Friday, August 9, 2013

Rockwell 690B Turbo Commander, Meridian (Rgd. Ellumax Leasing LLC), N13622: Accident occurred August 09, 2013 in New Haven, Connecticut

NTSB Identification: ERA13FA358 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, August 09, 2013 in East Haven, CT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/27/2014
Aircraft: ROCKWELL INTERNATIONAL 690B, registration: N13622
Injuries: 4 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot was attempting a circling approach with a strong gusty tailwind. Radar data and an air traffic controller confirmed that the airplane was circling at or below the minimum descent altitude of 720 feet (708 feet above ground level [agl]) while flying in and out of an overcast ceiling that was varying between 600 feet and 1,100 feet agl. The airplane was flying at 100 knots and was close to the runway threshold on the left downwind leg of the airport traffic pattern, which would have required a 180-degree turn with a 45-degree or greater bank to align with the runway. Assuming a consistent bank of 45 degrees, and a stall speed of 88 to 94 knots, the airplane would have been near stall during that bank. If the bank was increased due to the tailwind, the stall speed would have increased above 100 knots. Additionally, witnesses saw the airplane descend out of the clouds in a nose-down attitude. Thus, it was likely the pilot encountered an aerodynamic stall as he was banking sharply, while flying in and out of clouds, trying to align the airplane with the runway. Toxicological testing revealed the presence of zolpidem, which is a sleep aid marketed under the brand name Ambien; however, the levels were well below the therapeutic range and consistent with the pilot taking the medication the evening before the accident. Therefore, the pilot was not impaired due to the zolpidem. Examination of the wreckage did not reveal any preimpact mechanical malfunctions.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to maintain airspeed while banking aggressively in and out of clouds for landing in gusty tailwind conditions, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall and uncontrolled descent.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On August 9, 2013, about 1121 eastern daylight time, a Rockwell International 690B, N13622, was destroyed after impacting two homes while maneuvering for landing in East Haven, Connecticut. The airplane was registered to Ellumax, LLC, and was operated by a private individual. The commercial pilot, one passenger, and two people on the ground were fatally injured. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed for the flight that departed Teterboro Airport (TEB), Teterboro, New Jersey, about 1049 and was destined for Tweed-New Haven Airport (HVN), New Haven, Connecticut.

Review of data from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) revealed that at 1104, the pilot was advised by a New York Approach controller to expect an instrument landing system (ILS) approach to runway 2, with a circle to land runway 20 at HVN, which he acknowledged. At 1115, the flight was cleared for that approach and the pilot was instructed to contact the HVN tower, which he did. At 1116, the pilot reported to the tower controller that the airplane was 7.5 miles from the final approach fix and the controller instructed the pilot to report a left downwind leg of the traffic pattern for runway 20. The pilot then asked if anybody had landed straight in and the controller replied no, the winds were 190 degrees at 17 knots, which the pilot acknowledged. At 1119 the pilot reported that the airplane was on a left downwind and the controller cleared the flight to land. 

At 1120:42, the controller stated, "November one two two are you going to be able to maintain visual contact with the airport?" The pilot replied "are you talking to six two two" and the controller replied "six two two affirmative." At 1520:51, the pilot replied, "six two two is in visual contact now." No further communications were received from the accident airplane. The last recorded radar target was at 1120:53, about .7 miles north of the runway 20 threshold indicating an altitude of 800 feet mean seal level. 

After the accident, the HVN tower controller stated that he observed the airplane on a midfield left downwind leg of the airport traffic pattern for runway 20 and it was "skimming" the cloud bases. He asked the pilot if he could maintain visual contact with the runway and the pilot replied yes. The controller then lost visual contact with the airplane and about 2 to 3 seconds later, it re-appeared nose-down, rotating counter-clockwise and descending from the clouds to the ground. Several other witnesses near the accident site reported seeing the airplane descend in an unusual attitude and/or the sound of loud engine noise just before impact. 

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate, with ratings for airplane single-engine land, airplane multiengine land, and instrument airplane. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on September 13, 2011. At that time, he reported a total flight experience of 1,952 hours. 

Review of the pilot's logbook revealed that he had accumulated a total flight experience of approximately 2,067 hours; of which, about 1,407 hours were in multiengine airplanes and 574 hours of that were in turbine aircraft. The pilot had flown about 394 hours in actual instrument meteorological conditions. Additionally, the pilot completed a flight review and instrument proficiency check on March 2 and March 18, 2013, respectively. The last entry in the pilot's logbook was dated March 19, 2013. There was no record of flight time between that date and the accident. A determination could not be made of how many circling approaches the pilot had performed in actual conditions. 

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The 11-seat, high wing, retractable gear airplane, serial number 11469, was manufactured in 1978. It was powered by two Honeywell TPE331 engines, serial numbers P79297C, and P79001C respectively. According to FAA records, the airplane was issued a standard airworthiness certificate on March 8, 1982. Review of copies of maintenance logbook records revealed an annual inspection was completed February 13, 2013 at a recorded tachometer reading of 1250.1 hours, airframe total time of 8827.1 hours, and engine time since major overhaul of 1249.5 hours. The tachometer and the Hobbs hour-meter were not located at the accident site. 

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The recorded weather at HVN, at 1126, was: wind from 170 degrees at 12 knots, gusting to 19 knots; visibility 9 miles in light rain, overcast ceiling at 900 feet; temperature 24 degrees C; dew point 23 degrees C; altimeter 29.88 inches Hg. Remarks: Rain began at 18 minutes after the hour, and the ceiling height was variable between 600 feet and 1,100 feet. 

Prior to the accident flight, the pilot contacted flight service and received an abbreviated weather briefing for the accident flight. For more information, see Meteorology Factual Report in the public docket. 

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane was located inverted, with about one-half of the cockpit and fuselage inside a house and basement. The wreckage came to rest on a magnetic heading about 185 degrees. The total circumference of the wreckage debris field was approximately 90 feet. The distance and direction from the wreckage to the approach end of runway 20 at HVN was 180 degrees magnetic and about .6 mile.

The cockpit section rearward to the crew entrance door was separated from the fuselage, crushed, thermally damaged, and located inside the basement of the house. The instrument panel exhibited crushing and thermal damage. The cockpit windscreens were fragmented. The nose landing gear remained attached and in the down and locked position and corresponded with the landing gear selection handle on the instrument panel.

The right wing impacted an adjacent house and separated from the fuselage. The wing was destroyed by thermal damage, and came to rest against the adjacent house. The right main landing gear separated from the attachment point to the wing. The left wing impacted the ground and was separated from the fuselage. There was thermal damage the entire length of the wing. The wing was lying inverted in the back of the main wreckage. The left aileron was present and attached to two connecting rods. The flap had separated and the preimpact flap setting could not be determined. The left main landing gear remained attached to the wing, was thermal damaged, and in the extended position.

The left engine was detached from the wing and lying in the basement of the primary house. The engine exhibited crushing and thermal damage. The right engine was detached from the wing and lying in a 12-inch crater between both houses. The engine exhibited crushing and thermal damage. A teardown examination of both engines was performed at the manufacturer facility under the supervision of an NTSB investigator. The examination did not reveal any preimpact mechanical malfunctions or anomalies that would have precluded normal operations. 

The left propeller remained connected to the gearbox and exhibited thermal damage and chordwise scratching of all three propeller blades. The right propeller remained also connected to its gearbox. All three propeller blades exhibited s-bending and chordwise scratching. A detailed examination of both propellers did not reveal any preimpact mechanical malfunctions or anomalies that would have precluded normal operations.

About 12 feet of fuselage was resting on the ground in between both houses, connected to the empennage section, and exhibited thermal damage. The vertical and horizontal surfaces remained connected to their respective connecting rods, and also exhibited thermal damage. Control cable continuity was confirmed from the elevator and rudder to the cockpit area. Due to impact and thermal damage, aileron control cable continuity could not be confirmed. 

An enhanced ground proximity warning system and cockpit display were recovered from the wreckage and forwarded to the NTSB Vehicle Recorder Laboratory, Washington, D.C.; however, due to thermal and impact damage, data could not be recovered from either unit.
NTSB Identification: ERA13FA358
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, August 09, 2013 in East Haven, CT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/27/2014
Aircraft: ROCKWELL INTERNATIONAL 690B, registration: N13622
Injuries: 4 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot was attempting a circling approach with a strong gusty tailwind. Radar data and an air traffic controller confirmed that the airplane was circling at or below the minimum descent altitude of 720 feet (708 feet above ground level [agl]) while flying in and out of an overcast ceiling that was varying between 600 feet and 1,100 feet agl. The airplane was flying at 100 knots and was close to the runway threshold on the left downwind leg of the airport traffic pattern, which would have required a 180-degree turn with a 45-degree or greater bank to align with the runway. Assuming a consistent bank of 45 degrees, and a stall speed of 88 to 94 knots, the airplane would have been near stall during that bank. If the bank was increased due to the tailwind, the stall speed would have increased above 100 knots. Additionally, witnesses saw the airplane descend out of the clouds in a nose-down attitude. Thus, it was likely the pilot encountered an aerodynamic stall as he was banking sharply, while flying in and out of clouds, trying to align the airplane with the runway. Toxicological testing revealed the presence of zolpidem, which is a sleep aid marketed under the brand name Ambien; however, the levels were well below the therapeutic range and consistent with the pilot taking the medication the evening before the accident. Therefore, the pilot was not impaired due to the zolpidem. Examination of the wreckage did not reveal any preimpact mechanical malfunctions.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to maintain airspeed while banking aggressively in and out of clouds for landing in gusty tailwind conditions, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall and uncontrolled descent.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the pilot on August 10, 2013, by the State of Connecticut Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Farmington, Connecticut. Review of the autopsy report revealed that the cause of death was "blunt impact injuries of head, trunk, and extremities." 

Toxicological testing was performed on the pilot by the FAA Bioaeronautical Science Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Review of the toxicology report revealed: 

"0.029 (ug/ml, ug/g) Zolpidem detected in Liver
0.008 (ug/ml, ug/g) Zolpidem detected in Blood"

TESTS AND RESEARCH

Review of an approach chart for the instrument landing system approach to runway 2, circle to land runway 20, revealed that the minimum descent altitude was 720 feet.

Further review of radar data by an NTSB performance engineer revealed that during the circling approach, the airplane flew as close as 1,800 feet east of the approach end of runway 20 (abeam the numbers) on the downwind leg of the airport traffic pattern, which would require an approximate 180-degree turn within a radius of 900 feet to align with the runway. At the last airspeed approximation from the radar trajectory of 100 knots, the airplane would have had to bank about 45 degrees to complete the turn (assuming a consistent bank throughout the turn and not accounting for the tailwind); however, the airplane's stall speed at that bank would increase to 88 knots in the landing configuration or 94 knots with flaps retracted. The stall speed would increase beyond 100 knots as the bank increased beyond 45 degrees. 

Additionally, at that time, the airplane was at 600 feet and the controller queried the pilot if he could maintain visual contact with the runway. The airplane then climbed to 800 feet into the clouds, before reappearing in a nose-down descent. 

For more information, see Aircraft Performance Study in the public docket.

http://registry.faa.gov/N13622
 

NTSB Identification: ERA13FA358
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, August 09, 2013 in New Haven, CT
Aircraft: ROCKWELL INTERNATIONAL 690B, registration: N13622
Injuries: 4 Fatal.


This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On August 9, 2013, about 1121 eastern daylight time, a Rockwell International 690B, N13622, was destroyed after impacting two homes while maneuvering for landing in East Haven, Connecticut. The airplane was registered to Ellumax, LLC, and was operated by a private individual. The commercial pilot, one passenger, and two people on the ground were fatally injured. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed for the flight that departed Teterboro Airport (TEB), Teterboro, New Jersey, about 1049 and was destined for Tweed-New Haven Airport (HVN), New Haven, Connecticut.

Review of preliminary data from the Federal Aviation Administration revealed that at 1115:10, the flight was cleared for the instrument landing system (ILS) approach to runway 2, circle to land runway 20 at HVN by New York Approach Control (N90). At 1115:43 the pilot contacted HVN tower and reported 7 and one half miles from SALLT intersection. The HVN local controller instructed the pilot to enter a left downwind for runway 20. At 1119:26 the pilot reported to HVN air traffic control (ATC) that he was entering a left downwind for runway 20. HVN ATC cleared the pilot to land on runway 20. While circling to runway 20, the HVN tower controller asked the pilot if he would be able to maintain visual contact with the airport. The pilot replied "622 is in visual contact now". At 1120:55 the HVN air traffic controller made a truncated transmission with the call sign “622”. No further communications were received from the accident airplane. The last recorded radar target was at 1120:53, about .7 miles north of the runway 20 threshold indicating an altitude of 800 feet mean seal level.

According to a student pilot witness, who was traveling on interstate 95 (I-95) at exit 51; he looked to his right while traveling east bound and saw the airplane at the end of a right roll. The airplane was inverted and traveling at a high rate of speed, nose first, towards the ground in the vicinity of where HVN was located. He stated that he stopped at a local business and found out that the airplane had crashed.

According to another witness, who lives two houses from the impact point of the airplane, he was in his living room when he saw the airplane descending about 90 degrees right side down into the homes.

The airplane was located inverted, with the forward half of the airplane inside the basement of the primary home on a heading of 192 degrees magnetic. The cockpit, left engine and forward two-thirds of the fuselage were located inside the basement. The left wing was located on the back porch of the primary home. The right wing impacted a secondary adjacent house on the north side of the primary home. The right engine and propeller impacted the ground in between both homes. A postaccident fire ensued and consumed a majority of the wreckage.

The recorded weather at HVN, at 1126, included wind from 170 degrees at 12 knots, gusting to 19 knots, visibility 9 miles, and overcast ceiling at 900 feet.

Abduction of Turkish pilots linked to Shiite hostages in Syria

 
Turkish Airlines pilot Murat Akpinar (R) and his co-pilot Murat Agca were forced out of a shuttle bus at the Cocodi Bridge, less than a kilometer from Beirut's Rafik Hariri International Airport, after 3 a.m. and taken away by six gunmen


 
Turkish Airlines pilot Murat Akpinar (R), kidnapped on August 9, 2013 in Beirut, is seen in an undated file picture obtained from the Turkish Ihlas news agency posing with a woman. 
(The Daily Star)




BEIRUT: Gunmen kidnapped early Friday two Turkish Airlines pilots headed to a Beirut hotel shortly after they arrived in the country, security sources told The Daily Star, in a move apparently linked to the lingering case of Lebanese hostages being held in Syria. 

Turkish Airlines pilot Murat Akpinar and his co-pilot Murat Agca were forced out of a shuttle bus at the Cocodi Bridge, less than a kilometer from Beirut's Rafik Hariri International Airport, after 3 a.m. and taken away by six gunmen, the sources, who spoke on condition, said.

The sources said the gunmen drove off in a silver BMW X3 and a black KIA Picanto after kidnapping the two from the shuttle, which serves the Radisson Blu Martinez Hotel in Ain al-Mreisseh.

The driver of the bus, 72-year-old Maher Mohammad Zeaiter, told police he was unable to prevent the gunmen from taking the Turks, saying he feared his 12-year-old son, who was in the vehicle at the time, could have been harmed.

Caretaker Interior Minister Marwan Charbel said the bus driver was being interrogated as part of the investigation into the incident.

Zeaiter denied any role in the abduction, telling The Daily Star he has “been a trusted employee at the hotel for 13 years.”

According to local media, a group calling itself Zuwwar al-Imam Ali al-Reda, claimed responsibility for the abduction of the two Turks and demanded the release of nine Shiite pilgrims being held by Syrian rebels.

The nine pilgrims were among 11 Lebanese kidnapped by the Syrian opposition in May 2012 in the Azaz district of Aleppo. Only two of the kidnapped Lebanese have been released.

“[The Turkish nationals] are our guests until the hostages in Azaz are released,” the group said in a statement carried by local media.

“The return of the visitors [the Lebanese hostages] will be met with the return of the pilots,” the statement said, holding Ankara directly responsible for the abduction of the Lebanese Shiites.

The group had previously threatened to target Turkish and Syrian nationals in Lebanon.

Turkish interests in Lebanon have been under threat over the case of the Lebanese hostages. Families of the kidnapped have held several protests outside the offices of Turkish Airlines in Beirut and the Turkish Embassy, arguing that Ankara bears responsibility for the abduction given its backing of the rebels.

The relatives denied Friday any involvement in the kidnapping of Akpinar and Agca.

"We have nothing to do with it and we were surprised and heard about it from the news just like everybody else,” Daniel Shoeb, a spokesperson for the relatives, told local media.

“Our steps are known and we were preparing a protest outside the Turkish Embassy and we reject kidnappings,” he added.

Sheikh Abbas Zogheib, tasked by the Higher Shiite Council to follow up on the case of the Lebanese in Syria, said the families played no role in the incident.

“The relatives have nothing to do with it ... but every Lebanese that has dignity and love for his country should do anything to end the case of the Lebanese,” Zogheib told The Daily Star.

“The only condemnation here should be toward Turkey because it is the one that made the situation reach this point and harm Turkey-Lebanon relations,” he added.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu contacted Lebanon’s caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri over the incident, Anadolu News Agency quoted diplomatic sources as saying.

Mikati and Berri expressed their grief, saying such an incident should not affect ties with Ankara, the state-run agency said.

Earlier in the day, Turkish Ambassador to Lebanon Inan Ozyildiz contacted Charbel seeking clarifications on the abduction, reported Lebanon’s National News Agency.

Charbel also informed President Michel Sleiman of the information security forces have been able to gather thus far the agency said.

Sources at Turkish Airlines told The Daily Star that the Airbus 321 pilots had disembarked at Terminal 16 of the Beirut airport after arriving from Istanbul.

The security sources said the shuttle bus included other crew members of flight TK828 who were headed back to their hotel.

Radisson Hotel in Beirut would not comment when contacted by The Daily Star.

Read more: http://www.dailystar.com

Park Ridge's mayor is worried about the potential liability from city officers participating in a Plane Pull event for Special Olympics

It’s a test of strength and endurance along the lines of a traditional game of tug-of-war — except the challenger is a plane weighing over 90 tons. 

For the last five years, the Law Enforcement Torch Run’s Plane Pull at O’Hare Airport has been raising money for Special Olympics Illinois as teams of 20 compete to pull an aircraft 12 feet in as short amount of time as possible.

But as the Park Ridge Police Department prepares for this September’s event, Mayor David Schmidt is raising concerns.

During an Aug. 5 meeting of the Park Ridge City Council, Schmidt announced that he had asked city staff to research whether the city could be “exposed to any potential liability on a workers compensation claim” if police officers participate in the Plane Pull and sustain an injury.

Schmidt acknowledged that though he was aware the department had promoted and taken part in the Plane Pull in past years, he “hadn’t given any thought to the workers compensation issue” until the city was required to pay a claim recently for an officer injured “while moving furniture” inside the police station. Schmidt said the claim was approximately $100,000.

“Why would we willingly put our workers in a position where they could injure themselves in something that has nothing to do with their job and have the taxpayers get socked again?” Schmidt asked.

Police Chief Frank Kaminski, one of the founders of the Law Enforcement Torch Run program, said the last two times the department coordinated its own plane pull, no police officers or other employees took part in actually pulling the rope.

“We’ve been using other people in the community to partner with us and help the cause,” Kaminski said.

The police chief added that no injuries have occurred among the Park Ridge teams.

In 2010 and 2011 the police department, with help from Maine South football coach David Inserra, recruited a team of football players to do the pulling. Each year, the team raised about $1,000 for Special Olympics Illinois, Kaminski said.

The department did not participate in last year’s Plane Pull.

Kaminski said those who compete are required to sign a waiver that is provided by Special Olympics. The same is true for other law enforcement events benefitting Special Olympics that Park Ridge Police actively participate in, according to Community Strategies Officer Julie Genualdi. These events include the Polar Plunge, where members of the department volunteer to take a dip in icy Lake Michigan in the winter, and the Torch Run itself, where officers run and carry a torch in support of Special Olympics.

Kaminski said officers participate in these fundraisers on their own time and it is his belief that they would not be able to file a claim against the city in this case.

City Manager Shawn Hamilton said he would provide an answer to Schmidt’s question regarding potential liability at the City Council’s Aug. 12 meeting. Mike Suppan, manager of Human Resources for the city, was not immediately available for comment.

If there is a liability issue, Schmidt said he does not believe he has the authority to do anything to put a stop to the event, but he did say he would raise an objection and hoped aldermen would as well.

“I’d like to see (the police department) do the plane pull if they can do it and the city’s taxpayers are protected,” Schmidt added. “My job is not to worry about the police officer’s extra-curricular activities or worry about the Special Olympics. My job is to worry about the taxpayers’ money.”

This year’s Law Enforcement Torch Run Plane Pull will take place Sept. 21 and involve a UPS-branded Airbus A300 plane. The police department is again reaching out to the Maine South football team, but Kaminski would also like Hawk wrestlers to possibly take part as well. Additionally, employees from Park Ridge-based Million Dollar Round Table have been invited, as Kaminski said the company was looking for a service project.


Source:   http://parkridge.suntimes.com

Love of aviation continues for Mars: Madison, Mississippi

 
David Mars poses with his 1929 Travel Air bi-plane at the Madison Airport.
~



For David Mars, aviation enthusiast and licensed pilot, the roar of an airplane engine brings back many memories. Sights and sounds are nothing compared to the pure rush of adrenaline that comes while soaring through the air in his 1929 vintage Curtiss-Wright Travel Air biplane. 

"The high altitude, corporate flying is really nice, but the vintage planes are my passion," said Mars. Every other summer, he joins fellow pilots as they travel the country barnstorming, a tradition that has its roots in the Golden Age of Aviation. What started out as a hobby is quickly becoming a profession for local Madison Countian.

"It's really show business," Mars explained. The travelers dress in authentic 1920s clothing and don the personas of disreputable barnstormers of old. For a fee, anyone who enjoys their shows can take a ride in one of the licensed aircraft.

In 2010, Mars took his passion to the big screen when he became a member on the set of 2010 movie Pearl, the true story of a spirited Chickasaw daredevil whose life in 1928 rural Oklahoma suddenly changed when a ride through the clouds ignited her love for flying.

"So I've been a bush pilot, a transcontinental ferry pilot, and a barnstormer," said Mars. "I also did the flying for that movie and I provided two planes for it."

He regularly sells rides at the Madison Airport. Recently, he has begun flying corporate jets on demand. Last year, he and a friend delivered a plane to a taxi service in Africa. The pilots refueled in Greenland, Iceland, Crete, Egypt, Sudan, Kenya and quite a few other countries before finally reaching their destination in South Africa.

As if that wasn't exciting enough, Mars owns seven planes of his own. "I actually live in a hangar," he laughed. A private grass airstrip dubbed "Slobovia" stretches across the yards of Mars and a dozen others.

"I would say I've flown at least 200-250 days a year for the last 40 years," Mars admitted.

He enjoys continuing the family tradition. "My father was a bombardier on a B-17 in World War II," he explained. The father of his fiancé, Ann Rowles, was also a fighter pilot. The tradition of aviation continues with Mars's son and three grandsons.

In the future, he plans to retire his collection of vintage planes at an aviation museum.


Story, Photo and Comments/Reaction:   http://onlinemadison.com

Report Urges New Anticollision Measures for Small Planes: Investigators' Findings Challenge Long-Standing Safety Procedures

August 9, 2013, 5:07 a.m. ET

By ANDY PASZTOR

The Wall Street Journal


A Canadian investigation into a 2012 midair collision between two small U.S. planes is challenging long-standing safety procedures relied on by generations of private pilots.

After two private planes flown by federal aviation officials collided over northern Virginia last year, the U.S. government called in Canadian experts to conduct an impartial investigation. Canada's Transportation Safety Board released its findings on Thursday, which could have broad implications because the report concludes air-traffic controllers may have to assume a greater role in protecting flights of small planes flying under visual flight rules in busy airspace.

The fatal May 2012 accident involved a Beechcraft Bonanza, piloted by an employee of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, which collided with a Piper PA-28 flown by a Federal Aviation Administration employee. Occurring in good weather at 1,800 feet, the Beechcraft broke up in flight and both people aboard died. The other pilot managed to land in a pasture near a Warrenton, Va., airport and survived.

Both planes were operating under visual flight rules, which make pilots responsible for avoiding midair collisions by requiring them to look out for nearby planes. "This accident shows once again," according to the Canadian experts, "that the see-and-avoid principle is inadequate for preventing collisions between aircraft flying under visual flight rules." The report suggests that relying entirely on such safeguards may be particularly problematic in crowded urban or suburban airspace near airports.

Investigators concluded that "meaningful improvement" to traditional see-and-avoid rules may require installation of new onboard safety technology or increased intervention by air-traffic controllers.

Currently, small private planes referred to as general aviation aircraft aren't obligated to carry automated airborne collision-avoidance technology mandated for all airliners. At the same time, pilots of such private planes flying under visual flight rules frequently aren't required to be in contact with any controllers on the ground.

In the Warrenton accident, the probe found that both planes were operating in accordance with applicable federal safety rules. But investigators couldn't determine precisely why the pilots failed to spot each other, or whether they were on the same air-traffic control radio frequency. Warrenton is a Washington, D.C., suburb that has traffic overhead from Dulles International Airport and other, smaller fields.

The Piper's pilot was in radio contact with a controller, whose screen showed an alert about a potential conflict between the flight paths of the two aircraft. At that point, according to the report, the planes were still nearly a mile apart and separated by the required minimum of 500 feet vertically.

The controller "assessed there was no conflict" or imminent collision threat, according to the report, and returned to ensuring separation of other aircraft flying under instrument flight rules that were deemed to be a higher priority. Controllers have primary responsibility to keep planes apart under instrument flight rules.

About 45 seconds after the alert sounded, the controller refocused attention on the potential conflict between the two small planes and warned the Piper's pilot about nearby traffic, according to the report. But by then, the planes already had collided.

The report emphasizes that the "see-and-avoid concept misleads pilots and controllers by encouraging overconfidence in visual scanning." It also concludes that "a number of viable and economical (onboard) alerting systems exist or are under development" to reduce the risk of midair collisions.

In addition to the option of installing new onboard technology, Canadian experts said enhanced safety initiatives include requiring controllers to begin issuing warnings or alerts to pilots "in all conflict situations."


Source:   http://online.wsj.com 

NTSB Identification: ERA12RA367A 
Accident occurred Monday, May 28, 2012 in Sumerduck, VA
Aircraft: BEECH V35B, registration: N6658R
Injuries: 2 Fatal,1 Serious.


NTSB Identification: ERA12RA367B
Accident occurred Monday, May 28, 2012 in Sumerduck, VA
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-140, registration: N23SC
Injuries: 2 Fatal,1 Serious.

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

On May 28, 2012, about 1604 eastern daylight time, a Beech V35B, N6658R, and a Piper PA-28-140, N23SC, collided in flight in the vicinity of Sumerduck, Virginia. The Beech was destroyed, and the pilot and flight instructor were fatally injured; the Piper was substantially damaged, and the pilot was seriously injured. Neither of the local flights was operating on a flight plan, and both were being conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The Beech departed Warrenton-Fauquier Airport, Warrenton, Virginia, on a flight review for the private pilot, and the Piper departed Culpeper Regional Airport, Culpeper, Virginia, on a personal flight.

The pilot/owner of the Beech was an employee of the NTSB, and the pilot/owner of the Piper was an employee of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Under the provisions of Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation and by mutual agreement, the United States delegated the accident investigation to the government of Canada. The NTSB designated an accredited representative to the investigation on behalf of the United States, and the FAA designated an advisor to the accredited representative.

The investigation is being conducted by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada under its statutes. Further information may be obtained from:

Transportation Safety Board of Canada
Place du Centre
200 Promenade du Portage, 4th Floor
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 1K8

Tel: 1 (800) 387-3557
Fax: 1 (819) 997-2239
Email: airops@tsb.gc.ca
Web: http://www.tsb.gc.ca

Occurrence Number: A12H0001

This report is for informational purposes only, and only contains information released by or provided to the government of Canada.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Pilot nets 1,000 flights with Air Evac team

 
Courtesy photo 
Lewisburg Air Evac Lifeteam pilot John Lovell receives his 1,000th flight wings from Senior Director of Flight Operations Tony Bonham.



John Lovell, a pilot for the Lewisburg Air Evac Lifeteam base, recently celebrated a major milestone in his career — his 1,000th flight. 

Lovell joined Air Evac Lifeteam in 2004 after serving for 25 years in the U.S. Army. He flew in Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom.

Lovell retired out of Ft. Campbell, Ky., and heard about Air Evac Lifeteam from other military pilots.

“It sounded like an interesting job,” Lovell said. “Air Evac is a good company, and I enjoy the interaction with the patients and their families.”

Lovell and his wife, Tammy, have three children. The couple lives in Spring Hill.

Air Evac Lifeteam, an air medical service, provides rapid access to definitive health care for those who live in medically underserved areas. Flight crews, consisting of a pilot, flight nurse and flight paramedic, are on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to respond to the scene of an emergency, or provide transportation between medical facilities.

Air Evac Lifeteam currently operates 114 bases in 15 states. For more information, visit http://www.lifeteam.net or search for the team on Facebook.

Story and Photo:   http://columbiadailyherald.com

New Jersey man fined $32K for illegal GPS device that disrupted Newark Liberty International Airport (KEWR) system

NEWARK — The Federal Communications Commission has fined a Readington man nearly $32,000 after concluding he interfered with Newark Liberty International Airport’s satellite-based tracking system when he used an illegal GPS jamming device in his pickup truck to hide his whereabouts from his employer.

Disrupting satellite signals can hinder air traffic controllers’ ability to receive accurate information about a plane’s location in the air and on the runway.

In what is known as a notice of apparent liability posted on its website last Friday, the FCC imposed the civil penalty on Gary Bojczak, who lives in the Whitehouse Station section of Readington in Hunterdon County.

Bojczak does not have a listed phone number and could not be reached for comment. A LinkedIn page for a man with the same name says he has been a chief engineer for a construction firm.

The FCC said in its notice that its enforcement division received a complaint last August from the Federal Aviation Administration that the satellite-based tracking system at Newark Liberty was experiencing interference.

Known as a ground-based augmentation system, or GBAS, the tracking system uses satellite navigation technology to provide aircraft with precise location information to aid in takeoffs, landings and movements around the airport. System interference blocks the transmission of that data.

An investigator from the FCC’s enforcement division went to Newark Liberty on Aug. 4, 2012. Using radio monitoring equipment, he located a red Ford F-150 pickup on airport property that was emanating signals within a restricted frequency band used by the augmentation system.

“The signals emanating from the vehicle were blocking the reception of GPS signals” used by the air traffic control system, the FCC said in its notice.

“Mr. Bojczak claimed that he installed and operated the jamming device in his company-supplied vehicle to block the GPS … system that his employer installed in the vehicle,” the FCC decision stated.

Bojczak surrendered the jamming device, the agent shut it off and the signal ceased, according to the decision.

Satellite technology, now common, is widely viewed as the future of air traffic control. Proponents say it allows jets to take off, land and taxi at airports more closely, yet more safely and efficiently, thanks to precise data on their location and movement. Satellite technology is the basic component of the FAA’s planned NextGen national air traffic control system to replace an antiquated radar-based system. Implementation of NextGen is a multiyear, multibillion project in its infant stages.

In 2008, Newark Liberty became the first airport in the country to adopt satellite technology to help improve on-time performance, under an agreement between the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the airport, and the hub’s largest carrier, Continental Airlines (now United Airlines). Houston’s Bush International Airport has begun using a similar system, developed by Honeywell.

Interference from GPS systems in vehicles traveling along the New Jersey Turnpike near the airport have caused problems for the system in the past, even forcing its suspension at one point, said Mary Clark, a spokeswoman for United Airlines.

“The Port Authority, Honeywell and FAA invested considerable resources to discover the source of GPS interference and have made adjustments to the system to overcome the impacts of these devices passing by on the turnpike,” Clark said in a statement.

Referring to last August’s case, she said the incident “occurred on the airport in close proximity to the equipment and caused it to go ‘offline’ as designed.”

Clark said last night that no flights were ever in danger.

The use of onboard GPS devices to track the movement of company vehicles is increasingly common, said Jeff Bader, president of the Association of Bi-State Motor Carriers, a regional trucking group.

“It’s the wave of the future,” Bader said.
 

Story and Comments/Reaction:  http://www.nj.com

New mechanic at Huntington Municipal Airport (69V), Utah

A recent visit to the Huntington Airport indicated there are a number of interesting activities going on there. One of those activities at the airport is the repair and maintenance of five airplanes flown in from the Salt Lake valley by airplane owners this past week to be repaired and maintained by Scott Wilson. A good share of the work that is done at the airport is done on planes flown in from the Salt Lake Valley. 

Leon Defrieze the Emery County Airport manager invited Wilson to take on the task of the maintaining and repair of airplanes at the airport. Because Wilson is at the Huntington Airport, plane owners bring airplanes from around the area here to be worked on.

Wilson an aircraft and power maintenance engineer is an AP an IA and a commercial pilot. Wilson maintains all of the planes on the field. He has the ability to inspect a plane, overhaul a plane and re-certify the plane as being airworthy.

Wilson would like to see the airport expanded with more and bigger hangars. Also he would like to see companies that would share aircraft costs with part ownership of airplanes. Perhaps a twin engine turboprop plane so executives do not have to drive to Salt Lake to fly somewhere in the Western part of the United States.

Wilson spends his winters in Africa flying turboprop planes and maintaining them.

Wilson is looking to purchase some property around Huntington. His wife works in the Salt Lake valley and he lives in a trailer when he is maintaining aircraft at the Huntington Airport.

One of the airplane owners Dan McCullough from Salt Lake said he liked the Huntington Airport because it was less congested, less expensive, less hassle than the airports on the Wasatch front and a very nice facility.

McCullough flew here July 11 at night. As he approached the Huntington Airport he keyed his radio microphone and the airport and runway lights came on. He found gasoline for his airplane is convenient and using a credit card he could get gas at any time. The courtesy car was handy for local shopping and going for meals at the Castle Cafe. There are available restrooms with hot and cold water, a refrigerator, a shower and couches in the pilots lounge. This is a real nice facility. The pavilion at the airport with the benches and a barbecue pit nearby was a nice addition.

McCullough said the airport needs more hangars as a revenue source. Airplane owners do not want their expensive plane sitting out in the weather. They would rather pay rent on a hangar and protect their airplane.

McCullough was at the airport doing maintenance and repair on his own plane in the large hangar under the supervision of Wilson.


Story and Photo http://www.ecprogress.com

New Board Member Wanted at Magic Valley Regional Airport (KTWF), Twin Falls, Idaho

 

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) The Magic Valley Regional Airport Advisory Board is looking for a new city board member.

The position is for a term of three years.. And the person must live in Twin Falls.

The Airport Board meets at the airport on the first Tuesday of each month.

They discuss issues and share ideas with the Airport Manager concerning the operation and development of the airport.

Those interested need to complete an application and return it to the airport by August 21st.

If you'd like an application, call the airport at (208) 733-5215 ext. 0.

You can also download a copy of the application at http://bit.ly/airportapp and send it to dnewbry@tfid.org.


Source:  http://www.kmvt.com

2 walk away uninjured after plane problems at Tucson International Airport (KTUS), Arizona



TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - 

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of a small plane's landing problems at Tucson International Airport Thursday.

Airport officials said the  Cessna 310 was landing when its right landing gear collapsed just after 7:15 a.m.

Airport Fire was able to get the two passengers off the plane safely and without injuries.


Source:   http://www.tucsonnewsnow.com

Report: New York Power Authority spent $400k on pilots, aviation director

ALBANY — The New York Power Authority spent nearly $400,000 on pilots and an aviation director during the 2012 fiscal year while maintaining its own plane, according to a report Thursday from the state Comptroller’s Office.

The White Plains-based authority has three full-time pilots on staff and spent an additional $155,000 on two travel department workers last year, the report found. The authority has also “made use of chartered air services and contracted for temporary pilot services” despite owning its own plane, according to the Comptroller’s Office.

At the same time, the authority continues to subsidize New York's budget, with a $90 million payment headed from NYPA to the state's coffers this year, bringing the total to more than $1.2 billion over the last decade.

Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli on Thursday questioned whether the authority, which provides low-cost power from its 16 power plants to mostly businesses and utilities, could do more to help ratepayers by focusing on its core mission.

“New Yorkers pay some of the highest electricity rates in the country and need the rate relief that NYPA could provide if it appropriately focused its resources,” DiNapoli said in a statement.

A spokeswoman from the Power Authority declined to provide immediate comment.

In the past, the authority has defended its need to have a plane because they need to travel to power plants around the state, which includes the state's largest power-generation station -- a hydropower plant near Niagara Falls.

Aircraft owned by NYPA has received significant scrutiny over the years, including an unusual arrangement in the late 1990s and early 2000s that allowed for the shared ownership of a plane by the authority and State Police.

After a Comptroller's Office audit questioned the arrangement in 2001, the aircraft was transferred to the State Police in 2006.

In 2007, a second plane was sold to a private entity, and a new plane was purchased for a "reported contract value" of $6.4 million, according to the report. Then-Attorney General Andrew Cuomo launched an investigation in 2008 over the use of NYPA aircraft and why it was used to transport governors and top police officials.

DiNapoli's office also questioned the authority's payroll.

In all, 35 percent of the authority’s workers earn more than $100,000 annually, according to the report. Statewide, 14 percent of public authority staffers earn that much.

NYPA employs 1,636 full- and part-time employees with a total payroll of $146.3 million, according to the report.

Source:   http://www.pressconnects.com

Commonwealth 185 Skyranger, N67045: Accident occurred August 08, 2013 in Burlington, Washington

http://registry.faa.gov/N67045 

http://www.flickr.com/photo

NTSB Identification: WPR13CA364 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, August 08, 2013 in Burlington, WA
Aircraft: COMMONWEALTH 185, registration: N67045
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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 August 8, 2013, about 1300 Pacific daylight time, a Commonwealth 185 Skyranger, N67045, nosed over during landing at Skagit Airport, Burlington, Washington. The pilot/owner was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. The private pilot was not injured; the airplane sustained substantial damage to the tail and wings. The local personal flight departed Burlington about 1200. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed. 

The pilot reported that he made a three-point landing on runway 29. During the landing roll, a wind gust picked up the left wing, which lifted the left main wheel off the ground. The left main wheel then touched down hard, and the airplane swerved aggressively to the left. The airplane departed the asphalt surface, and nosed over when it contacted the adjacent grass.
=========

BURLINGTON — A  single-engine plane coming in for a landing at Skagit Regional Airport around 1 p.m. Thursday ended up upside down next to the runway after getting blown off-course by a crosswind, according to Chad Clark, chief of field services for the Skagit County Sheriffs. 

 An initial report from Glen Kirk, the Port of Skagit’s on-scene incident commander, noted the plane’s pilot was the only occupant and suffered no known injuries. The plane did not catch fire.

Sara Young, manager of projects, planning and environmental services for the port, said the pilot is a local and rents a hangar at the airport. She said the aircraft was new to this particular pilot.


http://www.goskagit.com





BURLINGTON, Wash. —

A single-engine small plane flipped while landing at an airport west of Burlington Thursday afternoon.

 Only the pilot, who was not hurt, was aboard the plane.

 Authorities said the Cessna flipped when it caught a crosswind as it was landing at the Skagit Regional Airport.

 The plane appeared to have landed in a grassy area adjacent to the runway.

 Video from Chopper 7 showed the plane had been righted and was being towed away.


Source: http://www.kirotv.com

Chatham Municipal Airport (KCQX), a community asset

GUEST COMMENTARY
By James Ford
The Cape Codder

Posted Aug 08, 2013 @ 01:17 PM


CHATHAM —

As a private pilot and a Cape Cod resident I would like to voice my support for the continued operation of Chatham Municipal airport without restriction.

It has come to my attention that you have recently been contacted by local residents who live in the vicinity of the airports approach/departure path regarding noise and safety concerns.

I am always amazed that property owners who purchase homes near existing airports complain when during the "busy" season things get busy. I am sure these same people complain about tourists blocking up the grocery store, the roads and the beach.

The complaints usually revolve around noise and safety, while there is always some noise associated with a healthy airport, that same noise is indicative of economic activity that keeps the community vital.

General Aviation has a very good safety record as is documented by the AOPA's Air Safety Foundation in the annual Nall report (http://www.aopa.org) You are much more likely to be injured or killed in your car or bath tub than by having an airplane hit your house or land on you.

The assertion that there is no organized flight path or that the lack of a control tower somehow makes Chatham Airport unsafe illustrates a misunderstanding of the training all pilots receive. Pilots are taught procedures for announcing their location in the traffic pattern, to land into the wind and to "see and avoid" other traffic. We practice things like aborted landings to make sure when we need to perform them we do so with confidence and consistency

Every two years, pilots go through competency reviews called the Bi-Annual Flight Review to maintain the privileges of their license.  Additionally, pilots must have a physical exam by a certified doctor to remain legal to fly every one to five years depending on the class of license they hold.

If the concern is strictly safety we should be advocating recurring training and testing for automobile licenses since the vast majority of vehicle accidents occur in the U.S. on roadways not airways

Given that we live on a peninsula that sticks 35 miles into the Atlantic Ocean I would suggest we should value the airports we have and encourage their use. They represent the lifeline we all depend on when a disaster strikes. If the bridges were to be damaged or the Pilgrim Nuclear Facility had a problem we would all be grateful for the presence and operation of this general aviation airport providing a place for relief supplies to arrive and safe evacuation.

I would encourage you all to review the number of fatal accidents at Chatham Municipal Airport compared against the number of fatal automotive accidents in Chatham.

Personally, I feel much safer using an airplane to travel over a crowded interstate.

I encourage anyone who has concerns about General Aviation to contact the AOPA and explore the actual facts regarding the occurrences.  I would also suggest comparing those risks to both pilots and the general public to the rates of accidents in other areas of our daily lives

James Ford lives in Orleans.

Read more: http://www.wickedlocal.com

Man recovering after being struck by helicopter blade

A man is in a Edmonton hospital after being hit by a helicopter blade while carrying out geological work north of La Loche, Sask.

On Tuesday morning, the man was one of three people arriving at an exploration site near Forrest Lake.

The helicopter, an AS-350, touched down on a soft muskeg heli-pad.

According to the Transportation Safety Board, the man and one of his colleagues then exited the craft while the rotor-blades were still spinning.

The man walked to the cargo bay, and then around to the front of the helicopter where he was hit.

Chris Krepski of the Transportation Safety Board says it appears the front skids of the helicopter may have sunk down into the soft ground, causing it to be lower than it normally would have been.

Teddy Clarke, chief of the Clearwater River Dene Nation and the owner of Big Bear Contracting, the company doing the work, says medical help was summoned immediately.

"From talking to his wife and from talking to other people who are in Edmonton, he is actually doing pretty good considering the incident he was involved with," says Clarke.

He says his company emphasizes safety in the field and it's unfortunate the incident occurred.

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Labor Relations and Workplace Safety says they are also reviewing the incident.


Source:   http://saskatoon.ctvnews.ca

Manager shares goals for airport: Clay Center Municipal (KCYW), Kansas

 
Brett Dance


Clay Center Municipal Airport manager Brett Dance told those at Wednesday’s Chamber Coffee forum the airport is busy with spray plane activity and he has big plans for the airport. 

“Our main goal is try to get people back to the airport,” Dance said. “With the help of the city, we’re redoing the FBO (fixed-based operation) ... Basically, our main goal at the airport is to make a place that people want to come to.”

That includes ongoing construction in the main hangar and lobby to make it “a nice place for pilots to relax and stop in for fuel” and a new courtesy car for pilots.

Heinen Brothers Agra Services, the company leasing the airport, would like to build another T-hangar north of the runway. Currently there is space for about a dozen planes in the existing hangars and a few spots for tie-downs. Dance said the airport could attract pilots from Manhattan because there is a three- to four-year waiting list for hangars at the Manhattan airport.

However, the new airport operators aren’t doing a number of operations that were offered when the airport was operated by Mike Spicer, including:


FUEL:
The automatic fuel pumps have not yet been installed and currently no fuel is being sold at the airport because the pumps that were there have been removed.

Dance said Heinen Brothers are about three weeks away from having the pumps installed which will be able to accept credit cards at the pump and pilots will be able to access them 24 hours a day.

FLIGHT LESSONS: No one is taking flight lessons at the airport since the new managers took over. Dance also confirmed there are also no pilots in training, though he said Heinen Brothers is “breaking in” a new spray pilot at the airport.

Dance added the company is trying to bring in other people to use the airport, including members of a sky-diving club at Kansas State University. Members of the club seem interested, he said.

AIRCRAFT MECHANIC: There is no aircraft mechanic at the municipal airport as of now.

Dance said annual maintenance and other repairs are offered through a mechanic in Manhattan and said he is trying to convince a student who’s a mechanic to offer his services in Clay Center.

Manager using airport for spray business


Heinen Brothers, to whom the city awarded the FBO-contract, took over operation of the municipal airport on June 1. Since then, the company and other spray pilots have used the airport as a base for their spray operations, which primarily cover north and eastern Kansas, but also southern and western Nebraska and four other states.

“What we do is primarily spray fungicide on corn, wheat, beans.” Dance said. “A lot of time what we’re doing is mostly two-gallon work with these airplanes.”

The wet weather and a later Spring has made this year a busy year for spray pilots. Normally spray pilots get a couple weeks off between spraying corn and spraying beans, but this year they’ve gone “straight from corn to beans” and now are spraying late season corn and early season beans, Dance said.

“It’s going pretty well,” he said. “Really, it’s been pretty busy and it will stay busy for the next couple of weeks. Either because of the moisture or the late start, we’re running a couple weeks behind.”

The main hangar now houses Dance’s spray plane, a big yellow Air Tractor with a 500-gallon capacity and fuel endurance of about three hours.

Dance described the plane as very up to date, with a computer system that tracks where the spray goes, accounting for not only the path the plane takes, but also for wind and other factors. The system is similar to the same systems used in ground rigs, Dance said.

Heinen Brothers get a lot of business by word of mouth, through co-ops, and also through spray contracts in other states, Dance said.

Story and Photo:  http://www.ccenterdispatch.com

Engineer recommends growth in airport plan: Clay Center Municipal (KCYW), Kansas

T-Hangar inspection
Councilman Dennis Ouellette, left, airport manager Brett Dance and Mayor Jimmy Thatcher inspect the condition of a T-hangar at the municipal airport in a tour of the airport in July.


The firm preparing the city’s master plan for the airport presented the first two chapters to the city’s Property and Rec Committee Thursday and gave the city two options -- one that would prepare for growth and the other would keep things the same. 

 Mayor Jimmy Thatcher expressed opposition to any option that would require land acquisition because of how that would affect property bordering the airport.

Brad Waller of Benesch Engineering, called the decision to plan for growth at the airport “a political decision.” The first chapter of the plan details existing inventory at the airport and the second chapter details future plans. The second chapter, a forecast of what the city expects the airport to do in the next five years, is what the Federal Aviation Administration would look at in granting any additional funds to expand the airport, Waller said.

The most controversial part of the proposed five-year master plan for the airport is to re-install lighting and re-mark the runway to make it 200 feet shorter in 2015 in order to meet FAA guidelines without having to purchase neighboring land.

The city is faced with either expanding the physical runway to 4,500 feet as recommended or to shorten the usable length of the current 4,200 foot runway to 4,000 feet.

On Wednesday Waller said his firm recommends the city plan for growth and to meet the FAA and TSA’s recommendation of 4,500 feet of runway needed to land B-2, the category of aircraft which includes EagleMed (air ambulances).

However, he added there’s “nothing wrong” with the city choosing to not expand the runway and to shorten it to meet the FAA guidelines for approaches (areas where planes start to land and take off).

As of now, a 4,000-foot, 60-foot wide, runway is accepted as the minimum length of runway to land the EagleMed and other B-2 category aircraft. The existing runway is 4,200 feet long by 75 feet wide.

Six months ago when his firm started on the master plan, Waller brought to the city his concerns about whether the runway will be long enough to land air ambulances in the future.

Mayor Thatcher said the city’s options are to either shorten the runway or buy right-of-way where a farmer irrigates cropland. Unless something keeps the air ambulances from being able to land, Thatcher said he saw no reason why the city should expand the runway.

“If emergency air can land right now, it makes no sense to eminent domain this property,” Thatcher said, adding he preferred to move the approaches back by re-marking the runway.

However, councilman Butch Hess said “sometimes eminent domain is necessary.”

Despite his reservations about runway expansion, Thatcher also said early in the discussion that the plan could be drawn up to include runway expansion, but that doesn’t mean to city has to do it. He advised the Property and Rec Committee “to chew on this awhile” before bringing it to the full council.

Council members asked about other components in the airport master plan, including lighting and fencing. Both are good ideas that should be included in the plan, Waller said. The fencing, however, is typically a low priority and constantly is moved back as the plan is updated, Waller said. Benefits to fencing include keeping wildlife off the runway and reducing the threat of terrorism, he said.

The Property and Rec Committee also reviewed the farm lease for part of the airport property, which needed to be updated because farmable acreage has been reduced from 100 to 91 acres and because the lessee, Don Martin, wants to plant alfalfa there.



Story and Photo:  http://www.ccenterdispatch.com

East Hills holds aircraft pollution meeting

Special Representative for Federal Aviation Administration Affairs Rob Lebowitz (left) and East Hills Mayor Michael Koblenz (right) give their presentation on air traffic pollution stemming from JFK Airport’s 22L route.


East Hills residents gathered at the village theater Monday to discuss noise and air pollution issues from stemming from planes approaching John F. Kennedy International Airport using the 22L route that pass through village airspace. 

In a presentation from Village of East Hills Mayor Michael Koblenz and Rob Liebowitz, the village’s special representative for Federal Aviation Administration affairs, residents were informed of increase of JFK’s increased use of the 22L route in the last decade as well as the appropriate methods for filing a complaints to FAA and state officials.

According to Liebowitz and Koblenz’ presentation, 42.9 percent (7,743 of 18,048 total planes) of all airline arrivals in June flew over village airspace using the 22L runway, up from 31.9 percent of arrivals in June 2012. In addition, 39.3 percent of overnight flights in January 2013 used the 22L route as well.

Flights passing over East Hills tend to use a stepped approach of leveling off at 2,000 feet, Liebowitz said, which requires an additional engine thrust to maintain altitude and creates noise pollution.

Liebowitz and Koblenz also said that the 22L runway is being used even when wind direction suggests it should not be, and is used during overnight hours despite an agreement between the FAA and Port Authority not to.

The village has possible solutions in mind, like rerouting air traffic over the ocean and onto other runways when possible, evenly distributing planes to different runways so air traffic isn’t as consistent and the use a continuous descent approach that requires less engine thrust.

Liebowitz and Koblenz suggested residents write letters to elected officials and file complaints with the FAA, and provided those in attendance with forms and Internet links to do so.

Liebowitz’ said records supplied to him by the FAA showed that the FAA received only two complaints in June from East Hills residents, which was disputed by many in attendance.

Many residents, he said,  have likely dialed the Town of North Hempstead’s 311 line, which circulates the complaints to town officials but does not always forward them to the Port Authority.

“311 somebody either answers your call, they don’t have a Web forum and presumably they’re going to forward your information to the Port Authority,” Liebowitz said. “By filling out this form, we know it’s being registered and we know it’s being handled by a third-party company the Port Authority has contracted with.”

Liebowitz and Koblenz said residents should contact the Port Authority directly and write letters to Sen. Charles E. Shumer (D-NY) and Rep. Steve Israel (D-Dix Hills), who Koblenz said have the political power to institute the solutions the village seeks.

“Those are the people who can call in the FAA and say ‘what are you doing?’ and have special hearings. But they’re not doing that yet because we’re not loud enough yet,” Koblenz said. “We only have a handful of people saying we have a problem. We’re not big enough. We’re not strong enough. So we need to be heard and we have to get other communities involved as well, and that’s not so easy.”

Koblenz said aircraft noise is not a new problem for East Hills, saying he has been writing letters of complaint to the FAA since 1999.

On July 16, Koblenz met with Israel as well as officials from the Federal Aviation Administration and village officials from across the North Shore at Old Brookville’s Village Hall to discuss the flow of air traffic on Long Island, and in the last few weeks the village has sent e-mails to residents urging them to write letters to state officials expressing their air traffic concerns.

Koblenz has also urged residents in attendance at board of trustees meetings in recent months to write letters voicing their discontent with the noise to Israel and state Sen. Jack Martins (R-Mineola), and the village created an aircraft noise abatement committee at its May 20 meeting to direct residents’ complaints.

Koblenz said he has also circulated a letter to all other village mayors in the town of North Hempstead to increase support, but was told his own village should take the initiative in combating the FAA.

Liebowitz said the village had considered submitting a formal letter with signatures from residents, but he’s found that residents who submit individual letters tend to receive individual responses in return.

One resident in attendance suggested the village create a mobile app to submit mass quantities of complaints to the FAA that would also be sent to village officials for record keeping.

Story and Photo:  http://www.theislandnow.com

Summer's Flight

KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports 

By Brian Fowler 
 
You're on the runway............the airplane starts to roll......and roll....and roll.... .are we going to taxi to our destination today, you're thinking, or will we be taking off at some point?

It's like trying to spin something through molasses versus water. Its easier to do it through the water cause it's less dense.

On a typical day, a take off roll will seem like its taking longer than it should.

Aircraft have to work a little harder this time of year.  The air is thinner, or less dense, so it makes for a more difficult time.    The props and engines of an aircraft try to cut through the air and lift off the ground.  That's why you may notice that it takes just a little longer on the runway this time of year.

Flying can be a mental test - for passengers, pilots, and students alike.  Meet local flight instructor daniel lafon, of tubreaux aviation.  He'll help us clear the air, as it were.


I've been flying now for about seven years and light instructing for the past three years.

He knows all about how summer heat effects the aviation community and those of us that buzz around the country from time to time.


During the summertime, the sun is heating the ground up a lot more than what we're used to. We can feel that. As the earth gets heated, it heats the air around it and it causes that air to rise. It's just like boiling a pot. That water it starts to boil and flow up. The same thing is happening in the air. It starts to boil and the air is rising. The rising air is what we call turbulence.

Ahh yes....turbulence...Usually a factor in mountainous areas, but around here we, we can feel it too, mainly during the summertime.

That heat causes turbulence.  No matter how good a pilot you got. They're gonna get through some summertime bumps until hopefully you get up high enough where you get away from that turbulence.

The rising air causes those bumps you feel.  It's kinda like riding in a boat on a windy day.  Imagine each of those waves or swells being rising heat or turbulence. Each one you hit with the boat will give you a jolt.  That's what's happening in the air.

That air is hotter so its less dense. And the performance of the airplane is dependent on the density of the air. Whether its the amount of lift being produced by the winds, whether its the amount of horse power or thrust being produced by the engine itself.

Behind me here is a Cessna 172. This is what we're gong to be flying in today. We're going to experience that long take off roll. We're also going to experience that turbulence you feel this time of year at cruising altitude.

So here we go....Daniel checks the airplane first.  It's standard procedure so that you don't find out your plane has problems while you're in the air.

And off we go to an altitude of around twenty-five hundred feet.

We're taking off around 6:30 pm....so the air had a chance to cool down a little.  


We're experiencing a few bumps right now. As you head into the evening, the air tends to become a little more stable. But during the day, certainly a different story.

In fact....have you ever noticed that when you fly in the evening, or especially early morning....its not such a bumpy ride?


Its the coolness. You know the sun's been down all night so its about the coolest part of the day you can get. It creates the most stable-calm conditions. It makes for very smooth enjoyable flights.

Story, Video and Photo:  http://www.ktbs.com

Beechcraft B90 King Air, Direct Aviation LLC, N821DA: Accident occurred October 22, 2012 in Sturtevant, Wisconsin

NTSB Identification: CEN13LA023 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, October 22, 2012 in Sturtevant, WI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/30/2013
Aircraft: BEECH B90, registration: N821DA
Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 Uninjured.

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

The pilot reported that the airplane floated during the landing flare, touched down long, bounced, and went off the end of the runway. The airplane struck two ditches before coming to rest on a road. The pilot stated that he should have recognized that braking action would be significantly reduced with the possibility of hydroplaning, that pulling the power levers to the stops before touchdown induced a lag in realization of reverse thrust, and that he should have executed a go-around when the airplane floated before landing. No mechanical failures or malfunctions of the airplane were reported. Heavy rain was reported about the time of the accident at a nearby airport.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's decision to continue the landing after touching down long and on a wet runway that reduced the airplane’s braking capability, which resulted in an overrun.

On October 22, 2012, about 1845 central daylight time, a Beech B90 airplane, N821DA, collided with a fence and a ditch when it overran runway 8R (2,272 feet by 38 feet, asphalt) while landing at the Sylvania Airport (C89), Sturtevant, Wisconsin. The commercial pilot was not injured and his passenger received minor injuries. The airplane sustained damage to its fuselage and both wings. The airplane was registered to Direct Action Aviation LLC, and was operated by Skydive Midwest. The accident flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was not operated on a flight plan. The flight originated from the Jackson County Airport-Reynolds Field (JXN), Jackson, Michigan, about 1800.

The pilot reported that the landing approach was normal and when the airplane crossed the runway threshold it floated and he pulled the engine power levers to the stops. He stated that although he did not remember the airplane bouncing, his passenger told him that it had. He pulled the power levers to reverse, but there was no immediate reverse thrust. He applied brakes and felt the airplane accelerate. He recognized that he would not be able to stop the airplane on the remaining runway and attempted to steer it to the north. The airplane left the runway, impacted two ditches and came to rest on a highway. The pilot stated that he should have recognized that braking action would be significantly reduced with the possibility of hydroplaning, that pulling the power levers to the stops before touchdown induced a lag in realization of reverse thrust, and that he should have executed a go-around when the airplane floated before landing. The pilot reported no mechanical failures or malfunctions of the airplane.

At 1853, weather conditions reported at the Kenosha regional Airport (ENW), located 6 miles south of the accident site, included heavy rain.

NTSB Identification: CEN13LA023
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, October 22, 2012 in Sturtevant, WI
Aircraft: BEECH B90, registration: N821DA
Injuries: 1 Minor,1 Uninjured.

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 October 22, 2012, about 1845 central daylight time, a Beech B90 airplane, N821DA, collided with a fence and a ditch when it overran runway 8R while landing at the Sylvania Airport (C89), Sturtevant, Wisconsin. The commercial pilot was not injured and his passenger received minor injuries. The airplane sustained damage to its fuselage and both wings. The aircraft was registered to Direct Action Aviation LLC, and was operated by Skydive Midwest. The accident flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was not operated on a flight plan. The flight originated from the Jackson County Airport-Reynolds Field (JXN), Jackson, Michigan, at an unconfirmed time.

RACINE COUNTY — The proposed flying suspension for the Racine area pilot who crashed his plane on Interstate-94 last October has been reduced, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

The suspension of pilot Keith George’s commercial pilot certificate has been reduced from a proposed 180 days to 60 days, FAA spokesperson Elizabeth Cory said in an email Thursday morning.

On Oct. 22 of last year, during a return trip from Michigan with his girlfriend, the Beech B90 airplane piloted by George overshot the first part of the runway at Yorkville’s Sylvania Airport, continuing across a ditch and onto the Interstate, according to the FAA report.

An investigation by the agency determined that weather conditions during the flight, including heavy rain and low visibility, would have required instruments with which the particular airplane was not equipped.

Several witnesses in the area during the time also reported conditions that were not above minimum standards for a pane like the one flown by George, including a captain from American Airlines who was flying from New York to Chicago at the time and remembered a brief discussion with a co-pilot about why a plane like George’s would be flying through the weather conditions at the time.

Following an investigation, the FAA proposed suspending George’s commercial pilot certificate for 180 days. However, he challenged that proposal. George's case has since been settled and he is currently undergoing a 60-day suspension of his commercial pilot certificate.

Story:   http://journaltimes.com