Thursday, January 9, 2014

Entrepreneur Denise Wilson creates business for private fliers



THERMAL — Pilot and entrepreneur Denise Wilson saw a need in the desert for an alternative to aircraft ownership and the fractional share model for people who fly privately a few times a month or less. 

So, in 2007, she founded Desert Jet, a full-service aviation management company specializing in aircraft charter, management, maintenance, acquisitions and sales. Structured as the personal car service of the sky, private flyers can use the services as they need, with no requirements such as buying a fractional share, jet card or membership.

Desert Jet is both a charter operator, with eight jets available for charter here in the desert, as well as an aircraft charter broker, with a worldwide affiliate network comprised of hundreds of vetted aircraft.

Its clientele includes a wide mix of society from former presidents, vice-presidents, governors, secretaries of state and secretaries of defense, to small businesses, entrepreneurs, Fortune 500 companies, private individuals, retirees, celebrities, professional athletes, musicians and even pets.

“What separates us is our laser focus on our customers, employees and our community,” said Denise Wilson, company president. “I hire the best and the brightest and give them the resources needed to wow our customers, and each other, by being proactive and anticipatory in meeting our clients’ needs.”

Wilson has led her company through explosive growth and success.

The aircraft management, acquisitions and sales company quickly expanded to include jet charter and maintenance services. Desert Jet now offers the only FAA certified jet maintenance business in the Coachella Valley.

The company currently employees 18 people in the Coachella Valley and three in Orange County and boasts an aircraft fleet consisting of a Citation CJ3, two Citation V jets, a Citation Bravo, a Citation S/II, and three Citation Mustangs. The company has bold future growth goals that will elevate the business opportunities in the east valley.

Getting started

Based at Jacqueline Cochran Regional Airport, Desert Jet was a bootstrapped venture whose funding has come entirely from its own operations. The company remains debt-free and solely owned by Wilson, its CEO.

In November, Wilson was named one of 12 winners of the Ernst and Young 2013 class of Entrepreneurial Winning Women, a national competition and ongoing executive leadership program that identifies a select group of high-potential women entrepreneurs whose businesses show potential to scale — and then helps them do it.

On the 2013 Inc. 500|5000 list, the exclusive ranking of the nation’s fastest growing, privately owned companies, Desert Jet earned the No. 715 spot. Its previous appearances on the list were at No. 296 in 2011 and 69 in 2012. Since Desert Jet first appeared on the list, it has been ranked as the fastest-growing business jet charter company in the nation each year with a growth rate of more than 600 percent.

It has also earned the National Business Aviation Association’s Commercial Business Flying Safety Award for exceptional achievement in maintaining safe flying operations for a third consecutive year. Only 45 aircraft charter companies have been presented with this award, from the nearly 2,000 charter operators throughout the U.S.


Hobby takes off


Wilson’s experience before creating Desert Jet includes flying and management positions for several airline, charter and corporate flight departments.

Before learning to fly, Wilson was a professional oboist and directed the music program at a college preparatory school. She learned to fly as a hobby and quickly followed her passion by changing careers.

She majored in music performance at the University of Southern California and attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University where she earned her bachelor of science degree and minored in aviation safety.

She is a member of Angel Flight West, Women in Aviation, Women in Corporate Aviation, Women Presidents’ Organization and the National Business Aviation Association.

Wilson’s vision was to build a company that makes a difference, in the aviation industry and in the community.

Desert Jet has raised and donated more than $100,000 to date for local charities by donating luxury jet travel packages as auction items as well as providing “compassion flights” for critically ill patients with Angel Flight West, puppy-mill rescues, golf tournament sponsorships, and awarding scholarships in the aviation industry.

“We give back to the community doing what we do best — flying airplanes,” Wilson said. “We donate our time, resources and aircraft whenever possible to help worthy causes.”

Source:  http://www.mydesert.com

 

Ohio man admits scamming New Jersey-based air charter firm

Federal prosecutors in New Jersey say an Ohio man has admitted posing as a high-level executive with a financial firm to improperly obtain charter jet flights and limo rides.

Christopher Henderson pleaded guilty Thursday to a complaint charging him with wire fraud. The 32-year-old Akron resident faces up to 20 years in prison when he's sentenced April 15.

Prosecutors say Henderson and others conspired last year to fraudulently obtain at least three flights between May and June through Jet Aviation, a major business aviation provider based at Teterboro Airport. They paid for the flights by tapping into a sham $350,000 line of credit issued by the company.

The scheme unraveled in June, when a Jet Aviation employee contacted the unnamed company where the conspirators supposedly worked and learned that neither man was employed by the firm. Officials said Jet Aviation was never paid for nearly $176,000 in charter flights and limousine services it provided.

Federal prosecutors said the conspirators also used their fake corporate credentials at a Tiffany store in Florida and at a Miami hotel. They allegedly charged about $20,000 in watches, sunglasses, sterling silver and leather business card holders, and men's cologne from Tiffany, and about $25,500 in overnight hotel stays.


Source:  http://www.the-dispatch.com

Cirrus SR-22, Cirrus Design Corporation, N7YT, accident occurred January 25, 2015 in Hilo, Hawaii • Cirrus SR22, N450TX, accident occurred January 04, 2014 in Buckhannon, West Virginia • Cirrus SR22 GTS G3 Turbo, Nylund Imports Inc., N903SR, accident occurred January 09, 2014 in Pocatello, Idaho

National Transportation Safety Board - Aviation Accident Final Report: http://app.ntsb.gov/pdf 

Docket And Docket Items  -  National Transportation Safety Board: http://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms


Aviation Accident Data Summary  -  National Transportation Safety Board:   http://app.ntsb.gov/pdf


Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board: http://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

National Transportation Safety Board  -  Docket And Docket Items: http://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

Aviation Accident Data Summary -  National Transportation Safety Board: http://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

NTSB Identification: WPR15LA089 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, January 25, 2015 in Maui, HI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/13/2015
Aircraft: CIRRUS SR22 - NO SERIES, registration: N7YT
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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 pilot reported that, during the transpacific flight, he was unable to transfer fuel from the aft auxiliary fuel tank to the main fuel tanks. Despite multiple attempts to troubleshoot the fuel system issue, he was unable to correct the situation. After transferring fuel from the forward auxiliary fuel tank to both main fuel tanks, he estimated that there was only enough fuel in the main tanks to reach within about 200 miles of land, so he decided to divert to a nearby cruise ship. Once the airplane was in the immediate vicinity of the cruise ship, the pilot activated the airplane’s parachute system, the parachute deployed, and the airplane descended under the canopy into the ocean. The pilot immediately exited the airplane and inflated an emergency life raft; he was recovered from the water a short time later. The airplane subsequently became submerged in the water and was not recovered. The reason for the pilot’s inability to transfer fuel from the aft auxiliary fuel tank to the main fuel tanks could not be determined. 

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s inability to transfer fuel from the aft auxiliary fuel tank to the main fuel tanks for reasons that could not be determined because the airplane was ditched and not recovered.

On January 25, 2015, about 1644 Hawaiian standard time, a Cirrus Design Corporation SR22, N7YT, ditched into the waters of the Pacific Ocean about 230 miles east of Maui, Hawaii. The airplane was registered to Cirrus Design Corporation, Duluth, Minnesota, and operated by The Flight Academy, Kirkland, Washington, under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The commercial pilot, sole occupant of the airplane, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the repositioning flight. The cross-country flight originated from Tracy, California, about 0530, with an intended destination of Maui.

In a written statement to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge, the pilot reported that the flight was uneventful, and a previous fuel transfer from the front and aft auxiliary fuel tanks was successful as the flight was about 200 miles offshore. However, as the flight passed the BILLO intersection, the pilot opened the valves to transfer fuel from the aft auxiliary fuel tank to the right wing fuel tank and did not observe any fuel flow. Upon verifying that the pressure line was open, he closed the valve to the aft tank and opened the valve for the forward auxiliary fuel tank, and observed that fuel immediately began flowing to the right wing fuel tank.

The pilot further stated that as he was well past the half-way point to Hawaii, he performed various maneuvers in an attempt to get fuel to flow from the aft auxiliary fuel tank to either the left or right main wing fuel tanks with no success. The pilot utilized a satellite phone and obtained further troubleshooting assistance from company personnel. After transferring fuel from the forward auxiliary fuel tank to both left and right wing fuel tanks, he estimated that he had about enough fuel onboard to be about 200 miles short of Hawaii.

The pilot stated that numerous attempts to transfer fuel from the aft auxiliary fuel tank to the main fuel tanks were unsuccessful, and siphoning fuel from the aft auxiliary to the forward auxiliary fuel tank was partially successful, however, eventually fuel would not transfer into either wing fuel tank.

While in contact with the United States Coast Guard, the pilot made the decision that he would eventually have to deploy the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS). The pilot was informed of a cruise ship near his location, and subsequently diverted towards that location. He further reported that once he was in the immediate vicinity of the cruise ship, he activated the CAPS and the parachute deployed. The airplane descended under the canopy into the waters of the Pacific Ocean. The pilot stated that he immediately exited the airplane and inflated an emergency life raft; he was extracted from the water a short time later.

The airplane became submerged within the water shortly thereafter. At the time of this report, there is no intention of recovering the wreckage.

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Honolulu FSDO-13

CIRRUS DESIGN CORP:  http://registry.faa.gov/N7YT

NTSB Identification: WPR15LA089
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, January 25, 2015 in Maui, HI
Aircraft: CIRRUS SR22 - NO SERIES, registration: N7YT
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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

On January 25, 2015, about 1644 Hawaiian standard time, a Cirrus Design Corporation SR22, N7YT, ditched into the waters of the Pacific Ocean about 230 miles east of Maui, Hawaii. The airplane was registered to Cirrus Design Corporation, Duluth, Minnesota, and operated by The Flight Academy, Kirkland, Washington, under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The commercial pilot, sole occupant of the airplane, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the repositioning flight. The cross-country flight originated from Tracy, California, about 0530, with an intended destination of Maui. 

During a telephone interview with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge, the pilot reported that the flight was uneventful and a previous fuel transfer from the front and aft auxiliary fuel tanks was successful. However, as the airplane was about 900 miles from Hawaii, he was unable to transfer fuel from the aft auxiliary fuel tank. The pilot stated that numerous attempts to transfer fuel to the main fuel tanks were unsuccessful, and while in contact with the United States Coast Guard, he made the decision to deploy the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS). The pilot was informed of a cruise ship near his location and diverted towards their location. He further reported that once he was in the immediate vicinity of the cruise ship, he activated the CAPS and the parachute deployed. The airplane descended under canopy into the waters of the Pacific Ocean. The pilot stated that he immediately exited the airplane and inflated an emergency life raft and was extracted from the water about 30 to 40 minutes later. 

The airplane became submerged within the water shortly after the pilot egressed. At this time, there is no intention to recover the aircraft.     


MEDIA RELEASE

HONOLULU – The Coast Guard is responding to a distress call from a single engine aircraft running out of fuel approximately 975 miles north of the Big Island Sunday.

At 12:30 p.m. the pilot contacted the Hawaii National Guard and reported his aircraft had approximately three hours of fuel remaining and he would be ditching 230 miles north east of Maui.

The Coast Guard has launched crews aboard an HC-130 Hercules airplane and an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Barbers Point.

As of 2:35 p.m. the aircraft was 529 miles north east of the Big Island.

The Hercules is expected to rendezvous with the plane around 3:20 p.m.

Pilots explain what happened when planes went down off Maui, Oahu

Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board will be traveling to Hawaii to find out what exactly happened when two planes went down in a span of a few hours Sunday.

Both were reported to have run out of fuel.

The first happened at 4:44 p.m. off Maui. The pilot, who was flying in from Tracy, Calif., ditched the plane and managed to get out on his own. He was picked up by a cruise ship en route to Lahaina.

Then, just after 6 p.m., a distress call was made by the pilot of a Cessna 172 flying from Kauai to Oahu. About 10 minutes later, his plane disappeared from radar and lost communication.

A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter located the plane about 11 miles off Oahu. All four people on board, including a one-year-old girl, were rescued and taken to the hospital in stable condition.

Experts KHON2 spoke with are scratching their heads as to why a plane going from Kauai to Oahu would run out of fuel, but they’re also praising the pilot for getting everybody out of the plane safely.

Hugs of relief were evident from passengers who just survived what must have been a terrifying ordeal. Three adults and a toddler had to be hoisted up to a Coast Guard helicopter after their single-engine Cessna was ditched in the ocean.

The aircraft’s owner, Reggie Perry, runs Barbers Point Flight School. He has nothing but high praise for the pilot.

“The fact that he was able to keep it all together, land the airplane and pull it off, where the plane never came apart and no one got hurt, that in itself was a miracle,” he said.

Perry says the pilot rented the plane and had flown from Kalaeloa to Kauai earlier that day. He says the pilot had learned to fly from his school and had only been doing so for about a year.

Pilot Clyde Kawasaki knows how hard it is to land a plane safely in the rough seas. He had to ditch his plane in the ocean over a year ago because of engine trouble, but he can’t understand why a plane ran out of fuel.

“You always try to make the flight as comfortable as possible for them and one of the ways you do that is you plan ahead and make sure that that issue of fuel does not come up. For me, it’s hard to conceive that you run out of gas,” he said.

Kawasaki says he can understand why the pilot flying from California ran out of fuel, because it was a much longer flight. In that case, Lue Morton deployed a parachute to land safely in the water.

A statement from The Flight Academy says Morton had spent several hours during the flight trying to troubleshoot a fuel system malfunction.

A cruise ship from Holland America coordinated with the Coast Guard to rescue him. Back on land in Maui, Morton was relieved and grateful.

“The coordination with Coast Guard and the coordination with Holland America has been more than impressive, so the entire crew has been great at helping me out in the situation,” Morton said.

When asked he felt, Morton said he was “glad to be with these guys to be out here.”

Story, video and comments:  http://khon2.com


http://registry.faa.gov/N903SR

NTSB Identification: WPR14FA091 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, January 09, 2014 in Pocatello, ID
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/18/2015
Aircraft: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP SR22, registration: N903SR
Injuries: 2 Minor.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot reported that, at 17,000 ft mean sea level, the engine suddenly started vibrating severely and partially lost power. He declared an emergency and an air traffic controller provided vectors for an instrument approach into a nearby airport. The pilot stated that the vibrations increased in severity and available engine power was decreasing. The pilot adjusted the mixture and throttle to no effect; he did not cycle the magnetos because he didn’t want to risk losing engine power completely. After descending through the 2,000-ft broken cloud layer on the instrument approach, he determined that the airplane was not going to make it to the runway. At 1,000 ft above ground level, he deployed the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System, which brought the airplane down into an open field. He and his passenger rapidly exited the airplane before it was dragged away by the parachute in a 30-knot wind. Engine data indicated that, 2 hours 56 minutes into the flight, the engine rpm started to fluctuate. Two minutes later, the cylinder head temperature (CHT) of the No. 6 cylinder increased and peaked at 331 degrees F; 7 minutes later, it had decreased to 248 degrees F. At this point, the CHT for the No. 3 cylinder increased to 315 degrees F. About 3 hours 13 minutes into the flight, the engine exhaust gas temperatures (EGT) of cylinder Nos. 2, 4, 5, and 6 dropped off while the EGTs for cylinder Nos. 1 and 3 increased. 

Examination of the left and right magnetos revealed that the right magneto distributor drive gear had 10 teeth fractured off in the same gear sector, and the left magneto had 3 teeth broken in the same sector; all of the fracture surfaces on both gears exhibited crack arrest marks and river patterns consistent with progressive fracture. Based on the right magneto distributor gear damage, it is likely that the failure of the distributor drive gear teeth allowed the magneto distributor to stop rotating in proper firing order and allowed unsequenced repeated firing of the No. 6 cylinder and later the No. 3 cylinder, as reflected by the increase in CHT, which resulted in severe engine vibration and a partial loss of power. The unsequenced firing of the Nos. 6 and 3 cylinders also precipitated erratic power pulses through the engine that affected the left magneto distributor drive gear, which in turn initiated the left magneto distributor gear teeth failure. The pilot operating handbook lists the steps the pilot should take in the event of an engine partial power loss. Step seven of the engine partial power loss emergency procedures calls for the pilot to cycle through the left and right magnetos using the ignition switch. It is likely that, if the pilot had selected the left magneto after the initial indications of partial power loss and vibration, power could have been restored by isolating the right magneto and operating the engine entirely on the left magneto.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The distributor gear teeth failure of the right magneto that resulted in severe engine vibration and partial loss of engine power, which progressively led to the failure of the left magneto distributor drive gear teeth. Contributing to the airplane’s continued operation with the partial loss of engine power was the pilot’s failure to execute all steps in the engine partial power loss procedure.

HISTORY OF THE FLIGHT

On January 9, 2014, at 1515 mountain standard time, a Cirrus Design Corp SR22, N903SR, experienced severe engine vibrations and a partial loss of engine power during cruise flight near Pocatello, Idaho. The pilot executed a forced landing utilizing the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS). The private pilot and single passenger received minor injuries, and the airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to, and operated by, Nylund Imports Incorporated, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan. The flight originated from Centennial Airport, Denver, Colorado, at 1153, and was destined for Sun Valley, Idaho.

The pilot reported that while passing Pocatello at 17,000 feet mean sea level (msl), the engine suddenly started vibrating severely in conjunction with a partial loss of power. He declared an emergency and Salt Lake Center provided vectors to the final approach course for the Pocatello instrument landing system (ILS) RWY 21 approach. The pilot stated that the vibrations increased in severity and available engine power was decreasing. The pilot adjusted the mixture and throttle to no effect. He did not switch between the two magnetos because he didn't want to risk losing engine power completely. After descending through the 2,000-foot broken cloud layer on the ILS approach, engine instruments indicated that only 20% power was being produced, and he determined that the airplane was not going to make it to the runway. At 1,000 feet above ground level (agl) he shut down the engine and deployed the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS), which brought the airplane down into an open field. He and his passenger rapidly egressed before the airplane was dragged away by the parachute in a 30-knot wind.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 58, held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, multi-engine land, and instrument airplane issued December 28, 2003, and a third-class medical certificate issued January 30, 2012, with the limitation that he must have glasses available for near vision. The pilot reported having 2,159 total flight hours, with 2,046 hours in the accident airplane make and model, and 42 hours with in the previous 90 days.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The four-seat, low-wing, fixed-gear airplane, serial number 2465, was manufactured in 2007. It was powered by a Continental Motors IO-550-N46B, 310-hp engine that had been modified with Tornado Alley turbonormalizing system by Cirrus and equipped with Hartzell model PHC-J3YFIN, 3-bladed composite constant speed propeller. Review of the airplane maintenance records show that an annual inspection was performed on December 13, 2013, at a total airframe and engine time of 850.3 hours. On September 2, 2010, at 496.2 engine hours, both magnetos were overhauled, and reinstalled on the engine.

Engine Failure Procedures

The SR22 Pilot Operating Handbook, Section 3, Emergency Procedures, dictate the following for Engine Partial Power Loss.

"The following procedure provides guidance to isolate and correct some of the conditions contributing to a rough running engine of a partial power loss:

1. Air Conditioner – OFF
2. Fuel Pump – BOOST
Selecting BOOST on may clear the problem if vapor in the injection lines is the problem or if the engine-driven fuel pump has partially failed. The electric fuel pump will not provide sufficient fuel pressure to supply the engine if the engine-driven fuel pump completely fails.
3. Fuel Selector – SWITCH TANKS
Selecting the opposite fuel tank may resolve the problem if fuel starvation or contamination in one tank was the problem.
4. Mixture - CHECK appropriate for flight conditions
5. Power Lever – SWEEP. Sweep the Power Lever through the range as required to obtain smooth operation and required power.
6. Alternate Induction Air – ON
7. Ignition Switch – BOTH, L, then R. Cycling the ignition switch momentarily from BOTH to L and then R may help identify the problem. An obvious power loss in single ignition operation indicates magneto or spark plug trouble. If engine does not smooth out in several minutes, try a richer mixture setting. Return ignition to BOTH positions unless extreme roughness dictates the use of a single magneto.
8. Land as soon as practical."

TESTS AND RESEARCH

Primary Flight Display and Multi-Function Display Data

The Primary Flight Display (PFD) unit includes a solid state Air Data and Attitude Heading Reference System (ADAHRS) and displays aircraft flight data including altitude, airspeed, attitude, vertical speed, and heading. The PFD unit has external pitot-static inputs for altitude, airspeed, and vertical speed information. Each PFD contains two flash memory devices mounted on a riser card. The flash memory stores information the PFD unit uses to generate the various PFD displays. Additionally, the PFD has a data logging function which is used by the manufacturer for maintenance and diagnostics.

The Multi-Function Display (MFD) unit is able to display checklists, terrain/map information, approach chart information, and other aircraft/operational information depending on the specific configuration and options that are installed. One of the options available is a display of comprehensive engine monitoring and performance data.

Based on the data downloaded from the PFD & MFD the following event timeline was established.

Time(approx) Elapsed Time Event
11:44:24 0:00 Engine Start
11:53:06 0:08:42 Take Off
14:38:30 2:54:06 Pressure alt starts to decrease (descent starts)
14:41:18 2:56:54 RPM starts to decrease/fluctuate
14:42:00 2:57:36 Increase fuel flow - pilot manipulates the mixture, then manipulates the throttle indicated by RPM changes
14:42:24 2:58:00 CHT* in No. 6 Cyl starts to trend upward
14:44:12 2:59:42 CHT in No. 6 Cyl Peaks 331° F
14:47:00 3:02:36 CHT No. 6 decreases to ~280°F
14:51:00 3:06:36 CHT No. 6 starts to trend upward ~248°F
14:52:18 3:07:54 CHT No. 3 starts to trend upward ~250°F
14:56:30 3:12:06 CHT No. 3 increases above the average peaking at~315°F
14:58:00 3:13:36 EGT** 2,4,5,6, drop off. EGT 1 & 3 increase.

* CHT- cylinder head temperature
**EGT - exhaust gas temperature

The full data download and NTSB Vehicle Recorders Laboratory report are located in the official docket of this investigation.

Engine Examination

On April 15, 2014, the engine was examined at Continental Motors, Inc, under the supervision of the NTSB investigator-in-charge (IIC) with technical representatives from Continental Motors, Cirrus Aircraft, and Tornado Alley.

The engine was removed from the shipping crate and placed on an engine stand for examination. The turbochargers and associated hardware had been removed and placed in the shipping container for shipping. The engine was visually examined and the crankshaft was rotated to verify engine drive train continuity. During the crankshaft rotation both magneto drives were observed through the pressurization port on the magneto housing. Both distributor gears were not moving in either magneto during the crankshaft rotation. The engine driven magneto metal drive gear interfaces with the light weight nylon composite distributor gear during operation. It was noted that the No. 3 ignition leads were producing a spark after the No. 1 ignition leads, indicating an improper firing order. The magnetos were removed for further examination. Examination of the magneto distributor gears revealed that the nylon composite gear teeth, 10 teeth on the right magneto and 3 teeth on the left magneto, had broken off.

The fractured distributor gear teeth were clocked on an exemplary distributor gear in an exemplary magneto. The magneto drive shaft was rotated in a clockwise direction until the area of the separated teeth aligned with the drive gear. Doing so revealed that the separated gear teeth on the right magneto would have correlated to an area that placed the distributor gear electrode between the #6 and #3 cylinders' distributor block electrodes. Doing so on the left magneto revealed that the separated gear teeth would have correlated to an area that placed the distributor gear electrode between the #1 and #6 cylinders' distributor block electrodes.

New magnetos were placed on the engine and the turbocharger system reinstalled. The engine was then successfully test run to full power in a test cell, and no anomalies were noted.

Magneto Distributor Gear Examination

The left and right nylon magneto distributor drive gears and separated teeth were sent to the NTSB Materials Laboratory for further investigation. The magneto distributor had undergone 860.4 hours at the time of the accident. The last magneto inspection was performed at 496.2 hours on September 2, 2009. The required inspection interval is 500 hours.

Three of the teeth on the left gear had fractured off. The fracture surfaces of all three broken gear teeth exhibited crack arrest marks and radial river patterns that were consistent with progressive failure. All three fracture surfaces exhibited features consistent with crack propagation in the same direction.

Examination of the right gear showed 10 of the teeth had fractured. Similar to the left gear, the fracture surfaces of the right gear exhibited features consistent with progressive cracking. The teeth fractures generally progressed circumferentially away from a central point on the gear, as opposed to all in one direction. In addition, there was a 0.5-inch radial crack present on one of the tooth fracture surfaces. Similar to the left gear, all of the fracture surfaces on the right gear exhibited crack arrest marks and river patterns consistent with a progressive fracture. The fracture surfaces of the right gear were sectioned and gold sputter-coated to facilitate examination in a scanning electron microscope (SEM). The initiation region of the fracture was generally flat and smoother than the rest of the fracture surface. There were no material defects noted at the crack initiation site that might have led to premature failure.

The full NTSB Materials Laboratory report is available in the official docket of this investigation.
  
NTSB Identification: WPR14FA091 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, January 09, 2014 in Pocatello, ID
Aircraft: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP SR22, registration: N903SR
Injuries: 2 Minor.

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

On January 9, 2014, at 1512 mountain standard time, a Cirrus SR22, N903SR, experienced severe engine vibrations and a partial loss of engine power during cruise flight near Pocatello, Idaho. The pilot executed a force landing utilizing the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS). The private pilot and single passenger received minor injuries, and the airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to, and operated by, Nylund Imports Incorporated, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan. The flight originated from Centennial Airport, Denver, Colorado, about 1200, and was destined for Sun Valley, Idaho.

The pilot reported that while passing Pocatello at 17,000 feet mean sea level (msl), the engine suddenly started vibrating severely in conjunction with a partial loss of power. He declared an emergency and Salt Lake Center provided vectors to the final approach course for the Pocatello instrument landing system (ILS) RWY 21. The pilot stated that the vibrations increased in severity and available engine power was decreasing. After descending through the 2,000-foot broken cloud layer on the ILS, engine instruments indicated that only 20% power was being produced, and he determined that the airplane was not going to make it to the runway. At 1,000 feet above ground level (agl) he deployed the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS), which brought the airplane down into an open field. He and his passenger rapidly egressed before the airplane was dragged away by the parachute in a 30-knot wind.


http://registry.faa.gov/N450TX

NTSB Identification: ERA14LA086
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, January 04, 2014 in Buckhannon, WV
Aircraft: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP SR22, registration: N450TX
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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 may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On January 4, 2014 about 1735 eastern standard time, a Cirrus SR22, N450TX, was substantially damaged after the pilot deployed its Cirrus Airplane Parachute System (CAPS) and impacted a motor vehicle and then terrain in Buckhannon, West Virginia. The private pilot received minor injuries. The flight departed from Donegal Springs Airpark (N71) Marietta, Pennsylvania, about 1405, destined for Upshur County Regional Airport (W22), Buckhannon, West Virginia. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight, conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to the pilot, he departed N71, around 1405. About 10 miles from W22, the pilot called in on the UNICOM frequency, and verified the weather conditions. He was advised that there was no aircraft in the traffic pattern, so he opted for a straight in approach to runway 29.

About 5 miles from touchdown, he was at an approach speed of approximately 100 knots indicated airspeed. He performed his prelanding checklist. Both fuel tanks had approximately 25 gallons of fuel in them and he verified that the fuel selector was on fullest tank. He verified that the fuel boost pump was on, lowered the wing flaps to 50 percent, and set the mixture to about 60 percent. He then made a final approach call around 4 miles from touchdown, and verified the airport conditions on UNICOM once again.

Approximately 3 miles from the threshold of runway 29, at 400 to 500 feet above ground level, he increased throttle to compensate for the normal airspeed loss on final approach. To his surprise, nothing happened. He was expecting to hear a pitch change, feel a subtle change in vibration, and see his airspeed stabilize but, none of those events occurred.

He moved his hand in a manner to manipulate both throttle and mixture at the same time and increased both to maximum. Again, no response in engine noise, vibration, or gain in airspeed occurred.

By now the indicated airspeed had decayed to below 80 knots. Knowing that he was just at, or just below, the published minimums for the CAPS, without hesitation he reached for the red handle with my right hand while maintaining control of the airplane with his left hand as he deployed the CAPS and transmitted a "Mayday" call over the radio. After the CAPS was deployed, all he had time to do was to tighten his restraint prior to impact. After impact he shutdown the airplane's systems, and exited the airplane.

Postaccident examination of the accident site and airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration Inspector revealed that during the impact sequence, the airplane first struck a pickup truck, then terrain, and sustained substantial damage prior to coming to rest. The left main landing gear had penetrated the bottom of the left wing and left main fuel tank, the nose landing gear had separated from the airplane, two of the blades on the four-bladed propeller were bent back, the right wing flap was bent back on the outboard portion, and the fuselage was damaged from the CAPS deployment.

The wreckage was retained by the NTSB for further examination.



 Cirrus SR22, N450TX: Accident occurred January 04, 2014 in Buckhannon, West Virginia


 Cirrus SR22, N450TX: Accident occurred January 04, 2014 in Buckhannon, West Virginia




BUCKHANNON -  Authorities were called to the scene of a small plane crash in Upshur County Saturday night.

It happened just after 5:30 p.m. on Brushy Fork Road outside of Buckhannon.

The Upshur County Sheriff's Department said James Meadows, 30, of Hendersonville, Tennessee was flying a Cirrus SR 22 aircraft to Pennsylvania when he heard a bang and his engine failed.

The plane was equipped with a Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS) which Meadows deployed, according to deputies.

The plane came down and struck a truck driven by Billy King, 42,  that was passing by on Brushy Fork Road. The plane ended up on Brushy Fork Road between Jenkins Ford and Buckhannon Toyota.

Meadows and King are both uninjured.

"I must have an angel looking over me somehow," said King of the close call. "I've been everywhere, but never had anything like this happen to me."

King moved from Greenbrier County, and lives in Upshur County. King was on his way to work in Jane Lew when the accident happened.

"I didn't see nothing, all I heard was a boom, and I thought it was one of those poles giving away because of the cold, I looked around and seen this plane and said oh my," King said.

"He called me, and I said oh lord what's going on? A plane had landed on my truck," said Delvia King, Billy's wife. "And I said a plane landed your truck? He said, there's a plane that hit my truck seriously."

The Buckhannon Volunteer Fire Department and West Virginia State Police assisted at the scene.

The plane was following a second plane, a Grumman aircraft, which was preparing to land at the Upshur County Regional Airport to refuel.

Deputies said the Cirrus SR22 will be taken to the Upshur County Regional Airport so the FAA can continue to investigate.



   


 
Two people aboard a single-engine airplane that made an emergency landing southwest of the Fort Hall townsite about 3 p.m. Thursday received minor injuries and were reportedly treated in an ambulance at the scene. They were not transported to a hospital.

The plane did snap off a power pole as it came down in a field near Rio Vista and North Philbin Road within 100 yards of a home. Power was out to residents in the area for a couple of hours before being restored by Idaho Power.

 The plane didn’t actually make a crash landing, it deployed an emergency parachute that allowed it descend into the field.

Emergency personnel from the Fort Hall Police and Bannock County Sheriff’s office closed off the area because the downed aircraft continued to move across the field in the high winds and posed the threat of downing more power lines. A resident of the area said he watched a parachute from the airplane come loose and blow in the wind until it went out of sight.

 Fort Hall authorities said the chute became tangled in power lines for a short period of time.

Bannock County Sheriff Lorin Nielsen said the pilot of the airplane radioed the Pocatello Regional Airport tower about 3 p.m. and said as he was preparing an approach to land because his plane began having engine trouble. The Pocatello Fire Department at the airport scrambled in preparation for an emergency landing, but the plane went down in a field within the boundaries of the Fort Hall Indian Reservation several miles from any runways.


The fuselage of the plane seemed to be broken nearly in half behind the cockpit and passenger seats. The wings were severely damaged.

The scene remained off limits while authorities waited for investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration to arrive and investigate the crash site.


Source:   http://www.idahostatejournal.com



Cirrus SR22 G3,  N903SR,   Nylund Imports Inc: Accident occurred January 09, 2014 in Pocatello, Idaho



Cirrus SR22 G3,  N903SR,   Nylund Imports Inc: Accident occurred January 09, 2014 in Pocatello, Idaho 


Emergency responders are on the scene of a plane crash in Bannock County. 

A Journal reporter at the scene says that the fuselage of the plane is in a field about a mile from the intersection of Philbin and Ballard roads. The tail of the aircraft is broken off and the wings are heavily damaged. Power lines are broken in the area and Idaho Power has been notified.

Earlier reports indicate that there were two people on the plane and that neither are seriously injured.

Shoshone-Bannock Tribes news release:

Emergency landing for aircraft on reservation

 FORT HALL —  At 3:20PM, Department of Public Safety sent notification that Fort Hall EMS is responding to a small aircraft that landed in a field off of Rio Vista road in Fort Hall.

 There are no fatalities to report. It is reported that two individuals are outside of the aircraft and are being taken to the hospital. Condition of the individuals was not available at time of report.

 The aircraft is not secure and high winds are moving the aircraft through the field.  There is concern of potential impact to Idaho Power, power lines.  A power line has already been broken in half.  There also appears to be a parachute entangled in the power lines that is being further investigated.

 According to Tribal Transportation, roads in the intersection areas of Ballard and Hawthorn and Ballard and Philbin and surrounding areas are closed down.  No traffic is being allowed in the area.  They encourage all vehicles to stay out of the area and seek alternate routes until further advised.

 Fort Hall Responders are working with Pocatello resources at this time.

 Further update will be provided as it is received by the Tribes Department of Public Safety.



Source:   http://www.idahostatejournal.com

A small aircraft crashed and broke apart in a field on the Shoshone-Bannock reservation on Thursday January 9, prompting warnings from public safety officials as the plane was buffeted about in high winds.

“The aircraft is not secure and high winds are moving the aircraft through the field,” the tribes’ Department of Public Safety said in a statement. “There is concern of potential impact to Idaho Power, power lines.  A power line has already been broken in half. There also appears to be a parachute entangled in the power lines that is being further investigated.”

No one was killed in the accident but “two individuals are outside of the aircraft and are being taken to the hospital,” the statement said. Their condition was not available.

The pilot reported engine problems before the plane went down, according to KPVI News 6. The plane took out a power line on the way down, the television station said. 

The plane landed at 3:20 p.m. in a field off of Rio Vista road in Fort Hall, the public safety department said, adding that EMS personnel were responding. Roads in the intersection areas of Ballard and Hawthorn and Ballard and Philbin and surrounding areas were closed down, the Tribal Transportation department said in the release.

“No traffic is being allowed in the area,” the statement said. “They encourage all vehicles to stay out of the area and seek alternate routes until further advised.”

The Idaho State Journal reported that the airplane’s tail was snapped off and the wings are “heavily damaged” in the plane, whose fuselage lay in a field about a mile from an intersection. Power lines were broken, and Idaho Power had been notified. The Journal also said that the two people aboard did not appear to be seriously injured.

Fort Hall responders and Pocatello resources were working together, and the Tribes Department of Public Safety promised more updates as events unfold. 

Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com 
 


A pilot and passenger walked away from a plane crash after engine problems caused the aircraft to go down in a field on the Fort Hall Reservation.

Law enforcement officers from Bannock County, Pocatello and Fort Hall along with the Chubbuck Fire Department and paramedics rushed to the scene of the crash around 3:00 p.m., Thursday.

The pilot was communicating with the tower before the plane went down.  He reported engine trouble about five miles out from the Pocatello regional airport.  The plane eventually came down along Philbin Road between Reservation and Ballard Roads.

Two people were on board at the time of the crash.  Both were able to get out of the plane safely after landing.  They were treated for minor injuries at the scene but not admitted to the hospital as previously reported.

Law enforcement has blocked roads in the area over concerns that high winds are pushing the unsecure plane through a field.

The plane also made contact and damaged a power pole at the time it went down.  Law enforcement is waiting for Idaho Power to come out and repair the line.

Owner of plane allegedly carrying 72 pounds of cocaine indicted on federal charges

One of the three Colorado men arrested in October after a search of their private plane at the Baton Rouge airport allegedly turned up 72 pounds of cocaine has been indicted on federal charges.

A grand jury indicted 55-year-old Vincenzo Salzano, the plane’s owner, for possession and intent to distribute five or more kilograms of cocaine and of conspiracy to commit the same act, acting U.S. Attorney Walt Green said Thursday in a press release

Salzano, who was arrested with his sons while stopping to refuel in Baton Rouge during a trip from McAllen, Tex., to Atlanta, faces a life sentence and $20 million in fines. If convicted, he may also be forced to turn over the Beechcraft twin-engine 58P Baron plane that allegedly transported the cocaine and any money earned from his alleged drug-selling activity. 

The release makes no mention the other two men arrested: Salzano’s son, Armando Salzano, 32; and his son-in-law, Mohammad Nekouie, 32.

Court documents indicate federal charges against Nekouie have been dropped. On Jan. 2, the U.S. Attorney’s office asked to drop the charges because the prosecution couldn’t meet its burden of proof. On Jan. 3, federal Magistrate Judge Stephen Riedlinger signed off on dismissal of the charges.

It's unclear if Armando Salzano's charges have also been dropped. Court documents indicate he was granted conditional release from custody on Nov. 26. But the latest court document available to the public, filed on Dec. 19, suggest his case is still active. He was originally charged with the same two counts as his father: possession with intent to sell cocaine and conspiracy to posses and intent to sell cocaine. 

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency reportedly notified Louisiana State Police prior to the arrests that an aircraft with a suspicious flight pattern was going to land at the airport. Officials met the plane when it landed, searched the plane and discovered 71.8 pounds of cocaine, according to records. 

The indictment says on Oct. 7, the elder Salzano met with "other individuals" and boarded his private plane to Atlanta. The following day, he allegedly flew from Atlanta to the McAllen area, where he deplaned, left the airport and obtained approximately 30 “packaged bundles” of cocaine. He and “another individual ” boarded the plane and intended to fly back to Atlanta but were arrested upon refueling in at the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport.

McAllen is located on the western side of the southern tip of Texas and shares a small border with Mexico. 

All three were originally processed in state district court and faced potential duel prosecution by both the state and federal government, but East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore’s office dropped the charges Nov. 5 , turning the case over to Homeland Security officials, who took custody of the men. East Baton Rouge Parish Assistant District Attorney John Russell said at the time the FBI and other federal agencies had more resources to prosecute the case, which involves evidence from a number of states. 

Agencies investigating the case include the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Louisiana State Police. Also assisting are the West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office, the Federal Aviation Administration, and other law enforcement agencies.

 Source:    http://www.nola.com

Beech 58P Baron, N4618M:   http://registry.faa.gov/N4618M
 

  Vincenzo Salzano, left, has been indicted on federal charges for allegations that he possessed and intended to sell more than 70 pounds of cocaine, which a search of his private plane turned up when he stopped to refuel in Baton Rouge on Oct. 8, 2013. Two other relatives traveling with him, Armando Salzano (center), and Mohammad Nekouie, were also arrested but have not been indicted.  
(East Baton Rouge Parish Jail)


 Baton Rouge Police officer Luke Cowart and K9 Roux assisted in the search of the plane and found 10 kilos of cocaine, which hadn't been located in the initial search.






Hunting traps stolen from area adjacent to University Park Airport (KUNV), State College, Pennsylvania

Penn State University Police are investigating a theft that occurred between 2 p.m. Jan. 3 and 6:30 a.m. Jan. 4 on property overseen by the College of Agricultural Sciences along Fox Hill Road in Benner Township. Several hunting traps, valued at a total of $250, were stolen from the area adjacent to the University Park Airport property.

Anyone with information should contact University Police at 814-863-1111 or Centre County Crime Stoppers at tip@centrecountycrimestoppers.org. Anyone providing information that leads to an arrest may be eligible for a reward of as much as $1,000 from Centre County CrimeStoppers.

Anonymous tips can be submitted at http://www.police.psu.edu/psu-police/report-crime.cfm.

University Police remind the community:
-- If you see suspicious activity or persons, contact University Police immediately.
-- Secure your valuables.

For emergencies, call 911. For non-emergencies, call University Police at 814-863-1111.


Source:   http://news.psu.edu

Opinion: The airport debacle continues - Grand Junction Regional (KGJT), Colorado

Jim Hoffman
CONSIDER THIS
Free Press Weekly Opinion Columnist



Is that the sound of another shoe falling at the airport?

The County Commission requested and received the resignation of long-serving Airport Authority board member Denny Granum. While carefully pointing out their request was not indicative of any wrong doing, the commission’s request did present an awkward appearance in its timing.

Mr. Granum served on the board for the majority of the time Rex Tippetts was on board as airport manager. As revelations continue to show, Tippetts was largely unfettered by meaningful oversight by the board and the board by extension (from both County Commission and City Council). Even in the absence of wrong doing, Granum and previous board members must assume a level of responsibility for lack of management oversight that has become the reality of scandal today.

While some cower in fear as to what the County Commission’s overall motivation and intention may be at the airport, one should at least find some degree of comfort in the fact that they are finally acknowledging their obligation and responsibility to oversee the overseers they appoint to the Airport Authority. No, no and NO — that is not a demand for micro-management, but a timid request for some management.

While Grand Junction Mayor Sam Susuras sits on the board, we have not yet seen any indication the city has assumed any greater interest in the Airport Authority or the city’s role in managing such.

Past Commissioners and City Council members turned a blind eye and deaf ear toward the many rumblings of discontent, discord and mismanagement at the airport and allowed Tippetts to continue an autocratic, unsupervised management. It cannot be said the current situation is surprising (except for its scope) as there have long been indications of a problem that the city and county simply refused to investigate.

Tippetts somehow reminds one of a less than aboveboard politician who is tolerated and returned to office because they “bring home the bacon.” Truth be told, all those elected officials who preach reduced taxes and spending love government handouts. Tippetts literally brought millions in federal grants (read our tax dollars, NOT free money) to the airport for his expansion plans including a huge new administrative building to house his offices. Now it appears he may have been a master of deceit inasmuch as he ”re-purposed” square footage within the building for non-existent purposes to qualify the building for federal grant money. The scope of his creative manipulation and how many millions of dollars may have been applied for, received, and expended without a legitimate basis has not yet been revealed.

Those millions may become a liability for which repayment is demanded. Beyond that there remains those pesky allegations contained in that federal lawsuit. Those allegations of board members purchasing airport “surplus” equipment at below market rates, steering airport business to family and friends, and favoring some contractors still need to be resolved. Finally, the airport may not be able to sell bonds to finance future construction and may be refused future grant dollars. The economic damage has yet to be calculated and other reputations are sure to be soiled.

What a way to start the New Year! Just when you thought it was not possible to be more disappointed with a politician than you already were, Steve King pulls a stunt to change your mind.

Right there on the front page of the Daily Sentinel on January 1, 2014, New Year’s Day, is a report on an interview for which King sat. In that interview he reveals to the general public that he and his wife of 20-plus years are divorcing. The sole reason he cites for this event is his service to Mesa County as an elected representative.

While the list of representatives who have served us in Denver without the disintegration of their marriage is long, the list who divorced is rather short. In recent memory that would be Josh Penry and now Steve King. Why King chose this forum and this day to confirm the months-long rumors as to problems within his marriage we fail to comprehend.


Source:   http://www.postindependent.com

Marco Island Executive Airport (KMKY), Florida: Runway shutting down for three months in season

MARCO ISLAND — In the midst of a busy tourist season, the Marco Island Executive Airport is closing starting Monday for a three-month, $6.2 million runway overhaul.

“The 90-day time frame is based on how much time the contractor has to complete the work,” Airport Manager Robert Tweedie said. “We could reopen sooner if the contractor moves faster and gets the work done quicker, but we’re expecting them to take the full 90 days.”

The airport is undertaking the project during the height of tourist season for two reasons, Tweedie said.

“We’re at a very low elevation, just a couple of feet above sea level,” he said. “During the summer rainy season, you’re not going to be able to get rid of the water. You’re going to have a lot of standing water, and it wouldn’t be possible to rebuild the runway under those conditions.”

The other reason is crocodile nesting season.

“The areas at the north and east ends of the runway are adjacent to wetlands that are federally protected, and our grant stipulates that no work can be done during crocodile nesting season, which begins March 1 and goes until September,” he said.

Crews could have begun work a couple of weeks ago, but decided to wait until the holiday season passed, Tweedie said.

“We were very busy (over the holidays), and we pushed it back as far as we could,” he said.

The airport hosts an estimated 20,000 takeoffs and landings annually, with 70 percent of its traffic coming between Christmas and Easter, Tweedie said.

In season, that’s about 3,000 takeoffs and landings per month.

Other airports in Collier County will become landing spots for Marco Island-bound aircraft during the next three months.

“The traffic will move to Immokalee Regional Airport, Everglades Airpark and Naples Municipal Airport,” he said. “At times, we may have to assign (flights) to other locations when necessary.”

Mac Chaudhry, general manager of the Hilton Marco Island Beach Resort and Spa, said the timing of the runway reconstruction isn’t ideal.

“There’s no way to tell how many of our guests use the (Marco Island) airport unless they mention it to us, but the majority of our guests come in February and March,” he said. “Hopefully, the airport will be nicer once they’re finished with the work. From a business standpoint, it’s bad timing, but if the work has to be done, it has to be done.”

Rick Medwedeff, general manager of the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort Golf Club & Spa, agreed the timing isn’t great.

“You couldn’t ask for a worse time to shut down than the height of tourism season,” he said. “Will we lose business because of it? Probably not. But it’s an inconvenience to a corporate executive who’s looking for convenience. It’s definitely not a positive.”

Tweedie said the 5,000-foot by 100-foot runway at the airport on Mainsail Drive would undergo a complete rehabilitation.

“We’ll be going all the way down to the limerock base because the pavement has deteriorated to the point where a simple overlay can’t be done,” he said. “It has to be a full-depth reconstruction of the asphalt on top, the base material and the subgrade.”

Tweedie said the reconstruction would improve the stability, uniformity and strength of the runway.

“It’s really a much-needed improvement for safety,” he said. “The runway hasn’t been redone for 30 years, and it has deteriorated to the point where it was rated ‘poor’ by (the Florida Department of Transportation) in 2011. If it deteriorated any further, it could get to the point where it’s unusable.”

Other improvements targeted during the project will include replacing the runway lights and upgrading the runway’s drainage system.

Tweedie said 90 percent of the project’s cost is covered by a Federal Aviation Administration grant, while the remaining 10 percent would come from DOT.

“One hundred percent of the federal money comes from a ‘trust fund’ within the FAA,” Tweedie said. “The money comes from fuel taxes, waybills and passenger ticket taxes. It’s the aviation system paying for itself.”

Chris Curry, former executive director of the Collier County Airport Authority who in December took a job with the city of Tallahassee to oversee its aviation department, said the Marco runway project has been in the works a long time.

“You start off years in advance with an airport master plan, which generally covers 20 years of future development for the airport,” he said.

Curry said the Marco airport runway project began to pick up speed last year.

“As you get closer to the predicted time of the project, you really start to have involved meetings with the FAA and FDOT,” he said. “That’s what we were doing last year. We got a pavement report from an FDOT contractor that said the runway was in very poor condition, so that was another tool to let us know we needed to do this sooner rather than later.”


 Source:   http://www.marconews.com


Photo by SCOTT MCINTYRE
 Weeds grow through cracks that line the runway of the Marco Island Executive Airport on Wednesday Jan. 8, 2013. The airport will be closing on Jan. 13 for 90 days to have its runway repaved.

Aberdeen Regional (KABR), South Dakota: Airport manager announces resignation

Aberdeen Transportation Director Mike Wilson announced his resignation to the airport board today. 

As transportation director, Wilson manages the Aberdeen Regional Airport and Rideline.

Wilson has been Transportation Manager for close to three years. He has accepted a position as Director of Aviation for the Waterloo Regional Airport in Iowa. His last day with the city is Feb. 7. He plans to start his new position Feb. 18 


Source:    http://www.aberdeennews.com


Mike Wilson

$230,000 information request: Maryland State Police Price Medevac Helicopter Cost/Maintenance Records

Nearly a year after delayed delivery of the $130 million upgrade of the state's medevac helicopter system, some of the new choppers are still not in the air.

The program has seen several setbacks, including damage to the expensive aircraft. In one incident police say a stray bullet may have stranded a chopper on the roof of Shock Trauma.

A shortage of personnel was then made worse by an Federal Aviation Administration requirement that required state police have two pilots in the cockpit at all times.

"We're down 12 pilots currently and we need to have a full complement of pilots," Maj. Loi from the Maryland State Police Aviation Command said.

FOX45 has been following the state's rocky transition to the new AW139 Medevac helicopters for over a year.

An item buried in last month's state spending board agenda raised a red flag an emergency request for half a million dollars to fix one of the state's old medevac helicopters, revealing the strains setbacks are putting on plans to get the new aircraft aloft.

Over the past year state police have filed three separate so-called emergency requests - totaling nearly $2 million - to overhaul the Dauphins.

"I'm perplexed that they're putting money into the Dauphins, the money we're putting in we may not get out, Aviation Consultant Dick Johnson said. The taxpayers again are going to lose money.

FOX45 filed a Public Information Act request to learn more about the spending and to obtain details on just what is behind the delay. The answer to the request was noteworthy, even in a state that earned a 'D' grade for transparency.

State Police priced the information request at $230,000 - to get both the costs and maintenance records of both helicopter fleets. Officials justified the estimate saying the documents would take thousands of hours to produce and copy. State police have yet to respond to a FOX45 offer to narrow the request.

State police say four out of the 10 new choppers are in service.

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