Thursday, April 25, 2013

Progress pleases Jetport authority: Cleveland Regional (KRZR), Tennessee

Much of the discussion among Cleveland Municipal Airport Authority members on Friday revolved around tidying up loose ends and working on minor discrepancies at Cleveland Regional Jetport.

One topic of discussion was the Instrument Approach Procedures scheduled for FAA publication on June 27.

Board member LeRoy Rymer Jr. said the airport opened less than three months ago and no one should expect it to be perfect at this stage.

“Frankly, I am amazed we are getting our instrument certification as quick as we are,” Rymer said. “Usually it takes a year and a half to two years to do this.”

He commended PDC Consultants for surveying the runway for the approach after the first pouring of concrete.

“I think we’re ahead of schedule. We get these little things from people and stuff like that and I tell them this is still a startup business,” he said.

“So far it has gone very, very well. I’m proud of where we are at this stage of the game.”

Fidler reported $5,700 in fuel sales on April 6 and an increase in the number of flight students.

In the first three months, the airport has sold 1,331 gallons of aviation gasoline and about 3,500 gallons of jet fuel, which equals about $21,000 of products sold in the first quarter of operation.

Fixed-base operator Taylor Newman said sales and traffic should increase as pilots discover the airport and what services are available.

An open house on April 27 is scheduled. It will include airplane rides for $15 each.

Airport Authority Chair Lynn DeVault said she was surprised no one has complained about the rainwater runoff from the storm on Wednesday.

She expressed concern that the drainage ditch where the sewer line was laid is deep enough.

“It’s not unusual to have that much runoff during construction. I was just concerned and trying to observe if the ditch seemed deep enough or not deep enough to a lay person like me,” she said.

Fidler reported the ditch is not deep enough because the dirt was simply pulled in over the sewer line with a backhoe.


Read more: Cleveland Daily Banner - Progress pleases Jetport authority

Pennsylvania lawmakers crafting new tax loophole for private aircraft

April 25, 2013

By Melissa Daniels | PA Independent

HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania’s state sales tax code – already full of carve-outs for niche industries and special interests – is about to get a little more complicated.

The state General Assembly appears to be on the way to passing a new sales tax exemption for airplane parts and maintenance, meaning private plane sales and repair expenses would go untaxed. The change would mean a loss of $12 million dollars in tax revenue for the state General Fund.

The proposal is good news for plane owners, who might be paying thousands in 6 percent sales tax on a $50,000 repair. But some say the bill is further complicating a tax code that already gives plenty of specialized tax exemptions.

Proponents of the measure, like bill sponsor Rep. Bill Kortz, D-Allegheny, said plane owners in Pennsylvania are flying their jets to other states in order to avoid paying sales tax on costly maintenance.

States like New York, Massachusetts, Ohio and Connecticut all have a partial or full sales and use tax exemption for aircraft. If Pennsylvania follows suit, it will boost a stagnant industry, Kortz said.

“The bottom line is I want people to work, make money, expand the business, and pay taxes,” Kortz said. “This will do just that in the aviation industry.”

There’s about 8,000 planes in Pennsylvania, and about 130 airports. The Federal Aviation Administration mandates planes must be inspected on a routine basis after certain numbers of hours of flying, and Kortz said this creates a built-in market for services.


Kortz faced some opposition on his proposal even within the Democratic caucus, as some felt it was favoring special interests with another tax break. The bill passed the state House with bipartisan support, though it saw 23 negative votes.

Bipartisan support also exists in the state Senate. The Democratic caucus has the exemption listed on their 2013-2014 budget plan, Sen. Dave Argall, R-Schuylkill, has a similar proposal in the works, and Kortz said he’s met with the governor’s staff to discuss the proposal.

To Kortz, the measure isn’t a tax break but a tax shift, as aviation industry jobs will balance out the lost sales tax dollars.

“If we get more tax dollars, I don’t care how we get it,” he said. “We’re stagnating in this industry.”

Read more here:  http://paindependent.com

Airport kicks off marketing campaign: Morristown Municipal (KMMU), New Jersey

HANOVER: Morristown Municipal Airport has launched a new marketing campaign, “Why Wait?” with the goal of educating the business aviation community about the convenience of MMU.

The campaign kicked off with an evening networking event and airport tour, co-sponsored with the Morris County Chamber’s Economic Development Corporation, according to a press release from the airport. Maria Sheridan, senior director of government affairs and business development, highlighted the many positive attributes of MMU, including the ability to service international flights and the airport’s proximity to New Jersey based corporate facilities.

“The Morristown Municipal Airport is a unique opportunity for corporations seeking quick and efficient executive travel. Combined with Morris County’s state-of-the-art Class A office space, the Airport provides Corporate America with international access in a suburban setting with an unparalleled quality of life,” said Jim Jones, executive director of the MCEDC.

Morristown Municipal Airport was built in 1942 and is is a general aviation airport that has served the business community for 70 years. The airport is capable of handling the largest of the fleet of business aircraft flying today, the release said.

Source:   http://www.dailyrecord.com

Another Airport Restaurant Goes Out of Business: North Central West Virginia (KCKB), Clarksburg, West Virginia

By Jeff Toquinto on April 24, 2013

Another North Central West Virginia Airport Restaurant, another one that closes its doors.

At today’s meeting of the Benedum Airport Authority – the governing body of the NCWV Airport – President Ron Watson announced that The Plane View Restaurant, which opened in September, is no longer in operations. The airport was notified of its closure April 8.

The closure is one of several involving the space reserved at the airport for an eatery since the 9/11 attacks. Prior to that, the Bland family owned and operated a restaurant that was successful for years at the terminal building. Since that time, despite the airport providing the facility at almost no cost and covering the cost of utilities, no restaurant has been able to make it.

Despite the fact no eatery has been able to make it for more than a decade, airport officials aren’t throwing in the towel. Airport Director Rick Rock is still of the belief that a restaurant is not only needed, but can prove to be viable.

“I’m not convinced that (a restaurant) can’t work,” said Rock.

Airport officials apparently aren’t convinced that one can’t work either. This morning, a request for proposal for those who may want to consider opening the space on the second floor of the terminal was published in media outlets. Proposals will be accepted until May 14 at 4 p.m.

“I think we need to see what we get from the RFPs that are out,” said Authority member Roger Diaz.

Rock said although the RFPs just went out, he has already received interest from at least one group that may want to open the space back up. In fact, Rock said he provided a recent tour of the now vacant space to a potential restaurateur.

While no one was certain if someone can make the space work, most were in agreement that doing things as have been done with recent tenants won’t work. Authority member and Marion County Commissioner Butch Tenant, who has a background in the restaurant business, said it can work, particularly if a lunch crowd can be served.

“You have to have something unique because you’re not in the downtown area,” said Tenant. “ … You’ve got to get in and be able to get out.”
Rock said that wasn’t the case with the most recent venture. He said during the early months of the operation there was plenty of individuals going to the restaurant, particularly at lunch time. However, he said comments regarding long waits at lunch time apparently led to a demise in the same traffic as the numbers decreased.

“We need someone committed to success. We need someone to have some cash involved so that they have a buy-in,” said Rock. “You need that for at least six months … I do think we have a potential game changer when it comes to restaurants.”

Who that “game changer” was, Rock did not elaborate on. He did say that airport restaurants can work as Hart Field, in Morgantown, has had a successful restaurant for years after struggling for years. Rock said the owner was committed to the business and its success.

Watson added that the airport may consider running the restaurant. That remained an option, but all involved wanted to see the response to the RFP before moving ahead.

"Hopefully we can find a person that has a reputation for good food that's good at business," said Authority member and Bridgeport Mayor  Jim Christie.


Story and Photos:  http://www.connect-bridgeport.com

Cessna 402B, My Plane LLC, N402RC: Accident occurred April 10, 2011 in Biddeford, Maine

A lawsuit says negligence led to an engine problem, which led to the pilot's death and the destruction of a house.



PORTLAND – The children of a highly decorated, retired Air Force pilot who died when his civilian plane crashed in Biddeford two years ago, and the couple whose home was destroyed by the crash, are jointly suing the companies that maintained and inspected the plane.

Edward L'Hommedieu, 71, of North Yarmouth was flying alone in the twin-engine Cessna 402B on April 10, 2011, as he approached Biddeford Municipal Airport at an altitude of about 500 feet when the plane lost partial or total power in its right engine.

The plane rapidly lost altitude and was going too slowly to stay aloft, says the lawsuit filed April 9 in Cumberland County Superior Court.

"L'Hommedieu, as an experienced pilot, would have understood that the aircraft was going to crash and that he was almost certain to die in such a crash," says the lawsuit.

The plane crashed into the home of Stephen and Kim Myers at 235 Granite St., near the Biddeford Municipal Airport, then "caught fire and became engulfed completely in flames," the lawsuit says.

"L'Hommedieu was alive and conscious subsequent to the crash" and "suffered severe and excruciating pain and discomfort prior to his death" as the plane and the house burned, the 13-page lawsuit says.

Lance Walker of the Portland law firm Norman, Hanson and DeTroy sued on behalf of L'Hommedieu's children, E. Chris L'Hommedieu and Heather Perreault, as representatives of his estate, and on behalf of the Myerses, seeking damages in a five-count complaint.

The lawsuit names as defendants nine companies that manufactured parts or maintained or inspected L'Hommedieu's plane.

"These are all companies that each did engine overhauls or they did what is called annuals, which are inspections for airworthiness," Walker said Tuesday. "When they certified it, they are certifying that it is airworthy. It's a heavy burden."

The companies are Ram Aircraft L.P. of Texas, McCauley Propeller Systems of Georgia, Maine Aviation Sales Inc. of Portland, Aircraft Maintenance of Maine Inc. of Portland, Yankee Aviation Services Inc. of Massachusetts, New England Propeller Service Inc. of Connecticut, Engine Component International Inc. of Texas, Champion Aerospace LLC of Delaware and Tom's Aircraft Maintenance Inc. of California.

Ron Caruso, president of Aircraft Maintenance of Maine, said his company did maintenance on the plane but did not work on the engine. He said his other company named in the lawsuit, Maine Aviation Sales, had no connection to the plane.

"We didn't do anything wrong," Caruso said. "We never inspected the part in question."

Caruso said he isn't surprised that his companies are named as defendants, because it is standard procedure in such lawsuits to name all of the companies that worked on a plane.

Representatives of Yankee Aviation, New England Propeller Service, Engine Components International and Tom's Aircraft said they had not been served with the lawsuit and declined comment. Phone messages left with Ram Aircraft and McCauley Propeller were not returned. No one answered the phone in several calls to Champion Aerospace.

Walker said the Myerses' home was insured and their insurance carrier is seeking to recoup its losses of as much as $500,000, claiming negligence.

L'Hommedieu's children are seeking an amount of money to be determined by a jury, claiming that their father's death was wrongful, that it was caused by negligence and that he suffered as a result.

The National Transportation Safety Board investigated the crash and determined in May 2012 that a combination of engine trouble and pilot error caused the crash.

L'Hommedieu's plane, built in 1977, lost power on a return trip from White Plains, N.Y., because O-rings in the engine throttle and control assembly were not properly installed, the NTSB found. The report is not admissible evidence in the lawsuit.

Walker said L'Hommedieu's children and the Myerses sued together because they agreed that pilot error was not an issue and that negligence in maintaining and inspecting the plane was the cause of the crash.

"The NTSB reports fairly frequently attribute at least partial responsibility to the pilot," Walker said. "In this case, we don't believe that was true. His airspeed and altitude were too low. He didn't have time to react."

On the day of the crash, L'Hommedieu flew from the Portland International Jetport to pick up a passenger on the island of Nantucket in Massachusetts, flew the passenger to Westchester County Airport in New York and then flew back to Biddeford, where he hoped to have dinner with a friend who lived nearby, according to the lawsuit.

L'Hommedieu began flying as a teenager, and joined the Air Force in 1964, flying B-52s and, later, FB-111s. During his 20-year Air Force career, he earned two Distinguished Flying Crosses, 12 Air Medals, the Cross of Gallantry and the Meritorious Service Medal.

He was a master navigator, a flight instructor and chief of operations and maintenance, according to the lawsuit.

Source:  http://www.pressherald.com

NTSB Identification: ERA11FA233
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, April 10, 2011 in Biddeford, ME
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/14/2012
Aircraft: CESSNA 402B, registration: N402RC
Injuries: 1 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.

The multi-engine airplane was being repositioned to its base airport, and the pilot had requested to change the destination, but gave no reason for the destination change. Radar data indicated that the airplane entered the left downwind leg of the traffic pattern, flew at pattern attitude, and then performed a right approximate 250-degree turn to enter the final leg of the approach. During the final leg of the approach, the airplane crashed short of the runway into a house located in a residential neighborhood near the airport. According to the airplane's pilot operating handbook, the minimum multi-engine approach speed was 95 knots indicated airspeed (KIAS), and the minimum controllable airspeed was 82 KIAS. According to radar data, the airplane's groundspeed was about 69 knots with the probability of a direct crosswind.

Postaccident examination of the propellers indicated that both propellers were turning at a low power setting at impact. During a controlled test run of the right engine, a partial power loss was noted. After examination of the throttle and control assembly, two o-rings within the assembly were found to be damaged. The o-rings were replaced with comparable o-rings and the assembly was reinstalled. During the subsequent test run, the engine operated smoothly with no noted anomalies. Examination of the o-rings revealed that the damage was consistent with the o-rings being pinched between the corner of the top o-ring groove and the fuel inlet surface during installation. It is probable that the right engine had a partial loss of engine power while on final approach to the runway due to the damaged o-ring and that the pilot retarded the engine power to prevent the airplane from rolling to the right. The investigation found no mechanical malfunction of the left engine that would have prevented the airplane from maintaining the published airspeed.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot did not maintain minimum controllable airspeed while on final approach with a partial loss of power in the right engine, which resulted in a loss of control. Contributing to the accident was the partial loss of engine power in the right engine due to the improperly installed o-rings in the engine’s throttle and control assembly.

 HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On April 10, 2011, about 1815 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 402B, N402RC, was substantially damaged when it impacted a house near Biddeford, Maine. The airline transport certificated pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was registered to My Plane, LLC, and operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulation 91 as a positioning flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed. The airplane had departed from West Chester County Airport (HPN), White Plains, New York, about 1630.

The flight originated at Portland International Airport (PWM), Portland, Maine earlier in the day, flew to Nantucket Memorial Airport (ACK), Nantucket, Massachusetts, and acquired 115.6 gallons of 100LL aviation fuel. Then picked up a passenger, flew to HPN, where the passenger disembarked, departed and the pilot was planning to land in PWM. According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Air Traffic Control transcripts, the pilot requested to change his destination to Biddeford Municipal Airport (B19), Biddeford, Maine. Radar data provided by the FAA Portland Air Traffic Control facility, revealed that the airplane overflew the south end of B19 at approximately 1,000 feet above mean sea level (msl), turned left, as if entering the left downwind leg of the airport traffic pattern. Then, approximately 2 miles from the approach end of runway 24, the airplane was observed, on radar, turning right about 250 degrees, and then a slight left turn in the direction of B19. The last radar data was recorded for the accident flight at 1804:29 and was in the vicinity of the accident location. The data indicated an altitude of 400 feet msl and a ground speed of 69 knots.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

According to FAA records, the pilot, age 71, held an Airline Transport pilot certificate with a rating for airplane multiengine land, commercial pilot privilege for airplane single-engine land, and a certificated flight instructor with ratings for airplane single-engine land, multiengine land, and instrument airplane. His most recent FAA second-class medical certificate was issued February 4, 2011, and at the time of the examination the pilot reported 5,010 total hours of flight experience. According to a resume provided to the pilot's employer in August 2010, the pilot reported 4,735 total hours of civilian flight time as well as military navigator flight time. The resume also indicated 120 flight hours in the accident aircraft make and model. At the time of this writing no pilot logbooks had been located.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

According to FAA records, the airplane was manufactured in 1977 and registered to the owner on October 18, 2000. It was equipped with two Continental Motors TSIO-520 series engines. The airplane's most recent annual inspection was dated on August 21, 2010. At the time of the inspection the reported aircraft total time was 6,624.5 time in service and a Hobbs time of 4,554.1 hours. At the time of the inspection the engines had 359.0 hours since overhaul. The most recent maintenance logbook entry was March 21, 2011, and indicated a Hobbs time of 4,567.2 hours. The Hobbs meter was not located in the wreckage.


METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The 1815 recorded weather observation at Sanford Regional Airport (SFM), Sanford, Maine, located approximately 16 miles to the southwest of the accident location, included wind from 150 degrees at 8 knots with gusts of 15 knots, the wind direction was variable from 100 degrees to 160 degrees, visibility 10 miles, clear skies, temperature 14 degrees C, dew point minus 2 degrees C; barometric altimeter 30.03 inches of mercury.

AIRPORT INFORMATION

The airport was equipped with a single runway oriented northeast to southwest and designated as 06/24. The runway was 3000-feet-long and 75-feet-wide, constructed of asphalt, was equipped with a 4-box visual approach slope indicator (VASI) on the left side of runway 6; however, no visual slope indicators were available to runway 24. The airport did not have an air traffic control tower. Communication was accomplished utilizing a common traffic advisory frequency; however, it was not recorded. The airport was served by two approaches to runway 6; however, runway 24 was the preferred calm wind runway.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane impacted four trees varying in diameter from 3.2 inches to 8.75 inches and at a height of approximately 25 feet. The airplane came to rest on the roof of a single story residence that was located approximately 1,491 feet to the northeast of the runway 24 threshold. A post crash fire ensued engulfing the airplane. The left wing was thermally damaged and the outboard section of the wing was located on top of the roof. The left engine was located inside the residence. The right wing and engine were visible above the roof line. The airplane nose section, cabin, and empennage sections were thermally damaged. Portions of all flight controls were located at the accident location.

Examination of the wreckage indicated that the right main landing gear remained attached to the right wing attach point, and was in the down and locked position. The left main and nose gear were separated from the airframe and located within the residence.

The left wing's leading edge exhibited impact damage and the diameter of the damage was similar in dimensions to the diameter of the trees that were initially impacted. The left aileron was consumed by post impact fire. The fuel caps were secured and in place. The fuel tank selector handle located in the cockpit was found in the auxiliary tank position and the fuel valve located in the wing was found between the main and auxiliary tank position. The fuel strainer and filter were thermally damaged and had an area of corrosion in the bottom of the strainer approximately 30 degrees of coverage.

The right wing's aileron was separated and in the vicinity of the right wing. The right wing's outboard section approximately 2 feet inside the main fuel tank, located at the wingtip, was fractured but remained attached to the wing structure. The right main fuel tank was impact damaged near the leading edge of the tank. The right fuel tank selector handle, which was located in the cockpit and the fuel valve located in the wing, were in the main fuel tank position. The fuel strainer was removed from the wing and contained aviation gasoline, the filter was free of debris. The fuel strainer was noted as having an area of corrosion located in the bottom of the strainer and was approximately 30 degrees of coverage and was similar in appearance as the left fuel strainer.

The wing flaps were found in the extended position and were verified by the flap motor chain position located under the cabin floor. Continuity was confirmed from the flap motor to the flap actuator. The right wing flap remained attached to the wing, the left wing flap mechanism remained attached; however, the flap skin was consumed by post impact fire.

The cockpit seats were separated and thermally damaged. Four of the five cabin seat frames remained attached to the cabin floor except for the most aft cabin seat which was located with portions of the flooring still attached to the seat feet.

Rudder continuity was confirmed from the rudder pedals to the rudder horn. The rudder counter weight was located in the wreckage in the vicinity of the empennage. Aileron continuity was confirmed from the cabin chain on the control columns to the aileron sector and then from the aileron sector to both ailerons bell cranks. The aileron sector was impact damaged in the positive direction. The aileron counter weights were located in the vicinity of the associated wing or attached to the wing. Elevator continuity was confirmed from the elevator horn to the swaged end of the cable. The right elevator counter weight remained attached; however, due to thermal damage the left counter weight could not be located.

The stall switch, located in the left wing, was removed and inspected; however, the internal mechanism was damaged and was found in the closed circuit position.

Left Engine

The engine and propeller assembly exhibited impact and thermal damage. The exhaust assembly including the turbocharger, controller, and wastegate assembly were separated from the engine and were located with the main wreckage. The wastegate actuator housing had extensive thermal damage and only the internal components were visible. The cylinders were thermal and impact damaged. The fuel system including the fuel manifold valve, fuel control, and lines had extensive thermal damage. The magnetos and ignition leads had thermal damage. The induction assembly had thermal damage. The induction elbows and air throttle assembly were not found during the inspection. The upper spark plugs were removed and had light gray to dark deposits. The cylinders were boroscoped and the combustion chambers were undamaged. The valves heads were undamaged and had normal thermal discoloration. The oil filler cap had thermal discoloration and damage. No oil was indicated on the engine oil dipstick.

Right Engine

The right engine remained partially attached with impact damage to the left aft mount leg. The engine was removed and the exhaust had impact damage. The exhaust wye-duct was torn and the left section remained attached to the impact damaged wing section. The propeller assembly had impact damage and was removed from the engine. The oil and fuel lines remained attached. The induction assembly was crushed and the No. 6 cylinder riser separated near the cylinder attachment. The fuel manifold valve was undamaged and disassembled. The diaphragm and retaining nut were undamaged and secure. The manifold valve cavity had fuel present and the screen was free of debris. The fuel control was undamaged and the linkages moved freely by hand. The fuel control inlet screen was removed and was free of debris. Approximately 2 ounces of fuel dripped from the fuel control inlet screen port. The upper spark plugs were removed and had light gray deposits. The cylinders were boroscoped and the combustion chambers were undamaged. The valve heads were undamaged and had normal thermal discoloration. The crankshaft was rotated by hand through the upper right accessory mount drive. Gear continuity was obtained to the crankshaft propeller flange and magneto drives. Compression was obtained from each cylinder. The ignition leads were undamaged and spark was obtained from the spark plug connections. The oil filler cap was undamaged and no oil was indicated on the engine oil dipstick.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the pilot on April 11, 2011, by the Office of Chief Medical Examiner, Augusta, Maine. The autopsy listed the cause of death as "smoke inhalation and thermal burns."

The FAA's Civil Aerospace Medical Institute performed forensic toxicology on specimens from the pilot. The report stated 12 percent carbon monoxide, no cyanide or ethanol was detected in the blood, and Quinine was detected in the blood.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Engine Examination

The engines were sent to the Continental Motors facility in Mobile, Alabama manufacturers facility for examination. It was determined that the left engine exhibited thermal damage and was unable to be placed on a test stand and ran. The left engine was disassembled and no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures were found that would have precluded normal operation.

The right engine was examined and mounted on an engine test stand, and a test club propeller was installed. Approximately 20 minutes into the test the engine sustained a partial loss of power. Utilization of the manual primer restored engine power; however, when the primer was not used the engine would incur a partial power loss. No leaks were noted and the engine was shut down. The engine driven fuel pump was removed and placed on a test bench; the test results indicated that when compared to normal tolerance allowed by a new pump the accident airplane's pump would produce adequate to high pressure. The accident pump was reinstalled. The engine was restarted and subsequently backfired and sustained a partial loss of power. The engine was shut down and fuel was utilized from a temporary fuel tank; however, during operation the engine continued to sustain a partial power loss. The fuel screen was examined and free of contaminants. The throttle body assembly was removed and a replacement assembly was attached. The engine was started and operated smoothly at various power settings and was subjected to several rapid accelerations and decelerations. The engine responded to the power changes smoothly and without any noticeable delay.

Right Engine Throttle and Control Assembly

The Throttle and Control Assembly was examined and no noticeable malfunctions were noted. The unit was placed on a test stand, tested, and was classified as a "failed test." The unit was disassembled revealing the four o-rings on the cam, inside the unit. The cam was determined to be a -11 and according to manufacturers guidance should have been a -8 unit. The o-rings were examined and two of the o-rings had noticeable "flat spots" around the outer circumference. The o-rings were retained and sent to the NTSB's Materials Laboratory. Four new o-rings were installed; the unit was reassembled, and reattached to the accident engine for another test run. The engine started and idled smoothly with no noticeable malfunctions, accelerated to numerous power settings, including full power, with no noticeable indication of power loss. The engine was further subjected to several decelerations and accelerations and performed smoothly without hesitations.

Propellers

The propellers were removed from the engine and shipped to McCauley Propeller Systems the manufacturers facility for examination. The examination took place on July 12, 2011 at the propeller manufacturers facility in Wichita, Kansas and Federal oversight was provided by an inspector with the FAA. The examination revealed that propeller damage was consistent with impact damage and no evidence was noted of any indications of propeller failure prior to impact. Both propellers had evidence of rotation at the time of impact and were being operated under conditions of low power. Impact signature markings indicated that both propellers were operating at or near the low pitch position at the time of impact, and the feather stop mechanisms were undamaged. Blade bending, twisting, and damage on both propellers were consistent with low power at impact.

O-Rings

The two o-rings from the right engine throttle and control assembly were sent to the NTSB's Materials Laboratory in Washington, D.C. for further examination. Both o-rings were examined utilizing a stereomicroscope. One o-ring had two semi-circular cuts; however, no material was missing from the damaged area and no mechanism was identified that could have caused the damage. The other o-ring was damaged in two areas of the outer diameter, material was missing from the damaged areas and the damage was consistent with the o-ring being pinched between the corner of the top o-ring groove and the fuel inlet surface during installation. For more information, the Materials Laboratory Report is located in the docket for this accident.

According to a right engine log book entry dated 02/16/04, several engine accessories were exchanged for remanufactured units; however, no reference to the Throttle and Control Assembly being changed was found in the logbook. According to the Authorized Certificate Release form the throttle controller unit was overhauled on 02/04/04. Based on the information from the last airframe logbook entry, the right engine Throttle and Control Assembly had accumulated more than 372.1 flight hours.

Pilot's Operating Handbook

According to Pilot's Operating Handbook (POH) and FAA Approved Airplane Flight Manual (AFM), Section 4, Normal Procedures "Before Landing" checklist for the accident airplane model states in part "…Wing Flaps – Down 45° below 140 KIAS [knots indicated airspeed]… Minimum Multi-Engine Approach Speed – 95 KIAS at 6200 pounds … Air Minimum Control Speed – 82 KIAS."

According to the POH/AFM, Section 5 "Performance" the lowest aircraft weight provided by the "Normal Landing Distance" chart was 4300 pounds and a "Speed at 50-Foot Obstacle" was 79 KIAS.

Pilots Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge (FAA-H-8083-25)

According to the Pilots Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge (FAA-H-8083-25), minimum control speed (Vmc) is defined as "the minimum flight speed at which a light, twin-engine airplane can be satisfactorily controlled when an engine suddenly becomes inoperative and the remaining engine is at takeoff power."

Airplane Flying Handbook (FAA-H-8083-3A)

The Airplane Flying Handbook (FAA-H-8083-3A), Chapter 12 "Transition to Multiengine Airplanes", states in part "If an engine fails below Vmc while airborne, directional control is not possible with the remaining engine producing takeoff power…the final approach should be made with power and at a speed recommended by the manufacturer…but in no case less than critical engine-out minimum control speed (Vmc)…"

UPS Airlines calls Federal Aviation Administration claims 'unwarranted'

The Federal Aviation Administration is proposing a $4 million fine for Louisville-based UPS Airlines for alleged violations of safety regulations.

But UPS Airlines, a division of Atlanta-based United Parcel Service Inc. plans to challenge the FAA findings.

The alleged violations date to 2008 and 2009, when UPS Airlines is accused of operating four cargo aircraft that were not in compliance with federal aviation regulations.

A news release from the FAA said UPS “failed to follow FAA-approved procedures for making structural repairs” for two DC-8 and two MD-11 aircraft. The planes were used for more than 400 flights between October 2008 and June 2009, the FAA said in its release.

“These violations stem from UPS’s failure to fully comply with the terms of a consent agreement in which the carrier agreed to inspect all aircraft in its fleet and compare actual repairs with maintenance records,” the FAA release said. “This would have ensured the four aircraft were in compliance with the regulations.”


Read more here:  http://www.bizjournals.com

Weekend incidents keep airport busy: Laughlin/Bullhead International (KIFP), Bullhead City, Arizona

Terminal evacuated for unattended backpack day before plane crashes

By NEIL YOUNG/The Daily News

Published: Thursday, April 25, 2013 1:49 AM MDT

BULLHEAD CITY — Last Friday and Saturday were unusual days for the Laughlin/Bullhead International Airport. There was a plane crash Saturday, after the pilot killed himself with a gunshot wound to the head before his single-engine plane plunged to the ground near the runway.

Previously — on Friday — the airport’s main terminal was evacuated for approximately 45 minutes due to a backpack found on the sidewalk, reported Airport Director David Gaines at Wednesday’s Mohave County Airport Authority board meeting.

“A very observant airport tenant employee saw it and reported it to a law enforcement officer on duty out here, whereupon we initiated our evacuation procedures,” Gaines said.

Bullhead City Police sent their bomb robot to the scene.

“A flight had been processed (but) they were in the other terminal building and were not at any risk,” Gaines said.

The backpack’s owner “realized it was missing and came back for it,” he said.

“In both situations, the aircraft crash and the evacuation, the response from all emergency responders, whether it was airport or from city PD, Bullhead Fire, other agencies, including the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration), everything worked like it’s supposed to work,” Gaines said.

The plane crashed between the runway and the parallel taxiway. If the plane had crashed on the runway, airport operations would have been at a standstill, he said. “The crash scene didn’t create a problem for some aircraft operations. So we were able to get our scheduled charter flights out. We were able to get some general aviation aircraft out who needed to leave.”

FAA investigators came from Las Vegas within two hours of notification, Gaines said. Within seven hours after the crash, “the recovery team from the FAA had removed the plane from the airport. I thought that was pretty amazing that in about (seven) hours, from discovery to site cleanup, everything was done.”

Regarding the airport’s legal action to prevent the closure of its contract control tower, “the initial notice to federal court was filed on Monday. And then we will have another petition that will be filed following this one,” Gaines said. “The initial filing is on our own, but the federal courts have consolidated all the lawsuits right now.” The lawsuits will be heard in the Ninth Circuit court.

The MCAA board has authorized an expenditure up to $25,000 for legal action against the FAA.

Source:  http://www.mohavedailynews.com

Lehigh Valley International Airport (KABE) announces first air show act

HANOVER TWP., Pa. -

The Lehigh Valley International Airport has announced the first act for its first air show in 15 years.

The Misty Blues All Woman Skydiving Team will be descending on the Lehigh Valley Air Show from 4,000 feet in the sky.

The team has been participating in airshows since the 1980s, displaying parachuting talents that make them some of the most skilled skydivers in the world.

The airport authority is resurrecting the air show in an effort to lure people back to the financially struggling airport.

Authority officials anticipate the show will generate more a profit of more than $30,000 for the airport.

The last time LVIA hosted an air show was 1997. This year's event will run Aug. 24 and 25.


Source:  http://www.wfmz.com

Man arrested for having loaded handgun in carry-on at Atlantic City International Airport (KACY), New Jersey

NBC40.net 

EGG HARBOR TWP. - A Pennsylvania man was arrested for having a gun in his luggage Tuesday night at Atlantic City International Airport. 

Just before 7 p.m., 67 year-old Edward Morgan of Media, Pennsylvania was arrested and charged with unlawful possession of a weapon at the airport.  His loaded, small caliber, semi–automatic hand gun was found in his check–in luggage at the security check point.

He was arrested and released pending court.

Story and Video:  http://www.nbc40.net

Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport (KYNG) considers oil country charter flights

April 25, 2013

By BRENDA J. LINERT, Tribune Chronicle

    

VIENNA - Airport officials are working to start offering regular charter flights to Houston to service the oil and gas industry.

"There are several companies that are based in Houston who have expressed interest in that, and we hopefully can secure that shuttle service," Youngstown Warren Regional Airport director of aviation Dan Dickten said Wednesday.

Dickten said he is working to facilitate the shuttles possibly with Republic Airlines, doing business as Frontier, which began serving the local airport in January with casino junket flights. Dickten said a conference call was held on the topic just this week.

Dickten said charter service is the most likely way to start such a program and noted similar methods were used at Williamsport and Wilkes-Barre-Scranton, Pa., airports, the heart of the Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling industry, before the airlines decided to add permanent flights there.

"We will try to work with the airlines for some kind of scheduled charter service, low frequency," Dickten said. "Realistically, that is how that works."

Dickten's announcement to the Port Authority board was accompanied by another announcement that after courting United Airlines for more than two years in the hopes of bringing daily passenger service to the local airport, the carrier said it has decided against providing regular flights here.

"We thought we had made a very good case with United," Dickten said. Still, he said he feels strongly about other continuing talks with American Airlines about potential daily service between the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport and Chicago O'Hare.

On the topic of cargo transportation, Dickten reported that the local airport has been having "meaningful on-going discussions" with UPS about a possible air freight feeder operation at the Vienna location. In addition, the airport has heard from Ireland-based Shamrock Airways about the possibility of creating an international air cargo distribution hub here. The proposed operation would initially consist of two or three weekly trans-Atlantic flights using DC-9, DC-8 or B-727 aircraft.


Source:  http://www.tribtoday.com

Port approves new three-year contract with aviation director: Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport (KYNG), Ohio

Published: Thu, April 25, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

By Ed Runyan, Vindy.com 

 VIENNA, OHIO -  The Western Reserve Port Authority has authorized a new three-year contract with its director of aviation, Dan Dickten, that pays him $90,000 the first two years and $92,700 the third year.

Though three of the eight board members voted against the raise, none of the three would discuss the reason why, saying they would let chairman Scott Lynn speak for the entire board.

Lynn said the ‘no’ votes were because some members felt three years was too long.

“Some board members wanted one year, two years. For most of us, a one-year term didn’t seem like an option. I feel like he’s done a good job, and he’s earned a three-year contract.”

Lynn said Dickten has worked hard and passionately on behalf of the airport, drastically increasing parking revenue, negotiating improved leases with companies operating at the airport and helping to increase the number of passengers at the airport 15 percent to 20 percent per year.

Dickten’s initial three-year contract, which expired Saturday, paid him $75,000 annually.

Lynn said Dickten’s new salary was determined by looking at what other airport managers earn, and whose airports have a similar number of passengers. The average was around $96,500, Lynn said.

“As a board we were not looking at it as a raise. We were looking at it as bringing him up to industry standards,” Lynn said.

While negotiating the contract, port members discussed it with commissioners from Trumbull and Mahoning counties and found them OK with it, Lynn said.

Last July, the port authority approved a one-time $7,500 bonus to Dickten for his extra work on a $3.7 million bond projected he headed up and other things, but Dickten refused the bonus after Trumbull County Commissioner Paul Heltzel protested, saying the bonus sent a bad message to Trumbull County employees who have received a wage freeze for several years.

“We were successful in pulling the airport out of the so-called black hole, but there are still a lot of things to do,” Dickten said after the vote.

He said the airport won’t live up to its full capabilities until daily air service is returned.

“It’s an uphill battle, but it looks like we have some good traction with a couple airlines and we’re going to continue that and pursue and add leisure airlines and service with Allegiant,” Dickten said.

Meanwhile, the board plans to talk about what to do about the contract of the port authority’s executive director, Rose Ann DeLeon, at next month’s meeting, Lynn said.

Her six-month contract expires June 6.

“I can’t speak for the board, but I’d like to see her back,” Lynn said.


Source:   http://www.vindy.com

Runway shortened at Sawyer International Airport (KSAW), Marquette, Michigan

Marquette County Board takes action after Federal Aviation Administration reduces maintenance funds

April 24, 2013
By JOHN PEPIN, The Mining Journal
      

MARQUETTE - The Marquette County Board voted unanimously Tuesday to back a plan to shorten the runway at Sawyer International Airport by 3,366 feet, increase the fee for lost airport parking tickets and approve a $2,000 grant to offset the cost of federally-required airport training exercises.

Under a plan recommended by airport officials, the length of the 150-foot-wide runway will be reduced from 12,366 feet to 9,000 feet and the length of an adjacent taxiway will also be shortened. Airport officials hope to keep the runway at its current length through 2016, while funding is sought to renovate the remaining portions of the runway before closing the north end.

"It's a good plan," county board Chairman Gerald Corkin said.

An estimated $870,000 from Airport Improvement Program and Passenger Facility Charge funding will be used to pay for moving navigational aids, repainting the runway and completing other work involved in shortening the runway.

"In 2011, the FAA informed Sawyer International Airport that federal funding would no longer support repair or construction on the north 3,366 feet of the runway, including the north section of Taxiway A," said Sawyer Operations Manager Steve Schenden in a recent memo. "The county could continue to operate the full length of the runway, but all repair and construction costs would have to be funded by Sawyer International Airport for the section of runway proposed to be closed."

Sawyer International Airport Manager Duane DuRay said the airport will still be able to comfortably accommodate "just about any commercial aircraft that would ever consider flying into Sawyer."

Closing the north part of the runway and taxiway would be expected to cut maintenance costs by $15,000 to $20,000 each year. The north and south ends of the runway are concrete, the center section is asphalt 30 years old.

The Airport Advisory Committee concurred with the airport staff recommendation to begin the process of closing the north end of the runway now.

Airport officials have asked the Michigan Department of Transportation about the possibility of using money from a potential $1.5 million state grant, for other necessary projects at the airport. Sawyer officials have received preliminary approval for $220,000 to repair and upgrade fire suppression and fire alarm systems in three buildings currently leased by American Eagle.

"The project would increase safety for American Eagle workers and add to the value of those buildings as a maintenance, repair and overhaul facility for an airline," Schenden said. "The project would require a 10 percent match, which would come from the airport's stabilization fund."

The county board approved a staff recommendation to increase the lost ticket fee for parking at the airport from $35 to $50. The Airport Advisory Committee supported the hike, which was designed to help stop people from potentially "gaming the system" at the airport.

Lost ticket charges are reimbursed if a lost ticket charge receipt and travel itinerary are provided, showing travelers had a vehicle parked in the airport lot for less than seven days.

"Records indicate there has been an increase in lost ticket transactions and staff feel many of these transactions are from customers who have been in the parking lot longer than the seven days a lost ticket represents," Schenden said. "There are typically 10 to 15 lost ticket transactions per month.

"With the increase in lost ticket transactions, staff have not seen an increase in request for reimbursements, leading to the belief that some customers are taking advantage of the system."

The board also voted to authorize receiving a $2,000 Michigan Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Grant designed to offset in-house costs for annual training excercises required by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The grant will reduce Sawyer's $5,300 direct expense by 38 percent.

Story and Photos:   http://www.miningjournal.net