Saturday, July 13, 2013

It’s good to see people standing up to be heard

There’s always something a bit inspirational about a grumpy mob standing up to its elected representatives and demanding action, even if they are not quite sure what that action should be.

In the grand tradition of town hall meetings, about 175 good citizens turned out earlier this week at Crandall Public Library to find out why Warren County is wasting money on an airport expansion few of its citizens will ever use.

It’s perplexing why this particular expenditure has captured the fancy of so many.

The airport has been around for a long time and until recently it’s hard to remember a ripple of concern about its cost or value. The current plan to lengthen the runway, based on FAA recommendations and paid for predominantly with federal money, has also been in the works for many years, but only in the 11th hour has the citizenry demanded a thorough vetting.

Thanks, or blame depending on your perspective, falls in the lap of Supervisor Mark Westcott, who is relatively new to the position but has not been afraid to ask tough questions.

I wish Westcott was around when former Congressman John Sweeney delivered a big federal check for a fence around the airport years ago. It was our cut of the Homeland Security money to guard the airport against terrorism.

Now that was a waste of money.

In this case, the FAA recommended the runway at Warren County’s airport be extended for safety reasons.

It’s tough to argue against safety, but nobody seems to be saying the airport is unsafe, just that the improvements would improve conditions and attract larger private jets. How many, and how much that would benefit the local economy, are unclear.

It is an expensive fact of life that the federal government is rife with good, sound ideas that cost taxpayers a lot of money without much thought to return on investment. That seemed to be the point many were making Monday night.

The public comment period was eaten up by lengthy citizen speeches, rather than brief comments, as a variety of topics were addressed, such as the business model of the airport, the federal government’s own wasteful spending practices, the possibility of additional noise pollution for those living near the airport and the fact many busier airports have runways of comparable length.

Our own research here at the newspaper has showed that other counties with airports, such as Saratoga County, pay far less for their airport operations, but that was not brought up at the meeting.

Like many things funded by government, local airports are not modeled to make money. They are part of a greater coast-to-coast aviation infrastructure often portrayed as making a significant contribution to economic development, as big-time corporate executives whiz in and out of the region to plan major economic expansions that bring jobs to Warren County.

It was correctly pointed out that we have not seen much of that.

Ultimately, this issue seems to have captured the imagination of at least part of the public as another example of government wasting our tax dollars to subsidize a lifestyle for the rich.

Or it might be an example of what happens when too few tough questions are asked along the way.

The question is whether it is too late. It is the job of the supervisors to thoroughly research business decisions such as these so they can make informed decisions. Asking for a vote from the general public every time a spending plan is disputed is unreasonable.

Unfortunately, Monday’s meeting did little to illuminate whether the expansion is a good or bad idea. And when library officials insisted the meeting be cut short because the library was closing — as hard to believe as that is — it allowed county officials to wiggle off the hook while Westcott was still waiting to make his own case with a Power Point presentation.

At the meeting, committee chairman Dan Girard said a second meeting would be scheduled, but then announced later in the week no “official” committee meeting would be held.

Considering all the unfinished business Monday, that is unacceptable.

The people should always have the opportunity to be heard.

Girard and his committee have obviously forgotten that.


Delta: Engine issue reroutes plane back to Richmond International Airport (KRIC), Virginia

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - A Delta flight spent just seven minutes in the air before returning to Richmond International Airport on Saturday.

RIC spokesperson Troy Bell confirmed to NBC12 that Flight 3910 was en route to JFK when the plane returned because of a "mechanical concern."

NBC12 reached out to Delta and spokesperson Lindsay McDuff said the flight, which is operated by Pinnacle Airlines, elected to return due to an issue with the right engine. 

The CRJ-200 twin jet landed at RIC at 2:50 p.m.

McDuff told NBC12 the plane landed without incident and "passengers were re-accommodated on another aircraft."

31 people were on the flight at the time. Nobody was hurt.

U.K. Agency Says 'No Evidence' Batteries Caused 787 Fire: WSJ

British investigators said "there is no evidence" that lithium-ion batteries caused the fire that damaged a parked Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787 at London's Heathrow International Airport on Friday, but they didn't indicate what may have sparked the flames.

In a four-paragraph release Saturday, the U.K. Air Accidents Investigation Branch said the fire, which broke out when nobody was aboard, caused "extensive heat damage in the upper portion of the rear fuselage" and spread smoke throughout the fuselage of the wide-body aircraft. The statement said finding initial answers is likely to take several days.

The investigation is in its early phase and could still point to some flaw in part of the airplane. But Saturday's statement is good news for Boeing Co., because both the company and U.S. regulators have repeatedly described previous fixes to the plane's advanced lithium-ion battery systems as failsafe. All Dreamliners were grounded for 3½ months earlier this year, after batteries burned on two aircraft operated by different Japanese carriers and Boeing worked with the Federal Aviation Administration to devise fixes.

Boeing and FAA officials have publicly said the battery systems were re-engineered to preclude any fires stemming from batteries malfunctioning, overheating or failing.

Separately, in an emailed response Saturday to questions from The Wall Street Journal, Ethiopian Airlines said the incident was "not related to flight safety," adding that it hasn't grounded its three other Dreamliners following the incident. Officials from Ethiopian Airlines couldn't be reached to elaborate on the comment.

Other Dreamliner operators also said they were continuing to fly 787s, while monitoring the British-led probe.

A Boeing spokesman declined to comment beyond the company's statement Friday that it had "personnel on the ground at Heathrow and [is] working to fully understand and address this."

The Ethiopian 787, which had arrived from Addis Ababa, was parked at Heathrow for more than eight hours before smoke was detected onboard, the airline and authorities said. Nobody was hurt in the incident. The fire was so intense that it burned through the plane's carbon-fiber composite skin on its roof, in front of the tail fin. Inside the plane near the hole are electrical systems and a galley, among other equipment.

One person briefed on early parts of the investigation said preliminary indications suggest the fire was in the overhead area over the last few rows of seats on the plane, which was plugged into ground power while parked.

Boeing has been reviewing systems in that area of the jet that would remain powered by the attached ground power supplied by the airport, the person said.

What those systems are couldn't immediately be determined. So-called remote-power distribution units, which act as substations for the 787's electrical system, and remote-data concentrators, which help distribute data signals to systems from the jet's central computer, are installed throughout the aircraft—including units next to one another in the ceiling of the jet near the last set of doors on the Dreamliner, where the fire damage appears.

Another person familiar with but not directly involved in the investigation said that at this point, much attention appears focused on examining parts that also are used on Airbus jets. The data concentrators are installed inside Airbus A350 and A380 aircraft.

But industry and government-safety experts on both sides of the Atlantic stressed it's premature to draw conclusions.

British investigators said the damage occurred "in a complex part of the aircraft" and "the initial investigation is likely to take several days."

Also on Saturday morning officials from Boeing, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board and the FAA arrived in London to begin the investigation alongside the AAIB, said a person familiar with the investigation. Air accidents are conducted by officials from at least the countries where the incident occurs, and where the plane was built.

U.S. officials are expected to let their British counterparts take the lead in putting out details about the status of the investigation.

The back area of the 787 also includes a galley behind the last row of seats on Ethiopian's 787s. One person familiar with the analysis of the fire said the galley is also a focus for investigators. Galleys have various heat-producing equipment, such as ovens and coffee makers. Problems with such equipment in the past have caused fires on parked planes.

Ethiopian's comment Saturday is unusual because the official investigation of the incident is still at an early stage, and airlines typically don't make such definitive statements until government investigators release their preliminary findings.

The plane was moved to a secure hangar on Saturday morning, said a spokesman for the U.K. AAIB.

Following its global grounding earlier this year, Dreamliners returned to service after a number of internal battery changes—protected by a new, fireproof metal case—were retrofitted on delivered aircraft. At the same time, Boeing resumed deliveries of 787s, which now contain the re-engineered battery systems.

The End of The Bahamas Tourism Product


Chef Tim Tibbitts

By Chef Tim Tibbitts
July 13, 2013 - 1:00:24 AM  

On July 1st of this year, the government of the Bahamas decided that it was going to drop a bomb on the tourist sector. Without any lead time, prior knowledge or transparency even between different government ministries, they decided to end tourism in the Bahamas in one simple step. They raised the already ridiculously high taxes and fees on airlift. Now I believe, fortunately for us this was done on a national level and not just to struggling Grand Bahama. The fact that it was done nationally will be the only saving grace in this decision and I’ll tell you why.

Grand Bahama is pretty much considered to be the unwanted stepchild of the Bahamas. Everyone knows it, everyone says it and more than ever, everyone feels it. However, this decision takes the cake as it was done nationwide. Now the reason that that decision may actually save us is simple. No government will let Nassau’s economy die. So when potentially all airlift is suspended by the end of next week by all service providers in North America, they will be forced to repeal this ridiculous increase or suffer the dire consequences. If it had been just in Grand Bahama, they would just let the island die.

This all stems back to the changes the government made to the fees placed on airlines. Everyone knows that airlines make very small margins on flights and many run in the red a lot of the time. Everyone also knows that tourism in the Bahamas is struggling due to the value for dollar perception of traveling here. Many other destinations in the region are flourishing because of the lower costs offered to bring people to the destinations and the perceived value of those destinations and their tourism product. To make the Bahamas even more expensive without raising the value offered is ridiculous.

This article was placed in the travel agent newsletter on Wednesday. “New fees that took effect July 1 for aircraft serving the Bahamas have prompted a strong reaction from U.S. airlines, which say they may reduce service to the destination in response.

A new customs-processing fee is $75 per arrival and $75 per departure for each commercial flight.

An increased customs-service charge for each flight arriving between 5 p.m. on Sundays through 9 a.m. on Saturdays ranges from $50 for aircraft with less than 30 seats up to $200 for planes with 70 or more seats.

In addition, the departure tax of $25 per ticketed passenger now includes children under the age of 6, who were previously exempt.

The new fees are part of the 2013-2014 government budget, but airlines had less than two weeks' notice about the new fees and no meetings with the airlines prior to the increase, according to a Bahamian newspaper.”

“Airlines for America, the trade group for U.S. commercial airlines, sought to clarify the new fees and the reasoning behind them, in a June 28 letter to Charles Turner, comptroller of customs in the Bahamas.

"This development is of particular concern to member airlines due to the lack of notice, transparency and cost-based justification for the new charges and increased fees. Less than two weeks is insufficient time for airlines to reprogram their systems to accommodate the new fees and increased charges," wrote Keith Glatz, Airlines for America’s vice president of international affairs.

With slim profit margins and the inability to recoup taxes and fees that airlines pay directly to governments, airlines “may be forced to reconsider their service levels to the Bahamas,” Glatz said. “The proposed fees may have unintended consequences and undermine the desire to stimulate the Bahamian economy.”

Airlines for America represents the core airlines of the United States along with associate members from Canada. If they decide to pull out service next week it will be all flights by: US Air, JetBlue, Delta, United Continental, Southwest, Air Canada along with freight providers Fed Ex and UPS. If Airlines For America pulls these lines from servicing the Bahamas, imagine how this will affect your lives. The private plane sector represented by Florida based groups Bahamas Ambassadors and the Florida Aero Club have already suspended all member flights to the Bahamas indefinitely.

When reports like this are released to the world it becomes very difficult to retract a statement or a policy. The reality of what they have done may be too late to repair the damage. If that is the case, most tourism based businesses including my own will not survive. We could be going out of business if this decision is not reversed and to me that is unacceptable.

Tourism still remains the Bahamas largest employer, and the largest contributor to the GDP of our nation. It always has been. And now on our 40th anniversary of Independence with one simple misstep the government may have damaged that product irreparably. Will you stand by and watch them dismantle all of our lives without raising your voice? I will not. 

It is important to remember that politicians are elected by you as your representatives. In that way, you also have a say in how they govern. If you do not believe that your member of parliament is representing your point of view, make sure that it is known. If you think this particular issue is one worth standing up against than please join me in signing this petition of the people to repeal these fees that will destroy the Bahamas economy faster than any hurricane. Visit and sign your name to the list. If you remain silent, you are condemning this country to its fate.

If you do not think that this will affect you in any way so why say anything? Just think of the tens of thousands of people who will be unemployed in the tourism sector. It’s likely someone in your family will lose their job because of this. Things are already very tough here and they are about to get much tougher. 

 The new Sunwing venture in Grand Bahama is slated to open in November. I am awaiting a response from them on this situation. I am quite sure there will be a serious reaction to this from them as they are currently slated to start 6 flights a week from Canada in November. This will have a massively negative effect on the prospects of them continuing I can guarantee you that. The Sunwing project with Blue Diamond Resorts was a shot in the arm that was so desperately needed for Grand Bahama’s survival. If due to these recent changes in policy the Sunwing group pulls out of that project it will be the final nail in the coffin for Grand Bahama.

I plead with all of my loyal readers to please sign the petition and make your voices heard. It is so important to stand up for what you believe in and to help to forge the path that we as a nation will follow. Do not leave it solely to elected officials. Be the change that you wish to see yourself. Others will follow you. I for one will not go down without a fight. Next week, I will return to my usual food based writing but this is definitely some Food For Thought.


Bridgeport could swallow driveway cost: Sikorsky Memorial Airport (KBDR), Connecticut

BRIDGEPORT -- The mayor's office said the city had no choice -- Bridgeport had to buy millionaire developer Manuel "Manny" Moutinho a $400,000 gravel driveway so his old dirt one could be abandoned for an airport safety project. 

 But if a judge's ruling stands and Moutinho's driveway, which he was also hired to build, is demolished, the city may have to both absorb that $400,000 and spend more taxpayer money fitting the dirt driveway into the plans.

"Worst case, the existing (dirt) driveway could stay where it is," said Micheal Grzywinski, a senior environmental analyst with the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

Grzywinski is overseeing the permit process for a new safety zone at Bridgeport-owned Sikorsky Memorial Airport, located in Stratford. Both of Moutinho's driveways -- the new and the old -- start in Stratford and cross airport rights-of-way enroute to his mansion on Stratford's shoreline.

In early June, Hearst Connecticut Newspapers reported that Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch's administration this winter quietly took over Moutinho's plans and permits for a new, 1,000-foot long, 20-foot wide gravel driveway for himself and three neighboring property owners.

And the city -- with the help of Airport Manager John Ricci -- skirted competitive bidding procedures and hired Moutinho's Mark IV Construction to install it.

The mayor suspended Ricci after Hearst reported on the manager's long friendship and history of real estate dealings with Moutinho, a clear conflict of interest. But the Finch administration has never said it was wrong to buy Moutinho a driveway.

The city has said Moutinho's original dirt driveway -- across from a Sikorsky runway -- had to be abandoned to build a federal-mandated runway safety zone by 2016. So they said they owed Moutinho a driveway, even though he had been planning to build a $200,000 one for himself and obtained the necessary permits last summer from Stratford.

The already controversial situation turned even more complicated for Finch on July 2 when state Superior Court Judge Dale Radcliffe ruled that Stratford erred in giving Moutinho a zoning variance to build the driveway through wetlands. The lawsuit had been filed last September by residents of Breakwater Key condominiums and could result in Stratford ordering Moutinho and Bridgeport to tear up the driveway and restore the wetlands.

Radcliffe did not base his decision on anything involving safety at Sikorsky because that topic never came up when Moutinho was before Stratford's land-use boards.

Instead, Moutinho claimed the dirt driveway flooded and the state DEEP had ordered Bridgeport to abandon the right-of-way to restore the area to wetlands.

No such order was given, Radcliffe concluded, and the DEEP would have allowed Moutinho to repair his dirt driveway for further use.

That option remains on the table, Grzywinski said.

In 2009 the DEEP issued a notice of violation to Moutinho, two of his neighbors and the city. State inspectors discovered unauthorized work on the dirt driveway, including the filling in of a culvert for a creek. DEEP ordered it fixed.

The work, however, was never done. It was never Bridgeport's responsibility to maintain the dirt driveway; only to allow Moutinho, his neighbors and their predecessors to use it. And then at some point, significant environmental contamination from Stratford's Raymark federal Superfund site was discovered, complicating the repairs.

Ultimately, the decision was made to fold the soil cleanup into construction of the Sikorsky safety zone because that would take up a portion of the dirt driveway. But Grzywionski said the original permission granting the city and homeowners the ability to repair the culvert for continued use was never revoked.

"But any work to the existing culvert and (dirt) access drive would have to be done in conjunction with ... removal activities," Grzywinski said. "Those need to be done hand in hand."

Grzywinski noted he is uncertain whether Bridgeport's runway safety plans could be redrafted to include Moutinho's original dirt driveway.

One of the most common envisioned scenarios is Moutinho will file an appeal, which preserves the gravel driveway, and Bridgeport will use that time to reapply for permits in Stratford, this time emphasizing the airport safety project.

Breakwater's attorney, Richard Saxl, has indicated he will fight attempts to preserve the new driveway.

Another state agency involved in the airport work -- the state Department of Transportation -- indicated the driveway is Bridgeport's problem to solve. The DOT will ultimately manage construction once Bridgeport obtains its permits and finalizes its plans for the safety zone.

"This is an entirely locally owned project," said DOT spokesman Kevin Nursick. "This is not yet anything under DOT's control or authority ... We're building what they have provided us with. The details of why something's being done a certain way or why it's not would still end up going back to them."


Should Federal Aviation Administration, San Francisco ban aerial advertising above America’s Cup?

Remember when former Mayor Gavin Newsom said “Who the heck needs the Olympics and the Super Bowl when you’ve got the America’s Cup?”

The Cup may have been pitched as the third-largest international sporting event in the world, but with only four teams competing and significantly scaled back economic impact projections, the Federal Aviation Administration hasn’t even deemed the event worthy of the same airspace protections given to every San Francisco Giants and 49ers game.

“There won’t be a [temporary flight restriction] over the event,” FAA spokesman Lynn Lunsford said in an email. “We will issue advisories to pilots.”

For every major sporting event in a stadium, the FAA prohibits low-flying aircraft from coming within three nautical miles of the venue. City officials have been talking with the FAA for months, telling the federal agency that they expect up to 100,000 spectators a day along the waterfront for the final races in September, but to no avail.

“They said even with that kind of attendance that wouldn’t in and of itself justify flight restrictions unless there was a real safety and security situation they could identify,” said Michael Martin, the city’s point man on the Cup. “They told us they can put one in place very quickly if they see there’s a safety or security reason that requires it.”

Martin said other factors the FAA considers in issuing the restrictions are how much attention is being paid to the event, terrorist threats and even how important the attendees are (Sorry Larry Ellison, apparently being a billionaire software mogul ain’t all it’s cracked up to be).

Once it was clear that the FAA may not come through, the city turned to Plan B. On Monday, the Board of Supervisor’s Land Use and Development Committee will consider a city-sponsored ordinance to “prohibit the use of aircraft, self-propelled, or buoyant objects to display any sign or advertising device in the airspace” over the course area.

“It sounds sort of ominous when you read it, but it’s something we try to keep narrowly tailored,” Martin said. “It’s part of our running effort to keep safety paramount.”

Though Martin says safety is priority number one, the legislation is concerned with appearances first, stating that aerial signs and towing banners would “undermine the viewing experience” before getting to the “dangerous visual distractions” for sailors.

Leading Cup critic Supervisor John Avalos says the ordinance strikes him as an attempt by Ellison and his racing syndicate to exercise further control over the event.

“It seems absurd to try to limit where spectators’ eyes go,” Avalos said.

Lunsford said the FAA hasn’t had the opportunity to review the proposed ordinance. Martin said the city felt it could make its own rules about the airspace because Honolulu has a permanent ban on aerial advertising that was upheld by courts in 2006.

This post has been updated to include the FAA’s response.

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Los Alamos Civil Air Patrol’s Newest Pilot: Chase Britton

C/CMSgt.Chase Britton next to the C-172 he flew to complete his private pilot’s license. 
Courtesy photo

Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Chase Britton became Civil Air Patrol’s newest pilot June 13 after passing his FAA check ride with flying colors. 

The event took place at Santa Fe Municipal Airport. Britton used a Civil Air Patrol Cessna 172 for both his training as well as the check ride. His training was provided by CAP instructors SMSgt. Chuck Grosvenor and Lt. Col. Rick Thomas.

Los Alamos squadron commander Maj. Annette Peters congratulated Britton on his achievement.

“We are all very proud of you,” she said in an e-mail to Britton.

Read more and photos:

Huge security hole for Colorado state airplane went unnoticed for seven years: Beech King Air BE-200 (N205SP)

Until just recently, those who knew where to go online could find the real-time location of Colorado’s $4.2 million King Air Turbo airplane, with trackable tail number N205SP, used by a wide range of state officials, but most often by Gov. John Hickenlooper.

That information, for security purposes, was supposed to have been secret, according to Lance Clem, the public information officer for the Denver Department of Public Safety.

But for unknown reasons, a 2006 request to the Federal Aviation Administration to block the real-time whereabouts of Colorado’s state-owned aircraft was never processed.

State Patrol officials responsible for the operation and maintenance of the airplane discovered the problem when reporters for the local Fox News station contacted them on a different story about the flying habits of state officials and the cost of the aircraft.

“The website used by the Fox reporters made it clear to us that somehow, any earlier requests we’d made [to the FAA] to make the information unavailable had not been completely successful,” Clem wrote in a series of emails to The Daily Caller News Foundation.

“The Patrol has never provided information to the public about future or real-time use of the plane because the plane often transports the governor, other public officials and prisoners,” he said. “It’s a situation comparable to having the Air Force let people know where the presidential aircraft is flying at the moment.”

After the Fox reporters began asking their questions, but before the story aired recently, the State Patrol renewed its request to the FAA to block the current whereabouts of the plane from aviation websites.

The Fox story — which highlighted a questionable flight taken by Hickenlooper, a supporter and their respective sons to a bicycle race in Durango last year — made it sound like the state was trying to hide something.

“When made aware of our report, the state filed papers with the FAA to block the public from accessing the flight information from N205SP,” the station reported.

Luis Toro, the director of Colorado Ethics Watch, told the station the move was “disturbing and it makes it seem like they don’t want the public to know what they’re using this plane for.”

But Clem says there was nothing nefarious about it.

Read more here:

Lost in the long white cloud

The plane was a Ryan B-1 Brougham.

It’s an 85-year-old mystery that would rewrite aviation history. Charles Anderson goes deep into South Island bush to chart the fateful journey of the Aotearoa and the obsessive search for a plane lost for almost a century.
For an extended interactive multimedia version of this story, including a short documentary, visit 

 2013 -Awaroa: The land slipped and crumbled beneath his feet. It had been several hours since Gerry Tonkin began the search and while the topography around him had shifted wildly - rolling from shallow gravel gullies, to sharp gorse ridges - the scene in front of him had not. Dust and dried leaves and blackberry bush layered the floor, and thick woody vines of supplejack wrapped and sprawled their way through regenerating forest. "Spider web gullies," they were called. 

"We told ourselves we are going to find this thing," Tonkin said, grabbing the exposed roots of a beech tree to haul himself upright. There weren't any easy paths. Holding a small rusted scythe he cut away at the branches that fell constantly into his face.

It was hard to know what their target might look like after all these years. It was meant to be thin metal tubing crisscrossing its way down to a tapered end. They were told it might look like a windmill fallen on its side.

All searches were different, but this was one of the few times that the volunteers weren't racing to find someone alive.

Deep in the thick green labyrinth, a few kilometres from the Awaroa Inlet, they were searching for a piece of New Zealand history lost for 85 years. It represented the forgotten heroism of an age - where an individual could aspire to great feats at great peril. A find would rewrite a little-known piece of New Zealand aviation lore. It would give two young men credit for conquering the unconquered. And it would bring closure to two families who have long lived without an answer to the question: what happened to George Hood and John Moncrieff?

Tonkin and his colleague Bevan Bruce cantered down the hillside. Light broke through the canopy and illuminated the thin streams of dust that puffed up behind the men.

In a gully, surrounded by the monotonous buzzing of wasps, Bruce pulled out a map and compass.

"Even SAR [search and rescue] teams get lost," he joked.

They had been scrambling for hours with little progress. But to be a search and rescue volunteer you had to be an optimist. Sherp Tucker, the longtime and unofficial leader of the group, had a saying: if you don't think you are going to find anything, go home. To him the glass was always half full. It was always a quarter full. It was always an eighth full.

"You have to believe that," he said before the search began. "It helps you believe in yourself." 

Kentucky's home to world's largest remote control jet show

WDRB 41 Louisville News

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kentucky is home to the largest remote control jet show in the world. 

It can make you feel like a kid again, but I found that maneuvering the planes isn't child's play.

This is not the type of remote control airplane most kids grew up with, these are top of the line, scale replica jets.

"I fly the high end jets but I also fly with my son all the basic stuff, flying's flying once you got it in your blood that you like airplanes it just sort of evolves from there," said Ali Machinchy, a participant at the Jet Show.

His hobby evolved into a lifestyle. Hundreds of people from all over the world traveled to Kentucky and landed in Lebanon for the world's largest remote control jet show.

"Kentucky, it's just a friendly state other places we go to we have fun we fly our planes but the atmospheres not the same," said Rei Gonzalez, a participant at the Jet Show.

Every nut, bolt and rivet is a replica of the real thing.
It's put to the test when the planes take off.

They reach speeds of 200 miles per hour, flying inches off the ground and looping through the air.

"They are harder and cost is part of it, it's just more or a concern of a worry, speed distance they cover they're just a little more difficult," said Machinchy.

The price for these planes run anywhere between $10,000 to $100,000. Those numbers run through your head as your plane soars through the sky.

"At first you're kind of tense and sometimes when you're considering the investment you have in these planes cause they're not cheap you're thinking twice about it. Once you settle in the groove once, you're up in the air and everything's going good it just feels awesome," said Gonzalez.

The Jets Over Kentucky spectator show is Saturday, July 13th starting at noon at the Lebanon-Springfield Airport

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Plane falls off trailer, flips on freeway: Temecula, California

An airplane being towed fell off its trailer Friday night, July 12, and flipped upside down on Interstate 15 south of Valley Parkway near Temecula, the California Highway Patrol reported on its website. 

The accident was reported at 7:44 p.m. between Temecula Parkway and the Temecula Border Patrol station.

The plane was being towed from Fallbrook to Corona by a truck traveling 45 mph in the slow lane of northbound Interstate 15 when the trailer began to wobble, said CHP Officer Juan Garcia from the scene.

“He applied the brakes several times to slow it down lost control and it flipped over on the center divider,” Garcia said.

The plane, described as being 25 feet long, was in the center divider.

Army helicopters 'terrorize' Port Angeles area; military apologizes






EDITOR'S NOTE — Port Angeles resident Byron A Sifford posted videos on YouTube of noise and lights from the Army helicopters.    It's at

PORT ANGELES — Army special-operations helicopters on a training exercise buzzed the Port Angeles area late Thursday night in an episode that the mayor says “terrorized my city.”

An Army official apologized Friday for the unannounced training mission.

Dozens of alarmed residents called police to ask what was going on and said the noise and lights panicked horses and other livestock.

“They terrorized my city,” Port Angeles Mayor Cherie Kidd said Friday.

“No one had any warning about the helicopters, no one said anything afterwards, and today city officials had to spend hours just trying to find out what had happened — who had invaded Port Angeles.”

She plans to meet Monday morning with Army Col. H. Charles “Chuck” Hodges Jr., garrison commander of Joint Base Fort Lewis-McChord near Tacoma, about 90 miles south of Port Angeles, where the special-operations helicopters are based.

“I want to hold people accountable for this so it doesn't happen again,” Kidd said.

Hodges said Friday afternoon he had launched an investigation and was meeting with unit commanders at the base.

“I apologize, this is totally unacceptable,” he told the Peninsula Daily News.

“At the very least we should have notified local authorities of the exercise.”

Chinook helicopters used

The helicopters — Hodges said they were four CH-47 Chinooks, twin-engine, tandem rotor heavy-lift helicopters, “big, heavy machines, they make a lot of noise especially when they operate near water” — were over Port Angeles from about 11:15 p.m. to shortly before midnight Thursday.

Residents said they were awakened from their sleep, and that spotlights stabbed down from the low-flying helicopters into their backyards.

The helicopters also landed, then took off, from the small Port Angeles Coast Guard base on Ediz Hook, across Port Angeles Harbor from the downtown business area.

Deputy Police Chief Brian Smith said: “Our watch commander last night reported that we received 'dozens of calls' complaining about low-flying helicopters over the city.”

It took until about noon Friday when Clallam County Sheriff Bill Benedict — who made repeated calls to Puget Sound military bases — was finally able to determine that the helicopters belonged to the Army and had come from Fort Lewis-McChord.

Special forces

Army Maj. Michael Burns later told the PDN that the training exercise over Port Angeles and the surrounding area was by units of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment at Fort Lewis-McChord and also included MH-60 Blackhawk attack helicopters.

Burns said the aviation unit is used to transport special forces units.

Interviewed by telephone from Fort Campbell, Ky., headquarters for the unit, Burns could not speak to many details of Thursday's training mission, but said such operations typically last between two and six hours at a time.

He added that he could not say specifically why the Port Angeles area was chosen for a training mission, only that “the particular area just gave a different training environment for the pilots, something unfamiliar.”

“We do our best to try to avoid populated areas, but [with] those aircraft being so large and so loud, even if we're not very low, it seems very loud,” Burns added.

Burns said specific law enforcement agencies in the area were not notified for Thursday's training mission, explaining that such notification is not typically done for operations as short as a one-night exercise.

The aircraft used in training missions can also cover a wide range of territory during a single mission, Burns said, making notifying each individual agency difficult.

“With helicopters, we cover such a wide area, it's tough to notify every agency,” Burns said.

Sheriff is upset
The Clallam County sheriff said he was upset.

“I want to register my concern over this activity,” Benedict said.

“Because of the volume of the complaints that we heard, I want to let the Army base know that if it's necessary to fly over populated areas, we want advance notice.”

After the helicopters departed, Smith, the deputy police chief, said dispatchers with Peninsula Communications, the Clallam County-wide emergency dispatch system, made calls to various agencies and were told by a petty officer at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, about 50 miles east of Port Angeles, that the aircraft were from there and were on training exercises.

Smith said he confirmed with the naval station's air traffic control chief later, however, that the helicopters were not from the naval station.

Eric Phillips, who lives at Liberty and Georgiana streets in Port Angeles, said he saw four helicopters traveling in two sets, with the leading set flying without lights.

The helicopters, which he described as “heavy, military helicopters,” were “spotlighting in town,” he said, adding that they circled the city for at least an hour beginning at about 11:30 p.m.

“I've never seen anything like this before,” Phillips said.

Michelle Bonifazio, who lives in the foothills between Sequim and Port Angeles, said the incident was "intolerable, irresponsible and un-American."

She said her family's horses and livestock "woke us up running in a panic trying to go through the fences to get away from the unfamiliar noises, objects and lights.

"Who would have been responsible had they injured themselves or been hit by a car and injured or killed the occupants?"

Facebook reports

Other residents said jet aircraft were in the sky above the helicopters.

Facebook and Twitter users flashed hundreds of messages about the helicopters and speculated that they were linked to a possible drug raid in Port Angeles and mentioned police action earlier Thursday.

Port Angeles police officers had served two simultaneous search warrants at businesses Thursday afternoon, but Smith said this action and “the helicopters were completely unrelated.”

Smith said he could not elaborate on specific suspected crimes related to the search warrants, although he said both state and federal felonies might be involved.

Cherry Ridge Airport (N30), Honesdale, Pennsylvania: Aircraft group has lofty hopes

The members of Chapter #283 of the Experimental Aircraft Association, based at the Cherry Ridge Airport in Honesdale, offered, for the first time, a scholarship to all area high school seniors who plan on a career in aviation. 

Shown, front from left, are Bill Mott, Garry Sheard, Jr., John Fox, Jim Parker and Daryl Gustin; back, Tom Mowatt, Vinnie Villano, Kyler Chern, Bob Giannella, Woody Bond, Nick Estabrook, Garry Sheard, Sr., Tony Tvaryanas and Jay Branning.

CHERRY RIDGE  —  The members of Chapter #283 of the Experimental Aircraft Association, based at the Cherry Ridge Airport in Honesdale, offered, for the first time, a scholarship to all area high school seniors who plan on a career in aviation.

This scholarship grew from a desire of wanting to do something to encourage the interest of the younger generation in flight and flying.

 In order to qualify for the $1500 scholarship, the recipient must attend a two or four year post secondary college or related technical field in aviation, aerospace design, aeronautical engineering or pilot training toward commercial flying.

This year's recipient is Kyler Cherin of Greentown, a Wallenpaupack Area High School graduate who will be attending Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in the fall. Kyle will be majoring in aviation based electrical engineering and plans to earn a minor degree in flight.

His ultimate goal is to become a commercial pilot through Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Naval ROTC program.

Nick Estabrook, president of Chapter #283 EAA, presented the scholarship to Kyle at their awards assembly on Friday, June 14 at the Wallenpaupack Area High School.

The scholarship idea grew for the 15 active members of Chapter #283 from a seven year long project. In 2005, the group purchased a wrecked 1946 Piper Cub which then took seven years to restore the plane. The sale of the 1946 Piper Cub funded the scholarship.

This scholarship may be awarded next year. All area 2014 seniors from Honesdale, Wallenpaupack and Western Wayne high schools are encouraged to check with their guidance office for further information.

This active group is still encouraging today's youth to pursue an interest in planes, flight and flying through the Young Eagles program by broadening their horizons to aviation and the experience of flying.

 Around the middle of each September, children and teens, ages 8-17, are invited to take a free flight from one of the Charter #283 members at the Cherry Ridge Airport. Last year during the Young Eagles Day, the group flew 60-80 fights on six aircraft within a three hour span.

If you have an interest to join the group or would like more information, members of Chapter #283 of the Experimental Aircraft Association meet at the Cherry Ridge Airport the second Saturday of each month for breakfast at 8 a.m. with their meeting at 9. New members are welcome.

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Louisa County Airport/Freeman Field (KLKU) Louisa, Virginia: Airport Manager and Executive Assistant

Louisa County Airport Manager Industrial Development Authority Executive Assistant

The Louisa County Industrial Development Authority is currently in search of a qualified Airport Manager and IDA executive assistant to fill the position that will be vacated by the person currently in this position due to retirement. Qualified applicants should have Airport Management experience and be familiar with related documents that need to be completed to the Federal Aviation Administration as well as the Virginia Department of Aviation concerning airport operations and grants. This person should also have a working knowledge of aircraft identification and needs of operation or be willing to train in this area. The successful applicant will also be responsible for clerical and accounting duties pertaining to the Louisa County Industrial Development Authority. Computer skills and familiarity with Word, Excel and QuickBooks are most important. Please send resumes to Attention of: LKU Search Committee 335 Industrial Drive,  Louisa,  Virginia   23093

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Paramotoring basics: Malaysia

The equipment that one has to strap on for paramotoring consists of a motor, a cage with a propeller and a parachute. It all weighs between 20kg and 35kg. An alternative is to attach all the equipment to a wheeled frame.

Powered paragliding is a form of ultralight aviation where the pilot wears a motor on his back (a paramotor, or motorized paraglider) which provides enough thrust to take off on level ground.

 Those who don’t want to bear the weight of the flight equipment on their backs can also use a trike or quad (three- or four-wheeler), where the paramotor is attached to a frame.

Pilots who have issues with their knees or ankles, for example, can fly easily and safely in trikes. The frames also allow the pilot to carry more gear such as camera equipment or extra gasoline for long-distance flights.

A paramotor gives a pilot more independence than in similar flying activities like parasailing, which relies on a towing vehicle, or BASE jumping, which requires a high structure from which to launch. One also need not depend on the wind for lift-off, unlike in pure (unpowered) paragliding.

Permission from air traffic control to fly a motorised paraglider (MPG) is not required. Flying should be done away from built-up areas, military areas, airports and other sensitive areas, and below radar.

MPGs can fly up to 3,000m but the best altitude is 30m to 100m as it offers the best views. It is advisable not to fly in winds greater than 5km to 10km per hour.

The sport is open to both male and female enthusiasts, who are at least 16 years old, of sound health both mentally and physically, and who preferably weigh no more than 80kg.

Paramotoring is not an extreme sport and to date, it has recorded zero fatalities. If the motor fails, the pilot will glide down to the ground with the parachute. Pilots are connected to the ground via two-way radio so guidance can be provided by experienced pilots if required.

At Air Venture Sdn Bhd, beginners start with a combination of tandem flights and learning the basics of kiting, which is getting the wing or parachute to catch the wind and stay up in the air. Depending on the individual, they may be able to fly on their own after five to 10 days of training.

James Gibbs, the founder of Air Venture, says a course to learn the sport is as expensive as learning to fly a single-engine Cessna plane (around RM3,500).

While the equipment is provided during the course, true enthusiasts will buy their own gear once they’ve qualified to fly.

Solo pilots would require an engine, a cage which holds the propeller, a harness and of course, the wing or parachute, but there are also trike frames for solo and tandem flying. When dismantled, the equipment can be stored in a couple of duffle bags, making it portable and easy to transport.

However, it can weigh on you – literally. The equipment weighs 18kg to 35kg and those who “wear” the paramotor on their backs feel it the most. But Gibbs’ six-year-old son Max can still easily raise the front of the trike off the ground as it rests on its back wheels.

In a trike, the takeoff and landing feel more like flying a fixed-wing aircraft. However, many paramotoring enthusiasts say that they prefer the “backpack”.

Being airborne with their feet dangling and their arms steering the wing comes as close to being a bird as one can get for now. 

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Beechcraft B60 Duke (ZS-KHA) on Safari

Published on July 9, 2013

San Luis Valley Regional Airport/Bergman Field (KALS), Alamosa, Colorado: Air Show, Fly In and breakfast today

ALAMOSA — SLV Pilots Association presents the annual free Air Show, Fly In and breakfast on Saturday, July 13, with pancake breakfast from 7-10 a.m. and air show from 10 a.m. to noon at the SLV Regional Airport-Bergman Field, Alamosa.