Saturday, December 29, 2012

Kent State University (1G3), Kent, Ohio: KSU looks at airport’s future

 
The hangar at the Kent State University Airport is part of the facility that has been without a master plan for several years so a new plan is being developed for the facility in Stow.
 (Paul Tople/Akron Beacon Journal) 


KENT: Eight years ago, Kent State wanted to decommission its airport and move elsewhere. But the Federal Aviation Administration, which has final say about the property, said the airport was too important to move and that it didn’t want to waste the $3.9 million it had given KSU for improvements there. 

 Now, university officials are taking a fresh look at the 287-acre airport between state Route 59 and River Road in Stow in Summit County.

“We were stuck with a plan that we couldn’t act on,” airport operations coordinator Dave Paluga said. “Since the last plan, there has been a lot of economic changes. We’ve been stuck in a status quo.”

The university has hired consultant C & S Cos., headquartered in Syracuse, N.Y., to conduct public meetings and develop a proposal for the KSU trustees and the FAA. Funding comes from a $600,000 FAA grant.

The main goal of the master plan will be to “determine what is needed to meet the current and future needs of the airport,” according to the university.

The master plan will include an airport layout plan, a schedule of priorities and funding sources for proposed improvements, KSU said.

The airport is both a training ground for KSU flight students and a Stow community resource — plus sometimes a bone of contention for nearby residents who believe the aircraft are too noisy or fly too low.

Complaints reached a crescendo about eight years ago when KSU considered expanding or moving the airport. But Stow city officials, then as now, want the airport to stay right where it is.

“If there are ongoing concerns, I want the city to be a part of developing any changes,” Stow Mayor Sarah Drew said this week. “The airport is an asset to Stow.”

The airport, formally called the Andrew W. Paton Field after KSU’s first flight instructor, was used as a landing field in World War I. KSU bought it in 1947.

One of 29 general service airports statewide, the facility serves twin- and single engine aircraft used for business, pleasure and training. A for-profit company, Commercial Aviation Corp., leases multiple hangars for aerial photography, flight training, charter flights and more.

Mostly, though, the airport is used by about 200 KSU students studying in what is the largest flight-training program in Ohio. The university has about 24 planes.

Expansion probably isn’t in the offing, airport operations coordinator Thomas Friend said.

“We may get a few more aircraft and get rid of a few, but we don’t have the facilities to expand,” he said.

John Trew, president of the Portage County Regional Airport, said he would welcome the relocation of the KSU airport to his Ravenna facility, one of the options discussed in the last master plan. But that isn’t to be, he said.

KSU officials “told us in the last two years that they’re going to do whatever they have to do at their own field,” he said.

What that will be isn’t clear now.

Gregg Floyd, senior vice president for finance and administration at KSU, said in a media release that the university is deferring any reinvestments at the airport until the master plan is completed in 18 months, but that some improvements are needed.

“The needs are becoming urgent,” he said.

Comments about the future of the airport should be directed to Aileen Maguire Meyer of C & S at 216-619-5449, 877-277-6583 or amaguire@cscos.com.


Story and Photos:   http://www.ohio.com

Take to the skies at Al Khor Fly-In

The sixth edition of the popular event promises a chance for the daring to experience microlight flight and much more. 

This year’s Fly-In to be ‘bigger & better’ 


 


By Raynald C Rivera 

 Fancy something intrepid this coming year? The sixth edition of Al Khor Fly-In promises a chance for the daring to experience microlight flight -- the highlight of the two-day event which aviation enthusiasts in Qatar have been looking forward to.

“We witnessed long queues during the last edition of the show with many still wishing to try the air tours, but we could not accommodate everyone, so we are finding ways to make sure more aviation enthusiasts would be given the opportunity to try out the tours,” Abdullah Al Hajj, Organizing Manager of Al Khor Fly-In, told The Peninsula.

The success of the previous edition was no surprise as flying enthusiasts were treated to a thrilling ten-minute ride on a private plane for a minimal fee. Unlike in large aircraft, flying in small planes provides an exciting experience to passengers, who can get a bird’s-eye view of the landscape below.

“Flying in a microlight provides a different feeling compared to riding a normal plane. You can feel the wind on your face and you can see clearly the beautiful scenery below,” said Al Hajj.

To accommodate more people, Al Hajj said they were expecting five to nine planes for the tours, including German-made autogiros, French-made microlight aircraft, a fixed-wing aeroplane from Italy and an American-made Cessna.

“All the planes that would be utilised for the tours are based in Qatar,” he said.

Forty planes from various countries are coming for the two-day event.

“We expect more people and aeroplanes participating this year. Around 40 planes from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait have already confirmed participation for the event,” Al Hajj said.

Last year, more than 30 small and light aircraft participated in the event, which attracted around 7,000 visitors during its two-day run.

The participating planes will be arriving on January 17 for the show, which will take place on January 18 and 19 at the Al Khor Airfield.

“Other than the 40 aeroplanes, there would also be radio-controlled model aeroplanes which would participate,” said Al Hajj, adding they were expecting new planes to take part in the event.

Lunched in 2008, the Al Khor Fly-In is a show organized by owners of light aircraft in Qatar to introduce aviation as a sport and hobby to the youth and the general public. It also serves as a get-together for pilots in Qatar and the other GCC countries.

Apart from providing thrill and entertainment, the event is quite educational, as the visitors get a close look at a diverse range of aircraft, from jets and propeller-driven aircraft to microcopters and autogiros.

The visitors will also get to speak to professional pilots who would be available to answer queries about their planes.

Being held under the patronage of Qatar Civil Aviation Authority, the event will see participation by the Ministry of Interior, the Internal Security Force (Lekhwiya), Qatar Aeronautical College and local flying teams.

The event’s gold sponsors include Qatar Airways, Qafco, RasGas, The Seashore Group, Barwa, and Al Misnad Transport, while the silver sponsors are Al Jaber Trading and Contracting and Venture Gulf Rent-a-Car.

In view of the success the event enjoyed last year, the organisers said they expected more visitors this time.

“Last year was a big success. Based on the feedback we received, all visitors enjoyed the event, especially the trips, which had a high demand, so we really expect more people would be coming,” said Al Hajj.

The sixth Al Khor Fly-In would be open to the public from 9am to 4.30pm on January 18 and 19 at the Al Khor Airfield, which is located 31km north of Doha to the east of the Al Khor coastal road. The Peninsula


http://alkhorflyin.net

http://thepeninsulaqatar.com

Caribbean Airlines: Pilot did not shout at passengers

(Trinidadian Guardian)    A Caribbean Airlines pilot would never have shouted at passengers. This was the response to a passenger in a letter to the editor of T&T Guardian published on Thursday, who claimed that the pilot of Flight BW501 to T&T from New York on December 20 had yelled at them. After passengers complained about delays, the pilot asked how they would like it if he took the plane up, then got tired and “crashed into the Atlantic.”

The flight had been scheduled to leave the previous day, December 19. In her letter, Laura-Mae Britton said passengers were asked to disembark and board the flight twice after promises that the problem would be fixed. She said the second time passengers boarded, they were told they were waiting because some passengers were missing. It was only after the pilot announced that the plane would not be able to fly that night, Britton said, that passengers had become irate.

“In response the pilot again came on the speakers, yelled at us and basically said that we were being petty and irate,” wrote Britton. She said he then went on a “miniature tirade” about being awake at 5 am and leaving his wife and children at home. But CAL communications manager Clint Williams said you would never have heard such a thing from a CAL pilot. In a telephone interview yesterday, Williams said the pilot of that flight was not a CAL employee.

“It was a pilot operating a flight from a lease company,” Williams said. He said CAL normally leased flights from the company, OMNI Air International, during busy periods, and they had a longstanding relationship. Williams said CAL had requested an in-depth report from OMNI Air International and would evaluate what it said. Until then, he said: “It would be improper to comment further.”

He said the airline was aware of the situation and had been alerted to the comment via social media. Williams said the airline knew the aircraft had a mechanical problem and an indicator meant the aircraft could not fly without being checked. “It turned into a creeping delay, where the crew expected that the problem would be fixed in a certain amount of time and it wasn’t. That resulted in the crew running out of flying hours.”

Williams said all aircrew flew under strict rules on how long they could man an aircraft. “There are mandatory rest periods and the crew’s hours would have run out.” He said the further delay in the flight was caused when the company tried to arrange an alternative aircraft and crew. “They eventually got three other aircraft and we got the passengers here.”

Source:   http://www.stabroeknews.com

Sloulin Field International Airport (KISN), Williston, North Dakota: Things are getting better

 
Photo by David Rupkalvis/Williston Herald 
 A welcome sight 
 A United Airlines flight prepares to touch down at Sloulin Field International Airport. With the addition of United and Delta flying into and out of the airport, travelers have seen improvements.

With two new airlines flying into Sloulin Field International Airport, travelers have seen improvements in airline service flying in and out of Williston. 

According to Airport management, overall delay times have gone down with United Airlines and Delta Airlines providing service to Sloulin Field.

Steven Kjergaard, airport manager at Sloulin Field, said that the airport has not seen any delays over an hour since the new airlines started flight, which he said is an improvement over when Great Lakes was the only provider to the area.

But the arrival of United and Delta hasn’t been all positive for Sloulin Field.

As reported in a previous Williston Herald story, the number of passengers that pass through Sloulin Field has greatly increased, causing strains.

These increases have led to the airport terminal being crowded and the parking lot being well above capacity.

With airline traffic being about as he expected during the holiday season, Kjergaard said that vehicles were parked along 35th Street and Airport Road.

Kjergaard said almost every street around the airport had some cars parked on them.

In the previous Herald article, Kjergaard recommended that travelers carpool or get a friend to drive them to the airport.

“They didn’t heed my warning,” Kjergaard said.

Relief to Sloulin Field’s parking problems is right around the corner. The Williston City Commission approved a plan to contract with engineering firm Kadramas, Lee and Jackson, with the hopes of building more parking in the spring.


Story and Photo:   http://www.willistonherald.com

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

Beech B200 King Air, N918TC: Aircraft on landing, nose gear collapsed - Phoenix, Arizona

IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 918TC        Make/Model: BE20      Description: 200, 1300 Super King Air, Commuter (C-12
  Date: 12/30/2012     Time: 0035

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

LOCATION
  City: PHOENIX   State: AZ   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT ON LANDING, NOSE GEAR COLLAPSED, PHOENIX, AZ

INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   0
                 # Crew:   1     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    
                 # Pass:   3     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    
                 # Grnd:         Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    


OTHER DATA
  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Landing      Operation: OTHER


  FAA FSDO: SCOTTSDALE, AZ  (WP07)                Entry date: 12/31/2012 

http://registry.faa.gov/N918TC 


The pilot of a twin-engine plane with four people on board was forced to perform an emergency landing Saturday at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport because of problems with the landing gear, officials said.


 The pilot of the King Air first circled the airport to burn off fuel before the landing, officials said.

“The plane landed with the nose gear down but not locked,” FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said.. “It collapsed after the plane landed.”

The damage to the plane was unknown and the FAA will investigate why the nose gear didn’t go down, Gregor said. He did not know where the plane left from.

The plane was diverted from Scottsdale Airport to Gateway because of its longer runway after the pilot was unable to lower the plane’s nose gear, Gregor said.

Mesa Fire spokesman Ken Hall said four fire trucks and ambulances were stationed at Gateway “in case something happens.”

Hall said the pilot was in constant contact with the airport’s tower, which was relaying information to fire personnel.



http://www.azcentral.com

MESA, Ariz. - An airplane had a rough landing at Mesa Gateway Airport after its nose gear wouldn't fully open on Saturday night.

 The plane was preparing to land at Scottsdale airport when it started having difficulty lowering its nose gear.

The pilot used several methods to try to lower the gear and burn off excess fuel. Eventually the pilot rerouted to Mesa Gateway Airport because it has longer runways, in case of an emergency belly landing.

There were four people on board the plane, including the pilot.

The plane landed in Mesa, but the nose gear did collapse upon landing.

One person complained about shoulder pain that was from an injury prior to the plane landing. That person wasn't taken to a hospital.

There were no reports of fire.


 http://www.airnav.com/airport/KIWA

MESA - A plane with four people on board had to make a rough landing at Mesa Gateway Airport Saturday night

 According to officials, the plane landed with the nose gear down, but it collapsed after the plane landed.

There are no reports of injuries at this time.

The flight which is a Beechcraft Super King Air 200 departed from Telluride Regional Airport.

The plane was scheduled to land at Scottsdale Municipal Airport, but diverted to Mesa-Gateway when the pilot knew they were having landing issues.


http://www.abc15.com
 

Provo Firefighter Helps Save Man on Flight

PROVO, Utah (ABC 4 News) - A firefighter from Provo was in the right place at the right time—30,000 feet above ground.

On Dec. 1, firefighter and paramedic Joel Burrows put his skills to use on a late night flight to Atlanta.

“A flight attendant got over the radio was asking for a doctor or nurse,” he told ABC 4.

Burrows was escorted to first class where he found a man very pale and sweaty and having a cardiac crisis.

“I laid him down, raised his feet, took some vitals,” said Burrow. “I started an IV, gave him some oxygen, hooked him up to a cardiac monitor.”

Burrows was surprised by how well-equipped the airlines are when it comes to medical devices.

“The airlines actually have a lot of medical equipment on board, they were ready to go,” he said.

The plane diverted to Memphis where paramedics on the ground took over. “I don't think he would have made it to Atlanta,” Burrows said about the man. “His pressure was 60 over 40 unknown if it was going to continue to drop or not.”

A nurse from Utah Valley Hospital was also on the plane and helped.


Source:     http://www.abc4.com

Investigation into farmworkers' spraying underway

It may be six months before it will be known if any charges will be filed against the company and crop duster pilot responsible for spraying farmworkers with agriculture chemicals the night of Dec. 21.

According to state law, the Arizona Department of Agriculture (AZDA) has six months to investigate the incident, which resulted in 10 farmworkers being transported to the hospital after a crop duster sprayed them with agchemicals while they were working in a field west of Avenue G and County 12th Street.

If the investigation reveals any violation of the law, “appropriate regulatory actions will be taken according to our statute and rule penalty authorities,” said Jack Peterson, AZDA associate director of the environmental services division.

Peterson declined to identify the pilot of the crop duster involved, or to release the name of the company employing the pilot.

“This is an ongoing investigation, and we do not release information until the investigation is complete,” he said.

AZDA is in the process of identifying all crop duster pilots who were applying aerial pesticide applications in the area at the time, as well as any ground-based applications which may have been made.

“We must look into all applications to determine if any of them could be involved, so this would include both aerial and ground applications,” Peterson said. “This could include applications that occurred prior to the work crew entering the field.”

Investigators are also working to identify the pesticide the farmworkers were sprayed with.

“Once we are confident in what pesticide was sprayed, we will carefully review this to ensure the application was made according to the requirements specified on the label,” Peterson said. “Everyone is cooperating fully as everyone wants to avoid things like this ever occurring. They want to know if anything was done incorrectly to ensure it doesn't happen again.”

Emergency personnel with Rural/Metro responded to the scene of the incident at about 7:30 p.m. Dec. 21. They found the crop duster had passed over two field worker buses, spraying about 40 farmworkers with agchemicals.

Many of the farmworkers were complaining of irritation to the eyes, nose, throat and skin after being exposed to the agchemicals. Because of the large number of patients involved, Rural/Metro was assisted by the Yuma Fire Department and the Somerton/Cocopah Fire Department.

Emergency personnel with Rural/Metro and YFD set up a portable decontamination zone at the site while Yuma County Sheriff's deputies cordoned off the area.

The process of decontaminating each farmworker involved stripping them down and then rinsing them off with a fire hose. The situation was made even more unpleasant because the temperature was in the mid-50s.

After initial decontamination, at least 10 farmworkers were sent to Yuma Regional Medical Center for additional treatment. Nine of the workers were released later that night after further decontamination and evaluation in the Emergency Department. One person was admitted overnight and released the next morning. None of the injuries were critical.

Source:  http://www.yumasun.com

Bell 407, Med-Trans Corporation, N534MT: Accident occurred December 29, 2012 in Big Lake, Texas

NTSB Identification: CEN13LA119 
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Saturday, December 29, 2012 in Big Lake, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/23/2015
Aircraft: BELL 407, registration: N534MT
Injuries: 4 Uninjured.

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

The pilot reported that, while in cruise flight, the helicopter suddenly yawed 10 degrees right. He was able to control the yaw and subsequently heard an alarm and observed an rpm warning light. After silencing the alarm, he noticed a 2- to 3-percent decrease in rpm for the engine and rotor. As the pilot began to scan the flight controls and instruments, he saw the “check instrument segment” illuminate, and the measured gas temperature gauge begin to flash and display a reading of “E 920.” The pilot stated that all of the other engine indications were in the normal operating ranges. During the precautionary landing, when the helicopter was about 10 to 15 ft above ground level and 20 knots, the engine “quit.” The pilot responded by moving the throttle to idle and increasing the collective pitch. The helicopter subsequently hit the ground hard, which resulted in substantial damage to the tailboom. 
During the postaccident examination of the engine, three fractures were found in the outer combustion case at the fuel nozzle port. Two of the three fractures originated at the intersection of the circumferential weld that joined the reinforcing ring to the main skin and exhibited heat tinting consistent with the cracks having been open during engine operation. The third fracture ran adjacent to the reinforcing ring to the main skin interface. All three fractures exhibited signatures consistent with high-cycle fatigue. The investigation determined that the operator was not conducting the manufacturer-recommended postflight and scheduled maintenance inspections of the outer combustion case; these cracks would likely have been detected during such inspections.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The loss of engine power due to the fatigue failure of the outer combustion case at the fuel nozzle port. Contributing to the accident was the operator’s failure to conduct the recommended routine inspections of the outer combustion case. 

On December 29, 2012, at 1148 central standard time, a Bell 407 helicopter, N534MT, was substantially damaged during a hard landing at Reagan County Airport (E41), Big Lake, Texas. The pilot, flight nurse, flight paramedic, and patient were not injured. The helicopter was registered to and operated by Med-Trans Air Medical Transport under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 as a non-scheduled domestic passenger flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated on a company visual flight rules flight plan. The flight originated from Fort Stockton, Texas, at 1114, and was en route to the Shannon Medical Center Heliport (03TS), San Angelo, Texas.

According to the written statement provided by the pilot, the helicopter was in cruise flight, at an altitude of 1,500 feet mean sea level, when helicopter suddenly yawed 10 degrees to the right. The pilot was able to control the yaw and subsequently heard an audio alarm. He observed a RPM warning light and a 2 to 3 percent decrease in RPM for the engine and rotor. As the pilot began to scan his flight controls and instruments, the "check instrument segment" illuminated, and the measured gas temperature gauge began to flash and display a reading of "E 920." 

The pilot stated that all other engine indications were in normal ranges; however, the entire crew agreed that they should land. The pilot slowed the helicopter to about 80 knots, prepared for a running landing, and continued to cross-check his instruments and prepare for an autorotation if necessary. As the helicopter crossed the threshold to the runway, he smelled "a burning grease or oil product" but did not observe smoke or fire. The flight nurse reported an increase in temperature at her crew station. 

At 10 to 15 feet above ground level and 20 knots, the engine "quit." The pilot responded by moving the throttle to idle and increasing the collective pitch. The helicopter "fell vertically" and hit the ground hard. During the impact the skids spread out horizontally and the main rotor blades flexed down and severed the tail boom. 

During the post-accident examination of the engine, three fractures in the outer combustion case, around the fuel nozzle port, were observed. Two of the three fractures originated at the intersection of the circumferential weld that joined the reinforcing ring to the main skin. The third fracture ran adjacent to the reinforcing ring to the main skin interface. All three fractures exhibited signatures consistent with high cycle fatigue. The welds and material on the outer combustion case were to engineering specifications. 

Further examination of the two fractures, which originated from the reinforcing ring to the main skin, exhibited darker heat tinting consistent with this area being open during engine operation. The darker tinting was not observed in the third fracture. In addition, investigators documented contact between the aft firewall on the engine bay and the fuel spray nozzle. 

Investigators established that the operator was not conducting the post-flight and scheduled maintenance inspections of the outer combustion case as recommended by Rolls Royce in M250-C47B Operations and Maintenance Manual. 

The examination of the remaining engine sections revealed no anomalies. An examination of the airframe revealed evidence of contact between the aft firewall of the engine bay and the engine's fuel spray nozzle. The examination of the remaining airframe and related systems revealed no anomalies.


http://registry.faa.gov/N534MT

NTSB Identification: CEN13LA119 
 Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Saturday, December 29, 2012 in Big Lake, TX
Aircraft: BELL 407, registration: N534MT
Injuries: 4 Uninjured.

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

On December 29, 2012, about 1148 central standard time, a Bell 407 helicopter, N534MT, lost engine power and crashed while diverting to Reagan Municipal Airport (E41), Big Lake, Texas. The three crewmembers and one passenger received no injuries. The aircraft received substantial damage. The aircraft was registered to and operated by Med-Trans Corporation under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 as an on-demand Emergency Medical Services operator. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated on a company visual flight rules flight plan. The flight originated from a hospital helipad in Ft Stockton, Texas, at 1114, with its intended destination as San Angelo, Texas.

The pilot declared an emergency and elected to divert due to an engine anomaly. Additionally, just prior to the loss of engine power, the flight crew stated that an odor similar to burning grease or oil was evident in the aircraft cabin. During the forced landing, the helicopter’s main rotor blades struck the tail boom, severing the tail rotor gearbox assembly at the horizontal stabilizer.


IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 534MT        Make/Model: B407      Description: Bell 407
  Date: 12/29/2012     Time: 1750

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

LOCATION
  City: BIG LAKE   State: TX   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  N534MT BELL 407 ROTORCRAFT AFTER LIFT OFF, SET BACK DOWN WITH UNKNOWN 
  DAMAGE, BIG LAKE, TX

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


OTHER DATA
  Activity: Air Ambulance      Phase: Unknown      Operation: OTHER


  FAA FSDO: LUBBOCK, TX  (SW13)                   Entry date: 12/31/2012 

 



Story, video and photo:  http://www.kwes.com

BIG LAKE - New information has been released in the Aerocare helicopter landing that happened in Big Lake.

We've learned a nurse on board the helicopter was injured.

DPS officials say just before noon Saturday, the medical aircraft carrying a pilot and two nurses was taking a patient from Fort Stockton to San Angelo.

On the way, the helicopter had mechanical problems, forcing the pilot to make a hard landing at the Big Lake Regional Airport.

The impact injured one of the nurses.

She was taken by air to Midland Memorial Hospital and is said to be in stable condition.

The pilot, the other nurse and the patient were all ok but the patient was still taken to Shannon Medical Center in San Angelo.

Officials were out for several hours investigating and cleaning up the debris.

The wreckage has been stored into hangar at the airport until the Federal Aviation Administration arrives to complete the investigation.

We're told Federal Aviation Administration officials could come as early as Sunday.

Lancair IV-P Turbine, N5M: Fatal accident occurred December 29, 2012 in Lakeside, California

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

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

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

NTSB Identification: WPR13FA
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, December 29, 2012 in Lakeside, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/02/2014
Aircraft: MCKENZIE LANCAIR IV-P TURBINE, registration: N5M
Injuries: 3 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 noninstrument-rated private pilot departed on a cross-country flight in the amateur-built, experimental, turbine-powered airplane. The weather observations indicated two layers of clouds with multiple base layers from 3,600 feet above ground level (agl) and a broken ceiling about 6,000 feet agl. After departure, the pilot told an air traffic controller that he was looking for a hole to get above the clouds. The airplane was likely flying between the two cloud layers as the pilot attempted to find a hole in order to climb above the upper cloud layer. Six minutes after departure, witnesses on the ground observed the airplane descending in a “flat spin.” The recorded data from the airplane’s onboard electronic flight information system showed that the pilot had climbed to about 6,858-feet pressure altitude (about 5,800 feet agl) while letting the airplane’s airspeed decay from about 220 knots to about 76 knots, at which time the airplane entered a spin. The data showed that the airplane completed about seven 360-degree rotations in the spin before it impacted the ground. Further, the data indicated that the airplane’s engine was operating normally, and after the first 360-degree rotation, the propeller rpm dropped from about 1,800 to 1,000, consistent with the pilot feathering the propeller. Postaccident examination of the airplane revealed damage consistent with the airplane impacting terrain in a flat spin, and the propeller blades were found in the feathered position. No evidence of any preimpact mechanical discrepancies were found with the airplane’s airframe, engine, or propeller that would have prevented normal operation.


The medications metoprolol and tamsulosin were detected at unquantified levels in the pilot’s muscle and liver. Neither of these medications was likely to have resulted in impairment. The pilot had reported use of tamsulosin to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in May 2011. The use of metoprolol was not reported to the FAA, and it is unknown when the pilot began taking this medication or for what reason he was taking it.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot’s failure to maintain airspeed while attempting a visual climb through a broken cloud layer, which resulted in a stall/spin.


HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On December 29, 2012, about 1015 Pacific standard time, a McKenzie Lancair IV-P Turbine, amateur-built experimental airplane, N5M, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain in an uncontrolled descent near Lakeside, California. The private pilot and his two passengers were fatally injured. The pilot/owner was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal cross-country flight, which had originated from Montgomery Field Airport, San Diego, California, approximately 6 minutes before the accident, with an intended destination of Deer Valley Airport, Phoenix, Arizona. A flight plan had not been filed.

The pilot contacted the Montgomery Field air traffic control tower at 1005:26, and requested taxi for takeoff and an east-bound departure. He acknowledged receiving instructions to taxi to runway 28R. At 1008:56, the pilot was cleared for takeoff and instructed to make a right downwind (east) departure, which would keep the airplane clear of the class B airspace located 1.5 nautical miles (nm) north of Montgomery Field. However, after takeoff, the airplane did not turn to the east, rather it flew north towards the class B airspace. When the tower controller queried the pilot about his intentions stating that he was about to enter the class B airspace, the pilot replied that he was turning eastbound. The airplane continued north, entering class B airspace without a clearance, before it turned eastbound.

At 1012:08, the pilot checked in with his next controller. He stated that he was eastbound and "…trying to get above the clouds but… couldn't find a hole…." He then requested flight following to Deer Valley. The controller gave the pilot a discreet transponder squawk code of 5217, instructed him to fly a heading of 060 degrees for departure from the class B airspace, and cleared him to "climb VFR [visual flight rules]" at his discretion.

At 1014:53, the controller told the pilot to reset his transponder squawk code to 1321. The pilot did not respond. At 1015:22, the controller asked the pilot if he could hear his transmissions. At 1015:26, the pilot responded with "trouble…." The controller made repeated attempts to contact the pilot with negative results. Witnesses on the ground reported seeing the airplane below a cloud layer descending in a "flat spin" until they lost sight of it behind a hill. The witnesses heard a "loud thud" and reported the accident to local authorities.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The 65-year-old pilot held a private pilot certificate with airplane multiengine land and airplane single engine land ratings. He did not possess an instrument rating. His most recent third-class Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) medical certificate was issued on May 5, 2011. He reported on his most recent medical application that he had about 1,600 hours of flight experience and had flown about 50 hours in the past 6 months.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane was a single-turbine-engine-powered, propeller-driven, four seat, pressurized, retractable-gear airplane, which had a special airworthiness certificate (in the experimental category) issued on March 13, 2003. The airplane was built by an individual from a kit manufactured by Lancair International, Inc. It was powered by a Walters M601-EX free turbine engine, serial number 874-039, which had a maximum takeoff rating of 740 horsepower and a continuous rating of 657 horsepower. It had a three bladed, constant speed, full feathering Hartzell propeller. According to the airplane's maintenance logbooks, the most recent condition inspection was completed on November 10, 2011. According to an entry in the airframe logbook dated June 1, 2003, the airplane's builder flight tested the airplane and determined that, at a gross weight of 3,300 pounds, the stall speed in the landing configuration (Vso) was 65 knots; the stall speed clean (Vs) was 80 knots; best angle of climb speed (Vx) was 120 knots; and best rate of climb speed (Vy) was 140 knots.

According to a weight and balance document from the airplane's maintenance records dated June 1, 2005, its maximum takeoff gross weight was 3,890 pounds; its empty weight was 2,492 pounds; and its center of gravity range was 86.5 to 94.5 inches. An estimate of the airplane's weight and balance at the time of the accident was calculated; the estimate indicated that the airplane's gross weight was 3,751 pounds, and its center of gravity was 92.4 inches.

The cockpit instrumentation included two Sierra Flight Systems Integrated Display Units (IDU), which are Electronic Flight Information Systems (EFIS). These systems provide multifunction display (MFD) and primary flight display (PFD) capabilities.

The pilot purchased the airplane on June 6, 2005.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

At 0953, the weather conditions at Montgomery Field Airport (elevation 427 feet), located 235 degrees for 10 nautical miles (nm) from the accident site, were as follows: wind 130 degrees at 6 knots; visibility 10 statute miles (sm); cloud condition, overcast at 5,500 feet; temperature 54 degrees Fahrenheit; dew point 39 degrees Fahrenheit; altimeter setting 30.08 inches of Mercury.

At 0955, the weather conditions at Miramar Marine Corps Air Station (elevation 477 feet), San Diego, located 250 degrees for 9 nm from the accident site, were as follows: wind 130 degrees at 5 knots; visibility 10 sm; cloud condition, broken at 3,500 feet and broken at 20,000 feet; temperature 55 degrees Fahrenheit; dew point 39 degrees Fahrenheit; altimeter setting 30.07 inches of Mercury.

At 1047, Gillespie Field Airport (elevation 388 feet), San Diego, 180 degrees for 5 nm from the accident site, were as follows: wind calm; visibility 15 sm; cloud condition, scattered at 3,600 feet and broken at 6,000 feet; temperature 54 degrees Fahrenheit; dew point 37 degrees Fahrenheit; altimeter setting 30.06 inches of Mercury. This observation indicated two layers of clouds with multiple base layers from 3,600 feet above ground level (agl) and a broken ceiling at 6,000 feet agl.

A National Transportation Safety Board Weather Study was performed. The meteorologist reported that satellite data indicated a band of clouds extended from the coast of the Pacific Ocean, over the accident area, to approximately 50 miles inland. The clouds tops over the accident site were from 7,000 to 5,000 feet agl. No cumulonimbus clouds or thunderstorms were indicated over the region at the time. For more information, see the Weather Study in the public docket for this accident.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane was found at an elevation of 1,060 feet on a chaparral covered steep hillside in the Goodan Ranch Sycamore Canyon Preserve in San Diego County. The initial impact was about 150 feet down from a ridge crest, and the ground scar was oriented on a magnetic heading of about 350 degrees. The ground scar extended about 80 feet to the main wreckage. The airplane was found upright and flat, with its fuselage aligned about 350 degrees. The empennage had broken from the fuselage and was resting inverted on the top of the cabin section of the fuselage. The wings were in place and extensively damaged. From the initial impact point to the fuselage, large pieces of the lower wing skins were found. There was no evidence of fire.

The propeller spinner was crushed inward on about 1/3 of its diameter. The spinner did not exhibit any indications of rotation. One propeller blade was separated about 12 inches from its hub. The other two blades remained attached but were bent in a bow-like fashion. All three propeller blades were found in their feathered positions. All the airplane's components were accounted for at the accident site. Following the on scene examination, the wreckage was recovered to a secure salvage yard.

On January 4, 2013, at the salvage yard, the wreckage was further examined by a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator, two FAA inspectors, and a representative of the kit manufacturer. The NTSB investigator oversaw the removal of the airplane's PFD, MFD, Engine AirData computer, and a Garmin 530 GPS/Nav/Comm unit.

On January 29 and 30, 2013, at the salvage yard, under the supervision of an NTSB investigator, a representative of the propeller manufacturer examined the airplane's propeller. The propeller manufacturer's representative stated that "the crushing damage to the spinner dome showed evidence of contact with a blade counterweight and piston. The spinner damage clearly indicated that the blades and piston were in the feather position at the time the spinner was crushed by impact." During the postaccident examinations, no evidence of any pre-impact mechanical discrepancies was found with the airplane's airframe, engine, or propeller that would have prevented normal operation.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

The PFD, MFD, and Engine AirData computer were shipped to the NTSB's Vehicle Recorder Division in Washington, D.C. for recovery of stored flight data. Identical data was recovered from the PFD and the MFD; the Engine AirData computer does not record data. The accident flight was recorded on December 29, 2012, between 1004:42 and 1015:29. A full report, titled "Cockpit Displays – Recorded Flight Data," with plots of the recorded parameters is available in the public docket for this accident. The owner of the company that performed the most recent condition inspection reported that the parameter labeled N2 in the report was propeller rpm.

The recording indicated that the airplane departed about 1009:28. The airplane climbed out to the northwest, and about 3,100 feet pressure altitude, it began a turn towards the northeast. It initially climbed to a maximum recorded pressure altitude of 5,238 feet and then descended to 3,868 feet pressure altitude by 1013:35. The airplane then climbed to a maximum recorded pressure altitude of 6,858 feet at 1014:51. After reaching this maximum altitude, it descended to a last recorded pressure altitude of 1,428 feet at 1015:29.

After takeoff, the compressor turbine speed designated as N1 was about 95% and remained so until about 1012:24, when the airplane began to descend out of about 5,000 feet pressure altitude. By about 1012:38, N1 decreased to about 79%, the airplane was descending, and indicated airspeed was decreasing through 201 knots. From takeoff until about 1014:57, N2 was about 1,800 rpm. About 1013:40, N1 increased to 94%, as the airplane began to climb out of 3,968 feet pressure altitude, and the indicated airspeed decreased through 189 knots. During the time period from 1013:40 until 1014:41, the pitch attitude increased from 5 degrees to 26 degrees, the airspeed continued to decrease, the altitude increased, the bank angle was less than 5 degrees, and the airplane was heading northeasterly.

At 1014:35, the pitch attitude continued to increase to a maximum recorded value of 44.5 degrees; this pitch attitude was reached when the airspeed decreased to 76 knots. At 1014:46, the airplane began to roll left to a bank angle of 38 degrees, which then reduced to 8 degrees left before increasing to a maximum recorded value of 93 degrees left by 1014:53.

After 1014:52, the airplane began to descend, and the recorded heading cyclically rotated to the left, making nearly seven 360-degree turns before the recording ended at 1015:29. During the descent, the indicated airspeed reached a maximum value of about 95 knots, and the bank angle varied between about 20 degrees left and right.

After the first 360-degree heading change, at 1014:57, N1 and N2 began to decrease, with N1 reaching a minimum value of 64% at 1015:05 and N2 was reaching about 1,000 rpm at 1014:59. At 1015:18, as the airplane passed through about 3,200 feet pressure altitude, N1 began to increase. Over the next 4 seconds, N1 increased to 96% where it remained until the end of the recording. Over the last 30 seconds of recorded flight, N2 fluctuated between about 600 rpm and 1,200 rpm and did not increase when N2 began to increase at 1015:18

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The San Diego County Office of the Medical Examiner performed an autopsy on the pilot on December 30, 2012. The FAA's Civil Aeromedical Institute (CAMI) in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicology tests on the pilot. Carbon monoxide and cyanide testing were not performed; no blood was available for testing. The muscle sample tested had 15 mg/dL of ethanol; however, the ethanol was from sources other than ingestion. No ethanol was detected in the heart or the brain. Muscle and liver samples were positive for metoprolol (a prescription beta-blocker used to treat high blood pressure, angina and control heart rate in some arrhythmias) and tamsulosin (a prescription medication used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia).

On his medical certificate application dated May 5, 2011, the pilot reported the use of tamsulosin for benign prostatic hyperplasia. No other medication use was reported.



 http://www.flickr.com/photos

http://registry.faa.gov/N5M

NTSB Identification: WPR13FA076
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, December 29, 2012 in Lakeside, CA
Aircraft: MCKENZIE GREG LANCAIR IV-P TURBINE, registration: N5M
Injuries: 3 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 29, 2012, at about 1014 Pacific standard time, a McKenzie, Lancair IV-P turbine, N5M, was substantially damaged following impact with terrain near Lakeside, California. The private pilot and his two passengers were fatally injured. The pilot/owner was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal cross-country flight, which had originated from Montgomery Field, San Diego, California, approximately 9 minutes before the accident. A flight plan had not been filed.

The pilot was receiving flight following from an air traffic controller for his flight to Phoenix Deer Valley Airport, Phoenix, Arizona. Witnesses reported seeing the airplane coming out of the clouds rotating until it impacted the ground. There was no postimpact fire.



PHOENIX - A prominent valley family was killed over the weekend when their plane crashed in California on their way back to Phoenix. William A. Stern, the owner of Stern Produce, was killed along with his wife and their 19-year-old daughter.

William's son Billy sent out a statement Monday, saying Stern Produce lost a great leader. He says he'll honor his dad by continuing his vision and high level of customer service.

William Stern Jr., his wife Jennifer, and their daughter Katelyn were all together on their plane when it went down near San Diego. Friends say Stern flew his Lancair IV-P for more than 6 years, traveling to and from California. It's a home-built plane. The FAA considers it an experimental aircraft.

Outside the stern's home along Camelback Mountain, Katelyn's friends left flowers at the edge of the driveway.

"It's surreal, still we still kind of can't believe this is real," said Jessica Michael, grade school friend.

Friends called her Katey. She was 19-years-old and a student at SMU.

"Remembering her laugh and everything about her and she'll really be really missed."

William Stern Jr. is the owner of Stern Produce with warehouses in Phoenix, Flagstaff and Tucson. The NTSB and FAA are investigating the cause of the crash.

Back in 2010, the FAA did send a notice out to pilots letting them know to take extra precautions because there have been a "disproportionate" number of fatal crashes on amateur built planes like the Lancair IV-P.

Statement by William A. Stern III
To our valued customers and colleagues,

On Saturday, Stern Produce Company lost a great leader. Our owner and president Bill Stern died in a tragic plane crash along with his wife and daughter. The accident happened just outside of San Diego as they were traveling back home to Phoenix.

While there are many questions left to answer regarding the accident itself, there are no questions regarding the future of our company.

With Bill's leadership and planning we will maintain our current high level of customer service, quality products and operations to our customers. We will continue to be a family owned and privately held company.

We lost a tremendous leader and friend and will honor Bill by continuing the vision, focus and traditions he established. While our hearts are heavy, we will continue in the direction set forth by Bill.

The Stern Family and all the team at Stern Produce thank our loyal customers and the entire community for their thoughts and prayers.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.

http://www.myfoxphoenix.com


Officials say 19 year old Katelyn Stern, 53 year old Jennifer Stern, and 65 year old William Stern died when their plane crashed in the Sycamore Canyon Open Space Preserve, north of Santee, CA.




LAKESIDE — Three people killed in a plane crash near Lakeside on Saturday have been identified as a husband and wife from Arizona and their teen-aged daughter. 

William Arthur Stern Jr., 65, his wife, Jennifer, 53, and their daughter, Katelyn, 19, all perished when the Lancair turbine airplane they were flying in on their way home crashed, the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s office said Sunday.

The family was returning to their home in Phoenix about 10:15 a.m. when the plane plunged into the Sycamore Canyon Open Space Preserve for reasons that are not yet known.

William Stern was a partner in a prominent family produce company that has been in business in Arizona since 1917.

They had taken off from Montgomery Field minutes before the accident en route to Deer Valley Airport in Phoenix. The crash remains under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration. 







Investigators at the scene of small aircraft with three people aboard has crashed in the Lakeside area north of Slaughter House Canyon Road within the Sycamore Canyon Open Space Preserve west of state Route 67.




(Photo courtesy: J. Carroll / 10News)





Previous Accident:
NTSB Identification: LAX06LA166. 
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records


— A pilot from Phoenix, his wife and daughter died in the crash of their small, home-built aircraft Saturday in the Lakeside area within the Sycamore Canyon Open Space Preserve.
 
The names of the three, one male and two females, were not released. They were identified by the county Medical Examiner's office as a 65-year-old man, his wife, 53, and daughter, 19.

Their four-seat, single-engine Lancair IV-P had departed from San Diego’s Montgomery Field en route to Deer Valley Airport in Phoenix, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said.

Some hikers saw the plane go down and called 911 at 10:18 a.m., a sheriff’s official said.

According to witness reports, “the plane was in some type of spin coming out of the sky,” said sheriff’s Sgt. David Hale.

A sheriff’s helicopter crew found the debris and bodies in a remote canyon west of state Route 67 and Slaughter House Canyon Road.

The husband was piloting the plane with his wife in the front passenger seat and daughter in a back seat, the Medical Examiner’s Office said.

Authorities said the remains of an animal also were found at the crash site.

The helicopter was used to lift the bodies out of the canyon, a sheriff’s official said.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating. A preliminary NTSB report may be issued in a week or two, but the full investigation may take several months, Gregor said.

The FAA withheld the aircraft’s tail number until next of kin have been notified.

The Lancair website says the IV-P is one of a series of aircraft kits no longer in production.
 
Designed to be home-built, the four-seat plane is made of lightweight carbon fiber and has a pressurized cabin for flight at high altitudes, according to the Lancair website.

FAA officials notified Lancair operators on Sept. 25, 2009 that the plane had a “disproportionate” number of fatal accidents, according to a story by Bloomberg News earlier this year.

Lancairs represented about 3 percent of the U.S. amateur- built fleet and were involved in 16 percent of the group’s fatal accidents in the previous 11 months, the FAA said in its 2009 notice.

Bloomberg reported that the Lancair IV-P is categorized by the FAA as an experimental aircraft, meaning it’s not subject to the same certification standards as a factory-built plane. 

A small airplane crashed near a hiking area in the East County Saturday morning, Cal Fire officials confirmed. 

 The downed plane was reported at around 10:15 a.m. near Slaughterhouse Canyon Road in Lakeside, within the Sycamore Canyon Open Space Preserve.

Cal Fire Capt. Mike Mohler confirmed reports and said officials responded to the scene just west of State Route 67. Mohler said a hiker in the area first reported the downed aircraft.

A separate Cal Fire official told NBC 7 that three people were aboard the plane at the time of the crash. They were all confirmed dead at the scene.

By 11:20 a.m., Heartland Fire crews had hiked into the scene of the crash and made contact with the airplane. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and FAA are now investigating.

According to Ian Gregor, public affairs manager for the FAA Pacific Region, the aircraft was an experimental Lancair IV-P plane. It crashed under unknown circumstances.

Gregor says the pilot of the plane had departed from Montgomery Field in San Diego and was headed for Deer Valley Airport in Phoenix, Ariz.

The crash victims’ identities have not yet been released. Sgt. David Hale from the Santee Sheriff's Station told NBC 7 the victims were one male and two females, but had no additional details.

Officials spent hours at the scene of the crash hoisting the victims out of the wreckage and gathering evidence.

Sgt. Hale told NBC 7 that officials received some reports from wtinesses who said the plane was possibly spinning as it was coming down from the sky.

http://www.nbcsandiego.com


Story and Photo:  http://fox5sandiego.com


SAN DIEGO - Authorities say three people were killed when a home-built airplane crashed in a San Diego County nature preserve. 

 Sheriff's Lt. Scott Amos says the single-engine plane went down Saturday morning within Sycamore Canyon Open Space Preserve near Lakeside. Amos says there were three people on board and all were killed.

The incident was reported at about 10:18 a.m. Preliminary reports indicated that the plane went down west of state Route 67 off Slaughterhouse Canyon Road.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor says the four-seat Lancair IV-P had departed from San Diego's Montgomery Field en route to Deer Valley Airport in Phoenix. The FAA withheld the aircraft's tail number until next of kin have been notified.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.

The Lancair website says the Lancair IV-P is one of a series of aircraft kits that are no longer in production.

Plane Struck By Lightning Makes Emergency Landing At Los Angeles International Airport (KLAX), California


 LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A plane has made an emergency landing at Los Angeles International Airport after being struck by lightning. 

Ian Gregor, the Public Affairs Manager for the Federal Aviation Administration-Pacific Region, says the Delta Flight 284 landed without incident at 8:05 a.m. Saturday.

The Airbus A330 was scheduled to arrive at LAX after departing from Narita International Airport in Japan.

According to Gregor, the plane reported the lightning strike “about 8 miles northwest of LAX at 6,000 to 8,000 feet altitude.”

Firefighters met the plane, which declared an emergency, as it touched down.

No injuries have been reported and no damage was sustained to the plane.

No further information was immediately available. 

The Federal Aviation Administration Doesn't Make You Sit Down Before Your Plane Leaves -- Just Your Stupid Airline

American airlines are showing up on time more often.

"During the first 10 months of 2012," the Boston Globe reports, "on-time arrival rates at US airports were the highest they have been since 2003." The best on-time performance in almost a decade should be reason for celebration. But what have airlines done to make the schedules click a bit better?

The Globe cites a fascinating example in JetBlue, which operates most of its flights between some of America's most crowded airports, including Boston Logan, Washington-DCA, Washington Dulles, and both JFK and LaGuardia airports in New York. JetBlue's on-time performance, consequently, is among the worst in the industry.

But the airline came up with a clever way of improving its position—and one other airlines should imitate.

JetBlue decided that not all of its passengers had to be seated before it closed its planes' cabin doors. Most flyers, who are used to having to be in their seats before the doors are closed, probably thought the Federal Aviation Administration demanded it. That's not the case, apparently—and it's surprising that more airlines are not following JetBlue's lead. The airline shaved four minutes off every flight—an eternity when you're making short hops between Boston and New York—allowing it to add an extra plane per day, and boosting its on-time performance to 80% up to the end of October, up from 71% over the same period last year.

Alaska Airlines, which like its outside-the-lower-48 cousin Hawaiian Airlines, often leads on-time performance rankings, has a "rigorous set of rules" to ensure everything moves smoothly, the Globe explains:
Ramp workers must be in position 10 minutes before an arrival, ready to unload bags and load up the next flight. One minute after the plane taxis to the gate, a ­mechanic arrives and the passenger door opens. At the five-minute mark, the cleaning crew has to be on the jet bridge. If the bags are not on the carousel in 20 minutes, ­every passenger receives a $20 voucher. There are also on-time incen­tives for Alaska Airlines employees. For every month the carrier hits its goals, each of its 10,000 employees gets $50.
These are all excellent ideas, and worth sharing. The whole Globe story is worth a read. Meanwhile, Friday night featured another reminder of how safe air travel in the United States has become: an American Airlines jet had an engine fail, but returned to the airport and made a successful emergency landing. Improving on-time performance is great news. But American carriers' continued excellent safety record is worth even more applause. Cheers.

Runway reconstruction to resume at Tulsa International Airport (KTUL), Oklahoma



Beginning Wednesday, the main 10,000-foot north-south runway at Tulsa International Airport will be closed for construction for nearly six months, airport executives and federal officials said.

The airport will remain open over the next several months as contractors undertake the largest single airfield construction project ever awarded at Tulsa International Airport: the $19.9 million reconstruction of 7,000 feet of the main runway.

Airline traffic will be shifted to the 7,376-foot east-west, or crosswind, runway and the 6,101-foot west, or general aviation, runway at Tulsa International during construction, said Jeff Hough, deputy airports director of engineering and facilities.

"I don't think people will notice use of the west runway that much," Hough said. "They will notice the use of the east-west runway because it will be in regular use. And people living to the south along Memorial (Drive) will notice it too - no (airline) traffic."

Airport executives and representatives of the Federal Aviation Administration have worked with the design team at Atkins and the contractor Interstate Highway Construction Inc., Englewood, Colo., and airport tenants to minimize the impact to flight operations, officials said.

"Airport staff and contractors are committed to completing this project with minimal disruption to flight operations paired with acute awareness of the safety considerations that come into play with an airfield project," said Airports Director Jeff Mulder. "I consider this infrastructure project to be critical to the economic activity of our region and am pleased that we were able to move forward with an advanced construction schedule to minimize the impact to airport customers."

Airport and FAA officials said airline passengers may encounter flight delays or cancellations when weather conditions limit operations on the east-west runway.

If northerly or southerly winds exceed 25 knots or 29 mph, the cloud ceiling is below 500 feet or visibility is less than 1.5 miles, aircraft operations on the east-west runway could be affected, officials said.

"We don't see any issues in using those runways even in poor weather conditions," said FAA spokesman Tony Molinaro. "We had our (air traffic) controllers working with airport officials for several months on how we're going to handle (airline) traffic."

The two runways in use during the next six months have different navigation aids.

The east-west runway has a Global Positioning System satellite-based navigation system, while the west runway has the older non-satellite-based Instrument Landing System.

The west runway's asphalt pavement, unlike the concrete crosswind runway, is weight limited at 100,000 pounds, but operations with aircraft up to 150,000 pounds, such as the Boeing 737, will be permitted under adverse weather conditions, Hough said.

"A considerable number of aircraft flying in here don't have GPS technology and so will go around and use the west side (runway)," Hough said.

The runway project is the third phase of a four-part main runway reconstruction project that is expected to cost $55 million and take up to five years to complete, airport executives said.

The $6.8 million first phase began in April 2011 and rebuilt the southern 1,285 feet of the main runway.

The $6.8 million second phase began in February and replaced the northern 1,240 feet of the runway.

In 2014, contractors are expected to begin the most complex phase - and most disruptive to airport operations - the reconstruction of the intersection of the main north-south runway and the east-west runway.

The main runway was last reconstructed in 1982, airport executives said.
Phase 3 reconstruction of main north-south runway, Tulsa International Airport
Dimensions: 7,000 feet long, 150 feet wide, 18 inches deep concrete, or about 60,000 cubic yards of concrete, which is equivalent to 15 miles of a two-lane highway

Cost: $19.9 million

Project duration: 135 days, beginning Wednesday, with completion in mid-May to June, depending on weather delays

Contractor: Interstate Highway Construction Inc., Englewood, Colo.

Source: Tulsa Airport Authority

Story, photos, reaction/comments:   http://www.tulsaworld.com

http://tulsaairports.com

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