Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Remote-controlled aircraft exercises at Fort Drum to use explosives

FORT DRUM — The training for pilots of remotely controlled aircraft at the post’s ranges will move to live munitions starting this week.

Since January, training pilots from the New York Air National Guard’s 174th Attack Wing, Syracuse, have operated at the ranges with inert munitions. Receiving clearance from the post, live fire training will begin, with pilots conducting training events in the afternoons and evenings.

“It’s a good thing in my mind that we’re beginning to do that,” said Col. Greg A. Semmel, the air wing’s commander. He said a start time for the use of live munitions was up to the timing of training, but said “we’re getting close.”

Pilots are flying the MQ-9 Reaper, a remotely piloted aircraft, and firing 500-pound GBU-12 Paveway II laser-guided bombs. Though the air wing for years has done live fire training with other aircraft, such as F-16 fighter jets, this will be the first time they will do so with the remotely controlled craft.

While ground crews based at Wheeler-Sack Army Airfield are responsible for their maintenance and getting them off the ground initially, control of the 10,500-pound aircraft is transferred early in the flight to training pilots in Syracuse, who operate out of a full cockpit setup at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base.

“It’s a full cycle, from the maintainers to the weapons personnel to the operators, to build up a weapon and then use it,” Col. Semmel said.

With several hours of flight time, several pilots can assume two-hour periods of control of the aircraft in a single mission. In a live fire scenario, ranges can be set up with a variety of targets, such as old tanks and arrays that would simulate a ground-to-air missile launcher.

Though the aircraft are frequently linked to drones, Col. Semmel explained they are not similar based on the type of control exerted over them. While he said drones are preset and operate autonomously, with the remotely controlled aircraft “we’re very much controlling it 100 percent of the time.”

Col. Semmel added the visibility when flying the aircraft is much higher than when he flew an F-16.

While the remotely flown aircraft are not considered drones by the Army, Fort Drum in the past few months has been discussed as a possible site for the placement of a pair of drone programs.

In October, Rep. William L. Owens, D-Plattsburgh, mentioned the Gray Eagle Drone’s placement in a congressional debate. At the December meeting of the Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization, executive director Carl A. McLaughlin reported the Federal Aviation Administration could select the post either this month or in January as one of six testing sites for new drones, following a pitch by nonprofit organization NUAIR.

In its statement, the air wing noted its training could be loud, with the cold air working as a conductor of sound. Residents with questions about the training may contact the post’s gunnery range at 1 (800) 228-3567.


Source:    http://www.watertowndailytimes.com

Blankenship leaves Headland Municipal Airport (0J6), Alabama

After 12 years of dedicated service to the Headland community as the Headland Municipal Airport manager, Stephanie Blankenship will resign her post Dec. 31. 

 Blankenship will start 2013 with a new career path. She has been appointed by the Ozark-Dale County Economic Development Corporation (ODEC) as the executive vice president and director of aviation in Ozark.

“I am pleased and excited about my new position with the Ozark-Dale County Economic Development Corporation,” Blankenship said. “I have enjoyed my career at the Headland Municipal Airport. Over the past 12 years, several accomplishments have taken place here at the airport, and I am grateful I had a part in that.”

During Blankenship’s career as airport manager in Headland, the airport has received more than $2.6 million in state and federal grants. The following is a list of improvements that have taken place under Blankenship’s administration:

  » Overlay on runway

  » PAPI’S installed

  » REEL’S installed

  » Relocated and installed new windsock and segmented circle

  » Runway extended to 5,000 feet

  » Refurbished the beacon

  » Overlay the existing apron

  » Expanded 8,000 additional feet to apron

  » Construction of three sets of t-hangers

  » Aviation maintenance available on field

  » Industrial access road

  » Sewage line run on County Road 134 and pumping station installed

  » Manager’s office built

  » Refueling system installed

  » Dual enrollment through Alabama Aviation College for all Henry County high school students.

  » Blueberry processing plant built

  » Implemented new t-hanger lease agreements

  » Established minimum standards and security plans required by FAA


 “I have met a lot of great people during my career here in Headland,” Blankenship said. “My position here has given me the opportunity to excel in the field of aviation management, and now, the ability to look back and see the transformation of the airport, I am blessed to have been a part of that.”

The city of Ozark welcomes Blankenship into her new career field.

“Stephanie is a highly accomplished administrator with extensive knowledge of airport operations and economic development,” said Eric Basinger, ODEC executive director.

In addition to managing the airport and planning future improvements, Blankenship will assist with economic development initiatives coordinated by ODEC. She will also continue as executive director of the Aviation Council of Alabama, an industry organization she has led since 2004.

“I look forward to working with the Ozark-Dale County Economic Development Corporation,” Blankenship said. “I believe, with everyone working together, we can help the Ozark Airport reach its full potential with the existing industries and the aviation college located around the airport. The future looks bright for Ozark and Dale County, and I am proud to be a part of that.”


Story and photo:   http://www.dothaneagle.com


http://www.flyheadland.org

http://www.airnav.com/airport/0J6

Indian River Commission reaches new agreement with Piper Aircraft

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — Piper Aircraft Inc. must keep at least 600 people on staff through 2015 or return $500,000 to the county for each year it fell below that target.

This was the agreement reached in a 3-2 vote Tuesday by the County Commission, ending a recent issue over a $4 million part of a grant the commission gave Piper in 2008.

The agreement allows the company to keep $2 million, but subjects the remaining half to repayment if the company can't maintain its staff level.

This story will be updated

Company plans seaplane service center at Leesburg International Airport (KLEE), Florida: Wipaire builds, installs floats that allow planes to land on water

A Minnesota aviation company plans to open a regional service center next year at the Leesburg International Airport, potentially bringing 60 new jobs and building a multimillion-dollar hangar and office complex.

 Wipaire Inc., which builds and installs the "floats" that allow planes to land on water, will lease an existing hangar at the airport but plans to build a 20,000-square-foot hangar and new office space within two years, said Lee Webb, vice president of aircraft services.

It's the first major expansion for the family-run company, which has been in the manufacturing business in the St. Paul area since 1960 and has more than $30 million in annual sales. Its main business is the construction, installation and maintenance of floats for planes, ranging from small, single-engine Piper Cubs to turboprops.

"This is the first outpost for the company, but we expect to see enough growth that can support that kind of expansion," he said.

The success of the Leesburg facility could lead to the company building other regional service centers, he said.

Leesburg officials on Monday approved a lease agreement with the company.

"This is definitely about jobs — and good-paying jobs, because aviation jobs tend to pay above average," said Deputy City Manager Doug Drymon.

Wipaire should be able to begin working on aircraft in Leesburg in February, and Webb said the company has already lined up its first customer contract. The company plans to hire 10 employees to begin operations next year and is eyeing a five-acre site for a new hangar and offices.

Wipaire has weathered the poor economy because of its international clientele, Webb said.

When the company looked for a new service center site in the Southeast, Leesburg stood out because of its proximity to Lake Harris and to Tavares, which has become a destination for seaplane pilots and the seaplane industry.

One of the airport runways ends a few hundred yards from the shore of Lake Harris, and Leesburg officials had already been talking about construction of a $1 million seaplane ramp on the lake shore, Drymon said.

The company's expansion could help justify the cost of the ramp, though the city would seek state and federal grants, Drymon said.

Wipaire Inc.


Headquarters: South St. Paul, Minn.

CEO: Bob Wiplinger.

Year founded: 1960, though Wiplinger family has been in aviation since 1946.

Products and services: Manufacture, installation and maintenance of aircraft floats; avionics repairs; other aircraft modifications.

Annual sales: More than $30 million.

Employees:
135.



Source:   http://www.orlandosentinel.com


http://www.wipaire.com

http://leesburgflorida.gov/airport

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

Mukilteo council votes to appeal FAA decision on commercial flight

Mukilteo City Council members have approved an appeal against an FAA decision allowing commercial air service at Paine Field. Mayor Joe Marine says an attorney hired by the city will file the appeal in Federal Court. 

 After a three year environmental study, the Federal Aviation Administration determined that commercial flights would not significantly increase noise, traffic or pollution in the area. The FAA also approved a two gate airport at Paine Field.

Paine Field is located in Everett, but borders Mukilteo.

Mayor Joe Marine and other have been outspoken about their opposition to commercial air service at the one runway airport. Marine says commercial flights would put a squeeze on aerospace operations in the area which serve as one of Snohomish County's largest economic drivers.

Boeing also uses Paine Field for test flights but says commercial air service would not impact operations.

Allegiant proposed to start running four flights per week from Paine Field and increase to 20 over five years. Horizon asked to run 140 commuter flights per week from the airport. According to Snohomish County Officials both airlines are still interested in flying out of Everett.

In 2007 Mukilteo set aside $250,000 to fight any plans for passenger service at the airport.  In June, 2008, Mukilteo hired aviation attorney Barbara Lichman of the firm Chevalier, Allen & Lichman of Costa Mesa, California. Since then, the city has spent a total of $98,273 for Lichman to research and advise on Paine Field related issues.

Commercial flight at Paine Field still hinges on funding for the terminal. County officials must also put together its own environmental study to give the final 'go-ahead' before Allegiant Air and Horizon Air can begin flights.


Source:   http://www.king5.com

Air Canada's new low-cost service will be called Rouge, begin flying in July

TORONTO -- Air Canada is jumping into the low-cost leisure travel market with the launch of its new Rouge airline, which will begin flying on Canada Day to destinations in Europe and the Caribbean.

The new airline will fly frpm Toronto to Venice in Italy and Edinburgh in Scotland, two destinations that currently aren't served by Air Canada, and will serve Athens from Toronto and Montreal.

Air Canada's existing flights to Cuba, the Dominican Republican, Jamaica and Costa Rica will be flown by the discount carrier from Toronto.

The destinations are areas where demand for leisure travel has been growing, said Ben Smith, Air Canada's chief commercial officer. But many are routes that didn't generate adequate profits under Air Canada's existing cost structure.

"The creation of this carrier is to assist us in serving many destinations that our existing model does not work on a competitive basis," Smith said.

"This is not viewed as entering markets that we haven't been in in the past, they are markets that we've always liked to serve, some we've already served in the past, we just had to have the right vehicle to exploit them properly."

He said the carrier will be a vehicle to reclaim market share that it has lost to domestic and international competitors.

It plans to hire 200 flight attendants and pilots for the new low-cost carrier.

The pilots will be existing Air Canada pilots who will transfer to the new fleet that will cater to the leisure market.

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

The airline says flights to Venice, Edinburgh and Athens start at "special introductory fares" of $949 round-trip, including all taxes, fees, charges and surcharges.

Flights to the Dominican Republic and Jamaica will start at $269, one-way, while Cuba is offered starting at $538 round-trip.

All the introductory fares, which are available until Dec. 25, are based on Toronto departures.

Details about fares going forward were not immediately available, but the company said it will provide more details about pricing and its premium economy seats in January.

The new low-cost airline will begin operations with two Boeing 767-300ER and two Airbus A319 aircraft that will be released from Air Canada's mainline fleet.

Additional planes will be added as Air Canada  starts to take delivery of new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft in 2014, ramping up to 50 planes.

Air Canada has said about half of incremental profits from its low-cost carrier will be derived from cramming more seats into a fleet of 20 Boeing 767s and 30 Airbus A319s. The rest comes from lower employee wages and more flexible work rules.

The wide-body planes, for example, will be fitted with 20 per cent more seats, raising the number of passengers to 275 per aircraft.

Airline analyst Jacques Kavafian at Toll Cross Securities said that could turn some customers off, adding he doesn't believe Rouge will be the financial success the company hopes it will be.

"The A319s seat pitch is similar to competitors in Canada but the 767s seat pitch is almost unique in the world and will likely reflect poorly on its image," he said.

"Customer can put up in tight seating for a Caribbean flight for four to five hours, but European flights such as Toronto-Venice at 8hr40 (longer at 9hr30 on the return portion) and Toronto-Athens at over 9hr40 (longer at 10hr45 on the return flight) would likely not be as tolerated."

Air Canada is Canada's largest domestic and international airline and the 15th largest airline in the world, serving more than 33 million passengers last year.

Competitor WestJet  is launching a discount regional carrier in the second half of next year.

WestJet Encore will cater to smaller markets with Bombardier Q400 propeller aircraft.

The company says it will announce the schedule for WestJet Encore early next year.

Source:   http://winnipeg.ctvnews.ca


http://www.aircanada.com/en/about/rouge.html?gclid=CPPXkNG_pLQCFUZgMgodjSAAwA

Uganda: Air Show Offers Rare Opportunities

Last weekend will be etched in many Ugandans' memories forever as Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) gave them a chance to take to the skies in an air show dubbed 'Fly at 50 for 50k'.

People streamed to Entebbe airport from various parts of the country to experience a joy many could only dream about. And who said Ugandans are poor time keepers? Hundreds of people were already queuing up as early as 8am for a show meant to start at 10am. When the gates opened, we did not waste time in booking our tickets.

After getting through the security checks and a little struggle at the ticket booth, I joined a few others on a small Eagle Air plane that was going to take us over Kampala and Entebbe for the next 30 minutes.

I was a bit disappointed because I was expecting a Boeing with personalized TV screens and great interior furnishing. This particular aircraft was more like a taxi with nothing eye-catching, but of course the thrill of knowing it was going to take you to the sky could not be underestimated.

Joy and anxiety were imprinted on every face. The noise of the engines came on and in a matter of minutes, we had broken contact with the ground and hit the skies. Passengers waved like they were never coming back. Those who could not afford the Shs 50,000 fare looked on admiringly.

On my right, a lady of about 40 years even came in a special dress for the occasion: a shiny purple gomesi complete with a silver sash and silver shoes and a matching handbag. She had come all the way from Mubende.

"I am the very first person to fly in my clan," she bragged.

It was such a sight to behold as people kept congratulating one another upon their achievement.

"I don't mind dying now that I have boarded a plane," remarked one young man seated behind me.

It was a thrill as the pilot kept tilting the plane every now and then, much to our enjoyment. I saw some people close their eyes - hopefully to savour the moment. Maybe it was in fright that some eyes closed. For a few minutes into the flight, someone shouted, "Omuntu afa! (Someone is dying)". A middle-aged man had fainted.

The flight attendants calmed down the alarmed passengers as they administered first aid. Within minutes, he had regained consciousness. His fainting was a blessing in disguise as we were added 15 more minutes to make up for the inconvenience.

Back on the tarmac, those who could not afford the fare decided to take photos standing next to small immobile aircraft. Jackets and neckties were borrowed as people posed on the steps of planes and in cockpits.

"I look like someone coming from America!" shouted one excited young man on seeing the express photo that he had just taken.

In the cargo plane, I found a group of exhilarated men and women taking photos. I wonder if they were aware it was not a passenger plane.

One old man in a poorly tailored suit, clutching a Mountain Dew in one hand and a bag in the other, shouted, "Banange tukomyewo okuva e Sausi Afirika! Mutukuliseeyo! (Comrades, we are back from South Africa. Welcome us back!) Seriously? On a cargo plane?

The sky divers put up quite a show as they came down with their parachutes, something that most Ugandans have only watched in movies. A UPDF team showed how the rescue team works during war time. It felt like watching a Chuck Norris movie.

Captain Davenport wowed the crowd with his aerial aerobics. He sometimes flew the plane upside down, making various shapes in the air with the coloured fumes from his jet. Our own Lieutenant Colonel Kiyingi got adrenalin rushing as he pulled some aerial stunts with one of the fighter jets.

Sadly, many people did not fly because the available slots were too few. But CAA plans an encore soon due to popular demand.


Source:   http://allafrica.com

Boeing video - C-17 damaged/repaired

http://www.boeing.com/Features/2012/12/bds_c17_repair_12_18_12.html

http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=145343

Hummel H5, N156FH : Fatal accident occurred December 18, 2012 in Calhoun, Georgia

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board: http://app.ntsb.gov/pdf 

Docket And Docket Items -  National Transportation Safety Board: http://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

Aviation Accident Data Summary  -  National Transportation Safety Board:   http://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

NTSB Identification: ERA13LA093
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, December 18, 2012 in Calhoun, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/14/2015
Aircraft: RUSSOM ROY G HUMMEL H5, registration: N156FH
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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 experimental amateur-built airplane was completed about 4 months before the accident and had been flown less than 4 hours by the pilot/builder. Witnesses reported that when the airplane took off, the engine sounds, ground roll, and departure were all “normal.” Then, about 300 feet above the ground, the airplane began a slow roll to the right (the airport traffic pattern was to the left), reaching about 90 degrees of bank and 60 degrees of nose-down pitch when it descended into trees. Witnesses reported no engine power changes until impact. Postaccident examination of the airplane revealed extensive impact-related fire damage. The throttle and mixture controls were at their full power positions, and the carburetor heat control was in the full cold position. Flight control continuity was confirmed, but numerous flight control surfaces had separated from the cockpit controls, consistent with impact overload. No preexisting mechanical anomalies were found that would have precluded normal operation.

The 76-year-old pilot had no recent Federal Aviation Administration medical examinations, but none were required as he was operating the airplane as a sport pilot. Although the cause of death was listed as blunt force trauma, the autopsy report also revealed severe atherosclerotic coronary artery disease but did not contain information about the extent of occlusions, the vessels involved, or evidence of interventions, such as stents. The report identified extensive fibrosis and scarring throughout the heart muscle, suggesting previous coronary artery blockage event(s); but with no further details of the scarring and no microscopic examination. The exact extent of cardiac disease and whether there had been any recent coronary events could not be determined. Extensive scarring of the heart muscle creates an increased risk of irregular heart rhythms that can lead to dizziness or sudden incapacitation. Toxicology was positive for blood pressure medications that, by themselves, should not have degraded the pilot’s ability to safely operate the airplane but with other factors, could have resulted in low blood pressure, dizziness, or even unconsciousness. Based on the pilot’s recent reported dizziness, the findings of severe coronary artery disease, and evidence of heart muscle damage, it is likely that the pilot was impaired or incapacitated when he lost control of the airplane as a result of low blood pressure due to medications, worsening heart disease, or an irregular heart rhythm.

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

The pilot’s impairment or incapacitation due to the effects of medication, worsening cardiac disease, or cardiac arrhythmia, which resulted in his loss of control of the airplane.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On December 18, 2012, about 1400 eastern standard time, an experimental amateur-built Hummel H5, N156FH, was substantially damaged when it impacted trees and terrain shortly after taking off from Tom B. David Field (CZL), Calhoun, Georgia. The private pilot/builder was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed for the local personal flight which was operating under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.


According to a responding Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, witnesses reported that the airplane took off from runway 17 with the engine sounds, ground roll and departure all "normal." Then, about 300 feet above ground level, the airplane began a slow roll to the right, reaching about 90 degrees angle of bank and 60 degrees nose-down when it descended into trees heading about 300 degrees magnetic. There were no engine power changes until impact. 


AIRPLANE INFORMATION


The single place, tailwheel airplane was constructed primarily of metal and powered by a Revmaster R2200D engine. It was completed by the pilot on September 17, 2012, and issued an FAA Special Airworthiness Certificate with operating limitations. 


A logbook review by the FAA inspector revealed that it was first flown on September 19, 2012, by the pilot, and had accumulated 3.8 hours not including the accident flight of approximately 2 minutes.


PILOT INFORMATION


The pilot, age 76, held a current private pilot certificate with an airplane single engine land rating. An FAA review of his logbook revealed a total time of 142 hours, with 121.0 hours daylight, 8.7 hours night, 100.6 hours dual and 41.5 hours solo through the end of July 1969. 

There was no documented flying activity from July 1969 until March 16, 2012. A flight review occurred on March 16, 2012, in a Piper J3-85, and from March 2012 until the accident, the pilot accumulated an additional 21 hours, of which, 3.8 hours were in the accident airplane.

The FAA inspector also noted that according to FAA records, the pilot did not hold a current FAA medical certificate, but that the airplane met the definition as a light sport aircraft and a current driver's license was appropriate to meet the medical requirements. 

METEROLOGICAL INFORMATION

Weather, recorded at an airport 13 nautical miles to the southwest, at 1353, included clear skies, wind from 300 degrees true at 5 knots, 10 statute miles visibility, altimeter setting 29.96 inches Hg. 

WRECKAGE INFORMATION 

According to the FAA inspector, the airplane's initial impact point was in a tree, about 50 feet above the ground, in the vicinity of 34 degrees, 27.03 minutes north latitude, 084 degrees, 55.83 minutes west longitude. The wreckage path angle of decent was about 60 degrees, heading approximately 290 degrees, and the wreckage came to rest in a dense thicket approximately 200 yards from the western edge of the airport property, approximately midfield. 

The engine and firewall sustained heat damage, and most of the center section aft of the fire wall was consumed by fire. The right wing exhibited compressions consistent with an initial right-wing-down impact, and the wooden propeller was broken near the hub flange. 

The wreckage was subsequently moved to a hangar for further examination. Throttle and mixture were at full power positions and the carburetor heat control was found in the full cold position. Flight control continuity was confirmed, but with numerous flight control surfaces separated from the cockpit controls, consistent with impact overload. 

No preexisting mechanical anomalies were noted by the inspector. 

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was conducted on the pilot by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Division of Forensic Sciences, Decatur, Georgia, with cause of death determined to be "blunt force trauma of head, torso, and extremities." 

According to the NTSB Medical Factual Report review of the autopsy results, "the examination of the heart identified atherosclerotic coronary artery disease. The heart weighed 420 grams (normal range for a male of this weight is 281 - 489 grams). The left ventricular wall measured 1.2 cm (normal). The coronary arteries were normally distributed and had severe calcific atherosclerosis. The amount of vessel occlusion was not recorded. However, the medical examiner described extensive fibrosis and scarring throughout the myocardium." Microscopic evaluation of the heart was not conducted. 

Toxicological testing was subsequently performed by the FAA Forensic Toxicology Research Team, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, which identified amlodipine in liver and blood, and valsartan in liver and blood. 

The NTSB Medical Factual Report also noted that amlodipine is a blood pressure medication marketed under the brand name Norvasc and that valsartan is a blood pressure medication marketed under the brand name Diovan. In addition, the pilot's wife reported that he was using amlodipine and valsartan daily to treat high blood pressure and that the pilot had recently complained of episodes of dizziness.

http://registry.faa.gov/N156FH

NTSB Identification: ERA13LA093 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, December 18, 2012 in Calhoun, GA
Aircraft: RUSSOM ROY G HUMMEL H5, registration: N156FH
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 may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On December 18, 2012, about 1400 eastern standard time, an experimental amateur-built Hummel H5, N156FH, was substantially damaged when it impacted trees and terrain shortly after taking off from Tom B. David Field (CZL), Calhoun, Georgia. The private pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed for the local personal flight which was operating under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to a responding Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, witnesses reported that the airplane took off from runway 17 with engine sounds, ground roll and departure all "normal." Then, about 300 feet above ground level, the airplane began a slow roll to the right, reaching about 90 degrees angle of bank and 60 degrees nose-down when it descended into trees heading about 300 degrees magnetic.

The airplane's initial impact point was in a tree, about 50 feet above the ground, in the vicinity of 34 degrees, 27.03 minutes north latitude, 084 degrees, 55.83 minutes west longitude. The wreckage path angle of decent was about 60 degrees, heading approximately 290 degrees.

The engine and firewall sustained heat damage, and most of the center section aft of the fire wall was consumed by fire. The right wing exhibited compressions consistent with an initial right-wing-down impact, and the wooden propeller was broken near the hub flange.

The wreckage was subsequently moved to a hangar for further examination. Throttle and mixture were at full power positions and the carburetor heat control was found in the full cold position. Flight control continuity was confirmed, but with numerous flight control surfaces separated from the cockpit controls, consistent with impact overload.

The FAA inspector also noted that the airplane had accumulated 3.8 hours of total flight time as part of its initial Phase I operating limitations for an amateur-built aircraft.




CALHOUN — Police and federal officials say a single-engine plane crashed and burst into flames shortly after takeoff Calhoun. 

 Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen says the amateur-built aircraft crashed in the woods after departing from the Tom B. David airport in Calhoun at about 2 p.m. Tuesday.

Bergen says the plane burst into flames and was destroyed.

The person aboard the plane -- 76-year-old Roy Gardner Russom -- was killed, according to Emergency Management Director Richard Cooper.

According to Andrew Bennett, an employee at the airport, the wreckage is approximately 200 yards to the west of the airport. The pilot was departing to the south, toward Adairsville.

The plane went in the air Bennett said, "no more than 400-500 feet at the most."

"The wreckage was pretty destroyed, there wasn't much there and it burst into flames on impact," Bennett said.

The pilot had been constructing the plane for some time and was well known to the staff at the airport.

"He came by here through the week mostly and he'd fly in the mornings then come in and hang out and talk with everybody. It's a small airplane, single seat and it was powered by a Volkswagen engine and it was an airplane that he built himself," Bennett said. "I think he first flew the airplane about four months ago, I think he'd been building it for two or three years."

The FAA is investigating the crash and additional information was not immediately available.


 
An aerial photo shows the location of Tuesday's plane crash in Gordon County that claimed the life of a Calhoun man. The plane crashed to the right of the runway shortly after takeoff. 


CALHOUN, Ga. - Authorities confirm that a small plane crashed at the Tom B. David Airport in Calhoun on Tuesday afternoon. 

One person was killed. 

According to airport manager Dwight Albritton, the plane crashed around 2:15 p.m. after departing the airport.     It happened just west of the airport.

The plane was a single-engine, amateur-built experimental Hummel H5 aircraft, according to Kathleen Bergen of the FAA. 

The plane was destroyed by fire after it crashed, Bergen said.  

Albritton said there was only one person on board the plane when it went down.  No one else was hurt. 

There's no word yet on the cause of the crash.


CALHOUN, Ga. (AP) — Police and federal officials say a single-engine plane crashed and burst into flames shortly after takeoff in northwestern Georgia.  

Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen says the amateur-built aircraft crashed in the woods after departing from an airport in Calhoun around 2 p.m. Tuesday.

Bergen says the plane burst into flames and was destroyed. Bergen says one person was aboard the plane, and local police have not yet released details on the pilot's identity or condition.

The FAA is investigating the crash and additional information was not immediately available.

Beechcraft E90 King Air, O'Neal Aviation, N67PS: Accident occurred December 14, 2012 in Amarillo, Texas

NTSB Identification: CEN13FA105 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, December 14, 2012 in Amarillo, TX
Aircraft: BEECH E-90, registration: N67PS
Injuries: 2 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 14, 2012, about 1805 central standard time, a Beechcraft E-90 airplane, N67PS, impacted terrain following an inflight break-up near Amarillo, Texas. The commercial rated pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to O'Neal Aviation LLC, Colorado Springs, Colorado, and operated by a private individual. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight plan was filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The flight originated from the Rick Husband International airport (KAMA), Amarillo, Texas, about 1750, and destined for the Fort Worth Meacham Airport (KFTW), Fort Worth, Texas.

According to preliminary air traffic control communications and radar data, air traffic control transferred the airplane from AMA departure control to Albuquerque Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC). The ARTCC controller reportedly cleared the airplane to flight level 210, and gave the pilot permission to deviate east of the airplane’s route for weather and traffic avoidance. Shortly thereafter, the airplane appeared to turn to the north, and the pilot did not respond to the controller’s radio transmission about the turn.

The Texas Department of Public Safety located the airplane wreckage about 20 miles south of KAMA on open, rolling hill ranch land. The airplane’s outer wing sections, engines, elevators, vertical and horizontal stabilizers were separated from the fuselage and located in several directions from the main wreckage, at distances up to one-half mile.



Kelly D. O'Neal, age 57, a resident of Colorado Springs for 30 years, passed away on Friday, December 14, 2012 as a result of a plane crash in Amarillo, Texas. He was a self-employed dentist, loving husband, father, and brother. Kelly Donald O'Neal was born on September 30, 1955 in Amarillo, Texas to Robert Donald and Dorothy (Roberson) O'Neal. He was a 1973 graduate of Shawnee Mission West High School in Kansas City, Missouri. He graduated from Kansas State University with a Bachelor of Science in 1977, from the University of Missouri School of Dentistry with a Doctorate in Dental Surgery in 1981, from the University of Northern Colorado with a Masters in Business and Health Care Administration in 1985, and from University of Texas School of Dentistry with a post-graduate Preceptorship in Dental Implants in 2010-2011. He married Katherine Jo Pebley on August 7, 1981 in Kansas City, Missouri. He served his country in the United States Air Force for four years. 

Read more and guest book: http://www.legacy.com/obituary

Beechcraft E90 King Air, N67PS 

IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 67PS        Make/Model: BE9L      Description: 90, A90 TO E90 KING AIR (T-44, VC-6)
  Date: 12/15/2012     Time: 0005

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

LOCATION
  City: WAYSIDE   State: TX   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT CRASHED UNDER UNKNOWN CIRCUMSTANCES, THE 2 PERSONS ON BOARD WERE 
  FATALLY INJURED, SUBJECT OF AN ALERT NOTICE, WRECKAGE LOCATED 10 MILES FROM 
  WAYSIDE, TX

INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   2
                 # Crew:   2     Fat:   2     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: LUBBOCK, TX  (SW13)                   Entry date: 12/17/2012 

No sharp practices in Nigeria Aviation sector – Obakpolor




Contrary to allegations that airlines in Nigeria cut corners in order to maximize profit, the Chairman, Technical and Administrative Review Panel on Domestic Airlines, Group Captain John Obakpolor on Tuesday said there are no sharp practices in the country’s aviation industry.

 Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast program, Sunrise Daily, Captain Obakpolor sharp practices in the industry worked before.

 “Now you are monitored and you are followed,” he said. 

New Canadian Airline (owner Air Canada) Rogue Airlines

http://www.aircanada.com/en/about/rouge.html?gclid=CPPXkNG_pLQCFUZgMgodjSAAwA

Diamond DA42 Twin Star, HS-DWW: Accident occurred December 17, 2012 in Sam Khok district of Pathum Thani province - Thailand

 


 
A Diamond DA42 Twin Star (HS-DWW) rests upside down after crashing in a paddy field in Sam Khok district of Pathum Thani province yesterday afternoon. 
(Photo by Pongpat Wongyala)

 
Two British men, one of them 77 years old, survived a small plane crash in a grassy field in Pathum Thani. The men were returning to Bangkok from a business trip when the plane’s engine failed. The plane skidded on the ground after landing and overturned. The men reportedly suffered minor injuries.



 
The crash slightly injured two british men, Nicholas Philip Plumer, and his friend who was identified as David Walls (above). They were both on board the plane when it went down.
 (Photo by Pongpat Wongyala)

http://www.thai-aviation.net/files/Thai_Civil_Register.pdf

Interesting discussion here:   http://www.thaivisa.com
 
HS-DWW Diamond DA42 c/n 42.254 ex OE-UDS; Regd 28-Jan-08 to David Wals Co.Ltd; noted Jun-08; new CofR 08-Oct-12; current Oct-12; force-landed into a rice field near Ayuttaya 17-Dec-12 after both engines stopped due to fuel starvation whilst en route from Ranong to Bangko

Officials from the Civil Aviation Department and Scientific Crime Detection Centre 1 yesterday inspected the wreckage of a Diamond DA42 Twin Star, which crashed in a rice paddy in Pathum Thani’s Sam Khok district on Monday.
 

Asian Aerospace Services Ltd moved the smashed plane out of the field to a hangar at Don Mueang Airport. The firm will send the aircraft's flight-data recorder to a company in Germany for analysis.

The two Britons on board the Bt30-million plane were identified as David Walls, 71, and Nicholas Turner, 54. They were still hospitalized and unable to give any information. Authorities said Walls is a millionaire in the UK and was piloting the plane when it crashed.


Police in Sam Khok were informed of the crash about 3.30pm. 

 Police and a rescue team rushed to the field and found Nicholas Philip Pumer and his friend, identified only as David, had been assisted out of the wreckage by local people. The two men were sent to a hospital and were reported to be well with only minor injuries.

The plane crashed to the ground and then flipped over on to its back about 200 metres away from some houses.

Officials from the aviation control tower of the air force base later inspected the scene.

They said the plane had disappeared from radar screens and shortly after there was a report that a plane had crashed in a paddy field in Pathum Thani.

Initially, it was reported that the plane took off from the air force base at Don Mueang, Bangkok.

http://www.bangkokpost.com


 PATHUM THANI – December 17, 2012 [PDN]; at 3 p.m., members of the air squadron 203 went to check the site of a plane crash, after the Air Force control tower reported that the aircraft had disappeared from the radar screen. 

 The plane of Asian Arrow Space had crashed in the middle of a field, about 200 meters away from the nearby houses. It had overturned, and its engine appeared to be damaged. The aircraft was stabilized to prevent an explosion.

Volunteers from Ruamkatanyu Foundation took the victims to Krung Siam St. Carlos where they were reported to be safe.Mr. Preecha Songkasing, an area resident who witnessed the incident, said he saw the plane flying in a wave-like motion through the air, before it hit the ground and slid down the middle of the field.

Then the front of the plane hit the ground of the field, so the plane turned over, and it came to rest on its back. He rushed to help the passengers out of the plane, because he was afraid the plane would explode.

The men in the plane were identified as Mr. Davis Wall, 77 years old, nationality British; and Mr. Nicholas Phillippe, age unknown, also British. They had flown out from Don Muang airport and were heading back to Bangkok after doing business in Ranong. But their aircraft engine had suddenly failed, causing their plane to plunge down to the field.

Investigators were initially unable to determine the immediate cause of the accident. They are waiting for the technical staff to examine the downed aircraft in the morning.


http://www.pattayadailynews.com

http://www.thai-aviation.net/files/Thai_Civil_Register.pdf

HS-DWW Diamond DA42 c/n 42.254 ex OE-UDS
Regd 28-Jan-08 to David Wals Co.Ltd; noted Jun-08; new CofR 08-Oct-12; current Oct-12; 

Discussion here:   http://www.thaivisa.com

Helicopter tours coming to Gulf Shores?

GULF SHORES, Alabama -- Starting next year, helicopter tours may begin flying out of Jack Edwards National Airport.

Airport Manager Jerri Thompson informally broached the idea during Monday night’s City Council meeting telling leaders that the Airport Authority is in favor of the new business endeavor but is seeking input from the council before moving ahead.

“They’re asking for a license and operating agreement to operate out of the airfield,” Thompson said. “They are originally from Dayton, Ohio. They operate out of Pigeon Forge (Tenn.) right now. They’d be coming in with 1 helicopter. They do between 700 and 800 operations a year that computes to about 14 a week. I’ve already had a long discussion with them. They’ll mainly be doing scenic tours but they also do some helicopter flight training.”

Thompson said the airport receives a lot of calls throughout the year for helicopter tours.

“We haven’t had that to offer yet and we think that would be great for the tourists,” she said. “They’re looking at opening up operations sometime during the first of February if everything is good with the council and authority.”

Mayor Robert Craft said there are a lot of unknowns that must be clarified before the city would be able to move forward with an agreement.

“Obviously the first question that comes to my mind, having as many noise questions as we have, is hours of operation, days of the week, flight paths so that we are protective of all the residential communities,” Craft said. “And the elevation that they fly. Sometimes helicopters can get pretty low and that creates noise, plus it creates potential conflict with banner planes and some of our parasail folks. So there are some significant issues there we need to make sure we agree on.”

Thompson said with the helicopter training based on Emergency Medical Service use, and with the scenic tour flights, she didn’t see much need for the company to fly at night, if at all.

“The FAA really doesn’t have any regulations as far as heights for helicopters so I agree with you there,” Thompson said in response to the mayor’s concerns. “I told them we have banner tow and parasail on the coast so they’re aware of that. Probably what I would recommend is doing a short-term licensing and operating agreement to make sure that we don’t have any additional problems and then go from there, if they’re open for that.”

Craft said he wasn’t too concerned about the length of a contract but the stipulations that are placed on the company will be key.

“My thoughts are if we had some type of written rules that they have to follow,” Craft said, “then they’ve got a year lease and if they follow those rules they’re fine. But if they don’t we’ve got some teeth in the ordinance that allows us to pull their contract if they don’t after reasonable warnings, adjust as necessary. To me, I wouldn’t expect them to sign a shorter lease but we put the requirements in there that we know are important and make them follow it. Whatever that is and that’s just my opinion.”

Councilman Jason Dyken asked Thompson what type of helicopters currently fly in and out of the municipal airport and if there are any complaints.

Thompson said that each week the military flies about a dozen Blackhawks into the airport from Fort Rucker and while those helicopters are much bigger and noisier than the one that would do the scenic tours, they received very few complaints. “Maybe once every two months,” she said.

Craft said the council and the Airport Authority can sit down in the beginning of January and iron out an agreement. 


Source:  http://blog.al.com

http://www.jka.us.com

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

Newport News School Board to hear plan to expand Aviation Academy

NEWPORT NEWS – The Newport News School Board will hear a presentation regarding the expansion of the Aviation Academy at Denbigh High School and the Point Option program at its regular business meeting Tuesday.

According to the agenda, the expansion will require the Aviation Academy to relocate to the Denbigh Professional Center, the Point Option program to move to the former Strayer University property and the adult GED program to the former Denbigh Early Education Center site.

The Board will also hear a presentation about the Governor's STEM Academy at Heritage High School and a year-end report regarding the district's focus to ensure students are "college, career and citizen-ready."

The meeting is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. in the auditorium at the Newport News Public Schools Administration Building, 12465 Warwick Blvd.


Article and reaction/comments:  http://www.dailypress.com

Wright-Pat galleries reopen after aircraft defueling

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE —

Museum galleries at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base have reopened after a temporary closure due to maintenance on the A-1E Skyraider.

An inspection conducted last week found the aircraft contained fuel, and although there was no leakage officials had to expedite the defueling of the aircraft by Air Force safety standards.

“Discovering fuel in an aircraft on display in the museum is highly unusual and we regret having to inconvenience our visitors by temporarily closing several galleries,” said museum director Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jack Hudson in a release.

“Safety must always come first though, and the team did a superb job in resolving this matter so that the galleries could be re-opened today.


Source:   http://www.whiotv.com

Aero Vodochody L-29 Delphin, N29NR: Accident occurred December 13, 2012 in Combine, Texas

CNR AIRCRAFT INC: http://registry.faa.gov/N29NR

NTSB Identification: CEN13FA100
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, December 13, 2012 in Combine, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/30/2014
Aircraft: AEROVODOCHODY L-29 DELFIN, registration: N29NR
Injuries: 2 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.

The pilot departed with a passenger on a local flight to give the passenger a ride in the foreign military jet trainer. A witness reported seeing and hearing the airplane and stated that he did not think the airplane was doing aerobatics. He stated that changes in the sound of the airplane's engine power were noticeable and that at one time he saw that the airplane's nose was higher than the tail; however, he did not see the crash. The airplane impacted terrain in a large open field. Examination revealed that the airplane was largely destroyed by impact forces and postcrash fire. The remaining debris consisted mainly of the aft fuselage section, which contained the engine, and the airplane's tail section. The landing gear and flaps appeared to be in the retracted position. A section of the rear cockpit canopy was examined for evidence of collision with a bird; however, no evidence of such an impact was discovered. The examination of the airplane did not reveal any reason for the airplane's impact with terrain.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows: The airplane's impact with terrain for reasons that could not be determined during examination of the available evidence because of extensive impact damage and postimpact fire.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On December 13, 2012, about 1102 central standard time, a Aerovodochody L-29 "Delfin" airplane, N29NR, impacted terrain near Combine, Texas. The commercial rated pilot and passenger were fatally injured and the airplane substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to and operated by CNR Aircraft, Inc. Dallas, Texas. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The local flight originated from the Lancaster Regional Airport (KLNC), Lancaster, Texas, about 1030.

The accident flight was the airplane's second flight of the day, with the intent of giving the passenger a ride in the airplane.

A witness reported he saw and heard the airplane before the accident and did not think the airplane was doing aerobatics. The sound of the airplane (power) change was pretty noticeable; at one time the nose was higher than the tail. Additionally, the airplane didn't seem like it was going that fast. He observed a smoke plume from the ground, but did not see the crash.

PILOT INFORMATION

The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate for airplane, single and multi-engine land, and instrument airplane. He also held a flight engineer certificate and authorization for the L-29. A second-class Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) medical was issued on March 28, 2012, with the limitation; must wear corrective lenses, possess glasses for near/intermediate vision. The application for a medical certificate listed the pilot's total time as 4,890 total flight hours and 30 hours in last six months. A copy of the pilot's flight log was reviewed; according to the log he had a total of 4,996.7 hours, with the last entry on November 17, 2012. The flight log was endorsed for both FAR part 61.56 and 61.58 flight reviews, on March 24, 2012.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The accident airplane was an Aerovodochody L-29 "DelfĂ­n' jet which was a military jet trainer manufactured in Czechoslovakia. The airplane's airworthiness certificate was in the Experimental – Exhibition category. The airplane has tandem seating, traditionally with the pilot in front and instructor (or passenger) in back. The airplane was originally equipped with ejection seats; however, the accident airplane ejection seats were disabled. The airplane was powered by a Motorlet M-701C 500, single-shaft centrifugal turbojet engine.

According to maintenance records, the airplane received its annual condition inspection in accordance with FAR 43, appendix D and an FAA approved inspection program on May 16, 2012. At the time the inspection was completed, the airframe had a total time of 3,493 hours and the engine had a total time of 1,394.2 and 399.3 since major overhaul.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

At 1055, the automated weather observation facility located at KLNC, recorded wind from 180 degrees at 10 knots, 10 miles visibility, clear skies, temperature 52 degrees Fahrenheit (F), dew point 23 F, and a barometric pressure of 30.32 inches of mercury.

COMMUNICATIONS

The pilot was not in contact with air traffic control and there were no reported distress calls from the pilot.

RADAR INFORMATION

A specific radar code ("squawk") was not assigned to the airplane; however, a standard VFR transponder code (1200) from an airplane departing LNC is consistent with the departure time of the accident airplane. The radar track depicts the airplane heading southeast away from LNC, The first radar plot is at 1048:29, the airplane track continues southwest at altitude of 1,300-1,400 feet; at 1049:34 the airplane is at 1,200 feet, with no additional radar returns until 1118:11, when a single return is observed, with an altitude of 377 feet, near the accident location. The review then noted several radar returns in the area around the accident location, and are believed to be first responders to the accident site.


WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspectors and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator responded to the accident site. The airplane impacted in a large open field, about 350 feet from a river that bordered the northern edge of the field. Beyond the initial impact point, the wreckage path was distributed on a northerly heading, towards the river. The major components of the airplane separated on impact and were located along the wreckage path.

The first impact area was a ground scar with the grass and dirt disturbed. The grass forward of the first impact point, to the wreckage was burnt. About 105 feet down the wreckage path was the aft section of the fuselage. The fuselage section had fire and thermal damage and contained the engine. The engine's centrifugal compressor section was visible with impact damage to the lower half of the housing. Part way from the aft fuselage section to the main wreckage, on the left side of the debris path was the airplane's "T" tail section. About 85 feet from the aft fuselage section lay the main wreckage which consisted of the remaining fuselage section and wings; the remaining fuselage had heavy fire damage which consumed much of the cockpit area. The main landing gear and flaps appeared to be in the retracted position.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences, Office of the Medical Examiner, Dallas, Texas, conducted an autopsy on the pilot and passenger. The cause of death was determined on both the pilot and passenger was determined to be, "blunt force injuries".

The FAA Toxicology Accident Research Library, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, conducted toxicological testing on pilot. Ethanol was detected in the muscle (12mg/dL, mg/hg), and not in the liver. Valsartan was detected in the muscle and liver.

Due to the level of ethanol detected in the muscle and not in the liver, it's likely from sources other than ingestion, such as postmortem production or contamination.

Valsartan is used for the treatment of high blood pressure.

TEST AND RESEARCH

A section of the rear canopy was sent to NTSB Material Laboratory in Washington, DC. The Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History Division of Birds - Feather Identification Laboratory, examined the canopy section for bird evidence. The examination did not reveal any evidence of bird impact with the canopy.


NTSB Identification: CEN13FA100 

14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, December 13, 2012 in Combine, TX
Aircraft: AEROVODOCHODY L-29 DELFIN, registration: N29NR
Injuries: 2 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 13, 2012, about 1102 central standard time, an Aerovodochody L-29 airplane, N29NR, impacted terrain near Combine, Texas. The commercial rated pilot and passenger were fatally injured and the airplane sustained substantial damaged. The airplane was registered to and operated by CNR Aircraft, Inc. Dallas, Texas. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The local flight originated from the Lancaster Municipal (KLNC), Lancaster, Texas, about 1030.

According to reports, the accident flight was the airplane’s second flight of the day, with the intent of giving the passenger a ride in the airplane. A witness reported that he observed a smoke plume from the ground, but did not see the crash. The witness said that he saw and heard the airplane before the crash, and did not think the airplane was doing aerobatics.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) responded to the accident site. The airplane impacted in a large open field, about 350 feet from a river that bordered the edge of the large field. After the initial impact point, the wreckage path was distributed on a northerly heading towards the river. The major components of the airplane separated on impact and were located along the wreckage path. A postcrash fire ensued.


 
Carroll Noell Rather


Carroll Noell Rather, 77, passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, December 13, 2012 in a plane accident.  Noell was born on October 13, 1935 in Dallas, Texas and was preceded in death by his parents, Fannie and Carroll Rather. Noell graduated from Highland Park High School in 1953 and from Southern Methodist University in 1957 where he earned adegree in geology. He then entered the United States Air Force (USAF), serving 10 years and rising to the rank of Captain. He flew the F-105 Thunder Chief in more than 60 combat missions in South East Asia, including one of the first missions over North Viet Nam. Noell returned from South East Asia to instruct F-105 pilots at Nellis Air Force Base near Las Vegas, Nevada. Honorably discharged from the USAF, Noell served as a commercial pilot for Braniff Airlines for three years before realizing that commercial aviation was anticlimactic to his "hair on fire" Air Force days and just not for him. He then realized his goal of being his own boss and built an energy company that he was actively involved with for more than 40 years. Noell's true passion in life was flying, which he learned at age 16 and continued for 61 years, logging thousands of hours as a pilot. Sharing this passion with friends and family brought him great joy, as did donating much of his time and resources to charity and the betterment of others. Let's be honest, he liked the attention! Many friends even called him by his call sign "Cobra". Noell was an avid golfer, gin rummy player, a charter member of Bent Tree Country Club, and an active member of the Dallas Petroleum Club. He was greatly involved in the Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association as well as other organizations, including most notably the Order of the Daedalians and the Quiet Bird Men (QB's). Noell is survived by his loving wife of 53 years, Jane Eiser Rather. He is also survived by sons Ralph Rather, Michael Rather, and David Rather; daughter, Gayle Hamilton; daughters-in-law Teresa Rather and Kelley Rather and six grandchildren: Leah Rather Petrunin, Brett Rather, Anna Rather, John Michael Rather, Taylor Rather, and Lindsay Rather. Services will be held at The Church of the Incarnation at 10:00AM on Tuesday, December 18, 2012. The church is located at 3966 McKinney Avenue, Dallas, TX 75204. In lieu of flowers please send contributions to any of the following organizations: Red River Valley Pilots Association scholarship fund, the Frontiers of Flight Museum, or the Wounded Warrior Project.

Read more and guest book:  http://www.legacy.com/obituary

Aero Vodochody L-29 Delphin, N29NR 

IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 29NR        Make/Model: EXP       Description: AEROVODOCHODY L-29
  Date: 12/13/2012     Time: 1717

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

LOCATION
  City: COMBINE   State: TX   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT CRASHED UNDER UNKNOWN CIRCUMSTANCES, THE 2 PERSONS ON BOARD WERE 
  FATALLY INJURED, NEAR COMBINE, TX

INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   2
                 # Crew:   2     Fat:   2     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: DALLAS, TX  (SW05)                    Entry date: 12/14/2012 

Georgia uses private flights to slash air travel costs

(Hat tip to "Augusta Jim" - thank you very much!)

State employees are flying less and Georgia taxpayers are expected to save more than $2 million a year as a result of a change in air-travel policy Gov. Nathan Deal made.

Deal grounded state-owned airplanes and moved most official government air travel to charter-based services. The state moved in 2011 to begin selling its fixed-wing aircraft and contracted with three private charter companies, a change that is on track to lower state flight times by nearly 70 percent.

The move to private flights is part of a larger effort to streamline state employee travel, which costs taxpayers nearly $100 million a year.

Deal’s office began a review of state travel in 2011 and found Georgia was doing little to leverage its buying power, lacked a comprehensive travel policy and had few ways to audit and monitor expenses.

While the bulk of the state’s travel costs come from mileage reimbursements and car rentals, air travel represented a chance to strike a high-profile blow for cost savings, Bart Gobeil, Deal’s chief operating officer, said.

Georgia constitutional officers, top lawmakers and other high-ranking state officials are allowed to make flights at state expense for official business only.

In 2009, Gov. Sonny Perdue and the General Assembly created the Georgia Aviation Authority to manage the state’s fleet of aircraft and to give agencies a sort of travel agent. Agencies would call the authority to plan air travel and the authority would bill the agencies an average of $550 per flight hour. The actual cost to the state was closer to $2,600 an hour, but GAA’s budget absorbed costs related to maintenance, insurance and pilot and mechanic salaries.

Now, agencies still call the aviation authority to plan air travel but it contacts one of three charter companies to make it happen. The big change, however, is that agencies are now billed the full fare: an average of $1,700 per flight hour.

The results have been clear: in fiscal 2011 the state logged 1,031 flight hours on its own aircraft, only half as many as the year before. So far this year, agencies have paid for just 137 hours of flight time. If that pace holds steady, there would be only about 329 hours of flight time in the fiscal year that ends June 30.

“If you’re an agency, before, you could just say it makes sense to fly to Savannah at $550 per hour,” Gobeil said. “Now, you’re going to think twice about what is the value of the trip and am I spending state taxpayer dollars wisely.”

Meanwhile, the state has sold one plane, a KingAir C90 for $860,000, and has a contract on two others for a total of nearly $3 million, all of which goes back into the general fund.

Deal’s moveto chartered aircraft is one more businesses are also making, said Dan Hubbard, vice president of the National Business Aviation Association.

“The benefit to businesses are very often the same benefits to governments and therefore taxpayers,” Hubbard said.

Those benefits include savings from having fewer employees and less overhead and maintenance. With the charter services, the state only pays a contracted rate based on actual flight times and pilot fees.

Hubbard’s organization commissioned a study this year that found “states are recognizing there are a number of benefits to using business aviation and it has been increasing in recent years.”

Many states still own and operate aircraft, and Georgia still owns and uses some helicopters. Some states offer a mix of state planes and charter services. Deal, however, wanted the state to investigate the cost savings from moving completely to the private sector.

“This makes people realize they’re going to get charged the total cost,” Gobeil said. “It’s more efficient, more transparent.”

Three companies won bids to provide charter services: Epps Air Service Inc., FlightWorks Inc. and Inflight Medical Services International, although Gobeil said so far the state has only used Epps.

Anton Coy, who heads Epps’ charter services, said the arrangement saves the state money and risk.

“If the state owns the asset, they have to insure the asset and they’re responsible for the asset,” Coy said. “They’re avoiding all that exposure. That’s a big cost benefit to them — and to me because I’m a taxpayer, too.”

Meanwhile, the state is also creating its own travel service akin to Travelocity or Expedia for employees.

“We had no real control over how we were spending on travel,” Gobeil said.

The state is contracting with airlines, hotels and car rental companies to negotiate lower rates. The new system cuts in half the number of steps between an employee booking travel and the expenses being reimbursed.

“It helps us look at travel costs around car rentals and mileage reimbursements and helps us deter fraud, too,” Gobeil said.


Story and reaction/comments:   http://www.ajc.com

Nigeria long overdue for aircraft maintenance facility — Expert

An aviation industry analyst and Managing Director, Belujane Konzult, Mr. Chris Aligbe, on Monday said the establishment of an aircraft maintenance facility was long overdue in the country because domestic airlines were spending huge sums annually to maintain their aircraft.

Aligbe, who spoke at a news conference in Lagos, said the establishment of an aircraft maintenance hangar in the country would also be of benefit to military aviation.

The maintenance hangar, he said, could be set up by private investors in partnership with the Federal Government.

He, however, said that there was a need for the domestic airlines to “standardise the type of aircraft they use because a single Maintenance, Repairs and Overhaul facility (hangar) cannot cater for many brands of aircraft as is the case with many of the local carriers currently.”

On the fatal crash of a Naval Augusta helicopter in Bayelsa on Saturday, Aligbe said it was wrong to blame civil aviation authorities for the unfortunate incident, explaining that “there is a whole world of difference between civil and military aviation.

The Belujane boss, who said the nation’s airspace had become relatively safe, explained that military aviation was self regulatory, while civil aviation was being regulated by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority.

“It is outside the purview of the NCAA to determine the nature of military aircraft operations,” he said.

Aligbe, however, called on the military authorities to step up their oversight duties on the aircraft in their fleet.

He said because military aircraft did not fall within the purview of NCAA, even the Accident Investigative Bureau was not empowered by law to investigate military air accidents.

He said, “There is institutional difference in oversight of both military and civil aviation operations. All the aviation agencies have no iota of responsibility over military operations. Even the AIB cannot investigate military air accidents.

“They do not come under the inventory of the NCAA. The military establishments are self regulating; they train their staff to the highest level. The military has full compliments over the regulation of its aircraft.”

Aligbe urged the military to build internal capacity for its aircraft, even as he said the culture of self regulation by the military required tremendous institutional will power.


Source:   http://www.punchng.com

Ohio museum plane held fuel for 4 decades: Planes checked after fuel found in vintage craft

By Barrie Barber 

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE — 

Officials at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force know a lot about the vintage planes they have on display, particularly those that have been there awhile.

But until last week, they did not know that the A-1E Skyraider, on floor display since April 1968, held 200 gallons of fuel.

Museum procedures require all aircraft to be defueled prior to exhibition at the museum. Apparently, that never happened when the Skyraider arrived some 44 years ago.

Because of the discovery, officials at the museum that draws some 1.2 million visitors a year are having the fuel tanks checked for the entire collection of planes on display.

Restoration crews reviewing old records discovered there was still fuel in the Skyraider, according to the museum. A crew purged the fuel Saturday and Sunday, forcing the weekend closure of the Korean War, Southeast Asia, Cold War and Missile and Space Galleries. The galleries reopened Monday.

“The inspections will be completed as soon as possible and at that time all museum aircraft on display will have been checked,” Air Force museum spokesman Rob Bardua said in response to questions from the Dayton Daily News. “Aircraft on display are continuously monitored by museum staff and volunteers for irregularities on a daily basis.”

The A-1E was a propeller-powered attack plane that used in both the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Wright-Patterson’s former 4950th Test Wing had incorrectly certified that the Skyraider was purged of fuel, the museum said.


Story, photo, reaction/comments:  http://www.daytondailynews.com

Philadelphia offers airport expansion plan saving homes

The city has presented an alternative proposal for expanding Philadelphia International Airport that would save 72 houses in Tinicum Township and relocate United Parcel Service from along the Delaware to a spot in Cargo City farther from residential neighbors.

Mayor Nutter met Thursday with key airport stakeholders, including US Airways Group, UPS, and Delaware County officials, to discuss a plan aimed at saving the homes and 10 businesses, and moving UPS's large airfreight operation close to International Terminal A and nearly a mile from any homes.

The original airport expansion plan, with a price tag estimated between $6.4 billion and $10.5 billion, calls for building a fifth runway along the river by uprooting UPS from 212 acres and filling in 241/2 acres in the river.

Tinicum has fought the expansion because of the expected noise from cargo planes at night and because it will lose tax revenue if residents and businesses are uprooted.

Airlines, led by US Airways, which would foot much of the bill, support parts of the expansion but not a new runway.

Thursday's meeting, which was not publicly announced, was billed as a first step to get community and airline feedback.

"US Airways is currently analyzing the new proposal," a spokesman said.

The latest plan would relocate freight carriers in an area known as Cargo City, including FedEx and a US Airways maintenance facility, to the airport's northwest corner, where UPS was to go.

Even the new plan would put cargo planes closer to homes than they are now. But the plan saves the homes and shifts busy UPS, with an airfreight hub and 28 arriving and 28 departing flights per day, farther from the Tinicum community than the original plan calls for.

Officials who attended the meeting had mixed reactions.

State Rep. Nick Miccarelli (R., Delaware) said that while UPS would be farther from the homes, the nighttime noise from the other airfreight carriers would still be so loud, "residents will not be able to stay in their homes."

"Cargo jets taking off and leaving in the middle of the night is still not a tenable situation," he said.

U.S. Rep. Patrick Meehan (R., Pa.) said the new plan was "encouraging" because the Tinicum homes would be spared. "I think it's a meaningful step forward," he said.

Airport chief executive officer Mark Gale said the latest proposal would be "much quieter" for Tinicum. That's because UPS would be 4,100 feet, or nearly a mile, from the nearest homes.

The other cargo operators, FedEx and DHL, which would be closer to homes, have only six daily flights combined, all of which leave by 11 p.m., and there are no inbound flights until about 6 a.m.

UPS, on the other hand, has flights arriving at 11 p.m. or midnight, and after packages are sorted and loaded, planes leave at 4 or 5 a.m. "A tremendous amount of UPS activity takes place between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.," but not close to the neighborhood, he said.

Gale said the key objective was to save the homes and as many businesses as possible.

"The second thing for the residents was not just, 'Don't acquire the homes,' but also try to do something with the noise," Gale said. "We believe by moving the UPS property much further to the east and closer to the terminal complex," the noise will be lessened.

While the new UPS location would have 155 acres vs. 212 now, "we believe they could double the size of their existing facility and their aircraft ramp," Gale said.

The expansion would take from 13 to 15 years. The changes would require approval from the Federal Aviation Administration.

"We're hoping to get feedback from Tinicum Township, UPS, and US Airways in mid-January to see if we have a concept that works for everybody," Gale said. "If it does, it would be our intention to formally present the plan to the FAA for review and evaluation."

As for the city's desire for a new runway, "we have not changed the administration's position that ultimately a new runway is needed for Philadelphia," Gale said. "We remain in negotiations, primarily with US Airways but the other airlines as well, in terms of the overall path forward. It's just a question of which pieces come first and how we put the plan together to everybody's satisfaction."


Source:   http://www.philly.com