Monday, July 1, 2013

How the $60M expansion deal for Dassault Falcon happened

Dassault Falcon Jet’s $60 million, 250,000-SF expansion announced in May was the result of years of state and federal officials toiling to make the Clinton National Airport the best location for the jet finishing facility.

“This is a culmination — at least for me — of seven years of work to try to get Dassault Falcon to expand here and stay here,” said Ron Mathieu, executive director of the Clinton National Airport. “I don’t think people really understand the level of work and commitment that goes on behind the scenes to ensure we can keep our flagship tenants here on the airport.”

In 2009, city officials including Mathieu traveled to France with Gov. Mike Beebe and met with Dassault’s top brass.

“We were recognizing that Dassault was looking, at that time, to create the project that was recently announced,” said Jay Chesshir, president and CEO of the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Chesshir and others emphasized the city’s willingness to work with the company toward making the expansion a reality, Chesshir said. If Little Rock had lost the expansion, Dassault would have kept its facility in Little Rock, but the larger finishing facility would be built elsewhere and around 400 of the current 1,800 jobs would have been transferred there from Little Rock.

“We knew we were in a stiff, competitive battle for the project,” Chesshir said. “We also knew that if we lost the project it would mean a significant loss of jobs, much less the capacity and ability to continue to expand the Dassault facility in the future.”

What Chesshir, Mathieu and others didn’t know was just how stiff the competition was: For more than five years, at least five other cities had also been aggressively pursuing the Dassault expansion. The identities of those cities have remained hush-hush, except for one, Greensboro, N.C., which announced recently that it had been in the running.

“And as we were trying to create as competitive a position as possible here, we began to look at the issues Dassault was having,” Chesshir said. “One of the major problems was available land for expansion, and two, ingress and egress, not only for their employees but also for goods, services, raw materials and that sort of thing.”

Measures Taken

The city started to focus on those issues.

Little Rock applied for a $1.9 million federal Economic Development Administration grant to expand the road leading to Dassault’s front gate, Chesshir said. In the end about $4.6 million worth of work was performed, with $1.8 million paid for by the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and the rest by the city. The Ninth Street corridor leading to the Dassault gate was expanded. Also, a runway was extended and Sixth Street was diverted to loop around it. The city is also paying to build a traffic circle near Dassault’s front gate.

“Other than being supportive to requests from Dassault, we wanted a more gateway appearance that would, in a way, be supportive of our honor in having them here,” said Jim Dailey, a former mayor of Little Rock who sits on the Municipal Airport Commission.


Read more:

http://www.thv11.com

http://www.arkansasbusiness.com

Federal Aviation Administration probes close call of Spirit jet, small plane

DETROIT (AP) — The Federal Aviation Administration said Monday it is investigating a close call between a Texas-bound Spirit Airlines flight and a skydiving plane that forced the jetliner to dive sharply over Michigan, as screaming passengers feared the plane was going to crash.

Flight attendants bumped their heads and luggage spilled out of overhead binds during the incident Sunday evening.

The Airbus 319 jetliner took off from Detroit Metropolitan Airport with 126 passengers and a crew of five, bound for Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. It was over Tecumseh in southeastern Michigan about 8:22 p.m. when controllers reported another plane nearby, the FAA said.

"Air traffic controllers notified the Spirit pilot that a skydiving jump plane was climbing just south of the jetliner's position," FAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Cory said in an email. "The Spirit pilot confirmed that he could see the smaller aircraft on his Terminal Collision Avoidance System. ... A minute later, the Spirit jet received an automated TCAS warning that required him to begin an immediate 1,600-foot descent to 12,800 feet from a previous altitude of 14,400 feet."

At the closest, the two planes were 1.6 miles apart horizontally and 400 feet vertically, Cory said.

The sudden dive caught the passengers unaware, said Janet Dunnabeck of Whitney, Texas, who was returning with her 10- and 19-year-old daughters from a visit with Michigan relatives.

"It was horrifying," Dunnabeck told The Associated Press. "Every person on that plane was screaming. We thought we were going down."

Dunnabeck said the plunge caused overhead luggage bins to spill open, drinks to spill and flight attendants to bump their heads. Two of them complained of pain and asked for medicine, sitting down while non-working flight attendants stepped up to help.

Only after the dive was the pilot able to give out information, announcing only that a "flight control issue" led to the maneuver.

"Thank God he was able to control the plane," said Dunnabeck, who said she spoke with the pilot later at Dallas-Fort Worth airport.

No passengers were injured, said Spirit spokeswoman Misty Pinson.

"Our pilots followed appropriate procedures and adjusted their flight path upon receiving an advisory of another possible aircraft in range," Pinson said in an email. "The flight continued to Dallas/Fort Worth without incident."

Addressing why the two planes got dangerously close, the FAA pointed to the smaller plane's pilot.

"The skydiving plane was flying under Visual Flight Rules, under which pilots are responsible for seeing and avoiding other aircraft," Cory said.


Source:  http://www.businessweek.com

Government takes over air traffic control operations at Grand Bahama International Airport

FREEPORT, Grand Bahama – The Government of The Bahamas on Monday took over full operations of the Airport Control Tower at Grand Bahama International Airport, which for almost half a century was operated by the Grand Bahama Port Authority.  Minister for Transport and Aviation, the Hon. Glenys Hanna Martin and Minister for Grand Bahama, the Hon. Dr. Michael Darville were both in attendance during Handover Ceremonies at the Grand Bahama International Airport on Monday morning.  Also in Grand Bahama were Captain Patrick Rolle and other senior officials from the Department of Civil Aviation, union officials and top executive from the Grand Bahama Airport and Harbour Company.   Officially handing over air traffic control tower services to The Bahamas Government was Mr. Godfrey Smith, CEO for the Grand Bahama Airport Company, Freeport Harbour Company and the Freeport Container Port. 

Addressing the gathering attending the handover ceremony the Minister for Transport described the occasion as being a momentous day, a day of  great significance.  “The Bahamas Government is today taking over a critical function in aviation services on the island of Grand Bahama which up to this date was privately managed.  “We are pleased to be adding to our ranks twenty-three experienced Bahamian professionals.  I think they were described as a formidable workforce. And of that twenty-three, there are nineteen Air Traffic Controllers, (non-radar) and four electronic technicians.  This new paradigm comes at a time when the aviation sector, under auspices of the Bahamas Government in our country is under transition, being re-shaped in a most significant way. This in fact, is the tip of our time of transition and radical expansion in the aviation sector,” she stated. 

The Aviation and Transport Minister noted that significantly, the take over of air traffic services in Grand Bahama creates uniformity and standardisation under one singular umbrella.  “We are pleased to have a more substantive stake in the this critical service on this island, and as indicated, the objective has been and continues to be on behalf of the Bahamas Government, and I believe on behalf of the Grand Bahama Airport Company to maintain the highest standards in air traffic services in this country,” the Minister voiced.  Continuing, she said that this time of expansion and expansion which we are undergoing as a country and as a people in the aviation sector includes the creation of Civil Aviation Authority which will take place by 2014, which will have a purely regulatory function for aviation services in our country and that work is aggressively underway. 

Continuing to stress the way forward as it relates to aviation, she said, “Airport operations will go to an Airport’s Authority. Civil Aviation will have no involvement in the operations of airports and this is being seen, as we speak, at the Marsh Harbour Airport which is going to the ownership of the Airport Authority, but that entity will contract out to a private entity, management of the Marsh Harbour Airport. This is an exercise currently underway.” 

On the subject of air accidents investigations the Aviation Minister informed that that will be separated for the first time from other functions of aviation in the country. She also informed of a new radar which will come into operations in April of 2014.  Also, she said that the takeover of air traffic services in Grand Bahama precedes the inauguration of air traffic services at Marsh Harbour Airport, which is currently underway.

“Additionally, we are in the process of hiring ten new trainees who are going to be recruited to build further capacity of our air traffic service capacity as a government, and we are pleased and excited and do so with open arms to incorporate our Grand Bahama professionals, who will now join this dynamic exercise that we are currently engaged in.  The aviation sector and airports in general are vitally crucial to the healthy and prosperous, social and economic growth and development of our beautiful archipelagic nation. It is a facilitator to our economic engines and facilitates the movement of people and goods domestically, internationally, it fuels our economy.  So, a standard of quality of air traffic services to this important critical component to our economic reality is absolutely vital.  We are confident that this transition, which we commemorate today is our fortieth  anniversary as a sovereign people will be seamless, and has been seamless, and it comes at a time when we are optimistic of the economic resurgence in our country and in particular Grand Bahama. It is coming, it is on the way,” she stated. 

Minister for Grand Bahama, Dr. Michael Darville said that the handing over of the Grand Bahama facility demonstrates once again of the Government’s  commitment to the island of Grand Bahama and its partnership with the Grand Bahama Port Authority and the Hutchinson Whampoa group of Companies.  He said that part of the governments overall plan with their partners is to increase the airlifts from Canada, the U.S. east coast, South America and Europe to this island and that they have been working diligently to ensure that goal is achieved this year.


Source:  http://www.bahamaislandsinfo.com

Zlín 526AFS-V Akrobat Special, Zlin and PZL Aircraft UG, OK-ZRB: Accident occurred June 29, 2013, near Finowfurt/Schorfheide - Germany

Berliner Kunstflieger stirbt bei Absturz

Das Kleinflugzeug stürzte direkt neben der Tribüne des Roadrunners Race 61 ab. Der Pilot starb an Verletzungen.

Dramatischer Absturz direkt neben der Haupttribüne des Roadrunners Race 61 in Finowfurt (Landkreis Barnim).   

 Mehr als 500 Fans hatten um 12.30 Uhr Platz genommen, warteten auf den Startschuss des Rennens (historische Autos und Motorräder unter Baujahr 1961). Dann tauchte über dem ehemaligen Luftfahrtmuseum ein Kunstflieger in einem roten Kleinflugzeug auf.

Eine Augenzeugin zur B.Z.: „Er flog so dicht über dem Boden, dass Leute Angst bekamen. Er drehte Pirouetten, kam dann kopfüber mit der Maschine auf die Haupttribüne zu.“ Sekunden später eine schwarze Rauchwolke und ein dumpfes Geräusch. Der 47-jährige Berliner hatte fast das Bus-Dach der Rennleitung gestreift, krachte nur 50 Meter dahinter in ein Feld von Solarelementen.

„Die linke Tragfläche der Maschine war an einem Element einer Solaranlage hängen geblieben“, sagt eine Polizeisprecherin. Die Maschine fing sofort Feuer, der Kunstflieger starb noch in den Trümmern. Das Rennen musste abgesagt werden.

Seine Flugmanöver gehörten nicht zur Show und er nicht zu den offiziellen Rundflugpiloten. 


http://www.bz-berlin.de








A stunt pilot has been killed after his plane clipped a solar panel and crashed into the ground at a rock 'n' roll-themed car show in Germany.

The small aircraft was performing stunts for the crowd at the Rock 'N' Race Festival in Finowfurt, north of Berlin, at the time of the crash on Saturday.

In footage uploaded online, the 47-year-old pilot can be seen flying upside down at a low altitude over a drag strip in front of an audience of rockabilly fans.

But while upside down, the plane appears to lose altitude, clip a solar panel and crash.

It is not known if the pilot was part of the show, but an attendee of the event posted on car enthusiast forum Finalgear.com said it did not seem to be part of the organized events.

"Some show-off departing from a nearby airport decided to do an improvised aerobatics performance above the festival grounds," the attendee, who goes by the name 'Dr Grip', posted.

"He crashed less than fifty metres away from the drag strip's starting line/race control pavilion.

The combined shock of witnessing a fatality and almost gotten hit by a crashing plane led to organizers cancelling all drag racing on Saturday."


Source:  http://news.ninemsn.com.au

Former Avantair employees sue over lost wages, layoff

TAMPA - Two employees furloughed last week from Avantair Inc., a Clearwater-based air service, filed a class action lawsuit in federal court in Tampa alleging the company failed to pay them wages and violated a federal law requiring advanced notice before a mass layoff.

Avantair is a fractional ownership airline, which sells shares of its twin-engine turboprop aircraft to patrons who can schedule flights in lieu of flying on commercial airlines.

Plaintiffs Mary Peterson and Scott Piwinski sued the company and three corporate officers in seeking a jury trial to award damages for unpaid compensation for about 500 employees and other relief the court deems "just and proper."

The Clearwater firm of Kwall Showers & Barack, P.A., filed the lawsuit Friday in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division.

It claims that on or about Wednesday, Avantair notified the plantiffs they were "not in a position to fund payroll ... for time worked since June 8, 2013." Avantair also announced an "immediate furlough" and that it was unknown if the furlough is temporary or permanent.

Avantair officials could not be reached Monday for comment on the lawsuit.

The company in a message Friday told owners of its fractional shares that Avantair must restructure to emerge financially healthy.


Source:   http://tbo.com

Royal Newcastle Aero Club, Rutherford NSW 2320 Australia: Anyone who saw suspicious activity at the club or nearby is urged to phone Maitland police or Crime Stoppers

The can of spray paint used to graffiti a plane at Rutherford’s Royal Newcastle Aero Club stood as a reminder of the low act in the aircraft’s hangar yesterday.

Vandals broke into the hangar and sprayed the side and windscreen of a plane sometime between Sunday night and the early hours of Monday morning.

Club general manager Tony Savia was disappointed the incident had occurred.

“There is damage to the windscreen and the side of the plane,” he said.

“They have used spray paint and it’s just sprayed on, there’s no tag or anything.”

Mr Savier said experts would have to inspect the plane to determine how best to repair the damage.


“We will have to get an engineer to look at what can be used to remove it; we don’t want to cause any further damage to the plane,” he said.

Central Hunter police examined the scene yesterday afternoon.

Anyone who saw suspicious activity at the club or nearby is urged to phone Maitland police on 4934 0200 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.


Story and Photo:   http://www.maitlandmercury.com.au

Fire marshal: Sky lanterns banned, hazardous to property, aircraft

SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Office of the State Fire Marshal has issued notice of the official ban of sky lanterns, also known as aerial luminaries or floating lanterns, in Illinois. Sky lanterns present a potential risk for injuries and fires.

The paper-made lanterns contain a small candle or fuel cell that when lit, heats the air into the lantern making it rise into the air. Sky lanterns travel a long distance without any control of their final destination.

“The use of sky lanterns during any celebration can turn into tragedy if they land on someone’s house, over any flammable materials or people,” said Larry Matkaitis, State Fire Marshal. “We must protect the lives and property of the citizens we serve, and there is no question that these devices represent a threat to public safety and aviation.”

Sky lanterns are defined as “fireworks” under the Fireworks Regulation Act of Illinois, (425 ILCS 30/2 (a) which states in part that “fireworks mean and include the type of balloon which requires fire underneath to propel.” Sky lanterns have been known to cause residential and forest fires, as well as other losses. In addition, they represent a hazard to aviation and a distraction to vehicular traffic.

The OSFM joins various states in banning the use, distribution and retail sale of sky lanterns including New Hampshire, California, Minnesota, South Carolina, Hawaii, Utah, Tennessee, and Virginia. Other states including Kansas and Missouri and the New York Division of Fire Prevention and Control are also looking into adopting changes to fire codes to regulate the use of sky lanterns.

The Federal Aviation Administration has raised concerns over the use of floating lanterns as they can be sucked into aircraft engines.


Source:    http://newstrib.com

'Salute from the Shore' continues thanks to vintage military aircraft owners

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina - 

The annual flight of military aircraft along the coast of South Carolina on July 4 will go on despite arbitrary government spending cutbacks known as "sequester," according to officials.

 The "Salute from the Shore," in which many aircraft fly from the NC/SC border along the coast to Savannah, was in trouble because the government cutbacks meant no active military planes could participate. 

However, because of some volunteers, the fourth annual event will continue. 
"This year, we are flying anyway... Although sequestration grounded the F-16s from Shaw AFB, we have several vintage aircraft flying this year," the group's website said Monday.

"Sequestration has forced the Military to abandon all air shows and flyovers across the country until further notice. We all wish the F-16s, operated by the amazing members of the 20th Air Wing at Shaw AFB, could again fly the South Carolina coast, but we also understand completely their duty to the defense of our country in lean budgetary times."  

The group pointed out specifically one Pee Dee man, who is helping make a difference.

Barry Avent from Bennettsville will lead a group of variety of military aircraft along the coast, the group said.

"It's really inspiring…" said Board President Andy Folsom "that despite challenges this year, we are flying anyway. This event is a reminder and celebration of our freedom and all the military does to ensure that."

Thursday, July 4, 2013 the Flyover will start at the North Carolina border at 1pm. It will fly south, covering every beach in South Carolina.


Flyover Schedule:

1:00  Cherry Grove Pier
1:02  N. Myrtle Beach
1:05  Apache Pier
1:07  14th Ave. Pier


Source:   http://www.wbtw.com

Airport Security Supervisor Accidentally Sends Picture Of His Penis To Everyone At Work

As Gerard Robson recently found out: emailing is hard. 

When the security supervisor for New York’s JFK International Airport thought he was email-blasting his coworkers with images of a car accident, it turns out he was actually sending them all a photograph of his penis — “waist down, naked penis out, belly and all,” according to a New York Post “exclusive” report.

JFK Airport security supervisor axed after accidentally sending XXX photo of his genitals in mass email blast

$32M Claimed From Foreign Insurance Companies Over Plane Crash: Sukhoi Superjet 100-95B, Russian registration RP97004, Accident occurred May 09, 2012 in Mt. Salak, Indonesia

Two dozen foreign insurance companies have become defendants in a $32 million court case over damages relating to a Russian Sukhoi SuperJet 100 passenger jet that crashed in Indonesia last year. 

The Arbitration Court of the Khanty-Mansiisk autonomous region has accepted a case filed by Kapital Strakhovaniye, a part of Rosgosstrakh, the nation's leading insurer, against 24 insurance companies, Vedomosti reported Monday, citing the court.

Among the defendants are such leading global players as Berkshire Hathaway International Insurance, Chartis Europe, a subsidiary of AIG, Italy's Assicurazioni Generali, Spain's Mapfre Global Risks and Nepal's Oriental Insurance Company.

Kapital Strakhovaniye is claiming $32.4 million in damages from the companies that provided insurance to the 48 people on board — which include citizens of five countries and 8 employees of the aircraft manufacturers Sukhoi.

The SuperJet plane crashed in May last year during a demonstration flight which took off from Indonesia's capital, Jakarta. The flight was part of a tour around Asia designed to drum up business for the new plane and support the struggling Russian civilian aviation sector. According to investigators, the crash was caused by human error — mistakes made by both the pilot and ground control.

Kapital Strakhovaniye is itself a defendant in another damages case, filed against it by Sukhoi, which wants the insurer to pay $29.5 million. That case will be heard in the Moscow city arbitration court in July.

Source: http://www.themoscowtimes.com


NTSB Identification: DCA12WA071
Accident occurred Wednesday, May 09, 2012 in Mt. Salak, Indonesia
Aircraft: SUKHOI SJ100, registration:
Injuries: 4 Fatal.

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

On May 9, 2012, at 1450 local time, a Sukhoi SJ100-95, Russian registration RP97004, collided with terrain about 35 miles south of Jakarta, Indonesia. The airplane was on a demonstration flight. The 40 passengers and 4 crew were fatally injured, and the airplane was destroyed.

This investigation is being conducted by the National Transportation Safety Committee of Indonesia (NTSC/KNKT). As the state of design and manufacture of the the ACSS/L3 Terrain Warning and Traffic Collision Avoidance System (T2CAS), the NTSB appointed a U.S. accredited representative upon being invited to do so by the NTSC.

All inquiries should be directed to the NTSC at:

National Transportation Safety Committee
Ministry of Transportation Building 3rd Floor
Jl. Medan Merdeka Timur No. 5
Jakarta 10110
Indonesia
www.knkt.go.id

Private plane crash kills 2 near Francistown International Airport, Botswana

Two people died in a private plane crash in northern Botswana, the southern African country's Civil Aviation Authority (CAAB) said on Monday.

The crash occurred Saturday in a bushy area, 5 km northwest of the Francistown International Airport in the country's second largest city, where it was supposed to land for fueling purposes, CAAB spokesperson Modipe Nkwe confirmed to Xinhua.

He said the South Africa-registered plane is an Embraer 135 jet. The jet had taken off the Lanseria International Airport in Johannesburg and its destination was assumed to be Angola, he said.

"It is a regular plane on our skies," said Nkwe, adding that the plane had been awarded a flying route through "our skies."

"Our sky controllers lost communication with the operating pilot of the private plane and eventually could not locate," he said.

Nkwe said the controllers checked with airstrips around the northeastern part of Botswana but still failed to locate it and immediately launched a search, only to find it in the bushy area, some five kilometers northwest of the Francistown International Airport.

"The expectation was that the plane had to land at the Francistown International Airport to refill the fuel," he said.

The cause is still under investigation by the Ministry of Communication and Transport through its Aviation Investigation Unit, Nkwe said.

Ford creates special 2014 Mustang GT inspired by US Air Force Thunderbirds

DEARBORN- Ford Motor Co. has produced a special 2014 Ford Mustang GT for the 60th anniversary of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds. 

The vehicle, with its 5.0-liter engine, features numerous unique features, including the glossy red, white and blue paint scheme of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, which are considered the fastest, multi-jet flight demonstration team in the world. Thunderbirds fly the famed F-16 Falcon.

See full article:   http://www.mlive.com

United States Aircraft Registry Contains Errors Hindering Terror Checks

U.S. registries of pilots and aircraft contain incomplete information that may interfere with screening for terrorists and investigations of aviation accidents, according to a government report.

The Transportation Department’s inspector general found about half of foreign-owned aircraft registered with the Federal Aviation Administration didn’t list required information such as the owners, a report out today found.

Pilot registrations often contain incomplete addresses, making it difficult for the U.S. Transportation Security Administration to locate people for required security screening, the report found.

“These data weaknesses largely stem from FAA’s lack of formal quality control procedures to regularly reassess the integrity of the registry’s data and information systems,” Louis King, assistant inspector general for financial and information technology audits, said in the report.

Auditors found 130 cases in which planes were registered multiple times to different entities, making it difficult to identify the owner. The U.S. registry contains 350,000 planes and helicopters.

“While this is a small number of discrepancies, the impact is potentially significant if a serious incident occurs and FAA is unable to identify the aircraft’s owner in a timely manner,” King said in the report.

The FAA, which is in the process of re-registering all aircraft, said it agreed with five of the inspector general’s eight recommendations.


Source:   http://www.businessweek.com

Kentucky State Police to start flyovers in search of marijuana

Kentucky State Police helicopters will resume flyovers this summer as part of the agency's annual marijuana eradication campaign.

Rising fuel costs, though, means the helicopters won't log as many hours in the air as in the past.

Instead of conducting blanket flights, the agency will target areas where pot has been grown frequently in the past and will use tips from the public to schedule areas for flyovers.

See full article: http://www.bgdailynews.com

Chesapeake Sport Pilot: Flight school listed as one of 50 best in the nation -- Bay Bridge Airport (W29), Stevensville, Maryland

 STEVENSVILLE - Chesapeake Sport Pilot in Stevensville in June was recognized for its excellence in flight training by The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. The largest light sport flight school in the country, Chesapeake Sport was awarded a spot on the Flight Training Excellence Awards Honor Roll, a title given to the top 50 flight schools in the country.

"We created the Flight Training Excellence Awards as part of a long-term, industry-wide effort dedicated to increasing the percentage of students who earn a pilot certificate," said AOPA manager of flight training initiatives Brittney Miculka. "We feel it's important to recognize flight training providers, like Chesapeake Sport Pilot, who create an excellent experience and create lifelong aviators."

The awards allowed AOPA to identify and recognize the highest levels of achievement, with the goal of encouraging others to adopt the characteristics of success. This data will form the backbone of further efforts to promote a more professional and customer-centric approach to flight training. Chesapeake Sport Pilot is a flight school specializing in sport and private pilot training and light sport aircraft rentals and sales.

The flight school is known for its dedicated and experienced flight instructors who instruct out of a passion for sharing their love of flight with others.

"We are thrilled that AOPA has recognized our program and with it our experienced and dedicated staff," said Chief Flight Instructor of Chesapeake Sport Pilot Helen Woods. "We all love teaching aviation, and opening up our world of the air to new pilots. I think that passion for teaching and caring for the individual needs of our students has shown through in the quality of our program which was recognized by this award."

The mission of Chesapeake Sport Pilot is to allow more people to enjoy the benefits of aviation by making flying accessible, affordable and fun.

For more information, call 410-604-1717, email info@chesapeakesportpilot.com or visit www.chesapeakesportpilot.com

Read more:  http://www.stardem.com

Hamilton attempted murder trial set for January: Monroe County Airport (KMNV), Madisonville, Tennessee

MADISONVILLE-A trial date has been set for a former Monroe County Airport operator accused of trying to kill his nephew.

Larry Hamilton was originally charged with aggravated assault, but a jury to upgrade a charge against him to an indictment of attempted second-degree murder.

Hamilton's day in court won’t be too soon as he is scheduled to go to trial on Jan. 30, 2014. He had ran the county airport for two decades before the county did not renew his contract. The county hasn't officially stated the change was because of the attempted murder charge.

- See more at: http://www.advocateanddemocrat.com

County continues running airport: Monroe County (KMNV), Madisonville, Tennessee

MADISONVILLE-  The county will try its hand at running the Monroe County Airport a little longer after a vote at Tuesday night's County Commission meeting.

The county has been in control of the airport since April 1, when the county government allowed its contract with the airport's longtime fixed-base operator Larry Hamilton expire and did not renew it.

- See more at: http://www.advocateanddemocrat.com

Fifty years on, Alistair Bone revisits the site of New Zealand's worst domestic air disaster: Accident occurred July 03, 1963, near Mount Ngatamahinerua, Kaimai Ranges -- National Airways Corporation Flight 441, Douglas DC-3 Skyliner

On July 3, at 8.05am, it will be 50 years since a DC3 took off from Whenuapai airport in northwest Auckland. It was a veteran of World War II, one of thousands of the big twin-engined cargo workhorse built to haul troops and weapons around.

It had been spruced up and now flew for the National Airways Corporation, (NAC), trolling up and down the country, taking people to work or holidays or home. Flight 441 was to stop in Tauranga, Gisborne, Napier and Palmerston North, before reaching Wellington in the early afternoon.

NAC publicity from the day used shots from inside the upgraded ZK AYZ. Flying was still an event and a bit of an extravagance, with men dressed in suits and mum and the kids in their Sunday best.


Read more:   http://www.stuff.co.nz

Michigan State Police helicopters help combat crime to mixed reviews

The presence of Michigan State Police helicopters has generally been welcomed in cities such as Detroit hoping to take a bite out of crime.  But in Grand Rapids, the idea of State Police helicopters swooping in to spot and help catch bad guys didn’t sit too well. The noise and disruption caught some off guard, and residents flooded police and elected officials with complaints. For now, those patrols have been stopped.

As state officials seek to help urban cities with their growing crime problems, some residents do not necessarily favor bringing in the helicopters given the stereotypes of their use to fight crime in cities like Los Angeles.  “Some people say we’re not L.A. or we’re not New York,” said Grand Rapids commissioner Elias Lumpkins Jr., who supports bringing back the helicopters to help fight crime. The area he represents grapples with some of the worst crime in the city, but many of the complaints, he said, came from other areas.

See full article and comments/reaction: http://www.detroitnews.com

This Jet Found a Parking Spot on Rodeo Drive

At the 2013 Rodeo Drive Concours D'Elegance on June 16, a full-scale mock-up of the Learjet 85 aircraft was parked on a busy Beverly Hills street. This year's event had a "Jet Age" theme and marked the first time that an aircraft was featured among the vintage racing cars and motorcycles. 

 - See more at: http://www.bizbash.com/this-jet-found-a-parking-spot-on-rodeo-drive/los-angeles/story/26531#sthash.uxebsGa2.dpuf

Wycliffe Associates seeks funds for second Pilatus PC-6 aircraft

For more information, visit www.wycliffeassociates.org.

HUNTINGTON BEACH, California — Wycliffe Associates, which last year celebrated Bible translation in 73 countries, is hoping to expedite their work through the addition of a plane tailored for jungle regions.

The plane will be used for translation work in Papua, Indonesia. The Pilatus PC-6 airplane will be the second for the organization.

“A specialized airplane like the Pilatus PC-6 is needed to safely transport Bible translators through the island’s treacherous terrain,” said pilot Bruce Smith, president and CEO of Wycliffe Associates. “These planes were designed specifically to operate in harsh environments and take off and land from short runways carved out of thick jungles.”

Once purchased, the plane, commonly known as the “Pilatus Porter,” will serve Papua, which is slightly larger in area than California and occupies half the island of New Guinea, the second-largest island in the worldn and is home to more than 6.7 million people.

Translators serving the area must combat the region’s nearly 400 inches of annual rainfall and rugged, volcanic terrain with its high mountains and coastal lowlands. The need for air access is further complicated by the fact that the local roads that are unpaved and treacherous. About 80 percent of Bible translators working in Papua must travel to and from the villages by air.

Inaccessibility, he said, not only inhibits translation by keeping translators at bay, but it also blocks effort to provide supplies and essentials to remote communities.

“The PC-6 has the reliability and performance needed to operate safely in the world’s most demanding flight environments and into the most challenging airstrips,” Smith said.

Last fall, the ministry, faced with an aging air fleet, placed its first PC-6 plane, manufactured by the Swiss company Pilatus, into service. It can carry as many as 10 passengers, with a maximum payload of nearly 2,100 pounds.

One translator called the new plane “a white-winged angel.”

Since their work in Indonesia began, 400 of the 700 language groups now have some sort of Bible translation. The remaining 300-plus lack a single word of Bible translation. In a letter to supporters, Wycliffe acknowledged that “Without God’s Word in their own language, the people have no choice but to turn to animism and the worship of dark spirits.”

“The spiritual need of the people of Indonesia is overwhelming,” the Wycliffe website said of the project. “Yet, the light of the Word of God shines brightly in the spiritual darkness. Courageous and committed translators have already brought the Scriptures to life for the speakers of some of the Indonesian languages. Many have come to faith in Christ having read the Scriptures in their own heart language.”

In addition to carrying the translators, the planes are used to provide remote villages with access to health care and education.

Founded in 1967 by three men who were concerned that Bible translation was taking a back seat to the more practical aspects of missions work like facility maintenance, accounting and vehicle maintenance, Wycliffe’s goal is to have Bible translations in every language group by 2025.

To accomplish that goal, the organization partners with nationals, mother tongue translators, staff, volunteers and supporters to direct and fund these efforts, as well as provide logistics, networking and technical support.

Last year, it mobilized 3,103 volunteers and staff members to complete Bible translation in 73 countries.

For more information, visit www.wycliffeassociates.org.


Source:   http://www.christianexaminer.com

China Nanchang CJ-6A, N116RL: Accident occurred June 30, 2013 in Ocean City, Maryland

NTSB Identification: ERA13FA309
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, June 30, 2013 in Ocean City, MD
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/10/2014
Aircraft: NANCHANG CHINA CJ-6A, registration: N116RL
Injuries: 2 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.

Witness accounts and on-board video recordings of the accident flight revealed that the pilot initiated and performed a series of aerobatic maneuvers with the airplane before initiating a stall, rolling the airplane inverted, and entering a steady-state spin to water contact. The airplane completed 22 revolutions in the spin, with the engine running smoothly, and the stick held fully aft. Examination of the wreckage revealed no evidence of any preimpact mechanical anomaly. Review of the pilot's flight records revealed no evidence of formal aerobatic training. However, the records indicated that he had conducted aerobatic maneuvers, including, on at least one occasion, a flat spin.

The on-board video recordings showed no signs of pilot distress or incapacitation and indicated that the pilot was actively engaged in controlling the airplane and was providing control inputs to maintain the spin to impact. There was no indication of any distracting event or of the pilot attempting to diagnose, troubleshoot, or respond to a perceived in-flight control, system, or engine anomaly. There were multiple cues available to the pilot that the maneuver should be terminated, including an increasing ground presence/perspective from the out-the-window view and the rapidly decreasing altitude indicated on the altimeter in the panel. However, the pilot failed to terminate the maneuver at an altitude adequate to prevent impacting the water. Therefore, it is most likely that the pilot lost situational awareness during the aerobatic maneuver/prolonged spin and did not recover from the spin before impact.

Given the fact that this was a sustained aerobatic maneuver, it is possible that the pilot lost situational awareness due to target fixation, a phenomenon that can occur at varying levels ranging from a breakdown in an instrument scan to failing to pull out of an aerial application run. In these cases, the pilot has cues that a response is required and has the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully perform the response. However, because of the narrowing of attention resulting from the goal-directed activity associated with this phenomenon, a loss of overall situational awareness occurs and the appropriate response is not commanded/input. The circumstances of this accident are consistent with the loss of situational awareness due to target fixation. The pilot appears to have focused on the performance/sustainment of the spin maneuver and therefore misjudged or lost awareness of his exit altitude.


The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to terminate the intentional aerobatic spin at an altitude adequate to prevent impacting the water. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's loss of situational awareness due to target fixation during the prolonged aerobatic maneuver.


HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On June 30, 2013, about 1605 eastern daylight time, a Nanchang China CJ-6A airplane, N116RL, was destroyed during a collision with water following a spiraling descent, just offshore from Ocean City, Maryland. The certificated private pilot/owner and one passenger were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The local flight departed Ocean City Municipal Airport (OXB), at 1532.

The pilot and passenger were friends and fellow officers with the Ocean City Police Department (OCPD), and the purpose of the flight was a local pleasure/orientation flight for the passenger.

Several witnesses provided written and verbal statements to local law enforcement, and the statements were largely consistent throughout. Most described the airplane as it descended in a steady-state, nose down spin to water contact. Some described a "flat spin" as well as describing the landing as "flat… a belly flop."

In a telephone interview, one witness said he was familiar with the accident airplane, and had watched it fly over Ocean City and its beaches many times. About 15 minutes prior to the accident, he heard the airplane's distinctive engine sound, so he called his friends' attention to it. The witness watched one loop, and one barrel roll, and described the maneuvers as "slow," "lazy," and some distance from shore. He said the airplane flew out of his sight to the north after that, and didn't notice the airplane return near his location.

The witness then next noticed the airplane in a spiraling descent. He did not see the airplane depart controlled flight, and said he'd never seen the airplane fly close to shore before. He added, "He has never been that low, or that close to the shore." When asked about the sound of the engine, he said there was none. When asked if he thought the sound of boats operating close by could have drowned the engine out, he said no.

The witness stated that nothing departed the airplane during the descent, and he said he noticed that the canopy was still on the airplane throughout its descent. He described the airplane in a shallow, nose-down, spiraling descent, and added that the airplane's attitude was nearly flat. The airplane finally "pancaked" into the water with a slapping sound, "like your hand slapping against the water."

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single engine land. His most recent third class medical certificate was issued November 12, 2009. 

Examination of the pilot's flight records revealed that he had recorded his flight experience in two logbooks, and then transitioned his recordkeeping to a computer-based spread sheet. Because of gaps, overlaps, and anecdotal evidence of flights taken after the last logged in the records, his total flight experience could not be reconciled. 

The pilot first logged flights as a student pilot in 1996 and took extended breaks from flying before he was issued his private pilot certificate on October 5, 2007. His log book entries ended on June 30, 2011, however; his spreadsheet entries predate that, and his most recent entry was April 14, 2013 which was 2.5 months prior to the accident.

The pilot logged 859 total hours of flight experience, of which 231 were in the accident airplane make and model. All of the 231 hours in the accident airplane were annotated on the spreadsheet. In the remarks section the pilot annotated Formation and Safety Team (FAST) formation flight training. There were brief or one-word entries such as "practicing rolls," "roll," and on November 11, 2012, "flat spin" , but no dual instruction in aerobatic maneuvering was noted anywhere in the pilot's flight records.

In an email exchange with his insurance agent, the pilot stated that the 10 hours of dual instruction he received in the accident airplane as required by his policy was not performed by flight instructors. The response explained that exceptions were often granted for "warbirds" in order to meet the requirement. In the pilot's logbook, three pilots were noted as having provided "CJ training." Of the three, only one was a flight instructor. All three were interviewed, and each said that they only provided familiarization training to the pilot specific to his Nanchang China CJ-6A airplane. At no time did they provide aerobatic training to the pilot. 

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane was manufactured in 1980 and registered in the experimental exhibition category. It was a two-place, tandem-seating, basic military trainer. Its most recent annual inspection was completed on April 2, 2013, at 3,485.3 total aircraft hours.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

At 1621, the weather reported at OXB included few clouds at 600 feet, and the winds were from 200 degrees at 7 knots gusting to 17 knots.

WRECKAGE INFORMATION

Video footage as well as still photography revealed that the airplane appeared intact all the way to water contact. Sonar mapping and salvage divers revealed that the entire airplane rested together on the ocean floor, but was fractured in several places due to impact. The majority of the airplane was recovered on July 4, 2013. All major components were recovered with the exception of the left wing, and the vertical stabilizer. 

Examination of the airplane revealed that the engine was still attached to the firewall, but the upper two engine mounts were fractured due to impact. The firewall-mounted oil tank was crushed. The underside of the fuselage was compressed due to impact with water (hydraulic deformation) and the fuselage was fractured between the fore and aft cockpit stations. The left wing was separated due to impact and was not recovered. Recovery personnel cut the right wing. 

The empennage was fractured, torn, and separated from the fuselage due to impact, but remained attached by cables. Recovery personnel cut the cables to affect recovery. The vertical stabilizer was separated due to impact and was not recovered. The rudder, horizontal stabilizer, and the left-side elevator remained attached. The right-side horizontal stabilizer was cut to affect recovery, and the elevator was removed.

Control continuity was established from both cockpits, through cable, tube, and bellcrank cuts and breaks, to the flight control surfaces. 

The engine was separated from the airplane, and was rotated by hand at the propeller. Continuity was established through the powertrain and valvetrain to the accessory section with one exception. The pushrod for the number 4 cylinder exhaust valve was displaced due to impact, and would not actuate the rocker arm for valve movement.

The examination revealed no evidence of any pre-impact mechanical anomalies of the engine or airframe.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, State of Maryland, performed the autopsy on the pilot. The autopsy report indicated that each died as a result of "multiple injuries."

The FAA's Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicological testing of the pilot. The testing was negative for drugs, alcohol, and carbon monoxide.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

On July 8, 2014, two GoPro Hero self-contained video recorders and one Garmin Aera hand-held global positioning system (GPS) receiver were examined in the NTSB Recorders Laboratory in Washington, D.C.

The GPS receiver was damaged by impact and salt water immersion. Removal and download of the data chip revealed that no track data was recorded on the day of the accident.

The GoPro Hero video recorder was a high quality self-contained battery powered video and audio recorder. One camera was damaged and the flash memory card was wet from salt water immersion. The memory card was dried and data was recovered using the laboratory's file recovery software. The second camera was undamaged, and the memory card was downloaded normally.

The video recovered from the first memory card consisted of the entire accident flight from taxi, takeoff, enroute maneuvering and the start of the accident spin sequence. The portions of the accident flight captured by the second memory card consisted of the events that occurred just prior to the accident spin sequence through water impact. The angle of each video suggested that the first camera was mounted on the aft glareshield facing aft, and the second camera was hand-held by the passenger in the aft seat. 

A Recorder Laboratory Specialist reviewed the video and prepared a transcript of the events from each camera. Video from the first camera revealed that after takeoff the airplane climbed to about 5,000 feet and performed a series of maneuvers that included barrel rolls, banks of 60 degrees, as well as positive and negative pitch angles of 80 degrees or more. The passenger was seen holding a GoPro camera facing forward, and rudder movement was evident throughout the flight.

Beginning about 1604:00, video from the second camera showed the airplane pitched up through 70 degrees, roll through 120 degrees of bank and eventually rolled inverted, before it entered a steady-state, nose-down spin. The video showed the airplane stabilized in a 30-degree nose down attitude, wings level, the inclinometer (trim ball) displaced 1-2 ball widths to the right, and a 600 feet-per-minute rate of descent. As the airplane descended in the spin, the nosed-down pitch attitude decreased to about 20 degrees. The pilot's head was upright and faced forward, the control stick was fully aft, and the pedals moved somewhat, but remained generally neutral. The pilot and the airplane maintained this attitude through 22 complete revolutions before water contact at 1605:00. The pilot never released aft pressure on the control stick, and no evidence of remedial action was observed. The propeller was rotating and the engine sound was smooth and continuous without interruption all the way to water contact.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

A friend of the pilot provided a written statement as well as video footage of flights he had taken with the accident pilot. The witness was not a pilot, but interested in taking lessons at some point in the future. He said that the accident pilot was not his instructor, but offered him advice with regards to study guides, practice tests, and map reading. During flights, he was given the flight controls, and allowed to practice navigation and steep turns. 

The pilot would assist him in donning a parachute, and go over "bail-out" procedures prior to each flight. The flights would depart to the east over the water, and then turn north and travel between 5 and 30 miles to perform aerobatic flight "as a safety precaution to any one on the ground should something go wrong." He said that during the flights, the pilot would perform loops, rolls, and on one occasion, "went vertical and put the plane into a stall."

A review of the video footage provided by the witness revealed views from a wingtip-mounted camera pointed back towards the fuselage, as well as a rear-facing view from a camera mounted on the aft-cockpit glareshield. The footage showed the airplane operating at low altitude over the ocean, as well as climbs that penetrated clouds. The airplane would be surrounded, and the ground would be completely obscured by clouds, for several seconds. The aerobatic maneuvers were also as the witness described them. The vertical climb, stall, and spin entry captured in the video provided by the witness was consistent with the accident spin entry.

The airframe and powerplant mechanic who maintained the accident airplane was interviewed by telephone and provided a written statement. He held an airline transport pilot certificate, flight instructor certificate, and had approximately 14,000 hours of flight experience, with 1,300 hours in the accident airplane make and model. He provided instruction and a "check-out" in the accident airplane to the pilot/owner after it was purchased. The instructor did not provide any aerobatic instruction to the pilot/owner, and said he did not think any formal aerobatic training had been provided to him. When it was explained that there was video evidence of the pilot/owner performing aerobatics in the accident airplane during several flights previous to the accident flight he said, "If I had known that, I would have put a stop to it."

When asked about the stall/spin characteristics of the accident airplane, the instructor said that the airplane had very predictable handling characteristics. The instructor stated, "You have to hold the airplane in a spin. The airplane will recover from a spin by itself. The second you release the stick, it will come out of the spin. The airplane will recover by itself from a fully developed spin in less than one turn. Once it is in the stall and spinning, you must hold the stick fully aft to maintain the spin." The instructor volunteered and stressed that "aerobatics over water is dangerous. It's disorienting." 

Among the Federal Aviation Regulations that address aerobatic flight, 
"…no person may operate an aircraft in aerobatic flight—
(b) Over an open air assembly of persons;
(e) Below an altitude of 1,500 feet above the surface."
According to U.S. Army Field Manual 3-04.301 (1-301) Aeromedical Training for Flight Personnel:
9-31. Fascination, or fixation, flying can be separated into two categories: task saturation and target fixation. Task saturation may occur during the accomplishment of simple tasks within the cockpit. Crew members may become so engrossed with a problem or task within the cockpit that they fail to properly scan outside the aircraft. Target fixation, commonly referred to as target hypnosis, occurs when an aircrew member ignores orientation cues and focuses his attention on his object or goal; for example, an attack pilot on a gunnery range becomes so intent on hitting the target that he forgets to fly the aircraft, resulting in the aircraft striking the ground, the target, or the shrapnel created by hitting the target.



NTSB Identification: ERA13FA30914 
CFR Part 91: General Aviation  
Accident occurred Sunday, June 30, 2013 in Ocean City, MD
Aircraft: NANCHANG CHINA CJ-6A, registration: N116RL
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 30, 2013, about 1605 eastern daylight time, a China Nanchang CJ-6A airplane, N116RL, was destroyed during a collision with water following a spiraling descent, just offshore from Ocean City, Maryland. The certificated private pilot/owner and one passenger were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The local flight departed Ocean City Municipal Airport (OXB), at 1532.

The pilot and passenger were friends and fellow officers with the Ocean City Police Department (OCPD), and the purpose of the flight was a local pleasure/orientation flight for the passenger.

Several witnesses provided written and verbal statements to the Ocean City Beach Patrol, the Maryland State Police, and the OCPD, and the statements were largely consistent throughout. Most described the airplane as it descended in a steady-state, nose down spin to water contact. Some described a "flat spin" as well as describing the landing as "flat… a belly flop."

In a telephone interview, one witness said he was familiar with the accident airplane, and had watched it fly over Ocean City and its beaches many times. About 15 minutes prior to the accident, he heard the airplane's distinctive engine sound, so he called his friends' attention to it. The witness watched one loop, and one barrel roll, and described the maneuvers as “slow” and “lazy” and some distance from shore. He said the airplane flew out of his sight to the north after that, and didn’t notice the airplane return near his location.

The witness then next noticed the airplane in a spiraling descent. He did not see the airplane depart controlled flight, and said he’d never seen the airplane fly close to shore before. He added, “He has never been that low, or that close to the shore.” When asked about the sound of the engine, he said there was none. When asked if he thought the sound of boats operating close by could have drowned the engine out, and he said no.

The witness stated that nothing departed the airplane during the descent, and he said he noticed that the canopy was still on the airplane throughout its descent. He described the airplane in a shallow, nose-down descent and added that the airplane’s attitude was nearly flat, and that it “pancaked” into the water with a slapping sound, “like your hand slapping against the water.”

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single engine land. His most recent third class medical certificate was issued November 12, 2009. No pilot logbook was recovered, but on his most recent insurance application, he reported 819 total hours of flight experience, of which 204 hours were in the accident airplane make and model.

The airplane was manufactured in 1980 and registered in the experimental category. Its most recent annual inspection was completed on September 12, 2012, at 6,576 total aircraft hours.

The majority of the airplane was recovered on July 4, 2014 and examination of the wreckage was scheduled for a later date. Video footage as well as still photography revealed that the airplane appeared intact all the way to water contact. Sonar mapping and salvage divers revealed that the entire airplane rested together on the ocean floor, but was fractured in several places due to impact. The left wing was lost during recovery.

A video camera was recovered from the cockpit, and forwarded to the NTSB Recorders Laboratory in Washington, DC, for download.

At 1621, the weather reported at OXB included few clouds at 600 feet, and the winds were from 200 degrees at 7 knots gusting to 17 knots.


UPDATE:   Authorities in Maryland say two off-duty police officers died when their small plane crashed into the ocean off Ocean City.  The Maryland State Police identified the men Monday as 27-year-old Joshua D. Adickes of Berlin and 43-year-old Thomas J. Geoghegan Jr. of Ocean City. Both men were police officers with the Ocean City Police Department.

The bodies of the two men were recovered Monday. The wreckage of the plane was about one quarter of a mile off the beach from 130th Street in 30 feet of water. Divers suspended operations Monday afternoon because of dangerous conditions.  Mayor Rick Meehan says witnesses told police that the aircraft spun out of control Sunday before crashing.

The U.S. Coast Guard says the single-engine CJ-6A took off from Ocean City Municipal Airport.


 Police divers recovered the bodies off 130th Street, Maryland State Police said.
The identities of the victims have not been released.

The plane went down about a mile south of the Delaware state line.

Both bodies are being transported by a U.S. Coast Guard vessel to a location for a preliminary forensic examination and attempts to positively identify the victims, police said. The bodies will then be transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Exmainer in Baltimore for autopsies.



OCEAN CITY — Police divers have found one body inside the wreckage of a plane that crashed off the beach in Ocean City yesterday and are continuing efforts to confirm another victim is in the aircraft for recovery well.  

Maryland State Police and state Natural Resources Police divers entered the water about one-quarter of a mile off 130th Street in Ocean City shortly before 9 a.m. today. Divers located the wreckage in about 30 feet of water, a state police release stated.

Divers are working in near zero visibility, the release stated. They were able to locate and remove one body and have moved the body to a U.S. Coast Guard boat at the scene. A positive identification of the body has not been made at this time, police said.

Divers have returned to the aircraft to continue the search for another victim. It is unknown if they find another victim in the aircraft if they will be able retrieve the body while the airplane is on the bottom, or if the plane will have to be brought to the surface, police said. A salvage company is on the scene ready to assist with pulling the aircraft to the surface.

Police asked witnesses, particularly those with pictures, to contact them at 410-641-3101.  


OCEAN CITY, MARYLAND  -- Prior to nightfall yesterday, authorities on the scene of a plane crash in north Ocean City were fairly confident they located a debris field, but strong currents and limited visibility prevented a dive team from entering the water to make a confirmation.

Last night, it was confirmed by 10 knowledgeable sources that two off-duty members of the Ocean City Police Department have been identified as the pilot and passenger in the two-seat Nanchang CJ-6A that took off from the Ocean City Municipal Airport yesterday and crashed into the ocean off 130th Street.

Although there has been no official word from the OCPD, it’s widely known in the law enforcement community that two men in blue have perished in the accident witnesses by thousands of beach-goers on a hot, humid summer afternoon. No names will be released until the OCPD issues an official statement on crash victims.

Recovery of the plane is expected to begin first thing this morning, but the instable weather forecasted for today will make that effort difficult. A strong chance of thunderstorms exists throughout the day today.

Around 9 p.m., authorities reported they may have found the remains of the plane that suddenly spiraled out of control into the Atlantic Ocean about 500 yards offshore.

Through the use of radar and sonar, agencies, including the U.S. Coast Guard, Maryland State Police, the Ocean City Fire Department and others, have reported their belief they have located the aircraft, which has been identified as a Nanchang CJ-6A, which was designed and built in China.

The plane took off from the Ocean City Municipal Airport in West Ocean City earlier Sunday and crashed from a high altitude. Witnesses reported seeing the plane performing stunts before crashing. Witnesses said the pilot was flying at a high altitude before moving into some sort of acrobatic move. At some point, the plane continued to plummet at an incredible speed and crashed into the ocean, followed by a loud boom, according to eyewitnesses.

Divers from the Ocean City Fire Department were dispatched to the site aboard a Coast Guard vessel.

Shortly before nightfall, it was reported to media on the scene that authorities believe the aircraft has been located through radar and sonar off 131st Street, but they can’t confirm it because it was too dangerous to send divers down at that time due to rough ocean conditions and the limited visibility due to darkness. The plane is believed to have crashed in water about 50 feet in depth.

Officials are expected to continue the operation in the morning, and the plane will likely be towed ashore once it’s located and confirmed if its condition allows it to be recovered and towed. A special unit familiar with these types of operations is reportedly in Ocean City assisting with the effort.

The Sea Rocket first contacted Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads watchstanders at approximately 4 p.m. reporting the plane crashed approximately 500 yards offshore of 130th Street in Ocean City.

Sector Hampton Roads watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and dispatched crews aboard a 25-foot Response Boat - Small and a 47-foot Motor Life Boat from Coast Guard Station Ocean City to assist. A Maryland State Police helicopter also assisted in the search.

The plane reportedly sank shortly after crashing into the water.

Sea Rocket Captain and owner Graham Bostic reported to The Dispatch he was on his boat with customers when the plane crash took place off the coast of Ocean City.

Bostic said the crash occurred about a half mile from where the Sea Rocket, the patriotic-looking pleasure craft known for its long water trail, was at the time near 130th Street. Contrary to initial reports, he said there were no rescues to be made at that time and that he traveled to the scene to "mark the spot" so authorities knew where the plane entered the water.

Ocean Aerials, the banner plane company that operates out of Berlin's Bunting Airport, confirmed to The Dispatch via telephone around 5 p.m. that the plane crash off 130th Street did not involve a banner plane, as the airport was closed due to the weather.


Source:   http://www.mdcoastdispatch.com