Thursday, February 14, 2013

Texas Turbines: Plans being made to build new hangar at North Texas Regional Airport (KGYI)

GRAYSON CO., TEXAS -- Plans are being made for Texas Turbines's hangar to be built out at the North Texas Regional Airport.

In July, Grayson County commissioners approved spending up to $1.8 million to build a hangar for the aircraft engine modification company.

Today, the Grayson County Regional Mobility Authority discussed using a local construction company, Piazza Construction, to build that hangar.

On Tuesday, commissioners will make the official decision whether the county will employ Piazza to construct the facility.

Texas Turbines is expected to employ 25 to 40 people out at the airport.


http://www.kxii.com

Beechcraft B100 King Air, N499SW: Accident occurred December 19, 2012 in Libby, Montana

NTSB Identification: WPR13FA073
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, December 19, 2012 in Libby, MT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/04/2015
Aircraft: BEECH B100, registration: N499SW
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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

When the flight was about 7 miles from the airport and approaching it from the south in dark night conditions, the noncertificated pilot canceled the instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan. A police officer who was on patrol in the local area reported that he observed a twin-engine airplane come out of the clouds about 500 ft above ground level and then bank left over the town, which was north of the airport. The airplane then turned left and re-entered the clouds. The officer went to the airport to investigate, but he did not see the airplane. He reported that it was dark, but clear, at the airport and that he could see stars; there was snow on the ground. He also observed that the rotating beacon was illuminated but that the pilot-controlled runway lighting was not. The Federal Aviation Administration issued an alert notice, and the wreckage was located about 7 hours later 2 miles north of the airport. The airplane had collided with several trees on downsloping terrain; the debris path was about 290 ft long. Postaccident examination of the airframe and engine revealed no mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. The town and airport were located within a sparsely populated area that had limited lighting conditions, which, along with the clouds and 35 percent moon illumination, would have restricted the pilot’s visual references. These conditions likely led to his being geographically disoriented (lost) and his subsequent failure to maintain sufficient altitude to clear terrain. Although the pilot did not possess a valid pilot’s certificate, a review of his logbooks indicated that he had considerable experience flying the airplane, usually while accompanied by another pilot, and that he had flown in both visual and IFR conditions. A previous student pilot medical certificate indicated that the pilot was color blind and listed limitations for flying at night and for using color signals. The pilot had applied for another student pilot certificate 2 months before the accident, but this certificate was deferred pending a medical review.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The noncertificated pilot’s failure to maintain clearance from terrain while maneuvering to land in dark night conditions likely due to his geographic disorientation (lost). Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s improper decision to fly at night with a known visual limitation.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On December 19, 2012, about 0002 mountain standard time (MST), a Beech B100, N499SW, collided with trees near Libby, Montana. Stinger Welding was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. The non-certificated pilot and one passenger sustained fatal injuries; the airplane was destroyed from impact forces. The cross-country personal flight departed Coolidge, Arizona, about 2025 MST with Libby as the planned destination. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the nearest official reporting station, and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan had been filed.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reported that the pilot had been cleared for the GPS-A instrument approach procedure for the Libby Airport (S59), which was located 7 nm south-southeast of Libby. The pilot acknowledged that clearance at 2353. At 2359, the airplane target was about 7 miles south of the airport; the pilot reported the field in sight, and cancelled the IFR flight plan. Recorded radar data indicated that the airplane was at a Mode C altitude of 11,700 feet mean sea level at that time, and the beacon code changed from 6057 to 1200.

A track obtained from the FilghtAware internet site indicated a target at 2320 at 26,000 feet that was heading in the direction of Libby. The target began a descent at 2340:65. At 2359:10, and 11,700 feet mode C altitude, the beacon code changed to 1200. The target continued to descend, and crossed the Libby Airport, elevation 2,601 feet, at 0000:46 at 8,300 feet. The track continued north; the last target was at 0001:58 and a Mode C altitude of 5,000 feet; this was about 3 miles south of Libby and over 4 miles north of the airport.

A police officer reported that he observed a twin-engine airplane come out of the clouds over the city of Libby about 500 feet above ground level. It turned left, and went back into the clouds. The officer thought that it was probably going to the airport; he went to the airport to investigate, but observed no airplane. It was dark, but clear, at the airport with about 3 inches of snow on the ground, and he could see stars. He also observed that the rotating beacon was illuminated, but not the pilot controlled runway lighting. He listened for an airplane, but heard nothing.

When the pilot did not appear at a company function at midday on December 18, they reported him overdue. The Prescott, Arizona, Automated Flight Service Station (AFSS) issued an alert notice (ALNOT) at 1102 MST; the wreckage was located at 1835.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

A review of FAA medical records revealed that the 54-year-old pilot first applied for an Airman Medical and Student Pilot Certificate in August 2004. On that Medical Certification Application, the pilot reported having 500 hours total time with 200 hours in the previous 6 months. No alcohol or medication usage was reported; however, the pilot was determined to be red/green color blind.

On June 9, 2010, the pilot reported on an application for an Airman Medical and Student Pilot Certificate that he had 925 hours total time with 150 hours in the previous 6 months. He was issued a third-class medical certificate that was deemed not valid for night flying or using color signal control.

On May 16, 2012, the pilot received a driving while intoxicated (DWI) citation in Libby.

The pilot reported on an application for an Airman Medical and Student Pilot Certificate dated October 16, 2012, that he had a total time of 980 hours with 235 hours logged in the previous 6 months. Item 52 for color vision indicated fail. This application reported a new diagnosis of hypertension, and use of medications to control it. This application reported yes in item 17 (v) for history of arrest of conviction for driving while intoxicated. The FAA deferred the issuance of the Student Pilot and Medical Certificate, indicating that they were investigating a failure to report within 60 days the alcohol-related motor vehicle action that occurred in Montana on May 16, 2012. 

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC) reviewed copies of the pilot's logbooks beginning on March 21, 2010, and ending November 4, 2012. The entries indicated a total time of 978 hours during that time period. Time logged for the 90 days prior to the accident was 34 hours. The logbooks recorded numerous trips to Libby with three entries in the previous 90 days. The last solo flight endorsement, in a Cessna 340, was signed off by a certified flight instructor in August 2011. The logbook contained several entries for flights in instrument flight rules (IFR) conditions.

The IIC interviewed the chief pilot for the company, who was hired to fly the Stinger Company's Cessna CJ2 jet, which they purchased about 4 years earlier. The accident pilot owned the company, and would typically have the chief pilot arrange for a contract pilot to fly with him in the accident airplane. The chief pilot was standing by to fly the owner in the CJ2, but the owner never contacted him or requested another pilot for the accident airplane.

The IIC interviewed a contract pilot who flew with the accident pilot on December 16, 2012; this was their only flight together. It was a 6-hour round trip from Coolidge to La Paz, Mexico. The airplane was in perfect condition; everything was working, and they had no squawks. The pilot had paper charts, as well as charts on an iPad. The contract pilot felt that the pilot handled the airplane well, was competent, and understood all of the systems. The pilot coached the contract pilot on the systems installed including the autopilot. They used it on the outbound trip, and it operated properly. They used the approach mode into La Paz including vertical navigation. The pilot had no complaints of physical ailments or lack of sleep, and fuelled the airplane himself.

The passenger was a company employee who was not a pilot.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane was a Beech B100, serial number BE89. The airplane's logbooks were not provided and examined. 

The IIC interviewed Stinger Welding's aviation maintenance chief, whose 4-year employment was terminated about 1 month after the accident. He stated that the airplane typically flew 200-400 hours a year; the company had flown it about 800 hours since its acquisition. The chief was not aware of any unresolved squawks as the owner usually had him take care of maintenance needs immediately. The airplane had been out of service for maintenance for a long time the previous year, having taken almost 7 months to get the propeller out of the shop due to the repair cost. The maintenance chief said that the owner kept the onboard Garmin GPS databases up to date. The airplane was operated under Part 91 CFR, and inspections being delayed were: the 6-year landing gear inspection was past due; the 12-month items were due; and the 3-year wing structure and wing bolt inspection was due.

METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS

The closest official weather observation station was Sandpoint, Idaho (KSZT), which was 46 nautical miles (nm) west of the accident site at an elevation of 2,131 feet mean sea level (msl). An aviation routine weather report (METAR) issued at 2355 MST stated: wind from 220 degrees at 5 knots; visibility 10 miles; sky 2,800 feet overcast; temperature 0/32 degrees Celsius/Fahrenheit; dew point -3/27 degrees Celsius/Fahrenheit; altimeter 29.72 inches of mercury. Illumination of the moon was 35 percent.

AIRPORT INFORMATION

The Airport/ Facility Directory, Northwest Pacific U. S., indicated that Libby Airport had an Automated Weather Observation System (AWOS)-A, which broadcast on frequency 118.575.

Libby runway 15/33 was 5,000 feet long and 75 feet wide; the runway surface was asphalt. The airport elevation was 2,601 feet.

The airport was located within the general confines of the Kootenai National Forest, and beyond the town of Libby; the area was lightly inhabited.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The IIC and investigators from the FAA and Honeywell examined the wreckage on site. Detailed examination notes are part of the public docket. The center of the debris field was about 2.5 miles north of the airport at an elevation of 4,180 feet.

A description of the debris field references debris from left and right of the centerline of the debris path; the debris was through trees on a slope that went downhill from left to right. The debris path was about 290 feet long along a magnetic bearing of 125 degrees. 

The first identified point of contact (FIPC) was a topped tree with branches on the ground below it and in the direction of the debris field. About 50 feet from the tree were composite shards, and a piece of the composite engine nacelle, which had a hole punched in it.

The next point of contact was a 4-foot-tall tree stump with shiny splinters on the stump. The lower portion of the tree had been displaced about 30 feet in the direction of the debris field with the top folded back toward the stump. Underneath the tree trunk were the nose gear and control surfaces followed by wing pieces.

One engine and propeller with all four blades attached was about 50 feet from the stump, and on the right side of the debris path. This was later determined to be the right engine. Next on the left side of the debris path was the outboard half of one propeller blade; another propeller blade was about 10 feet further into the debris field.

Midway into the debris field were several trees with sheet metal wrapped around them. Near the midpoint of the debris field, a portion of the instrument panel had imbedded into a tree about 15 feet above the ground. The wiring bundle hung down the tree trunk to ground level. To the left of the instrument panel was one of the largest pieces of wreckage. This piece contained the left and right horizontal stabilizers, vertical stabilizer, and part of one wing with the landing gear strut attached. The rudder separated, but was a few feet left of this piece.

Next in the debris field was a 6- by 8-foot piece of twisted metal, which contained the throttle quadrant.

About 100 feet right of the debris path centerline and downhill from the throttle quadrant was a 10-foot section of the aft cabin. This section was connected by steel cables and wires to a 4- by 7-foot piece of twisted metal.

The furthest large piece of wreckage was the second engine; this was later determined to be the left engine. The left propeller hub with two blades attached had separated from the engine; the other two blades were located earlier within the debris field.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The Forensic Science Division, Department of Justice, State of Montana, completed an autopsy, and determined that the cause of death was blunt force injuries.

The FAA Forensic Toxicology Research Team, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicological testing of specimens of the pilot.

Analysis of the specimens indicated no carbon monoxide detected in blood (cavity), no test performed for cyanide, no ethanol detected in muscle or kidney, and no findings for tested drugs.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

The IIC and investigators from the FAA, Textron Aviation, and Honeywell examined the wreckage at Avtech, Kent, Washington, on February 13, 2013.

Detailed examination notes are part of the public docket. Investigators observed no mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation of the airframe or engines.

The engines had been modified from Honeywell models to National Flight Services, INC., models per a supplemental type certificate (STC SE002292AT), and installed in the airplane per STC SA00856AT.

The left engine was TPE331-6-511B, serial number P-27185C based on a Beechcraft data tag on the engine. The starter/generator input shaft fractured and separated; the fracture surface was angular and twisted.

No metallic debris was adhering to the engine chip detector.

The engine inlet fractured and separated from the engine gearcase housing. Earthen debris was observed on the first stage compressor impeller. Vanes of the first stage impeller were bent opposite the direction of rotation.

Overall, the compressor case and plenum displayed crush damage. Upon removal of the airframe exhaust, investigators observed earthen debris within the engine exhaust. There was a fine layer of dried mud/earthen debris on the forward suction side of the third stage turbine blades. Investigators observed metal spray deposits on the third stage turbine stator vanes.

All four propeller blades exhibited leading edge damage; a section of one blade was not recovered with the aircraft wreckage, but this blade's tip was recovered.

The right engine was a TPE331-6-511B, serial number P27190C. 

Investigators observed rotational scoring in multiple locations on the propeller shaft. The first stage compressor impeller displayed tearing and battering damage; some vanes were bent opposite the direction of rotation. Investigators observed wood debris in the engine inlet area.

Investigators observed metal spray deposits noted on the suction side of the third stage turbine stator vanes.

All four of the right propeller's blades displayed leading edge damage and chordwise scoring. One tip fractured and separated; it was not recovered. All blades bent aft at midspan; they exhibited s-bending and tip curling.



 

 KALISPELL - The Mayor of Libby and Lincoln County Commissioners are concerned about the town's future after an announcement was made that Stinger Welding is closing. 

 An announcement was made in January the Bridge Building Plant is expected to close the end of the month leaving nearly 80 people in the Libby area unemployed.

Lincoln County Commissioner Tony Berget said  the closure of the facility will add more damage to Libby's already high unemployment rate.

"Are unemployment rate is right near the top of the state and its always difficult to lose a job you worked so hard to put together a package. To lose jobs is always hard,"  Berget said.

Berget said he talked to some of the current employees who said they are already trying to find jobs in the oil fields east of Montana.

The announcement of the closure came one month after the company's CEO Carl Douglas was killed in a plane crash near Libby on December 18th.
 

Story and Video:   http://www.abcfoxmontana.com

NTSB Identification: WPR13FA073
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, December 18, 2012 in Libby, MT
Aircraft: BEECH B100, registration: N499SW
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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

On December 18, 2012, about 0002 mountain standard time (MST), a Beech B100, N499SW, collided with trees at Libby, Montana. Stinger Welding was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. The noncertificated pilot and one passenger sustained fatal injuries; the airplane sustained substantial damage from impact forces. The cross-country personal flight departed Coolidge, Arizona, about 2025 MST on December 17th, with Libby as the planned destination. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the nearest official reporting station of Sandpoint, Idaho, 264 degrees at 46 miles, and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan had been filed.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reported that the pilot had been cleared for the GPS-A instrument approach procedure for the Libby Airport. The clearance had a crossing restriction of 10,700 feet at the PACCE intersection, which was the initial approach fix for the GPS-A approach. The pilot acknowledged that clearance at 2353. At 2359, the airplane target was about 7 miles south of the airport; the pilot reported the field in sight, and cancelled the IFR flight plan.

A police officer reported that he observed an airplane fly over the city of Libby, which was north of the airport; the airplane then turned toward the airport. The officer went to the airport to investigate, but observed no airplane. He noted that it was foggy in town, but the airport was clear. He also observed that the rotating beacon was illuminated, but not the pilot controlled runway lighting.

When the pilot did not appear at a company function at midday on December 18, they reported him overdue. The Prescott, Arizona, Automated Flight Service Station (AFSS) issued an alert notice (ALNOT) at 1102 MST; the wreckage was located at 1835.

The National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge (IIC) and investigators from the FAA and Honeywell examined the wreckage on site. A description of the debris field references debris from left and right of the centerline of the debris path. The debris was through trees on a slope that went downhill from left to right.

The first identified point of contact (FIPC) was a topped tree with branches on the ground below it and in the direction of the debris field. About 50 feet from the tree were composite shards, and a piece of the composite engine nacelle, which had a hole punched in it.

The next point of contact was a 4-foot tree stump with shiny splinters on the stump. The lower portion of the tree had been displaced about 30 feet in the direction of the debris field with the top folded back toward the stump. Underneath the tree trunk were the nose gear and a couple of control surfaces followed by wing pieces.

One engine with the propeller attached was about 50 feet from the stump, and on the right side of the debris path. Next on the left side of the debris path was the outboard half of one propeller blade; another propeller blade was about 10 feet further into the debris field.

Midway into the debris field were several trees with sheet metal wrapped around them. Near the midpoint of the debris field, a portion of the instrument panel had imbedded into a tree about 15 feet above the ground. The wiring bundle hung down the tree trunk to ground level. To the left of the instrument panel was one of the largest pieces of wreckage. This piece contained the left and right horizontal stabilizers, vertical stabilizer, and part of one wing with the landing gear strut attached. The rudder separated, but was a few feet left of this piece.

Next in the debris field was a 6- by 8-foot piece of twisted metal, which contained the throttle quadrant.

About 100 feet right of the debris path centerline and downhill from the throttle quadrant was a 10-foot section of the aft cabin. This section was connected by steel cables and wires to a 4- by 7-foot piece of twisted metal.

The furthest large piece of wreckage was the second engine; the propeller hub with two blades attached had separated. 

Fly Jamaica soars

Director of Tourism, John Lynch was among the more than 100 passengers including Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority personnel who boarded the inaugural Fly Jamaica Airways aircraft earlier this morning en route to the John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport in New York.

It was smooth sailing from check-in to departure for the early morning flight.

There was a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony and all waiting passengers including Corporate Communications Manager of LIME, Elon Parkinson started boarding the aircraft at 5.57 a.m.

All passengers were on board by 6.04 a.m. and the doors to the aircraft were closed at 6.20 a.m.

The return flight is scheduled to depart JFK at 11.40 a.m. for a 3.40 p.m. arrival at the Norman Manley International airport.

More than 180 passengers are scheduled to make the return flight.

A welcome reception will be held upon their arrival.

According to Chief Operating Officer, Captain Lloyd Tai, since the announcement that the flight would officially take off today, there has been increased traffic on their website and persons began booking their trip immediately.

http://www.stabroeknews.com

Dog Found Freezing at Newark Liberty International Airport (KEWR) Needs a Home: 'Buddy' survived stretch of bitterly cold weather in January

 
'Buddy' was found nearly frozen at Newark Liberty airport last month and is now in need of a permanent home. 
Credit Paul Milo

Mayor Cory Booker isn’t the only one who saved a dog within Newark during last month’s stretch of bitterly cold weather.

The website Life With Dogs reports that “Buddy,” a three-year-old mastiff-pit bull mix, spent at least two nights in a parking lot at Newark Liberty International Airport before he was found, shivering and beginning to show signs of frostbite, by a woman named Jane Koyler. Unable to keep him, she brought him to a Hillside animal shelter. Since then, he has been kept in a kennel and has occasionally been brought to the homes of volunteers for a temporary respite, but Buddy still needs a permanent home. 

He is likely to get along with other dogs, but not cats, and it is not recommended that he be around very small children due to his size.  Anyone interested in fostering or adopting Buddy should be experienced in handling large dogs.

Those interested in Buddy can send an email here or can call 732-804-0548.  Those interested in helping defray the boarding and veterinary costs can click here.  Buddy’s Facebook page can be found here.


Story and Photo:   http://newarknj.patch.com

Beechcraft Duke A60, N7466D: Accident occurred February 14, 2013 in Abilene, Texas

http://registry.faa.gov/N7466D

NTSB Identification: CEN13CA162
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, February 14, 2013 in Abilene, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/09/2013
Aircraft: BEECH A60, registration: N7466D
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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

The pilot reported that he had added fuel at the previous fuel stop and that he was using a fuel totalizer to determine the quantity of fuel onboard. After climbing to a cruise altitude of 14,000 feet above ground level, he discovered that the fuel mixture control was frozen and that he was unable to lean the mixture to a lower fuel flow setting. The pilot reported that because of the increased fuel consumption, he briefly considered an en route stop for additional fuel but decided to continue. During descent, the airplane experienced a complete loss of power in both engines, and the pilot made an emergency off-field, gear-up landing about 7 miles from the destination. The airplane impacted terrain and thick scrub trees, which resulted in substantial damage to both wings, both engine mounts, and the fuselage. A postaccident examination found that only a trace of fuel remained. The pilot also reported that there was no mechanical malfunction or failure and that his inadequate fuel management was partly because he had become overconfident in his abilities after 50 years of flying.

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

The pilot’s improper fuel management, which resulted in a loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion.

The pilot reported that he had added a specified amount of fuel at the previous fuel stop and he was using a fuel totalizer to determine the quantity of fuel on-board. After climbing to a cruise altitude of 14,000 feet above ground level he discovered that the fuel mixture control was frozen and he was unable to lean the mixture to a lower fuel flow setting. The pilot reported that because of the increased fuel consumption he briefly considered an enroute stop for additional fuel but decided to continue. During descent the airplane experienced a complete loss of power in both engines and the pilot made an emergency off-field gear-up landing about 7 miles from the destination. The airplane impacted terrain and thick scrub trees which resulted in substantial damage to both wings, both engine mounts, and the fuselage. A postaccident examination found that only a trace of fuel remained. The pilot also reported that there was no mechanical malfunction or failure and that his inadequate fuel management was partly because he had become overconfident in his abilities after 50 years of flying.


 It was a bumpy ride back down to earth Thursday morning for frank Leroy Bell and his dual-engine aircraft. 

 "The front, the leading edges of the wings, and the engines took the biggest hit from the crash. It is in pretty bad shape," says Don Green, Director of Aviation at Abilene Regional.

The Tuscola pilot radioed in that he was about to crash, then radioed in again after crashing, saying he was okay.

"I started walking back that way looking for the plane. The pilot was okay. The plane was in the trees, in relatively good condition considering the fact that it had crashed," said an APD police officer.

First responders confirmed from Mr. Bell that he had run out of fuel, forcing him to attempt a landing in an open field, near the Hamby Cemetary in Callahan county.

"The pilot did an excellent job bringing the aircraft down. He was just a little short of the field that he was going for. He just lost momentum," explained Green.

Next up comes the task of removing the aircraft from the private property.

"The FAA in Lubbock is on the way and they will conduct an investigation into the crash. They will authorize the aircraft to be moved, probably back to the airport," states Green.

A pilot flying a separate small aircraft was witness to the crash and circled the scene until first responders could arrive.

Watch Video:   http://bigcountryhomepage.com


 

 




  

ABILENE, Texas -   A plane sustained heavy damage when it went down Thursday morning near Elmdale Airpark in Callahan County.

The airport reported an inflight emergency from the 1970 Beech A60 plane when the call came in around 10:30 a.m. The accident happened almost eight miles northeast of Abilene.

Pilot Frank Leroy Bell, 75, is OK, but the aircraft sustained extensive damage. There were no reports of flames or smoke.

Abilene Fire Department spokesman Greg Goettsch said Bell knew he was low on fuel and had intended on landing at Elmdale Airpark.

Bell said he was traveling from Fort Smith, Ark., and was attempting to make it to Abilene Regional Airport. He attempted to land in a field but ended up putting the plane down in mesquite trees.

The plane went down one half of a mile east of Highway 351 near the Hamby Volunteer Fire Department.

Salt Lake City International Airport: Police ID man who died on flight

A Salt Lake City International Airport police report identifies James Edward Levin as the man who died Sunday night on an inbound flight.

Levin died on United Airlines Flight 5596, which arrived at the airport from Denver on Sunday night. The state medical examiner’s office is investigating the cause of his death.

The police report describes how passengers heard Levin snoring, which became "abnormal" toward the end of the flight until it stopped altogether. The woman sitting next to Levin tried to tell him the plane was about to land, but he wouldn’t wake up, according to the report.

The passengers and paramedics tried to revive the man when the flight arrived, but had no success.

The police report does not specify Levin’s age or where he is from, though airport spokeswoman Barbara Gann said the man is not a Utahn.


Source:   http://www.sltrib.com

‘It’s your noise. Take some responsibility,’ Noyac resident tells board: East Hampton Airport (KHTO), New York

Councilman Dominick Stanzione defended his and East Hampton Town’s record on recent changes to aircraft routes into and out of East Hampton Airport during a heated meeting in Town Hall last Thursday.

“I’ve given it my all, and I stand on my record on this,” he said.

Mr. Stanzione’s response followed statements by a number of people who spoke at an East Hampton Town Board meeting about what they viewed as the failure of officials to control noise, particularly from helicopters and jets.

Some of those who took a turn at the Town Hall podium had traveled to East Hampton from the North Fork, including Teresa McCaskie, who showed board members a handwritten log she kept of aircraft noise incidents.

“Basically these pilots are doing what they want, when they want, whenever they want,” she said. “They are flying over our homes, they are flying over our schools.”

Mr. Stanzione had become the focus of anti-noise activists since he came under attack last summer for telling air traffic controllers at East Hampton Airport to direct more helicopters over Noyac and the North Fork. Though shortly thereafter members of the town board objected to not being informed about the change in advance, they so far have not asked the controllers to shift the aircraft to another route.

Several people at the meeting asked whether there was a short-term plan to reduce aircraft noise. James Ding, a Noyac resident, told the board, “It’s your noise. Take some responsibility.”

Demonstrations seen last summer at East Hampton Airport could resume and possibly become disruptive, Charles Neumann of Noyac said, hinting at 1960s-style civil disobedience. “Things might get ugly, for us, for you guys, if we cannot have some relief in the short term.” Mr. Neumann is a past president of the Noyac Civic Council.

Janice LoRousso, who lives in Jamesport and owns a house in Noyac, said aircraft noise was a quality-of-life issue. “I have an elderly mother. She’s 90. She needs this? Nobody needs this,” she said.

Another Noyac resident, Patricia Currie, who along with several others who spoke at Thursday’s meeting is a member of the Quiet Skies Coalition, faulted the town’s outside aviation attorney, Peter Kirsch, for perpetuating the noise crisis. “Mr. Kirsch misled the board by calling diverting traffic to other towns an accomplishment,” she said.

She said that Mr. Stanzione had engaged in an “ongoing deception” over who was responsible for the route change.

Pat Trunzo, a former East Hampton Town councilman, said that Mr. Kirsch’s view that the town should undertake a Federal Aviation Administration study of air traffic was risky. “I think you might be on the brink of being sold another bill of goods by your advisers,” he said. He said the work would lead to a “very comfortable retirement” for Mr. Kirsch.

Instead, Mr. Trunzo and others argued, the town should seek to increase its leverage with the  Federal Aviation Administration by working to get free of “grant assurances” that apparently obligate the airport to be operated with only minimal restrictions.

The town has appeared poised to accept  Federal Aviation Administration money for a deer-fence project at the airport, which noise activists fear would tie East Hampton to additional years of grant assurances. A set of these assurances is to expire next year.

“You are on the brink of giving away the only negotiating leverage you have if you sign up for another 20 years prematurely,” he said.

Mr. Trunzo told the board he believed that the remaining assurances were very limited in scope and would not hamper the town’s options if it chose to impose new rules designed to limit noise.

At Mr. Kirsch’s urging, the town is preparing to undertake a Part 161 study, which could cost up to $2 million and take as much as two years to complete. Its goal would be to describe noise conditions in affected areas as a prerequisite to solutions that are acceptable to the  Federal Aviation Administration.

During an East Hampton Town Board meeting on Feb. 5, Mr. Kirsch said that such a study could help form a legal defense if the town were sued for any new restrictions on, for example, the days of the week the airport was open.

When the public comment ended, Mr. Stanzione said that the current East Hampton Town leadership had “done more to address airport noise than any other board in the last decade,” citing the completion of an airport master plan and an airport layout plan.

He said the town had “opened up a dialog with the  Federal Aviation Administration”

For her part, Councilwoman Theresa Quigley said she was sympathetic to the views of many in the Town Hall audience. “I don’t consider the impact on neighboring municipalities any different than I consider its impact on East Hampton.”

“I apologize to all of you,” she said. However, she said, she was “not ready to talk about what we will or will not do.”

Cirrus Aircraft Highlights -- 2012 Aircraft Shipments: Consistent Deliveries in 2012 And a Strong Start to 2013 With Generation 5 Introduction

DULUTH, Minn., Feb. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- On February 12, 2013 the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) released the industry's 2012 shipment and billing summary at its annual "State of the Industry" press conference in Washington, D.C. (gama.aero)

"Cirrus Aircraft's annual performance was highlighted by a steady quarterly rise in airplane deliveries throughout 2012, capped off by strong year-end sales," said Todd Simmons, Executive Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Customer Support. "While we sold essentially the same number of airplanes in 2012 as the previous year, we strengthened the business through efficiency improvements and increased the value per aircraft delivered. We are continuing both these trends in the new year."

Simmons continued, "We opened 2012 with the introduction of 60/40 FlexSeating(TM), offering true 5-person capacity across the model line. Mid-year was highlighted by both the acceleration of the Vision SF50 Jet program and the selection of Cirrus Aircraft by the French Air Force for its training fleet. We ended the year with both strong retail sales and the completion of our most important engineering project in several years. Continuing our commitment to innovation and increasing customer value, we start 2013 by offering a game-changing 200 lbs gross weight increase for SR22 and SR22T - the single most requested improvement from our customers. It is truly the 'most Cirrus ever' and initial customer response to this next generation airplane has us even more optimistic about 2013."

The SR22/SR22T Remains The Best-Selling Aircraft in its Class for More Than 10 Consecutive Years

Cirrus experienced strengthening demand throughout 2012 as deliveries increased to 84 SR-Series airplanes in the fourth quarter. This consistent quarter-over-quarter improvement and overall steady annual demand has been unique to Cirrus since the industry downturn in late 2008. Cirrus Aircraft remains the leader in the high performance single engine piston market with SR22/SR22T share having grown to over 70 percent.

              Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Total
        SR20  19 15 24 26 84
        SR22  13 18 15 35 81
        SR22T 13 27 25 23 88
        Total 45 60 64 84 253
        


Simmons added, "Smart small businesses are investing in growth. Many Cirrus owners use their airplane as a critical business tool and purchased a new Cirrus in 2012 - or are planning to do so in 2013 - for exactly that purpose. A Cirrus can be just as important a business asset as logistics equipment, key technology or critical personnel for example. A Cirrus enables efficient regional travel, allowing business owners to reach more customers or colleagues in a single day."

Global Fleet Growth Stands Out in 2012


Cirrus Aircraft fleet sales have been a significant source of growth with the completion of the United States Air Force Academy deliveries early in the year, the French Air Force mid-year and several other fleet deliveries throughout. This increase in fleet sales at Cirrus last year pushed market share for the SR20 to its highest in Cirrus' history[1].

Cirrus Demonstrates Manufacturing Excellence in 2012


World-class engineering, manufacturing and quality are sources of pride at Cirrus Aircraft. Cirrus understands that a partnership with the FAA is the most effective way to build new aircraft and Cirrus has fostered a proactive relationship since the beginning.

As a result of this collaborative approach, Cirrus is pleased to have not only certified its new fifth generation aircraft recently but to have enjoyed a very rare honor while doing so. The Aircraft Certification System Evaluation Program (ACSEP) is a FAA team-led evaluation that occurs every two years for this class of aircraft (14 CFR Part 21, sub-Part G.) For the first time, Cirrus earned a "perfect" score with zero non-compliance marks.

"For a company of this size and complexity, a zero non-compliance evaluation is uncommon," states Michael Coon, Quality Systems Manager at Cirrus Aircraft. "Our employees are proud to hold ourselves to the highest standards and we appreciate our partnership with the FAA."

LOOKING AHEAD: Generation 5 is "The Most Cirrus Ever"

Demand for new Cirrus aircraft has started strong in 2013. SR22's and SR22T's are "The Most Cirrus Ever" with important new customer requested innovations and capabilities now standard. These new benefits are the hallmark of the just-introduced fifth generation aircraft.

With the introduction of the 2013 Generation 5 aircraft and its increase in gross weight to 3600 lbs (1633 kg), Cirrus becomes the highest in-class useful load aircraft available today. A standard SR22 not only achieves a true "four-seat airplane that can carry four adults and full fuel," but SR22 and SR22T models now have five seats total and can carry all five FAA-standard passengers non-stop and in comfort over 700 nautical miles.

Generation 5 is the name given to the airframe change required to achieve the step-change improvement for the 2013 SR22/SR22T. The entire aircraft design was analyzed from spinner-to-tail and many parts and systems reengineered and redesigned to accommodate the increased airframe load, aerodynamic improvements, improved flight performance and the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System(TM) (CAPS). Substantial testing, including a new series of CAPS parachute test drops, was conducted for validation. Significant changes for Generation 5 aircraft have been made to the CAPS system including an increased canopy size to 65 ft. diameter, a new rocket extraction system that propels the parachute upon activation, an advanced technology electrical rocket igniter and lighter and stronger construction materials. Other airframe upgrades included strengthening the carbon fiber single part wing spar, strengthening the landing gear and designing a new flap system allowing extension to the first position at 150 knots.

This redesigned 2013 SR22/SR22T, the fifth generation of Cirrus aircraft, adds a load carrying exclamation point to recent Cirrus innovations including: Cirrus Perspective(TM) avionics by Garmin; Cirrus Known Ice Protection(TM); Perspective Global Connect(TM) satellite communications; 60/40 FlexSeating(TM); and the totally unique Cirrus Airframe Parachute System(TM), standard equipment on every Cirrus ever produced.

About Cirrus Aircraft 


Cirrus Aircraft is a recognized leader in general aviation. Its all-composite line of personal aircraft - the SR20, SR22 and the turbocharged SR22T - incorporate innovative and advanced performance, electronic and safety technologies, including Cirrus Perspective(TM) by Garmin avionics and the unique Cirrus Airframe Parachute System(TM) (CAPS). To date, total time on the worldwide Cirrus Aircraft SR-series fleet surpassed five million flight hours with 65 lives saved as a direct result of CAPS being a standard safety feature on all Cirrus aircraft. The Cirrus Vision SF50 jet, with nearly 500 production positions reserved, will provide a new personal and regional business transportation solution: the personal jet. All Cirrus aircraft are made in the U.S. with a direct sales force in North America and authorized sales centers covering export markets in 60 countries around the world. Cirrus Aircraft is wholly owned by China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Co., Ltd (CAIGA). For additional information on Cirrus and its products please visit cirrusaircraft.com.

[1] SR20 market space includes: Cessna 172, Cessna 182, Cirrus SR20, Diamond DA40, Piper Warrior, Piper Archer, Piper Arrow.

SOURCE Cirrus Aircraft
http://rt.prnewswire.com

Carolinas Aviation Museum joins Smithsonian affiliate network

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The Carolinas Aviation Museum was formally made a member of the Smithsonian Institution's Affiliations Program Thursday afternoon.

The affiliation allows the museum access to the Smithsonian collection of artifacts, research experts, consulting, training and partnerships and grant projects, according to a news release from the museum.

The museum has gained national attention in recent years for landing in famous aircraft that was US Airways 1549, the plane Capt. Sully Sullenberger landed on the Hudson River in January of 2009.

The museum recently completed a redesign to give visitors a new way to experience the museum.

Click here for more info.

2012 Business Jet Shipments Lowest Since 2004

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) released the 2012 year-end shipments of general aviation airplanes. GAMA noted it expanded the data to include delivery data for helicopter manufacturers. 

The year-end airplane shipments increased 0.6% to 2,133 airplane deliveries in 2012. The airplane billings declined slightly to $18.9 billion compared to $19.0 billion in 2011. The business jet data showed that there were 672 units delivered in 2012, down 3.4% from 696 deliveries in 2011. 

Aviation International noted in a related story that the business jet shipment counts of 672 aircraft represented 24 fewer than the previous year and was the lowest tally since 2004. 

GAMA said the helicopter segment delivered 1,044 aircraft in 2012 which was a change of 21.5% compared to the 859 in 2011. The combined value of civil airplane and helicopter shipments in 2012 was $3.4 billion, up from $2.8 billion or 21% higher than 2011. 

“While the 2012 shipment and billing data were mixed, the numbers don’t reflect the amount of development work in progress in general aviation,” said Brad Mottier, 2013 GAMA chairman. “The general aviation segment is poised for resurgence in the next few years as these new technologies certify and enter the market.” 

To read the GAMA news release click here.

LOT Polish Airlines SA Dreamliners Likely to Be Grounded Until October

Updated February 14, 2013, 2:10 p.m. ET

By MARCIN SOBCZYK
The Wall Street Journal


WARSAW—LOT Polish Airlines SA said it doesn't plan to fly its Boeing 787 Dreamliners again until at least October, setting back turnaround hopes at the struggling airline and indicating some industry executives don't expect a rapid solution to the jet's battery troubles.

The world's 787 fleet has been grounded since January because of malfunctioning lithium-ion batteries, and Boeing Co. is still trying to pinpoint the cause of the trouble and come up with ways to fix it. A spokesman for Boeing said the company "is working to get to the answer as quickly as possible."

LOT, which has two 787s out of commission, won't include the airplanes in its peak-season schedule, which starts March 31 and ends Sept. 30, said LOT's chief executive, Sebastian Mikosz. Instead, the airline is negotiating to add more older 767s and 777s to its fleet temporarily for long-haul flights.

Getting the Dreamliners back in the air for commercial flights likely will be a lengthy process, Mr. Mikosz said.

"The [U.S.] National Transportation Safety Board will take as much time as it needs, and the [U.S. Federal Aviation Administration] won't let go this time," Mr. Mikosz said. "And even if a miracle happens and regulators will rapidly allow flights, we'll have technical issues" that need to be resolved before they can resume 787 operations, he said.

What at first seemed like teething pains has evolved into serious problem that could require Boeing to redesign parts of its most advanced jet. Boeing recently conducted two test flights, without passengers, on 787s, but was unable to replicate or identify the cause of the battery problems, government and industry officials in the U.S. said.

LOT decided in 2005 to replace its aging fleet of 767s with the Dreamliner. After three years of delay, it received the first airplane in November and featured it heavily in marketing campaigns, hoping to use the jet to win a bigger share of business on more-lucrative long-haul routes and cut fuel costs. Now that plan is on hold.

"I like this plane very much, but the drawback is it's not flying," Mr. Mikosz said.

LOT was expecting to get three more 787s by March. Two are ready for delivery at Boeing's plant in Everett, Wash., although it isn't clear when they are likely to be delivered to Warsaw.

Despite the grounding of the 50 Dreamliners world-wide, Mr. Mikosz said he would stick with the airliner as the planned core of LOT's fleet—at least for now. When asked whether he would continue to wait for the jet to return to service if 787s still weren't flying in six months, he said: "I didn't say that."

By later this year, Mr. Mikosz said, LOT is likely to be in advanced stages of privatization, which he said is the only way to save the carrier from bankruptcy and liquidation. The Polish government gave LOT a $127 million loan in December and the airline will likely require more emergency funding to keep flying.

Mr. Mikosz said he expects LOT to become a smaller airline, with some of its domestic flights transferred to another state-owned carrier, Eurolot. LOT this week said it would cut 500 of its 2,100 jobs. More layoffs are likely, Mr. Mikosz said.

The company likely incurred a loss of about $60 million last year, according to government officials. Mr. Mikosz declined to comment regarding that estimate or give guidance for this year.

Poland's government wants to save the ailing carrier, although not at any price, Prime Minister Donald Tusk said in December. LOT is the largest customer for the state-operated airport in Warsaw, and a big customer for jet fuel produced by state-controlled Polish oil refiners, Mr. Mikosz said.

The chief executive said LOT's demise would make Poland a less-attractive economy. He pointed to the case of nearby Hungary, whose flag carrier Malev went out of business last year. Of 100 connections operated to and from Budapest as a hub, only 17 have been reopened by other carriers, Mr. Mikosz said.

Source:  http://online.wsj.com

First direct flight from Thunder Bay to Chicago takes off Friday: Service to provide safer option than driving to U.S. airports

For the first time ever, scheduled passenger air service has been launched between Thunder Bay and Chicago.

A United Airlines jet is scheduled to arrive from Chicago this evening.

Thunder Bay International Airport CEO Scott McFadden calls the new connection a milestone.

"There are very few of what you might call the secondary or tertiary communities across Canada that have direct air service to the United States ... being included in that group is certainly important," McFadden said.

McFadden says direct connections have the potential to benefit Thunder Bay economically.

"With a good amount of investment coming in to the mining sector -- a lot of that associated with U.S.companies or U.S. financing -- having this direct route as an alternative to U.S. markets from Thunder Bay is very important," he said.

The ability for people to fly to hundreds of other United Airlines destinations through Chicago should make it safer and more convenient for air travellers, he added.

He expects the new service will attract some of the people who currently drive for hours from Thunder Bay to Minnesota to catch flights.

The first Chicago-bound flight from Thunder Bay will leave Friday morning.

United is using Canadair CRJ regional jets, seating 50 passengers.


http://www.cbc.ca

Peru hoping for direct flights from Qatar

 Lima, Feb. 14 (ANDINA).   Peru is optimistic that Qatar's national carrier Qatar Airways will soon announce the launch of non-stop flights between Doha and Lima, which will hopefully boost the presence of Qatari tourists in Peru.

Julio Florian, Peruvian Ambassador to Qatar, said this would be very important to the interests of Peru not only "because Qatar Airways is among the world's best airlines, but also because the per capita income of Qatar is $125,000, the highest in the world and nearly 20 times higher than that of Peru."

"We need direct air connectivity (Lima-Doha). This airline is one of the top three in the world, it has the most modern fleet and a strong interest in covering as many world capitals as possible. The trip to Lima (from Doha) takes about 20 hours," he said.

The Peruvian diplomat stressed the need to find mechanisms to link the two capitals by air in order to attract more tourists into the country, especially Qatari citizens.

"And this can be done because Lima is a hub in South America, so is Qatar in its region (...) there is no poverty in Qatar, a country with 1.7 million inhabitants, of which 350,000 are Qataris and the rest, foreigners," he added.


http://www.andina.com.pe

'Direct flights to Qatar, Bangkok, Singapore, Colombo & Dubai'

BijuPatnaik airport has undergone a metamorphosis in the last five years on several fronts, be it augmentation of operational capabilities, up-gradation of terminal building, improvement of air traffic control or enhancing security apparatus in and around the airport. As the airport is poised for an international take-off now, airport director Sharad Kumar shares plans to attract international fliers with RiyanRamanath V.

Q- How soon are you going to start international operations?

A-As we are going to use the old domestic terminal for international operations, we have to meet a lot of requirements before we start. However, things are moving fast and we are almost ready. The only thing we are waiting for is an international tag, which will be given by the ministry of civil aviation. We are expecting the ministry's nod by March 31.

Q-Why will an international flier opt for Bhubaneswar airport?

A-There are two kinds of international travel - business and leisure. As far as business travel is concerned, the state's potential is very high because of recent industrial growth and increasing mining activities.

Q- What are the prominent international destinations to be connected to Bhubaneswar airport?

A-Initially there will be direct flights from Bhubaneswar to five prominent places like Qatar, Bangkok, Singapore, Colombo and Dubai. It is heartening that even though the airport is awaiting an international tag, several fliers have expressed interest to run flights.

Q-Which international carriers have already committed to operate from here?

A-Indigo, Fly Dubai, Silk air and Thai Airways have already committed to operate from here.

Q-You had said high fuel surcharge here is still a problem.

A-Yes, it is natural. If the fuel surcharge is high, fliers won't be interested because fuel comprises about 50% of a flight's operation cost. More fliers are interested to operate from Chhattisgarh because fuel surcharge there is about 4% while here it is 21%. The chairman of Airport Authority of India (AAI) and civil aviation secretary have had discussions with the state government in this regard.

Q-How will international operation boost the state's tourism potential?

A-Many foreign tourists drop their plans to come to Odisha as the state does not have direct international connectivity yet. As of now the state attracts only budget tourists but after international operation starts, more elite tourists are expected to visit.

Q-How are you planning to counter the menace of birds around the airport ahead of international operations?

A-We are well prepared. We are coordinating with state government officials in this regard. BMC has cleaned the airport periphery area by cutting trees, bushes, slums and slaughter houses. The airport is soon going to be free from bird and animal menace.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Airline merger sets field for the return of nonstop Augusta to Dallas flight

The skies could be clearing for the return of a direct flight from Augusta to Dallas, an Augusta Regional Airport official said Thursday.

With the merger of American Airlines and US Airways, airport marketing director Diane Johnston said a direct Dallas flight is feasible again. She began talks with US Airways’ representatives when rumors of a merger circled months before Wednesday’s announcement.

American Airlines’ partner, American Eagle, operated an Augusta-Dallas flight from June 2010 until the end of January 2012, shortly after the airline’s parent company filed for bankruptcy protection.

“We were a new market for them and hadn’t had a chance to mature,” Johnston said.

Johnston said direct flights to Orlando and New York City are on the airport’s radar, but the chances are not as great as restoring the Dallas flight.

Also, American Airlines owes Augusta Regional $107,000 from when debts were frozen during bankruptcy. Johnston said she expects the airport to be paid when the merger is complete.

http://chronicle.augusta.com

Troubles on ascent with some Boeing 737NG engines

 
 
Boeing is warning airlines that fly Next Generation 737s, the -700,-800, and -900 series jets to be aware of engine surges, or oscillation as the plane’s climb to their cruising altitude. 

Though considered statistically rare, Boeing tells KING 5 News there have been 32 incidents of engine surges, lasting anywhere from 10 seconds to a minute while the fuel flow is at its max rate as planes climb to their cruising altitude.  

In one of those incidents, both engines surged simultaneously, making this a safety-of-flight issue. In another case, one engine surged followed by the other, but not at the same time. In all other incidents, the oscillation occurred in only one engine. 

The incidents took place over a 5-year period, and appear to be more concentrated in flights on the West Coast. 17 of the incidents involve Alaska Airlines, 14 at a second airline Boeing would not name, and one incident at a third. 

Boeing: 737NG design information
 
Boeing spokesman Mike Tull on the 737 program says Boeing is still trying to find the root cause, which could be fuel. A spokesman for Sea-Tac airport said they're unaware of any issues involving the airport’s fuel supply. 

The incidents appeared to have stopped in December, after Honeywell and CFM upgraded the software going to the small computer on the engine. Honeywell and CFM make the engines under a joint venture between General Electric and Snecma of France.

How rare are these incidents? Next Generation 737s make 16,000 flights a day world wide. These 32 cases happened across 23 million flights, according to Boeing. 

The FAA says it’s aware of the issue, but so far has not issued an Airworthiness Directive, which is a sign that the regulator considers the problem a serious safety issue. 

The Seattle Times first reported on this story.

Abrams Municipal (4D0), Grand Ledge, Michigan: Airport will build a new T-hangar

The Abrams Municipal Airport in Grand Ledge expects to build a new 10 units T-hangar on August.

 Fred Moore,an Abrams Municipal Airport instructor said the T-hangar is a special enclosed storage designed for private aircraft to have a rest.

“ The hangar will cost about half million dollars,” said Jon W. Bayless, the city’s administrator and the airport manager. “ It is all made by steel.”


In Grand Ledge City Council meeting recently, the council did approve a plan to build a new 10 units t hangar in Abrams Municipal Airport. Grand Ledge Mayor Kalmin D. Smith, signed the designing contract with the Michigan Department of Transportation on Jan 29. The T-hangar will be stated in August, and finished by October, Bayless said.

The federal government will contribute $508,000 to the project, according to the Airport Capital Improvement Plan from Michigan Department Of Transportation Office of Aeronautics, State and local governments will each contribute $28,250 each to the project.

According to the airport introduction from Grand Ledge official page, the Abrams Municipal Airport is owned and operated by the City of Grand Ledge, and governed by the Abrams Municipal Airport Advisory Commission, which is in charge of the operation and management. The airport handles more than 30 flights per day, it is mainly use for Air National Guard.

The airport has constructed an area for 30 t-hangars to the east of the new National Guard facility, 10 t-hangars have been constructed in 2005 and used by airport tenants. Another 10-units T-hangar will be built in this summer because of the engineering needs. After the 10-units T-hangar plan complete, there are five more airport improvement plans has been approved by Michigan Department Of Transportation Office of Aeronautics.  All these plans will come up during 2013 to 2018, according to the Michigan Department Of Transportation Office of Aeronautics.


Source:   http://news.jrn.msu.edu

Monroe airport adding customs department, international flights

Monroe has received final federal approval to build a customs department at the city airport, making it the first general aviation airport in the Carolinas to offer that service.

“This will be a very, very significant addition to what we’ve got,” said Chris Platé, Monroe’s executive director of economic development and aviation.

Enabling international flights to land at Charlotte-Monroe Executive Airport should increase the airport’s appeal with the corporate market, Platé said, and provide a vital service for Monroe’s thriving aerospace industry. He also expects a boost for the city’s tax base when more aircraft are based at the site.

Currently, Charlotte Douglas International Airport is the only airport in the area that offers customs service.

Monroe’s facility should be open by summer 2014. The city began working on the project about four years ago.

“It’s taken so long to get to this point, I can understand why so few of them exist,” Platé said. ”It will completely change the way the airport looks in five years.”

Other moves by the airport will help accommodate international travel, including increasing the runway length from 5,500 feet to 7,000 feet, and strengthening the runway surface. That allows bigger planes to land. “It can handle any aircraft size below a 737,” Platé said.

Flights could arrive directly from Europe or Russia to Monroe, for instance.

With U.S. Customs and Border Protection in the Department of Homeland Security signing off on the design of the 2,400-square-foot customs building, bids for the structure should go out next week. Construction is set to start around mid-June and should take nine to 10 months to complete. The facility will be next to the main terminal.

Platé estimated it will cost between $750,000 and $1 million for the building, equipment and related work,

The city expects to see it used two or three times a month at first, he said, and get about 30 customers a year.

“For us, that’s a good start,” Platé said. “As people become more aware of us, they’ll use us more.”

Bobby Walston, deputy director of airports for N.C. DOT’s Division of Aviation, agreed. “It’s a serious piece of the commerce equation in Union County,” Walston said.

Other general aviation airports around the state could follow Monroe’s example, he said, and consider adding customs departments if there is enough demand for such services in their area.

Customs officers will not be permanently stationed in Monroe, but will come on an as-needed basis. Monroe will pay the customs agency about $162,000 for the first year to cover staffing, a total that decreases in subsequent years to about $140,000.

The airport will charge a fee per flight to help defray costs, although those user fees have not been set yet.
 

http://www.charlotteobserver.com

3rd Laser Incident Forces Coast Guard Aircraft to Land

For the third time in five months, a Coast Guard aircraft was targeted by an individual with a laser pointer, authorities said.

The latest incident occurred on Tuesday night, Feb. 12, 2013 above Kalaeloa Airport on O’ahu.

A separate incident about two weeks ago, forced the Coast Guard to abort a training mission in Kahului on Maui; and an incident three months ago on October 23, 2012, forced a Coast Guard helicopter to land after a laser pointer interfered with its flight about two miles offshore of O’ahu.

During the latest incident, the lased HC-130 Hercules airplane crew was returning to Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point from a Department of Defense support mission when the incident occurred. Coast Guard officials say three crewmembers observed the laser sweeping the aircraft, but no one was directly affected.

The Coast Guard, federal state and local partners are scheduled to conduct a press briefing on the ongoing issue of lasing aircraft this afternoon at Air Station Barbers Point.

“It is absolutely critical that the public be made aware of the seriousness of lasing an aircraft,” said Lt. Casey Corpe, Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point public affairs officer. “Not only is it a federal offense that carries heavy fines and possible jail time, but it puts our pilots and aircrew in unnecessary danger and seriously delays response times during rescue missions, risking the lives of the people that need help the most.”

The Coast Guard is working with the Federal Aviation Administration and the Honolulu Police Department to investigate the incident.

Authorities say laser pointers can cause glare, afterimage, flash blindness or temporary loss of night vision, all causing a great danger to the crew. If vision is compromised during a flight, Coast Guard flight rules dictate that the aircraft must abort its mission.

In order to ensure the health of aircrew members, individuals are taken off flight duty until cleared by a flight surgeon before flying again. Coast Guard officials say this hinders the agency’s ability to respond to people in distress, training, and homeland security missions.

It is a federal crime, as well as violation of most states’ laws to aim a laser pointer at an aircraft. If an individual is caught purposefully lasing an aircraft, punishment ranges from being arrested or having to pay a civil penalty of $11,000 for a single offense, to more than $30,000 if the individual has multiple offenses.

Individuals witnessing such crimes are encouraged to call 911 immediately to report the incident. The FAA initiated about 95 civil penalty cases nationwide in 2011.

http://mauinow.com

Rolls-Royce Aims to Sustain Profit Gain on Airliner Demand

Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc, the world’s second-largest maker of commercial aircraft engines, predicted rising profit for this year, extending its streak of annual gains into a second decade as airliner demand booms.

The company projects “modest growth in underlying revenue and good growth in underlying profit with cash flow around break even” for this year, Rolls-Royce said today as it reported earnings. Commercial aircraft engine profit should grow strongly, with defense profit falling on “modest” revenue growth, it said.

Chief Executive Officer John Rishton said he’ll continue honing the portfolio after disposing of assets including tidal- power generation and a stake in a fuel-cell business. Rolls- Royce has benefited from sustained demand for new, more fuel- efficient aircraft that has helped boost turbine sales and offset sluggish demand in areas such as marine sales.

“The strength of our order book demonstrates the confidence our customers have in our products and services,” said Chief Executive Officer John Rishton, who joined in 2011. “Our priorities remain: delivering on the promises we have made; deciding where to grow and where not to; and improving financial performance.”

Rishton said there has been no effect on deal flow from a review by the U.K. Serious Fraud Office into potential wrongdoing in business dealings in Asia. The company’s order book increased 4 percent last year to 60.1 billion pounds. The SFO is reviewing data to determine whether to start a formal probe of Rolls-Royce.

“We haven’t heard anything explicitly from them about their plans,” Rishton said.

SFO Review

Rolls-Royce named David Gold last month to review anti- corruption procedures. Rishton said that Gold has taken up his duties and declined to say when he may issue a first report.

The company named Simon Robertson as chairman today, who succeeds Ian Davis, 61, and will be charged with defending Rolls-Royce in case of a widening probe. Davis is a senior adviser at private equity firm Apax Partners LLP. BAE Systems Plc, in its own battle with the SFO two years ago, leaned heavily on chairman Dick Olver to defend the company.

Rolls-Royce rose as much as 20.5 pence, or 2.1 percent, to 1,005 pence in London. The stock has advanced 15 percent in six months, valuing the company at about 18.54 billion pounds. General Electric Co. is the world’s largest maker of aircraft engines.

Possible Headwinds

Challenges for this year include a fall in defense profit and achieving first flight of its newest aircraft engine, the TrentXWB, on the Airbus SAS A350 long-range jet. The growing marine business should see profit increase while energy activities also should see improvement, Rolls-Royce said.

Pretax profit excluding currency hedging and some one-time items advanced 24 percent to 1.43 billion pounds ($2.2 billion) from 1.15 billion pounds last year, the London-based company said. Analysts predicted 1.48 billion pounds, according to estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Rishton declined to say what disposals may be considered on a call with journalists. The grounding of the Boeing Co. 787 Dreamliner, for which Rolls-Royce provides engines, isn’t affecting the business, Rishton said, adding he’s confident the U.S. manufacturer will overcome the technical issues on the jet. Rolls powers 22 of the 787s delivered before flights were halted by regulators.

Commercial Growth
Talks continue with Air France-KLM over support arrangements for TrentXWB engines, he said. Air France wants to service the engine to bolster its maintenance arm and has held off on placing a firm order for the A350 until negotiations are completed. Rishton would not say when talks may conclude.

Commercial aircraft engine sales last year increased 31 percent and revenue from support of existing powerplants, which lagged in the first six months, grew 5 percent over the full year. Total underlying revenue reached a record 12.2 billion pounds.

Results include gains from Rolls-Royce’s stake in Tognum AG, a joint venture with Daimler AG. They exclude a $1.5 billion one-time payment the company received for its share in the International Aero Engines joint venture while including sales it continues to generate as a supplier to the consortium. 


Source:  http://www.businessweek.com