Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Full Service Operation Begins On New Maryland State Police Chopper


 FREDERICK, Md. (WJZ) – The safety net for Maryland’s sick and injured just got wider with the first full service mission operation of one of the state’s new medical helicopters. 

Pat Warren reports on one patient’s lifesaving experience.

Answering calls for help when every minute matters, Marylanders rely on the response of Trooper 3, the state police medevac helicopters.

“Today’s a great day for the Maryland State Police, but it’s not just for us,” said Maryland State Police Superintendent Col. Marcus Brown.

It’s for people like Matt Wiles, injured in a fall two years ago. He met the pilots he credits with saving his life for the first time Tuesday.

“I came and I wanted to meet you guys,” Wiles said.

So he can put faces to the names he tattooed on his arm in appreciation of the life-saving efforts of Maryland State Police.

“I can count on one hand in 30 years how many people have come and said thank you,” said pilot Russ Zullick. “It’s what we do. It’s a testament to me…the amount of punishment the human body can take.”

Maryland has taken a step toward easing the pain of that punishment with the fastest in its class, biggest cabin space and most extensively trained emergency medical service teams on the new AW-139 medevacs, which meet or exceed all the latest safety requirements.

“The star above the badge on the tailfin of this helicopter was placed there in memory of all the members of the Maryland medical services teams who have given the ultimate sacrifice,” Brown said. “We will remember them by using these aircraft to continue saving lives and making Maryland safer.”

Pilots Lance Shank and Russ Zullick represent the men and women who save those of us like Matt Wiles, who took the ride of his life.

A second AW-139 team goes into operation later this month.

The new helicopters will be flying around the clock on all aviation command missions.

Story, Photo and Video:   http://baltimore.cbslocal.com

Medical helicopter intakes debris on Highway 60 near Ellsinore, Missouri

KFVS12 News 

ELLSINORE, MO (KFVS) -  Highway 60 has been reopened after a crash near Ellsinore.

According to Sgt. Marty Elmore with the Missouri Highway Patrol, Kyle L. Slavins, 23, of Dexter was driving a 2002 Jeep Liberty northbound on a side road near Hwy. 60.

According to the Highway Patrol, Slavins pulled into the path of a 2010 Dodge Ram pickup driven by Gary L. Kenney, 68, of Van Burn going westbound on Hwy. 60.

A medical helicopter landed on the road and upon take off, it inhaled something, possibly a road sign into its engine, according to Elmore.

The helicopter had to land back on the road. Elmore says no one injured in that incident. Slavins was on the helicopter, but was driven to Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center with serious, but non-life threatening injuries.

Kenney had minor injuries and was taken to Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center.

Hwy. 60 westbound was closed until the helicopter could be inspected. According to the Highway Patrol, the helicopter was towed off the roadway.

Story, Photo and Video:   http://www.kfvs12.com

Ken Wallis: James Bond stunt pilot dies


A 97-year-old record-breaking autogyro pilot, who flew as a James Bond stunt double, has died.

Retired Wing Cdr Ken Wallis, who lived near Dereham, Norfolk, died on Sunday, his daughter confirmed.

Born in Ely, his first solo flight was in 1937. Thirty years later he doubled as Sean Connery's Bond for an explosive aerial sequence in You Only Live Twice.

His daughter Vicky said her father passed away after "a long and successful life doing what he wanted".

Mr Wallis will be laid to rest at a private family funeral.

A keen photographer, he combined his passion for images and flight to help police in aerial reconnaissance, the search for Lord Lucan and the Loch Ness monster.

Honored with an MBE in 1996, he piloted 24 wartime missions over northern Europe in Wellington bombers, before spending 20 years engaged in weapons research in the Royal Air Force.

In October, he was honored by the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators (GAPAN) for his lifetime contribution to aerospace.

Speaking at the time, he said he was "privileged to be recognized by an organization which celebrates professionalism and dedication in flying".

"This award is a great honor, but at only 96 I'm just a beginner," he said.

Story and Video:    http://www.bbc.co.uk

Police arrest 4 after laser pointed at police helicopter

PHOENIX (CBS5) -  Four people are under arrest after a police helicopter was hit with a red laser Sunday night.

Phoenix police spokesman Officer James Holmes said the helicopter crew was able to direct officers on the ground to a midtown apartment complex where police found a handgun with a laser attachment.

Police believe Peter Ospitale, 28, and Paul Word, 31, pointed a gun with a laser sight at the chopper, which temporarily obstructed the vision of the pilot and observer. They're accused of endangerment.

Mary Grace and Marci Gomez, both 28, are accused of interfering with officers' investigation at the apartment where the incident happened, near Seventh Street and Osborn Road.

Original Article, Photos and Comments/Reaction:  http://www.kpho.com

Finding Common Ground at the Federal Aviation Administration

In 2009, the stakes were high for the Federal Aviation Administration as it worked to modernize the nation's air traffic control operations. The agency was facing looming deadlines to implement the Next Generation Air Transportation System. At the same time, labor organizations representing the workers implementing the program were filing hundreds of thousands of workplace grievances. NextGen was a huge project and it needed to happen.

The FAA and the labor groups saw NextGen implementation as a "great rationale" to begin the process of working together better, says Cathy Wright of Overland Resource Group, a consulting firm focused on labor-management relations. The groups brought Overland in to help both sides collaborate around shared interests like NextGen implementation.

"If they weren't in it together," Wright says, "they were going to pull apart and not be able to accomplish that modernization and assure the safety and efficiency of the modern airspace."
Wright has been involved with the NextGen project since its inception. She has worked with FAA leaders, the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association since 2009 to create a more stable and collaborative working environment for labor and management. Since working with Overland, FAA's ranking on the Best Places to Work in the Federal Government listing has jumped from 214 of 216 in 2009 to 114 of 292 in 2013 -- and grievances have plummeted.

Historically, air traffic controllers and FAA management officials have had an adversarial relationship, so Wright's work focuses on concepts like communication, understanding and, most of all, collaboration. "They've been really good at fighting. They've done it for years,"  she said. "And this is about saying 'hey, there's a different skill set required to lead in this kind of collaborative environment.' "

Overland works through shared interests to create a positive environment for all stakeholders in organizations like the FAA, Wright says. In this case, the overall performance of the agency was important, but bringing NextGen along was a major goal for all involved.

Other agencies can learn from the FAA's experience. While the Transportation Security Agency workers' recent union contract is a positive step, there is still work to be done across the federal sphere on relations between labor and management.

"Each agency has its own culture and environment," Wright says. "The value of putting collaborative processes in place benefits everybody."

To hear the entire interview, listen or subscribe to the Excellence in Government Podcast.

Original Article and Podcast:   http://www.govexec.com

Federal Aviation Administration approves aircraft maintenance facility at Chennault International Airport (KCWF) in Lake Charles, Louisiana


 LAKE CHARLES — AAR Corp. has received Federal Aviation Administration approval to begin operating a previously announced aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul facility in Lake Charles.

Chicago-based AAR initially will employ 250 people at the facility, located at the Chennault International Airport. It expects to employ an additional 500 by 2017 as it ramps up operations across about 520,000 square feet of service and administrative space. The facility can accommodate up to seven wide-body or 10 narrow-body aircraft. Construction is underway for an additional 118,000 square feet of hangar space.

AAR also operates a parts logistics and distribution center at Chennault airport in support of the U.S. Air Force’s KC-10 program as part of a team led by Northrop Grumman.

The new facility, which expands AAR’s capabilities for servicing wide-body aircraft, becomes the sixth hub in the company’s network of maintenance, repair and overhaul facilities. The others are in Indianapolis; Miami; Oklahoma City; Duluth, Minn.; and Hot Springs, Ark. The company employs more than 6,000 people in 17 countries.

Louisiana committed $17.5 million toward construction of the $21.5 million hangar.

The state’s incentive package also included a performance-based grant of $2 million to reimburse capital investments in tooling and other equipment at Chennault and access to the state’s workforce training program. AAR also is expected to use the state’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.

The state also will partner with the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance to establish a national Aircraft MRO Center of Excellence to train employees for AAR and other aviation service providers in the region, such as Northrop Grumman.

The state will provide $3.7 million for mostly basic instructional equipment and the curriculum.

Original Article:  http://theadvocate.com

Crashed WWII Spitfire being dug up on Salisbury Plain

The remains of a buried Spitfire aircraft shot down over Wiltshire during World War II are being dug up.

In 1940, Pilot Officer Paul Baillon bailed out of the aircraft, and the wreckage has been buried in the earth of Salisbury Plain since.

Now a team of archaeologists, injured soldiers and veterans have begun a project to retrieve the wreckage, which is not expected to be recognisable.

The pilot's daughter, Rosemary Baillon, is also on site to watch the work.

'Enemy aircraft'

She said: "At the first threat of war, my father joined the Royal Air Force volunteer reserve and learned to fly at Sywell, Northamptonshire.

"It was on 27 October 1940 that my father was brought down by enemy aircraft near Upavon.

"This was a particularly worrying time for my mother who was expecting me to be born in the March of the following year."

It is believed the 609 Squadron pilot bailed out after damage to the plane's oil tank meant visibility was severely reduced, and he could not land safely.

The project to unearth the wreckage, called Tally Ho, is being carried out by Operation Nightingale - an initiative established by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) and The Rifles.

It helps injured personnel return to their regiment or prepare for civilian life.

'Sacrifices of airmen'

Richard Osgood, DIO's senior historic advisor, said the project had been poignant and moving.

"Archaeology is all about people - whether they be prehistoric, Roman or Saxon," he said.

"This site has yielded traces relating to the sacrifices of airmen from the 1940s and it has been a real privilege to re-tell the story of Paul Baillon.

"The Protection of Military Remains Act protects these sites and it is important that they are considered properly.

"This is avowedly the case in this instance and it is thanks to the hard work of the British service personnel and volunteers involved."

Original Article and Photos:  http://www.bbc.co.uk

Spirit Airlines Sees Business Take Off With Raunchy Ads

South Florida-based Spirit Airlines is known for being cheap. It boast "ultra-low" base fares and then charges for things like carry-on luggage or printing out your boarding pass at the airport.

That thrift carries over to Spirit's advertising. Even compared with other low-cost airlines, Spirit spends almost nothing on ads. And yet the company makes a surprising splash with its campaigns. A visit to Spirit headquarters reveals the secrets of Spirit marketing.

Spirit Airlines' corporate conference room is about what you'd expect: a drop ceiling, people in button-down shirts sitting around a dark-wood table, listening to a jargony presentation.

"We've been successful at promoting our ultralow fares in a way that keeps costs down," says Bobby Schroeter, vice president of consumer marketing, while presenting a PowerPoint of successful Spirit campaigns.

One of the ads shows a series of islands and four bright-yellow letters.

"We have our very famous, 'M.I.L.F.' ad — Many Islands Low Fares," Schroeter says. The slogan continues with, "hotter and cheaper than ever."

Not coincidentally, "MILF" is also a crass reference to good-looking moms. It's not the kind of thing you're used to hearing from a publicly traded company. But this ad in particular is a good way to look at how Spirit "shock marketing" works.

The process starts with customers like Yessica Diaz and her boyfriend, Edwin Irizarry. They were flying Spirit out of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

"Yeah, because it's cheap," Diaz says.

Diaz is now one of 6 million people on Spirit's email list.

Instead of buying TV commercials, Spirit blasts out email ads like "M.I.L.F,." and, unsurprisingly, it gets reactions.

"It's kind of, like, funny and insulting, I guess," Irizarry says.

"That's pretty bad," Diaz says of the ad.

Entertained or aghast, people like Diaz might forward or tweet or blog the ad. Enough of that and the big leagues take note.

Sometimes shows like Fox News Channel's The O'Reilly Factor try to take Spirit reps to task. Discussing the M.I.L.F. ad, Bill O'Reilly said, "A gross expression taken from the movie American Pie was adopted by Spirit Airlines."

Spirit Airlines President Ben Baldanza, who appeared on the show, is very good at turning a scolding into a value proposition. "Our consumer feedback has been positive, and the only thing we think is obscene is the fares that most of our competitors charge," he said.

Just like that, a free advertisement is born.

Spirit can do topical material, too: When the BP oil spill happened in 2010, Spirit ads made NBC News. One ad said, "Check out the oil on our beaches." Only it referred to suntan oil on women. 

The first Anthony Weiner scandal? Spirit got time on a syndicated pop culture show. That ad featured "the Weiner Sale: With fares too hard to resist."

Spirit says it has churned out ad campaigns within three hours of a news event, which helps explain their graphics' distinctively campy look.

"It borders on the unprofessional," says Armando Lopez, who runs Navigant Marketing and has helped brand airlines in the past. "It looks like something that an office clerk did in PowerPoint on their free time. And no offense to the office clerk in saying that."

But Stuart Klaskin, CEO at Jetstream Aviation Capital, an airline consulting firm in Miami, says the cheap look of Spirit ads is actually very important. "If you're selling, 'We're inexpensive,' then anything you do in your branding that makes you look like you're spending a lot of money, the consumer ultimately translates that into, 'Hey, I'm paying for that.' "

There is, of course, also the issue of Spirit's quasi-offensive content.

The Better Business Bureau has plenty of complaints about Spirit Airlines but none of them about the subject matter of the company's ads.

That said, in 2008 the head of the Association of Flight Attendants formally complained to Spirit about its M.I.L.F. ad.

Spirit claims the goal isn't to offend, just to get attention.

"We're a family company and we look at all these things with the 'Scooby Doo test,' " says Barry Biffle, Spirit's former chief marketing officer. He says Spirit turned to shock marketing back when no one knew the company.

And by the "Scooby Doo test," he means kid friendly — like how children could enjoy Scooby Doo cartoons. "But they didn't get the fact that Shaggy was the only one who could actually hear the dog," Biffle says. "They were driving around in a good-times van. They always had the munchies."

And so maybe Spirit's shock marketing is the not-so-subtle marijuana joke of the airline industry.

It apparently hasn't hurt the bottom line. Last year, The Wall Street Journal said Spirit was "pound for pound, the most profitable airline in the U.S."

As for Biffle — the guy who's ultimately responsible for all those ads — he got a job this summer running his own low-cost airline: VivaColombia.

Original Article, Listen to the Story, Photos and Comments/Reaction:  http://www.npr.org