Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Firm seeks Federal Aviation Administration OK for tall Vegas Strip thrill ride

FOX5 Vegas - KVVU 

Posted June 17, 2013 - 6:06pm 
Updated June 18, 2013 - 6:21am 


As Las Vegas turns to high-adrenaline rides to freshen its appeal to visitors, one developer has quietly started to move ahead with a roller coaster that would look down on all but one building on the Strip.

U.S. Thrill Rides LLC has submitted plans to the Federal Aviation Administration in April to build the 650-foot-tall Polercoaster, the company’s name for a scream machine that combines an observation tower with a coaster on the way up and down. Because of the height and location — a map with the application shows it at the Tropicana — the agency must assess any potential hazard posed to the planes flying in and out of nearby McCarran International Airport.

Because the Federal Aviation Administration is still evaluating the project, critical pieces such as financing and a firm deal on the site still have not fallen into place.

However, U.S. Thrill Rides President Michael Kitchen said the company has held discussions with banks willing to furnish loans for the Polercoaster, with an estimated cost approaching $100 million.

He declined to comment on the location. A spokeswoman for Tropicana did not comment.

“This will be the tallest roller coaster in the world,” he said. “Since Las Vegas is one of the top tourist destinations in the world, we think it will get higher visibility and foot traffic than other places.”

Windmere, Fla.-based U.S. Thrill Rides has built about 300 rides, many of them roller coasters for amusement parks. Company founder and CEO Bill Kitchen, Michael Kitchen’s father, said he conceived the Polercoaster idea as a way to add a thrill ride to an existing destination that lacks much open land.

“It goes very high, so you get an enormous amount of thrill from a very small amount of space,” Bill Kitchen said. “Using a couple of acres that you would need for a regular roller coaster would be out of reach on the Strip because of the cost.”

The Polercoast would resemble something like the Stratosphere tower, with a round top that would including dining, retail and an observation deck. The Stratosphere, at 1,149 feet, would still be far taller.

On the Strip, only the unfinished Fontainbleau resort at 735 feet has gone higher than the proposed Polercoaster; the Palazzo would be 8 feet shorter.

Polercoaster’s center core would contain two glass elevators to the top for people who just want to look but not ride. Around that would run a regular spiral track to guide the eight self-propelled passenger cars to the top. Outside of that and the structure’s supporting pillars would be downhill ride, including several twists, turns and loops.

Altitude has become something of the new theme for inducing tourists to leave more of their money in Las Vegas. The attractions include:

■ The Slotzilla zip line, now under construction on Fremont Street.

■ A hybrid zip line and ski lift that would whisk visitors from the top of one tower at Rio to the other and back. The Federal Aviation Administration approval became final on Saturday.

■ The 550-foot High Roller observation wheel that Caesars Entertainment is building just off the Strip next to the Flamingo as part of The Linq.

■ A multi-stage zip line connecting MGM Resorts International’s Luxor and Excalibur resorts. A company spokeswoman said the project is in the design phase after a monthslong process in which the Federal Aviation Administration  decertified a heliport on the Excalibur’s roof that was an obstacle to approving the zip line.

U.S. Thrill Rides currently does not operate a ride in Las Vegas but had the Sky Screamer ride in the mid-1990s that was part of the now-dismantled amusement park at the MGM Grand.

Story and Comments/Reaction:  http://www.reviewjournal.com

Opinion/Letter: Noise from skydiving business is disturbing neighborhood


June 18, 2013 2:27 PM 


We used to have nice quiet neighborhoods on the west side of Lancaster, where families were attracted to locate and build new homes to enjoy quiet neighborhoods. Its less quiet since the county was forced by the Federal Aviation Administration to allow this noisy business to locate at the airport.

The noisy planes from the business climb in a circular pattern over our city and homes at full throttle to get to a high elevation to drop off the skydivers. Then the plane sounds like a World War II dive bomber as it quickly dives in a tight circular pattern back to the airport to repeat the noise cycle all day. The owner of the business moved it from the Columbus area to the county’s airport in 2011. The skydiving business used to operate from a private airstrip about 10 miles southwest of Rickenbacker Airport. Was this business forced to move because of the noise the planes were creating over the rapidly expanding Columbus metro area? The business advertises to attract skydivers from all over central Ohio to come to Lancaster and state that it is the No. 1 skydiving operation in Ohio and only one in central Ohio.

See http://www.skydivecmh.com. Hopefully, there is a way the business can operate without creating all the noise. For example, why don’t the planes climb and dive farther north or west of the airport over the farm land miles away from the city? Can they use quieter airplanes or props or not use full throttle over the city? Other planes flying over the city are not as noisy.

At least the planes should stop power diving in a tight circle back down to land. One would think the flight back down could be the quietest, but instead it’s the noisiest. Listen to the noise at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XcXdhgNHzU.

I understand that the the airport is getting some taxpayers money to improve the airport. How much of our tax dollars are being used to support this noise-making business? Here is an example of what one airport did in U.S. to help address this. http://www.wickedlocal.com/chatham/news/x537695290/Skydiving-plane-noise-prompts-changes-at-Chatham-Airport#axzz2U9zc9VlO.

Bruce Goff


Source:   http://www.lancastereaglegazette.com/OPINION

Boeing Wins Orders for Stretched 787: WSJ

June 18, 2013, 7:31 a.m. ET 


The Wall Street Journal

LE BOURGET, France—Boeing Co. said Tuesday it had signed up the first five customers for a new stretched version of its 787 Dreamliner, a milestone in a marketing push it hopes will reignite sales of the aircraft after the current version was temporarily grounded this year.

The orders it received for 102 of the enlarged Dreamliners are valued at a total of nearly $30 billion at the plane's list price of $290 million, but the actual value is likely to be smaller because early customers tend to get steep discounts.

The buyers of the new plane, called the 787-10, include Air Lease Corp.,  International Consolidated Airlines Group SA's British Airways unit, General Electric Co.'s aircraft-leasing group Gecas, Singapore Airlines Ltd. and United Continental Holdings Inc.

The 787-10 is designed to compete with the newest plane from Airbus, the A350, which flew for the first time last week. Airbus, a unit of European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co. hopes the A350 will capture a large chunk of the market for long-distance wide-body aircraft. Boeing also aims to launch a new, larger version of its 777 by year's end to fend off Airbus's assault on its most lucrative jets.

The orders unveiled Tuesday prompted Boeing's board to formally approve the launch of the 787-10, allowing the company to commit to contracts and take deposits on the aircraft, as well as to prepare for design work and eventually manufacturing.

Boeing's board gave preliminary approval to the larger plane eight months ago, allowing the company's sales teams to begin negotiations with prospective buyers. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Boeing would launch the 787-10 this week at the Paris air show.

Steven Udvar-H├ízy, chief executive of Air Lease, said he was pleased about the formal launch of the stretched Dreamliner, which he said he had been working with Boeing to design for the past 2½ years.

The 787-10, which has about 320 seats, is the third version of the Dreamliner, and is expected to be the last. The jet won't fly as far as the 787-8, the smaller 240-seat version of the jet, or the 787-9, a second version with 270 seats, which Boeing expects to start delivering next year.

The 787-8s, which are already in service, were grounded by global regulators from January through late April after twin incidents in which their lithium-ion batteries caught fire.

Boeing said Tuesday that the 787-10, which it plans to start delivering in 2018, will be as much as 25% more fuel-efficient than older aircraft with a similar range of up to about 7,000 nautical miles, or about 14 hours of flying.

The new orders put further pressure on Boeing to accelerate production of the Dreamliner beyond its current target of 10 jets a month, which it expects to hit at year's end. Boeing has additional factory space in its new North Charleston, S.C., facility to step up production, but such an increase largely depends on its vast supply chain, which has struggled in the past.

Airbus has announced commitments for its A380 and A320 during the air show, but new orders for the long-range A350 haven't materialized. John Leahy, Airbus chief operating officer for customers, has hinted some may be announced at the show.

Mr. Leahy was quick to criticize Boeing's new jet, comparing the 787-10 to another stretched wide-body Boeing developed early in the past decade, which met limited success. Boeing has already received nearly three times as many orders for the 787-10 as it did for the jet to which Mr. Leahy referred.

Air Lease said it would order 33 787s altogether, including 30 787-10s. Gecas is ordering 10 of the stretched version. United Airlines parent United Continental is ordering 10 new 787-10s and converting an order for 10 of the smaller versions of the plane into an order for the bigger aircraft. British Airways ordered 12 787-10s. Singapore Airlines has ordered 30.

Boeing also landed an order Tuesday for five of its 747-8 passenger jets and six 777-300ER jets from Korean Air Lines Inc.  The order is a boost for the struggling jumbo 747 as demand for large jets has slumped and the air-cargo market has remained stagnant, prompting Boeing to trim production for 2014.

—David Pearson and Daniel Michaels contributed to this article.  

Source:  http://online.wsj.com

Boeing 787 Makes Unscheduled Landing: WSJ

A Boeing Co. 787 Dreamliner operated by United Airlines on a flight from Denver to Tokyo made an unscheduled landing in Seattle because of an apparent problem with an oil filter on an engine.

The aircraft landed "normally and without incident," United, a unit of United Continental Holdings Inc. said.

Perry Cooper, a spokesman for Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, said emergency and fire personnel met the plane when it landed but determined there was no fire or other immediate threat, and left the issue to United's mechanics.

"There's no worry from our end," he said. "There's nothing visibly wrong with it."

There was no indication the incident was related to problems with the Dreamliner's lithium-ion batteries that prompted global regulators in mid-January to ground the jets for three months. Boeing received approval from regulators for a package of fixes designed to ensure the battery system's safety, which it installed on all Dreamliners in service before they resumed flights starting in late April.

Smaller-scale problems are common with new airplane models like the Dreamliner, which first entered commercial service in late 2011.

A Boeing spokeswoman shortly after the incident said the company was aware of the event and was "engaged with United to provide any support required." She said Boeing was also coordinating with General Electric Co. which makes the engines on United's Dreamliners.

United said flight 139 from Denver to Tokyo's Narita airport "diverted to Seattle due to an indication of a problem with an oil filter." The airline said it is working to accommodate the flight's passengers.

The plane took off from Denver International Airport at 3:19 p.m. EDT, about 45 minutes late. The aircraft flew past Seattle into Canada and then turned around. It landed at Seattle-Tacoma around 7:15 p.m. EDT, according to FlightAware.com, a flight-tracking website.

United launched the Denver-to-Tokyo service on June 10 after a lengthy delay. It is the first-ever nonstop service between the two cities, and one of the routes that the 787 makes financially feasible because the Dreamliner has long range for an aircraft its size.

—Jason Dean contributed to this article.

Source:  http://online.wsj.com

Warren County might help Middletown Regional/Hook Field Airport (KMWO), Middletown, Ohio

An airplane lands at Middletown Regional/Hook Field Airport (KMWO).

Posted: 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, June 18, 2013 
By Denise G. Callahan

LEBANON —   The city of Middletown is looking at ways to enhance and expand operations at its airport, and it may have found a willing partner in the Warren County Port Authority.

Denise Hamet, Middletown’s economic development director, said there is a lot of undeveloped acreage at Hook Field and the demand for hangars — which are currently all filled — is increasing. She said the city is looking to expand educational opportunities at the airport such as flight and helicopter training, possibly through a partnership with Cincinnati State Community and Technical College. There is also federal money available to retrain military veterans that could be tapped.

“We think it’s a great economic development asset as other airports become full,” Hamet said. “We not only see the development of more hangar space, we would like to make it more of a gateway to Middletown.”

The future of the airport has been the subject of much speculation in recent months. Late last year, information was leaked from a Middletown City Council executive session that the city was considering selling Hook Field.

City officials downplayed the discussions as part of the budgeting process and their yearly evaluation of all its assets. The notion of selling the airport was also cast as unlikely because the city has 20 years worth of Federal Aviation Administration grants to repay.

Warren County Economic Development Director Martin Russell broached the subject of partnering with Middletown on future projects at the airport during the port authority’s board meeting on Monday. Middletown, which lies in Butler and Warren counties, could choose any port authority to partner with, even though the airport sits within Butler County.

Russell told the port authority’s board he was looking for guidance on whether they would be interested in reaching across the border. Some members expressed concern there could be political fallout with Butler County officials.

“Are there any unintended consequences that we haven’t thought about?” board member Jill Hreben said. “I think you have to use your discretion a little bit and get the county’s input into whether or not you just work with Middletown directly, or, try to be courteous to the Butler County Port Authority.”

Board members were concerned it might appear Russell was trying to “steal” projects from other jurisdictions. Both he and Middletown Economic Development Program Manager Matt Eisenbraun said the idea came up when they were working on projects underway on the Warren County side of Middletown near Atrium Medical Center.

Hamet said it is still very early in this process, and perhaps, they can work with both port authorities as they try to find creative ways to develop ideas and fund improvements at Hook Field.

Mike Campbell, who is the executive director of the Butler County Port Authority, was not aware of the communications between Warren County and Middletown, but fully expected to hear from Russell soon.

He said the Butler County Port Authority has so many projects going on right now, he’s not sure they can take a major role in what looks to be a pretty big venture.

“Based on where our volume is and our capability and everything, you don’t even know if you’ve got the where-with-all necessarily to do everything…,” Campbell said of a potential partnership among the three entities. “I’m pretty confident at some point we’ll talk about it. We’ll see what our participation would be.” 

Source:  http://www.middletownjournal.com

Aerial spraying for mosquitoes will begin tonight: North Dakota (With Video)

Dean Solum 
 Airborne Custom Spraying

Published June 18, 2013, 06:03 PM 

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV)-- Get ready to see a low flying plane in the metro area this evening. 

Aerial spraying will begin for Fargo, West Fargo, Moorhead and parts of Cass County around eight o'clock.

An aircraft filled with hundreds of gallons of mosquito spray will take to the skies, until about eleven-thirty.

Mosquitoes are still rampant after ground spraying last week.

Dean Solum- Airborne Custom Spraying: "The airplane actually covers the entire area. It's a blanket coverage. When we're fogging by ground, we don't always get the back of the yards, the top of the trees, the eave troughs. Areas that mosquitoes are habituating that are just really difficult to get to."

Tomorrow night, Oxbow, Frontier and Oak Port Township will be aerial sprayed.

Story, Photo, Video:  http://www.wday.com

Frenchman who faked flying sentenced to time served in bizarre cockpit stunt

Philippe Jeannard 

A Frenchman with a flair for the dramatic — and pretending to be a commercial pilot — was sentenced Tuesday to time served for his bizarre stunt inside the cockpit of a U.S. Airways plane at Philadelphia International Airport three months ago.

Philippe Jeannard, 61, of La Rochelle, France, was arrested March 20 and pleaded guilty in early May to one count of fraud. No one was injured or endangered in the incident, which raised questions about the ease with which Jeannard made his way to an airplane cockpit on the airport runway donning a fake pilot's outfit.

He was arrested after boarding the plane using a fraudulent identification card of a former Air France employee.

At the May 8 plea hearing, the foreign national didn't say why he pulled the stunt, but details did emerge about Jeannard: he's single, retired from a job in advertising, travels between France and a rental in at a hotel in Palm Beach, Fla., and — not surprisingly — loves wine.

Upon his release from the federal penitentiary in Philadelphia, where he's been held since his arrest, he "will be removed and will not be permitted back into the United States without written permission from the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security," according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Philadelphia.

U.S. District Court Judge Gene E.K. Pratter also ordered Jeannard to pay $4,875 in reimbursement for counsel’s fees that she found he had the ability to pay. He was also ordered to pay a $100 special assessment. 

Source:  http://www.philly.com

Southwest Georgia Regional Airport (KABY) to move radio towers

Yvette Aehle, Southwest Georgia Regional Airport Director

Posted: Jun 18, 2013 6:12 PM EST 
Updated: Jun 18, 2013 6:13 PM EST 
By Devin Knight
City commissioners give the Southwest Georgia Regional Airport permission to go ahead with the next phase of a major construction project, if the federal government approves grant money for it.

As construction on the new terminal wraps up, the Federal Aviation Administration requires radio towers be moved from the old terminal into a new structure next to the air traffic control tower.

The airport applied for two Federal Aviation Administration grants, worth about $500, to pay for the relocation as the next phase of the new terminal project.

"The FAA, obviously, is part of this program too. They're not going to let us just build the current terminal without moving forward. This is a multi-air program, and we've been in close contact with the Federal Aviation Administration throughout the last five years to get us to this point," said Yvette Aehle, ABY Director.

Aehle said demolition of the old terminal can begin once the towers are moved into the new 300 sq. ft. structure. She said a parking lot will be built in place of the old terminal as the third phase of construction.

The new terminal is scheduled to open July 10th. 

Source:  http://www.walb.com

Flying model airplanes could be outlawed in Albany, Georgia

Roger Marietta, City Commissioner, at Tuesday's meeting

Posted: June 18, 2013 6:52 PM EST 
Updated: June 18, 2013 6:52 PM EST
By Devin Knight


Flying a model airplane within Albany's city limits could soon be outlawed because of privacy concerns.

Tuesday, City Commissioner Roger Marietta proposed an ordinance to ban the aircraft because of their ability to take photographs from above. He said you can buy a remote controlled helicopter with cameras for about $400 and use it to spy on your neighbors.

Now, commissioners are considering designating specific areas for the airplanes or keeping them out of the city entirely.

"There's no reason why Albany couldn't have a designated area somewhere on the outskirts of the city that was big enough and not near residential neighborhoods to be a perfectly appropriate area to fly model airplanes," said Roger Marietta, City Commissioner.

Marietta said the city attorney is drafting an ordinance that commissioners will discuss next month.

Source:   http://www.walb.com

They own the night: Central Oregon Community College trains pilots in night vision -- Leading Edge Aviation, Inc. -- Bend Municipal Airport (KBDN)

Mike Stewart, 31, left, a Central Oregon Community College aviation program student, and Jared Douglas, assistant chief flight instructor at Leading Edge Aviation, adjust their night-vision goggles prior to flying last week at Bend Municipal Airport in a photo taken with a fish-eye lens. The helicopter program at COCC is one of the few in the country with a course in night-vision flying. 
Ryan Brennecke / The Bulletin

 Jared Douglas, a flight instructor at Leading Edge Aviation in Bend, Oregon, describes why the company offers a course in night vision goggle flying for helicopter pilots. Students in the Central Oregon Community College aviation program are taking the course. 
For more on the program go to www.bendbulletin.com/nightflight.  
Leading Edge Aviation, Inc. 
At the Bend Municipal Airport

By Dylan J. Darling / The Bulletin 
Published: June 18. 2013 4:00AM PST

Pilots flying into Prineville Airport at night usually use a radio trick to turn on the runway lights so they can see the small airstrip.

But as Mike Stewart, a student pilot at Central Oregon Community College, guided a helicopter toward the airport on a recent night, he kept the field dark on his approach.

While to the naked eye the airport was just a black void between bright lights, Stewart could see in the dark. He and his instructor, Jared Douglas, assistant chief flight instructor at Leading Edge Aviation, were wearing night-vision goggles, which provide a green, monochromatic view of the world.

“The first few times you fly, it is kind of odd," said Stewart, 31, who is close to completing his two-year degree in aviation.

The helicopter program at COCC is one of the few in the country with a course in night-vision flying. While military pilots have been using night-vision goggles for decades, the skill is just now becoming part of civilian helicopter flying.

The aviation program at COCC started seven years ago with about a dozen students. Now there are 200, with about half learning to fly planes and the other half learning to fly helicopters, said Karl Baldessari, head of the COCC aviation program. The goal is to double in size, to about 400 students.

The overall cost of the degree is about $80,000, but Stewart, a veteran, is funding his schooling through the GI Bill.

Baldessari said 60 percent of the aviation students are veterans, although only 5 percent of them were military pilots.

Offering cutting-edge training like night-vision flying will help COCC aviation grow, Baldessari said. Pilots in air ambulances, police airships and private helicopters are using night-vision goggles more and more, so the school wants its students to be ready for those career opportunities.

While COCC handles the classroom studies for the helicopter pilots in training, Bend-based Leading Edge Aviation conducts flight training, including a course on flying with night-vision gear.

In daytime, helicopter students learn to land at airports, in confined spaces and on mountaintops, said Karl Cotton, chief flight instructor at Leading Edge Aviation. Then they fly to the same spots and land at night.

“We find students adapt to them fairly quickly," he said.

Stewart was already familiar with night-vision goggles before flying with them as part of his studies. He was in the U.S. Navy for 61⁄2 years, serving as the crew chief of a MH-60S Nighthawk, a version of the Blackhawk equipped for search-and-rescue missions. The pilots and crew members all wore night-vision goggles at night.

While still adjusting to being behind the control stick as he wears the goggles, Stewart said he is used to what he is seeing because of his time in the Navy.

“The view is pretty much the same," he said.

Looking through the $10,000 goggles, which have a 40-degree field of vision and one-color interpretation of the world, is like “being in your own movie," Douglas said. He has to remind himself that it is not a simulation. The goggles are hypersensitive, lighting the terrain below with the smallest of light sources.

“You are realistically looking at all the detail you could imagine, but in what would be otherwise complete, stark darkness," he said. “So it is pretty surreal at first."

Story, Photo, Video:  http://www.bendbulletin.com

Leading Edge Aviation:  http://www.leadingedgeavn.com

Central Oregon Community College:  http://www.cocc.edu

For more on the program go to www.bendbulletin.com/nightflight