Saturday, January 18, 2014

Great Lakes Airlines paring back operations: Clovis Municipal Airport (KCVN), New Mexico

Great Lakes Airlines is significantly paring back operations at the Clovis Municipal Airport. And it might be giving two weeks notice.

The airline, which has been operating for Clovis since 2005 as part of a federally funded program to provide air service to rural areas, will only operate a midday flight Monday through Friday starting next week, Airport Manager Gene Bieker said.

Bieker said Friday morning that he had a conversation with Great Lakes CEO Chuck Howell, who told him the airline may not be able to serve the city after Jan. 31, and that the airline is down to about 100 pilots, about one-third of the amount it carried one year ago.

Attempts to contact Great Lakes representatives on Friday were unsuccessful.

No flights are listed as available on Great Lakes’ website,, beginning in February.

The Cheyenne, Wyo.-based airline sent a termination letter to Clovis last month, requesting the Department of Transportation help the city in its mission to find a carrier that would provide service to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

Under terms of Essential Air Service, a carrier that chooses termination must continue service to a community until a new air service is in place. But there’s a lot of gray area in what constitutes continued service.

“The understanding I have is because of the way EAS is structured, they only get paid for the flights they make,” City Manager Joe Thomas said.

The airline began operations with Clovis in April 2005 with flights to and from Albuquerque Sunport, and operated under that agreement until it decided to move operations to Denver International Airport in late 2012.

The change was made in an attempt to drive up passenger numbers, due to the larger number of connecting flights at DIA. But the service only had about four passengers per flight before the termination notice was sent, and Bieker said he wasn’t surprised when the termination notice was delivered.

The Department of Transportation currently has asked for bids on service to Clovis, with requests for proposal accepted until Feb. 12.


Cessna 208B Grand Caravan, 8R-GHS, Trans Guyana Airways: Accident occurred January 18, 2014 - Olive Creek, Marazuni, Guyana

The downed Cessna 208B Grand Caravan

 Left to right: Trans Guyana Airways Chief Pilot, Andre Farinha; Chief Finance Officer Nicole Correia and CEO Michael Correia at a press conference yesterday

 The body of Canadian pilot Blake Slater comes in to the Olive Creek airstrip

Blake Slater

 The body of cargo loader, Dwayne Jacobs Newton is wrapped at the Olive Creek airstrip before being flown to Ogle

 Roslyn Jacobs, the mother of dead cargo loader, Dwayne Jacobs Newton, arrives at the Ogle Airport

The Trans-Guyana crash…  

The bodies of pilot, cargo loader flown to Ogle Airport
…officials say pilot did not report any problems with the aircraft which had done several shuttle flights on Saturday.

THE bodies of Canadian pilot, Blake Slater and Guyanese cargo loader, Dwayne Jacobs Newton were taken out of the jungle late Tuesday morning and taken to funeral homes in the city.The Trans-Guyana Cessna aircraft went down with the pilot and cargo loader on board last Saturday.

TGA’s Chief Finance Officer, Nicole Correia said it would take less than one year before insurance benefits are paid to surviving beneficiaries. That time period, airline officials said, would allow for investigations to be conducted and for international accident assessors to complete their work.

Officials said the pilot did not report any problems with the aircraft which had already done several shuttle flights for Saturday. The downed plane underwent complete maintenance on December 31, 2013 and was inspected by the GCAA on January 7, 2014, TGA officials said.

TGA pledged to cooperate fully with the GCAA and said it would encourage experts from the Caribbean Aviation Safety and Security Oversight System (CASSOS) and the plane’s engine manufacturer to come to Guyana to assist in the investigation.

Special Forces personnel on Monday cleared a location close to the wreckage which enabled the GDF chopper to land and collect the bodies for transport to the Olive Creek airstrip, from where they were placed in an aircraft and flown to the Ogle Airport.


A Canadian pilot is likely dead after a plane crash in the jungle of Guyana, and the search has been suspended. 

The Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) said in a press release the Trans Guyana Airways 700, Cessna 208B Grand Caravan on a shuttle operation between Olive Creek and Imbaimadai was seen going down by air traffic control and a search was launched.

A spokesman for Trans Guyana Aviation identified the pilot as Canadian Blake Slater, AFP reported. The passenger was Dwayne Newton of Guyana, a cargo loader.

The GCAA said the plane crashed near an area called Olive Creek, in the Marazuni area of the Amazon forest. The search was suspended at 6 p.m. local time because of poor lighting and was set to resume at 6:30 a.m. Sunday, the GCAA said.

The plane was fitted with a locator beacon, but U.S. Mission Control Center hadn't received a signal from the downed aircraft, the GCAA said.


Search suspended for missing Trans Guyana plane, no signal picked up by US control center.
The Rescue Coordination Center has suspended the search for a Trans Guyana plane that went missing this afternoon over the Mazaruni.

The search will resume tomorrow.

The GCAA press release follows:

At the end of the day, following ground and air search based on information received, there has been no sighting of 8R-GHS Trans Guyana
Cessna 208B Grand Caravan that went missing earlier today. The air search for the aircraft has been terminated for the day at 1800hrs due the poor lighting, but will resume tomorrow morning at 0630hrs.

The aircraft is fitted with all of the appropriate emergency equipment including an Emergency Locator Beacon, 406Mhz. A check with the US Mission Control Center (USMCC) from which information concerning aircraft ELT signals is transmitted, has informed that they have not received any signal from the aircraft beacon.

The Rescue Coordination Center will continue its operation.

An aircraft will be deployed to overfly the area of interest tonight to look for any signs of the missing aircraft.

Search and Rescue Units, two helicopters and an Islander and a Cessna Caravan and the GDF Special Force Officers will continue with the search operation tomorrow commencing from an area identified as the area of interest. Additional personnel will also be deployed from coast to assist with the search.


Aircraft hit by technical fault

Solomon Airlines says its Airbus A320 services to Brisbane and return for Wednesday 15th January and Thursday 16th January 2014 were disrupted after an attempted take off on Wednesday was aborted due to some technical issues with its avionics system.

The General Manager of Commercial and Operations, Gus Kraus stated that as a standard safety procedure and following their training, “our flight crew aborted the take-off roll and returned to the parking bay on Wednesday”.

“The Pilot in Command then alerted the airlines executive that the flight had to be aborted prior to take off purely due to a technical glitch on  the display reading of one of the screens on the Captain’s display and that there was no immediate danger posed to the aircraft and most especially the passengers on board.”

Mr Kraus said spare parts had to be sourced from Australia on the same day which did arrive on Thursday morning, 16th January.

“And with our engineers working around the clock to try and rectify the situation, unfortunately, the replacement Avionics box continued to persist with problems in the reading which then rendered the aircraft unserviceable.

“The Thursday flight was then cancelled as well.

“Arrangements have been finalised for an alternative aircraft to cater for Friday for most of the delayed/disrupted passengers and whilst the issue is being addressed, our disrupted passengers are taken care of under our disruption policy.

“All passengers were advised to contact the airline today for further updates of their onward flights and a revised departure time from Honiara was given as of yesterday and Solomon Airlines confirmed it had chartered a Our Airline aircraft that should cater for most, if not all the passengers involved.

“The airline apologized to its valuable travelers for a matter beyond its control and that at no stage was there any danger to the passengers and crew.

“Solomon Airlines is now turning to the weekend to make further charters of other airlines and will notify its intending passengers on the weekend services to Vila and Nadi on proposed alternatives and flights.

“The airline feels for those involved and has indicated that as a single aircraft operator, it has had a good run with its current BUS and is looking at the future when it can support its own future with added aircraft support.”


Coast Guard scrambles to save fisherman off Martha’s Vineyard

U.S. Coast Guard rescue crew evacuated a fisherman who was having epileptic seizures this morning aboard a vessel about 35 nautical miles south of Martha's Vineyard.

The fishing crew contacted the Coast Guard by marine radio at 8:12 am, and a flight crew aboard an MH-60 Jayhawk Helicopter from Air Station Cape Cod arrived on the scene at 9:35 am, according to the Coast Guard.

The 25 year old man, whose name was not released, was hoisted aboard the rescue helicopter from the deck of the fishing vessel.

"The time window that our flight surgeon gave us to possibly save this man was 90 minutes," said Donald Blankenship, a Coast Guard search and rescue controller. "Our crews responded immediately and were able to safely get him hoisted in just over an hour so he could get help."

The man suffering from seizures was taken to Rhode Island Hospital, in Providence. His condition is unknown.

The name of the fishing vessel is Argo, but the Coast Guard did not identify the vessel's home port.

Story and comments/reaction:

Johanns, Fischer send letter to Federal Aviation Administration regarding canceled flights

Our two U.S. Senators are working together to address FAA issues that have recently been plaguing smaller regional airports.

Senator Mike Johanns says he and Senator Deb Fischer sent a letter to the FAA administrator this week,to discuss recent rule changes that are making it difficult for smaller airports –like the one in Scottsbluff – to meet demand.

In Scottsbluff, the Western Nebraska Regional airport has canceled hundreds of flights since the new FAA regulations went into effect.

"In Scottsbluff, which is just an example, the airport was averaging four flights a day. Wonderful airport. Now following FAA rules regarding training and flight hours, the airport is struggling to complete a single flight because of pilot shortages," Johanns said.

Johanns says he understands safety of crews and airline passengers is a top priority, but the new regulations on pilot flight hours are making it difficult for regional airports to operate at all.

"Unfortunately what is happening is we're having flights canceled because we cant get a pilot, and I just worry that near the end of the year we're going to see that we don't have enough enplanements at the airports, which has real serious financial consequences."

Johanns says he has also been approached by people from Alliance and McCook who have complained about similar issues at their regional airports.


Huntland, Franklin County, Tennessee: Emergency Landing

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Tenn. (WHNT) — The Public Information Officer for the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office says a private plane made an emergency landing Saturday afternoon.

Lincoln County Sheriff Murray Blackwelder confirms a small plane made an emergency landing in a bean field off White’s Gap Road near Huntland, TN.

WHNT News 19 is told that the plane’s engine failed and that the two people on board are okay.


Cirrus SR22 SE Turbo, N918SE: Fatal accident occurred September 28, 2020 in Bois du Bosquet, La Chevillotte, Doubs

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Los Angeles International Field Office

Aircraft crashed under unknown circumstances and caught on fire. 

Caen M C S Inc Trustee

Date: 28-SEP-20
Time: 10:15:00Z
Regis#: N918SE
Aircraft Make: CIRRUS
Aircraft Model: SR22
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: FATAL
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: EN ROUTE (ENR)
Country: FRANCE

Over Priming a Cessna 210

 Video by Fly high with Mike 
Published on January 17, 2014
"Just by chance I was filming the start up of this particular Cessna 210. This is what can happen when you over prime your Cessna 210. Enjoy!"

Private jet offers wonderful - if fleeting - moments

For 30 glorious minutes last week I was a member of the 1 percent, flying over the Golden Gate Bridge, up the Northern California coastline and back over the East Bay hills in a $20 million Citation X - a jet of choice among CEOs, financiers, celebrities and others of the ultra rich with places to go and people to see. And no time to waste.

The all-too-brief experience came courtesy of San Francisco's XOJet, the third largest private jet company in the nation, which, like its competitors at SFO, was having an especially busy week with top executives flying in for the JPMorgan health conference in town, and deep-pocketed locals heading to the 49ers-Seahawks game in Seattle in comfort and privacy.

"It's just nuts," said an XO Jet pilot, surveying the dozens of private jets on the tarmac at SFO's Signature Aviation Terminal the day the JPMorgan conference opened at the Westin St. Francis.

Business in the $14 billion market is certainly a whole lot better than the dark days of what XOJet CEO Bradford Stewart called "the Lehman bust," referring to the collapse of Lehman Bros. in 2008, after which numerous private carriers went under or fell into the hands of better-financed players. XO Jet, then a small, 2-year-old startup, escaped that fate largely thanks to infusions from TPG Capital and IPIC, an Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund. "Our business really started, or restarted, in 2010," said Stewart.

Last year, the Brisbane company recorded $350 million in revenue, and has tripled its net profit over the past two years (the private company wouldn't disclose the figure). Over 5,000 clients, many of them heavy users, have flown one of XOJet's approximately 50 owned and operated jets from its hubs at SFO, Van Nuys Airport in Los Angeles, and Teterboro Airport in New Jersey.

Respecting privacy

No names disclosed - "we need to respect our clients' desire for a private experience," the company said - but increasing numbers come from the San Francisco-Silicon Valley corridor, and they all have at least one thing in common.

"They need to have at least $40-$50 million in assets before consuming our product," said Stewart, 37, a former McKinsey & Co. consultant and a senior investment executive at Parthenon Capital Partners, a private equity firm with offices in San Francisco and Boston.

There are more than 17,000 private jets worldwide, 70 percent of them in North America, according to a 2012 report by Corporate Jet Investor. Business customers account for close to half of the industry's revenue, mostly from U.S. routes. XOJet's clients are 70 percent business customers, said Stewart. The six- to eight-seat jets ferry at high speeds "CEOs and his or her team," entertainers and their entourages - who aren't always on their best behavior - and families wealthy enough to fly by private plane to vacation destinations.

It goes without saying, it's not for everyone.

"To be honest, you have to be ultra-high-net worth to consistently fly private," Stewart said.

Not so, say recent entrants who are pitching private jet travel for the price of standard first class. Like BlackJet, which offered individual seats purchased via mobile app for $3,500, in addition to a $2,500 membership fee. Lead investor: Uber co-founder Garrett Camp, out to do for private aviation what he's done for private taxis. Unfortunately BlackJet, whose other investors include A-list Hollywood celebs such as Jay Z and Ashton Kutcher, fired most of its staff late last year. No mention of BlackJet on Camp's LinkedIn page when I checked Thursday.

Other would-be "jet sharing" enterprises haven't done much better breaking out of the box. "You can't fly somebody for $3,500 coast-to-coast and guarantee them a seat when it costs you $20,000 to fly the plane, which were often empty, an anonymous former BlackJet employee told Valleywag. "And if you had eight people on the flight, nobody was happy and it was crowded."


XOJet CEO Brad Stewart walks to one of his company's Citation X jets at San Francisco International Airport. 
Photo: Sarah Rice
 The Chronicle