Friday, June 21, 2013

Jamestown Regional Airport (KJMS), North Dakota: Hangar contract approved

Published June 20, 2013, 02:46 PM 
JAMESTOWN, N.D. -- The Jamestown Regional Airport Authority approved a contract Wednesday with Interstate Engineering to design a new hangar building.

At its regular meeting Wednesday the board reviewed revised plans for the proposed hangar, which would house anywhere from eight to 12 bays for commercial and general aviation airplanes. The board has worked with a proposed 12-bay hangar design based on a hangar built in Mandan, N.D., that had an estimated cost of $770,000, including a fire suppression system.

At a special meeting last week the board formed a committee with Keith Veil, Board Chairman Jim Boyd and Airport Manager Matt Leitner to come up with ways to reduce the cost of the building.

Aldinger said Wednesday the committee did reduce the size of the entrance ways into the airplane bays, from 50 feet wide to 42 feet wide, which reduced the costs to $650,000.

The board committed to paying Interstate Engineering $30,000 for the design of the hangar building, but left open how big the building will be and how many airplane bays it will house. The board didn’t take action on a similar contract to design the taxi lanes for the new hangar once it’s built.

Leitner said while the board didn’t fully commit to building a new hangar, this is a positive step forward.

"There hasn’t been a new hangar built at the Jamestown airport in decades," he said.

If the board formally approves a design and moves forward with building a new hangar building, construction would start sometime in spring 2014.

Since the hangar would be constructed for leasing space for private use, the JRAA doesn’t qualify for federally funded grants to fund the building’s construction. Jamestown Mayor Katie Andersen, the city’s representative on the board, said she did some research and found the airport’s best funding option would be a loan through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Loan program.

She presented the board with figures assuming a 40-year loan with an interest rate of 3.5 percent. If the project cost is $600,000, the authority would have to come up with a $28,000 annual payment. For $700,000 the annual payment would be $32,779, and for $775,0000 the annual payment is $36,291.

Andersen said she also came up with a way for the airport to cover an annual payment based on the number of airplane bays included in the building and how much rent is charged per month.

Assuming the airport had 12 bays rented for $200 a month each, that would generate $28,800 a year, which would cover the payment for a $600,000 loan. If there were 14 bays rented at $200 a month, that would generate enough annually to cover a $700,000 loan. If the airport charged $250 per bay for 12 bays per month, those rents would cover the annual payment for a $775,000 loan.

Andersen said she didn’t include inflation or other potential costs in her calculations, but said she believes the board can find a way to pay for the new building through the USDA program.

Leitner said that, based on the number of people who attended an information meeting about a proposed new hangar building in February, he believed there would be no problem finding individuals or companies to rent the new hangar space.


Police unable to lift chopper from crash site: Robinson R44, RP-2045, Accident occurred June 19, 2013 in Tinglayan, Kalinga -- Philippines

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet  – Salvage operations of the damaged police Robinson R44 helicopter that crashed on Wednesday atop a mountain in remote Tinglayan town in Kalinga have  failed.

Investigators from the air units of the Special Action Force and Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines arrived in Kalinga Friday morning to probe and bring the “air asset” to safety and to repair the same failed to airlift the chopper.

Kalinga police director Sr. Supt. Froilan Perez said the Huey (UH1H) helicopter of the Philippine Air Force was unable to lift the damaged chopper.

Carabaos and men were also unable to  bring down the chopper from a very high elevation in barangay Bitalayongan.

Senior Superintendent Oliver Enmodias, chief of the operations branch of the Cordillera regional police command,  said the helicopter’s pilot – Chief Inspector Dexter Vitug and   passenger Police Officer 3 Jude Duque escaped harm and were discharged from the Kalinga provincial hospital Wednesday afternoon, several hours after the chopper they were riding met turbulent winds and crash landed.

The police officers, who were rushed by Philippine Air Force choppers to the hospital, were part of a government contingent which raided at least four marijuana plantations in the hinterland village netting at least P82-million worth of the illegal substance.  The police officers suffered minor injuries from the crash.

Perez added that they are studying how the helicopter  will be chopped into pieces for easier transport downhill.

Insurance investigators from Singapore are also set to arrive in Kalinga this afternoon to probe  the  chopper's crash.

- Artemio A. Dumlao

Father Leo Walsh of St. Benedict Parish: Blessing of the floatplanes - Campbell Lake, Anchorage, Alaska

Father Leo Walsh of St. Benedict Parish, a floatplane pilot himself, sprinkled holy water and read blessings while performing a blessing of the floatplanes at Campbell Lake on Wednesday evening, June 19, 2013. 

See photo gallery here:

Jean Haley Harper: Pioneer pilot retires from cockpit

Jean Haley Harper sits in the cabin of a 757 United Airline jetliner on her last flight from Los Angeles to Denver on June 10. 
Courtesy photo

Tracy, California -- As a girl growing up in Tracy, Jean Haley Harper always wanted to fly. Hanging out at Tracy Municipal Airport with her father intensified that desire.

Through determination and a willingness to undergo aviation training, she realized her dream as one of the first women to pilot a United Airlines plane.

And now Jean has retired as a United captain, ending a 35-year career with the airline.

Her last flight was June 10 between Los Angeles and her home base of Denver.

Among the passengers in the plane were her husband, Victor Harper, also a United captain; their two children, Annie and Sam Harper; and her mother, Dorothy Haley of Tracy.

When the United 757 rolled up to the gate at Denver International Airport, it was greeted by a water bridge formed by pumps on two airport fire engines.

“It was great having members of my family in the plane, and the water salute was really something,” she said.

Jean, 63, was among four women who broke the airline-pilot gender barrier at United by earning their wings in 1978 — fulfilling a dream she had since she learned to fly as a teenager at Tracy Municipal Airport in the 1960s.

Her instructor was her father, the late Frank Haley, who was managing the airport and flying as a crop-duster at the time. He died in a 1976 crop-duster crash.

Jean, a 1968 graduate of Tracy High School, continued down the path to become a commercial pilot by attending San Joaquin Delta College for two years and enrolling in the aviation program at the University of North Dakota, where she received a bachelor’s degree in aviation administration in 1975.

She flew cargo planes for two years before being selected to begin United Airlines pilot training in Denver.

She received her wings in April 1978 and served as a 737 flight engineer and was on furlough for several years before becoming a co-pilot in 1986. She was promoted to captain in 1992. Her husband followed her as a United captain two years later and is still flying.

During her career with United, Jean flew only domestic routes, preferring not to fly overseas so she could return regularly to Denver to be with her family.

Her daughter, Annie, is employed by Intel in San Jose, and her son, Sam, is a student at California State University, Humboldt, majoring in marine biology and fisheries.

In retirement, Jean plans to do more writing — she has authored magazine articles and book segments. And she has a good feeling about being one of the pioneer female airline pilots.

“I feel delighted to have had a job that has allowed me to realize my dreams,” she said. “When I started, a woman in the cockpit was a big deal. Now it’s normal, and that’s just wonderful.”

Read more: Tracy Press - Tracing Tracy Territory Pioneer pilot retires from cockpit

Air Force Two, minus vice president, practices landings at University Park Airport (KUNV), State College, Pennsylvania

Plane used as Air Force Two at  University Park Airport  (KUNV) on June 19, 2013.   Pilot is a Penn State fan & asked to do landing exercises here.

Posted  June 21, 2013

STATE COLLEGE, PA  --The plane that jets around Vice President Joe Biden practiced landing exercises at the University Park Airport for about an hour Wednesday afternoon.

Details are scant, and the word is that Biden was not actually on the plane, a Boeing 737 that came here from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. 

Penn State published a photograph of the plane — showing Mount Nittany in the background — on Twitter on Thursday. University spokeswoman Jill Shockey said the person who snapped the photo did not want to be identified publicly.

The photo caption said the pilot of the plane is a Penn State fan who asked to do landing exercises here.

Bryan Rodgers, the director of the University Park Airport, said the plane completed touch-and-go landings but never made a full landing before it left the area.

No further information was available.

— Mike Dawson 

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