Monday, May 12, 2014

Rotarians hear the captain speaking...

LEDBURY -  Rotarians were enthralled to hear a talk given by Captain Gray O'Hanlon, a former Airline Pilot.

Mr O'Hanlon started life as an engineer, but realized that his great passion was for flying and he changed his career and was accepted for training to be an airline pilot for British Airways.

Throughout his 25 year plus time flying which took him around the globe, he had some hair raising landings, such as the strip on the Greek Island of Skiathos, where the runway is short and reverse thrusters need to be employed immediately.

Rotary Club spokesperson, Jan Long said: "Following his highly interesting and amusing talk, Rotarians had the opportunity to ask questions and unsurprisingly, one main topic was the disappearance of the Malaysian Airline.

"Mr O'Hanlon said that everyone he knew in his professional capacity were at a loss to understand what had befallen the missing aircraft, and why there was yet still no trace of it.

"Captain O'Hanlon who has flown a similar Boeing aircraft said that these were magnificent planes and he had found them a joy to pilot."

The evening closed with Ledbury Rotary President Steve Wheeler trying on the captain's peaked cap for size. 


Piper PA-28R: Incident occurred September 10, 2020 in Slagelse, Denmark

NTSB Identification: GAA20WA138
14 CFR Non-U.S., Non-Commercial
Incident occurred Thursday, September 10, 2020 in Slagelse, Denmark
Aircraft: PIPER PA28R, registration:
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

The foreign authority was the source of this information.

The government of Denmark has notified the NTSB of an accident involving a PIPER PA28R airplane that occurred on September 10, 2020. The NTSB has appointed a U.S. Accredited Representative to assist the government of Denmark's investigation under the provisions of ICAO Annex 13.

All investigative information will be released by the government of Denmark.

Piper PA-28-180 Cherokee, N15230: Accident occurred May 11, 2014 in Indian Trail, North Carolina

NTSB Identification: ERA14CA233
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, May 11, 2014 in Indian Trail, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/09/2014
Aircraft: PIPER PA 28-180, registration: N15230
Injuries: 1 Minor, 3 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot stated that he intended to perform a short field takeoff due to trees at the end of the 2,350-foot-long runway. A pretakeoff engine run up revealed no anomalies, and the pilot initiated the takeoff with the wing flaps extended 10 degrees. "Immediately" after takeoff, the pilot raised the flaps, and felt as though the airplane's nose was "pushed down." The airplane contacted trees at the end of the runway and subsequently impacted the ground, resulting in substantial damage to the fuselage, both wings, and the engine firewall. Postaccident examination of the airplane and engine by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed no anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. According to the airplane owner's handbook, when operating from short runways, "[takeoff] distances can be reduced appreciably by lowering flaps to 25 degrees." The Airplane Flying Handbook (FAA-H-8083-3A further stated, "On short-field takeoffs, the landing gear and flaps should remain in takeoff position until clear of obstacles and [best rate of climb] has been established. It is usually advisable to raise the flaps in increments to avoid sudden loss of lift."

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's improper flap retraction during a short field takeoff, which resulted in the aircraft experiencing an aerodynamic stall and impact with trees.

FAA Charlotte FSDO-68


Four people suffered minor injuries Sunday when a private plane crashed after takeoff in Union County, authorities said. 

The plane went down about 2:30 p.m. near Goose Creek Airport, on Lawyers Road near Rocky River Road in the northwest part of the county.

The plane, identified as a Piper Arrow, crash-landed near Charlotte National Golf Club in Indian Trail. Witnesses told The Observer that the pilot had landed, dropped off a woman, then took off with two adults and a child.

Moments later, witnesses said, the plane clipped some trees and landed near a fairway at the golf course.

The four people aboard the plane were taken to Carolinas Medical Center. All of them are expected to recover, officials said. The plane was registered to a man from the Columbia area.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.

CommutAir, Embraer EMB-145XR: Incident occurred October 05, 2020 at McGhee Tyson Airport (KTYS), Alcoa, Blount County, Tennessee

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Nashville, Tennessee

Aircraft struck a bird on final. 

Date: 05-OCT-20
Time: 23:45:00Z
Regis#: UCA4892
Aircraft Make: EMBRAER
Aircraft Model: E45X
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Flight Phase: APPROACH (APR)
Operation: 121
Aircraft Operator: COMMUTAIR
Flight Number: UCA4892

New path into Chicago Midway International Airport (KMDW) doesn't fly for South, SW Side areas

Folks in Bridgeport have been looking to the skies in recent weeks, wondering why they are suddenly hearing hundreds of planes some days headed into Midway Airport about 7 miles away.

“In 30 years, I’ve not heard noise like we are hearing now,’’ said Kathy Krugler, 64, of Bridgeport. “It’s unbelievable.’’

Turns out, since Feb. 6, a new flight path into Midway’s Runway 22L has been sending a barrage of planes over a new swath of South Side and Southwest Side neighborhoods.

That includes portions of the Bridgeport, Armour Square and Douglas neighborhoods and perhaps parts of McKinley Park, according to estimates pieced together by the Chicago Sun-Times from Federal Aviation Administration maps.

Of all the wards, the 11th — home to once clout-heavy Bridgeport — has the largest land mass affected by the flight changes, maps indicate.

When Runway 22L is used for arrivals — which is when winds are blowing from the south or southwest —  it takes in 300 to 400 flights a day, a controller at Midway Air Traffic Control said. Planes landing on runway 22L or a parallel one with a similar flight path were used 27 percent of the time in March, or roughly one out of every four days.

Bridgeport resident Peggy Weyer said she’s seen planes overhead before, but nothing like the recent onslaught — virtually every few minutes at times — and never this low.

She’s even suddenly noticed planes with their lights on and wheels down.

“If I can read what’s on the plane and know what type of plane it is, it’s low,’’ Weyer said.

But FAA spokesman Tony Molinaro said the new approach does not bring planes into Midway at lower altitudes — although it does bring them in over different areas.

From just west of the lakeshore to the Lake Michigan shoreline, planes generally are approaching at an altitude of 2,500 to 1,500 feet, Molinaro said.

As a comparison, the Willis Tower is 1,450 feet high. That means by the time planes reach Bridgeport — about a mile west of the lakeshore — they would be flying at around the height of the Willis Tower.

The new Midway approach is “permanent,’’ Molinaro said, and allows a more direct route into Midway rather than the fish hook approach used previously.

Following I-55 and the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, the route flies over fewer residences and a smaller area, saving fuel and time for airlines and travelers, Molinaro said. New flight technology made it possible, he said.

“This is part of an initiative to improve approaches so they save time for travelers, reduce emissions in the air and fly over less populated areas,’’ Molinaro said by email.

The city worked with the Midway Noise Abatement Commission to hold public meetings about the changes last spring, Molinaro said, and even soundproofed some homes before it was launched.

A spokeswoman at the Chicago Department of Aviation was unable to answer questions last week about Midway. But Krugler and Weyer say they didn’t know about the changes until they were hit in the face with them. That’s becoming a familiar pattern, said Jac Charlier of the Fair Allocation in Runways Coalition, which is pushing for more even usage of O’Hare runways.

Some Northwest Side and suburban residents were taken by surprise by two O’Hare flight pattern changes since October of 2013, Charlier said. Some Chicagoans who had lived in peace for years 10 to 12 miles from O’Hare were suddenly hit with jet noise, he said.

“The best two words are, ‘Buyer beware,’ ’’ Charlier said. “This could happen to you. . . . When you have lack of community input, this is what happens.’’

Ald. James Balcer (11th) said he couldn’t remember if he was invited to the public meetings about the Runway 22L flight path changes, but he did get noise complaints afterwards.

He said he called Chicago Department of Aviation Commission Rosemarie Andolino about the complaints, and he hopes to have a meeting with the aviation department following even more complaints recently.

About 300 to 400 planes a day, when the runway is used, is “a lot of planes,’’ Balcer said, although he did not remember hearing that number before.

The most recent Chicago Aviation Department report on Midway indicates first-quarter noise complaints through March 31 out of Chicago more than doubled between 2013 and 2014, rising from 60 to 140.

In addition, the percent of complaints about “low-flying” Midway planes  — from both city and suburban residents — jumped from 38 percent to 56 percent during that time.

Other changes are ahead at Midway — but they’ll be temporary. The first of four 56-hour overnight-only closures of another runway — 13C/31C — will start at 10 p.m. Monday and run until 6 a.m. Thursday.

The concrete runway is being replaced with asphalt and new lighting is being installed amid work that should end around Aug. 18.

Midway Director of Operations Costas Simos said the airport will check with airlines daily to ensure that other runways can be used overnight for the 10 or 11 flights that normally operate during those overnight hours.

The work is approved for up to $40 million but officials are estimating costs currently at $27 million, Simos said.


Remote-controlled drone with HD camera seized at Cairo Airport

CAIRO: Cairo International Airport authorities seized Monday the first small remote-controlled drone with HD camera with a Pakistani passenger coming from Abu Dhabi, Youm7 reported.

These kinds of planes are banned under a military resolution in 1998 to enter the country as it may endanger national security and use them in several destruction acts, according to Youm7.

This was not the first remote-controlled drone to be seized at the airport, another similar incident occurred last week when Cairo Airport authorities foiled an attempt to smuggle a small helicopter used for “spying purposes” that had an HD camera coming from the U.S.

Amid a crackdown by the Criminal Investigation Department at the Cairo Airport, it managed to seize four spy planes, telescopes, and cartridges from five passengers.


Exclusive: Air traffic system failure caused by computer memory shortage

(Reuters) - A common design problem in the U.S. air traffic control system made it possible for a U-2 spy plane to spark a computer glitch that recently grounded or delayed hundreds of Los Angeles area flights, according to an inside account and security experts.

In theory, the same vulnerability could have been used by an attacker in a deliberate shut-down, the experts said, though two people familiar with the incident said it would be difficult to replicate the exact conditions.

The error blanked out a broad swath of the southwestern United States, from the West Coast to western Arizona and from southern Nevada to the Mexico border.

As aircraft flew through the region, the $2.4 billion system made by Lockheed Martin Corp, cycled off and on trying to fix the error, triggered by a lack of altitude information in the U-2's flight plan, according to the sources, who were not authorized to speak publicly about the incident.

No accidents or injuries were reported from the April 30 failure, though numerous flights were delayed or canceled.

Lockheed Martin said it conducts "robust testing" on all its systems and referred further questions about the En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM) system to the Federal Aviation Administration.

FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown said the computer had to examine a large number of air routes to "de-conflict the aircraft with lower-altitude flights".

She said that process "used a large amount of available memory and interrupted the computer's other flight-processing functions".

The FAA later set the system to require altitudes for every flight plan and added memory to the system, which should prevent such problems in the future, Brown said.


When the system went out, air traffic controllers working in the regional center switched to a back-up system so they could see the planes on their screens, according to one of the sources.

Paper slips and telephones were used to relay information about planes to other control centers.

The ERAM system failed because it limits how much data each plane can send it, according to the sources. Most planes have simple flight plans, so they do not exceed that limit.

But a U-2 operating at high altitude that day had a complex flight plan that put it close to the system's limit, the sources said.

The plan showed the plane going in and out of the Los Angeles control area multiple times, not a simple point-to-point route like most flights, they said.

The flight plan did not contain an altitude for the flight, one of the sources said. While a controller entered the usual altitude for a U-2 plane - about 60,000 feet - the system began to consider all altitudes between ground level and infinity.

The conflict generated error messages and caused the system to begin cycling through restarts.

"The system is only designed to take so much data per airplane," one of the sources said. "It keeps failing itself because it's exceeded the limit of what it can do."


The sources said the circumstances would be difficult for an attacker to mimic, since they involved a complex flight plan, an altitude discrepancy and an input from the controller that added to the flight plan data.

Former military and commercial pilots said flight plans are generally carefully checked and manually entered into the air traffic control computers, which are owned by the FAA.

"It would be hard to replicate by a hostile government, but it shows a very basic limitation of the system," said a former military and commercial pilot.

Cyber-attacks on aviation have been an area of increased concern for intelligence officials, who said earlier this year they will set up a new center in Maryland for sharing information on detected and possible threats.

Security experts said that from the description by insiders, the failure appeared to have been made possible by the sort of routine programming mistake that should have been identified in testing before it was deployed.

"That's when you put in values anywhere that a human could put in a number, like minus one feet, or a million feet, to see what that would do," said Jeff Moss, founder of the Black Hat and Def Con security conferences and an advisor to the Department of Homeland Security.

While it might be logical to limit the amount of data associated with one flight plan, anything exceeding that amount should not be able to render the system useless, they said.

Though they welcomed the FAA's assurance that a fix was being rolled out, they said the incident suggested that similar failures could be found.

"If it's now understood that there are flight plans that cause the automated system to fail, then the flight plan is an 'attack surface,'" said Dan Kaminsky, co-founder of the White Ops security firm and an expert in attacks based on over-filling areas of computer memory.

"It's certainly possible that there are other forms of flight plans that could cause similar or even worse effects," Kaminsky said. "This is part of the downside of automation."

Moss said many hackers have been studying aspects of a new $40 billion air traffic control system, known as NextGen, which encompasses ERAM, including its reliance on Global Positioning System data that could be faked.

At least two talks at this summer's Def Con will look at potential weaknesses in the system.

"It's very over-budget and behind schedule, so it doesn't surprise me that it's got some bugs - it's the way it presented itself" that's alarming, Moss said.

But air traffic controllers and pilots said ERAM is a vast improvement over past systems and that it is needed to fit growing plane traffic into the airspace safely.

Nate Pair, president of the Los Angeles Center for the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, said it was remarkable that ERAM was restored less than an hour after the outage, limiting the effect on travelers.

"We were completely shut down and 46 minutes later we were back up and running," Pair said.

"That could have easily been several hours and then we would have been into flight delays for days because of the ripple effects."

Story and comments:

Risk of air collisions spurs action from Federal Aviation Administration

Barely averted airplane collisions at O’Hare International Airport have prompted the Federal Aviation Administration to implement air traffic changes to reduce safety risks, despite increased noise surrounding communities may face.

O’Hare Airport’s converging runways cause flight paths to intersect, increasing chances of midair collisions if an airplane has to discontinue its landing and ascend back into the air, according to a July 1 National Transportation Safety Board press release. After reviewing reports of near collisions, the NTSB recommended using fewer runways to make landing and takeoff safer, FAA Spokesman Tony Molinaro said in an email.

As a result, O’Hare is using only two runway lanes for departure instead of three–making landings and takeoffs louder–since April 15, said Jac Charlier, co-founder of Fair Allocation in Runways, a community group that voices concerns about changes to O’Hare.

The FAA required air traffic control at all airports with similar converging runways, such as Las Vegas McCarran International Airport and Charlotte Douglas International Airport, to modify their arrival and departure procedures effective April 15, Molinaro said.

Before the FAA’s rules went into effect, O’Hare could operate three arrival and departure runways depending on the number of flights and the wind conditions, Molinaro said. Under the new rules, the airport will still have three arrival runways in use, but only two runways will be used for departures.

These operations will stay in place while the FAA evaluates the airport to make landing and takeoff less risky for pilots and passengers, Molinaro said. The flight path for planes landing and taking off at O’Hare will not change, he said.

Although the new set of rules may make air travel safer during busy summer travel months, surrounding neighborhoods such as Edgebrook will experience considerable noise, Charlier said.

“We live in the middle of this air traffic area so we understand there are things that go with that, including noise,” Charlier said. “What we are experiencing at different times, day and night, is a plane every 30 seconds to one minute flying over our homes.”

Charlier said the Edgebrook community generally supports O’Hare airport and acknowledges that it is an economic boon to the city, but the government has failed to give the community a chance to get involved with O’Hare’s changes.

“Democracy is not done,” Charlier said. “Democracy is about both the people and the process, but when people are left out of the process, there is no democracy. The idea is that major decisions made by the government where there is major impact requires active [community] engagement.”

The Edgebrook community filed 11,145 noise complaints in March alone, according to a March 2014 Chicago Department of Aviation report. There have been more than 24,938 complaints filed so far this year, close to the 29,493 complaints made in all of 2013.

Residents west of O’Hare have experienced less noise since the changes were implemented, said Craig Johnson, mayor of Elk Grove Village, Ill.

“In a lot of ways, we are better off than we have ever been,” Johnson said. “Our battle was never about noise. [It] was about Chicago taking communities and property.”

Although the new rules do not pose an inconvenience to Elk Grove, Johnson said the FAA needs to create guidelines to ensure the safety of passengers and airplanes.

“O’Hare was dangerous to start with,” Johnson said. “It’s a nightmare sometimes. I applaud the FAA; they are doing their job. You can only fit so many planes in the air space.”

In the interim, the O’Hare Noise Compatibility Commission, an agency in cooperation with the CDA and FAA, will closely monitor CDA data regarding aircraft noise and flight paths, said Jeanette Camacho, executive director of the ONCC, in a May 8 email. The commission will also monitor installation of sound insulation in homes and schools directly affected by aircraft noise, Camacho said.

Charlier said residents should continue to file noise complaints despite whether they impact the city’s future decisions regarding O’Hare because the community will continue to be impacted if people do not stand their ground.

“We support the economic engine that is O’Hare,” Charlier said. “We want to stay aware of changes in our neighborhood. I believe communication ends with an action. We want to leave people with an action they can do to get involved.”


Pilatus Aircraft Ltd: Downloading Maintenance Data Files for the Pilatus PC-12 NG

Pilatus Aircraft Ltd 
Published on May 12, 2014

Based in Stans, Switzerland, Pilatus Aircraft Ltd was established in 1939. Seventy percent of all PC-12s which come off the production line in Stans, Switzerland are finished to customer specifications (interior and exterior livery) in Colorado. The American subsidiary is also responsible for PC-12 marketing, sales and servicing activities in North and South America.

Pilatus Aircraft Ltd: Moving Map for Passenger on the Pilatus PC-12 NG

Pilatus Aircraft Ltd 
Published on May 12, 2014 

Based in Stans, Switzerland, Pilatus Aircraft Ltd was established in 1939. Seventy percent of all PC-12s which come off the production line in Stans, Switzerland are finished to customer specifications (interior and exterior livery) in Colorado. The American subsidiary is also responsible for PC-12 marketing, sales and servicing activities in North and South America.