Sunday, May 04, 2014

Ontario County, New York considers second helicopter service

Canandaigua, N.Y. 

HOPEWELL — A new helicopter emergency service is coming to Seneca Falls, and it will be used to assist Ontario County emergency responders in getting severely hurt people to local hospitals.

In a report delivered at the Ontario County Board of Supervisors' Public Safety Committee meeting on Monday, Ontario County 911 Director Steve DeChick explained how Life Net medical services will add its one helicopter to the options EMS responders have when someone needs to be evacuated quickly from serious car crashes, industrial and farm accidents, drownings or explosions in that first “golden hour” of treatment.

DeChick provided a map of the area and response times to Ontario County locations for Life Net and Mercy Flight Central, which has three helicopters available. Based on those flight times, DeChick recommended that the Oaks Corners, Northside, Geneva City, White Springs and West Lake Road fire districts use Life Net when they need helicopter airlift service. Mercy Flight, responding from its Canandaigua base, would serve all other fire districts.

He explained that Mercy Flight had come in to discuss its services with the committee, compared to Life Net, which was soon to arrive.

“We didn’t know much about Life Net,” DeChick said. “We’ve met with both services since, and they’ve both said, ‘We’re available, we’re here and we’re able to provide services.’”

He added, “Mercy Flight is still able to respond to the vast majority of the county, but if Life Net is truly closer to the scene, that is who we plan on using going forward.”

DeChick, in his draft proposal, said that the 911 dispatcher would ascertain which helicopter in service from which company is the closest to the scene and coordinate calling out that helicopter — and the next-closest helicopter, if needed — to the scene.

DeChick said the services provide the same level of care.

“The Finger Lakes is very blessed to have two of these services available,” he said. “I think it’s wonderful. If we have a major accident, we may need all four helicopters. It’s a great resource."

Sheriff Philip Povero said the two airlift firms “have agreed to back each other up,” noting that “weather can be very tricky for helicopters and may make a difference in who can respond and transfer to an emergency facility.”


Ontario County 911 Director Steve DeChick

Disabled passenger Sam Cawthorn forced to stand on Virgin Australia flight

Sam  Cawthorn is a loyal Virgin Australia passenger and a frequent flyer who usually receives excellent service.

So he was shocked when he was forced to stand on an overnight flight from Perth to Brisbane last Friday due to his disability.

Mr Cawthorn, a motivational speaker, author and the 2009 Young Australian of the Year for Tasmania, is 6”3 and has a fused leg and a prosthetic arm. He simply cannot fit in just any seat on a plane.

So when he boarded the flight and realized his assigned seat wasn’t suitable, he asked the cabin supervisor to be moved.

He was relocated to a row of three empty seats but his leg, which doesn’t bend at all, extended into the aisle and was repeatedly hit by other passengers and the food trolley.

So he asked for another solution. But despite seeing numerous suitable options, both in economy and business class, Mr Cawthorn claims the cabin supervisor refused to accommodate him, due to “airline policy”. He even offered to pay for an upgrade, but was denied.

So Mr Cawthorn had no choice but to stand for three hours near the lavatory, which made his leg and back very sore.

Mr Cawthorn, a platinum guest with the airline, said he was stunned by the treatment he received.

“Having spoken in 12 countries regarding resilience, I’m shocked as to why one of Australia’s best airlines would possibly put any of their passengers in a position where there was no choice but to stand for the duration of time between take off and landing,” he said. “There were many other suitable seats to which the cabin supervisor did not permit a seat change.”

He usually upgrades to business class but was too late on this occasion.

He says it’s time for airlines to review their policies for disabled passengers.

“It’s a case of policy getting in the way of common sense.

“I am saddened that all airlines have not altered their procedures when seating people living with a disability, particularly after the Jetstar wheelchair incident with Kurt Fearnley.”

“I’m not bitter, I just want to ensure this never happens again.”

A Paralympian, Fearnley was forced to crawl through an airport terminal in 2009 after Jetstar staff refused to allow him to use his own wheelchair.

Mr Cawthorn was injured in a major car accident after falling asleep. He now travels all over the world speaking about resilience, and how people can bounce forward from situations like he experienced.

 The airline said it regrets being unable to assist Mr Cawthorn on Friday but it wasn’t given any notice about his disability.

“Virgin Australia sincerely apologies for any discomfort experienced by Mr Cawthorn on his recent flight,” an airline spokesman said.

“We take the comfort and safety of all guests very seriously and we ask guests that require special assistance to provide the information when booking to enable us to accommodate these requests.

“Unfortunately this information was not provided in advance and therefore while our crew endeavored to assist Mr Cawthorn within safety policies and procedures, we were unable to meet his requests on this occasion.

“All guest feedback is important us and we are committed to providing a safe and enjoyable travel experience.”

Story and photos:

Motivational speaker and author Sam Cawthorn is tall.

Canterbury, New Zealand

Rescue chopper emergency landing

A rescue helicopter carrying an intensive care patient has made an emergency landing in a Canterbury paddock.

The Westpac Rescue Helicopter was transferring a patient from Ashburton Hospital to Christchurch Hospital when an indication warning light turned on this morning.

There were five people on board, including the pilot, a paramedic, a doctor, a flight nurse and the unfortunate patient.

Garden City Helicopters general manager Simon Duncan said the pilot was forced to make an emergency landing in a paddock near Springston.

He said it was a "heavy landing", but all five onboard were uninjured.

Duncan said the pilot was trained to handle the situation, and had done just that.

The flight nurse had suffered a neck spasm, but had been given an all clear by a doctor.

The BK117 twin-engine helicopter had minor damage to its skids, and would be transferred to Christchurch this afternoon for engineers to examine.

Duncan said the paramedic had radioed St John emergency services for help when the warning light had come on. An ambulance met them shortly after the landing to take the patient to the hospital.

The patient is in a stable condition in Christchurch Hospital.

Duncan said in his 13 years with the company it was the first emergency landing he could recall.

He has reported the incident to the Civil Aviation Authority, and will head to the landing site this afternoon.


Door comes off Mercy Flight helicopter during flight: Herman Hill Road and Abbott Road, Town of Boston, New York

NORTH BOSTON, N.Y. (WIVB) — A Mercy Flight representative confirms to News 4 that the door of one of their helicopters came off the track and fell from the helicopter into a creek below in North Boston on Sunday. 

The crew of a pilot, nurse and paramedic were the only ones on the flight.  They had previously left Women and Childrens’ Hospital where they had dropped off a patient and were heading back to the base in Olean when the incident occurred.

After the door came off the helicopter, the pilot landed the helicopter without incident, nearby in the area of South Abbott and Herman Roads in Boston.

No one on the helicopter or people in the area below were injured and there was no property damage.  The door was recovered and the helicopter put on a flatbed and taken to the Mercy Flight hanger in Buffalo.  Maintenance crews will now try to figure out why the door came off the helicopter.

Story and video:

 Mercy Flight helicopter loses a door in flight; lands safely with no injuries
A Mercy Flight medical helicopter landed safely in the Town of Boston about 5:45 p.m. Sunday after a door flew off while in flight, Margaret Ferrentino, the company’s vice president and chief financial officer, reported.

Ferrentino said that none of the medical or flight crew was injured. The aircraft was en route back to its base in Olean from Women and Children’s Hospital in Buffalo, she said.

The aircraft landed without incident in a baseball field at Abbott and Herman Hill roads, but the missing door was not recovered.

No patients were on board at the time.

Ferrentino said the helicopter was taken by truck to the Mercy Flight hangar in Cheektowaga for examination and repairs.


France scrambles military plane after jetliner loses radio contact

BORDEAUX: France scrambled a fighter aircraft on Sunday after a jetliner slightly veered from its course and lost radio contact with the ground over western France, military officials said.

The Washington-bound United Airlines Boeing had taken off in Rome, the air force information service SIRPA said.

Airline officials declined to confirm or deny the incident when contacted by AFP.

The Rafale fighter aircraft reached the jet after a brief supersonic flight between the towns of La Roche-sur-Yon and Nantes near the Atlantic coast, where the radio contact was re-established. The passenger jet then pursued its course.

Firefighters in the area said they received a number of phone calls from alarmed residents after the fighter jet broke the sound barrier about 100 kilometres (60 miles) south of Bordeaux at a cruising altitude of 35,000 feet (10,700 metres).

Military officials said that in incidents such as Sunday's the pilot of the fighter jet would position himself to the left of the plane with the pilot of the jetliner in full view to identify the problem in line with international regulations.

Sunday's incident followed "a normal procedure as is done dozens of times every year," SIRPA said. About 70 such situations were recorded last year. 


Kathmandu, Nepal: Three flights diverted

KATHMANDU: At least three international flights bound for Kathmandu had to divert to Lucknow and Dhaka on Sunday due to bad weather condition. 

An aircraft of Spice Jet, which was supposed to land at Tribhuvan International Airport at around 5:40pm, made a diversion to the Lucknow after it could not land in TIA due to heavy rain.

The aircraft was headed for Kathmandu from New Delhi. Also, a flight of United Airways, bound for Kathmandu from Dhaka, and another flight of China Eastern Airlines, headed for the Nepali capital from Guangzhou, had to divert to Dhaka due to bad weather. 

United Airways flight was supposed to land in Kathmandu at about 6:00pm, while China Eastern was supposed to arrive here at around 4:00pm. 

Nepal Airlines Corporation’s flights to Kuala Lumpur and Doha were cancelled due to bad weather. 


Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport (KSGH) Springfield, Ohio

Airport board may change 


The size of the Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport Advisory Board will likely be reduced due to recent changes at the airport, according to public documents.

The board could be reduced from seven members to five, removing representation from both the Springfield Air National Guard Base and the village of Yellow Springs, if legislation is passed.

City commissioners heard legislation proposals Tuesday and will vote on the changes May 13.

“It reflects really the changing activities at the airport,” said Tom Franzen, the assistant city manager and director of economic development.

A majority of the issues in previous years were related to the Air National Guard F-16 training mission, which left the airport in 2011. Many of the residents making the complaints were from Yellow Springs, Franzen said.

“There were a lot of noise issues and complaints,” Franzen said.

The guard base’s current mission is flying the MQ-1B Predator, a remotely-piloted aircraft, or drone, which doesn’t require use of the air field.

Yellow Springs has recently had turnover in village management and hasn’t been able to attend meetings, Franzen said.

“For the most part, their role is not as active as it once was,” Franzen said. “If they’re not able to make the meetings, it makes it difficult to have a quorum.”

The board is made up of different stakeholders at the airport, including retired guardsmen, pilots and citizens. The board meets quarterly with airport manager Mick Lecocq to discuss issues and current conditions effecting the airport and recommend possible changes to the city commission, Franzen said.

Board members include local developer Kevin Loftis, former Springfield ANG base commander Ralph Anderson, local attorney Ken Rush and Champion City Flight School owner Tim Epperhart. A fifth board spot is currently vacant. The changes were recommended after the board didn’t have a enough members to for a quorum over the last six months, Loftis said.

A quorum is the minimum number of members necessary to conduct the business of a legislative group which uses parliamentary procedure.

“You can’t do too much (without it),” Loftis said.


Taylorcraft BC12-D, N64518: Accidents occurred April 20, 2022 and May 04, 2014 in Wasilla, Alaska

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.

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Anchorage, Alaska

Location: Wasilla, Alaska 
Accident Number: ANC22LA032
Date and Time: April 20, 2022, 10:00 Local 
Registration: N64518
Aircraft: Taylorcraft BC12-D 
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Taylorcraft
Registration: N64518
Model/Series: BC12-D
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: PAWS,354 ft msl 
Observation Time: 10:56 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 5 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 4°C /-12°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 4 knots / , 70°
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.87 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Wasilla, AK (T66)
Destination: Wasilla (6AK8)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None 
Latitude, Longitude: 61.616632,-149.67087 

April 20, 2022:  Aircraft nosed over on landing. 

Date: 20-APR-22
Time: 18:30:00Z
Regis#: N64518
Aircraft Make: TAYLORCRAFT
Aircraft Model: BC12
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91

May 04, 2014

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Anchorage, Alaska

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Wasilla, Alaska
Accident Number: ANC14CA027
Date and Time: May 4, 2014, 15:00 Local 
Registration: N64518
Aircraft: Taylorcraft BC12 D 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Turbulence encounter 
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


The pilot was departing from a private grass airstrip in his tailwheel equipped airplane. He stated that there was a slight breeze out of the north. As the airplane climbed above the tree line he encountered a rotor and downdraft and was unable to continue climbing. He elected to set the airplane in an area of trees, resulting in substantial damage to the wing lift struts. The pilot stated that there were no preaccident mechanical anomalies with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

In the recommendation section of the NTSB Accident Reporting Form 6120.1, he also stated that he had just started flying from the airstrip, and was not familiar with the local conditions. After the accident, he learned that there is often a wind shift/rotor that occurs near the tree line at the midfield point of the airstrip.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's inadequate weather evaluation, which resulted in a turbulence encounter at low altitude and collision with trees. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's lack of knowledge of local wind conditions.


Personnel issues Identification/recognition - Pilot
Personnel issues Knowledge of meteorologic cond - Pilot
Environmental issues Terrain induced turbulence - Contributed to outcome
Environmental issues Aircraft - Contributed to outcome

Factual Information

History of Flight

Initial climb Turbulence encounter (Defining event)
Initial climb Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 53
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land; Single-engine sea
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): None 
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None 
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With waivers/limitations 
Last FAA Medical Exam: March 5, 2014
Occupational Pilot: UNK
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: July 18, 2013
Flight Time: 373.2 hours (Total, all aircraft), 289.7 hours (Total, this make and model), 299.1 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 0 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 0 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 0 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Taylorcraft 
Registration: N64518
Model/Series: BC12-D
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1946
Amateur Built:
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal 
Serial Number: 6913
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: May 1, 2014 Annual 
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1200 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 0 Hrs
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 1454 Hrs as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: Installed, not activated 
Engine Model/Series: O200-A
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 100 Horsepower
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC)
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: PAWS,354 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 5 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 22:56 Local 
Direction from Accident Site: 123°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 6 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:  /
Wind Direction: 230° Turbulence Severity
Forecast/Actual: /
Altimeter Setting: 29.85 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 19°C / 1°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Wasilla, AK (6AK8) 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: ANCHORAGE, AK (LHD)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 
Type of Airspace: Class E

Airport Information

Airport: TULAKES 6AK8
Runway Surface Type: Grass/turf
Airport Elevation: 350 ft msl 
Runway Surface Condition: Soft
Runway Used: 36 IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 1200 ft / 100 ft 
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None 
Latitude, Longitude: 61.613609,-149.673049(est)

Helicopter Removes Plane Stuck in Trees; Edward Merren, 58, survives Sunday Wasilla crash that lodges plane in trees

ANCHORAGE - A small airplane crashed into a group of trees in Wasilla shortly after takeoff Sunday afternoon, according to the Alaska State Troopers.

AST spokesperson Timothy Despain said a sudden gust of crosswind pushed the Taylorcraft airplane landed in trees near Meadow Lakes Drive just after taking off from a nearby airstrip. The plane was stuck nearly 50 feet off the ground.

58-year-old Edward T. Merren of Wasilla, the pilot and sole occupant of the plane, was not injured during the crash, according to troopers. But he was not able to exit the aircraft until emergency responders arrived.

Emergency responders were initially unable to use heavy equipment in the area because the ground was soft from breakup, but MEA used a boom truck to rescue Merren.

A helicopter removed the plane from the trees and lowered it to the ground on Monday.

The National Transportation Safety Board was notified and will investigate the incident.

Gulf Airlines Raise the Stakes in Luxury; Emirates Airline and Etihad Airways Prepare for Private-Suite Rollouts

The Wall Street Journal
By  Rory Jones

May 4, 2014 11:24 a.m. ET

DUBAI—At the end of a long day, one might unwind by closing the bedroom door, slumping into bed and turning on the flat-screen television to watch the soccer. Now such comfort can be enjoyed at 35,000 feet.

The in-flight bedroom is the latest brainchild of airline executives in the Middle East, where a luxury arms race has begun in earnest to lure customers to premium cabins with amenities and services akin to a hotel, yacht or private jet.

Both Emirates Airline and Etihad Airways are planning to launch fully enclosed private bedrooms on aircraft, where customers can experience the same modern technology in the sky that they are accustomed to enjoying at home.

"It's all about privacy," Emirates President Tim Clark said in an interview. "Our new bedroom concept will take it to the next level."

Emirates, the biggest operator of Airbus Group NV's A380 superjumbo and the largest customer of Boeing Co.'s new long-range 777X jet, is in the advanced stages of launching bedrooms that will likely feature on both sets of aircraft and include room service. The Dubai-based airline already has 1,562 private podlike structures it calls "suites" on its fleet of 218 aircraft.

Emirates wouldn't disclose the price it will charge for its bedrooms. But a return ticket on a New York to Dubai flight retails for around $26,000 in one of the suites, which cost around $500,000 each to produce—roughly the same as the price of a studio flat in downtown Manhattan.

Etihad, meanwhile, on Sunday unveiled a concept called "The Residence," which will feature an enclosed area with a double bed, an en-suite bathroom, a lounge area and a butler trained at the Savoy Hotel in London. "The Residence" will be available on Etihad's order of 10 A380s, the first of which will be delivered in December. It will priced at about $20,000 for a one-way trip between Abu Dhabi and London, which compares with the cost of about $100,000 for a private jet, according to Etihad Chief Executive James Hogan.

"There's a market for this type of product," Mr. Hogan told reporters at a news conference.

Middle East and Asian carriers are in a race to the top after collectively earning a reputation for offering a premium service across all cabins. Last year, Emirates won the travel industry's widely watched Skytrax award for the World's Best Airline, topping a list of 10 carriers that included four from the Middle East; no European or U.S. carriers featured.

Qatar Airways, which bills itself as the world's only five-star carrier, is among those keeping pressure on Emirates and Etihad to innovate. Qatar Airways plans on May 15 to launch a business-class-only service from its Doha hub to London Heathrow on an Airbus A319. Singapore Airlines also spent $150 million on upgrading the look and feel of its cabins last year.

When Emirates began flying the A380 in 2008, it introduced two onboard shower spas in first class. When it introduced an onboard bar on its A380s, Mr. Clark specified it should be designed so it could be removed within 96 hours and replaced with eight business-class seats just in case it wasn't popular. The bar survives.

Etihad will also now offer its own onboard lounge on the A380s. "Most of the European carriers have retreated from first class," Mr. Hogan added. "That gives us the opportunity to sell."


No vote set yet for union trying to organize Boeing South Carolina in North Charleston

 With a union hall in place now to recruit Boeing South Carolina workers to join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, it was just a matter of time before talk of a vote to organize materialized.

Though there's some talk of a vote coming in July, IAM spokesman Frank Larkin said that's all it is for now - speculation.

"There have not been any filings that would trigger an election," he said. "I don't expect anything to break one way or another certainly within the next month."

Union representatives are still trying to educate workers on the benefits of joining the group and there are many other steps that must take place before an election can be called.

The IAM has to obtain a certain number of authorization cards from Boeing workers interested in joining, and the size of the group of production workers has to be determined, he said. Once that's done, cards are submitted to the National Labor Relations Board, which would conduct an investigation to determine if certain benchmarks are met before scheduling an election. The NLRB also would conduct the election.

"There is no reason to speculate a date until all of these other steps are taken," Larkin said.

The IAM opened its union hall in March on Dorchester Road near the entrance to the Air Force base and has been trying to recruit Boeing workers at the nonunionized North Charleston plant.

Shortly after Boeing bought the former Vought aircraft parts-making operation near Charleston International Airport in 2009, the IAM union at the plant voted to disband. That led the Chicago-based company to decide less than two months later to place a second assembly line for the 787 Dreamliner in North Charleston. The other is in Everett, Wash., in a unionized plant.

Ever since, the IAM has tried to get its foot back in the door.


Spirit of St. Louis Airshow spectators catch American flag

(Photo: Karl Lund, Wise Media) 

CHESTERFIELD, Mo. (KSDK) – A local photographer was able to capture the below photo of military personnel and civilians abandoning what they were doing at the Spirit of St. Louis Airshow Sunday to help catch a massive American flag that fell down.

Karl Lund, a board member for USO of Missouri and Little Patriots Embraced, says the flag did not touch the ground, and that the moment was spontaneous and not choreographed.

Story and photos:

(Photo: Karl Lund, Wise Media)
Spectators and military personnel help catch an American flag that fell at the Spirit of St. Louis Air Show.

Sgt. Dwight W. Burn: Soldier killed, 3 injured in Chinook crash at Fort Bliss training area

Army Sgt. Dwight W. Burn, 27, was killed Saturday during a training exercise when his CH-47 Chinook helicopter crashed Orogrande, New Mexico, the Army has confirmed
Burn, along with three other soldiers injured in the crash, was assigned to the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C.

Born in Belize, Burn moved to the Southern California city of Barstow as a child. He graduated high school in 2005 and later attended Barstow Community College. He enlisted in the Army in 2010, and was deployed to Afghanistan from September 2011 to September 2012 with the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade.

Burn's ex-wife Cintia Vasquez told The Fayetteville Observer that she learned of his death from her former mother-in-law, who still lives in Barstow:
"He was in practice and crashed, and it burned. That's how he died - he burned."
Vasquez and Burn have two daughters: Violet, 7, and Vivian, 4. Vasquez explained to the El Paso Times the depth of Burn's love for his little girls:
"He was a great father. Anyone who came in, he showed them the pictures of his two daughters in his wallet. They were his pride and joy."
An investigation into the cause of the accident is underway.

Army Sgt. Dwight W. Burn

The crew chief aboard a Fort Bragg helicopter that crashed during a training exercise Saturday in New Mexico has died and three other soldiers were injured, Fort Bragg officials said.

 Sgt. Dwight Burn, 27, of Barstow, California, died from injuries sustained in the crash, the Army said. He was the crew chief aboard the CH-47 Chinook helicopter with the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade.

The crew of four was conducting high-altitude mountainous environment training when the helicopter crashed about 8:15 p.m. MDT in Fort Bliss' northern training area near Orogrande, New Mexico.

The three injured soldiers are in stable condition, according to a news release.

Two of the three are expected to be released within a day, the release said. The third soldier will remain hospitalized and under observation while recovering from his injuries, the news release said.

Citing privacy requests, officials said the names, injuries and locations of the survivors will not be immediately released.

"The loss of a Pegasus Trooper weighs heavy on our hearts today, and our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends affected by this tremendous loss. We are committed to providing support to our soldiers and families during this difficult time," said Col. Mike Musiol, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade Commander, in the news release.

Cintia Vasquez, Burn's former wife, had a seven-year relationship with him before they divorced in 2010. She said she learned of her his death Sunday from his mother, who lives in Barstow, California.

"He was in practice and crashed, and it burned," Vasquez said earlier today. "That's how he died - he burned."

Teams from the 82nd Airborne Division and the Army Readiness and Safety Center are investigating the crash, the release said. The findings of the investigation are not released.

The U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center (USACRC) has a three-person team leading the probe, the release said.

On Sunday, Lt. Col. Virginia McCabe, a spokeswoman with the 82nd Airborne Division, said the helicopter went down about 45 miles away from Fort Bliss. The 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade and other units from across the military routinely train at Fort Bliss because of its vast desert and mountain terrain.

The CH-47 Chinook is a heavy-lift transport helicopter that was first used in Vietnam. Its chief mission is to move troops, ammunition, large-caliber guns and equipment.

Vasquez described her ex-husband as a great man, and someone who "would always make you laugh."

"That's one thing he could make you do. His laugh. His giggle," she said.

Burn lived in his native Belize before his family moved to California when he was four years old, Vasquez said. He graduated from Barstow High School in 2005 and began taking business courses at Barstow Community College. He enlisted in the Army in May 2010 as a CH-47 helicopter repairer.

The couple have two daughters: Violet, who is 7, and Vivian, who is 4.

"One thing that was his priority was his daughters," Vasquez said. "He was supposed to come down here (to Barstow) in July."

Burn has a younger brother, Sean, who is also in the Army and is stationed in Texas.

"He always seemed to like the military," Vasquez said. "The first thing he did when he got his green card was join the military. He was always fascinated with the Army."

Burn deployed to Afghanistan from 2011 to 2012 with the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade.

On Facebook, friends, family and fellow soldiers posted their thoughts and offered their condolences. Many changed their profile pictures to a picture of Burn.

"I hope you realize how much you meant to us brother," posted Seth Dibble, a soldier who lives in Spring Lake. "You were the best in and out of the aircraft! I know you were received by the warm white light of peace. I cannot properly express here who you were. You were amazing and will be greatly missed. Here's to you SGT Burn."


 OROGRANDE, N.M. -  A military helicopter from Fort Bragg in North Carolina crashed during a training mission near Orogrande, N.M., on Saturday night, the military has confirmed.

Killed in the crash was Sgt. Dwight Burn, according to an Army source. The other three crew members are believed to have survived.

The CH-47 Chinook crashed just after 8 p.m. after leaving on a training exercise from Fort Bliss, Texas. The CH-47 consists of a four-person crew.

Fort Bliss spokesman Lt. Colonel Lee Peters said the crew and aircraft are with the 82nd Airborne Division stationed out of Fort Bragg.

The Army often sends troops to Fort Bliss for high-altitude, mountain training, which is similar to Afghanistan.

The military has not made any official statements on the fate of the crew.


Fort Bragg helicopter crashed Saturday night at a Fort Bliss training area in New Mexico, the Army said today.

The crash is under investigation, said Lt. Col. Lee Peters of Fort Bliss, Texas, in a news release. No information was released regarding the cause of the crash, or any casualties among the crew.

Fort Bliss is in El Paso, Texas, near southern New Mexico.

The El Paso Times in Texas reported that the helicopter had four personnel on board and no one on the ground was injured.

The Army said the helicopter is from the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade at Fort Bragg. It is a CH-47 Chinook and was conducting high altitude mountainous environment training when it crashed in the Orogrande, New Mexico, training area.

It went down about 8:15 p.m. MDT, or 10:15 p.m. EDT.

In the release, Peters said an investigation team from the U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center at Fort Rucker, Alabama, is going to Fort Bliss to investigate.

Lt. Col. Virginia McCabe of Fort Bragg said this evening that teams from the 82nd Airborne Division and the Army's Criminal Investigation Command are also going there to investigate.

Peters said military services and coalition nations routinely use Fort Bliss to conduct aerial and ground training due to its vast and varying training areas and environments.


Drones worry crop sprayers

BISMARCK, N.D. _ Worried about safety, North Dakota aerial crop sprayers want better communication with unmanned aircraft operators.

“We’re requesting if a grower intends to operate an unmanned aircraft over their fields to notify the aerial sprayers in the area with the location,” a statement from the North Dakota Agricultural Aviation Association said.

The state was recently awarded a Federal Aviation Administration Unmanned Aircraft Systems Test Site near Grand Forks, but as drones gain popularity, safety could become an issue for those flying aircraft outside the test site in agricultural areas.

“It’s not the test sites,” North Dakota Aeronautics Commission Secretary Cindy Schreiber-Beck said during a commission meeting April 23. Schreiber-Beck also is the executive director of the North Dakota Agricultural Aviation Association.

Pilots of unmanned aircraft at the test site have to follow strict rules, but between 120 and 180 drones have been sold to private customers in North Dakota and western Minnesota, North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said. He said those numbers are based on conversations he has had with sellers of the unmanned aircraft.

“Of the civilian drones sold, 90 percent will more than likely be used in agriculture,” he said.

Test site drone operators are licensed pilots and have spotters to keep aircraft within line of sight at all times. Those who buy the drones privately may not be familiar with rules of the air.

Schreiber-Beck said she has heard advertisements to buy the aircraft on the radio. How many people are flying the aircraft is unclear, but they could be operating over fields as early as this spring.

Collision and liability are the biggest concerns. If a collision were to happen, a crop sprayer pilot could be seriously injured and civilians operating the unmanned aircraft might not be covered by insurance.

“I think that’s what scares them (aerial crop sprayers),” Goehring said. “They don’t want a problem ... They can’t see one of these little planes.”

Farm insurance policies normally exclude any aircraft operation liability, according to the North Dakota Agricultural Aviation Association.

“They could lose their farms,” said North Dakota Aeronautics Commission member Warren Pietsch at the April meeting.

The purpose of the test site in North Dakota is to help develop regulations for unmanned aircraft. Col. Robert Becklund, director of the Northern Plains UAS Test Site, said some rules already are in place but the general public may not be familiar with them.

“I do agree with Cindy (Schreiber-Beck),” Becklund said. “If someone buys one of these and flies it themself without knowledge of flight rules and right-of-way rules and they’re out of visual line of sight, they can’t see an ag sprayer. It has potential to be a problem.”

Under federal aviation regulations, UAS are only supposed to be flown by civilians for hobby reasons and the aircraft should weigh less than 55 pounds. The planes must remain below an altitude of 400 feet and within the pilot’s visual line of sight, Becklund said. There also are special rules for flying near an airport.

Becklund said civilians using drones for imagery are likely to fly lower; however, aerial crop sprayers may have to fly low and unmanned aircraft have the ability to fly too high.

Becklund also questioned where to draw the line in describing a hobbyist. He said some may consider a farmer taking photos of his or her crops a hobbyist.

“There’s a little grayness out there in the rules,” he said. “It needs to be developed.”

Until full regulations are developed, aerial sprayers are offering some solutions. The association requests unmanned aircraft be painted a color that is easily spotted and that they be equipped with a strobe light. Calling aerial sprayers in the area in advance to let them know where an unmanned aircraft will be flying would help. Licensing unmanned aircraft was another suggestion.


Tweed-New Haven Airport (KHVN), New Haven, Connecticut

Tweed New Haven Airport struggles for more commercial flights amid rough climate 

NEW HAVEN >> In the current air travel climate, can what’s wrong with Tweed New Haven Regional Airport be fixed? 

Can Tweed be a viable commercial airport in an environment in which airlines are merging and retrenching and smaller airports across the country are losing service under the weight of sky-high airplane fuel prices?

Airport and city officials say it can, although one prominent aviation consultant isn’t so sure.

Tweed officials, along with city, regional and business officials, have angled for better air service for 17 years now since United, United Express and Continental Express all pulled out within a few months of each other.

That was in 1996 and 1997.

There have been twists and turns since then, including the creation of the Tweed New Haven Airport Authority, a couple of years with Delta Connection service to Cincinnati and a few short-lived attempts by start-up airlines that no longer exist.

But for most of that time, Tweed has remained a one-airline airport, with steady if not always competitively priced US Airways Express service to Philadelphia and beyond; three or four flights a day.

This past year, enplanements were 36,737, a slight drop from 2012. 

The 2012 figure compares with 2.6 million at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks — with which Tweed is not trying to compete — 1.8 million at T.F. Green Airport in Rhode Island, 890,000 at Westchester County Airport in White Plains, N.Y., and 185,000 at Stewart International Airport in Newburgh, N.Y.

In recent years, many smaller airports have lost service as airlines concentrate into larger planes and larger airports. Can Tweed survive and be a viable airport under those conditions?

“I feel strongly that Tweed can be successful, as it is in a unique region where there is a strong need for air service,” said Mark Volchek, chairman of the Tweed New Haven Airport Authority and co-founder of New Haven-based financial services firm Higher One.

“Going to NYC airports from CT poses challenges given highway congestion, so Tweed has the opportunity to serve those customers, if we can attract appropriate air service,” Volchek said in an e-mail.

When many Tweed advocates talk about a better future for Tweed, however, the conversation increasingly includes the suggestion that a longer runway — always a desire, but a politically difficult one — is now the only way to accomplish what Tweed wants to do.

Mayor Toni Harp spoke during her State of the City address about the need to get Tweed moving at a faster clip because of its importance to the regional economy. She’d like to work with neighbors to smooth the way for flights to Washington, D.C., Florida and Chicago within two years.

A number of Tweed Authority advocates say the best way to achieve that would be to pave one or both of the grassy runway safety areas, or RSAs, constructed a few years ago at either end of Tweed’s 5,600-foot runway. The authority recently commissioned an environmental assessment; a precursor to seeking funding.

City Economic Development Administrator Matthew Nemerson, who has been trying to build Tweed since 1989, when he was president of the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce, said Tweed is not like other small airports “because of the density and the wealth of the Northeast Corridor.” 

What also sets it apart is the fact that its “catchment area” — the people for whom Tweed is the closest airport — is so dense and under-served, he said.

The airport must be sensitive to its “unique responsibility to protect the people who live nearby ... But we know that this airport is critical” to the future and south central Connecticut’s economy, Nemerson said.

“Anyone who has ever been on the Whitestone Bridge at 6 a.m. or 11 p.m. in the middle of traffic when they’re paving those lanes knows what a pain in the neck it can be to connect to the rest of the world from this region — and the airlines know this, too,” he said.

Nemerson pointed out that the Memorandum of Agreement that New Haven and East Haven signed to clear the way for the RSAs to be built “basically says that there should be about 190,000 enplanements ... We, right now, are at (36,737.) We’re at one-sixth of the level of service that we committed to deliver...

Tweed’s main runway actually has just a 5,200-foot usable length because of a “displaced threshold” the federal government imposed because of obstructions, predominantly trees, along the runway approach. Removing all the obstructions would add 400 feet to the runway’s usable length, but several neighbors have dug in and refuse to allow it.
By way of comparison, the primary runway at Bradley — which, unlike Tweed, is not surrounded by residential neighborhoods — is 9,502 feet long.

A major stumbling block to paving the safety areas — in addition to the fact that New Haven officials agreed as part of a settlement with East Haven not to pave them — is that in 2009, the following stipulation was written into the act that created the airport authority:    “...Runway 2-20 of the airport shall not exceed the existing paved runway length of five thousand six hundred linear feet.”

East Haven has strongly opposed runway extension in the past.

Members of New Haven’s legislative delegation filed a bill this past winter that would raise the amount of state funds appropriated each year for Tweed from $1.5 million to $2 million and change existing legislation to allow state bonding “for the taking of nearby trees” and “the paving of existing runway safety areas.”

It has yet to be acted upon, but East Haven Mayor Joseph Maturo Jr. vowed last month to have town attorneys conduct in-depth research on whether the proposed runway extension would have a negative effect on residents.

Adding air service is desirable to Tweed advocates not only for convenience but for fiscal reasons. 

Of Tweed’s $2.7 million budget, about 68 percent of the revenue came from city and state subsidies, according to the fiscal 2012-2013 audit, with another 32 percent in on-airport revenue coming from landing fees, fuel flow fees, land rental, car rental and taxi service concessions and passenger parking lot charges.

The Board of Alders balks some years at what is now a $325,000 subsidy. The state provides $1.5 million.

Tweed Authority Executive Director Tim Larson — also a Democratic state representative serving East Hartford — said he was not in a position to talk about the chances of success of the legislation, saying, “That’s a question that you have to ask the New Haven delegation.”

But “there’s no question that we have money in an environmental assessment looking at the dynamics of lengthening the runway to 6,000 feet,” he said.

“What we would propose to do and what the EA (environmental assessment) is looking at is paving the runway safety area the full 1,000 feet to the south...” Larson said. “We’re only looking at paving some portion of the northern RSA,” which must remain because it also serves a flood control function, he said.

With regard to Tweed’s potential, Larson said, “frankly the airline industry has always thought highly of the New Haven market...I think the New Haven market has great potential,” Larson said.

Tom Reich, director of air service development for AvPorts, the company that manages Tweed for the authority, said that while the past few years have been difficult for smaller airports, “Tweed New Haven Airport is in a unique category.”

When you talk about smaller airports, “a lot of those airports are in smaller areas; they’re rural,” he said. With Tweed, “its demographics, its location and the fact that it has institutions such as Yale ... lead me to believe this is not a typical small market.

“I represent a lot of different airports and when you pitch ideas to airlines, they can give you a very good idea of how serious they might be,” Reich said. “And when I talk to them about Tweed, there is a level of interest... There is a keen level of interest, where every time we see them at a conference, they ask us about the status of that runway.”

One problem is that an airline like Frontier, which currently is flying out of Trenton, N.J., and Wilmington, Del., and might be interested in Tweed, flies only 150-seat Airbus planes. They can easily land at Tweed, “but in order to take off, they’d have 30 or 40 seats blocked off” because of weight restrictions to ensure they have enough fuel to make it to more distant destinations, Reich said.

Allegiant, which flies out of Stewart but recently discontinued service from Islip, N.Y., uses similar planes, which makes the idea of Tweed getting to a runway of at least 6,000 feet even more crucial, he said. 

But commercial aviation consultant Michael Boyd of the Boyd Group International in Colorado said that talking about Tweed’s potential for new service “is all fine. The problem is, there’s no airline that wants to do it...

“I would certainly endorse a longer runway,” Boyd said. But Tweed is “from that perspective, a very tough place to go... The problem is, even with the drive to New York... there’s a lot more service out of Bradley...

“The problem is, airlines are not adding airplanes... They’re retiring old ones,” he said. “Everything is pointing in the wrong direction...

Getting air service for Tweed “is a real long shot and it’s getting longer every day.”

That doesn’t mean there isn’t potential at Tweed, but Boyd thinks it’s more likely to be in general aviation — private planes — or civil aviation. “There are opportunities for Tweed New Haven, I believe. The question is how do you maximize them?” 

“We do need a longer runway,” said Tweed’s acting director, Diane Jackson. With at least 500 feet in additional runway, “we would be more attractive to the airlines.

“The changes in the industry, I think make it more difficult for everybody,” she said. “I wouldn’t say it makes us less viable, but it makes it more of a challenge.”

Story and photo:

Dick Rochfort Named Official PA46 Instructor for Team Chambliss

Press Release - For Immediate Release 

Dick Rochfort, Master Instructor & owner of RWR Pilot Training was renamed Official PA46 Instructor for pilots of the Team Chambliss PA46 Meridian aircraft today for a second year. Team Chambliss acquired a PA46 Meridian aircraft in 2010 to further the airshow business and they have trained exclusively with Dick from the start. Dick is pictured here (center) with Chief Pilot Jason Resop (left) and aerobatic champion & professional Red Bull Air Race Pilot Kirby Chambliss (right).

About Dick Rochfort:

Dick Rochfort is a full-time Master Certified Flight Instructor providing type-specific, insurance-approved initial, recurrent and instructor standardization training, buyer consulting, aircraft relocation and expert witness services to Piper PA46 (Matrix, Malibu, Mirage, and Meridian) owners, pilots and instructors worldwide. He holds ATP and Gold Seal Flight Instructor Certificates with CFII, MEI, and CE-525S ratings.  He has been actively involved in flight training as an instructor since 1991.

Dick is an Aviation Safety Counselor for the FAA Baltimore Flight Standards District Office, and a member of the FAA Wings Industry Advisory Committee. His training program is FITS (FAA Industry Training Standards) approved and FAA Wings approved and fully insured. He has held the National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI) Master CFI designation for over 10 years. His education includes undergraduate degrees in Clinical Psychology and Engineering, and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration.  Dick lives in Baltimore, Maryland with his wife and two daughters.

About RWR Pilot Training:

RWR Pilot Training is headquartered in Baltimore, MD and offers insurance approved, excellent type-specific training for pilots of the Piper PA46 Matrix, Malibu, Mirage, and Meridian aircraft world-wide. The company also provides aircraft relocation and consulting services including pre-purchase activity and expert witness. RWR Pilot Training delivers the best value available today in pilot training for the PA46 aircraft. RWR Pilot Training is a National Industry Member of the FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam).

RWR Pilot Training now offers a program in which pilots train to FAA Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) standards. This advanced program is available to any PA46 pilot who wishes to participate. Pilots who are willing and able to demonstrate ATP level knowledge and skills and who agree to adopt PA46 Standard Operating Procedures (included with the training) will receive the coveted aviator’s “Pro-Card”. The Pro-Card documents the aviator’s professional attitude with respect to the technically advanced PA46 aircraft. Additionally, many insurance underwriters are willing to offer significant discounts to pilots who carry the Pro-Card because it demonstrates a commitment to measurable improvements in aviation safety.

About Team Chambliss:

In 1997 Kirby Chambliss became member and then captain of the US Aerobatic Team. He won four U.S. national championships and a number of medals at the world championships. He holds the title 2000 Men's Freestyle World Champion, and has logged over 26,000 flying hours. Kirby enjoys performing in traditional airshows throughout the year when he is not training or competing. Since 2005 he has performed at the international aerobatic competition Red Bull Air Race World Series as a member of the Red Bull Team, winning the championship twice in his Edge 540 aircraft. He uses his Piper Meridian regularly to support his aerobatic and race schedule. Kirby resides in Arizona with his wife and fellow pilot, Kellie and their daughter Karly.

For further information, contact:  Dick Rochfort 410 435-3333

Minnesota: Helicopters Flying Low across Metro Sunday for Mosquito Control

Twin Cities residents seeing low flying helicopters across the metro Sunday can blame mosquitoes.

The state is home to over 50 different mosquito species. The Metropolitan Mosquito Control District helicopters are treating large breeding sites to prevent larvae from growing into biting adults.

They work by applying a pellet containing a bacterium to wetlands and large areas of standing water that prevent larvae from growing into adult bugs. Treatments began in April.

The control district said residents can help stop mosquitos by cleaning out water holding containers, especially old tires.

Look here to see if your neighborhood is being treated.


A picture of a mosquito control helicopter tweeted to @KSTP on Sunday. - Photo: Twitter/@BrookeHenrich

Fiji Airways pilot plan

Fiji Airways has in place a program that will see more Fijian pilots on its aircraft. Picture: FILE+ Enlarge this image

Fiji Airways has in place a program that will see more Fijian pilots on its aircraft. Picture: FILE

THE national airline is monitoring its pilot progression program to have more Fijian pilots on its aircraft.

The program was launched two months ago, and according to Fiji Airways CEO Stefan Pichler, they hope to achieve their target by 2017.

He said this was not an easy exercise because the company's present mix of pilots was two-third expatriate and one-third local.

"We are trying to change that. We also need to grow and we will need additional pilots. So we are doing it step by step. The pilots operating Pacific Sun, soon-to-be Fiji Link, will all want to go to Boeing 737 later but we have to control it," Mr Pichler said.

"If there are eight pilots, maybe two can go in the first year and the others in the following years. This will not be done overnight because we have to train and monitor the progress of every pilot to ensure we are fully compliant with international standards."

He said this was to ensure the safety of staff members and passengers.


Drone cam owner, Arkansas television station shrug off Federal Aviation Administration concern

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — A photojournalist's remote controlled flights to capture overhead video of tornado-ravaged Arkansas communities has caught the attention of federal regulators who are developing rules on commercial uses of unmanned aerial vehicles.

But Brian Emfinger isn't letting the scrutiny stop him from continuing to use his device, commonly referred to as a drone. A photojournalist for television station KATV in Little Rock, Emfiner says he plans to continue using the drone.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports ( ) Emfinger's footage showed destroyed houses and other debris in Mayflower moments after the tornado hit on April 27, providing one of the earliest visuals of the damage left by the storm.

But the Federal Aviation Administration currently prohibits the commercial use of unmanned aircraft. The agency has notified KATV it is aware of Emfinger's drone.

Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette,

Lizard Head Pass, San Miguel County, Colorado

Search chopper crashes as cross-country skier found dead on Lizard Head Pass;   No injuries from crash


TELLURIDE, Colo. - A search and rescue helicopter crashed Saturday in San Miguel County during the search for a missing cross-country skier who was later found dead.

Sheriff Bill Masters said no one was seriously injured when the helicopter lost power at 10,000 feet.  It was carrying the pilot and a sheriff's deputy.

The search and rescue mission began Saturday morning for an 81-year-old man who was skiing with his Golden Retriever overnight.   The man's dog, named Buddy, was found guarding his body from coyotes in the area.


Search helicopter crashes in southwestern Colorado 

TELLURIDE, Colo. (AP) - Federal authorities are investigating after a helicopter involved in the search for a missing skier crashed in southwestern Colorado.

San Miguel County Sheriff Bill Masters says the Bell 407 helicopter with three crew members and a sheriff's deputy on board crashed near Lizard Head Pass after it lost power at about noon Saturday. No one was injured in the crash.

The team was looking Robert Blake, of Corrales, New Mexico, who was reported missing after he failed to return from an afternoon of cross-country skiing Friday. Blake's body was found by ground crews at about the same time the helicopter crashed.

Masters says it appears the man died of natural causes.

The helicopter was contracted out of Moab, Utah.


Did this plane get a bit too close to Delhi Daredevils training?

Kevin Pietersen films aircraft landing 

Dubai: Watch out for low-flying aircraft was the call from Delhi Daredevils fans as their team put in some hard hours in the nets on their arrival in India.

OK, we may have had a bit of Photoshop fun with the picture, but the plane did get mighty close if you watch this video from Kevin Pietersen's Instagram account:

Watch video:

Aero Adventure Aero Adventure, C-ISTX, Maryanne Hardman: Accident occurred May 04, 2014 at Stanley Airport (CCW4), East Hants, Nova Scotia

Ultralight plane crash victim Maryanne Hardman 'loved to fly' 

Maryanne Hardman was killed when the plane she was piloting crashed near the Stanley Airport, located about 22 kilometres northeast of Windsor. 

Nova Scotia aviation community mourning Hardman, who died in a crash on Sunday   

Nova Scotia's aviation community is remembering a pilot who died in an ultralight plane crash in Hants County on Sunday afternoon.

RCMP say Maryanne Hardman, 50, was killed when the plane she was piloting crashed at about 1 p.m. near the Stanley Airport, located about 22 kilometres northeast of Windsor.

Officers say she told the only two other pilots at the airfield when she planned to be back. When she was 10 minutes late they took off in separate aircraft to look for her.

"It didn't take very long at all for them to find the wreckage in what we call the gravel pit area," said Kevin Layden, president of the Stanley Sport Aviation.

The two pilots called 911.

Layden said Hardman's ultralight went down about one kilometre before reaching the runway. She was alone in the aircraft and was pronounced dead at the scene.

"The aircraft apparently came in at a steep angle and it was a very hard impact," said Layden.

He said Hardman had been flying her ultralight for about five years.

"She flew it a lot. She loved to fly. She was at Stanley every opportunity she got," he said.
Transportation Safety Board investigating

There have been accidents at the airport in the past, but Layden says this is the club's first fatality.

"This is the first time we've lost one of our own. I would say that we'll get over it in short order. It'll never leave our memory. Every time we check our airplane over before we go flying, we'll probably be more careful," he said.

"The aviation community is a small community and even all around the Maritimes we have gatherings all summer long. Even if somebody in New Brunswick has an incident, we usually know them personally."

The cause of the crash is unknown.

The RCMP handed the case over to the Transportation Safety Board of Canada. It could take months for the board to complete its investigation.

"We look at mechanical issues, we look at weather, we look at pilot training. We take statements. So it's different in different cases," said investigator Murray Hamm.

The club in Stanley leases the airport from Nova Scotia's Department of Natural Resources.

Emergency personnel work at the site of an ultralight plane crash that killed a woman on Sunday afternoon near the Stanley airport in Hants County. 

STANLEY, N.S. — The flying club in Stanley has lost a member whose love of aviation stood out even among fellow pilots.

RCMP confirmed on Monday morning that 50-year-old Maryanne Hardman was the pilot killed in an ultralight plane crash near the Stanley Airport on May 4.

Kevin Layden, president of Stanley Sport Aviation, she was a beloved member of the club.

“(She) loved to fly... was at Stanley every chance she got,” he said.

A resident of the the Halifax area, she was a member of Stanley Sport Aviation for five years, Layden said.

“One fellow said, ‘I don’t know how I’m going to tell my wife,’ and he said ‘I’m just sick to my stomach.’”

Layden was told the downed ultralight plane was discovered by two Stanley Sport Aviation members who took the sky Sunday upon hearing that Hardman was overdue from a morning flight.

The plane Hardman was piloting landed in a wooded area near a gravel pit close to the airport. Emergency responders were called to the scene around 1 p.m.

It is almost impossible to tell what caused the crash until the investigation concludes, Layden said.

“Even if you were an experienced pilot, and you witnessed a crash, you’d probably get it wrong.”

Layden said he is aware of three fatalities associated with another club that no longer flies out of the airport, but this crash marks a tragic first for Stanley Sport Aviation.

“This is the first casualty in the history of the club.”

Airport manager Bob Poirier said the club has been operating for roughly 46 years. Safety regulations are in place, and enforced, at the rural East Hants airport dating back to the Second World War, he added.

Hardman’s death came as a shock to Poirier.

“I’ve flown with her several times,” he said. “She was very meticulous and very safe and an excellent pilot.”

Transport Canada’s Civil Aviation Daily Occurrence Reporting System (CADORS) contains documents pertaining to two prior fatal plane crashes at the Stanley Airport.

A pilot operating a privately owned Cirrus glider died after his aircraft crashed into trees to the right of Runway 20 shortly after lift-off in May 2002. In July 2004, a glider pilot operating within the Bluenose Soaring Club was fatally injured after losing control of the aircraft.

One woman is dead following an ultra-light plane crash in Stanley, Hants County. 

At approximately 1 p.m. on May 4, RCMP received a 911 call reporting that an ultra-light plane had crashed near the Stanley Airport. The female pilot and lone occupant of the plane was pronounced dead at the scene.

The plane landed in a wooded area not far from the runway. Another pilot reported the crash.

Staff Sgt. Archie Thompson, of the East Hants RCMP, said the pilot was a 50-year-old woman from Halifax “who loved to fly.”

He added that she had been flying for about five years.

The investigation is in its early stages and few details are known at this time. The Transportation and Safety Board will be handling the investigation with assistance from the RCMP.

The name of the deceased is not being released at this time.

More to come.

Plane crash claims life of woman in Hants county; Crash happened at Stanley Airport, northeast of Windsor 

A woman is dead after the ultralight plane she was flying crashed in Hants County, Nova Scotia Sunday afternoon.

RCMP Sgt. Brigdit Leger said the crash was reported to police around 1 p.m.

The pilot who died was the only person in the plane when it crashed.

It happened at the Stanley Airport, located about 22 kilometres northeast of Windsor.

One woman is dead after a small aircraft crashed at the Stanley airport in Hants County early this afternoon.

An RCMP spokeswoman said they were called to the crash just after 1 p.m.

Sgt. Brigit Leger said the incident is under investigation. Police have not been able to verify if the plane was an ultralight model.

The airport has been the scene of several prior fatalities.

In July 2004, a 63-year-old Dartmouth man died when his glider crashed just after lifting off.

In May 2002, a 58-year-old pilot and instructor crashed his glider into trees at the edge of the runway shortly after take-off. His aircraft was late found to have had mechanical problems.

An investigation into a May 2000 crash that killed a 69-year-old pilot and instructor determined that the incident was caused by combination of strong tailwind and poor design of the aircraft.