Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Cowboys Trading & Rental Solutions clears plane crash site: LAM Linhas Aereas de Mocambique Embraer ERJ-190, C9-EMC, flight TM-470

Local company, Cowboy’s Trading & Rental Solutions, successfully completed the clearance of the site where the Mozambican plane, TM470, crashed in the Bwabwata National Park in the Zambezi Region in November last year.

Cowboy was contracted in January this year by Jan Vader of the BCG Aircraft Recoveries BV from the Netherland’s on behalf of the insurance brokers and lawyers involved in the LAM Mozambique TM470 crash.

Since March 3rd, Cowboy had to employ its logistics ability set up a remote base camp, provide the workforce of 25 men, expertise and equipment to take on the painstaking job to recover the plane’s parts and any remains from the site stretching 2,5km. 

All operations and work procedures were undertaken under the jurisdiction of the Namibian Aircraft Accident Investigation Division, headed by Captain Ericksson Nengola. Despite the rough terrain compounded by the rainy season, Cowboy’s managed the work in a record time, although it was the first time it  undertook such a project.

“Each day was an adventure in itself as the Kavango flood plains rose and made 4x4 access to the crash site a daily challenge. The crash site was divided into a grid formation, with each area having to be individually cleared. The rake teams were carefully guided to separate the aircraft components.

They were monitored to ensure that the proper bagging of the debris into specifically labelled bags. These bags were all registered by the BCG team. All recovered debris is now stored in a secure, airtight storage facility for the duration of the investigation,” said Ulla Büttner of Cowboy’s.

Captain Nengola expressed his satisfaction with the professionalism of the Cowboy’s team and was impressed by the high standards that have been set. An official from the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Cletius Maketo approved the clearing and rehabilitation of the crash site and the base-camp by the end of last month.

Thirty-three people, all foreigners, died in the plane crash and their remains have been repatriated to Angola, Mozambique, and China.

NTSB Identification: DCA14RA018
Accident occurred Saturday, November 30, 2013 in Rundu, Namibia
Aircraft: EMBRAER ERJ190 - UNDESIGNAT, registration:
Injuries: 33 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. The foreign authority was the source of this information.

The Namibia Ministry of Works and Transport (MWT) has notified the NTSB of an accident involving an Embraer ERJ-190 that occurred on November 30, 2013. The NTSB has appointed a U.S. Accredited Representative to assist the MWT investigation under the provisions of ICAO Annex 13 as the State of Manufacturer and Design of the engines.

All investigative information will be released by the MWT. 

Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW, Linhas Aéreas de Moçambique LAM, C9-EMC 

Masks for extra precaution were used to protect against carbon fiber. (Below) Cowboy’s 4 x 4 truck transporting the debris from site. 
Photos contributed 

Pennsylvania group sues Mercer freeholders, Frontier Airlines and Federal Aviation Administration over Trenton-Mercer Airport (KTTN) use

EWING — A Bucks County organization is taking the Mercer County Freeholder Board, Frontier Airlines and the Federal Aviation Administration to court in an effort to compel the county to perform an environmental study on the Trenton-Mercer Airport operations.

Bucks Residents for Responsible Airport Management (BRRAM) has butted heads with the Mercer County government repeatedly in recent years over quality of life concerns related to the use of the Ewing airport. With the arrival of Frontier Airlines 18 months ago and its subsequent dramatic increase in passenger flights in and out of the airport, BRRAM has resumed its activism. On Monday it took legal action by filing a lawsuit in federal court.

BRRAM claims that the county is acting outside of the law by refusing to perform an environmental impact study. The study, which BRRAM claims the county should be required to perform under the National Environmental Protection Act, would look at how the airport affects surrounding communities and would be open for public comment.

“With increasing flights, you’re going to have increasing traffic at increasing hours of the day, and you’re going to impact quality of life,” said Holly Bussey, a spokeswoman for the organization. By June Frontier will have 73 weekly flights out of the airport to 17 different destinations.

The organization’s main concern is the impact of noise on the communities that sit underneath Frontier’s flight paths, she said. Some residents of surrounding communities find the noise created when planes fly over their homes to be a great nuisance, but the larger concern is that the continued expansion of flights from Trenton-Mercer will eventually threaten property values, Bussey said.

BRRAM did not want to resort to a lawsuit, but the county and the FAA have not been receptive to its concerns, Bussey said.

“We have made inquiries to the FAA and they have responded with no commitment or not at all,” Bussey said.

The county has not been any more cooperative, she said.

BRRAM is joined in the lawsuit by a number of individual residents of the towns surrounding the airport in both Bucks and Mercer counties, according to court documents. They have also won the support of the Yardley Borough Council and are working with Lower Makefield Township, Bussey said.

Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes has held firm to the position that the introduction of Frontier to the airport and the company’s growing list of destinations does not warrant an environmental impact study.

“We feel we’ve done everything to comply with the FAA regulations, including the environmental regulations,” Hughes said.

Hughes said he does not believe that the county is required to perform an impact study unless they expand the runway or the terminal at the airport. While the county invested in the renovation of both last year, it did not expand either, he said.

If compelled to by the FAA or the federal court in Trenton, the county would perform the study, but Hughes said that the airport would remain open during the process.

While Hughes understands that BRRAM has concerns over the increased flights from the airport, he said that situation has improved since previous commercial airlines used the space. The planes that Frontier flies are quieter than the ones past carriers brought in, he said.

“We don’t think we’re adding significantly to the pollution standards or the volume,” Hughes said.

A Frontier spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment.

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'I had the honor of flying your brave son' - Captain S Srinivasan: Air India pilot who flew Major’s body home writes moving letter to parents

Captain Srinivasan, whose letter to slain army major Varadarajan's parents went viral on Monday, says it was meant as a personal gesture of comfort. 

Major Mukund Varadarajan. Photo courtesy: Facebook.

Captain S Srinivasan, the Air India pilot who flew the body of Major Mukund Varadarajan from Delhi to Chennai on Tuesday, said he was saddened by the manner in which his letter to the major's parents got leaked.

Varadarajan was killed in an encounter with militants in South Kashmir's Shopian on Friday. In his condolence letter to Varadarajan's parents, Srinivasan addressed them as "Dearest Father and Mother' and said it was an honour to fly the martyr's body.

Varadarajan was cremated at an electric crematorium in Besant Nagar, Chennai, on Monday. He is survived by his three-year-old daughter Arsheya, wife Indhu Rebecca Varghese and parents R Varadarajan and Geetha.

Interestingly, Srinivasan, who has been flying with the national carrier for more than a decade, secured an admission to the National Defence Academy in Khadakwasla in the 1990s but did not join due to personal reasons.

Still disturbed by how a personal condolence message went viral online on Monday, Srinivasan now plans to meet Varadarajan's family later in the week to get back his "lost peace of mind."

"I am also curious to know how it got out," Srinivasan told Mirror. "It was a letter written from my heart with no intention of creating news."

Recalling Monday's flight, Srinivasan said he was aware that he would be carrying a martyr's remains the moment he saw men in army fatigues boarding the flight. "I was aware of the encounter at Shopian and that a Chennai-based Major was killed in battle," said Srinivasan. "When the passenger and cargo information came for my signature, I confirmed what I suspected. Though we often fly human remains, I was moved by the occasion."

As the aircraft reached cruising altitude, Srinivasan sent across a cabin crew member to speak to Major Srikantan, who was the Indian Army's protocol officer accompanying the coffin. But Major Srikantan was asleep. Srinivasan, a young father himself, decided not to disturb the officer.

That is when, he said, he took an instant decision and grabbed a piece of paper in the cockpit to pen down his 'words of comfort' in less than two minutes.

Addressing R Varadarajan and Geetha as 'Dearest Father and Mother', Srinivasan wrote: "I had the honour of flying your brave son from Delhi to Chennai. I send my sincerest condolences and pranams to both of you, please accept them. May God bless Mukund's soul and give you strength. Please think of me as 1 of your sons."

On landing in Chennai, Srinivasan handed over the letter to Major Srikantan and asked him to hand it over to Varadarajan's parents. 


Alva Regional Airport (KAVK), Oklahoma

Alva Regional Airport has a breakfast fly-in every third Saturday of the Spring and Summer provided weather is decent.