Monday, August 06, 2012

Two men arrested after plane seen flying recklessly before landing in St. Lucie County, Florida

Photographer: St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office

ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. — A man accused of operating a single-engine plane while under the influence was arrested early Sunday after landing at the St. Lucie County International Airport, according to affidavits obtained Monday. 

David Wayne King, 36, of New Port Richey, was arrested on a felony reckless operation of an aircraft while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage charge after a St. Lucie County Sheriff's helicopter pilot reported seeing his plane flying very low and trying to land several times.

The incidents happened around 1:30 a.m. Sunday.

A passenger in the plane, 47-year-old John Gibson, of Tarpon Springs, also was arrested. Investigators found 15 alprazolam pills in his pocket and a pipe with possible marijuana residue. He was arrested on charges including possession of a controlled substance without a prescription and drug equipment possession and/or use.

After the single-engine plane landed, King told a Florida Highway Patrol investigator he was a pilot and had flown to the airport in northern St. Lucie County.

The FHP official smelled alcohol on King's breath and reported his eyes were watery and bloodshot. King said the passenger had a pilot's license, though was "to(o) drunk to fly."

After conducting field sobriety exercises, the FHP official arrested King. King declined to take a breath test.

A St. Lucie County Sheriff's deputy arrested Gibson, who initially refused to exit the aircraft.

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Pilatus PC-12 landing; East Shore Aviation in Charleston, South Carolina

August  5, 2012 by atcpilotsc 
"Dave landing the mighty PC12 - Dave is a retired airline 737 Captain and current Director of Operations at East Shore Aviation.  East Shore Aviation in located in Charleston South Carolina."
Follow @flyeastshore!

Pakistan Air Force training aircraft makes emergency landing in Charsadda

CHARSADDA: A Mushshak aircraft of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) made an emergency landing at Ghari Saifullah on Monday morning in the jurisdiction of Umarzai Tangi, Charsadda Police Station. No casualties were reported in the incident. 

DPO Charsadda confirmed that a Mushshak aircraft was partially damaged during the landing and added that it was due to a technical fault.

He further said that Squadron Leader Ibraheem and pilot Imran, who were on the plane, remained safe. Only the tires of the plane were damaged in the incident, he added.

The area was cordoned off by the police immediately after the incident while senior PAF officials also collected evidence from the site for further investigations. “After proper inquiry, we will give the report to the PAF administration,” said DCO Ajmal Khan.

ICON Aircraft and Cirrus Aircraft to Partner on the Production of the ICON A5 Amphibious Sport Plane

DULUTH, Minn., Aug. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- ICON Aircraft and Cirrus Aircraft today announced that Cirrus will become one of the key strategic supplier partners for the ICON A5 amphibious Light Sport Aircraft. The companies have agreed that Cirrus Aircraft, the manufacturer of the leading SR20 and SR22 lines of high-performance single-engine aircraft, will produce a significant portion of the composite airframe components for ICON Aircraft. 

"Cirrus has a global reputation for producing truly outstanding composite aircraft structures," said Kirk Hawkins, founder and CEO of ICON Aircraft. "Their extensive experience, specifically in composite sandwich-production techniques, makes them an ideal production partner for ICON. We are thrilled that Cirrus is demonstrating their commitment to growing aviation at the consumer entry point through this collaboration with ICON. The core capabilities of ICON and Cirrus are highly complementary, and this new pairing creates extraordinary potential for the future of aviation."

All composite structures produced by Cirrus for ICON will be manufactured exclusively in the Cirrus Grand Forks, North Dakota, factory alongside the SR20 and SR22 component production lines. Using the composite assemblies supplied by Cirrus and other suppliers, ICON will control all design, system integration, final assembly, finishing and testing at its facility in Tehachapi, California. Composite component production will begin at the end of 2012, and the first production aircraft will be completed in the summer of 2013.

"The ICON A5 is certainly the most innovative LSA on the market, and we're delighted to be able to play a meaningful role in bringing it to production," said Dale Klapmeier, CEO of Cirrus Aircraft. "We believe that Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) and Sport Pilots are critically important to the growth and future of aviation. Cirrus and ICON share the common vision that exciting, innovative and safe new aircraft are a key to unlocking the enormous potential within our industry. ICON has hit the nail on the head with the A5, and we're excited to combine Cirrus' 15-plus years of world-class composite aircraft development and production experience with ICON's truly exceptional consumer product design and engineering abilities."

For more information, visit: and


Cirrus Aircraft is a recognized leader in general aviation. Its all-composite line of personal aircraft - the SR20, SR22 and the turbocharged SR22T - incorporate innovative and advanced performance, electronic and safety technologies, including Cirrus Perspective(TM) by Garmin® avionics and the unique Cirrus Airframe Parachute System(TM) (CAPS). As of mid-2012, total time on the worldwide Cirrus Aircraft SR-series fleet surpassed five-and-a-half-million flight hours with 57 lives saved to date as a direct result of CAPS being a standard safety feature on all Cirrus aircraft. The Cirrus Vision SF50 jet, with over 500 production positions reserved, will provide a new personal and regional business transportation solution - the personal jet. All Cirrus aircraft are made in the USA with a direct sales force in North America and authorized sales centers covering export markets in more than 60 countries around the world. Cirrus Aircraft is wholly owned by China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Co., Ltd. (CAIGA).


ICON Aircraft is a consumer sport plane manufacturer founded in response to the new sport flying category created by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). ICON's first plane is the A5, an amphibious sport aircraft that fuses outstanding aeronautical engineering with world-class product design. It has won some of the world's most prestigious design awards and has inspired a global following. The company has received more than 850 order deposits and first production aircraft are scheduled for summer 2013. ICON Aircraft, initially a Silicon Valley venture-backed startup out of Stanford University, today has its facilities in Southern California, a global hotbed for both automotive design and aerospace engineering.


In 2004, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) created a new classification of easy-to-fly and affordable two-person airplanes called Light Sport Aircraft. These airplanes enable a new classification of Sport Pilots to fly in lower altitude, uncongested airspace, during the daytime, and in good weather. The Sport Pilot License focuses on the fundamentals of flying and requires a minimum of 20 hours of in-flight training, undercutting the time and cost of a traditional Private Pilot License by about 50%. Under these new FAA rules, a Sport Pilot can be safely trained and licensed in less than two weeks and under $6,000. The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) has described the new rules as "the biggest change in aviation in 50 years."

SOURCE Cirrus Aircraft

Piper PA-60-601P, N956AF: Accident occurred February 17, 1996 in Atlantic Ocean

NTSB Identification: MIA96LA175. 
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Saturday, February 17, 1996 in ATLANTIC OCEAN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/20/1996
Aircraft: Piper PA-60-601P, registration: N956AF
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

The pilot had departed Swainsboro, Georgia at 1930 EST on an IFR flight. About 12 minutes later, he informed Jacksonville Center that he was very dizzy and could not see. There were no other recorded transmissions from the pilot. The airplane was tracked on radar until radar contact was lost at 2130. The airplane was at a heading of 110 degrees and an altitude of 9,000 feet the entire time. Attempts to locate the airplane by aerial intercept were uneventful. All shipping vessels along the airplane's expected course, were notified of the airplane's estimated fuel exhaustion point. No contact was reported and the search was suspended. Prior to departing Swainsboro, the pilot had mentioned to his wife that he had a headache. A review of the pilot's medical records revealed that he had twice indicated on his application for a medical certificate that he had a medical history of unconsciousness. In addition, he was being treated for hypertension with Norvasc and chlorthalidone prescription drugs.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
pilot incapacitation.

On February 17, 1996, a Piper PA-60-601P, N956AF, registered to Palmetto One Ltd., operating as a 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight, crashed in the Atlantic Ocean at an undetermined time. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an IFR flight plan was filed. The airplane is missing and is presumed to be destroyed. The commercial pilot is missing and is presumed to be fatally injured. The flight originated from Swainsboro, Georgia, at about 1930 eastern standard time and the destination airport was Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

Transcripts of recorded communication between Jacksonville Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC), and N956AF revealed n956AF established initial radio contact with Jacksonville ARTCC at 1938. At 1942, N956AF informed Jacksonville ARTCC, "aero star six alpha fox with a problem.... I'm very dizzy and I I can't see." There were no other known recorded radio communications with N956AF.

A controller, from the Fleet Area Control Surveillance Facility (FACSFAC), located at Jacksonville Naval Air Station, Jacksonville, Florida, stated they were notified of the in-flight emergency by Savannah Approach Control. A short time later, Savannah approach lost radio communication with N956AF, and requested FACSFAC to track the airplane on radar. Radar contact was lost with N956AF at 2130. Attempts to locate N956AF by aerial intercept were uneventful. All shipping vessels located along N956AF flight course, were notified of the airplane's estimated fuel exhaustion point based on known performance and flight path data. No contact has been reported and the search was suspended on February 19, 1996.

The pilot's wife stated her husband called her on the telephone prior to departing Swainsboro. During their conversation, he stated he had a headache and believed it was due to tension from attending a seminar earlier in the day. He informed her that he would be home no later than 8 PM, and that he would check in the airplane to see if he could find some tylenol.

A review of the pilot's medical records, on file at the Federal Aviation Administration, Aeromedical Certificate Division, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, revealed the pilot indicated on his application for a second class medical certificate on April 3, 1992, and May 5, 1993, that he had a medical history of unconsciousness and did not explain the loss of consciousness on his application. The FAA Aeromedical Certification Division sent a certified letter to the pilot on May 5, 1992 requesting an explanation for the loss of unconsciousness. The pilot replied in a letter dated May 15, 1992, that he had been involved in a car accident. Further review of the pilot's medical records revealed the pilot was being treated for hypertension with Norvasc and chlorthalidone prescription drugs.

Plane wreckage found in ocean bottom Joe Kistel and TISIRI diver Ed Kalakauskis found wreckage of a plane 80 feet below the surface off the coast of Florida. 

Stewart Dunbar was piloting the Piper PA-60-601P when he disappeared on February 17, 1996. Dunbar reportedly started feeling dizzy and said he was having trouble seeing. He radioed a distress call and advised the radio control tower in Jacksonville, Florida.  

Vision Flight Deck Takes Centre Stage at LABACE 2012  link to LABACE

MONTRÉAL, QUÉBEC--(Marketwire - Aug. 6, 2012) - Bombardier, the world's leading business aircraft manufacturer, will showcase its Vision Flight Deck cockpit at the ninth Latin American Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (LABACE) at Congonhas airport in São Paulo, Brazil from August 15-17, 2012. Joining the debuting Global 6000 jet, Bombardier will present a Challenger 300, a Learjet 45 XR and a Learjet 60 XR aircraft on static display. 

"As the Latin American market continues to grow in strength and importance on the world stage, with the region forecast to grow with nearly 1,000 deliveries over the next decade, once again the world's eyes will be focused on business aviation in Latin America," said Fabio Rebello, Regional Vice-President, Sales, Latin America, Bombardier Business Aircraft. "It is truly exciting for us to showcase the Global 6000 aircraft with the Vision Flight Deck cockpit for the very first time in this marketplace. We strongly believe that once customers have experienced the Global 6000 jet, featuring a full stand-up shower - an essential for any long journey, our position as the world's leading business aircraft manufacturer becomes evident."

Bombardier forecast that the Latin American market will account for some 2,285 business aircraft deliveries over the period from 2012-2031, which is broken down into 985 deliveries between 2012 and 2021, and 1,300 deliveries from 2022 to 2031. It is forecast that the fleet of 1,650 business jets at the end of 2011 will increase to 3,135 aircraft by the end of 2031, equivalent to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of three per cent.

Putting our customers first locally, globally

Bombardier is committed to putting its customers first by offering the highest level of support as close as possible to their operational bases. As part of this commitment to customers in Latin America, Bombardier opened a business aircraft Regional Support Office (RSO) in São Paulo, Brazil, in 2011. The RSO is located alongside Bombardier's already-established parts depot and Authorized Service Facility (ASF), SynerJet Brasil. The office is staffed by an RSO Manager who oversees three Field Service Representatives, with a long-term plan to add a Customer Support Account Manager and Customer Liaison Pilot.

To complement its extensive support network, Bombardier offers optimized maintenance and support solutions through its Smart Services programs. With more than 25 years' experience in providing cost protection and budget predictability for its business aircraft customers, the pioneering Smart Parts program has continued to gain popularity among business aircraft operators worldwide.

Learjet 45 XR aircraft: When compared to its closest competitor, the eight-to-nine passenger Learjet 45 XR aircraft flies faster and farther, with more passengers*. The jet's passenger cabin area is approximately 15 inches (38 cm) longer and features the only double-club seating configuration in its class, making it an ideal product for charter and fractional operators.

Learjet 60 XR aircraft: The Learjet 60 XR aircraft is a proven model of performance, comfort, value and technology in the midsize jet market segment. It delivers a high cruise speed of Mach 0.81 (863 km/hr), superior climb capabilities, proven fuel efficiency and low direct operating costs per nautical mile*. The jet's higher operating altitudes - certified to 51,000 ft (15,545 m) - translate to time savings due to better winds, less traffic and less turbulence.

Challenger 300 aircraft: This first true super-midsize aircraft offers transcontinental range and superior long-range cruise speed, with eight-to-ten passengers. It can fly São Paulo-Caracas and São Paulo-Quito non-stop with eight passengers and NBAA IFR reserves, and its superior airfield performance allows it to operate out of 5,000-foot (1,524-m) runways with ease*. The Challenger 300 jet offers the best performance and value in its class combined with a dispatch reliability consistently over 99.7 per cent - this aircraft has exceeded customer expectations since its entry-into-service in 2004.

Global 6000 aircraft: The Global 6000 business jet features the largest cabin of any purpose-built corporate aircraft - offering more cabin volume and more floor space than its closest competitor. No other business jet in the ultra long-range segment matches the high-speed range capability delivered by this aircraft. Offering the ultimate in cabin comfort, this impressive jet can link São Paulo-Geneva, São Paulo-Phoenix and fly 6,000 nm (11,112 km) non-stop with eight passengers and three-to-four crew*.

About Bombardier

Bombardier is the world's only manufacturer of both planes and trains. Looking far ahead while delivering today, Bombardier is evolving mobility worldwide by answering the call for more efficient, sustainable and enjoyable transportation everywhere. Our vehicles, services and, most of all, our employees are what make us a global leader in transportation.

Bombardier is headquartered in Montréal, Canada. Our shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (BBD) and we are listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability World and North America indexes. In the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011, we posted revenues of $18.3 billion USD. News and information are available at or follow us on Twitter @Bombardier.

Follow @Bombardier_Aero on Twitter to receive the latest news and updates from Bombardier Aerospace.

*Under certain operating conditions.

Bombardier, Challenger 300, Global 6000, Learjet 45, Learjet 60, Smart Parts, Smart Services, The Evolution of Mobility, Vision Flight Deck and XR are trademarks of Bombardier Inc. or its subsidiaries.  link to LABACE

Flexjet and Bombardier Launch Nationwide Learjet 85 Aircraft Mock-Up Tour

- Bombardier's exclusive fractional launch customer, Flexjet, showcases new aircraft model at 11 private events in a coast-to-coast U.S. tour 

-- Guests to interact with an aircraft that is set to revolutionize the industry and enjoy experiences provided by select luxury partners

Flexjet, the first fractional jet ownership company to offer shares on the all-new Learjet 85 aircraft, and business aircraft manufacturer Bombardier are launching an 11-city U.S. tour offering the opportunity to experience firsthand the aircraft that is poised to revolutionize the industry. 

DALLAS, Aug. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- ( -- Flexjet, the first fractional jet ownership company to offer shares on the all-new Learjet 85 aircraft, and business aircraft manufacturer Bombardier are launching an 11-city U.S. tour offering the opportunity to experience firsthand the aircraft that is poised to revolutionize the industry. Event partners Rolls-Royce, Chocolatier Emanuel Andren, Full Swing Golf and the Napa Valley Vintners will be onsite offering interactive experiences and expert tasting sessions for an unforgettable evening of style, luxury and performance.

Attendees are invited to take an exclusive tour of the Learjet 85 cabin mock-up-the first FAR Part 25 certified business jet built primarily from composite materials-and see first-hand the latest advances in aerodynamics, structures and efficiency that are ushering in a new benchmark in performance. Rolls-Royce's Phantom and Ghost automobiles will be available for test-drives, while Full Swing Golf will offer guests the chance to play a World Championship golf course in one of its simulators. Famed chocolate artist Emanuel Andren will share his latest creations paired with the finest wines, courtesy of the Napa Valley Vintners. The tour is scheduled to visit Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, Monterey, Calif., New York, Orlando, Fla., Seattle and Washington, DC.

"Anticipation for the Learjet 85 jet has been building since the program launch back in 2007," said Fred Reid, President, Flexjet. "With delivery scheduled for 2013, we are taking the  Learjet 85 aircraft mock-up, and some of our finest partners, on the road so our owners can truly experience the world of possibilities that will open up to them with the Learjet 85's aircraft class-leading innovations. Featuring the latest in cabin technologies, and the Vision Flight Deck cockpit, we are relishing the opportunity to brightly shine the spotlight on the Learjet 85 aircraft."

An industry first, the primarily composite structures of the Learjet 85 aircraft enhance passenger comfort through the use of complex curves in the aircraft cross-section and thinner wall thickness to maximize cabin volume to create the largest Learjet aircraft ever designed. Responsible for not only improving performance and minimizing drag through smoother aerodynamics, the airframe made mostly of composite material requires less maintenance and is easier to repair for an extended service life. Other innovations include the aircraft's state-of-the-art Pratt & Whitney PW307B turbofan engine, the Vision Flight Deck cockpit featuring the Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion avionics suite—one of the most advanced suites ever offered onboard a midsize aircraft—and an advanced entertainment and wireless Internet system.

The Learjet 85 aircraft will feature the company's new interior design updates, newly designed seats, innovative storage solutions, a state-of-the-art cabin entertainment system and groundbreaking passenger interfaces. It is capable of accommodating eight passengers in a traditional double-club seating arrangement, with approximately 30 inches (76.2 cm) between each seat for more room than ever when traveling on long distance flights. The aircraft offers a high-speed cruise of Mach 0.82 and a transcontinental range of up to 3,000 nm (5,556km)* making the Learjet 85 business jet the fastest and most efficient in its class.

The addition of the Learjet 85 aircraft means Flexjet owners will continue to have access to some of the most technologically advanced and youngest business jets in the industry, averaging approximately five years of age.

For more information and to learn about pricing options, please call 888-503-8854 or visit

About Flexjet
Richardson, TX-based Flexjet—a division of Bombardier, the world's largest business aviation manufacturer—first entered the fractional jet ownership market in 1995. Flexjet now offers whole aircraft ownership and management, fractional jet ownership, jet cards and charter brokerage services. Flexjet's fractional aircraft program is the first in the world to be recognized as achieving the Air Charter Safety Foundation's Industry Audit Standard, and Flexjet is the first and only company to be honored with its 13th FAA Diamond Award for Excellence. Flexjet's fractional program fields an exclusive family of Bombardier business aircraft—the youngest in the fractional jet industry with an average age of approximately five years—including the Learjet 40 XR, Learjet 45 XR, Learjet 60 XR, Challenger 300 and Challenger 605 business jets. 1-800-FLEXJET

Flexjet has an approved fractional ownership program pursuant 14 C.F.R. Part 91, Subpart K, and manages flights for individual aircraft owners under Part 91 whole aircraft management program. All other flights (e.g. Flexjet 25 Jet Card program, charter brokerage program, etc.) are provided by certificated air carriers in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, as Flexjet is not an air carrier.

About Bombardier
Bombardier is the world's only manufacturer of both planes and trains. Looking far ahead while delivering today, Bombardier is evolving mobility worldwide by answering the call for more efficient, sustainable and enjoyable transportation everywhere. Our vehicles, services and, most of all, our employees are what make us a global leader in transportation.

Bombardier is headquartered in Montreal, Canada. Our shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (BBD) and we are listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability World and North America indexes. In the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011, we posted revenues of $18.3 billion USD. News and information are available at or follow us on Twitter @Bombardier.

The Flexjet 25 Jet Card Program is operated under Part 135 by Jet Solutions, LLC, a U.S. air carrier. Flexjet acts as an agent for Jet Solutions, LLC, in connection with the Flexjet 25 Jet Card program. Flexjet acts as an agent for the customer with on-demand charter broker services when arranging transportation operated under Part 135 by U.S. air carriers.

Bombardier, Challenger, Challenger 300, Challenger 605, Flexjet, Flexjet 25, Learjet, Learjet 40, Learjet 45, Learjet 60, Learjet 70, Learjet 75, The Evolution of Mobility, Vision Flight Deck and XR are trademarks of Bombardier Inc. or its subsidiaries.

*Performance is based on standard conditions, zero winds with no runway or temperature restrictions, 4 passengers, normal cruise speed, typical aircraft operating weight, optimum altitudes, NBAA IFR fuel reserves. Weather, ATC (Air Traffic Control), or actual weather condition can affect flight plans and routing, which may result in different performance data from that stated above. All data is subject to change without notice.

SOURCE Flexjet


Don Pratt war museum is must-see for post visitors: Displays lead through 70 years of Fort Campbell, 101st Airborne history

FORT CAMPBELL, KY. — In the course of 70 years, the division that, in 1942, had “no history, but … a rendezvous with destiny” has accumulated a lot of history, because of many of rendezvous. 

Much of the 101st Airborne Division’s history is on display at the Brig. Gen. Don F. Pratt Memorial Museum on Fort Campbell, laid out to enable a visitor to walk through time, from the World War II era until the present day.

Along the route, the changes in weapons, vehicles, uniforms and soldier culture tell the larger story of a changing U.S. Army.

WWII beginnings

For those visitors coming to Fort Campbell to take part in the Week of the Eagles 70th anniversary celebration, the museum is a must-see stop. Despite its small size, the available space is well-used in displaying the story of one of the Army’s most storied divisions. The story begins with its advent in World War II, as an experiment, dedicated to turning the rawest of raw civilians into a fighting force capable of going toe-to-toe with anyone.

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Air intruders must be shot down, Belarus leader says


 (Reuters) - Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko, smarting after a pro-democracy stunt in which teddy bears were dropped into Belarus, told his new border guards chief on Thursday to use weapons to stop any more unlawful air intrusions by foreigners. 

 About 800 toy bears were dropped near the town of Ivenets from a light aircraft, chartered by a Swedish public relations firm, which crossed into Belarussian air space from Lithuania on July 4, the day after Belarus marked independence day.

Each bear carried a message urging the hardline former Soviet republic to show greater respect for human rights.

Lukashenko told incoming border guards head Alexander Boyechko, whom he appointed after sacking his predecessor on Tuesday over the bears incident: "Unlawful violations of state borders must not be allowed.

"They must be stopped by all force and means, including weapons, regardless of anything. The border guards must prove their loyalty to the fatherland," he said.

As well as sacking Boyechko's predecessor, Lukashenko also dismissed the air defense chief and reprimanded senior state security officials.

Read more here:

Atlantic City International (KACY), New Jersey: Airport relies on unsustainable expressway funds to operate

Sam Donelson, Executive Director of the South Jersey Transportation Authority, on the premises at Atlantic City International Airport.
 Photo Credit:  Edward Lea

The South Jersey Transportation Authority continues to rely on revenue from the Atlantic City Expressway to offset the cost of operating Atlantic City International Airport.

In 2011, airport operations were subsidized by $3.5 million in tolls — a nearly 10 percent increase over the $3.2 million used for airport operations in 2010, according to the authority’s most recent financial audit obtained by The Press of Atlantic City through the Open Public Records Act.

Put another way, the subsidy accounted for nearly a quarter of the airport’s $14.9 million budget in 2011. The previous year, the subsidy represented 21 percent of the airport’s $15.2 million budget.
The situation has been worse. Within the past five years, at times the subsidy has been as high as $4.8 million and made up as much as a third of the airport’s annual budget.

SJTA acting Executive Director Sam Donelson, however, said the authority cannot continue to rely so heavily on that financing. The airport should be a self-sufficient operation, he said.

“It certainly is unsustainable over the long haul,” Donelson said. “Ideally, our airport wouldn’t need a subsidy from the expressway at all. We definitely have to constrain costs and look to increase revenue in a way that won’t affect our ability to increase flights.”

Relying on expressway revenue to keep the airport afloat is not new for the transportation authority. The setup has been a part of the authority’s structure since the organization was created in 1991 in an effort to bring cohesiveness to the region’s transportation network.

That year, Atlantic City turned over control of the airport to the SJTA when it sold its share of airport property to the organization. The Atlantic City Expressway Authority and the Atlantic County Transportation Authority were dissolved and merged with the new authority, which was charged with turning the often-criticized airport into a commercially viable facility attracting major airlines.
To accomplish that, net revenue generated by the Atlantic City Expressway would be used to subsidize airport operations, according to the legislation that created the authority. Initially, that subsidy funded expansion projects, but later it was used to offset general operations.

Prior to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the subsidy to the airport had been steadily decreasing.
“In fact, for the year ending in Dec. 31, 2000, the airport generated a small operating surplus,” according to the 2011 audit by Hutchins, Farrell, Meyer & Allison of Toms River. “However, the subsidy has been increasing since the events of Sept. 11, 2001, due to revenue losses resulting from declines in the airline industry and expense increases resulting from additional requirements, including full-time police presence and increased insurance costs.”

Due to the airport’s location on the grounds of the Federal Aviation Administration’s William J. Hughes Technical Center, the airport is required to be staffed by police around the clock.

“Because of the formation of the South Jersey Transportation Authority and allowing expressway revenue to be used toward expansion of the airport, I have personally witnessed the transformation of Atlantic City International,” said Donelson, who has been with the authority since 1994 and was recently named acting executive director. “What’s gone on is through no fault of anyone, but these issues have no doubt contributed to slower growth than everyone would like.”

Last year, discussion of a possible sale of the airport to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey emerged after Senate President Stephen Sweeney, D-Salem, Gloucester, Cumberland, pointed to that possibility as a way of bringing in larger carriers. Language in the legislation that created the Atlantic City Tourism District establishes a format for distributing the proceeds of a sale of the airport among eight South Jersey counties served by the SJTA.

The SJTA, however, does not own the runways and taxiways. Those, along with most of the 5,052-acre site, are owned by the FAA. Portions are leased to the SJTA, which is also the enabling agency for FAA grants. Public discussion of a sale faded.

When the SJTA took control of the airport, it was handling 909,000 passengers a year, and a study completed in the late 1980s by the Casino Association of New Jersey predicted that once expanded, the airport had the potential to handle between 2.4 million and 7 million passengers annually. Passenger counts increased after the takeover and surpassed the million mark in 1998. After that, they fell but then regained ground.

Last year, the airport, which has had difficulty retaining carriers, saw 1.39 million passengers, a 2.3 percent decrease over the previous year. But 2010 was a banner year for the airport, bringing in 1.4 million passengers, a 27 percent increase over 2009.

The airport currently has only one carrier, Spirit Airlines. With that carrier, the airport boasts the lowest fares in the country, at an average of $157, according to statistics from the first quarter of 2011 released in July by the Research and Innovative Technology Administration.

Donelson said he has ideas for cutting expenses and raising revenue at the airport, but he declined to discuss the specifics until he speaks with the SJTA’s Board of Commissioners. He also pointed to some “obvious” smaller changes that already have been made to reduce costs. Paper towel dispensers in airport restrooms have been replaced with air dryers, resulting in a $40,000 savings, he said.

“I have some ideas, and those will be presented to the commissioners. Is it going to eradicate the subsidy in the near term? No,” Donelson said. “But it will reduce it for the remainder of this calendar year, and hopefully we’ll see a reduction in that subsidy year over year.

Story and photo:

South Dakota Ultralight Pilot Makes Safe Emergency Landing

RAPID CITY, SD - The pilot of an ultralight plane made a safe emergency landing in a field near Rapid City after experiencing mechanical problems in flight. 

Authorities identified the pilot only as a local rancher. They say his plane's engine shut down shortly after takeoff Sunday, prompting the emergency landing.

The pilot was not hurt and the plane was not damaged.


1time plane had engine failure

The Civil Aviation Authority says the 1time passenger plane that made an emergency landing at King Shaka International Airport experienced engine failure. 

The pilot was forced to land at around 5.30pm yesterday evening, minutes after take off.

Although the plane touched down safely, it left debris across the runway. As a result, the runway was closed for three hours.

Airport officials carried out a thorough sweep before flights resumed.

Staff worked through the night to clear the backlog.

The Authority's Phindiwe Gwebu says a team has reported back on their preliminary investigation.

"The flight was taking off from King Shaka airport and was en route to Johannesburg, OR Tambo, [when it] experienced left engine failure, upon which the pilot decided to turn back to King Shaka.

"He landed safely, no one was injured in the incident. The South African Civil Aviation Authority is investigating," she said. 


PZL-Bielsko SZD-9bis Bocian 1E, G-DCND: Pluckerston Farm, near Kirriemuir, Angus, Scotland - United Kingdom

Air accident investigators have begun their formal probe into a weekend Angus glider crash which claimed the life of a popular pilot.

The experts from Farnborough's Air Accidents Investigation Branch were at the scene of Saturday afternoon's tragedy near Kirriemuir in which the 59-year-old male flyer died after his aircraft plunged into a field within sight of the Angus Gliding Club base from which he had been launched shortly before. 

 A member of the public, understood to have been in the car park at the Drumshade club site, raised the alarm when they saw the single-seat DG 100 German-made glider plummet to the ground at around 12.45pm.

The fibreglass glider came down in a cereal field between Pluckerston and Auchindorie farms, south of Kirrie and around a kilometre north of the club site.

Emergency services, including an ambulance team and fire crews from Kirriemuir, Forfar and Dundee rushed to the scene, which was quickly cordoned off by police and remained so for a lengthy part of Saturday.

The aircraft was located a few hundred metres north of the road from the A928 Glamis-Kirriemuir road to Meigle, the tail of the glider just visible within the barley crop.

The pilot was pronounced dead at the scene as a result of the heavy impact of the crash, which occurred in what were described as excellent flying conditions.

There were several people working in the area at the time of the accident but no-one The Courier spoke to witnessed the impact.

The victim's identity has yet to be officially released, but he is understood to be Mr Ken Smith from the Perthshire village of Spittalfield. Family members were too distressed to speak to The Courier about the tragedy yesterday afternoon.

As with all such aviation incidents, the crash saw AAIB investigators sent to Angus and they were on scene yesterday to undertake initial inquiries.

It is understood that the wreckage of the glider will now be transported to Farnborough for detailed analysis in an effort to determine the cause of the crash.

Part of the probe may also centre around a flight data recorder which is understood to have been fitted to the glider and may provide clues in relation to height and position prior to the catastrophic crash.

Angus Gliding Club has operated successfully from Drumshade for many years, flying mainly at weekends, and has an excellent safety record, with this being the first recorded serious accident.

The glider involved was one of the first to be mechanically launched on Saturday morning into easterly winds.

As the official release of the victim's identity was awaited, devastated gliding club members said their thoughts were with the man's family.

''These are tragic circumstances and club members are deeply saddened by what has happened.

''The pilot was a popular and experience member of the club,'' said Colin Wight, a past official and former instructor.

''Winds were relatively light, visibility was excellent and soaring conditions were good.

''The AAIB investigators have been at the scene today and the club will provide whatever assistance it can in relation to the inquiry,'' he added.

Newark Liberty International (KEWR), New Jersey: Travelers stranded after airport security breach cancels more than 100 flights

NEWARK — Terminal C at Newark Liberty International Airport was locked down for three hours Sunday, creating a huge screening backlog that forced the cancellation or delay of more than 165 flights, after officials said a passenger prematurely walked away from a security checkpoint. 

Authorities searched for the female passenger based on a checkpoint surveillance video following the 8:45 a.m. incident said Al Della Fave, a spokesman for the Port Authority Police.

Local officials of the Transportation Security Administration eventually concluded the woman had boarded a United Airlines flight to Cleveland. But the security agency only arrived at its conclusion after the flight had landed in Cleveland at 10:45 a.m., and authorities were never able to talk to the woman or identify her by name.

"She walked out of the checkpoint area before the screening process was complete," Ann Davis, a TSA spokeswoman, said in a statement. "Management at Newark will conduct a comprehensive review of the incident and will take appropriate action."

Normal screening operations at Terminal C resumed at about noon. But the lockdown and subsequent screening backlog caused more than 65 departing flights to be delayed, and more than 100 flights to be canceled, said Christen David, a United spokeswoman.

Sunday’s breach is one of the most serious screening incidents to occur at the airport since January 2010, when a Rutgers doctoral student shut down Newark Liberty for several hours and disrupted air traffic worldwide after sneaking through a vacated security post to get one last kiss from his departing girlfriend. That breach was among several high-profile incidents that led to the replacement of Newark’s top TSA official last year. The current federal security director, Donald Drummer, has led a performance crackdown resulting in disciplinary measures against dozens of screeners.

There was one other breach reported at Terminal C Sunday.  At 6:30 a.m., the TSA said operations were suspended in the oversize baggage screening room, after a bag was directed onto the tarmac despite not having been completely screened. Bag screening resumed at 7:19 a.m., the TSA said. But the flagged bag, which was isolated on the tarmac, was not cleared for another two hours, after the Essex County Bomb Squad gave its okay.

Officials said the lockdown forced some flights back to the gate after they had taxied for takeoff, in order for authorities to visually check passengers in their search for the woman who had walked away from the checkpoint.

Hours after screening resumed, hundreds of passengers waited on lines that snaked throughout the crowded terminal. By 7 p.m., however, the lines had disappeared.

W. Scott Becque of Glen Rock, sales and marketing director for the Hilton hotel in Woodcliff Lake, stood on line with several colleagues en route to a Hilton meeting in Houston. They doubted their flight would leave in time for the start of the conference last night.

"Big opening reception, so we’ll have to have that on the plane," Becque joked. "Some people said they had to re-book and not leave again until Tuesday. If that happens, we’ll miss the whole conference."

At 7 p.m., Becque was in Houston, getting ready for the reception.

"I had serious doubts we’d get out of there," he said. "I guess it’s one of the little hiccups to deal with in business travel."
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Socata TBM 700, N700CS: Full fuel departure from Spruce Creek Airport (7FL6) Daytona Beach, Florida

EX Air Force One Pilot . . .

Thanks Rob :)

Motueka Aerodrome, New Zealand

The aircraft rests in a paddock behind Grey St in Motueka after its abrupt landing this morning.

A fortunate pilot of a privately owned single seater aircraft walked away unharmed after his engine failed above Motueka this morning. 

 Bernard Kudrass was approaching Motueka Aerodrome about 10.30am to land when his engine failed. He spotted a nearby paddock surrounded by houses and managed to turn the aircraft 180 degrees to aim for it, said Sergeant Grant Heney of Motueka.

Kudrass brought the plane down over a shelter break of trees, clipping the tops and snapping a few branches, which were scattered in the paddock.

The plane bounced twice and came to rest with its nose down in the paddock.

The paddock is bordered by houses which are across the street from Motueka High School.

Neighbour Joelle Dadson saw the plane bouncing in the paddock out of the corner of her eye from a back bedroom of her Grey St house and said had the plane not been bright yellow, she doubted she would have seen it.

''Am I really seeing what I'm seeing?'' she wondered.

The forced landing will be referred to the Civil Aviation Authority for follow-up.

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