Saturday, February 2, 2013

Foothills Regional (KMRN), Morganton, North Carolina: New airport manager appointed

LENOIR —  The Foothills Regional Airport Authority has appointed Brent Brinkley as the manager of the Foothills Regional Airport.

Brinkley, a commercial pilot and multi-engine instrument flight instructor, has worked at the facility for 11 years and has been the interim manager for the last six months.

Brinkley replaces former manager Alex Nelson, who  pleaded guilty to federal embezzlement and corruption charges stemming from a Federal Bureau of Investigation raid on the airport last summer. Nelson was charged along with former operations manager Brad Adkins, who also pleaded guilty in federal court. Neither has been sentenced.

The FBI probe is ongoing.

The Hickory Daily Record reported Monday that the United States Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina is asking for more time to look into a $25,000 claim that Nelson’s ex-wife, Joy Nelson Brooks, made against Nelson’s property at 4640 Celia Creek Road, Lenoir, which the FBI seized in June.

In another change, Lenoir Assistant City Manager Danny Gilbert is serving as finance officer for the airport’s board.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Department of Aviation estimated the total economic impact of Foothills Regional Airport in 2012 as $3.27 million.

Among the local companies who rely on the airport facilities are Google, Continental Teves, and Catepillar.

These companies use the Foothills Regional Airport for transporting executives, employees and essential air cargo.


http://www.newstopic.net

Prisoner who escaped deportation at Denver International Airport (KDEN), Colorado is recaptured in Scottsbluff, Nebraska

 

 DENVER - A prisoner who escaped while being deported at Denver International Airport has been recaptured. 

 Phoday Dumbuya, 25, was being deported to Gambia when he escaped Tuesday morning. He was being escorted by two officers from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The sheriff's office in Scottsbluff, Neb. was alerted by ICE that he might be in the area and deputies began searching motels before finding him at about 4 p.m. Friday.  They said he resisted arrest and got into a scuffle with a police officer.

ICE was awaiting fingerprint results to confirm the man in custody is Dumbuya.

It was not clear how Dumbuya was able to escape at DIA.

An earlier written statement from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Carl Rusnok said the two ICE officers and police at the airport were unsuccessful in tracking him down.

Runsok also added that Dumbuya was not handcuffed, at the discretion of the escorting officer. He declined to discuss other issues of the security arrangement.

Dumbuya was convicted in Denver for assault in August 2008 and sentenced to two years of probation. The affidavit for that crime said he head-butted a woman, then punched her repeatedly after she fell to the ground. The victim also told police Dumbuya had threatened to kill her before leaving the home.

Story and Reaction/Comments:  http://www.thedenverchannel.com

World's second largest aircraft lands at Austin Straubel International Airport (KGRB), Green Bay, Wisconsin: Cargo plane carrying parts for Marinette Marine



 

ASHWAUBENON - A huge plane made a big landing Saturday, carrying gigantic cargo headed for an area manufacturer. 

 The Antonov 124 landed just before noon.

The Russian-made plane weighs nearly 200 tons. It's the largest aircraft ever to land in Green Bay.

Onlookers crowded around fences by Austin Straubel International Airport.

"It's just so cool to see the second largest aircraft in the world in Green Bay,” said Nancy Macco, shivering, yet excited.

They were eager to take in this massive sight.

"It's pretty amazing, I'd love a ride in it, that's for sure!" Macco gushed.

This is the Antonov 124. Its wingspan: 240 feet. It's 226 feet long.

If it landed at Lambeau, it would nearly take up the entire football field.

"It's a very unique aircraft. It actually has two internal cranes inside the aircraft,” said Alan Timmerman, CEO of Jet Air.

Jet Air executives said they received a special request for the landing a few weeks ago.

"It's coming from Hahn, Germany. It's unloading cargo going up to Marinette. It's carrying a crew of 23 and 100 thousand pounds of cargo,” said Timmerman.

Defense contractor Lockheed Martin says this heavy cargo will be part of the USS Milwaukee, a Littoral Combat Ship being built at Marinette Marine.

The company tells FOX 11 these are parts that help with the ship's propulsion.

"We needed a 100 ton crane, they needed three semis to get all that onto a ramp at a TSA airport, and provide security all at the same time, which was an issue,” said Timmerman.

Before it could undergo the four hour unloading process, the Antonov 124's cargo had to be inspected by customs officials. They say it's unusual to see a shipment of this magnitude at this airport.

"Normally cargo in Green Bay comes via rail or ship on the ocean. Whether the cargo could have come in a big ship if the lake was open, that could be. But the cargo is too large to be put on the rail,” said Chad Shulfer.

After the parts are unloaded, the Antonov 124 will spend the night on the runway. Its crew will stay in a nearby hotel.

Sunday morning, it'll take off: Refueled with 45 thousand gallons of jet fuel.That's a cost of roughly $143 thousand.

"It's probably the biggest fuel order in the history of Green Bay,” said Timmerman.

"It's amazing the thing can actually fly,” said Thomas Ward, another onlooker.

After the behemoth Antonov 124 departs, those who saw it land say they will remember the massive jet for years to come.


Story and Reaction/Comments:  http://www.fox11online.com

Maryland: Costs of New State Police Helicopter Adding ..... (With Video)

Maryland State police will take ownership of six new state-of-the-art helicopters this year,with another six more to come. The helicopters were supposed to cost 12-million dollars each, but a FOX45 News investigation shows unadvertised costs could add millions of dollars to the final price.   

In October of last year, the police proudly showed off one of six new helicopters that would be delivered in 2013. Since acquiring the new AW-139's, costs have started piling on from equipment to training.

FOX45 obtained the manual for the AW-139 and discovered it calls for two  pilots; the state is asking the FAA for permission to fly them with just one pilot. Retraining new pilots would cost up to $80,000 each. The price tag is high, but it is a necessity accord to aviation experts.

Dick Johnson, an aviation expert, said "The AW139 needs four feet and four hands."

For years MD State Police has been asking for new air-crafts. Several lawmakers considered retrofitting the fleet which would keep existing airframes but replace old equipment. Retrofitting would have still cost millions, but would have cost less than buying new air-crafts.

When legislature approved the purchase of the new AW-139's, it was initially expected to cost a total of 71-million dollars.

The Comptroller of Maryland, Peter Franchot, said, "I was skeptical about the costs of replacing the fleet. It seemed awfully expensive."

The purchase has become even more expensive than originally thought, and  the price could continue to climb steadily if the state has to hire new pilots. An additional 2 million dollars a year could be tacked on to the purchase price if the state needs to hire new pilots.

"Once we get experience we're going to make a decision to go with two pilots," said the Commander of the States Aviation Command, Chris Lovejoy.

Documents obtained by FOX45 show the helicopters were in need of changes to the fuselage and upgrades to allow medical personnel to man search lights. The documented changes added 1.1-million dollars to the price tag of each helicopter.

State Senator E.J. Pipkin said, 'They were projected to cost about $11 million a piece, last numbers we see last delivery around $14.7 million."

State Comptroller Franchot is not surprised by the outcome. The purchase attracted only one bidder, and was given priority over less expensive alternatives like refurbishing the existing fleet.  Discouraged by the outcome, Franchot said, "Before you go out and buy a new expensive system, it's always smart to get the maximum use out of your existing fleet."

State Senator E.J. Ripkin believes the flaw in the procurement process should have prompted more debate and better analysis, saying, "At the end of the day, the thought process is something bigger and better."  

Story and Video:   http://foxbaltimore.com

Report: Federal Aviation Administration lags on fulfilling airline safety law

WASHINGTON –  Faced with substantial industry opposition, federal regulators are struggling to implement a sweeping aviation safety law enacted after the last fatal U.S. airline crash nearly four years ago, according to a report by a government watchdog.

The Federal Aviation Administration is experiencing lengthy delays in putting in place rules required by the law to increase the amount of experience necessary to be an airline pilot, provide more realistic pilot training and create a program where experienced captains mentor less experienced first officers, according to the report by the Department of Transportation's Inspector General. The report was obtained by The Associated Press.

The FAA is also running into problems creating a new, centralized electronic database that airlines can check prior to hiring pilots, the report said. The database is supposed to include pilots' performance on past tests of flying skills.

In each case, the agency has run into significant opposition from the airline industry, the report said.

"To effectively implement these initiatives in a timely manner, (the) FAA must balance industry concerns with a sustained commitment to oversight," the report said.

Congress passed the law a year and a half after the Feb. 12, 2009, crash of a regional airliner near Buffalo, N.Y., that killed all 49 people aboard and a man on the ground. A National Transportation Safety Board investigation of the accident highlighted weaknesses in pilot training, tiring work schedules, lengthy commutes and relatively low experience levels for pilots at some regional carriers.

The accident was due to an incorrect response by the flight's captain to two key safety systems, causing an aerodynamic stall that sent the plane plummeting into a house below, the NTSB investigation concluded.

"The law is only as strong as the regulations that come from it so this (implementation) process is the true measuring stick of how this law will ultimately be viewed," said Kevin Kuwik, spokesman for a group of family members of victims killed in the crash. The family members lobbied relentlessly for passage of the safety law. Kuwik lost his girlfriend, 30-year-old Lorin Maurer, in the accident.

Driven by the accident and the new safety law, the FAA substantially revised its rules governing pilot work schedules to better ensure pilots are rested when they fly. It was the first modification of the rules since 1985 and "a significant achievement" for the FAA, the report said.

Kuwik said he gives the FAA "a lot of credit" for revising the work schedule rules and for staying in touch with victims' family members. However, he said it's critical that the agency meet deadlines later this year for issuing new regulations on pilot training and qualifications.

"If the foot-dragging continues and missing deadlines..., the potentially significant effects of the safety bill will be lost," Kuwik said.

Responding to the report, the FAA said in a statement that more than 90 percent of air carriers now use voluntary programs in which pilots and others report safety problems with the understanding that there will be no reprisals for their conduct or computer-assisted programs that identify and report safety trends. "This has led to significant training, operational and maintenance program improvements," the statement said.

The agency also noted that it has "delivered seven reports to Congress, initiated five rulemaking projects and continued rulemaking efforts for another four final rules as a result of the" new safety law.

The inspector general's report, however, details how FAA has missed deadlines and run into complications trying to issue regulations necessary to implement key portions of the law.

For example, the FAA is behind schedule on rules to substantially increase the experience required to become an airline pilot from the current 250 flight hours to 1,500 flight hours. The agency currently estimates it will issue the rules in August, a year after the deadline set in the law. Airlines, worried they won't be able to find enough qualified new pilots, oppose the increase, arguing that a pilot's quality and type of flying should be weighed more heavily than the number of flight hours.

The FAA has proposed a compromise that would allow military pilots with 750 hours of flight experience or pilots with 1,000 hours and a four-year aviation degree to qualify to be hired as an airline pilot, but airlines remain opposed. If the FAA doesn't act by the August deadline, the increase to 1,500 hours will take effect without the exceptions offered in FAA's compromise proposals.

Yet the FAA and its inspectors haven't taken steps to ensure regional airlines, which will most affected, will be able to meet the new requirements, the report said. At two regional carriers visited by the inspector general's office, 75 percent of the first officers didn't have an air transport certificate -- the highest level pilot's license issued by the FAA --which will be required for all airline pilots by the August deadline.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com

Baltic Aviation Academy: Ask a Question -- Get an Answer!

Published on February 1, 2013

 Baltic Aviation Academy (Vilnius, Lithuania) once again turns to viewers with a goal to fulfill your interest in aviation. It is your chance to get answers to questions that have risen while watching Baltic Aviation Academy's videos. Pranas Drulis, ATPL Integrated student, will give comprehensive explanations in the next video.  Send us your questions by e-mail info@balticaa.com entitled 'Question for video' till 5th of February (Tuesday) 12 UTC/GMT time.

Strong wind topples state police helicopter: Arnold Palmer Regional Airport (KLBE), Latrobe, Pennsylvania

 

A Pennsylvania State Police helicopter had just returned from searching for a missing snowmobiler in Somerset County when it was toppled by strong winds on Wednesday morning. 

Trooper Steve Limani said a corporal tied the helicopter down and planned to refuel it when a wind gust upwards of 60 mph knocked it over at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Latrobe.

"They were going to fuel it first in case there's an emergency. The fueling process takes a little bit of time, so the general practice is, when you land the helicopter, the pilots will want to fuel it in case there's some type of emergency," said Limani.

New Jersey State Police helicopter scours Chester Township woods after police break up underage drinking party

A New Jersey State Police Northstar Helicopter, the Morris County Sheriff’s Office K-9 unit, and police officers from multiple towns searched for teens who scattered into the woods after police broke up an underage drinking party on Parker Road in Chester Township Friday night, police confirmed Saturday morning. 

According to Chester Township Lt. Thomas Williver, the helicopter searched the area and the backup units were called “to ensure the safety of the partygoers due to the very cold temperatures and to make sure no one was injured in the woods.”

All of the teens who scattered from the home when police arrived were eventually located Friday night, either by patrols or by telephone, he said.

Charges are pending against the host of the party, he said.

In addition to Chester Township, county and state patrols, Washington Township, Mount Olive, and Chester Borough Police Departments all assisted in the search.

Story and Reaction/Comments:   http://longvalley.patch.com

Rocky River, Ohio: Teenager reaches for the sky, her pilot's license, and hopes to involve women in aviation; Premier Flight Academy at Burke Lakefront Airport (KBKL), Cleveland

COURTESY OF ALLISON CORRIGAN


Like many high school teenagers, Allie Corrigan has a busy life. The senior at Magnificat High School has the usual responsibilities most teenagers have, such as maintaining good grades, a part-time job and serving as a member of student council. 

 But Corrigan often has a far different after-school destination than most high schoolers: the Rocky River resident heads to Burke Lakefront Airport, where she attends Premier Flight Academy. She's working towards earning her pilot's license, and in her class of 10, she's not just the only teenager, she's the only female.

Corrigan said her interest in flight started at a young age; her parents would take her to the Cleveland National Air Show every year, and she said she always loved watching the planes. She began actively perusing her pilot's license after seeing an article in a local paper which featured a picture of a boy next to the plane.

"I thought that was cool," she said. "I could do that."

Corrigan said her parents have been supportive of her mission, but her father wasn't originally confident Allie could handle flying. He tried to convince her to take up a different passion, and had her take scuba diving classes during a vacation to Florida. She wasn't thrilled with scuba lessons, but after she completed them she was able to convince her father she could earn her flying license.

"I ended up teaching my dad, who is a physics major, about dive charts and navigation, so he feels much better about me flying now," Corrigan said.

Corrigan started flight classes in Fall 2011. She said earning a pilot's license is nothing like earning a driver's license, and that approximately 80 percent of those attending the academy end up dropping out. She's learning to fly single-engine, two-seat planes.

"It's crazy some of the things I have to know, like how an alternator works or the different types of clouds," Corrigan said. "I need to know it though, it's the pilot's responsibility. It could be life or death."

Corrigan said her flight instructor had cleared her for one of the final parts of getting her pilot's license: a flight called a solo-cross county, which is a three-part flight of 50 miles or more. However she had to cancel her flight due to weather, and she's trying to reschedule it.

Corrigan said it's hard to describe what flying a plane feels like.

"It feels like nothing else matters, all my troubles are left on the ground," she said. "I wish everyone could experience it."

For her part, Corrigan is trying to help other women experience the thrill she's felt flying. She attended the Wings of Women conference at Burke Lakefront Airport's International Women's Air and Space Museum last September. The conference is designed to get middle-school and high-school girls involved in aviation, but Corrigan wasn't attending as a participant. She was asked to be a mentor for the program, and speak to about 80 girls close to her own age about aviation.

"I had homecoming the night of the conference, but they were pretty understanding of my spray tan," Corrigan laughed.

She said when she arrived to the conference, the organizers thought she was a participant, and didn't initially realize she was one of the mentors. Corrigan said she also had a girl older than her in her group at the conference.

Corrigan said at the end of the conference, girls were coming up to her and telling Corrigan they wanted to be a pilot like her. Corrigan even encouraged one of the younger attendees to attend Magnificat, and later saw the girl at an open house at the high school.

Corrigan wants to spread the word about aviation, and said she was concerned that only three percent of commercial pilots are women.

"(Flying) is so much fun," she said, adding that she wished more women would consider aviation. "I think we're past the era of women just being nurses and secretaries."

Corrigan hasn't decided where she will attend college after her graduation this May, and she said she is interested in continuing to study aviation, but admits a lot of her future is still up in the air. She hopes to have her pilot's license before she graduates. She is also active in a few different service programs, including a service trip to Immokalee, FL last summer, and would like to continue to be active in service in college.

"I feel it's important to improve yourself in the time you're given," Corrigan said.


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

Potomac Highlands Airport Authority members seek opinion on which laws to follow; Deciding what state governs board would determine how executive sessions are handled

WILEY FORD, W.Va. — The Potomac Highlands Airport Authority has been struggling with whether or not it should be governed by open meetings act laws from West Virginia or Maryland. After discussing the matter at length during the authority’s meeting on Thursday, members agreed to ask Jeff Getty, former airport attorney, to draft a letter regarding his opinion on the matter.

“We have struggled with this from this authority’s inception,” said Chairman Max White. “I think we definitely need to have a delineation here on who is going to control it if there is a question of law.”

Depending on what state the authority is governed by would determine how executive sessions are conducted, how meetings are publicized and how information is given to the public, according to White.  

“The question is what if we do something in executive session — what law applies?” said White. “West Virginia law says you can not take any action in executive session. Maryland law says that you can. We have got to get a decision on this, in my opinion.”

Getty previously re-searched the matter when he was the authority’s attorney, speaking with attorneys general from both states. He wasn’t given a definitive opinion, according to White.

“My belief is, that Jeff said you all need to decide,” said White.

John Felten, authority member, said he disagreed with Getty’s opinion.

“I don’t think this matter is something that this board can pick and choose,” said Felten. “This is a legality matter and I don’t believe this board has the authority to decide which state is going to govern (it).”

Felten and several other authority members indicated they weren’t comfortable making a decision on what state the authority would be governed by.

Dave Wimer, authority member, said the authority had been conducting business in accordance with Maryland law.

“I think Jeff felt very strongly that we were correct in operating that way. I think what he said was, ‘I feel very comfortable in what we did was legal,’” said Wimer.

Wimer suggested using both states’ laws and utilizing whichever law was more stringent.

“You could do that and there is nothing wrong with doing that,” said White. There is going to be benefits to having Maryland law on some issues and West Virgina laws on some other issues.”

In 1976, the legislatures of Maryland and West Virginia ratified the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority Compact, authorizing the creation of the authority, according to the Maryland government website. The compact was ratified by Congress in 1998. The authority is comprised of members from both states.

Authority member Creade Brodie Jr. said he spoke with Allegany County Attorney Bill Rudd about the matter.

“Bill’s opinion was that the airport was created wholeheartedly under Maryland law,” said Brodie.

Authority member Richard Lechliter questioned whether the authority would be governed by West Virginia law since the airport is located in West Virginia.

After the authority receives Getty’s recommendation, they will make a decision and then vote on it. Getty has retired as the authority’s attorney and members will seek a new attorney who can practice law in both states.

Also during the meeting, Airport Manager Ryan Shaffer provided an update on the proposed airport heritage museum and the fuel reclaiming device, also know as a sump saver.

“The Van Kirks (Steve and Malcolm) are still interested in the museum. They are running into financial issues,” said Shaffer. They are basically saying it may be a little while. They didn’t have a time frame at this point. They are still talking maybe spring.”


Story:   http://times-news.com

Etihad to install ailerons manufactured in UAE: Al Ain-based Strata becomes direct supplier for Airbus A330 part

Abu Dhabi:  Senior representatives from Strata Manufacturing PJSC, the Al Ain-based aerostructures facility wholly owned by Mubadala, have celebrated the delivery of their first four fully assembled Airbus A330 ailerons during a ceremony at Airbus’ Bremen facility in Germany.

This delivery marks a turning point in Strata’s relationship with Airbus SAS, elevating the company to a tier-one or direct supplier to Airbus for A330-assembled ailerons.

Designed to control roll and assist with turning, the new wing structures will be mounted on to an A330 aircraft scheduled for delivery to Etihad Airways in May.

“Our commitment and our growing partnership with Airbus is an accomplishment for Strata and Abu Dhabi,” said Badr Al Olama, CEO of Strata. “Strata’s dedication to continuous improvement has been reaffirmed by our ability to manufacture complex and technologically advanced primary parts and this further enhances our credibility in the industry, positioning us as a key contender on the next generation of aircraft.

“Our first package of Airbus ailerons being installed on to a new Etihad Airways aircraft makes this a particularly proud moment both for Strata and our nation, showcasing the UAE’s growing role in the global aerospace industry.”

As Etihad Airways prepares to celebrate its 10th anniversary, the installation of the ailerons marks another first for the airline, whereby one of its aircraft will now operate with primary components manufactured within the UAE.

“Today is a tremendously proud occasion and we are delighted to see key parts for our aircraft now being manufactured in the UAE,” said James Hogan, Etihad Airways President and Chief Executive Officer. “The UAE, and the emirate of Abu Dhabi in particular, are fast becoming an aviation manufacturing and maintenance center of excellence, and as the national carrier, in the years ahead, we look forward to further demonstrating and promoting UAE technological and engineering achievements on our fleet and across our network.”

In 2010, just months after completion of its facility, Strata began supplying Airbus with aileron panels and flap-track fairings and has been steadily building its capabilities to deliver more technically complex packages to its partners.

“Aviation is a global business and it brings together the very best each country has to offer,” said Volker Thum, Head of the Airbus plant in Bremen. “For the development and production of the world’s leading aircraft, we require strong and capable partners, like Strata, who can deliver on this global scale. We anticipate that parts manufactured in the UAE will be set features on Airbus aircraft. I am very proud to celebrate this occasion with our partners at Strata today.”

All A330 aircraft require four ailerons; an inboard and outboard aileron mounted on to each wing. Each aileron measures five metres in length, weighs approximately 85 kilograms and is manufactured and assembled by specialized technicians using more than 400 parts.

Last year, Strata sent a group of 16 technicians to Nantes, France for a five-month intensive training programme, while a second group of technicians have recently returned from Nantes to implement the skills they acquired throughout their training. The aileron panels are already being manufactured at Strata by a skilled team of technicians including Emirati women from Strata’s successful apprenticeship schemes.


Story:  http://gulfnews.com

Department of Justice chopper used for football drop at high school homecoming: State agents investigate apparent unauthorized use of police helicopter

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KCRA) —California taxpayers shelled out hundreds of dollars for the apparent unauthorized use of a police helicopter at a high school football game.

The helicopter incident involved a high school homecoming event that top law enforcement supervisors at the Department of Justice knew nothing about, KCRA 3 has learned.

The incident took place last November, when a DOJ helicopter hovered over El Dorado Hills for a homecoming game at Oak Ridge High School. 

In a video later uploaded to YouTube, viewers can see an agent perched precariously on the side of the chopper.

As the door opens, the DOJ agent then dropped the ball to a football player waiting on the field. 

Why were DOJ agents flying over a football field?


KCRA 3 has learned the agent was dropping the football to his son, a player on the Oak Ridge team.

The agent, the pilot and the Department of Justice helicopter are all state resources, yet DOJ supervisors had no idea the football drop was taking place, KCRA 3 has learned.

“I don’t think anybody looking at that will see a legitimate public purpose in the use of that helicopter,” said Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. “I think there needs to be a thorough investigation into who authorized this, how much it cost, what was the reason behind this and basically, what were they thinking.”

KCRA 3 showed the video of the helicopter incident to Larry Wallace, director of law enforcement for the Department of Justice.

“I can confirm that is a DOJ chopper, yes,” Wallace told KCRA 3.

Wallace said the launching of the helicopter cost taxpayers between $900 and $1,300 -- not including personnel costs.

The helicopter is normally used for drug busts, Wallace told KCRA 3.

“It certainly doesn’t strike us that they were using that chopper to pull up marijuana plants out of the middle of the football field,” Coupal said.

KCRA 3 asked Wallace for his reaction, upon seeing the video.

“It appeared to be a misuse of state property,” Wallace told KCRA 3.

Wallace would not provide details of whether anyone from the DOJ approved the ball drop, or who was involved.

However, he did say the DOJ had put new protocols into place because of the incident.

“I’m going to personally approve any authorized use of that helicopter as we move forward, and that’s been put into place,” Wallace said.

The Department of Justice won’t reveal any details about disciplinary action, but KCRA 3 has learned independently that the special agent involved was put on leave for a substantial period of time.

The chopper incident is still under active investigation by the DOJ, and KCRA 3 will continue to follow the developments as they unfold.

Story, video, reaction/comments: http://www.kcra.com

FedEx donates plane to Sun 'n Fun to support Polk aviation education programs

POLK COUNTY -- It’s an airplane landing that will go down in history for Sun 'n Fun at the Lakeland Airport. 

FedEx has donated a Boeing 727 to Sun 'n Fun to support Polk County aviation education programs.

Sun 'n Fun is home to the Central Florida Aerospace Academy and Polk State College aviation courses.

“These kids will have an airplane that they can actually learn how to start the engine, they can use the auxiliary power unit, they can exercise the hydraulics,” said David Sutton, with FedEx.

Those skills that could ultimately land jobs for Aerospace Academy students like Mikey Brady.

“It’s great,” Brady said. “I’m happy about it and so is most of the kids I believe.”

Dozens of children of all ages came out to the airport to get a glimpse of the plane.

Some students missed the landing because of a two hour delay, but Sun 'n Fun officials say they’ll be getting so much more.

Students will soon be able to board the plane, sit in the cockpit and learn all about the aircraft as a part of Sun 'n Fun’s educational programs.

The full plane renovation is expected to be completed by next summer.

The aircraft will be elevated and mounted so students can learn about the entire plane, including the landing gear.


Story and Photo:  http://www.baynews9.com

Joseph A. Hardy Connellsville Airport (KVVS), Connellsville, Pennsylvania: Fayette airport authority to gain new board member

Two Fayette County commissioners announced on Friday that they will name a new board member for the airport authority at a meeting on Feb. 19, when they accept the resignation of Terry “Tuffy” Shallenberger. 

 Democrats Al Ambrosini and Vince Zapotosky said they are concerned about operations at the Joseph A. Hardy Connellsville Airport, but they trust the appointed board to meet the requirements of the Pennsylvania Bureau of Aviation.

Shallenberger resigned when the board furloughed airport manager Mary Fast last month. No replacement has been named.

Board member Myrna Giannopoulus is performing the day-to-day duties of that job on a voluntary basis.

After the shake-up, Republican Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink announced that a special meeting should be held between the authority board and the commissioners.

“While the Fayette County commissioners are concerned about administration of the Joseph A. Hardy/Connellsville Airport by the Fayette County Airport Authority, they believe it should be up to the authority members to handle the situation,” Ambrosini and Zapotosky said in a prepared statement released on Friday through county clerk Amy Revak.

In an emailed statement, Zimmerlink wrote that it is the commissioners' responsibility to govern “the millions of tax dollars that flow to the airport authority.”

This week, Giannopoulus and board member Jesse Wallace expressed concerns about maintaining safety, continuing day-to-day operations and meeting federal aviation regulations.

Solicitor Gretchen Mundorff said the authority must resolve concerns cited in a recent audit by the Federal Aviation Administration and obtain signatures on leases she has prepared for tenants at the airport in Dunbar Township.

Story: http://triblive.com

Angel Flight Soars carries ill to distant medical treatments: Volunteer pilots soar to help those in need of care

Michelle Lepianka Carter | The Tuscaloosa News 
Kevin Smith walks toward the terminal at Bama Air on Friday evening with Lauren Ballard, Alabama branch director for Angel Flight Soars, and Mary Harmon Moman. Smith is receiving treatment at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston every six weeks. Moman volunteers her time as a pilot, as well as her plane, to transport Smith, a Northport resident, to and from appointments.

 
Kevin Smith had a nearly five pound melon-sized tumor removed from his abdomen late last year. 

Physicians at Northport DCH suggested that Smith receive ­follow-up treatment from specialists at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

But with appointments required every six weeks, the trips to Houston could become expensive for the Northport family.

Staff at the DCH Cancer Center referred Smith to Angel Flight Soars, a program that pairs pilots with people in need of medical treatment. Volunteers donate their time, plane and fuel costs to help those in need.

Smith, 46, and his wife, Chantelle, flew with Tuscaloosa pilots Bill Hardy and Mary Harmon Moman home from an appointment in Houston on Friday.

“They’ve been nothing but kind and generous,” Smith said Friday. “This is much more convenient, being able to go in and out of Tuscaloosa instead of having to go out of Birmingham.”

Smith had a primitive neuroectodermal embriogenic tumor (PNET). He will require appointments in Houston every six weeks until November, when he hopes to receive a clean bill of health.

Hardy, a semi-retired corporate pilot who lives in Tuscaloosa, volunteers to fly people from and to areas all through the Southeast.

“It’s just a good thing to do for people who need the transportation getting to and from their medical treatments,” he said. “We’ll pick people up from remote airports, too — Bessemer, Monroeville, any small airport — and take them to the larger medical facilities in bigger cities.”

Angel Flight Soars is a nonprofit organization. The money it raises pays for administrative costs. The volunteer pilots pay all expenses of the flights.

“We have so much thanks and gratitude for them. They’ve been sweet and nothing but supportive,” Smith said. Flying in and out of Tuscaloosa allows the couple to spend less time away from their children, who are 17, 14, 8 and 2.

Angel Flight Soars was formed in 1983 as a group of volunteer pilots and today serves patients in six states. The organization coordinated 2,448 missions last year, said Lauren Ballard, director of the Alabama branch, which is based at the Tuscaloosa Regional Airport. Since 2010, 62 flights have been coordinated in and out of Tuscaloosa, she said. Angel Flight Soars’ main office is in Atlanta, with other offices in Greenwood, S.C., St. Simons Island, Ga., and Tuscaloosa.

Story and Reaction/Comments:   http://www.tuscaloosanews.com

Allentown, Pennsylvania: Cessna T210G Engine Break-In and Main Gear Inspection

 Video by Timothy Drager 
Published on January 27, 2013 
Cessna T210G,  N8NU
"Overspeed - most likely a bad prop governor. TSIO520" 
~
Video by Timothy Drager 
 Published on January 27, 2013 

 "This video shows a main landing gear inspection of a 1967 Cessna Turbo 210. It shows the inspection panels removed, and the landing gear saddles, microswitch and hydraulic actuators. The main purpose for the inspection was to visually inspect the landing gear saddles which sometimes crack. These landing gear saddles passed inspection, thankfully."

Morris Municipal Airport (C09), Illinois: City, International Aerobatic Club reach compromise on aerobatic box

Club will request practice space be moved to southeast corner of airport

The city of Morris and the International Aerobatic Club Chapter 1 may have come to a compromise over the location of an aerobatic box near the airport.

This past summer, the council objected to Federal Aviation Administration's approval of an aerobatic practice box near Morris Municipal Airport for the aerobatic club. The box, which is 3,600 feet by 3,600 feet and extends from ground level to an altitude of 5,000 feet just northwest of the airport, is used by pilots to practice aerobatic maneuvers.

The box is in the flight pattern of the approach to the airport's runway and in the approach of Midway and O'Hare airports, according to city officials, and therefore causes safety concerns with aerobatic pilots and other pilots also using the airspace.

Airport Committee Chairman Julian Houston has said previously the city is not against the box, just the location. The council had asked the FAA to move the box about a mile and a half.

When the FAA would not agree to moving the box, the city started the administrative review process with the FAA and then went through an appeal process to argue that the IAC included inaccurate information on its application for the box when it stated it had city approval, said City Attorney Scott to the Airport Committee during Thursday's meeting.

"I think we made some progress. We had some spicy moments, but we worked through them," he said of the city's recent meeting with the IAC and FAA.

The IAC has agreed to file an application with the FAA for a new box at the southeast corner of the airport, he said. If the application is approved, the IAC will terminate its current box located in the northwest corner.

Belt said he requested a copy of the application once it was submitted, but he has yet to receive one. Right before the meeting Thursday, he received an email that the application was placed on file, but still no copy.

The new location is still near the flight pattern and a safety concern, but it is less dangerous, said Airport Manager Jeff Vogen.

"It's not perfect, but a better scenario then what we had before,"  he said.

The new location will allow for spotters on the ground to have better vision of the box aerobatic pilots are flying in, said Vogen.

As part of the compromise, the IAC has agreed to call the airport when it opens the box. If no one answers at the airport, they want to be able to leave a message, said Vogen. FAA regulations require a 30-minute notification to pilots and air-traffic controllers before opening the box, but notifying the airport is not required.

In addition, the club has agreed to have two spotters on the ground when circumstances warrant it with five planes using the box, said Belt. And two spotters are guaranteed when there are six or more planes. The planes would not be in the box at the same time.

The city would like two spotters no matter what, one to watch the box and one to watch the surrounding area. They also want no one in the spotter areas but the spotters to avoid distractions.

The Airport Committee went into executive session to discuss pending litigation associated with the rest of the terms for the compromise. When the committee reconvened into public session, it voted to authorize the city attorney to move forward with the terms to settle with the IAC as discussed in executive session.

Belt could not comment on the litigation.

In March, the city filed a complaint against pilot Nicholas Scholtes, of Joliet, for performing aerobatics without following procedure.

The complaint stated Scholtes was operating an aircraft in aerobatic flight on Dec. 26, 2011, in violation of the Morris City Code and Rules and Regulations of the Morris Municipal Airport. The flight was in violation because the aerobatic box that permits this was not opened.

No representatives from the IAC chapter were present at Thursday's meeting.

CAUSE FOR CONCERN?

Local pilot Sid Nelson was present at the meeting and told committee members about an incident with aerobatic club members that exemplified the safety concerns.

In October, the IAC invited city council members to the airport for a demonstration of their skills and later that day a midair collision almost occurred with IAC members, and a member of the FAA present, said Belt.

Nelson said he witnessed an aerobatic pilot in the box as another plane approached the box. The planes barely missed each other. He said the spotters on the ground were not paying attention to the surrounding airspace, which is their job to do while the box is open.

"It's their responsibility to warn him there was aircraft coming out of the east and (have him) clear the box," Nelson said.

Nelson said he questioned the members of the IAC and FAA present and they said they lost radio communication with the pilot. Nelson said they should have a back-up plan in case that happens, such as colored flags. It was even more upsetting, he said, because a representative of the FAA was there.

A complaint was made, but Belt said an investigation was never done. According to the IAC's guidelines, when the incident occurred everything should have come to a halt, said Vogen, and an investigation should have occurred on what happened.

"Do we want these guys around us at all?" asked committee member Randy Larson.

Mayor Richard Kopczick explained the city doesn't really have a choice because, according to FAA guidelines, the city doesn't get a say on the box. The FAA makes the approval over the airspace.

The committee discussed asking the IAC, as part of the compromise, to have a back-up plan in place for communication with the aerobatic pilots in case of an emergency, such as this recent incident.

Source:   http://www.morrisdailyherald.com

Cirrus SR22, N247RB and Cessna 152, Texas A and M Flying Club, N93124: Accident occurred February 01, 2013 in College Station, Texas

Texas A and M Flying Club: http://registry.faa.gov/N93124

http://registry.faa.gov/N247RB

 NTSB Identification: CEN13LA149A 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, February 01, 2013 in College Station, TX
Aircraft: Cirrus Design Corporation SR22, registration: N247RB
Injuries: 1 Minor,2 Uninjured.


NTSB Identification: CEN13LA149B
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, February 01, 2013 in College Station, TX
Aircraft: CESSNA 152, registration: N93124
Injuries: 1 Minor,2 Uninjured.

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

 
On February 1, 2013, at 0805 central standard time, a Cirrus model SR22 airplane, N247RB, and a Cessna model 152 airplane, N93124, collided in-flight about 13 miles west-southwest of Easterwood Field Airport (KCLL), College Station, Texas. Both airplanes were able to land at KCLL following the collision. The Cirrus SR22 sustained substantial damage to the upper cockpit fuselage structure and the commercial pilot sustained minor injuries. The Cessna 152 sustained minor damage to the right main landing gear assembly and the flight instructor and student pilot were not injured. The Cirrus was owned by a private individual, but operated by the Cirrus Aircraft Corporation as demonstration airplane. The Cessna 152 was owned and operated by the Texas A&M Flying Club. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. Both flights were being conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The Cirrus SR22 departed Austin Executive Airport (KEDC) at 0748 and was en route to KCLL. The Cessna 152 departed KCLL at 0744 for a local instructional flight.

According to a statement provided by the Cirrus pilot, after departure he proceeded direct to KCLL under visual flight rules conditions. After the airplane had climbed above the departure airport’s traffic pattern altitude he engaged the autopilot system. The flight climbed to the desired cruise altitude of 3,500 feet mean sea level (msl) while proceeding direct KCLL. The pilot reported that as the airplane approached KCLL with the autopilot system engaged, at 3,500 feet msl, the windshield imploded from an apparent impact with an external object. He initially thought that his airplane had impacted a bird because he had not received any alerts from the airplane’s traffic advisory system nor did he see another aircraft before the impact. He subsequently recovered from an unintended descent before proceeding direct toward KCLL after declaring an emergency with the tower controller. The pilot reported that he had not established radio contact with the tower controller before the collision. A landing was made on runway 16 without further incident.

According to a statement provided by the Cessna flight instructor, the local area training flight was with a primary student on her second instructional flight. The flight consisted of basic attitude flight maneuvers, including level and climbing turns, climbs and descents to predetermined altitudes, and maintaining level flight while tracking a course. The flight instructor stated that they were climbing to 3,500 feet msl while maintaining a southeast heading when they felt an impact and heard a loud bang. He reported that the impact originated from the right side of the airplane, aft of the main cabin. The flight instructor noted that there were no apparent flight control issues after the collision and that he visually ascertained that there was no damage to the right wing. Shortly after the collision, his student saw another airplane in a rapid descent at their 10-o’clock position. The flight instructor entered a descending left turn to follow the other airplane. Shortly thereafter, the flight instructor heard another airplane declare an emergency on the tower frequency due to an imploded windshield. He noted that they were monitoring the tower frequency before the collision, but had not established radio contact with the tower controller. He turned in the general direction of KCLL with the intention of returning to the airport, while continuing to monitor the tower controller’s communications with the other aircraft. The flight instructor noted that at some point he told the tower controller that they had hit something and were returning to the airport. The tower controller requested that the Cessna stay west of the airport while the other aircraft landed. After the other airplane had landed, the tower controller transmitted that the other airplane had tire marks on its roof and requested that they make a low approach in order to verify the condition of their landing gear. The flight instructor stated that he then visually ascertained that his airplane was missing its right main landing gear wheel. His student, seated in the left seat, then visually confirmed that the left landing gear and wheel appeared undamaged. After informing the tower controller of their damage, they were asked to perform a low pass and then to circle the airport until emergency equipment was in position. After circling the airport several times the flight instructor made an uneventful landing on runway 22.

At 0753, the KCLL automated surface observing system reported the following weather conditions: wind calm, visibility 10 miles, sky clear, temperature 7 degrees Celsius, dew point 3 degrees Celsius, altimeter setting 30.35 inches of mercury.


IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 247RB        Make/Model: SR22      Description: SR-22
  Date: 02/01/2013     Time: 1404

  Event Type: Accident   Highest Injury: Minor     Mid Air: Y    Missing: N
  Damage: Substantial

LOCATION
  City: COLLEGE STATION   State: TX   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  N247RB CIRRUS SR22 AIRCRAFT AND N93124 CESSNA C152 AIRCRAFT COLLIDED 
  MIDAIR, BOTH AIRCRAFT DECLARED AN EMERGENCY AND LANDED AT COLLEGE STATION, 
  TX

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

OTHER DATA
  Activity: Pleasure      Phase: Unknown      Operation: OTHER

  FAA FSDO: HOUSTON, TX  (SW09)                   Entry date: 02/04/2013
 
 
IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 93124        Make/Model: C152      Description: 152, A152, Aerobat
  Date: 02/01/2013     Time: 1404

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

LOCATION
  City: COLLEGE STATION   State: TX   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  N247RB CIRRUS SR22 AIRCRAFT AND N93124 CESSNA C152 AIRCRAFT COLLIDED 
  MIDAIR, BOTH AIRCRAFT DECLARED AN EMERGENCY AND LANDED AT COLLEGE STATION, 
  TX

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

OTHER DATA
  Activity: Training      Phase: Unknown      Operation: Other

  FAA FSDO: HOUSTON, TX  (SW09)                   Entry date: 02/04/2013
 

The pilots landed safely and there were no injuries in a collision that took off a wheel on one plane and broke the windshield on the other. 

Story:    http://www.kbtx.com

Dakota Skies takes flight at Jamestown Regional Airport (KJMS), North Dakota

 
Kari Lucin / The Sun 
Brad Stangeland, owner of Dakota Skies flight school, explains in a hangar at Jamestown Regional Airport how he teaches students to fly a 1973 Cessna 150.

The newest business at Jamestown Regional Airport, Dakota Skies, has already taken flight. 

The flight school, owned and operated by certified flight instructor Brad “Gary” Stangeland, offers lessons in private and recreational flying, including lessons on the ground and in the air.

“There’s a huge need for flight instruction,” Stangeland said. “… it’s a very competitive industry.”

Like many other industries, flight instruction took a hit during the recession, Stangeland said, but interest in flying is back on the rise.

The Jamestown Regional Airport Authority listed the promotion of general aviation as one of its major goals for the next five years, and having a flight instructor was mentioned as one of the steps toward that goal at one of the JRAA’s recent meetings.

“We offer a comprehensive array of services. … we just need to broaden the clientele. We need to get more people in the air and active,” said Matt Leitner, Jamestown Regional Airport manager.

That means strengthening relationships with existing organizations, such as the Experimental Aircraft Association and the Civil Air Patrol, and reaching out to young people with an interest in aviation, Leitner said.

It also means bringing a flight school to Jamestown. To that end the JRAA has been working with Stangeland on a flight-training assistance program that offers incentives for flight instruction through the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission.

“Having a dedicated flight instructor is a catalyst for accelerating and promoting general aviation activity,” Leitner said.

Taking off

Stangeland’s work in Jamestown began with ground school in the fall. About half a dozen students took the aviation equivalent of a driver’s education class, gaining the basic foundational knowledge needed to pass a written test.

After the written tests, flyers need to practice with instructors to get their licenses to fly solo.

Stangeland intends to begin with another ground school class in the spring or summer.

“Across the state there’s been an interest in people learning how to fly,” he said.

Stangeland, who hails from Pipestone, Minn., received a degree in business management from Minnesota West Community & Technical College.

He received a commercial license and also became a certified flight instructor in 2003, when he began teaching.

“When I was first starting out, I thought you had to be this very gray old man to teach,” Stangeland recalled.

Then he met his flight instructor, who was just one year older than he was at the time, but was a very good instructor nevertheless, he said.

“Every instructor can teach you something,” Stangeland said. “It doesn’t hurt to fly with other people.”

And when he started teaching, he found himself hooked on it.

“If I don’t know the answer, I’ll help you find it,” Stangeland tells his students, some of whom also want to be flight instructors. “There’s more than one way to teach something.”

His students generally learn in Stangeland’s 1973 Cessna 150, a small, two-seat training airplane — fuel-efficient, easy to fly and durable. However, Stangeland is equally willing to give lessons in a student’s plane, for those who own one.

“An airplane still has all the same principles of flight,” he said.

It’s also best, Stangeland said, to save the money to take enough lessons and pay for enough flight time to work all the way through solo flying, rather than starting and stopping lessons many times throughout the process.

He encourages people learning to fly to practice at least once a week, even when scheduling is difficult.

To fly solo while training, pilots need to be 16 years old, and to be fully licensed for fair-weather flying, they must be 17 years old. However, students as young as 10 or 11 years old can fly with proper supervision.

Though almost everyone can learn to fly, people who play a lot of video games seem to be the most natural flyers, Stangeland said.

He said the JRAA has been very supportive of his efforts, as have Leitner and Jon Cave, the fixed-base operator of First Class Aviation.

In the future, Stangeland hopes to work with Jamestown College and Jamestown Public Schools.

He intends to host an open house for Dakota Skies in the spring or summer. Currently, Stangeland said, he has time for additional students.

“We’re happy to have Brad. We’re happy to have this available at our airport,” Leitner said.

To contact Dakota Skies, call 701-317-1268.


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

Perry Lefors Field Airport (KPPA), Pampa, Texas: County dealing with hangar issues

The Gray County Commission at its meeting Friday discussed mechanical issues the contractor and architect have experienced while working on the new hangar at Perry Lefors Aiport. 

Judge Richard Peet said the plumbers contracted to perform the piping work on site were forced to absorb $5,100 in expenses related to issues with trusses not matching up with the duct work that was already in place. 

 (To read the rest of this story, subscribe to The Pampa News online to access entire daily e-editions of the newspaper.)

Source:   http://thepampanews.com