Sunday, September 15, 2013

No spare pilot, passengers wait

Chennai: Due to non-availability of spare pilots, an Air India flight to Delhi from Chennai, which connects passengers to US-bound flights from the national capital, was delayed by more than 14 hours in the city airport.

While flight AI 043 was scheduled to leave for Delhi at 9 pm on Saturday, it left only at 11 am on Sunday. Of the total 153 passengers, 62 headed for various cities in the US while the remaining were for  Delhi.

According to airport sources, the arrival flight AI 042 from Delhi was delayed on Saturday due to technical reasons. “Meanwhile, the crew from Delhi, who reached the city on Thursday and did a quick trip to Singapore and back on Friday night, became ineligible to fly on Saturday night, as according to flight duty time regulation, consecutive night duties are not allowed for one pilot. Also with no spare pilot available, the flight had to be re-scheduled,” the source added.

However, the international passengers, who checked in three hours before the scheduled flight take off, and domestic passengers were agitated by the delay. The airline had to pacify them and accommodate them in hotels.

“I wanted to meet a relative in the US who will be undergoing an operation. But now, due to the delay, I will miss seeing him before the operation and it becomes pointless to go late,” said Kumar Raja from Salem.

For a group of IT professionals, who had a conference in Delhi on Sunday, it was an agonizing wait at the terminal. “They had booked their tickets one month in advance and they kept arguing with  airline officials about the journey. Finally,  AI officials accommodated them and a few others in 6.40 am AI 440 aircraft to Delhi on Sunday,” the airport source noted.

When contacted, Air India spokesman in Chennai told Deccan Chronicle that Saturday’s Delhi flight was delayed due to flight duty limitation of  pilots. “The flight left on Sunday and  passengers booked for various destinations in the US will be accommodated in aircraft flying to their destinations on Sunday night and Monday early morning,” the spokesman added.

The uneven distribution of pilots in metros has put Air India operations in a quandary, say pilots. “Not a day passes without some flight getting rescheduled or cancelled in the country, as there is dearth of spare pilots in major metros like Chennai and Mumbai,” said an AI pilot, which wished to remain anonymous.

According to him, the claims of the national carrier having excess manpower are absurd. “Then, why was there no replacement pilot to operate the Chennai-Delhi connecting flight on Saturday night? Why were so many international passengers put to inconvenience due to delay of the flight,” he quipped.

The pilot however noted that the airline might have excess manpower in Delhi, where two captains fly a plane, but then in cities like Chennai and Mumbai, we are struggling to find a captain to fly planes. And in this situation, Air India has stopped commander training, citing the Delhi example, which is illogical,” the pilot noted.

Further, another AI pilot said the working atmosphere in the national carrier had gone down very badly. “Nowadays, we get our flight schedules only the day before and with so much of unpredictability about our duties, we are worried even to have a casual drink, as we cannot operate a flight the next morning drunk,” the pilot added.

Pointing out that the company spent crores of rupees to buy a Crew Management Software (CMS), which gives the pilots their schedules for the next one month, the AI pilot said he had not worked as per the CMS schedule for even one day in the last two months.

“Why did the company spend so much money to get a centralized software that gives us our work schedule for a month in advance and then we are fed with day-to-day flying assignments,” he questioned, adding that the airlines has also stopped recruiting for a long time, leading to no standby pilots for those who fall sick in the last minute.

“We don’t get pilots to fly the aircraft in case of someone falling sick or the duty time regulations force someone not to operate the flight, because not many are trained to operate latest model planes. An Airbus 319 pilot is not ready for Airbus 333 and so the passengers are affected in the end due to delay or cancellation of their flights,” the pilot added.

Original Article:

'Buy us out,' say residents boxed in by Sanford runways: Residents say noise, vibration makes homes unlivable, unsalable

When Kathleen Iosue feels her house start rumbling, hears her glasses clinking and sees the big mirror on a wall near her kitchen jiggling, she knows what it means: Another jet is taking off from Orlando Sanford International Airport, just a few thousand feet from her yard.

"You feel everything vibrating," said Iosue, 67. She has even glued knickknacks on to shelves to keep them from falling during takeoffs.

Less than a mile away, James McDonnell had the same problem until the roar of jet engines forced him to move last year.

"I know a plane is taking off because all the china starts rattling," said McDonnell, who still owns the airport house. "That happens several times a day. … And if I'm watching a movie, I have to pause it, wait about a minute and then start it playing again."

Iosue and McDonnell moved to the neighborhood years ago, when the area was mostly pastureland and the Sanford airport was much smaller. But in the past few years, the airport has expanded, trapping their homes between its two lengthened runways.

Now they want the Sanford Airport Authority to buy their houses and land. McDonnell filed a lawsuit in 2011 against the airport, claiming the constant noise has made it impossible for him to sell his home on 5 wooded acres.

"I'm saying, 'For the love of God, take my property,'" said McDonnell, 64, raising his voice as an Allegiant jet thundered over his house last week. "It's intolerable to live here. … It just wears you down."

Last year, McDonnell had enough and moved into a Kissimmee home once owned by his wife's family.

Larry Dale, the airport's chief executive officer, said he could not comment on residents' claims because of pending litigation. But he said the airport cannot buy the properties, including McDonnell's, because they're not needed for the airport's expansion plans.

"We can't just go out and buy property because someone asks us to," Dale said. "We need to have a need. … We're not just rolling in dough."

About a dozen homes lie between the runways at the east end of the airport.

Dale pointed out that Allegiant is adding Airbus A320s to its fleet. They're quieter than the older McDonnell Douglas MD-80s used by Allegiant.

On Aug. 30, Seminole County Chief Circuit Judge Alan Dickey threw out McDonnell's lawsuit, saying that he has moved away from the airport. However, that decision has been delayed while Dickey rules on whether he should give the case to another judge. A motion filed by McDonnell's lawyer claims that the judge should recuse himself because a conversation between Dickey and Dale in the courthouse lobby showed that the two men "had a long-standing, friendly relationship."

The Orlando Sanford Airport, just south of Lake Monroe in Seminole County, has nearly 300,000 takeoffs and landings a year. Only Allegiant offers regularly scheduled domestic passenger service there, but the airport also handles charter flights from overseas.

This year, the airport is expected to have 2 million passengers. That's a big difference from the early 1990s, when it had barely 50,000 passengers a year and 225,000 flights — half of them from small planes at the old Comair Aviation Academy.

During the past 10 years, the airport has bought 72 acres to extend its runways for handling bigger planes. The shorter southern runway was extended in 2008. The extension of the northern runway was completed in March.

McDonnell bought his wooded property on Beardall Avenue in 1998 for $114,000. The land is covered with large trees draped with Spanish moss.

"I can't sell my property. ... It used to be a great place. But now it's not anymore."

He's asking that the airport buy his property based on an appraisal ordered by the court. A recent appraisal done for McDonnell showed his property is worth about $772,000, but an appraisal conducted for the airport came in at about $400,000. The Seminole County property appraiser, meanwhile, shows a taxable value of $166,000.

Jim Hill, 68, has lived on Beardall Avenue since 1979. He learned to fly small planes from the airport when it was much smaller.

But today, like others in the neighborhood, he is kept awake at night by the noise of the airport's big planes. Mechanics regularly rev planes' engines to test them, he said.

"They work on them all night. They'll run those engines for an hour. One day, they did it at 3 a.m., another day at 1 a.m. And it rattles the windows and keeps us awake."

Hill also wants the airport to buy his 100-year-old house and land, which is dotted with large oaks.

"There is no way we could sell it to anybody," he said.

Iosue, whose home is next to the southern runway, said she also is kept awake by bright-red runway lights that blink into her bedroom at night.

"When we first moved here [in 2000], we had some little planes fly by, and it was cute," Iosue said. "But now we worry about the future. I mean, would you buy this house?"

Original Article:

Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority vows to shut unhealthy airlines

Worried by the state of some airlines, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has indicated its plans to shut down carriers that it adjudged to be unhealthy.

The Director-General of the aviation regulatory body, Captain Folayele Akinkuotu, made the disclosure at a media interaction at the weekend in Lagos.

He said already, the NCAA is interacting with airlines to know that bills are paid promptly, coupled with other factors that shows whether airlines are healthy or not.

Akinkuotu’s call could be a response to call by stakeholders on the need to recertify Nigerian airlines with a view to know their states following allegations that some owe their workers for more than six months.

Many of them are equally indebted to banks, aviation agencies fuel marketers running into several billions of naira.

Akinkuotu added that recertification is an on-going thing for the NCAA, adding, “We will need to keep an eye on the airlines. We plan to shut down airlines that are not healthy. We are interacting with airlines to know that bills are paid. We are not papering anything. Recertification is an on-going thing. We will need to keep an eye on the airlines. ’Recertification is about complying with the laws”.

The NCAA equally highlighted the difficulties airline operators go through; stressing that profit margin for airliners globally is very small.

According to him, “When you see an aircraft that is about to take off from Lagos to Abuja for instance and the cost per ticket is put at N20, 000 or N25, 000. You begin to calculate huge amount of about N3 million for the airline for that single trip. But we forget that the airline will pay for fuel, pay bills to the agencies, pay for catering, pay salaries, pay for offices and at the end of the day, they are left with virtually nothing”.

Also worrisome is the harsh operating environment for them and lack of good policy that puts them at great disadvantage against their foreign counterparts especially in the area of multiple designations that is willingly given to foreign airlines even they do not show much interest.

 The situation is attributed to the reason the lifespan of many Nigerian carriers do not exceed ten years.

  President, Aviation Round Table (ART), Captain Dele Ore regretted that the policies in the aviation industry were not enduring.

  Meanwhile, operators and experts have said Nigerian airlines are poorly patronised because of the erosion of confidence people have for air safety.

Speaking at the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport with theme, “Airport Remodelling in Nigeria, Challenges and Prospect of Aerotropolis”, a top official of Lufthansa German Airlines, Adewale Sanni stated that the situation was worse in 2005 and 2006 when airplanes were falling from the sky.

  Sanni said during the dark period, many wealthy Nigerians going to Abuja or Port Harcourt chose to fly international airlines first to Europe before connecting to their original destinations.

  Sanni stated that it would be difficult for Nigerian carriers to be profitable because of the point-to-point operations they do.

  He cited Arik, explaining that the airline won’t be an option for people going beyond New York, adding that global airline alliance are the way to go in international business.

  Participants noted that the idea of airport refurbishment was laudable but noted that what was needed was a brand new airport for Lagos.

They noted that no amount of refurbishment would help the facility, owing to long years of degradation, just as they carpeted the lack of other means of transportation to the areas; a situation they highlighted defeats the idea of aeropolis project being touted by the government.

Original Article:

Regional aviation sectors may improve as Caribbean Airlines subsidy ends

PARAMARIBO, Suriname -- The recent announcement that, from October, Caribbean Airlines (CAL) will no longer receive a Trinidad and Tobago government fuel subsidy -- if it is indeed true and not a hoax as some observers have suggested -- may benefit the Guyana and Suriname aviation sectors in particular.

CAL’s monopoly over Guyana’s skies has allegedly kept other airlines from entering the Guyana market and state-owned Surinam Airways (SLM) has often complained about CAL’s fuel subsidy as unfair competition.

In what may or may not be a related coincidence, just after the announcement of the removal of CAL’s fuel subsidy, SLM and the government of Suriname are now discussing a US$200 million modernization and expansion plan for the state-owned airline.

The government is fast forwarding the transportation sector and that’s good news for SLM. The government of Suriname envisions a new-look Surinam Airways transporting tourists and business people, in addition to the ethnic market, as the local tourism sector takes off and the economy continues to grow.

SLM’s plans to fly to JFK New York, via Georgetown, Guyana, are also progressing and it is expected that that could happen by year end, according to SLM officials. In addition, SLM will soon increase its frequently on the Georgetown /Miami route from two to three weekly flights.

The Suriname carrier, which has been in existence for over 50 years, also plans to expand into northern Brazil, and the Caribbean. There are also discussions to connect Guyana and Suriname with neighbouring cities in Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela, especially that Georgetown and Paramaribo are seeking continental integration with South America now that they are members of UNASUR and MERCOSUR.

SLM is already transporting people from the Far East, Europe, Miami and the Caribbean through its Paramaribo hub to Guyana and French Guiana. Many French Guianese use SLM to fly to the Caribbean, Miami and Belem. Flying out of Cayenne with Air France and Air Caraibes is very expensive and many French Guianese use Suriname’s Johan Pengel International Airport. With planned modernization, which may bring reliability, expansion of routes, newer aircraft, and better service, passengers will have more options.

A development that made news a few days ago was JetBlue’s announcement that it will commence operation to Port of Spain, Trinidad, in July 2014. This could very well be related to the removal of CAL’s fuel subsidy. At the same time, it could be a trade off; CAL wants to add more non-stop flights between Guyana and JFK and eliminate the Port of Spain stopover. A lobby group, Airline Pilots Association (APLA), representing some US airlines, has filed a complaint with the US Department of Transportation (DOT) opposing CAL’s application to add more non-stop flights between JFK and Guyana.

APLA also opposed Fly Jamaica’s request to commence non-stop flights between JFK and Guyana since Fly Jamaica is not a Guyana carrier. As it is a legitimate challenge, in late September Fly Jamaica will begin service to Guyana from JFK via Kingston, Jamaica, while it awaits a response from the DOT. However, Fly Jamaica has secured Canada’s approval for non-stop flights to Guyana. And with the removal of CAL fuel subsidy, there may be some horse-trading in the making.

Guyana and Suriname have both been investing a lot of money to modernize their airports. Guyana is spending about US$150 million to build a new terminal and extend the runway at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport to accommodate larger aircraft, while Paramaribo’s Johan Pengel Airport is undergoing an additional $70 million modernization to make that airport a regional hub.

Guyana, however, is still plagued by the constant smuggling of drugs on international flights originating from that country, which airline insiders say is one of the main reasons keeping airlines from adding Georgetown to their network. As well, the high cost of aviation fuel at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport is also an obstacle to attracting reputable airlines to Guyana.

Original Article:

Airport 'meets regulations'

New Zealand's Civil Aviation Authority says Marlborough Airport meets regulations by having Renwick volunteer firefighters as their first emergency response.

An authority spokesman told the Marlborough Express on Friday only certain airports needed to have an on-site rescue and firefighting service.

Marlborough Airport was not required to have one under Civil Aviation Rule part 139, which outlined requirements for the certification, operation and safety audit of airports. It also detailed the required security measures.

The need for on-site crash fire response units depended on the size and type of aircraft regularly using the airport, the spokesman said.

All certified airports needed an emergency plan, he said. For those without rescue and firefighting capability, local emergency services needed to be available.

The fact that Marlborough Airport had an air force fire rescue crew from 8am to 5pm on weekdays was coincidental and not a requirement, he said.

Marlborough Airport manager Dean Heiford said in the airport's busiest three months, there were less than 700 flights of the Bombardier Q300 aircraft, a bigger aircraft which seats more than 30 passengers.

When there were more than 700 flights in that period, the airport would have to meet the minimum requirements under the authority's rules.

"After the hours of operation by RNZAF, we become like many other regional airports and rely on the response of local NZ Fire Service brigades," Mr Heiford said.

At the airport company's last board meeting three weeks ago, Mr Heiford was asked to review and report on the options regarding rescue fire services at the airport.

It is understood this was because Marlborough Airport was working with Destination Marlborough to encourage Air New Zealand to increase capacity for travelers by using larger planes at the airport.

There was also a lot of community concern about the air force cutting its service to the airport, with mayoral and council candidates being questioned about it at a public meeting last week.

During that meeting, mayor Alistair Sowman and Wairau-Awatere ward councilor Peter Jerram, both seeking re-election, expressed disbelief that the cuts had happened and airlines seemed to be supportive of those changes.

Mr Heiford said the airport company would also talk with the New Zealand Fire Service to see what they could offer and what could be done to support them.

Upper South Island region fire service manager Brendan Nally said local fire brigades had always co-responded to emergency calls at airports.

Airports were responsible for providing an on-site emergency crash fire response that met civil aviation regulations, he said.

The fire service supported the crash response crew with any aircraft takeoff or landing emergency.

"In small towns and rural areas, local brigades have always co-responded to these emergency calls," he said.

They would continue to respond as they have always done in Marlborough, he said. 

Original Article:

Air India meets leasing companies to rework terms and conditions

MUMBAI: Air India on Friday met aircraft leasing companies to rework terms and conditions before it floats a tender to lease Airbus A320 planes for the second time, a senior executive said.

The meeting was called after the carrier failed to get sufficient response to its tender for leasing 19 of the planes even after extending the bidding deadline.

The executive didn't share details of what might be discussed, but the carrier may have to increase lease rentals than it had earlier planned to or lease them for a longer tenure.

Air India plans to lease brand new planes to replace older ones of the A320 family in its fleet, a move that will help it reduce maintenance costs and operate more fuel-efficient flights.

The carrier plans to expand its all-economy flights on these planes to expand its market share in the domestic market currently dominated by low-cost airlines such as IndiGo and SpiceJetBSE 0.46 %.

Higher lease rentals will further hurt the bottom line of the loss making airline and hamper its plan to get into the profit zone.

Like others in the industry, the carrier's existing rental charges, usually paid in dollars, have already shot up due to depreciation of the rupee against the dollar. The rupee has fallen almost 20% this year against the dollar on concerns of the country's widening current account deficit.

Apart from lease rentals, airlines pay a part of their salary bill as well as interest on loans on planes in dollars. 


Memorial service set for 4 servicemen who died on Bully Mountain

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources will host a memorial service for four servicemen who lost their lives in a plane crash in Pickens County almost 63 years ago.

At 2 p.m. Monday at the Bully Branch helipad near Sunset, S.C., the DNR, local American Legion units, and Clemson ROTC members will honor four servicemen who died when their plane crashed into the side of Bully Mountain. Although the service does not coincide with the date of the crash, there has never been an event commemorating the men who lost their lives, said DNR spokesman Greg Lucas.

“It’s just something that should have been done long ago,” Lucas said.

Last week, the DNR installed a monument near the site of the crash commemorating Capt. John Miles Stuckrath, First Lt. Robert P. Schmitt and Staff Sgt. John Davis Bloomer, who were members of a Pittsburgh-area reserve unit, as well as Staff Sgt. Walter O. Lott, a member of a unit based in Montgomery, Ala.

On Nov. 11, 1950, the men from Pittsburgh were flying with Lott, of Pensacola, Fla., from Maxwell Field in Montgomery, Ala., to the Greenville Air Force Base. The Korean War had just begun, and the reserve unit had just been called to active duty.

It was night, and the C-82 twin-engine “Flying Boxcar” plane went off course. The plane dropped from 3,000 ft. to 2,000 ft., and hit the side of Bully Mountain, which reaches about 2,500 feet above mean sea level, Lucas said.

The service is scheduled at the Bully Branch helipad, followed by a trip up the mountain to the newly-installed monument. It is open to the public, but Lucas cautioned that a paved road ends below the helipad, and a high-clearance 4-wheel-drive vehicle will be necessary to complete the trip. Guests can also catch a shuttle from the entrance to Jocassee Gorges to the helipad, and they should arrive at the Shooting Tree Ridge entrances to the Gorges, 1344 Cleo Chapman Highway in Sunset, by 1 p.m. to catch the bus.

Original Article:

Dubai Air Traffic Control: The sky is safe -- Meet the staff at Dubai International Airport responsible for ensuring 100% safety

 Dubai: Every move, every step, every turn, they’re watching. They’re the people of the tower, tucked away on the tarmac, making sure that every flight that takes off and lands does so with 100 per cent safety.

Otherwise known as the ATC or Air Traffic Control.

Gulf News visited Dubai International Airport to meet its ATC personnel and learn first-hand the effort and energy that goes into making sure that air travel is as safe as it possibly can be, especially with the rapid growth in air travel being witnessed by the UAE.

In the May 2013 IHS Jane’s Airport Review, it was reported: “The GCAA estimates that total flights in UAE airspace will soar from 608,877 in 2010 to around 1.5 million by 2030.”

The General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), established in 1996, is the sole authority for the control and regulation of civil aviation in the UAE – safety is one of their key focuses.

There are several aspects, departments and bodies that work towards that assurance. Today, we look at the people who take care of ground control and the airspace around the airport for about 4,000 feet.

Air Traffic Control Officers

Thani Al Thani, Dubai Tower Team Leader, said: “An ATCO is a person who provides service … is responsible for the safe flow of air traffic, from one airport to another.”

Simply put, but there are many steps that ensure this safe passage. We begin with the filing of a flight plan.

They are documents submitted, usually by pilots, with the airport prior to departure. It includes information such as departure and arrival points, estimated time en route, alternate airports in case of bad weather, and number of people on board, details about the pilot, airway route the flight would be taking and information about the aircraft itself.

This knowledge is used by the ATCO in his or her subsequent interaction with the aircraft, like an identity tag, especially as a code is allocated to each aircraft.

From bay to runway

Once the passengers have boarded an aircraft and all checks are done, the pilot calls the Dubai Tower from the bay to get clearance from the ATC to start moving or ‘request for taxiing’. ATCOs then use various systems at hand to ensure that it is, indeed, safe for the aircraft to move out of the bay. They do visual checks and use the ground movement radar to ensure there is no block or impediment in the path.

“We provide information about the weather, runway and other instructions, following which there is a read back from the pilot to confirm. Then we give the go ahead for the push back and the aircraft starts to taxi,” Thani said.

Initially the aircraft would move at a slow speed of about 10 knots (18.52km/hr), till it reaches the “holding point” of the runway.

ATCOs are trained to maintain the safe and efficient flow of air traffic. They apply separation rules at all times to ensure that aircraft are always at a safe distance from each other, be it a horizontal or vertical separation.

The flight is guided to the holding point on the runway, the last point from where the aircraft starts the final taxi. It only leaves when it has been cleared for take-off.

ATCO Mohammed Al Shamsi explained: “For example there has to be certain amounts of time difference in the departure of say an A380 and A320 – at least 3 to 4 minutes. The speed of the preceding aircraft has to be taken into account. It could be a helicopter… need to keep an eye.” They have to make sure that the following aircraft doesn’t catch up because it is lighter, faster. One tiny error and two aircraft can end up being too close for comfort.

Yet again, the flight plan information comes into play. The ATCO checks the size of the aircraft, its ability to climb, and the speed it can achieve and decides when it can start moving from the holding point. And all this is in a matter of minutes.

Dubai Airport currently has the ability to manage about 34 departures and 32 arrivals an hour – an average of 65 aircraft in 60 minutes. “We are looking at improving capacity. Dubai is doing very well … 1,100 movements per day, two years ago it was 700 to 800… progressing very well,” Thani said. They hope to be able to move 90 aircraft an hour, come 2016.

Holding for take off

The job of an ATCO is extremely stressful and they work short shifts of two hours with breaks to ensure that they never switch off. At the end of the week, they get three days off. And while they’re working, an ATCO is not allowed to handle more than a specific load.

Once the aircraft starts moving from the holding point and starts to taxi, the top speed it can hit on the Dubai Airport runway is “250 knots (463 km/hr)”.

Air space, like land has boundaries and jurisdiction. In the case of Dubai, till the height of 4,000 feet, the Dubai International Airport’s Control Tower manages it, beyond that till the height of 13,000 feet Dubai Approach covers it. Both come under Dubai Air Navigation Services or DANS. After that it is managed by the Abu Dhabi-based federal body managing UAE’s skies.

So, when an aircraft enters UAE airspace, its first interaction is with Abu Dhabi, then Dubai Approach steps in followed by the ATC tower at the airport.

The skies themselves have designated airways or highways that each aircraft using an airport has to follow. This is when SID comes into play.

The Standard Instrument Departure is a route for an aircraft from a designated airport onto the airway – something akin to a feeder lane meeting the highway.

After take-off, the tower ATCOs continue to track and guide the aircraft until handover to Dubai Approach. It is imperative now to maintain vertical separation, which cannot be less than 1,000 feet. This is assigned as flight levels (FL). Additionally, pilots are advised of any tall buildings that might be present in the vicinity of the airport. All this is on a good day.

Bad weather

What happens in the event of fog or haze – inclement weather conditions?

“We’re trained to handle every difficulty or type of emergency. Each emergency has a category assigned to it with appropriate procedures. There are check lists in place and we help the pilots to proceed in a cautious manner,” Thani said. This is further facilitated by the presence of traffic collision avoidance systems, which are especially useful at night time to compensate for lower naked eye visibility.


The safeguards that are used in the case of departures come into play during arrivals, too. An aircraft moves in from the airway into the pathway to the airport using STAR or Standard Terminal Arrival Route. Dubai Approach hands over aircraft to the Tower. A conversation takes place with an ATCO that again looks at visibility, separation, speed and other safety factors.

An Instrument Landing System is in place that provides the pilot with a visual electronic glide slope on his or her screen inside the aircraft. Meanwhile, once again ground movement radars are used to check there are no safety hazards, along with a visual evaluation.

The aircraft locks into the glide slope; the ATCO provides the necessary information such as weather conditions and guides the pilot through the process. He or she needs to make sure the aircraft is not coming in too fast or too slow, is not going to over-run the runway or enter restricted area.

Once the aircraft has landed, it eventually gets guided to a bay and a journey comes to an end, only for the next cycle to begin.

Facts and figures


Average number of aircraft that can be handled in an hour by Dubai ATC


Km/h is the average speed of aircraft, as it starts to move out of the bay


Km/h is the maximum speed of aircraft on runway, while taking off

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Airport parking spaces are in demand and could generate county revenue: Jack Brooks Regional (KBPT), Beaumont/Port Arthur, Texas

12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas 

Jefferson County - 

The manager of the Jack Brooks Regional Airport says ridership has increased by 20% since American Airlines first started service over six months ago.

But 12News has learned of another transportation mode that could get airport revenue soaring.

Airport manager Alex Rupp has been contacted by Hotard, a charter bus company based in Louisiana.

It wants to lease airport property to set up a park and ride service for workers of the Cheniere project in Louisiana.

Rupp says, "I think that it has to do with minimizing the traffic in front of the plants, you put 50 or 60 guys on one bus versus 60 cars at the refinery."

He says it could mean $45,000 a year.  Rupp says the charter bus company is interested in three parking locations at the airport for a three year contract, which could net the county $135,000.

Rupp says, "I think it's a good opportunity for the airport to receive additional revenue and also get some people to the airport that have never been here before."

On Monday, Jefferson County Commissioners will vote on a letter of intent authorizing negotiations with the charter bus company to set up the park-and-ride service at the airport.

If the three-year-deal goes through, there could be up to six hundred cars parked at the airport on a daily basis.

Story, Video and Comments/Reaction:

Showing opulent homes, from a cockpit high above

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. — "We're right over Sagaponack," Christopher Burnside announced from the front seat of a tiny four-seat Cessna as he cruised over an ocean of mansions and tennis courts. "I'm just looking for the house."

Burnside is a real estate broker with Brown Harris Stevens, and he was out for a spin with a reporter to show off a lavish property he has listed for $13.9 million, on a street called Hedges Lane, less than a mile from the ocean.

There was only one problem.

"I don't know why I can't find it," Burnside said into his headset.

"You can't miss it," he continued. "Let's see."

Burnside sells homes in the Hamptons, a slice of Long Island so famous for its glamorous excess that the word itself almost tastes like money as it slides off the tongue.

In those wealthy enclaves, homebuyers have little incentive to stick with a particular agent as they cruise the beach for a place to park their millions, and the commissions on the line can be enormous. So Burnside offers his clients something even the very wealthy do not get every day: a chance to ride in his airplane.

From the air, they can have the widest possible view of a property's scale, its neighbors, and the land that it occupies — but ultimately, Burnside admits, these trips are about something else.

"There is no loyalty out here," he said. "But if you take somebody up in your plane, they're not going to anybody else."

Eventually, Burnside found the house he was looking for on Hedges Lane, tennis court, pool, pool house and all. But when gazing at even the grandest of homes, from 1,000 feet,, you are basically looking at a roof.

Inside, the opulence is more visible. This newly built house — in which Burnside is an investor — has a sauna and a steam room, a movie theater, a wine cellar, a hot tub, and four sets of washer-dryers. It has eight bedrooms and an elevator, and you can see the ocean from a large closet on the second floor.

But it also has a lot of neighbors nearby, giving it the feel of a showy suburb rather than a palatial private island. The price was recently lowered $1 million to its current $13.9 million, Burnside said.

Regardless of whether the goal is to ingratiate oneself to a client or to take aerial photographs for a listing, it seems that having trouble finding a particular house during a flyover is common.

"When I do aerial shots, I've got to go to the house first and look for landmarks," said Robert Kittine, a former commercial pilot and now a broker in the Hamptons with the Corcoran Group. Even so, he admits, "I've shot the wrong houses."

Less common, Kittine and Burnside said, is finding customers who are eager to crowd into what feels like a phone booth with wings with a real estate broker behind the wheel. Kittine estimates that 90 percent of the clients to whom he offers a plane ride turn him down.

"They'll say, 'Thanks, but we'll Google Earth it,'" Burnside said.

The brokers said they have better luck getting clients to look at properties in boats, preferably with a bottle of wine or two in tow.

For those who decide to accept the offer of a flyover, the experience is really the point. On a sunny day, the Atlantic is greener and clearer than one might expect. Swooping golf courses, jewel-toned pools, and an endless parade of tennis courts project extravagance up into the sky. Passengers wear big headsets, and learn that pilots and their control towers really do communicate with words like "Roger."

There is also the fun of snooping at exuberant monuments to wealth that are hidden beyond long driveways, Kittine said, even if clients have no intention of buying them. Like, for example, the gargantuan Sagaponack home owned by billionaire investor Ira Rennert, which looks a bit like a Versailles knockoff from above, and about as tasteful.

Even at the East Hampton Airport where that little Cessna 172 is kept, the opulence of the area is clearly visible, especially on summer weekends.

"If you came here on a Friday, you'd think you were at JFK," said Jemille Charlton, who works in the airport's management office, as he stood in front of a Gulfstream 5 jet idling on the runway.

Burnside began flying about seven years ago, a hobby that started shortly after a high-rolling client swept into the Hamptons and asked to see some oceanfront properties on a day when Burnside was in Nantucket. He called a friend with a small plane, begging him to pick him up and take him home. After that ride, he said, he was hooked. He owns the Cessna with four other people; it costs him about $300 a month.

He offers flights to many of his customers, once he has gotten to know them a bit, and he said it has helped him to seal some deals. So the $100 per hour in gas and airport fees it costs to ride in the Cessna seems to him a worthwhile expense.

Once the ride is over, "they trust you," Burnside said. "You've got their life in your hands."

Story and Photos:

Photography business takes to the air

WORCESTER — Worcester Aerial Photography, a new business at the Worcester Regional Airport, is planning to take area photography to new heights.

The company was founded in May and is setting its sights on an innovative way to view Worcester and its surrounding towns, with aerial shots taken from 1,000 to 2,000 feet above the ground. Founder George Charles Allen decided to combine his lifelong passion for flight with his skills in photography to create a new business venture.

Mr. Allen has been in and out of planes since he was 3 years old, joining his father, Bill Allen, in his enthusiasm for aviation. He would eventually fly as a part of the Civil Air Patrol, doing work for the Red Cross, FEMA and MEMA. Later, he helped found the Worcester Regional Flight Academy.

"I had been flying around here so much that I know the aerial view very well," Mr. Allen said of the inspiration for his venture. "I've gotten to know all the nooks and crannies of Worcester, all the unique spots that people maybe wouldn't even think about, or that you wouldn't even see when you are driving around."

Worcester Aerial Photography uses a high-wing Cessna 172, which is flown by a skilled pilot while Mr. Allen shoots photos with a Canon digital SLR camera. The standard client package involves aerial photos of a 25-mile radius around Worcester and its surrounding towns, but accommodations can be made for shooting destinations outside the radius. Clients can go along, provided the airplane remains within safe weight limits.

The photographs are a unique way to view the city. The end product is well suited for real estate assessments, construction, and businesses looking for exciting shots for the office or to show investors. Mr. Allen said the only limitation is a client's imagination.

"I want to show the citizens of Worcester the city that they are living in," Mr. Allen said. "I want to give them a totally new perspective."

Mr. Allen, a Clark University graduate, had been shooting photos for years when he dug into his interest in photography while working on a doctorate degree at the University of Edinburgh. The Scottish countryside proved to be an invaluable tool for learning the nuances of photography. When he returned home, he helped start the Worcester Regional Flight School and then Worcester Aerial Photography.

"I was expecting to be a professor and get a Ph.D," Mr. Allen said. "But, once the opportunity to become an entrepreneur came around, I took hold of it, and I'm glad I did. I wouldn't go back and do anything differently at this point."

Looking back, he said, it seemed as if Worcester Aerial Photography was destined to come together, as Mr. Allen kept a camera by his side while the flight school grew.

"As things settled down with the flight school I always had a camera in my hand trying to get photos of our students, but then I started pointing it out the window and started getting really cool shots, and I thought, 'I can do something with this,' " he said.

Story and Photo:

Archery deer hunt allowed on some of Pittsburgh International Airport's land: County airport authority to issue permits through lottery system

Hunters have long known that some of Allegheny County's biggest deer and best racks were out of reach on property managed by Pittsburgh International Airport.

For some, those big bucks may soon be within their sights.

The Allegheny County Airport Authority recently announced the launch of a limited archery-only hunt on 2,362 acres of county land leased by the airport.

Through a lottery system run by the authority, 157 archers will be issued special hunting and parking permits for the Oct. 5 to Jan. 11 hunt on airport properties west of Business Route 376 in Findlay. Access will continue to be denied on some 7,000 acres of airport land nearer the runways between Interstate 376 and Business Route 376. A general hunting license, archery permit and, if the archer desires, county-issued antlerless deer permits will be required. No firearms will be permitted. State hunting regulations apply.

"It was an interest in doing something for the community, to allow them to partake in a hunt," said Kurt Sopp, Airport Authority training and security director. "The reason for opening hunting wasn't a need to reduce the deer herd."

Wildlife Conservation Officer Gary Fujak of the state Game Commission isn't so sure.

The land included in the lottery had been open to public hunting until 2008, when it was posted by the Airport Authority. In general, the Game Commission supports the opening of more land for hunters. But Mr. Fujak, whose western Allegheny County jurisdiction includes the airport area, said the authority did a poor job of managing the deer after it posted the 2,000 acres, throwing the region's whitetail population out of control.

"The airport has won a PR campaign here with throwing a bone to hunters," he said. "But the truth is they've been mismanaging the deer population for years."

Far from pristine, the undeveloped woodlands of Findlay grew out of clear-cut forests and feral farmlands. Wildlife in those man-made habitats cannot manage itself -- it requires stewardship. An ecological keystone species, white-tail deer eat about 1 ton of flora per deer per year. Most does are impregnated in their first year, and give birth to one to three fawns every year. Biologists know that if you control the does, you've controlled the deer; control the deer and you've managed the food and shelter used by all of the area's wildlife. And for airports, wildlife control is vital.

"Deer density in the airport area is out of control, and it's because the population is not being kept in check on airport property," Mr. Fujak said. "I see it every day. You've got complaints from landowners, crop losses from farms near the airport, road kills. The best tool we've got to control deer is public hunting, and that's not happening on areas of the airport where hunting could be done safely and effectively."

At two public meetings in the last year, hunters bristled over allegations that airport employees are quietly permitted to archery hunt on airport property, often taking out huge trophy bucks which contributes little to controlling the population.

"It doesn't seem fair," said Steve MacBride, owner of The Archer's Edge archery shop in Oakdale. "I can understand security concerns, particularly after 9/11. But it's county property -- we all kind of own the airport. [Employees] are coming out of there with trophy racks."

Brad Penrod, CEO of the Allegheny County Airport Authority, said hunting by staff inside the perimeter is part of routine airport wildlife control, which includes a U.S. Department of Agriculture deer culling operation.

"Some staff are allowed in there as part of our wildlife management plan," he said. "They have security clearance and training to drive on runways, and we keep it to about 15 people."

A Federal Aviation Administration spokesman said the Airport Authority was given approval for the lottery hunting program. There is no airport deer density estimate, but an FAA wildlife strike database shows there have been no aircraft-deer collisions at Pittsburgh International Airport for at least five years.

Special crop plantings, sound-making devices and fences are used to keep wildlife away from runway areas, and with authorization granted through a Game Commission permit the U.S. Department of Agriculture routinely culls deer at the airport.

USDA spokeswoman Carol Bannerman said the department was consulted and approved the lottery hunting program. Ongoing USDA culling operations inside the Route 376 beltway, however, are not recreational hunts, she said. Unlike airport staff, the USDA sharpshooters use firearms to remove all deer from runway areas.

"It isn't totally unusual for airports to allow staff members who have already gone through the security process to do some deer hunting on airport property," she said.

But Mr. MacBride and many hunters from the area question whether airport staff are removing does for wildlife management or targeting big bucks for recreation.

"That's the problem," said Mr. Fujak. "If this is deer management, it's all being done wrong. The lottery doesn't require hunters to remove the does that control the population. And inside the beltway, I don't think they're just taking out does. And look, all around the airport there are too many deer."

Airport archery lottery rules and an application are posted at Applications are accepted through Sept. 22, with a drawing Sept. 25.

Original Article:

Alamogordo seeks federal funds for airport

The federal government has awarded the city about $416,000 in federal funds to design a 2,200-foot extension to the runway at the Alamogordo-White Sands Regional Airport, a move the mayor hopes will bring in larger air tanker planes and improve air service.

"It was identified in the 1992 master plan as something that needed to be done, to bring the runway out to 9,000 feet to accommodate new-age aircraft," said Mayor Susie Galea. "Alamogordo now clearly needs the lengthening. It will improve the gateway to our city as we make room for regional jet service and larger U.S. Forest Service aerial firefighting planes."

Galea said the city applied for about $580,000, but was not awarded the full amount. It will have to match a portion of the grant, as will the state of New Mexico.

The Alamogordo City Commission on Tuesday approved the application to the Federal Aviation Administration, the total cost of the engineering project being $646,500, according to city records.

In July, the city applied for another federal grant worth about $450,000 to work on bringing an air carrier to the city.

The city, should it be approved, would get $450,000, which it would match with another $450,000 for a total of $900,000. The program is administered through the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Galea said the city has not been informed of the outcome of the air service grant application.

Alamogordo's airport lost essential air service, also administered by the DOT, last year and the airport's only passenger airline, New Mexico Airlines, pulled up stakes and moved out.

According to city records, officials are in "active discussions" with an airline to bring passenger service back to the city.

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Runway paving underway at Tri-Cities Regional Airport

BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. — Runways and taxi zones began getting smooth, new coats of asphalt at Tri-Cities Regional Airport on Saturday morning as part of a $15 million facelift that will place milling and paving crews on non-stop shifts for the next two weekends.

It was an eerie sight with no radar rotation on the massive receiver located in the airport’s west campus and no jets or airliners waiting for take off, but facility Executive Director Patrick Wilson said four years of planning, filing for grants from the Federal Aviation Administration and sacrificing thousands in revenue would provide for happier landings in the years to come.

“It’s been about 25 or 30 years since some of the pavement was redone on the runway. We go through a process many times a year where we evaluate the pavement and we could see that it was reaching the end of its surface life, so we want to be well ahead of any issues that would make it dangerous for aircraft,” Wilson said.

The facility and surrounding revenue generators like rental cars, aviation fuel distributors and airline vendors are at a stand still, causing about a $70,000 stoppage in cash flow for this and next weekend with no consumer traffic, Wilson added, but the airport gave all affected parties including flight customers a one year notice of the paving job.

Over 50,000 tons of new asphalt is being strategically laid on the runway by crews with Summers-Taylor, Inc., of Elizabethton with milling machines that run off of GPS mapping controlled by radio signals and lasers to mill and re-grade the surface because of sediment issues that have changed the grade of the surface, according to company Executive and CEO Grant Summers.

A work force of 200 people and 80 dump trucks will be on a continuous schedule onsite for the paving period with rotating 12-hour shifts until the entire 8,000-foot by 150-foot runway on both sides of the airfield is repaved, Wilson said.

Lighting along the runway path is also being replaced while plane traffic is at a standstill, along with new drainage systems to preserve the new asphalt and mandated FAA upgrades to the radar system, Wilson noted.

“A job of this magnitude will result in some inconveniences for the traveling public, but paving work had progressed to a point where it could not be avoided, and this is something we will likely not have to do for another 25 years,” he said.

Story and Photo Gallery:

Air Traffic Control Tower Up For Vote: Lakeland Linder Regional Airport (KLAL), Florida

LAKELAND | The on-and-off plans for a new $4.3 million air traffic control tower at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport are back on.

On Monday, Lakeland city commissioners will vote on whether to spend 20 percent of $579,000, or about $115,000, on the design phase of a new air traffic control tower. The remaining portion of the design will be funded by a Florida Department of Transportation grant.

Earlier this year, plans for construction of a new tower were put on hold while federal funding of the tower at Lakeland Linder was expected to stop to accommodate automatic spending cuts required by Congress.

That decision to stop funding has been delayed. Funding for the tower at Lakeland Linder is in the 2014 federal budget, but it's unclear whether the budget will pass.

Gene Conrad, airport director, said the tower will remain open regardless of whether federal funding stops in the future. Airport officials plan to use $250,000 to $300,000 of the airport's own money to keep the tower open if funding stops.

The FAA pays $500,000 a year to staff the tower at Lakeland Linder. The tower has seven workers from RVA Robinson Aviation, which contracts with the FAA at airports throughout the Southeast and Southwest.

"We think the federal government has an obligation to fund these," City Manager Doug Thomas said Friday during an agenda study meeting. "I don't think the airport would be safe without it."

Conrad said state officials don't want to wait any longer for the project to build a new tower. He said if the city were to turn down the funds, they would be used for another project in the state.

Conrad has said the current tower, built in 1981, will have line-of-sight issues when the runway is extended from 8,500 to 10,000 feet in coming years.

In addition, the tower is not up to FAA security standards, and the inside is cramped when 15 air traffic controllers work during the week of the Sun 'n Fun Fly-In.

The tower will be nearly three times the size of the current 50-foot tower. The new tower is expected to be located about 2,000 feet northwest of the current tower, which eventually will be demolished. Construction should begin in the summer of 2014, Conrad said.

Commissioners voted 6-0 in February to accept $3.4 million in funding from the Department of Transportation.

The City Commission meets in regular session at 9 a.m. Monday at City Hall, 228 S. Massachusetts Ave. There will be a budget hearing at 6 p.m.

Original Article:

Catfish Corner opens doors at Dyersburg Regional Airport (KDYR), Tennessee

In October 1996, life was good for the McDonald family. The proud owners of Catfish Corner on Upper Finley Road, the McDonald family was realizing its lifelong dream of a log-cabin catfish restaurant. Everyone in the family had a role with Art McDonald Sr. serving and attending to the people while his wife, Carolyn, cooked in the kitchen and created each of the home-style recipes their restaurant became well-known for in the community. Their son, Art McDonald Jr., joined his parents from St. Louis, Mo. to help his parents realize their dream and supported the family business however he could.

"This is all my dad has wanted to do," said McDonald Jr. "His dream was to have a log-cabin catfish place like 'Hyde's Catfish Park.'"

However in October 1996, the dream would come to an abrupt halt, as a cigarette that wasn't properly extinguished in the women's restroom would start a fire that would permanently close the establishment. Heartbroken, the elder McDonalds went on to other projects while McDonald Jr. pursued a career in law enforcement, first with the Dyersburg Police Department then with the city of Caruthersville and eventually returning to his native St. Louis. The dream of starting another restaurant was never far from McDonald Jr.'s mind, and when the opportunity opened up to reopen Catfish Corner at the Dyersburg Regional Airport, he jumped at the chance.

The McDonalds were awarded the restaurant in June 2013 after the Dyersburg Airport Committee recommended to the full board to grant Catfish Corner a lease. McDonald Jr., who was filled with emotion at the meeting, has not looked back since, working feverishly all summer to open the establishment by an Aug. 1 start date. Although Catfish Corner enjoyed a large customer base in the 1990s, McDonald Jr. did not know what to expect the second time around. The response has been overwhelming.

"We have done overwhelmingly well since we opened," said McDonald Jr. "We have been extremely blessed since we opened our doors in mid-August."

McDonald Jr. shared that it is a great joy to see the parking lot start filling in the late afternoon as customers come in prepared to sample the meal of the day. The establishment has a buffet-style menu with catfish always an option on the menu, but it changes out different vegetables and other meats throughout the week. The restaurant also offers a variety of cobbler desserts and the option for filets cooked to your liking for an additional fee. The menu also includes chicken and dumplings and chicken liver.

In addition, patrons can expect to receive the same friendly reception at Catfish Corner's new location as they did at the Upper Finley Road location.

"We want you to come and sit down and enjoy yourself for an hour, two hours or all night," said McDonald Jr. "You will never be rushed and you will always be treated like family.

"If you have a bad experience we just ask that you give us the chance to make it right," he added.

The McDonald family is excited to not only be at their new location, in which they have invested extensive renovations, but also to be a part of the community. McDonald Jr. says he looks forward to hosting fundraisers and sponsoring school events. He also took the opportunity to commend the city for its partnership with his family.

"The city of Dyersburg has been outstanding to us," said McDonald Jr. "Anything to help us improve the building they have done."

McDonald has a vision to expand the facility not just in physical space but also in hours of operation. Currently the restaurant is only open in the evenings for supper and can only accommodate approximately 100 patrons at a time. However, residents have been eagerly asking when the restaurant will be opening for lunch. The requests have been so many that McDonald Jr. has shifted his priority to exploring a lunch menu. He says that the restaurant will begin a lunch operation soon as he diligently is working to hire a lunch crew and establishing a lunch menu.

"We just have been so blessed," said McDonald Jr. "We hope that everyone will come and enjoy a meal with us. We expect everyone to come in, be comfortable and enjoy themselves. When you are here, you are our family."

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Cirrus SR22, N436KS: Accident occurred September 15, 2012 in Willard, Missouri

NTSB Identification: CEN12FA633
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, September 15, 2012 in Willard, MO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/05/2013
Aircraft: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP SR22, registration: N436KS
Injuries: 5 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 conducting an instrument landing system approach in night instrument meteorological conditions at the time of the accident. Radar track data indicated that the airplane crossed the final approach course near the initial approach fix, about 11 miles from the runway. The airplane drifted through the localizer about 0.25 mile before crossing the localizer again and drifting about 0.25 mile to the opposite side of the localizer. The airplane flightpath then paralleled the localizer briefly. The track data indicated that the airplane entered a left turn, which resulted in about a 90-degree course change. About that time, the pilot requested radar vectors to execute a second approach. The airplane entered a second left turn that continued until the final radar data point, which was located about 420 feet from the accident site. During the second left turn, about 9 seconds before the final radar data point, the pilot transmitted, "I need some help." The data indicated that the accident airplane descended at an average rate of 6,000 feet per minute during the final 10 seconds of data. No further transmissions were received from the pilot. The airplane impacted an open area of a lightly wooded pasture located about 6 miles north-northwest of the destination airport. A witness reported hearing an airplane engine surge to high power about four times, followed by what sounded like a high speed dive. She heard the initial impact followed by an explosion. The postaccident examination of the airframe and engine did not reveal any preimpact failures or malfunctions that would have precluded normal operation. The location and condition of the airframe parachute system were consistent with partial deployment at the time of ground impact. Based on the performance information depicted by the radar data, the pilot's request for assistance, and examination of the airplane at the accident scene, it is most likely the pilot became spatially disoriented in night meteorological conditions and subsequently lost control of the airplane.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's loss of airplane control as a result of spatial disorientation experienced in night instrument meteorological conditions.


On September 15, 2012, at 0021 central daylight time, a Cirrus Design SR22 airplane, N436KS, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain near Willard, Missouri. The pilot and four passengers were fatally injured. The aircraft was registered to and operated by JL2, LLC under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was operated on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan. The flight originated from Lee's Summit Municipal Airport (LXT) about 2330 on September 14, 2012. The intended destination was the Springfield-Branson National Airport (SGF), Springfield, Missouri.

At 2338, the pilot contacted the Kansas City Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) facility and requested an IFR clearance to SGF. The pilot was subsequently issued an IFR clearance and the flight proceeded on course to SGF. A cruising altitude of 7,000 feet mean sea level (msl) was assigned.

About 0002, control of the flight was transferred to the Springfield TRACON. The flight was about 50 miles north of SGF at that time. At 0014, air traffic control instructed the pilot to cross the initial approach fix (BVRLY intersection) at or above 3,000 feet msl, and cleared the pilot for an Instrument Landing System (ILS) approach to runway 14 at SGF. The flight was about 18 miles north of SGF. The pilot was instructed to contact the control tower at that time.

At 0017, the pilot contacted the SGF air traffic control tower. At that time, the tower controller cleared the pilot to land at that time. At 0020:31 (hhmm:ss), the pilot requested radar vectors in order to execute a second approach. The controller instructed the pilot to maintain 3,000 feet msl and turn left to a heading of 360 degrees. The pilot subsequently acknowledged the clearance. At 0021:17, the pilot contacted the controller and the controller acknowledged. At 0021:21, the pilot transmitted, "I need some help." No further communications were received from the pilot.

Radar track data depicted the accident airplane approaching SGF from the north-northwest on an approximate magnetic course of 157 degrees. After an en route descent, the airplane leveled at an altitude of 2,900 feet msl about 16 miles north-northwest of SGF. About 0018:00, the airplane flight path crossed the ILS runway 14 localizer near the initial approach fix (BVRLY intersection). The airplane drifted about 0.25 miles southwest of the localizer before crossing the localizer again, and drifting about 0.25 miles northeast of the localizer. Beginning about 0019:44, he airplane flight path appeared to parallel the localizer, about 0.12 miles northeast, for about the next 40 seconds.

The track data indicated that, about 0020:09, the airplane entered a left turn to become established on an approximate 064-degree magnetic course. About 0020:38, the airplane entered a second left turn that continued until the final radar data point, which was recorded at 0021:28. The final radar data point was located about 420 feet west-northwest of the accident site. The data indicated that the accident airplane descended from 2,800 feet msl at 0021:18 to 1,800 feet msl at 0021:28; an average descent rate of 6,000 feet per minute.

A witness reported hearing a low flying airplane prior to the accident. She noted the engine surged with high power about four times, followed by what sounded like a high speed dive. She stated that she heard the initial impact followed by an explosion. She observed the glow of the postimpact fire from her bedroom window. Her husband notified local authorities and they both responded to the accident site.

The airplane impacted an open area of a lightly wooded pasture located about 6 miles north-northwest of SGF. The elevation of the accident site was about 1,120 feet.


The pilot held a private pilot certificate with single-engine land airplane and instrument airplane ratings. He was issued a third class airman medical certificate without limitations on October 7, 2011. On the application for that medical certificate, the pilot reported a total flight time of 731.9 hours, with 97.2 hours flown within the preceding 6 months. The pilot's logbook was not available to the NTSB for review.

According to the pilot's flight instructor, the accident pilot had completed a flight review on January 23, 2012. The flight instructor estimated the pilot's total flight time at 1,000 hours, with about 75 hours of actual instrument time and 650 hours in Cirrus airplanes.


The accident airplane was a 2002 Cirrus Design SR22, serial number 0202. It was a low wing, four place, single engine airplane, with a fixed tricycle landing gear configuration. The airplane was powered by a 310-horsepower Continental Motors IO-550-N reciprocating engine, serial number 686271. The accident airplane was issued a normal category, standard airworthiness certificate in April 2002.

The aircraft maintenance logbooks were not available to the NTSB for review. Maintenance work orders provided by a mechanic indicated that an annual inspection was completed on September 1, 2011, at 2,001 hours total airframe time. An engine oil change was accomplished on April 10, 2012 at 2,070 hours total airframe time.

A logbook that appeared to contain flights in the airplane was recovered at the accident site. The most recent entry was dated September 9, 2012. The entry included an ending airframe service time of 2,172.8 hours. The preceding entry, dated September 8, 2012, included a notation for a dual VHF Omni Range (VOR) equipment check that appeared to have been signed by the pilot. The log contained entries totaling 14.5 hours within the preceding 30 days, and about 70.3 hours within the preceding 90 days.

The airframe manufacturer stated that the accident airplane was equipped with four seats and four corresponding restraints (seatbelts/shoulder harnesses) at the time of manufacture. The manufacturer was not aware of any available modifications to increase the seating capacity of the airplane. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Type Certificate Data Sheet applicable to the accident airplane noted a seating capacity of four. Aircraft records on file with the FAA did not include any modifications to the seating arrangement or occupant restraint systems.


Weather conditions recorded by the SGF Automated Surface Observing System, at 0020, were: wind from 070 degrees at 6 knots, 8 miles visibility, overcast clouds at 700 feet above ground level (agl), temperature 16 degrees Celsius, dew point 14 degrees Celsius, dew point 30.27 inches of mercury.

The area forecast current at the time of the accident noted overcast ceilings at 3,000 feet with cloud tops to 15,000 feet, and visibilities of 3 to 5 mile in light rain and mist. The terminal forecast for SGF current at the time of the accident noted overcast clouds at 300 feet agl with 6 miles visibility in mist and rain showers in the vicinity of the airport. An airman's meteorological information (AIRMET) advisory noted that IFR conditions were expected over southwestern Missouri, which included the accident site, with ceilings below 1,000 feet agl and visibility below 3 miles. There were no significant meteorological information (SIGMET), convective SIGMET, or weather watches in effect for Missouri at the time of the accident.

Civil twilight ended at 1948, with the moon setting at 1818. The moon was more than 15 degrees below the horizon at the time of the accident. The subsequent moonrise occurred at 0627, with the beginning of civil twilight at 0630.

There was no record of the pilot obtaining an official weather briefing from a flight service briefer; nor was there any record of weather information being accessed via the Direct User Access Terminal Service (DUATS). However, two IFR flight plans were filed through DUATS. An IFR flight plan from SGF to LXT was filed at 1604, and an IFR flight plan for the return flight from LXT to SGF was filed at 2257.


The Springfield-Branson National Airport (SGF) was served by two paved runways. Runway 14 was 8,000 feet by 150 feet and constructed of grooved concrete. Approach and landing guidance to runway 14 consisted of an ILS approach procedure, a 4-light precision approach path indicator (PAPI), a medium intensity approach lighting system with runway alignment indicator lights (MALSR), and high intensity runway edge lights.

The ILS runway 14 approach procedure specified a minimum initial (glide slope intercept) altitude of 2,900 feet msl, with a 3.00-degree glide slope. The published decision height for a straight-in approach was 1,462 feet msl, with one-half mile visibility required for landing.


The accident site was located in an open area of a lightly wooded pasture about 6 miles north-northwest of SGF. Linear ground impact marks consistent with being formed by the wing leading edges emanated from the main impact crater. Based on the ground impact markings, the airplane was oriented on an approximate heading of 340 degrees at the time of impact. The debris field extended to approximately 110 feet east, 140 feet northeast, and 70 feet north of the main impact crater. Significant portions of the airframe were consumed or damaged by a postimpact fire. Isolated areas of the surrounding vegetation were also affected by the postimpact fire.

The entire airframe was fragmented. The main impact crater contained the propeller, engine, instrument panel, and portions of the fuselage. The airplane flight control surfaces and wing flaps were located within the debris field. The ailerons and flaps had separated from the wings and were deformed consistent with impact forces. The aileron control cables were frayed and separated consistent with impact forces.

The empennage was separated from the airframe. It came to rest inverted about 10 feet east of the main impact crater. The elevator remained attached to the stabilizer and both appeared to be otherwise intact. The left horizontal and vertical stabilizers, left elevator, and rudder were consumed by the postimpact fire. A portion of the rudder remained attached to the lower rudder hinge. Elevator and rudder control continuity was confirmed between the empennage and the cockpit area.

The engine was located in the impact crater. It remained partially attached to the engine mount and airframe firewall. Portions of the firewall were deformed into/around the engine accessory section. The crankcase, cylinders, induction system, and exhaust system exhibited damage consistent with impact forces. All of the cylinders remained attached to the crankcase. The magnetos had separated from the engine and the ignition harness was damaged.

The three-bladed propeller assembly, with the propeller flange attached, separated from the engine. The engine crankshaft was fractured aft of the propeller flange. The appearance of the fracture surface was consistent with an overstress failure. One propeller blade had separated at the hub and was recovered from the impact crater. The remaining two propeller blades remained attached to the hub. The propeller blades exhibited S-bending and chordwise scratches.

The Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS) components remained attached to the airframe. The activation cable was continuous from the cockpit activation handle to the igniter assembly. The safety pin was not located with the activation handle consistent with it being removed prior to flight. The packed parachute assembly was located about 40 feet from the main impact crater. The parachute risers and suspension lines extended from the main impact crater to the parachute assembly and were oriented approximately perpendicular to the linear impact marks emanating from the main impact crater.

The postaccident examination of the airframe and engine did not reveal any anomalies consistent with a preimpact failure or malfunction.


An autopsy of the pilot was conducted at the Boone/Callaway County Medical Examiner's Office, on September 17, 2012. The pilot's death was attributed to blunt trauma injuries sustained in the accident.

The FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute toxicology report was negative for all drugs in the screening profile. The report stated that 10 (mg/dL, mg/hg) ethanol was detected in blood samples. The report also noted that the ethanol was likely due to sources other than ingestion.

NTSB Identification: CEN12FA633
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, September 15, 2012 in Willard, MO
Aircraft: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP SR22, registration: N436KS
Injuries: 5 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.


On September 15, 2012, at 0021 central daylight time, a Cirrus Design SR22 airplane, N436KS, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain near Willard, Missouri. The pilot and four passengers were fatally injured. The aircraft was registered to and operated by JL2, LLC under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was operated on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan. The flight originated from Lee’s Summit Municipal Airport (LXT) about 2330 on September 14, 2012. The intended destination was the Springfield-Branson National Airport (SGF), Springfield, Missouri.

 SPRINGFIELD — The family of those that died in the small plane crash near Willard a year ago, speak out.

“I am not going to get a phone call from my son today and he called me everyday just to check on me and i’m not going to get those sweet text messages from the older children and the hugs and the kisses and that’s hard because that’s the reality of it, so I have to hold those memories very very close” says Trisha Lambert.

On September 15th of 2012 Trisha and Mike Lambert got the news that their son Jonathan, their three grandchildren and family friend Robin Melton died, when their small plane went down in a field off highway 123 near Willard while traveling home from Kansas City.

“We’ve really been in a fog this last year, that’s how we’ve described it and now we’re slowly coming out of that fog and truly starting our deep mourning period because the reality is there for us” says Trisha.

A year after the accident the couple sits in the swing-set at the Prince of Peace Lutheran Church named after their youngest grandson Joshua.

“He made an impression, such an impression on people at our church and he only came with us maybe twice a month, that they dedicated this playground to him and i know he would have been very proud of that” says Mike.

But instead of playing with little Joshua or McKinley or Grayson, now they visit their graves a place where McKinley’s friends also made their peace.The community donated the lots where their family was buried and money to help support the extra expenses and although they say their thankful for everyone’s help, they say their faith was a big part of the road to recovery.

“This whole community springfield and the surrounding area has just lifted us up and taken acre of us, it’s a great big family what a wonderful place to live when you’re surrounded by love and support” says Trisha.

“They reach out to us to care about us and we care about them people in the community are great and we thank God for them” says Mike.

In honor of their son and grandchildren the two have donated the extra $10 thousand dollars to organizations close to the family. A donation was made to Jonathans school Drury, Grayson’s debate team, the American Heart Association for McKinley and the playground for little Joshua. Mike and Trisha say they’ll be honoring their family members tomorrow at church and by visiting their graves.

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