Sunday, February 24, 2013

Slash import duty on plane spares: Air Works

New Delhi, February 24: 

Indian aircraft maintenance firm Air Works on Sunday sought slashing of import duty on airplane spares and service tax on MROs in the upcoming budget.

Expanding its portfolio, the company had announced the acquisition of French aircraft repainting company Aero Technique Espace (ATE) last month.

This is Air Works’ second such acquisition since it bought off UK-based Air Livery almost two years ago, becoming “one of Europe’s largest providers of aircraft paint services”, its Managing Director Vivek N Gour told PTI here.

Air Works, which had acquired business aviation services company Empire Aviation last year, is also a one-stop shop providing a wide range of manpower and services - from pilots, cabin crew and maintenance to getting flight permissions, landing rights and refuelling aircraft finance and insurance to customers in India and the Gulf.

“If an aircraft owner wants to fly out urgently, he or she has to give us only a three-hour notice to put everything in place,” Gour said.

Regarding the latest acquisition of ATE, he said all major European carriers, like Virgin Atlantic, Lufthansa, Air France and EasyJet, and those from North Africa were Air Works’ clients now. “We have become a known name there.”

Observing that ATE also paints ‘green aircraft’ (new ones) for manufacturers like Airbus and ATR at their facilities in southern France, he said, “We hope to further develop these relationships and increase our service footprint with both original equipment manufacturers.”

Asked what revenue his company earn from European operations, he said almost 55 per cent of the revenue, the total expected to be over Rs 400 crore this year, came from abroad “because the MRO (Maintenance, Repairs and Overhaul) industry here is in shackles”. 


Proposed airport southwest of Anderson, Indiana, permanently grounded: Annexation focused solely on economic development

February 24, 2013

By Stuart Hirsch The Herald Bulletin

ANDERSON, Ind. — They arrived in 2007 armed with a study, high-powered public relations professionals from the Indianapolis Airport Authority (IAA), and a plan.

A new airport.

The town of Fishers, led by former Town Council President Scott Faultless, wanted to close Indianapolis Metropolitan Airport — he still does — and Anderson Municipal Airport.

Fishers paid for the study by Aerofinity, an Indianapolis airport planning firm.

It determined that Metro Airport was limited because there was no room for expansion, the runways weren’t long enough and the facility couldn’t keep pace with growing air traffic.

The solution to those problems?

Build a “replacement” airport on 4,000 acres in southwest Madison County.

The land being eyed was in Green and Stony Creek townships bordered by Old Indiana 32 to the north, County Road 625 to the east, Indiana 38 to the south, and Indiana 13 to the west.

If those boundaries sound familiar, there’s a good reason.

The area encompasses some of the nearly 17 square miles Anderson Mayor Kevin Smith wants to annex southwest of the city’s current municipal limits as part of Anderson Fast Forward.

His goal is to stabilize Anderson’s population, shore up the city’s plummeting property tax base and secure an interstate corridor for economic development.

The airport sparked an intense public debate when first proposed.

Officials touted its economic benefits; Lapel area residents were overwhelmingly opposed to the idea. And it was a factor in the Anderson mayoral election when Democrat Kris Ockomon, an opponent, beat Republican Smith, who was open to study and public discussion of the proposal.

When Smith unveiled Anderson Fast Forward two weeks ago, many Lapel area residents packed Anderson City Hall to hear his presentation to the City Council, and waited patiently for a turn at the microphone to comment.

Several speakers accused the mayor of attempting to resurrect the plan — a charge he categorically denied — but few seemed to believe him.

And suspicions have persisted ever since.

At a special Lapel Town Council meeting on Thursday it remained a top-of-mind question.

“If you overlay the two maps, there are a lot of similarities,” Town Council President Gary Shuck said in response to audience comments.

Contacted at his law office earlier on Thursday, Faultless said he still wants to close Metropolitan.

But apart from calling Smith in 2011 and offering congratulations on winning a second term, he said he’s had no contact with anyone from Anderson about an airport in south Madison county since the matter died in 2009.

“We haven’t had any conversations on that topic,” Faultless said.

The most definitive statement comes from Indianapolis Airport Authority itself.

In a resolution adopted on Dec. 18, 2009, the authority said in part:

◆ “The Authority hereby finds and determines that Metropolitan Airport has and shall continue to fulfill its role as an urban general aviation reliever airport.”

◆ “The Authority declares that it has no intention to sell or otherwise dispose of Metropolitan Airport.”

◆ “The Authority will continue to operate, maintain and develop, as appropriate, Metropolitan Airport in a manner consistent with the recommendations of its 2009 Airport System Plan Update and to comply with the regulatory requirements of the Federal Aviation Administration.”

That resolution remains in effect to this day, said IAA Director of Corporate Communications Carlo Bertolini on Friday.


Dana, Allied crashes National Assembly report pitches Nigeria against global standards

 The recent reports of the Senate and House of Representatives Joint Committee on Aviation on crash of Dana and Allied aircraft which concluded that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and its officers were not competent as against international judgment on the agency will only mar the industry’s successes rather than reshape it. 

The reason is because both the upper and lower chambers of the legislature allowed what some industry experts called ‘self-imposed’ rules to interfere with known international practice, hence some detrimental pronouncements were made out of ill-information and political interests.

If there is any issue that has been more debated in recent times in the aviation sector, it is the crashes in Lagos and Accra, which unfortunately happened within 24 hours of each other last year.

The issue became more prominent not only because it affected human lives directly but because some bodies that were supposed to be silent on the matter interfered and turned it into politics of some sort, thereby making the aviation sector and Nigeria a laughing stock in the international community.

While the government could sometimes act on the spur of the moment when an unfortunate incident or accident mishap happens, rather than achieve intended results, it distorts laid down procedures.

For instance, the fact that a public hearing was conducted by the National Assembly into the crash alone stands against international aviation regulations as contained in the International Civil Organization (ICAO) which Nigeria is a signatory to.

Even though the plan to conduct the public hearing was opposed by Stella Oduah, aviation minister and the same plan came under attack of members of Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), the lawmakers went ahead with it, strangulating global norms.

In a petition addressed to Mohammed Joji, chairman of the committee by the Secretary General of AON, with copies sent to President Goodluck Jonathan, David Mark, the senate president; Aminu Tambuwal, the speaker of the House of Representatives, and other principal officers of the National Assembly, the airline operators noted that “it would be illogical to conduct any public hearing or investigation when the body statutorily charged with that responsibility, Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) was yet to conclude its investigation.

“In addition, members of the association noted that in any aircraft accident all over the world, public hearing into aircraft accident is not held in public because of its volatility due to loss of lives in such an accident, as it could heat up the polity. If this is allowed to continue it will put the Aviation Industry in bad light,” AON warned.

ICAO standards

When an accident happens involving an international civil aviation flight, Annex 13 of the International Civil Aviation Convention sets out the rules on the notification, investigation and reporting of the accident. It spells out who should conduct the investigation, which are the parties who can be involved, the rights of each party, how the investigation should be conducted, and how the final results should be reported.

Annex 13 also states that the sole objective of the investigation of an accident or incident is to prevent accidents and incidents and the investigation is not to apportion blame or liability. In the event of an air crash, ICAO standards stipulate that the accident investigation agency of a country conducts thorough investigation and make recommendations on the crash.

Most air accident investigations are carried out by an agency of a country that is associated in some way with the accident. For example, the Air Accidents Investigation Branch conducts accident investigations on behalf of the British Government as the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) conducts same on behalf of Nigeria.

Snippets from report vs standards

The conclusion by the National Assembly that the NCAA did not comply with its own procedures for issuance of Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) to Dana Airlines and that most NCAA inspectors are not licensed or type rated on aircraft.

From available records, the AOC process is perhaps the most intense, technical and comprehensive safety process the NCAA engages in. It is a five phase process which includes flying the aircraft in demonstration flights for 50 hours without passengers in the 4th phase. The only people on the aircraft are the crew and NCAA Safety Inspectors.

According to Harold Demuren, NCAA director general, who reacted to the allegation, the process of AOC issuance also “involves analysis of technical and other operational manuals and processes of the airline including number of crew and their qualifications and evidence of the plan or program for carrying out both light and heavy repairs on the aircraft of the airline.”

The process, Demuren said, is exactly the same for every airline, adding that after the crash, Dana has undergone the rigorous AOC recertification.

Demuren explained that ICAO requirements for Aviation Safety Inspectors in Civil Aviation Authorities (CAA) globally is that they must possess aeronautical engineering degrees and complete aircraft manufacturer’s course on the various types of aircraft and engine operating in the country.

“The NCAA fully complies with this. These are key issues that were inspected and examined in Nigeria in passing the ICAO Safety Audit and United States Federal Aviation Administration (US- FAA) Category-1. Even persons who were previously maintenance engineers cease to be when they start working for the CAA. The CAA’s role is safety oversight, not aircraft repair, among NCAA safety inspectors include pilots type rated that flew the MD-83,” Demuren explained.

The report also recommends that the Director General of NCAA himself be removed from office for negligence and incompetence.

On this, experts are of the opinion that “what the report characterises as negligence actually demonstrates appropriate safety precautions and deployment of the right, skilled and qualified personnel in carrying out the functions of the NCAA.

“The NCAA AOC procedure is in line with regulatory requirements, international practice and ICAO standards. It has been developed to a level of competence that has never been in its history,” the NCAA DG said.

Reacting to the allegations, Demuren dismissed the claims noting that currently, Nigeria and this current administration have proudly attained the highest available standards in aviation.

“We are currently not on the European Union Blacklist. We possess the ICAO Universal Safety Audit certification, and U.S. FAA Category-1 certification. Even after the crash, our current reputation is enviable and exemplary in Africa. Recently, ICAO sought Nigeria’s assistance with the possibility of sharing its experience in promoting safety with several other African countries,” Demuren added.

Stakeholders’ view

Members of the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association (ATSSSAN) berated the lawmakers for this position saying that the public is only being fed with wrong information from those that are supposed to represent them rightly.

“It is therefore incorrect; the sweeping conclusion by the House that NCAA does not have a single qualified inspector on the MD 83. It is also not true that the NCAA does not have in its employment any person rated on the MD-83.

“From our investigation in NCAA and from commentaries from our members, NCAA inspectors pride themselves with multiple ratings and some of the best training portfolio in the world,” Benjami Okewu, president, Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association (ATSSSAN) said in a statement.

Another error made by the legislators was on the fact that Dana Air made 14 air returns in three years apart from noting that MD-83 aircraft, which was used by Dana, had been phased out by the manufacturer.

Analysts note that such statements could be misleading because ‘Air returns are not necessarily an indication that the aircraft is not airworthy. It is a standard recommended safety precautionary measure and after every single air return. NCAA Airworthiness Safety Inspectors physically clear the aircraft before it is released back to operation.

Demuren explained that current operators of MD-83 aircraft range from the largest foreign and domestic carriers to new start-up airlines and charter operators.

“Two of the three largest United States airlines; American Airlines and Delta operate MD-83s currently.  American Airlines has 275 of the series in its fleet.  Delta has 117 of this aircraft type,” NCAA DG said.

Condemning another part of the report which asked government to revoke the license of Dana Airlines, Olumide Ohunayo, a travel analyst, described it as a bad one adding that the airline has just been recertified by the NCAA and some other airlines are going through that same process.

“If the legislature views the certification of Dana despite having an international Air Maintenance Organization (AMO) as partner as faulty and that the NCAA cannot be trusted, it means all other AOCs issued by the NCAA should be revoked with immediate effect; anything short of this is racism. I just pray their country of descent will not target Nigerian investors too, the priority should be payment of compensation to all,” Ohunayo explained.

He said that the directive demanding for the removal of the Director General and the dismissal of the engineer who inspected the ill-fated aircraft is ‘distasteful, hasty and ugly.’

“Rather, a speedy investigation and conclusion of the accident report should be our priority; at that point there will be no place to hide for everyone anymore. What is playing out right now is the age-long rivalry between the academically qualified engineers and those that rose through the ranks, which has metamorphosed into type qualified and type rated.

“We have got to the stage where industry experts and consultants that supplied the legislature with information should come out boldly and defend their reports, information and allegations individually or collectively rather than hide under the ambit of the hallowed chambers,” he pointed out.

Ohunayo also noted that demands of the Senate is not based on tribal sentiments as espoused in some quarters rather it is based on some information that look mischievous emanating from the cocktail of submissions made before, during and after the public hearing.

He cautioned that the director general of the NCAA should not be tagged with incompetence based on his record so far, adding that he should rather be decorated with national honors for elevating the regulatory institution rather than being hounded disrespectfully.

“Let the senate hang proven corruption charges and breach of contract on him, the tide will change ferociously,” he added.

He cited that ROSAVIATSIA, the Russian equivalent of NCAA was almost pushed last year, by their parliament to revoke the licenses of some airlines due to air mishaps but the Agency resisted and conducted their investigations.

“Red Wings Airline only last week lost its AOC in that process. The Russian regulator said they were losing the license not because of the air crash they had on the 29th of December 2012, but due to the numerous significant violations found during recertification. The airline lacked financial resources to provide ongoing operations consistent with appropriate level of safety. These are processes and procedures without interference but requisite oversight responsibility by all parties,” Ohunayo stated.

Ohunayo concluded that by being hasty and not conforming to international standards, ‘we are scaring investors, we need to stop the bickering and attract them by capitalizing on our Category 1 status.”

Beechcraft P35 Bonanza, N1566Z: Accident occurred December 01, 2012 in Correctionville, Iowa

NTSB Identification: CEN13FA082
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, December 01, 2012 in Correctionville, IA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/19/2013
Aircraft: BEECH P35, registration: N1566Z
Injuries: 2 Fatal, 1 Serious.

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

The commercial pilot was receiving flight-following services. He advised an air traffic controller that he had the airport in sight, and the controller acknowledged and told the pilot that radar services were terminated. The airport had an unimproved grass strip and runway lights. Two witnesses who lived next to the airport said thick fog quickly enveloped the area shortly before the accident. Another witness said that visibility had dropped to less than 1/4 mile and that he heard the airplane fly low over his house but could not see it. On the approach to land, the airplane struck trees and terrain about 1/4 mile northeast of the airport. A postimpact fire ensued. A postaccident examination of the airplane revealed no anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. The airplane was instrument equipped and the commercial pilot held an instrument rating.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s failure to perform a go-around after encountering thick fog at night.


On December 1, 2012, about 1950 central standard time, a Beech P35, N1566Z, collided with trees and terrain while maneuvering near a private airstrip near Correctionville, Iowa. The pilot was seriously injured and two passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Night, instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan had been filed. The local flight originated from Grand Island, Nebraska, at an undetermined time.

The pilot and a passenger had flown from Correctionville to Grand Island, Nebraska, earlier that day to pick up a second passenger. During the latter portion of the return flight to Correctionville, the pilot received flight following services from the Sioux City (SUX), Iowa, Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON). At 1938, the pilot advised SUX TRACON that he had the Correctionville Airport in sight, and radar services were terminated. The airplane struck trees and terrain about 1/2-mile northwest of the airport. A post-impact fire ensued. A motorist and his wife, who were driving south on the highway, saw a fire on the hillside. When they slowed down to investigate, they came upon the pilot on the side of road and called 9-1-1.

Two residents whose home borders and faces the airstrip said they saw the pilot depart earlier that day. They were standing in their front yard about 1930 when thick fog quickly enveloped the area and they were unable to see the airstrip which was about 125 feet away. A resident, who was visiting friends about a mile east of the accident site, said the weather was clear at 1800, but fog moved in soon thereafter and visibility dropped to less than 1/4-mile. He heard an airplane pass low over the house. The engine was “running fast” and the airplane was moving slowly because it took “awhile to pass over the house.” He said he never saw, but only heard, the airplane.

The Woodbury County Sheriff said first responders were hampered by darkness and fog that reduced visibility to about 50 feet. He said the reduced visibility contributed to an accident involving a Correctionville ambulance that was transporting the pilot to a hospital and a Moville police car. A second ambulance was summoned to transport the pilot.


The pilot, age 70, held a commercial pilot certificate with airplane single-engine, multiengine, and instrument ratings, dated February 28, 2010. He also held a second class airman medical certificate, dated December 13, 2011, with the restriction, “Must have available glasses for near vision.” The medical certificate was valid for 12 months. At the time the medical certificate was issued, the pilot estimated his total flight time as 2,400 hours.


N1566Z (serial number D-6868), a model P35, was manufactured by the Beech Aircraft Corporation in 1961. It was powered by a Continental IO-470-N engine (serial number 52117-D-N), rated at 260 horsepower, driving a McCauley 2-blade, all-metal, constant speed propeller (model number 2A36C23-P-CE).

According to the airplane maintenance records, the last annual and 100-hour inspections were performed on August 30, 2012. At that time the tachometer read 1,812 hours; the airframe had accrued 6,091.6 hours and the engine had accrued 6,079.8 hours. The engine was overhauled on March 17, 1993, at a tachometer time of 435.3 hours, and had accrued 1,338.5 hours since major overhaul. The altimeter, encoder and transponder were certified for flight in IFR (instrument flight rules) conditions on June 27, 2011.


Weather recorded at the Sioux Gateway Airport-Colonel Bud Day Field (SUX), Sioux City, Iowa, located about 30 miles west of the accident site, was as follows:

1852: Wind, 120 degrees at 3 knots; visibility, 7 statute miles;; sky condition, clear; temperature, 4 degrees Celsius (C.); dew point, 3 degrees C.; altimeter, 29.81 inches of mercury.

2036: Wind, calm; visibility, 5 statute miles, mist; sky condition, few clouds , 300 feet; temperature,2 degrees C.; dew point, 1 degree C.; altimeter, 29.83 inches of mercury.


Correctionville Airport is an unpublished and unimproved airstrip, located about 2 miles south of the town of Correctionville. It has a single runway, aligned on a magnetic heading of about 140-320 degrees. The grass runway is about 2,000 feet long and 120 feet wide, and is equipped with runway lights. It is situated at an elevation of about 1,200 feet above mean sea level.


The accident site was located about 1 mile southwest of the town of Correctionville in the 1700 block of Highway 31, and about 1/4-mile northeast of the airstrip. The wreckage was in a field west of and adjacent to Highway 31. The terrain sloped upward with multiple embankments. The debris path was approximately 200 to 250 feet in length, and aligned on a magnetic heading of 324°. The initial impact point was a small group of trees at an elevation of 1,122 feet. A portion of the right wing and extended right main landing gear and portions of the right fuel bladder were at the base of the trees. An odor of fuel was noted.

After striking the trees, the airplane impacted a terraced embankment at an elevation was 1,156 feet. The airplane came to rest on a magnetic heading of 062°. The engine separated from the airplane at the firewall and was next to the fuselage, pointed in the opposite direction. The propeller separated from the engine at the flange. Both blades showed s-bending and chordwise scratches.

The main body of wreckage consisted of the fuselage aft of the firewall, the empennage, and the left wing. Extensive fire damage was noted. The landing gear was down and the flaps were extended, the amount of which was not determined. Control continuity was partially established. The two passengers were located next to and aft of the trailing edge of the left wing. The altimeter faceplate, bearing the Kollsman window, was set to 29.80 inches of mercury. No other anomalies were noted with the airplane during the postaccident examination.


The pilot succumbed to his injuries on February 11, 2013. Because more than 30 days had elapsed since the accident, his injuries did not meet the criteria for “fatal injury” as defined in Title 49 CFR Part 830.2. Autopsy and toxicology protocols were not performed. 


SUX TRACON confirmed that N1566Z was tracked as a VFR primary target with no transponder-encoder data. They advised that radar detection of an airplane at low altitude was unavailable for that area. Correctionville Airport is not depicted on the TRACON radar or on sectional charts.

CORRECTIONVILLE, Iowa (KTIV) - It's been nearly 3 months since the plane crash in Correctionville claimed the lives of three men. But, their friends and family say the men meant so much to the community that they're still dealing with the void they left behind. 

"These three men were pillars of our community," Kevern Koskovich said.

Koskovich was close friends with all three who died in the crash.

"They were three of the finest gentlemen you could ever meet, honest, honorable," Koskovich said.

The men were doing what they were known for that fateful night of the crash, helping the community, by picking up supplies for the grand opening of a new grocery store. It was a project they all pushed for since the other local grocery had burned down.

"He was always there to help, if the community needed something, if an individual needed something Jim would be there to support them," Gaylen Goettsch said.

"In a small town everybody knows everybody and with somebody like Gaylen, Correctionville in particular, he was just instrumental in everything," Bill Forbes said.

"It was hard to understand what had happened," Deb Jeffrey said.

And like Gaylen Knaack had done so many times before to fundraiser for community projects, organizers put together a pancake breakfast and silent auction to benefit the Knaack's family and the other two victims'.

"It is the community's way of showing them love and respect," Koskovich said.

Lee Schroeder's brother says he's touched that so many people have reached out to him.

"I guess if there's anything positive that comes out from this, is the community's support, situations like this are never great. Just to see the kind of people, what Lee did to the community as far as the friendships has been amazing," Patrick Schroeder said.

And while the communities that knew these men are still grieving their loss, they say their spirit will uplift them.

"Each of these men in their own way left a guide map for all of us to follow," Koskovich said.

Story and Video:

NTSB Identification: CEN13FA082
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, December 01, 2012 in Correctionville, IA
Aircraft: BEECH P35, registration: N1566Z
Injuries: 2 Fatal,1 Serious.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators 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 1, 2012, about 1950 central standard time, a Beech P35, N1566Z, collided with trees and terrain while maneuvering for landing at a private airstrip near Correctionville, Iowa. The pilot was seriously injured and two passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan had been filed. The local flight originated from Grand Island, Nebraska, at undetermined time.

The pilot and a passenger had flown from Correctionville to Grand Island, Nebraska, earlier that day to pick up the second passenger. The pilot was receiving flight following advisories from air traffic control (ATC). At 1936, the pilot advised ATC he had the airport in sight. Radar services were then terminated. The airplane struck trees and terrain about 1/2-mile northeast of the airport. A post-impact fire ensued.

The sheriff told FAA inspectors that when he arrived on scene shortly after the accident, there was a thick blanket of fog and visibility was only 50 feet.

The on-scene investigation established control continuity, and extension of the landing gear and flaps.

Cessna 172H, N3735F: Raeford-Hoke Museum Selling Donated Airplane

The Raeford-Hoke Museum recently received the donation of a 1966 Cessna airplane by Carole Williams, wife of Billie Williams, who owned Southmoore Heating and Cooling and who passed away several years ago.

Billie, who also was fire chief of the Pine Hill Fire Department, donated the plane to the Emergency Service Museum, which was built in 2011 in honor of all first responders in Hoke County. The museum's main exhibit is a 1926 firetruck, the first one used in the county.

The airplane is being sold by sealed bid, with a minimum bid of $24,000. It has just had a fresh annual checkup, completed this month. Bids will be opened at noon Friday, March 15, in front of the museum.

The plane had been stored in a hangar the last several years at the Moore County Airport. It was recently flown to a private airfield outside Raeford under cover.

The Raeford-Hoke Museum is located at 111 South Highland St. in Raeford. Museum hours are Sundays from 2 to 4 p.m. and Monday and Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There is no admission fee.

A poster with detailed information about the plane is on the Raeford-Hoke Museum website, Raeford

Questions may be directed to David Willis at (910) 818-6342.

Airplane For Sale - Museum Fundraiser:

Story and Photos:

Laguna Army Airfield, Yuma, Arizona: Training exercise helps prepare for possible chopper crash

It is a call no one ever wants to receive. 

The pilot of one of Yuma Proving Ground's UH-72A Lakota helicopters radios the control tower at Laguna Army Airfield (LAAF) that there is a burning electrical smell coming from the instrument panel and that he is losing control of the aircraft.

This time the call for help is only an emergency drill, but all participants realize the possibility that one day the call could be real.

“We are required to exercise our pre-accident plan annually,” said Robert Schultz, aviation safety officer.

As the pilots land on a remote corner of one of LAAF's runways, the control tower contacts range control and the YPG fire department. Within minutes, a crash fire rescue vehicle approaches the downed helicopter spraying water from its attached water cannon, with two ambulances following behind. If the Lakota had really crashed and leaked its hundreds of gallons of fuel, firefighters would use flame-retardant foam instead of water to douse the flames.

As the fire vehicle stops, several firefighters emerge and ready a hose to approach the helicopter. They are dressed in silver proximity gear, heavily-insulated full-body suits and visor-equipped helmets made of aluminized glass fibers and designed to reflect intense heat. Aircraft fires typically burn much hotter than house fires, and aircraft frames are made of composite materials that billow potentially deadly smoke as they burn.

“The safety of the pilots and passengers is the firefighters' number one priority,” said Schultz. “Secondary to that is making an effort to not destroy the helicopter if possible.”

In a helicopter crash, accomplishing these two important goals is a methodical process that must be undertaken rapidly.

“We have to shut the engines down, shut the fuel switches off, and shut the batteries off to make sure the craft is safe for us to get to before we pull out the pilots and passengers,” said John Staggs, fire chief.

“The engine will run for as long as it has fuel,” added Schultz. “It doesn't care if the rotor blades are attached or not.”

If the crashed helicopter's rotor blade is still attached and turning, the firefighters also have to engage the rotor brake to allow personnel to approach the craft from all sides. This done, the firefighters carefully pull the pilots from the Lakota and carry them to waiting stretchers. In a real crash, the injured would be stabilized on the trip to the hospital.

“Overall it went good,” said Staggs of the exercise. “We learned a couple of things that will make us better prepared in the future.”

Maule M7-235B, YJ-LM7: Precautionary Landing at Jubilee Farm - Vanuatu

Daily Post was able to catch up with the flying Doctor Mark Turnbul, the expatriate doctor providing health services for people in the Torba province and he shared how his quick decision saved not only the lives of his patients who were in the aircraft with him but also the aircraft.

Dr Turnbul remembered that Wednesday morning he flew to Santo in a small orange colored light aircraft, Model Maule M7-235B, call sign YJ-LM7, which is operated in the Torba Islands as the Wings of Hope Flying Doctor Service.

He said that flight was a medical flight carrying two patients and family members to Santo for a TB checkup.

“Most of the flight was normal and the weather was good. But on arrival at Santo the weather started to deteriorate.

“Instead of landing in the heavy rain, I chose to orbit north of the airport in the area a few miles north of Pekoa airport, waiting until the rain had passed,” he said.

He said the rain got heavier and the whole area started to get very cloudy on every side.

“I tried several times to make an approach to Pekoa airport but the rain got worse so we had to turn back. Eventually I decided to fly to Ambae but the clouds were forming ahead of me too in that direction so I thought it would be dangerous to go there too unless I could confirm first that the airport in Ambae was clear.

“I decided it was safer to look for a small field in Santo in case I had an emergency situation coming,” he said.

He thought it would be much safer to land on an open area in the bush than to try to make a landing in the blinding rain.

Eventually the rain closed in around them and they had very poor visibility on all sides.

“I decided to checkout a field which was a big open space on a farm. Later I learned that this farm is called Jubilee Farm.

“I made several passes over this field to check it out for possible landing and then I flew close to the ground to check out for obstacles, fences, trees and bumpiness. It looked OK for a landing, although I knew it would be a bit bumpy,” the brave Turnbul told the Daily Post.

He recalled that when the rain started to get heavier, he knew he had a short time to make a decision, so he made a landing with the plan to take off if the landing was out of control.

He said but after touching down, although it was bumpy, the landing was OK.

Fortunately the aircraft was specially designed for bush airstrips and it has big bush wheels for that kind of landing.

“I let the plane come to a stop, and our landing was completely safe. There was no damage to the plane at all, and all the passengers were completely unharmed.

“The landing did not damage any property either. I called the Air Traffic services in Santo and they informed the Police and Ambulance to come,” he said.

On arrival, they could see that there was no danger or damage, so the patients were taken for their TB checkup, and Dr Turnbul got clearance from Civil Aviation to take-off.

He asked the Police to carry all the extra weight like chairs from the plane, so that the plane would be light enough to take off in a very small space, and they cleared a small 'airstrip' on the field for take-off.

Dr Turnbul took off in less than 100 meters, and flew to Pekoa were he landed safely.

He said however, when the plane taxied to the parking place at the airport, there was a huge amount of rain on the ground.

The water sprayed up to the wings like a jetski. It was clear to him that if he had tried to land at Pekoa during that heavy rain, surely he would have had an accident.

He thanked God for this experience and that the plane landed and took off on that bush 'landing site' at Jubilee Farm without a damage or harm.

He was very thankful to the owners of that property although he said he has not yet met them.

“Nobody was responsible for this emergency. It was purely caused by the rapidly changing weather which nobody could have predicted, and there is nothing to be sorry for because nothing bad happened.

“I just burned a bit of extra avgas during the 30 minutes of extra flight, thats all. This was not a crash landing and there was no crash involved. It was not a forced landing either. It was what pilots refer to as a "Precautionary Landing" and private pilots have a right and obligation to perform such a landing where safety requires it,” he emphasized.

He assumed that without the right aircraft and without the right training in landing on bush airstrips, maybe things would have been much more difficult.

“But I thanked God for the plane and training he provided for me, and for his help. I believe that God protected us for the sake of the patients and also that the Wings of Hope Flying Doctor Service can continue this work of helping the sick in the remote areas of Torba Province,” he said with joy in his heart.

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Couple reunites with seaplane crash rescuers

THANKS: Rescuers Matt Ash, Paul Walters and Mark Morrissy, right, with seaplane crash survivors Doug and Elaine "Miffy" Smith. 

It was an emotional reunion on Geelong's waterfront when Leopold's Miffy and Doug Smith met the men who helped save their lives. 

 The couple were aboard a Geelong seaplane and approaching Corio Bay when their aircraft plunged into the murky waters about 3.15pm on January 22.

They were expecting a smooth, serene landing but as their seaplane descended on to the bay they knew something was wrong.

Seconds later the pair were being wrenched from the sunken plane, blood gushing from Doug's head and Miffy struggling, pinned under the aircraft that was meant to be a treat for the adventurous duo.

Doug, 79, is still recovering from the ordeal but praised the pilot and three members of the Royal Geelong Yacht Club (RGYC) for saving their lives.

"I remember the flight was beautiful but when we came in to land, the plane just somersaulted," he recalled.

"I was holding my breath and I couldn't see Miffy, the water just came in too quickly.

"That young man (the pilot) saved our lives."

When emergency crews arrived at the plane crash, about 50m off Cunningham Pier, the plane was already on its roof.

Witnesses recalled seeing the plane coming in to land before it "dropped from the sky" in front of dozens of horrified onlookers.

Doug suffered injuries to his neck, back and shoulder as well as a black eye. But it's the mental scars that have taken a toll. He has been rushed back to hospital by ambulance four times since the accident.

But the thrill seeker isn't one to dwell on the bad.

"I got the best shiner, I was proud of it," he laughed.

"And when the yacht club men arrived and pulled us into their boat I could've kissed them."

Rescuer Mark Morrissy, from the RGYC, was with fellow employees Paul Walters and Matt Ash at the time of the disaster.

He said the misadventure could have ended far worse.

"I remember we were setting up for the Festival of Sails when Paul got a call from a member who heard a mayday call from the Freedom cruise boat. We looked up, saw the plane, and jumped straight in our boat," he recalled.

"The others stripped down to their bare essentials ready to get in, then we spotted Doug, then Miffy.

"The pilot did a fantastic job to organize them, then we stepped in and got them back to shore."

Daughter Kelly O'Brien said her father and stepmother loved to fly but hoped they'd keep two feet firmly on the ground for a little while longer.

Miffy, 63, of Pelican Shore, said they were still thanking their lucky stars to be alive.

At 15, she nearly drowned and hadn't been in the ocean since. "You lay awake at night and wonder who your rescuers were," she said. "All I could hear were voices."

Jet Airways employees accused of theft now in police custody

The Santacruz police are questioning the gang of four persons arrested on Friday for allegedly stealing goods from a domestic flight's cargo.

The police suspect the gang has stolen goods worth at least Rs. 5 lakh, and are verifying the information with cases of stolen goods reported to airport authorities.

"The Jet Airways security team at Mumbai airport found certain items in the possession of some contractual workers. Since the recovered items did not belong to the workers, the airline lodged a complaint with the local police, and the matter is under investigation," a spokesperson from Jet Airways said.

According to the police, one of the accused, a driver, with the help of the other accused, working as a loader, would steal electronic goods and other products from the cargo and passenger luggage.

They would then take these goods to sell, with the help of accomplices.

The police have also arrested another 26-year-old man in a separate case for stealing goods while delivering them from conveyer belts to the plane.

The police produced the group of four accused before a local court that remanded them in police custody till Monday. "We are questioning them to get a list of items they have stolen and are trying to retrieve the same," an officer said.

The 26-year-old man was also brought before a local court, which granted him bail.


Baltic Aviation Academy: Answers to your questions - Parts I and II

 Published on February 15, 2013

Baltic Aviation Academy (Vilnius, Lithuania) presents you a very first video based on viewers' curiosity. Pranas Drulis, ATPL Integrated student, gives comprehensive explanations and answers to all kind of questions received from Baltic Aviation Academy's videos viewers all around the world. Check out if your question is one of them!

Published on February 22, 2013 

Baltic Aviation Academy (Vilnius, Lithuania) presents second video which is dedicated to questions of viewers. Pranas Drulis, ATPL Integrated student, gives comprehensive explanations and answers to all kind of questions received from Baltic Aviation Academy's videos viewers all around the world. Maybe your question was picked this time!

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Fighter jet training to take place in Boise's skies

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Military officials say high-performance fighter jets will be training over Boise from Monday through Wednesday.

Idaho National Guard Col. Tim Marsano says the U.S. Air Force pilots with the 389th Fighter Squadron will be honing their skills mostly in the mornings and evenings in F-15E Strike Eagles.

He says residents will likely see and hear the jets.

The jets are capable of air-to-air and air-to-ground combat.

Marsano says the pilots occasionally need to train over urban areas to maintain combat skills in highly populated settings.

Chinese developed plane engine almost complete

Chinese scientists and technicians will soon complete an indigenous, large aircraft engine that can equip the Y-20, the country's first domestically developed strategic airlifter, Chinese media quoted a military expert as saying on Sunday.

Qiao Liang, a professor at the Air Force Command Institute of the People's Liberation Army, told Science Times that the prototype of the Y-20, which conducted its first test flight on Jan 26, is currently equipped with four Russian D-30 turbofan engines, and the development of an indigenous engine is "approaching success".

After being installed with the domestically developed engine, the payload of the Y-20 will increase by around 10 metric tons, he said.

The Y-20's prototype has a maximum payload of 66 tons and a maximum take-off weight of more than 200 tons, according to reports.

Plane crash false alarm triggers sea search off Furness coast

A major search operation was launched tonight after erroneous reports that a plane had crashed into the Irish Sea off the Furness Coast.

It was sparked after a group of golfers reported seeing a light aircraft in distress as it flew over Ulverston this afternoon.

An Royal Air Force helicopter, Cumbria Police, Walney Coastguard, Barrow RNLI inshore lifeboat and Ulverston Inshore Rescue were all scrambled.

And Flookburgh-based Bay Search and Rescue tweeted that they were also involved.

But emergency teams were stood down at around 7.30pm after a witness told police the plane in question was a microlight aircraft on a training exercise.

Lots of Drama at Pearson: 'Go it alone' museum set to re-open; airspace restriction proposal dropped

In Our View
Sunday, February 24, 2013

Supporters of Pearson Air Museum and Pearson Field (common sense tells us that should include all local citizens) received two messages last week from the federal government. The first announcement drew a forehead-smacking "You gotta be kiddin' me!" response from many folks, while the second elicited a "Whew! That was close."

Both emotions are understandable, considering how frayed relationships have become recently between our community and the federal government.

First, National Park Service officials on Tuesday announced they would re-open the air museum under federal management, with new exhibits, presumably most of them borrowed from other sites. Pearson supporters and officials -- who emptied the museum earlier this month because of a management dispute with the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site -- scoffed at the NPS announcement. They also bristled at the NPS invitation to move old aircraft and other exhibits back into the museum hangar. "No way in hell," said local pilot Juan Brito, who owns a historic aircraft that had been featured at the museum when it was operated by Fort Vancouver National Trust. "I guess that's the best way to put it," he added. "I wouldn't put something that's extremely valuable to me in the hands of somebody who has no respect for agreements."

Second, it was announced on Thursday that the Federal Aviation Administration has dropped a controversial airspace regulation proposal that would have severely and unnecessarily restricted general aviation aircraft that routinely operate out of Pearson Field. For several months, FAA officials had threatened to impose the dreaded "Pearson box" rule, which would have created an area one mile wide by six miles long, with Pearson pilots forced to yield to Portland International Airport flights.

The concern for safety was laudable, but more convincing was the fact that private and public aircraft have operated together at Pearson and PDX for decades with no major incident. The FAA announced the proposal last September, and a delay was secured in November. Then, the FAA did what the federal government does so well: appointed a special panel to review the situation. Finally, as Eric Florip reported in a Friday Columbian story, officials with Pearson airport and the city of Vancouver received word from the FAA that the proposed restrictions had been dropped, and the infamous "Pearson box" idea had been shot down.

Credit is due to local elected officials -- both city and federal -- who convinced the FAA to back off.

Let us all hope National Park Service officials likewise come to their senses and do the right thing for Pearson Air Museum. Turn the land over to the city of Vancouver so that the museum can be locally managed, as it was for years to the consternation of no one except the hierarchy at the National Historic Site and the NPS. Pearson Air Museum should be operated by the people who have loved it for years, not by federal bureaucrats.

U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, who wrote the pending legislation calling for the land transfer, correctly said of the NPS plan to re-open the museum: "Rather than 'go it alone,' the Park Service should be working to bridge its differences with the trust and the city."

Once that happens -- if that happens -- there are a bunch of private pilots who are eager to move their historic planes back into the museum. And there's a spirited community that is eager to restore Pearson Air Museum to its rightful place of honor, respect and popularity.

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Bogue Field vital asset for Marine Air Wing

Published: Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 08:00 AM.

Editor’s note: This article is part of a year-long series commemorating the 100th anniversary of Marine aviation, which began on May 22, 1912, when 1st Lt. Alfred A. Cunningham reported to Annapolis, Md., for flight training. 


There’s only two others like it in the Marine Corps.

Marine Corps Auxiliary Field Bogue is one of three airfields in the Marine Corps that allows pilots to perform Field Carrier Landing Practices, or practice the ability to take off from and land on small surfaces like an aircraft carrier’s deck.

The other two airfields with the same capability are located in Yuma, Ariz. and Okinawa, Japan, making Bogue Air Field the only place on the East Coast that Marine Corps pilots can practice landing on an aircraft carrier before actually having to land on one.

“(The flight line) is painted just exactly the same dimensions and markings and everything as what the ship is going to look like when we go out there,” said Capt. David Thomas, airfield operations company commander on Bogue. “By being able to do the (flight pattern) repetitiously (sic)... on a mock ship like this before actually going out a hundred miles off the coast or in bad guy country somewhere — it really builds all that muscle memory that will make it an as safe as possible evolution for the pilots.”

The training at Bogue Field is required for all Marine Corps pilots before deploying with a Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) because during the deployment, they’ll be expected to land on and take off from the ships frequently.

In addition to the mock ship deck, or LHA, Thomas added that what makes an auxiliary airfield like Bogue unique is its ability to be constructed just about anywhere. Bogue serves as a model for the small airfields that Marines can construct in any location in a matter of just one week. The airfields are typically constructed in forward deployed areas, and Thomas said the ability to work fast and work from a ship is what makes Marine Corps aviation stand out from the other services.

“This is the bread and butter of what makes us Marines,” Thomas said. “It’s what separates us from the Air Force — separates us from the Army — is our expeditionary nature and expeditionary mindset.”

Because Bogue Field is centrally located in the Town of Bogue and only a mile or so from the densely populated Emerald Isle, Tyler Harris, community plans and liaison officer for MCAS Cherry Point, said noise complaints from area residents are expected, but not exactly common.

“We get a complaint maybe once a month,” Harris said, adding that Bogue Field’s location was initially selected in the 1940s because it was a rural area with a small population.

However, Harris said, those circumstances have since changed, as the area has become more populated.

“The water has attracted residential growth, but residential growth is not always compatible with the training of aircraft,” Harris said, adding that the low patterns the pilots are required to fly during their training at Bogue Field only exacerbates the noise issue.

Harris said Bogue Field commanders have no intention of relocating the highly necessary auxiliary field, but the governing body of Emerald Isle has gone to great lengths to ensure residents know why they’re hearing the planes fly overhead almost daily.

The Town of Emerald Isle has dedicated a page on their website — complete with an up-to-date flight schedule — informing residents about the Marine Corps flight operations and its effect on the island.

Emerald Isle Town Manager Frank Rush said the town has strived to maintain a close relationship with Bogue Field and Cherry Point officials, a process that was simplified with the completion of the Eastern Carolina Joint Land Use Study in 2003. The study establishes land use guidelines for the military and regulations for the development of civilian properties within MCAS Cherry Point and Bogue Field training areas.

“We’ve certainly communicated our concerns to (the base) and they’ve tried to work with us as much as possible,” Rush said, adding that while the governing body of Emerald Isle understands the military’s need for training, his office also has a duty to minimize the noise impact on the people who live on Emerald Isle.

Rush said that while the town has gone to great lengths to educate the people living on or visiting Emerald Isle about the frequent training taking place at Bogue Field, there are still occasional concerns coming from people living along Bogue Sound — the body of water separating Emerald Isle and Bogue Field — because the aircraft can fly lower over water than they can over land, which adds to the noise.

Rush added that although there are occasional complaints from residents, the number of complaints have dramatically decreased in recent years, in part because residents and visitors “genuinely respect the need for the military to train.”

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I want to fly jets: Behind the scenes at Emirates Aviation College

By Ruchi Shroff 
Sunday, 24 February 2013 5:12 PM 

To run one of the biggest airlines in the world, requires well trained and professional employees. And the fact that Emirates Airline is so closely tied with dnata, a mammoth ground operations handler, and Dubai International Airport, the fourth-busiest airport in the world, makes its employee circle that much wider. It is no small task to train some of the almost 40,000 people (excluding cabin crew & flight crew) who work at Emirates and dnata, but it is done by Emirates Group Learning & Development at Emirates Aviation College. “The majority of our work is for Emirates, but we still cover a large share of dnata’s requirements too,” says Brendan Noonan, senior vice president, Emirates Group learning and development at the college’s Building B. “The trainees come from all over the world, from as far afield as Los Angeles and Sydney or as close as Al Ain, Sharjah and Dubai.”

Dubai Aviation College was established in 1991 by the Department of Civil Aviation, initially to provide aviation-related training to private students and corporate clients. The College has since expanded and diversified and now offers an extensive range of educational opportunities designed to provide aviation-related specializations that service both the technical and management sides of the aviation industry. In September 2001, the Dubai Aviation College was merged with Emirates Training College and today forms the ‘academic wing’ of the Emirates Aviation College Group.

There are three colleges at the Aviation College. Building A is the academic building with classrooms and all of the undergraduate and postgraduate classes are offered there. External students can gain qualifications that give them opportunities to join Emirates or a variety of other airlines after receiving training there. It is also the home of Emirates Flight Crew Training. Last year, the academic college introduced four new programs to support the functions of safety and security.

Building C is the crew building, which houses simulators for pilots and cabin crew to practice in real-life environments.

Building B handles all elements of corporate training, including operational training for airport and cargo, commercial training for call centers, retail offices and sales training, strategic service initiatives, manages service enhancement projects throughout the group, IT training and also English language training for national staff who work in dnata or Emirates. It also has an extensive e-learning department that manages and builds e-learning content and programs for the group and also provides expertise to select third party requirements. “E-learning is a very powerful tool for us as we use it as a support mechanism in a blended learning process,” Noonan says. Either before or after a candidate comes for training, h/she is required to complete e-learning modules in their own time outside the classroom. Building B also has an in-house quality and standards division to ensure all trainers are developed and top quality programs are produced to meet company needs.

As the college and airline have grown, so has its corporate induction process. “In the early days we used to show a few slides and that was it,” Noonan says. “Today we have a world class induction process that is the envy of the aviation business; we have revamped the whole process and made it much more interactive.”

Emirates Group has invested in a brand new facility for all new joiners including cabin crew and flight crew who join the group. The objective is to reconfirm and reassure new joiners that they have made the right decision to join Emirates/dnata, says Joyce Donohue, manager of strategic service initiatives. In some cases new joiners have moved to Dubai with their families from all over the world. For some it can be a daunting situation in a new country with different cultures and some are naturally concerned about settling into Dubai with a new job role. The new induction program reassures staff and makes the joining process easier.

Some of the people being trained in Building B are people who need the IATA-approved certification and are not actually Emirates or dnata employees, but require certification in dangerous goods, load control or other industry regulatory courses. The college also engages in a whole new area of training termed ‘business partnerships’. “In the past, we were like a factory,” Noonan adds. “People would send staff to be trained here and we would send them back. However, no one knew how good the employees were when they got back to their jobs. As part of the business partnership, it allows us to look at individuals, see what their needs are and evaluate accordingly. It is a valuable form of return on investment. We can show the business what they have gained from the training and what benefits they bring to the business as it includes requirements from the business to support the learner on return from the training.”

Despite all the facilities that it currently has, Emirates is continuing to grow and there are plans to expand the buildings. “The growth has been such, that the demand is phenomenal,” Noonan says. A new $136 million flight training academy planned for Dubai is set for completion in 2014. The academy is to be located at Dubai World Central Airport and will act as the dedicated training center for Emirates’ National Cadet Pilot Program, able to train up to 400 students at a time. To expand on the facilities of Building A, the academy will have ground school classrooms, ab initio flight training, ground based simulators, and modern accommodation with recreational facilities. Another facility is also being built at Silicon Oasis to house the growing number of academic programs.

All this development should give Emirates the edge over some of its competitors while helping it retain employees. One of the biggest issues facing airlines today is the shortage of trained pilots and technicians. Most airlines need to fill those slots and keep them occupied.

However, Emirates does not face that problem much due to its popularity as an employer. The recruitment website gets about 190,000 hits a month. Out of that, about 15,000-20,000 apply to the airline, giving the airline a good pool to select from. “We get a great catalog of individuals who want to work for the airline,” Noonan concludes. “We are in a very lucky position where we can cherry pick the best of the people we want. This is important because we double in size as an organization every three years.” With the opportunities for growth and the unique training program, Emirates is poised for increasing demand for training services in the future.

The first room that new employees are taken to is the Arabian majlis. A lot of new employees come from around the world and don’t know much about the culture and history of the UAE and the Middle East. Here they are told about the dos and don’ts of living in Dubai and what will be expected of them culturally. They are also allowed to ask questions about the local style of living and the Islamic religion. The session usually ends with Arabic coffee and dates. Many employees have also requested to bring spouses to this session to acclimatise them to their new surroundings.

The next room is the modern training room where the new employees learn about Emirates Airline and dnata and their respective histories. The room is meant to give them a feel of how modern the organization is and also gives them a more interactive orientation opportunity as they view training videos and are allowed to interact with trainers and other new staff. The ultra modern settings represent the growth of the company in the past four decades since the establishment of the UAE. Further, they learn more about the company’s code of ethics and working in Dubai.

The final stage in the induction ceremony involves watching a video on what it is like to really work for Emirates. The video follows four families through their routine days and asks them about what their experience has been like working and living in Dubai. The four families have been in Dubai for differing amounts of time and have different cultural backgrounds. According to Donohoe, this stage usually makes the employees more confident of their choice to move to Dubai and starting afresh. Employees are also encouraged to ‘think outside the box’ and come up with new ideas for training and related activities.


Diamond Star DA40: LED strobes and beacons


 Published on February 17, 2013 

 "Results of adding AeroLEDs Pulsar NSP wing tip position/strobes and top/belly Aveo RedBaron Mini beacons to a 2008 DA40 XLS.   Note that this video was shot in bright daylight!   At night, the strobes and beacons are so bright that I need to leave them off until right before departure in order to avoid blinding other pilots on the ramp."

Salisbury-Ocean City Wicomico Regional Airport (KSBY), Salisbury, Maryland: Not Going To Close

Bob Bryant, Salisbury Airport Manager

SALISBURY, Md. - If the sequester goes into effect, big changes could come to the Salisbury-Ocean City Wicomico Regional Airport.

"We thought that this airport was essential safe because we do have scheduled airline service and we do have more than 10,000 military operations a year," said Bob Bryant, Salisbury Airport manager.

The U.S. Department of Transportation says that it may close over 200 control towers to reduce $600 million of expenditures. Ray LaHood, Secretary of Transportation sent a letter out on Friday explaining reasons for the change.

"We're concerned that a program of these federal contract towers that receives wonderful reviews from the inspector general's office Department of Transportation as to its operational efficiency," said Bryant. "The safety record that these small towers bring to these airports is now being tossed around like some bargaining chip.

"The airport is not going to close. We are going to remain open. Scheduled airline service will not come to a screeching halt. It does have the potential of impacting what opportunities could be available to the Delmarva Peninsula following the merger between US Airways and [American Airlines]."

Another airport on the Eastern Shore that could see changes is Easton/Newnam Field Airport.

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Sikorsky Memorial Airport, Fairfield County, Connecticut

Published on February 23, 2013 
 Morgan discussing the history of the Original Terminal Building

 Published on February 23, 2013
Morgan discussing the history of the Original Terminal Building 

 Published on February 23, 2013 
 Charlie and Bill discuss the restoration effort.