Monday, May 27, 2013

Helipad Hearing: Florham Park, Morris County, New Jersey

Jets training facility in Florham Park.
Photo Credit Vadim Rud

 Helipad Hearing:   An application to construct a helipad at 1 Jets Drive in Florham Park was adjourned earlier this month until the Florham Park Planning Board's Thursday meeting. The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. in the Florham Park Municipal Building, 111 Ridgedale Ave. Hundreds of neighbors in Madison are petitioning to stop the project.


Japanese pilots tell Boeing to disclose more on Dreamliner cures

The Air Line Pilots’ Association of Japan on Monday urged Boeing Co. to disclose more information on how the U.S. aviation giant dealt with the 787 Dreamliner’s battery problems.

The association said that it has no access to detailed information on the remedies nor on the progress being made with the investigation into what caused the combustion problems. It said that the safety of the advanced aircraft should be examined more carefully.

“Frankly, we do not have enough information that enables us to declare whether we are for or against the resumption” of 787 flights, Hiroaki Tateno, president of the association and a captain at Japan Airlines Co., said at a press conference in Tokyo.

The association also expressed concern that Boeing may be trying to play down the importance of the batteries, made by Japan’s GS Yuasa, by emphasizing that they play a limited role and are not flight-critical.

Boeing’s approach seems to focus on containment. It said its comprehensive solution to the lithium-ion battery problem has eliminated all fire risks and will prevent a fire from spreading to any of the other cells in the battery should one occur. But no one has declared what caused the combustion incidents in the first place.

The association is “concerned about whether there will really be no adverse impact on other systems of the airplane if the battery goes wrong,” said Koichi Takamoto, the technical adviser of the group.

Given Boeing’s claims about the minor role played by the batteries, the association called on the plane maker to conduct test flights without the lithium-ion batteries to prove its solutions are effective.

Regulators worldwide grounded the 787 after one operated by All Nippon Airways Co. made an emergency landing Jan. 16 at an airport in Shikoku because the battery produced smoke.

On April 26, U.S. and Japanese aviation authorities gave the green light to resume 787 flights after Boeing modified the battery system. ANA completed its first commercial flight using the jet on Sunday, while Ethiopian Airlines and United Airlines have also resumed Dreamliner operations.

Plane makes unscheduled landing in Smith County, Texas


SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) -  Smith County emergency crews are responding to a plane that made an unscheduled landing in Smith County.

According to officials, the plane made an unscheduled landing near Oscar Burkett Road in southern Smith County.  After the plane suffered from mechanical issues, the pilot was able to land the aircraft in a freshly-cut pasture. 

There was no damage to the aircraft or the property.

Federal Aviation Administration has been notified of the incident.

An unscheduled landing occurs when a pilot makes a landing at a time and a place that they didn't intend to. 

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Possible plane crash reported  

Posted 1:33 pm  Monday, May 27, 2013

Emergency crews are searching areas around Whitehouse for a possibly downed aircraft.

According to information from scanner traffic comments from Department of Public Safety officials, the pilot of a Beechcraft Bonanza reported having unspecified trouble about 7 miles southeast of Tyler Pounds Regional Airport and did not know if he could make it to the airport.

All contact with the pilot was lost shortly after, however, there has been no confirmation of a plane crash at the this time.

Kolb Firestar: Accident occurred May 27, 2013 in Fountain Inn, South Carolina

FOUNTAIN INN, SC (FOX Carolina) - Firefighters were on the scene in Fountain Inn after a plane crash Monday afternoon.

Witnesses said the plane was trying to take off from the field shortly before the crash. 

Neighbors said they were sitting outside, enjoying the holiday, when they heard the engine rev and watched the small plane take off.

They thought there was a problem, though, when they saw the plane fly almost sideways, toward trees. They said they jumped up and ran toward the field behind their house and heard the one-seater plane crumple to the ground.

Two men said they ran toward the plane while another called 911.

They carefully pulled the pilot out of the wreckage to get him away from spilled gasoline.

Emergency responders said the man was alert and conscious when they arrived, and he was taken Greenville Memorial Hospital.

The man's family said that both of his legs were badly broken, and he suffered injuries to his face. 

Victim identified in skydiving accident

One person is dead after a Sunday accident in Waynesville. 

The Warren County Sheriff’s office said there was one fatality after the late afternoon incident at the Holly Hills golf course. 

The Montgomery County Coroner’s office identified the victim as Clifford Schmucker, 58, of Lebanon.

He was taken to Miami Valley Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. 

Rick May, an investigator at the coroner’s office, said there apparently was a mid-air collision, but he did not have details and has not completed an autopsy. 

He said Schmucker’s emergency parachute opened after the collision. One other person was involved but there was no information on that person’s condition. 

WAYNE TOWNSHIP, Ohio —A skydiver has died after a midair accident during a weekend jump.

Wayne Township police said two skydivers collided in midair. After the collision, one person fell to the ground and was knocked unconscious.

A Warren County sheriff's deputy confirmed Monday morning that the skydiver had died. The victim's name was not released.

Warren County dispatchers received the first call about the accident at about 7:10 p.m. Sunday. They responded to the Waynesville Airport in the 4900 block of U.S. Route 42 in Wayne Township.

Police did not say whether the victim’s parachute was already deployed.

A medical helicopter transported the victim to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton.

The accident happened a day after an 87-year-old great-grandfather successfully went skydiving at the same airport to raise money for his sick 11-month-old great-grandson.

WAYNE TOWNSHIP, Ohio - A person died after a skydiving accident in Warren County.

Authorities report an accident occurred at approximately 7:08 p.m. Sunday evening near the Waynesville Airport in Wayne Township.

Emergency responders were called to 4966 U.S. 42 where a person was found in the Holly Hills Golf Club golf course after skydiving.

Warren County Sheriff’s officers have not released the original condition of the victim or identity, but confirmed a person was transported to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, Ohio by medical helicopter where they were pronounced dead.

9 On Your Side will update this story when more information becomes available.

U.S. Forest Service drops plans to use drones in Montana, north Idaho

By ROB CHANEY Missoulian

MISSOULA — The U.S. Forest Service says it has no drone aircraft, but plenty of other people have little UFOs buzzing over the trees in Western Montana.

Last week, Forest Service officials said they’ve dropped plans to use unmanned aerial systems — commonly known as drones — to survey forest fires because of clashes with Federal Aviation Administration rules. While some national forest firefighters in Alaska touted the remote-control planes’ ability to map forest fires in thick smoke, their legality proved a limitation.

“Getting FAA approval to fly one is a lengthy process,” Forest Service Northern Region spokesman Phil Sammon said Friday. “It takes too long to make it practical for a two- or three-week occurrence.”

FAA rules require a drone in U.S. airspace to be in visual range of its pilot at all times. That sets up a Catch-22 problem where if you want to remote-control fly a drone into a smoke column too thick for human pilots to see through, you must still send up a human pilot to keep an eye on the drone.

Sammon said the agency has used aerial surveys in the past for forest health studies, as well as fire mapping and spotting. But those activities required long hours of flight time, which even the best non-military drones can’t manage. Traditional pilots in traditional planes got those jobs.

Some have speculated drones are used to find marijuana farms hidden in forest stands. Sammon said he knew of no such activity, although he admitted if Forest Service law enforcement officials were doing so, they weren’t saying anything about it.

Missoula County sheriff’s spokeswoman Paige Pavalone said she knew of no county or state law enforcement agencies using unmanned aircraft for surveillance or traffic control. She wondered if any land survey companies were using them for aerial boundary plotting. But calls to several surveying and engineering firms in Missoula found no one with knowledge of using the planes that way.

If you have seen a drone in Western Montana, “it’s more than likely people out having a good time,” said Brian Culp, the radio control expert at Missoula’s Treasure Chest hobby shop. “There’s a couple of guys around here who fly big camera ships, and guys who do first-person video with planes that can fly a mile away or better. One’s got virtual-reality goggles so it’s like you’re flying in the plane.”

The toys range from scale replicas of historic fixed-wing airplanes to freaky six-rotor helicopters that can hover with heavy video cameras. Culp said some ham radio operators have licenses to use their high-powered transmitters to fly radio-control aircraft up to 60 miles.

A club in Missoula has about 50 members who regularly fly from a field near the former Smurfit-Stone Container millsite. Other groups fly from fields in Victor or the Mineral County Airport in Superior.

Culp said introductory models cost around $300, while the heavy-duty ones run $10,000 or more.

“We do carry one drone,” he said. “It works on a Wi-Fi signal so it only goes about 50 meters. You can fly it with an iPad or iPod Touch.”

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Drones could play bigger role in future wildfires

By Jim Cross

Originally published: May 27, 2013 - 7:24 am    

Federal Aviation Administration will pass new rules in 2015 and Congress would have to sign off on those rules that could open airspace to more unmanned drones and that could be invaluable when it comes to fighting wildfires.

KTAR wildfire expert Eric Neitzel said remote-controlled drones would be able to cut through the thickest smoke and give fire commanders a big jump on where wildfires are moving and where to put the manpower.

"It's not a firefighting air tanker that could drop water but it's an intelligence gathering tool," Neitzel said.

Neitzel said the unmanned aircraft has been used before in 2007-2008 to take a birds eye view of mammoth fires in California and Idaho. He was impressed.

"They covered a large area to map out the fires. They provided near real-time information that gave us a tool to better know where these fires were."


Space tourism industry faces safety concerns

Industry watchers concerned that safety risks for space travelers not transparent  

The Associated Press
Posted: May 27, 2013 10:27 AM ET
Last Updated: May 27, 2013 10:25 AM ET

Space-industry watchers expressed concern that the emerging space tourism sector is not being candid enough about the safety risks for travellers.

They voiced some concerns during a conference of the International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety, which held three days of meetings in Montreal.

Tommaso Sgobba, an aeronautical engineer and the agency's outgoing president, called suborbital flight safety "a serious matter that should be pursued with openness and transparency."

"We have no clue what they are having as a policy," Sgobba said, speaking of the industry during an interview.

Virgin Galactic, one of the industry pioneers, held the first powered flight of its SpaceShipTwo last month, moving the company closer to its goal of flying paying passengers.

Sir Richard Branson initially predicted that suborbital flights by his space tourism company would begin in 2007, but a deadly explosion during ground testing and some delays during test flights have pushed the deadline back.

Sgobba conceded that space tourism companies might argue that issues related to ownership or design could be exploited and used against them.

But, in his view, there is too much resistance to discussing safety.

"I believe that they are shrouding this into a level of secrecy that is not good for the industry itself," said Sgobba, who was responsible for flight safety at the European Space Agency until last year.

"They should be more open and communicate what they do."

Members of the non-profit IAASS, which was established in 2004 in the Netherlands, include universities, institutions, corporations and professional associations.

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Man tries to open door during Alaska Airlines flight to Portland, Washington

Suspect in incident on Alaska Airlines flight to Portland

 PORTLAND, Wash. —   A man tried to open a door on an Alaska Airlines flight from Anchorage to Portland, Alaska Airlines said.

 The incident happened on flight 132 Monday morning.

 According to Alaska Airlines spokesperson Bobbie Egan, 10 minutes prior to the landing, a passenger seated in row 17 tried to open the door of the plane.

 Egan said the man was restrained by the crew and passengers.

 Egan said the cabin was never depressurized and the seal on the door was not broken.  The door remained locked while the flight was in the air.

 Once the man was back in his seat,  he remained there calmly until the plane, which was carrying 137 passengers, landed in Portland at 5:23 a.m., Egan said.

 The man is in police custody.

Ontwa Township OKs sewer pipe liner near Elkhart Municipal Airport (KEKM), Indiana

5:54 a.m. EDT, May 27, 2013

EDWARDSBURG -- A sewer problem more than a year old was resolved last week when Ontwa Township officials unanimously agreed to hire a firm to put a liner in a portion of its sewer pipe system near Elkhart Municipal Airport on County Road 6.

The board agreed to pay Insituform of Indianapolis $36,168 to place the liner in 528 feet of sewer pipe where it flows into the Elkhart municipal sewer system at Moose Trail near the Elkhart Municipal Airport. The work will be done as soon as the Elkhart system is notified, according to Tom Deneau of Wightman & Associates Inc. of Benton Harbor.

Wightman is looking into a hydrogen sulfide odor problem in the sewer pipe system in the Edwardsburg area. It is currently being treated with a chemical to reduce the odor, which smells like rotten eggs. This has been going on since April 2012.

Wightman said there are "spikes" in the odor.

"I have never seen anything like this," he said.

"We don't understand the spike issue. It needs to be resolved. I suggest we communicate with the city of Elkhart."

The next township meeting is at 7 p.m. June 10 at Ontwa Township Hall, 26225 U.S. 12.


Rescuer meets pilot he saved 34 years later

Don Zozosky of Port Angeles, at rear, chats with Peter Goldstern at the  William R. Fairchild International Airport (KCLM) in Port Angeles, Washington,  next to Goldstern's  aircraft. 

PORT ANGELES — After more than a quarter-century, Don Zozosky of Port Angeles finally got to shake the hand of the man he helped locate bobbing in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

“It's kind of funny this all happening on Memorial Day weekend,” said Zozosky, who spent four years of active service in the Air Force and is now a retired postal worker.

On Saturday, Zozosky finally met Peter Goldstern 34 years after the Air Force transport plane crew on which Zozosky was serving located the pilot, who was forced to ditch his single-engine plane in the Atlantic's frigid waters 600 miles from England when a part malfunctioned.

On Dec. 22, 1979, Goldstern — now 72 and a retired University of Washington alumnus who makes his home in Gruyeres, Switzerland — was delivering a newly built Mooney M20 aircraft from Newfoundland to Ireland when the plane's oil pressure fitting blew out.

“There was a bang,” Goldstern said. “Then the oil pressure dropped to nothing.”

Luckily, the C-5 Galaxy transport plane on which Zozosky was crew chief was only about 45 minutes from where Goldstern went into the drink.

His mayday call was relayed through a Canadian rescue coordination center in Halifax.

Zozosky said his crew, on a mission from California to England, was redirected to search for Goldstern.

After seeing the flares Goldstern had shot into the air, they found him bobbing in 23-foot seas in a survival suit.

Zozosky's plane made multiple low passes over the water, he said, once getting down to 500 feet.

On the final pass, the crew pushed inflatable life rafts out of the plane, Zozosky said.

After spending hours in a raft, Goldstern said he was eventually rescued by a passing Russian weather ship.

“I wasn't in the water for a long time, but it was long enough,” Goldstern said Saturday.

Zozosky, 54, said he learned Goldstern's name from letters he received the Russian ship after his crew was decorated for helping save the pilot's life.

But the two didn't begin communicating “until after the Internet was invented,” Zozosky said.

The men had tried to get together a few times, but bad weather always got in the way, Goldstern said.

This time, however, Goldstern, a native New Zealander, happened to be in the area — in Oregon, to be exact.

He was on his way to vacation in Alaska in his plane and contacted Zozosky about finally meeting.

Zozosky, a California native who has lived in Port Angeles for the past 30 years, and his wife, Micki, hosted Goldstern over the weekend before the pilot took off for Ketchikan.

But before he left, Goldstern said there was something he wanted to say to his host:

“Thank you.”

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