Friday, June 7, 2013

The saying goes, “You can’t fight city hall” — but does the same hold true when it comes to the FAA? Law firm pitches more O’Hare litigation to Park Ridge City Council

June 7, 2013 7:18PM


Park Ridge

Voters and elected officials have said “no” in recent years to the city of Park Ridge using tax dollars to fight noise and pollution from O’Hare Airport. But the City Council has again heard from a law firm proposing litigation options for the city to pursue against the Federal Aviation Administration.

An hour-long presentation from attorney Richard Porter of the law firm of Hinshaw & Culbertson took place during the June 3 City Council meeting. Porter was invited by Jim Argionis, chairman of the city’s O’Hare Airport Commission.

The City Council’s is expected to continue discussion of Porter’s presentation during a future Committee of the Whole meeting.

Porter presented recommendations to the city involving so-far-unsuccessful attempts to persuade the Federal Aviation Administration to do a new study looking at how expansion at O’Hare Airport has affected surrounding communities. Among the areas the city wants explored in the supplemental environmental impact study are levels of noise and air pollution.

Porter said the city’s first step should be to authorize his law firm to draft a comment on the FAA’s planned “re-evaluation” of its 2005 environmental impact statement. After that, the city should hire a professional engineer and also an air consultant to conduct studies that will reinforce the city’s stance that environmental situations have changed since the FAA’s environmental impact study was completed eight years ago, Porter said.

“We are willing and able to draft the public comment for you, but we believe you should hire additional experts,” he told the council.

Once the studies are completed, Porter suggested filing an injunction or other legal action against the FAA.

The cost of filing a “public comment” could cost the city between $15,000 and $30,000. Taking the matter to court could require the city to spend roughly $150,000, Porter said.

Members of the city’s O’Hare Airport Commission are hopeful that a new environmental impact study could lead to less noise, air traffic and pollution.

But 2nd Ward Ald. Nicholas Milissis suggested the council “keep lessons of the past in mind” when considering whether to spend any more large sums of money on airport-related litigation.

“Every time I bring up anything involving O’Hare, the response I get (from citizens) is, ‘Don’t spend any more money on that,’” Milissis said. “We’re still fighting against odds that are stacked against us.”

In years past, the city spent hundreds of thousands of dollars fighting O’Hare expansion and supporting plans for a third major regional airport in Peotone. That spending came to an end around 2003 when the city’s leadership changed.

In 2010, 57 percent of voters said “no” to a referendum asking if the city should spend as much as $500,000 on noise-abatement measures to address the impacts of O’Hare International Airport expansion. That same year, the city heard from an attorney interested in representing Park Ridge in future litigation against the FAA. However, he later learned he would be unable to take the case due to his prior employment as an FAA attorney.

Since 2011 the city has spent $2,500 for the firm of Hinshaw & Culbertson to draft two letters to the FAA seeking supplemental environmental impact studies. Both requests were rejected by the FAA.

Last year an online survey developed by the city’s O’Hare Airport Commission found that 92 percent of the 268 respondents said they would like to see another environmental impact study conducted prior to 2020, when the airport expansion is expected to be complete. Ninety-six percent said they felt Park Ridge’s elected officials should be monitoring O’Hare expansion and another 96 percent said they were in favor of requests to the FAA to “implement mitigation measures to reduce the noise and other environmental impacts” related to new runways.

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Only 1 of 7 next-gen tankers flying as fires burn

June 7, 2013

Kyle Grantham/Casper Star Tribune

CHEYENNE — As fire season heats up, the U.S. Forest Service remains able to use only one of seven large, state-of-the-art air tanker planes it contracted last month to fight wildfires.

The other six planes have yet to be certified, a process that could take as much as two more months under the contract terms, according to U.S Forest Service spokesman Mike Ferris at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho.

"They could come on sooner," Ferris said Friday. "They just have to go through the steps to get them certified."

The Forest Service announced May 6 it was contracting five companies for the seven "next-generation" air tankers. The Forest Service has awarded the next-generation contracts twice in the past year — the agency did so last year but started the process over after two companies that didn't get contracts filed protests.

One of the protesters was 10 Tanker Air Carrier, which flies two DC-10 passenger jets modified to drop fire retardant. The company won a contract in the latest round to fly one of its planes.

The DC-10 has been ready to go, got Forest Service-certified, and now is the only plane as yet flying under the next-generation contract. The plane dropped slurry on the recent fires in southern California and lately has been fighting fires in New Mexico.

"These other airplanes aren't ready. They're in development. And it's yet to be shown when they'll be ready and, if they're ready, how well they will work," said Rick Hatton, president of 10 Tanker.

The company based in Victorville, Calif., is moving its headquarters to Casper.

The so-called "next-generation" turboprop and jet planes are bigger and faster than air tankers previously contracted by the Forest Service. The planes must be able to carry at least 3,000 gallons of slurry and fly at least 350 mph.

The certification process still to be completed by four of the five companies includes proving the planes' slurry tanks. Certification also requires being approved for field trials and having Federal Aviation Administration certificates, according to Ferris.

He said he didn't know if the four companies were on target to get their planes certified no later than Aug. 2 and 10, as their contracts require.

"I would assume they're eager to meet those expectations," he said.

The other four companies are Minden Air Corp., of Minden, Nev., to fly one BAe-146; Aero Air LLC, of Hillsboro, Ore., two MD87s; Aero Flite Inc., of Kingman, Ariz., two Avro RJ85s; and Coulson Aircrane (USA) Inc., of Portland, Ore., one C130Q.

The next-generation air tanker program allows the Forest Service to contract more planes as needed, Hatton said.

He pointed out that his DC-10s, with a capacity of 11,700 gallons, can carry more than three times more slurry than the other aircraft.

"We're hopeful they'll do that with one or more DC-10 as the need arises," Hatton said. "The need exists now."

Like before, the latest contracts awarded also got protested — this time by Missoula, Mont.-based Neptune Aviation. The company has a long history of flying propeller-driven aircraft for the Forest Service and sought a next-generation contract for its BAe-146 turboprop air tankers.

This week, the company withdrew its protest. CEO Ron Hooper declined to comment, citing legal advice.

Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., who has been vocal about getting newer and better air tankers flying for the Forest Service, said Friday he was glad the company withdrew the protest, which could have held up the next-generation contracts.

"Lives and homes are more important than dollars and cents," Udall said.

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Tropical Storm Andrea grounds Ocean City Air Show pilots (Video)

Tropical Storm Andrea brought heavy rains to the Delmarva region Friday, grounding pilots who had planned to practice for the Ocean City Air Show. 

Federal Aviation Administration Targets Boeing 737 Engine-Oil Leaks: WSJ

Updated June 7, 2013, 6:43 p.m. ET

The Wall Street Journal

U.S. aviation regulators on Friday unveiled a proposed safety directive targeting maintenance errors that over the years have caused dangerous engine-oil leaks on more than three dozen Boeing Co. 737 aircraft.

The Federal Aviation Administration said it acted after receiving reports that 34 of the 737s—the world's most popular jetliner model—suffered "total engine oil loss" in one engine as a result of mechanics failing to replace a cap after routine ground checks.

According to the FAA, four other 737s experienced similar engines leaks with both of their engines.

Such leaks typically lead to engines being shut down by pilots to keep them from coming apart and to prevent fires. The incidents also sometimes led to emergency landings, though none resulted in accidents.

The leaks happened between 1986 and 2011, with the last incident involving loss of oil in both engines occurring in May 2011. The FAA's proposed solution is to mandate some of the same procedural safeguards and redundant checks mechanics have been required to use for many years when servicing engines on larger twin-engine jets flying long over-water routes.

But with some 7,000 of the affected planes operating world-wide—only a fraction of them equipped with modified seals to reduce the impact of such maintenance slip-ups—the FAA is moving to mandate heightened airline oversight of mechanics. Under the proposal, a second mechanic will be required to verify that the cap was replaced correctly.

Posted on the Federal Register website, the FAA's proposal covers 737 engines manufactured since the 1980s by CFM International, a joint venture between General Electric Co. And France's Safran SA.

The FAA's document indicates about 2,000 of the engines are installed on planes operated by U.S. airlines.

A GE spokesman said company officials have recognized the problem for at least two years, and voluntarily issued service bulletins urging 737 operators to heighten supervision over maintenance and install improved seals intended to prevent massive leaks even if caps are left off or end up secured improperly.

"With a population of engines that large," there are numerous opportunities for continuing mistakes by mechanics, according to GE spokesman Rick Kennedy.

On average, the caps are removed twice a year for routine engine inspections, Mr. Kennedy said.

In May 2011, the same month safety experts found out about the last dual-engine leak problem, CFM opted to take voluntary action and urged airline customers to be more vigilant. The engine maker also has been urging the FAA to make the company's service bulletin mandatory. An FAA spokeswoman declined to comment.

The agency's document said the proposed sign-off by a second mechanic "exceeds normal maintenance" requirements but "is necessary due to the design and location" of the cap.

The agency, which isn't looking to mandate installation of new seals, is setting aside two months for public comment.

Last October, European air-safety regulators mandated replacement of the cap with a new design and ordered mechanics to take special precautions when performing work that entails removal of the part.

That safety directive said taking off the cap must be considered a "flight safety sensitive maintenance" task, and must be followed by "an independent inspection of the correct installation" by a second mechanic.


Jet trails in the sky

Updated: Friday, 07 Jun 2013, 6:45 PM EDT 
Published : Friday, 07 Jun 2013, 6:45 PM EDT

ROBINSON, Ill. (WTHI) - Kevin Orpurt traveled to Robinson, Ill. for this segment of Hey Kevin!

Stephen Miller wanted to know…

“Hey Kevin! Do the jet contrails we see in the sky have anything to do with forecasting the weather?”

The answer is yes.

A jet contrail is actually the trail of a jet as it flies through the sky, one of the by products of burning jet fuel is water vapor.

And so high in the sky, if there's already a lot of water of vapor in the sky, or if it's quite cold in the sky, it leaves a trail.

The more moisture there is in the sky, the longer the trail will be.

If there's more moisture in the atmosphere, that's often a very good indication that there's rain on the way.

So, a jet trail that's very long in the sky is often a good indicator of rain because there is more moisture in the sky.

More moisture in the sky means there's a better chance for rain on the way.  

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Five make airport manager short list

Published: June 6, 2013

By Michael D. Bates
Hernando Today

BROOKSVILLE - And then there were five.

The county's human resources team has whittled down 33 applications for the soon-to-be-vacant airport manager position and phone interviews with the final five will begin Friday, said Director of Administrative Services Cheryl Marsden.

The ultimate decision will be up to Business Development Manager Mike McHugh, who plans to consult with County Administrator Len Sossamon during the hiring process.

All five candidates stressed in their resumes they are huge supporters of working together with economic development officials to bring in jobs and expand the local tax base.

Given the Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport's position as an economic engine, a background in economic development is key in the hiring process, McHugh said.

"The airport is an enterprise, it's got some entrepreneurial facets and (the candidate) must be able to look at its strengths and apply them to the market to unlock its potential," said McHugh, who hopes to schedule in-person interviews in about a week.

McHugh said the airport derives about 70 percent of its revenue from industrial activities.

Don Silvernell announced in April he will retire as manager and move to Boise, Idaho, to be closer to his 7-month-old granddaughter.

Silvernell, whose last day is July 1, said he hopes to work with his successor before departing.

He said he is leaving at a time when the airport and its various activities are in a strong financial position.

"The airport's got a good reputation," Silvernell said.

The airport is located on 2,400 acres and includes the RailPark, Corporate Airpark, AirPark Northeast and the Industrial Park proper.

There are about 150 airport tenants who employ some 3,000 people, McHugh said.

The airport manager position was advertised with a pay range of $65,748 to $105,995.

Silvernell makes $78,624 annually.

Here is a look at the five finalists for the position of airport manager:

Kevin Daugherty: Currently the manager of Frederick Municipal Airport in Maryland - a post he's held since 2007 - Daugherty said in his application packet he will work closely with the city of Brooksville and Hernando County's Economic Development team to bring businesses to the airport.

"This generates revenue opportunities and strengthens the airport as a self-sustaining entity, as well as supporting the local tax base," Daugherty wrote.

Thomas Frungillo: The executive director of the Bradford Regional Airport Authority in Pennsylvania since 1998, Frungillo says he is a "highly organized, innovative and motivated professional" who has a proven ability to "engage and develop strong relationships with key airport contacts, governmental officials and community members."

Frungillo included a newspaper article showing how he was involved in helping drive economic development at his airport.

Gary Hudson: The airport manager of Chester County-G.O Carlson Airport in Pennsylvania since 2004, Hudson said he handles all daily operations, safety, security and administration duties. He is liaison between airport administration, local airline personnel, airport tenants, the public and federal, state and local agencies.

He also developed and implemented his airport's first-ever policy-and-procedures manual.

Nickolis Landgraff: During his eight years as airport manager for the DeLand Municipal Airport & Business Park in Florida, Landgraff said he has helped grow revenue from $800,000 to $1.4 million.

His airport has a business park with 2,500- plus employees on 1,600 acres.

"We had a total economic activity of $271 million during our last Florida Department of Transportation assessment and are continuing to grow," Landgraff wrote.

Paul Phillips:
Currently an adjunct professor at Saint Leo University, Phillips had been director of general aviation for the Tampa International Airport from 2005 to 2012.

He left TIA and managed the Tampa Executive, Peter O. Knight and Plant City airports.

Phillips said his strong communication and management skills will benefit Hernando County because it has given him a "tremendous amount of experience dealing with elected and appointed boards, lease negotiations, tenant relations, economic development and job creation and community interaction.


Private pilots pushed out of hangars at Toronto island airport: court documents

June 7, 2013 3:26 pm

By Alexandra Posadzki, The Canadian Press

TORONTO – A group of private pilots who fly out of Toronto’s island airport have turned to the Federal Court, claiming the local port authority has failed in its oversight role by allowing Porter Airlines to evict them from its hangars.

There are no hangars devoted to general aviation on the island, so many private pilots, flight schools and other businesses who use Toronto’s Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport rent space from the airport’s main tenant, Porter Airlines.

In an application filed to the federal court, the Toronto Island Pilots Association alleges Porter has forced a number of its members out of the airport by jacking up their rent by as much as 300 percent or terminating their leases.

The association argues this violates the Tripartite Agreement that governs the island airport, which has been the subject of controversy over the years as island residents have vocally opposed its expansion.

The agreement – which was signed in 1983 by the city, Transport Canada and the port authority’s predecessor, the Toronto Harbour Commissioners – states the purpose of the airport is for general aviation and “limited” commercial flights.

The Port Authority oversees operations of the airport to make sure they’re in accordance with the Tripartite Agreement.

But Julian Falconer, a lawyer representing the pilots association, says the port authority is simply handing the reins over to Porter Airlines.

“Porter has been given a blank check to run affairs at Billy Bishop Airport in circumstances where the Tripartite Agreement dictates exactly the opposite,” Falconer said.

“The airport should be renamed to the Bob Deluce Island Airport, because that’s the level of control and influence,” he added, referring to Porter’s chief executive.

Falconer said he hopes the case will go before a judge by the fall.

The Toronto Port Authority said it would not comment on the case because it is before the courts.

“The Toronto Port Authority supports and is committed to a continued personal aviation presence at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport,” spokeswoman Pamela McDonald said in an email. Porter Airlines did not immediately return requests for comment.

Porter recently announced it hopes to fly jets out of the island airport, a move that will require the airline to fill in part of the lake so it can extend the runway by 168 metres at each end.

The plan will also require approval from all three groups included in the Tripartite Agreement. It has become the subject of much debate, with some residents raising concerns about noise and increased traffic congestion.

Toronto city council has commissioned a study that will explore the proposed changes.

The pilots association argues that Porter’s rapid growth has been at the expense of the general aviation community – something the Tripartite Agreement was meant to preserve.

Although the term general aviation is not defined in the agreement, the pilots association says the term does not apply to scheduled air services or commercial airlines.

The association alleges that as a result of Porter’s actions, a number of private pilots and other businesses have been forced to sell their planes or leave the island airport.

In an affidavit, the president of the Airborne Sensing Corporation says his aerial photographic survey company was evicted from the hangar space it was renting from Porter Airlines on April 30.

“Recently, there has been a mass exodus of General Aviation businesses and pilots from the Island Airport because of evictions and/or because their rent for hangar space or tie-down space has significantly increased,” said Alexander Giannalia in the affidavit.

The document lists a total of seven pilots or businesses who have received rent increases from Porter and four whose leases have been terminated.

Island Air, the last of three pilot schools still operating out of the island airport, may also be forced to close up shop, Falconer said.

“The Tripartite Agreement created checks and balances to ensure that a downtown airport wouldn’t become Pearson, flying over everybody’s neighborhoods,” said Falconer.

“But in fact, the opposite has happened. The Port Authority, in my view, has completely abdicated its oversight role. And, frankly, we’re at the stage where it’s the wild, wild west. The rules have been thrown out the window.”


Warsaw Flying Club: Warsaw Municipal Airport (KASW), Indiana

June 7, 2013 1:47 PM  
Stacey Page

The Warsaw Flying Club made an early morning trip from the Warsaw Municipal Airport to the  northwest corner of the downtown square at Lake and Main streets today. The purpose of the trip was to bring the airplane into position for this afternoon’s First Friday event.

The Flying Club is promoting its Summer Camp for teens July 8-1. The cost of this camp starts at $249 and includes 4 hours of ground school and culminates with a 30- to 40-minute Discovery Flight where the student will take their first flight lesson.

Running concurrently is WFC’s Summer Adventure, which includes all Summer Camp activities, but includes flight lessons every day. The Summer Adventure is not age-limited, but if the student is 16 or older, their Summer Adventure has the option to end with their first solo.

But the biggest adventure of them all is what they call the Epic Summer, also running concurrently with the other two camps, but lasts four weeks long. The student completes the ground school, flight lessons to solo, completes his or her first solo (if they are at least 16), and completes the flight training to get their Private Pilot license, and can include the check ride to receive their license if they are at least 17 years old by the middle of August.

For more information, visit the club’s website to receive more information or call Jon Fussle at 574-904-1256.

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Warsaw Flying Club:

Cirrus SR22, N436KS, Accident occurred September 15, 2012 in Willard, Missouri

NTSB Identification: CEN12FA633  
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, September 15, 2012 in Willard, MO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/05/2013
Aircraft: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP SR22, registration: N436KS
Injuries: 5 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 pilot was conducting an instrument landing system approach in night instrument meteorological conditions at the time of the accident. Radar track data indicated that the airplane crossed the final approach course near the initial approach fix, about 11 miles from the runway. The airplane drifted through the localizer about 0.25 mile before crossing the localizer again and drifting about 0.25 mile to the opposite side of the localizer. The airplane flightpath then paralleled the localizer briefly. The track data indicated that the airplane entered a left turn, which resulted in about a 90-degree course change. About that time, the pilot requested radar vectors to execute a second approach. The airplane entered a second left turn that continued until the final radar data point, which was located about 420 feet from the accident site. During the second left turn, about 9 seconds before the final radar data point, the pilot transmitted, "I need some help." The data indicated that the accident airplane descended at an average rate of 6,000 feet per minute during the final 10 seconds of data. No further transmissions were received from the pilot. The airplane impacted an open area of a lightly wooded pasture located about 6 miles north-northwest of the destination airport. A witness reported hearing an airplane engine surge to high power about four times, followed by what sounded like a high speed dive. She heard the initial impact followed by an explosion. The postaccident examination of the airframe and engine did not reveal any preimpact failures or malfunctions that would have precluded normal operation. The location and condition of the airframe parachute system were consistent with partial deployment at the time of ground impact. Based on the performance information depicted by the radar data, the pilot's request for assistance, and examination of the airplane at the accident scene, it is most likely the pilot became spatially disoriented in night meteorological conditions and subsequently lost control of the airplane.

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

The pilot's loss of airplane control as a result of spatial disorientation experienced in night instrument meteorological conditions.


On September 15, 2012, at 0021 central daylight time, a Cirrus Design SR22 airplane, N436KS, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain near Willard, Missouri. The pilot and four passengers were fatally injured. The aircraft was registered to and operated by JL2, LLC under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was operated on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan. The flight originated from Lee's Summit Municipal Airport (LXT) about 2330 on September 14, 2012. The intended destination was the Springfield-Branson National Airport (SGF), Springfield, Missouri.

At 2338, the pilot contacted the Kansas City Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) facility and requested an IFR clearance to SGF. The pilot was subsequently issued an IFR clearance and the flight proceeded on course to SGF. A cruising altitude of 7,000 feet mean sea level (msl) was assigned.

About 0002, control of the flight was transferred to the Springfield TRACON. The flight was about 50 miles north of SGF at that time. At 0014, air traffic control instructed the pilot to cross the initial approach fix (BVRLY intersection) at or above 3,000 feet msl, and cleared the pilot for an Instrument Landing System (ILS) approach to runway 14 at SGF. The flight was about 18 miles north of SGF. The pilot was instructed to contact the control tower at that time.

At 0017, the pilot contacted the SGF air traffic control tower. At that time, the tower controller cleared the pilot to land at that time. At 0020:31 (hhmm:ss), the pilot requested radar vectors in order to execute a second approach. The controller instructed the pilot to maintain 3,000 feet msl and turn left to a heading of 360 degrees. The pilot subsequently acknowledged the clearance. At 0021:17, the pilot contacted the controller and the controller acknowledged. At 0021:21, the pilot transmitted, "I need some help." No further communications were received from the pilot.

Radar track data depicted the accident airplane approaching SGF from the north-northwest on an approximate magnetic course of 157 degrees. After an en route descent, the airplane leveled at an altitude of 2,900 feet msl about 16 miles north-northwest of SGF. About 0018:00, the airplane flight path crossed the ILS runway 14 localizer near the initial approach fix (BVRLY intersection). The airplane drifted about 0.25 miles southwest of the localizer before crossing the localizer again, and drifting about 0.25 miles northeast of the localizer. Beginning about 0019:44, he airplane flight path appeared to parallel the localizer, about 0.12 miles northeast, for about the next 40 seconds.

The track data indicated that, about 0020:09, the airplane entered a left turn to become established on an approximate 064-degree magnetic course. About 0020:38, the airplane entered a second left turn that continued until the final radar data point, which was recorded at 0021:28. The final radar data point was located about 420 feet west-northwest of the accident site. The data indicated that the accident airplane descended from 2,800 feet msl at 0021:18 to 1,800 feet msl at 0021:28; an average descent rate of 6,000 feet per minute.

A witness reported hearing a low flying airplane prior to the accident. She noted the engine surged with high power about four times, followed by what sounded like a high speed dive. She stated that she heard the initial impact followed by an explosion. She observed the glow of the postimpact fire from her bedroom window. Her husband notified local authorities and they both responded to the accident site.

The airplane impacted an open area of a lightly wooded pasture located about 6 miles north-northwest of SGF. The elevation of the accident site was about 1,120 feet.


The pilot held a private pilot certificate with single-engine land airplane and instrument airplane ratings. He was issued a third class airman medical certificate without limitations on October 7, 2011. On the application for that medical certificate, the pilot reported a total flight time of 731.9 hours, with 97.2 hours flown within the preceding 6 months. The pilot's logbook was not available to the NTSB for review.

According to the pilot's flight instructor, the accident pilot had completed a flight review on January 23, 2012. The flight instructor estimated the pilot's total flight time at 1,000 hours, with about 75 hours of actual instrument time and 650 hours in Cirrus airplanes.


The accident airplane was a 2002 Cirrus Design SR22, serial number 0202. It was a low wing, four place, single engine airplane, with a fixed tricycle landing gear configuration. The airplane was powered by a 310-horsepower Continental Motors IO-550-N reciprocating engine, serial number 686271. The accident airplane was issued a normal category, standard airworthiness certificate in April 2002.

The aircraft maintenance logbooks were not available to the NTSB for review. Maintenance work orders provided by a mechanic indicated that an annual inspection was completed on September 1, 2011, at 2,001 hours total airframe time. An engine oil change was accomplished on April 10, 2012 at 2,070 hours total airframe time.

A logbook that appeared to contain flights in the airplane was recovered at the accident site. The most recent entry was dated September 9, 2012. The entry included an ending airframe service time of 2,172.8 hours. The preceding entry, dated September 8, 2012, included a notation for a dual VHF Omni Range (VOR) equipment check that appeared to have been signed by the pilot. The log contained entries totaling 14.5 hours within the preceding 30 days, and about 70.3 hours within the preceding 90 days.

The airframe manufacturer stated that the accident airplane was equipped with four seats and four corresponding restraints (seatbelts/shoulder harnesses) at the time of manufacture. The manufacturer was not aware of any available modifications to increase the seating capacity of the airplane. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Type Certificate Data Sheet applicable to the accident airplane noted a seating capacity of four. Aircraft records on file with the FAA did not include any modifications to the seating arrangement or occupant restraint systems.


Weather conditions recorded by the SGF Automated Surface Observing System, at 0020, were: wind from 070 degrees at 6 knots, 8 miles visibility, overcast clouds at 700 feet above ground level (agl), temperature 16 degrees Celsius, dew point 14 degrees Celsius, dew point 30.27 inches of mercury.

The area forecast current at the time of the accident noted overcast ceilings at 3,000 feet with cloud tops to 15,000 feet, and visibilities of 3 to 5 mile in light rain and mist. The terminal forecast for SGF current at the time of the accident noted overcast clouds at 300 feet agl with 6 miles visibility in mist and rain showers in the vicinity of the airport. An airman's meteorological information (AIRMET) advisory noted that IFR conditions were expected over southwestern Missouri, which included the accident site, with ceilings below 1,000 feet agl and visibility below 3 miles. There were no significant meteorological information (SIGMET), convective SIGMET, or weather watches in effect for Missouri at the time of the accident.

Civil twilight ended at 1948, with the moon setting at 1818. The moon was more than 15 degrees below the horizon at the time of the accident. The subsequent moonrise occurred at 0627, with the beginning of civil twilight at 0630.

There was no record of the pilot obtaining an official weather briefing from a flight service briefer; nor was there any record of weather information being accessed via the Direct User Access Terminal Service (DUATS). However, two IFR flight plans were filed through DUATS. An IFR flight plan from SGF to LXT was filed at 1604, and an IFR flight plan for the return flight from LXT to SGF was filed at 2257.


The Springfield-Branson National Airport (SGF) was served by two paved runways. Runway 14 was 8,000 feet by 150 feet and constructed of grooved concrete. Approach and landing guidance to runway 14 consisted of an ILS approach procedure, a 4-light precision approach path indicator (PAPI), a medium intensity approach lighting system with runway alignment indicator lights (MALSR), and high intensity runway edge lights.

The ILS runway 14 approach procedure specified a minimum initial (glide slope intercept) altitude of 2,900 feet msl, with a 3.00-degree glide slope. The published decision height for a straight-in approach was 1,462 feet msl, with one-half mile visibility required for landing.


The accident site was located in an open area of a lightly wooded pasture about 6 miles north-northwest of SGF. Linear ground impact marks consistent with being formed by the wing leading edges emanated from the main impact crater. Based on the ground impact markings, the airplane was oriented on an approximate heading of 340 degrees at the time of impact. The debris field extended to approximately 110 feet east, 140 feet northeast, and 70 feet north of the main impact crater. Significant portions of the airframe were consumed or damaged by a postimpact fire. Isolated areas of the surrounding vegetation were also affected by the postimpact fire.

The entire airframe was fragmented. The main impact crater contained the propeller, engine, instrument panel, and portions of the fuselage. The airplane flight control surfaces and wing flaps were located within the debris field. The ailerons and flaps had separated from the wings and were deformed consistent with impact forces. The aileron control cables were frayed and separated consistent with impact forces.

The empennage was separated from the airframe. It came to rest inverted about 10 feet east of the main impact crater. The elevator remained attached to the stabilizer and both appeared to be otherwise intact. The left horizontal and vertical stabilizers, left elevator, and rudder were consumed by the postimpact fire. A portion of the rudder remained attached to the lower rudder hinge. Elevator and rudder control continuity was confirmed between the empennage and the cockpit area.

The engine was located in the impact crater. It remained partially attached to the engine mount and airframe firewall. Portions of the firewall were deformed into/around the engine accessory section. The crankcase, cylinders, induction system, and exhaust system exhibited damage consistent with impact forces. All of the cylinders remained attached to the crankcase. The magnetos had separated from the engine and the ignition harness was damaged.

The three-bladed propeller assembly, with the propeller flange attached, separated from the engine. The engine crankshaft was fractured aft of the propeller flange. The appearance of the fracture surface was consistent with an overstress failure. One propeller blade had separated at the hub and was recovered from the impact crater. The remaining two propeller blades remained attached to the hub. The propeller blades exhibited S-bending and chordwise scratches.

The Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS) components remained attached to the airframe. The activation cable was continuous from the cockpit activation handle to the igniter assembly. The safety pin was not located with the activation handle consistent with it being removed prior to flight. The packed parachute assembly was located about 40 feet from the main impact crater. The parachute risers and suspension lines extended from the main impact crater to the parachute assembly and were oriented approximately perpendicular to the linear impact marks emanating from the main impact crater.

The postaccident examination of the airframe and engine did not reveal any anomalies consistent with a preimpact failure or malfunction.


An autopsy of the pilot was conducted at the Boone/Callaway County Medical Examiner's Office, on September 17, 2012. The pilot's death was attributed to blunt trauma injuries sustained in the accident.

The FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute toxicology report was negative for all drugs in the screening profile. The report stated that 10 (mg/dL, mg/hg) ethanol was detected in blood samples. The report also noted that the ethanol was likely due to sources other than ingestion.

 Suit filed over fatal SW Missouri plane crash  

Posted:  June 11, 2013

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - A new lawsuit blames pilot "negligence and carelessness" for causing a southwest Missouri plane crash that killed five people.

The suit was filed Monday in Springfield by Janis Melton, the mother of one of the victims, 46-year-old Robin Melton. It seeks unspecified damages from the estate of the pilot, 44-year-old John Lambert of Springfield.

Melton, Lambert and Lambert's three children were killed in the crash on Sept. 15 after flying back from a Kansas City Royals game. The single-engine plane went down near Willard, Mo., about six miles from Springfield-Branson National Airport.

There was no listed attorney for Lambert's estate.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.

A National Transportation Safety Board investigation into the cause of the crash continues and isn't expected to be complete until September at the earliest.

Robin Melton

8:02 a.m. CDT, June 7, 2013

ROGERSVILLE, Mo. - This weekend, a benefit polo match will be held to honor one of the victims of a plane crash near Willard.

Robin Melton was one of five people killed when the small plane went down in a field off highway 123 last September. Melton was a member of the Springfield Polo Club and animal lover who supported the Castaway Animal Rescue Effort.

The first Robin Melton Memorial Polo Match will be held Saturday to raise money for the animal rescue organization. It starts at 4 p.m. at the Springfield Polo Club Field at 5964 South Highway NN in Rogersville.

The cost to attend the match is $10, and dinner will follow at a cost of $25.


NTSB Identification: CEN12FA633
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, September 15, 2012 in Willard, MO
Aircraft: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP SR22, registration: N436KS
Injuries: 5 Fatal.

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

On September 15, 2012, about 0023 central daylight time, a Cirrus Design SR22, N436KS, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain near Willard, Missouri. The pilot and four passengers were fatally injured. The aircraft was registered to and operated by JL2, LLC under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was operated on an instrument flight rules flight plan. The flight originated from Lee’s Summit Municipal Airport (LXT) about 2340 on September 14, 2012. The intended destination was the Springfield-Branson National Airport (SGF), Springfield, Missouri.

Springfield Approach was providing air traffic control services to the flight at the time of the accident. The pilot contacted Springfield Approach about 0002 as the flight entered their airspace. About 0017, the pilot was cleared for an Instrument Landing System (ILS) approach to runway 14 at SGF. The pilot was instructed to contact the control tower at that time. At 0020, about 3 minutes after establishing contact with the control tower, the pilot requested radar vectors in order to execute a second ILS approach. About 30 seconds later, radar contact was lost. The controller’s attempts to contact the flight were not successful.

The accident site was located in a pasture about 6 miles northwest of SGF. Ground impact was located in an open area of the lightly wooded pasture field. The airplane was fragmented. The main impact crater contained the propeller, engine, instrument panel, and portions of the fuselage. Linear ground impact marks, consistent with being formed by the wings, emanated from the main impact crater. Based on the ground impact markings, the airplane was oriented on an approximate heading of 340 degrees at the time of impact. The debris field extended to approximately 110 feet east of the main impact crater. Located within the debris field were the airplane flight control surfaces and wing flaps.

Piper PA-28-181 Archer III (N327PA) and Cessna 172SP Skyhawk (N2459K) -- Accident occurred May 31, 2013 in Anthem, Arizona

NTSB Identification: WPR13FA254A
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, May 31, 2013 in Anthem, AZ
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-181, registration: N327PA
Injuries: 4 Fatal.

NTSB Identification: WPR13FA254B
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, May 31, 2013 in Anthem, AZ
Aircraft: CESSNA 172S, registration: N2459K
Injuries: 4 Fatal.

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

On May 31, 2013, at 1003 mountain standard time, a Piper PA-28-181, N327PA, while airborne at 900 feet above ground level (agl) collided with a Cessna 172S, N2459K, that was also operating at 900 feet agl, 3 miles west of Anthem, Arizona. Both certified flight instructors (CFI’s) occupying the Piper were fatally injured, the CFI and student pilot occupying the Cessna were also fatally injured. Both airplanes impacted desert terrain in the vicinity of the collision and were destroyed. The Piper was registered to Bird Acquisitions LLC and operated by TransPac Academy, the Cessna was registered to Westwind Leasing LLC and operated as a rental airplane. Both airplanes were operated as instructional flights under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and both airplanes had company flight plans. The Cessna departed Deer Valley Airport, Phoenix, AZ at 0917 and the Piper departed the same airport at 0930.

Radar data shows two targets operating VFR (visual flight rules) about 1 mile apart. The western target was operating at 2,500 msl and 106 knots ground speed, as recorded by the radar playback. The eastern target was operating at 2,600 feet msl and 92 knots as recorded by the radar playback. The western target was on a northerly heading and made a 180 degree right turn to a southerly heading. The eastern target was also on a northerly heading and made a left turn to a southwesterly heading. Both airplanes executed their turn simultaneously. Shortly after each target completed its turn the paths of both targets intersected.

The wreckages of both airplanes were in the immediate vicinity of the radar depicted target intersection. The Piper had impacted the flat desert terrain in a flat and upright attitude. All essential components of the airplane were at the accident site. The Cessna wreckage was located 468 feet southwest of the Piper wreckage. The Cessna impacted the desert terrain vertically, imbedding the engine and propeller into the ground and the wings were crushed accordion style from the leading edges aft. The entire Cessna wreckage was consumed by a post impact fire. The vertical stabilizer and left elevator of the Cessna was located 1,152 feet north of the wreckage.

Friends and family describe Carl Prince as a loving dad who always had time for his kids. Prince died last week in a mid-air airplane collision. 
(Photo courtesy: Beth Sandig)

Posted: Jun 06, 2013 8:14 PM EST 
Updated: Jun 07, 2013 9:21 AM EST

By Jason Barry


A loving dad who always had time for his kids.

That's how friends and family describe Carl Prince, 42,  one of four victims who died in a mid-air collision plane crash near the Deer Valley Airport last week.

Prince's former wife, Tanya Prince, spoke Thursday about the man she was married to for seven years. The couple had recently gotten back together.

"He wanted to make things work and get our family back together and we've been making efforts for that," said Prince. "I guess it wasn't meant to be ."

Carl Prince had been working for a hot air balloon company in the Valley, but was also a certified pilot.

He was giving flight instruction to his boss Margie Long last Friday, when their plane collided with another small plane. There were no survivors.

The other victims were Paul Brownell and Basil Onuferko, who were both flight instructors at the Tranpac Aviation Academy.

"The hardest part for me is that he's not here," said Prince. "He's going to miss out on all these things in his kids' lives. He had such a good sense of humor. Everybody that he knew, he could bring a smile to their face."

Prince told CBS 5 News that the love and support she's received from the community has made a difference, but the truth is that nothing can stop the pain the Valley mom and her kids are going through.

"My son wakes up every day to see what dad does. He saw a heart in the clouds and believes dad made him a heart," said Prince. "Every morning he wakes up looking for what daddy is going to make him."

A memorial fund has been set up to help the Prince family.

Donations can be made through the Desert Schools Federal Credit Union. The account number is 60000187056. 

Story and Photos:

Fly-In at Sekiu Airport (11S), Washington: Chamber of Commerce said last year one of the pilots said the event needed dancing girls -- so they got one . . .

Maureen Winn performs Hawaiian dances to honor the area and the pilots at the Sekiu Fly-In on Saturday, May 25.
Photo by Donna Barr

Published on Fri, Jun 7, 2013 

By Donna Barr for the Forks Forum

The 2013 Sekiu Fly-in Breakfast at the Sekiu Airfield, Saturday, May 25, was a great hit with locals and pilots.

The event is the result of the efforts of the Clallam Bay/Sekiu Chamber of Commerce. The cost of $8 a plate for adults brought the attendees pulled pork and chicken, served up by cook Brian Harmo, in addition to a full brunch menu.

Despite turbulent gray weather, pilots and friends swooped in from Woodinville, Mukilteo, Mill Creek, Seattle, and Duncan and Victoria in Canada. The field filled up with a jewel box of bright little planes, in white and blue, bright yellow and red-and-yellow checks. Local pilot Gary Fernandez, who helped organize the event, represented with his own well-known white Cessna.

John Hawroyd and Jeremy Prpich flew in from Canada in their bright yellow RV home-builds. RV stands for Richard VanGrunsven, the designer of the popular airplane kits that are known as RVs.

Hawroyd said of the basic RV design, “It’s a beautiful flying machine. It’s fast and light on the controls — it’s for sport, not haulage. Very economical on fuel. It’s like dancing with a pretty lady.”

The planes have been to Texas and Tuktoyaktuk, on the Arctic Ocean. Hawroyd wanted to emphasize that pilots were very environmentally conscious, because they get a bird’s-eye view of resource use.

He said he bought his first plane from logging company owner Mr. Spolstra, in Forks. Twenty-five years later, when he returned with the plane, he gave Spolstra a ride. By then Spolstra had artificial knees and needed help to struggle into the cockpit. But once a pilot, always a pilot.

Hawroyd said, “The smile on his face was worth it.”

Washington Pilots Association President Les Smith came in from Everett’s Paine Field in his Cessna Cardinal 177-B (designating the fixed-wheel-gear model). Paine Field offers an annual aviation day, last year luring nearly 8,000 attendees.

The Paine Field started 17 years ago, part of events with two museums, including Paul Allen’s Heritage Collection and the Historic Flight Foundation. Smith said that every two weeks Allen flies two of the classic military airplanes, including a German Messerschmidt, American Mustang, British Hurricane, Japanese Mitsubishi (The “Zero”), and now a Soviet MIG 29.

Steve Waterman, who flew in with him and chipped in for fuel, is building his own RV. He’s finished the tail and wings. He said, “I had to wait until my kids grew up, so now I get to do stuff for me now.”

Fly-in first-timer Stephen Christopher flew in with his RV-7, accompanied by his wife, Melissa. They discovered the invitation to the fly-in on the Pacific Flyer Facebook forum.

Christopher remembers Melissa saying, “OK, let’s go out there to Sekiu.”

He added, “She’s the boss!”

The Christopher trip turned into an adventure, starting from Arlington, hopping down to Langley on Whidbey Island to have coffee, and dropping into Sequim to pick up a few gallons of fuel.

The two little yellow RVs took this moment to roar up into the air, one after another, and return for a low, screaming fly-over before taking off for home.

Christopher laughed, “Those wild Canadians!”

Maureen Winn, of the Wahine ‘llikea Hawaiian dance troop, offered a graceful presentation of traditional Hawaiian dances. She chose the dances for their story of greenery, waterfalls and flight, to reflect the forests, Sekiu’s Falls Creek waterfall and the fly-in.

The Chamber’s Carol Schultz said last year one of the pilots said the event needed dancing girls. So they got one. Perhaps next year, the whole troupe?

Story and Photo:

Pilot who screamed to get off plane has undiagnosed ailment: Air Canada Embraer ERJ-190, C-FHNV

By Katie Schneider ,Calgary Sun 
June 05, 2013 10:41 AM EDT 

CALGARY - The medical issue that caused an Air Canada pilot in flight to scream for help and demand off his plane was a previously undiagnosed ailment, says the airline.

The pilot was in control of Flight 584 from Calgary to Newark, N.J., last Thursday when passengers felt the plane jolt and saw him emerge from the cockpit holding onto a flight attendant while screaming for help and demanding to get off the plane.

He had to be restrained in a first-class chair until the plane, which was diverted to Toronto, landed and he was met by paramedics.

Air Canada could not provide specifics on the nature of the pilot's medical condition, citing privacy.

"I can say that it was an unforseen, previously undiagnosed physical ailment and he is currently on leave," spokeswoman Angela Mah said.

"All Air Canada pilots undergo regular medical checks as per Transport Canada requirements."

In fact, airline pilots receive mandatory checkups every six months once over the age of 40, and once every year before that, said president of the Air Canada Pilots Association Capt. Craig Blandford, who called the incident rare.

"We are a very, very healthy group -- in fact ... we live longer than most Canadians and partly because we live healthy lives and we get monitored by medical staff more," he said.

All pilots and air traffic controllers are also seen by a medical practitioner prior to receiving a medical certificate from Transport Canada, spokeswoman Kelly James said.

And every two years they undergo rigorous testing including heart monitoring and blood work, Brandford said.

"It's in the public's interest to make sure that those people operating the airplanes are healthier, safer than the average person," Brandford said, adding a peer program exists for pilots to address mental health issues, addictions and stress.

"By regulation and by law we have an obligation not to fly if we don't feel we are fit to fly."

However, pilots work long days while eating and sleep habits can be strained, which is why the association supports changing flight and duty times, he said.

The Transportation Safety Board is aware of the incident but not pursuing it.

Story and Comments/Reaction:

Virginia Seaplane Pilots Association formed

Posted: Friday, June 7, 2013 9:57 am

Richmond-Virginia has become the first state to establish its own seaplane pilots association, according to the Seaplane Pilots Association (SPA).

The Virginia Seaplane Pilots Association took flight during the Lake Anna Splash-In May 23 & 24. Bill Fosdick was elected as the association's first president.

"Virginia is considered a seaplane friendly state and with a concerted effort by the 209 seaplane pilots already in Virginia we can make the business and sport of flying seaplanes in Virginia much safer for the pilots and citizens of this great commonwealth through education and preservation and cooperation," said Fosdick.

The goal of the Virginia Seaplane Pilots Association is to educate, promote and preserve seaplane operations throughout the commonwealth.  Education of public officials, decision makers, other waterway users and the general public about seaplanes and their operations is key to continued acceptance on commonwealth waterways.

Promotion of seaplanes in a public safety and service role provides value to the local community.  Education and promotion will result in the preservation of seaplane operators' rights to share the commonwealth's natural resources with other groups.

One objective of the VSPA is to document in the Virginia Airport Directory and SPA Directory information on landing waterways in the commonwealth and contact information for those who have oversight responsibilities for those waterways.

If you are interested in becoming a member of the Virginia Seaplane Pilots Association contact Bill Fosdick at 540-872-6744.


Seaplane float formally opens on Tacoma’s Foss Waterway, Washington

Post by John Gillie
The News Tribune on June 5, 2013 at 3:34 pm 

The project took nearly five years of planning and fundraising, but Tacoma finally has a dock where seaplanes can tie up.

The new dock at the mouth of the Thea Foss Waterway near downtown was formally dedicated at noon Wednesday. Two seaplanes, one individually owned, and the other from the nation’s largest seaplane airline, Kenmore Air, arrived to celebrate the dock’s inaugural.

Tacoma Deputy Mayor Marty Campbell said the new dock was another step in making Tacoma “a world-class city” with amenities befitting that status.

Until the new dock was installed near Thea’s Park on the west side of the waterway, pilots had no easy place where they could load passengers.  Conventional docks are unsuitable for seaplane use because the pilings to which they’re secured are too close to the dockside to allow the planes’ wings to clear.

The new dock is attached outboard of an existing dock on the Foss, creating an unobstructed area for the wings.

The dock was a joint project of the Tacoma Waterfront Association and the Foss Waterway Development Authority.  The association raised private funds to rehabilitate and modify a used dock donated by Tacoma’s Marine Floats Inc. The authority provided planning funding and a site for the dock.

The dock is situated so that it can be relocated if weather on the bay end of the Foss becomes too rough during a storm or when the dock to which it is attached is needed for a waterside event.

The only other seaplane float in Pierce County is located on American Lake.

Craig O’Neill, director of flight administration for Kenmore Air,  said the new dock will open up new opportunities for charter flights from Tacoma.

Story and Comments/Reaction:

All-civilian lineup gears up for 6th annual Ocean City Air Show, Maryland

June 7, 2013 1:01 AM

Written by Brian Shane, Delmarva Now

OCEAN CITY — Sunny skies might not be in the forecast for this weekend’s OC Air Show, which, for the first time in six summers, will not feature any military jet performance teams.

Despite the changes, show planners continue to work to fill the skies with as many aircraft as possible Saturday and Sunday.

The Air Show was supposed to feature both the Navy’s Blue Angels and the Air Force’s F-22 Raptor jet teams, but all military jet demo teams were grounded this year as a result of federal budgeting issues. A lineup of civilian performers instead will fill the skies over Ocean City with loops, barrel rolls and screaming flybys.

Even without the Blue Angels, “everybody here around this show in this mid-Atlantic area is so supportive,” said Bryan Lilley, president of the OC Air Show. “And while you get comments, people still miss the Blues, but people understand. There are places in the country that, spectator bases are negative on the air show for the military not being there, and of course, that’s out of our control.”

Lilley said he and his small Air Show staff began working out a backup plan in January, when the threat of major Congressional sequestration, causing budgeting problems, became real. Even by March, they still had their fingers crossed that it would blow over and the Blues would comes to Ocean City for the first time.

Instead, civilian headliners include the Sea Harrier jet demo, GEICO Skytypers air show team and Red Bull helicopter, which can fly upside down.

The show is free to the public, though the Air Show itself does offer premium paid seating areas at the show center. Lilley said those ticket sales are down this year, and he cites the reason as the lack of military performers.

That U.S. military jet teams are benched right now “doesn’t sit well, I think, with the population in general,” Lilley said. “I know there’s a lot of military leadership it doesn’t sit well with. That’s just the hand they were dealt with sequestration. I know there’s a lot of interest out there in how to bring the teams back.”

Lilley also said support among Ocean City hotels is down about 40 percent, meaning there are far fewer hotels willing to donate in-kind room nights in exchange for sponsor perks.

If more hotels had extended that, Lilley said, he could have booked two more aerobatic performers, which would have extended the length of the show.

Supportive hotels in Ocean City include Harrison Group properties, the Commander, Marriott, Park Place Hotel, Castle in the Sand and Stowaway Grand. Some hotels housing pilots and other performers will sometimes host meet-and-greets with the public.

Air Show fans may not realize how busy Ocean City’s town employees get working behind the scenes to make the show a success, said Frank Miller, Ocean City’s director of special events.

“It’s a lot more than just putting a bunch of planes in the sky. It’s working with the FAA, the police, the fire marshal and a long list of departments that step in and make this event happen,” he said. “But it’s seamless. What people see is a great event that looks good, but they don’t realize how much work goes into it.”

And Miller should know.

Just a few weeks ago, he came to work for Ocean City after spending the last six years as the vice president and general manager of B. Lilley Productions, the company that produces the OC Air Show. He also was the on-site event manager for the event itself, for anything outside flight operations and public relations.

This year, working for the town, “I’m much more relaxed,” he said with a smile.

The first act hired by the OC Air Show in its inaugural 2008 show was the GEICO Skytypers air show team. They fly World War II vintage aircraft and paint the sky with smoke trails.

Larry Arken, who owns the Skytypers and is their lead pilot, said he’s watched Ocean City’s air show get bigger each year.

“This year, we have sequestration, and military TAC demos are a problem. But we can still have a great show with civilian teams. It always is a great event. The people at this airport always make us feel at home. When I sit in the terminal venue, I feel like I’m sitting in somebody’s living room. It’s a big venue with a small feel,” he said.

For his day job, Arken, 54, is a commercial pilot with American Airlines. Most of his team’s pilots have military experience.

While his team has benefited from sequestration by booking more gigs in the absence of military performers, Arken said they’re still missed.

“Where we’ve lost the military, we’ve taken a blow to the air show business and the local economy, and that’s not good,” he said.

Story and Photos:

Ocean City Air Show:

Dornier 228-202, 9N-AHA, Sita Air: Accident occurred September 28, 2012 in Kathmandu, Nepal

NTSB Identification: DCA12RA153
Scheduled 14 CFR Non-U.S., Commercial operation of Sita Air
Accident occurred Friday, September 28, 2012 in Kathmandu, Nepal
Aircraft: , registration: 9N-AHA
Injuries: 19 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. The foreign authority was the source of this information.

On September 28, 2012, a Sita Air Dornier 228, registration 9N-AHA, with Garrett (Honeywell) TPE 331 engines, reported a bird strike shortly and crash shortly after takeoff from Kathmandu-Tribhuvan Airport (KTM), Kathmandu, Nepal. The three crew members and 16 passengers onboard were fatally injured and the airplane was destroyed. The flight was a regularly scheduled passenger flight from KTM to Lukla Airport (LUA), Lukla, Nepal.

The investigation is being conducted by the Nepal Ministry of Tourism. The NTSB has appointed a U.S. Accredited Representative to assist the investigation under the provisions of ICAO Annex 13 as the State of Manufacture and Design of the engines.

"Soulmates":  Stephanie Illingworth dreamed of marrying Ben Ogden

The girlfriend of a London lawyer killed in a plane crash in Nepal said today he would never have visited the country if they had known about its “terrible” air safety record.

Ben Ogden, 27, was one of seven Britons killed in the accident in September  which was the sixth fatal plane crash in two years in Nepal.

His girlfriend, Stephanie Illingworth, a 27-year-old civil servant, said she was “still in denial” over his death.

The couple, who lived in Finsbury Park, met at fresher’s week at Oxford in 2004 and travelled the world together after university.

Mr Ogden had booked a three-week trekking holiday in Nepal before starting his new job as an associate in employment law at international  firm Allen & Overy.

He was killed in a twin-engine aircraft carrying trekkers to Everest which was operated  by domestic carrier Sita Air. It came down minutes after take-off on the south-west edge of capital Kathmandu. All 19 people on board died.

The tragedy came on the anniversary of the 1992 Kathmandu plane crash which killed all 167 people on board, including 36 Britons.

Ms Illingworth’s final contact with Mr Ogden was a text he sent the night before he died, saying he loved her and wished they could be together. She said: “It’s unimaginably difficult for me. I think I’m still in denial over what’s happened, it’s been so traumatic.

“I spoke to him at lunchtime the day before it happened and he sent me a text before he went to bed. He was just going on holiday and even now it feels in my heart like he’s just away and has not come home.”

Ms Illingworth told how her pleas for information from Sita Air have been met with silence. She has instructed aviation lawyers at Irwin Mitchell, who are working with the other victims’ families to secure an overhaul of flight safety in Nepal. Ms Illingworth said: “When I read reports glamorising Everest, they never mention to risks of flying there or the systematic failure of the aviation in Nepal. Tourists undertake this trip because of the allure of Everest but may well be unaware of the risks involved in the flight transfer there.

“We have been told absolutely no information about what caused the fatal accident which killed our beloved Ben and yet these planes are still flying every day and continue to crash.

“If Ben and I had known about the air safety record in Nepal then he would not have gone on his holiday and he would still be with me now.”

The latest plane crash in Nepal was five days ago, when a Sita Air-operated Dornier 228 touched down short of the runway, causing the nose and landing gear to collapsed. Seven people on board escaped serious injury.

Former RAF pilot Jim Morris, a partner at Irwin Mitchell, said: “We and the families that we represent call on authorities in Nepal to recognise the concerns over aviation safety and ensure that a full review is carried out to prevent a repeat of the recent crashes.”

Story and Photo:

Yakovlev YAK-55M, N176FD: Accident occurred June 01, 2014 in Stevens Point, Wisconsin

NTSB Identification: CEN14FA266 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, June 01, 2014 in Stevens Point, WI
Aircraft: YAKOVLEV YAK-55M, registration: N176FD
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

On June 1, 2014, about 1222 central daylight time, a Yakovlev model YAK-55M airplane, N176FD, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain during an aerobatic flight over the Stevens Point Municipal Airport (STE), Stevens Point, Wisconsin. The airline transport pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 without a flight plan. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local airshow demonstration flight that departed about 1220.

The flight team manager, who also provided the public-announcement during the accident flight, reported that the accident flight began with the airplane rolling inverted shortly after liftoff, followed by a shallow inverted climb past show-center. The airplane then rolled upright before entering a 90-degree turn away from show-center and the crowd. The airplane continued to climb, while on the opposite heading used for the takeoff, before it turned back to the runway heading and reentered the aerobatic box. The airplane then rolled inverted before it entered a 45-degree dive toward show-center. The airplane then completed several descending aileron rolls before it rolled wings level and entered a near vertical climb. At the apex of the climb/loop, the airplane entered an inverted flat spin.

Ground-based video footage showed that the airplane completed 3-1/2 rotations in the inverted flat spin before it entered a near vertical dive. The video footage then showed a momentary increase in airplane pitch, achieving a positive deck angle of about 20-degrees, before the airplane entered a rapid left roll. The airplane then entered a nose-down left descending spiral into terrain.

A postaccident examination established that the airplane impacted terrain in a near vertical attitude. Flight control continuity was confirmed from all flight control surfaces to their respective cockpit controls. The engine was located in a 2-1/2 feet deep impact crater and remained partially connected to the firewall. Three engine cylinders had partially separated from the crankcase, which prevented the engine from being rotated. After removing several cylinders, an internal examination did not reveal any mechanical discontinuities within the engine drivetrain. The No. 1 magneto exhibited impact damage that prevented a functional test. The No. 2 magneto provided a spark on all leads when rotated. All three propeller blades exhibited damage consistent with the engine producing power at the time of impact. The postaccident examination of the airplane did not reveal any mechanical anomalies that would have prevented normal operation. A handheld GPS and GoPro video camera were recovered from the wreckage and were sent to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Vehicle Recorder Laboratory for readout.

Contributed photo
 Air Show Menomonie pilots Bill Cowden, left, and Jeff Overby will participate in the Airfest & Autorama June 21-22 at Menomonie Municipal Airport.

Posted: Thursday, June 6, 2013 11:17 pm | Updated: 11:39 pm, Thu Jun 6, 2013. 

By Pamela Powers,  Menomonie News 

MENOMONIE — Racing through the air in his Russian Yak 55m single-seat airplane, pilot Bill Cowden enjoys the precision and speed of aerobatic flying.

Cowden, 46, of Menomonie, will perform as part of the first Menomonie Airfest & Autorama at Menomonie Municipal Airport June 21 and 22.

The rain date is June 23.

"It's very demanding," Cowden said of aerobatic flying, noting his airplane travels as fast as 220 mph. "You're going from high speeds to low speeds to going backwards. It's all precision flying."

Cowden, a pilot for Delta Air Lines, learned to fly when he entered the Air Force in 1986, when he was selected for pilot training. He accumulated 1,500 hours flying in an F-16 before retiring in 2006 with the rank of major.

Cowden is teaching Jeff Overby, a pilot who will perform at the air show and announce the aerobatic show. Overby, 46, of Menomonie has been flying for the past 15 years. He previously raced motorcycles, snowmobiles and was a ski jumper.

"Aerobatics comes as a new challenge," Overby said.

The 90-minute aerobatics show is choreographed to music and includes various pilot maneuvers that go by names such as rolls and stalls and hammerheads.

"There will be a lot of photo opportunities with surface-level high-speed passes and smoke coming from the airplanes," Overby said.

Event attendees will have the opportunity to meet pilots, who, in addition to Cowden and Overby, will include Grant Nielsen and Pete Tallarita, both of New Richmond, and Darrell Massman of Ogdensburg.

A Blue Angels air show in Eau Claire scheduled for later this year was canceled, prompting more interest in the Menomonie show, Overby said. Proceeds from the show will be donated to the Don Fanetti Memorial Aviation Scholarship.

The two-day Menomonie air show will be about more than aerobatic airplanes. The event also will include a classic car cruise from 3 to 9 p.m. June 21 and a classic car show with 14 categories from 8 a.m. to noon June 22.

If You Go

What: Menomonie Airfest &  Autorama.

When: Noon to 8 p.m. Friday, June 21, and 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. June 22. Rain date is June 23.

Where: Menomonie Municipal Airport, 1400 Indianhead Drive.

Admission: Free. $10 charge for seats at the front of viewing area.

Information: or on Facebook at Menomonie Airfest & Autorama, 715-379-8393.

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Menomonie Airfest & Autorama:

Havasu, Arizona: Residents restore plane

Greg Moberly/News-Herald
 Jim Lasley, on the left, and Richard Griffitts, stand beside the GB/1 Special that they are restoring. The duo is hoping to have the plane restored in the next 60 days.

Posted: Friday, June 7, 2013 12:01 am

By GREG MOBERLY Today's News-Herald

Jim Lasley was busy toiling away in Richard Griffitts’ garage Thursday afternoon at the 2200 block of Ajo Drive, but they weren’t performing routine vehicle maintenance. The work was more involved than that.

The friends were restoring a 1971 Glen Beets Special or GB/1 Special that they uncovered in January at a private airstrip in Havasu Heights. They got the plane for nothing, but by the time they are finished refurbishing it to its former glory they anticipate spending between $22,000 and $23,000.

Lasley, 81, is a retired motion picture and air show stunt pilot and Griffitts, 73, is a retired agricultural pilot. Although retired, both have held on to their love of aviation as a hobby.

“We’ve taken it down to the bare frame,” Lasley said of the work they are doing.

Griffitts said he figures they are refurbishing about 50 percent of the plane and they’re using all original material.

Bill Mosser with Eagle Wood Works is helping the duo with the wood restoration on the plane.

“We’re refurbishing it (to last) for another 30 to 40 years,” Griffitts said.

They want to restore the plane in order to fly it recreationally and show it off a bit as well.

“The good lord willing and the creek don’t rise, we’re going to fly it,” Lasley said.

Lasley mentioned that he would like to display the plane during the London Bridge Days parade in October as well.

But Thursday they were doing what they have been doing for several months now, working out of Griffitts’ garage on the parasol monoplane.

Every weekday, the two are busy working on the plane.

So far they have put about $15,000 into the single seat plane’s restoration and they are anticipating completing the work in about two months.

They are looking for a pair of wing struts for the plane, but are expecting they will have to shell out $3,000 or so for another set.

The duo also is looking out for small shop with “reasonable rent” where they can complete the work, which includes more painting among other things.

The colors of the plane won’t be restored to the original red and white. Instead, the duo plan on painting the plane red and black and the red will be a brighter red than the original red, Griffitts said.

Glen Betts, the original designer and builder of the plane, completed the plane at Flabob Airport in Riverside, Calif. He and his wife have since passed away and the plane has bounced around the country through different owners, heading east to Florida and more locally to Bullhead City, before eventually ending up in Havasu Heights, Griffitts said.

After the plane was originally completed, it was put on display at the Experimental Aircraft Association event in Oshkosh, Wis.

Griffitts and Lasley have no plans of getting rid of the plane once they’ve completed the restoration.

For Lasley, he said he’s restored probably about 100 planes since he was 12 years old. The GB/1 Special is Griffitts second restoration effort.

Once the refurbishing work is complete, the plane will be able to travel about 600 miles on the two tanks of gas and it can climb about 2,000 feet in a minute, Lasley said.

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