Saturday, January 12, 2013

Schweizer 269C-1, G-LINX: United Technologies, Textron Lose Bid to End Crash Suit

United Technologies Corp. and Textron Inc. lost a bid to dismiss a wrongful-death lawsuit when a federal judge ruled that Pennsylvania wasn’t an unreasonable location to try a U.K. helicopter-crash case.

The accident happened Sept. 22, 2009, north of Liverpool, when a helicopter made by United Technologies’ Schweizer unit and powered by a Textron-Lycoming engine experienced an alleged equipment failure and fell to the ground, killing flight instructor Steven Lewis and student pilot Philip Gray, according to court papers.

Schweizer and Lycoming are both located in Pennsylvania, the wreckage has been shipped to Delaware, and producing technical witnesses and documents in the U.K. “would be much more costly and less convenient than producing them in Philadelphia,” U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle wrote in a 21- page ruling yesterday.

The lawsuit, citing product liability and negligence, was filed in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas in September 2011 before being transferred to federal court. Representatives of the Lewis and Gray estates are seeking a jury trial and unspecified damages.

Lewis, 38, and Gray, 46, were flying on a clear, dry day when the engine of the Schweizer 269C-1 lost power, according to an article about the case published by the Liverpool Daily Post on April 13, 2011.

Daniel Rose, a plaintiffs’ lawyer, said Bartle’s opinion was “well reasoned and objective,” and he looks forward to “getting to the merits” of the case.

Catherine Slavin, representing Providence, Rhode Island- based Textron, and James Stroud, representing Hartford, Connecticut-based United Technologies, didn’t immediately return e-mail messages seeking comment on the ruling.

The case is Lewis v. Lycoming, 11-cv-6475, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia). 


NTSB Identification: CEN09WA598 
14 CFR Non-U.S., Non-Commercial
Accident occurred Tuesday, September 22, 2009 in Blackpool, United Kingdom
Aircraft: SCHWEIZER 269C, registration: G-LINX
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

The foreign authority was the source of this information.

On September 22, 2009, at 1104 universal coordinated time, a Schweizer 269C helicopter, United Kingdom registered G-LINX, registered to Heli-Lynx Limited, was destroyed when it impacted terrain near Blackpool, Lancashire, England. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The accident flight originated from Blackpool.

The accident investigation is under the jurisdiction and control of the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB). This report is for informational purposes only and contains only information released by or obtained from the government of the United Kingdom. Further information pertaining to this accident may be obtained from:

Air Accidents Investigation Branch
Department for Transport
Farnborough House
Berkshire Copse Road
Aldershot, Hampshire
GU11 2HH, United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 1252 510300

Konshok in Aviation Hall of Fame

Dave R. Konshok
 (Sarah Smith / Enterprise)

A Park Rapids man who already has an airfield named after him will be inducted into Minnesota’s Aviation Hall of Fame in April. 

 Dave R. Konshok, who has been involved in Park Rapids aviation 55 years, will be the honoree at a ceremony April 20 at the Mall of America.

In that honor, he joins Park Rapids resident Noel Allard.

Konskok, the father of City Council member Dave W. Konshok, became a licensed pilot right after WWII. Although he no longer flies, the senior Konshok has logged miles and miles into his flight books.

“To get an airport named after you while you’re still alive is a pretty rare event,” son Dave said at Tuesday night’s council meeting.

Residents are lining up a crowd of support to attend the ceremony. Contact either Allard or Konshok junior if you’re interested.

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New Massport boss optimistic about JetBlue and Worcester

Massport CEO Thomas Glynn, in Worcester on Friday, January 11, 2013, said, "JetBlue is very interested in working with you and working with us."

Friday, January 11, 2013 

By Priyanka Dayal McCluskey TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF 

WORCESTER — JetBlue Airways may start offering daily flights from Worcester to two Florida destinations by 2014, Massport officials told business and civic leaders today.

Aviation Director Edward C. Freni said the airline is considering two flights a day, seven days a week, starting with the vacation hotspots of Orlando and Fort Lauderdale. The planes would seat about 100 passengers, and fare prices would be comparable to or lower than similar flights out of Logan International Airport in Boston.

Thomas P. Glynn, who became chief executive officer of the Massachusetts Port Authority in November, said JetBlue's continued interest in Worcester is cause for optimism, but he stopped short of confirming the airline would definitely launch service here. The decision is ultimately up to the airline, he said.

“JetBlue is very interested in working with you and working with us,” Mr. Glynn said at a breakfast meeting at the DCU Center.

Asked about JetBlue's plans for Worcester, spokeswoman Tamara Young said in a statement: “Worcester is JetBlue's kind of town — but we won't even be in a position to consider service until 2014.”

Worcester Regional Airport has been devoid of passenger service since the financial collapse of charter service Direct Air last March. Direct Air's fall angered public officials and customers, leaving many stranded with worthless tickets.

Also last year, JetBlue CEO Dave Barger signaled his interest in Worcester last year and visited the city amid much fanfare in August. Senior executives from the New York-based airline are scheduled to visit the city again Jan. 23.

“We normally conduct this portion of new market considerations under the radar,” Ms. Young said, “but the process with Worcester has been highly transparent.”

Massport officials said they're also talking to other airlines — but didn't name names — and have started work on a $30 million Category 3 landing system to make the airport more attractive. The project could take three to six years.

JetBlue's decision to come to Worcester does not hinge on the installation of the new landing system, Mr. Glynn said.

Since buying the hilltop airport from the city in 2010, Massport has spent $9 million on upgrades and plans to spend $9 million more, he said. Massport does not receive state tax dollars, relying instead on fees and other sources of revenue.

Worcester Regional Airport is expected to run a $4.8 million deficit this fiscal year, $1 million more than the deficit recorded last year. Massport's operating budget for fiscal 2013 is $380.4 million, according to

It spends about $5 million to operate the Worcester facility. Rectrix Aviation Inc. of Bedford, the airport's fixed-base operator, serves the general aviation market in Worcester.

Despite recent failures to sustain passenger service in Worcester, state officials have said the Central Massachusetts airport will be an important assetin the future as Logan Airport reaches capacity. Passenger traffic at Logan reached an all-time high of 29 million last year.

U.S. Rep. James P. McGovern, D-Worcester, called the Worcester airport a gem, and Lt. Gov. Timothy P. Murray said a viable airport in Worcester would strengthen not only the city, but also the state.

“We're not building airports anymore, anywhere in the country,” Mr. Freni, of Massport, said in an interview with the T&G. “To let Worcester go would be crazy.”

He said Massport is focusing on major airlines — not charter services like Direct Air — as it works to rebuild traveler confidence in the Worcester airport.

Mr. Glynn, in an interview, defended Massport's past decision to prop up Direct Air with more than $1 million in subsidies when the company was not on firm financial footing. He said he would have supported the subsidies if he had been working at Massport at the time, and noted that the company was successful at least in producing healthy passenger traffic out of Worcester.

“You have to take some risks,” he said.

Mr. Glynn was picked for the top job at Massport, replacing interim chief David S. Mackey, after a lengthy search that included interviews with more than 40 candidates. His career spans the public and private sectors. A former MBTA general manager for Gov. Michael S. Dukakis and deputy U.S.

Labor secretary for President Bill Clinton, Mr. Glynn most recently served as chief operating officer of Partners HealthCare in Boston.

At Massport, he is receiving a salary of $250,000 and oversees 1,100 employees. 

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Hernando offers Hillsborough compromise in airport name battle

BROOKSVILLE -- Don Silvernell admits he sometimes has to catch himself when answering the general phone line at the airport and referring to it by the old name.

“My staff here has been much better than me,” said Silvernell, who is still getting used to the new name of Brooksville-Tampa Regional Airport.

But if Hillsborough County Aviation Authority officials have their way, Silvernell and his staff won’t be saying it much longer. They are forging ahead with a trademark infringement suit against Hernando County and agreed Thursday to spend up to $400,000 to defend the Tampa International Airport name.

Janet Zink, director of communications with Tampa International Airport, said the authority’s attorney said it’s a clear case of “use it or lose it.”

“If you don’t defend your name you lose your ability to use it in the future,” Zink said.

In October, members of the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority proposed a compromise two-line title for the airport, such as, “Brooksville-Hernando County Airport, a Tampa Bay Regional Facility.”

Following news of a $400,000 ready-suit Thursday, county commissioners have considered the following peace offering: Brooksville Tampa-Bay Regional Airport.

“We need to be concentrating more on attracting new business than court battles,” County Commissioner Dave Russell said, adding that the $400,000 figure was a fluster. “And frankly, the Tampa-Bay Regional aspect is what we’re after as a county. We want to be affiliated, and we are affiliated with the Tampa Bay region through a number of organizations.”

Russell said the “Bay” addition is not capitulation but rather a “reasonable compromise.”

“We’ll get the consensus of the board to make an offer before we make it formally,” Russell said. “But the fact is this could be a piece of litigation that, if it can be avoided, should be avoided. And if it’s a simple matter of changing one word that’s reasonable.”

“Now, if they won’t accept Tampa ‘Bay,’ then there’s something seriously wrong over there, because Tampa International cannot lay entire claim over there.”

As far as the likelihood of consensus, Russell says it would be presumptuous to think the board would unequivocally back the name change, and although some think the county should hold their ground, he “wouldn’t imagine” there’d be much disagreement.

“This has come up before, and we’ve discussed the name ‘Tampa Bay,’ and how it made the name more lengthy, so we went with ‘Tampa,’“ Russell said.

Russell also noted that, by statute, anytime there’s a conflict between governmental entities they must engage through mediation prior to going to trial.

“Well, Tampa International chose to flout that law and go directly to the court,” Russell said. “The judge, it ruffled his feathers, and he ordered us to mediation. The judge is looking for us to strike some sort of reasonable compromise, and this by any stretch is.”

Silvernell said staff is going ahead despite the threat of a protracted legal battle. Except for the sign out front bearing the old name, all the letterheads and documents now reflect the new regional moniker.

“The suit doesn’t mean we have to stop,” Silvernell said. “The suit just means we’re in disagreement about it.”

Tampa International Airport CEO Joe Lopano called the situation unfortunate but “we’re trying to run the airport like a business.

“The brand equity that we have in our name is a crucial piece of those efforts,” Lopano said. “We’ve invested considerable time and money into building that brand. We even trademarked “Tampa Airport” and “Tampa International Airport.” We have federal trademarks of those names. Not Tampa, but the words, Tampa airport and Tampa International Airport.”

Maintaining the Tampa International brand identity is essential for marketing programs not just for commercial airlines, but also to aviation-related businesses, Lopano said.

“It’s clear to me that the change proposed by Hernando County is an attempt to capitalize on our name and reputation and delete our value in that brand. I support regionalism, but not to our detriment,” he said.

County Economic Development Manager Mike McHugh has said renaming the local airport the Brooksville-Tampa Regional Airport will reap big dividends for out-of-state companies who will have a better idea of the complex’s proximity to its urban neighbor.

In November, the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority (HCAA) filed suit against Hernando County seeking to prohibit the government from using the new name.

The lawsuit claims it would be a “false designation of origin, false advertising, Florida common law trademark infringement and Florida trademark dilution.”

Hillsborough Aviation Airport officials believe consumers will be confused with the name similarity.

But McHugh said in a recent interview that fear is unfounded. All state and federal descriptions of this area place Hernando County in the Tampa Bay metropolitan area, he said.

Chicago, for example, has five or six airports that piggyback on the Chicago name, he said. One of those airports is in Gary, Indiana, out of the state, he added.

Lopano sees it differently.

“We have no choice but to protect our name,” he said. “I would imagine Old Navy would be upset if someone came in and named a company Old Regional Navy.”


Passenger has baby aboard flight over Armenia

YEREVAN, Armenia (AP) — A passenger has given birth aboard a plane flying over Armenia and named her daughter after one of the flight attendants who helped with the delivery.

The birth of the healthy baby occurred on Saturday, two hours before the Armavia airline flight landed in Yerevan, Armenia's capital, after a long flight from Siberia.

Flight attendant Asmik Gevondyan said she noticed that 31-year-old passenger Armina Babayan appeared to be in labor and organized the delivery conducted by her and her colleagues.

"All of our crew helped to deliver the baby," Gevondyan told the Associated Press.

Babayan, who had claimed to be 6-and-a-half-months pregnant during check-in, named her first child Asmik, local television reported.

New College of Lake County Course a Stepping Stone for Beginner Pilots

With the demand for commercial pilots expected to take off due to a wave of retirements, the College of Lake County will launch a new, 15-week private pilot ground school that will serve as a steppingstone to aviation careers.

The non-credit course will be offered during in spring semester by Continuing Professional Development, part of the college’s Workforce and Professional Development Institute. The class begins Jan. 30. It is the first step in becoming a pilot and gaining the knowledge for a career in the aviation industry, said Jim Senft, course instructor and licensed private pilot.

An information session on the program will take place at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 16 in room T33 at the Grayslake campus, 19351 W. Washington St.

The course will cover FAA regulations, weather, radio communications and navigation. Other topics include flight safety, aircraft components, aerodynamics, aerospace and aircraft logistics and emergency procedures.

“Upon completion of this course, students will be prepared to take the FAA Private Pilot Knowledge Test. Students who successfully pass the test may continue to pursue their private pilot license through a certified flight school,” said Senft.

Once enrolled in a flight school, students complete at least 40 hours of hands-on, “behind the stick” training—actual piloting with an instructor present—in order to be eligible for flight portion of exam.

A private pilot’s license allows you to fly yourself or take friends and family on sightseeing trips, but you are not allowed to work for hire, as that requires a commercial pilot’s license, Senft explained.

But the private pilot’s license is an important steppingstone. “Without it, you can’t move on,” said Senft.

The demand for pilots is expected to grow rapidly. Airlines employed almost 6,000 more people in May 2012 than they did in May 2011, according to statistics released by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Beyond piloting aircraft, the new private pilot ground school offers a gateway to other aviation careers, said Senft. These include air traffic controller, air dispatcher and border security.
The course will appeal even to those who have no interest in aviation careers but are curious about flying and the aviation industry.

“You learn cool things, like mapping out a flight plan, meteorology, air space and how a plane flies. Students should expect to work hard to succeed in this ground school class, said Senft. “Less than one-tenth of one percent of the population are pilots. It’s a relatively small group.”

Cost for the course is $499. It meets from 6-9 p.m. on Wednesdays, Jan. 30 through May 15. For more information, visit

Submitted by the College of Lake County.


Island Air Anticipates Sales Within Weeks

Hawaii Island Air said Thursday that it has an agreement to sell the interisland airline Island Air to an undisclosed buyer within the next few months.

“This is a great opportunity for the future of the company”, Les Murashige, president of Hawaii Island Air Inc., which does business as Island Air, said in a statement. “The company has gone through a number of challenges recently and a new owner will bring a fresh perspective to the company.”

There are a number of hurdles the airline must clear before a sale can close, said Murashige, who said he was optimistic the sale could close within six to eight weeks.

“There has been a lot of hard work and due diligence done over the holidays,” he said. “We are prepared to move forward and have been meeting with the relevant groups who have a role in making this happen.”

Island Air, which is owned by Gavarnie Holding LLC, said in August that it had completed a first step of corporate refinancing with Kahala Aviation of Dublin, Ireland. The airline had announced plans in July to double the number of aircraft it uses on its interisland routes while replacing its aging turboprop fleet.

Hawaiian Holdings Inc. parent company of Hawaiian Airlines, said last year that it had purchased turboprop aircraft for a new interisland airline that would offer service to Lanai and Molokai, two of Island Air’s markets.

(Report Provided by Pacific Business News)

Cessna 414A Chancellor, N4772A: Accident occurred February 19, 2012 in Hayden, Colorado

NTSB Identification: CEN12FA161 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, February 19, 2012 in Hayden, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/23/2013
Aircraft: CESSNA 414A, registration: N4772A
Injuries: 2 Fatal,4 Serious.

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

The pilot performed an instrument approach to the runway with an approaching winter storm. A review of on-board global positioning system (GPS) data indicated that the airplane flew through the approach course several times during the approach and was consistently below the glideslope path. The airplane continued below the published decision height altitude and drifted to the right of the runway’s extended centerline. The GPS recorded the pilot’s attempt to perform a missed approach, a rapid decrease in ground speed, and then the airplane descend to the ground, consistent with an aerodynamic stall. Further, the airplane owner, who was also a passenger on the flight, stated that, after the pilot made the two “left turning circles” and had begun a third circle, he perceived that the airplane “just stalled.” An examination of the airframe and engine did not detect any preimpact anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. The airplane’s anti-ice and propeller anti-ice switches were found in the “off” position. A review of weather information revealed that the airplane was operating in an area with the potential for moderate icing and snow. Based on the GPS data and weather information, it is likely that the airframe collected ice during the descent and approach, which affected the airplane’s performance and led to an aerodynamic stall during the climb.

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

The pilot’s inadvertent stall during a missed approach. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s operation of the airplane in forecasted icing conditions without using all of its anti-ice systems.


On February 19, 2012, at 1525 mountain standard time, a Cessna 414A airplane, N4772A, impacted terrain at the Yampa Valley Airport (KHDN), Hayden, Colorado. The commercial pilot and one passenger were fatally injured and four passengers were seriously injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Instrument meteorological conditions developed for the flight, which operated on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan. The flight departed the Dalhart Municipal Airport (KDHT), Dalhart, Texas, approximately 1415 central standard time.

A review of air traffic control communications revealed that the pilot was cleared for the instrument landing system (ILS) approach to runway 10 via the initial approach fix REVME.

Airfield personnel and airfield rescue and firefighting (ARFF) provided an enhanced universal communications (UNICOM) service for inbound traffic and were monitoring both the UNICOM and Denver Center radio frequencies, at the time of the accident. Airfield personnel heard the pilot report he was on final approach over the UNICOM frequency. Airport personnel then selected the airport lights to high, and the pilot acknowledged the light status. There was no report of a distress call being made by the pilot.

In an interview with the airplane's owner, who was also a passenger, he stated the airplane was maneuvering to land at KHDN. The pilot had made two left turning circles and had begun a third circle when the he perceived that the airplane "just stalled." He added that the airplane fell straight down and impacted terrain. In addition, he recalled that the engines were running at the time of the accident. In a subsequent statement made by the owner, he stated that immediately preceding the crash, he heard a very load “pop” or “bang” from the right side of the airplane, possibly the right engine, moments before the airplane “went down.” He recalled the pilot looking to the airplane’s right and that the pilot immediately reached towards the center console near the throttle controls. Moments later, the airplane crashed.


The pilot, age 75, held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single engine land, airplane multi-engine land, airplane single engine sea, instrument airplane, and gliders. In addition, the pilot held a flight instructor certificate for airplane single engine, airplane multi-engine, instrument airplane, and gliders. The pilot was also an airframe and power-plant mechanic who would perform some maintenance tasks on the accident airplane. On March 31, 2011, the pilot was issued a second class medical certificate with the restriction to wear corrective lenses. A review of pilot training information revealed his previous flight review was on October 27, 2011, in the same make and model as the accident airplane.


The airplane was a two engine, low wing, eight seat Cessna 414, serial number 414A005, and was manufactured in 1978. It was powered by two, 310-horsepower Continental Motors TSIO-520-NB engines that drove three-bladed, variable pitch, McCauley propellers. A review of maintenance records revealed that the previous annual inspection was completed on December 8, 2011, at a total airframe time of 8,245 hours, a left engine time since major overhaul of 2,028.9 hours, a right engine time since major overhaul of 901.6 hours, and a tachometer time of 2,794.7. At the accident site, the airplane’s tachometer read 2,833.9 hours. The airplane’s published stall speed is 70 knots.


The National Weather Service Surface Analysis Chart issued at 1400 mountain standard time depicted two low pressure systems over eastern Colorado associated with a cold front moving across the Rockies and a developing warm front over eastern Colorado. Satellite imagery showed extensive cloud cover over the accident area with cloud tops near 27,000 feet. An upper air sounding taken near Grand Junction, Colorado, reported a freezing level at 5,703 feet mean sea level (msl), with conditions favorable for icing in clouds and in precipitation above the freezing level.

At 1515, an automated weather reporting facility located at KHDN reported wind from 310 at 8 knots, 5 miles visibility, few clouds at 800 feet, scattered clouds at 1,700 feet, broken ceiling at 2,900 feet, temperature -1 Celsius (C), dew point -3 C, and a barometric pressure of 29.62 inches of mercury. At 1535, wind from 290 at 10 knots gusting to 14 knots, visibility 1/4 mile, ceiling overcast at 400 feet, temperature -2 C, dew point -3 C, and a barometric pressure of 29.62 inches of mercury. This facility does not report precipitation, however conditions were favorable for the production of heavy snow.

A review of HDN’s weather observation data revealed that between 1430 and 1445, a front passed over the airfield, which shifted the wind from the east to the west and deteriorated the ceiling and visibility. Weather in the area could produce snow that continued through to the time of the accident, when the lowest visibility and ceiling was reported.

An automated weather reporting facility at the Craig-Moffat Airport (KCAG), located about 14 miles west of KHDN, could report precipitation, with the exception of freezing rain. At 1506, the station began reporting light snow with a wind shift having occurred at 1450. At 1525, it reported light snow and freezing fog. Then at 1553, moderate snow and freezing fog was reported.

Several Airmen’s Meterological Information (AIRMETs) were active for the time of the accident flight. These AIRMETs warned for IFR conditions, mountain obscuration, occasional moderate turbulence below 18,000 feet, and moderate icing between the freezing level and 18,000 feet.


The approach flown by the pilot was the ILS to runway 10. The inbound course was 104 degrees, with the initial approach fix (REVME) located along the localizer course at 15 nautical miles, and the final approach fix (INEDE) located along the localizer course at 8.1 nautical miles. The decision height was at 7,371 msl, with a weather requirement of an 800 foot ceiling and 2 ¾ miles visibility. The touchdown zone elevation for runway 10 was 6,591 feet msl.


A review of radar audio revealed that the pilot had checked in with Denver Center and requested a visual approach if the ceiling was greater than 1,000 feet. Denver Center replied that a previous airplane flew the ILS approach into KHDN and had broken out of the clouds at minimum altitude (800 feet). The pilot then accepted an IFR clearance and was cleared to fly the ILS approach into KHDN.


The Hayden/Yampa Valley airport (KHDN) is located approximately 2 miles southeast of Hayden, Colorado, with a field elevation of 6,606 feet and a single runway oriented along 100/280 degrees. Runway 10 had a precision approach path indicator located to the left of the runway, and had a medium intensity approach light system with runway alignment indicator lights. The airfield is non-towered so pilots utilized UNICOM to coordinate their movements on the airfield. As previously noted, ARFF provided advisories to pilots over UNICOM.


The accident site was located about 95 yards south-southwest from the edge of runway 10. The wreckage path aligned generally along a 090 degree heading. The debris path contained the left aileron and right propeller. The main wreckage came to rest facing 320 degrees. The fuselage displayed buckling and crushing throughout its length. Damage to the left and right wings was nearly symmetric. The elevator counter weights separated in a downward direction. All major airplane components were accounted for at the accident site. Flight control continuity was established from the controls to their respective surfaces. The flaps and landing gear were found in the retracted position. The airplane’s electric anti-ice and propeller anti-ice were found in the “off” position. No preimpact anomalies were detected with the airframe that would preclude normal operation of the airplane.

The engines were removed and shipped to Continental Motors Inc., Mobile, Alabama, for test runs. Under the auspices of the NTSB, both engines were placed on test beds, started, and operated throughout their power ranges. No preimpact anomalies were detected with the engines that would preclude normal engine operation.


An autopsy was performed on the pilot by the Douglas County Coroner’s Office, Castle Rock, Colorado, as authorized by the Routt County Coroner. The autopsy noted the following findings:

Right coronary artery narrowed more than 90 percent, with evidence of recanalization.
Severe cardiomegaly, with a weight of 570 grams.
Myocardial fibrosis of the left ventricle.

The Federal Aviation Administration Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, performed forensic toxicology on specimens from the pilot. Testing was negative for carbon monoxide, cyanide, ethanol, and drugs.


Garmin GPSmap 295

A global positioning system (GPS) was located in the cockpit area of the airplane and sent to the NTSB laboratories in Washington, D.C. A download of the device displayed the airplane’s flight path along the ILS approach. The airplane turned inside of the initial approach fix for the ILS 10 approach. During the approach, the airplane crossed through the approach course several times. The pilot crossed INEDE 260 feet below the published altitude for the final approach fix and was consistently below glide slope during the approach to the airport. Utilizing the GPS altitude, at 1523:25, the airplane was below glide slope, drifting right on the localizer approach course, and three miles from the airport, when the airplane reached the decision height of 7,331 feet msl. The airplane continued to drift to right of the localizer course while continuing to descend to an altitude of 6,591 feet msl, before it climbed to 6,824 feet, and then descended towards terrain. During this climb, the airplane’s groundspeed decreased to 78 knots.

Contributed Photo 
Tad Humpal (from left), Dillon Humpal, Sara Humpal, Gaby Humpal, and Scott Humpal are pictured in an undated family Christmas card.
Sad news for a family that has already had more than its share. Tad Humpal, the 19 year old son of Scott Humpal who is the owner Humpal Physical Therapy, has died. The family's attorney confirms that the young man died in his sleep Thursday night. You may remember he, along with his father Scott were in a plane crash in Colorado last year that killed two people including Tad's mother - Gabby Humpal. His 11 year old sister Sara suffered serious injuries in that crash. No word yet on the cause of Tad's death. The medical examiner is still investigating. Funeral arrangements have been made for next Saturday at Bay Area Fellowship. The visitation and Catholic mass are planned to be held on Friday. The location has not been announced. 

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NTSB Identification: CEN12FA161
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, February 19, 2012 in Hayden, CO
Aircraft: CESSNA 414A, registration: N4772A
Injuries: 2 Fatal, 4 Serious.

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 February 19, 2012, approximately 1530 mountain standard time, a Cessna 414A, N4772A, impacted terrain while attempting to land at the Yampa Valley Airport (KHDN), Hayden, Colorado. The commercial pilot and one passenger were fatally injured and four passengers were seriously injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual and operated as a personal flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Instrument meteorological conditions developed for the flight, that operated on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan. The flight departed the Dalhart Municipal Airport (KDHT), Dalhart, Texas, approximately 1415 central standard time.

An initial review of air traffic control information revealed that the pilot was cleared by air traffic control to the initial approach fix (REVME) for the instrument landing system (ILS) approach for runway 10.

Airfield personnel provided an enhanced UNICOM service for inbound traffic and were monitoring UNICOM and Denver Center at the time of the accident. Airfield personal heard the pilot report he was on final approach over the UNICOM frequency. Airport personnel then selected the airport lights to high, and the pilot acknowledged the light status. There was no report of a distress call being made by the pilot prior to the accident.

In an interview with the airplane's owner, who was also a passenger, he stated the airplane was maneuvering to land at KDHN. The pilot had made two left turning circles and had begun a third circle when the he perceived that the airplane "just stalled." He added the airplane fell straight down and impacted terrain. In addition, he commented that the engines were running at the time of the accident.

The accident site was located about 95 yards south-southwest from the edge of runway 10. The wreckage path was aligned generally along a 090 heading. The debris path contained the left aileron and right propeller. The main wreckage came to rest facing a 320 heading. The fuselage displayed buckling and crushing throughout its length. All major airplane components were accounted for at the accident site.

At 1515, an automated weather reporting facility located at KHDN reported winds from 310 at 8 knots, 5 miles visibility, few clouds at 800 feet, scattered clouds at 1,700 feet, broken ceiling at 2,900 feet, temperature -1 Celsius (C), dew point -3 C. At 1535, winds were reported from 290 at 10 knots gusting to 14 knots, visibility 1/4 mile, ceiling overcast at 400 feet, temperature -2 C, dew point -3 C. This facility does not report precipitation.

Southwest Florida International (KRSW), Fort Myers, Florida: Airport sees spike in Canadian air travel WBBH News for Fort Myers, Cape Coral  

LEE COUNTY, FL - With the temperature hovering at or below zero in some parts of Canada right now, Southwest Florida is paradise to Canadian, Mayo Hawco. 

"The weather is fantastic. We hear it is unseasonably warm here. For us, it's great," said Hawco.

This winter, Southwest Florida International Airport is seeing more visitors flying in from Canada than ever before. RSW added an additional daily flight from Toronto this year. And just last month, it added a weekly flight to and from Ottawa.

From January to November of 2012, more than 155,000 people flew in on the two Canadian airlines that serve RSW, according to spokeswoman, Vicki Moreland. That's up more than 20% from the same time in 2011. Canadian carrier flights for 2012 are also up 17% from 2011.

"It's been growing for each of the last 4 years," explained Executive Director of the Lee County Visitor and Convention Bureau, Tamara Pigott.

In 2011 the majority of international visitation was from Canada. The first time ever it topped the list in Lee County.

A big draw for Canadians is real estate. 30% of business at Miloff Aubuchon in Cape Coral comes from Canadians right now.

"As the exchange rate changes and the availability to get down here, it's been increasing each year," said Donna Stout, President Elect of the Cape Coral Association of Realtors.

In the last year, Lee County's Visitor and Convention Bureau stepped up it's marketing campaign in Canada.

"Next week we'll be hosting Glow Magazine, a woman's beauty magazine. They are coming to do a photo shoot and write a travel story about our destination," said Pigott.

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Cable Air Show media day at Cable Airport (KCCB), Upland, California: The show is January 12 and 13


The complete schedule can be found by clicking here

If You Go

38th annual Cable Airshow  

Where: Cable Airport, 1749 W. 13th St., Upland  

When: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday  

Cost: $7 for adults; $5 for youths age 5 to 12; kids under age 5 receive free admission  


Newark Liberty International (KEWR), Newark, New Jersey: Stuck on a plane for hours - Department of Transportation investigating airport delay

What can you do with 5½ hours of uninterrupted free time? You can watch six quarters of professional football on television, or read a Harry Potter novel or play more than 130 games of solitaire on your iPhone.

But when buckled into an airline seat for that long before the plane takes off, the allure of those pastimes could easily evaporate — especially if there’s a seven-hour flight yet to come.

Passengers aboard British Airways’ Flight 184 on Nov. 7 waited that long — 334 minutes, to be exact — on the tarmac at Newark Liberty International Airport as a nor’easter swirled around the jet before it eventually left for London’s Heathrow Airport.

Under federal regulations, international flights can’t stay on the tarmac for more than four hours without giving passengers a chance to disembark.

The delay — tied for the longest delay last year — is under investigation by the federal Department of Transportation. British Airways could face a hefty fine.

In an e-mail to The Star-Ledger, British Airways cited "several issues with the de-icing rigs that caused significant delays. British Airways will never compromise the safety of passengers, so the flight was held until alternative equipment could be used to complete the de-icing."

On Thursday evening, passengers at Newark Airport heading to Paris said such an experience would bring them to tears.

"During the first hour I’d play, or I’d read," said Nicole Paris, a 25-year-old Parisian. "But then after the second hour, yes, I’d cry."

Valerie Moray, 28, of Belgium, said she had been stranded on a tarmac in Brussels for two hours on a previous trip.

"You have nothing to do and of course you begin to be angry," she said. "It was awful, and that was only two hours."

Bill Mosley, a spokesman for the DOT, said weather may cause a delay, but it is not a good enough reason to leave passengers on a plane — only "safety, security or air traffic control-related reasons" qualify, he said. But, he added, "severe weather could cause or exacerbate such situations."

The Nov. 7 storm, coming nine days after Hurricane Sandy, was severe enough that airlines canceled more than 2,000 flights in the metropollitan area, according to

Last year, the DOT penalized four airlines for egregious flight delays and fined them a total of $445,000, Mosley said. That’s an improvement from 2011 when there were 35 tarmac delays. There were 12 delays lasting more than three hours in 2010, but a whopping 586 were reported in 2009.

The straw that may have broken the camel’s back occurred in August 2009, when a Minneapolis-bound jet landed in Rochester, Minn., because of bad weather. It sat on the tarmac from midnight until 6:30 the following morning. There was little food or water on board, and the toilets were filled and unusable.

That incident and others led Congress to enact a passengers bill of rights, which took effect in August 2011.

A few months later, on Halloween Eve, a freak snowstorm blanketed the metropolitan area and stranded planes up and down along the East Coast. A Jet Blue flight from Fort Lauderdale to Newark was diverted to Hartford, Conn., where it sat on the tarmac for more than 7 1/2 hours. Another Jet Blue flight to New York that day kept passengers aboard for seven hours.

The DOT is still investigating those and other incidents on the same day and no fines have yet been issued.

Under the congressional remedy, penalties could be as high as $27,500 per passenger, but in most cases are much less. The penalties kick in after 3-hour delays on domestic flights and four hours on international flights.

"These are negotiated civil penalties," Mosley said. "That’s the maximum that could be assessed if we don’t get a settlement."

On June 22 last year, Copa Airlines left passengers stranded aboard an aircraft at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport for five hours and 34 minutes on a flight bound for Panama. Despite DOT rules that say passengers must be offered food and water two hours after leaving the gate, nothing was made available for more than four hours, according to a DOT investigation.

Pakistan International Airlines was fined $150,000 when its flight from England’s Manchester Airport to JFK was diverted to Washington Dulles Airport because of equipment problems in New York. It stayed on the airport tarmac for four hours and 47 minutes

On March 3, a New York-to-San Francisco Jet Blue flight was delayed for nearly three hours. Although the jet hadn’t left the gate, passengers weren’t told they could get off, as required by law.


Minneapolis-St Paul International (KMSP), Minneapolis, Minnesota: Local politicians weigh in on airport noise flap

While supporting a compromise that delays re-routing planes, Minnesota members of Congress stop short of opposing the plan.

Minnesota congressmen and senators favor a plan to spare -- at least for now -- some areas of Minneapolis and Edina from a heavier concentration of flights taking off from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

They have contacted the Federal Aviation Administration to express concerns about its new flight system that would use technology to send departures in more concentrated paths over the entire metro area.

"I will be following the issue closely to make sure that the FAA is listening to all affected communities, families and businesses who wish to be heard," said Sen. Al Franken, a Democrat.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat, said, "As the FAA moves forward with implementation ... it must consider local input."

Congressmen Erik Paulsen, a Republican whose district includes Edina, and Rep. Keith Ellison, a Democrat whose district includes Minneapolis, also have expressed concerns about the effects of the FAA proposal.

Ellison said he "has been working with both the Metropolitan Airports Commission and the Federal Aviation Administration to understand the implications."

Ellison, Klobuchar and Franken issued statements this month supporting a compromise recommended by the Metropolitan Airports Commission that would use the system on runways that send flights over Eagan and some other southern suburbs but not runways that send flights over much of south and southwestern Minneapolis, Edina and Richfield.

Paulsen's office said he worked to delay the more elaborate FAA proposal so Edina residents could voice their opinions.

But the four stopped short of ultimately opposing use of the FAA system for all runways at the airport.

Instead, they said the Airports Commission recommendation for limited use of the system would give the public more time to weigh in on the controversy and the FAA more time to consider the effects.

Competing interests

The FAA is studying whether the compromise would work at Minneapolis-St. Paul.

The FAA had pushed the system for all runways, saying it would improve safety and efficiency and conserve fuel, and it is backed by the airlines. The system routes takeoffs on more narrow flight paths and is being rolled out in stages at airports around the nation.

The dispute divides communities. Eagan and Richfield favor the system to divert airplane noise from homes to nearby expressways and rivers. Some residents of Edina and parts of southwest and south Minneapolis opposed the technology because it will concentrate flights over their homes.

But Richfield officials complain that the compromise would deprive some of their residents of the benefits of the new system.

Despite the concerns, the new FAA system has considerable support in Congress. Paulsen's office said he "appreciates the use of new technology to improve safety and efficiency" but added that he "believes it's essential that the residents and stakeholders, who will potentially be affected by a new flight plan, have their concerns heard and addressed."

When the FAA will make a decision was unclear. Edina City Manager Scott Neal said this week that a decision by the agency on whether to begin a partial use of the system could come this month. The FAA said there is no deadline.

Neal said Edina contacted Paulsen's office in November to protest the FAA flight plan.

"They said they'd do their darndest to help us," Neal recalled. "I think they made some phone calls."

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Friday, January 11, 2013

Piper PA-34-200T Seneca II, RP-C4431: Examiner who cleared Robredo pilot suspended

MANILA, Philippines—The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has suspended one of its flight examiners who allegedly faked a report that said he had conducted a proficiency check ride on the pilot of the doomed plane carrying Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo.

CAAP Director General William Hotchkiss III issued the 90-day preventive suspension order against Nomer Lazaro, who claimed to have tested the capability of Capt. Jessup Bahinting prior to the renewal of his pilot license in May 2012.

Bahinting was at the controls of the Piper Seneca plane on Aug. 18, 2012, that crashed and sank off the waters of Masbate. Bahinting, Roberdo and student pilot Kshitiz Chand died in the crash.

Criminal, administrative liabilities

During the preventive suspension, the investigation of Lazaro’s actions that might indicate criminal and administrative liabilities would proceed, according to CAAP Deputy Director General John Andrews.

“An actual proficiency check ride is mandatory prior to the renewal of a pilot’s license. This is to test a pilot’s capabilities. Sadly our team has come across evidence that Captain Bahinting was able to skip the process with the unlawful cooperation of CAAP’s own personnel,” Andrews said in a statement.

The suspension order cited a certificate issued by Mactan Flight Service Station stating that no flight plan had been filed for the purpose of conducting a check ride or test flight for Bahinting. The Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority has also certified that no landing and take-off fees were paid by Aviatour’s Flyin’ Inc., Bahinting’s company, for such a proficiency check ride.

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Ely Airport/Yelland Field (KELY), Ely, Nevada: White Pine County Commission votes to hire new Airport Manager

The White Pine County Commission voted to hire Steven Stork as the new Airport Manager Wednesday morning. 

The Commission interviewed three candidates: Robert Walker, Timothy Parish and Stork.

Burlington International (KBTV), Vermont: Planning committee discusses airport future

SOUTH BURLINGTON — The Airport Strategic Planning Committee, created last summer at the behest of Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger, met Thursday at the airport to continue its discussion of how best to govern and manage the airport.

The committee is co-chaired by Burlington City Councilor Karen Paul, I-Ward 6, and interim Chief Administrative Officer Paul Sisson. It includes representatives from the business community as well as officials from South Burlington and Winooski.

Thursday, the Committee heard a presentation on the strengths and weaknesses of different governing models for the airport: maintaining the status quo, a city-managed facility with a weak commission; moving to a strong commission style; creating a regional airport authority; or privatizing the management.

Managing Director Adam Whiteman of Frasca & Associates, a transportation consultant and financial advisory firm from New York City, made no recommendation.

The committee will study his report in the coming weeks, as it begins to refine its goals and a time line for any changes it might ultimately recommend. To committee member Jane Knodell, the main issue for the committee is to determine “what structure would maximize the airport as an economic development tool.”

Interim airport head Gene Richards said the committee’s work is “an historical opportunity for the airport. We do need to make changes,” he said, “or history, and the mistakes that were made, will repeat itself. (The airport) needs to be insulated from what could happen again.”

The airport, with 1,600 jobs, has an annual payroll of $56 million, and Steven Baldwin Associates of Albany, N.Y., which studied its finances and management structure and presented its findings in May, said the airport is indirectly responsible for another 10,250 jobs. The firm estimates the airport’s total economic impact annually at close to $1 billion.

“Practically speaking,” that report stated, “Burlington International Airport is the state’s only commercial service airport and plays a vitally important role in the state’s overall economy and transportation network.”

Baldwin recommended the city explore creating a regional airport authority to replace the current municipal management system, but Weinberger said he is waiting for recommendations on governance to emerge from the planning committee’s findings later this year. He said he is unconvinced the airport’s well-documented financial problems of recent years — including a junk-bond-level credit rating — are attributable to the city’s control of the airport.

Thursday, Tamara Gagne, the airport’s director of finance and administration, released a report showing December “enplanements were down 14.6% leaving the airport down by 3.79% for the calendar year.” The total enplanements for 2012 totaled 623,604, down from 648,195 in 2011 and the 2008 mark of 759,021.

Prior to Thursday’s meeting, South Burlington City Council Chairwoman Rosanne Greco said she was displeased that as the committee deliberations began, neither South Burlington (which has one member on the five-person Airport Commission) or Winooski were not initially given voting seats on the committee.

South Burlington City Manager Sandy Miller told the Burlington Free Press that “we were originally invited to the meetings without a vote, but Mayor Weinberger and Burlington City Council amended their resolution to give South Burlington and Winooski a voting seat.”

Miller said he has attended meetings throughout the fall and has “found everyone on the Committee receptive to the ideas of others. ... The process is moving forward as we gather and discuss information related to the Committee charge,” Miller said.

Greco said South Burlington welcomed Weinberger’s invitation to participate in the meeting but said it was disconcerting to have to ask to have a vote. She said that at one meeting Miller couldn’t attend, committee co-chair Paul questioned the appropriateness of Deputy City Manager Bob Rusten sitting at the table.

She said South Burlington needs representation beyond a single vote on the committee, given the possible importance of the committee’s recommendations and the impact airport operations have on the city.

“South Burlington needs a say in future plans for the airport,” Greco said, “a pretty robust say.”

O’Brien said that is true as well for Winooski. “Winooski has a big interest in the operation of the airport,” he said.

She said that while Weinberger seems to “want to include us,” in practice the committee, while not “consciously excluding us ... (is) going back to the old ways of doing business.”

She said that while Mayor Michael O’Brien of Winooski has a vote, no elected official from South Burlington does. Rather, the vote was given specifically to Miller, who “doesn’t do policy, but administration. I’m trying to understand it,” she said.

She noted that a legal dispute between Burlington and South Burlington in a lawsuit brought by Burlington and Heritage Aviation on South Burlington’s tax assessment for the airport remains unresolved.

Greco said the airport has a continuous effect on South Burlington’s tax revenues, its quality of life (through its immediate effect on adjoining neighborhoods buffeted by airport noise) and an impact on numerous aspects of city services.

“We ought to be represented,” she said of the committee. “One voice is not sufficient.”

The committee’s next meeting is from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Jan. 24 at the airport.

 Story and Photo:

Eastern Oregon Regional (KPDT), Pendleton, Oregon: Airport struggles with large debt, personnel changes

Despite a change in management and a $2.39 million debt to other city funds, City Manager Robb Corbett said Eastern Oregon Regional Airport’s woes remain fixable.

The airport is looking for ways to ease its financial problems without the benefit of a full-time airport manager. Former manager Larry Dalrymple retired Dec. 31 and Wayne Green has since started working part-time as interim manager. Green still retains his job as associate city engineer.

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E. Ore. regional airport bears down on weeds 

 The Pendleton airport is spraying to prevent weeds on the runways instead of waiting to kill them once they've sprung up.

The East Oregonian reports ( weeds are a problem the city is addressing at the Eastern Oregon Regional Airport, where there's a $2.4 million debt to other city funds and a change of management under way.

City Manager Robb Corbett told the airport commission Thursday the airport's problems are fixable.

Airport secretary Patti Johlke said the Federal Aviation Administration in 2011 admonished the airport about weeds, and they were quickly removed. But, she said, the airport has to spray to prevent them.

The worker who did daily runway inspections retired last week. Corbett said he's working to replace him, and someone from another department may do the spraying.
Information from: East Oregonian,

Video: "Robinson R22 nearly hits my friend!!!!" (United Kingdom)

Adams Electric to begin helicopter patrols to assess Sandy damage

Adams Electric will begin its 2013 aerial inspections Monday by patrolling critical overhead distribution lines and equipment, including lines in the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy last fall, according to a news release from the company.

The patrols are scheduled to begin on Monday morning, Jan. 14, in the Shippensburg area and then proceed to the Gettysburg area and then to the York area.

The company said that this year, critical overhead lines that feed power to the co-op’s substations and metering points in Adams Electric’s Gettysburg, Shippensburg and York districts will be inspected. In addition, all overhead lines and equipment will be inspected in the co-op’s York District. Special attention will also be given to areas hit hard by Hurricane Sandy last fall. Those areas include sections above the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Lower Cumberland County and Upper Franklin County and the Fairfield/Carroll Valley area in Adams County.

The inspections are expected to last a week or 10 days. The extra patrols are scheduled to spot damage caused by Sandy that might go unnoticed to a ground inspection team, according to Marvin Snyder, manager of operations.

The cooperative has contracted with Pine Bottom Aviation of Martinsburg, Pa., to conduct the inspections. The inspections will begin at approximately 8:30 a.m. each day, weather permitting. Adams Electric linemen and a pilot will fly for about six hours each day.

The co-op has conducted aerial inspections every year since 1996. The crew will try to avoid flying over congested areas and hovering over agricultural operations. As always, employees, contractors and the public are encouraged to keep an eye on the lines and equipment and report any problems immediately by calling toll-free 888-232-6732.

Adams Electric Cooperative provides electric service to nearly 32,000 active member-accounts in Adams, Cumberland, Franklin, Perry and York counties.


Frontier Airlines ending daily flights out of Dayton, Ohio

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) - Frontier Airlines is ending service out of Dayton at the end of May, 2013.

The carrier will leave the market on May 31, according to an article published by The Dayton Business Journal Jan. 11.

Frontier did not comment, but airport officials said they were told the decision was made because of the entry of  Southwest Airlines into the market. 

Southwest began flying out of Dayton last summer.

Frontier was the sixth-busiest airline at the Dayton International Airport.

Delta is the busiest airline flying out of Dayton.

Regional jet lands safely after blowing a tire: McGhee Tyson Airport (KTYS), Knoxville, Tennessee

ALCOA (WATE) - A regional jet landed safely at McGhee Tyson Airport Friday afternoon. 

 The U.S. Airways Express jet reportedly blew a tire prior to landing.

Airport workers had the plane fly past the airport several times to assess the damage before it landed.

At the time of the landing, 49 passengers were on board.

Story and Reaction/Comments:    http://www.wate.comALCOA 

The U.S. Airways plane landed safely at McGhee Tyson Airport around 2:00 pm. 

 Flight #2467 was enroute from Charlotte to Tallahassee, but was diverted to Knoxville after the pilot declared an emergency.

All the passengers were taken off the plane safely.

Previous story:  McGhee Tyson Airport has declared an Alert 2 emergency, as a plane approaches the airport with a blown tire.

Blount County and airport emergency crews are on standby at the airport, in case the plane has problems landing.  Dispatchers say there are 49 people on board.  We do not know the type of plane, the airline, or where the plane was flying from or to.

An Alert Two means an aircraft is experiencing a possible major problem, such as faulty landing gear or hydraulic failure.  Emergency vehicles are put on standby on the airfield and at the security gates.   This does not necessarily mean the plane will have difficulty landing, but crews have to be prepared, just in case. 

Aviation director calls 2012 'noneventful' at Abilene Regional Airport (KABI), Texas

The American Airlines bankruptcy, a new air traffic control tower and two restaurant closings and one opening left marks on Abilene Regional Airport last year. But Aviation Director Don Green thought differently about the year.

"It (was) a pretty non-eventful year for us," Green said Thursday.

The airport saw 80,435 passengers board planes, a 7 percent decrease in departures compared to 2011, when there were 86,591.

Green said a 7 percent spike in departures occurred in 2011 because of the numerous area wildfires brought firefighters and other first-responders through the airport.

"I did not predict any growth" for 2012, Green said.

Compared to 2010 numbers however, the airport's departures increased by about 600 passengers; 79,879 passengers in 2010.

There were 80,304 arrivals in 2012.


Business at the airport, served by American Eagle, has been largely unaffected by Fort Worth-based AMR Corp.'s 14 months of bankruptcy. In fact, Green said, the airport is gaining an additional afternoon flight.

An eighth flight connecting Abilene and Dallas Fort Worth International will start Feb. 14.

"The bankruptcy has been very interior to the company which is their goal as it is any company's goal," Green said. However, "there is talk that American Airlines will merge with US Airways," after the bankruptcy.

AMR Corp. filed bankruptcy in November 2011 after years of financial losses. American Eagle is a regional airline for AMR Corp. in Texas.

Representatives from AMR Corp. and US Airways are considering a merger, The Economist reported. AMR CEO Tom Horton said a decision on the possible merger could be made in "a matter of weeks."

A merger wouldn't pose a threat to jobs or flights at Abilene Regional, Green said.

"I think we will always have American Airlines-related service to DFW," he said.


A 145-foot-tall air traffic control tower opened in May. The tower, costing about $21 million, replaced a tower that dated to the 1950s.

"It was quite an improvement from a facility standpoint," Green said, "but most of all the new tower's height is twice as high as the old tower."

The old tower, which remains but is vacant, stands 65 feet.

With the old tower, Green said, "Controllers would lose sight of aircraft taxing in some places on the airport and that's not a good thing when you're supposed to be maintaining control of those aircraft."


Moose's Snack Shack and Cafe has opened in the terminal. Previously, a "lack of customers" complaint was given by Sherry Brown, owner of Sweet Celebrations, Too, at the airport.

Merry McKenna opened Moose's in November after Brown closed her restaurant in August. Sweet Celebrations, Too followed Ann's Airport Cafe, which closed in February.

"I think she's doing well," Green said of McKenna. He did not know how many customers frequented the restaurant daily.

"She seems to have all the wheels turning where we just always thought in the previous (restaurants), 'Oh, there's just something missing here,'" he said.

Asheville Regional (KAVL), North Carolina: Airport seeking data from corporations

The Asheville Regional Airport is requesting assistance from corporations in the region to gather information so the airport can share that data with airliners for new, non-stop commercial air service.

"We want a realistic view of what corporation travel looks like in Western North Carolina," said Tina Kinsey, director of Air Service Development for the airport. 

Airport officials are looking for recent travel patterns, including destination and budget information.

"It's important for airports to frequently monitor the travel needs of regional businesses, and make sure that air service is a reflection of their needs," said Andrew Tate, executive director of the Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development. 

"Our job here at the airport is to advocate and be a liaison to help airlines know our market so they can make good use of their resources," Kinsey added. 

Visit to view the travel summary form or contact Kinsey at

Norfolk-built biplane ready for take-off in Germany – but grounded by UK red tape

A Norfolk aircraft manufacturer’s latest innovation has helped unlock new markets in Germany – but frustrations remain that the finished product is still grounded in the UK because of red tape. 


The Light Aircraft Company (TLAC), based at Little Snoring Airfield near Fakenham, produces the Sherwood Ranger aircraft, which has been sold in kit form to customers all over the world. 

After a year of development work, the firm has recently finished testing a ballistic parachute recovery system which can bring both plane and pilot safely to earth in the event of an emergency.

The system was designed to meet the regulations required to sell the microlight model as a fully-built aircraft in Germany.

But the current certification regime run by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) will not allow the same model to be sold as a completed biplane in the UK.

Director Paul Hendry-Smith said: “It is absolutely crazy. We are getting to the point where we can manufacture finished aircraft, ready to fly, for German customers, but we cannot sell them in the UK.

“We are employing more British labour and more British skills and components, and we are in a position where we can export British-built planes – which is what I thought the whole game was about.

“We have made representation to the CAA to ask to be considered to produce finished aircraft in the UK. They have a complex set of arrangements where we have to create an exposition of bills and on control of the whole process.

“The German equivalent of the CAA has empowered their national controlling authority for microlights to manage the construction of finished aircraft. That is like the CAA saying to the British Microlight Aircraft Association: ‘We’re busy doing jumbo jets, so you guys can control the smaller aircraft’ – but that has not happened in the UK.”

Mr Hendry-Smith took over the company in 2008 and now sells 12-14 Sherwood Ranger kits per year. About 18 kits sold since 2010 are currently under construction in countries including Thailand, Holland, Spain, Italy, America and Japan.

The company’s German distributor, Lanitz Aviation in Leipzig, has committed to sell between six and 12 finished aircraft per year.

TLAC is preparing for an April trade show in Germany, where demand has already been found to be high, with potential customers prepared to pay the equivalent of about £50,000 for a fully-built microlight, compared to the starting price of £13,500 for a kit.

Mr Hendry-Smith hopes the added sales will allow him to add to the company’s workforce, currently standing at two production staff, two on aircraft maintenance and two on administration duties.

“Successful completion of Germany will mean we are able to take on two more staff, and I would like them to be apprentices – because we are losing a phenomenal amount of engineering skills in the UK and unless we put some time and effort into bringing apprentices through then we are going nowhere as a country,” he said.

Jonathan Nicholson, a spokesman for the CAA, said while most aircraft were certified to European-wide standards, smaller aeroplanes like microlights were assessed on a “nation-by-nation” basis.

“The rules are very similar for the whole of Europe but there are some differences,” he said. “Some countries, like Germany, might have requirements for ballistic parachutes, for example, but we don’t.

“For us, we require a bit more oversight initially for a new type of aircraft, but that is just to ensure it is safe. For a new type of microlight we might be interested in doing some test flying, looking at the factory and seeing what standards they have got and how it is built. It would be exactly the same for a car manufacturer, where you would hope they had someone who understood how the brakes worked.

“But we have devolved a huge amount to associations like the BMAA and we are looking to do a lot more where we can, and where the association wants to take it on.”

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38th annual Cable Airshow features 'Tumbling Bear': Cable Airport (KCCB), Upland, California

Rob Harrison stands by the new yellow plane which he plans on flying at the Cable Airshow. The white and red one will be a back-up plane.
 (Photo courtesy of Eric Van Gilder)

Pilot and Claremont and Lake Arrowhead resident Rob "The Tumbling Bear" Harrison plans to retire in 2013 but not before he performs at this weekend's 38th annual Cable Airshow for one last time. 

"Well, that's the plan," Harrison said in a recent interview. "The caveat there is I've said that before.

This time I'm serious. I've been doing it over 20 years. I'm not getting any younger. As you can imagine, this takes a lot of energy."

Harrison will perform at the airshow and car show in Upland on Saturday and Sunday at Cable Airport.

A pancake breakfast starts off at 8 a.m. both days while airplane rides begin at 9 a.m. An air demonstration kicks off the event off at 10 a.m. before skydivers, Frank Donnelly (Dr. D) Old Time Aerobatics and more.

Afternoon performances, featuring many of the same acts, start at 2 p.m.

The complete schedule can be found by clicking here

Another performer to watch both days includes Sammy Mason, who is about 18.

Harrison said Mason was "among the best" and the show itself is "one of the best airshows anywhere" with acts like Jacquie Warda, Donnelly and more.

For his last cable airport show, he will display "a couple" of new maneuvers that are "hard to describe."

Harrison recently put his Claremont home up for sale but will live in it for the Upland show. In 2008, he crashed and broke both of his ankles but has continued flying. 

The injuries and his age has not contributed to his decision to retire.

"I'm fine, the airplanes are fine, I have every bit of passion I used to have. I want to travel, see my friends in Belgium, Austria, the Czech Republic. I'm getting busy in my engineering consultancy."

That's not the only reason for Harrison to leave.

"It's getting harder and harder to make any money much less break even at air shows," he said. "The price of gas, the price of parts and maintenance and promoters don't have any money. As long as we have a depressed economy, it's hard to justify flying without making any profit."

As part of his retirement, Harrison will sell his two airplanes Zlin 50 airplanes (the 1992 one is about $160,000 and the 1978 one is about $70,000).

 Harrison said giving up his flying career and "The Tumbling Bear" image is hard.

"I've been a success as a lawyer, as an engineer, and I've been successful as an athlete at the university level," Harrison said.

"But the only thing I've ever done in my life where I'm one of the best in the world is flying airplanes. And that's kind of my identity" `The Tumbling Bear.'

I'm kind of sad. I'm giving up the one thing in my life where I really excel. It's hard to sit on the porch when you run with the big dogs. But sometimes the dog gets old, hips get stiff and all the dog wants to do is sit by the porch. You can't run with the big dogs forever."

Susan Newman-Harrison, 48, has been married to Rob for six years after they met at an airshow.

Newman-Harrison said Harrison proposed to her at an airshow and had an airshow wedding.

She added she earned her pilots license in 1990 and still flies.

After the Cable airshow, Harrison said he would perform at the Chino airshow on May 4 and 5.

"I have a great affection for the airshow community," Harrison said. "All my dearest friends are airshow people. It tears my heart out to be leaving them."

If You Go

 38th annual Cable Airshow  

Where: Cable Airport, 1749 W. 13th St., Upland 

When: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday 

Cost: $7 for adults; $5 for youths age 5 to 12; kids under age 5 receive free admission 


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