Monday, October 29, 2012

Manufacturers in race to meet need for speed

For an industry that sells itself on shaving off time spent in transit, speed is a big deal. The top speed race between old Cessna and rival US aircraft-maker Gulfstream has been settled, but velocity addicts are still awaiting deliveries of the fast jet set.

Cessna’s Citation Ten, which keeps the speed crown currently held by its predecessor Citation X model with a maximum cruise speed increased to Mach 0.935, is on track for certification and deliveries in the second half of 2013, the Kansas company says.

Gulfstream’s speedy G650 ultra-large-cabin, ultra-long-range business jet received its type certificate last month from US aviation regulators, and first deliveries will go to customers before the end of this year. The Georgia-based company has orders for more than 200 of the $64.5m aircraft, with 17 completions expected before January.

The G650 had threatened Cessna with its top speed of Mach 0.925 until the Kansas company hit back. Gulfstream claims instead the title of most advanced flight deck in general aviation, including fly-by-wire controls, visibility-enhancing systems and advanced weather radar.

Ironically, given the focus on safety features, the US National Transportation Safety Board this month increased its criticism of the circumstances that led to a fatal crash during G650 testing at Roswell, New Mexico, in April 2011, citing pressure to keep to a certification schedule. The aircraft-maker says it has, since the accident, “redoubled its efforts to strengthen the safety culture in flight-test and throughout the company”.

The safety benefits from improved navigation, control and vision systems have already cut accident rates across aviation by huge margins – and further improvements are on offer.

Such benefits are also on offer further down the speed chain. I sampled the Honeywell SmartView Synthetic Vision System piloting a rather slower Pilatus PC-12 – maximum cruise speed about 280 knots – around the mountains of Switzerland this year and the improvements in situational awareness were startling. The system made normally challenging steep approaches to tiny strips deep in the Swiss valleys easy, and even simple things, such as super-imposing range lines on to the computer-generated topography displayed to the pilot, took a great deal of guesswork out of flying.

Looking east

Cessna, the world’s largest maker of business jets by volume, could be excused for being a touch more confident than this time last year. The NetJets order in June for up to 150 midsize Citation Latitudes – 25 firm and 125 options – marks a return to ordering products from the Kansas-based company, after a previous big order from NetJets went to Brazilian rival Embraer for its Phenom light jets.

The Latitude is expected to make its first flight in 2014, with certification and first deliveries in 2015. Brad Thress, senior vice-president of the business jets division, says its range of 2,500 nautical miles will be key to its popularity.

The Citation Longitude, with a range of 4,000 nautical miles, is expected also to win interest from newer markets where range is highly prized.

Lower down in the size stakes, the Citation M2, bigger brother of the light jet Mustang, is expected to be certified in the first half of 2013, with deliveries due in the second half of the same year. Cessna says global interest is strong, particularly in markets in Europe and Asia.

Cessna is also pursuing opportunities in China, which it forecasts as being in the top 10 of business jet markets within 13 years. It is on its way to producing the Sovereign and Latitude jets for sale in China, as well as the turboprop Grand Caravan.

Hawker Beechcraft’s Chinese adventure, which ended this month when its planned deal with Superior Aviation Beijing collapsed, shows that China’s promise can be limited. Richard Aboulafia, vice-president for analysis at the Teal Group aerospace consultancy, says co-building does not guarantee market access, and is skeptical about emerging nations’ ability to transform the sector’s fortunes.

But with the US market still waiting for a sight of the approach lights that herald a tidy recovery, failing to look east would be a mistake.


Singapore Airlines Buys Virgin Australia stake

SYDNEY--Singapore Airlines Ltd. bought 10% of Virgin Australia Ltd. for 105 million Australian dollars (US$108.5 million) in one of three separate deals announced Tuesday, as Australia's second-biggest carrier intensifies competition with its main rival Qantas Airways Ltd.

Virgin Australia said it also agreed to buy 60% of budget carrier Tiger Australia from Tiger Airways Holdings Ltd. for A$35 million and acquire regional carrier Skywest Airlines Ltd. in a cash and shares offer worth about A$95 million.

"Singapore Airlines fully supports the ongoing transformation at Virgin Australia, which has already resulted in a more competitive aviation market in Australia," Singapore Airlines Chief Executive Goh Choon Phong said in a statement.

The deal is a further sign of a strategic shift by Singapore Airlines as it adapts its business to cope better with the growth of low-cost carriers across Asia and competition from state-backed Middle East rivals. Singapore has also gained a direct stake in Australia's lucrative domestic travel market that has benefited in recent years from the boom in the nation's mining and energy sectors.

"We see today's move by Singapore Airlines as a strategic shift down south to back Qantas' main domestic competitor," said Peter Esho, market analyst at broker CityIndex.

The low-cost travel boom is altering Asia's aviation-industry, with national carriers mulling radical changes to their businesses to compete more effectively. Budget airlines now account for one-quarter of Asia-Pacific traffic.

Virgin Australia said it will issue shares to Singapore Airlines at 42.88 Australian cents each, a 6.8% discount to their last traded price of 46 cents, and equal to their 30-day volume-weighted average price. The two airlines already have an alliance partnership and it was expected that Singapore Airlines may want some shares, given Virgin Australia has sold similar-sized stakes in the company to other alliance partners including Etihad Airways and Air New Zealand Ltd.

Subject to regulatory approval, Virgin Australia will take control of Tiger Australia as the budget airline continues to recover from the grounding of its entire fleet last year following safety breaches. Singapore Airlines currently owns about 32% of Tiger Airways, which competes directly with Qantas's Jetstar unit. Virgin Australia said it will offer Skywest shareholders 45 Australian cents per share via 22.5 Australian cents cash and 0.53 of a Virgin Australia share for each Skywest share.

If all three deals are completed, they will boost Virgin Australia's fleet to 139 aircraft from 108 and add ten new destinations in Western Australia state.

"The transactions overall represent a monumental shift for Virgin Australia which, if approved, will see a more even playing field in Australian aviation," Macquarie analysts said in a note. "They arguably create a replica of Qantas."

Qantas recently set up a low cost joint-venture in Singapore through its Jetstar unit and is awaiting approval for a strategic tie-up with Dubai-based Emirates. It has also set up a low-cost joint ventures in Japan, Hong Kong and Vietnam through Jetstar.

"As Qantas closes more Asian deals and looks at ramping up its Emirates code share alliance, competitors will be feeling the heat," Mr. Esho said.

Virgin Australia shares were up 2.2% at A$0.47 in early trading in Sydney.

Orlando Sanford International (KSFB), Orlando, Florida: Seminole targets parcel near airport for sports complex

Seminole County is considering property near Orlando/Sanford International Airport for a planned sports complex.

County commissioners recently directed their staff to move toward acquiring a property on East Lake Mary Boulevard, across from the airport, said Joe Abel, the county's director of leisure services.

The County Commission will revisit the issue and could approve the purchase of the parcel, which is just east of State Road 417, next month, Abel said. The parcel is about 214 acres and has an asking price of $9.8 million, he said.

The sports complex would include baseball and softball diamonds as well as multi-use fields. Backers say the complex, which could cost up to $20 million, would attract out-of-area teams to Seminole County for tournaments.

Gerald R. Ford International Airport (KGRR), Grand Rapids, Michigan: Delta Airlines McDonnell Douglas MD-88, N987DL, Flight DL-1734 - Engine Problem

CASCADE TOWNSHIP, MI -- No one was injured on Monday, Oct. 29 after a mechanical problem on a 95-passenger plane forced the pilot to shut down an engine and land at Gerald R. Ford International Airport.

The flight staff reported the problem about 1:40 p.m. and the plane, a Delta MD-88, landed safely about 10 minutes later.

The plane had taken off from Minneapolis and was en route to Detroit when a mechanical issue with the number two engine surfaced, said Bruce Schedlbauer, a spokesman for Ford Airport.

The pilot shut down the engine.

Cascade Township firefighters responded to the airport as a precaution.

Commercial plane crashes outside Emmonak, Alaska

EMMONAK, Alaska - The pilot of an air taxi spent a night in the cold after a crash landing outside the village of Emmonak, a village at the mouth of the Yukon River 10 miles from the Bering Sea.

Alaska State Troopers say a Grant Aviation flight with only the pilot on board crashed Saturday about 4.1 miles south of the village. Troopers took a call on the crash at 7:30 p.m.

Investigators say pilot Cody McCall experienced mechanical problems and was forced to make an emergency landing. He was not injured.

Foul weather and dangerous conditions on the Yukon prevented a rescue effort until Sunday. Two boat crews sent from Emmonak picked McCall up at about 1 p.m.

Original Article and Comments/Reaction:

Grant Aviation:

Hawker Beechcraft: Industry expects jet division to be grounded

The mid-western town of Wichita, Kansas, may be nearly 1,500 miles from the offices of New York City’s financiers. But the story of Hawker Beechcraft, headquartered in the town and the industry’s highest-profile victim of the falling demand of recent years, is a powerful parable of the past decade’s financial excess.

The manufacturer – whose range runs from piston-engined propeller aircraft and mid-sized jets to military attack aircraft – was buoyed for much of the past decade, like other corporate jet makers, by the lending-fueled boom in corporate aviation demand.

However, it struggled during the industry’s downturn to service the $2.2bn debt that two private equity funds – Goldman Sachs Capital Partners and Onex – took on in 2007 when they bought the company from Raytheon, the military contractor, for $3.3bn.

Hit by the double burden of servicing the debt and declining orders, the company finally sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May .

The question is, how many of its activities will have a future when it emerges from bankruptcy, probably in the first quarter of 2013.

“On the jet side, they’re struggling,” a close observer of the corporate aviation scene says. “They’re playing in a very competitive environment.”

The King Air piston engine division of the former Beechcraft piston and turboprop company remains strong, however.

“It’s still a very economical, reliable, practical aircraft for simple passenger transfers,” the observer adds. “It doesn’t really have a competitor.”

The company had to match its capacity and costs to the demand for its products, says Bill Boisture, Hawker Beechcraft’s chairman.

“We worked hard to get the costs down and to get our production balanced with what the market would absorb – but, frankly, absorb at prices lower than we would have charged in 2007 and 2008,” he says.

The company struggled to restructure and was eventually forced to seek Chapter 11 protection, through a deal with four lenders that provided financing. The company entered the process expecting to focus primarily on the King Air fleet, according to Mr Boisture.

But a search for potential buyers discovered interest from Superior Aviation Beijing, an aircraft maker 40 percent owned by Beijing’s city government, which was potentially keen on keeping the whole business going.

“Superior’s [proposal] was significantly stronger than the others,” Mr Boisture says. “We elected to go into an exclusive process with Superior, which meant they would negotiate with no one else and we would negotiate with no one else.”

Yet a sale to a Chinese company presented significant challenges – including the separation of the military division, which Hawker Beechcraft expected not to be allowed to sell to a Chinese company. The problems eventually proved insurmountable and Hawker Beechcraft announced on October 18 that talks had ended without a deal.

“It’s a complex transaction – government approvals on both sides – and we were unable to successfully reach a deal,” Mr Boisture says.

The breakdown of talks leaves the jet division’s future again uncertain. Mr Boisture says the company is undertaking a “short and focused effort” to examine strategic alternatives for the division. But it had previously said failure of talks with Superior would almost certainly mean closure of the jet production lines. The company has said it plans to call itself Beechcraft – the name of the turbo-prop and piston-engined business – on leaving bankruptcy.

Ascend Worldwide analysts note that, having delivered 246 aircraft in 2009, the Hawker jet division has delivered only 88 so far in 2012. The fall has almost certainly been exacerbated by would-be customers’ concerns about the company’s future ability to honor warranties.

Mr Boisture point out, however, that the Hawker 900 – the best-selling business jet ever – remains popular with some customers. “I think there’s a possibility of a future there for the right buyer,” Mr Boisture says. Yet, with competitors struggling with the excess capacity and weak demand that helped to force Hawker Beechcraft into a crash landing, most observers expect the jet division to close. The company will emerge as a maker of propeller-driven aircraft, centered on the King Air fleet’s renowned ability to withstand even the most punishing of environments.

“It’s good and reliable and able to operate in a lot of the developing markets that cannot support more complex, complicated equipment,” Mr Boisture says.


Commercial aircraft makes emergency landing at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (KBHM), Birmingham, Alabama

A plane made an emergency landing Monday evening at Birmingham's airport, according to a spokesperson at the Birmingham Airport Authority.

Birmingham Airport Authority spokesperson Toni Herrera-Bast said the flight, which was a commercial flight, originated in Birmingham. The plane took off and then returned to the airport because of an unknown mechanical error.

"There was an emergency landing, it was an aircraft emergency," Herrera-Bast said. "It landed safely and it made it back to the gate without incident."

Everyone on the flight is safe, Herrera-Bast said.

Story and comments:

Air India pilot’s charge baseless: Police

TRIVANDRUM - The investigation by the Kerala police have found the complaint lodged by the pilot of Abu Dhabi-Cochin flight, diverted from Cochin to Trivandrum due to bad weather on October 19, regarding attempt by passengers to hijack the flight baseless.

Rupali Waghmore, the woman pilot, had alleged that six passengers had entered the cockpit and one of them had threatened to kill her if she did not take the flight to Cochin. The passengers had staged protests inside the aircraft after the pilot tried to leave following end of her duty time.

A special investigation team (SIT), led by Shanghumugham assistant commissioner, found that the pilot had not pressed the hijack button. Examination of the communication between the pilot and the Air Traffic Control revealed that she had pressed only the emergency button.

However, she mentioned a hijack-like situation in her oral communication with the Air Traffic Control. They sounded the hijack alarm based on Rupali’s oral communication, the source said.

The police also could not get any evidence about the threat made to life by one of the passengers. Although Air India had claimed that they had audio recordings to prove, the airline has so for not handed them over to the investigation team despite repeated reminders.

The SIT has veered round to the view that the protests by the passengers were natural reaction to the delay in resuming the diverted flight. If Air India does not hand over the evidence the police may close the case.

The Valiyathura police had registered a case under various sections of Indian Penal Code based on the pilot’s complaint. The SIT had summoned the six passengers and questioned them last week. They were also questioned at Cochin by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Safety.

Federal Civil Aviation Minister Ajith Singh had termed the passenger’s action serious. However, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy blasted the Air India, saying they had not shown the responsibility to explain the situation properly to the passengers.

The chief minister said that the situation could have been averted if a senior official of the Air India was present at the airport and explained the reasons for the delay.

Stricter European Slot Rule for Airlines Opposed by EU Nations

European Union governments opposed a proposal for airlines to face a stricter EU rule on the use of takeoff and landing slots, potentially undermining draft legislation meant to tackle a “capacity crunch” at airports.

EU transport ministers defended current European law requiring carriers to use airport slots at least 80 percent of the time in order to retain them the following year. The European Commission, the bloc’s regulatory arm, last year proposed to raise the use-it-or-lose-it slot obligation to 85 percent.

“We are not too happy,” European Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas told reporters after the ministers from the 27- nation EU reached a preliminary accord on the matter today in Luxembourg. The outcome is still open because the draft legislation is also going through the European Parliament, which has yet to give its verdict.

The number of Europe’s saturated airports is due to rise from five, including London Heathrow and Paris Orly, at present to 19 major hubs over the next two decades without policy changes, the commission said when proposing the legislation in December 2011. The commission said this would lead to delays affecting half of all flights in the EU.

In its draft law, the commission also proposed to permit EU-wide secondary trading of slots by airlines. Current EU legislation is silent on the question of slot trading, a practice permitted in the U.K. and banned in some EU nations including Spain.


At their meeting today, the transport ministers endorsed this provision while adding conditions that could restrict trading in practice, Helen Kearns, a spokeswoman for the Brussels-based commission, said by phone.

The EU Parliament is preparing to vote on the draft legislation in coming weeks. After that, national governments will make their position formal and any differences with the Parliament would have to be resolved through negotiations.

The Cypriot minister for communications and works, Efthymios Flourentzou, who chaired the Luxembourg ministerial meeting because Cyprus holds the EU’s rotating presidency, told reporters that today’s result “is far from being the end of the story.”

Touma flies solo on his birthday: Air Aviation at Danbury Municipal Airport (KDXR), Connecticut

Joel Barlow High School junior and Redding resident Jeremy Touma celebrated turning 16 by flying solo in a Cessna 152.

On Oct. 11, Jeremy was pilot in command, soaring over 1,000 feet above the Danbury Airport. This solo flight was Jeremy’s first milestone on the path to his private pilot’s license. He has been taking flying lessons with Air Aviation at Danbury Airport for less than a year.

Jeremy is an active member of Connecticut Wing Civil Air Patrol and aspires to gain admittance into Colorado’s Air Force Academy in the fall 2014.

Jeremy completed three take-offs and landings and flew for 45 minutes.

His parents Maron and Valerie Touma and instructor Frank Lopresti watched Jeremy from the ground during his solo flight.

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Cessna Discusses Business Jet Market Outlook at 65th NBAA Annual Meeting and Convention

PROVIDENCE, R.I., Oct 29, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Scott A. Ernest, President & CEO of Cessna Aircraft Company, a Textron Inc. company, will discuss the company's business jet market outlook and provide updates on Cessna during the 65th NBAA Annual Meeting and Convention taking place in Orlando, Florida.

Ernest said, "Although we remain very much in a spot market with considerable uncertainty, we believe Cessna can achieve a modest uptick in deliveries of Citation business jets this year. Looking forward, given softness in global economic markets and political and budget uncertainties in the United States, it appears that global demand for business jets will be challenging again next year."

"Nonetheless, we believe that the business jet market is a very attractive market with excellent long term growth potential," Ernest continued. "As a result, we continue to invest in new and upgraded products such as our new M2, Sovereign and Citation X models, all of which are scheduled for roll-out in 2013, plus the new Latitude and Longitude business jets, planned for introduction in 2015 and 2017."

About Textron Inc.

Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna Aircraft Company, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Greenlee, and Textron Systems. More information is available at .

Forward-looking Information

Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements which may project revenues or describe strategies, goals, outlook or other non-historical matters; these statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. These statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, changes in worldwide economic or political conditions that impact demand for our products, interest rates or foreign exchange rates; the efficacy of research and development investments to develop new products or unanticipated expenses in connection with the launching of significant new products or programs; the timing of our new product launches or certifications of our new aircraft products; our ability to keep pace with our competitors in the introduction of new products and upgrades with features and technologies desired by our customers; difficult conditions in the financial markets which may adversely impact our customers' ability to fund or finance purchases of our products; and volatility in the global economy resulting in demand softness or volatility in the markets in which we do business.

SOURCE: Textron

Talks on US$200M airport proposal

The Canadian government-owned company’s proposal for Owen Roberts International Airport involves a capital investment of US$200 million from private sources in order to double the capacity of the Grand Cayman airport and extend the runway, in exchange for a 30 to 40 year concession contract.

Last week, representatives from Canada and the Cayman Islands-based Paramount Group held three days of talks with officials from the Cayman government and 
business sector.

The proposal by the Canadian Commercial Corporation – the Canadian government’s international contracting and procurement agency – follows the same concession structure it used in an ongoing US$700 million Quito International Airport project in Ecuador, according to a copy of the presentation the Canadians made to the Cayman Islands Airports Authority, provided to the Caymanian Compass by Paramount.


According to the presentation, “An airport concession is not a Privatization or Ownership of the asset in a Concession is 
retained by the CIAA”.

“A concession is solely the limited transfer of some or all of CIAA owned functions to the private sector for a prescribed period of time, putting an obligation on the concessionaire to finance, build and operate that asset over the period”.

“In return for this obligation to operate the asset and the obligation of payment to government of concession fees over the period of the concession, the concessionaire receives a right to collect both aeronautical and non-aeronautical revenues associated with the asset and an obligation to use these solely for the project”, the 
presentation continued. 

Project details

The Canadians propose to mobilise about US$200 million 
in private development capital for the project, with the majority of construction work to be carried out by Caymanian-owned companies. The proposal includes “a significant upfront payment to the Cayman Islands” of at least US$30 million, plus annual shared revenue of US$7 million to US$13 million to the airports authority.

The Canadian government would guarantee the group follows through on contract terms, on both deadlines and budget.

The project involves doubling the capacity of the passenger terminal building, extending the runway onto land reclaimed from North Sound, otherwise upgrading and improving existing runway and taxiway surfaces, new staff parking, a new northeast perimeter road, and a new general aviation apron (to be provided by a third party).

Participants during last week’s discussions included the airports authority, tourism association, Cayman Enterprise City, Chamber of Commerce, Civil Aviation Authority, auditor general and government, according to a news release from Paramount.

“The Canadian team is proposing a privately financed, long-term airport concession that will not require any government funding. The proposal includes a significant upfront payment to the Cayman Islands, a healthy ongoing revenue share to the CIAA, material fiscal savings to the Cayman Islands by transitioning civil servants to the private sector and an overall proposed project investment of approximately US$200M, in addition to the operation and continuous improvement of the airport facilities for a period of 30 to 40 years,” according to the news release.


In August 2011, Cayman Islands Premier McKeeva Bush announced that Cayman government had signed an agreement with the Canadian agency to explore redeveloping the airports in Grand Cayman and the Sister Island of Cayman Brac.

In September 2012, the airports authority signed a contract with DSS Contractors to do preliminary work on expansion plans for the Charles Kirkconnell International Airport in Cayman Brac. Further work to accommodate nonstop outgoing international flights is expected 
to begin soon.

In late April, the airports authority applied to the Development Control Board for permission to build two additions to the Cayman Brac airport at an estimated cost 
of CI$2.5 million.

Lufthansa rules male pilots to wear caps

Airline’s male pilots must wear caps: court

Frankfurt -   A German court threw out Monday a complaint by a pilot who felt he was being discriminated against by airline Lufthansa in being forced to wear a cap while on duty, while his women colleagues were not.

A labor court in Cologne found there was no sexual discrimination on Lufthansa's part in enforcing a rule that male pilots had to wear caps in all public areas of airports, while female pilots were not obliged to.

The court, overturning an earlier ruling which had found in the pilot's favor, accepted Lufthansa's argument that the cap was part of the historical development of a male pilot's uniform and not an expression of any difference in treatment of the sexes.

A pilot's uniform differed depending on whether they were male or female and a cap was part of the male pilot's uniform, Lufthansa argued.

Similarly, there was no discrimination in the fact that women pilots were allowed to wear skirts, but their male colleagues were not, judge Jochen Sievers argued.

BMI relaunches as independent regional airline

BMI Regional is to launch as an independent airline, after its parent company British Midland International (BMI) was taken over in May.

The new airline will have its head office at East Midlands Airport, in Castle Donington, with its operations base in Aberdeen.

British Midland was bought by the International Airlines Group, with the deal including BMI Baby and BMI Regional.

BMI Regional was sold to Sector Aviation Holdings in May, and Bmibaby closed down in September.

The airline will run European flights, including routes from East Midlands Airport to Brussels and Frankfurt.

Chairman Ian Woodley said: "These are exciting times for the new BMI regional and, as a new business, we've been extremely busy behind the scenes ensuring a seamless transition from being part of the BMI group.

"A substantial amount of our systems and infrastructure have had to be changed, and we've made strong progress."

Pangborn Memorial (KEAT), Wenatchee, Washington: New airport director could be chosen today

EAST WENATCHEE — Pangborn Memorial Airport could get a new director today.

Members of the airport’s governing board are interviewing three candidates this morning and could offer one of the them the job this afternoon.

The finalists, chosen from a field of 17 applicants, are:

  • Richard McConnell, who most recently was airport director at Boise Airport in Idaho
  • Trent Moyers, airport director at Elko Regional Airport, in Nevada.
  • Bryant Walker, assistant security manager at Sacramento County International Airport in California.
Photos and descriptions of each candidate are at the airport’s website at

Interviews are taking place in a closed-door session at the Port of Chelan County office in Olds Station.

The airport has been without a director since late 2011, when former director Greg Phillips resigned to take a job at an airport in Vail, Colorado.

Operations Manager Ron Russ is the interim director.

Rockwell International 114, N114JA: Aircraft force landed on a highway - Brunswick, Georgia

  Regis#: 114JA        Make/Model: 114       Description: ROCKWELL 114
  Date: 10/29/2012     Time: 1630

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

  City: BRUNSWICK   State: GA   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: COLLEGE PARK, GA  (SO11)              Entry date: 10/31/2012

Travelers who frequent Interstate 95 know traffic is typically heavy, regardless of the time of day or particular location on the 1,925-mile-long road.

So it’s understandable that John Wright of New Brockton is giving credit to divine intervention after his ailing airplane found a relatively clean break in traffic on Monday morning in south Georgia.

Wright and a friend had just taken off from Golden Isles Airport in Brunswick, Ga., bound for Ozark, when his Rockwell Commander 114 airplane failed to climb.

It soon became apparent that Wright would not be able to continue his flight, nor would he be able to turn around and land at the airport.

“At that time the aircraft was still settling with maximum power applied,” Wright said.

Wright located a clearing ahead which initially appeared to be a perfect place to land. As the plane got closer, Wright realized the clearing was actually a marshy swamp.

With his options quickly dwindling, Wright noticed Interstate 95 at the edge of the swamp.

“The traffic wasn’t nose-to-tail. There was a good break,” he said.

Wright maneuvered the plane over the northbound lane and landed without incident.

Georgia Highway Patrol units soon arrived and escorted Wright, who was able to taxi the plane a few miles up the interstate to a weigh station.

“The police were very cooperative,” Wright said. “The main thing is there were no personal injuries or damage.”

All airplane incidents of this type are reported to the Federal Aviation Administration. An incident report has been generated and an investigation has begun into what caused the plane to fail to climb.

Wright, a former military pilot, has more than 4,000 hours of flight time. He said the engine on his airplane had fewer than three hours of flight time.

Plane lands on I-95 in Georgia 

An aircraft made an emergency landing on Interstate 95 at mile marker 45 in Georgia near the Glynn County and McIntosh County line. 

GLYNN COUNTY, GA. - An aircraft made an emergency landing on Interstate 95 at mile marker 45 in Georgia near the Glynn County and McIntosh County line. According to Georgia Highway Patrol, the plane did not crash, it made an emergency landing and officials are attempting to move the aircraft off the highway. No injuries have been reported and the FAA is investigating.

Muskegon County (KMKG), Michigan: Airport gets second charter flight after first sells out quickly

NORTON SHORES, MI – The relatively quick sellout of a special charter flight departing from the Muskegon County Airport has spurred another one.

Muskegon County Airport Marketing Director Dianne Hoofman announced Monday morning that a second travel package – featuring a direct charter flight from Muskegon to Laughlin, Nev., and a four-night stay at a casino hotel about 100 miles from Las Vegas – had been added following a successful sellout of a similar package three weeks ago.

The cost of this travel package, offered by Don Laughlin’s Riverside Hotel and Casino, is $340 per person based on double or triple occupancy. This package features one more night and is more expensive than the previous package sold earlier this month.

The trip is scheduled to depart Muskegon County Airport on Feb. 11 and return Feb. 15. The flight times have yet to be announced.

Hoofman credited the response to the previous charter flight, which sold out in days three weeks ago, for the second special charter flight being added. She said it has been several years since charter flights have departed from the Norton Shores airport.

“They are responding to demand,” Hoofman said. “That’s great news for us. Maybe other charters will look at us as a viable charter location as well.”

The travel package includes the round-trip, direct flight on Sun Country Airlines, airport and luggage transfers, and four nights at the hotel and casino. Those interested in the travel package should call a local travel agent for no extra fee or call the hotel tour desk at 1-800-227-3849.

The jet has a capacity of 160 passengers.

The special charter flights provide additional revenue for the Muskegon County Airport. In addition to passengers’ use of parking and the in-airport restaurant, the charter airline pays landing fees and, potentially, for fuel. Executive Air Transport also provides the ground handling for the flights.

“Our goal is to always bring awareness to Muskegon,” Hoofman said. “This just brings it to people’s minds. It’s a definite boost to us.”

Earlier this month, a three-night travel package to Laughlin was quickly scooped up by customers. The cost of that three-night package was $279 per person based on double and triple occupancy.


La Habra Heights, Los Angeles County, California: Resident says new jet flight paths create more noise for community

LA HABRA HEIGHTS - It was just a couple of years ago that it seemed to resident Sam Andreano that the the jets flying over his city were noisier.

Andreano, who has lived in La Habra Heights since 1999, did some research, went to the City Council and persuaded it to get involved by joining the LAX Community Noise Roundtable. He eventually was named as the city's alternate on the board.

Since then, Andreano has been trying to make the case that changes made by the Federal Aviation Administration in how jets fly into LAX are impacting his community, as well as Whittier and unincorporated Hacienda Heights.

"I noticed what's going on with the air traffic," he said. "The planes are flying over and I can read the sign of a Fed Ex jet and I'm 25 miles away."

Andreano blames a change made by the FAA.

Instead of using a "traditional step-down approach," which is compared to walking down stairs, the jets now glide. The latter has been compared to going down a bannister.

The problem is that the jets end up flying at lower altitude, Andreano said.

Jets used to fly over La Habra Heights at about 8,000 feet and now are flying between 6,000 and 7,000 feet, Andreano said.

"There's considerably more noise," he said. "Before they did this, you'd see them but at 8,000 feet high," he said. "Now, it's a constant flow. At 25 miles out, we shouldn't be listening to jet noise."

Ian Gregor, spokesman for the FAA, concedes  the jets are flying lower but said the new system actually reduces the noise.

"Aircraft glide down into an airport on minimal power, meaning they make less noise and emit fewer pollutants than aircraft using the traditional step-down approach," Gregor said.

While the jets are lower, they're in a neutral power setting and are making less noise, he said.

Gregor said the FAA is beginning a study of the Southern California air space to see if more efficiencies can be achieved using these strategies.

"We are very early on in the process and we have not made any decisions to implement new routes or procedures," he said.

Andreano said the plan was good but it wasn't implemented correctly in Southern California.

The jets weren't supposed to have a lower altitude, he said.

"My experience is they're much noisier," Andreano said.

La Habra Heights Councilman Brian Bergman, who is the city's main member on the Noise Roundtable, said he too is concerned about the new approach jets are using.

"The jury is still out on this whole thing," said Bergman, who worked for United Airlines for 39 years, including his last position as aircraft maintenance manager.

"When they came in at a higher altitude there was less impact," Bergman said. "There is a concern that (noise) has gotten worse as a result of this (plan) they implemented."

Bergman said so far there hasn't been a huge outcry among La Habra Heights residents but he praised Andreano for noticing the change.

"It was a subtle impact," Bergman said. "It's something we're going to have to live with for the next 100 years."

Denny Schneider, chairman of the Noise Roundtable, said he's also concerned about the changes in how the jets fly into LAX.

"There do appear to be changes," Schneider said. "The most important thing is, is it impacting the community?"


Boeing Sees 737 Max’s Longer Range Luring Private Buyers

Boeing Co.will begin offering its single-aisle 737 Max as a private jet and expects the new plane’s longer range to help capture more wealthy customers.

The Max-8, which has attracted airlines with fuel savings, will give private buyers a range of 6,325 nautical miles (11,700 kilometers), or about 800 miles more than the similar-sized aircraft available now, Steven Taylor, president of Boeing Business Jets, said in an interview. Boeing, based in Chicago, also intends later to offer a business jet based on the larger 737 Max-9.

“For our customers in our market, the range improvement is really the thing that’s going to be a big sell,” he said in an interview. “This allows you to open up additional city pairs.”

Orders for Boeing business jets have slumped even while commercial jet sales have increased as airlines seek to cut fuel bills and air traffic rebounds. From 2009 through 2011, Boeing has received orders for only 14 business jets, lower than 22 jets in 2008 alone, the planemaker said.

The new plane, along with an economic recovery, may help attract buyers, Taylor said. Since beginning in 1996, Boeing’s business jet unit has tallied 206 orders based on the company’s commercial models ranging from the 737 to its jumbo 747. The larger aircraft are often purchased by heads of state.

Russia goes for low cost air travel

Russia opens its airports for European low cost air carriersScandinavian transport hubs fear they may lose Russian travellers.

The second biggest budget carrier in Europe - Easyjet - has shouldered its way to the Russian market promising a competitive ticket fee of around $200.  The company is opening a regular twice-a-week route to connect Moscow (DME) and London (GTW) starting in spring 2013.

The existing competitors of Easyjet on the Moscow-London route are British Airways, Transaero and Aeroflot.

Ryanair - the biggest budget carrier in Europe - has also approached Russia's Transport Ministry with a letter of intent to become an air link between Ireland and Moscow.  Negotiations are yet to be scheduled.

Ryanair is presently gaining a foothod in the Baltics and neighbouring areas 'stealing' some passenger traffic from Russia. A vivid example is Finland's Laapenranta - where the air carrier had settled down and doubled number of passengers (up to 120.000), 70% of which are the Russians. Laaperanta and Riga are the two geographically closest to Russia hubs of Ryanair.

Finnish YLE reports there are certain concerns related to the expected low cost boom in Russia. There is a chance that Russian tourist flows via Finland may eventually shrink.

In the meantime, after years of considerations, Russian air giant Aeroflot has brought forward an idea of establishing a low cost daughter company.  At the meeting with Vladimir Putin last week, the Aeroflot's director general Vitaly Saveliev said Russia should amend its legislative acts  on aviation and allocate relevant infrastructure for a new national no-frills carrier to come. Previous experiments on establishing a low cost carrier in Russia did not prove any success: Avianova and Sky Express turned down their activities in 2011.

With another  revolutionary step, Aeroflot is giving up its monopoly on 34 routes - both domestic aand overseas - triggering stronger competition on the air market.

To make the domestic air travel more affordable, the government is about to take radical measures and invite foreign low cost carriers on the domestic market of Russia [this is prohibited at the moment]. First vice premier Igor Shuvalov has tasked Ministries of Transport and Economic Development to elaborate on the issue and let foreigners engage in air operations within Russia. As a matter of an experiment first, a foreign low cost carrier may take on a certain route or a region of Russia to test the initiative.

Guyanese airline boss accused of embezzling US$5 million from healthcare company

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Monday, October 29, 2012 – Executives of Guyana-based chartered airline EZjet are in damage-control mode as their founder and chief executive officer Sonny Ramdeo is to be hauled before a Florida court to face accusations that he siphoned off over US$5 million from his former employer to keep his airline afloat.

Following Ramdeo’s demission of office last week to fight the lawsuit levied against him, acting chief executive officer Rosalinda Rasul has sought to assure passengers and other customers that the operations of the carrier are not affected by the scandal.

Rasul said flights will continue as normal and the airline is still pushing ahead with plans to expand its routes to include Brazil, Barbados, Fort Lauderdale and St Lucia by next month.

Ramdeo stepped down as CEO last Wednesday (October 24) and issued a press release the following day stating that he was doing so “in the interest of removing all doubt about the viability of EzJet,” adding that: “I am removing myself from EzJet management, until this embarrassing matter had been clear up and my good name has been restored.”

According to court documents, Promise Healthcare and 11 of its hospitals is suing Ramdeo, PayServ Tax and EzJet GT, in Palm Beach County Court, after hiring him eight years ago to manage payroll for its 3,500 employees in its hospitals nationwide.

The healthcare provider accuses "Sonny Ramdeo, and his companies (of) stealing over five million dollars from Promise through a sophisticated scheme of fraud and deception. Specifically, Ramdeo incorporated a company called 'PayServ Tax Inc.' and deceived Promise's senior management into believing that PayServ was a legitimate payroll tax processing company affiliated with the nationally known payroll processing company, Ceridian. Based on this lie, he deceived Promise into transferring millions of dollars to PayServ Tax Inc. and diverted over five million dollars of Promise's money to himself and his companies," the complaint states.

Moreover, the complaint states that: “Significantly, in the past two months alone, Ramdeo stole US$5,387,000 from Promise by diverting its funds to Ez Jet. He did this by diverting money in the PayServ account that had been deposited for payment of Promise's payroll taxes to his jet charter company, EZJet GT Inc.”

The hospitals are seeking damages for fraud, unjust enrichment, conversion, and civil theft and imposition of a constructive trust. They are represented by Matthew Triggs, with Proskauer Rose, of Boca Raton.

However, Ramdeo has countered that this lawsuit is all part of an elaborate cover-up by his former employers to divert attention and blame away from their own alleged fraud.

“Since my former bosses are themselves in court over diversion of over US$550 million dollars of company funds, they elected to claim ignorance and innocence when it came to coming clean about the investment. Instead, they alleged that I diverted funds to EZjet, which I did not,” he said in his press statement last Thursday.

Dover Air Force Base (KDOV), McGuire Field - Joint Base Mc Guire Dix Lakehurst (KWRI), Stewart Air National Base: Aircraft moved out

Dover Air Force Base has relocated some aircraft in anticipation of Hurricane Sandy.

The Department of Defense says aircraft have also been moved out of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey and Stewart Air National Base in New York.

In addition, FEMA has requested that Dover Air Force Base be used as a staging area for support and supplies.

Also, some residents of low-lying areas of the base have been ordered to evacuate.

Air National Guard mobilized in Syracuse for Hurricane Sandy relief

Fifty members of the 174th Attack Wing in Syracuse are standing by awaiting orders to help with Hurricane Sandy relief efforts in New York, and another 50 may be called to duty today.

Those standing by at the wing's headquarters at Hancock International Airport are mostly radio specialists and civil engineers, said spokeswoman Lt. Col. Maureen Murphy.

"There are lot of communications specialists who will be working with radios in the event phone lines and cell towers are down," Murphy said.

The unit hasn't received official orders yet, she said.

State emergency officials have asked the unit to put a second bath of airmen on standby, Murphy said. She did not know what time those people would be called to the base, but said it would likely be today.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday ordered the mobilization of more than 1,100 National Guard members to help with the fallout from the megastorm.

Jet Edge International & Asia Jet Announce Collaborative Fleet Expansion

LOS ANGELES, Oct 29, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Jet Edge International, one of the fastest growing aircraft management and charter companies in the U.S., has joined forces in a strategic relationship with Asia Jet, an aviation leader in Asia that makes Jet Edge the exclusive aircraft operator for all Asia Jet aircraft under the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) registry.

Asia Jet has been duly appointed the exclusive sales and marketing partner in Asia for Jet Edge's U.S.-based fleet. Asia Jet now also enjoys a shareholding partnership with Jet Edge, and Asia Jet's Chief Executive Officer Mike Walsh was recently appointed to Jet Edge's Board of Directors.

"We've been working on this plan over the past 12 months, as we knew that China would be a future growth area for our company," said Bill Papariella, president of Jet Edge International. "Asia Jet and their shareholders have provided a significant existing platform from which we can grow and execute our business plan. With four aircraft already available I expect Asia Jet, in coordination with Jet Edge, to grow our collective businesses exponentially, but also responsibly."

With their collaboration, the two companies have built a business model that provides private aircraft owners in Asia with a strong, sustainable and flexible platform, as well as expanded fleet access to large cabin jets for private jet travelers in both the Pacific Rim and the United States. Immediately available for charter in Asia are four Gulfstream aircraft: a G-IVSP; a G300 and two G200s, with multiple aircraft in the pipeline thanks to significant interest from local aircraft owners who wish to have their assets managed efficiently.

All aircraft in the Asia Jet fleet under FAA registry will be operated and maintained on Jet Edge's Air Carrier Certificate, while Asia Jet will continue to be responsible for the sales and marketing of its on-demand charters, card programs, aircraft acquisition, consultancy and aircraft management services.

"We evaluated a number of potential aircraft charter management companies to work with in the U.S. and found that Jet Edge International had the right mixture of experience and expertise to satisfy our requirements and our clients' needs," said Walsh. "We are pleased with our progress to-date and look forward to growing our aircraft management presence in Asia with the assistance of Jet Edge."

Papariella added, "We are excited to finally capitalize on a business plan that was well thought out prior to adding aircraft. Our company and Asia Jet spent significant amounts of time, energy and capital to develop a strong business model that has sustainable elements. In addition, the recent investment proves we are committed to becoming a substantial regional player for the medium to long term through our deepening partnership. Our collective goal is to be the leaders in Asia, and I have no doubt that Mike Walsh and his team will achieve this goal."

With one of the largest dedicated fleets of large cabin charter aircraft in the world, Jet Edge offers clients an exceptional combination of price, performance and value-added customer preferences in the most popular business jets, with new aircraft scheduled for delivery regularly. The Jet Edge fleet includes Gulfstream V, Gulfstream 450, Gulfstream IVSP, Gulfstream IV, Gulfstream 300, Gulfstream III, Gulfstream 200, Lear 45 aircraft and coming soon Gulfstream 280's.

About Jet Edge International

Jet Edge International, a Bard Capital Company, has quickly become a leader in private aviation and one of the fastest-growing, full-service integrated private jet management and service companies in the world. Headquartered in Los Angeles, Jet Edge International offers individuals and companies 365-day-a-year guaranteed access to multiple jet types on one of the most diversified and state-of-the-art private jet fleets in the world, with unparalleled and award-winning safety programs. Jet Edge International also offers aircraft management, charter management, on-demand charter, aircraft acquisition and sales, and maintenance services. The Jet Edge International leadership team's aviation expertise spans flight operations, charter management, aircraft sales, marketing, and maintenance management. For more information on Jet Edge International, please visit .

About Asia Jet

Asia Jet, headquartered in Hong Kong has been the preferred charter service company in Asia since its establishment in 2008. The Asia Jet brand has been the symbol of top class service and safety in the Asia region; serving distinguished clients through its jet card membership, consultancy, aircraft acquisition, on demand charter and aircraft management services. For more information on Asia Jet, please visit

SOURCE: Jet Edge International

Minot International (KMOT), North Dakota: Museums to end long-time airport parking service

Minot International Airport and its long-time parking operator intend to part ways at the end of the year.

ARM Parking, an operation of Dakota Territory Air Museum and the Railroad Museum of Minot, declined to accept the terms of a five-year management contract that was placed up for bids recently.

"There was no way we could comply so we basically backed out," said Rich Larcombe, board member for ARM Parking.

Currently, ARM Parking has charge of the airport's parking, providing the city with 50 percent of revenue. Larcombe explained that under the new contract, the city would assume ownership of the parking operation and pay a company a management fee to operate it.

The city has received one proposal from Republic Parking System in Chattanooga, Tenn. The Airport Committee will act on the proposal Monday to make a recommendation to the Minot City Council.

Larcombe said ARM Parking cannot sustain operations on the management fee offered by the city, despite operating in a manner that it considers inexpensive.

The city declined ARM Parking's offer to extend its existing contract, which expires at the end of the year, until new parking facilities are completed in the fall of 2015, Larcombe said.

ARM Parking then submitted a bid in which it agreed to operate under the existing terms of its contract, which does not meet the city's bid requirements.

Andrew Solsvig, airport director, said he was surprised by ARM Parking's decision, but the airport cannot continue to operate parking as it has been.

"We are operationally at a point where that's unacceptable," he said. "We need to have higher standards. We are busier than we have ever been in the past. We need an operation that fully understands parking management. We hate to see a 20-year operation go, but if they feel like they are unable to provide the service that we are needing, it's understandable that they made the decision that they did."

The airport will reimburse ARM Parking for recent investments made in the parking system infrastructure, he said.

Pulling out of the airport will mean a loss of revenue for the two non-profit museums. Income after expenses has been running at about $50,000 a year for each museum, Larcombe said. Total revenue through September this year came to $1.5 million, of which the city received about $570,000, he said.

Until the uptick in activity in the past few years, though, the museums were netting less than $4,000 each. ARM Parking has invested some of the recent windfall into operational improvements as directed by the airport. It also has banked a sizable sum rather than paying it all out in dividends because of uncertainty over future expenses, Larcombe said.

The bankroll now will be seed money as ARM Inc. looks for a new venture, he said.

"The airport museum and railroad museum have decided as a group that we are going to go into some other business together," he said. "ARM Parking may disappear as a company, but ARM Inc. may be into something else.

"Minot airport has been very good to us," he added. "We have done the best we can. We have done our part."

Solsvig said the change in parking system is necessary with the airport's increase in activity.

"The operation will bring more revenue to the airport, which is needed to help fund general airport operations and other programs and projects," he said.

Under the new contract, the management company must provide $350,000 up-front to help get the new system established. The airport will be collecting revenues and paying the management company a fee plus reimbursement for supplies and other eligible costs that the company incurs. The airport will provide snow removal.

Solsvig said Republic Parking System has shown interest in hiring current employees. They plan to hire a full-time manager, a part- or full-time supervisor, full-time cashiers and provide employee benefits, he said.

Information from: Minot Daily News,

Honeywell Green Jet Fuel(TM) Powers Gulfstream Flights To NBAA

Five aircraft fly together for the first time using renewable jet fuel to National Business Aviation Association convention

DES PLAINES, Ill., Oct. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- UOP LLC, a Honeywell company, announced today that Honeywell Green Jet Fuel(TM) produced using Honeywell's UOP Renewable Jet Fuel process powered demonstration flights by Gulfstream Aerospace to this year's National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) convention.

Five Gulfstream aircraft traveled on October 27 and 28 from Gulfstream's headquarters in Savannah, Ga., to Orlando, Fla., for the NBAA convention, the world's largest civil aviation tradeshow.

Both engines of the aircraft were powered by a 50/50 blend of Honeywell Green Jet Fuel and petroleum-derived jet fuel. The renewable fuel was made with natural oils from camelina, an inedible plant that grows in conditions where other food crops cannot. This marked the first time Gulfstream's entire fleet has flown on renewable jet fuel.

"Honeywell Green Jet Fuel has been proven repeatedly throughout the aviation community as an alternative fuel source that not only meets strict flight specifications, but also offers significant emissions reductions," said Jim Rekoske, vice president and general manager of Honeywell's UOP Renewable Energy and Chemicals business unit. "We are pleased that Gulfstream chose to incorporate Honeywell Green Jet Fuel into its companywide sustainability initiative."

Gulfstream G150, G280, G450, G550 and G650 aircraft participated in the flights. Previously, Gulfstream's G450 was the only Gulfstream aircraft flown using renewable jet fuel.

Each gallon of camelina-based Honeywell Green Jet Fuel burned instead of petroleum reduces the net carbon dioxide equivalent emissions by 68 percent. Depending on the feedstock, Honeywell Green Jet Fuel can offer a 65 to 85 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions relative to petroleum-based fuels.

When used as part of a 50 percent blend with petroleum-based jet fuel, Honeywell Green Jet Fuel is a drop-in replacement for petroleum-based jet fuel that requires no changes to aircraft technology and meets all critical specifications for flight.

Honeywell's UOP Renewable Jet Fuel Process technology was originally developed in 2007 under a contract from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to produce renewable military jet fuel for the U.S. military. The process technology is fully compatible with existing hydroprocessing technology commonly used in today's refineries to produce transportation fuels.

In addition to using Honeywell Green Jet Fuel, Gulfstream's aircraft feature a wide range of Honeywell Aerospace technology that improves energy efficiency and the environmental footprint. Honeywell's Flight Management Systems (FMS) aboard Gulfstream's large-cabin aircraft enable the most efficient use of airspace in all phases of flight. The HTF7250 propulsion system installed on the Gulfstream G280 super mid-sized aircraft features the latest SABER1 combustion technology, which reduces nitrogen oxide emissions by 25 percent.

In 2011, a Honeywell-operated Gulfstream G450 became the first aircraft to fly from North America to Europe with a 50/50 blend of Honeywell Green Jet Fuel and petroleum-based jet fuel, powering one of the aircraft's Rolls-Royce engines. It was also the first business jet to be powered by a biofuel.

UOP LLC, headquartered in Des Plaines, Illinois, USA, is a leading international supplier and licensor of process technology, catalysts, adsorbents, process plants, and consulting services to the petroleum refining, petrochemical, and gas processing industries. UOP is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Honeywell International, Inc. and is part of Honeywell's Performance Materials and Technologies strategic business group. For more information, go to .

Honeywell ( ) is a Fortune 100 diversified technology and manufacturing leader, serving customers worldwide with aerospace products and services; control technologies for buildings, homes and industry; turbochargers; and specialty materials. Based in Morris Township, N.J., Honeywell's shares are traded on the New York, London, and Chicago Stock Exchanges. For more news and information on Honeywell, please visit .

This release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. All statements, other than statements of fact, that address activities, events or developments that we or our management intend, expect, project, believe or anticipate will or may occur in the future are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on management's assumptions and assessments in light of past experience and trends, current conditions, expected future developments and other relevant factors. They are not guarantees of future performance, and actual results, developments and business decisions may differ from those envisaged by our forward-looking statements. Our forward-looking statements are also subject to risks and uncertainties, which can affect our performance in both the near- and long-term. We identify the principal risks and uncertainties that affect our performance in our Form 10-K and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

SOURCE Honeywell

Hawker Plans Year-End Decision on Jet Products

The Wall Street Journal

ORLANDO, Fla.—Hawker Beechcraft Inc. expects to make a decision on shedding its jet business by the end of the year as part of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy restructuring, the company's chairman said.

Acquisition talks between Hawker and Superior Aviation Beijing Co. collapsed earlier this month, prompting Hawker to plan to emerge as a stand-alone company through its restructuring, which first began in May. As part of that process, the new company, to be dubbed Beechcraft Corp., will spin off or close its jet products line, which was particularly hard hit by the recession.

Hawker walked away from the Superior talks with a $50 million deposit that Superior had put down earlier as insurance in case the collapsed talks.

Hawker, based in Wichita, Kan., will have shed $2.5 billion in debt through the restructuring process when it exits bankruptcy in the first quarter of 2013, Hawker Chairman Bill Boisture said at a news conference at the National Business Aviation Association conference here.

Mr. Boisture declined to specify the exact number of bidders that Hawker is in talks with for its jet business, but said many of the original bidders prior to exclusive talks with Superior had returned. There were around six potential buyers before the Superior talks became exclusive.

As part of its reorganization, Hawker also will scale back the services it offers for some of its current aircraft, and the stand-alone company will launch two to three new aircraft as part of its new product strategy.

Shawn Vick, Hawker executive vice president, said a new concept propeller aircraft will include an engine provided by General Electric Co. or United Technologies Corp. unit Pratt & Whitney Canada.

Seaborne Airlines to Increase Capacity to the USVI

Seaborne to operate more seats in the Virgin Islands than any other carrier by April, 2013

SAINT CROIX, U.S. Virgin Islands, Oct. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Seaborne Airlines, the regional carrier based in St. Croix, USVI, today announced its capacity plans to and from the US Virgin Islands (USVI) for Spring, 2013 and beyond.

Starting in February 2013 Seaborne plans to introduce new equipment to the USVI on select flights - - the 34-seat Saab turboprop - - to both Cyril E. King Airport at St. Thomas and Henry Rohlsen International Airport at St. Croix from Luis Munoz Marin International Airport at San Juan, Puerto Rico. The Saab operates with two pilots, a flight attendant, in-flight service and a lavatory.

Effective April 1, 2013 more flights will be added between St. Thomas' Cyril King International Airport and St. Croix's Henry Rohlsen International Airport with 17-seat Twin Otter aircraft. Combined with existing Twin Otter Seaplane service between the seaplane bases in Charlotte Amalie and Christiansted, Seaborne plans to operate 300 weekly flights with over 10,000 seats into and out of the USVI - becoming the Virgin Islands' largest carrier in terms of capacity.

USVI travelers will also have access to Seaborne's premium lounge at San Juan's Luis Munoz Marín International Airport. The lounge offers comfortable seating, work areas, charging stations, light refreshments, WIFI access, and Direct TV. Additionally, Corporate Seaborne customers have access to FasTrak SJU security access, which allows travelers to go to the head of the TSA line. This new capacity to and from San Juan International as well as continued seaplane equipment upgrades have been made possible by the expanded business partnership between Seaborne and the Government Employee Retirement System (GERS) of the US Virgin Islands, according to Gary Foss, Seaborne Airlines President. "As we move forward with this historic expansion - we want to thank GERS and the Government of the US Virgin Islands for their support and confidence in the Seaborne business model and growth plan. We also want to thank our customers who have supported us for over 17 years. As one of the largest private employers in the USVI, we understand the importance transportation plays. In concert with the GERS investment that makes possible additional capacity with larger aircraft, we will enhance tourism and commerce, while adding more jobs in the USVI as we move forward through 2013."

Tourism Commissioner Beverly Nicholson-Doty concluded, "We are extremely pleased about Seaborne Airlines plans to increase service to the Territory and between our islands. She said, "The added capacity and equipment upgrades encourage more inter-island travel and ensure that travelers enjoy improved access to the Territory, better connections, and greater comfort. This news is especially welcome from a locally-based airline that is uniquely positioned to bring additional employment and revenue to the Territory."

About Seaborne Airlines

Seaborne Airlines - named Best Small Air Transport serving the U.S. Virgin Islands every year since 2007 - operates over 350 weekly departures between San Juan, St. Croix, St. Thomas, and Vieques and starting December 2012, Tortola and Virgin Gorda. Operating for 17-years in the Caribbean, Seaborne has carried more than 2 million customers since 1995. With both seaplane and Airport airshuttle operations, all aircraft operate with two pilots under US FAR Part 121 flight rules. Flights can be reserved via the Internet at or calling 866-359-8784.

SOURCE Seaborne Airlines

Airbus Selects ATK to Manufacture Composite Wing Cover Stringers for the A400M Military Transport Aircraft

Agreement in Excess of $100 Million Demonstrates ATK's Position as World-Class Supplier in Manufacturing Composites

ARLINGTON, Va., Oct. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- ATK announced today that Airbus Military has selected ATK for a contract in excess of $100 million to produce composite wing cover stringers for use on the A400M Military Transport Aircraft. The A400M is a new generation, four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft designed by Airbus Military, with its first aircraft delivery planned for the second trimester in 2013. This aircraft is already in full production and Airbus has selected ATK, a demonstrated expert in composite manufacturing, for this specific work package.

The A400M work package will be produced in the Aircraft Commercial Center of Excellence (ACCE) facility used for commercial aircraft and engine programs in Clearfield, Utah. The A400M work will use many of the same manufacturing processes already deployed within the ACCE facility.

"ATK is excited to continue expanding the scope of our relationship with Airbus," said Joy de Lisser, vice president and general manager of ATK's Aerospace Structures Division. "This scope complements the success we've already created with Airbus and demonstrates their confidence in our people and processes."

The contract between ATK and Airbus includes 122 wing cover stringers per aircraft for 180 aircraft. Airbus has already achieved sales for 174 aircraft. ATK may have the opportunity to grow as more A400M aircraft are sold.

ATK is an aerospace, defense, and commercial products company with operations in 21 states, Puerto Rico, and internationally. News and information can be found on the Internet at .

Airbus Military is a subsidiary of Airbus, an EADS Company, a leading aircraft manufacturer with the most modern and comprehensive product line. News and information can be found on the internet at and .

Certain information discussed in this press release constitutes forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Although ATK believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, it can give no assurance that its expectations will be achieved. Forward-looking information is subject to certain risks, trends and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Among those factors are: future levels of business in the aerospace and commercial transport industries or in the number of aircraft to be built; the success and timely progression of our customers' new programs; the success and timely execution of key certification and delivery milestones; the company's competitive environment; and economic conditions. ATK undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements. For further information on factors that could impact ATK, and statements contained herein, please refer to ATK's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and any subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.


'Key witness' in Polish presidential plane crash dies, suicide suspected: Tupolev 154M, Accident occurred April 10, 2010, near Smolensk Air Base, Russia

A Polish parliamentary investigation into President’s Lech Kaczynski plane crash in Smolensk in 2010 is considering witness protection: A flight engineer set to deliver critical testimony was found hanged in his house in Warsaw.

­The body of Remigiusz Muś, a 42-year-old aviation engineer, was found by his wife in the cellar of their house in the suburbs of the Polish capital at around 11:30pm local time on Saturday. She called an ambulance and attempted to resuscitate her husband, but medics pronounced him dead as soon as they arrived. An autopsy is set for Monday, October 29.

As news of Muś’ death hit headlines, the head of the Polish parliamentary commission looking into the crash, Antoni Macierewicz, said that Muś was one of two key witnesses in the case. With Muś dead, key witness Artur Wosztyl should be put in protective custody, Macierewicz said.

Dariusz Slepokura, a spokesperson for the Warsaw district prosecutor's office, said on Monday that Muś likely committed suicide.

Muś’ suicide has become the second incident of its kind connected to the investigation of the April 10, 2010, plane crash in Smolensk that killed the Polish president and 95 other people aboard. In January 2012, a Polish prosecutor involved in the investigation shot himself for no apparent reason during a media briefing. Prosecutor Mikolaj Przybyl told reporters he needed a break, and ordered them to leave the briefing room. Immediately after they left, Przybyl shot himself. Doctors managed to save his life, as his brain was not damaged by the self-inflicted wound.

Muś arrived to Smolensk on a Polish Yak-40 airliner carrying the Polish press pool one hour before the President’s plane crashed. Shortly after the incident, Muś retired from aviation.

The catastrophe devastated Polish leadership, as most of the country’s top political, military, financial and religious leaders were on the same flight to Smolensk to commemorate Polish officers imprisoned and brought to the USSR in 1939. The prisoners were later executed in the forests of Katyn, around 14 kilometers west of the city of Smolensk.

During the investigation, Muś testified that he witnessed the ground control in Smolensk communicating with the pilots of the president’s airplane.

Muś claimed that while he rested in the cabin of the plane, he overheard a Russian air traffic control officer giving the president’s plane permission to descend to a ‘landing decision’ height of 50 meters. Muś said that earlier, the aircraft in which he was flying was given the same permission to descend to 50 meters, despite the dense fog covering the Smolensk region that day.

Muś’ testimony contradicted the official version, which said that the traffic controller only allowed the airplane to descend to 100 meters.

The official statement prompted a wide-ranging international investigation by the Interstate Aviation Committee, which included experts from Russia, Poland and the US According to the official narrative delivered by the Committee, the crash of Poland’s presidential plane was largely caused by human error and bad weather. The pilots were warned of heavy fog and low visibility at Smolensk military airfield, and were asked to reroute to a different airport.

The pilot nevertheless made the decision to land. The investigation by the Interstate Aviation Committee revealed that in addition to the severe weather conditions, the pilots had been subjected to pressure by some of the high-ranking passengers on board. Transcripts from the plane’s black box revealed the pilots were forced to land as soon as possible. The recording also showed that one official entered the cockpit many times throughout the flight, and that the Chief of the Air Force of Poland was present in the cockpit at the time of the crash.

Heber, Utah: Pilot finds his passion in the cockpit ... OK3Air - Heber City Municipal Airport- Russ McDonald Field (36U)

Luke Watters, right, instructs Eric Petersen during a flight lesson on October 17, 2012. Watters, the chief flight instructor at OK3 Air in Heber City, trains pilots as well as flies clients to remote locations using a backcountry plane. 
Photo: Daily Herald, James Roh / AP 

Luke Watters ducks under the plane's wing as he prepares to take off from a dirt landing strip near Mexican Mountain in southern Utah on October 18, 2012. Watters, the chief flight instructor at OK3 Air in Heber City, trains pilots as well as flies clients to remote locations using a backcountry plane. 
Photo: Daily Herald, James Roh / AP

PROVO, Utah (AP) — The sun begins to heat the cool morning air at Heber City's Russ McDonald Airfield as OK3 Air's chief flight instructor, Luke Watters, and student Eric Petersen prepare for a midday flight lesson. 

 Within minutes the plane takes to the air and aims for the backside of Mount Timpanogos. Provo Canyon's popular Bridal Veil Falls and Vivian Park pass underneath, and eventually the canyon gives way to the vastness of Utah Valley.

After successfully running through several mock situations and a touch-and-go at the Provo Airport, the plane heads back east to the airfield.

The next day Watters has plans to fly several passengers to a remote environment near Mexican Mountain in southern Utah to hike and explore the area's petroglyphs. This involves landing a plane on a 1,500-foot airstrip in the crack of a narrow canyon. The following week doesn't look to be any less exciting as Watters is scheduled to spend the week training students to perform stunts in an aerobatic plane.

It should be noted that none of this is out of the ordinary for the pilot.

"This job was meant for me," Watters said. "It's definitely the perfect fit."

Watters' job description is bit unusual, especially when compared to typical flight instructors. Part flight instructor and part guide, Watters does everything from instructing novice pilots to specialty training for advanced pilots to taking clients to remote areas only accessible by plane.

For the latter, clients are free to explore or listen to Watters explain the history and geology of the area. Watters's outdoorsy nature and enthusiasm about Utah belies the fact that he has only been living in the state for five months.

Prior to OK3 Air, the Montana native held several aviation jobs, including a contracting job flying drones in Afghanistan for the U.S. military. In fact, Watters intended on accepting a job doing similar work for a company in California upon his arrival back in the United States.

However, after Watters' wife passed along information on OK3 Air's job opening, Watters reconsidered his options. Once Watters saw that there was a possibility to fly and train in an aerobatic plane, the decision became clear.

"When this opportunity came up, it was just too good to pass up," Watters said.

Aerobatic planes provide the freedom and romance of flying that Watters has been infatuated with since deciding to become a pilot in fourth grade. An admitted adrenaline junkie, Watters is certain commercial flying or an office job just wouldn't cut it.

"My whole life I've tried to figure out how I can guide my career path to own or operate an aerobatic plane," Watters said. "Every time I go out to that airplane I have a stupid grin on my face. I can't believe I get paid to do this."

Despite only being with OK3 Air for a short amount of time, Watters' hard work hasn't gone unnoticed.

"He's energized the flight school," said OK3 Air's president and owner, Nadim Abuhaidar. "There's a lot of people that can fly but there's not a lot of people who have a true passion for it."

Watters' great working relationship with Abuhaidar and other coworkers only reinforces his decision to become a flight instructor with OK3 Air.

"I'm building a house right now," Watters said matter-of-factly. "I don't plan on moving."

Read more:

Too Tired to Fly?

Special Operations 
By Mark Thompson
October 29, 2012

Did Ambien kill four Air Force special operators returning from a classified five-hour spy-plane mission in February?

The four – two special-ops pilots and two sensor operators – were aboard a perfectly-functioning Air Force aircraft as it prepared for a night-time landing at Ambouli International Airport in Djibouti, Africa.

On final approach, the aircraft, call sign Ratchet 33, entered an ever-steepening, ever faster dive, despite audible warnings:
– Seven seconds before the crash, the U-28 spy plane was 1,600 feet above the ground and diving at 5,400 feet per minute. Its Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System blared “Sink Rate, Sink Rate” into the crew’s headsets. But the two pilots apparently did nothing.
– Three seconds later, the plane was at 1,100 feet and diving at 8,000 feet per minute. The ground proximity warning system again warned the crew: “Pull up. Pull up.” Again, the crew did nothing.
– Four seconds later, the plane crashed five miles southwest of the Djibouti airport, diving at 11,752 feet – nearly two miles — per minute.
“All four aircrew members,” an Air Force investigation into the crash released last week said, “died instantly upon impact.”

How could this happen?

Here is the official conclusion of the investigation, led by Air Force Brigadier General Timothy Leahy:
The MC [mishap crew] never lost control of the aircraft; there are no indications of mechanical malfunction; and there are no indications the crew took any actions to control or arrest the descent rate and nose down attitude. I find that the clear and convincing evidence indicates the cause of the mishap was unrecognized spatial disorientation.
Well, OK. But how did the “unrecognized spatial disorientation” — meaning the two highly-trained pilots, with more than 3,500 flight hours between them (and more than half of that flown on combat missions) had no idea where they were — happen?