Thursday, May 29, 2014

Costa Rica’s Version of Air Force One is a Drug Cartel Plane?

Costa Rica News – Well it seems that the drug cartels are giving back to Costa Rica in more ways than just paying off police and judges, killing environmentalist, and shipping pineapples full of cocaine.  Would you recommend a president using a drug cartel plane as his mode of transportation?

Costa Rica is the only country in the region that does not have a private plane for its president. That is, until now. Luis Guillermo Solis’ administration recently announced that the president will have a dual motor aircraft at his disposal for any trips he makes.

The President, who took office in early May of this year, said that he prefers commercial airlines but might use the aircraft on occasional flights for official business. His upcoming trip to Miami is one in particular that he will need a private plane for.

Some are questioning whether this aircraft, once used for drug trafficking, is a good choice of aircraft. The airplane was brought to Costa Rica by two Guatemalan pilots, who are still awaiting trial for bringing illegal drugs into the country, during an emergency landing in Limon.

The government is now processing the plane in hopes that it can become part of the Public Security Ministry’s fleet. This includes getting maintenance records, making the necessary repairs and waiting for it to be released from custody. If they succeed it could be one of their best aircraft.

This seven passenger, two pilot plane can reach speeds of up to 279 miles per hour and has a market value of about $1 million.

The question is after the previous President, Laura Chinchilla, was questioned about her taking flights on drug cartel jets is this a good choice for President Solis?  I am sure China might buy him a new plane in exchange for some shark fins.

Hopefully the new president tries to stop this trade from happening in Costa Rica.


Story and photo:   http://www.costaricantimes.com


Bern set to ease ban on ultralight aircraft

Motorized ultralight aircraft, banned in Switzerland for 30 years, may be on the verge of getting approval from federal authorities.

The Swiss banned the “flying lawn mowers”, as the local press call the aircraft, in 1984 — not for safety reasons but for environmental ones because of the noise made by their engines.

In November 2013, Switzerland’s top court ruled that the federal government did not have a proper legal basis to ban the aircraft.

However, the court threw the issue back to the government by saying it should either provide a better legal basis for the ban or examine authorizing such aircraft on the basis of foreign standards.

Now, the federal environment department has proposed relaxing the law against ultralight planes by allowing those with electric engines, the ATS news agency reported on Thursday.

In 2005, the department made an exception to its ban for Ecolight aircraft, a lightweight single-propeller aircraft that looks more like a conventional small plane that the motorized hang gliders that emerged in the 1980s.

A total of 32 Ecolight aircraft have subsequently been registered in Switzerland, subject to standards set in Germany.

“Since the disappearance of East Germany in 1989, Switzerland is the only country that bans ultralight aircraft,” Christian Boppart, director of the Swiss Hang-gliding and Paragliding Association is quoted as saying by ATS.

This shows the ban is “anachronistic,” he said.

The association backs the planned change to allow ultralight planes with electric motors but it said that it did not expect a large number of such aircraft in Switzerland if its gets the go-ahead.

In Germany, there are only 100 such planes in operation, because of the difficulty in getting training to operate them.

The Swiss Microflight Flyers association wants the government to go further in lifting the ban completely.

But the environment department said the Swiss public remains skeptical about accepting the same laws for ultralight aircraft as in other countries.

It backs those with electric engines because of the promise of developing environmentally friendly technology.

Environmental groups such as Pro Natura and Birdlife, a bird protection group, fear the impact on wildlife of any increase in flights by aircraft for pleasure, ATS reported.

The Mountain Wilderness group, also opposed to the micro planes, wants to ensure that the Alps remain as free from the impact of human activity as possible, the agency said.

Source:   http://www.thelocal.ch

Parts from Crashed Balloon Recovered in Virginia

RICHMOND, Virginia (AP) — Authorities have recovered the burner and canvas of a hot air balloon that crashed in Virginia earlier this month, killing all three on board.

Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller says the balloon's basket hasn't yet been found.

Geller said Wednesday in a news release that boaters reported seeing what appeared to be large canvas in the Mattaponi River in Caroline County on Sunday. Authorities recovered both the canvas and the balloon's burner.

Geller says the National Transportation Safety Board will take possession of the wreckage as evidence in its investigation of the crash.

The balloon hit power lines and caught fire on May 9 at the start of a balloon festival in Doswell. The pilot and two passengers were killed.


http://www.newsplex.com

NTSB Identification: ERA14FA231
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, May 09, 2014 in Ruther Glen, VA
Aircraft: EAGLE C-7, registration: N3016Z
Injuries: 3 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On May 9, 2014, about 1940 eastern daylight time, an Eagle C-7 Balloon, N3016Z, was destroyed by fire after a landing attempt to a field and subsequent impact with powerlines near Ruther Glen, Virginia. The commercial pilot and two passengers were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local personal flight that departed from Meadow Event Park, Doswell, Virginia, approximately 3.75 miles to the south of the accident location. The flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

Multiple eyewitnesses reported that the accident balloon approached a field from the south where another balloon had just landed. As the accident balloon approached the landing site, the pilot engaged the burner; however, the balloon struck powerlines, which resulted in a spark. Subsequently, the balloon basket and a section of the envelope caught fire. The balloon began an accelerated climb and drifted out of sight.

The debris path was approximately 1.75 miles in length and was oriented on a 025 degree heading from the attempted landing field. Two stainless steel propane fuel tanks, a hand-held fire extinguisher, the instrument panel, and various pieces of the charred envelope fabric, associated with the lower portion of the balloon envelope, were recovered along the debris path. Both propane fuel tanks were intact but exhibited thermal and impact damage. The balloon crown, crown ring, deflation port, the burner, and two other propane fuel tanks were not recovered.

The balloon was equipped with four propane tanks, a wicker basket, and a 78,133 cubic foot envelope. The most recent annual inspection on the balloon was performed on August 5, 2013, and at that time it had accumulated 270.4 hours of total time.

A Garmin 12 handheld global positioning system and three cellular phones were located, removed, and sent to the NTSB Recorder Laboratory for download.

Tullahoma, Tennessee: Air Show and Fireworks Cancelled → Manchester Event Planned

Since 1968 the Kiwanis Club of Tullahoma has helped provide the July 4th fireworks display for the citizens of Tullahoma and surrounding area. The group did not receive enough funding for a fireworks and air show at the airport for 2014. There was one other year that a fireworks show did not occur, 2008 due to the THS football stadium being torn down.

Due to new regulations the airport was the only option for a show.

The City of Manchester will hold its annual fireworks show at the Manchester Recreation Center.

The city pays $4,500 for the fireworks show and $2,000 for entertainment at Rotary Park. The July 4th event will start with entertainment at 6 p.m. and the 20-minute fireworks show that will start at 9 p.m.

The public is invited to the annual event.


Source:   http://www.thunder1320.com

Progressive Aerodyne Searey amphibious aircraft fly in to Frogs Hollow, New South Wales, Australia

Six Searey amphibious planes flew in to Frogs Hollow recently.

Member of Frogs Hollow Aero Club and owner of Ocean Lake Caravan Park at Wallaga Lake Ted Munckton said what made it particularly special was there are only around 30 of these planes in Australia.

The pilots are friends of Mr Munckton, who invited them to fly to the Bega Valley. 

Mr Munckton said it was a “really good” day and the club was “really excited to have visitors”.

The pilots were Rob Loneragan from Rylstone, Jack Peters from Melbourne, and Keith Clark, Brian Dehlsen and Ben Hunter from Sydney.

Mr Loneragan is the Australian importer of the plane kits, which come from Orlando, Florida.

Mr Munckton said a kit costs around $50,000, but comes without some parts such as an engine, so can cost around $100,000 to complete.

He said once you get the kit you build it yourself, which can take from eight months to two years, depending on “how keen” the builder is.

“It’s a really good, popular plane,” he said.

Mr Munckton said the reason there are so few of them in Australia was “it takes more talent to be a seaplane pilot as opposed to a land plane pilot”.

The SeaRey can fit a pilot and a passenger inside, and travel up to 75–80 knots. 

Mr Munckton got his pilot’s license in 1988 and took a SeaRey for a test fly with Mr Loneragan in 1995, then decided he wanted one.

He bought the kit in 2000 and by 2001 had it up and flying.

“I’ve always loved airplanes,” he said.

Mr Munckton and his SeaRey-owning friends have gone on a few trips in their planes, flying to Morea, Victoria, in 2001 and to South Australia in 2007.

He likes flying more than driving as he gets “a much better view”.


Story and photo gallery:   http://www.begadistrictnews.com.au

 

China accuses Japan of "dangerous" flight in air zone

BEIJING: Beijing hit back Thursday at Tokyo's claims of "dangerous" flying near disputed islands, accusing Japanese fighter jets of coming recklessly close to a Chinese aircraft last year.

Two Japanese F-15 fighter planes came within 10 metres of a Chinese Y-8 transport aircraft over the East China Sea on November 23, defence ministry spokesman Geng Fusheng said, according to a transcript on the ministry's website.

"We conducted an effective response to dangerous Japanese close surveillance, and have conclusive evidence (of the incident)," he said.

Beijing raised tensions in November when it declared an air defence identification zone (ADIZ) covering the East China Sea, overlapping a similar Japanese zone and covering islands bitterly disputed between the two nations.

The Tokyo-controlled outcrops are known as Diaoyu in Chinese and Senkaku in Japanese.

Analysts have warned that increased patrols inside the zones raise the risk of accidents which could spiral into conflict.

A Japanese ministry spokesman on Sunday said a Chinese SU-27 jet flew within 30 meters of a Japanese OP-3C surveillance plane above the waters where the countries' ADIZs overlap.

"They were dangerous acts that could lead to an accident," Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera told reporters about the incident on Saturday.

China's defence ministry said two Japanese planes entered China's ADIZ, "interfering with joint naval exercises between China and Russia" for which a "no fly" notice had been issued.


Source:  http://www.channelnewsasia.com

Cessna 210E Centurion, N4948U, Bryson Air Inc: Incident occurred May 29, 2014 at Dayton International Airport (KDAY), Ohio

AIRCRAFT LANDED GEAR UP, DAYTON, OH 

FAA Cincinnati FSDO-05

 
Technically, Was This A Plane Crash? http://forums.bicycling.com


BRYSON AIR INC, N4948U: http://registry.faa.gov/N4948U


 


Ohio Highway Patrol: Plane crash at Dayton International 'pilot error'

DAYTON —

UPDATE: The 73-year-old pilot who walked away from a plane crash Thursday afternoon at Dayton International Airport is James D. Bryson of Troy.

Officials say he took off from Benton Harbor, Mich., stopped in Piqua and ended up skidding to a stop via belly slide at the Dayton airport.

Trooper Mark Murray, Ohio Highway Patrol, said, "it was pilot error."

Bryson "neglected to drop his landing gear," Murray said, noting the pilot has several hundred hours of flight time.

The FAA has been notified. Any charges would be pursued by that agency, Murray said.

EARLIER: Emergency crews at Dayton International Airport rushed to the scene of a small Cessna plane crash Thursday afternoon.

According to airport officials, a Cessna 210 aircraft landed without its landing gear at approximately 2 p.m. An Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper on scene to investigate the crash said the pilot did a belly slide to bring the plane to a stop.

The pilot was the only person on board the aircraft and was not injured.

Airport officials said no commercial flights are delayed because of the crash. All commercial flights are using two of three runways at the airport.

The runway used by the Cessna pilot is closed temporarily.

A check with the FAA shows the plane is registered to Bryson Air Incorporated in Casstown, Ohio. We've also learned the plane was being housed inside a rented hangar at Aviation Sales on North Dixie Drive in Vandalia.

Sandy's Towing Company responded to the crash site to remove the plane.

We have a reporter on the scene and will post updates to this site as the story develops.

- Story, video, photo gallery and comments/reaction:   http://www.whio.com



This is the Cessna 210 that landed without its landing gear at Dayton International Airport on Thursday, May 29, 2014. The pilot, James D. Bryson of Troy, was not injured.

Study estimates airports contribute $1.4 billion to Wyomings economy

CHEYENNE, Wyo. - A study completed for the Wyoming Department of Transportation's Aeronautics Division found that 35 of the state's public-use airports generate a combined $1.4 billion in economic activity in the state annually.

That figure was derived using the Federal Aviation Administration's approved methodology for estimating an airport's economic impacts, which considers jobs created or supported by the airports directly and by the travelers and businesses that use the airports, and the successive waves of additional economic activity they generate.

The study estimates 12,268 jobs in the state are related to airport management, airport tenants, visitor spending and capital investment in the airports. The annual payroll associated with those jobs is $526.4 million.

When all annual spending related to airports, airport tenants, capital investment and air visitors is considered, the study estimates Wyoming airports support $1.4 billion in total annual economic activity or output.

The study found visitors who arrive in Wyoming on commercial airline flights spend $547.2 million in the state annually, and that spending supports 8,438 jobs with an annual payroll of $318 million.

The airports themselves account for 283 jobs in administration, operation and maintenance, with an annual payroll of $13.7 million.

The study completed by consultants ICF-SH&E, Kramer Aerotek and Jviation estimates the airports and the activities they support also generate $55 million in state and local tax revenues each year.

"The study is something the Wyoming Aeronautics Commission has asked us to do periodically to help quantify the value of aviation to Wyoming," Aeronautics Administrator Dennis Byrne said. "The information helps us understand the need for airport and air service development in the state."

The research documented how Wyoming airports support businesses, tourism, agriculture, hospitals and doctors, emergency services, state and federal agencies and colleges. The project concluded that there are approximately 38,100 additional jobs in Wyoming that rely on or benefit from aviation on a regular basis.

Contributing to the study results were surveys of 4,000 travelers using Wyoming airports, direct mailings to 400 businesses, and input from 50 chambers of commerce and economic development groups and 30 government agencies and statewide organizations.

- Provided by the Wyoming Department of Transportation  

Source:   http://www.ktvq.com

Gary airport authority hears about positive changes: Gary/Chicago International Airport (KGYY), Gary, Indiana

GARY | Members of the Gary/Chicago International Airport Authority heard a series of reports about finances, new maintenance programs and improved communications during Thursday’s meeting, and gave their approval to the news.

Board members also met the airport’s new chief financial officer William Outlar, of Gary, who joined the staff on Tuesday, and Hank Mook, the interim deputy general manager. Both were hired by AVPorts, the Gary Chicago International Airport’s new private operator, which has a 10-year contract to manage all airport operations.

Airport authority attorney Lee I. Lane updated the board on continued financing of the $32 million runway project. An application has been made to the Indiana Finance Authority, which initiated a new program for regional airports to provide low interest bonds with approximately 3 percent interest rates, Lane said.

The airport authority board will need to adopt an ordinance at its next meeting allowing this kind of financing to be used, she said.

The rest of the aviation bond financing will be open for bidding soon, Lane said.

In addition, the board heard that an application for continued Passenger Facility Charge funding is being prepared to submission to the Chicago Compact, which includes the Gary, Midway and O’Hare airports. The Gary airport receives about $2.5 million per year from those fees.

In total, $11.5 million of PFC funds collected by the Gary airport will be used for rehabilitation projects such as runway and apron rehabilitation over the next three to five years, said Dan Vicari, in-house project manager for the runway project. Vicari was substituting at Thursday’s meeting for Gary airport Interim Director B.R. Lane.

Allison Bergman, a partner in the Hardwick Law Firm based in Kansas City, told the board that recent face-to-face meetings with representatives of both CSX and CN railroads were “productive” and that weekly phone conversations are being scheduled. Negotiations with the railroads is an important step in the expansion project at the airport.

Improved communications, safety and maintenance have also been part of AVPorts’ airport management at the Gary airport, said Steve Ferguson, who is the assistant aviation director at the Westchester Airport in White Plains, NY.

“Our No. 1 goal has been to enhance the safety culture at the Gary airport and we have made very good strides,” Ferguson said.

Those safety changes have included training for maintenance personnel by the Federal Aviation Administration.

“Now all maintenance workers are wearing uniforms, and carrying their personal protective equipment and no one is wearing sneakers,” Ferguson said.

Ferguson said AVPorts is sharing best practices used at other airports, primarily in the eastern U.S., for the Gary airport.

These include airport tenant consortium meetings, which will now be held at 11 a.m. on the first Wednesday of each month, and the initiation next week of a new airport bulletin system to notify tenants about any runway closures or other maintenance programs that could limit runway access.

“It really is a new day at the Gary airport,” said board member James Cooper. “I’m excited for our employees to be part of an aviation family rather than an island onto itself.”

Source:    http://www.nwitimes.com

Airport to focus on winter diversions to improve bottom line: Garfield County Regional (KRIL), Rifle, Colorado

RIFLE – Praying for snow has an additional meaning for officials and companies at what is now called the Rifle Garfield County Airport.

A 10-year update to the airport master plan has been developed over the last 18 months and is scheduled to be considered for adoption by the county commissioners on June 9 that recommends the county focus on “diversion” aircraft instead of general aviation planes.

“Diversion” air traffic are private and corporate jets – but not commercial airlines – that have to land at the airport in Rifle when the airports in or near ski resorts like Aspen and Vail are shut down by heavy snow. Airport Manager Brian Condie said focusing on such admittedly weather-dependent traffic shows more promise than the smaller general aviation, single engine aircraft.

“All the forecasts say small general aviation aircraft are doing to decline over the next 10 years, and the sales and use of the larger private jets are supposed to increase,” he said.

Since 2000, Condie added, new small aircraft sales in the U.S. have declined by 56 percent.

“There are several small planes here that the owners haven’t flown in two years,” he said. “But they have to do annual maintenance and have it inspected. It’s just getting too expensive for the small plane owner.”

Jet fuel, Condie noted, is around $6 a gallon, insurance costs are up and the economy just doesn’t allow many pilots to continue to own and fly their planes.

The 615-acre airport operates with a annual budget of approximately $800,000, he said, and brings in another $500,000 through aviation fuel sales, landing fees and hangar leases. A 2013 economic impact study by the Colorado Department of Transportation found the airport in Rifle contributed just under $57 million to the area economy.

The airport has a landing capacity of 1,000 planes a day, and would need to have 100,000 in one year in order to qualify for an air traffic control tower, Condie said. Currently, the airport has about 24,000 landings a year.

Hangars a dispute?

One change not included in the master plan concerns the Rando t-hangars that house small planes. Condie said they were built in the 1980s and are scheduled to be turned over to the county in 2016.

“My recommendation to the commissioners is that they tear them down instead,” Condie said. “The concrete upheaves every winter and you can’t even open some of the doors. I don’t want to take on the liability if something happens and a plane is damaged, or someone is hurt.”

Building new hangars has an 18-year return on investment, Condie added.

“No good business model has an 18-year return on investment,” he said. “So I’m recommending they tear them down.”

That position doesn’t sit well with the 10 small plane owners who lease space in the hangars for what Condie thought might be the lowest rates at any airport in the state.

John Savage of Rifle is a pilot and owns a separate set of hangars, along with five of the T-hangars at issue.

“We plan to ask the county commissioners to renew the lease before we go making any major repairs,” he said.

Savage said another concern with the county hangars is that some are for small aircraft, others are for the small private jets.

“The county wants to build more of the block hangars for the small jets,” he added.

The airport lost some small aircraft when the county shut down the airport for about a year for a runway relocation project several years ago, Savage said.

“The county’s been quite good at maintaining services for the small planes,” he said. “But the jets that use several thousand gallons of jet fuel are the ones that pay the bills. So I understand why they want those jets to be the primary consideration.”

Small aircraft pay just two percent of the airport’s bills, but are also local residents that supply up to 75 percent of local tax generation in the Rifle community, Condie noted.

“So we don’t want to ignore them,” he said. “We want to continue to see discretionary income in the community.”

The private and corporate jets, in contrast, pay the other 98 percent of the airport’s bills, through landing fees and jet fuel sales, Condie said.

When bad weather does hit in the winter, the airport has been busy. Condie said on Jan. 4, when both the Aspen and Eagle airports were closed, 128 small jets landed in Rifle. That compares to a year-round average of 46 jets a day.

Condie said 77 percent of all revenue generated by the airport is weather-related, and navigation and communication equipment upgrades are planned to help pilots of those jets find and land quicker in Rifle during bad weather.

“So we want to increase the weather diversion traffic and help our bottom line go up,” he added.

The airport’s fixed-base operator, which services aircraft that land and take off, is Atlantic Aviation Services. Area Manager Justin Carver said the company purchased the previous FBO, Rifle Jet Service, in 2007 and hopes to continue to operate in Rifle over the 10 years in the master plan. The company employs 15 people in the summer and up to 18 in the winter.

Carver and customer service manager Jenna Porter served on the airport users committee that helped produce the plan.

“When the airport grows, we want to grow,” Carver said. “We work hand in hand with the county, so we were interested in every aspect of the plan.”

The decline in small general aviation aircraft means diversion traffic can help financially, both for the county and Atlantic, he added.

New name adopted

The business plan identified two potential names for the airport: the official Garfield County Regional Airport and the one aircraft flight charts use, with the name of the city closest to the airport. Condie said an airport users committee picked the name “Rifle Garfield County Airport,” which was officially adopted on Jan. 1. A new logo and signs are planned to be unveiled this year, at a cost of more than $70,000.

Among project in the master plan are a new fuel farm to replace the current one that has constant problems with cracked concrete, Condie said. The airport entrance is to be redesigned as well. All the projects will cost at least $1 million and funds will be sought from the Federal Aviation Administration. However, a runway extension was not found to be warranted over the next 10 years, Condie noted.

“Really, what we have here now is what we’ll have for the next ten years,” he said.

The 140-page master plan was funded by a $150,000 state grant, Condie said, and will update the last master plan, completed in 2004. The new plan will also include a 10-year business plan, along with an airport layout plan. If adopted by the commissioners, it will be sent to the Federal Aviation Administration, which has 120 days to approve it, Condie said.

Story and photo gallery:  http://www.postindependent.com

A private jet sits on the tarmack at the Rifle Garfield County Airport on Dec. 20, 2013, after the airports near Aspen and Vail were closed due to a winter storm. County Commissioners will be asked to adopt an updated airport master plan that calls for more emphasis on such air traffic over the next decade. 


Private and corporate jets crowded the tarmack at the Rifle Garfield County Airport on Dec. 20, 2013, after the airports near Aspen and Vail were closed due to a winter storm. County Commissioners will be asked to adopt an updated airport master plan that calls for more emphasis on such air traffic over the next decade. 


Small, single-engine general aviation aircraft like this at the Rifle Garfield County Airport have been declining in use, prompting airport officials to seek a shift to more winter diversions from nearby ski resorts and help the bottom line of the facility. 

These airplane T-hangars, built in the 1980s at the Rifle Garfield County Airport, could be torn down due to structural issues and a desire to avoid liability issues, according to Airport Manager Brian Condie.

5K at Cape May County Airport (KWWD), Wildwood, New Jersey


 

LOWER TOWNSHIP — Cape May Airport will host the second annual Runway 5K and 1 Mile Fun Walk 9 a.m. Saturday June 14.

The airport will temporarily close to air traffic between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. allowing runners and walkers to compete on the airport’s runways.

Early registration is highly recommended. Race day registration opens at 7 a.m. at the entrance to the Aviation Museum. No backpacks will be permitted.

New to the event this year are beer tastings from Cape May Brewing Company, music, expanded award and age categories, and a precisely measured course.

Proceeds will benefit restoration efforts of historic Hangar No. 1. The museum will be open free to the public from 9 a.m. to noon for this family and pet friendly event. Race and walk will be held rain or shine.

Registration details can be found at www.tnteventmanagement.com.  


Source:   http://www.shorenewstoday.com

Emergency Alert issued after smoke on plane at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport (KCLT), Charlotte, North Carolina

CHARLOTTE. NC (WBTV) -

Emergency crews are investigating after smoke filled a plane at the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport on Thursday evening.

According to the Charlotte Fire Department, smoke filled a plane that was on the ground at the airport around 6:15 p.m.

Air traffic controllers issued an "Alert Three" which typically that an accident is imminent or has occurred, requiring immediate dispatch of emergency equipment to the scene.

Firefighters say while smoke filled the plane, there was no obvious fire onboard.

Mechanics are checking out the plane to find out where the smoke was coming from.

WBTV has learned that no people were on the plane at the time, so it did not need to be evacuated.

Source:  http://www.wbtv.com

Help Us Fly Again: TBM Avenger - The Rocky Mountain Wing of the Commemorative Air Force

After 20 years of airshows displaying the aerial combat history of our greatest generation, our TBM Avenger suffered a collapse of the left main landing gear while taxiing at a Phoenix airshow. Help her fly again to teach adults and children about WWII. 

 


Historic WWII aircraft collapses, in need of repairs 

DENVER - A functioning torpedo bomber, which The Rocky Mountain Wing of the Commemorative Air Force volunteers say is the largest, single-engine airplane used in WWII, was grounded recently after the plane's landing gear collapsed during a show.

"She fell on her face," Commemorative Air Force volunteer Rob Duncan told 9NEWS. "The landing gear went down [while] she was just taxiing along and she fell down on her side."

Now, those dedicated to preserving the piece of history are working to raise the funds needed for repairs.

The bomber, known as the Grumman TBF Avenger, is normally housed in Grand Junction, but since the incident occurred in Mesa, Ariz., the plane is being repaired there.

The hefty plane weighs approximately 18,000 pounds, and the fall created multiple problems, according to Duncan.

"The engine costs $65,000, the propeller is $20,000 and almost all the bodywork is all going to have to be hand-formed," Duncan said. "We are using the original blueprints from Grumman we got from the Smithsonian to make all of those parts."

The Commemorative Air Force comprises 160 airplanes scattered in 60 units across the United States, according to Duncan. Known as the world's largest flying museum and headquartered in Texas, the organization functions without federal funding.

"It's supported solely by contributions," Duncan said. "We normally go to between 15 and 20 airshows with the [TBF Avenger] airplane. [Selling] tickets and giving tours of the airplane [is] how we make most of our money."

Besides being present at multiple events throughout history, the Avenger has also been a major feature at the 1940s-WWII era Ball and the Boulder Airport Open House in June for years now.

"We had five proposals done on the [TBF Avenger's] wing during the show [last year], but this year, although the CAF will be in [at the open house], she won't be able to do the Boulder because she needs a little work," Duncan said.

You can make a donation to help repair the TBF Avenger at http://www.rockymountainwingcaf.org.


Source:   http://www.9news.com


Courtesy:  The Rocky Mountain Wing of the Commemorative Air Force

Fly Van Buren set for June 14: Keosauqua Municipal Airport (6K9), Iowa

KEOSAUQUA — Join the Villages of Van Buren for the 14th annual Fly Van Buren.

The Fly-In all-you-can-eat breakfast, served by the Keosauqua Lions Club, will be held from 7-10 a.m. at the Keosauqua, Iowa Municipal Airport June 14. Cost is $6 for adults, $3 for children ages 5-10, and children under 5 eat free. All pilots are invited to Fly-In for a free breakfast.

Airplane rides will be available for $25 per person. The Ottumwa Radio-Control Flyers will be demonstrating their flying skills with remote control airplanes, which are approximately a ¼ scale of the full-size aircraft. Indian Hills Aviation Department will be on site with an Allison 250 Turbo Shaft Jet Engine demonstration. You will also be able to learn more about an exciting career in Aviation.

The Water Balloon Bomb Toss is back. Two people will get a free airplane ride as they attempt to drop water balloons closest to the target on the ground. The closest to the bull's-eye will win prizes, which will include a free 30-minute plane ride. A paper airplane contest for kids and adults will begin at 8 a.m. Bring your own or make one on site. Prizes will be awarded in all age groups. The Air Evac Helicopter will also be on display.

There is no admission fee for the Fly-In, so bring the family and your lawn chairs. Breakfast will be served rain or shine, all other activities dependent on weather.

For more information, contact Villages of Van Buren at 800-868-7822 or 319-293-7111 or visit the website at www.villagesofvanburen.com.

Source:   http://www.ottumwacourier.com

Gulfstream donates $1 million to Children's Wellness Program

Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. has donated $1 million to the Children’s Wellness Program at The Children’s Hospital at Memorial University Medical Center to help in the fight against childhood obesity.

The Savannah-based business jet manufacturer was an early supporter of the program, and thes donation will fuel an expansion of its scope and reach.

“When we launched our Children’s Wellness Program in 2012, Gulfstream was first to partner with us on this important initiative,” said Maggie Gill, president and CEO of Memorial Health. “This generous donation and Gulfstream’s continued support will help us provide wellness education and opportunities for the children in our region.”

Since its inception two years ago, the wellness program has trained more than 230 health care providers, educators and school cafeteria managers on ways to treat and prevent obesity in children. The program was crafted in response to growing concern about high rates of childhood obesity in Chatham County.

“Gulfstream is committed to contributing to the health and wellness of our community,” said Mark Bennett, Gulfstream’s corporate responsibility manager. “Our partnership with The Children’s Hospital at Memorial University Medical Center allows us to take that commitment one step further and improve the quality of life for our community’s most important assets – our children.”

The core principles of the program for children are good nutrition and increased physical activity. Memorial, among other efforts, has hired a pediatric nutritionist to provide nutrition training for local public and private schools and early childhood centers.

The program also works directly with children and their families to encourage healthy behaviors.


Source:    http://savannahnow.com

Largest privately-owned island sold for $17 million: Innocence Island (MYEY)

 

NASSAU, Bahamas, (CNN) -- The largest privately-owned island in the Bahamas has sold at auction for $17 million. 

It's still less than the $55 million asking price.

What does $17 million get you?

It gets you an island that is 681 acres, and comes with a private airstrip with its own airport code, a 5,000 square foot home, and much much more.

The island has only known four owners in its history which underscores how incredibly rare the opportunity is.

"The seller of this island is very similar to clients that we represent with other properties that we sell across the US as well as around the globe. So, these are clients who own properties that are very unique. They're one of a kind, and they're difficult to value. So when it comes to selling a property like this you can't really place a price tag on it," said Laura Brady, President of Concierge Auctions. "That was a strong sale. We feel as thought we flushed out the market. We knew where we really had to be. We exceeded that, and in terms of what we accomplished we're really satisfied."

Innocence Island's owner, who is terminally ill, was given permission by his doctors to attend the auction. The founder of Concierge Auctions says the owner was pleased with the outcome.


Source:   http://www.wtxl.com

Bi-plane to be featured at air show in Rexburg, Idaho

Danny Sorensen and Golden Age Air shows are coming to Rexburg.

Sorenson and his bi-plane will be part of the Legacy Airshow scheduled for June 14 at the airport in Rexburg.

The show is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and is free to the public.

The Pilot

Born into an aviation-oriented family, Danny Sorensen has had a passion for airplanes for as long as he has had memory. From the age of 14 the driving force in his aviation pursuits has been to perform in airshows.

Soloing a 1946 Aeronca Champ in 1967 at the age of 17, and with just 17 hours 30 minutes in his log book, he convinced an instructor to teach him spins. A few months later a lesson in loops, snap rolls and hammerheads completed Danny's aerobatic instruction. He successfully performed his first slow roll in a 115HP Citabria after reading a how-to article in a magazine.

In 1978 Danny began flying Pitts Special biplanes, and that same year was selected by a local flying club to be their aerobatic instructor in a Pitts S-2A, although only a private pilot at the time, because he had the aerobatic background and experience that exceeded that of any certified flight instructors available.

Danny flew air shows in his Pitts Special, “The Blue Dragon,” from 1988 through 1994, then took a short 14 year break to design and build “Unfinished Business.” Danny has performed the duties of a test pilot, having made the initial test flights on 10 experimental airplanes (of which three were original prototypes), and has flown the complete flight test programs on six of those.

Danny has been a full-time career firefighter since January 1985, and has held the rank of captain since December 2000.

Danny married the love of his life, Allyn Hansen, in 1972. They have five children and six grandchildren. They reside in Bountiful, Utah.

The Aircraft

The Sorensen BF9-2 is a one-off custom biplane, designed and built by Danny specifically for airshow flying. Construction time alone consumed nearly 6,000 man-hours of labor, not including design time.

It features 1930s styling with modern day high performance. It is powered by a 360HP Vendenyev M14-P 9-cylinder radial engine turning a three-blade MTV-9 propeller of 8-1/2 foot diameter.

This combination produces a static thrust of more than 1,600 lbs. “Unfinished Business” carries the registration number N81973, the same number that was on the airplane in which Danny learned to fly.

The BF9-2 truly has an international heritage: The engine is Russian, the propeller is German, the brace wires are Scottish, the airframe is American, and the pitot tube is from a North American F-86 fighter jet.

Aircraft Specifications:


Wing Span – 21ft.

Length – 20ft. 3in.

Empty Weight – 1,605lbs.

Gross Weight – 2,250lbs.

Seats – 2

Fuel Capacity – 55 U.S. Gallons

Cruise Speed – 150MPH

Top Speed – 175MPH

Range – 450 Statute Miles w/45 minute reserve

Story and photo: http://www.rexburgstandardjournal.com

Airport Authority to discuss procedures for removing one of its members: Wilmington International Airport (KILM), Wilmington, North Carolina

Wilmington | The New Hanover County Airport Authority on Friday, May 30, plans to discuss procedures for removing one of its members.

According to a special meeting notice, the board will meet at the Wilmington International Airport at 6 p.m.

Board member Al Roseman and his standing on the board is the only topic for discussion during Friday's meeting.

Roseman, who has squared-off against some of the board's other four members during recent airport business, said Chairman Thomas Barber initiated the request.

As one of the longest serving board members, Roseman has served multiple terms on the authority and was even the board's chairman.

Authority members are appointed to four-year terms by the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners. Roseman was appointed to his most recent term in June 2011.

Story and comments/reaction:   http://www.starnewsonline.com

Flawed reservation system cost Augusta Regional Airport (KAGS) thousands during Masters Tournament

A flawed online reservation system used by private aircraft flying into Augusta during the Masters Tournament cost Augusta Regional Airport more than $67,000.

Overbooking of the airport’s parking spots forced the Federal Aviation Administration to divert aircraft to other nearby general aviation airports. Several ground stops, which prohibit takeoffs and landings, were issued from Wednesday to Saturday of the tournament, when tens of thousands of visitors traveled to Augusta.

Aircraft operators for major corporations including Coca-Cola, Wal-Mart, Fed Ex, Motorola and dozens of others were issued refunds for their reservations. The potential loss of future business concerned members of the Augusta Aviation Commission at its monthly meeting Thursday.

“The damage that’s been done is severe,” said aviation commission member Grey Murray.

The commission recommended airport staff make personal phone calls to clients that were issued refunds, in addition to letters already mailed.

A reservation system was first implemented for Masters Week in 2013 to help spread out aircraft to the area’s four regional airports. This year, reservations were made online for the first time using an automated software system.

Augusta Regional, Daniel Field, Thomson-McDuffie Regional and Aiken Municipal airports collaborated to build the new system and market it to clients. The changes were intended to improve customer service and eliminate ground stops.

In 2013, Augusta Regional had no ground stops for the first time in several years. Other airports reported more operations and revenue for the week because Augusta Regional limited the number of planes it accepted.

Airport staff, who recognized the online system had continued to accept reservations after the ramp was full, eventually shut down the system, said Augusta Regional Marketing Director Diane Johnston. In addition to overbooking, aircraft that did not make reservations flew in and parked at the airport overnight.

Despite turning planes away, the airport’s general aviation ramp fees for the week increased 5.6 percent over 2013 and jet fuel sales increased 31 percent. Flight operations totaled 2,035, or 12 less than the previous year.

Airport staff and an aviation commission committee are meeting to correct the issues, said Augusta Regional Executive Director Gary LeTellier.

“We’ve got some issues to work through and not a lot of time to do it in,” he said.

Source:  http://chronicle.augusta.com

Guard: No Low-Altitude Training For Noisy F-35 Fighter Jets In Maine

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The newest fighter jets that have been the subject of noise complaints across the country won’t be flying low over the hills of western Maine under the National Guard’s proposal to increase the amount of training area for ground-hugging flights, official said Thursday.

The National Guard’s request to double the amount of airspace for low-level training over western Maine has dragged on for so long that the Vermont National Guard has received approval for cutting-edge aircraft that weren’t contemplated when the process began eight years ago.

But the stealthy F-35 fighters, which are noisier than the jets they’re replacing, won’t train at low altitudes in Maine. When they arrive in 2020, Vermont’s F-35s will be restricted to higher altitudes — no lower than 7,000 feet above sea level — where noise is less of an issue, said Landon Jones, a National Guard airspace manager who’s working on the proposal.

The F-35′s engine produces more noise than F-15 and F-16 fighters from National Guard units in Massachusetts and Vermont, which currently fly as low as 500 feet in narrow corridors within the 4,000-square-mile Condor Military Operation Area over western Maine and a sliver of northern New Hampshire.

The Massachusetts National Guard, whose fighters were first on the scene in New York after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, wants to increase the amount of area for low-level flights for more realistic homeland defense training.

The Massachusetts-based, twin-engine F-15 fighters need more space than the smaller, single-engine F-16s from Vermont, which usually train over upstate New York but sometimes travel to Maine.

The Maine National Guard is continuing to reach out to various groups, including the Penobscot Indian Nation, which owns 20,000 acres of land in the region, and hopes to complete a final environmental impact statement this fall, Jones said. After that, the Federal Aviation Administration will get the final say, and that process could take several more years, he said.

The National Guard had a similar proposal in 1992, but it was withdrawn under pressure from local residents and then-Gov. John McKernan.

The current effort has again faced gubernatorial objections, first from Democratic Gov. John Baldacci and then from Republican Gov. Paul LePage. LePage told the National Guard and the Federal Aviation Administration in 2011 that the expanded training area is a “want, not a need.”

Jones, a former pilot, disagreed with the governor’s assessment, saying the F-15 fighters need more airspace for maneuvering.

By spreading the maneuvers over a wider area, the noise will be dispersed instead of limited to existing corridors, or lanes, that are used for low-level flights. And the number of low-level sorties will be reduced once the Vermont National Guard switches from F-16s to F-35s, he said.


Source:  http://boston.cbslocal.com

Warning: Hold on to your wallets? Why T.F. Green Airport (KPVD) is hurting

Warning: Hold on to your wallets?
 
Opinion/Letters To The Editor

Robert Amman: Why T.F. Green airport is hurting

 

So once again we get word the passenger traffic at T.F Green airport is down. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that airlines have cut back on non-stop flights to many cities.

A family member returning from Nashville on a recent trip had to fly from Nashville to Orlando to Providence. No direct service available. Another elderly family member, who visits every year and prefers non-stop service, can no longer get direct flights from Pittsburgh into Providence and must fly to Boston to get non-stop service.

I understand it’s all about the money for the airlines, but it’s also about convenience for many travelers. I am guessing that passenger convenience may have a bigger impact on passenger numbers than realized.

Maybe the new runway will help by allowing larger planes to use Green. One can only hope.

Robert Amman

East Providence


Article and comments/reaction:    http://www.providencejournal.com/opinion/letters

Stearman group preparing for Skyfest performance

SPOKANE, Wash. -  The weather is looking great for Skyfest this weekend at Fairchild Air Force Base, where onlookers will get to see everything from the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds to a performance of vintage Stearman biplanes based out of Felts Field.

Today, the Stearman PTs are lovingly maintained flying antiques but, when the United States was drawn into World War II, Stearmans were a young pilots tickets to earn their wings. If a farm boy could learn to handle the Stearman his next round of training might be in a fighter or bomber.

“As they got through this step they went on to other airplanes that got more difficult. so they had to make sure they were good as this stage before they moved them on to more expensive, big airplanes,” Retired Captain Larry Tobin said.

The Stearman are a reminder of just how far flying has evolved in less than a century. Larry Tobin and his wingman James Love compete in formation flying across the country because formation flying is what kept pilots alive during the war.

“The bombers, for their protection, didn't want to be out there alone. they needed groups of them and they sent out 600 to 1,000 on most missions and 30 percent of them didn't come home,” Tobin said.

Tobin and Love take the old school approach to coordinating their performance as well. When you're less that 50 feet apart hand signals and head nods work better than two way radios.

“That's what those young pilots learned. They didn't have radios in those days so they communicated with hand signals,” he added.

The Stearman group is planning a missing man formation in honor of the KC-135 tanker crew killed over Kyrgyzstan last May. Look for Tobin and his fellow pilots performance just before the Thunderbirds take to the sky both Saturday and Sunday at Fairchild.


Story and video:   http://www.kxly.com

Blue Angels to fly over Downtown Pittsburgh for photo shoot

The U.S. Navy will be visiting Downtown Pittsburgh Wednesday, June 4th  in the afternoon, but don’t look for a big ship to pull into the Point. 

The U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, more popularly known as the Blue Angels, will be flying over Downtown for a photo shoot.

The six-member team will fly in formation at least three times over the west side of Downtown between 2:45 p.m. and 3:15 p.m. The team, flying the F/A-18 Hornet, will fly at about 300 knots and from 500 feet to 1,500 above ground level, according to the squadron’s public affairs office.

The Blue Angels are in the area as part of Navy Week and will perform at the Westmoreland County Air Show this weekend.


Source:   http://www.post-gazette.com

The U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels once again will command the skies at the Westmoreland County Air Show at the Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Unity.

The performance team will be a welcome sight at the June 7-8 show, which had to be canceled last year after federal sequestration budget cuts grounded the Army’s Thunderbirds and other nonessential military flights.

The Blue Angels will bring an 80-member  team and six F/A-18 blue-and-yellow fighter jets that can hit speeds up to 700 mph.

The precision team also will bring a huge C-130 Hercules transport aircraft, affectionately known as “Fat Albert,” which hauls their equipment and also puts on a demonstration.

Gates to the air show will open at 8 a.m. both days. Performances by six aerobatic acts and the Blue Angels will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $14 in advance at Shop’n Save stores, 16 at the gate. Children 10 and younger and military personnel are admitted free. Parking is $3 a car, with all proceeds going to the Unity Township fire department.

The air show has attracted as many as 100,000 spectators in recent years when the weather was favorable.

Officials are preparing to handle big crowds. A satellite parking lot will be used for the first time, and parking will be available for 10,000 cars, according to Gabe Monzo, executive director of the Westmoreland County Airport Authority, which owns and operates the airport.

Here are the six airplane acts that will perform:
■ Geico Skytypers. Six vintage World War II aircraft will fly precision maneuvers and write in the sky. The group flies the SNJ-2, the Navy's version of the main plane used to train pilots during WWII.

■ The U.S. Army’s Golden Knights paratroopers. A team of 13 performs skydiving parachute maneuvers.

■ Matt Chapman. He has been a finalist in several international championships and is sponsored by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida and Arizona.

■ Jacquie Warda, known as Jacquie B. She started flying at the age of 50 in 2003 and will do a tumbling sequence in her Extra300 biplane.

■ Raiders Demo Team, which consists of three aircraft, including a Yak 52 and a Nanchang CJ-6.

■ Andrew McKenna, an aerobatic pilot.

Planes also will be on the ground for spectators to tour and to ride.

“We’ll have a Vietnam cargo plane to go through, and a bi-wing plane to ride in, and an old MIG fighter,” Mr. Monzo said.

In addition, a NASCAR race car will be on hand for rides, and children will be able to use a simulator that mimics driving the race car.

Food will be provided by DeNuzio’s catering and will include sausage sandwiches, pulled pork, hot dogs and hamburgers.

Several improvements are being made to the county airport, which continues to see steady growth, Mr. Monzo said.

The federal Transportation Safety Administration recently upgraded the baggage screening equipment with a $400,000 conveyor belt machine. It triples the number of bags that can be scanned at a time to search for hazardous and prohibited materials.

“Before, the TSA inspectors had to screen bags individually using a hand wand,” Mr. Monzo said. The safety agency added the equipment because of rising passenger numbers at the airport, he said.

Spirit Airlines flies nonstop from the airport to Myrtle Beach, S.C., and to Orlando and Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

“Our numbers are up over last year, even with the loss of Spirit’s flight to Dallas,” he said.

In 2013, the airport saw about 250,000 passengers and is on track to surpass that number this year, he said.

In April, nearly 20,000 passengers used the airport, for a total of about 81,000 so far in 2014.

Spirit began flights in 2010 and had 65,000 passengers in 2011 and 145,000 in 2012.

Mr. Monzo said the busiest time of the year for the airport occurs when the school year ends.

“Spring break is good, and then there is a lull until school lets out,” he said. “In a couple weeks, it will pick up to Myrtle Beach and Orlando. Myrtle Beach is our busiest flight by far.”

The airport’s private jet management and charter flight business also is on the upswing. Mr. Monzo said three new hangars are being built at the airport for the business.

“L.J. Aviation is expanding,” he said. "They are building a 200- by 150-foot hangar. They fly charter jets all over the world and manage the private jets for people like Arnold Palmer."

He said a second hangar is being built by an individual to store a plane and a helicopter, and a third hangar will be moved to the airport. The airport currently has about 40 hangars, he said.

Source: http://www.post-gazette.com

Scrambling military aircraft costs taxpayers millions

WASHINGTON — Thirteen years after the 9/11 attacks, military aircraft are scrambling more than once a week, on average, to intercept civilian planes that stray into restricted airspace, military statistics show.

The cost to taxpayers for protecting restricted airspace and the 75 annual diversions runs into the million of dollars.

The number of incidents has decreased in recent years as the military has spread the word to recreational pilots about restricted airspace, according to the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), the military agency responsible for protecting American airspace.

The agency anticipates that the frequency of intercepts will remain at this level in the future because no amount of outreach will prevent all pilots from straying.

Many recreational pilots fly from small airstrips without a control tower and aren't required to file flight plans. Often they are not aware when a temporary restriction is established.

"They just take off and do what they want," said Steven Armstrong, a NORAD official.

 
After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the military boosted its alert facilities around the country, where fighter pilots maintained a round-the-clock state of readiness.

The government has restricted airspace around Washington, D.C., and other sensitive areas, such as some military bases and critical infrastructure. It also frequently sets up temporary restrictions on airspace to protect the president when he flies domestically or during special events, such as the Superbowl.

At its post 9/11 peak, NORAD maintained some 26 alert facilities around the country. The number has shrunk since then, but the agency declined to release the precise number for security reasons.

"We think we're at the minimum to be able to protect the major metropolitan areas and the critical infrastructure," Armstrong said.

It's an expensive enterprise. It costs from $10,000 to $20,000 per flight hour to operate fighters. Alert facilities cost about $7 million a year to operate. The intercept missions in the continental United States are performed by the Air National Guard.

The military uses fighter planes, and, in some locations, helicopters to intercept an aircraft straying into restricted areas.

The pilots have a protocol for engaging with civilian pilots, who are often flying small, propeller-driven aircraft, to divert them out of restricted space.

If NORAD notices an aircraft flying toward restricted space, it will try to contact the pilot by radio before launching an aircraft. NORAD said it follows about 1,800 "tracks of interest" per year. Most of the recreational pilots are diverted before jets have to be scrambled.

If officials are unable to contact a pilot whose plane is heading toward restricted space, NORAD will launch military aircraft that will fly alongside the plane and rock its wings, a signal for the civilian pilot to follow the fighter.

If that doesn't work, fighter planes will often pull in front of the aircraft in a maneuver known as a "head butt" and drop flares to get their attention.

That doesn't always work either. "Sometimes they say that they don't see us," Armstrong said. "Other times, they are just so scared to have a fighter aircraft in that close proximity to them that they kind of panic."

Once they land, pilots are usually met by local law enforcement officials and Secret Service agents, said Craig Spence, an official with the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.

"Unfortunately, there is very little sympathy on the part of the local law enforcement and the federal (officials)," Spence said.

The pilots rarely face criminal charges, but the Federal Aviation Administration often suspends a pilot's license for such infractions.

"None of incidents have been threats," Spence said. "The majority of the folks who violate do so not knowing a (temporary restricted area) has been put in place."


Story and photo:   http://www.freep.com

A sign is posted next to a runway at Potomac Airfield in 2006 in Fort Washington, Md. Potomac Airfield is one of three private airports sitting within a tightly controlled zone around Washington. 

Airport houses firefighting planes: Rick Husband Amarillo International (KAMA), Amarillo, Texas

Texas A&M Forest Service has transformed a landing area near Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport into an aerial base for firefighting operations.

At least two single-engine aircraft, Airtractor AT802-Fs, have been assigned to cover the region and assist ground crews battling any blazes that crop up, said Troy Ducheneaux, regional coordinator. On Thursday, two similar aircraft were in Abilene to help with a fire in Reeves County near Fort Stockton.

Pilot James Daniell of Bastrop, La., was busy Thursday checking over his cockpit in case he was called to respond.

“The aircraft is a dream to fly because it does a wonderful job in close quarters,” he said. “It really helps in areas where you may not have ground personnel yet, in rugged terrain.”

The regional firefighting base is staffed by at least two pilots, a coordinator and four or five crew members who run a fire retardant plant, Ducheneaux said.

Pilot Jim Watson said air crews usually receive a dispatch from the Forest Service on air-to-ground radio frequencies and then coordinate their aerial attack with an incident commander on the ground.

Ducheneaux said aerial firefighting requires close coordination between ground crews and pilots to avoid buildings and other structures and to ensure air crews drop retardant exactly where it’s needed.

“They will call in where that fire is at with GPS coordinates, and once the aircraft are getting over the scene, they will coordinate with that incident commander to develop a plan, where they want those aircraft to drop that retardant,” he said.

The planes, he said, carry a nontoxic fire retardant mixture of salt and phosphorous that creates a barrier coating between the fire and grass, trees or other potential fire fuel.

“These aircraft will carry 800 gallons when then they are topped off of retardant,” he said. “It creates a protective coating that keeps that fire from eating into those fuels.”

The mobile crews, Watson said, respond wherever they’re needed.

“We’re a national resource that’s moved around to different sites as fire danger increases,” he said. ““We can respond to just about anywhere in Texas from here ... We’ll be here as long as they need us.”


Story and photos:   http://amarillo.com


Aerial firefighter Jim Watson stands next to a single-engine aircraft Thursday that is stationed at Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport.


Aerial firefighter Jim Daniell preps for another flight Thursday near Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport.

Mock Plane Fire at Delta County Airport (KESC), Escanaba, Michigan


Disaster can strike in a matter of seconds. This was only a test today, but in case something like this really happens the Delta County Airport will be ready. 

 Kelly Smith said, "This is critical for our airports. It's communication between all of our emergency departments. It's making sure the airport's emergency plan gets acted out in some fashion. We only read it on paper."

The Federal Aviation Administration requires airports to do a live drill every three years. Aircraft rescue and firefighting drove this mobile simulator here from Minnesota. The simulator is fifty feet long. The Aircraft Rescue Firefighters drive around to eight states in the Midwest to practice real life situations such as this.

Wade Boyat from Aircraft Rescue Firefighting said, "Our loved ones fly every day and all you want to know is that, in the event that something might happen, which doesn't happen all that much at airports, that's a good thing, but if something does happen that you have qualified people that work at the airport, that are ready at a moment's notice, to respond and take care of that issue. That's what we all want in our lives. We want to be able to make sure that, when we're out having fun, when we're going to California or wherever, that when we come back, that if something happens, we're going to be taken care of."

The training exercise at the Delta County Airport is a way to not only test the readiness of emergency crews, but it allowed the different response groups to work together. Personnel from several Upper Peninsula airports were involved in the training.

Another component of the training was media relations. A mock fax was sent to media organizations and a mock press conference was held at the Delta County courthouse. This aspect of the exercise gives radio, tv and newspaper reporters a preview of what to expect in the event of an actual emergency.


Source:   http://www.upmatters.com

Jetstar flight turned back after engine failure

A Jetstar flight from Singapore bound for Melbourne was forced to turn back an hour into the journey last night after suffering engine trouble.

In a statement to ninemsn, Jetstar spokesperson Stephen Moynihan confirmed that Jetstar flight JQ8 was returned to Singapore after pilots received an oil pressure indicator warning.

"The pilots took appropriate action, shutting down one of the A330's two engines as a precaution and the aircraft landing in Singapore without incident," Mr Moynihan said.

Australian James Ross told ninemsn his sister-in-law, who was on board the flight, has been left "shaken up" by the incident.

"We were supposed to pick her up from the airport today at 6am," Mr Ross said.

"But now that's all changed and we will have to see her tomorrow. They've put her up in a hotel which is good, but she's been a little shaken by the whole thing".

Source:  http://news.ninemsn.com.au

Plane makes emergency landing on Gila River Indian Community - Arizona

 

The pilot declared mayday for unknown reasons before going down about five miles east of Estrella Airport, according to a Federal Aviation Administration statement. 

The aircraft, a Cessna 206, appeared to have landed on an old ultralight landing strip at around 6:10 p.m. Wednesday on Gila River land south of Phoenix, according to Ian Gregor, an FAA spokesman.​

The aircraft had been carrying skydivers but landed after the skydivers had exited, Gregor said.

The pilot's condition was not immediately available.

Story and video:  http://www.azcentral.com