Thursday, June 12, 2014

Two pilots tried to fly Virgin Australia plane in 'opposite directions'– report: Safety authority says damage later found on plane ‘might have been a result' of incident, during which attendant broke a leg

A flight attendant broke her leg as two pilots on a Virgin Australia flight from Canberra to Sydney were controlling the plane in “opposite directions”, an Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) preliminary investigation has found. 

 The same plane went on to make 13 more flights over the next five days until an inspection after a suspected bird strike revealed significant structural damage “which may have been a result” of the original incident.

As a result, the ATSB has combined the two separate investigations into one and will continue their investigation.

The first incident involving the aircraft VH-FVR happened on 20 February this year when the plane was approaching Sydney in clear weather on a Thursday afternoon flight.

Shortly before it was due to land in Sydney, the plane was assigned a different runway and the crew had to recalibrate their instruments for a new approach.

The seatbelt signs were switched on and as they prepared to land the crew noticed the airspeed was increasing and the “speed trend was excessively high”.

The first officer reduced the engine power before manually raising the nose to control the speed, the report said. The aircraft felt “heavy” and the first officer had to use two hands on the controls to pull the plane’s nose up. But the captain was unsure if the actions of the first officer, who was sitting next to him, were enough so “put one of his hands on the controls and disconnected the autopilot to raise the nose further”.

“The captain believed he indicated his intention to take over control and while the first officer could not recall it being verbalised he was aware of the captain’s actions,” the report said.

“Each pilot was then controlling the elevator on their side of the aircraft in opposite directions for a brief period before the first officer released his control column,” the report said. The report does not explain why the two men knew of the other’s intentions but still each tried to maintain control.

“At some point the cabin crew called the cockpit and advised that the senior cabin crew member had injured her leg and that it might be broken. In the next contact with air traffic control the crew asked for an ambulance to be available after landing.”

The plane was then put in for maintenance, where engineers discovered the “vertical load factor” had exceeded the acceptable limit for aircraft weight.

Turbulence was reported so “a detailed walk around” was done. An inspection of parts of the plane, including the tail, was done “by torchlight” but no defects were found. The plane was put back into service the next day.

After 13 more flights, the plane passed a flock of birds on the way to Albury so engineers did a check, after it landed, for potential “birdstrike”.

“The engineer used scissor lift equipment to inspect the tailplane and confirmed that the fairing might have been damaged by a bird but that there was also significant structural damage on top of the tailplane. The aircraft was grounded and the ATSB advised.

"Later information from the operator suggested that the damage to the tailplane might have been a result of the occurrence involving VH-FVR on 20 February 2014. On this basis, the ATSB combined its investigation into the aircraft damage identified in Albury with its investigation into the earlier flight control occurrence."

In a statement to Australian Aviation, Virgin Australia said: “The safety of our guests, crew and aircraft is our number one priority at Virgin Australia and we have strong protocols in place to ensure the safety of our operations is maintained to the highest standard.

“While this is an isolated issue, we are working with the ATSB, the aircraft manufacturer and our maintenance provider to identify what has occurred. As the investigation is ongoing, it would be inappropriate for us to comment in any further detail at this stage.”


Virgin plane flew for days with possibly significant structural damage  

Virgin Australia is investigating why one of its planes flew for several days with possibly significant structural damage.

Pilots reported something wrong with the 68-seat turbo prop plane when it had a hard landing in Canberra in February.

It was inspected by an engineer and then allowed to fly for several more days before it was grounded.

Virgin says it is an isolated issue and is working with the transport and safety authorities as well as the aircraft manufacturer to identify what has occurred.

It says it will not be providing any more information until the investigation is complete. 


Appeal filed on Hanscom Field (KBED) decision

A group of Lincoln citizens has filed an appeal with the state asking it to overturn the town’s approval of a request by Jet Aviation to expand its facilities at Hanscom Field.

On May 27, the appeal was filed on behalf of Lincoln residents with MassDEP (Department of Environmental Protection) by McGregor & Associates, P.C., asking the DEP to overturn the Lincoln Conservation Commission’s decision that would allow Jet Aviation to build over an acre of new infrastructure within Lincoln wetlands buffer zones. The challenge was made under the state Wetlands Protection Act.

The proposed development is part of a larger plan by Jet Aviation to add a total of 140,000 square feet of new infrastructure to its facility at Hanscom Field for the purpose of attracting and servicing Gulfstream 650s, large private jets used for international travel.

Michael Arnone, director of marking and online services for Jet Aviation, declined comment on the appeal.

"We worked closely with the Lincoln Conservation Commission to gain their approval on our project by tailoring it in a way that addressed their important environmental considerations," Arnone said. "At this time, we cannot comment further as the commission's approval has been appealed and the case remains pending."

The project holds both legal and environmental implications for all four of the Hanscom-area towns -- Bedford, Concord, Lexington and Lincoln -- according to the appellants. At issue is whether Jet Aviation, a for-profit private enterprise, and its landlord Massport, a state agency, are subject to local regulations in non-zoning matters as any other business or residential landowner would be.

Jet Aviation leases land from Massport, the owner and operator of Hanscom Field civil airport. Jet Aviation has declined to apply under the local Lincoln wetlands bylaw on the basis that because Massport, as a state agency, has a provision in its enabling act that exempts its "essential government functions" from local regulations; and that this exemption extends to anyone who leases land from Massport, no matter what business they engage in. After five controversial public hearings, the Lincoln Conservation Commission ultimately voted to approve the project under the state Wetlands Act with conditions.

The appeal challenges the Jet Aviation and Massport claims to blanket exemption from local regulation, arguing that they are subject to local bylaws in non-zoning matters. This assertion is shared by the Lincoln town counsels, the Lincoln Conservation Commission and by state legislators representing the Hanscom-area communities.

The appeal follows a letter from state legislators representing the Hanscom-area towns which was submitted by State Rep. Jay Kaufman, D-Lexington, on May 19 to MassDEP Commissioner David Cash stating that Jet Aviation had failed to fully comply with necessary local and state regulations. It asked that the matter be remanded back to the Lincoln Conservation Commission.

Local conservation commissions issue permits under both the state and local wetlands laws, with local bylaws often stricter than the state Wetlands Act, as in the case of Lincoln. On the basis of its presumed exemption, Jet Aviation filed only under the state law. When asked by the Lincoln Conservation Commission multiple times during the public hearings if it would apply under the Lincoln bylaw, Jet Aviation refused to do so.


Artega, et al. v. Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc., et al.

Bell 212, XA-IUR, Heliservicio Campeche: Accident occurred October 15, 2010 in Veracruz - Mexico 

Artega, et al. v. Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc., et al.

In memory of the Fallen (son Andres miss you so much) 
En memoria a los Caidos (Andres hijo te extra├▒amos mucho)

Crash victim: Require pilots of private planes to carry insurance

PALM COAST — Three people were killed, a single-engine plane was destroyed and a Palm Coast house was ravaged by fire and eventually demolished.

Susan Crockett and her attorney think the Jan. 4, 2013, disaster could have been avoided if federal regulations prohibited pilots of private planes from flying without insurance.

Pilots of private planes are required to have a license from the Federal Aviation Administration, but they are not required to have insurance coverage. Experts say many pilots of small aircraft don’t purchase insurance because of the high costs and the small risk of accidents.

Crockett and her attorney were surprised to learn that the pilot who smashed into her home didn’t have insurance to help pay to replace it. The pilot of the decades-old plane knew before he flew it over Flagler County airspace that it was leaking oil, according to a report released in May by the National Transportation Safety Board.

“How can you, in good conscience, let someone get into an airplane and fly over houses, schools, day cares?” Crockett asked. “What if that crash had been at a day care? There’s no law to say he had to have insurance before he went up in that plane.”

Crockett’s attorney, Marc Dwyer, said he is prepared to take his client’s case to the Federal Aviation Administration or Congress, or even to the highest elected official in the Executive Branch. At the very least, more light should be shed on a dangerous lack of oversight by the government, he said.

“We know it will take a while,” said Dwyer. “We’re prepared for that.”
During one afternoon 16 months ago, Crockett lost her home to the four-seat Beechcraft H35 Bonanza. The pilot, Michael Anders, tried to make an emergency landing but failed to reach the Flagler County Airport. Before losing contact with the nearest control tower, he radioed that he had lost oil pressure. 

 Crockett, 51, said she remains shaken from the experience of having an airplane crash through her roof while she was inside her Utica Path home, although she realizes it could’ve been so much worse.

“Every day, I think about the outcome ... that I wasn’t under the plane,” she said, “but there are still days when I’m driving down the street and I relive what happened. That’ll never go away.”

Anders, 58, of Albany, Kentucky, and his passengers, Duane Shaw, 59, and Charissee Peoples, 42, died in the crash. Crockett escaped her burning home through a bedroom window and suffered minor physical injuries.

But she said the emotional scars have lingered. She now lives a safer distance from the airport — roughly 11 miles. She said she still gets rattled by the sound of a plane flying overhead.

Crockett’s attorney said he brought the issue to the attention of U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Ponte Vedra Beach. A DeSantis spokeswoman wouldn’t comment, saying all constituent correspondence is confidential.

Dwyer said he heard from DeSantis’ office this week and hopes to meet with the congressman next month to discuss the issue.

Kathleen Bergin, an FAA spokeswoman, confirmed the agency doesn’t require private pilots who fly general aviation aircraft to carry insurance.

Roy Sieger, director of the Flagler County Airport, said he has always wondered why pilots aren’t required to purchase liability insurance.

“That always dumbfounded me,” he said. “If they’re flying and they crash, they think they won’t survive it. ... But then the matter is turned over to the estate and the family is left to clean up the mess.”

No one can base an aircraft at the Flagler County Airport without some insurance, he said.

Most general aviation aircraft require annual inspections, according to the FAA. The NTSB report indicated the last annual inspection for Anders’ plane was in September or October 2012.

Pilots who are 40 or older also are required to renew their medical certificates every two years. Records showed Anders most recent certificate was issued four days prior to the crash.


The FAA requires pilots of small, private aircraft to have a license to fly. And there are laws in place to punish those who fly without a license.

According to the U.S. criminal code related to aviation, if someone knowingly and willfully flies with a suspended or revoked license, a person shall be fined and face imprisonment of up to three years or both.

But there are no laws requiring those who fly small, private planes to have insurance. Dwyer compares the situation to a motorist driving without liability insurance. Doing so is a traffic violation in Florida.

“Flying without insurance is seen as a risk-management issue,” said S.V. Dedmon, an aviation law attorney and associate professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach.

Dedmon said laws pertaining to motor vehicle insurance can more easily be put into place because of the significant number of casualties related to car crashes.

In 2012, there were 33,561 highway deaths in the U.S., according to the NTSB. By comparison, there were a combined 1,958 deaths in the U.S. from rail, marine and aviation accidents that year. Aviation fatalities alone totaled 449.

“You’re more probable to hurt someone in your car,” Dedmon said.

Based on a risk-management study published by David Ropeik at the Harvard School of Public Health, the annual risk of being killed in a plane crash for the average American is about one in 11 million.

The same study revealed that 1 out of every 5,000 Americans dies annually in motor vehicle crashes.

Because of the possibility of mass casualties on the ground, Dwyer said he thinks a law should be put into place that requires inspectors at airports. Pilots who let their insurance lapse or who fail to obtain it should stay grounded — and that would be best enforced “at the airport level,” Dwyer said.

Dedmon said pilots decide on their own whether to buy insurance. If a crash happens, the pilot is basically telling people who might be affected to sue him or her. If that pilot is killed, then sue his or her estate, Dedmon said.

Dwyer said he learned of Anders’ lack of insurance through “an exhaustive search of records” related to the 2013 crash in Palm Coast.

As for Anders’ estate, Dwyer said it is “insolvent,” therefore his client wasn’t able to claim any compensation.

Dedmon said he is unaware of anyone else locally or nationally who is fighting to have new laws put into place regarding private pilots carrying insurance.

Dedmon said it is common for airports to include provisions about insurance in their leasing agreements. But such “ground insurance” protects only an aircraft owner in the event of damage that happens on the ground, whether by natural disaster, fire, vandalism, or other unforeseen events.

Flight insurance is another matter. An all-inclusive policy often is an expensive purchase, said Dedmon.

“Generally, $1 million is the lowest liability people get,” he said.

Prices on such premiums vary widely. The factors that come into play include, but are not restricted to, the pilot’s age, health, experience and flight hours, as well as the age of the plane and where it is hangared.

Dedmon, who is 59 and has close to 2,000 hours of total flight time, said his insurance for one of his aircrafts costs him about $1,000 per year.


Crockett was talking on the phone with her eldest daughter when the explosion happened in the next bedroom.

“What was that noise?” her daughter asked.

“A plane just hit my house.”

“What did you say?”

“Call 9-1-1, a plane just hit the house.”

Susan Crockett, wearing trouser socks, wasted no time running to the nearest window to escape out of her burning home. She injured her shoulder when she tumbled out and suffered a few minor scrapes, she said.

Someone later asked her whether she had walked through fire; there were holes in the bottom of her socks. That’s when it hit her just how close she had come to being killed.

“It was just like being in a movie and someone says, ‘Cue the plane,’ ” Crockett said. “Then came the boom and then the fire.”

Dwyer said Crockett did have homeowner’s insurance, which helped her replace some of the material possessions she lost.

Crockett’s daughter Jessica, 21, had lived in the house off Utica for eight years. She said the family lost most of their tangible possessions, but it’s the intangible things she misses most. Her mother’s home today doesn’t feel like home to her.

“You just think of the memories,” she said. “You think about the Christmases, the birthdays, the Thanksgivings and the things we experienced in that house. The home we had is gone.”

Among the items that burned were Crockett’s daughters’ diplomas. That stings her.

“I lost everything,” she said. “We lost everything. Yes, I have my life, but ...

“I think there’s a reason I’m still here to tell my story. If something can be done, if something can come from it ... I’m willing to tell it every day.”


NTSB Identification: ERA13FA105
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, January 04, 2013 in Palm Coast, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/08/2014
Aircraft: BEECH H35, registration: N375B
Injuries: 3 Fatal.

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.

The airplane departed under visual flight rules and was at an altitude of about 7,500 feet when the pilot reported vibrations and an “oil pressure problem.” Airports in the area were under instrument meteorological conditions with cloud ceilings of 900 to 1,000 feet above ground level (agl). An air traffic controller provided the pilot with radar vectors for an airport surveillance radar (ASR) approach to a nearby airport that did not have a published ASR procedure. The airplane was about 2.5 miles northwest of the airport, at an altitude of about 5,300 feet agl, when the pilot reported that the engine oil pressure was “zero” with “cool cylinders.” The controller did not obtain nor did the pilot provide any additional information about the engine’s power status. During the next approximately 7 minutes, the airplane continued past the airport to a point about 6.5 miles northeast before the controller vectored the airplane to the south and then west to the final approach course. The airplane subsequently struck trees and a residence about 3/4 mile from the approach end of the runway. A postcrash fire destroyed the airframe and engine.
Postaccident examination of the airplane revealed that the engine sustained a fractured No. 4 connecting rod due to oil starvation. The connecting rod punctured the crankcase, which resulted in a total loss of engine power. The crankshaft oil transfer passage at the No. 4 journal sustained mechanical damage during the accident sequence and contained displaced journal material. All other oil passages were unrestricted. The airplane’s maintenance logbooks were destroyed during the accident. Maintenance performed on the airplane about 1 month before the accident included the replacement of the Nos. 1 and 4 cylinders; however, it could not be determined if this maintenance played a role in the accident. The reason for the oil starvation could not be determined.

Review of the air traffic control transcripts and interviews with the controllers revealed that they vectored the airplane such that it was unable to reach the airport. This was likely due to the weather conditions and the controllers’ incomplete understanding of the airplane’s mechanical condition (complete loss of power), which the pilot did not provide.

At the time of the accident, the pilot was using medication for hypertension and had well-controlled diabetes. It was unlikely that either condition significantly affected the pilot’s performance at the time of the accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

A total loss of engine power after the failure of the No. 4 connecting rod due to oil starvation, which resulted in a subsequent forced landing. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s failure to clearly state that the aircraft had lost all power and the air traffic controllers’ incomplete understanding of the emergency, which resulted in the controllers vectoring the airplane too far from the airport to reach the runway.

17th annual Pylon Racing Seminar flies into Reno

RENO, Nev. ( & KRNV) -- The Reno Air Racing Association announced this week that a record number of pilots and planes will take to the famed Reno Air Race course for the first time in 2014 during the 17th annual National Championship Air Races Pylon Racing Seminar (PRS), June 11 through the 14. 
PRS, or 'rookie school,' is the only chance for rookie pilots to qualify for the September race and offers an opportunity for all race pilots to test their aircraft and practice their racing skills. This year's PRS, which is not open to the public, features more than 70 airplanes and 90 participants, eclipsing the previous record of 63 planes in 2007.

All new pilots must attend PRS and complete and pass all classroom-based course work before flying in supervised test runs of the course. After successfully passing both segments, rookies will be given approval by flight instructors to race in the September event. Though mandatory for rookies, RARA, in conjunction with the individual racing class organizations, opens PRS to all pilots offering them practice time, education, training and certification. PRS helps ensure that racers compete with maximum competitiveness and safety at the National Championship Air Races.

The 51st annual National Championship Air Races is the world's premier air racing event. The races kick off Wednesday, September 10, and will continue through Sunday, September 14, at the Reno-Stead Airport. 

Story and video: http://www.mynews4.comx

Wisconsin DOT approves Boscobel Airport (KOVS) improvement project

The Wisconsin DOT recently approved $546,579 in funding design and construct a new terminal building at the Boscobel Airport.

The new buildiing will be ADA accessible and have a conference room, bathrooms and a waiting room for airport users.

The cost breakdown is $500,815 funded by the Federal Aviation Administration, $22,882 by the state, and $22,882 by the city of Boscobel.

"This building will cost the taxpayers of Boscobel nothing, absolutely nothing," said City Administrator Arlie Harris, adding that Boscobel Airport Commission President Peter James has agreed to pay teh city's portion.


Great Lakes Aviation Continues Descent

(Cheyenne) – Wyoming’s only airline reports its passenger numbers were down 62 percent in May compared to the same month last year.

The Wyoming Business Report says the airline, which serves Riverton Regional Airport, attributes the problem to federal regulations slashing the amount of available entry-level pilots.

The pilot shortage has lead to cancelled flights but the company says reconfiguring planes to fly with only nine passenger seats will allow it to reclassify their pilot-hiring requirements to get back in the game.

Great Lakes tells the Wyoming Business Report it is providing service to 30 airports in nine states.


Opinion/Letters: Busy flight paths need rerouting

Thank you for your editorial on the marked increase in airplane noise in our area ["FAA, Port Authority must help rattled residents," June 5].

We all understand that the airports play a vital role in our economy. However, as residents and taxpayers, we too contribute to the vitality of New York City and its suburbs. As someone who lives in northern Queens, I have always accepted a degree of noise from LaGuardia Airport. However, the increasingly liberal usage of the Runway 13 climb is unconscionable. The Federal Aviation Administration adopted this stealthily and despite much opposition from residents and local elected officials in 2012.

All we ask for is rationality and a more equitable distribution of runway usage and flight paths.

Susan Carroll, Flushing


In a previous editorial regarding the new NextGen flight route out of LaGuardia Airport, Newsday asked residents of Bayside to take "one for the team" ["Airplane earful for some -- but progress for all," Aug. 29, 2013].

The June 5 editorial seems like a careful rewording of the previous editorial, albeit with a softer, gentler ending: a candid dialogue between Kennedy Airport and its neighbors. However, that's not what the aviation roundtable is for. It's a vehicle for change.

If Newsday is serious about an open dialogue, here are some things that have been missing from your narrative. Most people complaining about the drastic increase in air traffic did not buy homes under flight routes. New routes have been implemented.

Overland routes that had been sparingly used in the past have been upgraded for general use, and some water routes have been abandoned.

These changes have occurred for one reason only: operational efficiency. LaGuardia may still put its arriving planes into the wind, but nearly all departures now use Runway 13 because it allows the airport to clear the runway intersection quickly. With the intersection clear, arriving planes can be spaced more closely, and the capacity of the airport increases.

Brian F. Will, Auburndale


Russian Bombers Threaten U.S. Air Space Near Alaska

Four Russian bombers entered the U.S. Air Defense Zone near Alaska on Monday, senior defense officials told NBC News on Thursday.

U.S. fighter jets from Alaska responded to shadow the Russian craft, which were Tupolev-95 "Bear" four-engine turboprop bombers, the officials said.

The four bombers split into two separate groups of twos: One group remained in the vicinity of Alaska, the other headed south off the northern coast of California, the officials said.

The Air Defense Zone is the area around the United States and Canada wherein aircraft are required to identify themselves.

The officials stressed that at no time did the bombers violate actual U.S. airspace and added that for the U.S. military, these forays are considered rather routine.

There have been about 50 such intercepts of Russian bombers over the past five years.

First published June 12th 2014, 2:07 pm

Stewart International Airport (KSWF) gets new manager

NEW WINDSOR – Stewart International Airport will have a new general manager, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced today, Thursday.

Ed Harrison is taking over as Stewart's general manager while the incumbent chief there, Richard Heslin, has been given the helm of Newark Liberty International Airport.

Harrison, until this appointment, was at Newark and was manager of commercial properties and development for that airport as well as for Teterboro Airport in New Jersey.

He joined the Port Authority in 1993 and was previously with a manager of marine terminal facilities.

Heslin, who has 43 years with the Port Authority and PATH rail, previously managed Teterboro and in his new role will oversee that airport as well.

The Port Authority also named Michael Moran to head JFK International Airport and Lysa Scully to run LaGuardia Airport. E.J. Mullins was named to program director at Atlantic City International Airport as part of the authority's deal to provide management services there.

Story and photos:

EU, Russia Spar Over Cargo Rules: New EU Security Rules Could Ground Airfreight Between the Markets

The Wall Street Journal
By  Daniel Michaels And   Robert Wall

June 12, 2014 11:04 a.m. ET

BRUSSELS—The European Union and Russia are sparring over new EU air-cargo security rules that take effect next month and could potentially ground airfreight between the two markets.

From July 1, the EU will require tighter screening of cargo onboard airplanes coming from outside the 28-country bloc. The EU currently deems only a few countries, including the U.S. and Japan, sufficiently safe and diligent to require no extra inspections.

EU air-security regulators for months debated granting Russia similar preferred status and Russia early this year appeared set to join the EU's "green list" of countries, according to people familiar with the discussions and documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

The proposal sparked little opposition because Russia had passed security inspections under global standards set by the aviation arm of the United Nations. But EU regulators postponed a decision in May after Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine and the EU began imposing sanctions on Russia.

Now, European officials appear set to go the opposite direction and demand more airfreight inspections inside Russia. Russia has opposed the plan and threatened retaliation.

At stake is trade valued at more than €12 billion between the two blocks, according to data from the EU's statistics arm, Eurostat.

"The point isn't to stop trade, the point is to increase security," an EU official familiar with the talks said.

Russia's ambassador to the EU, Vladimir Chizhov, said his country had already met air-cargo security requirements set by the U.N.'s International Civil Aviation Organization and needed no additional verifications.

"Russian airport are recognized as meeting the most severe requirements in the field of aviation security" Mr. Chizhov said. "Russia and the EU continue consultations to elaborate the most effective and practical decisions which will suit both parties."

ICAO rules permit countries to set stricter standards than its global norms, as the U.S. does with passenger screening. Still, Russia in March told ICAO it could be "forced to take countermeasures" and impose extra scrutiny on cargo shipments from the EU.

People familiar with the EU discussion said the ICAO audit is only cursory and Russia has balked at European demands for more inspections.

Caught in the middle are airlines that must demonstrate to the EU that they are meeting heightened scrutiny standards, even if they are unable to carry out audits in Russia. "Airlines are fully committed to the regulation, but it is a very politically sensitive issue," said Kee Kras, cargo and security expert at the Association of European Airlines, a trade group.

From July, cargo carriers must hold a security certificate that assures all shipments have been physically screened according to EU standards. The stamp of approval must come from experts accredited by an EU government.

If a country doesn't comply with the EU rules, the regulation permits an airline to continue carrying freight from it for "a limited period" if EU governments approve the carrier's security measures. So even if Russia and the EU remain at odds on the issue, cargo flights won't cease on July 1.

The EU in 2011 tightened its screening standards after a thwarted terrorist plot the prior year to ship bombs disguised as computer printer cartridges from Yemen to the U.S. The packages were intercepted at airports in Dubai and the U.K. after an intelligence tip off.

African countries have also objected to the EU rules but will receive assistance to improve screening and probably extra time, said one person familiar with the talks.

Russia has for months opposed such cooperation, say European officials, who have struggled with how to handle the situation. An EU meeting in April was slated to take a decision but at the last minute action was postponed, according to security officials familiar with the talks.

The committee of national regulators that handles the issue won't address Russia's situation at a coming meeting, according to a person familiar with the plans.

Air shipments between the EU and Russia had seen strong, double digit growth in the past two years, said Gerard de Wit, managing director for the Amsterdam-based air cargo data specialist WorldACD Market Data. EU air cargo shipments to Russia leapt 33% between 2011 and 2013, with the reverse flow up 25%.

The EU exported more than €8 billion in goods to Russia last year, principally from Germany, the block's largest economy, according to Eurostat. Cargo includes valuable equipment for Russia's oil and gas industry, a shipping executive said.

Russia shipped €4.3 billion worth of goods to the EU in the same period.

Airlines welcome a broadening of the list of trusted cargo countries because it cuts their cost of inspecting cargo. "The more green countries the better," said Mike Woodall, project leader at the International Air Transport Association.

More than 80% of carriers signed up to meet the July 1 target are expecting to do so, Mr. Woodall said.


Efforts off the ground for possible helicopter

Santa Rosa County could have its own medical helicopter if the proposal passes Thursday at the county commissioner meeting. Monday, Jason Kimbrell, senior leader of Lifeguard Ambulance Service, pitched adding an air ambulance to its emergency response capabilities through a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (COPCN).

According to Hunter Walker, county administrator, Lifeguard already has the exclusive COPCN for ground ambulance service in Santa Rosa County. However, Air Methods Corporation, operating Life Flight, holds the COPCN for emergency air service. Aaron Brown, representative of Air Methods Corporation, argued Santa Rosa County hasn’t needed its own helicopter and demand for one has decreased over time since 2012. He also said Air Methods has two helicopters for the county and two other backups available. “Within 45 minutes, you could have four helicopters sitting in this county,” Brown said. Commissioner Bob Cole later said if he was hurting he wouldn’t want to lie 45 minutes waiting for helicopter services.

Kimbrell said helicopter requests have declined because Lifeguard already has quick response times. “Mathematically, it’s very difficult to justify the utilization of a helicopter coming from Escambia County or Crestview that would make sense.”

According to Kimbrell, the helicopter Lifeguard would use is unlike any Life Flight or AIRHeart model. “This is a fully integrated medical helicopter,” Kimbrell said.

According to Kimbrell, Lifeguard’s air service would be a benefit not just for emergency response but to the community as a whole. “We do propose bringing 18 new jobs,” he said, by way of the flight crew. “When we started in 2007, we had about 67 employees. Now we’re the eighth largest employer in Santa Rosa County,” he said. Kimbrell also said the helicopter could be used for career fairs and local youth could come see the helicopter used to service their county. Kimbrell also said the chopper would be useful post hurricanes. “Post hurricanes, this could be used for damage assessments. This is something that Santa Rosa County citizens could call their own,” he said.

If the commission grants it, Lifeguard would be responsible for all emergency medical services, ground and air.

The presentation wrapped up with Kimbrell answering two questions from Cole. “Will this cost the citizens of Santa Rosa County anything? Will this improve the service to our citizens?” Kimbrell answered “Yes,” and “Absolutely,” respectively.

Cole said unlike medical services in some counties, Lifeguard is efficient enough not to need subsidies from Santa Rosa County and operates from insurance claims. Commissioner Jim Melvin, before either men presented, said, “So this would just add air service to what we need and this is a badly needed service.”


Leesburg International Airport (KLEE), Florida

Dangerous thunderstorms are blasting parts of Central Florida right now.

The National Weather Service issued a severe-thunderstorm warning for parts of Osceola, Seminole, Orange, Brevard and Volusia counties.

A line of storms capable of producing hail and strong wind gusts are passing over from Edgewater to Lake Nona moving east at 25 mph.

Areas in the path of the storm include Bay Hill, Belle Isle, Doctor Phillips and Fairview Shores. The storm is moving toward Apollo beach, Bethune Beach and Canaveral Groves.

A significant weather advisory is in effect for Osceola, Lake and Orange counties.

Bad storms already passed over downtown Orlando and the Leesburg International Airport.

Airport manager Leo Treggi said it rained "really bad" this afternoon – "just like yesterday and the day before yesterday."

"When we have a big storm we usually secure all the aircraft and put as many of them inside the hangars as we can," Treggi said. "Ones that can't be in there or if there's no room available, they [staff] secure them as best they can, as far as tying them down."

Rain, hail and lightning will hammer metro Orlando this afternoon.

Central Florida residents should prepare now for hazardous weather.

Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage.

Shutter windows and secure outside doors. Seek shelter if you are outside.

The National Weather Service offers these additional safety tips:

•Avoid contact with corded phones and devices including those plugged into electric for recharging.

•Avoid contact with electrical equipment or cords.

•Unplug appliances and other electrical items such as computers and turn off air conditioners. Power surges from lightning can cause serious damage.

•Avoid contact with plumbing. Do not wash your hands, do not take a shower, do not wash dishes, and do not do laundry. Plumbing and bathroom fixtures can conduct electricity.

•Stay away from windows and doors, and stay off porches.

•If you are driving, try to safely exit the roadway and park.

Tonight, after the storms pass, temperatures will dip to a low near 72 degrees. Scattered showers should end before midnight.

Friday: A high near 92 degrees with 40 percent chance of storms in the afternoon.

Saturday: A high near 92 degrees with a 50 percent chance of afternoon storms.


Viking DragonFly, N85TL: Accident occurred June 12, 2014 in Mesa, Arizona

NTSB Identification: WPR14LA242 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, June 12, 2014 in Mesa, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/13/2015
Aircraft: ADAMS DRAGONFLY, registration: N85TL
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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

The pilot reported that, shortly after takeoff, the engine power decreased from about 3,100 to 2,500 rpm. The airplane continued to barely climb until it reached an altitude of about 150 ft above the ground. At that point, the airplane was unable to continue the climb or maintain altitude, and it began to descend. The pilot landed the airplane onto a field where it struck vegetation and came to rest in a bush about 1/2 mile from the departure end of the runway. 
During postaccident examination of the engine, the No. 3 cylinder had noticeably less compression, and a hissing noise was heard coming from the exhaust pipe. The cylinder was removed from the engine, and the piston head had a tan, sandy-colored appearance. Also, a light yellow band was observed around one-quarter of the circumference of the exhaust valve. Additional examination of the valve and valve seat revealed no defects; however, it did not appear that the exhaust valve was seated with consistent uniform contact; inconsistent uniform contact between the exhaust valve and the cylinder head valve seat would decrease engine performance.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
A partial loss of engine power due to a reduction in the No. 3 cylinder’s compression as a result of the exhaust valve not having consistent uniform contact with the cylinder head valve seat.

On June 12, 2014, about 0615 mountain standard time, an experimental Adams Dragonfly, N85TL, experienced a partial loss of engine power after takeoff from Falcon Field Airport (FFZ), Mesa, Arizona. The private pilot was uninjured and the airplane sustained substantial damage to the left canard and elevator. The airplane was registered to, and operated by, the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. 

The pilot reported that shortly after takeoff, the engine power decreased from 3,100 RPM to about 2,500 RPM. The airplane continued to barely climb until it reached an altitude of about 150 feet above the ground. At that point, the pilot was unable to continue the climb or maintain altitude, and the airplane began to descend. The pilot landed the airplane onto a field where it struck vegetation and came to rest in a bush about one-half mile from the departure end of the runway. 

During a postaccident examination by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector, the Volkswagen engine was rotated by hand. The inspector observed that there was noticeably less compression, along with a hissing noise coming from the engine's right side exhaust pipe. The right side valve cover was removed and it revealed that the number three cylinder was making the noise. The number three cylinder was removed and it was noted that the piston head had a tan, sandy colored, appearance. Also, a light yellow band was observed around one quarter of the circumference of the exhaust valve. Additional examination of the valve revealed no confirmed defects; however, there was no evidence that indicated the exhaust valve was seated with consistent uniform contact. 

The airplane's most recent maintenance was completed on February 1, 2013, about 11 flight hours prior to the accident. At that time, the cylinder heads were removed from the engine and replaced with stock Volkswagen cylinder heads, valves, rocker shafts, and valve covers. Since the maintenance occurred, the airplane flew three short flights and underwent various ground runs.

NTSB Identification: WPR14LA242
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, June 12, 2014 in Mesa, AZ
Aircraft: ADAMS DRAGONFLY, registration: N85TL
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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

On June 12, 2014, about 0624 Mountain standard time, an Adams Dragonfly, N85TL, experienced a partial loss of engine power after takeoff from Falcon Field Airport (FFZ), Mesa, Arizona. The private pilot was uninjured and the airplane sustained substantial damage to the left canard and elevator. The airplane was registered to, and operated by, the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed.

The pilot reported that shortly after takeoff the engine RPM gradually reduced from about 3,100 RPM to about 2,500 RPM. During this time the airplane continued to ascend slowly until about 150 feet above the ground when it began to descend. The pilot landed the airplane onto a field; during the landing roll the airplane impacted a berm and struck vegetation before coming to a rest.

The airplane has been recovered to a secure location for further examination.

A homemade plane crashed after taking off from Falcon Field, resulting in no injuries.

A home-built plane crashed in Mesa Thursday morning without injuring the pilot, according to a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman.

The single-engine Dragonfly crashed about 6:15 a.m. Thursday in a field near Higley and McDowell roads when the plane lost power after taking off from Falcon Field, according to the FAA.

The pilot was the only person onboard and was uninjured, according to the FAA.

Federal investigators will look into the crash, according to the FAA spokesman.


Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (KXNA) Runway Open Again After Plane Made Emergency Landing

The runway is open again after authorities responded to an emergency involving an aircraft at the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport on Thursday morning (June 12), officials say.

A Delta plane carrying 50 passengers going from XNA to Atlanta had to circle back to the airport after discovering steering issues. The pilot made an emergency landing at XNA, dumped fuel and blew a tire, according to officials.

The airport began delaying flights after the plane made its landing. Arrivals from Dallas, Minneapolis, Newark and Atlanta have all been delayed by the situation. Departures to Chicago, Denver and Atlanta have also been delayed, according to tweets from XNA.

No injuries were reported.

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Delta Flight Makes Emergency Landing in Northwest Arkansas 
HIGHFILL, AR (KNWA) - A Delta Airlines flight has made an emergency landing at Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (XNA).

It happened around 10:20 Thursday morning.

According to Airport Director Kelly Johnson, Delta Flight 5358 took off from XNA around 9:20 a.m., bound for Atlanta. Shortly after takeoff, Johnson says the aircraft lost its directional steering, forcing pilots to bring the flight back.

Upon landing, pilots learned one of the aircraft's tires was flat.

Johnson says pilots were able to land the plane safely, and all 50 passengers and three crew members were unhurt.

Crews suspended operations at XNA for about 45 minutes to address the situation and tow the plane off the runway, but departures and arrivals resumed soon after and XNA was working to get the 50 Delta passengers onto other flights.

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Pilots face restrictions during Obama visit to UC Irvine ceremonies

Private pilots will be prohibited this weekend from flying through areas around Palm Springs International Airport and Anaheim, where President Obama is scheduled to speak during UC Irvine's 50th anniversary ceremony at Angel Stadium.

From 5:30 p.m. Friday until 8:30 a.m. Saturday, only airlines, law enforcement aircraft and medical-related flights will be allowed within 11 nautical miles of Palm Springs International in order to accommodate Obama's arrival.

Private pilots will be able to fly between 11 and 30 nautical miles from Palm Springs International and use airports within that airspace. However, they must file flight plans, communicate with air traffic control and use transponders that broadcast a code that identifies their aircraft.

Within that ring, a number of flight operations also will be prohibited, including flight training, practicing instrument approaches, aerobatics, banner towing and sightseeing.

A nautical mile equals about 1.15 miles.

The same airspace limitations will apply between 1:45 p.m. Saturday and 12:30 p.m. Monday, when the president is scheduled to depart.

More restrictions will be imposed from 8:15 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. in Anaheim on Saturday during Obama's visit to the university's anniversary event and his commencement speech.

Only airlines, law enforcement flights and medical-related aircraft will be allowed to fly within two rings that are 10 and 13 nautical miles from Angel Stadium. Meanwhile, general aviation aircraft can fly in a circular corridor that is 32 nautical miles away.

As a result of the restrictions, private pilots will not be able to land and takeoff from some airports, including Fullerton, Los Alamitos and John Wayne.

If they want to fly in the 32-mile ring, general aviation pilots also must file flight plans, communicate with air traffic control and use transponders.

In addition, flight training, practicing instrument approaches, aerobatics, banner towing and sightseeing are among the banned activities within that airspace.

There will be some exceptions and accommodations for private pilots who want to land and takeoff from Palm Springs International during some of the restricted periods.

Prior to their flights, those pilots can undergo security screening by the Transportation Security Administration at Ontario International Airport and Palm Springs International between 1:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday.

To be screened, pilots must register with the TSA at least 24 hours before their scheduled departure by calling 909-472-0140. Pilots, crew and passengers must present the TSA with valid government-issued photo identification.


Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee,, G-ATRR: Acident occurred May 19, 2013 in Caernarfon Airport, Gwynedd, Wales

Caernarfon: Aircraft involved in fatal crash clipped trees before it hit ground

The crash which killed Ian Nuttall from Blackburn was possibly caused by the carburetor icing up a report has found

A light aircraft flew low over a  caravan park before clipping a  tree and crashing just inside an  airport boundary, killing a passenger, an official report reveals.

The single-engined Piper  Cherokee suffered a loss of  power approaching Caernarfon  Airport possibly caused by the  carburetor icing up,  the report  from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) suggests.

Iain Nuttall, 37, from Blackburn, died in the accident on  May 19 2013 . He  was a passenger  in the plane with his father John  flying and his son Daniel a back  seat passenger when the aircraft  hit the ground nose-down after  hitting the tree.

Iain Nuttall was pronounced  dead at the scene and there was   evidence to suggest he  was was  not wearing a seat belt.

The other two were airlifted  to hospital. The boy had serious  head injuries while his  61-year-old grandfather had serious lower limb injuries.

They were on a day out from  Blackpool.

Witnesses said the aircraft’s  approach path appeared normal  but the plane was then seen to  get very low and was flying  slowly.

The report states: “One witness’s attention was drawn by  an unusual noise. He reported  the engine was ‘trying to pick  up and popping’ and he had the  impression the pilot may have  pumped the throttle three or  four times. Another reported  hearing the engine ‘spluttering  and seemed to backfire’.”

AAIB officials who examined  the wreckage found bolts holding the wings to the airframe  were missing but their absence  had had no effect on the handling of the aircraft during the  fatal flight.

They also found engine  checks had not been carried out  as specified by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

The report said Mr Nuttall  had completed his training for a  pilot’s license in October 2006.

“A proficiency check was carried out on April 14 2010 to  re-validate his rating, this remained valid until  April 14 2012.  At the time of the accident the  pilot’s logbook and licence did  not show evidence of a more  recent re-validation or renewal.”

The report concludes: “There  were differences in the techniques for use of carburetor  heat between the actions contained on the pilot’s kneeboard  checklist, and the method  taught by the instructor.

“Following the accident the  pilot could not remember exactly when or for how long he  had applied the carburetor  heat, but the selector was found  in the cold position after the  accident.

“The surface temperature/dewpoint split indicated by  the meteorological reports in  the area suggested that carburetor icing could be expected at  any power setting.

“The time it would take for a  significant amount of ice to  form within the carburetor is  unknown but in suitable conditions it can happen rapidly,” it  said.

Story and photos:
Report:  Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee G-ATRR 06-14.pdf

Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee, G-ATRR
Location: Caernarfon Airport, Gwynedd
Date of occurrence: 19 May 2013

Summary: The aircraft was making an approach to Runway 26 at Caernarfon Airport when it struck a tree. The pilot reported that he had suffered a loss of power at a late stage of the approach and had been unable to reach the airfield. The investigation did not find any evidence of a failure within the engine but the atmospheric conditions were conducive to carburetor icing.

Report:  Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee G-ATRR 06-14.pdf
A plane crash at Caernarfon airport, in which a passenger was killed, may have been caused by ice in the engine, a report has said.

Iain Nuttall, 37, from Blackburn, died when the Piper Cherokee flown by his father lost power and hit a tree at the airfield in May 2013.

The Air Accident Investigations Branch (AAIB) said Mr Nuttall might not have been wearing his seatbelt at the time.

Its investigation did not find any mechanical faults with the engine.

Pilot John Nuttall, 61, hired the four-seater plane at Blackpool Airport and took off at 10:30 on 19 May with son Iain and grandson Daniel, five, on board.

Iain Nuttall Iain Nuttall, 37, was a passenger in a plane flown by his father

Witnesses at Caernarfon told investigators the plane was flying very low, slowly and was making spluttering noises before hitting a tree.

It crashed nose down just inside the airfield boundary, killing Iain Nuttall.

His father and son survived, but both were taken to hospital with serious injuries.

Pilot Mr Nuttall had held a licence since 2006 and was familiar with the route. The report said the weather conditions were suitable for the flight.

But investigators said conditions meant ice could have interfered with the plane's carburetor.

"The investigation did not find any evidence of a failure within the engine but the atmospheric conditions were conducive to carburetor icing," the report said.

The report also stressed the importance of wearing a seatbelt, given Mr Nuttall and his grandson survived.

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Aviation Tool to Prevent Stall-Related Crashes Grows in Popularity

ANCHORAGE - The National Transportation Safety Board says it has seen an increase in the number of stall-related crashes over the last several years. 

One of the NTSB's most recently published probable-cause reports, for a floatplane near Petersburg that killed one person last year, attributed the crash to pilot error which led to an aerodynamic stall.

The Federal Aviation Administration announced in February that it had simplified its requirements for general aviators to install angle-of-attack indicators in an effort to reduce stalling issues.

NTSB spokesperson Clint Johnson hailed the FAA's decision to remove some of the red tape that previously dissuaded pilots from installing the indicators in their planes.

"We applaud the FAA -- they've been able to streamline having this type of equipment," Johnson said. "Stalls are not uncommon, by any means; it's one of the first things you learn and try to avoid in primary flight training, so this type of equipment can only be for the better so we support this 110 percent."

Angle-of-attack indicators alert pilots when their wing position is getting too steep and they're close to stalling.

While many aircraft already have a stall warning horn, Northern Lights Avionics owner Gary Bennett says that's not always enough.

"Most certificated aircraft have a stall warning horn, and basically that's a horn that goes off in some cases when it's just too late," Bennett said.

Bennett says the concept of the angle-of-attack indicator isn't new, and has been in use with military aircraft and pilots for years.

"This actually is like looking over the pilot's shoulder, somebody giving 'em information about the lift that's underneath the wing, letting them know if they're getting too slow or having too much of a angle upon the landing, which makes them stall and ultimately fall out of the sky," Bennett said.

Bennett says the indicator's advantage over a warning horn is that it gives pilots more time to react.

"At least with the AOA indicator, you have an indication as you approach that point and (it) gives you pre-warnings before you actually hit the stall phase," Bennett said.

Mark Madden, the vice-chair of the Alaskan Aviation Safety Foundation, says he's currently having an angle-of-attack indicator installed on his personal plane. He says indicators could be a crucial tool in preventing stall-related crashes in Alaska, primarily during the hunting season. NTSB information has pointed to so-called "moose-turn stalls" by preoccupied hunters in at least two deadly crashes last year.

"We might have pilots flying around looking for subjects of interest -- such as maybe some rather large four-legged animals with really big antlers -- and they start to forget to fly the airplane," Madden said. "The angle-of-attack indicator won't get distracted."

An angle-of-attack indicator includes a probe that attaches to the wing of a plane, which senses airflow and warns the pilot of any problems.

"It adds one more layer of safety to your flying and when you consider the cost it's a great investment it'll return on your investment," Madden said.

Like many aviation-related tools indicators aren't cheap, ranging between $1,600 and $2,200 -- but aviation experts say if you can afford to buy it as a precaution, it could save your life.

According to AASF, 60 percent of all aircraft stalling events happen during takeoff or landing.

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NTSB Identification: ANC13FA054 
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Tuesday, June 04, 2013 in Petersburg, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/02/2014
Aircraft: DEHAVILLAND BEAVER DHC-2 MK.1, registration: N616W
Injuries: 1 Fatal,2 Serious,4 Minor.

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.

The pilot reported that the accident flight was his fourth flight and the third tour flight of the day in a float-equipped airplane. The weather had deteriorated throughout the day with lowering ceilings, light rain, and fog on the mountain ridges. The pilot said that when approaching a mountain pass, he initiated a climb by adding a “little bit” of flap (about 1 pump of the flap handle actuator) but did not adjust the engine power from the cruise power setting. He noted his airspeed at 80 knots, with a 200-feet-per-minute climb on the vertical speed indicator. He was having difficulty seeing over the cowling due to the nose-high attitude, when he suddenly noticed trees in his flight path. He initiated an immediate left turn; the airplane stalled, and began to drop, impacting the mountainous, tree-covered terrain.

A passenger reported that the weather conditions at the time of the accident consisted of tufts of low clouds, and good visibility. They did not enter the clouds at any time during the flight. He reported that the airplane made a left turn, stalled, and then made a sharp left turn right before impact. The airplane seemed to be operating fine, and he heard no unusual sounds, other than the engine speed seemed to increase significantly right before impact.  

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation, and the postaccident examination of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures 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 adequate altitude above the trees, and his subsequent failure to maintain adequate airspeed while maneuvering to avoid the trees, which resulted in an inadvertent aerodynamic stall/spin and an uncontrolled descent.