Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Southwest Asks Employees to Accept Pay Cuts to Avoid Furloughs: Airline says it can avoid job cuts through next year with union deals

Southwest Airlines Co. is asking the company’s labor unions to accept pay cuts for the first time to prevent furloughs and layoffs through the end of next year.

Airlines have started taking more drastic action, as hopes of receiving more federal aid to cover worker salaries for another six months have grown dimmer, with Congress still at an impasse over additional pandemic relief. Southwest Chief Executive Gary Kelly, who had been receiving reduced pay since March, said Monday he will forgo his salary altogether through the end of next year.

Airlines were barred from furloughing or laying off workers until Oct. 1 under the terms of the $25 billion in aid they received earlier this year. With demand for travel still 70% lower than a year ago, airlines say they cannot justify retaining employees they no longer need while bleeding cash. When the restrictions that accompanied government aid expired last week, rivals including American Airlines Group Inc. and United Airlines Holdings Inc. went ahead with over 32,000 cuts.

Southwest has never furloughed or laid off employees and had pledged to avoid those measures this year. But Mr. Kelly had warned last week that furloughs would be inevitable without additional federal aid. He said Monday that quarterly losses could be “in the billions” until an effective vaccine has been widely distributed, likely not until late next year.

“We just can’t afford to wait any longer,” he said in an interview. The airline says it can continue staving off job losses through next year, if terms are reached with its unions by Jan. 1. “I feel like we have a moral obligation to them.”

The union that represents Southwest’s pilots said it had agreed to hold discussions with the company. However, in a letter to pilots, union leaders criticized the company’s actions so far and expressed skepticism that concessions would provide much boost to the bottom line.

“Agreeing to discussions is very different than agreeing to concessions,” they wrote. “We should not be in any rush to make shortsighted moves when we lack the clarity we need to make informed decisions.”

The union that represents Southwest’s flight attendants and several other groups of workers also signaled its resistance to concessions.

“It’s a slippery slope and we have no intention of sliding down it,” said John Samuelsen, international president of the Transport Workers Union.

Mr. Kelly said he still thinks Congress will strike a deal for pandemic relief, including a provision that would cover airline salaries through the end of March. If that happens, any reductions that unions agree to would be reversed.

“These aren’t bailouts. This is trying to keep the country out of a depression,” he said.

Other airlines have said they’ll bring furloughed workers back, if more aid is approved in the coming days. Negotiations over a broader pandemic relief package continued Monday after an attempt to quickly pass a narrower bill focused only on airlines quickly fell apart Friday.

Mr. Kelly said he would go without his salary through the end of 2021. Senior executives will continue taking a 20% pay cut during that time, and the other nonunion employees will have their pay reduced by 10% to avoid layoffs.

Other airline executives, including the chief executives of United and Delta Air Lines Inc., have given up their salaries through this year. American’s chief executive is paid only in stock.

Carriers have had varying degrees of success in mitigating forced cuts through early retirement deals and negotiations with unions. Some 20% of Delta employees opted to leave, and the airline has reduced work hours by 25% for its ground employees. These measures helped it avoid any furloughs for flight attendants, mechanics and most other front-line workers. The airline said it would delay furloughs by a month for its pilots to continue negotiating with their union.

United, which is furloughing more than 13,000 employees, reached an agreement with pilots to delay any cuts until June.

Champion 7GCAA, N9607S: Accident occurred August 13, 2013 in Hamlin Canyon, SW of Paradise, California

NTSB Identification: WPR13FA370
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, August 13, 2013 in Paradise, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/10/2015
Aircraft: CHAMPION 7GCAA, registration: N9607S
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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

The pilot and passenger were flying pipeline patrol to visually inspect conditions along a gas transmission line. The wreckage was found near the bottom of a canyon adjacent to the pipeline being patrolled. A camera mounted on the airplane's left forward wing strut captured video of the accident flight. The video of the flight showed that, moments before the accident, the airplane was flying above slowly rising terrain while paralleling the canyon on its right side. About 300 ft above ground level, the airplane appeared to encounter an updraft from the canyon, and, shortly after, it entered a right roll. The airplane continued rolling right and made three rotations. During the first rotation, the airplane’s nose pitched down, and, during the second and third rotations, the airplane’s nose maintained a constant descent angle before colliding with terrain. The video revealed that all of the flight controls were intact and that the engine was operating with power at the time of the accident. The video did not reveal any evidence of an airplane malfunction. Postaccident examination of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to maintain airplane control during low-altitude maneuvering after encountering an updraft.


On August 13, 2013 about 1130 Pacific daylight time, a Champion 7GCAA, N9607S, collided with the ground while maneuvering near Paradise, California. The airplane was registered to the pilot and operated by AA Aerial Surveillance (AAAS), LLC, under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as an aerial observation flight. The commercial pilot and Aerial Patrol Observer (APO) were fatally injured, and the airplane was destroyed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan was not filed. The cross-country flight originated from the Nut Tree Airport (VCB), Vacaville, California about 0850 with a destination of Chico Municipal Airport (CIC), Chico, California.

According to local law enforcement personnel, a witness was driving on California Highway 99 northbound when he saw an airplane flying near Hamlin Canyon to the east of his position. After turning onto Neal Road northeastbound, he looked to the east to see the airplane just above the tree line. The airplane was flying relatively northbound when it pitched up, banked right and then nosed down, spiraling to the ground. The witness further stated that it made 1 and 1/2 "spirals" before he lost sight of it behind trees on top of the ridgeline that bounds the north side of Hamlin Canyon.

According to a representative from Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), the pilot who was a co-owner of AAAS, and the APO, who was employed by Frontline Energy Services Inc. dba Frontline Energy Services (FES), were flying pipeline patrol to visually inspect conditions along a gas transmission line that serves the gas distribution system in the town of Paradise. PG&E contracted separately with AAAS to provide and fly the patrol planes, and FES to observe and document the patrols. The purpose of aerial observation flights is to inspect the pipeline right-of-way and adjacent areas for threats to the safety and integrity of gas facilities. The specific underground pipeline being patrolled at the time of the accident extended northeast along the top of a flat ridge surrounded on either side by rugged canyons. A video recording device attached to the exterior of the airplane records a view of the terrain being patrolled for later examination by a different APO.


Pilot (Commercial Pilot, Front Cockpit)

The pilot, age 54, held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, multiengine land, and instrument airplane. He also held a flight engineer certificate; as well as a mechanic's certificate with airframe and powerplant ratings. 

The pilot held an FAA second-class medical certificate that was issued on March 11, 2013 with limitations that the pilot must have available glasses for near vision. The pilot's application for that certificate reported that he had accrued 3,750 total hours and 250 in the last 6 months. 

According to PG&E records, the pilot logged 74.9 hours of familiarization flight time covering various pipelines in the system flown by another experienced patrol pilot between the period of July 24, 2012 and November 27, 2012. The pilot then logged 413.6 hours of flight time as a patrol pilot accompanied with an APO from October 26, 2012 to August 12, 2013, with 269 hours of flight time logged after his FAA medical on March 11, 2013. This flight time was in both the accident airplane, as well as other aircraft. About 141.1 hours of pipeline patrol was recorded in the accident airplane in the 6 months prior to the accident.

Aerial Patrol Observer (Non-pilot rated, Rear Cockpit)

The APO directed the patrol mission, assisted the pilot as a crew member during flight operations, collected data concerning any observed threats, and communicated with the PG&E dispatchers. The APO had 70 hours of training and familiarization flights from March 5, 2013 to April 18, 2013 prior to flying 197 hours as a fully qualified patroller from May 6, 2013 until the date of the accident. In addition, the APO documented performing video review totaling 103 hours. 


The two-seat, high-wing airplane, serial number (S/N) 52, was manufactured in 1966, and was powered by a Lycoming O-320-A2B engine, rated at 160 horsepower. The airplane was also equipped with a Sensenich fixed-pitch propeller. The airplane was maintained under the manufacturer's approved inspection program. The airplane logbooks were not obtained during the investigation.

A Contour+2 video recorder was mounted on the left forward wing strut at about mid span position pointed about 30° below the horizon when in level cruise flight. According to PG&E, the video is used for postflight review and quality assurance. The video is collected at 30 frames per second and can store 32gigabytes of data on a microSD card located in the camera. The camera is also able to capture GPS and audio information. 


A review of recorded data from the CIC airport automated weather observation station, located about 12 miles northwest of the accident site, revealed that at 1059, conditions were calm wind, visibility 25 statute miles, clear sky, temperature 26° C, dew point 9° C, and an altimeter setting of 29.97 inches of Mercury. The remarks stated smoke in the area. At 1150, conditions were wind 200° at 4 knots, visibility 25 statute miles, clear sky, temperature 29° C, dew point 10° C, and an altimeter setting of 29.96 inches of Mercury. The remarks indicated the presents of smoke in all quadrants. 

A review of recorded data from the Oroville Municipal Airport (OVE), Oroville, California automated weather observation station, located about 14 miles southeast of the accident site, revealed that at 1053 conditions were variable wind at 4 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, clear sky, temperature 27° Celsius, dew point 14° Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 29.97 inches of Mercury.


TracPlus Nano GPS Transponder 

The airplane was equipped with TracPlus Nano (TracPlus), a transponder that sends flight information derived from GPS data about every two minutes to an Iridium satellite which is then relayed to a server maintained by Tracplus that is accessed via a secured website by both PG&E and FES. The data consisted of exact time and date of transmission, altitude from mean sea level (msl), and latitude and longitude coordinates. Aircraft heading and ground speed is derived from the recorded parameters. The purpose of collecting this data is to monitor the patrol progress, improve operational situational awareness, and evaluate patrol process effectiveness. 

The TracPlus information was used during the investigation to create a map showing the route of the airplane's flight. A map of the accident flight confirmed that the accident airplane departed from VCB at 0850, showed a normal flight path above the scheduled patrol route up to about two miles southwest of the accident site where the last position report at 1129 was automatically sent. Total duration of the patrol flight was about 2 hours and 41 minutes. The last two position reports recorded at 1127 and 1129 indicated an altitude of 689 and 761 feet msl, at a ground speed of 75 and 55 knots, respectively. The terrain in the area of the last two position reports are about 200 feet and 400 feet msl, respectively. This map can be found in the public docket for this report.


The rocky, brush-covered terrain surrounding the wreckage is on an east-facing 30° slope of a canyon. Postimpact fire was found throughout the debris path and surrounding terrain. About 21 acres of land were burned. 

The debris path was about 50 feet in length and about 20 feet wide. The first identified point of contact (FIPC) was a rocky outcropping about 10 feet uphill from the main wreckage. The direction of the wreckage debris path was oriented on a heading of about 120° magnetic from the FIPC to the main wreckage. The main wreckage was found inverted, with the nose section on a heading of about 300 degrees magnetic. 

The main wreckage was mostly consumed by postimpact fire. The aft fuselage and tail section structure was intact and partially separated near the cabin area. The tail section was lying on top of the fuselage and right wing. Both wings had extensive thermal damage. The fuel tanks were partially consumed by fire. The forward and aft wood wing spars had extensive fire damage. Flight control cable continuity was obtained from all flight controls to the cabin area. The forward control stick separated from the control linkage assembly. The forward control linkage assembly had thermal deformation. The aileron lever arms on the control stick torque tube assembly separated with overload signatures. The aileron cables remained attached to the separated lever arms. The forward and aft seat structures had impact damage and remained partially attached to the fuselage. The forward seatbelt buckle assembly including the lap belt attachment and both shoulder belt attachments were secured in the buckle. The aft seatbelt buckle was found loose from the lap belt attachment and both shoulder belt attachments. The majority of the seatbelt webbing was consumed by fire. 

The engine was found inverted with thermal damage to the oil sump and accessory areas. The propeller assembly remained attached to the crankshaft propeller flange. One of the propeller blades had missing material and thermal deformation. Aluminum drippings were found directly below the damaged blade and extended in the outboard direction about 14 inches. The other blade had thermal discoloration and was undamaged. The no. 2 and 4 cylinder assemblies had thermal deformation. The no. 4 exhaust stack separated from the cylinder attachment flange. 

A video recorder was found between the FIPC and the main wreckage. The video recorder had impact and thermal damage and was retained for further examination.


Examination of the recovered airframe and flight control system components revealed no evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunction. 

The forward seat had thermal damage. The rear seat revealed impact damage to its structure and deformation of the metal lower seat webbing. 

Examination of the engine revealed impact damage to the exhaust assembly and thermal damage to several engine components. The oil sump had impact and thermal damage. The crankcase internal surfaces were examined with the use of a lighted boroscope through holes drilled in the top of the crankcase. No anomalies were noted. The induction assembly was mostly consumed by postimpact fire, and only induction elbows remained attached to the cylinders. The carburetor was mostly consumed by postimpact fire. The throttle and mixture controls remained securely attached at their respective control arms. Examination of the recovered engine and system components revealed no evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.


An autopsy on the pilot and the APO was completed under the jurisdiction of the Butte County Sherriff's Office in Oroville, California. According to the reports, the causes of death were reported as multiple traumas due to an airplane accident.

The FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory Forensic Toxicology Research Team, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicological testing of specimens of the pilot. Analysis of the specimens contained no findings for volatiles, and tested drugs. For specific test parameters and results refer to the toxicology report in the public docket for this report.


The left forward wing strut-mounted Contour 2+ video recorder was sent to the NTSB Vehicle Recorders Division for examination. 

The examination revealed that the video recorder had significant structural damage, but the internal 32GB microSD card was not physically damaged. The card was removed and the accident flight was identified. The video of the accident flight was recovered without audio or GPS information. 

The video of the accident flight was examined and revealed no anomalies until the airplane's upset, that began about 300 feet above the top edge of a canyon wall. Just prior to the upset, the airplane's nose pitched up and down slightly, leveled out for a few seconds before rolling to the right. The airplane continued to the right making three 360-degree rotations before colliding with terrain about 200 feet below the canyon rim. During the rotations, the nose of the airplane pitched down, and then the nose of the airplane maintained a constant angle of descent during the second and third 360-degree rotations to the FIPC. The propeller was visible and was constant in speed throughout the video. The video also revealed the shadow of the airplane several times throughout the flight and upset. For further information see the Video Recorder report in the public docket.

A video study was performed to estimate the motion of the airplane during the flight. The airplane was determined to have ground speed of about 61 mph (10 mph above the specified stall speed of 51 mph) just prior to the airplane's upset. Pitch angle increased by 8 degrees over a two-second period just prior the airplane's upset. The roll angle slowly increased from a slow to fast rate. There was no information in the video on the cause of the fast increase of roll angle. For further information see the Video Study report in the public docket.


NTSB Identification: WPR13FA370
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, August 13, 2013 in Paradise, CA
Aircraft: CHAMPION 7GCAA, registration: N9607S
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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

On August 13, 2013 about 1130 Pacific daylight time, a Champion 7GCAA, N9607S, collided with the ground while maneuvering near Paradise, California. The airplane was registered to the pilot and operated by Aerial Pipeline Services under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as an aerial observation flight. The commercial pilot and passenger were fatally injured and the airplane was substantially damaged. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed. The cross-country flight originated from the Nut Tree Airport (VCB), Vacaville, California about 0850 with a destination of Chico Municipal Airport (CIC), Chico, California.

According to a representative from Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) Company, the pilot was flying pipeline patrol on a gas transmission line that services Paradise. The underground pipeline extends northeast along the top of a flat ridge surrounded on either side by rugged canyons.

During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), a witness, who was an observer in a fire lookout tower at Sawmill Peak located nine miles northeast of the accident site, reported that a high wing airplane made approximately three large right circles and then depart to the south. The witness stated that he did not see the airplane descend or see the accident sequence.

Examination of the accident site revealed that the wreckage was located near the bottom of a canyon and was mostly consumed by postimpact fire. The debris path was about 50 feet in length and about 20 feet wide. Postimpact fire was found throughout the debris path and through surrounding terrain. About 21 acres of land was burned. All major structural components were located within the debris path. The wreckage was relocated to a secured facility for further examination.

 Wreckage from plane crash that killed Vacaville pilot moved for investigation 

The wreckage of a plane that crashed in Butte County, killing a Vacaville pilot and a second person on board on Tuesday morning was moved on Wednesday to a secure site north of Sacramento, a NTSB investigator said Thursday.

It's unknown what caused the crash that killed pilot Fred Lewis of AA Aerial Surveillance based out of the Nut Tree Airport in Vacaville and a Frontline Energy Services employee, but the NTSB's Andrew Swicker told The Paradise Post that a preliminary report will be issued within five days.

Meanwhile, the Danville Express reported on Thursday that the Frontline Energy Services employee was Matthew Moody, 26, of Danville. However, the Butte County's Coroner's office on Thursday continued to refuse to confirm or release the names.

Swicker said he was on site on Wednesday with Cal Fire and Butte County Sheriff's office.

"We found the wreckage," he said. "The plane was completely consumed by fire and substantially damaged."

The plane was taken to the facility where Swicker said he has continued his investigation. He said the plane has been laid out at the facility.

"I've examined the frame, the wreckage is laid down and I've looked at continuity of flight controls," he said. "I brought in an expert today to look at the engine."

Swicker said that he's in the fact-finding portion of the investigation but hopes to finish his preliminary report today. It will be reviewed before being made public.

He said the Champion 7GCAA, single-engine two-seater departed from the Nut Tree Airport and its destination was Chico where it was doing a PG&E pipeline observation patrol.

Swicker said that in the Champion two-seater, "The pilot sits upfront and the observer sits in the back and it's a dual controlled."

The observer "is not necessarily a pilot, but generally goes over data. It may be camera or note taking," he said. "The observer makes sure that there are no structures near the pipelines or that no one is digging holes near it. It's a public safety thing."

Swicker said it takes between six months and a year to finish and release a final report on plane crashes because it takes time for various reports to be sent back.

For instance, he said that there will further testing on certain aspects on the plane in next couple months.

"I can't tell you what those are, but we will be looking at those further tests," he said.


Photo courtesy of Facebook

A lifelong Danville resident was killed in a plane crash Tuesday morning, according to the victim's friend. Matthew Moody, 26, worked for Frontline Energy Services and was surveying gas pipes for PG&E when his plane crashed in Hamlin Canyon, about six miles southwest of Paradise, Calif. at 11:30 a.m.

Moody, 26, was the passenger in an AA Aerial Surveillance and Frontine Energy scout plane contracted to do routine patrol on a natural gas transmission pipeline. Kajal Gheewala, a friend of Moody's, said the plane had engine failure. The official cause is unknown.

"(Moody) had lived in Contra Costa County most of his life except a few years in Colorado. He loved being outdoors -- especially hiking and rock climbing in Yosemite. He was very fearless and talented and loved to cook," said Gheewala. "He also was very interested in science and astronomy."

The San Ramon Valley High graduate and the pilot have yet to be officially identified. According to the Chico Enterprise Record, the plane was a 1966 Champion, fixed-wing, single-engine two-seater purchased in 2012 and registered to Frederick Lewis, co-owner of AA Aerial Surveillance at the Nut Tree.

The plane was fully engulfed in flames when officials arrived on scene, said Miranda McAffe, Butte County Sheriff media liaison. The bodies were badly burned and the plane destroyed.

A resulting vegetation fire burned up 21 acres and closed nearby Neal Road, according to reports. Six engines, four water trucks, a bulldozer, four hand crews, two air tankers, a helicopter and a spotter plane fought the blaze. The fire did not threaten nearby homes.

A memorial service for Matthew Moody will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 19 at St. Joan of Arc Church (2601 San Ramon Valley Blvd., San Ramon). In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Moody's name to the Yosemite Conservancy.


"Everyone who knew him thought of him as one of the nicest and most genuine people they knew," Gheewala said.

Moody is survived by his mother, father, sister, brother and girlfriend. 

Source:   http://www.sanramonexpress.com

Two people were killed on Tuesday morning when a plane they were flying in crashed off of Neal Road -- setting off a wildfire in Hamlin Canyon, about five miles southwest of Paradise.  

 PG&E spokeswoman Jan Morris said Tuesday evening that the aircraft was an AA Aerial Surveillance and Frontline Energy scout plane. The firms were contracted to do work for PG&E.

The plane was doing routine patrol from the air on a natural gas transmission pipeline located in the area. The plane was registered to an owner based out of the Nut Tree Airport in Vacaville. The identities of those on board have not been confirmed.

However, the FAA's initial report identifies the plane as a Champion 7GCAA,  with the registration number
N9607S. A check of the registration shows the plane was a 1966 Champion, fixed-wing, single-engine two-seater purchased last year and registered to Frederick Lewis, co-owner of AA Aerial Surveillance at the Nut Tree.

The crash about 11:30 a.m. was in Hamlin Canyon, about six miles southwest of Paradise, according to Cal Fire-Butte County.

The fire was 80 percent contained by 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Cal Fire Battalion Chief Chris Haile said.

According to a press release from Cal Fire, the fire was 100 percent contained by 5:30 p.m. and had burned 21 acres. Six fire engines, four water tenders, a bulldozer, four hand crews, two air tanks, one helicopter and six overheads responded to the blaze. The Butte County Sheriff's Department also responded to the emergency.

"The pilot was killed and we have no idea who he was, what the airplane was, we have no information on that," Haile said.

Morris said that their thoughts and prayers are with the companies and the families involved.

The plane was identified as possibly a "small two-seater aircraft" by Damon. Jaime Hillyard of Paradise Airport said the plane was not from their airport. It's unknown at this time where the plane was coming from and where it was headed before it crashed.

Haile added that the plane was completely gone from fire by the time his crew got down to it, so a description of the plane will be harder to come by.

"It is just too hot for us to get in there right now," Haile said at about noon as the Post arrived on scene. "It is between 10 and 12 acres."

When the fire department was able to get into the canyon to the aircraft, they had the sheriff's department come down to do an investigation.

According to a press release from the Butte County Sheriff's Department, the bodies were still in the aircraft at 5:30 p.m., and they plan on retrieving the bodies when it becomes safe to do so.

"The sheriff's department is down on the bottom with the aircraft," Haile said.

The FAA did not have any identification on the crashed plane or the occupants inside by 5:20 p.m. Tuesday. The circumstances of the crash are unknown as well, FAA Public Affairs Manager Ian Gregor said.

"Firefighters were going in to the crash site on ATVs earlier in the afternoon to try to get a data tag or N-number off the plane," he wrote in an email.

Bob Smalley, 50-year-old Paradise resident, witnessed the plane crash, and was the first to call 911 and report it, he said.

"I was coming north on 99 and saw a plane kind of circling around off to the right," Smalley said. "Then I saw it do just a spiral straight down and I was shocked because planes don't do that. No more than a minute or so after I saw the smoke." He did not recognize the plane, but did have some description of what it looked like.

"It had orange and white on it, I think it was CDF, I don't know if it was for sure," he said. "It could have been red and white, I don't know but it was a smaller plane."

The plane was later confirmed not to be CDF, and officials do not have any lead on whose plane it was, Haile said. Smalley said he called 911 to report the crash at 11:33 a.m. according to his call log on his cell phone.

 The fire was expected to be cleaned up by dark on Tuesday night.

"We are cutting the line off right on the edge of the bluffs here, down to the bottom there is a road, then we will tie that in and then the fire will be contained," Haile said. "Then we will spend probably the next five (hours) mopping it up." The fire did not end up threatening any homes in the area.

Story, Videos and Photos:   http://www.dailydemocrat.com

Story, Photos and Videos:  http://www.chicoer.com
Story, Videos and Photos:  http://www.paradisepost.com
Story:   http://www.knvn.com

The wreckage of a plane that crashed this morning into Hamlin Canyon, south of Neal Road, killing the pilot and igniting a 10-15 acre fire.
 (Bill Husa-ChicoER)

Cal Fire - Butte County firefighter Spencer Mallinger (right) and engineer Denver Martinez (back) battle steep terrain on a vegetation fire off of Neal Rd. after a plane crashed. 
 (Jason Halley/ChicoER)

Cal Fire plane makes a drop along the canyon wall on a vegetation fire that started after a plane had crashed. 
 (Jason Halley/ChicoER)

The ground is blackened near the scene of an airplane crash off Neal Road in Paradise. 
(Jason Halley/ChicoER)

Smoke from airplane down can be seen from Neal Road exit on Highway 99.
 (Bill Husa-ChicoER)

Smoke rises from a fire caused by an airplane crash today on upper Neal Road. 
(Jason Halley/ChicoER)

A helicopter drops water on a fire caused by a plane crash off Neal Road near Paradise today. 
(Bill Husa/ChicoER)

The remnants of the airplane are visible in a canyon south of Neal Road. The crash caused a small brush fire. 
(Jason Halley/ChicoER)

Nebraska State Fly-In hosted by Alliance Municipal Airport (KAIA)

As part of Alliance’s 125th year of Building the Best Hometown in America, the Alliance Municipal Airport (AIA) is hosting the 2013 Nebraska State Fly-In on August 17th.

There will be no admission fee charged to attend, however a free will donation will be accepted.

The first Nebraska State Fly-In was held at the Alliance Municipal Airport (AIA) 20 years ago and is returning this year. Airplanes from across Nebraska and surrounding states will fly into the Alliance Municipal Airport to help celebrate the 21st annual Nebraska State Fly-In, 3rd anniversary of the Nebraska State Veterans Cemetery at Alliance, 70th anniversary of the Alliance Airfield Base and the 125th year of Building the Best Hometown in America.

Planes from around the region will gather to form a large static airplane display for the day. A P-51 Mustang and a C-47 Skytrain which was actually flown in Europe by men who were trained at the Alliance Airfield Base will also be shown. Tours of the aircraft will be available.

Exciting aerial demonstrations featuring Dagmar’s Aerobatic stunt plane, Harry Barr’s P-51 Mustang, Skyview R/C Club and the Mile-Hi Skydiving Exhibition Team will take place at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. A demonstration of the Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting truck will be given at 11 a.m. followed by a Police Dog demonstration at 12 p.m. and again at 3 p.m. Historic displays, vintage jeeps, Virtual Flight Simulator and remote control displays featuring World War II planes will be available throughout the day. Bring your lawn chairs to enjoy the demonstrations as bleachers will not be available for seating.

Young Eagle Flights EAA #608 will be offering free first time flights to area youth ages 8 to 17. Flight registration with parental permission will begin at 7 a.m. and will close at 9 a.m. or when the maximum number has been reached. Every effort will be made to accommodate as many young people as possible.

The Alliance Area YMCA will be serving breakfast from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. The Sallows Military Museum Allies will host a WW II Canteen lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Local non-profit vendors will have snacks available during the day as well.

In addition to the celebration at the Alliance Municipal Airport, tours will be available at the Nebraska State Veterans Cemetery at Alliance.

At 6 p.m. the festivities will begin at the Sandhills Drive-in Theater located north of the airport and will be hosted by the Alliance Chamber of Commerce. There will be food, fun and refreshments available. At dusk, the Disney feature movie “Planes” will be shown. Regular Sandhills Drive-in Theater prices will apply.

The Alliance Municipal Airport is located two miles east of Alliance on Highway 2 and 1 1/2 miles south on Country Road 57.

A full listing of events is available at www.FlyAllianceNE.com

Source:   http://rapidcityjournal.com

Are you related to pilot John McBean Christie?

An author has appealed for Express readers’ help in tracking down the family of a heroic World War Two fighter pilot.

Danny Burt has spent eight years researching an RAF squadron and is trying to find out more about a “tough, young” Spitfire pilot from Renfrewshire who was killed in action.

Mr Burt, an RAF Forward Air Controller, has been looking into the history of the 40 pilots who served in 152 ‘Nizam of Hyderabad’ squadron.

He said: “One of its pilots was Sergeant John McBean Christie, a tough young Scottish lad from the Renfrewshire area.

“I am trying to trace any family members, where John went to school, pictures and any other information.

“I am hoping Express readers could help with this request and all of this information is going into a book which I am writing on the squadron.”

This old black and white photo – taken on a Box Brownie camera – is the only known snapshot of Sergeant Christie and shows him standing next to Spitfire UM-N at the RAF Warmwell base, in Dorset, in 1940 shortly before his death.

According to The Scottish War Graves Project, he was the son of Alex and Margaret Christie, of Oldhall, Paisley, and was known to them as Jack.

In January 1940, conversion to Spitfires began and, after a period of defensive patrols in the north-east, the squadron moved to Warmwell to help defend southern England against attacks from the Luftwaffe forces now based in northern France.

Throughout the Battle of Britain, no 152 defended this sector, which included Portland naval base.

Sergeant Christie was killed after being shot down just a month after signing up with the squadron.

Mr Burt explained: “Christie joined 152 Squadron at Warmwell in August 1940. On September 26 of that year, Christie was shoot down by a Bf 109 in combat over the Channel off Swanage, Dorset.

“His Spitfire K9882 crashed into the sea and he was picked up dead. He is buried in Arkleston Cemetery, Renfrew, and was just 22 years old.”

The squadron disbanded for the final time in 1967 and it had the motto “faithful ally”, with a badge showing the head-dress of the Nizam of Hyderabad as it had been the gift squadron of Hyderabad.

Mr Burt’s book is called Summer Of A Dappled Shade and is a full history of the squadron from July 10 to November 28, 1940.

During this time 14 men were killed and another eight lost their lives during the rest of World War Two.

● If you know anything about Sergeant Christie or have any photos of him, please phone Lynn Jolly in the Express newsroom on 0141 309 3551 or email lynn.jolly@trinitymirror.com

Story and Photo:  http://www.paisleydailyexpress.co.uk

Claiming Religious Discrimination, Air Traffic Controller Sues Federal Aviation Administration

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) employee has filed charges against his employer and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) union, alleging religious discrimination.

Matthew Gray, with the help of National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, filed charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Federal Labor Relations Authority, claiming that union and FAA officials used his religious beliefs to punish him after he decided to resign from the union.

Gray, a Seventh-day Adventist, currently works at the FAA's Potomac facility. After resigning his membership in NATCA because he believes union membership is contrary to his faith, Gray was informed by a union official on Feb. 6 that he was being removed from his detail and transferred to another in which he would have to work on Saturdays as punishment for resigning from the union.

Instead of standing up to the union, Gray's manager told him he was complying with the union's transfer request because Gray "no longer represent[s] the best interests of NATCA."

A central doctrine of Gray's church is weekly worship and not working on Saturdays. Gray's old position allowed him to avoid any scheduling conflict between his work and religious obligations. By removing him from his old detail, however, union officials are effectively forcing Gray to work on Saturdays, find a replacement every week or lose his job.

Gray told union officials he only resigned from the union because of his religious beliefs and that the transfer would cause a scheduling conflict with his religious obligations. NATCA ignored his objections and went through with the transfer request.

"It's unconscionable that an independent-minded worker was punished for attempting to exercise his deeply held religious beliefs," says Patrick Semmens, vice president of the National Right to Work Foundation. "Workers shouldn't face retaliation for exercising their right not to join or affiliate with a labor union."

"We hope the EEOC and the Federal Labor Relations Authority will quickly step in and safeguard Matthew Gray’s religious beliefs," Semmens adds.

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

Property negotiations on airport board agenda: Big Bear City (L35), California

The runway safety area for Big Bear Airport will be the topic of discussion during closed session at the Wednesday, Aug. 14, board meeting.

The agenda item regarding property negotiations is listed as RSA, east of the airport, and names airport general manager Pete Gwaltney as the negotiator for the airport district. No other information is given.

The RSA, also referred to as the RPZ or runway protection zone, has been the subject of numerous meetings and fodder among property owners near the airport and the airport board. Several years ago, the airport was in negotiations to purchase Bear City Park, or at least a portion of it as the runway safety area is with the park property. That purchase was nixed at the final hour by Neil Derry, former San Bernardino County 3rd District supervisor. The airport took the matter off the table until recently when interest developed once again.

It’s unknown if there is an actual offer on the table, or if this agenda item is preliminary to an offer being made.

Bear City Park is operated and maintained by the Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District, which is under the San Bernardino County Special Districts Department umbrella.

The airport board meets at 4 p.m. in the terminal building.

Prior to the closed session portion of the meeting, the board considers a number of items including the financial reports, the upcoming air fair, the maintenance hangar and future events, and requests from hangar tenants.

The Big Bear Airport is at 501 W. Valley Blvd., Big Bear City.

Source:   http://www.bigbeargrizzly.net

Glimpse of History: An airport tucked in the Somerset Hills, New Jersey

BERNARDS TOWNSHIP — A 1981 U.S. Geological Survey map shows that Somerset Hills Airport was located in the area between Lord Stirling Road and Maple Avenue in Basking Ridge, Bernards Township. This undated photo from the airfield shows a Waco UPF7 acrobatics training plane in front of the facility’s lone hangar. 

Airfields-freeman.com reports that the airport was dedicated on Oct. 23, 1932, with three grass runways, and became an Army Air Corps flight training facility from 1941 through 1945. Following World War II, it returned to being a facility serving light recreational and business aircraft, with one runway being paved sometime in the late 1960s. 

As the areas near the airport were developed for residential and business use, the facility’s days became numbered. Writing on the website, Dennis Sandow notes, “The legal issues started when a pilot landed short and hard on the athletic field of the high school about half mile west of the runway about 1980.”

In addition, a 1986 report by the New Jersey General Aviation Study Commission’s Subcommittee on Airport Closings showed the airport’s taxes had risen 500 percent in its last 16 years of operation. By 1983, the airport was not listed as “active” by national flight guides, and the 1986 USGS map listed it as “inactive.”

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

Authority will hire attorney to handle leases: Jefferson County Airpark (2G2), Steubenville, Ohio

DISCUSS HANGAR PROPOSAL — Jefferson Airport Authority President Cathy Cucarese listened Monday night as board member Geary Bates discussed his proposal for using hangar space to store campers. - Linda Harris

WINTERSVILLE - The airport authority has opted to hire an attorney to help it figure out how to proceed with leasing hangar space.

Board members met in open session for two-and-a-half hours Monday before retiring behind closed doors for another 90 minutes to discuss contractual issues involving leases. Upon emerging, members voted to hire a solicitor to review the leases and advise them how to proceed.

"Because of the discussion in executive session, we emerged and decided to get a solicitor to give us a legal opinion on contractual issues," airport authority President Cathy Cucarese said. "There are issues we need to have looked at because of those leases."  Gary Folden, secretary, said there were "some issues with a current occupant regarding whether there is a current lease on the building. From that comes the legal question."

Both declined to offer additional details, but the discussion precipitating the closed-door session began in the public meeting when board member Geary Bates passed out a diagram he'd prepared illustrating his proposal to shuffle hangar occupants so that the two outer bays on Hangar B could be used to store campers.

Bates told the board he'd figured they could fit around 28 campers in the space and charge the owners a minimum of $100 a month.

The Federal Aviation Administration, however, requires airports benefiting from federal funding to accommodate the needs of aviation users first; storing campers is a non-aviation use. Maintaining a high aviation usage is critical to qualifying for federal funding for upgrades, such as an Automated Weather Observation System.

B1 is currently housing an Aerostar jet, a new tenant. B2 also is being rented for aviation purposes, but B3 is being used for storage.

Hangar A currently is being used for aviation purposes, though the status of the lease is in question, while Hangar C is used by STAT MedEvac for fleet maintenance and shelters transient helicopters as needed in bad weather.

This week, in addition to picking up the Aerostar jet, another current tenant interested in acquiring a third plane was at the meeting to inquire about the availability of a bigger hangar space.

During the public meeting, Bates also had suggested revisiting the fees STAT MedEvac pays for using Hangar C. The air ambulance currently pays $1,300 per month in rent and another $110 monthly in hangar fees for its everyday spaces, plus $25 per day when it needs Hangar C for maintenance or as a storm shelter.

Bates suggested it's costing the authority more to heat and provide electricity to Hangar C than they are recouping in occasional user fees. "The airpark shouldn't be losing money on this deal," he said, suggesting they approach STAT MedEvac about a service contract which would guarantee them first priority with Hangar C while at the same time covering the airpark's costs.

"It's no good the way it is," added Bates, who also criticized dirty conditions inside the work area as well as other hangar spaces throughout the airpark.

Airport Manager Jason Whanger was asked to provide the board with more information about leases and fee structures.

The airport authority, meanwhile, will advise Jefferson County commissioners by letter of pending enforcement action stemming from the removal of underground storage tanks 16 years ago.

The tanks were removed in 1997, but Bates said the contractor never submitted required documentation involving the removal process.

"That's why we're in violation," Folden said.

Bates said they'd been warned of non-compliance in the past and passed the information on to the prosecutor's office; this time, they're planning to suggest commissioners pursue legal avenues.

"It was a commission contract," Bates said. "It (falls to) them because they were the owners of the land and the tanks."

By law, the state fire marshal can levy a fine of up to $10,000 per day, per violation.

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

Fuel Sales Second Highest in More Than Two Years at Madisonville Municipal Airport (2I0), Kentucky

HOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (8/13/13) – The Madisonville Airport Board met with good news again Monday night learning that fuel sales for July were the second highest in two and a half years. The board also was informed newly-imposed facility fees are bringing in much-needed revenue.

The board met for its monthly meeting in the conference room at the airport on Anton Road. Chairman Joe Roe asked airport manager Rick Bivins for a report on revenue generate by the airport's three-month-old facility fee policy, and learned that the fee has been successful.

For each aircraft owner utilizing the airport and terminal that does not purchase fuel is charged a $50 fee. Bivins reported that five to seven aircraft have been required to pay the fee, which is waived for those buying fuel at the airport.

Encouraging fuel purchases in lieu of facility fees may be part of the reason fuel sales were so high. Another factor in increased fuel sales corresponded with increased helicopter fueling for agricultural spraying.

"We had a lot of crop dusters fueling up in July," said Bivins.

In old business, Roe reported that he had spoken with Madisonville Mayor David Jackson about obtaining financing for building more T-hangars at the airport. The airport has 14 airplane hangars and the board wants to build at least 10 more. All 14 of the hangars are filled and others want spaces.

Source:   http://surfky.com

Nantucket Memorial Airport (KACK) open house Thursday

(Aug. 13, 2013) Nantucket Memorial Airport and the Airport Commission will host an open house for residents and visitors this evening, Aug. 15, from 5-8:30 p.m. at Hangar 3 on Airport Road near the terminal. 

The open house will feature displays about current activities at the airport, trends and issues with air travel, noise and more. Following a brief presentation and question-and-answer period at 6 p.m., a bus will transport attendees on a tour around the airport. The displays will be available during the entire open house.

 “This open house is a chance for the airport to show residents and visitors what goes on at the airport, talk about issues and opportunities as the fleet mix and other factors change, and how the airport plans to deal with change,” airport manager Tom Rafter said.     

The airport will continue to reach out after the open house to listen and provide information to residents, businesses and others as airport master-planning continues, he added.

Rafter said the airport, the Airport Commission and the airport’s consultants look forward to talking with residents and others about key issues.

One of the topics that will be reviewed at the open house is “How is the airport being a good neighbor?” The displays describe the airport’s ongoing successful vegetation-management techniques for several state-listed plant species of concern, noise abatement arrival and departure procedures for all pilots, initiatives to limit use of auxiliary power units (APU), ongoing noise monitoring, initiatives to minimize ramp congestion and operational bottlenecks, and more.

For information about the open house and tours, visit www.nantucketairport.com or call (508) 325-5303.

Source: http://www.ack.net

Gov. Tom Corbett was right to use state helicopter for raceway trip: As I See It

By Bob Pleban

At Pocono Raceway, we’ve been putting out the welcome mat for Pennsylvania governors dating back to the late Raymond P. Shafer, a man not unfamiliar with high speed, dating back to his service as a PT boat captain during World War II.

Not every governor has accepted our invite but those who did made it into as much a fact-finding mission about America’s second most popular spectator sport – auto racing – as an opportunity to make a connection to tens of thousands of other Pennsylvanians.

So you can imagine our embarrassment when some people – without understanding the facts – fixated on the idea that Gov. Tom Corbett should not use a State Police helicopter for a campaign trip. 

Fair point; but that’s not what happened on Aug. 4, when he choppered in the 35 miles from Hazleton to Long Pond to attend the GoBowling.com 400 at the race track. Here are the facts:

The governor had other activities scheduled and would be unable to stay through the entire 400-mile race so traveling by helicopter allowed for more time on the ground at the race track.

The helicopter was on the scene anyway as part of the State Police traffic monitoring and control effort – in itself subsidized by a fee in the $50,000 range paid for each major event by Pocono Raceway. In other words, there was no extra cost.

A helicopter provides the ideal way to get a bird’s eye view of the entire Long Pond complex including our environmental efforts like our 3 megawatt solar project which supplies enough power annually to run Pocono Raceway and light 1,000 homes as well. He also got a quick snapshot of how Pocono Raceway provides $350 million in annual economic impact to Northeastern Pennsylvania.

On a tight schedule, the governor could also get a quick overview of the $30 million in private investments made in the racetrack in recent years including a totally rebuilt, 2.5 mile tri-oval, new garages and pit area, new Midway and motor home park.

We appreciate the effort Gov. Corbett made to visit Pocono Raceway. And we know the thousands of fans at the GoBowling.com 400 were pleased to learn that they could include the Governor of Pennsylvania as one of their own.

Bob Pleban is Vice President Administration of Pocono Raceway.

Article and Comments/Reaction:  http://www.pennlive.com/opinion

Pilot, 83, not injured in 1-seat plane crash: Brooten, Pope County, Minnesota

BROOTEN — An 83-year-old pilot walked away from a plane crash in eastern Pope County near Brooten Tuesday morning.

The Pope County Sheriff’s Office said the pilot’s one-seat plane crashed after striking an electrical line and coming to rest in the ditch just north of Pope County Road 8.

The pilot received minor injuries and was able to walk away from the crash. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the incident.

For most of the morning, an online outage map by Xcel Energy reported various outages affecting as many as 34 people.


An unusual hazard for golfers to contend with

Golfers at Stapleford Park, near Melton Mowbray, had more than just lakes and bunkers to contend with when a glider landed on the fairway of the 16th hole.

It is believed that the pilot lost altitude and was forced to land while taking part in the Midland Regionals event series, which was staged throughout last week from The Gliding Centre at Husbands Bosworth.

The golf club's PGA professional Rich Alderson, used a golf buggy to retrieve the pilot and co-pilot from the course and took pictures of the aircraft.

"I was in the clubhouse when I got a call from one of the members on the course," said Rich.

"They were playing the third hole and saw the glider come in to land on the 16th fairway, which runs parallel.

"I went out on a buggy and picked up the pilot and his co-pilot and brought them back to the clubhouse, where they waited for a couple of hours for their support team to arrive."

The 280-kilometre route of last Tuesday's event included the TV mast at Waltham on the Wolds, five miles from Stapleford Park, as one of its waypoints.

The glider landed safely on the course, well away from the luxury hotel and spa.

Story and Photo: http://www.thisisleicestershire.co.uk

Councilman seeks answers on Los Angeles International Airport contracts, consultants

Los Angeles World Airports is a bit of an enigma. It’s a department of the city Los Angeles, so it must answer to the City Council and follow most municipal rules. But it’s also entirely financially self-sufficient, receiving no money from the city’s general fund.

It is against this backdrop that new Councilman Mike Bonin is seeking to hold airport officials accountable. In light of a recent Los Angeles News Group report highlighting the airport operator’s reliance on outside consultants rather than city employees to manage construction at Los Angeles International Airport, Bonin moved to ask airport executives to explain their rationale. They will appear Tuesday morning before the three-member Trade, Commerce and Tourism Committee.

“There’s the argument that has been made that to have a world-class airport you have to have world-class consultants,” said Bonin, whose 11th District includes LAX. “That may be the case. But I don’t think you need to start from that premise. I think you have to start from the premise that we need to be as prudent and tight-fisted as we can be.”

Tuesday’s story detailed construction management consultants who receive perks such as free rent, furniture allowances and complimentary cars — in addition to hourly rates greater than $300. The consultants manage projects like the nearly $2 billion international terminal, the first phase of which should be completed later this summer. Valeria C. Velasco, a member of the airport commission, said this week that she had not known the extent of the consultant reimbursement program, saying no one told her the airport was paying for apartments.

Read more here:   http://www.dailybreeze.com

Jeff Edelstein: Screaming kids and airplanes, a dangerous combo

By JEFF EDELSTEIN,  Daily Times  

There are times — not terribly often, mind you, but times — when my children (aged 2 and 4) behave like cocaine-fueled kangaroos undergoing a complete and total psychotic break with reality.

There might be some yelling, screaming, crying, wailing. There might be some physicality, to be kind. Squirming usually occurs, followed immediately by tossing and throwing, both of their bodies and any Hot Wheels in the general vicinity.

Why does this happen? Oh you know, the normal reasons: The scrambled eggs are too yellow, they don’t like that sock, their pillow hurts.

Anyone who has raised children can attest to their mercurial moods. They’re little kids. Sometimes, for no good reason, chaos rules the moment.

But then the moment passes. Like a summer thunderstorm giving way to rainbows and sunshine and pretty young women with daisies in their hair dancing in a verdant meadow, the children regain their relative sanity and continue on their merry way.

It happens. It’s life.

I just hope it doesn’t happen in a few weeks when we go on vacation. Specifically, I hope it doesn’t happen when we board our US Airways flight.

Why? Because if it does, we might get kicked off the plane.

It’s exactly what happened to one woman the other day out at JFK, according to a Consumerist.com piece. To nutshell: She was on the plane with her 3 and 1 year old, and they were seated in the bulkhead seats. Everything was fine, until a flight attendant told the woman she couldn’t sit in the bulkhead seats with the kids.

Well, things soured quick. She had to undo the kids from their car seats, try to move them while general boarding was going on, a stranger picked up one of her kids, and before you know it … cocaine-fueled kangaroos undergoing a complete and total psychotic break with reality. 
Then the flight attendant told the woman to get off the plane.

That’s right: A mother was kicked off a US Airways flight because her kids were crying.

US Airways did respond, saying in part: “Once in their new seats, was unable to calm her children, one of whom was screaming and the other that began crying in response to the first. After receiving complaints from several passengers … it was decided to ask her to deplane the aircraft as the children were, at this point, loud enough that the safety demo could not be heard by those around her on the aircraft.”

US Airways also claims staff tried to help the woman; the woman claims no help was forthcoming.

Either way, it doesn’t matter. This woman and her children were booted off the plane because people complained. And because the safety demo couldn’t be heard. (Quick sidebar: Can we just do away with the safety demo? Is there anyone who pays attention? Has one life ever been saved due to the safety demo?) The woman further claims by the time they were escorted off the plane, the kids had calmed down but she was told it was “too late.”

So here’s the question: Was US Airways in the right?

And here’s the answer: No.

Read more here:   http://www.delcotimes.com

Seward Airport (PAWD) runway restricted due to flooding

Even though Seward has a small airport that is only accessible by small aviation flights, with a longer and a shorter runway, and no airport terminal, state-mandated restrictions on its use can, and does impact the town. The recent flooding of Resurrection River onto the runway has occurred from time to time over the past few years. But only this summer, when it happened in June, was the Alaska Department of Transportation notified, and when it happened the state determined the runway to be unsafe for fixed-wing aircraft of 12,500 pounds or more. That’s more or less what the life-flight planes weigh that transport injured patients to a hospital in Anchorage or Soldotna.

Recently, DOT officials actually prevented one such fixed-wing aircraft from landing on the short runway, which was not impacted by the river’s floodwater, according to Ron Long, the Assistant Seward City Manager. In its place, a large, costly USAF Pave Hawk helicopter arrived to assist, probably at considerably greater cost to the injured party. The state agency also prevented a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter from landing at the Seward airport for repairs, which was an inconvenience to the coast guard, which was planning to fly in the needed spare parts from Cordova. The decision also has impacted some private jets that use the airport, Long said, and it has reportedly meant a slump in business for the town’s aircraft fuel supplier.

The city wouldn’t mind if DOT officials were actually talking with city officials, and explaining the new policy restricting all smaller fixed-wing aircraft, and discussing how they plan to resolve the issue. But they have not called, nor answered repeated calls from city officials hoping to get their concerns cleared up. In previous years, once the floodwater recedes, the air strip is reopened, Long said. Nor does the city know what plans DOT may have looked at to help alleviate the flooding situation, such as dredging the river bed, or building a berm to prevent it from coming onto the runway.

Both Long, and City Manager Jim Hunt have appeared on statewide television in recent days to express their concerns about the situation. Calls from Seward City News to DOT were not returned today.

Source:   http://sewardcitynews.com

Flexjet Hiring More Pilots As Positive Growth Trend Continues: Operations anticipates hiring in the double digits in 2013 and beyond

DALLAS, Aug. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- (www.flexjet.com) - Due to sustained growth, Flexjet - the world's second largest fractional jet ownership services provider - is intensifying its recruitment of pilots throughout the aviation community to satisfy increasing demand. Flexjet recently reported 96 percent growth of new fractional and jet card sales when comparing January to June 2013 to the same period in 2012.

"Flexjet's commitment to offering its owners exceptional private jet travel experiences starts with our dedicated pilots, who uphold the highest safety and service standards in the industry," said Jason Weiss, Vice President of Operations, Flexjet. "We are thrilled to be expanding our dedicated pilot team during this exciting growth period, and anticipate hiring in the double digits in 2013 and beyond."

Flexjet crews are trained to a higher standard than required by the FAA's FAR Part 135 regulations. First officers are all type rated in their assigned aircraft and complete the same training as required by captains. Additionally, pilots are trained and checked every six months regardless of seat assignment. Flexjet pilot training extends beyond the aircraft to make sure owners are not only safe and on time, but also receive a premium experience each and every time they fly.

Once hired, new pilots are enrolled in a comprehensive one-month training process. The initial 10-day new hire course covers everything from internal topics to FAA-required subjects. After its completion, crews move into aircraft specific ground school - ranging from seven to nine days -followed by six simulator sessions prior, to their type rating check ride. New pilots are then put through a line oriented flight training (LOFT) session in the simulator before they move on to the aircraft portion of their operating experience.

In addition to displaying a true passion for service, interested pilots should have at least 2,500 hours of total flight time, 500 hours of multi-engine flight time and 500 hours of turbine time. Additionally, all new pilots are required to have an Airline Transport Pilot Certificate and a First Class Medical.

For more information or to apply for a position, please visit www.flexjet.com/company/careers/.

About Flexjet

Richardson, Texas-based Flexjet--a division of Bombardier, the world's largest business aviation manufacturer--first entered the fractional jet ownership market in 1995. Flexjet now offers whole aircraft ownership and management, fractional jet ownership, jet cards and charter brokerage services. Flexjet's fractional aircraft program is the first in the world to be recognized as achieving the Air Charter Safety Foundation's Industry Audit Standard, and Flexjet is the first and only company to be honored with its 14th FAA Diamond Award for Excellence. Flexjet's fractional program fields an exclusive family of Bombardier business aircraft--some of the youngest in the fractional jet industry with an average age of approximately six years--including the Learjet 40 XR, Learjet 45 XR, Learjet 60 XR, Challenger 300 and Challenger 605 business jets. For more details on innovative programs and flexible offerings, visit www.flexjet.com.

Flexjet has an approved fractional ownership program pursuant 14 C.F.R. Part 91, Subpart K, and manages flights for individual aircraft owners under Part 91 whole aircraft management program.

All jet card flights are operated under Part 135 by U.S. air carriers. Flexjet acts as an agent for the air carrier or the customer in arranging transportation operated under Part 135 by the U.S. air carrier. Flexjet acts as an agent for the customer with on-demand charter broker services when arranging transportation operated under Part 135 by U.S. air carriers.

About Bombardier

Bombardier is the world's only manufacturer of both planes and trains. Looking far ahead while delivering today, Bombardier is evolving mobility worldwide by answering the call for more efficient, sustainable and enjoyable transportation everywhere. Our vehicles, services and, most of all, our employees are what make us a global leader in transportation.

Bombardier is headquartered in Montreal, Canada. Our shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (BBD) and we are listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability World and North America Indexes. In the fiscal year ended December 31, 2012, we posted revenues of $16.8 billion. News and information are available at bombardier.com or follow us on Twitter @Bombardier.

Bombardier, Challenger 300, Challenger 605, Flexjet, Learjet 40 XR, Learjet 45 XR, Learjet 60 XR and The Evolution of Mobility are trademarks of Bombardier Inc. or its subsidiaries.

For Information Erin Portman (512) 448-0502 Erin.Portman@TeamOne-usa.com


SOURCE Flexjet

Source:  http://www.marketwatch.com