Monday, April 14, 2014

Eutaw Springs, South Carolina

Plane crashes upside down near Eutaw Springs 

EUTAW SPRINGS — A single-engine aircraft landed upside-down just a few yards shy of a nearby landing strip for radio controlled model planes Monday evening near Rocks Pond Road, just outside of Eutaw Springs.

“The pilot was standing by the plane when I got there,” said Eutawville Fire Department First Responder Ruby Adkins, the first emergency official to arrive on the scene.

“A man, who was a bystander, saw it crash and ran out and helped the pilot out of the airplane,” Adkins said.

“Everything was upright when I got here,” she said.

Orangeburg County Fire District Chief Operations Officer Teddy Wolfe said the pilot, described as a male in his 50s from Manning, “refused anything from any of us.” The man was the only person in the plane.

Wolfe said the crash is likely due to “mechanical problems” as the pilot told officials that the plane was “going around in circles” before it careened into a field just yards from the Rutledge International Airport landing strip, which is geared for much smaller planes.

Orangeburg County Emergency Services Director Billy Staley was also at the scene.

“I’m just glad he’s OK,” Staley said.

Staley said he will notify the Federal Aviation Administration of the incident.

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National Transportation Safety Board calls for paid balloon ride oversight: Companies would need letter of authorization

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. —A series of recent hot air balloon accidents has the National Transportation Safety Board proposing additional rules for all pilots charging a fee to take people for rides.

The recent string of accidents has the board urging the Federal Aviation Administration to toughen its rules for passenger-carrying flights.

The oversight would make paid balloon rides more in line with airplane and helicopter tour companies.

Companies would need a letter of authorization from the government under this form of oversight. Such a letter would address a proper pilot’s license, a safety aircraft and a safety briefing before leaving the ground.

Some feel the rule is invasive to the commercial side of ballooning as well as potentially to the recreational side.

Any action by the FAA is expected to take quite some time.

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Disaster in the Sky: Old Plane, Inexperienced Pilots—and No More Parachutes

A routine Air Force mission supporting the Afghan war turns tragic

Putting young, inexperienced pilots into a 50-year-old Air Force plane seems like a risky idea. Even riskier? Getting rid of crew’s parachutes to save money.

But that’s what the Air Force did last May 3, when it launched a mission to refuel U.S. warplanes over Afghanistan using a KC-135 Stratotanker delivered by Boeing to the Air Force on June 26, 1964. A problem with the plane’s flight-control system cascaded toward trouble after actions by what the Air Force has concluded was its inadequately-trained crew. In short order, the double-barreled dilemmas ripped the airplane’s tail off three miles above Kyrgyzstan’s Himalayan foothills. The plane quickly entered a steep dive, dooming all three aboard. 

Both pilots graduated from the Air Force Academy in 2008, shortly after the service decided it couldn’t afford to keep parachutes on KC-135s. “A lot of time, manpower and money goes into buying, maintaining and training to use parachutes,” the Air Force said in March 2008. “With the Air Force hungry for cost-saving efficiency under its Air Force for Smart Operations in the 21st Century Program, commonly known as AFSO 21, the parachutes were deemed obsolete.”   

Captain Mark Tyler Voss, 27, Captain Victoria Pinckney, 27, and Technical Sergeant Herman “Tre” Mackey III, 30, were the first airmen killed in a KC-135 crash since the Air Force stripped the parachutes from the planes. 

Given the violent end of their mission, the parachutes may not have made any difference, according to the official Air Force investigation into the crash. “The [accident investigation] board sort of concluded, informally, in talking among themselves, that even if there had been parachutes, there would have been no way for them in this particular case for them to be used,” Air Force Lieut. Colonel John Thomas, a spokesman for the service’s Air Mobility Command, said Monday.

Others aren’t so sure. “Deploying aircrews to a combat zone without parachutes is an unconscionable risk,” says Alan Diehl, who spent 18 years as an Air Force civilian investigating the safety of the service’s aircraft. “The airmen aboard this KC-135 would have had to don their chutes, jettison the cockpit bailout hatch, and dive overboard—all in a matter of seconds. But to take away the option just seems wrong.”

The aerial tanker arrived in Kyrgyzstan the day before the accident. Earlier flight-control problems had reportedly been fixed. Pilot Tyler, co-pilot Pinckney and, Mackey, the refueling boom operator, boarded the aircraft early that afternoon at the Pentagon’s transit hub at Manas, just outside Bishkek, the country’s capital. 

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Mason City Municipal (KMCW), Iowa: Future airport flights still on hold

MASON CITY | The Mason City Airport Commission is still awaiting Federal Aviation Administration approval to seek requests from airlines to serve the Mason City Municipal Airport.

The airport has been without commercial service since February when Great Lakes Airlines suspended operations because of a pilot shortage.

At that time, the commission, working through the FAA, solicited requests for service and received two — one from Great Lakes, headquartered in Cheyenne, Wyo., and the other from Air Choice One, home-based in St. Louis.

Both were offering service on 9-passenger planes.

Commissioners rejected both bids because they felt neither would serve Mason City's needs adequately. They then requested permission to seek new bids and are still awaiting the go-ahead, according to Airport Manager Pam Osgood.

In other airport business, at their meeting Monday, commissioners said they are looking for a new tenant to run the airport restaurant.

Bumbleberry Bakery operated it for the past year. "The lease expired and they moved out," said Osgood. The lease was for 1 year at $100 a month.

Commission Chairwoman Joni Dunn said, "They couldn't make it work because they weren't open half the time."

She said airport officials received numerous complaints about Bumbleberry's irregular hours.


Oakland International Airport (KOAK) security find knife smuggled in enchilada


OAKLAND, Calif. —A Transportation Security Administration officer at the Oakland International Airport said Monday that he found a knife with an over eight-inch long blade concealed in an enchilada that was tucked inside a female passenger's carry-on bag.

The discovered weapon was a gross violation of Federal Aviation weapons laws.

The discovery was made at the screening station that serves Alaska Airlines.

"This item turned out to be an eight-and-a-half inch knife that was inside of a wrapped enchilada," explained TSA spokesman Nico Melendez during a phone interview. " The woman said she had made the enchilada over the weekend and she really didn't know how the knife got into the bag."

The woman was turned over to Oakland Sheriff's Deputies, who questioned her and eventually decided she could be cleared for travel.

However, the TSA could assess heavy penalties if it decides to purse a fine.

Fines for artfully concealed items could range up to $10,000 but it's usually negotiated with the passenger, said Melendez.

Knives can be legally transported when travelling by air in checked baggage. In fact, the TSA website provides all the rule and regulations anyone needs to travel without trouble.

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Pekin Municipal Airport (C15) board to meet

The Pekin Municipal Airport Board will meet at 3 p.m. Tuesday at the airport, 13906 Airport Lane, rural Pekin.

The board will discuss progress on new fuel cabinets; an interior lighting project; lawn maintenance; runway cracks; the drainage issue between three hangers; and Airport developmental map and narrative; change and update rules, regulations, and minimum standards; digitizing existing document during winter months; monthly status report on delinquent accounts; and an upcoming commission vacancy.


Palm Beach International Airport (KPBI), West Palm Beach, Florida

Private jet lands safely at PBIA after pilot reports warning light 

A private jet landed safely at Palm Beach International Airport this evening after its pilot reported a warning light indicated smoke in the baggage area.

The aircraft landed at about 6 p.m., said Capt. Albert Borroto, spokesman for Palm Beach County Fire Rescue.

Firefighters are investigating the baggage area and attempting to determine what caused the warning light to turn on.

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David Cullinan: Elated to see voters support Eastern Slopes Regional Airport (KIZG) funding request


Published Date: Monday, 14 April 2014 07:13

To the editor:

I am elated to see that the voters of Conway are in the majority on the 2014 funding request for the Eastern Slope Regional Airport! "Runway to the White Mountains." As a Class II airport and with the addition of jet fueling capabilities (2013) and a new approach procedure currently in flight check status with the FAA (June 2014) which will lower the minimum's and enable aircraft to land in times of adverse weather, this regions airport infrastructure is moving forward a good, steady yet modest pace. With the addition of a new terminal facility (2015-2016) to accommodate increasing traffic in the business and tourism sectors of the airport purpose which is benefiting the public and local economy, we will continue to maintain a safe and viable facility for the public to utilize and enjoy.

David Cullinan, Airport Manager
Eastern Slope Regional Airport
Fryeburg, Maine
KIZG     Eastern Slopes Regional Airport
Fryeburg, Maine



Revamped Florida Ice Cream Festival Attendance Down: SUN 'n FUN International Fly-In & Expo at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport (KLAL)

The revamped Florida Ice Cream Festival, held Saturday and Sunday at the Sun 'n Fun site at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport, showcased bands, eating competitions and ice cream vendors from around the state.

The two-day event drew about 24,000 people, which is about 6,000 fewer than last year's one-day event at Joker Marchant Stadium, said John Santarpia, president of one of the sponsors, Magnify Life Foundation.

He said 3,000 vehicles paid to park for the event and admission was $3.

The money raised will fund the TrueWealth-KIDS program, which teaches Polk County fifth-graders financial literacy, he said, and all extra money will go to the Central Florida Aerospace Academy.


Pilots: United Didn't Even Try to Follow Law -Courthouse News Service

 CHICAGO (CN) - United Airlines fired three senior pilots in a undisguised effort to eliminate pilots 65 and older, without "even bother[ing]" to give a nondiscriminatory reason for their terminations, the three men claim in court.

Douglas Bader, Charles Doyle and Ralph Rina sued United Airlines in Federal Court.

All of them worked as line pilots for Continental Airlines, until they reached 65, the statutory age limit for flying commercial passenger jets, when they became flight instructors.

When Continental and United merged in 2010, United negotiated a new agreement with the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) with the aim of getting rid of pilots older than 65, the pilots say.

"United aggressively pursued inclusion of a provision in the new United/ALPA contract to eliminate all pilots and instructors over the age of 65. United made no secret of its intentions during the negotiations," the complaint states.

"As a result of United's insistence that the new United/ALPA contract eliminate all pilots and instructors over the age of 65, a Letter of Agreement was attached to the new United/ALPA contract to accomplish that purpose. Under this 'Letter of Agreement,' the position of Non-Line Qualified Flight Instructor was abolished at United solely and expressly for the purpose of terminating plaintiffs and others as they turn 65.

"United has chosen to terminate each of the plaintiffs based solely on their age, in violation of the ADEA [Age Discrimination in Employment Act]. United has not even bothered to offer any alternative nondiscriminatory explanation for its actions, making the terminations even more egregious," according to the complaint.

The pilots claim: "There is no statutory or regulatory limit on the age for flight instructors."

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