Sunday, May 12, 2013

Columbia, Missouri: Man injured in parachute glider crash

COLUMBIA — A Columbia man was in serious condition Sunday evening after crashing a small aircraft in southern Boone County.

The 43-year-old man fell about 60 feet after the lines of the parachute glider he was flying became tangled, said Battalion Chief Gale Blomenkamp of the Boone County Fire Protection District.

Emergency crews responded to 9031 Tomlin Road in southern Boone County shortly before 5:30 p.m. for the report of the crash.

When responders arrived at the field, the man was alert and conscious and was taken by ambulance to University Hospital, Blomenkamp said. The man landed on his right side, possibly sustaining a broken pelvis and fractured right femur.

The man was training on the aircraft at the time of the crash, Blomenkamp said. These types of aircraft are not regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration.


Ontario, Canada: Police guarding hangar at Waterloo airport in relation to missing Hamilton man case

The Millard Hanger sits at end of Jetliner Court on the north-west corner of Waterloo airport 

 The search for a Hamilton man missing for almost a week has taken police officers to a hangar at the Region of Waterloo International Airport. 

 Tim Bosma, 32, vanished Monday night after leaving his Hamilton home with a pair of men who responded to an online ad for his black 2007 Dodge Ram pickup. Bosma told his wife he was going with the men for a test drive and that he would be right back.

On Saturday, Hamilton police announced that they had arrested a suspect. Toronto resident Dellen Millard, 27, is charged with forcible confinement and theft over $5,000.

According to multiple media reports, Millard’s family founded Millard Air in the 1950s with 20 aircraft. The chartered airline once operated out of Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. According to Canadian Skies, an aviation magazine, the airline moved their base to the Region of Waterloo International Airport in 2012 after its lease at Pearson expired. Millard Air owns a 50,000 square foot facility at the Waterloo airport, according to the magazine.

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Aviation buffs have plenty to see in Washington and Oregon

A Curtiss P-40N warplane of World War II vintage is at the Museum of Flight. 
(John Gottberg Anderson)

EVERETT, Wash. — The world’s single largest building is located in this northern suburb of Seattle. And yet, if you didn’t make an effort to visit Paine Field, you might never know it was there. 

This structure is no high rise. It is 2.2 miles from one end to the other, sprawling across more than 98 acres. Thirty thousand men and women work here, churning out 747 jetliners — as well as 767s, 777s and 787s — on a nonstop assembly line.

Although Boeing company headquarters are now in Chicago, greater Seattle is still its manufacturing hub, with more than 75,000 employees in the Puget Sound area. And five separate air museums, one of which offers tours of the assembly plant, draw more than 200,000 visitors each year.

William Boeing’s original 1916 manufacturing facility, known as the “Red Barn,” stands beside Boeing Field as the cornerstone of the exquisite Museum of Flight in south Seattle. The museum’s Restoration Center is at Everett’s Paine Field, keeping close company with the Historic Flight Foundation and Paul Allen’s Flying Heritage Collection.

Just across their runways is the Future of Flight Aviation Center, from which tours of the massive Boeing 747 plant are offered six times daily.

These are not the only flight museums in the Northwest — far from it. The impressive Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum, housing Howard Hughes’ gigantic Spruce Goose, is in McMinnville.

Also in Oregon are the Tillamook Air Museum and the Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum in Hood River.

Others in the region include the Pearson Air Museum in Vancouver, Wash., and the Warhawk Air Museum in Nampa, Idaho.

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Kolkata flights make emergency landing in Bhubaneswar, India

BHUBANESWAR: As many as five persons - three passengers and two crew members - sustained serious injuries after three Kolkata-bound flights made an emergency landing here at BijuPatnaik airport on Sunday evening due to turbulent weather, sources said. The flights ran out of fuel as they had to hover over Kolkata airport for nearly 20 minutes struggling to land in extremely bad weather.

After touching down at the airport here, the injured passengers were taken to hospital for treatment. The injury was caused due to unexpected jerks while landing. Some crew members of the flights vomited due to suffocation. Bhubaneswar airport authorities have begun emergency operations.

"Two Indigo airlines flights from Raipur to Kolkata and Bangalore to Kolkata and an Air India flight from Agartala to Kolkata sought emergency landing at the airport here due to inclement weather in Kolkata. Both the flights had to hover over the Kolkata airport for nearly 20 minutes and then sought permission of Bhubaneswar air traffic control (ATC) for emergency landing," said airport director Sharad Kumar. Passengers with minor injuries were given first aid and two persons sustaining serious injuries were shifted to a hospital by ambulance, he said.


Ontario, Oregon: Warbirds to find new homes -- Roger Smith recounts fond memories of Merle Maine’s warbirds

ONTARIO, OREGON — They have been a fixture at Ontario Municipal Airport for a number of years, and at the Ontario Air Faire, but with the passing of Merle Maine in March, at the age of 81, his “Warbirds” are now being dispersed to museums, collectors and others, and their presence at Ontario is now short-term.

“He had quite a collection,” said longtime friend Roger Smith. “It was a big part of the Air Faire,” Smith said, adding that Maine always had a crew out before the fair to wash the planes.

“We were always looking for planes,” said Smith, who often flew with Maine.

One of Maine’s favorite planes was the Tigercat, Smith said, which was in pieces when the two picked it up in California and it had no engines or propellers. When Maine had the plane all put together in four years, it was like new, Smith said, and is worth $1.5 million to $2.5 million.

Maine brought in his first plane, a T-28, in the 1970s. He started buying jets in 1995 and eventually had 14 different models, including planes built in Australia, three Russian-built MiGs and nine U.S.-built planes. Ironically, a prohibition on buying U.S. military planes kept Maine from buying U.S. military planes directly, but he found others ways to obtain them.

He bought A-4s Skyhawks from the Thailand Air Force and another plane that had been surplus by its builder, General Dynamics, and was never owned by the government.

Like the Tigercat, most of those planes were rebuilt from parts that Maine was able to obtain. Smith said Maine had a hangar full of airplane parts.

Maine was a longtime Ontario businessman, operating Ontario Asphalt and Concrete, and acquiring Oregon Concrete, Blankinships Auto Parts and was the fixed-base operator at the airport for a time.

By previous arrangements, one the planes is now located at the Warhawk Museum in Nampa and another was donated to a museum in Rexberg, Smith said.

A third jet is to be trucked to a retired military pilot, who flew combat missions in the Korean War, and ended his flying career as a commercial airline pilot, flying 747s, Smith said. That person owns a private airport in New York.

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Emirates defends no staff bonus, despite huge profit

Emirates Airline has defended its decision not to award staff their annual bonus for the second consecutive year, claiming the 52 percent increase in profits was insufficient.

The Dubai-based carrier – one of the largest in the world by passenger numbers – made AED3.1bn ($622m) profit during 2011-12, which was one of the best results of any comparable international airline.

At the same time, Emirates Group – of which the airline is a subsidiary - posted a 34 percent increase in profits to $845m.

However, the airline said its profit target was not achieved.

While the increase was significant, the profit was still lower than 2009-10 when the airline reached $703m.

Announcing the 2010-11 results last year, it blamed a skyrocketing fuel bill (up 44.4 percent to $6.6bn) for the 72.1 percent slump in profit to $409m.

The below-bar result in2011-12 means bonuses will not be paid to about 60,000 Emirates’ staff, who are generally paid a low base wage that is topped up with benefits such as a flying allowance for cabin crew, free or subsidized housing and significant ticket discounts.

“The Emirates Group provides staff with a bonus based on the group’s financial performance. A profit target is set each year and needs to be met before bonuses are paid,” an Emirates spokesperson said in a statement provided to Arabian Business.

“Although the Emirates Group posted a AED3.1 billion net profit for the 2011/12 financial year, unfortunately, in the face of very challenging economic conditions, our profit target was not reached.

“Therefore, staff, whom we know continue to work very hard, will not receive a bonus on this occasion. They will, however, continue to enjoy the generous benefits package offered to all staff of the Emirates Group.”


Coast Guard seeks public's help to end hoax distress calls


  The Coast Guard is asking for the public's help in finding the person responsible for making four fake distress calls. The most recent call came in on Friday, and resulted in a five-and-a-half hour search involving multiple air and boat crews from three states.

MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - The Coast Guard is asking for the public’s help in finding the person who made four fake distress calls. 

 The latest one resulted in a five-and-a-half hour search on Friday, May 10.

Chief Petty Officer Brenda Doris said when a call comes into the Coast Guard the agency always responds.

"Generally we have our surface asset and our air asset for support," Doris said.

That's what happened around 9 a.m. Friday when a call came in on Channel 16.

"Mayday, Mayday, Mayday. My boat is on fire. Two people in the water, and I'm about to jump," the caller said.

Doris said multiple air and boat crews from three states were sent to an area south of Horn Island.

Searchers found no evidence of the boat, people, or even fuel in the water.

New technology tells the Coast Guard where the call is coming from.

"But, we also take into account where they said they were, so obviously you have two vastly different corresponding locations to the case, so you search both areas," Doris explained. "When it's a fake call, obviously we waste a lot of taxpayer money so it's very concerning."

The Coast Guard believes it's not the first time the same person has called in a hoax.

One was recorded on May 2, 2013.

"We're on the east end of Horn Island. I got five people on board. We're taking on a lot of water," the caller said.

The fake calls are not only a problem for the Coast Guard, but they could affect others.

"We are continually wasting resources when they could be utilized somewhere else, and possibly delay response to someone else who is in distress, which is a pretty important point to make. Also it is a felony," Doris said.

Anyone with information on the phony distress calls is asked to call the Coast Guard at (251) 441-6213.

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Editorial: Trenton-Mercer Airport (KTTN) experiences some understandable growing pains with Frontier expansion

By Times of Trenton Editorial Board
on May 12, 2013 at 6:32 AM, updated May 12, 2013 at 6:33 AM

Who could have anticipated a year ago that traffic — in the air and on the ground — would be an issue at little Trenton-Mercer Airport?

In that time, Frontier Airlines and its plan to establish the airport in Ewing as its East Coast hub have invigorated the long-dormant facility. Hailed as an economic stimulus for the region and a convenience for travelers in the Mercer region, the rapid growth also has presented some challenges.

The debacle of sequestration was expected to shut down the airport’s control tower next month, but county Executive Brian Hughes said last week federal appropriations are expected to keep it staffed and operating.

Confusion over parking is emerging as another issue, resulting in a significant number of tickets greeting Frontier passengers on their return to the airport.

There are enough parking spaces at the airport to accommodate passengers — three remote lots offer 440 spots, in addition to 870 that are within walking distance of the passenger terminal. Though the county has installed signs and notices directing drivers to those lots, and a shuttle transports passengers to the terminal, ticket writers are still busy.

We’d suggest amplifying those directional efforts until passengers get used to the layout and parking regulations. Perhaps instead of issuing tickets, warnings could be issued for a grace period, say until the end of June, to reinforce the rules as well as recognizing that many drivers are using the airport for the first time.

As service and ticket sales expand, we hope the county will continue to refrain from charging for parking. In addition to the short lines and easy access, free parking is one of the airport’s major draws. While parking fees may be appropriate in the future, for the time being it’s best to nurture growth with a minimum of restrictions.

That philosophy seems to be at odds with a group of Lower Makefield, Pa., residents who object to the noise of departing flights. The group known as Bucks Residents for Responsible Airport Management is seeking a federal order that Mercer County conduct an environmental review of the airport operations.

The airport, which has been in operation for more than 80 years, should be no surprise to the Bucks homeowners who live across the river from the facility. And an average five flights a day hardly constitutes the flood of activity characterized by the attorney retained by the residents.

The bottom line is that the Trenton-Mercer Airport is a work in progress. As such, growing pains are to be expected. And it would be premature to cut back on that growth until it has a chance to develop


Security a concern as leaders review police presence at Charlotte/Douglas International Airport (KCLT), Charlotte, North Carolina



City leaders told Eyewitness News the police presence at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport could be reduced.

Charlotte City Manager Ron Carlee said Saturday he's reviewing the role of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department at the airport. City Council voted last year to switch out airport-run security officers with CMPD officers.

It was a move that boosted costs at the airport and one of the big reasons lawmakers said they wanted to take away control of the airport from the city and give it to a regional authority.

As visitors make their way through the busy baggage claim at Charlotte-Douglas, one concern is at the top of their mind.
"I just think safety is the number one thing," said Tina Yount.

Another traveler from Oregon, Blyson Black said, "Security is the number one issue."

After city leaders were shocked by a study recommending an authority run Charlotte-Douglas, they're now looking to Carlee for their next move. He's reviewing how the city runs the airport, including how many officers are there and how much it costs -- all in hopes to keep the airport in the city's hands.

"I see no reason why most if not all of the benefits perceived to be derived from an authority cannot be achieved as a city department," Carlee said.

The city manager said he will be speaking further with airport director Jerry Orr and Police Chief Rodney Monroe about security specifics. He also revealed he plans to reach out to successful city-run airports, like Chicago's O'Hare.

"I'm not willing to do anything that would endanger the public," Charlotte City Councilman Michael Barnes said. Rising security costs are paid for by airport tenants like US Airways and Barnes said he believes the costs are necessary when it comes to the safety of visitors to Charlotte-Douglas.

"If you are asking me if I would be willing to have a dangerous security situation in order to keep costs down then the answer would be no," Barnes said.

Barnes said while the city may scale back officer shifts, it won't remove officers just to reduce cost. Visitors to Charlotte-Douglas are taking notice.

"You need more security at the airport with everything that has been going on," Yount said.

Carlee said he will soon be speaking with state lawmakers about the issue. As for when the review will be presented to council, Carlee said it's "in development."

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