Saturday, January 25, 2014

Judge denies Readington motion in Solberg Airport case

READINGTON TWP.— A Superior Court judge has denied a township motion to compel Solberg Airport to provide discovery related to a suit filed years earlier.

The decision by Judge Yolanda Ciccone in Flemington was filed on Jan. 23. It continues a string of rulings against the township in it's efforts to gain control of Solberg Airport and surrounding land owned by the Solberg family.

In November and the day after about 500 people attended a hearing on the issue. Judge Yolanda Ciccone denied the township's second amended complaint, in which the township wanted to change its lawsuit to allow Readington to buy the 102 acres used for airport operations — and then operate it as a public airport — rather that purchase the development rights only.

Ciccone in November further lifted a stay on a suit filed by the Solbergs in 2006 against the then-members of the Township Committee, saying that Readington officials failed to comply with state law and zone for an airport safety zone and re-zone the existing airport to a conforming use.

The 2006 suit accuses the township, former Mayor Gerry Shamey and elected officials Julia Allen, Frank Gatti, Beatrice Muir and Tom Auriemma with misconduct.

This suit claims that Readington taxpayers have been harmed by the "misuse of" township "monies and resources," including the "indiscriminate use of public monies for public relations specialist to further their illegal and unauthorized actions."

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 About 500 people attend a public hearing and final vote at Readington Middle School on a township ordinance allowing the township to buy Soberg Airport and convert it to a municipal operation. The meeting was held on Nov. 6, 2013.

Killer crash puzzles gliding folk

Miller's glider crashed last week in circumstances still under investigation by the Civil Aviation Authority.

Glider pilot Trent Miller died aged 36 doing what he loved - but he shouldn't have. 

Miller's glider crashed near Drury, South Auckland, on January 19 in circumstances still under investigation by the Civil Aviation Authority.

His top-of-the-line single-seat glider had been flown without incident the day before and there was no excessive wind on the day, said a witness at the Auckland Gliding Club.

Friend Kenneth Ng described Miller as his wingman. "He excelled in gliding."

Miller, a geographic and information system specialist, was buried yesterday in Henderson.

Tributes on Facebook gliding pages have come from as far as the United Kingdom.

Gliding expert Iggy Wood said gliders rarely spin out of control.

"We try at all stages to avoid it, through good instruction, teaching people how to avoid a spin. We do maintenance checks every year and sub-inspections every 50 flying hours."

Miller's glider was 20 years old, Wood said. "While it's not a young glider by any means, it's a well-proven design and model."


Schleicher ASW 20L, ZK-GDF

Belize Airport Authority Checks Are a Mixed Bag, About 30% Tied To Hon. Edmund Castro

Last night we laid out 76 checks from the Belize Airport Authority from a whistle-blower who alleges that all 76 were issued at the request of Minister of State in the Ministry of Transport Edmund Castro. But, two sides to every story, and we today spoke to a board member who preferred to remain anonymous.

First to the checks - 10 of them issued to Jafari Castro - Edmund Castro's son. They were issued in amounts of less than 300 dollars between February and April, 2013 and total $2,240 dollars. Well, 7News managed to speak with a BAA board member today who told us that Jafari Castro worked at the Airports Authority before he left for school and those were his paychecks.

And what about the check for Norman Middleton - Edmund Castro's driver? Well, the board member says he was paid 300 dollars to clean off the Belize City Municipal runway when it was flooded over.

UDP soldier Omar Burns had also been contracted to keep the runways clean, but when that contract was given to Castro's friend Cutbert Bailey, Burns was paid a termination fee of six thousand dollars. The paper trail shows Bailey is paid a regular fee to maintain the runways of about two thousand per month.

And that other UDP soldier, Allan Kelly? He got paid three hundred dollars - the board member says to sponsor a basketball team. The check for Ordonez Bike Shop was also a BAA donation - but this one for Castro's Cycling team, the Board member explains. The checks  for CDS Gas company - the board member says those are for the Airports Authority - which purchases fuel there and did not involve Castro.

The Airports Authority is also claiming responsibility for the checks  for Bowen and Bowen and Caribbean Chicken - which total some 13 thousand dollars. Those were, we are told, for evens that the BAA hosted.

Same for the checks to a travel agency and a car dealership - BAA expenses in their own right according to the board member. And the 4,200 dollars paid to Cellular Plus - that was for a laptop computer the Airports authority bought, again in its own right - apparently a very expensive one - like two times the price of what we'd call a higher end model on the local market.

The BAA - in its dubious discretion - also undertook - again in its own right - to pay the dentist's bill - two thousand dollars plus for a board member's child.

Same for a long list of names who received small amounts - a few hundred dollars - all those were - we are told "underprivileged children" who needed educational assistance. They were, the board member insists, not recommended to the BAA by Castro.

There are also checks  to schools - again educational assistance which the BAA gave - according to the board member - in its own right. There are a total of 17 checks for what the board members tell us are educational assistance paid to individuals or to schools - a few of them at Castro's request.

The largest check is for sixteen thsoqaund dollars, and the board member says that was the mobilization fee for the fence built at the PG Airstrip.

We could continue, but you get the idea - the Board member is saying that of the 76 checks - about 27 are directly related to Castro - three of them paid out directly to him to a total of 10,156 dollars.


Oklahoma State University remembers 10 who died in plane crash

AP Photo Sue Ogrocki 
Flowers are displayed at the memorial to the 10 men killed in the Jan. 27, 2001 Oklahoma State plane crash before the start of an NCAA college basketball game between West Virginia and Oklahoma State in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014.

STILLWATER, Okla. — Oklahoma State honored the lives of the 10 men affiliated with the school who died in a plane crash 13 years ago with a moment of silence before tip-off of the 11th-ranked Cowboys' game against West Virginia on Saturday.

Denver Mills, Nate Fleming, Dan Lawson, Jared Weiberg, Pat Noyes, Bill Teegins, Will Hancock, Brian Luinstra, Kendall Durfey and Bjorn Fahlstrom died in a crash on Jan. 27, 2001, about 40 miles east of Denver as the plane was returning to Stillwater from a game against Colorado. Eight of the 10 families were represented at Gallagher-Iba Arena on Saturday.

The Memorial Lobby at Gallagher-Iba was opened 90 minutes before tip-off. At halftime, organizers of the annual "Remember The 10 Run" planned to donate race proceeds to OSU Counseling Services.

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Beechcraft 200 Super King Air,  Jet Express Services,  N81PF

NTSB Identification: DCA01MA017.

The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Saturday, January 27, 2001 in Strasburg, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/26/2003
Aircraft: Beech 200, registration: N81PF
Injuries: 10 Fatal.

NTSB investigators traveled in support of this investigation and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The Board's full report is available at

On January 27, 2001, about 1737 mountain standard time, a Raytheon (Beechcraft) Super King Air 200, N81PF, owned by North Bay Charter, LLC, and operated by Jet Express Services, crashed into rolling terrain near Strasburg, Colorado. The flight was operating on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan under 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. The flight departed about 1718 from Jefferson County Airport (BJC), Broomfield, Colorado, with two pilots and eight passengers aboard. The pilot who occupied the left seat in the cockpit was solely responsible for the flight. The pilot who occupied the right seat in the cockpit, referred to in this report as the "second pilot," was not a required flight crewmember. N81PF was one of three airplanes transporting members of the Oklahoma State University (OSU) basketball team and associated team personnel to Stillwater Regional Airport (SWO), Stillwater, Oklahoma, after a game at the University of Colorado at Boulder that afternoon. All 10 occupants aboard N81PF were killed, and the airplane was destroyed by impact forces and a postcrash fire. Instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) prevailed at the time of the accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot’s spatial disorientation resulting from his failure to maintain positive manual control of the airplane with the available flight instrumentation. Contributing to the cause of the accident was the loss of a.c. electrical power during instrument meteorological conditions.

GoPro footage belonging to tragic BASE jumper Ashley Cosgriff turns up in New South Wales

Police have uncovered GoPro camera footage which could hold the key to explaining a fatal BASE jump in Gippsland last weekend.

Officers were called to the 432m Omega Tower - the tallest structure in Australia - on Saturday, January 25, and discovered the body of 23-year-old Ashley Cosgriff.

The camera, believed to be a GoPro, was attached to Mr Cosgriff's helmet and taken from the scene.

This week Sale detectives travelled to Queensland and interviewed a 32-year-old Gold Coast man.

Police then recovered the footage from an address in New South Wales.

The Gold Coast man is expected to be charged on summons with offences including failing to report a death.

It was believed the man was at the Omega Tower with Mr Cosgriff.

Experienced BASE jumper Gary Cunningham said if the thrillseeker had jumped from the top of the tower he would have had about 10 seconds of freefalling before he needed to pull the parachute.

Mr Cunningham, who has performed 3000 jumps both in Australia and overseas, said the tower's height meant BASE jumpers had time to get themselves out of trouble.

"It should be a safe jump.

"There would have to be some sort of malfunction or jumper error for it to go wrong.

"It could be that the parachute opened too late or did not open or he performed a hard turn near the bottom of the jump and he has dove into the ground."

Mr Cosgriff had performed hundreds of dives from planes at his skydiving club in NSW.

He had also posted videos of his previous perilous stunts on YouTube, including a video of him jumping off a bridge in the US.

The Omega tower at Giffard - some 220km southeast of Melbourne - has been known to attract BASE jumpers from all over the world.

BASE stands for Building, Antenna, Span (bridge), Earth and most jumps are done without authorities permission.

Police are still searching for the culprits of one of the more daring jumps off the Rialto Tower in March 2012.

The four men were dressed in suits and ordered cocktails from a restaurant near the top of the 243m skyscraper, before flinging themselves from a balcony.

They had been drinking at the prestigious Vue de Monde restaurant - on Level 55 of the 56-floor building - before the jump.

Restaurant owner Shannon Bennett said the four men walked into the venue's Lui Bar with travel suitcases and ordered Negroni cocktails before throwing themselves off the building.

Mr Bennett said the men locked the balcony doors behind them so staff couldn't catch them before they made the plunge.


Cosgriff had performed hundreds of jumps from planes. 
Source: Supplied  

A young  man killed while BASE jumping off the nation's tallest structure in country Victoria will always be remembered for his deep love of adventure. 

Ashley Cosgriff, 23, died when it is believed he leapt off the 432m-tall Omega transmitter tower - more than 100m taller than Melbourne's Eureka Skydeck - near Woodside in the state's west on Saturday.

Police are investigating what happened and whether a parachute mishap was to blame.

With hundreds of jumps under his belt, including a whirlwind trip to America last year to tackle its biggest and most famous buildings and bridges, "Cossie", as he is affectionately known by his mates, knew the dangers of the sport.

So did his family and friends.

But it did not stop the hard-core adventurer - and it certainly did not make it any easier when those who loved him heard the news he had died doing what he loved.

"I just can't believe he is gone," friend Cliff Gallagher told the Herald Sun.

"We spent a lot of time together, going fishing and camping. He's just the happiest bloke who would do anything for you.

"I'm going to miss him so much. I'll never forget him."

Mr Gallagher, 24, lived and worked with Mr Cosgriff in Muswellbrook, NSW, and said his mate would want to be remembered for living life to the full.

"Even though it was a short life, it was a good life," he said.

"He's done a lot of travel and was planning a trip to Europe this year.

"He was absolutely obsessed with base jumping. He knew the risks involved. He had shown me a few videos of his friends who had close calls.

"But it never put him off. He just wanted to go out and enjoy life.

"He was always looking for bigger and better tricks and new things to jump off."

The scaffolder grew up in Queensland on the Gold Coast before moving to Muswellbrook, where he worked in the local mines.

His adrenalin-pumped manner began from an early age atop his BMX, where he would be seen doing flips, whips and 360s in the half-pipes at every chance he could.

But when the rush started to fade, he wanted to scale new heights, and turned his hand at skydiving.

When that proved an expensive hobby, he started base jumping.

The Omega tower - some 220km southeast from Melbourne - has become a popular spot for base jumpers, with many travelling from around the world to make the illegal jump.

Some have spoken on online blogs how it is a treacherous climb of at least an hour to the top of the old transmitter tower, but the view and thrill is worth it.

Mr Cosgriff was understood to be in Victoria for a base jumping trip over the long weekend, but it is not known who he was travelling with.

Police believe he was with at least one other person, who has fled the scene, possibly taking the GoPro camera attached to his helmet, following the tragedy.

Detective Sergeant Ian Marr said they would like to speak with the person who anonymously called in the incident from Stratford, some 60km away, and anyone else who may have been with him that day.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 33 000 or visit

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 Ashley Cosgriff  died at the Omega Tower near Woodside in Victoria. 
Source: Supplied 

Ashley Cosgriff free-falling during a jump.
 Source: Supplied

 A BASE jumper who plunged to his death from Australia's tallest structure had his helmet removed after dying, police say.  

Emergency services were called to an accident near the Omega tower, a 432m structure at Giffard, about 200km east of Melbourne, just before 2.30pm (AEDT) on Saturday.

Police believe a helmet was removed from the body of the 23-year-old NSW man before emergency services arrived and are appealing for anyone with information to come forward.

A mount for a camera was attached to the helmet but the camera was not located at the scene, police said.

Police say the deceased man may have been with other people before he died, however there was no one else at the scene when they arrived.

‘‘If a camera was used, investigators are keen to locate it as it may have information critical to the investigation,’’ a police spokesperson said.

The Omega tower is a well known site for illegal BASE jumping, an activity where people jump from fixed objects and use a parachute to break their fall.

Ambulance Victoria spokesman John Mullens said ground crews and a helicopter were dispatched but the man was difficult to access.

‘‘It came through as a base jump man in his 20s believed to be deceased,’’ he said.

Emergency services workers had to be directed to the site by people who had been with the man, Mr Mullens said.

‘‘It took a little while to get in,’’ he said. ‘‘He was deceased.’’

Police described the death as a ‘‘parachute incident’’.

The Omega tower, a steel lattice transmitter, is the tallest structure in Australia, more than 100m higher than the Q1 Tower on the Gold Coast and Sydney Tower.

BASE is an acronym for building, antenna, span (bridge), and earth (cliffs) - the four places where jumpers launch from.


A NSW man has died in Victoria in what appears to be a BASE jump gone wrong.

Emergency services were called to an accident near the Omega tower, a 432m structure at Gifford, about 200km east of Melbourne, just before 2.30pm (AEDT) on Saturday.

The Omega tower is a well-known site for illegal BASE jumping, an activity where people jump from fixed objects and use a parachute to break their fall.

Ambulance Victoria spokesman John Mullens said ground crews and a helicopter were dispatched but the 23-year-old man was difficult to access.

"It came through as a BASE jump man in his 20s believed to be deceased," he said.

Emergency services workers had to be directed to the site by people who had been with the man, Mr Mullens told AAP.

"It took a little while to get in," he said.

"He was deceased."

Police described the death as a "parachute incident".

Mr Mullens said he believed the Omega tower, a navigation antenna and transmitter, was a BASE jump site.

The Omega tower is the tallest structure in Australia, more than 100 metres higher than the Q1 Tower on the Gold Coast and Sydney Tower.

BASE is an acronym for building, antenna, span (bridge), and earth (cliffs) - the four places where jumpers launch from.


Emergency landing by aircraft in North Lincolnshire - UK

A light  aircraft made an emergency landing in North Lincolnshire this afternoon (Saturday, January 25).

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service was called to Sandtoft Airfield as a precaution shortly after 12.30pm.

The aircraft had a possible landing gear defect and firefighters stood by while the landing took place.

The fire service confirmed the aircraft landed safely and no action was taken by firefighters.


Flight Design CTSW, N359CT: Incident occurred January 25, 2014 in Colorado Springs, Colorado



 Those with the Colorado Springs Airport say a pilot scraped the wingtip of a single engine aircraft while performing touch and go landings Saturday morning. The pilot was the only person on board and was not injured.

The plane sustained light damage, and is being inspected.

 The west runway was closed while mechanics and the FAA looked at the plane.

Those with the airport tell us the incident did not impact other operations at the airport.

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 An airplane that scraped its wing on the runway at Colorado Springs Airport about 9 a.m. Saturday prompted an emergency response and closed some runways.

The pilot of the two-seat plane was performing touch-and-go landings when the tip of one of the plane's wings scraped the ground, causing a fuel spill, an airport official said.

The pilot, the only person on board, was uninjured, and the aircraft suffered light damage, officials said.

All runways were reopened before noon, officials said.


A minor accident at the Springs airport gave the pilot a scare Saturday morning. 
Authorities tell us a small two-seater aircraft was trying to land at the Colorado Springs Airport around 9 a.m. when its wing tipped while performing touch and go landings. The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association describes touch and goes as a "technique for an emergency go-around should he or she detect a runway hazard after touching down."

CSFD says the pilot was a little shaken up, but otherwise uninjured. A spokesperson with the airport says there was some "light" damage to the plane, including a fuel leak. Peterson Air Force Base is reportedly helping with cleanup.
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