Monday, February 11, 2013

Gary airport preparing to borrow for expansion

A financial adviser told the Gary/Chicago International Airport Authority on Monday it should be able to borrow the last money it needs for its $166 million expansion project, with its completion deadline looming less than 11 months away.

Acacia Financial Group Senior Vice President Phoebe Sheldon told the airport authority it should be able to issue bonds in the amount of $34.5 million, with $32.9 million of that to spend on the expansion project as well as others at the airport.

"This is a plain vanilla financing," she told the airport authority at its regular meeting. "Nothing too crazy."

The airport is expanding its main runway to 8,900 feet from its current 7,000 feet. The project has been underway since 2006 but has only made significant progress in the last two years.

The $34.5 million borrowing would be paid back during a 30-year period with tax revenue from the Airport Development Zone Tax Increment Financing district, Sheldon said. No calculation has yet been made on how much total in principal and interest would have to be paid back.

The borrowing would carry an interest rate of about 4.8 percent, with that figure encompassing fees due, she said

The Airport Development Zone TIF district is among the largest in the state and encompasses thousands of homes and businesses west of Burr Street. It runs from the airport in the north to Ridge Road in the south.

The plan to complete financing for the project still has a number of moving parts, with an airport application for $16 million in additional federal funds still pending. In addition, the Airport Development Zone currently has more than $20 million in the bank.

Authority member Silas Wilkerson asked what happens if it's found the $32.9 million is not enough to complete the project.

Sheldon said something like a more costly junior-lien bond or a completion bond could be issued if that were the case.

The airport authority on Monday also approved paying construction manager DLZ Corp. $730,000 more for its services as airport expansion construction manager on a 5-1 vote.

Increasing costs for lawyers, consultants and managers have been one of the underlying causes in hiking the cost of the airport expansion to $166 million from original estimates of about $90 million.

Airport expansion project manager Scott Wheeler, of Aecom, said changes in railroad projects that are part of the expansion meant the number of contracts DLZ is managing have swollen to nine in number from the four originally assigned.

A month ago, the airport authority approved paying project manager Aecom $322,612 more for its services.


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

LaGuardia-Dallas flight diverted to Newark when warned that gear would not retract

NEWARK ‐ A Delta flight from LaGuardia Airport to Dallas-Fort Worth was diverted to Newark Liberty International Airport this afternoon after an indicator light warned that its landing gear would not retract, officials said.

Delta Flight 6011 took off from LaGuardia in Queens at 1:24 p.m., with 24 passengers and crew on board, officials said. Soon after takeoff, an indicator light on the Brazilian-made Embraer aircraft warned that the front gear would not retract, prompting the pilot to head for Newark, said Peter Kuwalchuk, a spokesman for Shuttle America, which operates Flight 6011 for Delta.

Officials said the flight landed safely in Newark at 1:46 p.m. Newark Liberty is less than 20 miles northwest of LaGuardia.

“It was an indicator light that led the pilot to divert to Newark," said Kuwalchuk, adding that the plane was being checked out to determine what had happened. "Out of an abundance of caution, they declared an emergency and landed in Newark."

Port Authority Police firefighting crews stood by in case anything went wrong.

A Delta spokesman, Morgan Durant, said passengers were being re-assigned new flights by Delta personnel in Newark. 


http://www.nj.com

Chinook helicopter makes emergency landing in Rowsley (UK)



Published on Monday 11 February 2013 15:51 

 A mid–air collision with a bird forced a military aircraft to make an emergency landing in a Rowsley field.

The RAF Chinook helicopter landed on the recreation ground in Rowsley after a bird shattered its window during flight on Friday afternoon.

It was a blast from the past to see the mammoth machine for Darron Fleming, of Stanton Woodhouse, Rowsley, who used to be in the Army.

“I was in the 21st Signal Regiment stationed in Germany in the mid 80s,” the 47–year–old, who now runs his own electric cigarette business EcigSwag, said.

“I used to do grounds communications for the Chinooks.

“It was a relatively new aircraft then but I think they went on to be the workhorse for Afghanistan.”

The team working to repair the helicopter were happy for curious bystanders to look around the aircraft and even take pictures of it.

“It’s a beautiful aircraft,” Darron, a keen amateur photographer, commented.

“I got to ride in them when I was in the service, which was an absolute pleasure.

“One of my most treasured memories of being in the air force is sitting in the Chinook while the pilot was landscaping – where they hug the landscape at a low level under the radar. We were going about 300 knots – it was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

“I remember seeing all these cattle scattering in this field below me as we flew along and this angry German farmer shaking his fists at us.”

The helicopter was grounded in Rowsley overnight while the team worked to repair it. None of the five crew members were injured as a result of the incident.

It took flight again on Saturday.

Story and Photo:  http://www.matlockmercury.co.uk

Tips for watching airplanes with kids, lessons they can learn

 

By Christie Dedman/al.com 

on February 11, 2013 at 1:30 PM, updated February 11, 2013 at 1:33 PM

 I know this is an obvious idea.  Watching airplanes land and take off at your local airport may be routine for some but some moms and dads may not remember doing this simple yet fun activity as a child therefore they may not have thought about doing it with their own children.

If you haven't thought about doing this with your child take an afternoon and stop by a large local airport and give it a go:

1.  Take some snacks. There are usually trashcans available for your wrappers etc.

2.  Park on the side of the road -  You can get out but keep in mind if you do this Vanderbilt Road (the viewing area for Birmingham International Airport) is high traffic and the folks drive fast.

3.  No bathrooms - that's right no public restrooms or portolets.

4.  Keep track of what's landing and taking off, watch them taxi to the terminal

5.  Notice which way the wind is blowing and how the planes land and take off according to the direction of the wind.

6.  Help your children learn the difference between prop and jet engine planes.

7.  Notice the markings on the runway and what they mean.

8.  Don't forget to take photos and videos of your kids watching the action.

9.  I set an alarm when we go so the kids will know when it's time to go.

10.  Go at different times of the day and night for different conditions, dusk, afternoon sun, fog, night lights etc.


Source:  http://blog.al.com

West Virginia: Safety board chairman has Spencer ties, but isn't from there

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Reports that National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Deborah Hersman is a Spencer native are incorrect, said Kelly Nantel, the safety board's director of public affairs.

The Daily Mail first reported that Hersman is a Spencer native in April 2011, when she was in Charleston to discuss highway safety issues. When she was in Charleston for a hearing on pipeline safety last month, the paper reported she is a Roane County native. And in a Feb. 5 story that reported she is a leading candidate to be nominated secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Daily Mail repeated that she is a Spencer native.

But Nantel said in an email, "Both of Chairman Hersman's parents grew up in Spencer and went to Spencer High School (graduating in 1957 and 1958). Her father was commissioned in the U.S. Air Force in 1961 but maintained residency in West Virginia during his time in the Air Force (until he retired in 1991). Her maternal and paternal grandparents and extended family are from Spencer and Roane County and throughout the years, she visited frequently.

"But Chairman Hersman was born at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., in 1970, and subsequently lived in Montgomery, Ala.; Edwards AFB, Calif.; Monterey, Calif.; Amman, Jordan; Montgomery, Ala.; Springfield, Va.; Hahn AFB, Germany; RAF Bentwaters-Woodbridge, England; Sembach Air Base, Germany; Torrejon Air Base, Spain; and Chantilly, Va., where she graduated from high school in 1988.

"From 1988-1992, she went to college at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., graduating in 1992," Nantel said.

"During the summers of 1990 and 1991, she worked as an intern for Congressman Bob Wise, D-W.Va. Spencer is in the congressional district.

"After college she moved to the Washington, D.C., area and worked for Congressman Wise full-time from 1992-1999.

"From 1999-2004, she worked for the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. Sen. (Fritz) Hollings, D-S.C., hired her and was the chairman/ranking member, however Sen. (Jay) Rockefeller, D-W.Va., was a senior member of the committee during the time she worked there."

Hersman still lives in the Washington, D.C., area. Her parents are now retired in North Carolina, Nantel said.


Source:  http://www.dailymail.com

Kenya Airways Flies Into Anti-Poaching Campaign

The Kenya Airways yesterday joined the fight against poaching following the killing of 18 elephants in the first week of this year.

Kenya Airways CEO Titus Naikuni said without elephants, tourists will not visit the country leading to many people losing jobs in the hospitality industry. Elephants are part of the Big Five which include lions, buffaloes, rhinos and leopards.

Speaking while signing a partnership with Born Free Foundation which is against poaching, Naikuni said poachers are becoming sophisticated.

He said KQ will not sit back as wild animals are wiped out.

Naikuni said the airline, which ferries tourists from most parts of the world to the country, will have its passengers reduced if poaching is not tamed.

"The poaching of wild animals in the country has a multiplying negative effect which trickles down to that mama mboga who grows vegetables for visitors to eat and all Kenyans need to come together and fight the vice," Naikuni said.

He said Kenyans should be taught the importance of wild animals to the country right from the primary school.

The airline, he said, will provide envelopes in all its planes so that philanthropists can make contributions towards the foundation.

"The contributions which would be collected by KQ and managed by Kenya Wildlife Service and the foundation would be basically for carrying out anti-poaching activities," Naikuni said.

He said with the coming up of county governments, governors need to come up with programs that would protect wild animals.

The founder of the foundation, Vriginia Mckenna, who is popularly known for the documentary Born Free shot in Kenya said the country was a top destination for wild animals and it sadness her when wild animals are killed with impunity.

She said lions in the country number about 2,000 and they were being threatened because human beings have approached their territories.

"Lions and other wild animals are the living treasurers of Kenya and you need to take a considerable step in ensuring that they are protected," Mckenna who started the foundation in 1984 said.

In 2012, four rhinos and 70 elephants were killed by poachers.

A month ago, a container with elephant tusks destined to Indonesia was impounded by Kenya Revenue Authority personnel while KWS seized 702 elephant tusks at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport last year.

Source:  http://allafrica.com

Hawaiian Airlines unveils turboprop aircraft for new interisland service

Hawaiian Airlines introduced its new turboprop aircraft that will be flown when Ohana by Hawaiian inaugurates service to Molokai and Lanai this summer.

The aircraft was designed by renowned artist and designer Sig Zane, and features a kapa pattern symbolizing ancestry, family, and transportation.

The brand identity for the new service was introduced Monday at the Honolulu International Airport.

"The name Ohana perfectly captures the idea behind this service and the role it will play in our community. This new service has always been about making it easier for friends and families throughout the islands and from overseas to share time together," President and CEO of Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. and its subsidiary Hawaiian Airlines Mark Dunkerley said. "Sig and Kuha'o Zane's design weaves the concept of family with symbols for heritage and transportation, acknowledging our proud history as the first company to connect our islands through flight."

The Hilo-based designers used Hawaiian Airlines' interisland route map as a basis for the design, and incorporated three kapa patterns: piko, representing ancestor and progeny; manu, representing both a bird in flight and the prow of a canoe, the traditional form of migration; and kalo, representing family.

"Today we invite our ancestors and kupuna to join us as we holoholo between the islands. We celebrate their art and recognize all who have traveled before us," Zane said. "This symbol of our heritage is now a cherished piece for everyone to see."

According operation's manager Hadden Watt, Ohana by Hawaiian will launch daily service to Molokai and Lanai using a 48-seat ATR42 turboprop aircraft.

Watt estimates the new service will create up to 100 new Hawaii-based jobs in various areas of air transportation.


Source:  http://www.khon2.com

Piper Aircraft sees sales, income grow in 2012

VERO BEACH — Piper Aircraft Inc. saw its income and sales grow last year as it slowly recovers from an economic downturn that put sales in a nosedive four years ago.

Annual revenue from new aircraft sales of nearly $149 million were up more than 13 percent from 2011 revenue numbers of about $131.3 million. Aircraft deliveries rose 16 percent from 136 in 2011 to 158 in 2012.

Piper is releasing its annual sales and revenue numbers on Monday for 2012. The company employs about 750 people at its Vero Beach headquarters. Piper officials expect employment to remain relatively stable this year.

Aircraft deliveries stayed fairly stable throughout the year in line with Piper President and Chief Executive Officer Simon Caldecott's objective to level-load production, which basically means trying to balance productions levels throughout the year.

"We stabilized the manufacturing and delivery of new aircraft throughout the year as our initiative to level-load factory production continued to meet with success," said Caldecott in the report issued by the company. "At the same time, our overall aircraft deliveries rose faster than the rest of the industry. The company has also met internal financial forecasts and continued long-range product plans for the future."

Fourth-quarter revenue from the sale of 42 aircraft was about $42 million, up more than 8 percent from about $38.7 million the previous year. Although Caldecott has said the company will be focusing on the trainer aircraft market, the company in 2012 still managed to sell 11 more of its higher priced M-class planes, the Mirage, Matrix and Meridian, than it did the prior year.

Piper spokeswoman Jackie Carlon attributed the sales growth in the higher-end planes to an expansion of the company's dealer network around the world as well as improvements made to the planes to better differentiate them from the older models.

The 2012 M-class planes had brighter lighting, improved sound and electrical service, better air distribution and other enhanced features, according to Piper.

In December, Caldcott said he expected to see some growth this year, but more in the smaller planes used for trainers than the larger planes. The company hopes to enter into more arrangements with flight schools like the one it entered into last year with the Florida Institute of Technology's College of Aeronautics in Melbourne.

Last year, Piper delivered 10 Piper Seminole training aircraft to Airline Transport Professionals, which has flight schools across the country, and completed delivery of a number of Piper Warrior training aircraft to Sekolah Tinggi Penerbangan Indonesia, the government flight school at Budiarto Airport in Curug, Indonesia.

The company has been expanding its global dealer network and about 50 percent of its sales are to customers outside the U.S. The company has appointed new dealers in the Netherlands, Chile, India, Central America, Korea, Turkey and China, according to the report.

Piper, like the rest of the general aviation industry, saw sales and revenue drop dramatically in 2009 with the worldwide economic downturn. The company went from shipping 268 aircraft in 2008 to only 90 in 2009 as revenues fell to $86 million, less than what the company did in first six months alone in 2008.

BY THE NUMBERS

Piper Aircraft Inc. saw new aircraft sales increase by 16 percent and revenue rise by more than 13 percent last year.

Employment: Approximately 750

New aircraft sales in 2012: 158, up 16.2 percent

New aircraft sales in 2011: 136

New aircraft revenues in 2012: $149 million, up $13.5 percent

New aircraft revenues in 2011: $131 million


Source:  http://www.tcpalm.com

U.S. Likely to Clear Airline Deal

Updated February 10, 2013, 7:25 p.m. ET

By SUSAN CAREY
The Wall Street Journal


U.S. antitrust authorities over the past year have been particularly active, blocking acquisitions in industries from beer to e-books. But the potential deal to create the world's biggest airline likely would fly clear of government objections, experts said.

American Airlines parent AMR Corp. and US Airways Group Inc. are in final negotiations on a marriage that could be announced as early as this week. The combined company would surpass United Continental Holdings Inc. as the No. 1 carrier by traffic and control about one-quarter of U.S. domestic capacity.

But the deal involves only about a dozen overlapping routes, similar to the number in the most recent three big airline mergers, according to research by J.P. Morgan. Those transactions were cleared by the Justice Department, with the carriers in only one deal required to relinquish takeoff and landing slots to maintain competition.

"The government has tended to regard some overlaps as not problematic," said Alison Smith, an antitrust lawyer at McDermott Will & Emery LLP in Houston who isn't involved in the AMR deal. "If a merger combines complementary networks, that could bring benefits to consumers."

Ms. Smith, who once worked in the Justice Department's antitrust division, said the key question is whether regulators believe the airline industry already is sufficiently concentrated. "The going thought is that this will be approved," she said.

At congested airports where American and US Airways together would exert an outsize presence, the Justice Department could require the sale of takeoff and landing slots. New York's LaGuardia Airport and Reagan National Airport near Washington are two locations that other carriers are watching closely, people familiar with the matter said.

"Anytime you have slot-constrained airports, you're talking about significant barriers to entry," said Kenneth Quinn, co-leader of the aviation-law practice at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP in Washington. But he said an enlarged American could "counterbalance" Delta Air Lines Inc., which has bulked up at LaGuardia. And the Washington market has alternative airports, which keep prices in check, said Mr. Quinn, who isn't involved in the AMR deal.

The Justice Department declined to comment.

The agency is litigating seven antitrust cases—the most ever at one time—in areas as diverse as beer, electronic books, health insurance and recruiting practices in the technology industry.

The department last month sued Anheuser-Busch InBev NV to stop its plan to acquire full control of Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo SA. Regulators also recently upended AT&T Inc.'s deal to buy T-Mobile USA Inc., and blocked H&R Block Inc.  from purchasing a digital tax-preparation service.

The department "has been extraordinarily active in other industries lately," Mr. Quinn said. But "they would be hard-pressed not to approve [the AMR deal] because they allowed other megaairline mergers to occur."

Research has shown that U.S. airline fares have declined in recent years, despite the spate of mergers.

Consolidation has made the industry healthier, in part by strengthening some of the largest players, said Clifford Winston, a Brookings Institution economist who studies airlines. Mergers have eliminated airlines that kept prices in check by offering excess capacity, he said. But "there's really very little evidence, historically, that mergers have done anything to raise fares" overall because competition remains "very intense."

US Airways, the nation's fifth-largest carrier by traffic, has been pursuing No. 3 American for more than a year, beginning shortly after AMR filed for bankruptcy-court protection late in 2011. The proposed merger, which would create a company with a combined market value of more than $10 billion, is shaping up to be AMR's more likely route out of bankruptcy court than its plan to emerge on its own.

With an AMR marriage in mind, US Airways has retained antitrust counsel for nearly a year, people familiar with the matter said. The Tempe, Ariz., company has prepared an application for review under federal antitrust law and has informally briefed Justice Department officials regarding its plans, the people said.

American, which is based in Fort Worth, Texas, declined to comment.

If both companies' boards approve the deal, the pair would want to expedite the review process to avoid extending American's stay in bankruptcy-court protection. The Hart-Scott-Rodino antitrust law provides for an abbreviated review for companies in bankruptcy court. But in a complex case like this one, the Justice Department likely would request more information and could spend months looking at the transaction route by route, experts said.

The 2008 acquisition of Northwest Airlines by Delta took six months to get the green light. The 2010 deal that created United Continental required four months. Southwest Airlines Co.'s  22011 purchase of AirTran Airways cleared in about seven months. United controls 19.3% of U.S. domestic capacity, Delta 19.2% and Southwest 15.9%, according to aviation data provider Innovata LLC.

While the Justice Department is the deal's main regulatory hurdle, the transaction also would require the approval of European Union officials because of American's large trans-Atlantic presence.

Also, the joint ventures American has with airlines in Europe, Japan and Latin America would need to be vetted by the U.S. Department of Transportation, experts said.


Source:  http://online.wsj.com

Flown in from Maryland en route Atlanta, Georgia: Passengers With Firearms Arrested At Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos

Security officials of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) have arrested passengers with pistols in their luggage at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos.

One of the passengers was reported to have flown in from Maryland en route Atlanta,  Georgia, United States of America and arrived at the Lagos airport at about 4 PM on February 6, on board Delta Airlines.

Another passenger was reportedly caught by aviation security officials at the domestic terminal, MMA2 on his way to Port Harcourt, the Rivers State Capital.

The passengers are Nigerians whose names were not disclosed for security reasons and who claimed that the guns were brought in from the USA for their personal protection while in Nigeria.

The passenger on Delta flight claimed he declared the gun to the airline before checking in his luggage at the airport of departure.

General Manager, Corporate Communications of (FAAN), Yakubu Dati, said the guns did not pose any threat to any passenger at the time of seizure.

He said the aviation security personnel of the agency would continue to work with other security operatives at the airports to ensure the safety of lives and property.

The Port Harcourt bound passenger checked in on an Aero Contractors flight from Lagos on Thursday but was apprehended by security officers at the terminal, for possessing firearms.

The pistol was discovered in his checked-in luggage.

The Port Harcourt-bound passenger was reported to have tendered the receipt for the purchase of the gun but had since been handed over to security agents for further investigation.

Dati also confirmed the deportation of two Hungarian women from the Lagos airport and attributed it to increased alertness by FAAN's security personnel.

He said that the two Hungarian citizens, Miss Szabone Balatoni Hajnalka and Miss Porge Szabina, were apprehended by intelligence officers "in our Directorate of Aviation Security last Tuesday on their arrival on a Virgin Atlantic Airways flight from London."

Dati also disclosed the arrests of people who infringed on security regulation was due to the changes made by the agency recently when some security officials were transferred out of the airport and replaced by younger officers

"The two passengers, who did not appear to have any genuine reason for being in the country, were later handed over, with their Nigerian accomplice, to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for further investigations.

"These milestones are clearly the benefits of the recent reorganization in the organization, especially the directorate of security," Dati said.


Source:  http://allafrica.com

Bolingbrook's Clow International (1C5), Bolingbrook, Illinois: Cartel Planned To Smuggle Drugs Through Small Suburban Airport

At a meeting in a Chicago business last spring, the leaders of a drug trafficking organization allegedly made a lucrative offer to an informant posing as a pilot.

Jose Mares-Barragan, 31, and another unidentified drug leader told the informant they had tons of cocaine ready to ship and the pilot could make almost $40,000 flying 25 kilos on a light aircraft from California to the small airport in Bolingbrook, according to a charging document.

They also offered $500,000 per flight to take massive amounts of cocaine between South and Central America, where they said the narcotics would be loaded and unloaded by government workers, court records show.

"If he wants to go big, we can go big," Mares-Barragan, who allegedly worked for the Sinaloa cartel, said at the recorded meeting. The drug ring also allegedly discussed in an unrecorded conversation using a plane to move millions of dollars a month in cash from Australia to the U.S. to buy cocaine to sell back in Australia, court records show.

Mares-Barragan, of Castaic, Calif., was arrested after the informant agreed to bring 26 kilos of cocaine into Clow International Airport, apparently on the same weekend it was hosting its 12th annual Cavalcade of Planes, a regional festival that draws thousands of airplane enthusiasts.

Clow airport, situated just yards from strip malls and subdivisions typical of Chicago's suburbs, seems an unlikely hub for a large drug trafficking operation. But there's a growing use of smaller airports by regional drug rings hoping to move large amounts of narcotics, said Jack Riley, the Drug Enforcement Administration's special agent in charge of its Chicago division.

"Really we're beginning to see that more and more domestically," he said. "Of course, the Mexican organizations will move it across the border virtually any way possible. But the regional organizations are moving dope and money into smaller airports where there's really less law enforcement and most of them don't even file a flight plan. It's very effective."

The use of aircraft rarely forms the basis for charges in federal drug trafficking cases, which typically involve drugs hidden in semi trucks, cars or even people.

In this case, the pilot was to fly to Bolingbrook on a June weekend and return to California with bundles of cash for the Mexican suppliers. DEA agents arranged the pickup of the cocaine in Palm Desert, Calif., and then at some point swapped it for sham narcotics, which were stuffed into a black duffel bag.

Two people were arrested at the airport in Bolingbrook and agreed to cooperate with authorities. Agents also arrested a man, who did drug deals from a "Mr. Sandman" email address, who wanted to buy 13 kilos, records show.

Charging documents allege Mares-Barragan wrote emails saying he was "stressing big time" over the shipment to Bolingbrook and that his supplier asked him to take 40 kilos but he only felt comfortable with 26 "because it's too much if something happens."

His attorney, Paul Brayman, declined comment on the pending case.


Source:   http://latinotimes.com

Flying Without Leaving the Ground: Radio Control Aircraft

KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports 

 Maybe when you were kid you played with remote control cars or assembled model airplanes but you may not be familiar with an exhilarating hobby that combines the two and is growing in popularity. 

The Mid-Arkansas Radio Control Society has more than 100 members and they really do take their craft seriously. But they also have a lot of fun. 

"I think aviation has been in my blood since I was little," said Ryan McCon, a MARCS member. "Did some full scale flying. On my 16th birthday got a flight lesson. Couldn't afford to stick with that all my life but I got into this and have been heavily addicted ever since. Can't stop buying airplanes, can't stop flying airplanes."

The airplanes McCon now flies are just smaller than the real thing. 

"They really are miniature aircraft," said Paul Holland, a  MARCS member and newsletter editor. "Whether it's a helicopter or an airplane they really are just a miniature. But they operate in the same way, you just fly them a little bit differently. Instead of seat of the pants and a stick and a rudder, it's hand/eye coordination and depth perception, that sort of thing." 

The Mid-Arkansas Radio Control Society has been around since the sixties and was once considered a retired man's hobby. But has recently seen a surge in interest from the younger generation. 

"We have members that are as young as ten, twelve years old and as old as 90!" said Holland.

The older pilots tend to take pride in the build of the aircraft and good, smooth landings. 

The younger ones... taking the art of flying to a whole new level. 

"They're just fun to fly. And there's always some excitement with these because you really can't master the flight on these. There's always some new maneuver if you have the guts to do it," said club member Marshall Burroughs.

The radio control aviation hobby is growing in popularity and one man we spoke to is trying to turn his hobby into a business. 

"I've always been interested, in the cheap things you get at the toy stores and stuff. Being in video I thought, man surely there's a way we can put a camera on these things and get some pretty neat footage," said Robert Davis.

And Davis was right. 

"It's an angle of footage that you can't seem to get from a full scale helicopter and you can't get from the ground," said Davis.

The challenge Davis still faces is the Federal Aviation Administration. 

The radio control aerial photography business is so new regulations and policies are not yet in place. 

"We've had a lot of people approach us that are interested in doing it from production companies to real estate agents. Once the federal government decides what they want to do with it, I think it could be a pretty successful organization," said Davis.

For now, he and his fellow club members are just enjoying the ride. 

"If you've never flown before it's hard to describe," said Davis. "It's an adrenaline rush, it's relaxing at the same time."

And truth be told sometimes its more about the fellowship than the flying. 

"It's a camaraderie thing," said Burroughs. "Lots of people involved with it. A lot of them fly all different kinds of aircraft... helicopters, airplanes, and it's really fun to watch the younger kids come along. They get really interested and helping them along and watching them progress is really rewarding to see that. It's really fun too."

"It's just fun, the camaraderie among people. Seeing the pilots, seeing what they can do, making your skill better watching and seeing and trying to do what they can do." said McCon.

Click here for more information on Mid-Arkansas Radio Control Society.

Click here for more information on Arkansas Aerials.

Source:   http://www.katv.com

Ultimate Air Shuttle plans to grow: Charter service requests new federal classification

ULTIMATE AIR 1/23/13 METRO
 Rick Pawlak, Ultimate Air Shuttle Managing Director, is photographed on the company's hangar. 





Ultimate Air Shuttle, the public-charter service popular among the region’s business travelers, is working toward a major expansion of flight operations this year. 

The Lunken-based shuttle service has requested federal approval for commuter status, which would allow it to double its 12 weekday flights to Chicago, Charlotte and the New York City region.

“It would be a game-changer for them,” said Jay Ratliff, local aviation expert and former Northwest Airlines general manager.

Business travelers drive almost 85 percent of Ultimate Air’s passenger traffic, managing director Rick Pawlak said.

Fifth Third Bank and Cintas Corp. are Ultimate Air’s top business clients. DunnhumbyUSA, Ashland Oil and Johnson & Johnson also are among the more than 75 regular customers.

Many business fliers find Ultimate Air a convenient alternative to flying from Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber recruited the charter service to Lunken in July 2009 to address significant downsizing at CVG, mostly by dominant carrier Delta Air Lines.

Today, the public charter service offers round-trip service on its 30-seat jets to Chicago’s Midway International Airport each Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

Ultimate Air would first look to add service on Wednesday and launch an additional round-trip flight on Monday and Thursday. If the Chicago expansion were to reach full capacity, the charter then would look to expand service to Morristown, N.J., near New York City, Pawlak said.

All flights would continue to operate as public charters. Ultimate Air’s current designation limits it to flying to each city a maximum of four days a week. Commuter status would allow flights to each city every day.

The company does not plan to pursue becoming a commercial airline, Pawlak said. That would require a move from general-aviation airports such as Lunken to commercial airports that have more security, gate and ticket-counter infrastructure.

Ultimate Air officially made its request to the U.S. Department of Transportation in July. It could receive approval any day.

Ultimate Air Shuttle, the public-charter service popular among the region’s business travelers, is working toward a major expansion of flight operations this year.

The Lunken-based shuttle service has requested federal approval for commuter status, which would allow it to double its 12 weekday flights to Chicago, Charlotte and the New York City region.

“It would be a game-changer for them,” said Jay Ratliff, local aviation expert and former Northwest Airlines general manager.

Business travelers drive almost 85 percent of Ultimate Air’s passenger traffic, managing director Rick Pawlak said.

Fifth Third Bank and Cintas Corp. are Ultimate Air’s top business clients. DunnhumbyUSA, Ashland Oil and Johnson & Johnson also are among the more than 75 regular customers.

Many business fliers find Ultimate Air a convenient alternative to flying from Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber recruited the charter service to Lunken in July 2009 to address significant downsizing at CVG, mostly by dominant carrier Delta Air Lines.

Today, the public charter service offers round-trip service on its 30-seat jets to Chicago’s Midway International Airport each Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

Ultimate Air would first look to add service on Wednesday and launch an additional round-trip flight on Monday and Thursday. If the Chicago expansion were to reach full capacity, the charter then would look to expand service to Morristown, N.J., near New York City, Pawlak said.

All flights would continue to operate as public charters. Ultimate Air’s current designation limits it to flying to each city a maximum of four days a week. Commuter status would allow flights to each city every day.

The company does not plan to pursue becoming a commercial airline, Pawlak said. That would require a move from general-aviation airports such as Lunken to commercial airports that have more security, gate and ticket-counter infrastructure.

Ultimate Air officially made its request to the U.S. Department of Transportation in July. It could receive approval any day.


Ultimate Air at a glance


• Flights: Weekday round-trip, direct-flight service to Chicago (no Wednesday service), New York City region (no Wednesday service) and Charlotte, N.C. (no Friday service).


• Round-trip costs: Chicago ($575), New York City region ($695), Charlotte ($595 if customer books ticket 10 or fewer days before scheduled departure; $449 if books flight more than 10 days in advance). All ticket prices include taxes, fees, parking, baggage, food and drinks (non-alcoholic and alcoholic).


• Jets: The company has eight, 30-seat Dornier 328 jets.


• Convenience: Passengers can arrive 15 minutes before scheduled departure time. Ultimate Air has been known to hold flights for a few minutes if a passenger calls ahead and notifies that he or she is running late. Passengers are pre-screened by the Transportation Security Administration.


• Concierge service: Customer service will arrange ground transportation in each city at the customer’s request. In Chicago, Ultimate Air offers free shuttle service to a train station with direct access to downtown.


• Book a flight: Call 1-800-437-3931 or go to www.ultimateairshuttle.com. Flights can be booked up to 30 minutes before departure time.

https://www.ultimateairshuttle.com


Source:  http://news.cincinnati.com