Sunday, January 20, 2013

RAW VIDEO: Cropduster takes off from Mississippi highway

Free flights for 10-year-olds as Etihad celebrates 10th anniversary

Etihad Airways , the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, is offering free flights for 10-year-old guests* as a part of a year-long celebration of the airline's tenth anniversary.

Children turning 10 in 2013 are eligible for one free Coral Economy class return ticket to any destination on Etihad Airways ' route network, when booked and travelling with a paying adult.

The offer is valid on bookings made between January 20 and February 7, for travel between January 20 and May 23, 2013. All travel must be completed by May 31, 2013. To book the offer, guests must visit an Etihad Shop.

Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways ' Chief Commercial Officer, said: "November 2013 will mark the tenth anniversary of Etihad Airways ' first ever commercial flight. We intend to make this a full-year celebration, one which UAE nationals, our guests and staff will enjoy.

"As the 10-year-old flag carrier of the United Arab Emirates, we are pleased and proud to extend our celebration to the people of the UAE and, with this offer, to our guests who share this special milestone with us. Stay tuned for more offers to come."

For details on Etihad Shop locations and timings please visit Etihad .com.

*Terms and Conditions: Offer valid for guests born between January 1 and December 31, 2003, with presentation of valid passport with qualifying birth date. One free child per paying adult, travelling at the same time on the same flight. One complimentary ticket per valid passport. Subject to availability. Blackout periods apply. Not valid in Pearl Business or Diamond First class. Valid on all Etihad Airways -operated flights, as well as Air Seychelles' Abu Dhabi-Seychelles flights and airberlin's Abu Dhabi-Phuket flights. Taxes are applicable to the complimentary ticket and must be paid at time of booking. This offer can only be redeemed through an Etihad Shop.


Coast Guard Provides Security for Inaugural

The Coast Guard has combined efforts with local, state and federal agencies to provide security in the Washington area in support of the 57th Presidential Inauguration.

Agencies are conducting security patrols along the Potomac River, and air assets will enforce security zones within the National Capitol Region.

"Inter-agency partnership is paramount in a national-security event such as this," said Lt. Cmdr. Randall Brown, Chief of Response at Coast Guard Sector Baltimore.  "These combined efforts will help ensure public safety during the event." 


Jazz/Air Canada Express Q400 missing wheel

( Hat tip to Rob "BizJets")

TORONTO - No passengers or crew were injured when a landing gear wheel fell off an Air Canada Jazz plane following its landing at Toronto's Pearson airport.

Jazz spokeswoman Manon Stuart says the right wheel on the nose gear loosened while the plane was taxiing to the terminal to finish its flight from North Bay, Ont.

Stuart says pilots kept complete control of the plane during the incident, which saw emergency vehicles race out to the plane as a precautionary measure.

She says there were 72 passengers on the plane.

Stuart says the airline is launching an investigation to figure out what made the wheel come loose.


Cessna 170B, N2323D: Accident occurred January 20, 2013 in Erie, Colorado

NTSB Identification: CEN13CA138 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, January 20, 2013 in Erie, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/03/2013
Aircraft: CESSNA 170B, registration: N2323D
Injuries: 1 Minor,1 Uninjured.

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

During the takeoff roll from runway 15, the airplane encountered a gust of wind from the left. The airplane departed the runway and nosed over, coming to rest inverted. The vertical stabilizer and firewall were substantially damaged. The pilot reported no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. At the time of the accident, the nearest facility recorded the wind from 080 degrees at 14 knots gusting to 22 knots.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot’s failure to maintain control of the airplane while taking off in gusting wind conditions.

During the takeoff roll from runway 15, the airplane encountered a gust of wind from the left. The airplane departed the runway and nosed over, coming to rest inverted. The vertical stabilizer and firewall were substantially damaged. The pilot stated that there were no mechanical anomalies with the airplane prior to the accident. Wind at the time of the accident was recorded as 080 degrees at 14 knots gusting to 22 knots.

  Regis#: 2323D        Make/Model: C170      Description: 
  Date: 01/20/2013     Time: 1833

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

  City: ERIE   State: CO   Country: US


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

  Activity: Pleasure      Phase: Take-off      Operation: OTHER

  FAA FSDO: DENVER, CO  (NM03)                    Entry date: 01/22/2013 
A Cessna hit by a gust of wind during take-off flipped over this afternoon on a runway at the Erie Municipal Airport, according to Erie police.

Neither the pilot nor the passenger were injured in the accident, which happened around 1 p.m., police said. But there was enough damage to the plane for National Transportation Safety Board to classify it as an accident that requires investigation, police said.

The runway has since reopened.


Lewiston-Nez Perce County (KLWS), Lewiston, Idaho: Airport gets new website

LEWISTON, ID - The Lewiston- Nez Perce County Airport has revealed an upgraded version of their website that officials say is much more user friendly, and nicer to look at.

The old version of the site is still up and running, so don't be confused when you're surfing the web. The new version reveals a new logo at the top. Unlike the old website, flight schedules and flight statuses are available and easily accessible. To go to the website type


Welcome to the new Lewiston-Nez Perce County Regional Airport (LWS) website!

Probe of Boeing 787 Battery Fire Expands

Updated January 20, 2013, 11:27 a.m. ET

The Wall Street Journal

The National Transportation Safety Board Sunday added a new twist to the high-profile probes of electrical malfunctions aboard a pair of Boeing Co.'s 787 airliners by disclosing that the battery that caught fire on a parked Japan Airlines Co. jet earlier this month "did not exceed its designed voltage."

Japanese investigators looking into the cause of a second lithium-ion battery malfunction aboard an All Nippon Airways Co. 787, which occurred a little more than a week later, have indicated the battery in that incident may have been overcharged, leading to an emergency landing after pilots noticed a burning smell. They also have suggested similarities between the two incidents could help experts quickly get to the bottom of what happened.

The safety board's update, released early Sunday, suggests different circumstances may have preceded the two incidents and that at least to some extent, the investigations surprisingly may be headed in divergent directions.

If that is the case, it may complicate efforts to determine the root cause of the two incidents and potentially delay Boeing's effort to persuade regulators to allow the planes back into service.

Both batteries were heavily charred, according to previously released images. The Federal Aviation Administration last week said both batteries leaked electrolyte fluid and resulted in smoke damage to nearby portions of the aircraft.

U.S. and Japanese safety experts have been working together and sharing preliminary information, though their investigations are being run separately. It is too early to draw definitive conclusions, according to people familiar with both probes, and FAA officials are waiting for more data and analysis before agreeing on interim safeguards to allow 787 Dreamliners back in the air.

The NTSB's latest release, while highlighting the breadth and depth of its investigation, doesn't appear to resolve the most pressing questions.

The safety board disclosed that a team of investigators, including industry experts, are conducting detailed examinations of the internal structure of the battery in the JAL incident, which caught fire while it was being recharged on Jan. 7 at Boston's Logan International Airport following a flight from Tokyo. Various high-tech scans of the battery, and disassembly of a number of cells, appear intended to help investigators determine whether some type of internal fault or manufacturing defect prompted the battery to overheat and start the fire.

As part of its expanding probe, the safety board also is looking at external factors. On Sunday it said investigators already have examined wiring, circuit boards and other battery-related components removed from the aircraft. Investigators also intend to test components that feed power into the battery, according to the update.

On Tuesday, according to the NTSB, a group of safety experts will meet in Arizona "to test and examine the battery charger," which is manufactured there by Secureplane Technologies Inc., a unit of Meggitt PLC.

The safety board took the unusual step of releasing an update to its 787 investigation just after midnight, during a three-day weekend including a federal holiday. The world-wide grounding of Boeing 787s is now stretching into its fifth day, as the company and U.S. and Japanese investigators work to find the causes of the two incidents.

The NTSB also said that certain parts removed from the JAL 787 have been sent to Boeing for analysis and download of data at the company's facilities, a step that could assist the Chicago plane maker in developing potential interim safeguards needed to return the fleet to service. Previously, Boeing officials expressed frustration that some data gathered by government investigators hadn't yet been provided to the company.

When the FAA last Wednesday ordered the 787 fleet in the U.S. grounded, the emergency directive effectively put a halt to all deliveries of new Dreamliners because Boeing is prohibited from conducting test flights of yet-to-be-delivered 787s. Boeing formally announced a moratorium on Dreamliner deliveries Friday. 


Maker of 787 battery charger says will support United States investigation

WASHINGTON –  Securaplane Technologies Inc, a unit of Britain's Meggitt Plc, on Sunday confirmed that it makes the charger for lithium-ion batteries used on Boeing Co's 787 Dreamliner, and said it fully support U.S. investigations into battery issues that grounded the new planes last week.

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board on Sunday ruled out excess voltage as the cause of a battery fire on the 787 at the Boston airport this month. It said investigators would travel on Tuesday to Tucson, Arizona, where Securaplane is based, to test and examine the charger and download memory from the controller for the auxiliary power unit.

Shubhayu Chakraborty, president of Securaplane, declined to comment on the NTSB's planned visit.

"At this time we are not really involved in the investigation. If and when we get involved, we will support it fully," he told Reuters.

787 probe puts spotlight on Arizona battery firm

Andrea Shalal-Esa Reuters

6:06 p.m. CST, January 20, 2013

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Tucson, Arizona-based Securaplane Technologies Inc, which makes a charger for batteries used on the Boeing Co's 787 Dreamliner, on Sunday said it would support an investigation into battery issues that have grounded the new planes.

Securaplane, a unit of Britain's Meggitt Plc, first began working on the charger in 2004, but suffered millions of dollars of damages in November 2006 after a lithium-ion battery used in testing exploded and sparked a fire that burned an administrative building to the ground.

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board on Sunday ruled out excess voltage as the cause of a battery fire on the 787 at the Boston airport this month.

It said investigators would travel on Tuesday to Tucson, Arizona, where Securaplane is based, to test and examine the charger and download memory from the controller for the auxiliary power unit. They also plan to travel to Phoenix and carry out similar tests at the site where a unit of United Technologies Corp builds the power unit.

Fiona Greig, a spokeswoman for Securaplane, said the company had been invited to "contribute to the investigation process" and planned to fully support it.

"In line with the NTSB's practices, however, it would not be helpful to that investigation to comment further," she said in a statement provided to Reuters.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Sunday said it had investigated safety complaints leveled by a former Securaplane employee in 2008 and 2009 but determined that the allegations focused on prototypes that were not ultimately used in the new lightweight airliner.

Shubhayu Chakraborty, president of Securaplane, earlier told Reuters that his company's lithium-ion battery charger was currently only in use on the Boeing 787, although it is developing different systems for use on other aircraft.

Securaplane is building a lithium-ion battery system for the KC-390 military transport plane being developed by Brazil's Embraer SA, which is due to have its first flight in 2014. Embraer declined comment.

The company is also developing backup batteries for the Embraer Legacy 450 and 500 business jets and will make the lithium battery for the next-generation Eurocopter EC-135 helicopter being developed by EADS, according to the company's website.

The charger is part of a complex system that uses a lithium-ion battery made by Japan's GS Yuasa Corp and electrical systems made by France's Thales to provide start up power for an auxiliary power unit, which is built by Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies.

A separate lithium-ion battery, which also uses a Securaplane charger and Thales electrical power conversion equipment, is used as a main battery backup for flight critical systems, according to Boeing.

The NTSB's decision to travel to Securaplane's facility sparked fresh questions about a fire that destroyed an administrative building there in 2006.

Boeing spokesman Marc Birtel said an investigation into the 2006 fire at the Securaplane facility was later determined to have been caused by an improper test set-up, not the battery design. He declined comment on the current 787 investigations.

After the fire, a former Securaplane employee named Michael Leon filed a claim for federal whistleblower protection, alleging that he was fired for raising security concerns about the design of the charger and discrepancies between assembly documents for the chargers and the finished chargers.

A federal administrative law judge dismissed Leon's suit in 2011, saying the company had proven he was fired for repeated misconduct, not any safety complaints. The judge did not rule on Leon's alleged safety concerns.

Greig confirmed the suit was filed and dismissed, but said the company could not discuss personnel issues.

Leon could not be reached for comment.

FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown said the FAA investigated Leon's complaints, but determined that the battery charging units that he addressed were prototypes, and none were installed in Boeing 787 aircraft.

"Our reviews also determined Securaplane's production of a particular printed circuit board complied with FAA requirements," Brown said.

(Reporting By Andrea Shalal-Esa; additional reporting by Brad Haynes in Brazil, and Noeleen Walder in New York; Editing by Maureen Bavdek and Marguerita Choy)


Xiamen-Phuket tourist charter flight makes maiden flight

The Orient Thai Airlines Boeing 737-300 took off from Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport directly to Phuket, the hottest tourist destination in Southeast Asia on 18th January, 2013 with only a 4-hour traveling time.

It was the first ever direct flight from Xiamen, China to Phuket, Thailand. The round-trip route will run every 6 days with 132 seats (including 8 business class seats) every flight, and the ticket prices range from RMB3,680 to RMB5,980.

The flight will take off from Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport at 14:40, and arrive at Phuket International Airport at 17:40 (local time).

Statistics showed that the passengers on the maiden flight were mostly young people, and the Governor of Phuket, Maitri Inthusut, who arrived in Xiamen a few days ago on an inspection tour also took the maiden flight back to Thailand.

According to a local travel agency in Xiamen, they have pushed forward a high-quality “No Shopping” travel package for the Xiamen-Phuket charter flight-seeing tours.

Phuket, the largest island in Thailand, has become one of Asia's most popular beach destinations for its spectacular scenery, stunning tropical sunsets and warm blue sea.


Weather lands Ryanair passengers in wrong French city

The passengers traveling with the low-cost airline spent hours on the ground awaiting information from the carrier on how they would be able to reach their final destination before being taken to a hotel and told they would travel by bus on Monday morning.

The plane took off from Oporto at 0700 GMT on Sunday and landed at the Nantes-Atlantique airport at 0900 GMT. Nantes and Lille are about 600 kilometres (373 miles) apart.

"We're 123 people, including children. There's no one from Ryanair at the airport and the person responsible for the airport has no solution," Ricardo Ribeiro, one of the stranded passengers told AFP, saying they had first spent four hours in the aircraft.

"There are people who don't have money to get to Lille and the Ryanair plane has taken off for Oporto again."

"We haven't even been given water. One child fainted," he said, noting they had discussed solutions with airport staff, "but it's after 5 pm (1600 GMT) and we still don't see a solution."

Remi Motte, a technical director at Nantes-Atlantique, told AFP the airports in both Lille and in Beauvais, outside of Paris, had been closed due to the weather Sunday, resulting in a diversion of several flights to Nantes. Motte said "several hundred" passengers were affected by the schedule change.

Most of them were transported to their original destination by bus, he said, but added that that solution had not been possible for the 123 people flying from Oporto to Lille.

On Sunday evening, Motte said the passengers had eventually been driven to a nearby hotel and would be taken to Lille by bus on Monday morning.

Two families, with disabled family-members, left for Lille in taxis on Sunday afternoon, he said.


Arunachal Pradesh gets Pawan Hans helicopter

The Pawan Hans Helicopters Limited has delivered an Mi-172 helicopter on wet lease to the Arunachal Pradesh government for resumption of passenger services that were suspended after the helicopter accident on April 30, 2011, that killed the then Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu.

An official of Arunachal Pradesh Civil Aviation Department told The Hindu on Sunday that Chief Minister Nabam Tuki would take the final decision on routes and timings for the Pawan Hans helicopter services once the necessary safety clearance was obtained. The government had invited bids for twin engine large helicopter (Mi-172/Mi-171 or equivalent) not older than five years.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) suspended the Pawan Hans service in the northeast region from May 5, 2011 to June 6, 2011 after two helicopter crashes —one on April 19, 2011 of an Mi-172 and the second on April 30, 2011 of an AS 350 B3.

In the first accident, the Mi-172 helicopter with 23 persons on board flying on the Guwahati-Tawang sector crashed at the Tawang helipad while landing, killing 19 persons, including two crew members.


Southwest Airlines settles lawsuit over drink coupons

For millions of Southwest Airlines passengers, the drinks are on the house.

The airline has reached a tentative settlement with passengers who sued Southwest over vouchers for alcoholic drinks that were given to “business select” passengers before Aug. 1, 2010.

On that date, Southwest changed its policy, saying that even though the drink vouchers had no expiration date, the airline would only honor them on the date passengers were traveling.

In the lawsuit filed in 2011, the plaintiffs, Adam Levitt and Herbert Malone, said the policy change amounts to a breach of contract and made the coupons worthless.

The airline had previously said that it changed its policy because passengers were making photocopies of the vouchers to get free drinks.

Under the settlement, Southwest could be on the hook to redeem up to 5.8 million vouchers. Since the airline charges $5 for alcoholic drinks, the settlement is worth about $29 million. The airline is also responsible for  paying legal fees of up to $7 million. If you think Southwest owes you a drink, get details online on how to file a claim for a new voucher. You must file before Sept. 2, 2013.


Easton Gilbert SeaRey plane, Richard Bach, N346PE: Accident occurred August 31, 2012 in Friday Harbor, Washington

NTSB Identification: WPR12LA385
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, August 31, 2012 in Friday Harbor, WA
Aircraft: EASTON SEAREY, registration: N346PE
Injuries: 1 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 may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On August 31, 2012, about 1630 Pacific daylight time, an Easton SeaRey amphibian amateur-built airplane, N346PE, sustained substantial damage during impact with wires and terrain while landing near Friday Harbor, Washington. The commercial pilot, the sole occupant, was seriously 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 Eastsound, Washington, approximately 45 minutes before the accident. A flight plan had not been filed.

A witness stated the he observed the airplane on short final to a private grass airstrip when it struck power line wires. The aircraft nosed over and impacted terrain.

A plane crash should have killed author Richard Bach, but almost five months later he has returned to what he knows best — Jonathan Livingston Seagull. 

Photo Credit:  Sabryna Bach
 Richard Bach has added a fourth section to “Jonathan Livingston Seagull.”

Originally published January 19, 2013 at 8:01 PM | Page modified January 20, 2013 at 12:30 PM 

By Jennifer Sullivan
Seattle Times staff reporter

Nearly five months after he almost died in a plane crash on San Juan Island, author Richard Bach has returned to what he knows best — the inspirational tale of Jonathan Livingston Seagull.

The 76-year-old author and longtime pilot is recovering at his Orcas Island home after spending four months in a Seattle hospital with massive brain, chest and spine injuries. Bach says his recovery includes rediscovering simple pleasures, like walking and talking with ease and carving the Christmas turkey.

He credits ex-wife Sabryna Bach with helping ease the difficult time. It was her support, coupled with his brush with death, that prompted Bach to get back to the famous novella that made him one of the world’s most famous authors more than 40 years ago.

Published in 1970, “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” told, in three parts, the story of a seagull who refused to conform and longed for a life beyond that of his flock. The book was an international best-seller that inspired legions of fans and a film with a soundtrack by Neil Diamond.

“When it was written there were four parts of the book,” said Bach, explaining the never-completed fourth part.

But Bach recently finished the fourth section of “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” and mailed it off to his publisher a few weeks ago.

In the new section, the flock struggles to find meaning. They first worship Jonathan, then, as the years pass, he’s written off as a myth. But, eventually, a message of hope comes though when Jonathan returns.

“He’s just there to make things a little more at ease ... like Sabryna,” Bach said.

Sabryna Bach, 42, shies away from any attention. She says Bach’s work on the book has given him the confidence to get his recovery completely on track.

“He saw that his intellect was untouched [by the crash],” she said. “After that he did a 180.”

Read full story:

Easton SeaRey amphibian amateur-built, N346PE 

Friday, Aug. 31, 2012
Photo provided by the San Juan Islander, authorities examine a plane, piloted by author Richard Bach, that crashed in a field in Friday Harbor, Wash. Bach, the author of the 1970s best-selling novella "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" among other spiritually oriented writings often rooted in themes of flight, was in serious condition Saturday at Harborview Medical Center. 
(AP Photo/San Juan Islander, Matt Pranger) MANDATORY CREDIT

  (Courtesy of
Story and photos:

 Courtesy of
Story and photos:

Bach's plane was badly damaged in the crash
 Courtesy of

Security checkpoint briefly closed at Newark Liberty International (KEWR) after bottle of liquid gets through

NEWARK — A checkpoint at Newark Liberty International Airport was closed briefly on Sunday morning, after officials discovered that a bottle of liquid had passed through a checkpoint without being properly screened, a Port Authority spokesman said.

The incident occurred shortly before 7:30 a.m. at checkpoint 1 in Terminal C, said Ron Marsico, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

The bottle’s owner was quickly found and the bottle rescreened, Marsico said.

The federal Transportation Security Administration confirmed in a statement that the checkpoint was closed because of “an incomplete screening procedure.”

The liquid which wasn’t identified was something that’s allowed on planes, but the bottle was larger than the 3.4 ounce limit that the TSA has set for passengers, the agency said.

Passengers are allowed to carry certain types of liquids, such as medication and baby formula.

“The passenger was located, brought back to the checkpoint, and screening was completed with negative findings,” the TSA said in a statement. “The passenger was cleared to fly and checkpoint operations resumed at approximately 7:45 a.m.”


United Airlines worker struck by baggage cart, seriously injured at Newark Liberty International Airport (KEWR), New Jersey

NEWARK —  A United Airlines employee sustained serious injuries Sunday morning after being pinned by a cart carrying luggage at Newark Airport, a spokesmen for the airline and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said.

While driving on the airport's tarmac, a vehicle carrying trays of food for in-flight dining struck the luggage cart, which struck the worker, said Port Authority spokesman Ron Marsico.

The accident took place at about 9:20 a.m. Sunday, and the man was immediately taken to a local hospital, said Christen David, a spokeswoman for the airline.

"A United supervisor is at the hospital to provide support and assistance to the injured employee and his family," David said.

She would not, however, provide any additional details about the nature of the accident or the man's identity, citing the employee's privacy.

Story and Reaction/Comments:

Wind Blows United Airlines Boeing 737 into Fuel Tanker at Buffalo Niagara International Airport (KBUF), New York

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. - A United Airlines Boeing 737 was damaged after strong winds moved the nose of the plane into a fuel tanker at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport early Sunday morning.

A spokesperson from the NFTA tells 2 on Your Side that no passengers or airline staff were on board when the plane struck the fuel tanker at 4:15 a.m.  

A witness emailed photos of the accident to Channel 2.

The NFTA spokesperson added that both the plane and the fuel tanker were owned by United Airlines and that there were no leaks in the tanker. 

Our partners at The Weather Channel posted a series of photos of the accident as well.


Blown by Strong Winds, Airliner Hits Fuel Tank

Coast Guard Air Station host "Women in Aviation" event

EGG HARBOR TWP. -  Women who are looking for a career field to get back on your feet might want to consider one that gets them off of the ground as the Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City hosted a "Women in Aviation" event Sunday to help encourage women to join the aviation field.

Women interested in aviation caught a brief glimpse of what a career in the air could be like.

As the Philadelphia chapter of "Women in Aviation" International Organization came to the Coast Guard Air Station in Atlantic City to educate interested women on the possibilities.

"The career options are endless and there's just nothing like the feeling of being up in an airplane looking down at the world it's indescribable," explained Jill Meyers, President of the Philadelphia chapter of Women in Aviation International Organization.

The "Women in Aviation" organization has more than 14,000 members worldwide, 13 members right here in the Greater Philadelphia Area and 30 more potential members wanting to learn more about aviation.

"One of the whole missions of women aviation is to promote education and promote aviation and aerospace as a career field," said Meyers.

And what better way to promote than with a demonstration.

"Yeah, I think it was a wonderful showing for most of them," said Lt. Jennifer Paulson, a pilot for the U.S. Coast Guard. I think it was their first time seeing a search and rescue demonstration as well as a coast guard helicopter flying that up close and personal, so I think it was a very rewarding and eye opening experience."

This event educated, encouraged and possibly persuaded   others to join members like Lt. Jennifer Paulson in the field of aviation, a field that Lt. Paulson says she wouldn't trade in for anything.

"I love what I'm doing, I'm pretty new to it, I've only been a pilot for a year and a half, so I still have a ton to learn and a lot of different stuff I want to experience," Lt. Paulson expressed. "So right now where I'm at in my life there is nothing else I'd rather be doing."

Sunday's event was the third meeting for the new Philadelphia chapter of Women in Aviation and the first one with U.S. Coast Guard.


At Boeing, pushback on 787 grounding

Boeing’s leadership privately believes the government’s grounding of the company’s flagship 787 Dreamliner was an unnecessarily drastic step, but its defensive attitude isn’t sitting well with some customers and risks alienating regulators. 

By Dominic Gates

Seattle Times aerospace reporter

Boeing’s leadership privately believes the government’s grounding of the company’s flagship 787 Dreamliner was an unnecessarily drastic step, but its defensive attitude isn’t sitting well with some customers and it risks alienating regulators.

“You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone at Boeing who believes the FAA should have grounded it,” said a former top executive, who asked for anonymity in speaking about his former colleagues. “They all believe the airplane is safe.”

But an executive in charge of fleet planning for a major airline that has 787s on order expressed astonishment that Boeing has seemed to minimize what he sees as potentially critical incidents.

“At no stage have they appeared to be open to admitting the seriousness of what’s happened,” the executive said. “They are basically still in denial.”

Before ordering the first such grounding in more than three decades, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) first announced a sweeping 787 safety review when a battery caught fire on an empty Japan Airlines (JAL) 787 parked in Boston, shortly after 137 passengers and crew disembarked from a 12-hour flight.

Then just days after unveiling the review, an All Nippon Airways (ANA) 787 was forced to make an emergency landing in western Japan when a battery overheated and spewed hot chemicals and soot into the electronics bay.

The next day, the FAA followed Japanese airlines in grounding the Dreamliner, and regulators worldwide followed suit

Nonetheless, Boeing chief executive Jim McNerney, in a message to employees Friday, said “We have high confidence in the safety of the 787 and stand squarely behind its integrity.”

“We are working around the clock to support the FAA, our customers, and others in the investigations,” McNerney wrote.

Gordon Bethune, the former Boeing executive who left to run Continental Airlines — and who in that position bought the grounded Dreamliners now owned by United — is emphatic that the government overreached.

He criticized the decision to ground the plane, which was made by Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and FAA chief Michael Huerta.

“Neither of those two guys know the front end from the back of an airplane,” Bethune said.

“They jumped the gun, but that’s the product of a cover-your-ass administration,” he fumed. “It’s heavy-handed, draconian and way, way beyond what needs to be done to protect the public.”

”Obviously, (Boeing’s leaders) are disappointed in this overreaction,” Bethune said. “But it doesn’t help them to bitch, so they will never say anything publicly that could be disparaging to the government.”

“Don’t think they are making light of this,” Bethune added. “I’m sure they are chagrined as hell. But they are going to fix it.”

While many airline customers have publicly expressed confidence in Boeing, privately some have reservations.

On Friday, the fleet planning executive for a 787 customer airline looked at a photo of the burned-out battery taken from the ANA jet and said he feels “very uneasy” that Boeing minimized the in-flight threat.

Though apparently in that case there was no fire outside the battery, the charred mess visible inside after investigators opened it up was startling enough.

And he noted that when a fire had broken out a week earlier from a battery on a Japan Airlines 787 parked in Boston, Boeing’s public statements never used the word “fire.”

After the Boston fire, Boeing tried to narrow the scope of the FAA’s safety review, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

And right up until the announcement that the planes were grounded following the in-flight ANA incident, Boeing argued to the FAA that passengers were never at risk.

A person with knowledge of the deliberations said Boeing maintained that safety controls had worked as designed on that flight to shut down the battery and prevent a fire.

Regulators were not persuaded.

Now Boeing is struggling to satisfy aviation authorities in both the U.S. and Japan with an interim fix that includes thorough one-time battery inspections and instructions to pilots to do specific preflight electrical system checks.

However, the release Friday by the Japan Transport Safety Board of the ANA battery photo, along with a public statement by Japan transport-ministry investigator Hideyo Kosugi that suggests the battery may have been overcharged, undermine the proposal for an interim fix.

Boeing Vice President Mike Sinnett, briefing reporters about the battery’s safety features last week, said the battery couldn’t overcharge because four independent control systems would shut off the power to the battery before anything that critical occurred.

Perhaps that system worked as intended. But investigators are still working on finding out and the burned-out state of the battery raises concern.

“Until they know what caused it, they can’t start finding a fix,” said the airline executive.

An interim solution of battery inspections “is a tough sell to the FAA and to the operators without knowing the root cause,” he added.

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Cessna 140, N2341N: Accident occurred January 19, 2013 in Boulder, Utah

NTSB Identification: WPR13FA095 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, January 19, 2013 in Boulder, UT
Aircraft: CESSNA 140, registration: N2341N
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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

On January 19, 2013, about 1501 mountain standard time, a Cessna 140, N2341N, sustained substantial damage when it struck power lines while maneuvering near Boulder, Utah. The airplane was registered and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The certificated commercial pilot and passenger were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight. The local flight departed from Escalante Municipal Airport (1L7) Escalante, Utah at an undetermined time.

According to a local power company official, the power lines between Boulder and Escalante were interrupted at 1501 when an automatic breaker tripped. He responded to the power outage and noticed the power lines near mile marker 78 on Utah State Route (SR) 12 were tangled. He stated that a portion of the airplane’s wing was moved from the highway and that two power line poles were damaged and the attached power lines were lying near the ground. Power company personnel were able to estimate the height of the power lines at the approximate point of impact to be about 100 feet.

A witness located on the west side of Utah SR 12 near the accident site reported that he observed the airplane fly over his position on an easterly heading. Shortly afterwards, he observed the airplane strike the power lines.

Examination of the accident site by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator in charge (IIC) revealed that the airplane struck power lines and subsequently the ground about 20 miles north of 1L7. All major structural components of the airplane were located within the approximate 250-long debris path. The airplane was recovered to a secure location for further examination.

  Regis#: 2341N        Make/Model: C140      Description: 
  Date: 01/19/2013     Time: 2230

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

  City: BOULDER   State: UT   Country: US


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

  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Unknown      Operation: OTHER

  FAA FSDO: SALT LAKE CITY, UT  (NM07)            Entry date: 01/22/2013 
Crews respond to the scene of a plane crash near Escalante on Saturday, January 19, 2013
Photo Courtesy:   Garfield County Sheriff's Office

Photo Courtesy: Garfield County Sheriff's Office

Photo Courtesy: Garfield County Sheriff's Office

 Photo Courtesy: Garfield County Sheriff's Office

Photo Courtesy: Garfield County Sheriff's Office

ESCALANTE, Garfield County — The names have been released of two Escalante men who were killed Saturday when the plane they were flying in crashed into transmission power lines. 

Pilot Paul Bowmar, 56, and passenger Nicholas Rezmick, 59, both of Escalante, were killed instantly in the crash, according to the Garfield County Sheriff's Office. 

The crash took place around 3:30 p.m. between Escalante and Boulder, near state Route 12, Garfield County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Becki Bronson said. The two men were flying recreationally in a single-engine plane when they hit the power lines.

Bronson said a transmission tower was also damaged when the power lines were struck, causing some power disruption, but she did not know the duration or the size of the area affected by the outages.

Bowmar's wife, Linda Mansell, said he had asked her to go flying Saturday, but she declined because she wasn't feeling well. Mansell said her husband likely ran into Rezmick, a friend, in town and offered to take him flying, as he often offered plane rides to friends and neighbors.

"He was just a kind, generous person," Mansell said. "He was gentle and caring and always tried to help people out."

Bowmar came from a long line of pilots and had flown more than 3,000 hours, Mansell said. He also operated a machine shop in Escalante.

"I loved him a lot," she said. "There were a lot of people in town who loved him a lot."

Mansell said her power went out sometime after 3 p.m., but she did not know the cause. Throughout the night, information began trickling in about a plane crash, and she was contacted later that night by the sheriff's office.

Mansell said she didn't know Rezmick too well, but described him as a "down to earth, country guy," who was very helpful to people in the community.

Bronson said the accident is still under investigation, but preliminary reports do not indicate any mechanical failure or hazardous flying conditions.

The crash is similar to one that occurred in May 2009 in roughly the same area. In that incident, a Utah man and California woman were killed when the single-engine plane they were flying in clipped some power lines and skidded into the Calf Creek Bridge.

"It was eerily similar to the crash that had happened several years ago," Bronson said. "The power lines, obviously, are very difficult to see."

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Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (KBWI) Officials To Ravens Fans: Stay Away

Officials at BWI-Marshall Airport say there will be no opportunity to meet the Baltimore Ravens as they arrive home from Sunday night's AFC Championship against the New England Patriots.

In a statement emailed to WBAL News, airport spokesman Jonathan Dean says, "local fans are reminded that there will not be an opportunity for the public to greet the Baltimore Ravens upon the team’s arrival at BWI Marshall Airport following the AFC Championship Game. Fans are discouraged from coming to the Airport terminal or property to try and meet the team."

The team is due back to arrive in Baltimore early Monday morning, regardless of the outcome of the game.

Permit dispute closes private runway: Twin Lakes Air Park (S17), Graniteville, South Carolina

Twin Lakes Air Park has been closed by court order for several weeks because, when the runway was widened in 2006, the air strip’s owners did not secure the proper permits from Aiken County.

Twin Lakes Air Park off Bettis Academy Road features a private air strip that residents use for their private planes. 

The runway in Twin Lakes is closed per a court order obtained by Aiken County because the proper permits were not filed when the runway was widened in 2006, but community residents said they did everything they believed was required of them. 

 Twin Lakes, off Bettis Academy Road, has its own airstrip which is used by many of the private plane owners who live in the neighborhood. The runway’s code, as identified by the Federal Aviation Administration, is S17.

S17 is also the name of the neighborhood’s homeowners association that owns the runway.

In 2006, the runway was widened to 60 feet from 40 feet. S17 utilized a contractor company out of Columbia to do the work, and reportedly sent a letter to Aiken County Planning and Development advising the department of the plans.

“They did not get development permits,” said Stephen Strohminger, director of Planning and Development. Permitting for such a project includes stormwater runoff plans and other engineering reports.

S17 claims it received a letter back from Planning and Development, which stated County Council would be informed of the widening project. It appears nothing happened after that.

It wasn’t until someone submitted a complaint to Aiken County, according to staff, that officials took action.

Jerry Crawford, a Twin Lakes resident who spoke to County Council this week, asked that staff “cease and desist” with the court order.

“County staff has threatened fines and jail time,” he said.

Crawford requested the runway be opened again because the property owners never intended to violate any County permitting laws and because no one received any response after from County officials after the initial letter.

He believes it’s a waste of time and money to mess with this “piddly little problem.”

“From this body’s standpoint, there has been a violation,” said Councilman Chuck Smith. “We need to have assurances that things were done right.”

Now, Aiken County requires that an engineer inspect the runway and check that certain aspects like level, thickness of paving and stormwater runoff comply with the plans S17 must submit. If the engineer approves, then the runway can reopen.

Strohminger said S17 hasn’t submitted anything yet.

“They basically have to start over from scratch,” he said.

County Attorney Lawrence Brown said this week that S17 cannot come to a consensus between it and other property owners in the area to hire an engineer to perform the necessary inspections.

“I can’t be their mediator. I am waiting on a call from the S17’s attorney,” he said.

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Business takes off; Family breathes new life into Ortner Airport (I64), Wakeman, Ohio

Courtney and Steve Ortner pose with airplanes in the hangar at Ortner Airport in Florence Township.

Airplanes are parked inside the hangar at Ortner Airport in Florence Township.

Dean Ortner and his converted World War II fighter.

FLORENCE TOWNSHIP — The son of a local legendary flyboy hopes his family’s airport will take off again.

The Ortner Airport, 9620 SR 60, Florence Township, has returned to the fold of the Ortner family. Steve and Courtney Ortner, of rural Wakeman, purchased the 125-acre airport in 2011 and are upgrading the landing strip that Steve’s father and uncles first cleared in the 1940s.

“That’s part of the reason we bought it,” Steve said.

“Nostalgic,” Courtney said.

 “It was once in the family,” Steve said. “I had the opportunity to buy it back. We could do it, so we did.”

Steve is president of Absolute Machine Tools Inc., a company based in Lorain with offices in Mason and in Livonia, Mich. The company has about 50 workers who sell and service industrial metal cutting and turning machinery.

His family’s roots in aviation date back to the 1940s, when brothers Ferd, Andy and Dean Ortner all fell in love with planes. They built a landing strip on the family farm outside Birmingham, according to

The three learned how to fly and Andy Ortner eventually became owner of Ortner Air Service Inc. In the 1950s and 1960s, the company grew as Andy, Dean and their pilots flew parts around the country for companies including Ford Motor Co.

“They flew freight to keep the production lines open and things like that,” Courtney said. “That was their business and they were busy doing it.”

Andy Ortner, who was Steve’s uncle, grew the shipping company to become “one of the nation’s largest private charter airplane fleets,” according to a 1970 profile in The Morning Journal.

Based in rural Birmingham, Andy Ortner had 30 or more planes, with seven DC-7 aircraft flying out of Detroit and Atlanta. His home airport averaged seven or eight flights a day, sometimes with as many as 25 or 30 flights per day.

The Morning Journal profile described him: “Ortner is basically a hard-nosed farmer-mechanic with a big ‘Hello’, a bigger smile and the touch of drama which always surrounds fliers.”

Dean, the father of Steve, also became well known as one of the country’s top stunt pilots. Flying freight was work, but for play he headed into the wild blue yonder to loop and roll World War II vintage fighter planes, such as the Corsair and P-51 Mustang.

“His fun was, he liked doing acrobatics,” Steve Ortner said.

“We have a lot of people tell us a lot of stories about his dad,” Courtney said.

Dean Ortner, 45, died June 17, 1973, when his single-engine FMJ-6 fighter plane crashed while he was performing at the Shelby air show in Richland County.

“He was actually going to hang it up after that,” Courtney Ortner said. “He was going to stop doing airshows and concentrate on the freight company.”

On Sept. 1, 1976, Andy Ortner and another man, George Davidson, of Wellington, were nearing Memphis, Tenn. to collect parts for Ford, according to a report at

They were flying a twin-engine Beechcraft when it exploded in mid-air, crashed and burned, according to There were no survivors.

“That was pretty much the end of this place,” Steve said about the airport. “It sat in limbo for a few years.”

The Ortner family later sold the airport to Don and Karen Paolucci, who kept it alive as a quiet country airfield. Preparing to retire, Paolucci in 2011 sold it back to the new generation of Ortners.

Paolucci has stayed on as operations manager and keeps his airplanes there. “He’s extremely valuable to us,” Courtney said.

The Ortners also have plans for growth.

Last year they invested $315,000 to resurface the 3,800-foot runway, hangar approaches and parking lot. The runway is the longest in Erie County.

“It was severely deteriorated and loose gravel and propellers don’t go together,” Steve said. “To bring people in, it’s got to be nice, so we had to fix it up.”

They are renovating the house that serves as the airport office. The remodeled space will have a handicap-accessible bathroom, pilots lounge, office space and an instruction area.

Steve, 46, and Courtney, 45, are not pilots, but they aim to be.

“As soon as we get the flight school started, we’re going to be the first customers,” Courtney said.

The airport has two hangars; the Ortners are building a new 10-unit hangar that already has its places reserved, and they have a waiting list in case they build a fourth, Courtney said. 

The couple also has experienced the strict regulations that govern American aviation. They have appealed to state officials regarding hangar building and fire control systems.

They also would like to add an instrument landing approach system, which helps guide pilots in to land in bad weather. The Federal Aviation Administration has denied the request because the 55-foot-wide runway is five feet short of regulation size, the Ortners said.

While it may not become a hub of a new Ortner Air Service, the couple said they hope to make enough money to cover taxes, maintain the runway and pay for upgrades from time to time.

“I’m not sure how profitable this will be when everything is calmed down and we’re done with our changes,” Courtney said. “It’s more for the love of doing it.”

“We’re going to give it a helluva’ shot,” Steve said.

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Fayette County Airport Authority chairman tenders resignation: Joseph A. Hardy Connellsville Airport (KVVS), Connellsville, Pennsylvania

The Fayette County Airport Authority (FCAA) chairman has submitted his letter of resignation, just two days after the board agreed to layoff the airport manager.

 In the brief letter delivered to the county commissioners on Friday, Terrence “Tuffy” Shallenberger gave no explanation for his departure from the board, only that the resignation was effective immediately and that he appreciated the opportunity to serve on the board.

“It was a very brief statement,” said attorney Charles Watson, Shallenberger’s legal counsel. “(Shallenberger) did not give a reason for leaving, but I believe there were several personal reasons for him doing so.”

Watson declined to speculate whether the decision was in any way connected to the board’s action Thursday to lay off Mary Lou Fast, who had served as the airport manager since September, 2008.

In a 4-1 vote, Fast’s contract was terminated. The three-year agreement was to expire in October.

FCAA board member Fred Davis said Saturday that he had not been officially notified of the resignation.

“(Shallenberger) is a businessman and with a lot of interests, so I’m sure he had his reasons,” said Davis. “The airport has been there since 1939, so I’m sure it will go on with the efforts of people who volunteer.”

Davis said that no meetings have been scheduled to address the manager’s position. A replacement for Shallenberger would be at the discretion of the Fayette County commissioners, he added.

Shallenberger has served on the board since 2005 and reappointed to a five year term in 2010. He could not be reached for comment Saturday.

Davis said that he agrees with Matt Thomas, FCAA vice chairman, that “temporary help” is needed at the airport until the managerial issues have been resolved. However, there has not been any discussion with FCAA board members Myrna Giannopoulos or Jesse Wallace.

Giannopoulos, board secretary, said Saturday, that while she anticipated Shallenberger’s resignation, she had not been contacted by him or any other board member regarding his decision.

She tied his resignation to “some discontent” at the airport, but declined to elaborate on the matter.

“There are a lot of things going on,” she said.

While Commission Chairman Al Ambrosini has offered to send his administrative assistant to the airport to do some clerical work on an interim basis, Giannopoulos said that she is willing to take on some of the duties, if needed.

As to whether Shallenberger’s resignation will prompt an exodus of other members, Giannopoulos said that she has no intention of resigning at this time.

“I’m staying,” she said. “I have every intention to serve out my term.”

Commissioner Angela M. Zimmerlink has called for a special meeting to be held Wednesday for the commissioners to meet with the FCAA and discuss the matters.

“Rumor of forced firings, outside influences and resignations, replacements already chosen coupled with FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) findings, require discussion with the FCAA authority members and the solicitor,” said Zimmerlink in a statement issued Thursday afternoon.

Giannopoulos said that she has not received any information from Zimmerlink regarding a meeting. She indicated that the authority board will have to convene to discuss its next steps.

“We’ll get together,” she said.


Thursday, January 17, 2013:   Fayette Airport Authority lays off manager -- Joseph A. Hardy Connellsville Airport (KVVS), Connellsville, Pennsylvania  

The Fayette County Airport Authority voted 4-1 Wednesday night to lay off airport manager Mary Lou Fast and to terminate her three-year employment contract.

 Authority member Jesse Wallace voted against the furlough just moments after members returned from a brief executive session.

“I‘m not going to be a part of this,” Wallace said.

After the meeting, Wallace said he did not think Fast should be furloughed because “she is a good employee.”

“I would like for her to stay,” Wallace added.

Fast declined to comment on the layoff, which is immediate and indefinite.

Mark Shipley, an employee of Aviation Network, an airport tenant that transports transplant patients and organs to various hospitals in the Northeast, talked to Fast after the meeting.

“You have been the best employee this airport has had,” Shipley said as he hugged Fast and wished her good luck in her future endeavors.

Fast had been employed as airport manager for more than four years. Her original two-year contract was extended to three years. She was completing the third year of her contract, which was scheduled to expire in October.

Three of the authority‘s five members agreed to allow Fast to collect her severance package. Authority solicitor Gretchen Mundorff said the authority members could not discuss the details of the severance package.

Authority members Wallace, Myrna Giannopoulos and Terry Shallenberger voted in support of the severance package. Two members, Matt Thomas and Fred Davis, abstained from voting.

Authority members declined to comment on why Fast was laid off, but they indicated that the stress level at the Joseph A. Hardy Connellsville Airport has been very high recently. They would not comment on rumors that several authority members were considering the possibility of resigning.

Fayette County Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink attended the meeting but did not address the authority or make any comments.

In other business, Mark Shipley of Aviation Network asked the authority to consider entering into a commercial lease for space his company has been renting at two smaller T-hangars. Shipley said his company has been renting the smaller hangars for several months because it needed additional space. Aviation Network has a commercial lease for a larger hangar and office space.

Mundorff was directed by authority members to draft new leases last year. The leases were completed in December, but only 15 of the 40 tenants have signed them.

Russ Jones of PennDOT‘s Bureau of Aviation said the Federal Aviation Administration requires the authority to have written leases.

If the mandated leases are not in place, Jones said, the authority could be in jeopardy of losing federal funding.

In a recent audit, the FAA listed the leases as one of the findings the authority needed to address.


Seaplane tour to be launched in Tianjin in 2014

Tianjin Dongjiang Bonded Port Area is planning to build the first seaplane base in Bohai Bay region and the seaplane scenic tours are expected to open in the beginning of 2014.

China air traffic authorities have said that the decades-old ban on use of the low-altitude airspace across the country will be relaxed starting 2013.

"A feasibility study is being carried out. And the construction of the seaplane base will be started in the second half of this year. The seaplane tours will be available in the beginning of 2014,” said an executive of the China Aero Supply.

The visitors will fly in 19-seat DHC-6 Twin Otter.

In the first phase, Dongjiang Bay-Tianjin Port and Dongjiang Bay-Binhai Aircraft Carrier Theme Park routes will be provided; routes to allow visitors to get panoramic view of 16 port cities in Bohai Bay will be launched in the second phase.

Dutch aircraft makes emergency landing at Cairo airport to save passenger

A Dutch flight on its way from Hurghada to Amsterdam Sunday morning landed at the Cairo airport just half an hour after it took off, when a passenger on board suddenly began to faint.

The charter aircraft, boarded mostly by tourists, landed at Cairo Airport's transit area while the passengers waited in the transit lounges. The sick passenger was taken to a nearby hospital and once she recovered, three and a half hours later, she and the other passengers boarded the plane to the Netherland.

Portland's fog diverts flights to Redmond, Oregon: Airbus also diverted due to mechanical woes; rental cars run out

Fog shrouded cars on Interstate 205 near Airport Way Saturday night, and ended up canceling some Redmond flights, diverting others from Portland

REDMOND, Ore. - It's not all that unusual during the winter for fog to cause some flight delays or cancellations at Redmond Airport, but Saturday night was a bit different story, as fog in Portland caused several planes to be diverted to Redmond instead, making for an unusually busy night at RDM.

At least five flights headed to Portland were diverted to Redmond. What's more, a United A320 Airbus flight from Chicago to Portland also was diverted to Redmond, not due to fog but mechanical problems, officials said.

Several flights into and out of Roberts Field (RDM) were canceled or delayed due to the Portland fog. You can track the latest flight status at

Rental cars were depleted at RDM because of people who chose to drive to Portland Saturday night. One reason may be that many Redmond hotels were booked with people in town for a major wrestling tournament.

Airlines were working with the other diverted passengers to make arrangements to complete their flights on Sunday. Sunday travelers should be sure to check the status of their flights with their airline.

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Perfect flight plan: Aboriginal aerial survey company tells stories of the land

Teara Fraser with a Kisk Aerial Survey aircraft at YVR's South Terminal. Kisk is the only aboriginal supplier of aerial survey work in a competitive North American market. 

Photograph by: Arlen Redekop, PNG , The Province

Photograph by: Arlen Redekop, PNG, The Province

Aboriginal currently operate two Piper Aztec's, C-FKSK registered June 2010, and C-GHLS added August 2011.  C-FKSK  C-GHLS

Teara Fraser spent her 20s struggling to file her life's flight plan. 

 She dipped a toe into many things, never staying long. She tried human resources.

She probed a few ologies at Douglas College - psychology, criminology, sociology.

She backed away, without apology. "All I did was seek," says Fraser, 41. "I trusted that if I kept exploring and seeking I would find where I was meant to go."

In 2001, she found herself in a small plane touring the Okavango River delta in Botswana. The pilot made the plane dance and his passengers laugh as he showed them giraffes, zebras, hippos and gazelles.

"I just thought 'This is the coolest job. I wonder what it takes to make it happen.'"

A few weeks later, she was in another small plane, getting ready to skydive in Namibia. Most people would have barely noticed the plane as they anticipated the jump.

It was the opposite for Fraser. "I felt my heart come to life in a way it never had before. I had a physiological response - I wanted to touch everything in the airplane.

"I knew in that moment this was what I needed to do."

She returned to B.C., got her pilot's license a few months later and her commercial license within a year. In 2009, she launched Kisik Aerial Survey, which operates out of YVR's south terminal.

Fraser, who was born in Hay River, NWT, is a Metis with Cree blood running in her veins. Kisik - which is the Cree word for "sky" - is the only aboriginal aerial photography company in Canada.

"Storytelling has long been a fundamental aspect of aboriginal cultures. In a sense, Kisik helps to tell the story of our land," says Fraser.

Kisik takes 3-D pictures up and down B.C. and Alberta with a digital camera mounted in the belly of a twin-engined Piper Aztec plane.

The camera, which is high-resolution and high-priced, is worth more than the plane, Fraser says.

The company captures images of the earth's surface for projects ranging from pipelines to mines, and for research subjects ranging from glacial retreat to biodiversity. Clients include mapping and engineering firms, forest and mining companies, universities and municipalities.

Kisik's images are so detailed clients can count individual trees, or distinguish a cedar from a hemlock. A municipality will know if the shed you built in your backyard is two inches taller than local bylaws allow.

The most common question Fraser gets is why not just use satellites?

The answer is satellites don't cut the mustard - not nimble or detailed

"Satellite orbits are not adaptable enough for changing weather and sun angle."

But aerial photography is a finicky business. Skies must be cloud-free and the sun above a certain angle for images to be usable.

That leaves March to October as the time when Kisik does the vast majority of its flying. And even then, clouds gathering in an afternoon can put an end to a photo flight.

"Cumulus clouds - the little round puffy ones - are very problematic for us because they make shadows," she says.

Kisik may be able to finish a job with one 30-minute flight, or a project may take an entire flying season.

The company's eight-person team devotes the winter months to evaluation and reflection, training and preparation.

Aerial photography is a specialized market. The high-res images Kisik acquires means it caters to a niche within a niche.

But it still finds competition from aerial mappers elsewhere in Canada and from the U.S. For the type of imagery it provides, there are an estimated 10-15 competitors across Canada, says Fraser, who remains Kisik's chief pilot.

The best way for a company to compete is to look inward and strive for excellence, she says.

"I think that it's only when you know who you are as an organization, what your strengths are and what you're trying to accomplish can you respond intelligently to what's going on in the environment around you."

The influence of Fraser's aboriginal values and philosophy may help to set Kisik apart from its competition.

Her background emphasizes relationships with clients, her own team members and the larger community.

"My heritage has taught me how to walk in the world," she says. "People do business with people they like and trust."

In its management, the company is non-hierarchical. All team members contribute. Weekly team meetings embrace aspects of the talking stick practice, giving each speaker authority.

In a recent, informal survey, one Kisik team member - Fraser doesn't feel 'employee' fits - said Kisik exemplifies the group and family oriented approach of aboriginal communities. Another noted Fraser's sense of stewardship for the lands she surveys.

Kisik is making money but Fraser's definition of success goes beyond that.

"Success is not just about money, business is not just about numbers. It's an approach to community" she says.

"We bring our best self. We care about joy. We want to maintain a healthy balance in life."

Is flying and running an aerial survey firm something others of aboriginal descent should aspire to?

"Aboriginals are sometimes freedom seekers," she says. "I believe that anyone can be whatever they want to be with enough courage and commitment to learning a practice."


Teara Fraser, owner of Richmond-based Kisik Aerial Survey, is one busy person - but never to busy to learn.

At home, she's a mother of two teens. At work, she's chief pilot, operations manager, person responsible for maintenance and executive.

When she was first officer several years ago, Fraser faced a challenge communicating with her captain. The incident prompted her to complete a certificate in conflict resolution from the Justice Institute of B.C.

She has also qualified as a certified practitioner of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator psychological assessment.

"It's a powerful tool for personal growth, team building and leadership development," Fraser says.

In 2012, she earned an MA in leadership at Royal Rhodes University.

"It was a fantastic opportunity to awaken and explore and learn and grow.

And, if this wasn't enough, she founded the Aviation Leadership Forum, and chairs the Aviation Leadership Foundation.

She's also executive director of the B.C. Aviation Council.

Late in 2012, Kisik won a B.C. aboriginal business award in the enterprise category.

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