Sunday, August 05, 2012

Volunteers respond when private plane flips on runway - Joseph State Airport (KJSY) Joseph, Oregon

Joseph Fire and Rescue firefighters, including three from Wallowa Lake, rolled to Joseph State Airport when a single-engine plane overturned upon landing Wednesday, August  1.

For an hour-and-a-half, the volunteers stood by with a fire hose and Joseph Engine 1, ready in case any fuel leak ignited as the plane was turned back onto its landing gear.

The pilot, flying from Gig Harbor, Wash., was uninjured but the plane sustained major damage. One of its brakes reportedly locked up as it landed, causing the flip.

The plane was righted using a Frolander Logging crane from Enterprise and bystanders pulling ropes.

Plane makes emergency landing at King Shaka International Airport, South Africa

Johannesburg - A 1Time passenger plane made an emergency landing at the King Shaka International Airport on Sunday, an airport spokesperson said.

Spokesperson Colin Naidoo said the runway at the airport were closed from 5pm to 8pm on Sunday for the emergency landing.

“The runway has now been cleared and re-opened... We are dealing with the three-hour flight delays.”

Naidoo said the reason for the emergency landing will be investigated.

No further information was immediately available.

Cessn 172, N4254F: Aircraft force landed in a bean field, near Alleman, Iowa

  Regis#: 4254F        Make/Model: C172      Description: 172, P172, R172, Skyhawk, Hawk XP, Cutla
  Date: 08/05/2012     Time: 1713

  Event Type: Incident   Highest Injury: None     Mid Air: N    Missing: N
  Damage: None

  City: ALLEMAN   State: IA   Country: US


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

  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Landing      Operation: OTHER

  FAA FSDO: DES MOINES, IA  (CE01)                Entry date: 08/06/2012

ELKHART, Iowa (AP) - A small plane landed safely in an Iowa soybean field on Sunday after reportedly running out of fuel.

The Polk County Sheriff's office says the plane landed just before noon Sunday in a field west of Elkhart, Iowa.

When deputies arrived, they found that the pilot appeared to be OK, and the plane did not seem to be damaged. No one else was in the plane.

The landing was reported to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Emergency landing shuts Dublin Airport

Dublin Airport was closed for almost an hour on Friday night after a transatlantic jet blocked both runways after an emergency landing. 

American Airlines flight AAL-155 came to a stop at the intersection of Dublin's two operational runways leaving dozens of planes circling over the Irish Sea.

Over 40 flights in all were affected with as many as 15 aircraft being forced to divert to Belfast, Shannon and Manchester while a further 20 departing jets were grounded.

Belfast's Aldergrove Airport finally said it could take no more flights and aircraft had to reroute to Shannon and Manchester instead.

The American Airlines flight was traveling from London to Boston with 172 passengers and crew and was about 400km west of Ireland when the crew reported a problem.

The pilot told controllers that he wished to turn around and divert to Dublin Airport reporting technical issues with the Boeing 757-200 plane's nose-wheel steering.

Dublin Airport's emergency plan was put into action while hospitals in the area were placed on alert. Seven units of Dublin Fire Brigade were mobilized in support of the airport's own fire crews.

As the plane neared Dublin, departing aircraft were grounded from 10pm while inbound flights were placed in holding patterns over north Co Dublin and the Irish Sea.

The troubled plane touched down shortly after 10.10pm and was quickly pursued along the runway by a fleet of emergency vehicles.

It came to a stop at the intersection of Dublin's only two operational runways leaving the airport unable to function. It remained there for 30 minutes until it could be towed to the terminal.

The airport reopened at 10.55pm.

Story and comments:

Bell 407, N429PH: Incident occurred Sunday, August 05, 2012 in San Antonio, Texas

NTSB Identification: CEN12IA518
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Incident occurred Sunday, August 05, 2012 in San Antonio, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/07/2014
Aircraft: BELL 407, registration: N429PH
Injuries: 4 Uninjured.

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

The helicopter was on a visual descent at night to a hospital helipad when its left skid struck a tower guy wire, which resulted in a portion of the left skid separating from the helicopter. The pilot declared an emergency and diverted to a nearby airport. The operator reported no preincident malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this incident as follows:
The pilot’s failure to maintain clearance from a tower guy wire during the approach to a helipad at night. 

On August 5, 2012, at 0331 central daylight time, a Bell 407 helicopter, N429PH, sustained minor damage when it contacted a tower guy wire while it was on approach to the helipad at the San Antonio Military Medical Center (SAMMC), San Antonio, Texas. The pilot, flight nurse, flight paramedic, and patient were not injured. The emergency medical services EMS helicopter was registered to and operated by PHI, Inc., under the provisions of the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was on a company visual flight rules (VFR) flight plan. The flight departed from the College Station Medical Center, College Station, Texas, at 0302.

The operator reported that the helicopter was on a visual descent to the SAMMC helipad when the helicopter's left skid contacted a tower guy wire, located northeast of the helipad, which resulted in a portion of the left skid separating from the helicopter. The pilot declared an emergency and diverted to the San Antonio International Airport (SAT), San Antonio, Texas. The operator reported that there was no malfunction or system failure of the helicopter before the incident.

A medical helicopter missing half its landing gear came to a gentle rest on top of three mattresses during an emergency landing at San Antonio International Airport, where the aircraft was diverted after it struck a cellphone tower early Sunday.

Around 3:30 a.m., a PHI Air Medical chopper carrying one patient and three crew members hit a tower near Interstate 35 and Binz-Engleman Road, knocking off one of the aircraft's two skids, PHI spokesman Brad Deutser said.
“Skids give you the balance to land on two feet, so to speak,” Deutser said.

According to San Antonio police, the impact occurred close to the helicopter's destination, the San Antonio Military Medical Center. The aircraft was directed to the airport, where San Antonio firefighters under the direction of Capt. Kevin Campbell were tasked with landing the damaged helicopter.

Campbell said the pilot, communicating through the airport's control tower, asked if firefighters had anything to put under the chopper so it could land.

A medical helicopter en route to a local hospital landed without part of its landing gear at the San Antonio International Airport, where the aircraft was diverted after it struck a cell phone tower early Sunday. 

Airport spokeswoman Nora Castro said around 3:30 a.m., an alert came in for an aircraft with landing gear issues attempting to land at the airport.

“A helicopter coming in from College Station struck a cell phone tower and one of the skids came off,” Castro said.

Brad Deutser, a spokesman for PHI Air Medical, said they believe the chopper struck some sort of radio antennae during flight; according to San Antonio police, the crash occurred near Interstate 35 and Binz-Engleman Road, close to its destination, the San Antonio Military Medical Center.

One patient was being transported to SAMMC, officials said, but information on the patient's injuries was not immediately available. Three crew members were also on board.

The chopper was diverted to the airport, Castro said, and was able to land safely despite missing half of its landing gear.

“Skids give you the balance to land on two feet, so to speak,” Deutser said. “It took extraordinary action; there was great focus and great skill by the crew, as well as ground crews, to ensure there was a safe landing. Some really talented people made this happen.”

Deutser said no one was injured in the landing, and the patient along with a flight paramedic then were flown via AirLife helicopter to SAMMC.

“There's a lot that we don't know,” said Deutser, “but there were no injuries, and that's the most important part.”

Read more:

Congolese FBO


Air Kasai Antonov 26B 9Q-CFM being refueled in the Republic of Congo. 

(Hat tip to Rob "Biz Jets" .... thanks!)

Amazing United States Coast Guard rescue caught on video


MACKINAC COUNTY -- U.S.C.G. Air Station Traverse City saved a family of four early this morning after they got lost on a canoe trip. 

 This all happened along the Carp River from M-123 to the East Lake Road Bridge near St. Ignace.

Around 5:45 p.m. Thursday, a mother, her two daughters, and son left for a five mile canoe trip. They were supposed to meet a family member a few hours later, but never showed up.

Mackinac County Sheriff's Deputies, DNR officers, and State Police searched by foot for the missing family. Around 2:15 Friday morning they asked the Coast Guard to assist in the search.

The Coast Guard spotted the canoes and saw the family waving their arms for help. One by one they hoisted them up to safety.

The family told crews that the conditions down the river were difficult to maneuver and they got lost.

For the entire story click on the video.

Boeing Airshow: CH-47 Helicopter and Special Forces Demonstration


The CH-47 Helicopter & Special Forces Demonstration performed over Lake Washington on Friday, Aug. 3.

Lightning strike sees Virgin jet forced back to Adelaide airport

A VIRGIN Australia flight was forced to return to Adelaide yesterday when lightning struck a wing. 

 The Brisbane-bound E190 aircraft was carrying 77 passengers and was hit shortly after taking off at 6.05am.

Adelaide comedy promoter Craig Egan was on flight DJ1385 and saw the lightning strike the wing.

"I certainly saw the fork hit the wing and we went up a little bit further," he said.

"Everyone was looking around wondering what happened ... There was nothing really wrong with the plane except (there was) a bit of turbulence."

Mr Egan said there were a few "oohs and ahs" at the flash of light but the crew handled it well, telling passengers they would return to Adelaide and then board other flights to Brisbane at no additional cost.

"There were a few people that were a little upset and I saw some people get off the plane and say they didn't want to get on another flight, they just wanted to go home," he said.

A Virgin Australia spokeswoman said lightning striking planes was an everyday occurrence worldwide.

The plane will undergo a routine safety inspection in Adelaide.

Meanwhile, Adelaide Airport's new multi-level, short-term car park opens this morning.

It is more than double the size of the old park.

Piper Aztec Low Pass

August 5, 2012 by Minesinger 
Make sure your sound is up.

Security breaches cause delays at Newark Liberty International Airport (KEWR), Newark, New Jersey

NEWARK — Terminal C had to be locked down and departing flights returned to their gates at Newark Liberty International Airport this morning, after officials realized a passenger had made it through a security checkpoint without being properly screened, a Port Authority Police spokesman said.

Service continued at Terminals A and B, but the lock down at Terminal C, which was ongoing as of 10:20 a.m., delayed flights and caused all passengers departing from that terminal to be re-screened, said the spokesman, Al Della Fave.

A second security breach took place at the airport earlier in the morning, but Della Fave could not provide details.

Della Fave said it was unclear just how the woman was improperly screened or how supervisors for the Transportation Security Administration at the terminal learned of the improper screening. Police determined the breach required the lockdown and re-screening procedures.

Planes that had left their gates after the improper screening had to be called back from the tarmac so that passengers on board could be re-screened, Della Fave said. He did not know how many passengers or flights were affected.

Terminal C is operated by United Airlines, which accounts for three quarters of all flights in and out of Newark Liberty International Airport.

Two separate security breaches caused problems for travelers at Terminal C in Newark Airport on Sunday.  

A TSA spokesperson told Eyewitness News that the first incident happened at 6:30 a.m. when an oversized bag that triggered an alarm. The bag was not cleared properly, but continued to the airline (United) for loading.
The TSA worked with the PA and the Bomb Squad to locate the oversized bag, which was then re-screened and cleared properly by 9:20 a.m.

The second incident at Newark Liberty International Airport happened at 8:45 a.m. when a passenger left a check point before he/or she was not properly screened. Because of this breach, Terminal C remained in a lockdown with no screenings taking place.

Doin' Time With Dan: Departing Runway 11, Aruba

 Aug 4, 2012 by lenswork4

Author Daniel Putkowski shows the departure from Aruba's Queen Beatrix Airport, and the flight along the island including the windy side, local neighborhoods, and the hotels along Palm Beach.

Robinson R44 Astro, Charles McCann, G-CMCC: Accident occurred August 05, 2012 at Nairobi-Wilson Airport (HKNW), Kenya

A gloomy mood engulfed Wilson Airport on Sunday afternoon at around minutes after 1pm when a chopper accidentally crashed and burst into flames seconds after taking off from the runway. Two occupants said to be of Zambian origin were on board at the time of the accident and narrowly escaped death in the spectacle which caught the attention of the nearby residents who flocked at the scene of the incident. Luckily, rescue efforts came in handy and the two occupants were quickly removed from the wreckage and immediately rushed to Nairobi Hospital.

Read more here:
Two occupants of a chopper were Sunday afternoon rescued and rushed to hospital after it crash-landed and burst into flames at the Wilson Airport, Nairobi. Police and witnesses said the chopper was taking off when it came down few seconds later and burst into flames.

One of those injured is said to be the owner of the aircraft and was in the company of another occupant. They are both Zambians and were headed for Tanzania when the incident happened.

The chopper is said to have come from Juba in South Sudan and had made a stop-over at Wilson Airport.

Police say the pilot was supposed to land in Mwanza for another stop-over before heading to their country.

Preliminary findings show the chopper developed mechanical problems few minutes after taking off.

Airport CID boss Joseph Ngisa said experts were on the ground to gather more information on the crash.

“The plane crash landed near the fence of the airport and so far two occupants have been rescued and rushed to hospital but it was burnt completely,” said Ngisa.

The incident came months after a police chopper crashed within Ngong Forest and burnt six occupants including the then internal security minister George Saitoti and his assistant Orwa Ojode.

The cause of both crashes is yet to be known.


 Investigators at the scene of the helicopter crash

Two pilots narrowly escaped death after a chopper they were flying crashed and burst into flames moments after taking off from Wilson Airport in Nairobi. 

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 5 – Two Zambian nationals are nursing serious injuries in hospital after a chopper they were flying in crash-landed and burst into flames at the Wilson Airport in Nairobi on Sunday. 

 Witnesses say the chopper was taking off when it came down a few seconds later and exploded into flames.

“I just saw the chopper drop and burst into a ball of flames before the rescue operation started,” said a private security guard at the busy airport.

Police said one of the Zambians is the owner of the ill-fated aircraft.

“Preliminary findings show the chopper developed mechanical problems immediately after taking off,” said Airport CID boss Joseph Ngisa.

The chopper is said to have come from Juba, South Sudan and had made a stop-over at the busy airport.

“I understand they were headed for Tanzania,” he said.

Cabinet Minister George Saitoti, his assistant Orwa Ojode their bodyguards, the pilot and co-pilot of the police helicopter that they were travelling in were killed in a helicopter crash on June 10, this year at Kibiku forest within Ngong.

The crash occurred at about 8.30am soon after the helicopter took off from Wilson Airport.

The pilots sustained serious injuries in the Sunday afternoon crash that reduced their chopper to a shell.  The privately-owned helicopter was heading to Mwanza when the accident occurred at 1.15pm Kenyan time. Confirming the accident, Kenya Airports Police Unit CID boss Joseph Ngisa said the chopper was owned by the injured pilot, who is a Zambian national.  Ngisa said the chopper left Juba town in South Sudan in the morning and made a brief stopover at Wilson airport for inspection.

He said after checking the engine the pilots took off from the airport, but the chopper developed mechanical problems forcing them to crash land it. Ngisa said quick action by security officers at the airport saved the lives of the two pilots who were rushed to Nairobi Hospital for treatment. “Immediately the two were pulled out, the chopper burst into flames”. Ngisa said. The accident occurs a month and half after a Kenya Police helicopter crashed in Ngong forest, killing Internal Security Minister Prof. George Saitoi, his deputy Orwa Ojode, two pilots and their two bodyguards.

Qantas stops take-off and ejects pilot who had been drinking

A Qantas captain was forced to relinquish the controls of a passenger jet last week just minutes before it was due to take off from Sydney Airport after cabin crew suspected she had been drinking alcohol before the flight. 

Qantas has launched an investigation into the incident after the senior pilot recorded a positive reading for alcohol.

The captain has been withheld from operational duties on full pay, but the airline will not comment on what reading she gave or how soon before the flight she had been drinking.

The incident occurred last Monday as the aircraft was about to depart. Flight attendants on the Boeing 767-300, which can carry as many as 254 passengers, told the airline's flight operations managers they suspected the captain of the plane had been drinking.

The twin-aisle aircraft had been pulled back from the domestic terminal and was moving towards a runway for take-off when Qantas management made the decision to stand down the captain from command of the plane.

The 767 returned to the domestic terminal where the captain was taken off the plane and a replacement pilot found.

It is rare for pilots to be removed from flying for breaching airline procedure. Qantas has a zero-tolerance to pilots recording an alcohol reading of any level. Fewer than 100 of Qantas' 2200 pilots are women.

The investigation into the captain's alcohol reading and removal last Monday is expected to take at least a month.

Qantas has informed Australia's air-safety regulator, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, of the incident. However, it is considered a matter for Qantas rather than the regulator because the testing of the captain was under the auspices of the airline's drug and alcohol management plan.

If it is determined to be a one-off incident, a pilot would be expected to undergo counseling and later a medical assessment to determine whether they are fit to fly.

But if it is a long-term problem, the pilot would be subjected to a rehabilitation program and suspended from duties.

CASA has been conducting random breath tests of pilots, flight attendants and ground crews at airports since 2008. The rate of positive tests is understood to be low.

A Qantas spokesman confirmed a captain had been ''withheld from service for administrative reasons'' last week but he declined to comment further because the matter was under investigation.

A spokesman for CASA said yesterday it would not comment on any specific drug and alcohol testing carried out by an airline. ''Anyone found to be affected by alcohol or drugs while performing, or when they are available to perform, safety-sensitive aviation activities will automatically be suspended from duties,'' he said.

''They are not able to return to duty until they have been medically assessed, undergone rehabilitation if appropriate and given a medical clearance.''

Read more:

British teenager thought to be high on drugs was held by police after he allegedly started lashing out at passengers on a Monarch flight from Majorca to Birmingham

More than 200 passengers were evacuated from a holiday jet after a British teenager allegedly “freaked out” and began lashing out at others on the flight. 

The pilot of the Monarch flight to Birmingham called police after the 17-year-old was said to have turned aggressive as the plane taxied to the runway in Palma, Majorca.

Civil guards restrained the boy and took him away in handcuffs when he resisted arrest.

Police sources said they suspected he was high on drugs and had tried to board flight ZC959 straight after leaving a local nightclub.

Passengers and crew are thought to have helped pin him down in the gully before police were called on Friday morning.

One passenger, who asked not to be named, said: "He freaked out and started lashing out at people as the plane was taxiing on the runway before take-off.

"People started screaming and children crying. It was like a scene from a movie."

A source close to the investigation said: "The pilot asked the control tower to call police minutes before take-off when (the teenager) started lashing out at other passengers.

"He called again moments later to say he was ordering the evacuation of the plane.

"Civil Guard officers had to race across the runway. He was virtually alone in the plane when they boarded and had to use physical force to arrest him.

"He looked as high as a kite and detectives suspect he may still have thought he was in a nightclub, not a plane."

Read more here:

Civil Air Patrol won’t release findings of probe of historians’ complaints

The Civil Air Patrol, a 70-year-old nonprofit that operates as an official U.S. Air Force auxiliary and receives tens of millions of dollars in federal funding annually for search and rescue and other operations, won’t release findings of an internal investigation into allegations its historians stole donated artifacts. 

Volunteer historians in the Civil Air Patrol’s historical foundation have alleged for more than a year that the organization fails to properly account for uniforms and memorabilia entrusted to its care and that some of its historians have stolen those donated items.

The Civil Air Patrol, a 61,000-member nationwide organization, investigated those allegations and completed an internal report in March, but refuses to make the findings public, contending that this is a private matter not subject to public scrutiny.

The historical foundation uses the Civil Air Patrol’s name and is populated by its members. But the CAP’s leaders said the historical foundation is a legally separate nonprofit organization not covered by the Freedom of Information Act, a law that allows the public to obtain copies of government records.

The Civil Air Patrol’s national commander, Maj. Gen. Charles L. Carr Jr. of Columbus, and senior officials at its national headquarters at Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery, Ala., refused repeated requests from the Dayton Daily News and its lawyer to see the organization’s investigative report.

Carr declined to discuss any details of the report.

“There was no evidence of wrongdoing whatsoever,” Carr said. “I can assure you that if there was any evidence of wrongdoing, actions would have been taken.”

Rafael Robles, general counsel of the Civil Air Patrol, said that even if anyone had been disciplined, the organization would not disclose it.

“CAP is under no ethical or legal obligation to provide the results of our internal investigation. Any findings and/or personnel actions taken are private and deemed confidential,” Robles wrote in an email responding to written questions from the Dayton Daily News.

Richard Anderson, a Virginia state legislator who is a member of the CAP’s board of governors, its governing entity, said that releasing the CAP’s internal report would expose the identities of people who were interviewed for it.

The Air Force, which oversees and provides operational funding for the Civil Air Patrol, said it does not have the report and isn’t entitled to it because the historical foundation is beyond the reach of the Air Force.

“The Civil Air Patrol is established, in part, to serve as an auxiliary of the Air Force and chartered by Congress as a private, nonprofit corporation. The scope and authority of the Secretary of the Air Force depends on the specific CAP function being performed,” said Maj. Jennifer Spires, an Air Force spokeswoman at the Pentagon. “The alleged misuse of historic aviation artifacts by CAP, and any corollary investigation, is a matter properly within CAP’s corporate status and outside of its role as an auxiliary of the Air Force.”

The Civil Air Patrol, founded in 1941, is a civilian entity organized on a military model. It has three congressionally assigned key missions: emergency services including search and rescue, and disaster relief operations; aerospace education for youth and the public; and cadet programs for teenagers. That included the 2012 national cadet competition in June at Wright State University’s Nutter Center.

The organization is heavily dependent on the Air Force, with its national headquarters and many of its state wing organizations maintaining their offices on Air Force bases. Through the Air Force, the Civil Air Patrol was allocated $37.7 million in federal funding this year for operations, maintenance, and aircraft and vehicle procurement. That funding does not extend to the CAP’s legally separate historical foundation, the Air Force said.

The misappropriation, or at least undocumented handling, of donated historical items undermines confidence in the Civil Air Patrol, its historians said.

“We would ask where it was, and we wouldn’t get any answers,” said Ed O’Brien, a Civil Air Patrol historian, deputy squadron commander and member of its Colorado Wing, based in Denver. “I found out that some of the stuff I’d sent in never got accounted for.”

O’Brien said he accepted a family’s donation of the military footlocker, and uniform brass and silver decorations, of the late John F. Curry, who served in the Army Air Corps, was the first national commander of the Civil Air Patrol, oversaw Dayton’s former McCook Field military facility and supervised the 1920s construction of Wright Field, now part of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

The Curry items were supposed to have been displayed at the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum in Denver or at the Civil Air Patrol’s national headquarters, O’Brien said.

“And it wasn’t. I don’t know why. It was never returned here,” he said. “I did get a receipt, which I sent on to the family.”

The internal investigation also focused on what happened to a military uniform and hat donated to James Shaw, now the Civil Air Patrol’s national curator, by Adair Nunnally Pizer, of Valdosta, Ga. Pizer said the items had belonged to her late husband, George Winship Nunnally, a successful Atlanta businessman and early founder of the CAP and its Georgia Wing, and that she personally entrusted them to Shaw, of Leesburg, Ga.

“We just wanted it to go into the collection of the Civil Air Patrol,” Pizer said last week.

She said Shaw told her he arranged for display of the items at a CAP meeting on Jekyll Island, Ga., and at Robins Air Force Base, Ga.

But other CAP historians complained about a May 2009 online posting attributed to Shaw on a CAP chat website that made this reference to the Nunnally uniform: “There is a uniform in my private collection that belonged to the first (Georgia Wing) commander. … The widow gave me the uniform several years ago, along with pictures of him.”

Shaw, reached at his Georgia home, referred questions to the CAP’s national headquarters. Carr, the CAP’s national commander, wrote in a March 2012 letter that the internal investigation had been completed and he would give Shaw, identified only as the national curator, a “verbal counseling.”

It isn’t the first sign of trouble for the Civil Air Patrol. A March 2011 inquiry by the Air Force inspector general, prompted by complaints from within the Civil Air Patrol, said the organization has suffered for years from turmoil and political infighting at its highest ranks.

Most of the 25 witnesses interviewed for that report “blamed the turmoil on CAP’s acrimonious political culture” and said the organization had a patronage system and separate entities that competed for governing authority, the Air Force investigators concluded. They recommended that the CAP consider improvements to its governing structure.

In 2007, the CAP ousted its then-national commander, Antonio J. Pineda, over allegations that another CAP member had taken tests for him at the Air Force’s Air Command and Staff College in 2002 and 2003. Pineda’s successor, Amy S. Courter, the CAP’s first female national commander, later complained of lack of cooperation from senior CAP officials in the organization she inherited.

Most of the CAP’s ranks are volunteers, outside of a paid staff at the national headquarters. Despite the organization’s high-level turmoil, its membership is steady and it performs its missions capably, the Air Force inspector general’s report noted.

“The Civil Air Patrol is a very vibrant organization,” said Carr, its current national commander. “Our people are very dedicated in what they do.”

Charlotte/Douglas International (KCLT), North Carolina: Airport works to control bird strikes


FAA data shows that birds have hit planes taking off and landing at Charlotte Douglas dozens of times already this year.

The airport told Eyewitness News it's making new strides this year to control the problem.

"It is always a daily fight. We are always looking for birds that are on the airfield, around the airfield," said Deputy Director Jack Christine.

Summer is the busiest time of the year for bird strikes. Earlier this month, a bird caused terrifying damage to the nose of a plane at Denver's airport, but thankfully no one was injured.

As Charlotte Douglas grows in size and popularity so does the number of dangerous bird strikes. The FAA reported there were 140 bird strikes at the airport last year.

"The last time I got on a plane I saw a bird flying around, I got a little nervous," said passenger Jonathan Dorian.

There have been 24 bird strikes so far this year according to the FAA. That's a 40 percent decrease compared to same time frame last year.

Of the 24 confirmed bird strikes this year at Charlotte Douglas, the FAA said only one caused serious damage to the plane.

In February, the airport hired five new landscaping companies to do a better job of keeping the grass short. The airport is paying those companies $27,000 a month.

Five erosion control ponds have also been closed within the last year. Those ponds were needed for construction projects, but the standing water attracted birds.

"Reducing the amount of open water reduces the attractiveness of the area to birds," said Christine.

A lot of the decrease is due to old-fashioned patrolling and old-fashioned scare tactics, like having airport workers honk their horns as they patrol the perimeter.

If that doesn't work, airport operations crews use noise guns to disperse groups of birds.

Story and video:

No inquiry into jet use at Mountain State University: Thousands of flights took millions of dollars away from ailing school

Click here to see a map of flights taken by former MSU president Charles Polk.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Six months after Mountain State University fired its longtime president for steering the school into an accreditation meltdown, MSU's trustees have still not investigated the ousted president's frequent use of the university's private jet, as they said they would. 

When the MSU Board of Trustees fired Polk in January, its members publicly pledged to investigate how he had used the school's two airplanes after The Charleston Gazette reported that Polk had made hundreds of flights that appeared to have no university purpose.

Yet six months later, when MSU is just months away from shutting down after losing its accreditation, Polk has yet to face any sanctions from the board for his plane usage, and no investigation has been launched.

"With everything going on at the institution, we have not done any kind of investigation with Dr. Polk's use of the plane," Jerry Ice, chairman of the Board of Trustees, said last week.

Newly acquired flight records obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request show that MSU officials made thousands of flights that sucked millions of dollars from the struggling college's bank account.

In the past decade, more than 1,400 flights were made on Mountain State's two aircraft, a Cessna 500 jet and a single-engine Cirrus SR22 propeller plane. Those flights cost MSU about $2.5 million in fuel and in landing fees, according to Federal Aviation Administration records.

The cost breakdowns are based on per-hour estimates provided to The Wall Street Journal by aviation consulting firm Conklin & de Decker Aviation.

Most of those flights were made to and from Beckley, where MSU's main campus is located. In the flights to and from Beckley alone, MSU officials used a university plane to travel to 24 states more than 1,100 times in the past 10 years.

In an interview before he was fired, Polk said all of the flights were made solely for university business, but he could not specifically identify what the business purpose was when asked about particular flights.

"I guess that depends how you define solely university business," said Polk. "There's a university purpose behind every use of that plane."

Not all the flights made by MSU's jet departed from or arrived in Beckley. School officials often would make a trip to Florida and then fly from there to North Carolina.

In the past decade, 249 flights were made on MSU's jet to the North Carolina airport about 20 minutes away from Polk's home in Mooresville, according to flight records. MSU opened a branch campus in Mooresville in 2009, but flights to the North Carolina airport near Polk's home began in 2002.

Fifty-nine flights also were made to Polk's hometown of Lufkin, Texas, according to the flight records.

Last month, MSU became the first institution in West Virginia history to have its general accreditation revoked by the Higher Learning Commission.

MSU will shut down on Dec. 31, at which point the University of Charleston will take over the school's Beckley and Martinsburg campuses.

After he was fired, many school officials blamed Polk for creating a university culture where program quality was second to a relentless drive for profits -- a model that ultimately led to MSU's demise.

In the wake of MSU's accreditation loss, the Board of Trustees has said it plans to sell both university aircraft.

MSU purchased the 1974 Cessna 500 jet in 2001, according to FAA licensing records, and school officials made frequent use of the aircraft. MSU paid between $1 million and $1.5 million for the twin-engine jet, said Polk. He justified its purchase as a way to cut down on travel and hotel costs.

MSU bought the single-engine 2002 Cirrus Design Corp. SR22 airplane in 2009 for about $200,000, Polk said.

No public universities in West Virginia own private aircraft, according to the Higher Education Policy Commission.

West Virginia University leases a jet from an aviation company but does not own an airplane, said WVU spokesman John Bolt. From July 1, 2010, to June 30, 2011, WVU's leased plane made 127 flights.

Click here to see a map of flights taken by former MSU president Charles Polk.

Canada In Winter: Trying To Start A Cold Cessna 172N Engine & Flat Oleo

July 27, 2012 by AlexErik82 
"This is what happens when you don't properly plug in your oil pan heater and try and start the aircraft in the morning. I had an instructional flight booking so my instructing decided to give it a go anyway after 30 mins of attempted heating. Temperature was down to approximately -25C."

 July 27, 2012 by AlexErik82 
"A Cessna 172N flat oleo caused by leaking fluid through seals affected by the extreme cold weather."

Piper Seneca PA34 Oil Filter Door Mod - Bogert Aviation - Aircraft Maintenance


July 26, 2012 by Bogert Aviation 

Changing oil on Seneca II and Seneca III airplanes usually involves some clean up because the oil filter must be turned on it's side to remove it from the aircraft. This dumps dirty oil inside the engine nacelle that must be cleaned up. Even with solvent, some oil gets trapped between the lap joints and it will streak out making a mess when flown. Removing the nacelle would solve the problem but it's hard to do and takes lots of time. The answer is simple, add an access panel directly below the filter. The filter can be removed directly out the bottom of the cowling eliminating the mess and saving either the cowling removal time or the clean up time. Either way you win. This was such a good idea that Piper adopted it on late model PA34-220 T aircraft.

India: Former MDLR Airlines staffer commits suicide; Delhi Police register case against Haryana minister

23-year-old Geetika Sharma, a former air hostess with the MDLR Airlines committed suicide by hanging herself in her house on Saturday, August 4.

According to the police, a suicide note was found in Geetika Sharma's apartment that blames the Chairman of the MDLR Airlines, Gopal Kanda, who is also the Minister of State (MoS) in the Home Ministry in the Haryana government. He also owns a fleet of hotels including the Park Plaza in Gurgaon. MDLR Airlines ceased operations in 2009.

A 23-year-old former woman employee of now defunct MDLR airline allegedly committed suicide at her residence in Delhi and police on Sunday registered a case against a Haryana minister, who was the owner of the airline, on charges of abetting the crime.

Geetika Sharma, who quit Haryana Minister Gopal Kanda's company recently, allegedly committed suicide at her Ashok Vihar residence in north-west Delhi residence on Saturday night, apparently depressed over continuing mental harassment allegedly by the minister, police said.

Kanda is the Minister of State for Home Affairs in the Haryana government.

"We have registered a case of abetment to suicide against Kanda and Aruna Chaddha, a manager with Kanda's firm," P Karunakaran, Deputy Commissioner of Police (North-West), said.

Police received a call this morning about the alleged suicide, he said.

In her suicide note, Geetika had claimed that Kanda was torturing her mentally after she left her job in his company and was pressurising her to join his firm again.

"She has written about the Haryana Minister in the suicide note. It was written that they have broken her trust. They have cheated her. Due to these things, she was committing suicide," the DCP said.

Kanda could not be contacted for his comments.

After the MDLR airline became non-operational where she was working as an air-hostess, she was made director in one of the subsidiary companies owned by Kanda. She quit the job recently.

"When the airline's operation was suspended, Kanda offered her another job. She refused that offer and joined Emirates in Dubai. He then wrote a letter to Emirates making allegations against her character which lead to her termination," Gaurav Sharma, Geetika's brother, alleged.

"Kanda had told her that she has to work in his company only and that she could not work anywhere else. He used to spy on her and follow her. He used to call her and say that she cannot work anywhere else other than his company," Gaurav alleged.

Gaurav claimed that his sister, in her suicide note, wrote that her colleague Archana Chaddha and Kanda had breached her trust.

"I have believed these people, but they are not trustworthy. She has said that whatever has happened with her, it shouldn't happen with anyone else. To save herself from these circumstances, she took this step," Gaurav quoted from the note.

A senior police official said they were investigating the matter and will question the minister soon.

ORNGE investigation: Whistle-blower suspended after testifying at probe

A whistleblower pilot who has been a thorn in the side of ORNGE management past and present has been suspended following his testimony at a Queen’s Park committee probing the troubled air ambulance service.

Veteran helicopter pilot Bruce Wade was suspended with pay Thursday along with another unnamed ORNGE employee. Both work out of the Thunder Bay regional centre.

Wade would not agree to be interviewed by the Star for this story.

An ORNGE insider said “the optics are terrible,” referring to a suspension coming two days after testimony that savaged both the old ORNGE bosses and took shots at the system now in place. The insider said the suspension was in the works prior to testimony and came because a Thunder Bay ORNGE airplane pilot (ORNGE has both helicopters and airplanes) had filed complaints against Wade raising “health and safety issues” which, under an agreement with ORNGE unions, had to be investigated.

The insider referred to Wade as a “good pilot with a good record.” Wade has been a chopper pilot since 1995 and began flying for ORNGE’s predecessor service in 2001.

An external investigation team is being sent to Thunder Bay to probe the complaints, which the source refused to describe.

On Tuesday, Wade told the committee he was thankful the executive “sycophants” at ORNGE were gone.

“Across our system we rejoiced when the auditor delved further into ORNGE. It was then we thought reasonable people would step in and stop all helicopter pilot and engineer transfers into ORNGE once it became evident just how bad things really were,” Wade said.

Wade was referring to the decision to transfer all human and mechanical assets from Canadian Helicopters Ltd., which used to provide choppers and pilots under a contract with ORNGE, to the new ORNGE. That was a decision spearheaded by founder Dr. Chris Mazza.

Wade and others in the system believe ORNGE delivered a better service when it contracted to an experienced helicopter company. Today at ORNGE, the Star has found, there are few people experienced in running the aviation side of the service.

Read more here:

Five including teen pilot die in plane crashes;art214,311746

D-EKLT Piper Archer II operated by Flight Technical Working Group  photo

Es war der erste Alleinflug einer 17 Jahre alten Flugschülerin, der am Samstagabend in einer Katastrophe endete: Um 19.15 Uhr krachte die zweisitzige Maschine in ein Wohnhaus im Quakenbrücker Stadtteil Neustadt.

A teenage glider pilot died on Saturday after crashing into a house in Lower Saxony. Four more people died on Sunday when their single-engine plane crashed and caught on fire in Bavaria.

The 17-year-old girl had started from a glider airfield near Osnabrück with no problems, but then came down in Quakenbrück, clipping several houses before smashing into one seemingly head-on.

No-one on the ground was hurt, but the pilot was killed. A police officer told Die Welt newspaper, “A colleague saw the crash himself. The plane looked to be flying very low, and made irregular movements.”

Four more people died when their single-engine plane crashed on Sunday morning near Coburg, Bavaria. A police spokeswoman said the pilot was a 31-year-old woman and that her passengers were another 31-year-old woman and two men aged 28 and 44.

The plane started from the airfield in Steinrücken, but then crashed into woodland just 500 metres or so from the runway and caught fire.

Story and photo:

Vier Wohnhäuser beschädigt

Nach Polizeiangaben war die 17-Jährige auf dem Segelflugplatz Quakenbrück gestartet. Aus noch ungeklärter Ursache flog sie - vermutlich beim Landeanflug - um 19.15 Uhr in die Front eines Reihenhauses im Stadtteil Neustadt. Laut Polizei wurden insgesamt vier Häuser beschädigt. Wie Zeugen - unter ihnen auch Polizisten - berichteten, hatte sich die zweisitzige Maschine kurz vor dem Absturz unruhig und wellenförmig bewegt. Der Fluglehrer der jungen Frau soll über Funk noch versucht haben einzugreifen.

 Four houses damaged

According to police, the 17-year-old on the airfield Quakenbrück was started. For yet unknown reasons, she was flying - probably on landing - at 19.15 clock in the front of a row house in the suburb of New Town. According to police, four houses were damaged. As witnesses - including police - reported that the two-seater plane had moved shortly before the crash, restless and wavy. The instructor of the young woman allegedly tried to intervene on the radio yet.;art214,311746

D-EKLT Piper Archer II operated by Flight Technical Working Group  photo

Dangerous Airport: Bokondini, Papua - Indonesia


by 007armymen  
30 minutes to Bokondini
Pass close to mountain
It's very dangerous too.... only few planes fly there.