Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Singapore Airlines-Tata joint venture orders Airbus A320s: Sources

SINGAPORE: Singapore Airlines has picked Airbus's A320 aircraft over Boeing's 737 for the launch of its Indian airline joint venture with Tata Sons, sources familiar with the decision said. 
The full-service carrier will take up to 20 A320s worth $1.83 billion at list prices. The planes will be sourced from leasing companies, rather than purchased direct from Airbus.

A project team set up by Singapore Airlines evaluated both aircraft and decided to place orders for the A320, two sources said. The decision extends the European planemaker's domination of India's single-aisle aircraft segment.

A Singapore Airlines spokesman referred queries to the joint venture's office in India, while an Airbus spokesman in Singapore said: "We do not comment on commercial discussions with existing or potential customers."

The new airline, which has not yet been formally named, is expected to begin operations in the second half of this year. It has begun recruiting pilots and is close to confirming its top executives, including a Singapore Airlines executive as its chief executive officer.

The airline applied for a "no-objection certificate" from India's civil aviation ministry and an air operators' certificate from the Indian Directorate General of Civil Aviation in late December.

It will initially operate domestic services from New Delhi and compete with full service carriers Air India and Jet Airways , which are the only players in the full-service market since the collapse of Kingfisher Airlines in 2012.

Around 70 percent of the Indian domestic market is dominated by low-cost carriers such as IndiGo, SpiceJet and GoAir. Tata is also starting up a low-cost carrier joint venture with Malaysia's AirAsia, increasing the competition in this segment.

IndiGo, which has the largest share of the Indian domestic market, has more than 70 A320s in its fleet and orders for around 190 of the existing aircraft and the upgraded A320neo variants, to be delivered over the rest of this decade.

GoAir, which will have 20 A320s in its fleet this year, has orders for another 72 A320neo aircraft.

Indian flag carrier Air India's narrowbody fleet comprises mostly the A320-family of aircraft, while its low-cost subsidiary Air India Express operates around 20 737s.

The Jet Airways narrowbody fleet comprises only 737s, while SpiceJet operates just over 40 737s and has placed an order for 40 more of the re-engined 737 Max variant.

Fresh setback for Boeing as recent incidents raise safety concerns

It would be an understatement to say that Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner aircraft has had a checkered service history very early into the plane’s introduction as the U.S. airplane maker’s prime model. And just as one would think that the Dreamliner has endured all its birth pains, a third incident in as many days again raises concerns about the safety of Boeing’s top aircraft.

Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) has just released information on Wednesday saying that it was forced to cancel one 787 Dreamliner flight from Yamaguchi prefecture to Tokyo due to brake problems. This incident immediately follows another cancelled 787 flight, this time by Japan Airlines (JAL), from Boston’s Logan International Airport because of a fuel leak. Just a day before that, an electrical fire – interestingly one of the main reasons why the Dreamliner was grounded for a long time before finally being allowed to fly commercial flights – was recorded on another JAL 787 after a flight to Boston from Tokyo.   Asian customers still pin hopes on the Boeing brand name, hoping that these incidents are just “teething troubles” that are common on new planes.   Japan is Boeing’s largest customer for the Dreamliner and these Japanese airlines have confirmed that they had no plans to scale back or cancel orders for the aircraft, which is listed at US$207 million per plane. JAL spokesman Kazunori Kidosaki said that the carrier had no plans to change orders it has placed for another 38 aircraft, already owning seven of them. ANA has 17 Dreamliners and will also stick with its orders for another 49, spokesman Etsuya Uchiyama said.

Air India took the delivery of its sixth Dreamliner on Monday of the 27 in total that it has ordered. The state-owned airline said that precautionary measures were already in place because of these incidents, but they also said that their planes were flying smoothly. “It’s a new plane, and some minor glitches do happen. It’s not a cause of concern,” said Air India spokesman G.Prasada Rao. JAL and ANA are operating a total of 24 of the 49 new planes. The aircraft entered commercial service in November 2011, more than three years behind schedule after a series of delays and safety concerns. Boeing has sold 848 of the planes all in all.

Plane’s propeller damaged after Stephenville airport landing

Provincial Airlines Saab 340,C-FPAI
The Provincial Airlines Saab 340 that had a propeller damaged shortly after landing at Stephenville airport on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014 is seen in front of a hangar at the airport on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014.

STEPHENVILLE — The Provincial Airlines Saab 340 that had an incident shortly after landing at Stephenville Airport at 7:35 a.m. on Wednesday sustained damage to one of its propellers.

Stephen Dinn, vice-president of corporate development at Provincial Airlines, said the aircraft made a safe landing and was fully on the ground before encountering whiteout conditions.

Dinn said the damage occurred during the roll off from the landing when the plane veered from the centre of the runway and the propeller hit hard-packed snow on the side of the runway.

There were no injuries to anyone on the plane as a result of the incident.

Dinn stressed that the plane never left the runway and once stopped, the pilot and crew went back to the cabin area and explained what had happened to the six passengers on board.

On Thursday, the airline administration was still awaiting a full review of the aircraft after company personnel were sent to Stephenville shortly after the incident took place.

He said the crew of the airplane assisted the passengers into a van and they were met inside the airport by staff where they were rebooked on another flight.

On Thursday, Dinn said he wasn’t sure of the extent of the damage to the plane, but did say the aircraft would be getting a thorough inspection and repairs before going back into service.

He said the airline and the airport are each doing a review of the incident and will be sending reports to the proper authorities when they are completed.

A Stephenville airport loader is seen preparing to unhook a Provincial Airlines plane it had just towed to the front of a hangar on Wednesday evening due to an incident earlier in the day.
 © Star photo by Frank Gale 

Plane stops in drifting snow at Stephenville airport  

No reports of injuries: Provincial Airlines

A Provincial Airlines flight had trouble with drifting snow after it landed at Stephenville International Airport Wednesday morning.

After Provincial Airlines flight 913 from St. John's landed at approximately 7:30 a.m., landing gear on the Saab 340 plane got caught up in drifting snow. The plane did come to a stop on the runway, but as Provincial Airlines vice-president of corporate development Stephen Dinn explained, the full width of the runway was not cleared at the time of the incident.

“There was some slight drifting on the runway, which got in the left side gear, and that just caused the aircraft to keep drifting further in that direction, so it became lodged in the snow,” said Dinn.

According to Dinn, the plane was slowing down when it encountered the drifting snow. Windy weather conditions were reported at the time of the plane's arrival in Stephenville.

“From an aviation perspective, we obviously checked the weather in St. John's and Stephenville before we departed, and clearly the weather was within our aviation standards,” said Dinn.

An airport vehicle transported the six passengers and the plane's crew back to the terminal. Dinn said there were no reports of injuries.

“The crew on the aircraft asked them all how everything was. They were all fine at the time.”

The plane was moved to a hangar Wednesday afternoon. Dinn said maintenance staff are now inspecting the aircraft.


STEPHENVILLE -  Shortly after landing at Stephenville airport Wednesday morning, the wheels of a Provincial Airlines Saab 340 got stuck in snow while taxiing down the runway. 
Brenda Martin, airport manager, said the plane landed safely in good runway conditions but veered into a blanket of snow during whiteout conditions at around 7:35 a.m. Martin said the plane did not leave the runway.

All six passengers and the crew of three were safely transported to the Stephenville airport terminal by an airport service van.

Martin explained that anytime there is an incident, the airport has to follow Transport Canada protocols, so the plane was left at the location until a preliminary investigation was carried out.

The plane was towed to a hangar at the airport property later in the day using a loader owned by the airport.

Martin said the airport’s safety operations procedures were activated and an investigation would be carried out by the Canadian Transportation Safety Board. The plane is expected to undergo an inspection before going back into service.

Provincial Airlines will resume regularly scheduled flights this morning.

Unregistered ultralight force landed in a field - Odessa, Texas

 ODESSA-"I learned how to fly this about five days ago on YouTube, that’s about it,” said Cal Pietick, the man who flew the aircraft. 

The ultralight plane landed in a field in Odessa early this evening after it ran out of gas. People say they've seen the same plane flying low over the neighborhood the past few days.

Pilots tell us you don't need a license to fly it and for this pilot, it was as easy as YouTube.

A scare in the sky near Schlemeyer Field just before 6:00 p.m. after this ultralight aircraft made an emergency landing in a field near 87th and Hollday. One little girl was playing just steps away.

"The plane was coming this way and he spun around then he came and landed and we heard a big whoosh,” said Rilee, a young girl who witnessed the landing. “The I ran to my grandmas and told her.”

“Were you scared?” “Very, I started crying,” she told CBS 7.

The man flying the ultralight said he does have a pilot's license, although DPS could not confirm that. According to Odessa pilots and The FAA, no license is needed to fly ultralights. The pilot told CBS 7 he put it together himself.

"How long you been flying?" "I learned how to fly this about five days ago on YouTube, that’s about it,” Pietick said, adding a thumbs up.

The FAA does have some rules for ultralights –that they carry no more than 5 gallons of fuel, weigh less than 254 pounds, not to fly over congested areas and not to put any persons in danger, among others.

"What did you tell the pilot?" "I told him I was scared and he said, ‘I’m sorry I scared you, I didn’t mean to’ and I said it was OK I just got really scared,” Eyewitness Rilee said.

The plane is mostly intact, a landing wheel lost to the jolt of the impact. A DPS officer said they did not think it hit anything on the way down.

“Will you fly again soon?” “As soon as I get that gear landing fixed,” Pietick said.

The FAA has been contacted and will investigate the incident; no tickets have yet been issued. It is unknown what charges or penalties, if any, this pilot could face. Pietick walked away from the landing with no injuries.

ODESSA - Sometimes you don't know what could come out of the sky. Jeremy Carson didn't. 
"(A neighbor) came running in the house screaming, there is a plane crashed outside and kind of disbelief, we followed her out the door and sure enough there was a plane," Carson said.

Caleb Pietsek landed his plane on Wednesday night in a vacant lot near 87th Street and Holiday in Odessa. It was a rough landing and scared some of the local neighbors but luckily there were no injuries.

"I got the plane by trading in another plane for this one and a series of other four wheelers and things like that," Pietsek said.

"The pilot was already getting out of the plane before I got to him and pulled his helmet off. He was kind of hopping around pumped up on adrenaline. I asked him if he was ok. He said, "Oh, I'm fine. I'm just glad I didn't hit a house," Pietsek said.

The plane is a light aircraft much like the plane the Wright Brothers flew in 1903. This one though, had a little engine trouble after taking off from Schlemeyer Field in Odessa.

"I experienced engine failure at about 4,200 feet at about the water tower. Well, I just did SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) and put the nose down and found a safe place to land that wasn't in anybody's house or put anybody in danger on the road and put it down in the middle of the field," Pietsek said.

DPS officials said this is out of their jurisdiction. According to officials, an aircraft this small is not registered with the Federal Aviation Administration. The Trooper on the scene did get contact information and Pietsek was left to figure out how to get a plane home.

Troopers say that if Pietsek had been intoxicated, there could have been a charge. For now, the situation rests in the hands of the FAA.


  An Odessa man said he was forced to land his homemade ultralight airplane Wednesday evening in a field off 87th Street after he miscalculated the amount of fuel he was consuming as he flew above the city. 

Pilot Cal Pietsek was not hurt in the emergency landing and no damage was apparent on his aircraft.

The landing, which happened at about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, prompted worry there had been a plane crash after a mechanic at Odessa-Schlemeyer Field saw the plane go down and called police, according to a corporal with the Odessa Police Department at the scene.

“Thank you all for coming out,” Pietsek said to a few of the officers.

In a brief interview, Pietsek explained that he calculated his fuel usage at about 1.5 gallons per hour “but I sucked down about three.”

The Texas Department of Public Safety will handle the investigation.

The landing spot, near Holiday Drive, was close to the scene of another emergency landing that happened on Oct. 26, 2012. In that instance, a 1959-model Piper fixed wing single-engine airplane ran out a fuel on its way to Odessa-Schlemeyer from Arizona, landing on 87th Street near Duke Avenue. No one was injured.


Odessa Police and Fire/Rescue personnel talk to ultralight aircraft pilot Cal Pietsek after he miscalculated the fuel consumption of his aircraft and landed in a field Wednesday afternoon near 87th Street and Holiday Drive. Pietsek was not injured during the landing.  Mark Sterkel|Odessa American

Tecnam P2002 Sierra RG, SGO, Scherer Farms Ltd: Tauranga Airport, New Zealand

A light plane has crashed on the grass strip at Tauranga Airport today. 

 A Northern Fire Communications spokesperson says the light craft crashed on Runway 25 near the control tower at about 2.45pm.

Firefighters from Tauranga and Mount Maunganui were called to the scene but were not required.

All people in the aircraft were out of the aircraft and uninjured when crews arrived at the scene.

A witness says one fire truck and a St John Ambulance remain on site.

The aircraft is a Tecnam P2002 Sierra RG, registered to Scherer Farms Ltd Putaruru.

Namibia Heads to Mozambique to Probe Pilot's Life

Windhoek — Investigators from the Namibian Directorate of Aircraft Accident Investigation are off to Mozambique in the coming week to probe the private life of the late Mozambican airline captain who was in command of the Embraer 190 aircraft when it plummeted to the ground on Namibian soil killing all 33 people on board. The focus is now on whether the pilot did indeed "intentionally crash the aircraft" as presented by the preliminary findings.

"The investigation shifted from aircraft to human factor. The team will leave Namibia for Mozambique to investigate the private life of the pilot, which will form part of the intensive probe into what happened on that fatal flight," Captain Erickson Nengola, Director of Aircraft Accident Investigation in the Ministry of Works and Transport said yesterday in an exclusive interview with New Era.

Namibia is leading the investigation into the crash of the Mozambican airline LAM Flight 470 in the Bwabwata National Park in the Zambezi Region on Friday November 29, carrying 27 passengers and six crew-members.

The plane, an
Embraer ERJ-190 with registration number C9-EMC departed from Maputo international airport on a scheduled flight to Luanda, Angola before it crashed in torrential rain killing all 33 occupants on board. At the controls was Captain Herminio dos Santos Fernandes.

The preliminary accident report reveals that all actions that led to the crash were done manually. Records from the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder indicate that the entire descent was performed with the autopilot engaged, an action that requires knowledge of the aircraft's automatic flight systems.

"This displays a clear intent. The reason for all actions is unknown and the investigation is still ongoing," said Nengola.

A final report will be sent to all states that participated in the investigation once the final probe into the private life of the pilot is complete. Following the draft report, Namibia as the State of Occurrence will then pass the final report to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the State of the Operator, Registry, Manufacturer and Design. Thereafter, only then will the final report be made public, said Nengola, who was at pains to point out that Namibia is the only country with authority to release information to the public on the investigation. "Namibia is the State of Occurrence and is responsible for all press releases and the final report and not the State of the Operator. There are some states making comments on this accident, which is not in line with the ICAO convention. Namibia should give comments because we are responsible for this investigation," he cautioned.

Nengola said all occupants have since been identified and the wreckage of the aircraft is still in the Bwabwata National Park but the recovery will start next week.

According to the preliminary report, which New Era has seen a copy of, the flight data and cockpit voice recorders revealed that the aircraft was operating at normal conditions and no mechanical faults were detected.

"Minutes before the crash the first officer left the cockpit for the lavatory and only the captain remained in the flight deck. The altitude was manually selected three times from 38 000 feet to 592 feet (below ground elevation). The auto throttle was manually re-engaged and throttle level automatically retarded and set to idle. The airspeed was normally selected several times until the end of the recording ... which remained close to the VMO (maximum operating limit speed)," reads the preliminary report, adding: "During all these actions there were audibly low and high chimes as well as repeated banging, an indication of calls to enter the cockpit."

Nengola disclosed that the flight operations were normal and the aircraft was cruising at 38 000 feet. The preliminary report concluded: "All actions observed from the recorder requires knowledge of the aircraft's automatic flight systems as the entire descent was performed with the autopilot engaged. This displays a clear intent. The reason for all these actions is unknown and the investigation is still ongoing."

Nengola said the flight was in good radio communication with Gaborone area control on frequency 126.1 MHZ. The radar data revealed that at position EXEDU, which is a mandatory reporting point in the Gaborone flight information region the aircraft commenced a sudden descent.

Preliminary findings also show that radar and voice contact was lost with air traffic services.

A search and rescue operation was instituted which located the wreckage the following day in the Bwabwata National Park.

The Brazilian-manufactured Embraer 190 aircraft was carrying 10 Mozambicans, nine Angolans, five Portuguese, and one citizen each from France, Brazil and China, said the airline.

Six crewmembers, including two pilots, three flight attendants and a maintenance technician were on board.


NTSB Identification: DCA14RA018
Accident occurred Saturday, November 30, 2013 in Rundu, Namibia
Aircraft: EMBRAER ERJ190 - UNDESIGNAT, registration:
Injuries: 33 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. The foreign authority was the source of this information.

The Namibia Ministry of Works and Transport (MWT) has notified the NTSB of an accident involving an Embraer ERJ-190 that occurred on November 30, 2013. The NTSB has appointed a U.S. Accredited Representative to assist the MWT investigation under the provisions of ICAO Annex 13 as the State of Manufacturer and Design of the engines.

All investigative information will be released by the MWT.

Planning Meeting Held for This Year's Wings Over South Texas South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend 

KINGSVILLE (Kiii News) -

The Wings Over South Texas air show is less than three months away, and it's taking place at Naval Air Station-Kingsville this year.

On Wednesday, there was a major planning meeting at the base. Of course, the highlight will be a demonstration by the precision flight team, the Blue Angels.

Last year's Blue Angels show was canceled because of budget cuts at the Pentagon.


Astoria Regional (KAST), Oregon: Port of Astoria asks pilots to advise on airport - Group composed of airport users to gather information

When Brim Aviation approached the Port of Astoria in October asking for a chance to operate the Astoria Regional Airport in Warrenton, it set off a conversation about how the facility should be run and tenants should be taxed – or whether a Fixed Base Operator (FBO) should do the job.

And at Tuesday’s Port of Astoria meeting, the Port Commission unanimously decided to hand much of the research over to the volunteer Airport Advisory Committee made up largely of local, retiree pilots.

“I think we can provide a fair amount of expertise … to advise the commission on how to approach the airport,” said pilot and retired dentist Philip Bales. “I think you should utilize experts that are available.”

The Port has reached a crossroads on the airport. The last FBO was John Overholser, whose contract was terminated by the Port in 2008 so it could hire him on as airport director. The Port laid him off last year to cut costs, and current Interim Executive Director Mike Weston started doubling as airport manager, among his other positions in the Port’s skeleton staff.

Bales, along with several other pilots, advisory committee members and the airport’s lone mechanic David West, have been regularly attending meetings as the Port decides whether to retain control of the facility or request proposals from private operators such as Brim, which flies the Columbia River Bar Pilots in its helicopters.

In a report to the commission, Weston calculated that between Jan. 1 and Nov. 30, the Port netted nearly $100,000 in revenues from the airport’s fueling service, a main reason FBOs want to manage airports, and $32,047 from nearby T-hangars. But after utilities, labor, debt used to finance the Lektro electric vehicle company, grants and other additional costs, the Port takes in $16,000, which he added must be reinvested in the airport, as per Federal Aviation Administration requirements.

Commissioner Ric Gerttula said he wasn’t against FBOs, but that he’d fight to keep the fuel sales under the Port’s control.

What pilot and former County Commissioner John Raichl wants to keep under control is fees on planes that land but don’t buy fuel from the Port.

Weston said the Port has had a landing fee policy for some time – about $5 per propeller and higher fees for larger aircraft – but it was never enforced until he took over management of the airport in November. But the fee was met with immediate opposition, and the Port stopped enforcing it the same day.

Commissioner Stephen Fulton asked what the Port might make if it charged every plane a fee to land, which led to the question of how many planes land each year there. Confusion spread throughout the commission and staff, who eventually settled on letting the committee investigate those and other questions.


Boeing facility pitched for Northeast Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. made a late pitch to land The Boeing Co.'s new 777X production facility for one of three Wisconsin airports.

Boeing said earlier this week it would build the airplanes at its unionized plant in Everett, Wash.

Alabama, California, South Carolina and Utah were among those hoping to attract production for the new-generation passenger plane.

Reed Hall, CEO of WEDC, sent Boeing a letter on Dec. 10 suggesting that Austin Straubel International Airport in Ashwaubenon, Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh and General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee were each well-suited for such a facility.

Hall touted Wisconsin as a national leader in manufacturing with the talent, supply chain and infrastructure necessary for the plant. He specifically cited Austin Straubel’s plan to increase runway length and its FAA certifications, and Wittman’s annual hosting of the Experimental Aircraft Aviation AirVenture show, as well as Fox Valley Technical College’s specialized avionics programs. Also, the Port of Green Bay is a foreign trade zone.


Dulles International Airport (KIAD), Washington, DC: Man has marijuana cookie, seeds seized

WASHINGTON - On Wednesday at Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) along with the Office of Field Operations seized hashish, marijuana seeds and a marijuana cookie from a Las Vegas man flying back from Amsterdam.

Victorius Rugebregt, 55, arrived to IAD and was referred for a secondary inspection due to a CBP Narcotics Detector Canine alert. When CBP officers searched Rugebregt and discovered 9 grams of hashish in his pants pocket. Officers also found one marijuana cookie weighing 23 grams and 18 grams of marijuana seeds.

CBP issued a $1,000 Zero Tolerance Penalty for being found with illegal narcotics then turned Rugebregt over to the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority police department. He faces a misdemeanor possession of marijuana charge.


Clarksville Regional Airport (KCKV), Tennessee: Launches new website

CLARKSVILLE, TENN. — Clarksville Regional Airport announces its new website, , which offers users “quick and easy access to essential airport services and information,” said a news release. The website has what’s described as a “modern, colorful design which compliments the new airport logo, signage and tagline“ introduced last summer.

“Clarksville Regional is quickly becoming a top-notch amenity to the city of Clarksville,” said Airport Authority Chairman Sammy Stuard, in prepared comments. “Business and corporate travelers frequently visit to see what our city has to offer their companies. Clarksville Regional may very well be their first impression and I think it will be a good one.”

As part of a 10-year strategic plan to increase traffic at the airport, the new website makes using Clarksville Regional “trouble-free and inviting,” the release said. Users can now access online event space reservations, real-time flight tracking, charter flight reservations, local weather updates and links to local hotels and ground transportation.

BLF Marketing, a local marketing firm, was retained by the Airport Authority to design and implement the website and branding initiatives.

Clarksville Regional Airport Director John Patterson said, “The new website takes our tagline ‘Connecting People’ one step further. Our customers can now easily go online to make reservations or connect with our airport concierge staff. We are always ready to help and to answer any questions. It is our job to make sure that everyone who comes through the airport facility has a great experience.”

The Clarksville Regional Airport terminal opened its doors in 2012 and offers a number of services to aviation customers and the community. This past summer, a permanent collection of original paintings by renowned aviation artist Ray Waddey opened for public viewing. Airport visitors are encouraged to stop by to view the artist-selected permanent collection of original paintings or the full-size Beechcraft Model 17 Stagger Wing replica hanging in the foyer.

Event spaces at the airport offer customers a unique option for business meetings, community events, weddings, family reunions and more, officials said. Airport staff can help coordinate caterers as needed. All event planning requests can now be initiated on the new airport website – anytime.

Other service enhancements include the Hertz Local Edition car rental office located inside the airport terminal, a customer/pilot lounge, business center, free Wi-Fi access and local concierge service.

For more information about Clarksville Regional Airport services, visit , call 931-431-2080 or send e-mail to .


Gander International Airport: Moose scales fence - Animal killed following failed attempts to corral it

A bull moose managed to gain entry to the airfield at Gander International Airport Tuesday night by  jumping off a snowbank bordering a fence.

Unfortunately, its stay at the airport did not end well, as wildlife officials killed the animal Wednesday afternoon.

According to a statement issued by Gander International Airport Authority (GIAA), at no point did the moose’s presence jeopardize anyone’s safety. But the potential to cause harm was there.

“As you can appreciate, any kind of airfield incursion is a serious concern, especially with a mammal the size of a moose,” GIAA said in its statement to The Telegram.

Witnesses first spotted the 14-point bull moose jumping the perimeter fence at 8:30 p.m. GIAA noted the community has experienced significant snowfall in recent weeks, and cold temperatures have prevented the snow from melting.

The airport tower and the Department of Environment and Conservation’s wildlife division were notified about the animal’s presence. The tower alerted all inbound aircraft about the moose. With high winds, the moose took shelter in a wooded area located within the fenced-off area.

According to GIAA, the moose came no closer than 400 metres to an active runway. Airport staff stood watch through the night to make sure the moose did not return.

The next morning, wildlife officials arrived. Attempts to corral or herd the animal with a snowmobile were not successful. A helicopter was called in Wednesday afternoon, but it too failed to corral the animal.

The moose was killed at 2 p.m.

This is not the first time a moose has found its way onto the airfield in Gander, though GIAA said such instances are rare. It said airfield staff have been trying to clear mounds of snow surrounding the airport's perimeter in recent days.


SriLankan responds to The Island report: UL 503 in double jeopardy in one day

January 8, 2014, 10:36 pm  

Apropos yesterday’s front-page news story ‘UL 503 in double jeopardy in one day’, SriLankan Media Relations Manager, Deepal V. Perera has sent us the following statement: "SriLankan Airlines wishes to  reject and deny  the  content of the article  as the report is misleading the  general public.

In the article, the  writer has cited online comments  made in a website quoting the captain of the flight UL503,  saying  "I am  sorry  for the  unscheduled  descent. I have a serious problem with a hole in the window." This is a complete distortion of facts of the situation that took place during that flight.

SriLankan wishes to stress that at no point of time did our pilot make such a statement on the damaged windshield as mentioned in the article.

SriLankan regrets to note that the writer has failed to highlight the compliments paid by the online readers on how SriLankan pilots managed the situation without an incident. In the said website  there were many comments praising  the crew such as— "crack is a crack" posted by John Dfz saying "the crew  did well to return without further  complications", a comment by Palletto  saying "I didn’t want to question the crew’s decision in the first place, as long as  nobody got hurt, crew did ok", and an  anonymous  comment saying "I would not take that risk and would have  done exactly  the same  as the crew did".

SriLankan wishes to reiterate that the Airline always maintains the highest safety standards the industry requires, and considers the well-being of the passengers its foremost priority, which under no circumstance will be compromised."


SriLankan Airlines Airbus A330-200, 4R-ALH, Flight UL 503

UL 503 in double jeopardy in one day 

January 7, 2014, 10:10 pm

By Shamindra Ferdinando

The windshield of the Heathrow bound UL 503 which had cracked about 45 minutes after delayed take-off from Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) on the afternoon of January 3 was the very one replaced due to a defect earlier in the day, a SriLankan airlines spokesperson said yesterday.

Responding to a query by ‘The Island’, Media Relations Manager of SriLankan Deepal V. Perera acknowledged that the replacement of the windshield caused a delay.

Some of those on board the Airbus A 330-200 said that the first scheduled departure had to be delayed by 30-40 minutes.

Perera said that the Flight/Ground Safety Division was handling the internal investigation. Asked whether the SriLankan airlines had furnished all required information to the Civil Aviation Department to facilitate its investigation, the spokesman said the airline was fully cooperating with the department.

Passengers quoted the Captain of the aircraft as having said that as the windshield could have got blown off the cockpit crew wore oxygen masks. In online comment posted on The Aviation Herald, passenger Zoe Martin said that having taken off from BIA, the flight resorted to what he called roll of the plane to come down rapidly and also to regain some pressure in cabin. Martin quoted the pilot as having said: "I’m sorry for the unscheduled descend. I have a serious problem with a hole in the window. We are heading back to Colombo, approximately 240 miles away. The plane at this moment is under control and will inform if the situation changes."

However, SriLankan spokesperson insisted that there had never been a loss of pressure or altitude due to the crack in the windshield. The flight was descended to a lower altitude as a precautionary measure under the total control of the pilot in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendation.

Another passenger Raj Desai said that the flight rapidly descended to 10,000 feet after the pilot reported the crack in the windshield. "When we de-embarked from the plane the windscreen was 100 per cent shattered. Desai revealed that he had written to both Civil Aviation Authority as well as the SriLankan airlines.

Another passenger said that the whole right-side front windshield had been completely shattered and was caved into aircraft as well. It seemed that the frame around the window too was caved in.



Aircraft Accident Fatalities Drop to Lowest Level in a Decade

Aircraft accident fatalities fell to a 10-year low in 2013, with 224 deaths involving large commercial planes compared with 703 annually on average from 2003 to 2012.

Last year there were 17 aircraft accidents worldwide involving such planes, compared with a yearly average of 27, the European Aviation Safety Agency said in a statement today. There were no airliner fatalities in EASA member states, which include European Union countries and Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein, EASA said.

The encouraging statistics come at the beginning of the 100th anniversary of commercial aviation this year, EASA said. Last year’s performance was the best for safety in aviation history, EASA said. 


Federal Aviation Administration plans order to repair 1,000 Pratt turboprop engines

The Federal Aviation Administration has proposed mandatory inspections of hundreds of Pratt & Whitney’s smaller turboprop engines to check for flaws that include broken turbine blades and perforations in casings that might lead to “uncontained failure,” the agency says.

The repairs could cost nearly $2 million overall for engines in use in the U.S., the FAA says in an advisory published Tuesday. The FAA estimates that its proposed repair order — known as an Airworthiness Directive — involves 1,000 engines on planes registered in the U.S.

The propeller engines are built at Pratt & Whitney Canada, in Longueuil, Quebec. They power a variety of smaller aircraft ranging from general aviation planes made by Beechcraft and Piper, to larger propeller planes built by Bombardier and other manufacturers.


California Highway Patrol Chopper Rescues Hang-Glider Pilot Who Crashed Near Milpitas

MILPITAS -- It took some deft maneuvering, but a California Highway Patrol rescue helicopter crew was able to pluck a wayward hang glider from his precarious perch high in a eucalyptus tree and return him to terra firma Tuesday afternoon.

The 63-year-old man had crashed into a group of trees in Ed Levin County Park sometime Tuesday morning, and responding ground-based rescue crews were stymied because the terrain did not allow a ladder to reach the pilot, dangling from his big kite 50 feet in the air.

The Napa-based CHP helicopter unit was summoned to the scene around 11:45 p.m., and when it arrived landed nearby so a plan could be formulated to best rescue the man.

"That's a delicate mission," said CHP Sgt. Duncan Jensen of the Napa unit. "If the helicopter blew too hard on the glider, it would have blown it right out of the tree and killed him."

Jensen said that hoist-style rescue missions are usually conducted 50 feet above the target, but in this case they tripled that distance to cut down on prop wash.

CHP officers pilot Mike McAuley, paramedic Mark Mitchell and rescuer James Andrews were involved in the mission, with Andrews lowered to the dangling man.

"The pilot was in a position where the hang glider was broken but he was still attached to it, hanging underneath it," Jensen said. "There was no way he could have climbed out of there, and could have fallen at any time."

Jensen said Andrews first hooked the pilot to the hoist harness, then used his emergency cable cutter to clip the man free of his airframe. Both were then gently lowered and reached solid ground uninjured, according to the CHP.

"In over a decade at CHP Air Operations, each crew member said that this was one of, if not the most, difficult rescues they had ever performed," reads a CHP news release.

"It was real tricky," Jensen said. "We've got a really strong crew."

Jensen added he could not recall any similar rescues.

"We use the helicopter for water rescues, and in the Sierra to get injured people out of remote areas, canyons that are inaccessible where the helicopter can't even land," he said. "But this was just in a tree, and very unusual."

'Two men are fine, as normally is the case, after airplane makes emergency landing in a farmer's field' - Joe E.

FK-Lightplanes, FK9 ELA SW,  N611SP:  Aircraft force landed in a field - near Canton, Georgia

Joe E. comments: 

 "The opening sentence bothers me. What basis does a farmer have to judge whether the two men are lucky to be alive or not after an airplane crash? Are farmers a go-to source for aviation matters?

As per the Nall Report, roughly 85% of people walk away from an off-airport landing without injury. So the more honest description is, "Two men are fine, as normally is the case, after airplane makes emergency landing in a farmer's field."

Ignorance of aviation should not be an excuse for sloppy research or an assumption that a farmer has aviation knowledge or experience to make that kind of statement.

(Of course, you could go out and find a farmer who also is a pilot..that would be credible!)"



CANTON — An east Cherokee County farmer says two men are lucky to be alive after crash-landing a small passenger plane in his cow pasture Saturday afternoon. 

The two-seater private plane went down at about 4 p.m. on Phil Cochran’s farm off Wyatt Road, where it was believed to be trying to make an emergency landing, according to the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office.

Warren Cleary, the pilot, and his passenger weren’t injured, authorities said.

Cochran came home a few minutes after the crash and found the men seemingly unscathed by the plane, which had been headed for Kennesaw.

“They were very shaken up but had no injuries whatsoever,” he said. “I’m just so thankful that no one got hurt or killed.”

The plane was flying to the Cobb County Airport-McCollum Field from the Hartwell area, near the Georgia-South Carolina line, when it started to have engine trouble, said Jon Hansen of Hansen Air Group, which rented the plane to Cleary.

“The engine quit on him,” Hansen said. “He said it was making some power but it wasn’t running real smooth. It wasn’t enough to keep him in the air.”

When the engine started to fail, Hansen said Cleary considered going to the Cherokee County Airport in Ball Ground. But he decided he couldn’t make it and started to look for somewhere to land, Hansen said.

“The closer he got toward (Ball Ground) all he saw was woods and he spotted that farmer’s cow pasture,” he said. “He said he thought he’d just put it down.”

The landing might have been smoother if Cochran’s pasture hadn’t been terraced years ago for water runoff. Hansen said the plane hit the edge of one of the soil terraces as Cleary was trying to land.

“It threw him back in the air,” he said. “When he came down, he came down hard.”

Even with the force of the crash, Hansen said the plane only had damage to its landing gear.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the incident, but information on the preliminary findings won’t be released, said Kathleen Bergen, a spokeswoman for the agency.

Further information was also not available on Cleary and his passenger, who police said did not tell Cochran their names or phone numbers and left just after the crash.

Cochran said one of the men told him they had been near Hartwell having lunch earlier Saturday.

On Tuesday afternoon, Cochran said the plane was still lying in the cow pasture, as FAA investigators continued their work. He said he hoped it could be moved Wednesday and wouldn’t leave too much damage to the pasture.

But whatever condition the plane left his land in, Cochran said he’s just glad the men were OK.

“They’re blessed human beings to walk away from it,” he said. “Very blessed people.”

Read more: Cherokee Tribune - Plane crashes in Cherokee pasture 

A small airplane headed for McCollum Field in Kennesaw had to make an emergency landing Saturday afternoon at about 4 p.m. on the land of Canton resident Phil Cochran. Both occupants of the plane survived the landing. Above: Phil takes his grandson, Sage, 4, to look at the plane before it get hauled off today. 

 Neat-lookin' hat, Sage ... Staying Warm While Looking Cool. 

A small airplane headed toward McCollum Field in Kennesaw had to make an emergency landing Saturday afternoon at about 4 p.m. on a pasture owned by Phil Cochran. Both passengers in the plane survived the landing. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the incident, but information on the preliminary findings won’t be released, said Kathleen Bergen, a spokeswoman for the agency. Above: Cochran takes his grandson Sage, 4, to look at the plane before it gets hauled off today.

Police say man who shot at helicopter died at scene

MORIARTY, N.M. (KRQE) - A man Torrance County authorities say tried to shoot down a police helicopter is dead.

The State Police chief confirmed Tuesday evening it was one of his officers who ended the SWAT situation by killing the gunman.

Even into the night, State Police cars blocked the Moriarty home that had been the scene of a shooting hours earlier.

It started around noon Tuesday when someone called police to the home off Lexco Road near John C. Bowling Road. State Police say Torrance County Sheriffs deputies arrived to find a man with a rifle, firing off shots.

“He was vey clear in his intentions that if any officers got closer, he was going to shoot them,” said State Police Chief Pete Kassetas.

The Torrance County Sheriff’s Office says the man did shoot at helicopters.

Some neighbors went out to see what was going on.

“I started to look closer. I saw a guy sitting at his patio table on the back porch,” said Roger Brown, a neighbor. “It looked like he was leaned over or something.”

The State Police SWAT team responded at about 3 p.m. and about an hour later, neighbors heard a bang.

“Then, they went into the house and probably two to three minutes later, they all went out with nobody in cuffs or anything,” Brown said.

Chief Kassetas said one of his officers shot and killed the man.

“I don't have the exact particulars as to why the officer fired his weapon,” Kassetas said. “All I can tell you is that through how we operate in our training, there has to be a perceived threat. I'm sure there was a perceived threat.”

That is something State Police are still investigating. They have not yet named the man who was killed or the officer who fired the shot that killed him.

Nearby Mountain View Elementary was put on a freeze earlier and exterior doors were locked, according to school officials. The children were still let out of school at the normal time, however, and parents were contacted. Most children were able to return home as they normally would, but special accommodations were made for those who live near the home where the man was barricaded.

State Police has been brought in to take over the investigation from Torrance County deputies.

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