Thursday, February 13, 2014

Atlantic City International Airport (KACY), New Jersey

Flight to A.C. International hit by lightning; plane lands safely with no injuries

A flight bound for Orlando from the Atlantic City International Airport was delayed Thursday evening because the plane was struck by a bolt of lightning while flying to Atlantic City, a Spirit Airlines spokesperson said.

The plane landed safely and no passengers were injured.

Maggie Espin said the plane's scheduled flight will be delayed  two hours or more while the airline performs an inspection. She said passengers will be accommodated on the next available flight or be given a refund or rebooking.

The struck plane was Flight 262 bound from Ft. Lauderdale.

Story and comments/reaction:

Turlock Air Center: Tracy Municipal Airport (KTCY), California

Steve Stuhmer, operator of Turlock Air Center, may have lost his contract to operate the aircraft-fueling operation at Tracy Municipal Airport, but he has come away with a public-perception victory in one of a number of issues involved in this strange, ongoing episode.

Among the comments that were made in writing and verbally at the Feb. 4 City Council meeting was that the California Secretary of State’s office in Sacramento had listed on its website that Turlock Air Center’s status as a limited liability company with the Franchise Tax Board was “suspended.”

That was indeed the listing on the Secretary of State’s website that same day — it was checked by the city attorney — but Stuhmer, although not at the meeting, maintained repeatedly that the “suspension” listing was a clerical error and that he was indeed in good standing with the state Franchise Tax Board. That explanation prompted a lot of rolled eyes.

But alas, it turned out Stuhmer was correct.

A letter sent to him by the Franchise Tax Board a day after the Feb. 4 meeting showed four boxes of his possible status, with an “X” marked in the one that reads: “The entity (Turlock Air Center) is in good standing with the Franchise Tax Board.”

On receiving the letter, Stuhmer was elated. He emailed me:

“...The fact remains that I was telling the truth and LLC is in good standing, despite the suspended status on the state website. When my credibility is being questioned, my integrity is being challenged as well, so I could not let that stand.”

Besides Stuhmer’s feeling of vindication, was his status with the Franchise Tax Board important in terminating his contract with the city? The city staff said it was not among the long laundry list of non-compliance factors that were grounds for the contract termination.

The staff did, however, mention the listing in its Feb. 4 agenda report to the Council. The report notes that Turlock Air Center’s “suspended” status with the Franchise Tax Board, which collects sales and petroleum taxes, was in effect in June when Stuhmer entered into an amended agreement with the city. “Therefore, TAC did not have the legal authority to enter into the amendment, and at the City Council’s discretion, it could be voided,” the staff report states.

But the city staff added a disclaimer, stating, “TAC’s current suspended status is not relevant to staff’s recommendation that the city terminate the entire agreement for noncompliance, including the amendment.”

What the status was on the day the amended contract was ratified in June is still unknown.

If you’re smelling lawsuit, you’re on the right track. Anyone at the Feb. 4 meeting had a whiff of that likelihood, especially after hearing wording in a letter from Stuhmer’s attorney, Thomas Byrne of Denver, to City Attorney Dan Sodergren.

In arguing that the city had no legal basis to terminate the contract, Byrne said that if the City Council did end it, “TAC will be forced to proceed with pursuing all its available remedies through litigation.”

It should be noted that the city had no control over the prices Turlock Air Center was charging for aviation fuel at the airport, but that has been an important underlying factor in all of this. The sky-high prices charged by Turlock Air Center at Tracy Municipal Airport were driving away potential fuel customers, including local pilots. And according to the president of Skyview Aviation, the airport’s major tenant, the fuel prices were costing him money and jeopardizing his firm’s continued presence at the airport.

If all of this sounds a bit convoluted and somewhat puzzling, you and I agree. The upshot is, though, that the city will soon resume operating the fuel service at the airport. That means prices will once again be competitive. And that’s a positive development for the airport.

But the puzzling airport antics continue. After all, so far we have seen disputes over the length of the main runway, the $50,000 payment by The Surland Cos. for Stuhmer’s annual 2013 fee to the city, the 25-year-plus fuel-service contract with three 10-year options, the city’s termination of Turlock Air Center’s contract and now Stuhmer’s revised status with the Franchise Tax Board.

Stay tuned. I can already visualize attorneys starting to scribble arguments on their yellow notepads.

Read more: Tracy Press - More wrinkles emerge in airport fuel saga

Super Puma victims’ families slam inquiry delay

The families of the 2009 Super Puma victims have spoken of their frustration at the length of time it has taken for an inquiry to be held into their deaths. 

 Sixteen men on board the AS332-L2 helicopter were killed when the aircraft suffered a catastrophic gearbox failure on April 1, 2009.

The two crew and 14 oil workers were on their way home from the BP Miller platform when the chopper fell out of the sky into the sea.

No-one survived the tragedy.

The Air Accident Investigation Branch launched an investigation to establish what caused the disaster and published a report on its findings in November 2011.

Last year the Crown Office ruled that no criminal proceedings would be taken due to insufficient evidence.

‘Near five-year delay’

It was decided that a fatal accident inquiry would be held at the Town House in Aberdeen which started on January 6.

Yesterday Tom Marshall, the lawyer representing the families, criticised the length of time it had taken for the inquiry to be held.

He said: “The near five year delay has been prejudicial to the inquiry.

“This delay is entirely unacceptable.”

Mr Marshall told the inquiry that the recollection of witnesses giving evidence at the Super Puma inquiry had been impaired because of the delay.

He added that the families only had four months to prepare for the inquiry, which made it “unneccesarily difficult”.

Mr Marshall said a fatal accident inquiry into the Lockerbie Pan Am Flight 103 bombing was held before the third anniversary of the disaster.

Depute fiscal Geoff Main told the inquiry that the Air Accident Investigation Branch investigation took precedence over everything else.

He said police and the prosecution service then liaised with the AAIB and considered whether any criminal action would be taken.

‘Perpetual rollercoaster’

After the hearing yesterday, Audrey Wood, who lost son Stuart, 27, in the tragedy, spoke on behalf of the families.

Mrs Wood, of Newmachar in Aberdeenshire, said: “This has been the most horrific, traumatic five years of strung out emotional upsets for all 16 families and friends.

“It has been a perpetual rollercoaster of which we could not get off.

“And of course, the length of time this case had taken to get to court has prolonged the grieving process.

“We do hope we can all find some peace in years to come.

“It’s been a very tough six weeks but we needed to hear the evidence and the lead up to the tragic event.”

She added: “We can only hope that accountability and responsibility will be addressed, and await the sheriff’s determination.

“Sixteen lives were lost and left many families broken hearted. Their memories will live on forever.”

Proper procedures ‘not carried out’

Final submissions from lawyers representing all parties involved were submitted to Sheriff Derek Pyle at the hearing yesterday.

Witnesses from the AAIB, helicopter manufacturer Eurocopter and the aircraft operator Bond have given evidence over the past few weeks.

The inquiry heard that proper procedures were not carried out when problems with the chopper were discovered on March 25, a few days before the crash.

Bond engineers told Eurocopter specialists that there were problems with the flight safety system on the phone.

The manufacturers were also informed of the discovery of a particle on a helicopter part.

The information should have been written down on a special form and sent to Eurocopter team rather than by phone.

Two chip detectors were installed in the AS332-L2 helicopters.

Eurocopter staff believed the particle had been uncovered in the main gearbox and instructed Bond engineers to follow the instructions of a work card.

But the chip had actually been detected in the epicyclic module and the inquiry heard the aircraft maintenance manual should have been used to deal with the problem instead.

The helicopter was eventually deemed safe to fly and crashed after a planet gear in the epicyclic module cracked a few days later.

Mr Marshall yesterday claimed the accident would not have happened if proper maintenance procedures been followed because the gearbox would have been removed.

Eurocopter lawyer Murdo MacLeod QC said there was a “clear and compelling” case pointing towards the gear failure being caused by spalling.

Spalling can be caused by two pieces of metal rubbing together which can cause a crack resulting in particles of metal falling off a component.

The inquiry heard that the particle identified in the epicyclic chip detector could have been as a result of the planet gear spalling.

Sheriff Derek Pyle said there did not appear to be anything other than maintenance procedures which could be relied upon to avoid helicopters falling into the sea with catastrophic consequences.

He added that there was no hint of any fundamental change or approach by the industry by way of manufacturing to change this.

The sheriff said he expected his determination to be available in about four weeks.

Story and comments/reaction:

Eurocopter AS 332L2 Super Puma Mk2, G-REDL, Bond Offshore Helicopters

Super Puma inquiry looks into precautions
Doubt over exact cause of crash
Confusion over helicopter checks
Helicopter ‘fell like torpedo’
Pilots give evidence at inquiry
Super Puma gave out two warnings before crash

Cessna 172M Skyhawk, Flight 101 LLC, N9926Q: Accident occurred June 21, 2013 in Waterford, Michigan

PHILADELPHIA (CN) - Four people died screaming when a Cessna flying out of Michigan lost power and crashed, the families of two passengers claim in court.

The May 4 complaint against Avco Corp., Lycoming Engines and other manufacturers involves a flight that took off from Oakland County International Airport on June 21, 2013.

When the plane was just a couple of hundred feet off the ground, it began suffering a power loss and "never recovered sufficient power to continue the flight," according to the complaint in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.

The plane ultimately crashed into the ground and caught fire, killing Sandra Haley, 53, Jamie Jose, 35 and two others.

Haley's and Jose's families filed the May 4 complaint, which goes into minute detail that the terror these passengers endured in their final moments.

Jose, the father of three minor children, "suffered multiple skull fractures," among other injuries, and died in the crash, according to the complaint.

Haley made it to the hospital with burns to 65 percent of her body but was pronounced dead within hours, her mother says.

"She was heard screaming after the plane crashed and exploded," the complaint states.

The families say Pennsylvania-based Avco and its subsidiaries, Lycoming Engines and Avco Lycoming-Textron Williamsport, fraudulently concealed loose screws, crush-prone gaskets and a defective float system on their Lycoming O-320-E2D engine. Avstar Fuel Systems, a parts manufacturer for Lycoming engines, is also names as a defendant, as is D&G Design, the repair station "responsible for the airworthiness of the accident carburetor for use in the" engine that failed during Haley and Jose's flight.

Haley and Jose's families say these companies knew that the engine and its carburetor had a long history of malfunctions prior to this crash, but concealed this knowledge from the Federal Aviation Association and other aircraft regulatory authorities during and after the engine's certification process.

In particular, the defendants allegedly knew or should have known that crush-prone carburetor gaskets could result in an engine being unable to generate power.

The defendants also allegedly failed to provide adequate safety warnings or maintenance instructions to aircraft engine owners, including the owner of the Cessna aircraft involved in the fatal accident, according to the complaint.

Though the defendants overhauled the accident aircraft's engine in 2008, they failed to fix the defects they knew were present, the families say.

The families seek punitive damages for negligence, recklessness, strict product liability, fraud, and breach of implied and express warranties.

They are represented by Cynthia Devers of the Philadelphia-based Wolk Law Firm.

NTSB Identification: CEN13FA364 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, June 21, 2013 in Waterford, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/10/2014
Aircraft: CESSNA 172M, registration: N9926Q
Injuries: 4 Fatal.

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.

Air traffic control tower personnel saw the airplane lift off the runway and attain an altitude of about 100 feet. A pilot approaching the runway for landing saw the airplane lift off and noticed it was not climbing. He saw the airplane "lagging" and "wallowing in the air with flaps extended." Shortly after, the accident pilot advised an air traffic controller that he was "a little overweight" and would need to return to the airport and land. The air traffic controller cleared the airplane to land on the parallel runway or the grass area surrounding the runways. The pilot did not respond. Several witnesses near the airport, including the pilot in the landing airplane, saw the accident airplane impact the ground and burst into flames. A postaccident examination revealed that the wing flaps were fully extended (40 degrees). Weight and balance calculations indicated the airplane was slightly under maximum gross weight. Postaccident examinations revealed no evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. 

The pilot received his private pilot certificate almost 2 months before the accident and had flown a Cirrus SR20 almost exclusively. He reportedly had flown the Cessna 172, the accident airplane make and model, for a few hours, but this report could not be confirmed. Cirrus SR20 takeoffs are normally made using 50 percent flaps, whereas Cessna 172M takeoffs are normally made with the flaps up. The pilot most likely configured the airplane incorrectly for takeoff and the airplane was unable to climb due to his lack of familiarity with the airplane make and model.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to retract the wing flaps before attempting to take off, due to his lack of familiarity with the airplane make and model, which prevented the airplane from maintaining adequate altitude for takeoff.


On June 21, 2013, about 1340 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172M, N9926Q, impacted terrain during takeoff at the Oakland County International Airport (KPTK), Waterford, Michigan. The pilot and three passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to and being operated by Flight 101, LLC, Waterford, Michigan, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed. The local flight was originating at the time of the accident. 

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the pilot of N9926Q contacted KPTK ground control at 1328 and requested taxi instructions for a visual flight rules (VFR) flight to the west. He indicated he had received the current Automatic Terminal Information Service (ATIS) information. At 1338, KPTK local control cleared N9926Q for takeoff on runway 09L from intersection M (Mike). Control tower personnel saw the airplane lift off the runway and attain an altitude of about 100 feet. Shortly thereafter, at 1340, the pilot advised that he was "a little overweight" and would need to return and land. He was cleared to land on runway 09R or on the grass area surrounding the runways. There was no reply. The airplane was seen to impact the ground. A post-crash fire ensued. 

There were several witnesses to the accident. One witness was working in a nearby hangar and heard an airplane having "engine trouble." He saw the airplane about 100 feet in the air and the engine was "spitting and sputtering." The airplane was crabbing about 30 degrees while flying straight in line with the runway. The engine became "quiet," then regained power and began "spitting and sputtering" again. The airplane then descended in a nose-down attitude, impacted the ground and spun around. 

Another witness, a pilot, was approaching runway 09L for landing. As he turned onto the base leg for runway 09L, N9926Q lifted off the runway. The pilot-witness noticed the airplane was not climbing as it should and it appeared the flaps were extended. As he turned onto final approach for landing, he saw the airplane "lagging" and "wallowing in the air with flaps extended." As he flared for landing, he heard the pilot of N9926Q tell the control tower that he was a little overweight and needed to return. The witness then saw the airplane about 100 to 200 feet in the air over the threshold of runway 27R, and its wings were "shaky." The left wing dipped and the airplane descended, struck the ground with its left wing, and pivoted 180 degrees. When the airplane struck the ground, a big divot of dirt was thrown into the air. A fire ball erupted about 3 to 5 seconds after impact. 


The pilot, age 19, enrolled in Western Michigan University's (WMU) FAA-approved 49 Code of Federal Regulations Part 141 flight school on August 28, 2012, flying the Cirrus SR20 exclusively. He received his private pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine land rating on May 2, 2013. He held a first class airman medical certificate, dated October 9, 2012, with the limitation that he must wear corrective lenses while exercising the privileges of his pilot certificate. He had recently been accepted as a midshipman at the United States Naval Academy. The accident occurred a little more than a month after he received his pilot's certificate. 

The pilot's logbook was never located. According to the FAA and WMU training records, when the pilot took his private pilot practical test on May 2, 2013, he had logged 52.3 hours total time, of which 42.2 hours were dual instruction. The pilot had reportedly flown a Cessna 172 for a few hours when he was in Florida, but this report could not be substantiated. 


N9926Q, serial number 17265870, was manufactured by the Cessna Aircraft Corporation in 1976. It was powered by a Lycoming O-320-E2D engine, serial number L-40946-27A, rated at 150 horsepower, driving a McCauley 2-blade, all-metal, fixed pitch propeller (model DTM7553, serial number 728396). 

According to the aircraft maintenance records, the last annual and 100-hour inspections were done on May 23, 2013, at a tachometer time of 3,467.3 hours. At that time, the airframe and engine had accrued 17,949.3 hours and 13,016.8 hours, respectively, and 2,352.8 hours had elapsed since the last engine major overhaul. At the accident site, the tachometer read 3,539.5 hours. 


The following weather observations were recorded by KPTK's Automated Surface Observing Station (ASOS) at 1321: 

Wind, 130 degrees at 6 knots; visibility, 10 statute miles; sky condition, 9,000 feet scattered, ceiling, 15,000 feet broken, 25,000 feet overcast; temperature, 28 degrees Celsius (C.); dew point, 17 degrees C.; altimeter, 30.17 inches of mercury. 


Oakland County International Airport (KPTK) is located in Waterford, Michigan, about 5 miles west of Pontiac, Michigan. It is situated at an elevation of 981 feet msl (mean sea level), and is served by 3 runways: 09R-27L, 09L-27R, and 18-36. At the time of the accident, N9926Q was taking off on runway 09L-27R (5,676 feet x 100 feet, asphalt, porous friction course overlay). 


N9926Q started its takeoff roll on runway 09L from intersection M (5,320 feet of runway available). The airplane impacted terrain slightly to the left and just past the departure end of the runway at a location of 42 degrees, 40.035' north latitude and 83 degrees, 24.742' west longitude. 

The on-scene investigation revealed the airplane impacted terrain in a nose-low, left wing-low attitude. There was a ground scar, measuring 7 feet long and 4 feet wide and aligned on a magnetic heading of 060 degrees, extending from the initial impact point to the wreckage. Upon impact, the airplane rotated approximately 180 degrees, coming to rest on a magnetic heading of 300 degrees. The cockpit area was consumed by post-impact fire. The airplane was equipped with seat belts and shoulder harnesses, but the webbing had been burned away. 

The propeller blades bore chordwise and spanwise scratches on the camber surfaces. One blade had separated at mid-point. The separated piece was found in the impact crater, and was bent 90 degrees forward. The other blade bore a slight S-bend along its length. 

The flap handle was burned away. The flap gage registered 0 degrees, but it had been burned and the needle was free to move. The wings flaps were full down. The flap actuator measured approximately 5.8 inches, which equated to flaps fully extended (40 degrees). The elevator trim tab measured between 0 and 5 degrees tab up. 

After cleaning off the soot from the instrument glass, the airspeed indicator registered 0 KIAS (knots indicated airspeed), and the heading indicator was aligned with 245 degrees. The vertical speed indicator was unreadable. The altimeter read 2,660 feet, and the Kollsman window was set to 30.15 inches of mercury. The tachometer read 0 rpm and the recorder read 3,539.5 hours. The master switch was on, and the magnetos were on BOTH although the key was broken off. The fuel selector handle was separated from the fuel selector valve. The valve was not located. The emergency locator transmitter (ELT) activated on impact and was turned off by first responders. Control continuity was established. 

There was no evidence of pre-impact airframe, power plant, or propeller malfunction or failure. 


According to the autopsy report, the pilot's death was attributed to thermal injuries. Specks of soot were found in the trachea. The only significant injury found was a closed fracture of the left ankle. 

The Oakland County toxicology report found less than 1% carboxyhemoglobin saturation. Toxicological screening performed by FAA's Civil Aerospace Medical Institute CAMI) revealed no carbon monoxide in blood and no ethanol in vitreous. Cyanide tests were not performed. Urine analysis detected 33.8 (ug/ml, ug/g) salicylate (aspirin). 


Security Camera Footage 

Two videos from airport security cameras were sent to NTSB's Vehicle Recorder Division. The airplane can be seen taking off from runway 09L, climbing to about 150 feet, and then descending to the ground in a left wing-low attitude. A plume of smoke appears shortly thereafter. 

Weight and Balance 

Weight and balance calculations were performed by Cessna's technical representative, to wit: 

Empty weight (dated July 15, 2005) 1,471.5 pounds 
Occupants (from medical certificate and Michigan drivers licenses) 683 
Estimated fuel on board * __144________ 
Estimated gross weight 2,298.5 pounds 
Maximum allowable gross weight 2,300 pounds 

*The airplane had previously been fueled to capacity. Another renter-pilot flew the airplane for about two hours prior to the accident. 


The majority of the pilot's flight experience was in the Cirrus SR20. Both the Cirrus SR20 and Cessna 172M wing flaps are electrically operated. The Cirrus wing flap switch is directly in front of the throttle control and has three position detents: UP (0 per cent), 50 per cent, and 100 per cent. Setting the switch to the desired position causes the flaps to extend or retract to the appropriate setting. An indicator light at each control switch position illuminates when the flaps reach the selected position. The UP (0 per cent) light is green and the 50 per cent and 100 per cent lights are yellow. The Cessna 172M employs a spring-loaded switch that must be held down or up until the desired flap setting is attained as indicated by the flap gage with markings at 0 degrees, 10 degrees, 20 degrees, 30 degrees, and 40 degrees. 

The Western Michigan University Cirrus SR20 preflight checklist requires the pilot to begin his preflight inspection with the flaps set at 0. The pilot then places the flaps at 50 per cent and 100 per cent, checking for proper annunciator light illumination. The Cessna 172M preflight checklist in the Pilot's Operating Handbook does not require the extension of the flaps for preflight inspection. Cirrus SR20 takeoffs are normally made using 50 per cent flaps. Takeoffs in the Cessna 172M are normally made with the flaps up.

The stepbrother of the pilot who crashed a plane at Oakland County International Airport last June is suing a Waterford flight school and his stepbrother’s estate.

Steven James Haley, son of James Ray Haley, filed the lawsuit in Oakland County Circuit Court Feb. 10. Judge Martha Anderson is assigned to the case.

The plane, a rented Cessna 172 private, single-engine aircraft, crashed at 1:40 p.m. June 21, 2013 in a field at the airport’s north end. The crash killed four people -- the pilot Troy Brothers of Fraser. his 53-year-old mother Sandra Haley, 58-year-old stepfather James Haley, and 34-year-old cousin Jamie Jose.

Sandra Haley, who was in the backseat of the plane, was transported by ambulance from the scene and pronounced dead at a Pontiac hospital. The three men died on impact.

Federal investigators later determined the plane was overweight and that its flaps were not set correctly.

Staff at Flight 101 reached Friday Feb. 14 said the company had no comment on the case.

In the lawsuit, Steven Haley is listed as the personal representative for his father’s estate, in Macomb County Probate Court.

The lawsuit states Flight 101 LLC is a Michigan company that provides aircraft rental services at Oakland County International Airport in Waterford.

On June 21, 1013, Flight 101 LLC entered into a rental agreement with Troy Brothers and rented Brothers a Cessna CE172M, according to the lawsuit. It was understood Brothers would be flying the aircraft on that day. Brothers would be taking three passengers, including James Ray Haley, the lawsuit continues.

“At or about 1:40 p.m., Brothers requested taxi instruction for visual flight rules. Prior to the flight, no flight plan had been filed and no pre-flight checklist was accomplished,” the lawsuit reads.
The plane was cleared for takeoff on runway 09L, and lifted off, attaining an altitude of about 100 feet, according to the lawsuit.

“Shortly thereafter the pilot advised he was ‘a little overweight’ and would need to return and land.
The plane was then seen impacting the ground and a fire ensued with all occupants dying in the crash.
Brothers, said the lawsuit, conducted the takeoff with flaps extended. “As a consequence...the airplane experienced increased drag and lack of thrust.”

The lawsuit states that Flight 101 LLC is liable for the negligent acts of Brothers by virtue of their expressed or implied consent to his operation of the aircraft pursuant to Michigan Complied Laws, 259.180a et al.

The lawsuit states the flight school should have conducted a pre-flight checklist inspection of the aircraft including operation of the flaps, and that there was negligence related to the weight of the plane.

Because of the negligence, the lawsuit states that Steven Haley claims damages under the Wrongful Death Act including loss of companionship, pain and suffering, loss of parental guidance and support. The damages claimed exceed $25,000.

 Troy Brothers, his mother, Sandra Haley and his stepfather, James Haley

  Troy Brothers

   Troy Brothers

Jamie Jose
Courtesy of Northfield Township Fire Department

Jamie Jose

Jamie Jose

Pontiac— The son of one of four people killed in a June 21 airplane crash is suing the estate of the dead pilot — also his stepbrother — and the plane’s owner, Flight 101, for negligence. 

Steven James Haley, acting as the personal representative of the estate of James Ray Haley, is suing Flight 101 and the estate of Troy Michael Brothers, the 19-year-old pilot, alleging both had a duty to assure Brothers had experience in the aircraft. James Ray Haley is survived by two sons, Steven and James Jr., both of Warren.

The Oakland Circuit Court wrongful death lawsuit notes Brothers had obtained his pilot’s license at Western Michigan University just weeks before the crash. The family had recently celebrated the license certification and also Brothers’ acceptance to the U.S. Naval Academy. The young pilot rented the Cessna aircraft at Oakland International Airport in Waterford Township to take relatives, including his stepfather, out for a brief flight.

The elder Haley, 58, a successful Macomb County real estate broker, married Brothers’s mother, Sandra Haley, 53, six years prior. She and another relative, Jamie Jose, 34, a South Lyon Township firefighter, also perished on the ill-fated flight.

“It was a tragic event and these are always made sadder when family has to take legal action against family,” said attorney David W. Christensen, who filed the complaint. “But we are following the facts and the law. Actions have consequences.”

The lawsuit alleges both Brothers and Flight 101 never conducted a pre-flight checklist inspection of the aircraft which would have included operation of wing flaps which should have been up or retracted prior to takeoff. The apparent oversight, subsequently taking off with the plane’s flaps still fully extended, caused a “lack of thrust or attaining altitude on takeoff,” according to the complaint.

That contention also squares with a probable cause report released Monday by the National Transportation Board, which investigates all plane accidents. The federal agency cited pilot error and his failure to retract the wing flaps.

Officials at Flight 101 were out of the country on Thursday and could not be reached for comment, according to an office employee.

According to NTSB records reviewed by The News, Oakland International control tower personnel saw the Cessna lift off the runway and attain an altitude of about 100 feet when Brothers radioed back he was “a little overweight” and would need to return and land.

Brothers was then cleared on a runway or adjacent grass area but “there was no reply,” according to the NTSB report. The airplane could be heard “spittering and sputtering” by witnesses on the ground and crashed and caught fire within five seconds.

A logbook kept by pilots was never located nor was a flight plan filed, according to the lawsuit.

Brothers had reportedly logged more than 52 hours including dual instruction to obtain his license, primarily flying a Cirrus SR 20 single-engine aircraft. He had reportedly flown a Cessna 172 “for a few hours while he was in Florida,” according to an unsubstantiated NTSB report.

Investigators found no mechanical problems with the aircraft which had been flown just hours earlier. The Cessna has a maximum allowable gross weight of 2,300 pounds and with the four deceased, had an estimated gross weight of 2,298.5 pounds.

In an interview with investigators, another pilot, Mark Ebben, said he was landing his own aircraft and noticed Brothers’ Cessna taking off and then attempting to return to the airport because he was overweight.

“While continuing my final (approach) I looked again down the runway and saw him just wallowing in the air with flaps extended ... I could not believe what I was witnessing. Very shortly then, the left wing dipped, the aircraft fell out of the sky hitting left wing 1st then pivoting 180 degrees with a big divot of dirt thrown up in the air.”

The lawsuit, which seeks more than $25,000 in damages, is assigned to Judge Martha D. Anderson.

Retail giant Amazon faces HazMat fine over paint shipment

By:  HazMat Management

Online mega-retailer Amazon is facing a fine from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) after its shipping center in Las Vegas allegedly shipped paint that leaked through its box.

The FAA alleges that on August 29, 2013, Amazon Fulfillment Services shipped a quart of high-gloss enamel paint on a FedEx Corp. aircraft from Lexington, Kentucky, to Corpus Christi, Texas. If true, the shipment would have been in violation of U.S. Department of Transportation Hazardous Materials Regulations.

The FAA is proposing a fine of $78,000.

The box also contained no hazardous material inner packing, such as inserts or absorbent materials.

Amazon Fulfillment Services has 30 days from the receipt of the FAA's enforcement letter to respond to the agency.


Ercoupe 415-C, N2076H: Accident occurred January 20, 2014 in Poulsbo, Washington

NTSB Identification: WPR14LA100
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, January 20, 2014 in Poulsbo, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/08/2015
Aircraft: ERCOUPE 415 C, registration: N2076H
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

During the approach for an attempted forced landing into a clearing, the airplane struck trees and then collided with the ground in a nose-down attitude. The pilot sustained serious injuries during the impact but was able to call 911 on his cell phone. He subsequently died from complications related to his injuries about 2 weeks later. Postaccident examination revealed that the engine oil filler cap had not been secured. The oil filler neck and cap were intact and undamaged. Due to the engine’s design, the engine oil filler cap was located at a low point on the engine; therefore, failure to secure the cap would have resulted in a rapid expulsion of engine oil and a subsequent engine seizure. Engine examination found damage consistent with oil exhaustion and engine seizure, and the aft section of the engine compartment was coated with oil, which extended out of the cowling and onto the airplane’s belly. The pilot was operating without a valid medical certificate; the Federal Aviation Administration had denied his medical application 3 years before the accident due to a diagnosis of myelodysplastic syndrome. Although no evidence was found indicating that this medical condition was casual to the accident, it likely contributed to the pilot’s death because it hindered his recovery from otherwise nonlife-threatening injuries.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to confirm that the engine oil filler cap was secured before flight, which resulted in oil exhaustion and a subsequent total loss of engine power during cruise flight.


On January 20, 2014, about 1540 Pacific standard time, an Ercoupe 415 C, N2076H, collided with trees near Poulsbo, Washington, following a loss of engine power. The airplane was registered to, and operated by, the commercial pilot/owner under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The pilot died 16 days later due to complications from injuries incurred during the accident. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the forward fuselage and both wings. The local flight departed Auburn Municipal Airport, Auburn, Washington, about 1440. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

The Kitsap County Central Communications Center received a 911 call from the pilot about 1545, stating that he had been involved in an airplane accident. Emergency response personnel responded to the accident site, and located the pilot, who was seated outside and adjacent to the airplane. Due to the nature of his injuries, he could not recall the circumstances of the accident, and reported only that he had left Auburn earlier in the day.

The airplane came to rest inverted, and was located at the edge of a clearing, bound by 50-foot-tall trees. It sustained crush damage to the upper fuselage from the firewall through to the aft cabin. The right wing remained attached to the fuselage; the left wing sustained leading edge crush damage and was folded aft about 45 degrees. The airplane's belly was coated in a layer of brown-colored oil that extended from the louvered lower lip of the engine cowling, through to the tailcone.

Examination revealed that the combination engine oil filler cap/dipstick was not installed in the filler neck. The cap was subsequently located loose within the engine compartment, against the cowling. The cap appeared undamaged, with both its gasket and locking tabs in place. The filler neck remained attached to the engine sump, and its locking lugs were intact. The aft section of the engine compartment was coated in oil, which continued along the lower firewall, and out of the left side of the cowling and onto the airplane's belly. The oil coating was in an area that was obscured from the pilot's view while in flight.


The 70-year-old-pilot held a certified flight instructor certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, and instrument airplane. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued in August 2008, with limitations that he must have glasses available for near vision.

No personal flight records were located for the pilot; however, at the time of his last medical application he reported a total flight experience of 1,837 hours with 28 logged in the last 6 months.


FAA Medical History

The pilot first obtained a third-class aviation medical certificate in 1964, and routinely renewed it in the second or third class with the only limitation being the need to wear corrective lenses. In 1998 he reported a diagnosis of hypertension, which was being treated with blood pressure medication. Subsequent to that, the Aviation Medical Examiner (AME), who was also the pilot's treating physician, issued him a third-class medical certificate, which was confirmed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The pilot continued to report his hypertension and its treatment, and continued to receive third-class medical certificates.

In 2006 and 2008, the pilot reported additional medications for the treatment of high cholesterol, and was awarded a third-class medical certificate on both occasions.

In August 2010, the pilot applied for another third-class medical certificate and continued to report hypertension. In addition, he reported "low platelet count, no symptoms"; the AME noted the low platelet count was the result of myelodysplastic syndrome and deferred the certification decision to the FAA. In September 2010, the FAA asked for additional information regarding the condition, along with records regarding the diagnosis and care. The pilot was referred to a hematologist and further testing was performed. After it assessed the results, the FAA, in October 2010, denied the pilot a medical certificate because of his myelodysplastic syndrome and low platelet count.

The FAA medical certification file contained a letter from the pilot to the FAA requesting reconsideration. In the letter, the pilot stated "Although I have flight instructor and commercial pilots licenses, I no longer give any instruction and of course since I am requesting a third-class medical, I do no commercial flying. I have over 1,800 hours and own part of a Beechcraft Bonanza, which I only fly for the pleasure of it." He went on to say, "I have no symptoms of anything wrong with me. I exercise daily and eat a balanced diet. If not for the blood tests I would consider myself to be the picture of health."

The pilot included a letter from his hematology/oncologist that described his condition and stated that the pilot "should be competent as a recreational pilot."

The FAA responded on November 22, 2010, that the pilot's request for reconsideration was denied, and asked that if the pilot again requested a reconsideration he supply evidence that his platelet count had improved. There were no further documents in the FAA medical certification file.

Postaccident Hospital Admission

Following the accident, the pilot was transported by helicopter to a nearby Level I Trauma Center. There he was diagnosed with pulmonary contusions and multiple rib fractures. He quickly developed worsening shortness of breath and was placed on a ventilator in the emergency department. Over the next 2 weeks, his bone marrow function worsened and transfusions of multiple types of blood products were required. He developed acute respiratory distress syndrome, his kidneys failed, and he had multiple infections. He died 16 days after the accident.


Toxicology testing was performed by the FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI) on blood obtained from the pilot during the first portion of his hospital stay. Results identified Amlodipine, Midazolam, and Ondansetron in blood. According to the emergency department medical records, Midazolam and Ondansetron were administered as part of the pilot's initial resuscitation efforts. According to CAMI, Amlodipine is a calcium channel blocker heart medication used in the treatment of hypertension.


Engine Examination

The four-cylinder normally aspirated engine was manufactured by Continental Engines. It was equipped with a 4-quart oil sump located at the bottom of the crankcase. The oil filler neck protruded from the sump to a level just below the cylinder heads.

The engine was examined and disassembled by an Aircraft Mechanic following recovery. The mechanic reported that the engine had completely seized, and exhibited damage consistent with oil exhaustion. He found fragments of metallic components in the crankcase, and reported that the camshaft, along with the connecting rod for cylinder No.1, had failed.

GPS Receiver

The airplane was equipped with a Garmin GPSMap 295 GPS receiver. The unit was not damaged, and contained track data for the entire flight leading to the accident. The data revealed that the airplane departed Auburn Airport and flew directly west across Commencement Bay, just north of Tacoma. It then turned to the north, climbed to 2,300 ft msl, and flew directly to Jefferson County International Airport, Port Townsend, Washington. The pilot performed a touch-and-go landing at 1521, and on climbout initiated a left turn to the south towards Poulsbo. The airplane reached Poulsbo at 1538, and then began to descend from 1,759 ft, and reached an altitude of 876 ft about 80 seconds later. Over the next 30 seconds, the airplane made a descending 180-degree left turn to the last recorded position, at an elevation of 374 ft.

The airplane was located at an elevation of 374 ft, just north of the last recorded track position. The airplane struck the top of trees prior to reaching the clearing.

Kent O. Curtiss

Kent O. Curtiss August 1, 1943 - February 7, 2014 

Kent O. Curtiss, 70, of Kent, Washington, passed away peacefully with loved ones by his side on February 7th, 2014. Kent was born in Edmore, Michigan, August 1, 1943 to Glenn and Lucie Curtiss and lived his early life in Winn, Michigan. 

 As a young man, Kent enjoyed playing hockey with the Winn Rockets. He also played football and baseball at Shepherd High School and went on to play a year of college football at Central Michigan University. He graduated from CMU with a degree in Math and Physics.

Kent met Diana (Stricker from Laurel, Montana) while serving in the Air Force at Rapid City, South Dakota and they were married in 1967.

Kent and Diana lived in Michigan where their daughter was born, then moved to Minnesota where their son was born. The family moved to Oklahoma before moving to Renton/Kent area where they have lived since 1978. Kent was a Computer Systems Analyst at Boeing until his retirement in 2000.

In 1963, Kent received his single engine private pilot license and began his lifelong passion for flying. In the 1970’s he went on to earn his single engine commercial and flight instructor ratings and in the 1980’s his instrument rating. Wherever he lived, he became a member of an airplane partnership. His family and friends enjoyed many cross country adventures with Kent. Highlights included his flights to Cayman Islands, Alaska and Oshkosh with close pilot friends. His skill was admired.

Kent enjoyed flying, genealogy, family vacations to Florida, Michigan and Montana, providing tours for visiting family, sports, debating politics and telling stories. Kent is survived by his wife Diana, daughter Julie Johnas (Craig), grandson Jayden Johnas, son Steven (Elizabeth), granddaughter Reina and step-granddaughter Isabelle. He is preceded in death by his brother, Thomas. Kent is survived by his sister, Mary Ruth Williamson and brother, Leland (Harriet).

He had a generous spirit, kind nature and huge heart. He will be dearly missed by all who knew him.

A memorial celebrating Kent’s life will be held March 1st, 2pm at Edline-Yahn & Covington Funeral Chapel, 27221 156th Ave SE, Kent, WA 98042.

Kent will be interred at Tahoma National Cemetery at a later date with a private family gathering.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations made to Angel Flight West - or Seattle Cancer Care Alliance - 


NTSB Identification: WPR14LA100
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, January 20, 2014 in Poulsbo, WA
Aircraft: ERCOUPE 415 C, registration: N2076H
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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 20, 2014, about 1540 Pacific standard time, an Ercoupe 415 C, N2076H, collided with trees near Poulsbo, Washington, under unknown circumstances. The airplane was registered to, and operated by, the owner under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The commercial pilot sustained serious injuries. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the forward fuselage and both wings. The local flight departed Auburn Municipal Airport, Auburn, Washington, at an unknown time. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

The Kitsap County Central Communications Center received a 911 call from the pilot about 1545, stating that he had been involved in an airplane accident. Emergency response personnel responded to the accident site, and located the pilot outside of the airplane sitting by the cabin window. Due to the nature of his injuries, he could not recall the circumstances of the accident, reporting only that he had left Auburn earlier in the day.

The airplane came to rest inverted, and was located within a small clearing, surrounded in all directions by 50-foot-tall trees. It sustained crush damage to the upper fuselage from the firewall through to the tailcone forward bulkhead. The right wing remained attached at the root; the left wing sustained leading edge crush damage and was folded back about 45 degrees. The airplane's belly was coated in a layer of brown-colored oil from the louvered lower lip of the engine cowling, through to the tailcone.

Mustafa Momoun Bazbaz: Commercial Airline Pilot Accused of Taking 15-Year-Old Jefferson County Girl Across State Lines For Sex

WHEELING, W.Va. – A commercial airline pilot has been arrested on a federal charge of travelling across state lines in order to have sex with a minor female.

United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II announced today that MUSTAFA Momoun Bazbaz, 28, of Oakdale, Pa., was arrested and charged with “Travel with Intent to Engage in Illicit Sexual Conduct.” 

BAZBAZ is presently in custody and is being held at the West Virginia Northern Regional Jail pending a detention hearing. 

According to Ihlenfeld, BAZBAZ began communicating with a 15-year old female from Jefferson County, Ohio, in December of 2013 via the website known as

It is alleged that BAZBAZ misrepresented his age and name to the victim, claiming to be 17 years old and to be named “Mike B.”

It also alleged that BAZBAZ sent sexually explicit images of himself to the victim before arranging to pick up the victim near her home in Jefferson County in December of 2013.

The complaint asserts that BAZBAZ then took the victim to a hotel room in Hancock County where he engaged in sexual intercourse with her. 

The matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department. 

This prosecution of the case is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Robert H. McWilliams, Jr.

BAZBAZ faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant. 

The charge is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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WHEELING -A commercial airline pilot has been arrested on a federal charge of traveling across state lines in order to have sex with a 15-year-old Jefferson County girl. 

 U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld said Wednesday that Mustafa Momoun Bazbaz, 28, of Oakdale, Pa., was arrested and charged with travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct.

Ihlenfeld said Bazbaz began communicating with the teen in December of 2013 via an Internet website. It is alleged that Bazbaz misrepresented his age and name to the victim, claiming to be a 17 year old boy named "Mike B."

The complaint alleges that Bazbaz sent sexually explicit images of himself to the victim before arranging to pick her up near her home in December of 2013. The complaint asserts that Bazbaz then took the victim to a hotel room in Hancock County where he engaged in sexual intercourse with her.

The matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Hancock County Sheriff's Department.

This prosecution of the case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert H. McWilliams Jr.

Ihlenfeld said Bazbaz faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted. Under the federal sentencing guidelines the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant. The charge is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Bazbas is being held at the West Virginia Northern Regional Jail at Moundsville pending a detention hearing.

Cessna 150G, N3882J - Incident occurred February 13, 2014 near Galion Municipal Airport (KGQQ), Ohio

A single engine plane had a rough landing in a field near the Galion Municipal Airport Thursday.

Lt. Chad Enderby with the Mansfield Post of the State Highway Patrol said the crash occurred at 11:30 a.m. He said pilot Streeter Clow had just taken off from the airport when the plane apparently lost engine power. 

Enderby said the pilot attempted to land the plane in a field but hit a snow bank.

The pilot and his passenger were not injured. 

Clow says he has flown this plane hundreds of times without incident. 

 The Federal Aviation Administration will come to inspect it, then Clow says it would be towed back to the airport to be assessed for any damage.

 A single engine plane crashed while landing in a field near the Galion Municipal Airport Thursday.

Lt. Chad Enderby with the Mansfield Post of the State Highway Patrol said the crash occurred at 11:30 a.m.

He said the pilot had just taken off from the airport when the plane apparently lost engine power. Enderby said the pilot attempted to land the plane in a field but hit a snow bank.

The pilot was not injured in the crash.

NekNominate reaches dangerous new heights

NekNominate reaches dangerous new heights: Student downs pint mid-flight with hands on controls of small aircraft
  •  Thorfinn Stout, 21, was in the front seat of a light aircraft
  •  He had one hand on the control column and the other on a pint
  •  It is not clear who filmed the Stirling University student
  •  But aviation experts have warned he could be flouting air rules

A student has taken the NekNominate craze for dangerous dares to new heights by downing a pint in the cockpit of a plane.

Thorfinn Stout, 21, uploaded a video of himself in the front seat of a light aircraft with one hand on the control column and the other holding what appears to be a pint of lager.

It is not clear who filmed the Stirling University student, originally from Kirkwall, Orkney, while he was carrying out the stunt.

But Civil Aviation Authority rules make it clear that it is illegal for a passenger to be drunk aboard an aircraft. Mr Stout was a passenger rather than co-pilot and there is nothing to suggest he is intoxicated.

The head of one Scottish flying school said they banned all alcohol in their light aircraft because they 'do not mix'.

Mr Stout, who is reading business studies and sports studies, is heard in the video saying: 'Ready for a pint.'

As Mr Stout downs the pint in one, his hands are on the controls of the plane in front of him.

After posting it on his Facebook page, a friend called Andy Croy wrote: 'Haha quality mate. Reports of a small aircraft swerving over Kirkwall can be confirmed then.'

A CAA leaflet on passenger safety in light aircraft states that pilots should 'not take passengers who are under the influence of alcohol (or anything worse)'.

It adds: 'They could hazard the flight. Drunkenness in an aircraft is an offence under ANO 2009 Article 139.'

Jack Simpson, an instructor at Edinburgh Flying Club, said that it would be 'inadvisable' to let passengers on board a light aircraft drink any alcohol.

Mr Simpson said: 'Alcohol and planes do not mix. If it is a passenger drinking it is not illegal but it is inadvisable. It's up to the pilot, but it is absolutely not advisable.

'We wouldn't allow anyone to take alcohol on the plane at all. We have a line that says there should be at least eight hours between the bottle and the throttle.'

A spokesman for the Civil Aviation Authority said: 'Although passengers are not prohibited from drinking alcohol onboard an aircraft, they are legally obliged to follow the instructions of the pilot in command at all times.

'If a passenger's actions interfere with the pilot's control of the aircraft, they can be charged with recklessly endangering that aircraft, an offence taken very seriously by the courts, and which carries with it the possibility of a custodial sentence.'

Mr Stout could not be contacted for comment.

His mother, Anne Stout, from Kirkwall, said that her son was not the co-pilot, but did not wish to comment any further.

In another NekNominate video, 29-year-old Samuel Dyer, from Haverfordwest, West Wales, was filmed risking his life to complete a dare.

In these pictures he can be seen jumping off a cliff into rough seas while downing an alcoholic drink before being pushed under water by strong waves.

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Frederick Municipal Airport (KFDK) Maryland

Airport runway numbering system

Please allow me to clarify a misstatement in the recent news story headlined “Commission considers changes to runway expansion plan” in the Tuesday, Feb. 11, Frederick News-Post. “Runways 5 and 23” are actually one runway. It is called “Runway 5/23” because it is aligned in a northeast/southwest direction. Or, more exactly, it faces 051 degrees and 231 degrees on the magnetic compass.

Further, only one of these two runways is used at any given time. Airplanes do not use one for takeoff and one for landing. Airplanes typically take off and land into the wind, so if Runway 23 is being used for takeoff, it would also be used for landing.

The prevailing wind direction for most of the year is from the southwest, hence Runway 23 is the most commonly used runway at Frederick Municipal Airport. In the winter months, rather strong winds from the northwest are a common occurrence. Thus, Runway 30 is frequently the runway that is most aligned with the wind in the winter.



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BASE jump from gondola at Whistler Blackcomb investigated by police


 Police are investigating after an illegal base jumper allegedly pried open the doors of a Whistler Blackcomb gondola cabin and jumped nearly 1,500 feet with a GoPro strapped to his helmet, causing thousands of dollars of damage in the process. 

The GoPro footage surfaced Tuesday on YouTube as an unlisted clip.

The 4:19-minute clip shows a man and a woman inside a gondola cabin on Whistler Blackcomb’s Peak 2 Peak line. The doors to the cabin can be seen propped and held open forcibly by a metal bar.

The base jumper, whose face is shown only at the end of the video, can be heard checking to make sure his GoPro is filming before exiting the cabin doors and leaping towards Fitzsimons Creek approximately 1,427 feet below.

“I did it! For you, McConkey,” the man can be heard yelling part way through his descent before landing safely in a snow patch.

Shane McConkey, a Vancouver-born professional base jumper and skier, performed a similar stunt in 2008 for a sanctioned event celebrating the opening of the Peak 2 Peak line. McConkey died at age 39 while attempting a stunt in Italy in March 2009.

Base jumpers use a parachute to slow their descents from tall buildings or other heights.

Whistler Blackcomb spokeswoman Michelle Leroux confirmed the incident captured on video took place on Feb. 6 around 3:45 p.m.

“A Whistler Blackcomb patroller and RCMP travelled to the landing zone with the intent to arrest the individual, who was not apprehended despite an extensive search,” she told The Province.

When the cabin arrived at the station, Leroux said, it was taken off the line and inspections showed both the doors and locking mechanisms had been damaged.

“Safety systems prevent the doors from opening on their own,” Leroux explained. “Brute force and mechanical advantage [were] used to open the doors while the gondola was in motion.”

The estimated cost of repairing the doors and locking mechanisms is approximately $10,000.

The woman pictured in the video remained in the gondola cabin and was met by staff when it arrived at the station. She was escorted off the mountain and later questioned by RCMP.

Leroux said the resort is taking measures to prevent copycats.

“At this time, we are not able to disclose what those measures may be, but we are taking this incident very seriously and we will take all action necessary to ensure the safety of our lift systems, and ultimately our guests,” she said.

Leroux also confirmed that the jump caught on video was not the only attempt made. Comments posted to the YouTube video indicated the man in the video had made previous unsuccessful attempts at a base jump from the Peak 2 Peak line.

“Upon further inspection, we did identify damage to the doors of two other cabins that would be consistent with someone trying to pry them open,” Leroux said. “These attempts were not able to overcome the internal locking mechanisms and the integrity of the locks [was] maintained.”

Resort staff are working with the RCMP to press charges against the man responsible for the damages. The stunt caught on camera could bring charges of mischief over $5,000.

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Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport (KPKB), Parkersburg, West Virginia

MOV Regional Airport opens new eatery 

Photo by Jolene Craig 
The menu at Wings is filled with homecooking, daily specials and a variety of desserts.


WILLIAMSTOWN - A warm, homecooked meal is now waiting for everyone at Wings at the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport with the opening of the new restaurant. 

Following months of being empty, the restaurant, which looks out on the airport's runway, opened Feb. 3 and immediately had customers, said co-owner Francis Winemiller.

"We had a pretty busy Monday, even with the snow and by Wednesday it was very busy," said Winemiller.

Winemiller and partner Mary Browning, both of whom worked together at the local Omelet Shop, decided to open their own eatery in the airport after one of the facility's maintenance employees urged them to try their own business.

"Roger (Haynes) was eating at the other restaurant and told us we should come up to the airport," Winemiller added.

"I had owned two restaurants down South - one each in North and South Carolina - and had thought about opening my own here," said Browning. "We are really happy to be at the airport."

Following a couple of months of discussions with airport manager Jeff McDougle and the family of a former tenant about equipment in the restaurant, Browning and Winemiller opened Wings in the hopes of serving not only travelers but also local members of the community.

"We serve homecooked comfort food," Winemiller said. "We want people to come here and enjoy the food and company."

Along with a menu and specials made up of homecooked meals that include items such as baked steak and turkey and stuffing, Browning and Winemiller also brought in Liz Steele to make desserts.

"People who ate up here when it was owned by Mary and Helen had the restaurant will be happy to know Liz is back and making pies and cakes," Winemiller said. "Her pies are really the best and we plan to have a lot to choose from."

Airport manager Jeff McDougle said he is pleased to see people already having meals in the restaurant after it had been closed for several months.

"It is nice to see people in there and enjoying a meal again," McDougle said. "Since there have been a nice number of people who came in during the week, I can only imagine how Sunday will be."

Browning, Winemiller and McDougle believe Sundays will be busy.

"When Mary's was open people from the community had their after church meal here every week," said McDougle.

Browning said the restaurant received phone calls on Monday asking about hours and wanting to make arrangements for groups on Sunday.

"We've already had several people call to set aside tables for 20 or more people after church services," Browning said. "It's exciting to see people are happy to have us open."

Browning and Winemiller have a two-year lease with the airport and responsibility to keep the restaurant and the two attached bar area and snack areas clean.

Before the opening of Wings, the airport spruced up the space with a fresh coat of paint and new carpet.

"These ladies seem to know what they are doing and the customers have already started to enjoy what they offer, so I hope this is as good a fit as it appears to be," McDougle said.

The restaurant facility had been empty since Oct. 16 last year when the previous tenant closed because of a lack of business.

Before that, Mary's Plane View Restaurant, owned and operated by longtime restaurateur Mary James, had been in the terminal location for more than 20 years.

James retired in September 2012 when her lease ended and Tracy Pettit started her own restaurant there at the time.

"We hope we are here as long, or longer, than Mary's," Winemiller said. "We expect Wings to be open for a very long time."

Fact Box

At A Glance

  • Wings at the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport is open 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week. 
  • Owners Mary Browning and Francis Winemiller each have more than a decade of experience in the restaurant business and look forward to serving locals and travelers. 
  • Airport manager Jeff McDougle said he is pleased with the public's response to the new restaurant and expects to see a lot of people enjoy meals there.
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Altoona-Blair County Airport (KAOO), Martinsburg, Pennsylvania

Airport open to leasing restaurant

MARTINSBURG - With an idle kitchen and dining room on the second floor of the Altoona-Blair County Airport terminal building, the airport authority is wondering if anyone is interested in leasing the facility for parties or weddings.

With a need to bring in more revenue, the airport authority pondered the option while brainstorming Monday night during its monthly meeting.

Maybe an event planner would be interested in arranging use of the facility, airport authority Vice Chairman Gary Orner suggested.

"I've tried every avenue I can think of," airport Manager Tim Hite said about his search for an airport restaurant operator.

The airport's former Kitty Hawk restaurant used to keep a daily schedule for airport passengers and local patrons. It closed in December 2011 when the owner/operator retired. It reopened temporarily in 2012.

While looking for restaurant operators, Hite said he explored what's involved in securing a liquor license for the facility because that could attract an operator. But Hite told the authority it would be 2015 before the liquor license question could be put on the ballot for voter approval in the otherwise dry municipality.

Hite also suggested subdividing the restaurant area into quarters that could be rented as office space.

While the authority made no commitment to any option, members indicated that they would be interested in any ideas that could generate revenue for the airport.

The airport currently leases some office space inside the terminal building. Last year, the county moved the Penn State Extension offices to the terminal building's second floor. Those offices had been at the county's Valley View Home, but the sale of the home forced the county to relocate those offices.

Hite said the extension office has made use of the restaurant's kitchen for 4-H activities.

Anyone interested in the option can contact Hite at the airport.