Friday, December 7, 2012

Shannon-owned planes stay impounded

By Pat Flynn 

Saturday, December 08, 2012

 
Two passenger jets owned by Shannon-based sister companies will stay impounded at an airport in Malta following a ruling in its civil courts.

The Airbus A320-211s, previously operated by bankrupt airline Windjet, are owned by Eden Irish Aircraft Leasing and ALS Irish Aircraft Leasing. Based in Shannon, both are subsidiaries of AerCap, which had also leased aircraft to Windjet but managed to recover them in August, soon after the airline declared bankruptcy.

Seven A320 aircraft operated by Windjet were originally impounded in Malta by order of Sicilian airport operator Catania Aeroporto. It’s claimed the airline owes €2.3m for airport services costs. The other five planes, also leased to Windjet by third parties, were returned to their owners after they deposited financial guarantees with the courts. Lawyers for Eden Irish Aircraft Leasing and ALS Irish Aircraft Leasing had applied to the Maltese Courts to release the planes.

The Irish firms argued they had landed the aircraft in Malta as part of a repossession process, due to Windjet’s default on its payment obligations, when the Sicilian airport authority obtained the seizure order.  


Source:   http://www.irishexaminer.com

South Georgia pilot to fly over Army vs. Navy Game


WORTH CO., GA (WALB) - A South Georgia pilot has been selected to take part in special event prior to one of college football's most storied rivalries. 

 Lieutenant Commander Chris Williams of Bridgeboro in Worth County is one of four pilots that will be executing a fly over prior to the game.

This year's Army Navy game marks the 113th edition of the interservice rivalry.

Williams was chosen by the Navy to be the head pilot of the formation and will fly an F-18.

Williams' father hopes this news will encourage others from South Georgia to follow their dreams.

"You can do whatever you want to do, but you have to do the things, that will qualify you for those things as you go through life, through elementary, middle, high school, and college, and there is no limit to what you can do," said Claven Williams, Pilot's Father, ASU Military Liason Coordinator.

The pilots will be introduced between the third and fourth quarters. The army navy game will be played tomorrow in Philadelphia.

Story, photos and video:   http://www.walb.com

Former Pilot Sues John Travolta

Courthouse News Service

Friday, December 07, 2012

By MATT REYNOLDS

 

 SANTA BARBARA (CN) - A former employee who claims he had an affair with John Travolta claims in court that the movie star invoked an invalid confidentiality agreement to stop him from talking publicly about their relationship.

Travolta's former pilot, Douglas Gotterba, sued Travolta, his aircraft company Alto, and his firm Constellation Productions in Superior Court.

 Gotterba asks the court to invalidate a confidentiality agreement that Gotterba claims Travolta, 58, plucked out of thin air. He says that even if such a contract exists, it was "induced by fraud." (17)

Gotterba was Travolta's pilot from 1981-1987 before he officially stopped working for him in March 1987, according to his 6-page complaint.

 "An actual controversy has arisen and now exists between plaintiff and defendants Travolta and Alto regarding the respective rights and duties under the termination agreement. Various news and entertainment publications have recently published articles regarding plaintiff's relationship with Travolta. Plaintiff did not initiate this publicity," the complaint states.

Read more:   http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/12/07/52925.htm

Jackson Hole (KJAC), Wyoming: Airport mulls how to reduce bird strikes

JACKSON — Jackson Hole Airport officials are considering creating a new sage grouse breeding ground to draw the large birds away from the runway.

The airport has recorded 60 bird strikes since 1994, and about half have involved sage grouse, whose dwindling populations have made them a candidate for federal protections. Wyoming Game and Fish Department biologist Joe Bohne says a sage grouse breeding ground, or lek, off the runway's north end is the source of most of the problems.

The airport is trying to craft a new federally required "wildlife hazard management plan" to reduce bird strikes.

Members of the Upper Snake River Basin Sage-Grouse Working Group discussed the airport's strategy Thursday. The plan is not yet concrete.


Article:   http://trib.com

http://www.airnav.com/airport/KJAC

More layoffs at Kennedy Space Center

BREVARD COUNTY --   United Space Alliance announced that over a 100 workers at Kennedy Space Center were laid off Friday.

The company is releasing hundreds of people over the next few months in Texas and Florida, as they continue the transition and retirement of the shuttle program.

On Friday 131 people -- 119 in Florida and 12 in Texas -- ended their time at KSC.

More layoffs are expected in January, March and April.

As of Dec. 6, United Space Alliance has laid off 1,022 workers in Florida, and 1,170 in Texas, with the retirement of the space shuttle.

United Space Alliance says employees who are laid off get a severance package depending on their years of service. The company is also providing help with resumes and career transition training.


Source:   http://www.cfnews13.com

Port Says Museum Not Being Pushed Out

 A local aircraft museum says the Port of Bellingham is forcing it out, and port officials say they’re baffled by the claim.

In a news release, officials of the Heritage Flight Museum, which displays and flies vintage warplanes from a facility at Bellingham International Airport, say the port has rescinded the favorable land lease terms that attracted them to the airport in 2001 and they may have to leave.

But Port Aviation Director Daniel Zenk says that’s not true.

He says the parties last spoke in August about moving the museum to a new facility, but terms of its lease have not been changed.

He says any sweetheart deal that might be given to a renter would have to be subsidized by taxpayers, and the port has been working to keep taxes from going up.

Zenk adds that FAA rules require the port to lease its facilities at fair market value.


Source:   http://kgmi.com

Flight museum expects to leave Bellingham over disputed lease

BELLINGHAM - Heritage Flight Museum Executive Director Greg Anders said he is looking for a new home for the museum's collection of vintage aircraft because the Port of Bellingham has reneged on an earlier promise of a $1-a-year lease for a new museum building on airport property.

"We have lost our future," Anders said.

A press release issued Friday, Dec. 7, by the museum seemed to indicate that the port had done something to force the museum to leave.

"PORT SQUEEZING FLIGHT MUSEUM OUT," the release's headline said. Then it quoted Anders as saying, "The Port of Bellingham has officially rescinded the favorable land lease terms with which we were attracted to move to Bellingham back in 2001."

Port Aviation Director Dan Zenk expressed surprise at the museum's announcement. Zenk said he had last discussed the museum's future with Anders in August. At that time, he gave Anders a letter from port attorney Frank Chmelik outlining what Chmelik portrayed as legal impediments to offering the museum a piece of airport property for next to nothing.

Museum officials took Chmelik's letter and said they would do their own research and reply, Zenk said. The only reply was the press release accusing the port of squeezing them out.


"The ball's in their court," Zenk said. "I am absolutely shocked and bewildered at their approach."

Anders said he wasn't sure how much longer Heritage Flight Museum would be in Bellingham. He said he has been having preliminary discussions with other airports that have shown interest, and the museum could move out of town as early as spring 2013, although he said that was unlikely.

Zenk said the museum is not a direct port tenant. The museum is housed in a hangar owned by Apogee LLC, a company owned by Greg Anders' father, Bill, the former Apollo astronaut who founded the museum in 1996 before its move to Bellingham five years later.


Read more here: http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2012/12/07/2795286/flight-museum-expects-to-leave.html#storylink=cpy
Read more here: http://www.bellinghamherald.com

NEW JERSEY: Millville Air Museum dedicates wing to chairman

MILLVILLE — A museum that celebrates the city’s military history now has a wing named for one of its biggest supporters.

A new section of the Millville Army Air Field Museum has been named to honor Hugh McElroy. It was dedicated during a ribbon-cutting on Friday, which was also the 71st anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

“Frankly, it’s a coincidence, but it’s nice to do it on Pearl Harbor Day,” said Chuck Wyble, president of Millville Army Air Field Museum.

McElroy, chairman emeritus of the museum board, has supported the museum — housed at the Millville Airport in a structure that dates back to World War II — for many years.

“If you accumulate all that he’s given to our museum it would be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars,” Wyble said.

Even after moving to Texas for his job, McElroy still kept ties with the museum and Millville.

“Even though my address has changed ... my heart and the DNA that connects me with this place has done nothing but grow,” McElroy said. “I remain totally and unequivocally connected to this museum.”

McElroy is a firm believer in both the museum and the history lessons it teaches.

“It chronicles history in so many ways, and in such a personal way, because it pertains to this community and the many men and women who were stationed here in World War II,” McElroy said.

Read more:  http://www.nj.com

Piper, state agree on amended incentive package; Indian River close

By Ed Bierschenk 
Posted December 7, 2012 at 7:44 p.m.

 VERO BEACH — Piper Aircraft Inc. may have to pay back some of the $10.6 million in incentive money it received from the state and county in 2008, but only if the number of workers at the company dips below current employment levels, according to a draft settlement agreement signed Friday with the company.

The state has reached an agreement with Piper over its incentive package, while the county is working on a somewhat similar agreement that is expected to be ready for the Dec. 18 County Commission meeting.

"Following a worldwide recession in general aviation, Piper is managing to emerge as a strong company with a backlog and a global presence in the aerospace industry," said Piper President and Chief Executive Officer Simon Caldecott in a prepared statement. "As the largest manufacturer exporter in Indian River County, we are gratified that the state has recognized our ongoing contributions to Florida, Indian River County and Vero Beach."

Indian River County Attorney Alan Polackwich said the agreement is "a compromise.

"This recognizes that they didn't do everything (called for in the agreement), but they did do quite a bit."

Whether the county commission will sign off on the agreement is unknown. At one time, Indian River County Commission Chairman Joe Flescher said that Piper should be held to the commitments it made in the original agreement.

The agreement is an amendment to the original incentive contract Piper entered into with the state in 2008.

That contract along with one Piper entered into with Indian River County called for the company to receive up to $32 million for reaching certain benchmarks in employment, wages and capital investment. Of the total, $20 million was to come from the state and $12 million from the county.

Piper received about $6.6 million from the state and $4 million from the county in 2008 after reaching certain benchmarks in employment, wages, and capital investment. It had at least 1,014 employees with an annual average wage of $46,500 not including benefits.

Read more:   http://www.tcpalm.com

Plane crash victim was a Rotorua man

 The pilot killed in a plane crash near Rotorua was a Rotorua man.  

 A police northern communications spokesman told The Daily Post the crash happened off Earthquake Flats Rd in Waikite Valley, south of Rotorua. They were alerted to the crash at 1.24pm.

Earthquake Flats Rd is a no exit dirt road, off Corbett Rd and near the Waikite Valley Thermal Pools.

The Daily Post was unable to get near the crash site and was turned away by police, who were looking after the site until  Civil Aviation Authority staff arrived tomorrow.

Contact Manager Corporate Communications, Mike Richards said Civil Aviation inspectors would arrive at the scene tomorrow.

He said the plane was a Fletcher 24 Turbine Engine kerosene, which was quite a powerful plane and the kind commonly used in agricultural applications. He said the pilot was a Rotorua man aged about 27.

Mr Richards said the pilot was  "only a short time in the air'' before the plane "collided with terrain''.

He said there was one witness.
 

"We're trying to talk to them tomorrow."

"Our inspectors will look at the wreckage.''

Mr Richards said it was too early to say how long inspectors would be investigating the scene.

"[They could] photograph and video everything in great detail.''

The long driveway to the site was marked with two orange cones at the start of it on Earthquake Flats Rd. There was a sign near the driveway which signaled an air strip.

Two fire appliances also attended the crash scene. However, a fire service spokesman told The Daily Post they were only there on stand-by because of fuel leakage.


http://www.bayofplentytimes.co.nz


The pilot of a topdressing plane was killed after the plane crashed in the Waikite Valley, south of Rotorua, on Saturday.

Emergency services were alerted to the accident about 1.30pm on Saturday in the Waikite Valley, about 30km south of Rotorua.

St John Ambulance team manager James Ihimaera says upon arrival they found one deceased person with the plane, believed to be a topdressing plane.

Police and fire crews were in attendance.


Source:   http://home.nzcity.co.nz

Skydiver killed in mid-air collision - Australia

A skydiver has been killed in a mid-air collision with another parachutist at Wilton in Sydney's southwest.

The man, aged in his 30s, appeared to have been knocked unconscious in the collision before 10am (AEDT) on Saturday. He lost control of his chute and landed outside the designated zone, police said.

An ambulance spokeswoman said the man was unconscious when paramedics arrived. He died at the scene.

A 39-year-old man suffered minor injuries and was taken to Liverpool Hospital in a stable condition.


Source:   http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au

Store desperate for workers brings employees on jet to work

MINOT, Nd. (WTVR) — The Department of Labor puts North Dakota at number one with the lowest unemployment rate in the country. It currently sits at 3.1 percent.

Finding workers there is so tough that a Menards has had to fly workers in from as far away as Wisconsin.

Twice a week a jet makes a trip from Minot’s General Aviation Terminal to Wisconsin to pick up about 25 workers. The workers stay four to five days with the transportation and lodging all provide.

Until positions can be filled, the store will continue to bring workers in on a 600 mile commute in order to keep up with the demand for labor.


http://www.kwch.com

http://wtvr.com

http://www.airnav.com/airport/MOT

http://www.menards.com

Robinson R44 Raven II, Pollux Aviation Ltd, N557AC: Accident occurred December 07, 2012 in Roosevelt Lake, Arizona

http://registry.faa.gov/N557AC 

 http://www.airport-data.com/aircraft/photo

NTSB Identification: WPR13CA064 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, December 07, 2012 in Roosevelt Lake, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/10/2013
Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER COMPANY R44 II, registration: N557AC
Injuries: 1 Serious,2 Minor.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot descended the helicopter out of mountainous terrain and then continued over a large mountain lake, cruising about 100 knots at an altitude of about 200 to 250 feet. The lake water was very clear and perfectly calm. The pilot looked inside the cockpit to check instruments, and when he looked outside and below the helicopter, he experienced a feeling of mental confusion similar to vertigo. At this point the pilot estimated that the helicopter was between 15 and 20 feet above the water. He pulled aft on the cyclic, the helicopter impacted the water, pitched forward, and sank. The pilot and his two passengers were able to egress the helicopter while it was submerged.

Immediately after the accident the pilot told a park ranger who was on-scene that he was traveling a little low and thought he set a skid in the water. One of the passengers stated that moments before the collision with the water, the pilot had asked them if they wanted to get closer to the water and if they wanted to chase some birds.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's visual disorientation, which resulted in a collision with the lake.

The pilot descended the helicopter out of mountainous terrain and then continued over a large mountain lake, cruising about 100 knots, between 200 and 250 feet. The lake water was very clear and perfectly calm. The pilot looked inside the cockpit to check instruments, and when he looked outside and below the helicopter, he experienced a feeling of mental confusion similar to vertigo. At this point the pilot estimated that the helicopter was between 15 and 20 feet above the water. He pulled aft on the cyclic, the helicopter impacted the water, pitched forward, and sank. The pilot and his two passengers were able to egress the helicopter while it was submerged.

Immediately after the accident the pilot told a Park Ranger who was on-scene that he was traveling a little low and thinks he set a skid in the water. One of the passengers stated that moments before the collision with the water the pilot had asked them if they wanted to get closer to the water and if they wanted to chase some birds.


IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 557AC        Make/Model: R44       Description: R-44 Astro
  Date: 12/07/2012     Time: 2200

  Event Type: Accident   Highest Injury: Serious     Mid Air: N    Missing: N
  Damage: Unknown

LOCATION
  City: ROOSEVELT   State: AZ   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  N557AC ROBINSON R44 ROTORCRAFT CRASHED INTO A LAKE, ROSSEVELT, AZ

INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   0
                 # Crew:   1     Fat:   0     Ser:   1     Min:   0     Unk:    
                 # Pass:   2     Fat:   0     Ser:   2     Min:   0     Unk:    
                 # Grnd:         Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    


OTHER DATA
  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Unknown      Operation: OTHER


  FAA FSDO: SCOTTSDALE, AZ  (WP07)                Entry date: 12/10/2012 
 


 

 ROOSEVELT LAKE, AZ - Authorities are investigating what caused a helicopter with multiple people on board to crash into Roosevelt Lake on Friday afternoon.

A Gila County Sheriff's Office spokesperson said the aircraft went down around 3 p.m, and is in 60 feet of water.

A pilot, along with a male and female passenger were on board when the helicopter crashed into the lake east of the Valley. According to GCSO, the passengers were pulled from the aircraft by nearby boaters who witnessed the crash.

Two medical helicopters flew the passengers to Phoenix hospitals for evaluations and treatment.

The extent of their injuries wasn't immediately clear and officials wouldn't release their names, ages or hometowns.

Authorities say the Robinson R44 was registered to an Alaskan company and it isn't immediately known why it went down.

Officials from the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board will be investigating the crash.


Source:   http://www.abc15.com

PHOENIX -- Three people were transported to Phoenix-area hospitals after a helicopter crashed into Roosevelt Lake Friday afternoon.

The privately owned helicopter went into the water at about 3 p.m.

Lt. Tim Scott with the Gila County Sheriff's Office said the aircraft is in about 60 feet of water. Dive team members were called in.

A pilot and two passengers were on board the rotorcraft.

Scott said boaters who were close by heard the helicopter hit the water and rescued the three adults once they got out of the chopper.

They were treated at the scene then put on medical helicopters and flown from the area. The extent of their injuries is not known at this time.

No names have been released.

There is no word on what caused the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration will be investigating.

Roosevelt Lake is about 90 minutes east of the Valley.


Source:  http://www.azfamily.com

Plane deaths might have been avoided if more safety precautions were in place: Transportation Safety Board of Canada

An official with the Transportation Safety Board says the two victims of a Vernon plane crash this summer may not have died if more safety precautions were in place.

A Piper twin engine plane crashed into an unoccupied sports field July 7 and caught fire, killing the 59-year-old pilot, James Langley of Kelowna, and his 55-year-old passenger, Karim Makalai of Port Moody.

Investigator Bill Yearwood says the victims had no major injuries from the crash itself, but died in the fire that followed, and he says the T-S-B has been recommending for years that the government make changes in aviation safety rules to reduce the risk of post-crash fires.

Yearwood says the plane may have had trouble lifting off the ground from Vernon airport because of a full load of fuel, the 33-degree temperature, and a pilot with limited experience.


Source:    http://www.vancouversun.com

Flights carrying passengers without surveillance: report

Several flights ferrying thousands of passengers in the country operate without the aviation regulator’s surveillance, according to the report submitted by a government independent air safety committee.

The report by the Civil Aviation Safety Advisory Council (CASAC), a body set up after  the Air India Express crash at Mangalore in 2010, states that majority of the flight operation inspectors (FOIs) appointed by the aviation regulator for the critical surveillance job barely turn up at work.

The FOIs’ job entails regular monitoring whether airlines are following the safety procedures prescribed by the DGCA that includes cockpit en-route inspection, aircraft cabin inspection and evaluating simulator checks by aircrew.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had appointed these senior pilots on deputation to make up for its shortage of full time FOIs. As a result, the pre-condition for the job was serving the regulator’s office for at least four days a week.

But an attendance sheet for the month of September produced by CASAC shows that none of the 21 pilots selected for the job reported to work for 16 days. In fact, 12 of them were present for less than 10 days.

“The CASAC has pointed out this violation several times but the nobody is willing to take action,” said Captain Mohan Ranganathan, member CASAC.
 

Considering the time-consuming nature of the job and its bearing on passenger safety, the DGCA has asked airlines to nominate pilots who do not hold senior managerial positions.

But the report states that even that parameter was violated. Of the 21 FOIs, 19 hold crucial managerial positions in domestic airlines. “Three of FOIs worked with
Kingfisher Airlines which is bigger violation because the airline’s license is currently suspended,” said Captain Ranganathan.

The report gains importance as its findings have come to light a week before the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) audit on flight safety standards in the country.

Incidentally, the global policy maker for air safety norms had slammed the DGCA over shortage of FOIs and lack of surveillance during its audit in 2006.

“I hope the DGCA is able to explain such serious safety violations to the ICAO,” added Captain Ranganathan.

http://www.hindustantimes.com

Cessna 172M Skyhawk, Dutch Wings LLC, N172BJ: Accident occurred December 07, 2012 in Arcola, Texas

http://registry.faa.gov/N172BJ

NTSB Identification: CEN13LA104  
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, December 07, 2012 in Arcola, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/23/2013
Aircraft: CESSNA 172M, registration: N172BJ
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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

The pilot said that the airplane experienced a total loss of engine power while climbing through 500 feet above ground level. The flight instructor took the controls and performed a landing on a freshly plowed field, which resulted in the airplane nosing over. Postaccident examination of the engine and associated components did not reveal any mechanical failure. The examination revealed that the right fuel tank contained about one gallon of fuel and the left fuel tank was almost full. The master switch was in the on position, the key switch was in the off position, and the fuel selector was in the off position. The airplane was fueled before the flight, but the reason for the fuel imbalance between fuel tanks could not be determined. It is unknown if the fuel selector was on the left tank during the flight and then placed in the off position after the accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The loss of engine power during initial climb for reasons that could not be determined because postaccident examination of the engine did not reveal any anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.


On December 7, 2012, about 1457 central standard time, a Cessna 172M, N172BJ, experienced a total loss of engine power after takeoff from Houston Southwest Airport (AXH), Arcola, Texas. The pilot performed a forced landing to a field. The airplane nosed over and impacted terrain during the landing. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the wings and vertical stabilizer. The flight instructor and an a private pilot were uninjured. The airplane was registered to and operated by Dutch Wings LLC (dba Dutch Wings Flight School) under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as an instructional flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules flight plan had been filed for the flight that was originating at the time of the accident.


The flight instructor stated that the private pilot performed a preflight of the airplane and had the airplane fueled. Fuel samples from the airplane fuel drains were free of contaminants. There were no abnormalities with the airplane during taxi to the runway or the engine runup. After takeoff, the airplane experienced a loss of engine power while climbing through about 500 feet above ground level. The flight instructor took the flight controls and performed a forced landing on a freshly plowed field where the airplane nosed-over.

Examination of the airplane revealed that the right fuel tank contained about one gallon of fuel and the left fuel tank was approximately full. The gascolator was full of fuel and the fuel line from the gascolator to the carburetor did not contain fuel. There was no fuel contamination present. Examination of the magnetos and carburetor, which were overhauled in 2010, did not reveal any anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. The master switch was in the on position, the key switch was in the off position, and the fuel selector was in the off position. The engine was rotated and cylinder compression and engine continuity was noted.



 NTSB Identification: CEN13LA104 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, December 07, 2012 in Arcola, TX
Aircraft: CESSNA 172M, registration: N172BJ
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On December 7, 2012, about 1457 central standard time, a Cessna 172M, N172BJ, experienced a total loss of engine power after takeoff from Houston Southwest Airport (AXH), Arcola, Texas. The pilot performed a forced landing to a field. The airplane nosed over and impacted terrain during the landing. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the wings and vertical stabilizer. The pilot and passenger were uninjured. The airplane was registered to and operated by Dutch Wings LLC (dba Dutch Wings Flight School) under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument rules flight plan had been filed for the flight that was originating at the time of the accident.


IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 172BJ        Make/Model: C172      Description: 172, P172, R172, Skyhawk, Hawk XP, Cutla
  Date: 12/07/2012     Time: 2057

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

LOCATION
  City: ARCOLA   State: TX   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT FORCE LANDED IN A FIELD AND FLIPPED OVER, NEAR ARCOLA, TX

INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   0
                 # Crew:   2     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    
                 # Pass:   0     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    
                 # Grnd:         Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    


OTHER DATA
  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Unknown      Operation: OTHER


  FAA FSDO: HOUSTON, TX  (SW09)                   Entry date: 12/10/2012 
 
 
 

BRAZORIA COUNTY, TX (KTRK) -- A pilot somehow avoided injury after his plane landed upside-down in a field in Brazoria County on Friday.

 It happened around 3pm. According to DPS, the pilot reported engine trouble and tried to land the Cessna in a field near Highway 6 and FM 521.

 The plane flipped after it touched down. 

The pilot was not injured. Houston Southwest Airport is about two miles to the southwest of where the plane ended up. That may have been from where the pilot took off. 

 http://abclocal.go.com

 HOUSTON – An investigation is under way after a small plane crash landed Friday on Highway 6 and FM 521 in Fort Bend County, DPS said

The single-engine plane flipped after impact, but the pilot is OK. He was the only person on board.

He cited engine problems before landing in the field.

The plane is registered to Dutch Wings Flight School in Arcola.
 
 

World War II Fighter Raised From Lake Michigan

 

WAUKEGAN (CBS) — After spending almost 70 years submerged in Lake Michigan, salvage experts pulled an old World War II fighter plane out of the water on Friday.

The FM-2 “Wildcat” went into the lake off the end of an aircraft carrier in Waukegan Harbor during World War II, while on a training mission on Dec. 28, 1994. The pilot survived the crash, which was blamed on engine failure.

It sat in about 160 feet of water until Sunday, when salvage crews began towing it toward shore. Recovery specialist Taras Lysenko said the recovery lift was less likely to rip off the wings if done in a safe harbor instead of the open waters of Lake Michigan.

U.S. Army veteran Chuck Greenhill planned to help restore the fighter, as he’s done with other WWII era planes. The back of his hat says it all: Keep ‘em Flying.

On Friday, his latest project was fished out of Lake Michigan.

It sat on the bottom of the lake for almost 70 years, until divers from A & T Recovery floated it up and towed it into the harbor.

Greenhill, of north suburban Mettawa, was looking forward to getting the damaged plane back into flying shape. Most of the tail section was gone, but its wings, cockpit and engine were still intact.

“It’s going to take a while to get this thing going, but it will. It’ll get to look like an airplane again,” he said.

Greenhill said the stick and rudder pedals were still working. The plane was his second restoration project reclaimed from the lake. He’s also worked on a Birdcage Corsair that was pulled out of the lake two years ago.

Why does he do it?
 

“It’s so important to have these airplanes available for the public to see, so people can appreciate what happened back in this era,” he said. “If this thing laid in the lake, it would just be completely forgotten. It would be junk.”

The plane was moved from deeper water to the harbor, so that it could be safely lifted out of the lake. Crews began towing the plane underwater on Sunday, and it arrived at the harbor on Tuesday, but they decided to wait until Friday to pull it out, to coincide with the 71st anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Greenhill also has the last air-worthy plane left from Pearl Harbor.

Lysenko described the Wildcat fighter as “a beer can with wings.”

Though not as maneuverable as the Japanese Zero, it was very durable, and extremely lethal with four wing-mounted .50 caliber machine guns. It also was often fitted with aircraft rockets for use against ships, surfaced submarines, or ground targets.

The most famous Wildcat was flown by Butch O’Hare, for whom O’Hare International Airport was named. O’Hare received the Medal of Honor for downing five Japanese bombers attacking the aircraft carrier Lexington in 1942.

Like the warplanes currently on display at Midway and O’Hare airports, which also were pulled from the bottom of the lake, the Wildcat salvaged on Friday will fly again, in a museum.

“After all these years, it’s gonna come back to life, this old bird,” Greenhill said.

Over the years, A & T Recovery has salvaged more than 30 WWII planes from the lake. More than 100 planes crashed into the lake

Lake Michigan treats planes well. At 160 feet deep where this Wildcat was found, it’s dark and cold with little oxygen.

Recovered planes often have some air in the tires, and even a trickle of charge in the battery.

The Naval Aviation Museum Foundation sponsored the recovery. The foundation wants the Wildcat to eventually go on display in Glenview.

Story, video, photo, reaction/comments:   http://chicago.cbslocal.com

No refund for cancelled Air India flight: Passenger booked on cancelled Air India Express Flight to Trivandrum sent on a merry chase to get refund

Dubai   --   A passenger on an Air India Express flight that was cancelled in September has yet to receive his refund despite tireless efforts.
 
Aggrieved passenger Lawrence Armstrong told XPRESS that he was at his wits’ end as the airline was making him run from one office to another without doing anything to refund the ticket he booked on a Dubai-Trivandrum flight on September 20.

“I was informed via an e-mail and a text message on my phone three days in advance that the flight has been cancelled and as per their instructions, I went online and cancelled my ticket. But I did not get any e-mail confirming the cancellation. Since then I’ve made numerous calls to their offices in the UAE and India; sent several e-mails to their customer care but no one has bothered to respond,” Armstrong said.

The low-cost airline operated by India’s national carrier Air India has often drawn flak from Gulf passengers for arbitrary cancellations and poor customer service.
 

When his numerous phone calls and e-mails did not yield results, Armstrong decided to visit the Air India office in Dubai.

However, his pursuit for the ticket refund was far from over as the airline staff asked him to visit the airline’s office at Dubai airport. “At the airport office, the staff told me that they can only update the PNR status of passengers and hence I should approach their Mumbai office. When I called them, they informed me that my PNR number is not yet cancelled in their system.” Armstrong said though the Air India Express office in Mumbai cancelled his PNR on November 15 and promised to refund the ticket money within 10 days, the amount has not yet been credited to his account.

When XPRESS contacted the airline, the Air India manager confirmed through an e-mail that the matter has been forwarded to the Mumbai office for prompt action.


Source:   http://gulfnews.com

SpiceJet flight rams into lamp-post, pilot grounded: Indira Gandhi International Airport

Passengers of a Delhi-Hyderabad SpiceJet flight had a narrow escape around 7.30 pm on Thursday when the aircraft’s right wing hit a high light-post at IGI Airport while taxiing to the runway for take-off.

Sources said the pilot might have veered off the guiding line when he turned the Boeing 737-800 on the taxiway to approach the runway.

Airport operator Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) said no one was injured. There were 137 passengers on board. The passengers were sent to Hyderabad in a separate plane about two hours later.

“Preliminary reports suggest that the aircraft, after clearance for departure, came out of the parking bay and veered out of the taxiway guiding line. As a result, the plane hit the post,” a DIAL spokesperson said. The right wing of the aircraft and the light-post were completely damaged.

The Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has ordered an inquiry to find out whether there was a technical snag or it was the pilot’s fault.

“As a rule, the aircraft’s nose wheel must always be in alignment with the central marker on the taxiway. But as the plane started moving, the nose wheel veered away from the central line. It moved eight metres towards the right of the central line and hit the pole,” a senior DGCA official said.

SpiceJet said “it was a minor incident”. “We are doing an internal investigation,” a spokesperson said. A DGCA official said an alcohol test was conducted to check if the pilot was inebriated.

“A team has been formed to investigate the matter and the pilot has been grounded till the inquiry is over,” the official said.

On a wing & a Prayer

Plane veers 8 metres off central line on taxiway

Right wing hits high light-post, damaged

Inquiry ordered

Pilot grounded, alcohol test done

Passengers safe, fly to Hyderabad in another plane


Source:   http://www.indianexpress.com 

SpiceJet plane bumps into floodlight before take off 

 NEW DELHI: It is common to find vehicles crashing into stationary objects on Indian roads. But at the IGI Airport on Thursday evening, a Boeing 737-800 followed in the act. A SpiceJet aircraft veered off its path and crashed into an apron floodlight, seriously damaging the plane's wing.

The airline and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation are still not sure what led the pilot to digress from his well marked path and stray about 8 metres towards the floodlight. The incident occurred about 7.40pm when SpiceJet flight SG-239 was moving towards the taxiway to leave for Hyderabad.

The aircraft had 136 passengers and six crew members on board. "As the aircraft headed to the taxiway, the pilot seems to have turned before the actual turning. The right wing struck against an apron floodlight. The wing and the light were damaged significantly," said sources.

DGCA orders probe into 'minor' incident

A SpiceJet aircraft veered off its path and crashed into an apron floodlight at the IGI airport, seriously damaging the plane's wing. After the accident, the pilot informed the air traffic control that he wanted to return to the parking bay due to "technical problems". The passengers were later put on another aircraft, also a Boeing 737-800, and departed for Hyderabad at 9.25pm.

While the airline maintained that the incident was "minor", DGCA said that they had taken a serious view of the accident. A team was set up to investigate it and fact-finding went on till at least 1am on Friday. "We would like to clarify that it was a minor incident. We are doing an internal investigation in this matter," said an airline spokesperson.

DGCA chief Arun Mishra said: "This is a serious incident and is being treated as one. So far it is not clear how and why the pilot strayed off the marked path. There were sufficient lights to help him see so that cannot be an issue. Let's see what the investigation throws up." Sources said that the pilot has been grounded pending enquiry.

Sources explained that routes are marked clearly for aircraft and other vehicles at the airport. "For aircraft, their route to and from the apron area to taxiways and then to the main runway are highlighted in yellow. The aircraft nose has to be aligned with the line and the aircraft moves without any obstruction. However, in this case, the aircraft had left this path. This could either be human error or a technical problem," said sources.

Source:   http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Cessna 172S Skyhawk, N415RJ: Aircraft on decent, bird struck the windshield, near Englewood, Colorado

IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 415RJ        Make/Model: C172      Description: 172, P172, R172, Skyhawk, Hawk XP, Cutla
  Date: 12/07/2012     Time: 1931

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

LOCATION
  City: ENGLEWOOD   State: CO   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT ON DECENT, BIRD STRUCK THE WINDSHIELD, NEAR ENGLEWOOD, CO

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


OTHER DATA
  Activity: Training      Phase: Descent      Operation: OTHER


  FAA FSDO: DENVER, CO  (NM03)                    Entry date: 12/10/2012 
 

KUSA - An eagle struck a plane at the Centennial Airport on Friday. 

9NEWS has learned that an eagle broke the windshield of a Cessna 172 upon landing at around 12:30 Friday.

The FAA said the pilot suffered a minor cut to the face, but was treated and released.

A Cessna 172 is a single engine, fixed-wing aircraft. The aircraft is registered to Aviation Training LLC.

Since 1990, Centennial Airport has seen 108 wildlife strikes on airplanes, according to the FAA.

In the entire U.S., only 166 eagles have made contact with a plane since 1990, when the FAA started keeping track of wildlife strikes.

Denver International Airport has reported 4,121 wildlife strikes of airplanes since 1994. This year, there are 406 reports of bird and wildlife strikes at DIA.


Story and reaction/comments:   http://www.9news.com

 http://registry.faa.gov/N415RJ

Garuda and Lion Add Seats for Holidays

TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:  The state airline company Garuda Indonesia is preparing 10,500 additional seats prevailing from Dec. 20-Jan. 4, 2013. “To prepare for the Christmas and the New Year holidays, we are installing additional seats for the routes, Jakarta-Denpasar, Jakarta-Surabaya, and Surabaya-Denpasar," Pujobroto, Corporate Communications VP of Garuda Indonesia, told Tempo on Dec. 5.

There are nine flights everyday plying the Jakarta-Singapore and Jakarta-Denpasar routes. The airline flies the 737-800 NG aircraft with a capacity of 162 passengers. At the peak season at the end of the December and during the first week in January 2013, Garuda Indonesia will to operate the B 747-400, a large aircraft with a capacity of 400 passengers for flights to Denpasar and Singapore.

With the additional seats, Garuda is targeting the load factor to reach 90 percent. Lion Air will also plans to add extra seats.

Lion Air plans to add 30,000 extra seats, 10 days before and after the New Year. “Last year, there were 18,000 additional seats and 80 percent of them were sold,” Lion Mentari Airlines CEO, Edward Sirait, said. Excluding the 30,000 extra seats, the airline’s capacity is 140,000 seats per day.

The additional seats apply to traditional routes. The traditional routes for this month cover tourism areas with the majority of people celebrating Christmas. Lion Air will make available extra seats for round-trips, especially the Cengkareng-Denpasar and Surabaya-Balikpapan routes.


Source:    http://www.tempointeractive.com

Maldives takes over airport, to retain all staff, including Indians

The Maldivian government has offered to retain all employees at Malé airport, which it took over after a hotly contested legal battle with Indian infrastructure major GMR, including the 105 Indians working at the facility. The peaceful transfer took place on Friday.

It has offered that the employees, numbering over 1,700, will be retained at their current salaries, positions and terms and conditions by the Maldives Airports Company Limited. A government spokesperson confirmed this, negating earlier reports that the work permits of Indians would be revoked by Malé.

Earlier, Maldives had revoked a 25-year-lease granted to GMR to run the Ibrahim Nassir International Airport, a decision backed by the Singapore Court of Appeal. It had sparked a diplomatic row, with India warning Maldives that bilateral relations could be harmed if the legal process was not followed.

The Mohamed Waheed-led government has worked out a three-week-transition period to take complete control of the facility from GMR, and assured the security of Indian employees.

GMR also issued a statement saying it would facilitate a “smooth takeover”. “GMIAL (the consortium that had won the contract) has been assured that as a result of this takeover all its employees, suppliers and other interested parties will not be put to any inconvenience,” the statement read.

Meanwhile, the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party that is led by former president Mohamed Nasheed marched in protest in Malé against the government decision to cancel the contract. 


Source:   http://www.indianexpress.com

RAW VIDEO: Chopper live video shows chase in Miami ends with dramatic bust

MIAMI - Police chased a U-Haul truck Friday morning through the streets of Miami before catching the driver.

News chopper video showed police stopping the U-Haul truck around 12:45 p.m. before smashing the window to get the driver.

A swarm of police officers approached the driver's side of the U-Haul truck and wrestled the driver to the ground.

Chopper video showed the truck temporarily getting stuck in traffic around 12:30 p.m. before managing to drive on the sidewalk.

Details surrounding the chase were unclear.

Police units were seen driving behind the U-Haul truck.
 

Watch Raw Video:     http://www.local10.com

Tribunal stays city airport's penal parking fees on private jets

Mumbai: In a relief to private business jet operators, the appellate tribunal of the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (Aera) has stayed the penal parking charges levied by the Mumbai airport.

The tribunal also has fixed January 4 as the next date for hearing in the case, a release by the Business Aircraft Operator's Association (BAOA), the umbrella body of private jet operators, said here Friday.

"This has come as a big relief for the private jet operators," association president Rohit Kapur said.

The Mumbai airport spokesman could not be reached for comments.

The association had approached the airports regulator, challenging the "unilateral" decision of the Mumbai airport to impose penalty on business jets, ranging between Rs 1,000 and Rs 15,000 per hour, for overstaying and extended use of the parking bays this July.

The Mumbai airport has 28 parking bays being used by 70-90 private jets.

The association argued that the parking charges form part of aeronautical services and any increase in tariff falls within the jurisdiction of the Aera.

It also contended that the penalty was imposed without seeking any approval from the Aera.

A certificate from the DGCA notifies the parking slots for private jets across all airports.

The association first challenged the Mumbai airport's decision at the Aera in August this year. Since several rounds of discussions failed to bring any solution, the association moved the tribunal, seeking interim relief.

It further alleged that even before the Aera could review the matter, the airport unilaterally imposed penal charges from July 1.

After hearing the parties, the tribunal directed the airport to maintain status on the charges and directed it to continue to charge only the rates approved by the Airports Authority, the association claimed.


Original article:   http://zeenews.india.com

Dogged by thefts, Air India looks to squad of dogs

Tired of the frequent thefts in the commercial premises of Air India located at the old airport in Kalina, the airline has now decided to hire a dog squad to man the boundary walls.

This decision indicates the security threat that the old airport faces as outsiders get access to restricted areas.

According to Air India officials, the decision was taken after several cases of thefts were reported, with their stolen valuables amounting tolakhs. In spite of strengthening the security several times, the situation saw no improvement.

“So we finally decided to hire a dog squad to patrol the parapet,” a senior official from the airline said, adding that they are in the process of hiring the squad and will probably go with German Shepherds and Dobermans.

Air India has a department of disposal along with other sections of the administration located at the old airport premises. Ironically, the airline is currently investigating at least 161 cases of theft by its own staffers as officials have not ruled out the possibility of the involvement oft heir own staffers in the thefts.

The dog squad will comprise of two dogs along with their handlers who will be required to work in shifts. They will be required to patrol the parapet of the disposal section.

If successful, similar dog squads will be hired to patrol the airline’s other properties which are vulnerable like the one at Kalina. The airline is making all efforts to bring down its losses and turn its fortune around.

The national carrier has chunks of properties scattered across the country and at foreign locations. Currently, it is in the process of monetizing some of its idle properties.


http://www.dnaindia.com

Aircraft collided with power lines in South Korea


 Published on December 7, 2012

 A light aircraft has got stuck in high-tension power lines in South Korea. The pilot was left suspended between the 23,000 volt cables for two hours. 

Report by Rob Gillett

Continuing a Lego legacy, one year after fatal plane crash: Cessna 421C Golden Eagle, N421SY





 

This weekend marks the first anniversary of an event that shocked South Dakota.

On December 9, 2011, a twin-engine plane crashed just north of the Sioux Falls airport, killing its four members on board.

The crash killed Dr. Daniel Swets, Kevin Anderson, Joshua Lambrecht and their pilot, Brian Blake.

One year later, their legacies are living in in South Dakota's youth.

It was that sound that brought many of us back to childhood, Legos.   But for three grown men, Daniel Swets, Kevin Anderson and Joshua Lambrecht, Legos were still a part of their lives, before the passed away.

Robyn Swets lost her husband Dan in that plane crash, last year. As she explains, it was 2007 when she and Dan became active in the First Lego League hoping to capture young minds across the state.

"We would sit in our living room and talk (First Lego League), it was always about FLL. I'm so glad to be keeping it going.  It brings me closer to him, still,"Robyn Swets said.

So much of her new SD Robotics Association center, in Sioux Falls, reminds her of her husband. She's glad to be taking over his role in the state.

"It kind of would remind me of old times, remind me of how things were going. I can ask him for help, think about what would Dan do? He didn't always have the answers but he had a lot," Swets said.

New to the Lego League this year, Mark Gierach, who joined with his 9 year old son as a coach.

"Just watching my son and the whole team evolve and as they grow together, that's really the reward," Mark Gierach said. "The way the (First Lego League) is designed, you have to allow the children to solve the problems on their own. You want to help them but in reality, the help is helping them help themselves."

And for Robyn Swets, it's about the kids, while keeping her husband's memory alive.

"To see what they believe in so much is turning into thisexciting success and spreading it across the state, it's wonderful. I hope itcontinues," Swets said.

The South Dakota FIRST Lego League has more than 80 teams atvarious schools across the state and still growing each year.

To get involved with FIRST Lego League or SD Robotics as a parent, coach or student, visit the following link to the SD Robotics Association: http://southdakotarobotics.com/index.php

Source:  http://www.ksfy.com

NTSB Identification: CEN12FA100
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Friday, December 09, 2011 in Sioux Falls, SD
Aircraft: CESSNA 421C, registration: N421SY
Injuries: 4 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.


On December 9, 2011, at 1424 central standard time, a Cessna 421C, N421SY, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain after takeoff from Joe Foss Field Airport (FSD), Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The pilot and three passengers were fatally injured. The aircraft was registered to S & S Aviation LLC and operated by Quest Aviation, Inc. under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 as an on-demand air taxi flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated on an instrument flight rules flight plan. The flight was originating at the time of the accident. The intended destination was Rapid City Regional Airport (RAP), Rapid City, South Dakota.

At 1422, the FSD Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT) issued a takeoff clearance to the accident flight. About 30 seconds later, the controller informed the pilot that a smoke plume was visible behind the airplane; however, the controller could not determine exactly from where on the airplane the smoke was coming. The controller subsequently advised the pilot that it looked like the smoke had stopped. At 1424, the controller cleared the flight to land. No communications were received from the pilot after he acknowledged the takeoff clearance.

Witnesses reported that the airplane appeared to be trailing white smoke from the area of the left engine during takeoff from runway 33. They subsequently observed flames at the inboard side of the left engine. The airplane began a left turn, apparently in an attempt to return to the airport. As the airplane continued the turn, the flames and trail of white smoke were no longer visible. When the airplane reached a south heading, the nose dropped abruptly and it impacted the ground from an altitude of 800 to 1,000 feet above ground level. They stated that they heard the engine sound increase prior to impact. A postimpact fire ensued.

The airplane impacted an open field about 3/4 mile northwest of the airport. It came to rest upright, with the empennage separated from the aft fuselage. The empennage was in relative position adjacent to the aft fuselage. The fuselage and empennage were oriented on approximate magnetic headings of 078 degrees 151 degrees, respectively. A scorched area about 230 feet long by 40 feet wide emanated from the fuselage oriented approximately 120 degrees.

All major airframe components were located at the accident site. The fuselage and wings were damaged by the postimpact fire. Both the left and right engines remained attached to the airframe. The right propeller hub was fractured and all three propeller blades had separated. One blade was embedded into the ground adjacent to the right horizontal stabilizer. The remaining two blades were located in the debris field about 140 feet and 300 feet from the right engine, respectively. The left propeller hub was also fractured. One propeller blade had separated from the hub and was located under the left engine. The other two blades remained attached to the propeller hub. Teardown examinations of both engines are pending.

The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate, with single and multi-engine land airplane, and instrument airplane ratings. He also held a flight instructor certificate with single and multi-engine airplane, and instrument airplane ratings. He was issued a first class airman medical certificate on August 15, 2011, with a restriction for corrective lenses. At the time of that exam, the pilot reported 3,800 hours total flight time, with 300 hours during the preceding 6 months. The pilot's most recent regulatory checkride was completed on November 10, 2011.

The accident airplane was a Cessna 421C, serial number 421C0051. It was powered by two Continental Motors 375-horsepower GTSIO-520-L turbocharged, reciprocating engines. According to maintenance records, an annual inspection was completed on December 5, 2011, at 4,882.1 hours total airframe time. The left engine, serial number 239805-R, was overhauled and installed on the airframe in April 2004. At the time of the inspection, it had accumulated 1,499.9 hours since overhaul. The right engine, serial number 272006-R, was overhauled and installed on the airframe in October 2011. At the time of the annual inspection, it had accumulated 24.7 hours since overhaul.

Weather conditions at FSD, recorded at 1356, included clear skies with 10 miles visibility, and wind from 300 degrees at 11 knots. At 1456, the conditions included clear skies with 10 miles visibility, and wind from 290 degrees at 10 knots.

63% of air passengers prefer to use Belfast City airport, says poll

More than six out of 10 people in Northern Ireland would rather fly from George Best Belfast City Airport than its rival Belfast International Airport, according to an opinion poll. 

And more than half think that growth at the City Airport is important to Northern Ireland’s future economic growth. 

A recent LucidTalk opinion poll asked respondents which of Northern Ireland’s two biggest airports they prefer to fly from. 

The poll found that 63.2% of those asked said they favored the City Airport. 

Respondents were also asked whether they agreed or disagreed that growth at Belfast City Airport was important to Belfast and Northern Ireland’s future economic growth, given its current restrictions to passenger numbers and flights. 

The survey found that 31.4% strongly agreed and 24.6% agreed — a total of 56%. Some 23% didn’t know, 16.8% disagreed and 4.1% strongly disagreed. 

Belfast City Airport has been at the center of a row with government officials and regulators over restrictions on flight and passenger numbers.

Thorp T-18 Tiger (built by Gary E. Green), N118GG: Accident occurred December 01, 2012 in Pahokee, Florida

NTSB Identification: ERA13FA071 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, December 01, 2012 in Pahokee, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/08/2014
Aircraft: GREEN GARY E THORP T-18, registration: N118GG
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

Family members reported the airplane overdue for arrival, so an alert notice was issued. The local authorities located the airplane the following day. Air traffic control records indicate that, during the accident flight, the pilot was operating under visual flight rules while receiving radar traffic advisory service from an air traffic controller. The air traffic controller noticed a potential conflict with a Boeing 757 and acted to maintain traffic separation by instructing the 757 pilot to maintain 8,000 feet, asking the accident pilot to maintain at or below 7,500 feet, and providing a wake turbulence cautionary advisory. The accident airplane was at 7,800 feet at the time, and the pilot advised that he was descending to comply with the controller’s instructions. When the two aircraft were separated horizontally by about 1 to 2 miles, the accident pilot reported the 757 in sight. Radar data indicated that the accident airplane passed directly beneath the Boeing 757, within 500 feet of vertical separation, traveling in roughly the opposite direction. Although the geometry and the timing of the airplane’s passing each other suggest the possibility of a wake turbulence encounter, the accident pilot made no comment about encountering turbulence. Although radar data showed the accident airplane turning left as if to get out from under the 757's flight track, it then turned back to the right and continued climbing on a northwesterly heading for about 2 1/2 minutes until reaching 8,300 feet. The airplane then turned right and descended to 7,200 feet before it was lost from radar. During the descent, the wings separated from the airplane due to overstress in a positive direction. The reason for the descent and in-flight overstress of the airplane could not be determined. The two aircraft were operating in class E airspace, and Federal Aviation Administration directives do not require 1,000-feet separation for aircraft in this airspace.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The descent and overstress of the airplane during the descent, which resulted in the in-flight breakup of the airplane.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On December 1, 2012, about 1319 eastern standard time, an experimental amateur built Thorp T-18, N118GG, registered to and operated by the pilot, was destroyed when it broke up in flight over Pahokee, Florida. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The airline transport pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The flight departed Pompano Beach Airpark (PMP), Pompano Beach, Florida, at 1259.

According to family members, the pilot was enroute to Lakeland Linder Regional Airport (LAL), Lakeland, Florida. The pilot was overdue on his arrival, and an alert notice was issued. During the search, an emergency distress signal was received from the airplane's emergency locator transmitter, and the local authorities located the airplane the following day at 0610.

According to information obtained from the West Palm Beach Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT), at 1313, the pilot contacted Palm Beach Approach on frequency 124.6 at 6,500 feet msl and on a course heading of approximately 335 degrees. Palm Beach Approach issued the pilot the current altimeter setting for Palm Beach. The pilot was then issued a traffic advisory at 6,500 feet msl, and the pilot advised that he was climbing to 8,500 feet msl.
At 1315, Palm Beach Approach instructed the pilot to maintain 7,500 feet msl and advised of traffic at his 12 o'clock, 5 miles southeast-bound. The airplane was identified as a Boeing 757, and a wake turbulence caution alert was issued to the pilot. Radar data showed the Boeing 757 was at an altitude of 8,000 feet msl and a course heading of 144 degrees. The pilot advised that he was descending back down.
At 1316, the pilot reported the traffic in sight; radar data showed that, at the time, the horizontal separation between the two airplanes was 1 to 2 miles. Radar data also showed that the two aircraft passed within 300 to 500 feet of vertical separation.


At 1317, the pilot asked to climb to 8,500 feet msl and was cleared by Palm Beach Approach to proceed as requested. Review of radar data showed that the pilot's airplane turned to the right and continued along his flight path adjacent to the flight path of the Boeing 757. Radar data revealed that, approximately 3 minutes after the separation event, the pilot's airplane climbed to an altitude 8,300 feet msl before descending to 7,200 feet msl and being lost from radar. The Boeing 757 had passed the point the accident airplane was lost from radar about 5 minutes before and at an altitude of 9,900 feet.


PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 80, held an airline transport pilot certificate for airplane single-engine land, multi-engine land, and rotorcraft-helicopter issued May 27, 2008, and a third-class airman medical certificate issued August 31, 2011, with limitations for corrective lenses. The pilot's logbook was not recovered for review. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the pilot reported 30,000 total flights hours and with 28 flight hours in the 6 months that preceded the issuance of his airman medical certificate.


AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The two-seat, low-wing, tailwheel airplane, serial number 949, was manufactured in 1980. It was powered by a Lycoming model O-360 that was built by the pilot/owner. The engine was equipped with an Aymar-Demuth two-bladed wooded propeller. Review of copies of maintenance logbook records showed an annual inspection was completed March 15, 2012, at a recorded airframe total time of 2,561.7 hours and an engine time of 1,715.6 hours.


METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION


The recorded weather at the Okeechobee County Airport, Okeechobee, Florida (OBE) which is located about 28 miles south of the accident site at an elevation of 33 feet, revealed at 1315, conditions were wind 040 degrees at 9 knots, gusting 16 knots, visibility of 10 miles, cloud conditions scattered at 4,900 feet above ground level, temperature 23 degrees Celsius (C); dew point 14 degrees C; altimeter 30.20 inches of mercury.


WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane impacted a sugarcane field about 2 miles southeast of Palm Beach County Glades Airport (PHK), Pahokee Florida. The fuselage of the airplane came to rest inverted, in a flat attitude, on a course of 315 degrees. The propeller remained attached to the engine, and the engine remained attached to the firewall and main landing gear, and was located approximately 200 yards east of the main wreckage. Fragmented parts from both outboard wings were also located near the engine. The instrument panel was not located at the wreckage site.
Examination of the fuselage revealed that the flight control stick was connected to the aileron and elevator control tubes. The rudder and tailwheel control cables were connected at the rudder and tailwheel attachment point. The rudder pedals were not located, and the cables showed signs of overstress failure. The fuselage and empennage were buckled. Examination of the wings revealed that the left and right wings were separated at the spar attachment joint. The vertical stabilizer was partially separated from the empennage.

Examination of the engine revealed it sustained impact damage and remained attached to the firewall and landing gear assembly. The impact damage was concentrated on the upper and lower side of the engine. The starter motor remained attached, and the alternator remained attached but was impact-damaged. All push rods were impact-damaged and bent. The engine was equipped with an Electroair direct ignition system and an E-Mag electronic magneto. The magneto mounting area was capped off. Both systems were impact-damaged. The vacuum pump was broken away from its mount and not recovered. All of the ignition leads exhibited varying degrees of impact-related damage. The spark plugs were removed and examined. The plugs were automotive NGK plugs and were fitted with cylinder sleeves. The upper and lower spark plugs exhibited gray color on the electrodes and combustion deposits. The cylinder combustion chambers were examined and were free of debris and exhibited normal amounts of combustion deposits. All fuel injection lines were impact-damaged and broken. The fuel sump was broken, and the fuel sump screen was free of debris. The crankshaft was rotated, and compression and crankshaft continuity were established on of the four cylinders during the rotation of the crankshaft. Valve train continuity was established on cylinders Nos. 2 and 4. The push tubes for cylinder Nos.1 and 4 were bent, and valve movement could not be established. The lifters for cylinders Nos.1 and 4 were observed moving when the crankshaft was rotated. The oil sump screen was clear and free from debris. Examination of the engine and its components did not reveal any preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.

Examination of the propeller revealed that the propeller blades were constructed of wood. One blade remained attached to the propeller hub, and the other was broken away at the propeller hub root. The remaining blade exhibited small fractures and broken pieces of wood throughout the blade span.



MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION


An autopsy was performed on the pilot on December 2, 2012, by the Office of the District Medical Examiner District 15, West Palm Beach, Florida.


The FAA's Civil Aerospace Medical Institute performed forensic toxicology on specimens from the pilot with negative results for alcohol. Losartan and Metoprolol were detected in the muscle and blood cavity.


TEST AND RESEARCH


The inboard sections of the left and right wing main spars were sent into the NTSB Materials Laboratory for examination. The parts received were attached to the respective adjacent outboard sections of the wing carry-though structure. The upper and lower spar caps of the carry-through structure were fractured just inboard of the doublers attached to the forward face of the structure. Close examination of the spar fractures uncovered features indicative of overstress fractures with no indications of preexisting cracking or corrosion. On both sides of the carry-through, the lower spar caps displayed tensile fractures with gradual bends. The upper spar caps showed compression buckling with overstress fractures in the highly deformed center of the buckles. The deformation associated with the fractures and surround areas was consistent with tip up bending of both wings.



NTSB Identification: ERA13FA071 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, December 01, 2012 in Pahokee, FL
Aircraft: GREEN GARY E THORP T-18, registration: N118GG
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On December 1, 2012, about 1318 eastern standard time, an experimental amateur built Thorp T-18, N118GG, registered to and operated by the pilot, was substantially damaged when it broke up in flight over Pahokee, Florida. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The airline transport pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The flight departed Pompano Beach Airpark (PMP), Pompano Beach, Florida at 1259.

According to family members, the flight was enroute to Lakeland Linder Regional Airport (LAL), Lakeland, Florida. The pilot was overdue on his arrival and an alert and rescue (ALNOT) was initiated. During the search, an emergency distress signal was received, and the local authorities located the airplane the following day at 0610.

According to preliminary information obtained from the Federal Aviation Administration, the airplane was in cruise flight for approximately 19 minutes. The pilot was not in contact with the air traffic control during the flight. A review of the radar data revealed that about one minute prior to going off radar the airplane was at a cruise altitude of 8,300 feet. Then, the airplane was observed descending to an altitude of 7,200 feet before radar contact was lost.

The airplane impacted a sugarcane field about two miles southeast of Palm Beach County Glades Airport (PHK), Pahokee Florida. The fuselage of the airplane came to rest inverted, in a flat attitude, on a course of 315 degrees. The propeller, engine, instrument panel, main landing gear, and left and right outboard wings were separated from the fuselage and have not been located at this time.

Examination of the fuselage revealed that the flight control stick was connected to the aileron and elevator control tubes. The rudder and tail wheel control cables were connected at the rudder and tail wheel attachment point. The rudder pedals were not located and the cables showed signs of overstress failure. The fuselage and empennage were buckled. Examination of the wings revealed that the left and right wings were separated at the spar attachment joint. The vertical stabilizer was partially separated from the empennage. The wreckage was removed from the field for further examination.





Thorp T-18 Tiger (built by Gary E. Green), N118GG 

IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 118GG        Make/Model: T18       Description: T-18 TIGER
  Date: 12/01/2012     Time: 1819

  Event Type: Accident   Highest Injury: Fatal     Mid Air: N    Missing: N
  Damage: Substantial

LOCATION
  City: PAHOKEE   State: FL   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT CRASHED UNDER UNKNOWN CIRCUMSTANCES IN A FIELD, THE 1 PERSON ON 
  BOARD WAS FATALLY INJURED, NEAR PAHOKEE, FL

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


OTHER DATA
  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Unknown      Operation: OTHER


  FAA FSDO: SOUTH FLORIDA, FL  (SO19)             Entry date: 12/03/2012 


Veteran pilot, 80, killed in small plane crash 
 
Almost 60 years ago, David Flatter volunteered for Air Force flight school after learning how much better paid officers were than enlisted men.

From that beginning, the Lighthouse Point resident went on to fly everything from fighter planes, bombers and commercial jets to one-engine Cessnas, racking up many thousands of hours in the cockpit.

"His experience was beyond anyone's imagination," said friend and fellow pilot Tom Towle. "He had an amazing career."

That career ended Saturday when the small Thorp T-18 experimental aircraft Flatter was flying went down in a sugar cane field near the Pahokee Airport in Palm Beach County. His body was found in the plane's wreckage early Sunday near the 3800 block of State Road 715, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.

Flatter was 80.

"The last thing I ever would have expected to kill my father was a plane crash," said Steve Flatter, the pilot's son. "One of two things had to happen: a health issue or catastrophic failure."

He said his father, who flew for Pan Am for 26 years until the airline went out of business in 1991, was headed for a Lakeland fly-in. There, he planned to have lunch with friends, talk about aviation, and then fly home for dinner.

After taking off from Pompano Beach Airpark, his last communication with the Miami control tower was at 1:16 p.m. Saturday, Steve Flatter said, adding that his father's body was found in the upside-down fuselage of the plane, but that the wings and the engine of the two-seater plane were missing.

Flatter bought the Thorp T-18 about two years ago and had flown it between South Florida and Montana, his son said. The plane was built in 1980.

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board will determine the cause of the crash.

Flatter was a part-time resident of Kalispell, Mont. There he met Towle and other retired pilots and took up flying small places for fun. He owned a Cessna 182 in addition to two Thorp planes, his son said.

While commercial pilots are forced to retire at 65, there is no maximum age for flying private aircraft, as long as the pilots can pass regular medical exams and skills tests. Retesting periods vary according to the type of license.

Among about 617,000 active pilot certificates, about 4,817 are held by people age 80 or older, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. That is double the number flying a decade ago. About one third of those have licenses that allow them to charge for their services.

Flatter "was a consummate pilot, and he never took chances," said his son, who lives in Houston. "It was a part of his lifestyle, and he had no intention of giving it up. In fact, he had just bought another experimental plane."

A few years ago, Flatter and his wife, Juanita, flew from Montana to Alaska. Towle, 73, piloting his own Cessna, made that journey, too.

"He knew everybody out in Kalispell, and people in the valley there are shocked at this news," said Towle. "He was a magnificent person in every way."

Born in Wausau, Wis., Flatter joined the National Guard and then the Air Force. Among the aircraft he flew as an Air Force captain, according to Towle, were the F-86 Sabre, a fighter jet, the Boeing B-50 Superfortress strategic bomber, and the Boeing Model 450 B-47 Stratojet, a long-range, six-engined bomber.

In addition to his wife, Juanita, and son, Steve, Flatter leaves a daughter, Vicki, and grandson, Michael, who is a midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Funeral services are pending.


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