Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Memorial ride set for Conway plane crash victims

The three people killed in an August plane crash in Conway will be honored Saturday during a memorial ride.

James Wayne Major Jr., 39, of Conway, Kenneth “Ken” James Piuma, 42, of Myrtle Beach and Donald “Donnie” Dale Becker, 16, of Conway were killed in the crash that occurred about 12:45 p.m. Aug. 3 at the entrance to Woodcreek subdivision along Dunn Shortcut Road.

Family members and friends of the trio are hosting a memorial ride for the victims with the proceeds to be divided among three charities that area Donnie’s Memorial Fund, a local Alzheimer’s association and the Boston Terrier Rescue of South Carolina.

The ride is set to begin at 11:30 a.m. at the Boathouse and follow a schedule that makes stops at the Harley Roadhouse, Dead Dog Saloon, Beaver Bar and Sundown before it ends at 6:30 p.m., according to organizers.

The entry fee is $15 per person, which includes a five card draw and food at the end of the run. Raffles, a silent auction and a 50/50 drawing at each stop will be included in the run.

A preliminary report, released Aug. 15 by the National Transportation Safety Board, showed that the plane, a Beechcraft D55 Baron, took off from the Conway-Horry County Airport about 12 p.m. Aug. 3 and crashed nearly an hour later.

Major was the pilot, while Piuma and Becker were passengers and all three died at the scene. In the report, NTSB investigators noted that no flight plan was filed for the personal flight and no weather conditions were involved.

Witnesses told authorities they heard the plane approach saw it swing around and then crash into the ground. The crash occurred about two miles from the airport and all flight control equipment were accounted for at the scene, according to the report. Officials also removed a handheld GPS receiver, two smart phones, an iPad mini and a Garmin GTN 750 from the wreckage.

Officials previously said it will be six to nine months before a factual report and up to a year before a probable cause and final report to be completed in the crash.

Major held a private pilot certification that was reissued May 24 with ratings for single-engine and multi-engine planes as well as instrument airplanes, according to records with the Federal Aviation Administration. Piuma also held a student pilot certification issued March 14.

The plane was registered to Major Aviation LLC., based in Lewes, Delaware, according to an FAA registry. It was manufactured in 1968 and had a valid certificate.

Original article: http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com

NTSB Identification: ERA13FA348 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, August 03, 2013 in Conway, SC
Aircraft: BEECH D55, registration: N7641N
Injuries: 3 Fatal.

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

On August 3, 2013, about 1250 eastern daylight time, a Beech D55, N7641N, owned and operated by a private individual, was destroyed by postimpact fire/explosion when it impacted a telephone pole and then terrain near Conway, South Carolina. The private pilot and two passengers were fatally injured. The flight departed from Conway-Horry County Airport (HYW), Conway, South Carolina, about 1200. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight which was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to witnesses, they heard the airplane approaching from the southwest and noticed it was extremely low. The airplane then executed a steep right turn, leveled its wings, and begun to rock side to side. The airplane descended and its left wing impacted a telephone pole at an estimated height of 30 feet above ground level. The airplane then spun approximately 180 degrees and impacted terrain, exploding shortly after impact.

The accident site was located at the entrance of a residential neighborhood, about 2 miles to the north of the approach end of runway 22 at HYW. The wreckage was oriented about 305 degrees magnetic. All flight control surfaces were accounted for at the scene. A piece of the left wing spar and panel were found about 20 feet from the wreckage. Flight control continuity was confirmed for the elevator and rudder to the aft cabin area, but due to the postcrash fire continuity could not be confirmed for the ailerons. The right engine’s propeller blades exhibited postcrash impact damage with minimal leading edge and rotational signature damage. Two of the left engine’s propeller blades exhibited S-curve bending and tip curling. The third propeller blade was located about 190 feet north of the wreckage and exhibited S-curve bending.

A handheld GPS receiver, two smart phones, iPad mini, and a Garmin GTN 750, were recovered from the wreckage and forwarded to the NTSB Vehicle Recorders Laboratory for data download. The two engines will be retained for further examination.

Michigan State Police flyovers target illegal marijuana plants

The Michigan State Police conducted cannabis searches from the air Monday in Livingston County.

An official with the Brighton post confirmed that a helicopter conducted the searches in various areas, including the Deerfield, Handy and Cohoctah townships areas, where area residents also reported seeing a low-flying helicopter doing a figure-8 pattern.

Whether any marijuana was found or arrests were made was not immediately available Monday.

The search is funded through a federal program — Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program (DCE/SP) — administered by the Drug Enforcement Administration, which provides funding to states in support of marijuana-eradication programs.

The DCE/SP began funding eradication programs in Hawaii and California in 1979 and it rapidly expanded to include programs in 25 states by 1982. By 1985, all 50 states were participating in the DCE/SP.

In 2012, the program was responsible for the eradication of nearly 49,000 cultivated plants from indoor and outdoor growing operations in Michigan, according to DEA statistics.

In addition, the DCE/SP’s Michigan program included 406 arrests and the seizure in excess of $1.02 million in cultivator assets. The program also removed 283 weapons from cannabis cultivators.

Original article:  http://www.freep.com

Secrecy hovers over airport hiring: Sikorsky Memorial (KBDR), Bridgeport, Connecticut

BRIDGEPORT -- The hiring of Pauline Mize, the new acting manager at Sikorsky Memorial Airport, could be a fresh start for the scandal-plagued facility.

She brings prior experience running a small airport, something fired predecessor John Ricci lacked when he landed at Sikorsky over two decades ago.

But the details of how Mize -- the longtime companion of Bridgeport-Port Jefferson Ferry Manager Fred Hall -- was chosen are as secret as the $400,000 taxpayer-funded driveway that got Ricci terminated.

The mayor's office has ignored repeated questions about the hiring process, such as whether the opening was advertised and how many candidates applied with Mize.

Mize began work last Monday and the mayor's office issued a formal announcement Thursday, saying she would fill the job while a national search continued. But Mize is in the running to be the permanent airport manager.

"I don't know anybody at the airport that was not surprised," said David Faile, Jr., head of the 650-member strong Friends of Sikorsky. The group uses and promotes Sikorsky.

The last Faile knew, Steve Ford, Sikorsky's longtime superintendent of operations, was running things during the nationwide search.

And that was what the mayor told members of the Sikorsky Airport Commission, according to minutes of the group's Sept. 3 meeting. The commission includes Finch, Bridgeport City Council President Thomas McCarthy, D-133 and Stratford Mayor John Harkins.

Finch fired Ricci in August for allegedly failing to reveal his business relationship with developer Manuel "Manny" Moutinho. The city, with Ricci's help, quietly hired Moutinho earlier this year to build a $400,000, no-bid driveway over airport land to Moutinho's mansion and three neighboring properties.

Hearst Connecticut Newspapers first reported on the driveway in early June when it was completed. The city has insisted that, despite the Ricci scandal, Moutinho was owed a driveway because his original access way will be taken as part of a Sikorsky runway safety project.

Faile said the first time many people learned of Mize was last Wednesday in an email about a change in the procedure for requesting an airport security badge. Mize was mentioned as the person initiating the change. "I was just blown out of the water," Faile said. "Let us know she's coming and make sure there's introductions."

He added he thought Ford was doing a good job filling Ricci's role.

"To me it's confusing," Faile said.

A week later and the Finch administration has provided little additional insight, ignoring basic questions from Hearst Connecticut Newspapers about Mize's selection.

"Ms. Mize was chosen from amongst various solicited resumes," Finch spokeswoman Elaine Ficarra wrote late Monday in an email, ignoring questions about whether the airport manager job was advertised, how many others applied, and was Mize approved by the Civil Service Office?

In that same email Ficarra, after consulting with the city attorney's office and Finch Chief-of-Staff Adam Wood, refused a request to release any other resumes submitted by additional candidates. She cited restrictions within the state Freedom of Information Act.

"The city is not obligated to release the identity of applicants," Ficarra said. "Indeed, to do so would be violating the confidentiality that the applicants had reason to rely upon based upon and expressed exemption to the FOIA."

But according to the state's FOIA office, that exemption only applies if the city formed an official executive search committee. And that's another question the mayor's office has ignored -- who selected Mize and how?

In an interview late last week, Mize recalled learning of Ricci's departure through news articles and submitting her resume to Bridgeport.

She said she was interviewed by three members of Finch's staff -- Chief Administrative Officer Andrew Nunn, Alanna Kabel, assistant chief administrative officer, and a third, unnamed employee.

Nunn is also acting director of the city Port Authority, which is helping negotiate the Bridgeport-Port Jefferson Ferry's relocation across the city's harbor after the Zoning Commission denied the move.

Mize confirmed last week that she has been in a relationship with the ferry's general manager, Fred Hall, for 16 years and the two live together in a home on Long Island.

The mayor's office has also ignored questions about whether that relationship was known when Mize was hired. But Anastasi and Mize last week said there is no conflict-of-interest because the ferry has no dealings with the airport.

Lennie Grimaldi, who ran Finch's successful 2000 race for state Senate, last week reported on Mize on his Only in Bridgeport news site. Grimaldi said he too is puzzled by how the administration has handled her introduction.

"Because of the recent airport controversy, the city has to roll out this kind of story in full before the media rolls it out, otherwise it can take on a life of its own," Grimaldi said. "She appears to be someone who has background in running at least one airport, and that brings something positive to the table."

Original article:   http://www.ctpost.com

Clydesdale helps celebrate opening of the Eighteen/76 bar at Lambert-St Louis International Airport (KSTL), Missouri

(KTVI) – Travelers at Lambert Airport will see something out of the ordinary before they head through security today: a Budweiser Clydesdale. 

 It’s obviously not going to be taking to the skies. So, Vice President of Experimental Marketing for AB-Inbev, Julia Mize stopped by FOX 2 with “Scott” the Clydesdale.

Scott will be greeting travelers today from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in celebration of the opening of the Eighteen/76 bar at Lambert.  It’s located in Terminal 2 on the upper level.

The Eighteen/76 will be open from 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Lambert Airport.  Lambert will open the first new airport restaurant/bar that pays homage to the history of Budweiser.

Story and Video:   http://fox2now.com

Etihad, Cameroon Air Keen to Buy Air India Jets: India's Flag Carrier Plans to Sell Five 777-200 Long-Range Planes

September 24, 2013, 11:54 a.m. ET


The Wall Street Journal

NEW DELHI—Etihad Airways and Cameroon Airlines Corp. are among companies that have expressed an interest in buying five Boeing  777-200 long-range passenger jets from Air India Ltd., a person familiar with the matter said Tuesday.

Flag carrier Air India put the five planes up for sale after higher jet fuel prices and a dearth of demand from Indian travelers forced it to ditch plans to operate nonstop long-distance flights to North America. It tried to lease the planes in 2011 but found few takers.

Airlines, cargo operators and other interested parties have until Thursday to make an offer. The deadline has been advanced from the end of December because of the interest from Etihad and Cameroon Airlines, as well as from an unnamed leasing company, the person told The Wall Street Journal.

He said teams from Etihad and Cameroon Airlines have already inspected the planes.

"The offers will be evaluated by the management [of Air India] and a decision will be taken soon after," the person said. "Some of the interested parties wanted the last date for bidding to be advanced from end-December so that they entire process can be expedited."

The person didn't disclose the potential value of Air India's five 777-200 LR jets. A brand-new 777-200 LR jet has a Boeing list price of $296 million.

Thomas Clarke, a spokesman for Etihad, declined to comment. Efforts to reach executives at Cameroon Airlines for comment were unsuccessful.

Air India acquired four of the Boeing planes in 2007 and one in 2008. The airline has eight 777-200 jets—part of its fleet of 108 planes. The 777-200 long-range plane can fly up to 17,395 kilometers with a full payload of 301 passengers, according to Boeing. The jets owned by Air India have 238 seats.

Air India is selling the jets in effort to become profitable. The airline hasn't posted a net profit since 2007 when the Indian government merged Indian Airlines and Air India to create the current entity.

Air India wants to replace the fuel-guzzling 777-200 jets with Boeing's more fuel-efficient Dreamliner jets. It ordered 27 Dreamliners in 2006 and has received eight so far.

"When the 777-200s were acquired, it was thought that people would prefer long-distance, nonstop travel to places like San Francisco and Seattle from India. But most preferred to travel with a stopover as it was cheaper as well," the person said.

Source:  http://online.wsj.com

Panel airs impact of transportation logistics issues on Perimeter business, state

UPS Vice President Chuck Altimari moderated a Perimeter Business Alliance panel discussion Friday, Sept. 20, on the economic impact of logistics and transportation locally and in Georgia–key factors on operations at the Sandy Springs-based package handling company.

The panel discussion featured Hartsfield Jackson International Airport Aviation General Manager Louis Miller, and Georgia Ports Authority Chief Operating Officer Griff Lynch in addition to Altimari. Around 100 Perimeter business executives attended he luncheon meeting at Villa Christina.

Altimari, who is chairman of the Fulton Perimeter Community Improvement District and a member of the board of trustees of the Perimeter Business Alliance (PBA), said logistics and transportation “have supported me for my 36 year professional career,” and which he said is important to the overall growth and economic development of the state of Georgia.

Though the Atlanta airport and the Port of Savannah are not physically located within the Perimeter, Altimari and the other two panel members said they still have a major impact on business locally, just as the continued transportation improvements in the Perimeter area impact the airport and coastal ports.

As an example, Altimari pointed out that the next big transportation priority for the PBA and the two Perimeter CIDs is improving the GA 400/I-285 interchange. He asked the other panelists how traffic around the Perimeter affects their operations.

Miller said better traffic flow throughout the metro region is important for the airport to run smoothly. “We want them to be able to get to the airport as quickly as possible,” Miller said. “If they’re slowed down coming into or coming out, it impacts traffic around the airport.”

He told the audience that the airport is investing $70 million on inbound and outbound roadway improvements at the airport property. “Anything that helps travelers get to the airport is important,” he explained, and that includes access for freight handlers as well.

Altimari added, “It’s about Hartsfield Airport and getting to it and to customers anywhere in the world.” He said the proximity of Hartsfield Jackson International Airport was a big factor in UPS’ decision to re locate its corporate headquarters from Connecticut to the Perimeter.

He explained that UPS flies five planes a day to Hartsfield from hubs in the U.S. and the company has 800,000 square feet of warehouse space in south Atlanta because of the airport.

Altimari said UPS spends millions of dollars each year trying to improve its scheduling and delivery of packages. “It is critical to us” that transportation improvements such as the GA 400/I-285 interchange are a priority and take place. He said it also is “critical to employee retention” at the company’s headquarters.

The UPS executive added that access to direct flights through Hartsfield is a big boost for the area’s economic development efforts as well as being an important resource for the shipment of packages and for shuttling its executives to posts throughout the world.

Lynch told the audience, “We are a gateway to the entire Southeast, but Atlanta is a major component of our growth. It’s very important that we rely on each other.” He said businesses want to know that their cargo can move quickly to its destination once it is unloaded in Savannah. “If cargo can’t move fluidly, they’re not going to come,” Lynch added.

He said the Ports Authority is spending $100 million a year to improve operations to move freight more efficiently from the ships to their destinations. “Water is the slowest way to move freight, but once it gets to port, it needs to move quickly,” Lynch said.

He said the Ports Authority is canvassing the state looking for inland rail and truck ports to help in the distribution of the freight.

Lynch said the Georgia Ports Authority directly employs about 1,000 people. But according to a study from the University of Georgia (which is done every two years), the movement of the cargo that comes through the ports creates more than 350,000 jobs statewide.

Altimari explained that, at present, the bulk of freight from Asia goes to Long Beach, California, because the size of the ships required to handle the capacity of the freight cannot go through the Panama Canal. When the expansion of the canal is completed, much of that freight will come to East Coast ports—hopefully including the Port of Savannah.

The Port of Savannah is the fourth largest port in the U.S., but it can presently only handle ships up to 9,2300 TEUs (20-foot equivalent units). Lynch said he had a call from a customer on his way to the luncheon who asked if the port could handle a 14,000 TEC ship. The answer now is no.

Lynch said, “There are ships now loading in Savannah and then going to Charleston to top off,” because the depth of the Savannah River is too shallow.“ Charleston’s port is only 50 percent as active as Savannah’s.

“Savannah has the shallowest depth river of any port in the U.S.,” Lynch said. Of the funds needed to deepen the river, the Ports Authority has $231 million but still needs $400 million more. He said he expects Congress to pass a bill in October that will let the authority to go forward with increasing the depth of the river.

Original article:  http://www.thecrier.net

El Al again halts Eilat flights on safety concerns

Airline says new flight path to Eilat implemented by Aviation Authority does not offer the proper safety level for civil aviation.

El Al Airlines will again suspend its daytime Tel Aviv-Eilat flight from Thursday, September 26. Passengers who were planning to spend the weekend in the resort town, or return from it, will have to go by bus and obtain a refund from the airline. El Al will continue to make its nighttime flight to Eilat, using the current flight path.

Two weeks ago, El Al suspended its daytime flight to Eilat, citing changes in the landing path by the Israel Civil Aviation Authority, which the airline called hazardous to passenger safety. Following intensive talks between El Al and the Civil Aviation Authority, the latter allowed the airline to continue using the previous flight path for two weeks, until conclusions were drawn over the new flight path. The deadline expires on Thursday, and the Civil Aviation Authority has not granted El Al another extension.

“We will not compromise the safety of our passengers. The new flight path to Eilat does not offer the proper safety level for civil aviation,” said El Al in a statement.

“El Al’s experts, headed by its chief pilot and Boeing 737 fleet manager, carried out additional meticulous tests in the past few days on the flight path proposed by the Civil Aviation Authority. In view of the analysis and the answers received from the Civil Aviation Authority to El Al’s questions, the expert opinion is that the new flight path does not allow a proper safety of civil aviation flights that is acceptable to El Al and at airports around the world.”

Original article:  http://www.jpost.com

Flight Risks Rise as Bird Strikes Increase: Reports of strikes increased five-fold over past 20 years

Birds and other wildlife have collided with aircraft at O'Hare and Midway International Airports more than 430 times since the beginning of 2012, and reports of wildlife strikes in the Chicago area have steadily risen over the past 20 years, NBC5 Investigates has found. 

What's more, it is likely that many more strikes at both airports have never been reported at all, making it unclear just how prevalent the problem of wildlife and aircraft may be.

Just three weeks ago, a Southwest Airlines flight bound for Chicago made an emergency landing in North Carolina after a bird flew into one of its engines. And the January, 2009 flight known as "The Miracle on the Hudson" - where Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger and his crew safely landed a U.S. Airways Airbus on New York's Hudson River after hitting a flock of birds - is the stuff of legend.

But bird-strikes like these are no rarity. In fact, they're surprisingly common, as a database maintained by the Federal Aviation Administration shows.

In just the first six months of 2013, NBC5 Investigates found that 103 strikes have already been reported at O'Hare and Midway, combined. The most recent full year of data is 2012, when O'Hare reported 251 strikes - up 111 percent over the previous five years. Midway reported a total of eighty bird strikes in 2012, staying relatively flat over the same five-year period. Nationwide, pilots report an average of 6,000 strikes a year with birds and other wildlife. Those reports have increased -- fivefold -- over the past twenty years.

Most of the strikes are inconsequential, with no damage or injuries. Others are minor - the airline equivalent of a fender-bender. But according to the reports filed with the FAA, scores of strikes in the Chicago area have caused significant damage to planes. In fact, across the country -- since 1990- 54 planes have been destroyed, and 23 people have been killed in crashes due to strikes by birds and other wildlife.

That's where the FAA's Wildlife Strike Database comes in. Its reports are analyzed and relied upon by industry groups and government agencies focused on reducing the overall risk of bird and wildlife strikes to aircraft.

But critics say the database - although filled with detailed information on species of wildlife and types of aircraft - doesn't go far enough, because reporting is not mandatory. By the FAA's own estimates, just 39% of bird strikes are reported. Despite urgings by the Department of Transportation and the National Transportation Safety Board for the FAA to require all wildlife strikes to be reported, the FAA has stated that it believes the current voluntary system is adequate.

Even a critical report by the U.S. DOT's inspector general, issued last year, has not moved the FAA to require the reporting of all strikes to civilian and commercial aircraft.

That makes the FAA the only major agency that requests - but doesn't require - wildlife strike reports. Every branch of the U.S. military mandates that all encounters between aircraft and wildlife must be reported. The general thinking is that the more information, the better.

"We redirect our efforts based on what we see in the strike database," said Aaron Spencer, a wildlife biologist with United States Department of Agriculture -- one of five full-time biologists stationed at O'Hare International Airport. "It lets us know where we need to put our time and effort into what types of birds to control."

Spencer said he and his colleagues work twelve hours a day, five days a week, keeping birds and other wildlife away from planes. And when birds are migrating in the spring and fall, the biologists work seven days a week. "We have seven thousand acres [at O'Hare], and the wildlife are always going to be interested in coming to the airport, so we … do everything we can to make the airport as unattractive as possible to wildlife," Spencer said. This includes making sure trees aren't too close together - to discourage birds from roosting - and planting shrubs and flowers that don't require a lot of water -- which also attracts wildlife.

The USDA biologists use the statistics from the FAA's database to focus their efforts on the animals most likely to strike a plane in their particular area of the country. In the case of O'Hare, the prime targets are waterfowl - like ducks, geese and gulls - and raptors - birds of prey, like hawks and falcons. Unlike at some airports, planes at O'Hare do not run a significant risk of colliding with mammals like deer or reptiles like turtles, because of the fence that completely surrounds the airfield. The potential for any kind of strike is "a concern for the largest airports in the country all the way down to the smallest airports in the country," Spencer says.

That was the case for Charlie Hilbrant, a former airline pilot. He was piloting a regional jet on a routine takeoff from O'Hare when a bird hit his window. "It's not a bang or a shudder," Hilbrant said. "You hear a thump, and you notice that your view out the airplane is obstructed now - because of the broken glass." Hilbrant and his co-pilot brought the jet back in for a safe landing. He now trains pilots to prepare for this kind of strike, in his current job as a flight instruction at Chicago Executive Airport in Wheeling.

"First thing to do is to remain calm," Hilbrant said. "You are still flying the aircraft, and you have a responsibility to the people on the ground to keep the plane flying safely above them." Even with its hundreds of bird strikes each year, the USDA's Spencer says the Chicago area is faring better than the country as a whole. According to federal numbers, fewer than one out every 100,000 planes in Chicago are significantly damaged by a wildlife strike. That compares to 1.4 out of 100,000 planes, nationwide.

Story, Video and Comments/Reaction:  http://www.nbcchicago.com

S. Korean survivors to file suit against Boeing over deadly plane crash

SEOUL, Sept. 24 (Yonhap) -- Several South Korean survivors of an Asiana jet that crashed in San Francisco in July plan to file a lawsuit against Boeing Co. over alleged defects in the plane, their lawyer said Tuesday, in what could be the first legal action by South Koreans over the accident.

Asiana Airlines' Boeing 777 crashed during its landing at San Francisco International Airport in July, killing three Chinese teenagers and injuring more than 180 other people.

Jason Ha, a lawyer of Barun Law LLC., one of major law firms in Seoul, said he will file a lawsuit on behalf of the South Korean survivors at the federal court in San Francisco next month to seek compensation of at least US$1 million for each passenger.

A Boeing official in Seoul said he had no immediate comment.

Attorney Ha said he has consulted with only four South Koreans, but the number of his clients could go up as his law firm plans to hold a meeting of prospective plaintiffs on Thursday.

"There is a high possibility that we will prevail," Ha said, noting that passengers in the economy class suffered damage to their spinal cords and heads as they were restrained only by lap belts that go over the waist.

They could have suffered less damage if they had lap-and-shoulder belts, the three-point harness that was installed only in first class and business class of the doomed flight, he said.

Aviation experts said the three-point seat restraints are more likely to protect passengers in a crash and other impact situations.

There is no precedent in the U.S. that involved the safety of lap-only seat belts of airlines.

Ha said the lawsuit could eventually prompt airline manufactures to install lap-and-shoulder belts in all seats, noting that all cars are now equipped with three-point belts in all seats after lap-only seat belts were found to be defective in a U.S. product liability lawsuit against a carmaker.

He also said he plans to file a suit against the U.S. federal government over alleged mistakes of air-traffic controllers in San Francisco.

Original article:   http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr

NTSB Identification: DCA13MA120
Scheduled 14 CFR Part 129: Foreign operation of Asiana Airlines
Accident occurred Saturday, July 06, 2013 in San Francisco, CA
Aircraft: BOEING 777-200ER, registration: HL7742
Injuries: 3 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 traveled in support of this investigation and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On July 6, 2013, about 1128 pacific daylight time, Asiana Airlines flight 214, a Boeing 777-200ER, registration HL7742, impacted the sea wall and subsequently the runway during landing on runway 28L at San Francisco International Airport (SFO), San Francisco, California. Of the 4 flight crewmembers, 12 flight attendants, and 291 passengers, about 182 were transported to the hospital with injuries and 3 passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was destroyed by impact forces and postcrash fire. The regularly scheduled passenger flight was operating under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 129 between Incheon International Airport, Seoul, South Korea, and SFO. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident.

South Korea Postpones Choice of Fighter Jet to Update Aging Fleet: WSJ

Tuesday, September 24, 2013 As of 6:50 AM EDT

By Jeyup S. Kwaak

The Wall Street Journal

SEOUL--South Korea postponed a decision on a multibillion-dollar fighter-jet contract, further delaying the update of its aging fleet and dealing a blow to Boeing Co., which had been expected to win the deal.

Seoul's Defense Ministry said Boeing's revamped version of its F-15, the sole contending aircraft to fit under South Korea's budget cap, fell short of necessary requirements.

Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said a majority of the final evaluation committee voted against the F-15 Silent Eagle at a meeting Tuesday. He cited threats from North Korea and "rapid advances in aviation technology" as reasons for the decision.

Rival bids from Lockheed Martin Corp. and the Eurofighter consortium were effectively disqualified last month for exceeding the budget cap of 8.3 trillion won ($7.7 billion) for 60 aircraft. Since then, the government has faced criticism from pundits, politicians and even a group of former air-force commanders for the expected purchase of the F-15SE--which they deem a lesser plane that will prove ineffective in neutralizing North Korean defenses.

The F-15SE is an upgrade of one of the best-selling fighter-jet platforms in the world, but Boeing has yet to secure any orders. The new model touts improvements in aerodynamics, avionics and "stealth" capabilities that make it less visible to radar. The order would have extended work at Boeing's St. Louis production line into the next decade, the U.S. company has said.

South Korean critics of the jet generally favor Lockheed Martin's freshly developed F-35. It is touted as the world's most advanced combat aircraft and is considered by many to have the most effective stealth capabilities among the three jets that were under consideration--but it has been saddled by cost overruns, glitches and delays.

Competitive pressure from nearby China and Russia, which are developing fifth-generation stealth jets of their own, also fueled critics' angst. Japan has ordered 42 F-35s, the first four scheduled for delivery by early 2017.

Seoul will take its procurement plans for 60 new aircraft back to the drawing board; reorganizing the process could take a year, the ministry said.

Concerns about South Korea's air capabilities are likely to grow with the latest delay: Its fleet of fighters dates back to the 1960s and '70s, and the expected 2017 delivery for the F-15 was already three years behind the original schedule. The bidding took more than a year.

Representatives for Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and the European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co. couldn't be immediately reached for comment.

Source:  http://online.wsj.com