Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Phillips Field Airport (MO23), California, Missouri: The annual fly-in draws crowd

Ron Hansen takes off from the California Phillips Field in a Bellanca Cruisemaster on Saturday, June 8.

Originally published June 19, 2013 at 6 a.m., updated June 18, 2013 at 11:51 a.m. 

The good weather undoubtedly contributed to the number of people drawn to the annual fly-in event at Phillips Field a couple of miles northeast of California. The smooth 2500-ft grass runway ranges from 50 to 130 feet wide.

The field has several new hangars and new members who have recently joined the non-profit club. It is not necessary to be a pilot to be a member.

The flying club hosted the "Cal-MO Flying Club Fly-in & Pig Roast" on Saturday, June 8. it was attended by 82 people who were interested in aviation and food. William R. Elliott, armed with a camera, took a large number of photos of the event, several of which have been submitted to the California Democrat.

Visiting pilots flew in to the event bringing the number of planes on the field on Saturday to 14. Following a lunch of pulled pork, brats, and side dishes, children and families went on a Pilot Tour to see the planes and talk to the pilots.

There were also several "planes" built just for the younger set. One was an educational toy trainer, built by Dale Carlson, for practice flying and another was a Stearman kiddie biplane, built by Bill Elliott, for photo shoots.

Phillips Field is a private airport about two miles northeast of California on Airport Road. For information contact Tom Winters at 573-301-7146 or Gerald Wood at 573-480-1300. Airport Road is about a mile north of Business 50 on Industrial Drive. The gate at Phillips Field is about eight-tenths of a mile east of Industrial Road and is prominently marked with a sign with "Phillips Field" and an airplane on it. The gate and hangars are usually locked.

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Mount Everest Airport Will Terrify You (PHOTOS)

Lukla airport


Published: June 18, 2013, 3:02 PM EDT Associated Press 

LUKLA, Nepal - As soon as the decades-old Twin Otter landed at Lukla airport, passengers burst out in applause. They do that for nearly every safe landing at the often terrifying airport at the gateway to Mount Everest.

At an altitude of 2,843 meters (9,325 feet), the small airstrip here has earned a reputation as one of the most extreme and dangerous airports in the world. The single runway is narrow, short and sloped. Miss the runway by a few meters (or feet) and the plane would hit a mountain.

"After you cross the river there is no turning back, you have to land," said Pramod Poudel, a Tara Air pilot who has flown hundreds of these flights to Lukla.

Carved out of the side of a mountain, the airport was built by Sir Edmund Hillary in 1965 — 12 years after he became the first man to conquer the world's highest peak — to help the local yak herders known as Sherpas spur development in the impoverished area.

Now what once was a dirt strip is one of Nepal's busiest airports, the Tenzing-Hillary Airport — named as well for Hillary's climbing partner Tenzing Norgay. The thousands of mountaineers and trekkers who visit the Everest region have to fly to the airport if they want to avoid a daylong bus trip from Katmandu and five days of trekking to reach here. The airport has handled up to 79 flights on one day — far beyond the acceptable capacity for such a facility, said Rinji, the airport's air traffic controller, who, like most Sherpas in the Everest region, uses only one name.

"It is really challenging, because of the geographical location of the airport and high mountains that surround it. Topography is challenging and the traffic volume is challenging," said Rinji. "There is little space for aircraft to maneuver because of the high mountains and narrow valley."

Poudel, the pilot, said he and his colleagues need to concentrate hard when landing on the single runway, which is less than 500 meters (yards) long, slopes some 12 degrees and is barely 20 meters (65 feet) wide.

"Because there is no way to go around again, we have to calculate many things like air speed, tail wind, fog," he said. "If you don't do the proper calculation or proper exercise, then it" — meaning an accident — "happens."

The airport can only handle special short take-off and landing (STOL) aircraft like the Twin Otter or Dronier that take about 18 passengers. It has room for only four of these planes to be parked at one time. The runway is one-way for both takeoff and landing. Aircraft have to land from the southwest and take off toward the northeast because at the end of one side of the runway is a mountain. When winds are blowing in an unfavorable direction, all takeoffs and landings have to stop.

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Glasair SH-2F, N15GG: Accident occurred June 12, 2013 in Montague, California

NTSB Identification: WPR13FA269
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, June 12, 2013 in Montague, CA
Aircraft: GRAVES LARRY L SH-2F, registration: N15GG
Injuries: 2 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 12, 2013, about 0715 Pacific daylight time, an experimental amateur built Graves SH-2F airplane, N15GG, was destroyed when it impacted terrain near Montague, California. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The private pilot and commercial pilot were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight. The local flight originated from the Montague Airport - Yreka Rohrer Field (105) near Montague at an unknown time.

According to local law enforcement, witnesses located near the accident site reported hearing the sound of an airplane maneuvering followed by the sound of impact. Shortly after, the witnesses located the airplane wreckage in an open field. There were no reported witnesses to the accident sequence.

A manager of a local Fixed Base Operator (FBO) reported that the owner of the airplane was selling the airplane and was going to flying with another pilot in an effort to “get a feel for the airplane" so they could demonstrate it to potential buyers.

Examination of the accident site by local law enforcement revealed that the airplane impacted an open field and came to rest inverted. All major structural components of the airplane were located within about 40 feet of the main wreckage. The wreckage was recovered to a secure location for further examination.

Lloyd Rugg

Lloyd Rugg 

Sweet husband, wonderful son and father, superb pilot and strong, hardworking quiet man Lloyd Rugg left this world on June 12, 2013.

He was with his good friend Larry Graves doing what they loved – flying on a beautiful, calm and peaceful morning.

"Our son Tom, being the fine reflection of his father, Lloyd, will for now work with our trusted friends Don Smith and Ken Bolton at Shasta Valley Tire. Lloyd began the business with his father, Bud, 43 years ago. Lloyd's mother, Marjorie, continues on as always, carefully doing the books despite the heartbreaking event."

A memorial for Lloyd will be at the little Montague airport at 9 a.m. on Sunday, June 30, followed by a celebration of life for Larry Graves at the Montague Community Hall at 10 a.m.

 "We are so very grateful to family and friends for their generous support."


Former airline pilot Iain Lawrence trial: 'Leg spasm caused wife's death'

 Sally Lawrence died after the car she was traveling in crashed into a tree in Leicestershire 

18 June 2013 Last updated at 22:25

A former pilot accused of deliberately crashing his car to kill his wife told a jury he suffered a spasm in his leg leaving him unable to drive properly.

Iain Lawrence, of Ratcliffe Road, Leicester, who denies murder, told a jury the crash which killed his wife Sally Lawrence was an accident.

He is accused of deliberately crashing the car to kill her because he could not cope with their divorce.

Mr Lawrence said he could not get his foot off the accelerator.

'Other leg numb'

The prosecution at Leicester Crown Court alleged the former airline pilot crashed the car in Oadby, near Leicester, after an "acrimonious conversation" the night before.

But Mr Lawrence, 53, said his leg went into a "full blown" spasm sending an "excruciating" pain down to his toes.

"It's horrendous. You can't move. I've just got to hold on for grim death. It hurts so much," he said.

"I put my right leg straight down onto the accelerator. Sally shouted 'What's happening?' because I was holding on tight at the time.

"I was trying to get my foot off the accelerator. I shouted 'It's my leg'."

Asked why he did not try to brake he said his left leg had also gone numb, adding that he did not try to steer out of the way.

He also denied accusations that the airbag had been disabled and Mrs Lawrence's seatbelt was not fastened.

Earlier in the trial, the court heard the pair, who have one child together, had an "acrimonious conversation" the night before the crash about divorce and their finances.

But Mr Lawrence told the jury it was an amicable split and his wife, who had two children from a previous relationship, was his "soul mate".

The court also heard that he could not remember the crash until he had a nightmare about a month after it happened in October last year.

The trial continues.


Air Mods Flight & Service Center located in the Trenton-Robbinsville Airport (N87) -- Robbinsville, New Jersey

Co-owners of Air Mods Flight & Service Center located in the Trenton Robbinsville Airport, Dave Mathiesen, left and fiancee Lisa Campbell. Air Mods offers airplane inspections, maintenance, pre-purchase inspections, flight instruction/training, airplane detailing, has airplanes for sale and an online computer testing center for students to take their pilot exams. 

Michael Mancuso/The Times

Air Mods Flight & Service Center 
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