Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Aviation Fuel Supplier Sees 40% Sales Fall: Bahamas

A leading aviation fuel supplier yesterday said its sales had slumped 30-40 percent year-over-year, and warned that private pilot flights into Abaco were “at an all-time low”.

Describing Marsh Harbour’s international airport as “a ghost town”, Randy Key, principal at Zig Zig Airways, told Tribune Business that despite most of the facility’s aviation gas and jet fuel sales going through his company, business was “down substantially”.

Attributing much of the decrease to the Government’s new aviation taxes, which have deterred private pilots from flying to the Bahamas, Mr Key said the Christie administration was failing to look “at the other side of the coin”.

Pointing out that the Government earned $0.07 in royalties for every gallon of aviation gas sold, Mr Key said its drive to generate $4-$5 million in revenues from the new fees was likely to result in a “net negative” - for both itself and the wider Bahamian economy.

“The Marsh Harbour International Airport right now is like a ghost town,” Mr Key told Tribune Business. “I’m here at the main terminal at 4pm in the afternoon, and there’s not a single private aircraft on the tarmac. There’s not a single one here.

“It’s the small single and twin engine guys that have just decided they’re not going to put up with these fees, and as a matter of principle have decided to go Florida and elsewhere. People have told us they’re just not coming this year, and are flying to other destinations.”

Calling on the Government to listen to the cries of the private sector, especially those most impacted, Mr Key said in a letter to this newspaper: “When those of us in the aviation industry can tell you general aviation flights into the Abacos are at an all-time low, it would be reasonable for someone to take note.”

he added that he was prompted to write after Tribune Business last week revealed the story of one private pilot, Michael Penman, who this year spent the $25,000 he normally injects into the Bahamian economy in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Mr Penman added that he had cancelled three trips to the Bahamas in the past two months, costing this economy some $6,000.

“What the Government is not looking at is that this is a double-edged sword,” Mr Key told Tribune Business. “For every gallon of gas we sell, the Government gets seven cents in royalties. Fir every gallon of gas we do not sell, that’s seven cents gone.

‘I’d say we’re probably off 30-40 per cent at the moment in fuel sales. We are down significantly.

“The small airplanes that fly into Marsh Harbour and Treasure Cay from Fort Pierce and Miami, and even as far up as the Carolinas, it’s a substantial amount of people.”

While unable to quantify it, Mr Key said a “good amount” of the sales decrease was attributable to pull back by private aviators.

Apart from a $50 Customs declaration form processing fee, the 2013-2014 Budget has also introduced a $25 per head departure fee for private aircraft passengers, plus a $50 charge for making a refuelling stop in the Bahamas.

Urging the Government to reverse course over its new aviation taxes “before it’s too late”, Mr Key said they would only caused depressed spending in Family Island economies.

As a second home driven economy, Abaco is particularly reliant on visitors who come by private plane or boat.

Questioning the policy-making process in government, Mr Key said: “Sometimes I think that in that group of decision makers there’s 10 attorneys, and they say: ‘If we want to get $5 million in extra revenue, let’s raise these taxes’, but they’re not looking at the flip side.

“What’s it going to cost at the end of the day?.... On the other side of the coin, if no one is coming here and spending money, this is going to be a net negative.”

A reduction in private aviation traffic will result in less money circulating in Family island economies, Mr Key added, via reduced spending on the likes of hotels, restaurants, golf cart and auto rentals.

Describing this as “a snowball effect”, Mr Key added: “It all adds up.”

He pointed to what happened when he and his wife went to dinner at the Great Abaco Beach Resort on Sunday night.

There was only one other couple in the restaurant, and Mr Key said a waitress informed him that only two rooms were currently occupied on a property that has 89 ocean front rooms. And just one boat was moored in the 198-slip marina.

While the Bahamas is at the weakest point in its annual tourism cycle, Mr Key said American Eagle had suspended its flights to Marsh Harbour for this month, with plans to resume in October.

And Silver Airways had reduced its six-seven daily flights to just two.


Story and Comments/Reaction:   http://www.tribune242.com

Charlotte airport commission rebuffed by Federal Aviation Administration - Richard Vinroot, Airport commission attorney

The newly created Charlotte Airport Commission believes it’s getting the cold shoulder from the FAA.

The Commission, which is trying to persuade the federal government that it should run Charlotte Douglas International Airport, said the FAA won’t listen to its position, and called the administration’s actions “unreasonable.”

In a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration Monday, the attorney for the Commission, Richard Vinroot, said the federal government has taken the “astounding step” of “refusing to engage the Commission in any discussions regarding the airport.”

The letter details what Vinroot describes as fruitless attempts to talk to the FAA.

Jerry Orr — who is now the executive director of the Commission — sent the FAA a letter on Aug. 14, in which he outlined reasons why the Commission should be allowed to run the airport.

In his Tuesday letter, Vinroot, a former Charlotte mayor, said he waited two weeks. After receiving no response from the FAA, Vinroot said he arranged a conference call with FAA officials on Aug. 29.

But that phone call apparently frustrated him.

“In that call, you refused the Commission’s request that it be included in efforts to work through the regulatory process,” Vinroot wrote to Christa Fornarotto, associate administrator for airports with the FAA. “On Sept. 4, I sent you a letter in behalf of the Commission asking that the FAA reconsider this unreasonable position. To this date, there has been no response.”

Asked for comment, the FAA released a statement saying the administration “is reviewing the Sept. 16 letter from the Charlotte Douglas International Airport Commission.”

The N.C. General Assembly passed a law in July that shifted ownership and control of the airport to an authority. The city sued to block that law and received a temporary restraining order in Superior Court.

When Superior Court Judge Robert Sumner granted the city a temporary restraining order, Vinroot said at the time he thought the city would attempt to “game the system.”

In an interview Tuesday, Vinroot said “I now believe I was right.”

Former Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx, who opposed the legislature’s efforts to remove city control of the airport, is now the U.S. Secretary of Transportation. He oversees the FAA.

Foxx has said he will recuse himself from the airport debate as well as other Charlotte-specific decisions for one year.

Vinroot said he is concerned that Foxx might be influencing the FAA.

“I took at him at his word (when he said he would recuse himself,” Vinroot said. “But now I am concerned, that those were maybe words and not actions.”

A spokesperson for the U.S. DOT didn’t return an e-mail from the Observer Tuesday.

In July, legislators then repealed the authority legislation, and created a new 13-member commission to run Charlotte Douglas. Under the Commission legislation, the city would retain ownership of the airport’s assets.

In early August, the city got a Superior Court judge to issue an injunction blocking the law’s implementation until the FAA rules which party can run the airport — the city or the Commission.

The Observer obtained Vinroot’s letter from a public records from the city of Charlotte. The FAA forwarded the letter to the city Monday.

Charlotte City Attorney Bob Hagemann, who is representing the City Council’s position to block the commission, said he has spoken with the FAA a few times on the phone since August. He said none of the phone calls included Vinroot, Orr or anyone representing the Commission.

He said he couldn’t comment on the FAA’s decision-making process.

“I don’t know when the process will wrap up,” Hagemann said. “It’s their process and I’m being respectful of it.”

Vinroot said the FAA has said it will only talk with the city of Charlotte and the N.C. Attorney General’s Office. In mid-August, Special Deputy Attorney General Marc Bernstein said a new commission would not entail a transfer of airport control from the city of Charlotte to a new entity.

The legislation calls for the City Council and the Charlotte mayor to appoint seven members of the 13-person commission by Oct. 1. Council members are reportedly debating whether to make the appointments.

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

Bell UH-1B Iroquois, N204UH, Umatilla Lift Services: Accident occurred September 16, 2013 in Detroit, Oregon

NTSB Identification: WPR13FA411
14 CFR Part 133: Rotorcraft Ext. Load
Accident occurred Monday, September 16, 2013 in Detroit, OR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/13/2015
Aircraft: BELL UH 1B, registration: N204UH
Injuries: 1 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.

Witnesses reported that, when the helicopter was just above the trees during an external load logging operation, they either observed or heard the load of logs release early and impact the ground hard. Witnesses then observed the helicopter’s tailboom separate from the fuselage and descend through the trees. The fuselage impacted the ground inverted, and the tailboom came to rest about 140 ft away. A mechanic reported that the pilot had indicated before the flight that the helicopter felt like it “shuffled” during translational lift; however, the mechanic suspected that the transmission mounts were starting to wear and would need to be changed at a later date. 

Postaccident examination of the airframe and engine revealed control continuity throughout the airframe except for a portion of the tail rotor drive shaft that extended from the transmission, which was not found. The tailboom had separated from the aft fuselage at the tailboom attachment points. The lower two tailboom attachment fittings exhibited features consistent with overstress failure and did not show indications of fatigue and/or other failure modes. The upper two tailboom attachment fittings both contained fatigue cracks throughout almost the entire fracture surface. 

The pilot purchased the helicopter about 3 years before the accident; that same year, the helicopter was issued a new airworthiness certificate. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the previous owner had relinquished the helicopter’s airworthiness certificate to avoid punitive action for poor maintenance of the helicopter. Maintenance records located within the helicopter did not contain sufficient information to determine when the most recent maintenance was performed; however, the documents did reveal that several component inspections were not completed within the manufacturer’s recommended time. It is likely that long-term, inadequate maintenance of the helicopter contributed to the failure and separation of the tailboom. 

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The fatigue failure of the upper two tailboom attachment points, which resulted in the tailboom separating from the fuselage during logging operations. 

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On September 16, 2013, about 1535 Pacific daylight time, a Garlick UH-1B, N204UH, experienced a tailboom separation while logging in heavily wooded terrain about 3 miles east of Detroit, Oregon. The pilot, who was the sole occupant on board, was fatally injured. The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the tailboom, main rotor system, and fuselage. The helicopter was registered to Gitmo Holdings LLC, Stevensville, Montana, and operated by R&R Conner under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 133 as an external load logging flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, and no flight plan had been filed. The flight originated at about 1500. 

Witnesses reported that when the helicopter was just above the trees, they either observed or heard the load of logs release early and impact the ground hard. After looking up, they observed the helicopter's fuselage separate from the tailboom; both descending through the trees. The fuselage impacted the ground inverted and the tailboom came to rest about 140 feet away. 

A maintenance worker reported that shortly before the flight, the pilot had landed and shut down the helicopter for about a 45 minute lunch break. The pilot looked over the helicopter and said he was very happy with it; he said it was running really well. 

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 53, held a commercial pilot certificate in helicopter, airplane single-, and multi-engine land, issued on April 27, 2010. The pilot also held an instrument rating in both helicopter and airplane. The pilot held a second-class medical certificate issued on February 12, 2013, with the limitations that he is not valid for any class after, and he must wear corrective lenses. According to the pilot's US Forest Service Helicopter Pilot Qualifications and Approval Records dated July 17, 2013, he reported having 19,000 total helicopter hours, 14,000 of which were in the accident helicopter make and model. 

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The Garlick helicopter, serial number 62-2034, was manufactured by Bell Helicopter as serial number 554 in 1962. It was powered by a T53-L13BA engine. The maintenance logbook records were found within the helicopter. The records did not contain dates or aircraft total time, therefore, the most recent maintenance was unable to be determined. The documents did reveal that several component inspections were not completed within the manufacturer's recommended time. During the postaccident examination, the hobbs meter was located and read 6,061.3 hours. 

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the previous owner relinquished the aircraft's airworthiness certificate to avoid punitive action by the FAA, who had been trying to revoke the airworthiness certificate due to the owner's poor maintenance of the aircraft. In 2010, a new airworthiness certificate was issued for the helicopter to the accident pilot. 

A different mechanic reported that the helicopter had recently sat unused for about one month between jobs. The helicopter was put back in service the day before the accident occurred. The mechanic mentioned that the pilot had previously indicated the helicopter felt like it "shuffled" during translational lift; however, the mechanic suspected the transmission mounts were starting to wear and would need to be changed at a later date.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The nearest weather reporting station was about 38 miles to the northwest at McNary Field Airport in Salem, Oregon at an elevation of 214 feet. At 1556, the weather was reported as wind from 130 degrees as 3 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, broken clouds at 4,900 and overcast clouds at 5,500 feet above ground level (agl), temperature 21 degrees C, dewpoint 13 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 29.94 inches of mercury. In the remarks section it stated that rain started at 1537 hours and ended at 1552 hours. 

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

On scene examination by a FAA Inspector revealed that the helicopter came to rest on the opposite side of a northwest/southeast orientated dirt road from the log landing site. The terrain was hilly, heavily wooded, and remote. The trees around the accident site sustained limited damage; one tree was topped and others sustained vertical scrapes down the trunks. 

The wreckage debris path extended almost parallel to the dirt road; the helicopter came to rest in four major pieces the fuselage/transmission, engine, main rotor blades, and tailboom. The fuselage and transmission were found upside down at the southeastern most point of the wreckage path. The engine was found in the same general vicinity as the fuselage. The main rotor head and blades were separated from the main rotor shaft, and were located about 120 feet northwest of the main fuselage. One of the main rotor blades was embedded into the ground and extended the second blade into the air at about a 45 degree angle. The tailboom was separated from the fuselage and was located 140 feet northwest of the main rotor blades. The tail rotor gearbox, assembly, and tail rotor blades were still attached to the vertical fin. One tail rotor blade remained mostly undamaged; the second tail rotor blade sustained a 45 degree bend away from the vertical fin. 

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the pilot on September 17, 2013 by the Office of the State Medical Examiner, Clackamas, Oregon. The pilot's cause of death was blunt force head trauma. 

The FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute performed forensic toxicology on specimens from the pilot with negative results for carbon monoxide and ethanol. Rosuvastatin, which is used to treat high cholesterol and related conditions, was detected in the blood and liver. 

TESTS AND RESEARCH

A post accident examination of the airframe and engine occurred in Dallas, Oregon on January 29, 2014. 

Airframe

The cabin sustained significant damage. The windscreen, chin bubble, instrument panel, and roof were all found separated from the structure. The aft fuselage was mostly intact with the transmission still attached. The tailboom had separated from the aft fuselage at its attachment points; the skin along the sides of the tailboom had a "wave" like appearance. The tailboom attachment points were removed from the airframe for further examination. 

Control continuity was established throughout the airframe with the exception of a segment of the tail rotor drive shaft that extended from the transmission, which was not located. 

The main rotor shaft was fracture separated just below the main rotor head. The fracture surface was indicative of overload. At the fracture point, the main rotor shaft was oblong with impact damage on two opposing sides. Damage was also noted on the main rotor blade hub, indicative of a mast bump event. 

Engine

The engine was found separated from the helicopter. The exhaust and airframe inlet were removed. Organic debris was noted in the engine inlet, and metal spray was found on the second stage power turbine nozzle vanes. Tear and batter damage was noted to the first stage axial compressor blades and the inlet guide vanes. Rotation of the power turbine produced corresponding rotation to the engine output shaft and overspeed governor drive gearbox; the engine rotated smoothly. The chip detector was examined and no debris was noted. 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The tailboom attachment points were removed from the airframe and sent to the National Transportation Safety Board Laboratory for further examination. 

The material research engineer reported that the fracture surfaces of the top right and left attachment point fittings exhibited relatively flat morphologies, with no indications of local material deformation or out of plane fracture. Conversely, the two bottom fittings exhibited darker and rough tortuous fracture surfaces, consistent with overstress failure. 

Right Top Fitting

Both mating surfaces of the right top fitting were examined and crack arrest marks, indicative of progressive crack growth, was evident over almost the entire fracture surface. The direction of these arrest marks indicated the cracks initiated near and emanated from a rivet hole within the fitting. The larger crack grew through almost the entire fitting cross section; the smaller crack progressed toward the opposite direction. 

The fitting aft fracture surface was further analyzed and the fracture surface exhibited striations, which are consistent with fatigue failure. The area around the rivet hole possessed two fatigue crack initiate sites. The larger crack initiate site was on the outside surface of the fitting, and the smaller crack initiate site occurred at a corner adjacent to the rivet holes. 

Left Top Fitting

The aft fracture surface was relatively flat, orientated approximately perpendicular to the length of the fitting. After cleaning the fracture surface, crack arrest marks were observed over most of the fracture surface. The fracture surface consisted of two progressive cracks that initiated on the concave surface and grew in both directions, with fatigue striations throughout. The cracks grew through approximately 75% of the fitting cross-section, the remaining 15% succumbed to overstress. 

Bottom Fittings

The fracture surfaces of the bottom fittings exhibited features consistent with overstress failure. The fracture surfaces displayed a dull luster and tortuous surface appearance. Neither of the bottom fittings exhibited indications of fatigue and/or other failure modes.

http://registry.faa.gov/N204UH




NTSB Identification: WPR13FA411 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, September 16, 2013 in Detroit, OR
Aircraft: BELL UH 1B, registration: N204UH
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

On September 16, 2013, about 1535 Pacific daylight time, a Bell UH-1B, N204UH, impacted terrain about 3 miles east of Detroit, Oregon.  The pilot, who was the sole occupant on board, was fatally injured.  The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the tail boom, main rotor system, and fuselage.  The helicopter was registered to Gitmo Holdings LLC, Stevensville, Montana, and operated by Umatilla Lift Services, Indialantic Florida under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a logging flight.  Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, and no flight plan had been filed.  The flight originated at an unknown time.

Witnesses reported that their attention was drawn to the helicopter when they heard the logs it was carrying hit the ground hard.  They looked up at the helicopter and saw that it was above the tree line falling in two separate pieces.  They heard the main rotor blades strike the trees before the helicopter impacted the ground below.

The helicopter has been removed to a secure location for further examination. 



LINN COUNTY, Ore. (KPTV) — A pilot who starred in the History Channel show Ax Men died when his logging helicopter crashed near Oregon’s Detroit Lake on Monday afternoon, authorities said Tuesday.

Witnesses said Bart Colantuono, a resident of Indialantic, Fla., had been transporting logs from a cutting area to a log deck in the town of Idanha, Ore.

After taking a 45-minute break, Colantuono returned to pick up a load of logs at a logging site on National Forest land near Forest Service Road 1003, about two miles from Highway 22.

Witnesses said they heard a snapping sound, followed by logs hitting the ground. They then saw a rotor separate from the helicopter, followed by the copter turning upside down and falling to the ground.

Colantuono was pronounced dead at the scene. He was the only person in the helicopter at the time.

Linn County deputies said Colantuono released the logs himself before crashing, indicating he knew of a problem prior to the wreck.

His helicopter is owned by Umatilla Lift Services, which was subcontracted by R&R Conner Aviation to fly logs from the logging site for Freres Lumber Co. in Mill City.

The Federal Aviation Administration planned to inspect the helicopter Tuesday.

A representative from the History Channel said the network is “extremely saddened to learn that a member of the Ax Men family, Bart Colantuono, passed away yesterday.”

“All of us at HISTORY and Original Productions, along with our Ax Men team, would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Bart. He was an important part of Ax Men when he appeared in season three and his talents will be greatly missed,” the statement said.

A bio on the show website described Colantuono as a former Navy pilot with more than 15,000 flying hours under his belt.

Original Article: http://q13fox.com

Saturday's 5th Annual Mountain High Fly In and Pine Top Car Show successful in spite of heavy weekend rainfall

Saturday's 5th Annual Mountain High Fly In and Pine Top Car show at the Sierra Blanca Regional Airport came to fruition despite the weekend's heavy downfall of rain. Rain clouds departed the area long enough to attract 900-1,000 for the day, according to Airport Director Dave Pearce.

"Last year we estimated 2,500 people came to this event in 90-95-degree sunny weather," he said. "In the five years we've held this show it was the first time bad weather played a part.

Although there were many vintage aircraft and cars on hand, enough to more than make the day successful, the aerial events had to be cancelled.

"The cloud ceiling needed for aerial maneuvers and parachutists must be about 4,000-5,000 feet and we only had 2,000 feet of ceiling," Pearce said. "The pilot who was going to do the maneuvers was coming in from Denver and he was weathered in there. The parachutists were coming from Belen and they too were socked in. The performers tried since 5:30 a.m. Saturday to get here but couldn't make it because of bad weather conditions."

Excessive rainfall in a wide-ranged area also negated the arrival of some vendors and show cars.

"A mudslide in El Paso prevent a group there from leaving that area," Pearce said. "Even with that, the car show was a success. We had over 60 vintage cars on display for visitors to appreciate and enjoy. A few vendors couldn't get here because of closed roads and washouts at their point of origin. The band originally scheduled to play couldn't get out of Tularosa but another one came on two hours notice thanks to Lynn Crawford of the Dream Catcher Cafe."

In spite of the weather hurdles over last weekend, Pearce was thankful and appreciative for the turnout and success of the event.

"With better weather, there might have been three times as many people attend the show," he said. "But still, there were bright notes. The train for children was well-ridden and lunch was sold out. The hanger party the night before (from 7-11 p.m.) was well attended. Food was supplied by the Dream Catcher Cafe. The honor guard from Holloman Air Force Base opened Saturday's festivities at 10 a.m.

"Our event came at the tail end for the State Aviation conference held here in Ruidoso. Subsequently, the Convention Center was packed and hotels were filled with over 200 people. The impact to downtown Ruidoso was good and worked out well."

In addition to the cars and planes on hand, the New Mexico Pilots Association was in town, as well as Airplane Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and the New Mexico State Aviation conference.

"In spite of the weather, I thought it turned out well," Pearce said. "We made lemonade out of lemons. This a tribute to the entire community."

Story and Photos:   http://www.ruidosonews.com

National Transportation Safety Board adds staff for investigating this year’s many Alaska plane crashes: This year 28 people have died in aviation accidents



ANCHORAGE - This year 28 people died in plane crashes in Alaska, and the agency in charge of the investigations needs help.

The National Transportation Safety Board, or NTSB, is beefing up its staff to handle all of this year's crash cases. The amount of record fatalities this year is too much for its current staff.

The office is also taking a closer look at the smaller accidents in an effort to make Alaska skies safer.

“It helps the public… maybe advise the public on what's going on really our job,” said senior investigator Robert Gretz. “[It] is to prevent it from happening in the future and look for ways to keep it from happening in the future.”

The NTSB investigators aren't saying anything about a trend surrounding the plane crashes. They say they're happening for different reasons.
 

Source:  http://www.ktva.com

Larger Version of Boeing Dreamliner Begins Maiden Flight: WSJ

Updated September 17, 2013, 7:34 p.m. ET


By  JON OSTROWER

The Wall Street Journal


Boeing Co. unveiled a new version of its 787 Dreamliner that the company hopes will redeem a jet program beset by embarrassing delays and technical challenges.

The 787-9 that made its first flight on Tuesday from Boeing's Everett, Wash., factory looks a lot like the 787-8, the version that has been flying passengers since late 2011. The "Dash Nine," as the new plane is known within Boeing, is 20 feet longer than its predecessor, can fly a few hundred miles further without additional fuel, and—with a capacity of 270 to 290 seats—can hold about 40 more passengers.

But underneath the new plane's carbon-fiber skin are big changes in how Boeing designs and builds the aircraft—including bringing more of the process back in house after outsourcing it. The changes are intended to ensure that the new plane meets customer expectations, with fewer of the design and production missteps that have plagued the cutting-edge 787.

"We're beginning to lay the seeds of a track record that hopefully will translate into confidence with our customers," said Scott Fancher, Boeing's vice president of airplane development. He ran the 787 program from December 2008 to early last year and helped overhaul how Boeing designs its jets.

The Dash Nine builds on Boeing's experience with the smaller 787-8, which was grounded by regulators world-wide for 3½ months after batteries burned on two aircraft in January. The bulk of the Dash Nine's changes, though, were set in motion before those incidents, and are focused not on safety but on efficiency—for Boeing and its customers.

The original 787 was hailed for its technological advances. It boasts the first fuselage and wings on a commercial jetliner made mostly of carbon composites, and its advanced electrical system replaces many functions previously performed by mechanical and pneumatic systems.

Boeing also adopted a new approach to making the plane, outsourcing much of the design and manufacturing to suppliers in an effort to slash its share of the investment cost. Boeing engineers designed only 40% of the parts for the original Dreamliner, Mr. Fancher said.

The approach brought problems. Boeing's suppliers, in turn, outsourced to subcontractors, which caused design changes to pile up and feuds between Boeing and its suppliers.

Originally scheduled for delivery in May 2008, the 787-8 didn't make its commercial debut until more than three years later, a costly delay. Barclays Capital estimates Boeing that spent more than $12 billion to develop the original 787, not including factory equipment—more than double what analysts say was Boeing's original estimate of $5 billion. Barclays says the 787-9 cost an additional $3.5 billion to $4 billion. Boeing doesn't disclose its development spending for the 787.

For the Dash Nine, Boeing reversed course, designing 60% to 70% of plane internally, Mr. Fancher said. That's comparable with its previous all-new jet, the long-range 777, which was first delivered in 1995.

Boeing also has started manufacturing more of the plane itself, hoping that will help the company increase total Dreamliner output to 10 planes a month, its fastest pace ever for a twin-aisle jet. Boeing builds seven a month today and will soon move to the record rate.

For the first Dreamliners, Boeing manufactured 25% to 30% of each plane in house. That has increased to 35% for the line as a whole and the share is even greater for the 787-9. Its horizontal tail, for example, is now designed and manufactured at a Boeing facility in Salt Lake City, instead of by an Italian supplier that has struggled with quality control.

To cut weight and assembly time, Boeing has redesigned some multiple-piece components into single pieces, including parts of the windshield and body frames.There are "hundreds, maybe thousands" of small and large changes from nose to tail to lighten the aircraft and make it easier, quicker and less expensive to assemble, Mr. Fancher said.

The Dash Nine's original due date of 2010 was delayed by the broader problems that bedeviled the first version. But the current plan for initial delivery next year has remained relatively stable since late-2011. Mr. Fancher said assembly and engineering have remained on time.

The Dash Nine is Boeing's "chance to make things right, and live up to the original promise of the program," said Richard Aboulafia, a vice president at the Teal Group aerospace consulting firm.

Customers have high expectations. The new version accounts for 41% of Boeing's 936 Dreamliner orders. And orders for the Dash Nine and the 787-10, which is slated for 2018 delivery, have accounted for three-quarters of new 787s sold since 2009. The list price of the Dash Nine is $249.5 million, before the discounts that are typical in the industry, compared with $211.8 million for the 787-8.

Boeing currently sells each Dreamliner for less than it costs to manufacture. But the company says the Dreamliner program already is profitable, based on accounting standards that allow it to average estimated costs over 1,100 deliveries expected to stretch to the end of the decade. That makes it crucial for Boeing to bring costs down with revised supplier agreements and factory changes, and to sell jets that command higher prices. After discounts, Barclays estimates Boeing will be able to sell the 787-9 on average for about $10 million to $12 million more than the smaller model, or about $110 to $112 million.

Boeing hasn't disclosed production plans for the Dash Nine. A person familiar with its planning says the Dash Nine quickly will dominate production, accounting for a quarter of the 200th to 300th Dreamliners the company builds, half of the next 50 planes and 70% of the 50 planes after that. Mr. Fancher declined to comment on the pace of the Dash Nine's introduction.

Boeing has continued to develop what it can do with composite technology and is still learning as it moves on from the hard lessons of the 787-8. The company this year told customers—after manufacturing had begun—that it would have to reinforce part of the structure that connects wings to the body after analysis showed that the area needed to be strengthened.

Boeing says the reinforcement caused a "minor impact" on the schedule during assembly but didn't affect Tuesday's flight or the Dash Nine's scheduled first delivery to Air New Zealand Ltd. in the middle of next year.

A version of this article appeared September 17, 2013, on page B3 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: New Dreamliner Takes Flight.


Source:  http://online.wsj.com

Lancair 360, C-FXCK, Youth Aviation of Canada Inc: Accident occurred September 17, 2013 in Liaoning Province, Faku County - China

The body of a Hollywood stunt pilot has been found days after his plane crashed as he was apparently practicing one of his tricks. 

 Dave Riggs, who has been missing since Tuesday's accident, died in China where he was reportedly rehearsing for an air show near Shenyang.

His body was found as divers searched the bottom of a lake and officials said he was probably killed when the aircraft struck the water.

His Chinese translator also lost her life. She was pulled from the lake but died later in hospital.

The head of the search team Zhang Fang said Riggs crashed while attempting a stunt in which his plane's wheels were to drag along the lake surface at high speed.

Riggs' single-engine Lancair 320 plane broke into pieces on impact and some parts have been recovered, including one of its two seats.

He had just taken off in a light rain, but there was no indication he had violated any flying regulations.

Other reports said Chinese officials had urged Riggs not to take off, but Mr Zhang said he had no information about that.

Riggs' website said he has held several aviation speed world records, but it does not mention the fact his US pilot's license had been suspended twice, reported AP.

The news agency said the first suspension was after he flew close to Santa Monica pier in Los Angeles in his Vodochody L-39 Albatros jet trainer.

Riggs was sentenced to 60 days of community service and 60 days in jail for reckless flying.

He lost his license again in November for selling rides in his plane without permission.

The prosecution came after a plane piloted by a business partner crashed, killing both people on board.

The pilot's website also said: "Dave Riggs and his team of pilots and visual professionals have delivered compelling images for such notable projects as the films Jar Head, Casino Royale and Iron Man."


http://news.sky.com

Rescuers are expanding their search for a missing US pilot on Thursday, though they said the pilot was unlikely to be found alive two days after his stunt plane crashed into a lake in northeast China's Liaoning province.

The accident occurred around 1 p.m. on Tuesday when a  Lancair 360 aircraft with pilot David Riggs and a Chinese translator on board crashed into Taihu Lake in Liaoning's capital city of Shenyang, during a trial flight.

The translator was pulled from the water but died later in hospital. Riggs remains unaccounted for.

Rescuers on Thursday expanded their search area to 100 meters around the site of the crash. Twenty rescuers from the Beijing-based Lantian rescue team also have joined the 11-member team from the Beihai rescue bureau under the Ministry of Communications in the search.

A seat and two seat-backs have been salvaged with another seat yet to be found, leading to speculation that the missing pilot was probably fastened to the seat and remained trapped in the aircraft.

Riggs is an experienced Hollywood aerobatic pilot who had set several speed records worldwide. He came to Shenyang to attend the "AOPA-China Fly-In 2013" air show scheduled to run from Sept. 20 to 22 in Faku County.

The organizing committee of the show said the US team may be absent from the performance due to the accident. A total of 12 aircraft from Sweden, the United States, France and the Republic of Lithuania were due to attend the event.

The aircraft was assembled at a local airport, according to the committee, but it had undertaken three successful trial flights before the accident.

The aircraft belongs to the MACH 1 aerobatic team from the United States.

The CAAC Northeast Regional Administration has set up a work team to investigate the cause of the accident.

=============

BEIJING -- The Southern California daredevil whose plane crashed into a lake in northeastern China while performing stunts from the movie “Top Gun” had disregarded warnings to cancel his flight because of bad weather, witnesses said Wednesday.

A search for the pilot, David G. Riggs, continued Wednesday, but neither he nor his body had been located by nightfall.

Riggs crashed into a lake near Shenyang on Tuesday afternoon while flying a Lancair 320, a high-performance single-engine aircraft made from a kit.

Riggs was a controversial figure, who had lost his pilot's license twice for buzzing the Santa Monica Pier and for illegally selling rides to the public. Although his license had not been restored, Chinese organizers hired him as one of the star performers in the International Flight Conference & General Aviation Products Expo, which is set to open Friday.

His 18-year-old translator was killed instantly in Tuesday’s crash.

Witnesses said Riggs was practicing a stunt in the rain that required him to gently touch the wheels of the aircraft on the water of the lake to make it appear the plane was skiing.

"The weather was bad. It was raining," said Xu Jiuqing of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, one of the organizers of the air show. “There were suggestions that he cancel his flight, but he didn’t listen to our advice. He insisted on flying."

Riggs’ flight took off at 1:40 p.m. local time from the Shenyang Faku General Aviation Base, and within two miles crashed straight into the lake.

Chinese officials said Wednesday that extensive wreckage of the airplane had been recovered from the lake, but as of Wednesday afternoon, local time, not Riggs’ body.

"They are still searching for him or his body," said Zhi Jiezhi, of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Assn. of China, another organizer of the show.

Riggs, whose aviation company is based in Studio City, is one of the most notorious private pilots in Southern California.

In November 2008, he made several low-level passes over the Santa Monica Pier in an Aero Vodochody L-39 Albatros, a Czechoslovakian-built jet trainer once popular with Soviet bloc air forces.

The Federal Aviation Administration revoked Riggs’ flight privileges for a year and he was convicted of recklessly operating an aircraft, a misdemeanor. He was sentenced to 60 days of community service and 60 days in county jail, but he served only a few days of his jail sentence because of overcrowding in the facility.

Last November, Riggs lost his pilot’s license for another year for selling rides to the public in an L-39 without FAA approval. The enforcement action stemmed from an accident in May 2012 in which another L-39 crashed in the desert outside Boulder City, Nev., killing a veteran pilot and his passenger.

Authorities said Riggs was flying with another passenger in his own L-39 next to the ill-fated plane shortly before it crashed. He and the other pilot had sold rides to eight people who traveled to Boulder City Municipal Airport.

In an interview with Chinese state media published Tuesday, Riggs praised the rapid development of the Chinese aviation industry. But when asked what advice he would offer to budding pilots, he said they should concentrate not on flying but on their studies.

"Establish a solid foundation while you are young, especially study math and sciences, and continuously strive towards your dreams," he told the newspaper.


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

Lawsuits filed against Aeroframe, Aviation Technical Services

CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - 
  
The first employee lawsuits against Aeroframe and a second defendant have been filed in 14th Judicial District Court in Calcasieu.

Eleven employees are listed in the lawsuit as plaintiffs against defendants Aeroframe and Aviation Technical Services, or ATS, an aviation MRO based in Everette, Washington.

The employees are suing the defendants on four claims including: Louisiana last paycheck law, Louisiana civil code article 2315, interference with contract and unfair trade practices.

According to the narrative provided in the legal petition, Aeroframe and ATS had been in talks regarding a possible buyout or merger. The two companies then entered a "30-day look period" where ATS had access to Aeroframe's confidential financial information. After that 30-day period, ATS and Aeroframe were unable to reach an agreement. Aeroframe then entered into an intent agreement with AAR Technical Services. Attorneys for the employees allege the original deal between AAR and Aeroframe would have included enough funding to handle all of Aeroframe's finances including wages.

According to legal documents, attorneys for the employees allege in an effort to disrupt that agreement between AAR and Aeroframe, ATS purchased an outstanding loan they knew (from their 30-day look at Aeroframe's confidential financial information) Aeroframe couldn't satisfy and would either cancel the agreement or force Aeroframe into foreclosure.

Legal documents state, "ATS's actions caused a complete disruption of the deal between Aeroframe and AAR and prevented the deal from going forward on its original terms. ATS's actions also forced the immediate and unexpected closure of Aeroframe, termination of employees without payment of back wages and numerous debts of Aeroframe remaining unpaid."

An identical lawsuit has been filed in Cameron Parish.

A lawsuit presents the grievance of one party against others. It does not present both sides of the issue in question.


Source:  http://www.kplctv.com

Commemorative Air Force Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of AIRSHO



MIDLAND -- Warbirds invade West Texas for the 50th Annual Commemorative Air Force (CAF) AIRSHO presented by Western National Bank on Oct. 12-13. This milestone AIRSHO will feature Texas Flying Legends, a fantastic collection of warbirds, and some of today’s best civilian aerobatic performers.

The CAF began the annual AIRSHO in 1963 at Rebel Field in Harlingen, Texas. Beginning with only nine planes in attendance, the CAF AIRSHO is now known as “The Best Warbird Show in America.” Today, the CAF has 159 warbird aircraft in its fleet, many of which will be at the 2013 AIRSHO.

Each year, AIRSHO offers impressive displays of vintage military aircraft, popular civilian airshow performers, and a chance to get close to the aircraft or even take a flight!

This year’s civilian acts are sure to please. Anyone attending will feel the heat blast as the Shockwave Jet Truck boasting three jet engines propels down the runway. A new act, sure to be a hit, is the World’s smallest jet airplane, the FLS Microjet, which has been seen in the James Bond film, Octopussy. Other civilian acts include Jan Collmer's 300L and the Carbon Fiber Airshow.

Of course, AIRSHO is not complete without showcasing some of the CAF’s most beloved aircraft and performers. The World’s Only Flying B-29 Superfortress FIFI and the B-24 Liberator Diamond Lil along with Tora Tora Tora’s reenactment including pyrotechnics.

To celebrate the CAF’s 50th ARSHO, a stunning fireworks display will take place on Saturday night immediately following the air acts.

Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.airsho.org or in the Midland-Odessa, Texas area at Western National Bank, Domino’s Pizza and 7-Eleven stores.


Story and Video:   http://www.permianbasin360.com

Erie event will celebrate Challenger aircraft

 ERIE, Ill. — For 30 years the Quad City Ultralight Aircraft Corporation has been manufacturing the Challenger Light Sport airplane and on Saturday, the Eric Airpark will host a celebration to commemorate that anniversary.

Jim Robinson, owner and operator of the Erie Airpark, has been flying the Challenger aircraft for 26 years and for the past 15 of those years, he has built more than 20 planes as a Quad-City Challenger dealer.

“I like to tell people that flying a Challenger is flying the way it was 50 years ago,” Robinson said. “Saturday is a way to celebrate the company that made it all happen.”

In 1983, a man named Dave Goulet started the Quad-City Ultralight Aircraft Corporation, building the very first Challenger Light Sport airplane. To this day, Goulet is still the owner, making the Quad-City Ultralight Aircraft Corp. one of the oldest ultralight companies still under the same management.

It wasn’t long after that Robinson gained an interest in the Challenger series and began flying the small, 520-pound, stick and rudder airplane.

“It’s a very safe airplane. It’s got a great track record and very forgiving,” Robinson said. “If the engine quits while you’re in the air the plane essentially becomes a glider and for every foot you drop in altitude you go 10 feet forward. It almost won’t do anything wrong.”

Saturday will be an opportunity for fellow Challenger enthusiasts like Robinson to celebrate the ingenuity and success of the Quad- City Ultralight Aircraft Corp. and the more than 3,000 airplanes they have sold in their 30 years of business.

Robinson expects anywhere from 50 to 100 Challengers to be present on Saturday, whether permitting, with some traveling from as far as Canada.

“People will come from Alabama, North Dakota, South Dakota, Colorado, New Mexico — all over the United States — and eight Canadians,” Robinson said. “Most people who are flying in are coming from 1,000 miles or less and the rest will come in RV’s and cars.”

Because of the Challenger’s small size, the average gas tank is around 10 gallons, which only allows around 150 miles of travel before requiring another fill. Planes that are flying into the 30-year celebration will take several days before arriving at the grassy field at the Erie Airpark.

To welcome them, Robinson has set up several food vendors selling a variety of choices, including barbecue pulled pork sandwiches, barbecue ribs, ice cream and an assortment of refreshments.

Although Robinson himself does offer rides in his Challenger airplane, the crafts that will be present on Saturday will only be for pleasure viewing. Some pilots will display some flying but the Challenger is not meant to be an acrobatic aircraft.

“At first it was promoted as an air show but it’s not an air show,” Robinson said. “It’s just going to be guys flying around, looking at planes and talking about planes. It’s more like a car show, but for airplanes.”

- See more at: http://clintonherald.com

Denied a pilot’s license . . . Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, man charged with threatening to kill Obama

HARRISBURG — A Pennsylvania grand jury has charged a Clarks Summit man with threatening to kill President Barack Obama.

Prosecutors say that Nicholas Savino, 42, of 328 Melrose Ave., allegedly sent a threatening e-mail to the White House on Aug. 16.

The e-mail allegedly said that Obama is the Anti-Christ and that he must stand down or be shot dead.

The charges stem from an investigation by the U.S. Secret Service and the Clarks Summit police.

According to Clarks Summit Police Chief Joe Laguzzi, his department received a phone call from the Federal Aviation Administration in Oklahoma, where Savino previously lived, Aug. 22, one day before President Barack Obama was scheduled to talk in Scranton, regarding threatening e-mails Savino sent to the White House and Federal Aviation Administration after he was denied a pilot’s license.

“They were really concerned that he was living in our town,” Laguzzi said.

Clarks Summit police learned that Savino was working as an engineer in Lackawanna County and the Scranton Secret Service took him into custody at his place of work Aug. 22.

On Aug. 23, the day Obama visited Scranton, local police seized ammunition and weapons at a home in Clarks Summit on behalf of the Secret Service.

Clarks Summit police and the Lackawanna County SWAT Team served a search warrant on the residence and seized “a very large amount of ammunition and weapons,” including an AR-15 military-style rifle and a long range scope, according to Laguzzi. He added they also seized several computers and anti-government literature.

According to Laguzzi, Savino’s landlord said his family has moved his possessions out of the the home, presumably back to New Jersey, and he is no longer living at that address.


Source:   http://timesleader.com

Pilot missing near Yakutat has years of flying experience

Alan Foster, the pilot missing out of Yakutat for more than a week, is a seasoned commercial aviator and mechanic who has flown all over Alaska.

Foster's friends and family painted a vivid picture of the 47-year-old Anchorage man in interviews Monday as the search continued for the Piper PA-32 Cherokee that dropped off radar near the rugged terrain of the Malaspina Glacier last Monday.

Searchers on Friday picked up a tantalizing signal: a small, soundless electronic "ping" from the area of Mount Eberly, a 7,000-foot peak at the southern edge of the ice fields in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve. The signal popped up one more time -- and then didn't turn up again.

Despite a small armada of air support, the exact location of the signal proved elusive, according to Lt. Bernie Kale, a spokesman for the Alaska National Guard.

The search continued Monday. As of Sunday, the search had expanded to take in a broad expanse from Whittier to western Prince William Sound.

Six Civil Air Patrol planes flew out of Cordova, Kale said. An Alaska Air National Guard rescue C-130 scanned higher terrain. A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter searched lower altitudes.

Monday afternoon, Foster's mother said the family was keeping their hopes up.

On Sunday, search coordinators told Lois McClellan a pilot had radioed her son as two flew past each other at Cape Yakataga, about midway between Yakutat and Cordova along the shore of Prince William Sound. The pilot, headed for Yakutat, told Foster the weather back toward Cordova was pretty bad, McClellan said.

"That's the last known place that anybody had seen him," she said. "He told the other pilot he was going to hug the beach. That's the last they heard of him."

She said Monday's search included areas of the Copper River where Foster has flown before to avoid weather.

Foster and a friend had just bought the PA-32 from a seller in Georgia, his mother said. He was flying the plane home.

Foster, who attended high school in Unalakleet, started flying at the age of 16 and obtained a commercial certification by 19, McClellan said. He studied aeronautical engineering at Stanford University on a four-year scholarship.

These days, Foster flies his twin-engine Beechcraft around the state, delivering freight to different villages.

Foster's friends and family -- his mother, two aunts, his brother and sister, his three children and their mother -- are monitoring search efforts from the McClellan home in Anchorage.

"I've had so many calls," McClellan said. "He's got friends from all over the state and all over the Lower 48."

Andre Camara met Foster, an avid Aces fan, in an adult hockey league.

Foster brought an infectious enthusiasm and sense of humor to the team, Camara said. He always wore a wig with long hair under his hockey helmet, Camara said. But he was resourceful too, and always ready to help out.

Camara, an energy manager for the Anchorage School District, said he's glad the search for his friend continues.

"It's the first thing I hope to see when I fire up my laptop to read the paper or catch up on the news," he said. "I'm hoping to hear something good. I wouldn't put it past him to be able to survive out there."

There is no plan to shift to a ground search at this point, Kale said. Search decisions will be made by the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, in concert with the Coast Guard and Alaska State Troopers, he said.

As of Monday morning, searchers looking for Foster and the PA-32 had flown 46 missions and logged a total of more than 160 hours, Kale said. Normally aircraft searchers net results within a day or two. The mountainous terrain and periods of bad weather have complicated this search, he said. The plane also had no emergency beacon registered to it, though it's possible there was one on board.

Rescue coordinators keep in close contact with family members.

"We know how important this is," Kale said. "Every day that goes by, it's just that much more important for us to go out and look."

Original Article and Photo:   http://www.adn.com

Plane in distress lands safely at Brisbane Airport after landing gear malfunctions

An aircraft  has landed safely at Brisbane Airport after its landing gear malfunctioned, prompting emergency services to leap into action.

The small passenger jet was carrying 47 passengers and reported mechanical difficulties just after 5pm.

With emergency services on standby, it landed safely at the domestic terminal about 5.20pm.

A Queensland Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said the plane experienced landing gear problems.

A statement issued by Brisbane Airport on Twitter confirmed the aircraft in distress had landed safely.

Vincent Aviation later confirmed the landing gear malfunction was on a charter flight arriving in Brisbane from Roma.

CEO Murray Collings said the BAE146 aircraft's undercarriage wasn't in the correct position after take-off but there was "normal indication and normal landing" at Brisbane Airport.

"As a precaution they elected to come back at a slower speed," Mr Collings said.

"Aviation services must have contacted emergency services because we didn't actually declare an emergency."

Mr Collings said engineers would inspect the aircraft before its next flight.

A Brisbane Airport spokeswoman said the incident hadn't caused delays at the terminal and no-one was hurt.

Source: http://www.couriermail.com.au

Tbilisi to Tehran outbound flight returns due to technical problems

A passenger plane of Iranian ATA AIRLINES bound for Tbilisi-Tehran returned to Tbilisi airport.

The plane had to return to Tbilisi International Airport soon after take-off due to technical problems, the airport's press service told Trend on Tuesday. The passengers disembarked.

According to preliminary data, the technical problems have already fixed and the flight will be implemented in few hours, the airport said.

No reason was given for the problems which made the plane to return to Tbilisi.


Source:  http://en.trend.az

Florida prisoner Vernon 'Skip' Williams: An innocent man?

FLORIDA, September 16, 2013 — Vernon “Skip” Williams is likely a victim of overzealous and malicious prosecution.

After flying an acquantance, William Hagen, to Texas, Williams and Hagen were returning home to Florida from Texas in a rented Piper PA-28 airplane. Hagen had secretly concealed 65 lbs. of marijuana on board. Also unbeknownst to Williams, Hagen had a criminal history of marijuana distribution.





Coming out of Louisiana where the DVFR flight plan was misconstrued as a VFR plan, Williams encountered a low cloud ceiling. Because he was not instrument rated, he had to duck beneath the clouds in order to use landmarks for navigation. However, flying this low disrupted radio 

communication to New Orleans International Airport and Williams was directed by air traffic control to communicate with them after he gained altitude.

Having gained altitude, Williams discovered he was out of range of New Orleans International and attempted to contact other airports. Williams then found himself surrounded by two F-16 Navy jet fighter aircraft that had pulled alongside of him and physically signaled him to use radio contact.

At this point, Williams discovered the rented aircraft’s radio had malfunctioned. He attempted to call via emergency channel and found a male voice telling him to contact Tyndall Air Force Base and suggested Williams close out his flight plan upon landing.

The military became involved because of 9/11, which had recently taken place, and because Williams appeared to be headed toward a nuclear power plant. Two hours from Williams intended destination, the F-16’s broke off over the Gulf and disappeared from view.

Williams landed at Crystal Rivers, his point of origin and return destination when his airplane was surrounded by law enforcement, notably the local S.W.A.T. Williams and Hagen were ordered to exit the aircraft and handcuffed.

After it was clear the Williams and Hagen were not a national security concern and the nuclear power plant was never in jeopardy, the two were released. As Williams walked off the tarmac, one of the S.W.A.T. members asked if they could search the plane. Unaware of the contraband in the rear cargo hold, Williams had no hesitation or reservation of what he considered a courtesy to put to rest lingering suspicions and said “Sure, go ahead”.

To Williams stunned surprise, 65 lbs. of marijuana was discovered where it was hidden. Williams glared hard at Hagen who stared at the ground refusing to look in William’s direction. Despite Williams objections, the two were arrested and placed in Citrus County, Florida jail, where Williams telephoned his mother to settle a $250,000 bond.

Read more: http://communities.washingtontimes.com

Teterboro Airport (KTEB) gets $1M for runway project



The federal government agreed on Monday to pitch in $1 million to build a stretch of collapsible concrete at the end of a Teterboro Airport runway to stop wayward jets.

It will be the airport's third and final arrester bed, designed to stop planes that overshoot the runway. The aerated concrete crumbles when a jet's wheels sink into it, quickly slowing the aircraft.

The arrester bed is under construction at the south end of Runway 6-24 and is expected to be completed by the end of the year, a Port Authority spokesman said. In 2005, a jet taking off from the same runway overran the north end, crossed Route 46 and slammed into a building. An arrester bed was installed on that end of the runway in October 2006, and another was built on the south end of Runway 1-19.

A law authored after the 2005 crash by U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg required all major airports to have a 1,000-foot buffer zone at the end of runways by 2015. Arrester beds are required at airports, like Teterboro, without enough space to comply.

The Federal Aviation Administration awarded the money to the Port Authority. An agency spokesman could not immediately provide the total cost of the arrester bed on Monday

Source:  http://www.northjersey.com