Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Restarting talks with Federal Aviation Administration top priority

Resumption of talks with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for upgrading India’s air safety status to Category I and the formation of a Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) are among the key proposals that figure in the 100-day agenda of the civil aviation ministry.

The 100-day agenda was firmed up in a meeting held in the civil aviation ministry on Monday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked every ministry to chart out a 100-day agenda incorporating pending decisions that needs to be expedited and reforms that need to be initiated. The FAA had downgraded India in January this year mainly on two grounds — that the regulator did not have full-time Flight Operation Inspectors (FOIs) and the employees in the DGCA were not trained properly. While training of employees has been completed, the recruitment of FOIs is still not over.

A senior DGCA official explained that they need to complete the procedure of hiring 58 FOIs before they could write a letter to the FAA asking them to initiate an audit.

“We have around 11 FOIs now, seven more are joining in a week’s time and approval for the recruitment for six more is pending with the government. Appointment for the rest will begin soon as we are releasing the advertisements in the paper,” said a senior DGCA official.

The DGCA will call the FAA only after they complete the hiring of full-time FOIs. “All the concerns raised in the audit have been fulfilled,” said the official. The FAA downgrade of India’s safety rankings has barred Air India and Jet Airways from increasing flights to the US from the current level. They are also not been able to enter into any new code-share relationships with any US airline. The downgrade, however, does not mean that these airlines are unsafe but shows that the DGCA’s safety oversight is not enough to properly monitor safety performance of Indian carriers.
 
The formation of the CAA, which has been included as part of the 100-day agenda, would help DGCA in reclaiming the category I status. The earlier government had tried to get the CAA Bill cleared by the Lok Sabha but could not achieve it.

The official added that work on creation of low-cost airports is also on civil aviation ministry’s 100-day list. However, nothing relating to Air India figures in the 100-day list of the civil aviation ministry.


Source:  http://indianexpress.com

New Jersey ranks last in federal airport funding per passenger

New Jersey ranked dead last among the 50 states in terms of Federal Aviation Administration funding for airport projects per passenger in fiscal 2013, while New York was 46th, according to an analysis by a group that lobbies for improvements to the region’s three major airports.

In dollar terms, New Jersey airports, including Newark Liberty, Atlantic City International, Teterboro, received a total of $15,247,048 from the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program last year, or just 86 cents per passenger in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, said the Manhattan-based Global Gateway Alliance. New York, which includes John F. Kennedy International, LaGuardia, Stewart Airport, received $2.31 cents per passenger in AIP funds, the global group found.

In addition to shortchanging the three major airports that make up the nation’s busiest and most complex air space, the alliance said the distribution of federal airport project money was grossly out of proportion to passenger volumes across the country, depriving busy airports in favor of out-of-the-way landing strips with little traffic.

For example, the group pointed to a mandatory 35 percent set aside for airports that serve fewer than 10,000 passengers a year, which accounts for 0.25 percent of the nation’s fliers. The group found that New York and New Jersey airports received a total of $121 million in program funds for fiscal year 2013 and had 63.4 million departing passengers, while Delaware, Wyoming and Alaska received almost twice as much money — $216 million — while serving about 4.8 million passengers.

"When the federal government gives almost $1.5 billion to airports that serve less than one percent of the nation’s passengers, at the expense of New York and New Jersey, there is something seriously wrong," said Joe Sitt, chairman of the Global Gateway Alliance. "The funding must be fixed to focus on airports like ours that have real national significance."

Global released its analysis of federal airport grants after the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced a 10-year, $27.6 billion capital plan in February that includes billions of dollars in airport projects that will be financed mainly by lease payments from airlines and from ticket surcharges that, ultimately, will be borne by passengers.

The Port Authority issued a statement in support of the Airport Improvement Program, noting its importance to smaller airports that might not be able to afford badly needed projects. The agency also noted that the program provided $100 million for a runway rehabilitation project at JFK in 2010.

"Smaller airports help larger airports by handling general aviation flights and smaller commercial planes, reducing congestion," the Port Authority stated.

But the agency also reiterated its position that the FAA should raise the passenger facilities charge — a surcharge on each ticket to help pay for projects — from $4.50 to $8.

FAA officials say Sitt’s group presents an oversimplified and incomplete picture of federal airport funding, and insisted that a state-by-state comparison was "misleading," because airports often serve moe than one state, and program funds are awarded to airport operators, not to states.

The officials noted that there are two components of the Airport Improvement Program: entitlement funding, based on passenger volume; and discretionary funds, or grants to airports that apply for them.

Typically, the officials said, operators of larger, busier airports have the means to finance their own improvements related to their heavy volumes, including the passenger facilities charge, lease payments by airlines or rents paid by retailers inside terminals.

The reason that more than a third of program funds is set aside for small airports is to insure that, as part of an integrated national airport system, they are able to build and maintain facilities that meet federal aviation standards, even if those airports could not finance the improvements on their own.

"These smaller airports support non-commercial flight activity such as flight training, corporate and business aviation, agricultural support, law enforcement, aerial firefighting, emergency response and disaster recovery, aeromedical flights, and basic access for many remote communities," the FAA said in a statement. "Also, many larger commercial service airports have access to other capital funding sources such as Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) revenues and bond capital that smaller airports may not be able to access."

New Jersey ranked dead last among the 50 states in terms of Federal Aviation Administration funding for airport projects per passenger in fiscal 2013, while New York was 46th, according to an analysis by a group that lobbies for improvements to the region’s three major airports.

In dollar terms, New Jersey airports, including Newark Liberty, Atlantic City International, Teterboro, received a total of $15,247,048 from the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program last year, or just 86 cents per passenger in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, said the Manhattan-based Global Gateway Alliance. New York, which includes John F. Kennedy International, LaGuardia, Stewart Airport, received $2.31 cents per passenger in AIP funds, the global group found.

In addition to shortchanging the three major airports that make up the nation’s busiest and most complex air space, the alliance said the distribution of federal airport project money was grossly out of proportion to passenger volumes across the country, depriving busy airports in favor of out-of-the-way landing strips with little traffic.

For example, the group pointed to a mandatory 35 percent set aside for airports that serve fewer than 10,000 passengers a year, which accounts for 0.25 percent of the nation’s fliers. The group found that New York and New Jersey airports received a total of $121 million in program funds for fiscal year 2013 and had 63.4 million departing passengers, while Delaware, Wyoming and Alaska received almost twice as much money — $216 million — while serving about 4.8 million passengers.

"When the federal government gives almost $1.5 billion to airports that serve less than one percent of the nation’s passengers, at the expense of New York and New Jersey, there is something seriously wrong," said Joe Sitt, chairman of the Global Gateway Alliance. "The funding must be fixed to focus on airports like ours that have real national significance."

Global released its analysis of federal airport grants after the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced a 10-year, $27.6 billion capital plan in February that includes billions of dollars in airport projects that will be financed mainly by lease payments from airlines and from ticket surcharges that, ultimately, will be borne by passengers.

The Port Authority issued a statement in support of the Airport Improvement Program, noting its importance to smaller airports that might not be able to afford badly needed projects. The agency also noted that the program provided $100 million for a runway rehabilitation project at JFK in 2010.

"Smaller airports help larger airports by handling general aviation flights and smaller commercial planes, reducing congestion," the Port Authority stated.

But the agency also reiterated its position that the FAA should raise the passenger facilities charge — a surcharge on each ticket to help pay for projects — from $4.50 to $8.

FAA officials say Sitt’s group presents an oversimplified and incomplete picture of federal airport funding, and insisted that a state-by-state comparison was "misleading," because airports often serve moe than one state, and program funds are awarded to airport operators, not to states.

The officials noted that there are two components of the Airport Improvement Program: entitlement funding, based on passenger volume; and discretionary funds, or grants to airports that apply for them.

Typically, the officials said, operators of larger, busier airports have the means to finance their own improvements related to their heavy volumes, including the passenger facilities charge, lease payments by airlines or rents paid by retailers inside terminals.

The reason that more than a third of program funds is set aside for small airports is to insure that, as part of an integrated national airport system, they are able to build and maintain facilities that meet federal aviation standards, even if those airports could not finance the improvements on their own.

"These smaller airports support non-commercial flight activity such as flight training, corporate and business aviation, agricultural support, law enforcement, aerial firefighting, emergency response and disaster recovery, aeromedical flights, and basic access for many remote communities," the FAA said in a statement. "Also, many larger commercial service airports have access to other capital funding sources such as Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) revenues and bond capital that smaller airports may not be able to access."

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

TODAY: Groundbreaking for NEW Aircraft Rescue Fire Station - Monroe Regional Airport (KMLU), Louisiana

Mayor Jamie Mayo and the Monroe City Council are pleased to join Monroe Regional Airport Director Ron Phillips and Monroe Fire Chief Terry Williams to announce the following:

EVENT: Groundbreaking Ceremony for the new Monroe Regional Airport/Air Industrial Park ARFF (Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting) Station.

TIME/DATE: 11 am Wednesday, June 4, 2014

LOCATION: 5406 Operations Road, Monroe, LA

SUMMARY: The NEW ARFF Station will cost an estimated $2.229 million dollars, and is funded 100% by the Louisiana Department of Transportation. Monroe-based Breck Construction is the contractor, and the job is expected to take 365 calendar days to finish. The NEW Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting station will improve safety and emergency response for the airport.

Mayor Jamie Mayo says, "This new ARFF station is the latest addition to our 21st century Airport Terminal. We are thankful for the financial support from the State DOTD, and the vision of the leadership and personnel within our airport and fire department. By working together, we are making a difference."

Monroe Regional Airport Director Ron Phillips says, "We are excited to see the construction of the new ARFF station. Keeping the Monroe Regional Airport on the cutting edge of safety is our top priority. This new state-of-the-art facility will help make MLU safer. It will improve our readiness for any emergency."

Monroe Fire Chief Terry Williams adds, "The Monroe Fire Department takes pride in providing the best fire and rescue services available, not only to the citizens of Monroe, but to the thousands of travelers that visit our city, as well. The new ARFF station will greatly enhance our ability to provide the best service possible by reducing travel distance and response times to runways, serving as a command center for all responding agencies during emergency incidents, and providing adequate accommodations for necessary personnel and equipment. We are excited to be a part of the growth and improvements at the Monroe Regional Airport."

Source:  http://www.myarklamiss.com

Grumman G164D, Farm Air Flying Service Inc., N8267K: Fatal accident occurred May 21, 2012 in Nicolaus, California

http://registry.faa.gov/N8267K

NTSB Identification: WPR12LA220
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Monday, May 21, 2012 in Nicolaus, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/21/2014
Aircraft: GRUMMAN G 164D, registration: N8267K
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Witnesses saw the airplane make a low pass across a field, then make a hard banking turn back toward the field, and subsequently impact the ground. Impact damage indicated that the airplane struck the field in a nose-down, wings-level attitude consistent with a loss of control. Postaccident examination of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of mechanical failures or malfunctions that would have precluded normal operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot’s failure to maintain airplane control during a low-altitude maneuver.


HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On May 21, 2012, about 0637 Pacific daylight time (PDT), a Grumman G-164D, N8267K, impacted terrain during an agricultural application flight near Nicolaus, California. Farm Air Flying Service, Inc., was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 137. The commercial pilot, the sole occupant, was fatally injured; the airplane sustained substantial damage. The local agricultural flight departed from Farm Air Service facility, Sacramento, California. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

Witnesses saw the airplane make a low pass across a field, make a hard banking turn to return towards the field, and impact the ground.

The operator reported that the pilot had departed from their base of operations 10 miles south of the accident site to apply 1,000 lbs of fertilizer to a rice field.


WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane came to rest right side up, and the nose of the airplane was partially submerged in the rice field. The airplane impacted the rice field in a nose-low wings level attitude.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The Sutter County Coroner completed an autopsy on May 22, 2012. The cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma. The FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI), Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicological testing of specimens of the pilot.

Analysis of the specimens contained no findings for carbon monoxide, cyanide, volatiles.The report contained the following findings for tested drugs: 16.6 (ug/ml) acetaminophen detected in blood.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

Investigators examined the wreckage at Plain Parts, Sacramento, on September 27, 2012.

The airframe and engine were examined with no mechanical anomalies identified that would have precluded normal operation.

The airplane was equipped with a Satloc M3 GPS data logging system. The unit was recovered and sent to the NTSB Vehicle Recorder lab for downloading. A factual report is attached to the docket. The download shows the track of the accident airplane during the 13-minute flight as it was applying the fertilizer to the rice field. No abnormal tracks were noted prior to the accident.




The widow and two sons of a crop-duster pilot killed in a Sutter County crash have sued Northrop Grumman Corp. and Yuba-Sutter Aviation Inc. for wrongful death.

Georgette Brown filed her lawsuit last week in Sacramento County Superior Court.

Her husband, Nathaniel A. Brown, 50, died May 21, 2012, when his G-146D Northrop Grumman plane plunged into a flooded rice field west of Highway 70 near East Nicolaus.

The suit, which seeks unspecified damages, alleged the plane had "inherent design and manufacturing defects ... (which) would be difficult to detect by ordinary consumers and users."

The suit also alleged the defendants failed to properly maintain the aircraft.

John F. Neal Jr., chief executive officer of Yuba-Sutter Aviation Inc., said on Thursday he had no comment.

Brown was banking south at about 6:30 a.m., preparing to make another spreading run of zinc fertilizer over a field on the south side of Nicolaus Avenue, when his plane dove into the rice field on the north side of Nicolaus, the Sutter County Sheriff's Department said at the time.

Two days after the suit was filed, the National Transportation Safety Board posted its probable cause report on the accident, which occurred 13 minutes into the flight.

"Witnesses saw the airplane make a low pass across a field, then make a hard banking turn back toward the field, and subsequently impact the ground. Impact damage indicated that the airplane struck the field in a nose-down, wings-level attitude consistent with a loss of control," the NTSB said in its report.

"Post-accident examination of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of mechanical failures or malfunctions that would have precluded normal operation."

The NTSB cited the "pilot's failure to maintain airplane control during a low-altitude maneuver."

Blue Angels fly over downtown Pittsburgh for photo shoot

 

PITTSBURGH —  

If you saw low-flying planes over Pittsburgh Wednesday, it wasn't by mistake.

The US Navy’s Blue Angels flew six F-A 18 Hornet Jets over the city's skyline for a photo shoot.

Social media lit up with excitement.  Lots of photos were posted on Facebook and tweeted on Twitter.

In Westmoreland County, Channel 11’s Joe Holden got an in-flight look at a pastor’s ride of a lifetime.

The Rev. Joe McCaffrey of St. John Paul blasted into the sky in a F-A 18 Hornet.  McCaffrey soared more than 15,000 feet.

“It was like being strapped to a rocket ship,” he said.

McCaffrey spent some 40 minutes aloft.

“It’s like you’re in another world,” he said.

The Blue Angels will be performing at the Westmoreland County Airshow this weekend at the Arnold Palmer Regional Airport. WPXI-TV is a proud sponsor of the event.

 
Source:  http://www.wpxi.com

The U.S. Navy will be visiting Downtown Pittsburgh Wednesday 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

Piper PA-30 Twin Comanche, C-GLGJ: Accident occurred August 13, 2012 in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada

A Surrey man says his daughter’s death in a plane crash near Kelowna in August 2012 could have been prevented. 

That’s why he’s launched a lawsuit against the parties involved.

Greg Sewell says he is suing the plane’s owners, the pilot, maintenance companies as well as the companies responsible for designing the aircraft and the engine, because the accident was a survivable impact crash.

“I believe it could have been prevented, I believe all four would have survived had this plane been equipped with more modern safety equipment.”

Sewell’s daughter Lauren was killed with her boyfriend Dallas Smith when the Piper PA-30 Twin Comanche aircraft they were flying in slammed into trees near Brenda Mine.

He believes shoulder harness restraints could have saved their lives.


Source:  http://www.cknw.com
 
Read the TSB report online

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/842819-tsb-report.html 

Lauren Patricia Sewell, 24, of Surrey, shown here in a photo from her Facebook page, was killed in a plane crash on August 13, 2012 near Kelowna.


Jayson Dallas Wesley Smith and Lauren Sewell - both were killed in a plane crash near Kelowna on August 13, 2012. 



Aviation Investigation Report A12P0136  
Collision with Terrain
Piper PA-30 Twin Comanche C-GLGJ
Kelowna, British Columbia, 18 nm W
13 August 2012

Summary:    The privately operated Piper PA-30 Twin Comanche (serial number 30-300, registration C-GLGJ) departed Penticton Airport, British Columbia, at 1432 Pacific Daylight Time on a visual flight rules flight plan during daylight hours, to Boundary Bay; 1 pilot and 3 passengers were on board. The aircraft flew northbound over Okanagan Lake for approximately 20 nautical miles, before turning west into a valley; this was about 14 nautical miles further than planned, due to a lower-than-expected rate of climb. At 1454, an overflying airliner received an emergency locator transmitter signal, which the airliner pilot relayed to the area control centre, and the area control centre relayed to the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre. The aircraft wreckage was located about 2½ hours later, in a wooded area near the Brenda Mines site, approximately 18 nautical miles west of Kelowna. There was no fire. All 4 occupants were critically injured; 1 occupant died at the site, and a second died in hospital 2 days later.

http://www.tsb.gc.ca

NTSB Identification: ANC12WA087 
14 CFR Unknown
Accident occurred Monday, August 13, 2012 in Kelowna, Canada
Aircraft: PIPER PA-30, registration: C-GLGJ
Injuries: 1 Fatal,3 Serious.

On August 13, 2012, about 1729 Pacific daylight time, a Piper PA-30 airplane, (Canadian Registration C-GLGJ) was on a VFR flight plan from Penticton to Boundary Bay, British Columbia. The Canadian Joint Rescue Coordination Centre received an ELT signal, and a search was commenced. The aircraft had crashed in a wooded area near the Brenda Lake mine site, approximately 18 nm west of Kelowna, BC. One of the occupants was deceased, and the other three were transported to the hospital with critical injuries.

The accident investigation is under the jurisdiction and control of the Canadian government. This report is for information purposes only and contains only information released by or obtained from the Canadian government. Further information pertaining to this accident may be obtained from:

Transportation Safety Board of Canada
200 Promenade du Portage
Place du Centre, 4th Floor
Hull, Quebec K1A 1K8
Canada

Tel.: (1) 819-994-4252
(1) 819-997-7887 (24 hour)
E-mail: airops@tsb.gc.ca
Fax: (1) 819-953-9586
Website: http://www.tsb.gc.ca

Old Bridge Flight School, New Jersey: Airport Open House on June 7th at Old Bridge Airport (3N6)

Old Bridge Flight School will host an Airport Open House 10 a.m.-4 p.m. June 7 at Old Bridge Airport, 182 Pension Road, Gate No. 4 of Englishtown Raceway Park.

Highlights will include free airplane rides for children ages 8-17 (a parent must be present to give permission), flight simulators, a helicopter, ultralight, tail-dragger, biplane and remote-control aircraft exhibition.

Scheduled lectures are “A Pilot’s Account of Flying Around the World Twice,” “How Airplanes Fly,” “How to Obtain a Private Pilot’s License,” “Tips for Nervous Flyers” and “Careers in Aviation.” There will be airport tours and information on the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Black Pilots of America, Civil Air Patrol, Experimental Aircraft Association, Helicopter Flight Services, New Jersey Army National Guard, New Jersey Department of Aviation, New Jersey Education Council, Old Bridge High School JROTC, and Women in Aviation Garden State Angels Chapter.

For more information, call 732-483- 4596.


Source:  http://sub.gmnews.com
 
 
Video:  David Duvak, Certified Flight Instructor at Old Bridge Flight School 
 Richard Caitano, Student pilot

Federal Aviation Administration mulling over fine against Red Eagle Aviation at Kalispell City Airport (S27), Montana

KALISPELL - Still no word on whether a Kalispell aviation company will receive a $90,000 dollar fine from the Federal Aviation Administration.

The Federal Aviation Administration served a notice to Red Eagle Aviation earlier this year, alleging the company had operated a helicopter that wasn't in compliance with Federal Aviation Regulations over a two-year period.

A $90,000 dollar fine is being proposed.

A spokesperson tells us the Federal Aviation Administration is still in negotiations with Red Eagle Aviation.

The City of Kalispell signed a 3 1/2 year agreement with Red Eagle to manage the city airport at the beginning of this year. 


Source:  http://www.kaj18.com

Related - 

POSTED: 4:17 PM Mar 07 2014
UPDATED: 5:46 PM Mar 07 2014

Red Eagle Aviation could be fined by FAA

KALISPELL, Mont. -   The Federal Aviation Administration claims the business that runs the Kalispell City Airport, Red Eagle Aviation, did not follow federal guidelines for maintenance on one of their choppers.

Just last fall, Kalispell voters turned down a plan to expand and upgrade the airport.

On January 1, Red Eagle Aviation took over managing the airport. The very next day, we found out the FAA planned to fine Red Eagle $90,000 for not keeping up on required maintenance for one of its choppers.

Scott Davis says he hears planes and helicopters fly over his Kalispell home all the time. Davis is the spokesperson for Quiet Skies of Kalispell, a group that fought against the proposed expansion of the city airport.

Davis is upset with Red Eagle Aviation, a flight training school run out of the Kalispell City Airport.

What concerns Davis is where Red Eagle is training its new pilots.

"I would hope they would train their pilots over farm land instead of over the residents of Kalispell," said Davis.

But now, Davis sees another problem. The Federal Aviation Administration has issued a civil penalty against Red Eagle Aviation, for not keeping up on required maintenance of one of its helicopters. The FAA claims the chopper wasn't air-worthy.

Required maintenance on the helicopter's tail and rotors wasn't done from May of 2011 to May of 2013 for over 80 flights.

We reached out to Red Eagle to see what they had to say about the potential penalty, but they declined to comment on it, as it is an ongoing investigation.

Because of this new allegation, Davis believes they should start flying the helicopters in a different direction, away from residents homes.

"We're hoping they would lift off of the airport, follow the highway out south of Kalispell until they've reached the city limits and the FAA height elevation, and then they can go anywhere they want," Davis said.

This is the only penalty the company has ever faced that we could find.

As for where Red Eagle is flying, that isn't against any FAA rule. But the change is one Davis believes is important for not just him, but the entire community.

"If Red Eagle is found in violation of FAA rules, that is a very serious charge.  They are hundreds or thousands of pounds of material over day cares, our schools, our playgrounds, our backyards -- it's just irresponsible," said Davis. 

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

Erickson Aircraft Collection Facility in Madras, Oregon, New Home for Vintage Collection of World War II Warbirds

Jack Erickson’s antique airplanes are rated as one of the top five collections in the world and will soon be ready for public view showcased for all of Central Oregon and beyond. The new Erickson Air Collection facility in Jefferson County is being filled with one of the finest flying collections of historic aircraft currently available. Previously exhibited in the Tillamook Naval Air Station Museum, Erickson’s collection of 20 to 22 vintage war aircraft needed a new home.

Now completed the beautiful new 65,000 square foot structure soars beautifully above the Jefferson County landscape with the scenic Cascades as a backdrop and boasts an arched radius roof center span in balance with the shed style construction. On the top east front side of the building is a large bank of translucent windows pouring in volumes of natural light.
 

The large open space is expansive, perfect for viewing these vintage aircraft. The huge square footage will be ample space even when it is filled with the large collection. The finish work on the interior is sleek with subtle colors and  brightly illuminated. Other inside details include a  sealed concrete floor, extensive fire prevention systems and interior space heaters and fans to keep the building comfortable year around. The building has three large hanger doors. The center doors are on rails at 120 feet wide with two smaller hydraulic doors on each side.
 

Designed by Steele Associates Architects and built by CS Construction the official groundbreaking took place only nine months ago. Eric Meeuwsen, senior project manager with CS Construction, reports, “The building is a custom pre-manufactured steel beam structure with metal skin siding approved for non glare colors in accordance with airport construction standards. The radius curved free spanning roof is an appealing improvement over most typical flat roofed steel buildings of this size.”
 

Steele Associates Architects President Scott Steel remarks, “We’d like to thank Erickson once again for selecting us to design their new facility. They were an absolute pleasure to work with and the project, with all the beautiful aircraft, was very interesting and exciting. We’re also thankful to Erickson for selecting Central Oregon for their new location.

Their presence in Madras will help build and stabilize our economy, strengthen our aviation industry as we feel this facility will catalyze more development and interest at the airport and Jefferson County.” Steele compliments the rest of the architectural  building team for the success of the project: Steve Hockman, Adam Stephen, Summer Oman and Civil Engineer, Hickman Williamsand Structural Engineer, Froehlich Consulting Engineers.
 

The building creates an inviting look from all points and will be a great attraction for Central Oregon and airplane buffs nationwide. Meeuwsen continues, “ When it is turned into a museum there will be a welcoming area, gift shop, restrooms and visitor information when entering the building.”  The building is sited to benefit from the scenery of the majestic Cascade peaks. Steele comments, “ When the center door is open Mt. Jefferson is perfectly framed in the backdrop.”
 

Keeping projects of this scale on track can be complex but other than one harsh winter storm the project has stayed very close to its original construction schedule. Kenny Rice, project superintendent with CS Construction, says, “One of the biggest challenges was pouring the massive nine inch thick concrete floor in the winter. There were several 500 yard pours and our timing was just right to avoid the cold weather avoiding significant delays.

The week we had 27 inches of snow with no roof on held us back and it took quite a bit of work for the week just to get the snow off the concrete slab. "Once that was over we have been able to keep pretty close to the schedule and expect to receive the final inspection very soon.”  Steele comments, “CS Construction has done a fine job putting the project together and has worked diligently through some harsh construction weather to stay on schedule.”
 

Another challenge for a facility to exhibit such large airplanes is to have as much free span as possible. Steel remarks, “ We worked closely with Erickson’s design requirements to understand what was needed for the museum so the engineers compute what size the steel needs to be for the building to have the free span space, then it is manufactured to those specs. The free span in this building is created with the custom roof and large shed wings on each side.”
 

This project created significant installation challenges especially the arched roof spans that were met by building innovation from CS Construction.  Rather than workers fitting complex roofing support beams dangerously high off the ground the roof spans were first assembled on the ground and were then lifted into place with a large two hundred ton crane. Rice reports, “The crane worked great but we did have to be careful if the wind was over 8mph we had to shut down the operation.” Meeuwsen adds, “We got blown out a lot on this project, not only on the roof but the siding as well. In order to complete this we needed the biggest crane available on this side of the mountains.”
 

THE MOVE TO MADRAS

The process to building the new facility in Madras evolved over several years as the Erickson Group evaluated the high maintenance costs, the corroding coastal weather and the oversized historic blimp structure in Tillamook, Oregon. Knowing their lease was due to expire in 2016 they began to consider new locations in Tillamook, Newport and Astoria. These cities eagerly invited Erickson to develop a museum in their respective towns and several state grants were issued to develop sites and encourage them to move.
 

However the direction to a new location changed when Jack Erickson, owner of Erickson Aero Tanker and  chair of Precision Conversions LLC, a related entity to The Erickson Group, purchased a global fire fighting air-tanker operation with the fleet based in Madras in 2013. With cooperation from the airport, EDCO, City of Madras and Jefferson County planners, Erickson chose the Madras Airport as the perfect location for the museum.
 

EDCO manager for Jefferson County Janet Brown remarks, “Our new shining star in 2013 was Erickson Aero Tanker...having Erickson’s war birds in Madras is exciting and will be a huge attraction for history and airplane buffs. Having someone the caliber of The Erickson Group building their newest company in Madras is super and with the Erickson aircraft collection here, it's just icing on the cake. They are great community partners and have used local supplies and talent in their development and expansions.”
 

Erickson is an internationally recognized entrepreneur who started and successfully built numerous companies and industries founding Erickson Air-Crane in 1971. Since then he has focused his attention on the development of The Erickson Group, utilizing  his extensive experience in the aviation and forest products industries and has been active in the founding and the expansion of the Tillamook Naval Air Station Museum.
 

Erickson originally moved his planes into the Tillamook Port's blimp hangar in 1994 growing his collection along the way. The former museum in Tillamook is in the historic World War II blimp hangar and it is feeling its age. Originally built  large enough to store up to eight blimps each 250 feet long the hanger is larger than six football fields built nearly 15 stories high.  Add the moist damp salt air of the Pacific Ocean and you have a high maintenance stressful environment for metal airplane components.
 

Mike Oliver, manager of the Erickson Air Collection formerly the Tillamook Air Museum, says, “Since this collection of aircraft is active it creates a monumental maintenance task. One of the things about our museum is it is a flying museum, most museums pickle the engine -- they're just static displays. Our planes fly. Our airplanes are hand-picked and the collection has a lot of rare airplanes.” 

The Airshow of the Cascades scheduled for August 22-23 for 2014 will certainly benefit from the new Air Museum.  Recent years have brought approximately 10,000 spectators to the Airshow and higher visitation is expected this year with the vintage aircraft that will be on display. Along with the 20-22 planes there will be one of the most prized planes of Erickson’s collection, his B-17G Flying Fortress a World War II Bomber.   

In the historic past of these unique aircraft was the fact that crews often named their planes with female characters and painted Pin-Up graphics on the nose of the plane. Such was the case for Erickson’s B-17G which was formerly named “Chuckie” after the previous owner's wife.
 

But once the plane was sold to Erickson with the plans set to move to Madras a different idea was born. History tells us that Madras served as a primary training base for B-17 crews during WW II, and since Erickson’s new bomber would be moving to Madras it would be a good time to re-name the plane and it could also be a fitting tribute to those that trained there and served in the war. This resonates well with a plan to build a World War II Veterans' Memorial that is under construction. All parties concerned agreed and this summer noted aviation artist and nose-art historian, Gary Velasco, will travel out to Madras to paint the new name and Pin-Up artwork Madras Maiden on the B-17′s fuselage.
 

Warbirds News reports, "Madras Maiden will be a flying representative for the community of Madras, Oregon and the Erickson Aircraft Collection while touring the Pacific Northwest and visiting regional air shows and other aviation museums. Jack Erickson and his museum manager Mike Oliver both agreed that the new name made sense. Community Leaders in Madras, Oregon have also embraced the idea as well, and have even gone so far as to donate $5,000 towards the new nose-art.” 

Madras is feeling positive about the Erickson Air Collection Facility. Mayor Melanie Widmer commented, “The Erickson Air people were fantastic to work with. We felt like it was a little bit of a long shot when we first met with them, but fortunately for all concerned it panned out really well, and it's been really exciting especially to watch as these aircraft have been coming in these past weeks making it feel like it has really happened.”
 

Erickson Air Collection Facility
 

Contractor: CS Construction
Square Footage: 65,000
Project Managers: Steve Hockman of Steele Associates Architects / Eric Meeuwsen of CS Construction

Project Supervisor: Kenny Rice of CS Construction

Geotechnical Engineer: Wallace Group LLC

Architect: Steele Associates Architects LLC

Architecture Team: Steve Hockman, Adam Stephen, Summer Oman

Structural Engineer: Froehlich Consulting Engineers

Civil Engineer: Hickman Williams

Landscape: WH Pacific

Traffic Engineer: Ferguson & Assoc.

Subcontractors and Suppliers: Bend Cabinet & Fixtures, Inc., Cascade Heating & Specialties, Inc., Grizzly Mountain Excavation, LLC, I&J Carpets, Inc, Mike's Fence Center, Inc., National Construction Rentals, Inc., North Country Building Specialties, LLC, Western Protective Coatings, LLC, JT Plumbing, Botanical Developments, LLC, Bend Concrete Service Co., Moye's Drywall, JLM Steel, LLC, Sunburst Fabrications, Inc., Cascade Coatings, Inc., Alpine Glass,  American Sprinklers, Inc.,  Elite Electric, LLC, 7 Peaks Paving, LLC, Energy Conservation Insulation Co., Inc., Bell Hardware of Bend Inc., Cascade Heating & Specialties, Inc., ICON Door Systems, Dealin' in Signs,   Miller Lumber, Behlen Mfg. Co., Norco Industrial Door Systems, Pacific Insulation Products, Carlson Testing


Source:   http://www.cascadebusnews.com