Thursday, December 20, 2012

Safe Driving Is MIA At Miami International Airport (KMIA)

MIAMI (CBS4) – If driving is bad in South Florida; it may be the worst at Miami International Airport. 

Standing on the corner for 30 minutes, CBS4 cameras rolled as drivers stopped, swerved and rolled right past the wrong way signs. The same is true of drivers of big buses and trucks.

This month it proved deadly when Ramon Ferreiro drove his packed bus straight into the arrival entrance, killing two on board. He apparently was lost. The group was suppose to be in West Palm Beach.

Ramon still doesn’t want to talk about it. Today he got behind something a bit smaller to get away from our cameras.

There is no running though from a real issue for the airport. The lower level entrance has caused a lot of trouble for Miami International Airport.

According to the Miami-Dade’s Aviation Department, this year there were 48 incidents with high vehicles and overhangs. Thirty-six of the vehicles were backed out without colliding with the ceiling.

But for 12 vehicles, they actually did crash into the lower level ceiling. Documents provided by Miami-Dade county maintains this entrance has adequate signage.

The county estimates some 40,000 cars, trucks, and buses pass through the airport everyday making it one of the busiest in the county. Take a look at the entrances and you will see plenty of chips, dings, and scratches.

Now, with two deaths, the county is taking a closer look.

In a statement sent to CBS4, the county said, “The Aviation Department has hired a traffic consultant to conduct a study of MIA’s clearance level signage, even though Miami-Dade County’s Public Works Department has deemed that the airport already has ‘proper advance notice and directional signs.’ When the consultant’s study is completed, possibly by the end of this week, the Department will determine if any additional measures should be taken.”

The results of a consultants study are due out any day now. What Miami-Dade county will do with that remains to be seen, but it is clear that what is happening right now, may not be enough.

Story and video:

Collector's fighter jets stuck on other side of border


An Alberta collector is hoping to get a couple of fighter jets across the border at Portal, North Dakota. 

 Watch the video above for more on the story from CBC reporter Dani Mario. 


Children given gift of scenic flight

TO THE SKY:   From left, Fly Alexandra pilot Nick Taylor, Bridget Price, 11, community liaison officer Raewyn Cockrane, Emma Borland, 12, front left, and Sarah Taal, 16, at Alexandra Airport yesterday before taking a flight above Alexandra and Clyde.

Eight Alexandra children received a special early Christmas present yesterday when they were taken on a flight above their town and Clyde. 

Fly Alexandra pilot Nick Taylor said that with the help of a donation from Commercial and Rural Insurance he was able to give eight children a Christmas present they would not forget.

"It's great to give some children a Christmas present they might never have," Mr Taylor said.

It was also his chance to give back to the community and introduce children to flying, he said.

Mr Taylor flew the Central Otago Flying Club's plane, a Cessna 172.

"They are like a Volkswagen [car] with wings," Mr Taylor said.

Alexandra community liaison officer Raewyn Cockrane said it was the second year in a row the gift of a flight had been offered.

"It's a fun thing to give kids the experience. Without Nick it would not be possible," she said.

Sarah Taal, 16, of Alexandra, who had never been in a plane before, said it was fun to see the sights from the sky.

"You go really far, really fast compared to car travel," Sarah said.

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Ryanair €38,000 damages claim to be heard next year

A €38,000 damages claim by a passenger on a Ryanair plane that struck the runway on takeoff, has been adjourned for a hearing in the New Year.

Barrister James Peart told Judge Matthew Deery in the Circuit Civil Court that events co-ordinator Roisin Hartshorn, of Coolawinna Park, Ashford, Co Wicklow, was on a Dublin - Stanstead flight that suffered a tail-strike on takeoff just over four years ago.

Ms Hartshorn featured in media coverage of the incident at the time.

She claims that shortly after takeoff there had been a sudden loss of cabin pressure and some, but she alleged not all, of the oxygen masks had deployed.

She alleges that she twisted her ankle and had suffered from nausea as a result of being unable to breathe until her oxygen mask was released.

She had suffered ongoing anxiety about flying and avoids flying as much as possible. On another flight she had suffered a panic attack and required Valium and relaxation therapy.

Mr Peart told the court that under the Montreal Convention, which covers compensation for injuries on flights, a plaintiff could sue for psychological injury providing they could connect it with the injury suffered during the incident at the time.

He had asked for an adjournment to facilitate the provision of a psychologist's report not currently before the court and to allow further consideration of a transfer of the case to the High Court.

Mr Peter Lennon, of Lennon Heather solicitors for Ryanair, opposed the adjournment.

He said it was admitted there was a tail strike incident which had resulted in a severe jolt.

He said Ms Hartshorn was not entitled to recover damages for psychiatric injury.

The hearing is likely to be re-listed for late January.

Man Admits Illegally Trading Plane

(Stillwater, Okla.) -- A former Cushing man has admitted he illegally traded an airplane while it was mortgaged for a loan from the Bank of Cushing.

    Larry Dale Morgan, 67, who now lives in Hutto, Texas, pleaded guilty to unlawful disposal of secured property in Payne County District Court last week.

    As part of a plea bargain, Morgan, who had already paid $37,989 restitution, was placed on probation for one year conditioned on his paying the balance of $2,414 restitution.

    Bank of Cushing President John Bryant had reported to Cushing Police Officer Rachel Hentges on June, 30, 2011, that "Larry Dale Morgan had traded a mortgaged plane to John H. King and had made no attempts to make payment on the lien," Cushing Police Detective Adam Harp wrote in an affidavit.

    Bryant said that the Bank of Cushing has a collateral interest in a twin engine plane and a 1961 Beech Bonanza airplane, which was traded for a 1969 Cessna 421A, the affidavit said.

    "Bryant indicated the Bonanza was collateralized on Feb. 11, 2010, for $41,945 with an interest rate rate of 5.750% per the Federal Aviation Administration aircraft security agreement Morgan signed on Feb. 11, 2010," the affidavit said.

    "Bryant reported the Bank of Cushing was unaware of any trade Morgan was about to do with Queen of Hearts Aviation and was not in agreement with the trade," the affidavit said.

    "Bryant advised the Queen of Hearts did not wish to pay off Morgan's indebtedness. According to Bryant, President of Queen of Hearts Inc. John H. King requested the lien be removed from the Beech Bonanza, which his company now owns, and be reassigned to the Cessna, which Morgan now owns," the affidavit said.

    According to the FAA online registry, the Beech Bonanza is currently registered to Queen of Hearts Aviation Inc., as of Dec. 17, 2010, and the Cessna is currently registered to Larry D. Morgan as of April 14, 2011, the affidavit said.

    "Bryant said he had attempted to correspond with Morgan regarding the airplane trade and outstanding lien. Bryant stated he had learned Morgan received a check and was able to pay the amount owed to Bank of Cushing," in June 2011, the affidavit said.

    On July 1, 2011, Officer Hentges spoke with John King of Queen of Hearts Aviation based in Delaware by telephone regarding an airplane trade between himself and Morgan, the affidavit said.

    "King reported Morgan contacted him after listing his Cessna airplane for sale. King reported Morgan offered him a straight trade for Morgan's Beech Bonanza and an instrument panel," the affidavit said.

    "King said that after the trade, he found out Morgan had forged the Beech Bonanza's documents concerning a new engine, falsified the log books about the engine overhaul, and forged a mechanic's name regarding an inspection," the affidavit alleged.

    "King reported the airplane he received from Morgan is not 'airworthy' as Morgan represented in the trade and cannot be used in its current condition due to the falsified records and unrecorded repairs," the affidavit alleged.

    "King said he did still have possession of the plane and in order to make it airworthy, it would cost him $45,000. King said that as is, the plane is grounded and cannot be used," the affidavit alleged.

    Morgan will not have a criminal record if he successfully completes the terms of his probation, since he was given a deferred sentence as part of a plea bargain with the prosecution.


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Joshua Tree man threatened to shoot down police copter, officials say

 A  Joshua Tree man who allegedly threatened to shoot down the next police helicopter that flew over his desert home was arrested after San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department deputies raided the residence and found firearms and marijuana plants.

Gene Richard Lombardo, 55, allegedly telephoned the Sheriff's Department on Dec. 14 and threatened to shoot down the helicopter, according to a statement released by the department. As a result, the department's aviation division altered its flight courses near Lombardo's home in the 2900 block of Wedley Road.

On Wednesday, deputies and detectives searched Lombardo's home and found multiple firearms along with ammunition and an indoor marijuana cultivation operation, according to the law enforcement agency.

Lombardo was arrested on suspicion of obstructing an officer and cultivation of marijuana. He is being held at the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga in lieu of $150,000 bail.


Air India asked to reduce deficit but fly new routes: Airline told to cut monthly revenue shortfall of Rs.400 crore by slashing costs related to pay, overseas offices, jet fuel

New Delhi: Aviation minister Ajit Singh has asked Air India Ltd to reduce its monthly revenue shortfall of about Rs.400 crore by implementing cost-cutting measures on expenses related to salaries, overseas offices and fuel.

Singh’s statement comes ahead of a 1 January deadline when the airline is expected to implement key recommendations on human resource integration and transfer of a section of its staff to a new engineering subsidiary. “Air India should think out of the box to change its image of being a public sector unit and transform it to a commercial organization,” Singh said in a statement on Thursday.

For October-March, Air India showed a deficit of Rs.404 crore a month with inflows seen at Rs.1,348 crore and outflows estimated at Rs.1,752 crore. “It is important the revenue generated should meet the costs incurred,” Singh said, asking Air India to go into minute operational details to cut costs, “including costs incurred on overseas offices, salaries, fuel and office expenses.”

Soon after Singh’s statement, Air India said it will fly to Agra from 26 December by launching a tourist flight in the Delhi-Varanasi-Agra-Khajuraho sector.

Singh also asked Air India to fly its brand new Boeing Dreamliner 787 planes to Indonesia and Turkey. Air India will have eight such aircraft by March in its fleet and has plans to fly them to Sydney, Melbourne and Singapore. Of the 184 Air India services, only 16 meet costs currently.

Air India has shown an overall improvement, the minister said, and its market share has also increased to 20.8% this year.

A rapid expansion on global routes with the Dreamliners, which are facing technical glitches worldwide, risk denting Air India’s credibility, according to Civil Aviation Safety Advisory Committee (CASAC) member Mohan Ranganathan.

“All bets are placed on the Dreamliner’s success,” he said, referring to the firm’s plans. “It is in the teething stage. If they start new international routes using 787 and there are disruptions, the credibility will fall and recovery will be a distant dream.”

The government has said it needs to infuse funds into Air India to prevent private air carriers from raising fares. Higher fares have dented passenger traffic, which has slumped 3% this year.

“If I do not provide this Rs.2,000 crore (to Air India), there will be greater difficulty... If AI is not kept afloat, what will happen is air fares will go up, other airline companies will simply push up their airlines because so many seats will not be available,” finance minister P. Chidambaram said earlier this month.


Decision pending for Embraer contract

The Jacksonville Aviation Authority has been issued a building permit to renovate the former Piedmont hangar, a step a JAA spokesman says anticipates a U.S. Air Force contract decision about construction of a light attack aircraft.

The permit, approved Dec. 13, shows Balfour Beatty Construction LLC will renovate the 41,574-square-foot S-11 hangar at Jacksonville International Airport at a project cost of $750,000.

It is the same hangar the authority's board of directors in August 2010 approved to lease to Brazilian jet manufacturer Embraer, should the company secure a military contract to construct its A-29 Super Tucano warplane.

Embraer's U.S. headquarters are in Fort Lauderdale.

Sierra Nevada Corp., which partnered with Embraer, was awarded a $355 million U.S. Department of Defense contract a year ago to build the planes at JIA and create 50 jobs.

It was awarded after Wichita, Kan.-based Hawker Beechcraft was cut in a "pre-award exclusion" but then filed suit against the U.S. government in January. In response, the Air Force put the deal on hold before it was set aside in February.

Bids from the two companies were due June 16.

During a May board meeting, authority Executive Director Steve Grossman said a decision from the government would likely be made "after the first of the year."

Authority spokesman Michael Stewart on Tuesday said the renovation is in anticipation of an announcement that Embraer could win the contract and restart the long-awaited project.

He said if the government decided against Embraer, the renovations still would improve the facility's marketability to another tenant.

"Our position is we are cautiously optimistic and hopeful," Stewart said.

Sources said an announcement for the project likely would be in January or February, possibly Jan. 10.

The Air Force did not respond to a request for comment.

Bob Stangarone, Embraer North America vice president of corporate communications, said he could not comment about an announcement date but said the company "is eager to get started" and would immediately begin operations if selected.

"We certainly believe we have the most capable and experienced aircraft for the mission," Stangarone said.

City Council approved an incentives package for Embraer in January 2011 for the 50-job project.

The company was approved for a $150,000 Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund, with $30,000 from the City and the remaining $120,000 from the state. The incentives were contingent on the company receiving the contract and creating the jobs, which had to be done by Dec. 31.

It also was contingent on the company receiving $400,000 from the Governor's Quick Action Closing Fund and $100,000 from the Quick Response Training, neither of which needed City approval.

The City and State can extend the incentives agreement.


Federal Aviation Administration document could help LaGuardia Airport trash case: Wildlife hazards spur 28-page advisory

The Federal Aviation Administration is seeking public comment on draft regulations that would help identify structures and land uses that could pose dangers around airports by attracting wildlife to runways and airspace.

Ken Paskar, president of Friends of LaGuardia Airport, said Tuesday that he had not yet finished reviewing the document.

But he said it appears to be tailor-made — sort of — for opponents of the trash transfer station under construction in College Point, about 2,200 feet from the end of LaGuardia’s Runway 13/31.

“My preliminary finding is that the FAA is learning from a lot of the lawsuits we are filing,” Paskar said.

Opponents of the project claim a trash station in Queens and one planned for near 91st Street in Manhattan will draw birds into the path of jets coming to and fro the airport.

Multiple bird strikes were found responsible in 2009 for crippling a US Airways jet that had just taken off from LaGuardia. Capt. Chesley Sullenberger ditched in the Hudson River with both engines destroyed no power and yet no loss of life in a landing g termed “The Miracle of the Hudson.”

The 28-page FAA advisory is titled “Hazardous Wildlife Attractants on or Near Airports,” and has recommendations for airport operators for reviewing land use and construction within five miles of airports.

FOLA is in federal court to block the College Point station, which is championed by the Bloomberg administration.

Paskar said the advisory and a report issued by the inspector general of the federal Department of Transportation in August appear to support what FOLA has been arguing — that the FAA’s review of the transfer station permitting process was lax.

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CHINA: Nation's on-time flight performance drops

On-time flight performance continued to decline in China this year despite the civil aviation authority's efforts to improve it.

According to the Civil Aviation Administration of China, the overall on-time performance of scheduled flights in the first 11 months of this year was 74.5 percent, down 2 percent compared with the same period last year.

Air traffic control is blamed for a quarter of the flight delays, because runways at hub airports are always crowded with planes lining up for approval from air traffic control to take off.

Li Jiaxiang, head of the administration, said on the sideline of a national civil aviation meeting on Thursday that the worsening performance is mainly due to the limited airspace available to civil aviation.

In China, the military controls the airspace, and civil aviation gets only a fraction of it. In recent years, airlines have added flights to meet growing travel demands, but the airspace allocated to civil aviation has not grown proportionally.

"In busy hours, arriving flights cannot land immediately, while departing flights have to wait a long time to take off," said Ouyang Jie, a professor at the Civil Aviation University of China who specializes in airport studies.

Because of the limited airspace, the airport runway capacity, or the number of flights that a runway is able to handle during rush hour, lags behind that of some other countries, he said.

At Beijing Capital International Airport, for example, the three runways can handle 80 million passengers a year. By way of comparison, one runway alone at London's Gatwick Airport can handle 40 million passengers a year, he said.

Though great efforts have been made by civil aviation, the overall on-time performance failed to improve because the current airspace management system fails to see the need for a structural change in aviation, he said, adding that the military has to make some concessions on the issue.

The country's civil aviation industry continued to see single-digit growth this year. According to the administration, the civil aviation industry transported an estimated 320 million passengers over the year, up 9.2 percent from last year.

As for next year, the administration expects the civil aviation industry to see similar growth of 9.4 percent and transport 350 million passengers.

Though the weak global and domestic economy made double-digit growth evasive in the industry, China's airlines continued to do well.

Airlines are expected to see profits of 20.90 billion yuan ($3.35 billion) this year, said Li Jiaxiang, adding the amount will account for more than half of the estimated profits for the global airlines this year.

The International Air Transport Association recently revised its airline performance forecast for 2012, saying airlines are expected to return a profit of $6.7 billion in 2012.

"Of all the means of transportation, air travel still has the fastest growth in China," he said.

To meet growing demand, China will continue to buy planes and invest in infrastructure construction, he said.

According to the administration, the commercial plane fleet increased by 177 to 1,922 by the end of November. Three new airports were put into use this year, making a total of 138.

The administration said that 12 more new airports will be completed and at least 350 new planes will be brought into the country's commercial transportation fleet next year.


Military aircraft reportedly caused sonic booms this morning

A military aircraft reportedly is the cause of sonic booms that caused windows to rattle across the Central Coast this morning, according to the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) confirmed no earthquakes occurred in the area - the closest was a 1.3 magnitude near Tehachapi at 9:13 a.m.

"It's something in the atmosphere, probably jet planes," said USGS seismologist Steve Walter. "I'm seeing these wave forms as far away as Bakersfield, Santa Maria, it's really strong near the San Luis Obispo station and up at Parkfield."

Walter said the first pair of air waves occurred near Parkfield. The first was at 9:30 a.m., another at 9:31 a.m. Four waves then occurred starting at 10:03 a.m., and happened at 10:05, 10:06 and 10:07 a.m.

"Man is somehow involved here, it's daylight, my guess is it’s an exercise of some sort. We may never know exactly what it is," he said. "We’ve seen this before in this area."

No damages have been reported, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

The airspace off the Central Coast often is used by military aircraft from Lemoore Naval Air Station in Kings County and Edwards Air Force Base in the Mojave Desert and other installations for training flights.

It’s not known whether the aircraft were affiliated with Vandenberg Air Force Base and officials there could not be reached for comment

The Western Range, which is based at Vandenberg, typically monitors just-launched rockets and missiles with a vast array of sensors and equipment across the Pacific Ocean. But the range also has a vital although lesser-known role involving aeronautical testing of military aircraft.

In 2003, sonic booms heard on the Central Coast were blamed on testing of F-22 Raptor fighter jets off the Central Coast.

Sonic booms, sometimes likened to thunder, are caused by an object moving faster than sound - about 750 mph at sea level, according to an Air Force fact sheet.

The military has conducted faster-than-sound test flights since 1947, and today requires that whenever possible, flights be over open water, above 10,000 feet and no closer than 15 miles from shore. Supersonic operations over land must be conducted above 30,000 feet or, when below 30,000 feet, in specially designated areas.


New direct flights between Fort McMurray and Denver: United Airlines to operate daily service


 Daily flights between Fort McMurray, Alta. and Denver, Colo. begin in June 2013. 

Scott Clements from the Fort McMurray Airport Authority talks to the CBC's Nirmala Naidoo about the announcement. 


Boeing land deal could mean more jet work in N. Charleston

Boeing South Carolina is looking to amass more than 1,070 acres beneath and around its North Charleston aircraft plant for possible future expansions. 

 The Charleston County Aviation Authority voted today to begin talks to sell to Boeing about 320 acres the agency owns along International Boulevard, across the road from the aerospace giant’s 787 manufacturing campus.

A price has not been established.

Also, Boeing is seeking the rights to purchase another 488 acres closer to Dorchester Road, and it’s getting an option to acquire the 265 acres it now occupies at Charleston International Airport.

Boeing leases its 787 property from the airport. The company wants to be able to buy it outright by 2025, well before its lease is up in 2041.

The land deal was announced after an hour-long closed-door session that included airport authority members, Boeing officials and state lawmakers.

Charleston Mayor Joe Riley called Boeing’s proposal “excellent news for the region” as it signifies Boeing’s intention to expand their operations.

“They’re not in the business of land banking,” Riley told the packed board room.

Boeing assembles 787 Dreamliners at the airport with a workforce of more than 6,000 direct employees and contractors.

Boeing officials did not say exactly what the property will be used for. But some longtime observers of the Chicago-based aerospace giant already have some concrete ideas.

“We believe Boeing is preparing to eventually locate new airplane programs in Charleston rather than Washington State,” Scott Hamilton of Issaquah, Wash.-based aviation consulting firm Leeham Co. wrote in an email.

Hamilton said he would “not be at all suprised” to see the double-stretch Dreamliner, the 787-10, assembled in North Charleston. He also floated the possibility of the 777X or the eventual successor to the 737 MAX being made in South Carolina in the coming decades.

“This is entirely our assessment — we can’t say we know anything about this,” Hamilton said. “But the old adage is that if it looks like a duck and walks like a duck, then it’s a duck. And this sure quacks to us.”

Check Friday’s editions of The Post and Courier for more details.

In Phuket, a 16-day ban on private jets

Officials have slapped a ban on private aircraft movements through Phuket during the holiday season to ease congestion worsened by airport expansion work

The 16-day ban, in the form of not providing time slots for take-off, landing and parking, came into effect on Wednesday as the airport struggled to cope with the surge in traffic during the Christmas/New Year period.

The closure of three aircraft parking bays to speed up work on the 5.7-billion-baht expansion was cited by officials as the main reason for denial of private jet flights.

"We simply have no room to accommodate the private jet movements in the period when the airport must grapple with huge airline traffic," airport general manager Prathuang Sornkhom told the Bangkok Post.

Phuket airport is handling some 200 aircraft movements each 24-hour period, and because of the lack of time slots, many carriers switch to larger aircraft such as jumbo 747s during Dec 25-31, adding to the overcrowding.

"In view of the limited capacity, our priority is to serve the majority airline passengers," Mr Prathuang said.

The ban means that elite travellers such as global celebrities, corporate leaders and billionaires must divert their private jet flights to other airports in the region such as Krabi and travel by road to Phuket; change holiday destinations to other places like Langkawi or Maldives; or put off their visit to the Thai island until after Jan 3.

Airports of Thailand Plc (AoT), which operates the country's six major airports including Phuket, expects work on the three closed parking bays to finish on Jan 3 if not sooner, according to Mr Prathuang.

Mjets, Thailand's biggest private jet terminal operator, is unhappy about the Phuket airport ban, which came at short notice and left the company with almost no alternatives to serve clients.

Mjets executive chairman Jaiyavat Navaraj yesterday estimated that Phuket would lose 50 private jet flights during the festive season.

The company, controlled by Minor Group tycoon Bill Heinecke, has seen a loss of eight international clients in the period.

"These private jet travellers belong to international elite groups, and each of them would contribute half a million baht to the Phuket economy that will be lost," Mr Jaiyavat said.

Speaking to the Post, he said officials should allow private jets to drop off their passengers at Phuket, then fly off and pick them up when they finish their stay.

"I believe proper management would enable the airport to accommodate private jet movements even during the stressed period," he said.

AoT is trying to speed up the airport expansion, which has been eagerly awaited by businesses and communities for whom airport congestion has become a way of life.

It hopes to finish the work, which began in September, in 30 months instead of 36.


Grumman American AA-5 Traveler, N5813L: Accident occurred December 20, 2012 in Hot Springs, Virginia

NTSB Identification: ERA13CA090 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, December 20, 2012 in Hot Springs, VA
Aircraft: AMERICAN AA-5, registration: N5813L
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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.

 According to the pilot, the airplane experienced light turbulence during the final approach to runway 7 and the wind sock indicated a direct crosswind from the right. The airplane touched down on the runway, bounced, and the pilot added engine power. As the power increased, the attitude of the airplane increased, and the pilot attempted to level the airplane. Then, the stall warning horn sounded, the right wing of the airplane lifted, and the airplane turned about 45 degrees off the runway centerline. The airplane subsequently impacted the ground near a taxiway off the left side of the runway, and struck several trees prior to coming to rest, which resulted in substantial damage to both wings. The pilot reported no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. The wind reported at the airport about the time of the accident was from 140 degrees at 8 knots gusting to 17 knots.

  Regis#: 5813L        Make/Model: AA5       Description: AA-5 Traveler, Cheetah, Tiger
  Date: 12/20/2012     Time: 1615

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

  City: HOT SPRINGS   State: VA   Country: US


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

  Activity: Pleasure      Phase: Landing      Operation: OTHER

  FAA FSDO: RICHMOND, VA  (EA21)                  Entry date: 12/21/2012 

BATH COUNTY, Va.— No one was hurt when a single-engine plane crashed while trying to land in Bath County Thursday.  The crash happened Thursday morning at Ingalls Field, a few miles south of Hot Springs.  An airport manager said wind may have been a factor.  The airport, located on top of a mountain, has been experiencing gusty winds and snow showers.  Virginia State Police troopers are investigating the incident.

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Thunder Bay airport expects busiest Christmas season ever: The holidays cap off a record-breaking year for passenger traffic

The Thunder Bay airport is gearing up for one of its busiest travel periods.

The airport is already on track for the busiest year in its history and CEO Scott McFadden said he expects that trend to continue over the coming days — and that means travellers should be prepared to wait.

"First and foremost, especially if there's any significant weather, get here early,” he said.

“We do find that people can be a little bit stressed out, especially infrequent travellers."

Because of federal budget cuts, the airport has not been able to expand the security staff to keep pace with the growing passenger volume, McFadden added. As a result, travellers could face longer waits in the pre-boarding security lineup.

"The higher — much higher — than anticipated growth that we're experiencing and the lack of ... budget for expansion of the security services ... are definitely having a negative impact on the airport,” he said.

McFadden noted there are a few factors that will make the airport busier than ever this holiday season:

  • The airport has broken passenger traffic records for the past few years, and is on track to do it again this year. About 750,000 passengers were expected to pass through in 2012, that number is closer to 765,000.
  • Many people flying during the holidays aren't frequent travellers, so "perhaps [they’re] not fully confident about security requirements ... [which] can create some delays specifically through the pre-board security [procedures]."

To help security lines move faster, make sure prohibited items — such as fluids — are not packed in carry-on luggage, McFadden said.

Sometimes security needs to see what's inside wrapped presents, so people should be prepared for that, he added.

McFadden recommends that holiday travellers visit the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority website to check what they can and cannot bring on the plane in their carry-on luggage at

SOUTH CAROLINA: Dorchester County aviation parts maker to move, expand, add jobs

A Dorchester County manufacturer that makes aviation components is moving and expanding.

Aero Precision Products today announced that it will relocate next year to a larger site to accommodate its projected growth plans.

The $2.5 million investment is expected to create 15 new jobs.

“Aero Precision Products is excited about the growth of the aerospace industry in South Carolina and are eager to open our new facility in Dorchester County. We look forward to creating challenging job opportunities to service this growing market,” said John Kinney, president and general manager.

The company said it will move its Hodge Road operations in Summerville to a new 24,000-square-foot building at 230 Deming Way in Eastport Industrial Park. It expects to relocate in March and begin hiring for the new positions in the second quarter of next year.

Aero Precision Products is an affiliate of Mistequay Group Ltd., which is headquartered in Saginaw, Mich.

Bell 206B, N63Q: Helicopter in 2011 East River Crash Was Too Heavy -NTSB

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The helicopter that crashed into the East River in October of 2011, killing three people on board, was too heavy to be in the air, according to a report released Thursday by the National Transportation Safety Board.

The NTSB report released the facts of the crash, but did not conclude the crash. A probable cause will likely be determined in two months.

The Bell206B helicopter carrying the pilot and four passengers crashed into the river shortly after takeoff from East 34th Street Heliport on the afternoon of Oct. 4, 2011. One passenger was found dead in the wreckage and two others died later of injuries related to the crash.

The pilot and one other passenger survived the crash.

In its report issued Dec. 20, the NTSB said the estimated takeoff weight of the helicopter at the time of the accident was calculated to be 3,228. The manufacturer's maximum allowable gross weight at takeoff was 3,200 pounds. 

The pilot, Paul Dudley, told investigators after the crash that the passengers reported their weights to him after boarding the helicopter and that he estimated the total load at takeoff, including passengers and fuel, to be 1,131 pounds.

But the surviving front-seat passenger, a friend of Dudley, told investigators the pilot did not ask for anyone's weight and never filled out any paperwork or performed any calculations before takeoff. 

The passenger also said he brought along his daughter and her friend at the last minute, and "he believed the pilot may not have anticipated the two additional passengers beyond him and his wife."

Dudley is the same pilot who safely landed a Cessna 172 in Calvert Vaux Park near Coney Island in November 2006. In that case, the plane's engine failed and Dudley was forced to make an emergency landing.

Sonia Marra, 40, died in the river. Her girlfriend, Helen Tamaki, 43, and her mother, Harriet Nicholson, 60, died later. 

Marra's stepfather, 71-year-old Paul Nicholson, survived. 


NTSB Identification: ERA12MA005
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, October 04, 2011 in New York, NY
Aircraft: BELL 206B, registration: N63Q
Injuries: 2 Fatal,1 Serious,2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators traveled in support of this investigation and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.


On October 4, 2011, about 1525 eastern daylight time, a Bell 206B helicopter, N63Q, crashed into the East River shortly after takeoff from East 34th Street Heliport (6N5), New York, New York. The commercial pilot and one passenger were not injured, one passenger sustained serious injuries, and two passengers were fatally injured. The helicopter was substantially damaged. The helicopter was registered to and operated by a private pilot as a personal flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local flight. The flight originated from 6N5 about 1524 and was scheduled to return to 6N5.

NTSB Accident Report:

Air Berlin Airbus A330-200, D-ABXA, Flight AB-7425: Engine problem

PHUKET: An Air Berlin flight from Phuket to Abu Dhabi in the UAE caught fire after takeoff around 10 pm tonight (December 20) from Phuket International Airport.  

With flames pouring from one wing of the Airbus A330-200 aircraft, the captain managed to circle and put the aircraft back down on the runway in Phuket, bursting a wheel in the process.

All 249 passengers aboard flight AB/BER7425 – said to be mostly Australians en route from  Melbourne – are understood to have been evacuated safely, and the fire has now been extinguished.

The passengers have been taken from the airport to hotels while they await news of how they will continue their journey.

The crippled aircraft is still sitting on the runway. All flights in and out of the airport are delayed until the aircraft can be towed away.

Air Berlin is a major airline, in Germany second only to Lufthansa. It has a fleet of 135 aircraft.

Founded in 1978 as a charter airline, it has only one earlier recorded incident, in 2010, when one of its aircraft skidded off the runway at Nuremberg Airport during takeoff on a domestic flight, causing the airport to be closed for a few hours.

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First G650 deliveries happening now . . . .

A hat-tip to Rob "Biz Jets" for this update ... thank you!

Steve Wynn (Las Veges Casino!) took deliver of N711SW today; photo Micheal Carter N607GD (now N711SW)

Gulfstream Begins Delivering Outfitted G650 Aircraft 

SAVANNAH, Ga., Dec. 20, 2012 — /PRNewswire/ -- Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. today delivered its first fully outfitted ultra-large-cabin, ultra-long-range Gulfstream G650 aircraft. The first aircraft was delivered to a U.S. customer. Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. is a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics.

"We're extremely proud of this aircraft and the work that's been done by the G650 design, build and supplier teams," said Larry Flynn, president, Gulfstream. "The first delivery of an aircraft is always an auspicious occasion and this one is especially so. This delivery represents the beginning of a new era in aircraft design and manufacturing in terms of quality, capabilities, reliability, parts availability and maintenance activities.

"We're thrilled to see the first G650 leave our hangar for a customer's. Soon the G650 will be a common sight at airports around the world," Flynn said.

Jay L. Johnson, chairman and chief executive officer of Gulfstream's parent corporation, General Dynamics, said, "The G650 sets a new world standard for business-jet performance, range, speed and comfort.  I am very proud of the Gulfstream team.  They have done a superb job in designing and manufacturing an aircraft that is already the envy of the global market."

Gulfstream recently announced enhanced performance characteristics for the G650, including more range. The G650 can now travel 6,000 nautical miles (11,112 km) at its high-speed cruise of Mach 0.90. This is a 1,000-nm (1,852-km) increase over the original target of 5,000 nm (9,260 km). The additional capability makes city pairs such as Tokyo to New York, New York to Dubai, Shanghai to London and Moscow to Los Angeles possible at speeds faster than any other business jet.

The G650's takeoff balanced field length decreased to 5,858 feet (1,786 m) from the original 6,000 feet (1,829 m) at the aircraft's maximum takeoff weight of 99,600 pounds (45,179 kg). This improvement allows the G650 to fly farther from demanding, short runways.

The G650 has a maximum cruise speed of Mach 0.925, making it the fastest certified civilian aircraft in production. Each of its two Rolls-Royce BR725 A1-12 engines provides 16,900 pounds of thrust, yet the aircraft burns less fuel and produces fewer emissions than other aircraft.

The G650 cabin includes a number of technologically advanced systems, including the Gulfstream-designed Cabin Management System, which allows passengers to use personal electronic devices to control the cabin's high-definition audio and video components as well as cabin lighting, cabin temperature, window shades and other cabin functions, including the Gulfstream CabinView Passenger Flight Information System.

The cabin adheres to Gulfstream's Cabin Essential design philosophy. This means the cabin systems (lighting, power, cabin control, cabin entertainment, and the water and waste systems) are designed with redundancy that minimizes the risk of losing cabin functionality.

The G650 earned its type certificate from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration on Sept. 7, 2012.

Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, designs, develops, manufactures, markets, services and supports the world's most technologically advanced business-jet aircraft. Gulfstream has produced more than 2,000 aircraft for customers around the world since 1958. To meet the diverse transportation needs of the future, Gulfstream offers a comprehensive fleet of aircraft, comprising the wide-cabin, high-speed Gulfstream G150®; the new large-cabin, mid-range Gulfstream G280®; the large-cabin, long-range G450®; the large-cabin, ultra-long-range Gulfstream G550® and the ultra-large-cabin, ultra-long-range G650®. Gulfstream also offers aircraft ownership services via Gulfstream Pre-Owned Aircraft Sales®. The company employs more than 12,500 people at 12 major locations. We invite you to visit our website for more information and photos of Gulfstream aircraft at

General Dynamics, headquartered in Falls Church, Va., employs approximately 93,700 people worldwide.  The company is a market leader in business aviation; land and expeditionary combat systems, armaments and munitions; shipbuilding and marine systems; and information systems and technologies.  More information about General Dynamics is available online at

SOURCE Gulfstream Aerospace Corp.

Cheddi Jagan International Airport runway in excellent condition – says Aviation Director: Boeing 737-800, 9Y-PBM, Caribbean Airlines, Flight 523, Accident occurred July 30, 2011 in Georgetown, Guyana


The Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) is equipped with a runway that is in excellent condition, said Director of Aviation Safety Regulation, Paula McAdam. She expressed her conviction that “there is no fault that I can put on the runway at Timehri.”

She was at the time commenting on the Caribbean Airlines crash at CJIA last year which rendered one person an amputee when the aircraft went skidding off the runway.

McAdam is currently a part of a team that is working to finalize a report on the tragic incident which had raised several questions about the CJIA runway.

She related during an interview that a draft of the report has already been completed. There has also been a meeting with the National Transportation Safety Board of the United States (NTSB). According to McAdam, “they made some comments and we are still working to finalize the report.”

She said that the Timehri runway is considered a bit short but it is more than adequate for the aircraft type that crashed at CJIA. Moreover this is one of the areas that the local aviation team has been examining, the Aviation Director added.

On July 30, 2011, a CAL Boeing 737-800 aircraft crash landed at the local airport shortly after midnight. The aircraft, which overshot the runway, stopped short of a ravine, its nose cone segment breaking off.

The incident was described as “a miracle landing” as all 163 people aboard—including six crew members—survived.

A number of people were taken to hospital, and Guyana health authorities reported that three people had to be admitted for treatment. One passenger later had to have a leg amputated. Subsequent news reports from Guyana and in the Wall Street Journal alleged pilot error.

This view has been substantiated by McAdam who categorically noted that “that the airport is adequate to take this aircraft so there was nothing wrong with the runway…it is grooved, there was no standing water, it was well lit, it was well marked as it should be marked…it was even marked with reflective paint so there is no fault that I can put on the runway at Timehri,” she insisted.

A final report on the crash-landing is outstanding almost 18 months after the incident but there are reports that it is expected early next year. But according to McAdam the highly anticipated report would in fact require input from the oversight Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for CAL which is based in Trinidad.

“We are waiting for that but the investigation is going very well if I do say so myself…” This view was forthcoming even as she reflected on an American Airline accident in Jamaica which occurred about six months before the crash in Guyana.

A report on that incident is yet to be completed, McAdam said, adding that “until you actually get involved with writing an accident report of that magnitude it is only then that you can appreciate what you have to do.”


NTSB Identification: DCA11RA092
Scheduled 14 CFR Non-U.S., Commercial operation of Caribbean Airlines
Accident occurred Saturday, July 30, 2011 in Georgetown, Guyana
Aircraft: BOEING 737, registration: 9Y-PBM
Injuries: 1 Serious,161 Uninjured.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. The foreign authority was the source of this information.

On July 30, 2011, at 1:25 am local time (0525 UTC), a Boeing 737-800, Trinidad & Tobago registration 9Y-PBM, operated by Caribbean Airlines as flight 523, overran the runway upon landing at Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Georgetown, Guyana. Of the 156 passengers and six crew on board, there was reportedly one serious and multiple minor injuries. Weather was reported as raining at the time of the accident. Preliminary details from local authorities indicate that the airplane fractured in two pieces as a result of the overrun. The flight was a scheduled passenger flight from Piarco International Airport, Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago.

The accident is being investigated by the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The NTSB has designated a U.S. Accredited Representative as the state of manufacture. All inquiries should be directed to the Guyana CAA at:

Civil Aviation Authority
Fairlie House Lot 96
Duke St


Piper PA-31P-350 Mojave, Skymaster Air Services, VH-PGW: Accident occurred June 15, 2010 near Bankstown Airport, New South Wales

Andrew Wilson was killed in the Piper PA-31P-350 Mojave crash over Canley Vale, in southwest Sydney with nurse Kathy Sheppard 

The scene in Canley Vale after Andrew Wilson's plane crashed. 
87Picture: Adam Taylor 
Source: The Australian

The burnt out wreckage of the Piper PA-31P-350 Mojave.

A final report into a plane crash in Sydney's south-west which claimed the lives of a pilot and nurse has suggested human error.

The twin-engine Piper plane was on its way to transfer a patient from Archerfield in Queensland to Albury, NSW, on June 15, 2010.

Once over Richmond in Sydney's south-west, one engine began to surge.

It was shut down as the pilot, 28-year-old Andrew Wilson, attempted to return to Bankstown Airport.

Realizing he was not going to make it, he tried to land on Canley Vale Road.

The plane clipped a power pole, crashed and burst into flames just metres away from Canley Vale Public School, killing Mr Wilson and the flight nurse on board.

An investigation by the Transport Safety Bureau found the aircraft's airspeed and the rate of descent were not optimized and the pilot did not operate the remaining engine at maximum power.

It also found the engine surges were consistent with uneven fuel distribution.


 Pilot reports trouble to Bankstown Airport (audio courtesy 
Posted Tue Jun 15, 2010 4:08pm AEST 
Conversation between pilot Andrew Wilson and Bankstown Airport just before his plane went down in south-west Sydney.

An audio recording of the conversation between the pilot and the Bankstown air traffic control has been released on
Investigation and reports:

What happened

At about 0806 Eastern Standard Time on 15 June 2010 a Piper PA-31P-350 Mojave aircraft, registered VH-PGW, with a pilot and a flight nurse on board, collided with terrain in a suburban area about 6 km north-west of Bankstown Airport, New South Wales. At the time of the accident, the pilot was attempting to return to Bankstown following a reported in-flight engine shutdown. Both occupants were fatally injured and the aircraft was destroyed by the impact forces and an intense post-impact fire.

What the ATSB found

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) found that following the shut down of the right engine, the aircraft’s airspeed and rate of descent were not optimised for one engine inoperative flight. In addition, spectral analysis indicated it was unlikely that the left engine was being operated at maximum continuous power as the aircraft descended. As a result, the aircraft descended to a low altitude over a suburban area and the pilot was then unable to maintain level flight, which led to the collision with terrain.

Examination of the engines, propellers and governors and other aircraft components found no evidence of any pre-impact faults. However, the engine surging identified by the spectral analysis of radio transmissions during the flight was consistent with uneven fuel distribution to the cylinders.
What has been done as a result

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority has started a project to amend advisory material relating to multi-engine aircraft training and operations to include guidance information about engine problems encountered during the climb and cruise phases of flight. This amended guidance material will include information about aircraft handling, engine management, and decision making during these phases of flight.

Safety message

This accident reinforces the importance when flying twin-engine aircraft with one engine shutdown that the optimal speed be selected, along with maximum continuous power on the operative engine, and that the aircraft’s performance should be verified prior to conducting a descent. Pilots should also use the appropriate PAN or MAYDAY phraseology when advising air traffic control of non-normal or emergency situations.

Investigation and reports:

Jacksonville helicopter cops win awards for risky water rescues


They are eyes in the sky for Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office officers on the ground.

But Air Unit officers Steve Vaughan and Steve Strickland’s helicopter hovered close to the deck recently when both had to hit the water to rescue people in two separate incidents.

The heroism earned Vaughan the Medal of Merit and Strickland the Medal of Valor for their May 26 mission during Tropical Storm Beryl. And on Nov. 29, Vaughan received a second medal after a July 23 rescue of a woman in the Intracoastal Waterway.

In presenting the first medals, Undersheriff Dwain Senterfitt said the men acted with no regard for their own safety.

“We were placed there that day … and we did what we were trained to do without even thinking about it,” said Vaughan, a veteran pilot. “... It is what our job is and we get a lot of gratification out of doing things like that.”

Strickland said he would “absolutely without any hesitation” leap again.

The first call came May 26 about people pulled out to sea by rip currents off Little Talbot Island State Park. Vaughan and Strickland flew there only to hear that fire department rescue workers had everyone. Then they saw a man being pounded by waves.

“One of the waves hit him and he just rag-dolled. Whatever position the wave put him in, he stayed there,” Strickland said.

Strickland threw a life preserver down but he didn’t move. Then rescuers got the man about 300 yards out to sea. That’s when the officers saw a second man 75 yards further out. Vaughan hovered about 4 feet over the waves as Strickland jumped.

“We knew the situation was as bad as we were going to let it get and we were in a position to help,” Strickland said.

In high waves Strickland pulled the man toward the beach as Vaughan hovered over him. All survived.

The second incident was July 23 when Vaughan and police pilot Jimmy Britt heard the call about a woman screaming for help in the Intracoastal Waterway. Flying in near the 13000 block of Atlantic Boulevard minutes later, they saw her. Britt hovered about 5 feet off the water and Vaughan jumped in.

“It became really clear to me very fast how grave it really was because the woman was clearly struggling,” Vaughan said. “It was amazing that she didn’t drown before we got there. ... She became very combative. She was struggling and fighting for her life.”

Two Atlantic Beach police officers pulled up in a partially inflated dingy and hauled her aboard before towing Vaughan to shore.