to a poseur-buyer, an official said on Saturday. 

Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Undersecretary Jose Gutierrez Jr. said that Rioklyn Toledo, who flies a local airline, and a resident of Better Living, ParaƱaque, was caught red-handed selling two plastic sachets of shabu, weighing 9.1433 grams, which he handed over to a PDEA agent who acted as buyer on July 14.

Toledo was allegedly supplying the needs of some of the pilots and some foreign tourists.

During the operation, Toledo agreed to rendezvous with the poseur-buyer along Rizal Street corner 29th Street, Taguig, City to facilitate sale of shabu.

Upon the pre-arranged signal, agents from the PDEA Regional Office National Capital Region immediately subdued the suspect.

Confiscated from Toledo were one unit of .45 cal pistol and a Nissan Sentra Navarra.

Toledo is now temporarily detained at the PDEA jail facility in Quezon City. A case for violation of Section 5 (Sale of Dangerous Drugs), Article II of Republic Act 9165, has been filed against the suspect before the City Prosecutor’s Office, Taguig City.

Once convicted, he is liable to suffer life imprisonment and a fine ranging from P500,000 to P10 million pesos.

Bullet Hole Found on Crop Duster During Refueling (With Video)

HIDALGO COUNTY - Blayne Rowland never imagined his family business would come under gunfire. But today his father filed charges against a man who shot at their crop duster. 

 "My dad didn't have any knowledge of being shot at until he landed. While refueling, our man on the ground noticed there was a hole in the wing; otherwise, he wouldn't have known it," explained Rowland, a pilot with Rowland Dusters.

He's spent 23 years in the air. While he's alone in the cockpit, he knows working with people comes with the territory.

"You get noise complaints. You get people who think they've been sprayed, flying too close to the house, scaring the animals, scaring the kids. We get that. The Valley is becoming larger and larger. You have people moving out into the rural areas," said Rowland.

"We try to do the best job we can for the grower and also the people on the ground as to minimize any complaints."

He got a call when the bullet hole was found in the plane. "I was on the way out to another job, and he called me on the radio... I said, ‘Well, you need to get a hold of the Hidalgo County Sheriff, because this guy needs to be caught.'"

Shootings like this are rare. "In the 18 years I've been in the Valley, I've never heard of an aircraft being shot at or shot at and hit," said George Garret, the Weslaco Emergency Management Coordinator.

"I think this is an anomaly."

Shooting at an aircraft is a felony. Rowland said he hopes the suspect is prosecuted.

"If this guy gets away with it or has a slap on the wrist, he's able to do it again... If that's the case, someone could be seriously injured," he told us.

In this case, no one was injured, but the shooting resulted in a costly repair bill and a criminal investigation.

Hidalgo County sheriff's deputies took the suspect into custody. Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevino said the suspect shot at the crop duster, because low-flying crop dusters bothered him.

"This was his way of handling it. It's a dumb thing to do," said the sheriff.

It'll be up to the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office to turn the case over to the feds. They can also choose to prosecute in state courts.

While searching for the suspect, deputies also raided another home earlier today. DPS helicopters spotted some younger men with guns. Trevino said those men are not involved and will not face charges.

Watch Video:

Cessna 182P, N640AM: Accident occurred July 20, 2012 in Corona, California

NTSB Identification: WPR12FA316 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, July 20, 2012 in Corona, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/14/2013
Aircraft: CESSNA 182P, registration: N640AM
Injuries: 2 Serious.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

At the end of a 3-hour-long traffic-watch flight, the pilot began to return to the departure airport. As the airplane transitioned the airspace of an adjacent airport, the engine speed dropped to idle and surged twice. The pilot performed a precautionary landing at the adjacent airport. After an uneventful landing, the pilot performed an engine run-up and more troubleshooting steps and was unable to replicate the engine problem. The pilot then decided to depart for the home airport; however, shortly after departure, the engine speed variations began again, eventually resulting in a total loss of engine power. The pilot performed a forced landing in a nearby field, where the majority of the airplane, including most of its fuel supply system, was consumed by postimpact fire. The engine sustained minimal damage, however, and postaccident examination revealed no evidence of preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
A loss of engine power shortly after takeoff for reasons that could not be determined because postaccident examination did not reveal any anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s decision to take off with a known but unidentified airplane deficiency.


On July 20, 2012, about 1815 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 182P, N640AM, collided with power lines during a forced landing near Corona, California. The certificated commercial pilot/owner was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, as an aerial observation flight. The pilot and passenger sustained serious injuries. The airplane sustained substantial damage during the accident sequence, and was subsequently consumed by post impact fire. The local flight departed Riverside Municipal Airport, Riverside, California, about 1800, with a planned destination of Corona Municipal Airport. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

The pilot was a traffic reporter, and the flight was a traffic-watch mission for a local radio station. He stated that he had previously been a full time traffic reporter, utilizing the airplane on a regular basis for such missions until November 2007. After that time, he began reporting directly from his studio, but retained the airplane for breaking news. He continued to fly traffic-watch missions once a month in order to keep the airplane active. The accident flight was one such mission.

On the day of the accident, the pilot and passenger departed from Corona at 1450, and for the next 3 hours, the flight proceeded uneventfully. While returning to Corona, the engine speed dropped twice from 2,200 to approximately 1,000 rpm. The pilot performed troubleshooting steps, with no resolution, and as such, elected to land at Riverside as a precaution. After landing, he taxied to the departure end of the runway, and performed an engine run-up, which included cycling the propeller, and checking the carburetor heat and both magnetos. All checks were normal, and he was unable to replicate the problem. After discussing the anomaly with his passenger, he elected to proceed to Corona.

The departure and climbout were normal, and after about 5 minutes, the engine speed again began to oscillate, followed by a loss of power sufficient to prevent the airplane from maintaining altitude. The pilot began troubleshooting procedures, and having deduced that he would not be able to reach Corona Airport, prepared for a forced landing. As the descent progressed, and they passed over a housing development, the pilot realized he would not be able to reach his intended landing point. He subsequently turned the airplane towards a field adjacent to the houses. During the final approach, the airplane struck a set of power lines, and then collided with the ground.

The airplane came to rest on a heading of 280 degrees magnetic, at the end of a dirt field, about 6,500 feet east of the arrival end of runway 25 at Corona. 


A review of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airman records revealed that the 62-year-old pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, helicopter, and instrument airplane. He held an expired second-class FAA medical certificate issued in April 2, 2010, with the limitation that he possess corrective lenses that correct for near vision. The pilot reported 35,326 total hours of flight experience, 12,000 of which were in the accident airplane make and model. He stated that his last flight review was performed in the accident airplane, and took place on October 23, 2009.


The high-wing, single-engine airplane was manufactured in 1975, and was equipped with a Continental Motors O-470-R engine, serial number 133000-6R. Maintenance records indicated that the engine was overhauled, and installed in the airplane in August 2006. At the time of the most recent annual inspection, dated August 5, 2010, the engine had accrued a total flight time of 1,609 hours since overhaul. At that time, the airframe had accrued 15,253 total flight hours. Fire damage precluded an accurate determination of the total flight time prior to the accident, however, the pilot reported a total airframe time of 15,400 hours.


An automated surface weather observation at Corona was issued about 20 minutes prior to the accident. It indicated wind from 300 degrees at 13 knots; 10 miles visibility with clear skies; temperature at 32 degrees C; dew point 14 degrees C; and an altimeter setting at 29.88 inches of mercury.


The airplane was recovered from the accident site, and examined by the NTSB investigator, and representatives from the FAA, Cessna Aircraft, and Continental Motors, Inc.


Fire consumed the entire cabin from the empennage, through to the firewall, along with the inboard wing sections. The empennage and the outboard section of the right wing sustained minimal damage; the left wing sustained leading edge crush damage midspan to the tip. The threaded portion of the flap actuator was not visible, which the Cessna representative stated was consistent with a fully retracted flap position.

With the exception of the fuel filler caps, which remained securely in place at their respective filler necks, the entire fuel supply and storage system from the bladder tanks, through to the gascolator inlet fitting, was completely consumed by fire. The gascolator sustained thermal damage and was disassembled; its screen was clear of obstruction.


The engine remained attached to its mounts, and sustained crush damage to the forward section of oil sump. The lower section of the number six cylinder head exhibited a similar damage, just below the rocker boss. The magnetos remained firmly attached to their mounting pads, and the spark plugs were secure at each position, with their respective leads attached. The throttle, propeller governor, mixture, and carburetor heat control cables were continuous from the cockpit controls through to their respective control arms.

The top spark plugs were removed and examined. Their electrodes remained mechanically undamaged, were coated in light gray deposits, and displayed “worn out–normal” wear signatures when compared with the Champion Spark Plugs AV-27 Check-A-Plug chart. The crankshaft turned freely when rotated by hand utilizing the propeller, and cylinder compression was observed throughout. Sparks were observed at the termination of each top spark plug lead, and both magneto impulse couplings audibly triggered simultaneously.

The carburetor sustained extensive thermal damage, with pink discoloration to its outer surface. Disassembly revealed that all gaskets and seals had become charred, fragmented, and thermally destroyed. The float was of the metallic type, and remained attached to the pivot arm.

The propeller and hub remained attached at the crankshaft flange; both blades sustained minimal damage, and displayed similar pitch angles at the hub.

A post impact examination did not reveal any anomalies with the remnants of the airframe or engine that would have precluded normal operation. Refer to the engine and airframe report included in the public docket for further details.


A fuel receipt provided by Corona Air Ventures revealed that the airplane was serviced with the addition of 36.70 gallons of aviation gasoline at 1020. The pilot reported that at that time, the airplane (which was equipped with two wing fuel tanks of 42 gallons capacity each) was serviced to capacity.

NTSB Identification: WPR12FA316
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, July 20, 2012 in Corona, CA
Aircraft: CESSNA 182P, registration: N640AM
Injuries: 2 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 July 20, 2012, about 1815 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 182P, N640AM, collided with power lines during a forced landing following a loss of engine power near Corona, California. The pilot was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, as an aerial observation flight. The certificated commercial pilot and passenger sustained serious injuries. The airplane sustained substantial damage during the accident sequence, and was subsequently consumed by post impact fire. The local flight departed Riverside Municipal Airport, Riverside, California, about 1800, with a planned destination of Corona Municipal Airport. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

The pilot reported that he was a traffic reporter, and the flight was a traffic-watch mission for a local radio station. They initially departed from Corona at 1450, and for the next 3 hours, the flight proceeded uneventfully. While returning to Corona, the engine speed dropped twice from 2,200 to approximately 1,000 rpm, and as such, the pilot elected to land at Riverside as a precaution. After landing, he taxied to the departure end of the runway, and performed an engine run-up, which included cycling the propeller, checking the carburetor heat, and both magnetos. All checks were normal, and he was unable to replicate the problem. After discussing the anomaly with his passenger, he elected to proceed to Corona.

The departure and climbout were normal, and after about 5 minutes, the engine speed again began to oscillate, followed by a loss of power sufficient to prevent the airplane from maintaining altitude. The pilot began troubleshooting procedures, and having deduced that he would not be able to reach Corona Airport, prepared for a forced landing. As the descent progressed, and they passed over a housing development, he realized he would not be able to reach his intended landing point. He subsequently turned the airplane towards a field adjacent to the houses. During the final approach, the airplane struck a set of power lines, and collided with the ground.

The airplane came to rest on a heading of 280 degrees magnetic, at the end of a dirt field, about 6,500 feet east of the arrival end of runway 25. Fire consumed the entire cabin from the empennage, through to the firewall, along with the inboard wing sections. The engine sustained minimal damage, and was recovered with the airframe remnants for further examination.

 Traffic reporter Mike Nolan, injured Friday in a crash, served on a Corona airport safety committee 

 Radio station traffic reporter Mike Nolan, who was injured Friday, July 20, when his four-seat Cessna airplane crashed near Corona Municipal Airport, is a veteran pilot familiar in name and reputation to fellow Corona pilots.

He was so well respected that he was named four years ago to serve on the city’s Air Safety Advisory Committee, which was formed to study the Corona airport area after a midair collision in January 2008 killed five people, including a man on the ground.

“Mike Nolan was chosen for the committee due to his years of experience,” Corona Mayor Eugene Montanez said Saturday, July 21, in a phone interview. “He knows airplanes and helicopters well, and it shows in his ability to come out OK after mechanical difficulties.”

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Allen Kenitzer said Saturday that the single-engine Cessna 182 Nolan was flying Friday apparently lost engine power and then caught fire after striking power lines along Harrington Street just south of the Parkside Green housing development about 1 ½ miles east of the Corona airport.

  Regis#: 640AM        Make/Model: C182      Description: 182, Skylane
  Date: 07/21/2012     Time: 0122

  Event Type: Accident   Highest Injury: None     Mid Air: N    Missing: N
  Damage: Substantial

  City: CHINO   State: CA   Country: US


INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   0
                 # Crew:   0     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:   1
                 # Pass:   0     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:   1
                 # Grnd:         Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    

  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Unknown      Operation: OTHER

  FAA FSDO: RIVERSIDE, CA  (WP21)                 Entry date: 07/23/2012 

A veteran KFI traffic reporter remained hospitalized in serious condition today, and about 505 residential and business accounts remained without electricity at midday due to a plane crash that downed power lines in Corona. 

Mike Nolan, a Corona resident, and a passenger identified only as Nolan’s 18-year-old nephew crashed in a Cessna 182 in a field about 1-1/2 miles east of the Corona Minicipal Airport at 6:18 p.m. Friday, said Allen Kenitzer of the Federal Aviation Administration.

Television pictures showed the plane on fire, upside down and broken into pieces.

Kenitzer said the crash site was an open field near North Lincoln Avenue and River Road.

“Mike Nolan was seriously hurt, but injuries do not appear to be life-threatening,” a KFI spokesman said today.

Nolan’s nephew, who is a flight student, was also injured but was expected to recover.

Nolan was reportedly not on the air for KFI when his plane hit the power lines and went down. He had regularly worked as an airborne reporter — for KOY in Phoenix and then KFI in Los Angeles — for decades, but had moved into a studio in recent months.

“Originally, there were 3,545 customers without power, but now that number is down to 505,” said Edison spokeswoman Vanessa McGrady.

“We hope to have final restoration by 6 p.m. tomorrow.”

The outage was affecting customers between River Road on the north and Harrington Street to the south, and North Lincoln Avenue on the west to Cota Street to the east, McGrady said.

West Covina, El Monte police assist victims following crash of traffic reporter's airplane in Corona   

CORONA - A West Covina officer pulled two people to safety when a plane piloted by a local radio traffic reporter crashed in Corona Friday night and burst into flames, officials and the radio station said.

Radio station KFI identified the victims as "KFI in in the Sky" traffic reporter Mike Nolan and a nephew of a friend. Their injuries were described as serious but not believed to be life-threatening.

The single-engine Cessna 182 lost power, struck power lines and crashed shortly before 6:30 a.m. in a field about one and a half miles east of the Corona Municipal Airport, according to Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Allen Kenitzer.

West Covina police Lt. Jerry Pearman said one of their flight observers, Officer Mike Weathermon, was training in the El Monte police helicopter on Friday.

The helicopter was being piloted by Fontana police Captain Dave Faulkner, who also serves as a reserve officer and pilot for the El Monte Police Department, El Monte police Lt. Dan Burlingham said.

The aircraft was flying over Corona when Weathermon and the Faulkner heard a mayday broadcast from a plane around 6 p.m. The helicopter got behind a Cessna. They told the plane's pilot they will try to escort him to the airport, according to Pearman.

The longtime traffic reporter for Los Angeles radio station KFI-AM (640) was seriously hurt Friday night, July 20, in a plane crash east of the Corona Municipal Airport.  KFI confirmed on its Facebook page that Mike Nolan, known as "KFI in the Sky," was injured in the crash.

"KFI traffic’s Mike Nolan has been seriously hurt in a plane crash in Corona," the station said. "Injuries do not appear to be life-threatening."

In a telephone conversation, the station’s marketing director, Neil Saavedra, said station personnel were relieved to hear that Nolan’s injuries were survivable.

A second person aboard the plane was identified by Saavedra as Nolan’s 18-year-old nephew, who is a flight student. He, too, was injured, but is expected to recover. He was not identified.

Both Nolan, a longtime Corona resident, and his nephew were taken to a hospital for treatment, the dispatch center said.

The crash of the plane, identified by FAA spokesman Allen Kenitzer as a Cessna 182P, was reported at 6:18 p.m., the Corona police/fire dispatch center confirmed. The crash happened at Lincoln Avenue and River Road, about 1½ miles east of the airport.

Report: Fighter Jets Don't Impact Property Values

FOX44 - Burlington / Plattsburgh News, Weather 

 Burlington, Vt. - A new study could change the debate over bringing F-35 fighter jets to the Burlington area. 

 The study by the Greater Burlington Industrial Corporation looked at home values in Winooski and South Burlington, specifically in the areas that are currently affected by noise from the Vermont Air Guard's F-16 fighter jets.

Over a ten year period, the GBIC found that home values in the F-16 area did not differ from home values in other communities near by. And since property impacted by the F-16s is in the same area as property that could be impacted by the F-35s, GBIC's president, Frank Cioffi, believes that the newer, faster jets, will not have a negative impact on home values.

"We think the indication of the past is pretty much the way the future is going to go. I've lived here my whole life in this region. This is the fifth iteration of fighter planes I believe," Cioffi said.

Cape May County (KWWD), Wildwood, New Jersey: Panel recommends Lower Township vacate building at airport, move to Villas

LOWER TOWNSHIP — An 11-member panel suggests the township vacate the Public Safety Building at the county airport and relocate its police and courts to the municipal complex in Villas.

Doing so would mean vacating a lease that runs until 2018.

A report from the committee, delivered to Township Council last week, concluded that “what initially seemed to be a bargain” in 1995 had in fact become “a drain on township resources.” It recommends terminating any more repairs or renovations and spending the $2.5 million to $2.8 million necessary for relocation.

Mayor Mike Beck said it’s time for the township to cut its losses.

“If the township waits until the roof begins to leak, it risks throwing good money after bad,” Beck said.

It sounded like a good deal at the time: For just $100,000 for the building and $1 a year to lease the land, Cape May County gave the township use of a massive building at the Cape May Airport in the Erma section of the township.

That was $4 million in renovations ago. The utility bills on the building were almost $110,000 last year. The flat roof, which at 48,000 square feet covers more than one acre, soon will need repairs estimated to cost $800,000 to $1.8 million. There are 16 heating, ventilation and air conditioning units on the roof, which could pose additional costs.

Beck said the township can “squeeze the lemon as hard as possible” for a couple of more years but should be ready to vacate the building.

Given the impending roof issues, Beck said it should be a wash. The committee, which was formed in December and chaired by Beck, also recommended using solar and geothermal systems to slash energy bills at the new facility. Beck said that would save $1 million over the next 20 years.

“We’ve put $4 million into the building. ... That’s $5 million to $6 million in today’s dollars. If there was a lemon law for buildings, we would have filed a claim long ago,” Beck said.

Township Councilman Tom Conrad wants more information before he makes up his mind. If the township vacates the county building, Conrad said it still may be liable for the roof repairs until the lease runs out.

“Can we get out of the lease? Nobody has approached Cape May County. We need answers from Cape May County,” Conrad said.

He also wants better cost estimates on moving. The committee estimated $2.5 million to $2.8 million, but Conrad wants more detailed research.

The committee made mostly an economic argument. For years Beck has pushed to move the police back to Villas, where they had been located in the municipal complex, because that’s the more densely populated area. He said it would help the public perception of safety and make it easier for those without cars.

“There is no public transportation within a mile of the Police Department or courts despite prevailing literature that specifies a police building should not be more than one block from public transportation,” Beck said.

The committee recommended moving the Municipal Court to Township Council’s meeting room. The construction, zoning and planning offices, which are next to Township Hall, would be moved into the hall. The police would then take their building, but it would be connected with an addition to the courts.

Council earlier this week voted to purchase a property next to Township Hall owned by Manzoni Real Estate. The committee recommended the purchase with the idea of adding parking and having a place for a geothermal energy system.

“The reality is that eventually the township will have to spend money, whether to repair an aging, inefficient and poorly located building, or to relocate to the township complex at virtually the same cost. We feel that when the day comes, a return to the township complex would be in the best interests of the residents,” the committee concluded.

Council moved quickly to purchase the Manzoni property, which covers more than a half-acre, authorizing $200,000 for the purchase and $10,000 for settlement costs. Beck said the property is assessed at $315,000. Conrad voted for the purchase even though he has not made up his mind on the larger issue of moving.

“If it got public, the price would have skyrocketed. I may not support the whole idea, but I have to protect the taxpayer,” Conrad said.

The Public Safety Building is a World War II-era building dating to when the airport hosted a U.S. Navy air station. Renovations were not supposed to cost $4 million, but there were three huge cost overruns: $1.5 million in 1995, $300,000 in 1996 and $600,000 in 1997.

A 2004 building analysis by the VHE Group of Millville recommended unloading the building and constructing a new one in Villas at an estimated cost of $2.5 million.

Conrad said the VHE study was done before the jail cells were removed from the old police station, so costs could escalate even further. He also wants consideration of which building would fare better in a storm.

Nobody is still on council from 1995, when the deal was made with Cape May County to use the building. The township’s population was growing at a rapid clip then, and it was projected to continue.

But those projections failed to materialize, and the population is now stagnant.

At the time, the police were outgrowing the 4,200-square-foot building now used by construction, planning and zoning. The airport building offered plenty of room for growth. It even had space for the Lower Township Rescue Squad, which is not a government function.

With three of the five council seats up for grabs in the November election, Beck said a final decision won’t come until the new council takes office in January. That’s fine by Conrad.

“We accepted the report, but we didn’t accept the recommendations. We need more answers. It’s going to take some more study,” Conrad said.


This Mechanic Has Been Working At American Airlines For 70 Years


Azriel "Al" Blackman started working as a mechanic for American Airlines in 1942 when he was 16.

Today the airline celebrated his 70th year of service by taking him on a ride on a vintage DC-3.

Blackman says he has no plans to retire, according to the AP.

We talked to the Ken MacTiernan of The Aircraft Maintenance Technicians Association (AMTA), which honored Blackman with a Master Mechanic award.

MacTiernan relates an anecdote from a few years ago when American held troubleshooting scenarios in a joint session with crew chiefs and management: "Whenever a question came up that no one had an answer to, the instructor would ask them 'What would Al do?'"

"The guy is a wealth of knowledge, respected by both management and labor," says MacTiernan.

Comair exit not on fliers' radar

As Comair’s 1,000 local employees wait to receive word on the airline’s future, travelers most likely would not notice if the company stops operating at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, aviation experts say. 

“It will be business as usual,” said Jay Ratliff, local aviation expert and former general manager at Northwest Airlines.

Delta Air Lines, which is exploring strategic alternatives for Erlanger-based Comair, is expected to announce its next steps by the end of July. If Comair’s operations cease, the company would have to notify employees 60 days prior to being shut down.

Delta would be left to contract Comair’s flights among its eight feeder airline partners that operate under the Delta Connection brand. Aviation experts say they expect most, if not all, of Comair’s flights from CVG to be contracted to another Delta Connection partner.

As of last month, Comair operated 42 daily flights out of CVG, down from 56 in June 2011.

It is possible the number of flights out of CVG could dip slightly if Comair is shut down, but not enough to cause travelers concern, Ratliff said. If that does happen, 76-seat jets could replace some of Comair’s 50-seaters to balance out capacity.

“I don’t think it will impact CVG,” said Daniel Friedenzohn, associate professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla. “I don’t see them adding capacity at CVG, but I don’t see it necessarily going down.”

Comair’s presence has been declining for several years, and employees received a memo from president Ryan Gumm on July 13 that indicated the company would know its future by the end of July.

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Friday, July 20, 2012

One-of-a-kind Piper Cub


Roger Meggers gives the Gazette a first-hand look at his recently restored 1949 Piper Super Cub Serial #1.

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Prince Rupert airport manager discusses meeting with Westjet

 With Westjet weighing their options for a regional airline service, representatives from Prince Rupert were invited to Calgary to make their pitch to the company for a stop on the north coast.

YPR manager Rick Reed was joined by economic development officer Derek Baker and others to the meeting, with only 35 airports across Canada being invited. According to Reed, the meeting was a very productive one.

“They asked a lot of questions about the community, the demographics, age, income, traffic numbers for the past several years, ticket prices and the catchment area being served,” he said.

“I think if anyone has a chance, we do. We presented them with a business case developed by a consultant to develop a Prince Rupert to Vancouver flight which, using the same aircraft, carries on to Victoria. Other than Vancouver, the next biggest market people travel to is Victoria, and we showed them the business case that would support that route.”

So far this year, numbers at the airport are up 2.64 per cent compared to last year, excluding private flights using the airport, and Reed says the projection is for a three to five per cent increase by the end of the year.

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Sixteen Memphis area mayors map strategy to build air service

 Greater Memphis mayors formed a united front Friday against further declines in passenger service at Memphis International Airport.

In a rare example of regional cooperation, Memphis Mayor A C Wharton convened 15 other mayors from eight counties to map strategy to preserve the airport's viability as an economic development tool.

After a closed-door luncheon with Wharton's aviation economics consultant, Wharton described the meeting as a starting point and said others would follow.

"We need to realize what the market forces are and see if we can get together and do something about the market forces," Wharton said.

Brian Campbell, chairman of Campbell-Hill Aviation Group LLC, outlined a strategic action plan that ranges from preserving what's left of Delta Air Lines' service to recruiting additional low-cost carriers.

Olive Branch Mayor Sam Rikard said it was unprecedented for so many mayors to come together, and it reflected the airport's importance as a regional economic engine.

  "It's not just a Memphis issue. It affects all of us," Rikard said.

The airport was found to have a $28.6 billion annual impact on the region's economy in a study five years ago, largely owing to FedEx's cargo hub.

Mayors from Millington, Tunica, Bartlett, West Memphis, Oakland, Collierville, Germantown, Arlington, Southaven, Senatobia, Holly Springs, Coldwater, Atoka and Hernando also participated. Many of them attended a press briefing after the luncheon, lining up behind Wharton and Campbell.

Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority president and CEO Larry Cox and board chairman Arnold Perl, Greater Memphis Chamber president John Moore and Delta Regional Authority co-chairman Chris Masingill also attended the meeting.

Hernando Mayor Chip Johnson said strong passenger service at the airport is vital to a friendly competition among Greater Memphis's communities for new businesses, nonprofits and investment.
"There are some things that we have to come together on as a region, and this may be at the top of the list," said Johnson, who said he's particularly interested in attracting more low-cost carriers to the airport.

Campbell suggested pursuing status quo operations by Delta, which has announced plans to reduce from about 150 flights a day down to about 125 this fall.

"The first thing you have to do is support the Delta service you have," Campbell said.
He pointed out that Memphis is smaller and less prosperous than 17 out of 18 hubs that have previously failed or substantially declined. "The market is small, and there's nothing you can do about it."

The consultant also repeated an industry maxim, unpopular among Memphis consumers, that hub service and low-cost service are for the most part mutually exclusive. "If you're going to have a large scale of hub services, you're going to have a higher rate to support those hub operations," Campbell said.

Bartlett Mayor Keith McDonald was the only mayor who spoke up when a reporter asked how many mayors had driven to Little Rock to catch a flight. McDonald said fares out of Memphis were prohibitive when a large family group traveled to an out-of-state wedding.

"I think the decision we need to make is do we want to be a hub or not," McDonald said.

Campbell also recommended surveying businesses about air travel and making sure international service is preserved. Delta has reduced the airport's flight to Amsterdam to seasonal. Campbell said the most successful hubs going forward will be those giving airlines access to lucrative international business.

Campbell said he doesn't think bashing Delta does any good, but he sees value in a public appeal such as the new campaign. Launched Thursday with the support of Wharton, it is using the Internet and social media to promote an email campaign to attract Delta's competitors to Memphis.

"Every grass roots effort can have an impact," Campbell said. "Sometimes it's the weight of the evidence and it needs to come from all quarters."


Disabled veteran says airline kicked his service dog, insulted him


United Airlines Employees Abuse Disabled Veteran and His Service Dog


One New Mexico disabled veteran said his service dog was kicked twice by airline employees this week and he was called a slur.

Jim Staneck said he reached his breaking point earlier this week. He's the founder of Paws and Stripes, which pairs disabled vets with service dogs.

In the course of 48 hours at Dulles Airport, he said his service dog, Sarge, was kicked twice by United Airlines works -- once at the ticket counter and then on a shuttle.

"(He) kicked her so hard on the rib cage, that she flew into my lap… He said he was afraid of dogs," Staneck said.

Staneck was dealing with a canceled flight and delays. He served three combat tours in Iraq and has PTSD and a brain injury. He said the stress was overwhelming, and asked a customer service representative for help because he had trouble reading a reservation email.

"He said, 'Just read it' and I said, 'Sir I can't read it,' and he said, 'What are you retarded?'" Staneck recalls. "Prior to this I told him I have a brain injury and PTSD, I'm a disabled vet, this is my second night here; I need help."

Staneck and Sarge eventually sought refuge in a corner.

"Honestly I thought I was done. I thought I would have to get another training dog," Staneck said.

Staneck said he has a challenge for the CEO of United Airlines.

"Call me. I'd be glad to talk to you. This is all about education," Staneck said.

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China: Small airports to ride construction boom

82 more to be built in five years covering most parts of China 

 China plans to build more feeder airports, although many small airports continue to lose money, according to the aviation authorities.

Li Jiaxiang, head of Civil Aviation Administration of China, told a news conference on Friday that a guideline on the industry, issued by the State Council this month, has highlighted civil aviation as "a national strategic industry".

According to the guideline, China will build 82 new airports during the 2011-15 period, and construct a national air transport network that will cover 89 percent of the total population by 2020.

Recent reports suggested that about 130 airports in China registered a total loss of more than 2 billion yuan ($314 million) last year, and some have suggested that no more should be built as losses continue.

But Li disagrees, saying the role of small airports is indispensable to local economic development. Feeder airports mainly serve cargo planes and smaller flights.

According to statistics provided by the Ministry of Finance, investment in an airport can produce an output eight times of that amount for a local economy.

Li cited Mohe, the northernmost county in China, as an example.

The county — popular with tourists who travel there particularly to see the famous natural light display in the sky, the aurora borealis, or northern lights — was difficult to reach for many tourists until an airport was opened to traffic in 2008, he said.

The airport, with fewer than 60 employees and annual operating costs of 20 million yuan, has also become an important link for local business traffic as well as tourists.

Li cited local government officials as saying that the airport was the reason the county gained more than 300 million yuan of annual income.

Airport: Demand for flights soars in China

Huang Min, director of the infrastructure department under the National Development and Reform Commission, said that the social benefits of local airports cannot be counted on an airport's financial profit and loss account.

"Most of the new airports to be built are feeder airports in central and western regions as well as in remote areas," Huang said.

He added that by the end of 2015, there will be 230 airports for passenger and cargo transport open to traffic, up from the current 182.

And, 80 percent of China's population will be able to use an airport within 100 kilometers by then, he said.

China lags behind many other major countries in terms of the total number of airports.

The United States, for example, has about 19,000 airports, while Brazil has about 700.

Another problem is that many airports built years ago are now deemed too small, he said, and plans are in place to expand and rebuild 101 airports from 2011 to 2015 to meet the soaring demand.

China's civil aviation industry has been developing at an average double-digit growth over the past three decades. It is now the world's second-biggest air transport network, according to Li.

Last year, a fleet of 1,853 planes carried 290 million passengers and 5.52 million metric tons of cargo.


Rapid City Regional (KRAP), South Dakota: Tanker dumps slurry at airport, two planes diverted

A air tanker delivering slurry to the Myrtle Fire was forced to dump its 18,000-pound load as it was taking off from Rapid City Regional Airport at about 11:13 a.m. Friday morning.

Airport director Cameron Humphres said the multi-engine air tanker was just lifting off from the primary commercial service runway when it experienced a loss of power in one engine.

The aircraft emptied its load of water, dye and fertilizer just after rotating off the runway. Part of the load fell on the commercial runway, but slurry also landed on the crosswind runway and a taxiway, Humphres said.

After dumping the weight, the aircraft circled and made a successful landing.

Airport crews used a fire truck and broom to clean the slurry off the runway, Humphres said. The runways were closed for about 40 minutes.

The incident delayed the departure of an Allegiant aircraft that was on the ground.

Two aircraft, a United Airlines and an Allegiant aircraft, were in a holding pattern above the airport. Both diverted to Casper to refuel before returning to land at Rapid City, Humphres said.

Air Force C-17 Globemaster III cargo aircraft carrying 23 passengers, plus a crew of 19, landed at Peter O Knight Airport (KTPF), Tampa, rather than at the planned destination of MacDill Air Force Base, about 4 miles away – USAF statement

Air Force Cargo Jet Lands at Wrong, Smaller, Airport 

 TAMPA | A military cargo plane that typically requires 3,500 feet for takeoff landed unexpectedly Friday at Peter O. Knight Airport, where the longest runway is 95 feet short.

Work began immediately to lighten the load of the 174-foot-long aircraft so that it might leave Davis Islands safely.

The drama ended at 8:27 p.m., when the C-17 Globemaster III took a hop over Hillsborough Bay to MacDill, the original destination. It landed just a few minutes later.

It was unclear why the plane, headed to MacDill, made an unscheduled landing at the small airport near downtown Tampa. Master Sgt. Bryan Gatewood, a spokesman for MacDill Air Force Base, said authorities are investigating.

Hillsborough County Aviation Authority spokeswoman Janet Zink said the plane landed "inadvertently" at Peter O. Knight Airport.

The plane, arriving from U.S. Central Command operations in southwest Asia with 23 passengers and a crew of 19, touched down on Davis Islands about 1:20 p.m., authorities said.

"It was so loud, it woke up my sister who was sleeping at the time," said Chelsea Alper, 23, a Stetson University College of Law student who was in a convenience store on E Davis Boulevard when she heard the roar of the engines.

Minutes later, witnesses saw a caravan of military vehicles respond to the runway, retrieve the crew and begin to haul away cargo.

According to an Air Force fact sheet, the bulky plane has a wingspan of nearly 170 feet.

At 55 feet high, it appeared twice as tall as a nearby hangar, and from certain angles it eclipsed two blue-and-white buses that pulled onto the runway shortly before 5 p.m.

Peter O. Knight is a general aviation airport operated by the Aviation Authority.

It has two runways, including a smaller one that is 2,688 feet and a larger one that is 3,405 feet. The longest runway at MacDill is 11,421 feet.

Over time, the runways of MacDill, Peter O. Knight and Tampa International Airport have occasionally been confused with one another, though unscheduled landings at MacDill have most often made the news.

One week in 2004, two planes mistakenly landed there.

In 1984, a commercial pilot mistook the base for Tampa International Airport and landed a jet loaded with passengers.

This time, all the excitement happened at Peter O. Knight.

"This is the second time this has happened," said spectator Gary Garrett, 71, who has a real estate office on Davis Islands.

"The last time, it was a 727 in the '80s," he recalled, "and they took that plane apart to get it out of here."

All traffic at Peter O. Knight Airport was grounded for seven hours.

"I was supposed to leave about five minutes after that plane landed," said Ryan Gucwa, 29, a corporate pilot from Tampa. He was scheduled to pick up passengers at Tampa International and get them to Georgia on Friday afternoon. Instead, he caught a cellphone video of the C-17's amazing landing.

"It stopped about 6 feet from the end of the runway; any farther and it would have been grass," Gucwa said.

Hours later, Alper thought the takeoff would be impossible.

"It was going so slow I didn't think it was going to make it," she said.

Dozens of people stood outside the gated perimeter, forming an impromptu tailgate party, as the engines roared and the plane inched toward the sky. With about 400 feet to spare, the nose pulled up and the C-17 was back on course.

Marti Smith, 58, a nurse from Tampa, came just in time for takeoff.

When he started moving, I started praying out loud," she said. "It was quite a show."

TAMPA (FOX 13) – Residents of Davis Island got an unusual sight Friday afternoon: A large military cargo plane “inadvertently” landed at Peter O. Knight Airport instead of MacDill Air Force Base.

The C-17 Globemaster roared in around 1:20 p.m., surprising many in the downtown area.

“I see this big guy coming over the top of the hangars there. And I knew, him being that low, that he was at the wrong airport,” recalled corporate pilot Ryan Gucwa, who provided the video footage of the landing seen here. “He touched down probably about a third of the way down the runway and as soon as they did they slammed on those brakes. I thought for sure they were going to go off the end of the runway.”

The small waterfront airport usually handles commuter planes and other general aviation aircraft. Its longest runway is 3,400 feet; Boeing, the plane’s manufacturer, says the 164-foot plane can land in as little as 3,000 feet.

The giant plane needs almost 8,000 feet of runway to take off when it’s fully loaded, but a lot less when it’s empty. Worst-case, the plane might have to be unloaded before it takes off, depending on what’s on board.

A Boeing spokesperson told FOX 13 the plane should be able to take off from the short runway, but deferred further comment to the Air Force.

For comparison, the main runway at MacDill Air Force Base — which is oriented the same direction as the long runway at Peter O. Knight — is 14,000 feet long.

Weight is another concern. The plane weighs roughly 400,000 lbs. but is sitting on an airstrip designed to hold only 20,000 lbs.

The airport will remain closed until the plane can be moved, but officials stressed that it does not pose any threat to downtown residents.

“The Air Force is working to reposition the plane as soon as possible,” Tampa International Airport spokesperson Janet Zink said.

Full USAF statement:

An Air Force C-17 Globemaster III cargo aircraft carrying 23 passengers, plus a crew of 19, landed at Peter O. Knight airport near Tampa, rather than at the planned destination of MacDill Air Force Base, about four miles away.

The aircraft, flying in support of U.S. Central Command, was apparently

undamaged and there were no injuries. There appears to be no damage to the airfield. In concert with airfield officials, the Air Force is planning to move the aircraft to allow Peter O. Knight airport to re-open.

The incident is under investigation.

 The military cargo plan landed Friday afternoon at Peter O. Knight Airport on Davis Islands.


 Officials from MacDill Air Force Base are trying to figure out why an Air Force C-17 Globemaster III landed at Peter O. Knight airport shortly after noon Friday, according to Master Sgt. Bryan Gatewood, spokesman for the 6th Air Mobility Wing.

Gatewood said officials were headed to the small municipal airport on Davis Islands to find out why the military jet landed there.

The landing surprised people who work in downtown Tampa office towers.

Frank Kilgore, a pricing manager for Hapag-Lloyd, an international shipping firm with office in the SunTrust tower, said he heard someone in his office yell that the plane was on a final approach to the Davis Islands facility.

"I knew immediately that it was not right," Kilgore said.

Commercial real estate broker Jason Donald was looking out his office window in a downtown skyscraper and saw the plane pass low over the fuel tanks in the Port of Tampa, then turn south toward the airport.

"I face directly over the bay and saw that plane come in so fast and thought to myself, 'Never in a million years is he going to make it,' " Donald said. "I was waiting for flames."

There seemed to be a moment when the pilot realized the mistake, Donald said.

He said the plane needed every inch to stop.

"He was carrying so much speed, I thought, 'This is not going to happen,' " he said. "If his front tire was not in the grass at the end of the runway, he was darn close."

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PHOTO/J. Stonierd
The military aircraft is a C-17 Globemaster, according to officials at the airport.

PHOTO/J. Stonierd
 The military aircraft is a C-17 Globemaster, according to officials at the airport.

A large military cargo plane has made a landing at the relatively small Peter O. Knight Airport in Tampa.

The military aircraft is a C-17 Globemaster, according to officials at the airport. The airport is at the southern tip of Davis Island, south of downtown. Officials have not stated why the plane landed at the airport.

According to the Boeing company's website, the "C-17 can carry large equipment, supplies and troops directly to small airfields in harsh terrain anywhere in the world day or night. The massive, sturdy, long-haul aircraft tackles distance, destination and heavy, oversized payloads in unpredictable conditions. It has delivered cargo in every worldwide operation since the 1990s."

The plane can take off from a 7,600-foot airfield and land in 3,000 ft. or less on a small unpaved or paved airfield in day or night, according to Boeing.