Thursday, October 10, 2013

St. Marys airport vandalized same night that Navy repeats facility is a security, safety risk to Kings Bay

For the fourth time this year, runway lights at the St. Marys Airport were broken Wednesday night on the same night the Navy repeated it no longer wants the facility as a neighbor to Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base, officials said.

After the latest vandalism, the St. Marys Airport Authority contracted with fixed base operator Jeff Stanford to drive the airport runways daily to check for any damage or unauthorized activity, authority member Frank Drane said.

At the same time, the authority is going forward with securing a $500,000 grant to build a security fence around the airport even though authority members say it is a waste of money given the airport’s lack of traffic.

“Why would we want to spend that kind of money on an airport that is dying on the vine?’’ authority lawyer Jim Stein asked.

Although he also said the airport is not financially viable, Drane said one reason is the liability that could come with an accident or injury.

“I’m going to do my best to make it the most secure airport in the nation,’’ he said.

It is up to the city to close the airport and relocate it, but the City Council has made no move in that direction, Stein said.

Drane said the answer is to get the Georgia Department of Transportation, the FAA, the Navy and some state representatives together to get some “major players” behind a relocation.

“Asking the city doesn’t seem to work,’’ Drane said.

The city owns the airport and leases the facility to Airport Authority to operate.

That fact was made very clear in the past when the authority tried to assert itself into a proposal to move the airport to donated land near Woodbine.

The main sticking point could be the possibility that the FAA could require a reimbursement of an estimated $5 million it invested in the airport, Drane said.

Kings Bay public information officer Scott Bassett said the Navy made the same assertions Wednesday night that base and regional commanders made in letters a year ago.

“Our message was the same. The airport is a safety and security threat to the base. We support the facility in the relocation of the facility,’’ he said.

Bassett said an ongoing joint land use study on development around the base is due in mid-November.

“It will lay out some recommendations whether [the airport] is compatible or incompatible with our mission,’’ he said.

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Sólyom Hungarian Airways unable to pay salaries for September

Solyom Airways has informed the company’s 73 employees that it will not be able to pay their September salaries after talks broke down with a potential investor from Oman and the company was short of cash,, the website of the commercial television station, said on Thursday evening.

Solyom Airways CEO Jozsef Vago told MTI on October 2 that the airline intended to fill the gap left when former Hungarian national-carrier Malev went bankrupt last year and obtain its operating licenses by the middle of this month.

Vago was hospitalized on Thursday morning after he fell ill following an interview to public radio. The co-CEO of Solyom Airways resigned also on Thursday, said, without citing sources.

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UPS Crash Raises Pilot-Rest, Training Concerns: Voice-Recorder Captures Crew Discussing Fatigue Prior to August Accident

By  Andy Pasztor

The Wall Street Journal

Oct. 10, 2013 8:02 p.m. ET

The captain of a United Parcel Service Inc. cargo plane that crashed in August took an unusually long time getting promoted to captain and had complained he was fatigued before the fatal accident, according to people familiar with details of the probe.

Preliminary findings from the Birmingham, Ala., crash, which haven't been reported before, are expected to spark debate about the relative safety of cargo carriers versus passenger airlines. The last fatal crash of a U.S. passenger plane occurred almost five years ago, while six cargo pilots have died since then in three separate accidents involving scheduled U.S. jet freighters.

The National Transportation Safety Board's investigation of the Airbus A300 accident also is likely to prompt renewed attention to differences in federal oversight, including supervision of pilot-training programs and a FAA decision in 2011 exempting freighters from stringent new pilot-rest requirements slated to kick in at the end of this year.

The 58-year-old UPS captain, Cerea Beal , had more than 6,000 hours flying experience with UPS, about one-quarter of it as captain on the widebody A300. A former Marine Corps helicopter pilot who started working for the carrier in 1990, he had remained a co-pilot for about 19 years, an unusually long time, which people familiar with his training record attributed to difficulties during some simulator sessions.

He was promoted to captain four years ago, and a UPS spokesman said there is "no record of him failing" a test to be upgraded to captain. "He was fully qualified, held appropriate FAA operating and medical certificates, and was legal to fly," UPS said.

The cockpit-voice recorder on UPS Flight 1354, the people familiar with the probe said, captured Capt. Beal and his 37-year-old first officer, Shanda Fanning , discussing how tired they were—and how fatiguing they felt UPS overnight schedules could be—before their predawn approach to Birmingham.

The UPS spokesman said "we strongly object to any assertions that UPS crew scheduling was not compliant with FAA rules or was a factor in this accident."

With all of the plane's systems apparently working properly and Capt. Beal at the controls, the A300 arriving from Louisville slammed into a hill less than a mile short of the runway, killing both pilots. The NTSB hasn't officially determined the cause, but investigators previously said they uncovered no problems with engines or other onboard systems.

The crash raises broader issues related to what many safety experts describe as excessive reliance on automation by many jetliner pilots. The safety board, which is expected to hold a public hearing on the crash next year, has indicated it wants to determine whether UPS training and cockpit procedures may have contributed to complacency by the crew.

In August, safety board member Robert Sumwalt said investigators planned to examine UPS instructions to pilots about how to fly such approaches and "look to see if there are wider systemic issues that need to be addressed."

An NTSB spokeswoman wasn't available for comment.

The jet's autopilot and automated speed-control system were turned on and programmed to provide a steady descent during the non-precision approach. The runway wasn't equipped with a full-blown instrument landing system capable of bringing a plane in on a specific path, or glide slope, and the crew failed to recognize the plane's trajectory was taking it short of the strip, according to the NTSB.

The autopilot remained on until the last few seconds before the jet clipped a power line, hit some trees and erupted in a fireball. Safety experts said such non-precision approaches can be tricky, particularly at night when it may hard to spot terrain around the airport.

With the airport's system of landing lights illuminated to help the pilots stay on the correct descent path, "they should have had lots of visual warnings that the plane was way too low," according to Bill Waldock , a professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. "There was plenty of time to see" the problem and adjust the flight path, he added.

Investigators have said they want to determine if fatigue may have impeded cockpit reactions. The flight into Birmingham was the end of the second day of a four-day trip for the crew. The pilots were scheduled to report for duty at around 10 p.m. for a nearly nine-hour work period.

Safety experts have said such overnight hours, often referred to as backside-of-the-clock flying, pose particularly serious fatigue hazards. One issue is whether pilots are able to get adequate sleep when their rest periods are scheduled during the day.

The FAA's new pilot-rest regulations, among other things, require passenger carriers to adjust crew schedules to reflect the rigors of overnight flying, and mandate setting up formal fatigue-risk management systems. In announcing the tougher rules at the end of 2011, FAA officials unsuccessfully urged cargo operators to voluntarily adopt the same scheduling limits as passenger carriers.

Seconds before the Birmingham accident, according to investigators, the pilots received an automated alert from an onboard collision-avoidance system, warning them the plane was sinking dangerously quickly.

On Thursday, UPS said it trains pilots "how to manage automation and provides opportunities and training to demonstrate proficiency in a non-automated environment." The carrier declined to discuss whether it has changed training procedures.


NTSB Identification: DCA13MA133
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 121: Air Carrier operation of UNITED PARCEL SERVICE CO
Accident occurred Wednesday, August 14, 2013 in Birmingham, AL
Aircraft: AIRBUS A300 F4-622R, registration: N155UP
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators traveled in support of this investigation and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On August, 14, 2013, at about 0447 central daylight time (CDT), United Parcel Service flight 1354, an Airbus A300-600, N155UP, crashed short of runway 18 while on approach to Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (KBHM), Birmingham, Alabama. The two flight crew members were fatally injured and the airplane was destroyed. The cargo flight was operating under 14 Code of Federal Regulation Part 121 supplemental and originated from Louisville International Airport, Louisville, Kentucky.

Cessna 340A, N4TK: Fatal accident occurred October 10, 2013 in Hampton Roads, Virginia

NTSB Identification: ERA14LA006 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, October 10, 2013 in Hampton Roads, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/05/2016
Aircraft: CESSNA 340A, registration: N4TK
Injuries: 4 Fatal.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The instrument-rated pilot was on a cross-country flight. According to air traffic control records, an air traffic controller provided the pilot vectors to an intersection to fly a GPS approach. Federal Aviation Administration radar data showed that the airplane tracked off course of the assigned intersection by 6 nautical miles and descended 800 ft below its assigned altitude before correcting toward the initial approach fix. The airplane then crossed the final approach fix 400 ft below the minimum crossing altitude and then continued to descend to the minimum descent altitude, at which point, the pilot performed a missed approach. The missed approach procedure would have required the airplane to make a climbing right turn to 2,500 ft mean sea level (msl) while navigating southwest back to the intersection; however, radar data showed that the airplane flew southeast and ascended and descended several times before leveling off at 2,800 ft msl. The airplane then entered a right 360-degree turn and almost completed another circle before it descended into terrain. Examination of the wreckage revealed no evidence of any preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures. During the altitude and heading deviations just before impact, the pilot reported to an air traffic controller that adverse weather was causing the airplane to lose “tremendous” amounts of altitude; however, weather radar did not indicate any convective activity or heavy rain at the airplane’s location. The recorded weather at the destination airport about the time of the accident included a cloud ceiling of 400 ft above ground level and visibility of 3 miles.

Although the pilot reported over 4,000 total hours on his most recent medical application, the investigation could not corroborate those reported hours or document any recent or overall actual instrument experience. In addition, it could not be determined whether the pilot had experience using the onboard GPS system, which had been installed on the airplane about 6 months before the accident; however, the accident flight track is indicative of the pilot not using the GPS effectively, possibly due to a lack of proficiency or familiarity with the equipment. 

The restricted visibility and precipitation and maneuvering during the missed approach would have been conducive to the development of spatial disorientation, and the variable flightpath off the intended course was consistent with the pilot losing airplane control due to spatial disorientation. 

Toxicological tests detected ethanol and other volatiles in the pilot’s muscle indicative of postmortem production.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s failure to maintain airplane control due to spatial disorientation in low-visibility conditions while maneuvering during a missed approach. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s ineffective use of the onboard GPS equipment.


On October 10, 2013, about 1209 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 340A, N4TK, collided with the ground while maneuvering in the vicinity of Hampton Roads Executive Airport (PVG), Norfolk, Virginia. The commercial pilot and three passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was located in a marsh area and was destroyed by impact forces. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) prevailed and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed. The flight originated from Fort Lauderdale Executive (FXE), Fort Lauderdale, Florida, about 0743. This accident occurred during a government shutdown, and the National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) did not travel to examine the wreckage at the accident scene.

According air traffic control (ATC) radio communication information and radar data provided by the Federal Aviation Administration, about 1144 the flight was cleared for the GPS RWY 10 instrument approach at PVG. During the arrival segment of the approach the flight tracked off course by 6 nm, paralleling the direction of the final approach course, before correcting and proceeding toward the initial approach fix.

The airplane crossed PEFOC, the final approach fix, at 1,200 feet msl. The published minimum altitude for crossing PEFOC was 1,600 feet msl. The published minimum descent altitude (MDA) for the approach when utilizing only lateral GPS guidance was 420 feet msl. The pilot flew the approach and descended the airplane to the approximate MDA according to radar data.

The flight reached the missed approach point and, based on weather radar data, began the missed approach and flew southeast, into an area showing no precipitation. The published missed approach procedure was a climbing right turn to 2,500 feet while navigating direct to PSALM, which was located generally southwest of the airport. Radar data showed the flight's altitude varied drastically during the initial part of the missed approach.

At 12:04:59, the flight began a descent from 1,100 feet to 700 feet msl; then made an abrupt right turn and began to climb. At 12:05:31, the flight started a decent from 1,600 feet to 1,000 feet and turned about 45 degrees back to the left, away from the correct direction. During this time, ATC attempted to contact the pilot four times, and received no response. The flight continued on an approximate 155-degree magnetic track, and gradually climbed to 2,700 feet msl. At 12:07:13 the flight began to turn to the right and began descending, and descended from 2,700 feet to 1,600 feet msl. During the descent, the flight's ground speed increased from 151 to 214 knots. The flight then abruptly climbed, and the ground speed decreased from 214 knots to 140 knots, before leveling at 2,800 feet msl. The ground speed continued decreasing to 107 knots, and about that time the pilot radioed ATC and requested an airport with greater than "500 feet visibility."

The controller provided weather information for the Norfolk International Airport (ORF), Norfolk, Virginia, which was 12 nm northeast of the pilot's position. During this transmission, the airplane's rate of decent, ground speed, and rate of turn all increased. When ATC personnel queried the pilot about whether to go to ORF, the pilot responded, "Standby, we're fighting some bad weather, and it's causing us to lose altitude tremendously."

At 12:09:08, the flight maintained a constant rate of turn, from about a track of about 030 to 231 degrees. Between 12:08:26 and 12:09:08, the airplane's ground speed increased from 107 knots to 225 knots. Radar data showed the final descent from 2,800 feet to 1,200 feet msl, which was the last radar return from the flight.


The pilot, age 61, held a commercial pilot certificate, and according to his most recent application for an FAA medical certificate, dated June 3, 2013, he reported a total of 4,256 flight hours. The pilot was issued a second-class medical certificate with limitations requiring the use of corrective lenses. A review of partial copies of the pilot's logbook revealed that he had accumulated a total of 6.4 flight hours as of September 21, 2013. No flight hour totals from previous logbooks were carried forward into the logbook examined, and none of the pilot's previous logbooks were recovered.

According to the logbook, on September 13, 2013, the pilot received a "sign off" from a certificated flight instructor in the accident airplane. During a telephone interview, the flight instructor stated that the pilot handled the airplane "well," and that pilot had previous flight experience the accident airplane make and model. The flight instructor finally noted that their flight did not include instrument procedures and that the pilot did not have previous experience operating the airplane's Garmin GTN-750 GPS.

The pilot's instrument currency could not be established due to the limited amount of information contained within the recovered logbook. In a telephone conversation with a representative of the pilot's insurance carrier, the representative noted that the pilot had provided some information about his flight experience in an insurance policy application dated September 11, 2013. On that application the pilot reported a total time of 5,541 hours, 3,076 hours multi-engine, 600 hours in the accident airplane make and model, and 40 hours in the last 90 days.


The twin-engine airplane was manufactured in 1979, and was powered by two Continental model TSIO-520 series engines equipped with Hartzell PHC-C3YF-2UF propellers. Review maintenance records showed an annual inspection was completed on April 30, 2013, at a recorded airframe total time of 4,045.20 hours. The altimeters, automatic pressure altitude reporting equipment, ATC transponder and static pressure system were all tested on May 17, 2012, and were found compliant with regulations that governed the units. The airplane was equipped with a Garmin GTN-750 navigation system that was also installed at the time of the inspection.


The recorded weather at the Chesapeake Regional Airport (CPK), Norfolk, Virginia, located 4.21 miles from the accident site at an elevation of 19 feet, at 1155, included calm wind, 7 statute miles visibility, light rain, a broken ceiling at 600 feet above ground level (agl), overcast skies at 1,100 feet agl, temperature of 21 degrees Celsius (C), dew point temperature of 20 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 29.88 inches of mercury.

The conditions at 1235 included calm wind, 5 statute miles visibility, light rain, an overcast ceiling at 600 feet agl, temperature of 21degrees C, dew point temperature of 21 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 29.87 inches of mercury.

The PVG reported weather conditions at 1135 located 6.58 miles from the accident site at an elevation of 28 feet, included wind from 360 degrees at 8 knots, varying in direction between 320 and 020 degrees, 3 statute miles visibility, an overcast ceiling at 400 feet agl, temperature of 19 degrees C, dew point temperature of 18 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 29.92 inches of mercury.

The PVG reported weather conditions at 1235 were winds from 360 degrees at 7 knots with gusts to 17 knots, wind variable between 330 and 030 degrees, 9 miles visibility, an overcast ceiling at 500 feet agl, temperature of 18 degrees C, dew point temperature of 17 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 29.91 inches of mercury.

A Meteorological Impact Statement (MIS) was issued at 0932 and was valid for the accident site at the accident time. The MIS warned of IFR ceilings, visibilities between 1 and 5 miles, rain, and mist for Virginia. It also warned of light to moderate turbulence below FL420 with thunderstorms along the Virginia and North Carolina coast

Airmen's Meteorological Information Tango and Sierra issued at 1045, and valid at the accident time, forecasted IMC for the accident site with ceilings below 1,000 feet, visibilities below 3 statute miles in precipitation and mist, and moderate turbulence below 8,000 feet.

ORF, located 14 miles northeast of the accident site, was the closest location with a terminal area forecast (TAF). The TAF issued at 0735 forecast for the time period from 1100, winds 040 degrees at 18 knots with gust 26 knots, 5 miles visibility, light rain and fog, overcast 600 feet agl; from 1400, wind from 060 at 14 knots with 21 knot gust, 5 miles visibility, drizzle and fog, overcast 900 feet agl; and from 1700, wind from 020 at 10 knots with 18 knots gust, 5 miles visibility, drizzle and fog, broken at 900 feet agl and overcast at 1,500 feet agl.

There was no record of the pilot having received a preflight weather briefing from a Lockheed Martin Flight Service facility, nor was there a record of the pilot having received a briefing through the Direct User Access Terminal Service.


According to first responders, the airplane came to rest on a northeast heading. The wreckage debris field was about 150 feet long. At the end of the debris field, there was an impact crater 8 feet wide, 30 feet long, and about 4 feet deep. All flight control surfaces, controls, and cable hardware were observed at the wreckage site and were impact-damaged.

An examination of the airframe revealed that all of the trim settings were unreliable due to impact damage. The rudder remained attached to the vertical stabilizer and the rudder trim tab remained attached to the rudder. The left elevator was separated from the horizontal stabilizer. The right elevator remained attached to the horizontal stabilizer and the elevator trim tab remained attached to the elevator. The left aileron was separated into two sections, with the trim tab attached. The right aileron was separated into three sections.

Examination of the fuel system revealed that only one fuel selector valve was found loose in the wreckage and it was in the "OFF" position and the strainer screen was free of debris. The fuel caps for both wing tip tanks and both aux fuel tanks were observed in place and latched. The aircraft was equipped with a left and right wing locker fuel tanks, and the wing locker tank fuel caps were not recovered.

Examination of the left engine revealed that all of the cylinders were impact-damaged. The engine crankshaft was rotated by hand, and all cylinders displayed thumb compression. All cylinders were examined using a borescope and displayed varying amounts of mud impaction and normal operating signatures. The three blade, variable pitch propeller remained attached to the propeller flange; however, the propeller flange had sheered from the crankshaft. The spinner remained attached to the propeller and displayed signatures of impact damage. All three of the blades remained within the propeller hub and were locked in place. Two of the three blades displayed varying amounts of tip curling; the third blade displayed minor bending of the tip. All three of the propeller blades had minor bending deformation.

Examination of the right engine revealed all cylinders were impact-damaged. All cylinders were examined using a borescope, and the cylinders displayed normal operating signatures. The crankcase displayed impact damage concentrated to the bottom portion of the crankcase. The crankshaft was unable to be rotated by hand, and it was noted that the crankshaft had shifted towards the rear of the case. There were no anomalies noted with the crankcase. The three blade, variable pitch propeller remained attached to the propeller flange; however, the propeller flange had broken free from the crankshaft. The propeller displayed damage consistent with impact damage and the spring and spring housing had separated from the propeller hub. All three blades remained within the propeller hub; however, all three blades were loose in the hub. One blade's tip had broken free from the rest of the blade; the blade also displayed twisting deformation. One blade was bent approximately 90-degrees and displayed tip curling. The third blade displayed minor bending and tip curling deformation.


An autopsy was performed on the pilot on December 15, 2013, by the Commonwealth of Virginia, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Norfolk, Virginia.

Forensic toxicology was performed on specimens from the pilot by the FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The toxicology report stated no drugs were detected in the muscle. Ethanol in concentrations of 73 (mg/dL, mg/hg), N-Butanol and N-Propanol were detected in the muscle.


Spatial Disorientation

The FAA publication Medical Facts for Pilots (AM-400-03/1), described several vestibular illusions associated with the operation of aircraft in low visibility conditions. Somatogyral illusions, those involving the semicircular canals of the vestibular system, were generally placed into one of four categories, one of which was the "graveyard spiral." According to the text, the graveyard spiral, "…is associated with a return to level flight following an intentional or unintentional prolonged bank turn. For example, a pilot who enters a banking turn to the left will initially have a sensation of a turn in the same direction. If the left turn continues 20 seconds or more, the pilot will experience the sensation that the airplane is no longer turning to the left. At this point, if the pilot attempts to level the wings this action will produce a sensation that the airplane is turning and banking in the opposite direction (to the right). If the pilot believes the illusion of a right turn (which can be very compelling), he/she will reenter the original left turn in an attempt to counteract the sensation of a right turn. Unfortunately, while this is happening, the airplane is still turning to the left and losing latitude.

" Pulling the control yoke/stick and applying power while turning would not be a good idea–because it would only make the left turn tighter. If the pilot fails to recognize the illusion and does not level the wings, the airplane will continue turning left and losing altitude until it impacts the ground."

NTSB Identification: ERA14LA006 

14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, October 10, 2013 in Hampton Roads, VA
Aircraft: CESSNA 340A, registration: N4TK
Injuries: 4 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may conta
in errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On October 10, 2013, about 1209 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 340A, N4TK, collided with the terrain when the pilot lost aircraft control while maneuvering in the vicinity of Hampton Roads Executive Airport (PVG), Norfolk, Virginia. The commercial pilot and three passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was located in a marsh area and was destroyed by impact forces. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, as a personal flight. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed. The flight originated from Fort Lauderdale Executive (FXE), Fort Lauderdale, Florida, about 0743.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration air traffic control personnel, the pilot was on an instrument approach to PVG. Radar data revealed that the airplane conducted a missed approach and while maneuvering the pilot lost control of the airplane and it descended and impacted terrain. Radar and air traffic control data is under review and there were no witnesses to the event. The airplane was located on October 12, 2013.

According to first responders, the airplane came to rest on a northeast heading. The wreckage debris field was approximately 150 feet long. At the end of the debris field there was an impact crater 8 feet wide and 30 feet long. The crater was approximately 4 feet deep and all flight control surfaces were located at the wreckage site.

The reported weather at PVG, which was located about five miles southeast of the accident site, at an elevation  23 feet, at 1155, was: winds 360 degrees at 8 knots, visibility 5 statute miles; overcast at 500 feet; temperature 18 degrees Celsius (C); dew point 18 degrees C; altimeter 29.92 inches of mercury.

The airplane was recovered by a local towing company under the supervision of the Virginia State Police. The airplane was stored at a local impound facility and then moved to an aircraft recovery facility for examination at a later date.

Sources say that the two women on board were sisters and that the two couples were flying to Virginia to attend the pilot's nephew's wedding. Above, Charles and Diane Rodd

Man says aunts and their husbands were killed in plane crash on his wedding day

It was supposed to be a time of love and celebration with his family. 
Instead, Cory Plotner tells NewsChannel 3 that on his wedding day he was left searching for his family in the Great Dismal Swamp.

Cory says his two aunts; sisters Mary Anne Bradshaw and Diane Rodd were flying up from Florida with their husbands; Ted Bradshaw and Charles Rodd.

Cory says Ted was the pilot, who was a retired fire captain with 30 years of flying experience. His uncle was a meticulous pilot, known to triple check everything before taking off, Cory says.

Cory, who spoke to NewsChannel 3 over the phone, says he was at the airport to pick them up Thursday, when he was told the plane’s signal was lost.

Just minutes before, Cory says his Aunt Diane had texted him, saying they were about to land.

Cory says he was married a few hours later. Right after the ceremony, along with his new bride, Cory says they joined the search and rescue parties Thursday night.

The Cessna was spotted the next day by a volunteer helicopter pilot. When he found out the news, Cory says it was devastating. He says he was closest with his Aunt Diane. He says he couldn’t believe her life was ripped away at such a young age.

Though the plane was found, the bodies and wreckage were in such a remote area that crews had to clear a path so four-wheelers could reach the site.

By Monday morning, all four bodies were recovered. By Monday afternoon, the last pieces of wreckage were hauled away. The twisted and mangled plane parts are a glimpse of just how bad the crash must have been.

State Police say finding out the cause of the crash will have to wait until the government shutdown ends. Police say the wreckage will be kept in storage until investigators from the NTSB and FAA can come back to work.

Cory wanted to thank the dozens of volunteers who came out to search for his aunts and uncles. He says it truly was a blessing to see so many come together to help his family.

Chesapeake, Va. – On Monday, crews will be back out at the Great Dismal Swamp to remove the rest of a plane that crashed last week – killing four people.

Investigators say two couples from Florida were on their way to Chesapeake for their nephew’s wedding when their Cessna went down Thursday.

They have been identified as Ted and Mary Ann Bradshaw and Charles and Diane Rodd – Mary Ann’s sister and brother-in-law.

It took rescue crews 24 hours to find the plane – a helicopter spotted the wreckage.

Search crews say the area was so hard to reach, they had to stop the search for two days while they cleared a path so four-wheelers could reach the site.

Investigators say Ted Bradshaw was the pilot.

He was a retired fire captain with more than 30 years of flying experience.

According to NewsChannel 3′s affiliate station in Florida, Charles Rodd was a Vietnam veteran who earned two Purple Hearts.

Right now, the cause of the crash is still under investigation.


SUNRISE, Fla.—One of the four passengers killed when their small plane crashed in Virginia was a retired Florida fire captain, fire officials said. 

 Theodore Bradshaw was a 33-year veteran of the department. He retired in 2005 after rising to the rank and serving as assistant fire chief, Sunrise Fire-Rescue said in a statement.

“This news comes as a great shock and as a tremendous loss to the Sunrise Fire-Rescue Department. Bradshaw was one of the original 10 paid firefighters as the City transitioned from the Sunrise Golf Village to the City of Sunrise in 1972,” the department statement said.

Virginia State police said the victims included Bradshaw, 61, a pilot with more than 30 years of flying experience. The other victims were his 48-year-old wife, Mary Anne Bradshaw, and Charles Rodd, 64; and Diane Rodd, 58, both of Palm Beach, Fla.

There was no phone number listed for Bradshaw. A phone message was left Sunday by The Associated Press for a number listed for Charles Rodd.

“Bradshaw was known for his spirited personality, intense mentorship and his dedication to serve the community he called home for more than 40 years,” the fire department said in its statement. “He was instrumental in bringing new technology to the fire service long before it became accepted industry wide including the use of the first closed cab fire engines to ensure firefighter safety.”

Flags were issued to be lowered to half-staff Saturday in honor of Bradshaw.

Meanwhile, in a remote section of Virginia’s Great Dismal Swamp, authorities continue to work Sunday to remove the bodies.

State police said the Cessna 340 left Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport on Thursday morning with a scheduled arrival four hours later at Hampton Roads Executive Airport. The Norfolk air traffic control tower’s last radar contact was shortly after noon Thursday over the swamp.

“We want to express our sincere appreciation to Hampton Roads Helicopters for their critical assistance with this search mission,” said state police Lt. Curtis Hardison of the Chesapeake division. “They not only supplied us with the necessary aerial support we needed to expedite this search operation, but provided two hours of flight time free of charge. Their generosity also helped bring closure to the families of those who lost their lives in this tragic crash.”

The state medical examiner and federal investigators have been notified, and the cause of the crash remains under investigation.

A privately owned helicopter helped crews with the search and saw the plane and notified police.  

“We want to express our sincere appreciation to Hampton Roads Helicopters for their critical assistance with this search mission,” said Lt. Curtis Hardison, Virginia State Police Chesapeake Division. “They not only supplied us with the necessary aerial support we needed to expedite this search operation, but provided two hours of flight time free of charge. Their generosity also helped bring closure to the families of those who lost their lives in this tragic crash.”

Those who knew the two South Florida couples killed in a Virginia plane crash remembered them warmly Saturday as wonderful and caring people.

Killed aboard the Cessna 340A were Theodore Bradshaw, 61, and his wife, Mary Anne Bradshaw, 48, both of Cooper City, as well as Charles Rodd, 64, and his wife, Diane Rodd, 58, both of Boynton Beach, officials said. Friday, the wreckage of the plane was located in the Great Dismal Swamp on the Virginia side.

Charles Rodd was a Vietnam veteran in an Army scout dog platoon who served two tours and earned two Purple Hearts, said his ex-wife, Marie Rodd.

"He was very patriotic. He was a wonderful husband, a wonderful father," she said. "He was a very nice friend."

At the Rodds' Boynton Beach home Saturday, neighbors said the longtime residents were friendly; they especially recalled Charles Rodd's patriotism. An American flag, as well as a POW/MIA flag, remained raised on a flagpole in the couple's front yard.

Diane Rodd loved her husband dearly and was by his side during his battle with lung cancer; Charles Rodd was currently in remission, according to Marie Rodd.

"He beat that, basically; he beat Vietnam, but look what happened," Marie Rodd said.

The pilot, Theodore Bradshaw, had more than 30 years of flight experience, according to the Virginia State Police. On Saturday, Sunrise Fire-Rescue also said he was a retired firefighter from the agency.

A man who identified himself as the pilot's brother said the sudden loss was "just devastating." He said the two women aboard the plane, Mary Anne Bradshaw and Diane Rodd, were sisters.

The couples were en route to a wedding from Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport when the six-seater plane vanished Thursday afternoon. It was expected to land about noon Thursday at the Hampton Roads Executive Airport in Virginia, officials said.

The airport last tracked the plane over the Great Dismal Swamp, where the plane wreckage later was discovered by a private helicopter that assisted with search efforts.

Saturday, crews spent the day clearing a path through the swamp to the crash site. Because of the extent of the wreckage, crews said they will attempt to remove the remains of the pilot and his passengers Sunday, along with the plane.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation by Virginia State Police, the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board.

Corinne Stephenson, Charles and Diane Rodd's next-door neighbor, described them as "wonderful neighbors" who were thoughtful enough to recently send her a get-well card while she was at the hospital.

She said the Rodds had recently renovated their home: "They planned to stay there the rest of their lives," Stephenson said.

Update 10:30 pm: Crews are still working to recover the remains of the victims. But the densely wooded crash site makes recovery effort difficult, according to Virginia State Police.

"There are a lot of challenges in recovering this plane," said Lt. Curtis Hardison, of Virginia State Police. "There are no roads that lead directly to it. The wreckage is deep in the woods at this time. Its going to take many man hours to get this plane."

State Police say it could be late this weekend until all of the plane is recovered.

Update 8:40 p.m: State police identified four people who died in the plane crash Friday night. They are Theordore Bradshaw, 61, and Mary Anne Bradshaw, 48, both of Fort Lauderdale, and Charles Rodd, 64, and Dianne Rodd, 58, of Palm Beach, Fla.

 Police say the victims' bodies have not been recovered yet. The crash site is deep in a heavily wooded area.

The National Transportation Safety Board is on the way to the scene.

The four people were flying into Hampton Roads to attend a wedding that occurred Thursday.

Update 6:12 p.m.: Virginia State Police say the wreckage of a small plane was located in the Great Dismal Swamp around 4 p.m.

A privately-owned helicopter assisting with the search efforts spotted the plane and immediately notified state police.

Update 2:33 p.m.: Plane/helicopter resources that were being used to assist in the search had to be suspended because of inclement weather.

Update 9:36 a.m.: State police received canine and search and recovery dive teams early Friday morning to continue the search at daybreak. Weather prevented State Police aviation from supporting the search efforts.

Update 7:26 a.m.: State police suspended the search at 2:30 a.m. They are awaiting additional resources, at which point the search will resume.

Update:  9:45 p.m: State police have called off their aerial search of the swamp but continue to search by boat and on foot.  Police now say the plane was en route from Ft. Lauderdale to Hampton Roads.

CHESAPEAKE -- Virginia State Police and the Civil Air Patrol were searching the Great Dismal Swamp for a plane they said failed to land at Hampton Roads Executive Airport Thursday afternoon.

Virginia State Police spokesperson Corinne Geller says that Cessna was supposed to land around 2:30 p.m.

Tidewater Search and Rescue, Chesapeake Fire and Rescue, and state park rangers are helping in the search.

Geller says the plane was en route from Florida.

Troopers are using technology capable of picking up heat sources.

According to Geller, it is not confirmed the plane crashed.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Virginia State Police at 1-800-582-8350.
 A Cooper City man is feared to have been piloting a small plane that left Fort Lauderdale on Thursday and vanished over a massive swampy area in Virginia. 
 A wreckage of a small plane was discovered late Friday in an extremely remote section of the swamp, but rescue workers had not confirmed it was the missing plane.

The missing Cessna 340A craft was sold less than three weeks ago in Florida with an engine that had less than 20 hours of flight, the plane's listed owners from Wisconsin said Friday.

The buyer has been identified as 61-year-old Theodore Bradshaw, a licensed commercial and multi-engine pilot. At Bradshaw's Cooper City home, a visibly shaken man said he was the experienced pilot's brother and declined to comment.

"We have a lot of questions ourselves, and we don't feel like it would be right to talk about this at this time," the man said.

Chesapeake, Va. – Crews are now searching for a possible missing plane that was supposed to land at the Hampton Roads Executive Airport on Thursday.They say the plane was en-route from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Virginia State Police were notified at 4:15 p.m.

According to the FAA, there has been no confirmed crash. They say the Cesna did not land at the expected destination.

Crews are now searching the Great Dismal Swamp area. Due to the weather, aerial search efforts were suspended, but they are still searching on the ground and by boat. Personnel and canine teams are searching on foot.

Nothing has been found yet and officials say they have not received any reports from the public.

Police say they will continue to search for the plane throughout the night. Right now, Civil Air Patrol, Tidewater Search and Rescue personnel, Chesapeake Fire and Rescue and state park rangers are all helping State Police.

If you’ve seen the aircraft or have any information that could help crews locate it, please call Virginia State Police at 1-800-582-8350.

F & G Enterprises to build 19 to 26 hangars at Chandler Municipal Airport (KCHD), Arizona


Greg Hatch signed up to rent a hangar at Chandler Municipal Airport in 1998.

He’s still on the waiting list.

But Hatch is also working to develop land at the airport to help address this shortage.

His corporation, F & G Enterprises LLC, was recently approved to build 19 to 26 hangars on the city-owned land, his third such project at the airport. “I did my first development because I needed something for me,” Hatch said.

F & G Enterprises will lease about 1.4 acres of airport land from the city and build the hangars in three buildings. Chandler City Council approved the 30-year lease Sept. 26.

One building will include 11 enclosed T-hangars, which are shaped to be wide enough to accommodate a plane’s wings in the front and narrower in the rear, wasting less space around the plane’s tail. “It’s the most efficient way to keep your plane indoors,” Hatch said.

The second structure, which will be about the same square footage as the T-hangar building, will accommodate about four box hangars. The third building will offer either 11 T-hangars or four box hangars, depending on demand, Hatch said.

Hangars are one of the most requested items at the airport, said Lori Quan, a Chandler economic-development specialist at the airport.

About 125 people are on a waiting list to rent a city hangar; some people occupying hangars have been there since the city built hangars in the mid-1980s, she said.

The new hangars that will be built by F & G Enterprises will be offered for sale rather than lease, Hatch said. All of the larger box hangars will be able to apply to operate as an aviation-related business, Hatch said.

“We think this creates an opportunity for some of the smaller companies,” Quan said. “Right now we’re losing opportunities because we don’t have existing building space for businesses to occupy.”

The agreement is the result of a public request for development ideas that the city released last winter.

Hatch’s company was the only one that responded. He first approached the city with the project in January 2012, he said.

This request included about 24 acres split into 13parcels and a city-suggested lease rate of about 24 to 29 cents per square foot per year.

The agreement with Hatch’s company was for about 1.4 acres at a lease rate of about 21 cents per square foot per year.

The space Hatch is leasing is an area the city did not think would be easily developed, Quan said.

“This is the first construction project we’ve had in a while,” Councilman Rick Heumann said during the council study session Sept. 23. “We’re just really excited to have these new buildings going up.”

There is still plenty of space available at the airport that officials want to see developed, with the hopes of increasing revenue to the point that the city no longer needs to subsidize it.

Chandler has paid about $200,000 in general-fund money to the airport for each of the past several years.

The city is still considering another call for developers to find someone to build on remaining open space, Quan said. So far the challenge has been finding developers who work with ground leases, she said.

“It’s a unique development approach so it’s finding the right match,” she said.

Some people have approached the city asking to build their own hangars, but that piecemeal approach would hinder the city’s ability to strategically develop the airport, Quan said.

“It looks like we have a lot of available property on the airport, but we try to be good stewards,” she said.


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Investigators: Memo warns of terrorist 'dry-runs' on planes

Orlando, Florida -- It was a flight bound for Florida, and some airline pilots believe it also may have been a dry-run for terrorists. 

The 10 News Investigators have obtained an internal memo that details a frightening incident that brings back memories of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Since then, federal efforts have gone in place to prevent a similar attack, leading many to believe another attack what happened on 9/11 could never happen again.

Wolf Koch, who flies Boeing 767s for Delta Airlines and is the Aviation Security Committee Chairman for the Air Line Pilots Association International, says that belief "is very foolish."

Koch describes the events of 9/11 as "an incredible attack on us. It was very well orchestrated and they're going to try it again... 100 percent, no question in my mind. They're going to try it again."

According to  Koch,  many other flight crews are concerned the planning may already be underway.

A memo obtained by the 10 News investigators from the union that represents pilots for US Airways says that "there have been several cases recently throughout the (airline) industry of what appear to be probes, or dry-runs, to test our procedures and reaction to an in flight threat."

READ: The Security Update Memo (PDF)

Koch says, "What most security experts will tell you that if a dry-run is occurring, the attack will shortly follow."

The pilots say the most recent dry-run occurred on Flight 1880 on September 2. The flight left Reagan National Airport in Washington D.C. and headed to Orlando International.

Crew members say that shortly after takeoff, a group of four "Middle Eastern" men caused a commotion.

The witnesses claim one of the men ran from his seat in coach, toward the flight deck door. He made a hard left and entered the forward bathroom "for a considerable length of time."

While he was in there, the other three men proceeded to move about the cabin, changing seats, opening overhead bins, and "generally making a scene." They appeared to be trying to occupy and distract the flight attendants.

The 10 News Investigators contacted both US Airways and the Transportation Security Administration both confirmed the incident. US Airways says it won't discuss the details of security measures, but that it works closely with authorities. 

The TSA told us it takes all reports of suspicious activity aboard aircraft seriously, and the matter requires no further investigation  at this time.

However, a current Federal Air Marshal who works flights every week says of the TSA, "They're liars. They're flat out liars."

COMMENT: Join a conversation about this on Facebook

The Air Marshal, whose identity we are not revealing because agency rules prohibit him from talking to the media, says  the TSA doesn't want the flying public to be aware of the problems with terrorist probes. 

The Air Marshal and others we have spoken to say several flights they have worked were targets of dry-runs and that most of his colleagues believe no matter what the TSA says,  the incident aboard Flight 1880 is serious.

Until now, there has been absolutely no publicity about the US Airways flight from D.C. to  Orlando International Airport, but security experts say incidents  like this should not and cannot be ignored.
As the Federal Air Marshal and industry insiders  tell us, "We're waiting for the next 9/11 to happen, because it's not a question of if. It's a question of when."

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Aerobatic pilot goes through high-flying workout: John Ostmeyer makes U.S. Aerobatic Flying Team (With Video)

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. —With spins, rolls, dives and climbs, Overland Park's John Ostmeyer can put his body through a 90-minute workout in just four minutes, and he does it 10,000 feet above the ground.

Ostmeyer is one of just eight members of the U.S. Aerobatic Flying Team. He recently won his spot and will fly in the world championships next summer.

"You just fly, fly, fly, and practice, practice, practice," he said. "It's flying boiled down to its essence."

It may be practice, but it's no grind. It's a G-pulling, heart-pounding, thrill-a-second exercise called aerobatic flight.

"It's like you've done an hour-and-a-half of cardio," he said.

Ostmeyer began putting his name on aerobatic flying in the late 1990s, learning and practicing the artistry of man and machine.

"(You) look out the window and fly the airplane. It's just you and the airplane," he said. "There's no computer in the world that can do this."

Ostmeyer said he's still mastering the art, and he knows it will never be perfect, even though he's reached the highest of levels in the high-flying world.

As hard as he's trained and as much time as he's committed, every time he taxis back to his hangar, he finds it hard to believe where he's landed.

"To have 15 or 16 years of hard work finally pay off and be there, and actually realize one of your life dreams, it was just speechless," he said. "I can't thank the people who've helped me out enough."

When not flying his aerobatic airplane, he flies cargo jets to all corners of the globe.

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A different perspective: Great Falls man has been flying ultralight aircraft for 15 years

You’ve probably seen, or maybe heard, Don Beatty flying over Great Falls on his ultralight aircraft.

“This is something I’ve been enjoying for 15 years,” Beatty said.

Beatty frequently flies his powered parachute up and down the Missouri River. The brightly colored chute makes it easy to spot and the buzz of the engine often means the flying machine can be heard before it’s seen.

Beatty started flying his aircraft after his sons, with whom he used to waterski, grew up. A friend had an ultralight aircraft and offered Beatty a ride. He was hooked.

Beatty ordered a kit from Indiana and built his aircraft, which is the same one he continues to fly.

“It’s still just as good as when I got it,” he said.

The aircraft took about 35 hours to build. Learning to fly it was even easier.

Beatty, who had no previous experience as a pilot, went to a two-day flight training program in Helena, where he did some book work, ground work and then flight practice.

“My first flight was solo,” he said. “It was that simple to do.”

The aircraft is steered by foot brakes and a hand throttle controls takeoff and landing. The parachute flies at only one speed — 28 miles per hour.

No strength or agility is needed to fly the aircraft.

“If you can sit down you can fly one of these,” he said. “The beauty of it is the simplicity.”

For Beatty, flying an ultralight is just another way to spend time outside.

“I’m like a lot of people; I like Montana outdoors,” Beatty said. “This is just another outdoor activity.”

Despite the engine noise, flying is very peaceful.

Beatty often sees geese and pelicans in the air. Sometimes he can even fly with them in formation.

“It’s as close as you can be to being like a bird,” he said.

He sees animals on the ground also.

“You see tremendous herds of whitetail and mule deer,” he said.

The deer take off when they hear him coming. Cattle don’t even notice his machine, and he’s been chased by dogs.

One of the funnest things about flying over the river is seeing people on the River’s Edge Trail. Kids often wave when they spot him.

Beatty also enjoys taking aerial photos of the river.

“The view for photography is just outstanding,” he said. “It gives you a perspective that you can’t get from the ground.”

Beatty takes photos of combines and other farm equipment working in fields. He used to enter his photography at the State Fair. Now he mainly volunteers with the River’s Edge Trail and Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center to take photos as needed.

“The scenery up and down the river is just beautiful,” he said.

He also jokes that he’s searching for Capt. Meriwether Lewis’ iron boat, which the members of the Lewis and Clark expedition toted upriver only to have it sink near White Bear Island just outside Great Falls.

Beatty estimates that he flies about 25 times a year, mainly from June to October. Flying is very weather dependent. Clouds, wind and thermals can all cause problems.

Beatty never flies in the middle of the day because thermals are much stronger then.

“If you get caught in a thermal, you never know where you’re going to end up,” he said.

Generally he doesn’t have much time to plan ahead before a flight. He watches the weather, and if it looks nice, he heads out in the evening.

In his 15 years of flying, he’s only had problems twice.

“One time at dusk I flew into some wires and had to be rescued,” he said.

Beatty hung in the lines for about three hours while crews worked to get him down, but he was uninjured.

Another time, the wind picked up while he was flying and he had to make an unexpected landing.

“Otherwise it’s very relaxing,” he said.

Beatty always files a flight plan before take off and stays relatively low — below 500 feet — due to air traffic in Great Falls.

Beatty frequently apologizes to people that he can’t take them along for a flight. His aircraft has only one seat. The training and licensing for an aircraft with multiple seats is much more intensive.

Others in Great Falls used to fly powered parachutes, but these days Beatty is the only one in the area who flies regularly. The fact that more people aren’t into the sport baffles him.

“It’s hard to be humble when you’re having so much fun,” he said. “You wonder why everyone in the world isn’t doing this.”

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