Thursday, September 20, 2012

Erie International Airport/Tom Ridge Field (KERI), Pennsylvania: Construction Wrapped Up on Runway Extension

WICU12/WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather and Events

Planes are expected to begin using the runway extension at the Erie International Airport before winter. 

  The actual construction of the extension and new safety zones is finished. Crews are just doing some final electrical work. But pilots can't begin landing or taking off until the FAA completes testing and gives the extension it's stamp of approval.

 Airport Director Chris Rodgers said, "We have to wait until the commissioning process is completed. And I am happy to report that we are well underway in the commissioning process. And we are very confident we will be able to use the fully extended runway and the instrument landing system at both ends before winter starts."

 Next year, the existing 6500 feet of main runway will be re-paved. That is the final phase of the project.

Bainbridge, Georgia: Historic hangar has friends

Historic hangar has friends

 BAINBRIDGE, GA - A historic south Georgia landmark is getting a makeover, and itwon't cost local taxpayers anything.

Decatur County is using state and federal grant money and a private donation to renovate a World War Two hangar at the county airport.

County leaders say the facelift will improve the look of the airport, preserve history, and boost the local economy.

 The 28,000 square foot airport hangar has more than 70 years of history. Decatur County officials say now is the best time for a makeover.

"We could have postponed, but the problem with grant money in these times is if you postpone, the next fiscal year you may get that notification that we're sorry but that money has been reallocated to somebody who had the ability to take advantage of it at the time," said County Administrator Gary Breedlove.

Built in 1942, this airport hangar was once part of a World War II training facility. "Hundreds of airplanes sat out on this ramp and trained pilots for World War II combat."

County officials say once the hangar is completed, they plan to bring back pilots who trained here during World War II.

"We're starting to get information from people across the country who have ties to this World War II airbase and to other aspects of flying operations from the Bainbridge Airport," said Breedlove.

The county would need to match about four percent of the $250,000 grant, but a private citizen has offered to pay that difference.

"We have a tremendous opportunity right now of renovating this hangar, making it look like the front of a World War Two hangar, still usable and functional for parking and storing aircraft, with no cost to the county," said Breedlove.

Folks who work at the airport say once the hangar is renovated, it will be a great place to host fundraisers and other large events.

"Right now the inside isn't real pretty. It's dirty. A lot of stuff blows in and out, but I think once it is all done and cleaned out I think it can used for functions here at the airport also," said Airport Manager Jim Cerone.

And airport officials say even though many folks don't know the Bainbridge Airport exists, with the cheapest fuel in a 50 mile radius, they stay busy with flights.

The grants are coming from the FAA and DOT money set aside to improve small community airports.

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Narita airport's exorbitant landing fees still drawing flak from carriers

CHIBA — The high cost of using Narita International Airport continues to draw criticism from airlines.

Narita's landing fees, which account for the bulk of that cost, are more than double the fees at South Korea's Incheon Airport and Singapore's Changi Airport, which are competing for the title of Asia's main air travel hub.

Narita International Airport Corp., which runs Narita airport, has tried to justify its high fees by citing its huge debt load, a legacy of cost overruns from its construction. As of the end of March 2012, the company was saddled with ¥666.2 billion in debt.

Narita airport is also incurring ¥7 billion annually from security measures needed to counter acts of sabotage from the airport's opponents, even though such activities have subsided since the anti-Narita movement's peak in the 1970s and 1980s.

Despite these financial problems, Narita airport is raking in steady earnings due to its pre-eminence as the international gateway to Tokyo. For the business year ending March 2013, the airport's operator expects to earn a net profit of ¥12.6 billion on operating revenue of ¥188.4 billion.

A disgruntled airline official suggested that Narita airport is enjoying unfairly juicy profits.
"Does an airport, which is a public facility, need to earn that much profit?" the official asked.

Adding to the annoyance of airlines is the cost of the general security checks that they must bear when using Japan's airports. In other countries, this cost is usually covered by governments.

Amid the chorus of complaints, Narita airport has taken some action over the past several years to placate air carriers.

In 2005, the airport introduced a new fee system that rewards the use of low-noise aircraft with reduced fees. This led to fee cuts averaging around 20 percent.

After the global financial crisis in 2008, Narita airport introduced a provisional discount of around 7 percent that was in place from November 2009 to March 2011. In the business year ended in March 2012, the airport discontinued the discount but cut fees for the use of other airport facilities as a compromise.

In the current year, this fee arrangement has been maintained as a provisional measure. Still, in the eyes of airlines, Narita has apparently failed to do enough.

An airline official urged the airport to cut its landing fees further, arguing that this will benefit Narita itself. Lower fees will help it attract more flights and passengers and increase income received from airport tenants, such as restaurants and shops, the official said.

Ultimately, the threat of competition from Tokyo International Airport at Haneda may be the key to whether Narita will whittle down its prices.

Whereas Narita has only two runways, Haneda completed is fourth runway in 2010. The addition of the new runway has paved the way for an increase in international flights to and from Haneda, which has better access to downtown Tokyo than Narita but has served mainly as a hub for domestic flights.

However, Narita can count on a steady stream of traffic, at least for now, according to Kazusei Kato, a professor at Nihon University's College of Economics.

Narita airport "is unlikely to swallow a landing fee reduction until the number of landing slots for international flights at Haneda increases sufficiently to pose competition," Kato said.

Aer Lingus flight returns to airport after engine failure: Aer Arann Avion de Transport Regional ATR-72-200, EI-SLL, Flight EI-3606

An Aer Lingus flight was forced to return to Shannon Airport yesterday after one of the aircraft’s engines failed soon after take-off.

Aer Lingus regional flight EI 3606, operated by Aer Arann, had left Shannon at 3.49pm for Manchester with 46 passengers and a crew of four on board.

Shortly after 4pm, while the flight was still climbing, the pilot issued a mayday call reporting that an engine had failed. The pilot told air traffic controllers at Shannon that he was stopping his climb and wished to return to the airport and make an emergency landing.

About five minutes before the flight was due to land at Shannon, the crew confirmed they had successfully managed to restart the engine but they still wished to continue on to land. With crash crews standing by at designated locations alongside the main runway, the aircraft touched down safely at 4.21pm.

Stay calm: it's just an emergency rescue


By Sarah Payne - The Tri-City News

The most important thing is to stay calm, focused. Concentrate, because bad things happen when you get distracted near a machine with two rapidly spinning rotors.

That can be hard to do, however, when that helicopter isn't some far-off blip in the sky. When it's close enough to touch, the noise of the engine is near deafening. Those spinning blades — awfully close for something so deadly — whip up a wind so fierce that the only way to stay upright is to crouch down, low to the ground, while dirt and grass and gravel are swirling and churning all around you.

Communication is through a firm hand on the shoulder, and a quick signal that it's time to leave the relative safety of the ground and get even closer to the hovering helicopter, and to clamber into it.

Gently, that is. A helicopter may be big and powerful, but it's surprisingly easy to push around when it's off the ground.

"The helicopter raises everyone's level of awareness," said Ian MacDonald, the Coquitlam Search and Rescue (SAR) member taking a group of about 30 SAR volunteers through a helicopter safety demonstration at Eagle Mountain Park on Saturday morning.

"It's loud, it's moving, it's yellow. There are so many cases of experienced guys walking into a tail move with a purpose. Move with a plan," MacDonald said.

"Take your time, get your gear," added Talon Helicopters pilot Derek Riendeau. "When people forget things, that's when things go squirrelly."

The helicopter demonstration — getting in and out of a hovering chopper safely — kicked off a morning of training for Coquitlam SAR volunteers that also included the first demo by the newly minted Helicopter External Transportation System (HETS) crew.

Eleven SAR members are now certified to use the technique, in which a rescuer is suspended from the chopper, transported to a small opening in the forest canopy and lowered down to retrieve an injured and/or lost hiker.

Saturday's annual training session and demonstration was the culmination of a two-year process of detailed cost analysis, fundraising and training for the SAR crew's HETS certification, said Dwight Yochim, Coquitlam SAR manager.

With increasing development in the Tri-Cities comes more people venturing into the trails dotting the mountains now in their back yards, as well as hikers who have covered the North Shore mountains and are looking for new adventures.

"We've seen over a period of the past six to seven years we're starting to use HETS more and more," said Bill Papove, the HETS committee chair. "People are getting into more remote...and varied terrain."

• For more information, visit For video of the training session, check out their Facebook page.


Air Canada to hire more than 1,100 workers


Air Canada plans to hire about 1,100 employees, including 200 at its new low-cost carrier, as the airline moves ahead with growth plans following a spate of labour conflicts with its major unions.

The airline said Thursday the jobs are part of its strategy to "seize new commercial opportunities, enhance customer service and renew our workforce."

Air Canada says it will hire approximately 400 flight attendants and some 500 airport customer service agents and baggage handlers. Sixty customer service agents will be hired for call centres in Montreal and Toronto.

The company — which has been beset by labour problems that have hurt both its reputation and its share price — cited attrition as one of the main drivers behind the hiring of customer service agents and flight attendants.

Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick said he didn't have exact number of employees lost through attrition or departures through retirement and career changes.

But, he added that the number of hires is carefully calculated to replace those employees as well as augment the workforce, while keeping costs low.

Airline offers buyouts

In addition to those leaving for other reasons, the company is also offering voluntary separation packages, or buyouts, which would usher out an unspecified number of highly paid employees.

They'll be replaced with new hires, who will make lower wages and take a hybrid pension plan — agreed upon in the latest collective agreements, which is less burdensome to the company.

"With our new labour contracts there's a new pension program for new hires as well," Fitzpatrick said.

"We are a heavily unionized workforce and the people that are leaving tend to be senior and the ones coming in will be (lower on the pay scale) ... so there will be some savings there."

Air Canada president and CEO Calin Rovinescu said its new recruitment program is "consistent with our focus on controlling costs to become more competitive in our various markets."

"At a time when youth unemployment is nearly 15 per cent in Canada, we are pleased to offer exciting career opportunities that will especially appeal to young people."

In addition to the hires at the main airline, the company says it will hire approximately 150 flight attendants and 50 pilots for its low-cost airline — which is slated to launch in 2013.

Air Canada says information on the job postings can be found at, adding applications can be filled out online.

On Wednesday, Air Canada said it's just a couple of weeks away from announcing details of the new discount carrier that will serve transatlantic and leisure routes in the Caribbean and the United States.

It will be wholly owned by Air Canada, but carry a different name.

Pilots concerned about job security

Air Canada pilots complained during labour negotiations earlier this year that the airline's launch of a low-cost carrier could threaten their job security and working conditions. In the end, a federal arbitrator chose Air Canada's final offer that included provisions allowing the airline to create a budget carrier.

The pilots are one of two major labour groups at Air Canada that were forced to accept the airline's final offer in labour negotiations. The other union is the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, which represents repair and ramp crews.

Both disputes were sent to binding arbitration ordered by the federal government, which brought in back-to-work legislation after Air Canada locked out the pilots and the Machinists announced they would go on strike earlier this year.

In August, the airline reported it lost $96 million in the second quarter, more than double the $46 million it lost in the same period a year earlier and more than analysts had expected.

The loss was equal to 35 cents per share, up from 17 cents per share in the comparable year-earlier period.

On an adjusted basis, the Montreal-based airline had a loss of five cents per share, up from a loss of one cent per share a year ago.

Air Canada is the country's largest domestic and international full-service airline providing scheduled and charter air transportation for passengers and cargo to more than 175 destinations on five continents.

It is the world's 15th largest commercial airline, providing service to more than 32 million passengers a year.


New GE Engines to Get Regular Checks

The Wall Street Journal

U.S. aviation-safety regulators on Thursday announced relatively stringent requirements for inspections every 90 days of General Electric Co. engines installed so far on all Boeing Co.'s 787 and newest 747 models.

It is unusual for regulators to require such frequent ultrasound inspections of engines only recently approved for airline use.

The Federal Aviation Administration's decision, expected to become effective on Friday, follows urgent recommendations issued last week by the National Transportation Safety Board calling for enhanced inspections of GE's newest engine type, called GEnx. Citing cracked or fractured internal parts on three different engines since July, the board warned about the "threat of multiple engine failures on a single aircraft."

In its safety directive, the FAA similarly warned about preventing potential additional ruptures of the suspect shafts, which it said could result "in one or more" engine failures leading to "possible loss of the airplane."

The FAA previously telegraphed it planned to mandate enhanced inspections of GEnx engines. But in explaining its response to alleviate the hazard, the agency's latest statement said the "root cause is still somewhat unknown." The FAA also stressed that the shaft failures are "likely due to environmentally assisted cracking," which it described as a "type of corrosive cracking that is time-dependent."

Initial inspections have been completed on all 128 GEnx engines that have been delivered to customers and no further problems were found, GE said. "No GEnx-powered aircraft will be grounded for inspection," GE said.

Boeing said it has worked with GE to design inspections that can be completed during regularly scheduled maintenance and "not affect airline operations." The inspections will take up to three hours to complete and can be performed while the engine remains on wing.

To remedy the corrosion problem, GE is reverting to the coating on some internal parts that is used on its family of GE90 engines, from which the GEnx engine is derived. All future GEnx engines will use the coating and lubricant process used for the GE90, which has already been certified on other GE engines.

Calling the mandatory inspections "an interim action," the FAA document suggests replacement of some or all of the suspect parts with the old coating may be the ultimate solution.


Syrian Arab Airlines: 'Passenger jet clipped' in crash

SYRIA'S state-run TV says that a military helicopter that crashed had clipped a passenger jet with 200 people aboard. 
The helicopter went down southeast of Douma, a Damascus suburb that has seen clashes in recent days.

In the incident, the helicopters rotor clipped the tail of a Syrian Arab Airlines jet, the state TV said. The passenger plane "landed safely at the airport and none of the 200 passengers were harmed," the report said.

"We heard the sound of several explosions and some gunfire, and a few minutes later, we were told that a helicopter had crashed," said Mohammad Saeed, an activist in Douma.

But there were conflicting reports as to what brought down the helicopter with rebel fighters claiming responsibility.

The Syrian government has increasingly been using helicopters and other aircraft in its fight against the rebels. Rebels have claimed to have shot down helicopters and warplanes in the past, although the regime has blamed most of the problems on mechanical difficulties.

A series of explosions rocked Douma, just northeast of Damascus, shortly before the rebels downed the helicopter, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. State television said the aircraft had "crashed."

The fighting raged as the Observatory, which relies on the accounts of activists on the ground, said the death toll in the 18-month uprising had surpassed 29,000 people, the vast majority of them civilians.

Meanwhile, diplomats from more than 60 nations and the Arab League were meeting in The Hague to toughen and improve coordination of sanctions against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

"We need vigorous implementation," Netherlands Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal told the opening of the "Friends of Syria" working group.

"Sanctions will only have an impact if they are carried out effectively. That is how we can make a difference."

Overnight, UN chief Ban Ki-moon warned the Syrian government and rebels seemed intent on fighting to the bitter end, while saying the international body may offer a new strategy for peace.

And in the latest violence, helicopter gunships pounded Al-Hajar Al-Aswad in Damascus, as the political opposition added new claims of devastation to the southern district and in adjacent neighbourhoods.

Justice Minister Shatter surprised about ‘Apple’ airport in the middle of Dundrum - Ireland

By Ed Carty

MINISTER for Justice Alan Shatter has said he is surprised at the discovery of an airfield in the middle of Dundrum, his constituency.

The airport, which does not exist, comes up in the maps application of the latest iPhone and iPad operating systems and the Minister said he had made arrangements to inform Apple of the error.

The blunder is one of a series discovered in the new iPhone update, which also suggests Dublin Zoo is located in Temple Bar.

“I know on occasion mistakes can be made and I am surprised to discover that Airfield, which is in the centre of my constituency in Dundrum, has, in Apple’s new operating system iOS 6 maps application, been designated with the image of an aircraft,” Minister Shatter said in a statement.

"Clearly the designation is not only wrong but is dangerously misleading in that it could result in a pilot, unfamiliar with the area, in an emergency situation and without other available information, attempting a landing.

"I have arranged that Apple be informed of the error and requested that it be urgently corrected."

“There are a variety of possible alternative images that could be utilized such a cow, a goat, a sheep, a flower or any indeed other type of plant as Airfield operates a nursery.”

But Mr Shatter's warning did not wash with experienced pilots operating in busy Dublin airways.

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Arik Air collapse threatens Boeing orders: The Nigerian airline has pending orders for both 747-8 jumbo jets and 787 Dreamliners

By Dominic Gates

Seattle Times aerospace reporter

In a blow to Boeing's order book, West African airline Arik Air has ceased operations indefinitely amid chaos in Nigeria's aviation sector.

The Associated Press reported that Arik Air cancelled its flights Thursday after men rampaged through its maintenance hangar at the International Airport in the Nigerian capital, Lagos.

The airline's executives blamed employees of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria. The airport authority in turn blamed the raid on unions upset over unpaid salaries. And the union alleged corruption and non-payment of wages, according to AP.

A spokesman for the country's Aviation Ministry later told AP that Arik was using the disruption of its flights as an excuse to try and escape paying money owed to the federal government.

Arik was one of the few remaining airlines operating in Nigeria. It is one of only three airline customers with orders for the passenger model of Boeing's new jumbo jet, the 747-8.

Boeing has pending firm orders from Arik for two 747-8s, eight 737s and seven 787-9s.

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Beechcraft King Air 250 en Colombia


Published on September 19, 2012 by Aviacolnet

The aircraft manufacturer introduced its latest model in our country. More images and information at:

El fabricante de aviones introduce su más reciente modelo en nuestro país. Más imágenes e información en:

Endeavour on Final Voyage over Houston this morning . . . NASA Photo

Space Shuttle Endeavour Over Houston, Texas 

Space Shuttle Endeavour is ferried by NASA's Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) over Houston, Texas on September 19, 2012. NASA pilots Jeff Moultrie and Bill Rieke are at the controls of the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft. Photo taken by NASA photographer Sheri Locke in the backseat of a NASA T-38 chase plane with NASA pilot Thomas E. Parent at the controls.

Officials cite pilot error for mishap; Small plane crashed into Second Lake


Transportation Safety Board officials believe pilot error was the cause of a plane flipping over as it tried to land on Second Lake, south of Nanaimo Tuesday morning.

Vince Crooks, an investigator with the safety board, said his staff had spoken with the 70-year-old pilot and are convinced that the landing wheels were down on the home-made, Christavia two-seater ultra light float plane as it tried to land on the lake around 11 a.m. on Tuesday.

"These planes are purchased as a kit and assembled by the purchaser," Crooks said.

"It flipped over as soon as one of the wheels hit the water is our initial assessment."

Crooks said the agency must still examine the aircraft that was built from a kit but "all indications are that he inadvertently lowered his landing gear as he was approaching to land at the lake."

Mike Bennie and his fishing buddy King Pauze, members of the Nanaimo Fish and Game Club, were just launching their 12-foot aluminum boat when they saw the plane flip over in the lake.

"The plane was right in the middle of the lake and we headed out towards it immediately."

When they arrived, the 70-year-old pilot and his golden retriever were on either side of the plane but both were in good condition. "We got them both in our boat and took them to the beach where a fellow in a mechanical truck was. He called 911 and the ambulance came to look after the pilot. King and I went back to the plane and we towed it into shore at the west end of the lake."

Bennie said he wanted to clarify early reports based on an RCMP news release that said a logging company towed the plane to the shore.

"No that was us. The police were on the shore and nobody from the RCMP ever asked us anything about it."

Paramedics took the pilot to Nanaimo Regional General Hospital for observation and he was released.

Neither the RCMP or safety board will release the name of the pilot.

South African aviation employees killed in suicide attack in Afghanistan  Victims names appear top of page 6.

'I'm back in Afghanistan, I wonder what lies before me':   The tragic last tweet of British woman killed by a suicide bomber in Kabul

- Jeni Ayris, from Edinburgh, died alongside 11 fellow aviation workers when a female insurgent rammed a car laden with explosives into their minibus

- Born in South Africa, she lived in Edinburgh for 20 years and had British nationality

Friends described her as a 'great cook who loved entertaining' and keen sailor who loved sailing on the Firth of Forth and the West Coast of Scotland

- She died with eight South Africans in blast which claimed 12 lives on Tuesday 

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