Saturday, December 14, 2013

Greater Cumberland Regional Airport (KCBE), Cumberland, Maryland: Autosports events no longer allowed to be held at airport

WILEY FORD, W.Va. — The Potomac Highlands Airport Authority has declined to approve the National Road Autosport’s request to hold autosports events at The Greater Cumberland Regional Airport due to Federal Aviation Administration funding stipulations for Airport Improvement Projects, according to Ryan Shaffer, airport manager.

In September, the authority was awarded a $2.3 million Federal Aviation Administration grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation for runway rehabilitation at the airport.

“The Federal Aviation Administration has made it clear that holding these autosport events at the airport contravenes funding criteria laid down by the FAA, and the airport is reliant on that funding for our long-needed expansion and upgrade projects,” said the authority in a statement. “In light of these facts, the board must regretfully decline to allow National Road Autosport to hold further events at the airport.”

The obligations for accepting AIP funds include operating and maintaining the airport in a safe and serviceable condition, not granting exclusive rights, mitigating hazards to airspace and using airport revenue properly, according to the FAA.

National Road Autosport was notified of the authority’s  decision to via a letter, which denied the group’s request to hold autosports events for weekends in May through October, according to John Felten, president of the National Road Autosport.

“We are looking into it and getting a legal interpretation of the FAA’s rules of operations at the airport. I think they are being misinterpreted on their part,” said Felten. “We have operated there the last 11 seasons and we didn’t feel like we were in violation then or now.”

Felten said that during auto events the airport is never entirely shut down and that just a portion of the airport is closed. The secretary has the authority to approve airport closures for non-aeronautical purposes however, per the FAA Compliance Handbook, which is more restrictive, an entire obligated airport may not be closed for non-aeronautical purposes. Partial closures are allowed if the proposed event promotes aviation, according to FAA compliance guidelines.

The organization has considered other venues for the autosports but nothing in its present format that suits the need for space. The Allegany County Fairgrounds has been considered, but an in-depth discussion hasn’t occurred with the Allegany County commissioners, according to Felten.

“We look forward ... to working with the National Road Autosport organization and the local community in finding another location for their events,” said the authority in a statement.

The organization is on a time constraint and has asked to be placed on the agenda, to discuss the matter further, for the next authority meeting in January, according to Felten. 

Autocross, which is one of the auto events held at the airport, has played host to 7,000 independent racers participating in the event from 2002 to 2013, according to Dave Williams, former member of the National Road Autosport LLC.


Friday, December 13, 2013

Edgar County (KPRG), Paris, Illinois: Manager at airport is out

EDGAR COUNTY Board members Dan Bruner, left, and Jeff Voigt, right, discuss appointing Dale Barkley as interim manager of the Edgar County Airport following the resignation of Jimmy Wells from the post.
 (Beacon-News Photo/G.HENRY)

A letter of resignation from Jimmy Wells, Edgar County Airport Manager, was accepted Wednesday morning by the Edgar County Board. 

His resignation was effective immediately upon the board’s acceptance.

In his letter, Wells expressed gratitude for the opportunity to serve the airport for 25 years as a member of the advisory board and for the last few years as the part-time manager.

He said it is time for another person to move the airport forward. In particular is an Illinois Department of Transportation Grant for more than $800,000 to expand the airport’s apron plus relocate and increase the size of the fuel depot.

The past year was a tumultuous one for Wells as a public and community dividing effort was made by some on the airport advisory board to eject RSB Aviation from the airport’s main hangar.

Rusty Bogue, owner of RSB, leased the hangar to operate a multifaceted aviation business. Bogue died Aug. 27, 2013, when his plane failed takeoff and crashed in a wooded area near the airport.

Two non-flying planes associated with RSB were destroyed by arson in November.

Well’s resignation prompted a meeting at 12:30 p.m., Wednesday, of the county board’s airport committee.

The committee discussed appointing Dale Barkley as interim manager at the airport. Barkley received his pilot’s license in 1962 and has served on the airport advisory board since 2008.

Karl Farnham Jr. explained Barkley agreed to serve as an interim to give the county an opportunity to search for a long-term replacement.

“He made it clear it is short-term, but I’m not sure how short short-term is,” said Farnham.

He added, “I’ve talked with Dale and Jimmy, and they can work together. Jimmy has pledged his cooperation. I think this will be a smooth transition.”

Jeff Voigt agreed an interim appointment is a reasonable approach at this time.

He said Barkley’s experience gained as the interim will be a valuable asset as the airport committee creates a job description for the new manager.

Voigt expressed confidence in Barkley but also expressed concern lest he become overwhelmed early on in the new duties.

“We need to offer the interim assistance with the FOIAs,” Voigt said, regarding Freedom of Information Act requests. “If he gets buried in FOIAs, he will never get off the ground. We have nothing to hide, but people need to understand the staff shortage and the health, safety and operation are prime concerns of the airport.”

Following the committee meeting, the county board met again and accepted the recommendation to hire Barkley as the interim airport manager.

Farnham said the next part of the process is negotiating time and compensation with Barkley. He did not know Wednesday afternoon when Barkley would begin his new duties.


Edgar County (KPRG), Paris, Illinois: Reward Offered In Airport Arson Case

Thursday, December 12, 2013 5:06 a.m. EST 

 A $10,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in an arson case at the Edgar County Airport.

Authorities believe someone sprayed graffiti on two planes, set them on fire and then took off.

Just last week, the airport manager stepped down, saying at one point, he feared for his safety.

Any information should be directed to Special Agent Derek Weston of the Illinois State Police, telephone (217) 278-5004.


Ira Biffle Airfield (0T3), Marble Hill, Missouri: Pilot, former airport manager say Marble Hill airport unsafe

MARBLE HILL, Mo. -- Marble Hill's Ira Biffle Airport is so dangerous that former airport manager Tim Winters told the Marble Hill Board of Aldermen they could be liable for willful negligence if it remains in its current condition.

Winters resigned earlier in the year as unpaid airport manager, but approached the board Monday night as a private pilot and concerned resident. Winters said he moved his airplane to Fredericktown, Mo., because of his concern about the airport's safety and the seeming nonchalance with which city officials treated his concern.

He told the aldermen that until Monday afternoon he thought the city had a choice of fixing or closing it, but learned just hours before the meeting that the city has a contracted obligation to keep the airport maintained until 2024.

In 1974, before Marble Hill and Lutesville merged, the city contracted with the Missouri Department of Transportation to open the airport with the intention of expanding industry. Kenneth Shrum, an attorney for both communities at that time and present at Monday's meeting, said he and a business partner sold the land to the city through a $25,000 bond issue "for about a third of what it was worth." The city operates the airfield in conjunction with MoDOT on a 50-year contract that will expire in 2024.

The airport is closed because of a recent snowstorm. Once the snow melts, Winters said it will remain closed until the defects are corrected. Among the defects are mole and groundhog mounds scattered about the runway, interference from an adjacent farming operation and trespassing.

The mole and groundhog mounds are hazardous to the airfield. "Also consider that the frozen molehills would likely take a nose wheel off an airplane if hit squarely, and since it is a known unaddressed issue, it could be viewed as willful negligence and potentially not be covered by insurance," Winters said, adding the condition was brought to the city's attention more than a month ago and has not been addressed.

Further, Winters said the farming operation that harvested beans in November encroached on the airfield and parked vehicles and equipment in a restricted area. During the harvest, an aircraft attempted to land there but was blocked by the unauthorized vehicles.

Also during the harvest, some taxiway/ramp area delineators were moved or removed. Winters said he has spoken with MoDOT, which indicated "this unauthorized removal/relocation of airport safety delineation markers is actionable under FAA 7460 and punishable by a fine of $1,000 per day until the markers have been returned to their original locations."

Winters said the state wanted to begin action, but he asked MoDOT to allow him to give the city time to correct the situation.

People who visit Crooked Creek to collect reeds for duck blinds have told Winters the farmer had given permission to them to trespass on posted city property, and have been seen driving on the taxiway and runway.

"This is another accident waiting to happen," Winters said.

"I can understand how the lack of airport use can lull the city into a sense of complacency toward airport safety and regulations," Winters said. "Regardless of if one airplane lands there per week or 50 do, the same level of maintenance and control must be sustained to ensure a safe environment for aircraft and operations. One way or the other the city needs to get off the fence. Aviation safety is far too important to be approached with the nonchalant attitude that the city and locals have displayed in recent years."

Mayor Nick Hendricks said he has tried to reach someone at the farm that leases the land from the city but without success. He said the farm's owner may be unaware of possible infractions by his employees. He also said what the city earns from leasing the farmland more than pays for the airport.

Hendricks said he would not like to lose the airport, and he would meet with city attorney Alan Beussink and with MoDOT to try to reach a solution.


Charlotte/Douglas International Airport (KCLT), Charlotte, North Carolina: With Charlotte Douglas in limbo, legal bills pile up

As the fight over who will run Charlotte Douglas International Airport drags on, combined legal bills for the city and a new commission are approaching $1 million.

The lawyers’ fees are likely to continue growing, as the nearly year-old conflict shows no signs of resolution. The legal drama over the new American Airlines’ second-busiest hub has taken up much of the past year, dividing state legislators and city leaders and deepening political divisions. 

The city so far owes three outside law firms a little more than $397,000 for their work, city attorney Bob Hagemann told the Observer Thursday. With the firms’ help, Charlotte has successfully stalled a state law passed in July that would shift control of the airport from the city to a new commission.
Robert Stolz, chairman of the Charlotte Airport Commission, declined to say how much the commission has been billed by its lawyers. “We’re finalizing what the previous bills have been, and those will be reported out at the commission next week,” said Stolz. The commission meets Thursday night.

But a person with knowledge of the situation said the commission’s legal bills are similar to the city’s in size.

While Stolz didn’t say exactly how much the commission’s bills are, he did say the legal fight is eating up too much time and money.

“The amount of money being spent on this situation is outrageous,” said Stolz. He said state legislators who supported the airport authority and city leaders who want to keep Charlotte Douglas under city control should work out their issues outside of the courts. 

“I would hope that both sides would lay down their arms and have some thoughtful dialogue,” he said. “What we need is for people to sit in a room and resolve this thing.”

The commission’s bill sets up a potentially awkward situation at Thursday’s meeting. The airport commission is currently blocked by a judge’s ruling from exercising almost all of its powers and doesn’t have any money to spend.

That means the commission will have to discuss whether and how it will pay its lawyers. The commission is represented by former Charlotte Mayor Richard Vinroot and Martin Brackett, of Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson.

Vinroot could not be reached Thursday. Former Charlotte aviation director Jerry Orr, who is executive director of the commission, also could not be reached.

Orr retained Vinroot and his firm in July, the same day the N.C. General Assembly passed a bill creating the commission. Orr was removed from his city job – the city said he resigned, while Orr said he was fired – but he was automatically named to head the commission, under the terms of the law. 

Orr is still receiving his $211,000 salary from airport revenues, as he fights for the commission to begin running Charlotte Douglas. But so far, the commission has largely been stymied.

In a series of inconclusive hearings in front of Superior Court Judge Robert Ervin, the judge has declined to lift his injunction against the commission. The Federal Aviation Administration has yet to say whether it will give the commission a certificate needed to run the airport. 

Seven of 13 commissioners were appointed by the Charlotte City Council and the mayor. At their first meeting, some commissioners questioned why the body was meeting when it can’t do much. The group intends at its meeting next week to discuss Orr’s role and whether it’s appropriate to keep paying him, as well as the role of its lawyers.

For now, the airport has two directors: Orr, who can’t exercise his powers, and interim aviation director Brent Cagle, who is running the airport day-to-day. Cagle’s $152,640 salary is also coming from airport revenues. The airport remains a city department, and Cagle reports to City Manager Ron Carlee and the City Council. 

Outside firms, escalating bills

The city’s legal tab has primarily come from two North Carolina-based firms. Brooks Pierce has billed the city for $221,367, while Poyner Spruill has submitted $166,757 in invoices. A Boston-area firm, Anderson & Kreiger, is owed $9,221.

Hagemann said Brooks Pierce brought an experienced trial litigator, Jim Phillips, while Poyner Spruill offered the city a state constitutional expert in Robert Orr, a former N.C. Supreme Court justice. Phillips is a Democrat; Robert Orr, a Republican.

“We did not want to appear partisan, but that is not the main reason (for picking the two firms),” Hagemann said. “Both are high-quality, highly regarded firms.”

Anderson & Kreiger is known for its expertise in issues involving the Federal Aviation Administration, he said.

Poyner Spruill came on board first. It started working with the city July 11, a week before the legislature passed the airport bill. Its lawyers were on hand in a Mecklenburg courtroom when Hagemann successfully asked a judge to block the new law. 

“It turned out to be a whole lot of work in a short period of time,” he said. “We could not have done it all in-house.”

Hagemann said he has handled most of the in-house work himself, making strategy calls and orchestrating work by the outside firms. 

In June, the Charlotte City Council voted to “vigorously resist any outside, unilateral” efforts to transfer Charlotte Douglas from city control to an independent authority.

Opponents of the move to transfer the airport “feel that the whole effort by the legislature was unfair and not needed,” Hagemann said. “We did not ask for this fight. We did not pick this fight.”

The city will face still more court hearings in the case, and potential appeals, but much of the legal research and analysis is already “in the bank,” Hagemann said.

“We will incur significantly more legal fees,” he said. “But I don’t see it doubling or tripling.” 

Story and comments/reaction:

Fort Scott Municipal Airport (KFSK), Kansas: Smaller-scale event may replace Airport Day

Discussion continued Thursday on the future of an air show in Fort Scott.

Members of the Fort Scott Airport Advisory Board met to continue their talks on the possibility of an air show, fly-in, or similar event in 2014. Present for the meeting were board members Greg Post, Ken Lyon, Jim Gladbach and Shawn Goans.

Board members are in the process of trying to figure out what to do about an event next year as this year's Airport Day was cancelled due to the fact that last year's air show lost money.

They've also been trying in recent months to figure out ways to raise money for the event and also looking for someone to step up and become involved in organizing the event to the extent former event chairman Bob Marshall did.

Marshall and others who have been contacted have declined future involvement with the air show.

Board members are leaning their focus toward a more downsized event than in previous years, such as a fly-in breakfast, next fall. Such an event could save time and money, require less involvement from the FAA, and provide other benefits.

"There's the possibility of bringing in more airplanes this way," Airport Manager Kenny Howard said after the meeting. "It's a cost savings plus all the paperwork. Cost is the biggest thing. And what we're really lacking is someone to step up the way Marshall did."

Organizers are looking at possibly a general aviation fly-in for the second Saturday in September.

During the meeting, Post said he has talked to the FAA recently about obtaining a list of pilots within a 100-200 mile radius of Fort Scott and discussed with the board the idea of mailing fliers to these pilots about a month before the event inviting them to participate.

Lyon discussed the idea of talking with area chapters of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) about becoming involved with the air show. Lyon said he has looked online and found the nearest EAA chapter is located in Independence. Other Kansas chapters are located in Olathe and Overland Park.

The EAA is an international organization of aviation enthusiasts based in Wisconsin that has more than 186,000 members and nearly 1,000 chapters worldwide.

Lyon said Missouri chapters are located in the Kansas City area, Liberty and Maryville. He was not able to reach the president of the Independence chapter but did contact the president of the Overland Park chapter and said he is a plane owner with an interest in supporting the air show.

"It was very informative," Lyon said.

Based on this, Lyon said he thought it would be a good idea to follow up by making contact with other EAA chapters in the Kansas City area. Board members agreed it would be a good idea to establish relationships and contacts with EAA chapters.

"They're passionate about flying," Goans said.

Lyon said he also talked to vintage plane owners about their possible support of an event in which they could fly in to the local airport to show off their planes and maybe perform some aerobatics.

Howard said during the meeting he would research the differences between organizing a "full-blown" formal air show with involvement from the FAA versus organizing a more informal fly-in event with planes coming in to perform some maneuvers.

Post said typically at fly-in events, awards are given to first, second and third place winners of the air show.

Post said he thought perhaps by the board's next meeting in January contacts with some individuals and groups will have been made. Lyon said he has a list of four contacts to reach about their potential interest in the event.

The board agreed to set the next meeting on the topic for Jan. 30.

Lyon said he will try to again contact Marshall about any useful information he has, such as records, that can be used in organization of next year's event.

Howard also gave an update on the local airport during the meeting. He reported on fuel sales at the airport and said "there are a lot of jet sales right now."

"Things at the airport are going well," he said.

In response to a question from a board member, Howard said maps are no longer sold at the airport as "everything is going to GPS now."


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Lawsuit over 2009 plane crash near Teterboro ends in $7.5M settlement

George Maddox

Remembering George:


 Beechcraft 58 Baron, Quest Diagnostics Inc., N167TB: Accident occurred August 21, 2009 in Teterboro, New Jersey

Thursday December 12, 2013, 5:51 PM

The family of a pilot killed in a plane crash four years ago near Teterboro Airport will receive $7.5 million under a settlement finalized in Hackensack on Thursday with the owner of the aircraft.

George Maddox, 54, of Sinking Springs, Pa., was the pilot in command of a two-seat, twin-engine Beechcraft model BE-58 Baron plane in August 2009. The plane, owned and operated by Quest Diagnostics, was flying from Pottstown, Pa., to deliver specimens to a Quest laboratory in Teterboro.    

Sanil Gopinath of Laurel, Md., was the co-pilot. A lawsuit filed by Maddox’s widow, Lisa, claimed Gopinath, an independent “contract” pilot, was the one operating the plane at the time of the crash

Authorities said at the time that the plane approached Teterboro Airport but aborted a landing and went for a “go-around,” a standard maneuver that is undertaken if a pilot is not comfortable with executing a landing. The plane then hit a tree, crossed Route 46 and burst into flames outside the Mohawk Carpet Co., authorities said.

Maddox suffered severe burns and died two weeks later from his injuries. Gopinath also was injured but survived.

Lisa Maddox filed her lawsuit in Superior Court in Hackensack in 2011, claiming that the crash was caused by “operational error” and “maintenance related failure.”

In claiming Gopinath was the pilot during the flight, the lawsuit quoted an interview with Gopinath after the crash, in which he said, “I brought the power down, I made a left turn, and [Captain Maddox] freaks out, ‘What have you done? You’ve lost both your engines’.”

The lawsuit claims Gopinath did not have the proper training or experience to fly the plane and that Quest was at fault for hiring him.

The settlement, which was formalized Thursday before Superior Court Judge Brian Martinotti, provides compensation for Maddox’s wrongful death as well as pain and suffering before he died.

The agreement also provides that the amount — after the payment of attorney fees — will be split between Lisa Maddox and her 11-year-old daughter, Lily. The amount also includes payment of $60,000 a year for four years for Lily’s college education.

Martinotti said the settlement was a “fair and reasonable” conclusion to the more than two years of litigation that involved thousands of pages of documents and several attorneys.

Lisa Maddox, who lives in Pennsylvania, attended the hearing Thursday through teleconferencing. Answering questions from Martinotti, she said she was pleased with the outcome of the settlement.

Her attorney, Geoffrey Fieger, declined to comment, saying the settlement deal includes an agreement among the attorneys not to comment about the case.

Dennis Kadian, the attorney for Quest, also declined to comment.

NTSB Identification: ERA09LA469 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, August 21, 2009 in Teterboro, NJ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/16/2011
Aircraft: RAYTHEON AIRCRAFT COMPANY 58, registration: N167TB
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious.

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 airplane was operating as a corporate flight transporting medical specimens on a night, visual approach in visual meteorological conditions when the accident occurred. The flight was scheduled to be a single-pilot operation conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, and the pilot-in-command (PIC) had been assigned to the flight. Although the second-in-command (SIC), also a Quest Diagnostics pilot, was not assigned to the flight, he asked the PIC if he could accompany him on the flight to gain familiarization with operations into Teterboro Airport. Typically, the PIC flies the airplane from the left seat; however, the PIC on this flight allowed the SIC to occupy the left seat and fly the airplane. The investigation could not determine if the pilots had coordinated responsibilities for the flight before departure or if the PIC was providing additional training to the SIC during the flight.

Radar data indicated that, while on the base leg of the traffic pattern, the airplane had an airspeed of about 204 knots, which exceeded the maximum flap extension speed by more than 50 knots and the maximum landing gear extension speed by more than 80 knots. According to the SIC, during this critical portion of the approach to landing, the nonflying PIC remained focused on providing familiarization of the airport and city environment to the SIC, who was flying the airplane, and the PIC failed to monitor the airplane’s airspeed. After the SIC recognized the airplane’s excessive approach speed close to the runway environment, he attempted to slow the airplane. However, he inadvertently retarded the propeller levers and feathered the propellers instead of retarding the throttle levers. Recognizing the resultant loss of thrust, the PIC challenged the SIC’s actions and stated that both engines had experienced power loss. The airplane’s unfeathering accumulators had been removed; therefore, it was not possible for either pilot to quickly unfeather the propellers and reestablish engine power. Approaching the runway centerline at both low altitude and high airspeed and with the propellers feathered, the pilots were unable to slow the airplane and descend before overflying the runway. The airplane crossed the runway threshold at 300 feet and 186 knots (90 knots more than the approach speed of 96 knots), departed airport property, struck objects, and burst into flames.

Chairman Hersman and Member Rosekind did not approve this brief. Chairman Hersman filed a dissenting statement, which Member Rosekind joined. Member Rosekind filed a dissenting statement, which Chairman Hersman joined. Member Sumwalt filed a concurring statement, which Vice Chairman Hart and Member Weener joined. The statements can be found in the public docket for this accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The complete loss of thrust due to the second-in-command’s (SIC) inadvertent feathering of both propellers during a high-speed, low-altitude approach. Contributing to the accident was the pilot-in-command’s inadequate monitoring of the SIC’s performance.

Chairman Hersman and Member Rosekind did not approve this probable cause. Chairman Hersman filed a dissenting statement, which Member Rosekind joined. Member Rosekind filed a dissenting statement, which Chairman Hersman joined. Member Sumwalt filed a concurring statement, which Vice Chairman Hart and Member Weener joined. The statements can be found in the public docket for this accident.

Analysis: Foreign Airline Crews Had Difficulties With San Francisco Landings - United States Pilots Had Fewer 'Go-Arounds' When Part of Automated System Was Down

The Wall Street Journal

By  Rob Barry, Tom McGinty and Andy Pasztor

Updated Dec. 11, 2013 10:18 p.m. ET

Foreign airline crews experienced problems approaching San Francisco International Airport at a greater rate than U.S. pilots when the airport's landing guidance system was impaired, a Wall Street Journal analysis of government data found.

The findings, based on nearly 100,000 flights coming into the busy hub over six months, come as federal investigators held their first public hearing Wednesday on the crash last summer of an Asiana Airlines Co. jet in which three people died and 180 were injured. The pilots' undue reliance on automated flight systems has emerged as a key factor in that crash.

Asiana, based in South Korea, had the highest rate during the system outage of any carrier serving San Francisco for "go-arounds"—approaches broken off at low altitude before touchdown—the Journal found.

In July, an Asiana Boeing Co. 777, flying dangerously slow and low into San Francisco, slammed its tail into a seawall in front of its intended runway. Investigators of the crash are focusing on pilot confusion about automated thrust settings, coupled with the cockpit crew's failure to properly monitor the jetliner's speed and trajectory during the visual approach in good weather.

At its public hearing, the National Transportation Safety Board revealed Wednesday that the commander of the Asiana jet failed to respond to as many as four verbal warnings from a co-pilot that the aircraft was descending too quickly shortly before impact. The pilot flying the approach told investigators afterward he had been "very concerned" about executing the approach to San Francisco without precise vertical guidance.

Asiana officials said Wednesday that all company pilots flying into SFO had the required training, experience and the confidence of management.

The instrument landing system at San Francisco provides just such vertical and horizontal guidance, giving pilots detailed visual cues on their instrument panels if they veer from a safe trajectory. Otherwise, crews would have to use their own eyes and judgment to line up with a less-precise array of lights alongside the runway intended to help pilots stay on the correct path.

Over a five-week stretch leading up to the July 6 crash, a pivotal component of the system at SFO, as the airport is known, was out of service on the two busiest runways because of construction.

During the outage, foreign carriers broke off landing approaches to go around and try again at a rate nearly three times as high as their American counterparts, according to the Journal's analysis. The Journal examined radar data for 95,436 approaches to San Francisco's runways 28L and 28R, and focused on go-arounds initiated at altitudes of 1,000 feet or lower.

From Jan. 1 through June 1, the point at which San Francisco's "glideslope" equipment was taken out of service, non-U.S. carriers executed at least 20 go-arounds at or below 1,000 feet in 5,349 approaches to the two runways, for a rate of 3.7 go-arounds per 1,000 flights. That is about 37% higher than the 2.7 per thousand for domestic carriers in the same period.

Once the glideslope shut down, rates rose for both domestic and foreign carriers, but the increase for non-U.S. airlines was significantly larger.

Relying on visual approaches without precise, ground-based guidance, foreign airlines racked up at least 17 go-arounds out of 1,534 approaches, a rate of 11.1 per 1,000 approaches. By comparison, the rate for U.S. airlines during the same period was 4.3 per 1,000 approaches.

Four of the go-arounds by non-U.S. carriers involved Asiana, including one executed 400 feet from the ground just after midnight on the day before the crash. The other three planes each descended to 200 feet before executing their go-arounds.

An Asiana spokesman declined to confirm the total, saying "Asiana's policy is that any pilot can call for a go-around, and can do so without penalty."

Safety experts cite various reasons for the discrepancy between U.S. and foreign airlines. Some say foreign crews have less exposure to SFO's busy airspace; its closely spaced parallel runways; and the tendency of controllers to boost airport capacity by often maintaining minimum required spacing between planes. Others see some foreign airlines playing down manual skills—particularly for pilots flying widebody planes on long-haul routes—because automated controls are more fuel-efficient than manual flying.

Pilots can perform go-arounds for a variety of reasons, including congestion on the ground or in the air, and a failure to properly align the plane with the runway late in the approach. In some cases, the aborted landings are ordered by air-traffic controllers; other times, pilots make the decision to try again. According to the FAA, go-arounds "are routine, standardized procedures, and can occur once a day or more at busy airports for various reasons."

The spate of go-arounds by non-U.S. carriers may be explored in testimony and documents slated to be released this week as part of the NTSB's hearing.

"The statistics for go-arounds are obviously a significant element" as investigators unravel what happened and why the accident occurred, according to Robert Francis, a former vice chairman of the safety board. "It's just the kind of thing the NTSB certainly will be paying a lot of attention to."

Roughly two weeks after the accident—with part of the ground-based precision landing equipment still inoperative—the FAA took the unusual step of publicly prodding pilots of foreign airlines to use satellite-based aids or other systems as safeguards when landing at SFO.

Air-traffic controllers also stopped clearing foreign carriers for simultaneous visual approaches to closely spaced parallel runways, which can distract pilots. The extra precautions, which didn't apply to U.S. carriers, were lifted on Aug. 22, the day when SFO's glideslope equipment was put back into service.

This week, an FAA spokeswoman said the special procedures were prompted by "an increase in go-arounds at SFO by some foreign carriers that were flying visual approaches," though she didn't provide specifics.

The data analyzed by the Journal showed the flight tracks of all aircraft that approached SFO during the period, providing each plane's latitude, longitude and altitude approximately every five seconds. The data didn't include reasons for the any of the maneuvers those planes made.


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.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum's future in doubt as creditors claim Spruce Goose, other planes

The 1945 Grumman Avenger.
Richard Read/The Oregonian

McMINNVILLE – The Spruce Goose, a gigantic wooden plane built in 1947 by eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes, looms above other aircraft as the crown jewel of the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum.

News that creditors are trying to force Evergreen International Airlines Inc., the company across the highway, into Chapter 7 bankruptcy raises new concerns about the fate of the plane and the museum, which has long relied on support from founder Delford Smith and his privately held businesses.

Museum director Larry Wood says the nonprofit and the company are entirely separate, assuring anyone who asks that the museum owns the Spruce Goose free and clear. 

But Robert E. Lyon, a Palos Verdes, Calif., lawyer, begs to differ. "There's still money owed" on the flying boat, Lyon said.

At 77, Lyon is one of the few people alive who recalls meeting Hughes, the engineer, investor and aviator who backed the Spruce Goose -- and who narrowly missed Lyon's Beverly Hills house when crashing a reconnaissance plane that exploded in a ball of fire in 1946. "There's one scenario where we would end up having to repossess the thing and find another buyer," Lyon says now of the Spruce Goose.

 The flying boat isn’t the only plane in question.

A 1945 Grumman Avenger and a 1928 Ford Tri-Motor glitter like gems in the aircraft collection. Evergreen bought the torpedo bomber and the cross-country passenger carrier, restored for millions of dollars, in 1989 and '90.

But now the two planes are for sale, unbeknownst to thousands of visitors who view them each month. A broker, Courtesy Aircraft Sales, has listed the Avenger for $250,000 and the Tri-Motor for $1.75 million
Smith lost ownership of the planes after using both in May as collateral to lease a Gulfstream corporate jet for his holding company, according to an attorney representing lessors who sued Smith and five of his businesses. The Gulfstream was recently repossessed after Evergreen International Aviation Inc. and affiliated companies fell more than $17 million behind in payments, Portland lawyer Joseph VanLeuven said.

For the museum, the question now is how many other planes could be withdrawn from display and whether it and an adjacent water park can survive on their own, absent millions of dollars in bailouts Smith and his companies have made over the years.

Together with the water park, a theater and a chapel, the museum constitutes a Yamhill County landmark whose fate probably interests the public more than the collapse of Smith’s aviation empire. Visitors to the museum in wine country southwest of Portland are struck by the breadth of the collection, the lessons in innovation and history and human nature that the planes provide and the immense knowledge and dedication of the docents.
But the Oregon Department of Justice is investigating alleged commingling of funds between Evergreen’s commercial and tax-exempt entities -- which occurred frequently, according to Lyon, who has examined the nonprofits’ annual financial statements since 1992 in his attempt to calculate how much the museum owes.

Wood insists all is well in the nonprofit's climate-controlled buildings. He maintains the organization can survive on its own even as the airline implodes across the highway.

Wood guesses that about half the museum’s planes are in the collection on loan. He points out that the planes for sale are only two of about 167 major aviation and space artifacts on display.

Wood supposes Lyon's client, the Aero Club of Southern California, could repossess the Spruce Goose. "I wonder if they have enough money to take it apart and get it out of the building," he said, however. "When I took this job in 2010, I didn't know anybody owed any money on it. I found out when I met Mr. Lyon in California at a meeting. I said, 'What?'"

Lyon said Smith personally guaranteed a promissory note in 1992 backing purchase of the Spruce Goose. He said Evergreen recently made the last of 240 monthly payments – over 20 years – that totaled $500,000 for the plane.

That account contradicts a fable repeated by docents that the museum bought the plane for $1. It lends credence to suspicions of former Evergreen pilots who believe Smith, 83, plowed company profits into the museum and water park, hastening the airline’s demise.

But Lyon said the Aero Club is still due at least $50,000 – a percentage of the museum’s earnings, per the sales agreement – before ownership can be transferred to Evergreen through a complex stock-swap scheme.

Who wrote the checks for the $500,000?

"Interesting you should ask," Lyon said. "They came from Evergreen Aviation,” rather than the museum.

The source of the money, not to mention museum planes posted as collateral for corporate assets, might concern the Department of Justice. A museum controller asked Lyon about it, he said, inquiring why the museum wasn’t making the payments on the Spruce Goose.

“I said, uh, ‘I was going to ask you that question,’” Lyon said. “I said, ‘Well, we’re thankful for getting the money but it doesn’t look kosher to me.’”

Wood says the museum loaned about $700,000 in 2012 to Evergreen Aviation, which paid it off within a month, adding 9 percent interest. That loan triggered the Justice Department probe, he said.

“When the guy that owns your building asks you to loan some money, you do,” said Wood, referring to Smith.

Justice Department lawyers who have combed through the museum's files for more than a year say they hope to complete their investigation soon.

That’s not soon enough for Lyon. He says he can't calculate the exact amount owed on the Spruce Goose until the Justice Department releases its grip on the museum's financial statements. "I was feeling pretty confident that we were getting to the end of the road until the Department of Justice stepped in," Lyon said.

"I've had numerous conversations with Larry Wood about this," Lyon said. "We agreed that when the final payment is made, members of our board of directors will come up and have a ceremony where we actually grant them title to the Spruce Goose."

Asked about Lyon's assertions, Wood acknowledged talking with him.

"I've been trying to call him," said Wood, sounding frazzled. "We paid what is essentially the -- oh, dear, um -- the price of the thing. But one of the stipulations is they want part of the profits of the museum. Our lawyers are looking at it to see what we owe whom and why. It's a portion of the profits since 1990-whatever-the-devil-it-is, I don't know."

Lyon views repossession of the plane as unlikely. "To call it a white elephant would be an understatement," he said. "But concern has arisen of what are we going to do if they default on the note and we have to take the boat back."

The colossal gray flying boat, five stories tall, dwarfs planes including the Avenger and the Tri-Motor, which remain on display. Fifteen other planes in the museum are owned by Evergreen Vintage Aircraft Inc., another of Smith’s companies, making them vulnerable as creditors look for any valuable assets to cover debts.

Included among them are mainstays such as a MesserSchmitt fighter plane, a Supermarine Spitfire Mark XVI, a Curtiss P-40 Kittyhawk and a Curtiss Wright Sedan.

“Del has put some of them up as collateral,” said Wood, referring to Smith and the Vintage planes, “but I don’t know how many or which ones. You’d have to ask the holding company or Mr. Smith.”

Smith, chairman of the board of the museum and founder-owner of the companies, said in a phone interview Thursday that the museum was doing very well. He said he would deal with the Aero Club’s claim immediately.

“I had no idea that they felt we still owed them money,” Smith said. “I thought we were free and clear on that one.”

For now, the Avenger and the Tri-Motor will remain in the museum, where they are well cared for and accessible to potential buyers, said VanLeuven, the Portland lawyer who represents the Gulfstream lessors that acquired the two planes as collateral.

“It’s in everybody’s interest to leave them there for the time being,” VanLeuven said. “I don’t know that we’ll leave them there indefinitely.”

Wood said most of the museum’s planes are on loan from other institutions, such as the National Naval Aviation Museum and the National Museum of the Marine Corps. Some are loaned by individuals, he said.

“If you loan us something and you want it back, we have to give it back,” Wood said. But he said he’s confident that the “biggest chunk” of the collection will remain intact.

Wood said the museum, which has no debt, usually breaks even. “Or we lose money,” he said, “but right now we’re breaking even.”

The museum gets about 150,000 visitors a year, about the same as the water park, Wood said. The museum and water park employ between 150 and 175 at peak times, including part-time workers, he said. Museum admission costs $25 for an adult.

A review of Evergreen’s nonprofit tax returns shows a $1.7 million contribution by Smith in 2009 to The Michael King Smith Foundation, which owns the space museum, water park, chapel and some planes.

In 2010, Smith gave $1.2 million to the foundation, which is named for Smith’s son, who died in a 1995 auto accident. Smith gave $23.1 million to the foundation in 2011, the same year his Evergreen Vintage Aircraft company, which owns the aviation-museum and theater buildings, donated $23.7 million.

Lyon, the Aero Club lawyer, said there were times when the museum required contributions in the millions of dollars from Smith and the companies to stay solvent. But he believes the organization could survive.

“I’m no financial expert but I would think so,” Lyon said.

Lyon said the Aero Club received title to the Spruce Goose in the early 1980s. The previous owners – Summa Corp., the Smithsonian Museum and the U.S. government – transferred the plane to the club so it wouldn’t have to be cut into pieces for display in Washington, D.C.

The Aero Club leased the plane to the Rather Corp., which did little to merchandise it, meaning the club received scant revenues, Lyon said. Club members decided to sell the plane to Evergreen, which promised to display and market it and pay a fixed amount plus a percentage of income. The club held title to the plane as a security interest through a for-profit company and its stock.

Evergreen moved the plane in 1993 to McMinnville in pieces on barges and trucks, installing it in the museum. Evergreen Aviation began making the monthly payments but never sent income statements, which Lyon kept requesting.

Finally an Evergreen controller sent Lyon the statements, which he said showed only about four or five years when the museum had positive income flow.

The Aero Club has used its income from the Spruce Goose to give scholarships to students interested in aviation. The club puts on an annual Howard Hughes memorial dinner, giving awards to the likes of aviation pioneer James Doolittle and astronaut Neil Armstrong.

Lyon has alerted the Aero Club’s board to the possibility of Evergreen defaulting on payments for the Spruce Goose.

“There are some new young members who probably would have an interest in trying to find another home for it,” Lyon said. “But we would prefer to collect the last few thousand dollars owed to us and hope that someone takes care of the aircraft.”

-- Richard Read

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An Evergreen International Airlines Boeing 747-212B at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, where the airline was evicted from its base for nonpayment of rent. New York creditors aim to force the McMinnville-based airline into Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

By Richard Read | Oregon Live
on December 19, 2013 at 2:15 PM, updated December 19, 2013 at 3:38 PM 
Creditors in New York moved Thursday to force McMinnville-based Evergreen International Airlines Inc. into involuntary bankruptcy, although company founder and chief executive Delford Smith said he still has plans to save the airline.

The unsecured creditors filed a summons Thursday under Chapter 7 of the U.S. bankruptcy code requiring Evergreen to answer a petition entered the previous day. Two hotels seek more than $440,000 for lodging Evergreen crew members, and a plowing company wants $25,000 for clearing snow from Evergreen cargo jets at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Other creditors may join the case filed Wednesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of New York. Numerous creditors have sued the airline, which flew its last flight Dec. 2, ending three decades of service for a company that once operated a global fleet of Boeing 747 cargo jets.

“Unfortunately they are not paying their debts as they come due in the normal course of business,” said Kenneth Reynolds, an attorney at McBreen & Kopko in Jericho, New York.

Reached by phone at Evergreen Thursday, Smith said he wasn’t aware of the Chapter 7 filing. “I don’t think 7 will work, I think we’ll need 11,” said Smith, referring to the bankruptcy code’s Chapter 11, which would enable the company to be reorganized, not liquidated.

“We’ve virtually shut the airline down,” Smith said. “It’s not a big rhubarb,” he said, meaning that issues could be settled without a major fight. “We’re going to perpetuate the company.”

Smith noted that he’d sold Evergreen Helicopters Inc. for almost $300 million to pay down debt. “Now we have an $80 million debt on a second lien,” he said.

Smith said he planned to wait for the cargo market to turn around before bringing back the airline.

“The trading company is doing very well, the museum’s doing very well, the ground handling company is doing very well,” Smith said. “We’re just going to shut that airline down and we’ll crank it up when the military has a need. We’re not falling off a cliff or committing suicide.”

Smith referred a reporter to Jay Goffman, a New York attorney who is global leader of Skadden Arps’ corporate restructuring group. Goffman said Thursday he was unaware of the Chapter 7 filing.

Reynolds, who entered the filing, represents Five Towns Motor Inn, Inc., of Lawrence, N.Y.; Sunrise One, doing business as The Rockville Centre Inn, of Lynbrook, N.Y.; and Aero Snow Removal Corp., of Port Washington, N.Y.

Reynolds said his clients were concerned by news reports indicating that Evergreen was liquidating assets and paying some creditors before others. He said his firm has an aviation background, and that he has handled bankruptcy cases for 20 years.

Under Chapter 7, Evergreen has 20 days to respond to the summons. The company can dispute allegations that it’s not paying its debts. Ultimately a trustee may be appointed to liquidate assets, if any remain, and distribute them fairly.

-- Richard Read

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Key Evergreen museum planes to go on the auction block 
The world-class air museum developed by Evergreen International Aviation founder Del Smith may be in for some painful losses in the wake of the apparent collapse of Smith’s network of for-profit operations on the other side of Highway 18.

Though the museum’s land and buildings are owned and operated through the nonprofit Michael King Smith Foundation, named after the 83-year-old founder’s late son, up to 20 percent of its 140-odd exhibits are owned by financially troubled for-profit elements of his crumbling aviation empire. Foremost among them is Evergreen Vintage Aircraft, listed by the Federal Aviation Administration as owner of 15 planes currently on display at the museum.

Another subsidiary, Evergreen Holdings Inc., owns just two of the planes on display at the museum, according to the FAA. But they are among the choicest, and both have been listed with brokers — one of 12 still-airworthy Ford Tri-motor passenger liners, a meticulously restored 1928 listed at $1.75 million, and a Grumman TBM-3 torpedo bomber, a World War II military craft listed $250,000.

However, the aviation museum’s centerpiece, Howard Hughes’ iconic wooden goliath, the Spruce Goose, is safe. It is owned by the museum, according to Executive Director Larry Wood.

Wood said Evergreen Vintage Aircraft owns several of the older planes in the museum’s inventory, including fighters and bombers dating to World War II and some replicas of the earliest planes flown. With judgments and liens piling up against various of Evergreen’s for-profit subsidiaries, he acknowledged, some of those planes could be sold or repossessed to satisfy debts.

However, he downplayed the impact.

“I think the total is less than 20 percent of the collection, if they took them all, and I don’t think they’d all be at risk,” Wood said, explaining that new owners might choose to donate craft back to the museum for the tax write-off rather than take physical possession.

He is an admirer of the older planes, he said, but thinks the majority of visitors come either to see the Spruce Goose or the museum’s large collection of newer planes, most of which are safe.

“You don’t want to lose an artifact if you can avoid it, but many of the things that are in the museum are on loan from somebody anyway,” Wood said. If not, he said, “When we have money again, we’ll go and buy them back. Or we’ll buy different ones.”

Craft owned by Evergreen Vintage Aircraft, thus at peril, include a Messerschmitt ME 109G-10, which the museum calls “the spearhead of Germany’s World War II fighter force;” its British nemesis, the Supermarine Spitfire Mark XVI; a Curtiss Wright Sedan and a Curtiss P-40 Kittyhawk.

Craft owned by the Michael King Smith Foundation, thus not in jeopardy, include a replica of the Spirit of St. Louis, which Charles Lindbergh flew across the Atlantic in his historic solo flight in 1927.

The Ford Tri-Motor, known in its day at the “tin goose,” is arguably one of the museum’s most charming exhibits. Its wood-paneled interior, featuring small seats and narrow aisles, illustrate the rigors of early commercial air travel. The museum notes passengers “had to be almost as tough and resilient as the planes in which they traveled,” and by all accounts, the tri-motor qualified.

The Grumman Avenger was a World War II torpedo bomber. It was equipped with radar pods as well as rockets, enabling it to conduct surveillance as well as pound the enemy.

After the war, it was put to many other uses, including search and rescue work. According to the sale listing, the museum’s plane is one of only 42 still airworthy.

Wood said he understood the two planes were part of the Evergreen Vintage Aircraft inventory. He said he was not aware of any Evergreen Holdings ownerships.

For the past year, the state Department of Justice has been investigating alleged financial co-mingling between the museum and company, which would not be legal. But so far, the state has refused to release any information.

Wood has downplayed the probe, saying any such co-mingling was inadvertent, minor in nature and in the process of being corrected. But privately, some former employees blame the complany’s demise on the museum, maintaining Smith funneled airline profits “across the street” to his pride and joy. 


Where in the world are Evergreen International Airlines' cargo planes? 
A modified Evergreen Boeing 747 drops fire retardant near Yucaipa, Calif. in August 2009.

By Richard Read | on December 10, 2013 
at 1:05 PM, updated December 10, 2013 at 9:53 PM

Readers are beginning to send in stories about their experiences with these planes. Send in yours, too, to, including your name and contact information.

Pilots who flew Evergreen International Airlines Inc. freighters are trying to find out what will happen to the McMinnville-based airline, which flew its last flight Dec. 2, parking its remaining planes.

On Friday, two former employees filed a federal class-action suit in Portland against the airline and its holding companies, saying the companies failed to provide 60 days advance written notice of terminations. They seek to recover wages and benefits on behalf of more than 200 aggrieved employees.

Creditors apparently control the decision on the cargo carrier's fate. Managers aren’t talking.

But pilots can track the whereabouts of the Evergreen planes they flew. Crew members know the cargo jets’ tail numbers by heart, the way railroad engineers know engines. N492EV, for example, is an old Japan Air Lines Boeing 747-400 converted in China to a cargo jet and flown Dec. 2 from Travis Air Force Base to Victorville, Calif., on Evergreen's final flight.

Following are details reconstructed by crew members on the remains of Evergreen’s fleet, listed by tail number. Ownership information is supplied by a Federal Aviation Administration database.
  470. Boeing 747-273C, a former supertanker parked in Marana, Ariz., where Evergreen used to own a maintenance center. Owned by Evergreen International Airlines Inc. 

471. Boeing 747-273C, a nose-loader that flew Evergreen’s South American contract. Located in Portsmouth, N.H. Owned by Wilmington Trust Co. owner trustee. Former Evergreen employee David Bragdon recalls riding in 471 on Nov. 7, 1991, from Hong Kong to Khabarovsk, Russia, carrying $15,000 in cash to pay for fuel. "$15,000, even in hundreds, is quite a brick," Bragdon said. The freighter landed at 2:05 a.m. "It was like landing on the far side of the moon at the time, in a junkyard of disabled Soviet planes," he said. "The plane was on the ground for over three hours just to get fuel, and then I stayed behind as the plane went off to Anchorage without me. One of the loneliest feelings you can imagine!"

473. Boeing 747-121, FAA registration canceled, owned by Wells Fargo Bank Northwest NA, location unknown. "Location unknown!" Bragdon said. "Oh, 473 brings back such memories, too. I spent 23 hours and 39 minutes on that one, once, going about halfway around the globe." Started in Brussels on a Saturday morning bound for Dharan, Saudi Arabia, in the buildup to the Kuwait war.

"But we got to the German/Austria border and the Austrians would not let us proceed into their airspace because we had military cargo." The crew called McMinnville for instructions. "They finally called us back and said, literally, 'OK, go over to France, turn left, then when you reach the Mediterranean stay over the water...'" The freighter refueled in Cairo, unloaded in Dharan and arrived in Hong Kong Dec. 1, 1990.

Less than three years later, 473 took off from Anchorage and encountered severe turbulence that ripped the No. 2 engine off the plane. A gripping voice-recorder transcript relates the chaotic dialog between the cockpit and the control tower as the crew struggles to gain control and land the stricken plane. Cockpit voice 3: "Ah. roger. Can you make a call to Evergreen ops and ah, check." Cockpit voice 1: "We don't need this." The engine narrowly missed an apartment complex and a shopping mall.

477. Boeing 747-SR46, owned by the airline, location unknown.

479. Boeing 747-132, a supertanker parked in Marana, this plane was used by Evergreen for firefighting. Owned by the airline.

481. Boeing 747-132, gutted and parked atop Evergreen Wings & Waves Waterpark in McMinnville. Owned by the airline.

482. Boeing 747-212B, parked in front of Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum, planned for construction into a hotel or conversion into a hostel. Owned by the airline.
485. Boeing 747-212B, parked at John F. Kennedy International Airport, stripped of most parts to keep Evergreen 471 flying on a South American contract. Contains thousands of cargo-jet parts loaded for storage after Evergreen was evicted from its JFK base for overdue rent. In August, 485 was prepared for sale to a customer in South America, but the deal fell through. Owned by the airline.

486. Boeing 747-212B, stored in Marana, Ariz., where Evergreen International Airlines used to own a maintenance center. Owned by the airline.

487. Boeing 747-230B, believed to be in Marana. Owned by Ventures Acquisition Co. For sale on Evergreen’s web site.

488. Boeing 747-230B, located in Louisville for possible storage. In 2012 it was sent to Oscoda, Mich., for scheduled maintenance and held there for nonpayment of the bill. Owned by Ventures Acquisition, for sale on Evergreen’s web site.

489. Boeing 747-230B, believed to be in Marana. Owned by Ventures Acquisition, for sale on Evergreen’s web site.

490. Boeing 747-230F, stuck in repair shop in Xiamen, China. Flown there in exchange for release of Evergreen 492 after that plane was converted in Xiamen to a freighter. Apparently 490 has corroded, so it can no longer be flown. Owned by Wells Fargo Bank Northwest NA trustee.

491. Boeing 747-412F, in Marana, where it was moved from Oscoda after heavy maintenance. Owned by Wells Fargo Northwest NA trustee.

492. Boeing 747-446, stored in Victorville, Calif. The former Japan Air Lines plane went to Xiamen to be converted into a cargo jet. Held for nonpayment and then released in exchange for Evergreen 490. 

492 flew the airline’s last flight Dec. 2, from Travis Air Force Base to Victorville. Owned by Wells Fargo Northwest NA trustee.

493. Boeing 747-4H6, in Rome, N.Y. Owned by Wells Fargo Northwest NA trustee.
779BA. Boeing 747-4B5, impounded in Hahn, Germany, for several days last August for nonpayment of airport fees. Evergreen paid the fees, freeing the plane. Owned by Boeing Aircraft Holding Co. Parked in Marana, Ariz., Nov. 23.

917W. Gulfstream Aerospace G-IV, a corporate jet leased from GC Air LLC and reportedly repossessed recently. The plane landed Dec. 9 at Westfield-Barnes Regional Airport in western Massachusetts. Smith rode Whiskey far and wide, swinging through Panama at one point in 2006.

22MS. Learjet, a corporate plane registered by Evergreen Trade Inc. FlightAware tracked it landing May 13 in McMinnville, where it reportedly ran off the runway. FAA registration canceled July 18.

-- Richard Read

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