Thursday, July 04, 2013

Seaplanes offer bird’s-eye view

Victoria’s Inner Harbour is the busiest working harbour in Canada.

Looking out on an average day, you’ll see yellow and green harbour ferries zig-zagging between shorelines, the M.V. Coho en route to and from Port Angeles, the Victoria Clipper making the rounds from Seattle, luxury yachts, kayakers, fishing vessels and dozens of harbour seals sharing the water.

Perhaps the most common sight among all that traffic is seaplanes, diving in every 15 minutes at peak hours from downtown Vancouver, Whistler, Seattle and various sightseeing tours around the Capital Region.

Harbour Air Seaplanes operates a fleet of DeHavilland Turbine Single Otter, Twin Otter and Beaver aircraft out of the Inner Harbour at Ship Point, providing one of the most tempting launching pads to see Victoria from above. Harbour Air offers four unique charter tours to visitors and long-time residents curious for a different perspective of the area.

For $104, take a 20-minute flight that offers unique views of the grand houses dotting the shores of Oak Bay and Gonzales Bay and get awestruck by the Olympic mountains across the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

For another $50 ($166 total), fly over the world-famous Butchart Gardens and the Saanich Peninsula after a low-level tour of the Victoria waterfront and offshore islands. Kids 11 and under fly for half the adult price, so don’t leave them at home.

If you want to get up close at Butchart Gardens, opt for the fly and dine tour ($272) from Harbour Air. Your flight drops you off at the gardens, where a three-course meal is waiting, as is a leisurely evening walk through floodlit gardens.

More ambitious trips include the Vancouver day trip ($377), where visitors can see the sights of Gastown, English Bay and Chinatown. Find the latest deals and tour offers at

Seattle-based Kenmore Air (visit also offers seaplane flights between Victoria and Seattle.

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U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy: Helicopter can do dam repair work in Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness

A helicopter can be used to fly in equipment to repair a failing dam in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, despite environmentalists' objections that it goes against federal laws protecting wilderness areas from mechanized or motorized use, a federal judge ruled.

The helicopter's flight will take less than an hour and it won't land in the southwestern Montana wilderness, U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy wrote in his ruling Tuesday.

That plan will be less disruptive to the area's wilderness characteristics than the trail improvements that would be required to pack in the more than 1,100 pounds of equipment, the judge wrote.

Wilderness Watch and Friends of the Clearwater sued the U.S. Forest Service in June 2012 in an attempt to block the use of the helicopter. The environmental groups said it would violate the federal Wilderness Act, the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Forest Management Act.

The wilderness act bars the use of motorized or mechanized tools and equipment — with certain exceptions — to preserve designated wilderness areas' character and solitude.

The Fred Burr High Lake Dam is a private dam within the 1.3 million-acre Selway-Bitteroot Wilderness. It was built in 1914 and its catwalk and log boom are deteriorating.

The Forest Service in 1973 denied a request by the dam owners to use a helicopter to access the dam and in 1996 approved the use of a helicopter to transport personnel and equipment.

In this case, the agency accepted the application by the dam's owners because packing in the new catwalk and boom equipment would require blasting and extensive work on the trail below the dam, irreversibly altering the environment there.

By contrast, the helicopter flight would leave the land "untrammeled," Molloy wrote.

Leaving the dam to deteriorate would mean a possible breach or failure that would also degrade the area, he wrote.

Molloy ruled the use of the helicopter meets the wilderness act's exception allowing such use when it is necessary to meet the minimum requirements for the administration of an area.

He dismissed the environmental groups' lawsuit and denied their request for an injunction.


Mesa police help pilot in trouble

MESA, AZ (CBS5) - The pilot of a Cessna Centurion had a problem with his landing gear, and needed to make an emergency landing at the Phoenix-Mesa's Gateway airport Wednesday night. 

Fortunately for Gonzalo Ardavin, 48, Mesa police pilots Dave Holden and Darren Rigsby were close-by in their helicopter, and flew over to help.

"It was definitely an emergency, and something that needed to be handled in a certain manner," said Holden.

"Both Officer Holden and I are familiar with that aircraft," said Rigsby. "We're going through procedures, bouncing ideas, trying to see if we are missing anything to better prepare for touchdown."

The Mesa officers spent about 20 minutes guiding the distressed pilot, and calming him down.

The entire incident was captured on video, through a camera on the police helicopter.

"You could tell that he was stressed. You could hear it in his voice," said Holden. "He even made a comment at one point that he was getting stressed, and needed to calm down, but he admitted things he didn't know, and he asked for help."

Finally, around sundown, it was time for the plane to come in.

Emergency crews were dispatched to the runway, but they weren't needed as the pilot skidded the plane to a stop, then walked away.

"I would guarantee you that there are several people out there that would not have walked away from that type of situation," said Rigsby. "He brought it in and got out of the aircraft with no injuries."

"I would tell that pilot, great job," said Holden. "Way to handle yourself under stress. Way to stay with the aircraft, and take care of the job and get it down."

Beechcraft A23-19 Musketeer Sport, N4785J: Accident occurred July 04, 2013 in Easton, Pennsylvania

NTSB Identification: ERA13CA315
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, July 04, 2013 in Easton, PA
Aircraft: BEECH A23-19, registration: N4785J
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

According to the pilot, he had not flown for over two years prior to the accident flight. On the day of the accident, he took off and made two uneventful landings to runway 18. He then departed runway 36 and entered the airpark traffic pattern. The pilot reported his turn to final approach placed the airplane in position to land long and fast. He landed long on runway 36 and was unable to stop before the airplane departed the left side of the runway. The airplane dropped six feet down a steep embankment, crossed a road, and came to rest about 70 feet past the departure end of runway 36. Postaccident examination by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed substantial damage to the right wing spar. At the time of the accident, the wind in the area was reported from 210 degrees at 12 knots, gusting to 17 knots. The pilot reported no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.


A plane crashed late this afternoon just outside Braden Airpark in Forks Township, according to a person who answered the phone at the airport.

 The plane came to a rest about 4:55 near the Wells Fargo Bank at 1300 Uhler Road, the person who didn't want to give their name reported.

The pilot was out of the plane, disoriented and had a finger laceration, emergency radio reports said. No one else was in the plane, radio reports said.

The 46-year-old Beach A23-19, four-seat plane is registered in Sciota, Pa., according to FAA aircraft registration database. It is a fixed-wing, single engine plane, the database said.

The person who answered the phone wouldn't say if the plane was taking off or landing, referring questions to Lehigh Valley International Airport.

LVIA Executive Director Charles Everett said at 5:20 that he didn't have any information about the crash but would provide an update when he did. LVIA was notified of the crash and it was notifying the Federal Aviation Administration, radio reports said.

Authorities have been told not to disturb the crash scene until the Federal Aviation Administration arrives, police said.

Two killed as chopper crashes at Libya airshow

A Libyan military helicopter crashed during an airshow in the eastern city of Benghazi on Thursday killing two crew members and injuring a third, an Air Force official told AFP.
The accident occurred while a military parade was underway at the Benina airbase in Benghazi, Libya's second city and cradle of the 2011 uprising that toppled dictator Moamer Gaddafi.
"A lieutenant colonel and a lieutenant were killed ... while a third crew member, a lieutenant, was seriously injured," airbase commander Colonel Nasser Busnina, said. "It seems that the pilot was more eager than necessary" during the airshow, Busnina said. An army spokesman said the aircraft was a Mi-35 attack helicopter that had recently undergone a checkup.

Mexico to Become One of the World’s Top 10 Aviation Suppliers

Mexico is determined to become one of the world’s top ten aviation suppliers, according to the British newspaper The Guardian. The state of Querétaro, located northwest of Mexico City, holds an aerospace park where Delta Air Lines, Aeroméxico, Bombardier, Eurocopter, and Safran are among the firms with existing or upcoming investments.

"Our country is attracting the biggest share of aerospace investment worldwide," says Carlos Bello Rocha, head of Mexico's Aerospace Industry Federation (Femia). About 20 new projects are expected this year, worth $1.3 billion. Aviation exports doubled between 2009 and 2012 to reach $5.4bn.

Canada’s Bombardier was the first overseas firm to build a $200 million factory, transferring production from Ireland and Japan. Since then it has spent an additional $300 million in Mexico.

The latest arrival of aerospace manufacturing firms to Mexico is Eurocopter in February 2013, opening a facility that will employ 200 people by next year. 

Mexico’s Femia forecasts that there will be 450 companies working in this field by 2020, representing 110,000 jobs and $12 billion in export sales.

Pilots Turn On Alliance

Pilots of Southern Air Charter said The Bahamian Pilot Alliance misrepresented them during a press conference yesterday.

They denied the BPA’s claims that Southern Air management intimidate pilots into disobeying their contract obligations.

A petition, signed by 10 of the airline’s 12 pilots, refute the BPA’s claims. It was presented to members of the press at a conference a day after the BPA raised fears over the safety of Southern Air and the treatment of its pilots.

Meanwhile, pilots declined to comment in detail on the issue involving a pilot who was reportedly fired for refusing to fly a plane that lacked enough fuel to meet legal requirements. However, Byron Ferguson, operations manager at Southern Air, said that it was “in the best interest of the company to terminate him.”

In a press statement released Tuesday, the BPA accused Southern Air of using “blatant intimidation tactics” on the pilots, including forcing them to violate an Employment Act by having their “fingerprints taken and saved on a laptop computer without explanation” as well as giving the pilots letters and new contract proposals of employment even though a previous one had already been drafted by the BPA and ratified by its members.

The counter petition signed by the pilots said: “We, the pilots of Southern Air Charter Company Limited, would like to assure the public that in no way are we being threatened or intimidated by management to do our job. As professional pilots of Southern Air, we pride ourselves in upholding the highest safety standards at all times. There are rules and regulations that we adhere to with no exception. The accusations made by the Bahamas Pilots’ Alliance are false and are not representative of the pilots of Southern Air Charter Company Limited.”

Mr Ferguson added that the BPA’s messages were “strange” and that the pilots were not aware of problems between Southern Air and the union until they read articles about the issues in yesterday’s newspapers.

“I don’t know if the man who got terminated is taking this personally and is the one behind this because he is a member of the union board, but we the pilots had a meeting this morning about the issues,” he said, adding: “The general consensus was that the union’s message was false and misrepresented us.”

Mr Ferguson said the fact that legal action was being considered as a step to be taken against the union is unfortunate because the union has the support of most of the pilots, including himself, a founding member.

The pilots also said: “No set of employee fingerprints were asked for or obtained by management on any laptop.”


Cessna 182 Skylane, C-FIUE: Accident occurred July 04, 2013 in Griffith Island, Ontario, Canada

Three Sudbury men were killed Thursday afternoon when a Cessna 182 Skylane floatplane crashed near Griffith Island in Georgian Bay.

The men, aged 45, 52 and 72 were related to one another.

It was the second time in less than a week that Sudbury residents died in tragic circumstances. On Sunday, June 30, two men died in a boating accident on Lake Wanapitei and one woman was critically injured.

Although the OPP would not confirm the names of the deceased by press time, CTV has reported the three men were Sudbury businessman Rick Gougeon, his nephew Jamie Gougeon and son-in-law, Richard Ross.

Jamie Gougeon was the sales manager in the commercial and program departments at Gougeon Insurance Brokers, while Rick Gougeon was retired after working at the same broker, according to the firm's website.

The crash occurred at around 1:54 p.m. "They were deceased at the scene," said Sgt. David Rektor of the OPP's west region branch.

Rektor said Transport Canada has taken over the investigation because the crash involved an aircraft.

The Grey County OPP, Bruce Peninsula OPP and Cape Croker police marine units were on site, along with Grey and Bruce County paramedics, Owen Sound firefighters and the Ministry of Natural Resources.

Jake Callingham, a childhood friend of Jamie Gougeon and the owner of Fromagerie on Elgin Street, was shocked by the news on Thursday. "We started skiing together when we were four years old," he said. "I've known him my whole life. He was an awesome guy."

Loss of control and collision with water
Cessna 182, C-FIUE
Griffith Island, Ontario
04 July 2013

The privately registered Cessna 182 equipped with amphibious floats (registration C-FIUE, serial number 33120) had departed Makada Lake, Ontario, with the pilot and 1 passenger on board to pick up another passenger at Little Panache Lake, and then continued to Griffith Island, located in Georgian Bay on Lake Huron. One pilot and 2 passengers were on board. While conducting a visual approach to Runway 27 at Griffith Island, the aircraft aerodynamically stalled and collided with the water approximately 1000 feet southeast of the runway threshold. The accident occurred during daylight hours, at approximately 1345 Eastern Daylight Time. The aircraft was destroyed by impact forces, and there were no survivors. The aircraft was equipped with an emergency locator transmitter, which activated. However, no signal was received due to submersion of the antenna.

History of the flight

On the day of the occurrence, the privately registered Cessna 182 equipped with amphibious floats (registration C-FIUE, serial no. 33120) was proceeding to Griffith Island to meet with 2 other aircraft. The planned route, from Makada Lake to Little Panache Lake and on to Griffith Island, was approximately 102 nautical miles (nm). This was the pilot's first flight to Griffith Island.

Griffith Island is located on the southwest side of Georgian Bay near the Bruce Peninsula, approximately 10 nautical miles (nm) east of Wiarton, Ontario. The island has a single grass strip runway (09/27), which is 2700 feet long and 130 feet wide, and is located on a hill on the southeast side of the island, at a field elevation of 625 feet above sea level (asl). The approach to Runway 27 is over the water, and the threshold is approximately 460 feet from the water's edge.

The occurrence aircraft was the last of the 3 aircraft to arrive at Griffith Island, and was heard overflying the island in a southbound direction. When the aircraft was spotted, it was floating in the water upside down, just south of the extended centreline of the runway. A 911 call was placed, and a local boat proceeded to the scene of the accident, but its occupants were unable to locate any survivors. When emergency vessels and the Ontario Provincial Police recovery divers arrived on scene, they confirmed that all occupants were deceased and trapped in the aircraft.

Civil Aviation Authority warned on safety of gyrocopters

Conflicting evidence on the safety design of a gyrocopter which nose-dived, killing two well-known Taranaki men three years ago, has been heard at a coroner's inquest.

Neville Adlam, 70, of New Plymouth, and Stephen Chubb, 51, of Okaiawa, died on November 12, 2009, when their gyrocopter nose-dived after taking off from Hawera aerodrome.

An aircraft engineer told Coroner Carla na Nagara in New Plymouth yesterday that he warned CAA of the dangers of the New Zealand-built model and urged for modifications to be made.

But the CAA inspector told the inquest he had no recall of the conversation.

The official CAA investigation has found it was most likely the crash was caused by a handling error by the owner which resulted in a "bunt-over" from which the gyrocopter could not have recovered.

Test pilot and licensed aircraft engineer Colin Alexander, the technical officer of the Recreational Aircraft Association of New Zealand, gave evidence of telling Mr Chubb that the model, a helithruster gyrocopter with a unique tail configuration compared with other gyrocopters, had a "nasty history" and he needed to be careful.

It had a notorious reputation in New Zealand and could perform badly, with similar behavior to the speed wobbles on land, he said.

His comments were later challenged by the manufacturer.

When he heard Mr Chubb had died he was angry "because I told CAA and they didn't do anything about it," Mr Alexander said.

He later withdrew the comment that he was angry, saying he meant "concerned".

Mr Alexander said he personally had never flown in one and never intended to. Prior to the crash he heard that the aircraft was modified and he, as the inspector, had neither seen nor authorised the modification.

He had spoken to CAA inspector Tony Schischka suggesting they visited the manufacturer, Geoff Price, of Auckland, to discuss ways to make the aircraft model safer.

Ms na Nagara said to Mr Alexander that Mr Schischka had no memory of his concerns.

The manufacturer of the aircraft, Mr Price, responded to Mr Alexander's evidence from the public gallery saying the aircraft which crashed never had a tail modification, however another aircraft did have a modification carried out.

Mr Price said he was concerned that Mr Alexander had put the aircraft in a bad light. He had never heard of the instability Mr Alexander described.

Mr Schischka told the inquest he certified the aircraft on January 27, 2009 after it had undergone the required 10 hours of testing by a test pilot.

The CAA was unaware of any modification to the aircraft and nor did he recall any conversation with Mr Alexander about design faults.

If concerns had been raised he would have done something about it, Mr Schischka said.

Ms na Nagara expressed concerns that the CAA did not have to be alerted if there were any modifications to an aircraft.

She was also concerned that the relevant notes were missing from the aircraft's logbook.

Mr Adlam's son, Denis Adlam, told the coroner his father did not fill out his books as he should have "and it's very disappointing".

In reserving her ruling, Ms na Nagara apologised for the length of time the inquest was taking, saying it was never easy when there was conflicting information.

The inquest had "unwound like a ball of string".

"I hope there are no further significant delays before it is concluded," Ms na Nagara said.

Corporate Jets Get Bigger, Take Off: WSJ

Longer-Range Business Aircraft Help Connect Far-Flung Destinations in Emerging Countries, Spurring Demand

Updated July 4, 2013, 2:45 p.m. ET


The Wall Street Journal

Demand for bigger, longer-range business jets is coming to the rescue of an aviation sector that had a spectacular fall from grace during the global financial crisis, manufacturers say.

As far-flung destinations in Africa and Asia, such as Angola and Mongolia, attract more business travelers and corporate jets become more fuel-efficient and can travel farther afield, companies are in the market for big-cabin corporate aircraft for long, intercontinental trips. They also find it cheaper to send larger teams by private jet when commercial flights to destinations such as Luanda and Ulaanbaatar tend to be fully booked and expensive, requiring long layovers to get return flights, according to industry observers.

The recovery is still hesitant. Demand, particularly for smaller jets, is still affected by the stigma attached to corporate jets after politicians, shareholders and employees turned on them as an indecent perk rather than a legitimate business tool. Anglo American PLC, the global mining group, recently sold its business jet as part of a renewed cost-cutting effort. Orders are still thin on the ground in the U.S., the world's biggest market, and in Europe.

But for the first time in years, all five of the world's biggest manufacturers of business jets—Bombardier Inc., Cessna Aircraft Co., Dassault Aviation SA, Embraer SA  and Gulfstream Aerospace—exhibited at this year's Paris Air Show, Europe's biggest aerospace trade event. New purchases were few—just 32 firm orders and 20 options for Bombardier jets potentially valued at up to $1.84 billion—compared with nearly $150 billion of firm orders for commercial jetliners announced at the show, but the mood was relatively upbeat.

"The market is emerging from the crisis of recent years, but it remains convalescent," said Eric Trappier, the boss of Dassault Aviation. The French group's Falcon Jet Corp. subsidiary is one of the main players in the medium to large end of the corporate-jet market.

"We're still seeing sustained levels of interest for our [larger planes], but it's still a challenge; people are taking longer to take decisions," said Trevor Lambarth, head of sales for Europe at Bombardier.

Latest data back the view that emerging-market demand is underpinning the overall appetite for corporate jets. Shipments of business aircraft to customers in North America and Europe fell 1.4% and 0.9% respectively last year but they rose 7.7% to Africa and the Middle East, 8.9% in Asia-Pacific, and 14% in Latin America, according to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. Overall, the industry delivered 129 business jets world-wide in the first quarter of this year, a 4% increase from the same period a year ago, according to the industry group.

Between 2006 and 2011, the number of corporate-jet flights from Europe to emerging-market countries increased by 32%, while those to Asia doubled, according to a recent study by the European Business Aviation Association.

Michelin & Cie., for example, relies heavily on its four corporate jets to shuttle employees around its 80 plants world-wide. The aircraft are "absolutely fundamental" for business, said Jean-Dominique Senard, the chief executive of the French tire maker.

Michelin uses small jets—two Falcon 50s in Europe and two Hawker jets in the U.S.—to reach out to its plants in North and South America, Europe and Asia, though their limited range means they have to refuel to travel longer distances. They offer savings in traveling time and fatigue and increase the productivity of key employees even within Europe. "Our planes are flying all the time, for example ferrying employees from France to our plant in Serbia," Mr. Senard said. However, Michelin currently has no plans to upgrade its fleet, he said.

In Africa's fragmented air-travel market, there are often few flights between capital cities, especially going east to west, forcing passengers to fly via third destinations to complete their journeys at extra cost and time. The European Business Aviation Association study found that 96% of the city pairs served by business aircraft had no daily scheduled direct flights.

"In the past, someone doing business in Africa would go through Paris or London to get there," said Bombardier's Mr. Lambarth. "Now you're seeing Chinese investment companies doing business in Africa and flying direct, and South Americans are going across to Asia. India, too, is emerging. Obviously the long distances to get to these places mean you need a longer-range airplane."

The need for longer trips is boosting demand for big jets such as the $65 million Gulfstream G650, a top-of-the-range model with a maximum range of 13,000 kilometers that can carry up to 18 passengers, according to the manufacturer.

Large aircraft accounted for just over 40% of total business-jet shipments last year, according to GAMA. This trend is expected to continue, and the large jet segment will represent nearly 70% of the total market by value over the coming decade, said Rob Wilson, president of Honeywell Aerospace's Business and General Aviation division.

As in the automobile industry, new, more sophisticated and more fuel-efficient models tend to drive sales in the corporate jet market. Several new aircraft are being launched or are under development that could whet buyers' appetites. As well as the new Gulfstream, they include Cessna's new Sovereign and Citation X jets and Bombardier's Challenger 350.

Still, the business-aircraft segment remains some way from the booming market conditions of the years before the global financial crisis. "In this climate, all the big industrial companies are reviewing their investment strategies and where they put their euros and dollars," said Bombardier's Mr. Lambarth, referring to recent deferred orders in France, Germany and the U.K.

—Marietta Cauchi in London contributed to this article.


Student Pilot Dies in West Java

Bandung  --   A student pilot died on Thursday after his glider came down into a field in West Java amid strong winds and rain.

Edmund Edward Fele, 28, a student at the Indonesian Aerosport Federation (FASI), was flying at a height of around 500 meters when he lost control and fell into a cassava farm in the subdistrict of Kalijati.

Col. Eding Sungkana, the commander of Subang’s Suryadharma airbase, from which the plane took off, said there had been no technical problems with the plane.

“It was in good condition and had often been used,” Eding said. “If the weather were fine, there would have been no problem.”

Strong winds and rain clouds were reported in Kalijati when the incident took place.

A young boy's story of courage

Cecil Airport  (KVQQ), Jacksonville, Florida

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. --  May 7, 2013 changed five year-old Ben Bowersox' life forever. He was grabbing onto an airport hangar at Cecil Airport, when the door started moving and trapped his arm.

"This is a nightmare for any parent. This is the last thing you want to see your children go through," Steve Bowersox, Ben's Dad, said.

The accident broke Ben's arms, and ripped the flesh off his fingers. He had to be rushed to Duke Hospital in North Carolina-and went through a 15 hour surgery. He was there for 7 weeks, but came back to Northeast Florida Saturday. Sadly, not all of his fingers could be saved.

"The worst part was having to look at the stitches on my hand. I didn't like that," he said.

Steve has been taking it especially hard. In addition to being the Music Minister at First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, he's also raising Ben's twin, Brooke, on his own. His wife died two years ago from cancer. But still -- he's counting his blessings.

"I'm grateful for the foundation we have in the Lord. And in grateful for all the years of training being plugged into church and hearing those great messages. They give you hope and that hope carries you on," he explained.

Going forward, Ben will have physical therapy and focus on walking, moving his fingers, and being a little boy.

"I want to do a lot of things," he said with a smile.

The future is bright for the twins. Ben and Brooke will turn six on July 11 and start first grade in the fall.

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David Wayne Hooks Memorial Airport manager to speak at Tomball Chamber

David Wayne Hooks Memorial Airport (KDWH), Houston, Texas

The Greater Tomball Area Chamber of Commerce First Friday Networking Luncheon is set for its summer location at The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, 715 E. Carrell St. in Tomball. This month the date of the luncheon has been moved to July 12.

Since 1963 David Wayne Hooks Memorial Airport has grown to be one of the most respected names in airport and ASO services, with more than 40 years of experience in developing, operating and maintaining first class facilities and providing first class services. Join us July 12 as Airport Manager Antonio Merritt presents the history of the airport as well as how Hooks Airport will serve a vital role in the future growth of our greater Tomball area.

Chamber members, their guests, and the public are encouraged to attend this very informative luncheon that begins at 11:30 a.m. For reservations call the Chamber at 281-351-7222 or send a message to Cost is $17 at the door and $20 if invoiced. To learn more about the Greater Tomball Area Chamber of Commerce visit,


Learjet Carrying Rescued Dogs to Land at Morristown Municipal Airport

Morristown Municipal Airport (KMMU), New Jersey

A Learjet is set to land on Sunday with some special passengers.

Dirk van de Sterre, who owns the airport property, business and private jet hangars, will be flying in 15-20 rescued dogs from Georgia to New Jersey for Home for Good Dog Rescue.

“We travel to southern states where we pull dogs and transport them to New Jersey where they will be adopted,” said Noel Briordy, Fundraising/Outreach Coordinator of this non-profit organization.

These 15-20  dogs are part of 100 that were pulled from a 5-day trip by Home for Good Dog Rescue.

“Last week, three of our Juniors volunteers spent a week in Georgia and South Carolina as their summer project. They left New Jersey on Tuesday, June 25 and worked non-stop for 5 days.  They visited shelters and fosters that we often work with in Georgia.  They have each picked a dog from a shelter, medicated and vaccinated it, will arrange for the dog to be transported to New Jersey, will arrange for their spay/neuter, place them in foster and finally getting them adopted.  There they have seen devastation that can not be described in words,” said Briordy. “We are so thankful that Dirk is donating his Learjet and Airport to help s bring our rescues home.”

She added that Home for Good Dog Recue is a 100 percent foster-based rescue, which means once the pups come to New Jersey, they are immediately placed in a Foster home and will never be in a shelter again.  Home for Good pays for medical costs, transport, food, beds, shelter and more.

“We are determined to give these dogs a forever home,” said Briordy.


County, gliders differ on camping issue at airport

Ely Airport (KELY),  Nevada
For glider pilots around the world, it doesn’t get much better than the Ely Airport. The airport is in the midst of its summer soaring season, which lasts from mid June to the start of fall. Among the gliders spending time in Ely are the top ranked glider in the world (Jim Payne) according to, which tracks the top flights around the world on a daily basis, and Mitch Polinsky, who set a world record in distance over a triangular course going 1,244.22 kilometers.

“The equivalent of 1,000 km is if a person is a runner and loves to run, his goal is to run a marathon,” Ely Jet Center’s James Adams said. “In the soaring world, doing 1,000 km is an equivalent to that. It’s rare. It’s not super rare, but it’s rare as a whole. It’s everyone’s goal.”

Four pilots, including Polinsky, reached the 1,000 km benchmark last Saturday and since the summer soaring season began, pilots taking off from the Ely Airport have turned in some of the best marks around the world.

“Ely has just been dominating the world and we do every year during the summer,” Adams said. “This is what makes this place so special. That’s what brings people from all over the world. I have guys from just about every continent who flock into Ely to soar.”

The Ely Airport is famous for its thermal soaring, when the sun heats the ground and causes bubbles of warm air to rise. Among aviation enthusiasts, it doesn’t get much better than Ely.

“Everybody knows about Ely,” Polinsky said. “It’s one of the three or four or five best soaring spots in the world.”

A big part of the experience is camping at the airport, Polinsky said. There are major safety benefits and it also helps promote socialization among the pilots. And that’s something that can be very beneficial to less experienced pilots.

“I used to stay in a motel in town,” Polinsky said. “I was very isolated and I didn’t interact nearly as much with the other glider pilots. It was earlier in my soaring career and I didn’t know about the ticks about flying up in the air, safety, where to go and what’s a safe spot to land at. Now that I’m one of the more senior and experienced people here, I share that information with people who are less experienced.”

Information about weather conditions is often passed through pilots interacting with each other. And, with a kitchen and men’s and women’s bathrooms on site, camping also allows the pilots to join together.

“A lot of the lure for the pilots is because of the safety benefits and being able to be together, share information and have a social experience,” Polinsky said.

But that may be about to change.


The White Pine County Commission recently voted three-to-two to not allow camping at the airport. County Commissioner Mike Lemich expressed concerns that it would be in conflict with ordinances and doesn’t want the county to compete with other camping parks in the area while Chairman John Lampros said this would hurt the Tourism and Recreation Board. There were also concerns about the facilities available to people camping at the airport and about reports from Sheriff Dan Watts about complaints that campers are sneaking into their facilities to use them after hours and without permission.

“They were completely insulted that anyone would insinuate they would do something so low,’ Adams said. “They go to restaurants. They buy food at Ridley’s and Andersons. They’ve been to the pool, to their train rides and go to Mt. Wheeler every year. They go see the sites in the town. They were offended some county commissioner would accuse them of something like that. They spend thousands of dollars a year in this community. It’s an expensive sport, but it’s a passion.”

If the county holds firm on its stance to not allow camping, the airport and the City of Ely will see negative impacts, said Polinsky, who works as a professor of Economics at Stanford University. And if that happens, one of top destinations for glider pilots could lose its luster.

“I think it’d be very detrimental to Ely and to the economy,” Polinsky said. “I’m an economist by profession. I would predict it would really hurt the revenue. I spend at least a couple thousand dollars in Ely. If they don’t allow camping at the airport, many fewer people would come down here…I hope they see the benefits for the city. It would be a big sacrifice for the city to not permit camping at the Ely Airport and the safety benefits they care about and the Federal Aviation Administration cares about.”


Airport worth notice

Tracy Municipal Airport  (KTCY),  California


Why didn’t more residents from around the area attend the Tracy Airport Open House during this past weekend?  It seems a shame that an airport with such an interesting and proud history would remain so oblivious, insignificant and underappreciated by the residents of Tracy. Many people worked very hard to prepare and produce the event, including the organizers, entertainers, pilots and various support folks involved. It’s almost a certainty that when the city starts building homes and parks around the perimeter of the airport, it won’t be long before some residents in the area begin complaining about aircraft noise and safety. It is also a near certainty that the Federal Aviation Administration and a diminishing number of community members will remain committed to keeping the airport open, preserved and maintained into perpetuity, while soon celebrating 100 years of service to the area. Take some time to recognize and appreciate the history of our airport, instead of hoping to wish it away.

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Remains of missing teen Kayla Chadwick found after 16 months near Fort Morgan Municipal Airport (KFMM), Colorado

FORT MORGAN, Colo. — New developments in the case of Kayla Chadwick, a Fort Morgan teenager missing for 16 months, have finally lead investigators to the grim discovery of her remains, according to Fort Morgan Police. 

Police confirmed the remains were found about a mile east of the Fort Morgan Municipal Airport, and said those remains were identified as Chadwick’s through the use of DNA on Wednesday.

The cause of death remains unknown.

Earlier this week, police announced there was new evidence and a possible new crime scene related to her disappearance in March 2012.

Kayla Chadwick was just 17 when she vanished after a fight with her boyfriend. Since then, tips coming into police have been minimal until a few weeks ago, when tips led police to execute search warrants and collect evidence that resulted in the first major break in the case.

“The longer things go, people have a tendency of giving us more information, feeling more comfortable talking with law enforcement and passing information,” Fort Morgan Police Lt. Jared Crone said. “That’s what it’s come down to at this point,”

Tips and new information led police to execute three search warrants at what they say could be a crime scene — the home of Chadwick’s ex-boyfriend, Ivan Torralba. They also searched and collected evidence in an area near his home.

Investigators say they gathered evidence at what could be a third crime scene — an isolated area off Morgan County Rd. W and Highway 52. That is where Chadwick’s remains were eventually found.

Now the hope is that Chadwick’s remains will speak volumes and lead to answers about what happened to a girl who has been gone for so long. Chadwick’s aunt, Chris Ferguson, said the family is hopeful there will be justice.

Torralba is back in jail after police found him with marijuana, which violates his bond conditions in a perjury case unrelated to Chadwick’s disappearance.

Schweizer 269C, N888ZW: Accident occurred July 03, 2013 in Burnham, Maine

NTSB Identification: ERA13LA314
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, July 03, 2013 in Burnham, ME
Aircraft: SIKORSKY 269C, registration: N888ZW
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor.

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 may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On July 3, 2013, about 1800 eastern daylight time, a Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation (formerly Schweizer Aircraft Corporation) 269C, N888ZW, registered to and operated by Point of View Helicopter Services, LLC, collided with terrain near Burnham, Maine. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and flight plan information is unknown for the 14 Code of Federal Regulation (CFR) Part 91 aerial observation bear spotting flight that originated about 1600 from the Waterville Robert LaFleur Airport, Waterville, Maine. The helicopter sustained substantial damage and the commercial pilot sustained serious injuries while the passenger sustained minor injuries.

The passenger reported that while flying straight but descending over trees using audio equipment to track a bear equipped with a radio transmitter, she heard a sound from the helicopter unlike she had heard since takeoff. The helicopter began turning counterclockwise and she asked the pilot what had occurred and he said he did not know. The helicopter descended through trees and impacted the ground. After a period of time she came to and was aware of her location. She noticed fuel leaking and heard a buzzing sound and helped the pilot out and away from the helicopter. She then walked to a road and summoned the assistance of a passing motorist. The pilot was rescued and taken to a hospital for treatment of his injuries.

 BURNHAM -- A pilot remains in the hospital and a Unity College alumna is doing well after a helicopter carrying them crashed Wednesday night in Burnham during an aerial study of bears’ habitat, according to the study’s project leader.

The crash occurred at 6:39 p.m. in a heavily wooded area about a quarter-mile off Winnecook Road in Burnham, according to a Waldo County Sheriff’s Department news release. The pilot is a 58-year-old man from Bowdoinham, and his lone passenger was a woman, 27, from Unity College, according to the release.

The department declined to release the names of the injured Thursday.

George Matula, an associate professor at Unity College and the bear study’s project leader, identified the woman as Lisa Bates, 27, the study’s assistant project leader.

“I spent time with Lisa in the hospital,” Matula said Thursday, adding that she was released from MaineGeneral Medical Center’s Thayer Campus after treatment for her injuries. “She’s doing very well.”

Bates could not be reached for comment Thursday.

“I saw them flying not too far from the crash site at 4:15,” Matula said. “It was a small helicopter, so I don’t know if it could have stayed in the air for another two hours.” Matula met Bates on Winnecook road after the crash, but never saw the crash site, as medical personnel were still working on getting the pilot out of the woods safely.

Matula said he didn’t know the pilot, who was receiving medical treatment in Portland. He said the study outsources the flights to a nonprofit company called LightHawk, which uses volunteer pilots who donate flights to conserve and protect the enviornment and wildlife, according to its website.

LightHawk executive director Rudy Engholm said about 200 pilots participate in the nationwide program. He said Thursday that the crash was the first one he can recall in his 10 years with the organization.

He declined to identify the pilot, saying it wasn’t clear whether the man’s relatives had been notified.

“When something like this happens, we think of these pilots as part of our family,” he said. “It’s like having a family member injured. Our thoughts go out to the pilot and passenger and their families.”

Bates and the pilot were trying to find a particular bear that was wearing a very high-frequency, or VHF, collar, which helps triangulate a bear’s location, Matula said. He said Bates told him they were flying low when the helicopter started having problems.

“She told me they were right above tree level when something went wrong,” Matula said. “They settled into the trees before hitting the ground. Bates moved the pilot away from the wreckage because she smelled gasoline. She made him comfortable and used her GPS unit to get to the nearest road. She flagged down a motorist, who dialed 911.”

The sheriff’s office said the Burham and Clinton fire departments, Clinton Rescue and Unity Ambulance went to the crash site.

Matula said that when he heard about the accident, a couple of study participants started to figure out where they might have gone down. While en route to the crash site, Matula said, he then called a friend of Bates, who said  she was all right.

The study, which is in its first year, is intended mainly to give  undergraduate students a chance to do field research and produce information useful to Unity College. According to Matula, Bates was hired for the summer to help with bear tracking, and she’ll be contracted again in the winter to conduct research on bears’ dens. He said Bates was prepared for such emergencies.

“Most wildlife people get first aid or first response training,” Matula said. “Nothing is required, but Bates has spent a lot of time in the woods.”

Matula said the study doesn’t rely on flights often, but flying does provide an advantage in looking for dens.

Low-flying mystery plane scares New York State Thruway drivers (With Video)

RAMAPO (PIX11) - “It was really within a minute that I saw the jet come over, it was extremely low, said Ramapo Police Captain Brad Weidel.

They thought it was going to crash on the New York State Thruway.

What eyewitnesses described as a mid-size twin engine jet with it’s landing gear visible flying near cars and homes.

“It had two engines,” said Ramapo Police Captain Weidel.

Then the 911 calls started coming in.

About the terror in the sky only about 200 feet above ground. A busy thoroughfare and a residential neighborhood potentially at risk. It was white and described as possibly a private airplane.

“A lot of people around, very scary this could be flying around here,” said New City resident Lizette Crudele.

The Jet was last spotted in Rockland county according to police, it went at least as far as the garden state parkway and then vanished.

“I think it was bizarre, we have a lot of aircraft flying in the area for the plane we want to know what happened and why it wasn’t reported to the Federal Aviation Administration,” said Ramapo Police Commissioner Christopher St. Lawrence.

Ramapo police captain Brad Weidel was preparing to respond to a catastrophe.  Now, the mystery in the sky is haunting him.

Ramapo police said the Federal Aviation Administration was notified and the Department of Homeland Security.

Pampered ponies fly to racecourses first class

ALBANY, N.Y., July 4 (UPI) -- Some thoroughbred horses travel to Albany, N.Y., first class in a special 727 jet with stables for the Saratoga meet, a horse delivery service says.

Mike Payne, operations manager for H.E. Sutton Forwarding Co., which ships horses in a fully equipped dedicated aircraft, said horse travelers need special flying conditions.

Takeoff and landings last longer; the plane must take off and land more slowly to avoid confusing the horses with G-force -- negative Gs, which contribute to that floating feeling on takeoff, can cause the animals to scramble to find their footing, Payne told the Albany Times Union.

Conversely, the positive Gs on landing can cause the horses to slip and fall.

Otherwise, the flying stables provide the same amenities as stables on the ground -- the horses were fed hay and water, the airplane stable had plenty of legroom and there were many grooms to meet every need.

H.E. Sutton said flying is much easier on horses than highway travel, so the $3,000 ticket from Lexington, Ky., to Albany, N.Y., is well worth the cost.

The horses must know they are special. Upon arrival at the Albany International Airport, a team of four trailers rolled up to the jet's high-walled ramp and like a movie star exiting a private jet, some of the horses paused and looked out over the airfield, giving the local media the opportunity to snap a picture or videotape the celebrity arrival, the Times Union reported.


Plane crash victims block road, call for government compensation

Residents hung a banner in the center of their neighborhood, asking President Hadi to make good on his promise of financial compensation.

SANA’A, July 4 — Government compensation is not coming soon enough for those whose homes were damaged or destroyed by a military plane which came crashing to the ground in Sana’a in February, killing 15 and injuring 16.

This past week, residents of the Al-Zira’a neighborhood—where the plane smashed into a number of buildings—staged a protest, setting up tents, blocking a main road and hanging a banner, detailing their grievances.

Days after the crash, President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi promised that compensation would be paid out by the state.

Yemen—and Sana’a in particular—has seen a series of plane crashes in past years. Military planes, many training over the skies of the capital, have experienced technical errors, official sources said.

 The Yemeni Air Forces revealed that Yemen lost 28 military planes in the past eight years in addition to 18 pilots and pilot assistants. Twenty-three trainers and technicians lost their lives as well.

The Aba’d Research and Studies Center records that Yemen has 156 military planes, stationed in six military bases across the country.

Mujahid Al-Khalidi, Maeen district director, told the Yemen Times that the families of those killed in February’s crash were given YR500,0000 ($2,324) as a compensation; the injured were given YR200,000, or $930. The families whose houses were damaged have been given a monthly residence allowance of YR50,000, around $233.

Five owners of the affected houses have not been compensated, Al-Khalidi said.

The grievances of these protesters have been referred to the capital secretariat,   said, and will then be handed to the republic presidency and the Defense Ministry. 


Thousands Hear Good News Over MSP Airport Noise

Minneapolis-St Paul International/Wold-Chamberlain Airport (KMSP), Minneapolis, Minnesota

A new agreement between the Metropolitan Airports Commission and the cities of Minneapolis, Eagan and Richfield keeps the noise reduction program on track. 

It's an extension of the jet noise abatement program that was set to expire next summer. The government provides help to homeowners seriously affected by noise from planes at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

A Richfield city official tells 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS it will even give thousands of homeowners, who have not qualified for the program in the past, a chance to get some help, if airplane noise reaches a certain threshold.

Richfield City Council Member, Pat Elliott, says the new agreement is "all around good news, for thousands of people." Elliott says homes near the airport will be monitored for the next three years and, if the jet noise reaches a specific decibel level consistently, as many as "2,000 to 3,000 homes, collectively, in those three cities might be able to get some relief with the abatement program who might not otherwise had the chance."

The program, which is government supported, provides things such as better insulation and windows that help keep jet noise to a minimum inside homes.

Click here to learn more about the program.


Commission chairman sees no need to hold airport meeting

BROOKSVILLE - Now that Clearwater-based Corporate Jet Solutions has inked a 10-year contract to lease a vacant building at the airport, County Commission Chairman Dave Russell sees no need for a formal discussion about how it all came about.

"I don't see any reason to revisit it," Russell said.

Corporate Jet Solutions will lease the old Brooksville Air Center at 15421 Technology Drive for $120,000 the first year. Lease payments will increase with succeeding years.

The facility includes an expansive airplane hangar and administrative building, encompassing some 25,000 square feet, both with easy access to the runway.

Events leading up to Wednesday's contract proved controversial when the owner of American Aviation, which - until now - was the airport's sole fixed-base operator, questioned the negotiation process.

County Commissioner Diane Rowden also expressed concerns about how the Aviation Authority handled the negotiations and asked colleagues to carve out time during last week's meeting to discuss protocol and procedure between the county and that advisory group.

Commissioners last week voted 3-2 to remove and table an agenda item placed there by Rowden.

Commissioners agreed to pull the item for future discussion after Commissioner Jim Adkins cautioned the board not to discuss it while the county was negotiating a lease with Creative Jet Solutions.

Rowden said she didn't understand why there seem to be paranoia against discussion of protocol between the aviation authority and the county and suggested there has been "arm-twisting" done to some of her colleagues.

Russell said Wednesday the Aviation Authority has been in existence some 30 years and there has never been a problem figuring out its role. Its function is to advise the county and make recommendations that the commissioners are free to agree with or reject, he said.

To further bandy this about in a public meeting makes no sense, he said.

"There haven't been any protocols breached," Russell said. "The Aviation Authority acted in good faith and as prescribed so I just don't see the problem. I don't see the need."

County Commissioner Nick Nicholson, who sided with Rowden last week to hold a discussion, said Wednesday he is happy the lease was signed.

"They signed the contract, it's over, it's a done deal," Nicholson said.

County Administrator Len Sossamon said the county will benefit through fuel sales, increased marketing at the airport and by the creation of more jobs.

The company plans to add 40-50 jobs in the next two years, Sossamon said.

Corporate Jet also did not ask for any incentives, which saved the county money, he said.


Fire destroys Ford F-150 at Jefferson County International Airport (0S9), Port Townsend, Washington

A pickup truck burns at the Jefferson County International Airport.

PORT TOWNSEND — A pickup owned by a part-time Port Townsend resident burst into flames and was destroyed near the Spruce Goose restaurant at the Jefferson County International Airport earlier this week.

There were no injuries in connection with the Ford F-150 fire at 8:14 p.m. Tuesday, said Bill Beezley, spokesman for East Jefferson Fire-Rescue.

Firefighters extinguished the fire in about five minutes using a water and foam mixture, Beezley said.

The pickup was destroyed.

Fire officials believe the fire started in the wiring harness of the pickup.

Beezley gave this account of the fire:

The owner, Hall Baetz — who lives in Port Townsend and Seattle — was at the airport looking at planes with his 5-year-old grandson, when he noticed white smoke coming from under the hood of his red Ford pickup and thought it was from the radiator.

Once he realized it was from fire, he called 911 emergency dispatchers.

Meanwhile, B.J. Hallinan, owner of PT Aircraft Services, smelled smoke and ran out with a fire extinguisher while his wife, Jodi, also called for the fire department.

Hallinan emptied his fire extinguisher on the truck, which by then was partially engulfed in flames.