Saturday, June 14, 2014

Fantasies take flight, get rolling at Wings & Wheels Expo in Teterboro, New Jersey

At home, Nico Ayamami can walk to his own toys. But for an hour on Saturday, Teterboro Airport became a very large playground for Nico, and his toys included a brown helicopter and a blue Piper Comanche airplane. These toys are too big for a 3-year-old boy to manage by himself, so his father Jason helped him.

Their system was simple. Nico, held in his father’s arms, looked across the tarmac to something shiny and big. He called the thing’s name, pointed toward it with his open hand, and suddenly he was transported there, so excited he could barely speak.

“Firetruck! Firetruck!” Nico said, staring with wide-open eyes and hands toward a red firetruck from Moonachie with its doors wide open. Father carried son to the big red firetruck.

“Do you want to go inside the firetruck?” said Jason Ayamami, 32.

“Sure!” said Nico, who had fire­trucks printed on the T-shirt he was wearing as well as the backpack he was carrying.

“Sure!” Ayamami said, mimicking his son. “This is fun. Kids love this stuff.”

Adults are pretty big fans of big toys, too. Saturday’s event was called Wings & Wheels Expo, a gathering of aircraft, classic cars and emergency equipment that takes over a hangar and a swath of tarmac at the airport’s northwest end once a summer. There were many kids, but the crowd also included many unescorted adults, drawn outside by the nice weather and a chance to stand next to some beefy machines.

“Man that is beautiful,” said Al Johnston, 62, a Paramus resident who was looking at a red 1962 Corvette convertible “Look at those lines. They just don’t build them like they used to.”

Similar things were said about the silver B-17 bomber that flew in for the event. The World War II-era plane, one of thousands built during the war, never saw combat, and it’s one of just a handful still capable of flying, according to Yankee Air Museum, an organization based in Belleville, Mich., that restores historic planes. Spectators paid $450 each for a ride in the plane, which could be seen lumbering over much of North Jersey on Saturday.

Tony Ranaweera, 51, remembered the B-17 primarily from his time as a medic at the former Pease Air Force Base in New Hampshire, which had a Flying Fortress parked in front of its main entrance during his service there, he said.

“I love seeing this. Everything we have today in this country is because of people who served in planes like this,” he said.

The B-17’s engines groaned, and then its propellers started spinning. Ranaweera’s oldest daughter, Samadhi, age 7, ran to a metal fence at the edge of the runway, and hopped up and down. Ranaweera carried a camcorder in his right hand, but it had failed to capture the big plane rumbling to life.

Samadhi looked up and said, “Daddy! Videotape all of this!”

Wings & Wheels continues today, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Parking is in a lot near the Aviation Hall of Fame of New Jersey, with shuttle buses running to the expo.

- See more at:

Sugar Grove Airport Hangar and Office Building to be Auctioned Off on June 21

Sugar Grove, IL (PRWEB) June 14, 2014 A prime investment for anyone looking to add diversity to his or her portfolio has opened up at Aurora Municipal Airport, 43W524 Route 30 (Hangar 2) Sugar Grove, Illinois 60554. With 18,200 square feet of hangar space and 3,900 square feet of office space, this is truly a unique opportunity to own a piece of aviation real estate. The hangar is vertically quite spacious, as well, with 34’ to 37’ clear ceiling heights. 

It also sports two 14’x14’ drive-in doors and one 28’ x 100’ Norco six-panel bi-parting hangar door. Open parking for approximately 15 vehicles (per appraiser) is also available. The property is currently leased out (from the city) at $11,000 per month, and is currently listed at $1,350,000 with an opening bid of $750,000 if no offers are received before the auction on June 21.

Sugar Grove, Illinois is located just west of Chicago in Kane County, northeastern Illinois. The town is accessible by several highways: Interstate 88, US Route 30, Illinois Route 47 and Illinois Route 56. Aurora Municipal Airport opened in April 1966; the hangar was constructed in 2004.

Considering the area houses such a wide range of residents and sees attention from people all across the state, it is a safe bet that a well-advertised business near such retail activity would be a profitable opportunity. The team at employs a hybrid strategy specializing in helping buyers with high potential properties just like this one.

Interested parties should visit to find more photos and details about the property, or by visiting in person and performing an inspection on site, which is highly recommended. (866) 371-3619 is's information line. Additionally, features a live chat service through which questions can be answered.


Green Bay, Wisconsin-based is a real estate marketing firm specializing in project focused auctions of bank-owned properties throughout the United States. The approach to real estate marketing tailors each auction plan to the client’s individual needs. The site is constantly being updated for the benefit of buyers, as large scale auction events are held monthly, and new properties are added daily. IL Broker Firm: LLC #481.011994. IL Broker: Robert Stone #471.015845. WI Auctioneer Firm: LLC #432-53. Registered Wisconsin Auctioneer: Wade T. Micoley #2647-052. WI Broker Firm: WM Enterprises, Inc. #835181-91. WI Broker: Wade T. Micoley #43427-90. For a full list of licensing please visit their website.

Article and photo:

Can oil industry keep two airports aloft? Acadiana Regional (KARA) and Lafayette Regional (KLFT)

The Federal Aviation Administration’s recently released report on airport traffic ranks Acadiana Regional Airport as the second-busiest airport in Louisiana after New Orleans.

Acadiana had 93,497 craft, including helicopters, land and take off last year. It’s a stunning figure especially when contrasted against the small brick airport building topped with a functional tower facing the airfield on one side and huge shade trees on the other.

The report boosted Acadiana Regional Airport Director Jason Devillier’s spirits and his expansion dreams. But concerns linger about whether there is enough air traffic to support expansions at both Acadiana and nearby Lafayette Regional Airport.

“We’re interviewing gas and oil companies along the Highway 90 corridor about their need for direct Houston flights,” Devillier said. “We’re going after a different market than Lafayette, which I see as primarily serving the leisure traveler. We want to help the oil and gas employee who needs to fly to Houston in the morning and return the same day to have dinner with his family.”

The Iberia Parish Council recently voted in favor of building a $750,000 passenger terminal for the airport. Devillier remembers how they fashioned a security screening area out of conference room for Halliburton, which books the majority of charter flights at Acadiana.

“The Halliburton employees walk in one door for the screening then walked out the opposite door and onto the plane; it’s not pretty but it works,” Devillier said. “The folks from TSA came down and approved it.”

Acadiana is flanked by green fields so there is plenty of room to lengthen the runway to accommodate more commercial craft. Huge Boeing 777s and 747s occasionally land at the airport to be painted. But Devillier believes turboprops rather than commuter jets would be a more pragmatic choice for his business travelers because the planes are less expensive.

“Acadiana Regioinal Airport is surveying oil and gas companies who lease property here at the port to see what their needs are concerning flights to and from Houston,” Port of Iberia director Roy Pontiff told The Daily Advertiser.

Devillier plans to use the surveys to document that a demand exists for commercial or charter air flights out of Acadiana. FAA requires airports to demonstrate the public need for additional airline service.

“I wish them all the best but I do wonder whether there is enough need at this time,” said Lafayette Regional Airport board chair Matt Cruse, an oil and gas industry company owner. “Acadiana has been thinking of using charter jets for business travelers that would depart at set times a couple of days each week. We tried that at Lafayette but charter flights can be difficult to fill with passengers from several companies.”

Cruse admires the goal of keeping costs down so air fares will be inexpensive. But Lafayette round trip tickets to Houston already can be fairly cheap. A quick search Friday yielded a United roundtrip $160 ticket if one departed from Lafayette on Saturday and returned Monday evening. Same day tickets were far more expensive. The cheapest ticket for a Monday morning departure and Monday evening return was $559 on American Airlines.

But the Iberia Parish Council apparently has faith in the airport’s future. It also approved $1 million for Acadiana to improve the area where planes taxi.

Devillier expects to break ground this fall.


Unruly passenger causes JetBlue flight from JFK to divert


A JetBlue flight that took off from JFK Airport diverted to Detroit Saturday morning due to an unruly passenger.

Flight 211 to Las Vegas took off at approximately 6:40 a.m. - the incident happened 90 minutes into the flight.

The unruly passenger was yelling harsh words with family members. The man then got upset, and the incident quickly escalated. The man then stood up and banged on the seats of the aircraft.

A male flight attendant asked the man to calm down and take his seat, but the passenger continued his tirade and swung at the flight attendants. Additional members of the flight crew rushed to assist, and eventually calmed the man down and brought him to the rear of the aircraft.

Within 30 minutes, the plane was diverted to Detroit where it landed, and the man was removed without further incident.

An airport spokesperson in Detroit confirms that the passenger was transported under police custody to Oakwood Hospital in Wayne. Michigan.

In a statement, JetBlue confirmed, "due to a customer issue, the captain elected to divert to Detroit this morning in an abundance of caution.

The flight continued to Las Vegas after two hours on the ground. 

Story and video:

Grand Marais, Cook County, Minnesota: Seaplane Festival Makes a Splash

GRAND MARAIS -- The 14th Splash In was held in Grand Marais on Saturday. 

The Splash In is a seaplane festival where 15-20 pilots from all over the country show off their planes and flying skills. 

Games are held where pilots take turns trying to drop a balloon onto a target from 200 feet high. 

Organizers say the whole town really gets into the festival lining the street to catch a glimpse of the planes.

"Grand Marais is a recreation town and we enjoy tourism, it is our number one industry," Splash In Chairman Ed Bowen said. "We have eight or nine festivals throughout the summer and its just a fun place to be in the summertime."

The Splash In is so popular a pilot flew in for the festivities all the way from Oregon.

Story and photos:

Freeport, Illinois: Pilots take children to the skies

FREEPORT — Eight-year-old Emily Shorter was one of the few children brave enough to admit she was a little nervous heading into her first plane ride at the Freeport Pilot Association’s Young Eagles Rally.

After getting the flight plan and a quick lesson about her aircraft, Emily became one of several dozen children to take to the skies Saturday morning during the annual event at Albertus Airport.

Despite the nerves, Emily was still excited before her first flight, and came back smiling with a keen observation of what her hometown looked like from above.

“It was like it was a tiny town with little toys in it,” she said.

Members of the local pilots association treated children to a free ride in the skies along with a certificate of their achievement and an official log book as part of the Experimental Aircraft Association’s Young Eagles program. The program has given nearly 2 million children the ride of their lives since its inception in 1992. Local pilot Tim Mickel, who has been flying for 46 years, estimates more than 5,000 of his flights have been in Freeport.

“I like exposing the youth to aviation,” Mickel said. “If you look around, a lot of pilots, like me, are a little older, so we need to get youth involved. It helps get people out to the airport and see the good side, the fun side.”

While not all the children at the event have dreams of becoming a pilot, most had similarly high expectations for their flight. Six-year-old Kenadee Schreck went up in a Piper Warrior plane with her sisters Brooklyn, 9, and Aspen, 13. Kenadee was anticipating the trip “because I get to sit up front on the plane and go really high.”

The 20-minute ride took passengers on an aerial tour of town, southwest toward Route 26, north across Freeport, over to the bypass and back to airport.

“We saw everything,” Aspen said. “I saw my house, we saw the whole town; it was pretty cool”

The experience was one the Schreck sisters won’t soon forget. That’s exactly why their father, Mark Schreck, made sure the family was first in line Saturday morning.

“Not everybody gets to go up in a plane, it’s a different perspective and you usually only see it on TV,” Mark said. “They get a firsthand experience and hopefully they’ll make memories that will last for a lifetime.”

Even Airport Manager Darrell Janssen hung out at the event, taking advantage of the sunny skies, moderate temperatures and slight breeze in a perfect day to fly.

“Anything at the airport to let the local public know we have an airport and we have a use for it is a good thing,” Janssen said. “The kids love it, they come back with big smiles and just enjoy it so it’s a great program.”

Nearly all the rides ended the same way, with smiling children exiting the plane, excited to share the story with their parents. At the end of her journey, Brooklyn Schreck shouted words to her father everyone was glad to hear.

“I’m not dead!” she yelled with a smile.

Story and photo gallery:

Cessna 182A Skylane, Fly Free Skydiving, N5172D

NTSB Identification: CEN14CA289
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, June 14, 2014 in Valmeyer, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/14/2014
Aircraft: CESSNA 182A, registration: N5172D
Injuries: 5 Uninjured.

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

According to the pilot's report, he leveled the airplane about 11,000 feet and established a speed of 80 mph with 10 degrees of flaps extended. When the last skydiver exited the airplane, its nose pitched up. The pilot pushed forwarded on the control wheel and added full engine power. He experienced "difficulties" in pushing the control wheel forward and thought a parachute caused the control issue. The pilot subsequently used full nose down trim to assist his control of the airplane. A witness in a chase airplane confirmed the bent right horizontal stabilizer. The pilot assessed the deteriorating flight control situation. He decided to jump out of the airplane over farmland and use his emergency parachute there. The pilot observed the accident airplane spiral down as he descended under his parachute. A skydiver reported there were no mechanical malfunctions up to the time he exited and the last skydiver confirmed that his reserve canopy had deployed prematurely as he was leaving the step. The pilot reported no other mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The inadvertent deployment of the skydiver's drogue chute when he exited the airplane, resulting in it contacting and damaging the horizontal stabilizer. 

FAA St. Louis FSDO-62

Everyone in a single-engine plane carrying skydivers left with a parachute on Saturday afternoon, even the pilot, leaving the plane to crash in a Monroe County field.

The Cessna 182 was taking skydivers up for a jump, said Festus Airport Manager Steve Riggle. The plane holds between three to four people and the pilot, Riggle said, but he did not know how many skydivers were on board on Saturday.

After all the skydivers jumped from the plane, the pilot reported experiencing mechanical problems, Riggle said.

The pilot, whose name was not released, flew the plane across the Mississippi River in an attempt to get to a remote area, put on a parachute and leapt from the plane, Riggle said.

"At that point, he didn't have any choice," Riggle said. "He did a very good job of making sure that no one was injured."

The plane went down between 2 and 2:30 p.m., Riggle said.

The plane crashed in a field near B and Berger Roads, according to the Monroe County Sheriff's Department. There were no injuries.

Damage to the plane is substantial, Riggle said.

"It's never what you want to do, but sometimes you do what you have to," Riggle said.


MONROE COUNTY, Ill. (KSDK) – A pilot is not injured after he parachuted out of his malfunctioning plane near Valmeyer Saturday afternoon, according to the Monroe County Sheriff's Department.

The plane crashed in a remote area near B and Berger Roads.

The Cessna 182 had departed from the airport in Festus. 

Even though the plane was typically used for skydiving, the airport says the pilot was the only person aboard the plane.

During the flight, the pilot said he had experienced a problem. When he realized it wouldn't be safe to land, he flew toward a remote part of Illinois and parachuted out.

No additional information was immediately available.

Story and photos:

Barnstable Municipal Airport (KHYA), Hyannis, Massachusetts: Open window sends plane back after takeoff

HYANNIS — A Nantucket-bound Cape Air plane returned to Barnstable Municipal Airport minutes into the flight Friday after a window came open shortly before 11 a.m., said airline spokesman Michelle Haynes.

The nine-seat Cessna airplane took off with eight passengers at 10:50 a.m. and landed six minutes later, she said.

The open window led to a noisy few minutes but did not pose a safety risk, Haynes said, noting that the airline's small planes are not pressurized.

When the plane landed, a Cape Air station supervisor came out to meet the passengers, some of whom were cracking Friday the 13th jokes.

All of the passengers took a later flight except for one couple who were shaken up and decided to take the ferry after receiving a full refund from Cape Air.

"We're not sure what caused it to open, but it's extremely noisy," Haynes said. "At no time were passengers in danger from the top of that window opening. As soon as the pilot realized it, he turned around."

A Cape Air employee was among the eight passengers on the flight, she added.


Allegiant flight from Las Vegas to Missoula makes emergency landing

An Allegiant Airlines flight traveling from Las Vegas to Missoula on Friday was diverted and forced to make an early landing after an indicator warning light came on.

Jessica Wheeler, a spokesperson for Allegiant, said the plane landed safely in Wendover, Nevada, early into the flight and there were no injuries to the passengers or crew.

Wheeler said there were no mechanical failures on the plane before it landed, other than the warning light.

Allegiant took the passengers off the plane and sent a replacement aircraft from Las Vegas that picked them up and brought them to Missoula.

That plane then took passengers waiting in Missoula to their destination in Las Vegas. In all, the delay lasted about seven hours, Wheeler said.


Smoking United States plane closes Guatemala airport

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) - Officials say they closed Guatemala City's main airport for an hour after smoke from the engine of an Atlanta-bound jetliner brought out firefighters.

Civil Aviation spokesman Oscar Estrada says firefighters sprayed chemical foam on the engine to avert a possible fire Saturday. He says the Delta Airlines plane was carrying about 150 people, all of whom were evacuated safely.

The airport was closed for an hour to clean up the runway.


Blue Grass Airport (KLEX), Lexington, Kentucky: Emergency Landing

Plane making emergency landing at Lexington's Bluegrass Airport

Overheat light prompts pilot to land plane in Kentucky

LEXINGTON, Ky. —According to officials a plane made an emergency landing at the Blue Grass Airport in Lexington.

There were 33 people on board the plane.

Officials said an overheat light came on and pilots were not sure what was causing the notification.

As a precaution the plane landed in Lexington.


Location, location, location: Santa Monica Municipal Airport ( KSMO), California

Letters to the Editor
June 14, 2014 



Your paper has published many letters from Santa Monica Airport supporters.

How many of the SMO supporters actually live under the airport flight path?

We in the flight path wonder if they worry about their children and grandchildren, whose lungs are more susceptible, since the youth are playing in their schoolyards and parks under the flight path.

Likewise, are the pro aviation folk concerned that their elderly parents are exposed to lung contaminates from SMO?

We wonder if they ever feel like they live on an Air Force base or in a residential airpark.

Something tells us the SMO fan club does not hear the oncoming roar, the blast overhead and the receding roar- the Doppler effect to the max.

The flying community’s letters and their praise for the airport do not mention the downsides of SMO, maybe there aren’t any for them.

Maybe it is location, location, location.

The irony of SMO is that it is laid out to direct the majority of flights over Venice and West LA, not over its mother city.

The southernmost part of Ocean Park gets some SMO noise and pollution, but most of it goes to areas outside Santa Monica.

If there were a map showing where SMO supporters lived, and that map was overlaid with the SMO flight paths, the overlay would be revealing.

Would there be a 75 percent overlap of flight path and supporters? Or would it be 50 percent or as low as 5 percent?

Your airport, in this surveillance age, does not record noise levels and pollution in its flight path, but only on or very near the airport itself.

Angel Flights do not erase the health damages of plane traffic on the flight path populace.

SMO measures sound levels and some pollution at takeoff. Too bad what happens after that.

Altitude over the beach community is not monitored.

There are no listings of the purposes of the flights or instances of practice landings posted.

Take off and landing stats don’t count the actual overhead endless training loops of the flight schools.

There are no remote real time video/audio cams showing the planes loudly buzzing residences at very low altitudes.

The airport supporters don’t use empirical evidence against noise and pollution findings in their letters to SMDP.

Their spin is all fluff and selective margin statistics, like a big cotton candy puff posing as a healthy life saving nurturing elixir.

As I write, flight schools circle above with a loud drone and louder jets zoom overhead in intervals that are as close as a few minutes.

My family lives in an area of Venice where the early 1900’s buildings and the community along the oceanfront pre-date SMO.

In the 1950s and 60s the use of the airport was radically different; far fewer flights and no jets it seemed.

There was no indication of repeated circling by multiple flight schools.

Memorial Day flights might be a Veterans’ tribute show, but not a private flight school buzzing and buzzing in continual overhead circles.

By 1980, when I worked on Airport Way, we could eat lunch outside looking at the airport, without noise and pollution intrusions.

We used natural open window ventilation most of the year with no excessive dirt or dust.

With the Santa Monica and SMO growth came all the calming strips, stoplights, queue lanes, and bike lanes to try to mitigate traffic growth on land.

However, nothing effective was done about the traffic in the sky.

It is doubtful that the flying community, during their down time, is forced to stop talking or listening as a plane booms and its shadow blocks out the sunlight while dowsing pollution on them.

At night, we wonder if the SMO fan club sees plane lights through their closed blinds as the planes approach with a roar.

When on foot at the Santa Monica Place, the Promenade, or the Pier, flying aficionados don’t get strafed, buzzed or blasted by planes.

At the Pier, if a plane descends low, chances are that it is part of a training exercise for the armed forces or firefighters.

On the other hand, I routinely walk home from Wilshire along the beach or from the 20th Street Medical Center, or Yahoo at Cloverfield on Broadway, to near Google on Rose & Main in Venice.

On the walks I encounter no airplanes overhead until I get to the area where POP once stood at the end of Pier Avenue in Ocean Park.

By the way, planes did not strafe tourists at the original Pacific Ocean Park; tourists in the Venice/POP beach area now seem to duck and then stare in disbelief at the aerial assaults.

All one has to do is run, swim and surf in the Venice and the former POP site to see and hear the air traffic of take offs and circling.

Out in the ocean, when the Santana winds blow there is a view from a surfboard of the reckless landing approaches to ‘Clover Field,’ a low landing sound and fury others farther inland endure the remainder of the year.

Those of us under the flight path wish that remote cameras picked up the flights and broadcast virtual reality sounds and visuals to all airport supporters in their homes and workplaces. Then they could experience the realities of SMO.

The pro SMO letters read like ethereal diaphanous winds of bouncing pom-poms.

The pro airport letters to SMDP pay no attention to quality of life issues.

Cory Zaun

North Beach Venice



Richard B. Russell Airport (KRMG) runway fuels Development of Regional Impact studies

Rome-Floyd County Planning Director Sue Hiller has filed a Development of Regional Impact notice with the state for the proposed 1,000-foot extension of the main runway at Richard B. Russell Regional Airport.

The documents now being reviewed by the Northwest Georgia Regional Commission indicate the project is expected to be complete by July 1, 2018.

Paperwork filed on behalf of Floyd County indicates the value of the runway extension will be $5.7 million. Funding for the project is coming entirely out of special purpose, local option sales tax funds.

Airport Manager Mike Mathews said engineering and an environmental assessment are expected to take 12-18 months to complete and if no problems are uncovered during those preliminary studies, work could get underway sometime in 2016.

The documents claim the airport is expected to generate additional revenue as a result of an increase in fuel sales at the airport.

An extension of the main runway from 6,000 feet to 7,000 feet is expected to enhance corporate traffic in and out of the airport. Insurance underwriters for many of the corporate aircraft require a 7,000 minimum for safety purposes.

The present runway weight limitation prevents aircraft significantly larger than those currently able to land at the airport.

The extension project is regarded as an economic development project in the SPLOST package since the longer runway could be attractive to bringing aircraft-related industry to the airport.

Story and photo:

Dewey Davenport: Pilot enjoys freedom of biplane

Dewey Davenport has piloted planes both large and small, privately and commercially, but he has a special fondness for the aircraft he brought this weekend to the Jimmy Stewart Airport Festival: his 1929 Curtiss-Wright Travel Air D4000.

It’s an open cockpit biplane, favored by barnstormers, crop dusters, even wing-walkers of yesteryear, partly because it’s light and can take off and land from short distances.

“It’s all about freedom,” said Davenport, of Xenia, Ohio. “It’s like riding down the highway with your arm out the window.”

He acquired the Travel Air about a year ago. It was pretty hard to find, considering there are more in museums than are still being flown, he said. He estimates that about 60 are registered with the FAA.

“It’s awesome. It’s been fun,” he said.

The Travel Air is just one of three aircraft Davenport owns. He said he learned to fly on antique aircraft.

Now, Davenport operates Goodfolk & O’Tymes Biplane Rides. For $80, he will take passengers from the Jimmy Stewart Indiana County Airport for a 15- to 20-minute ride about 1,500 feet above Indiana. The ride is low and slow — top cruising speed is 85 mph, he said, allowing passengers who sit side by side (very intimately) in a seat in front of the pilot a great view of local landmarks.

It holds 65 gallons of fuel and can run for about 4 1/2 hours on one tank, he said.

Because its cockpit is open, flights are, naturally, subject to the weather.

“This can’t take much weather,” he said.

Fortunately, the forecast is for no rain all weekend.

Davenport dodged a few rain showers on his way to the Jimmy Stewart Airport Thursday evening.

“I had to turn the windshield wipers on,” he joked.

Friday morning, he took media and other guests for a ride.

Other vintage and military aircraft are on display this weekend at the airport, too.

The Experimental Aircraft Association, through its Young Eagles program, is providing free airplane rides to youths ages 8 to 17.

Another highlight is the fifth annual World War II-era big band hangar dance today from 7 to 10 p.m. Doors will open at 5 p.m., a dinner starts at 5:30, and recognition of military veterans will begin at 6:30. Admission and parking both days is free.

Story and photo:

Video drone warning for Newport Bermuda Race: Drones will not be allowed


Organizers of the Newport Bermuda Race, which takes place on June 20th, want to make spectators aware that the use of drones will not be allowed at the event.

The Rhode Island Airport Corporation Inspector issued a notification that the use of drones or Unmanned Aircraft Systems, which are growing in popularity for photography and video purposes, could provide safety concerns to aircraft.

Anybody wishing to use drones, in general, must request permission from the Federal Aviation Administration.

However, the use of drones at public open air event would violate Rhode Island's Uniform Aeronautical Regulatory Act and Aeronautics Regulation.

The RIAC will receive support from the Rhode Island State Police and local law enforcement to enforce the drone law.


With more than 150 yachts maneuvering in the mouth of Narragansett Bay on June 20th, the start of the Newport Bermuda Race will be a spectacular sight, whether you’re watching from the nearby shore or a boat on the water. The first gun is scheduled for 12:50, and the last start is at 2:30.

Because the race start is close to land, many spectators prefer to gather at shoreside viewing points on high ground, such as the Castle Hill Inn. Reservations may be necessary, parking and other fees may be charged, and there may be restrictions on bringing in food.

Spectator boats are permitted to watch the Bermuda Race start if they strictly observe limit buoys, keep a careful lookout, and obey the instructions of Race Committee and U.S. Coast Guard personnel in patrol boats. Because the water will be crowded and rough, dinghies, kayaks, and and other small boats are strongly discouraged. Charter boats offering day trips are numerous at Newport. Many are listed at Newport Charter Boats.

All spectators should be aware the use of drones (Unmanned Aircraft Systems/UAS) near outdoors public events is banned in Rhode Island. The following statement was issued by the Rhode Island Airport Corporation on June 12, 2014: “Any use of drones/UAS in the vicinity of any public open air event would violate Rhode Island’s Uniform Aeronautical Regulatory Act (UAR) and Aeronautics Regulations, constituting a misdemeanor. RIAC is enlisting the support of the RI State Police and local law enforcement departments to monitor and enforce this law.”

Source: Event media


The biannual Newport Bermuda Race is a 635-mile ocean race, much of it out of sight of land, usually lasting three to six days. It crosses a stretch of the Atlantic Ocean known for challenging weather, especially in the Gulf Stream, where there are strong currents. Every two years in mid-June, more than 150 boats take on the route from Newport, RI to Bermuda. Race website:

- See more at:

Madison Municipal (KIMS) Indiana: Brent Spry piloting airport upgrades; New lighting system expected to line taxiway

Brent Spry took over as manager of Madison Municipal Airport at the first of year, and he already has his sights set on improving the facility and drawing more users.

This summer, Spry is working on a project to install a new lighting system throughout the airport's taxiway. The taxiway is what links to Madison's 5,000-by-75-foot runway.

The lights are needed for aircraft to maneuver the airfield at night. There are currently 10 incandescent lights at the entry points of the taxiway system, but the lights do not follow the entire length of the taxiway.

Spry and the local board of aviation is seeking bids for new LED lights, which give off a crisp light at night and are energy efficient. The bids will be opened at the airport on June 26.

"It's going to make it more attractive, and it's safer for the pilots when they're taxing here around here at night," he said.

The cost of the project has not been determined, but Spry said the Federal Aviation Administration covers 95 percent of the cost.

The airport catalogs operations - so a landing and takeoff equals two actions. It averages about 13,000 actions every year.

Spry said the new lighting system could increase the overall traffic at the airport because some pilots are instructed not to land at facility's without a full taxiway lighting system.

"What we're trying to do is increase jet traffic out here," he said.

The airport has been used by business and industry leaders and even celebrities booked in Louisville or the nearby Belterra Casino. But Spry said the airport also sees pilots coming from Bowman Field in Louisville for fuel because the Madison fuel is a little cheaper.

Spry, a Jefferson County native who replaced Ralph Rogers and Hazel Wilkerson in January, is the first manager to be hired as a city employee. Wilkerson and Rogers were considered sub-contractors.

Madison Municipal Airport covers about 174 acres and has about 50 aircraft in its on-site hangars.

Spry studied aviation at Vincennes University and Indiana State University and holds a commercial license. He flew for Rogers before taking over the airport.

In addition to facility upgrades, Spry's working with the Madison Area Chamber of Commerce to let businesses know the airport exists. On the other hand, he wants to show new airport users the perks of Madison and Jefferson County.

"When you land out here, it looks rural," he said. "You don't see Madison. You don't see the town. And that's the disconnect that we've got."

Story and photos:

Grumman HU-16B Albatross, N98TP: Pit stops on lakes Mendota, Monona - Wisconsin

1951 Grumman HU-16B Albatross 

Luxury seaplane turns heads with pit stops on lakes Mendota, Monona 

A pit stop by a massive seaplane Friday in Madison turned heads and stopped unsuspecting boaters, bikers and walkers surprised by its arrival.

The aircraft is no ordinary seaplane. It includes luxury accommodations, custom scuba tank storage and has traveled the world.

The twin-engine prop plane, a restored 1951 Grumman HU-16B Albatross, is registered to TP Universal Exports in Eagan, Minnesota, according to the online flight-tracking website Flightaware. The plane landed on Lake Mendota near Picnic Point before taking off and landing on Lake Monona around 12:30 p.m.

It anchored about 300 yards in front of Monona Terrace, where one person from the plane walked out on a wing and dove into the lake. The aircraft later taxied toward Squaw Bay before turning around and taking off toward John Nolen Drive and Monona Bay.

“They’ve seen numerous seaplanes but nothing near that size,” Lt. Kerry Porter of the Dane County Sheriff’s Office said of the deputies on the lakes patrol. “It’s perfectly legal.”

According to TP’s website, the company, known as TP Areo and owned by Tony Phillippi, restores and maintains vintage aircraft. The Albatross, according to the company’s website, is 62 feet long, weighs 36,000 pounds and has a 96-foot wingspan. Pictures of the interior show extra-wide leather seats, inlaid wooden tables, stone counter tops and recessed ambient lighting.

Several bikers and walkers stopped their travels on the Capital City Trail along Lake Monona, and workers from the convention center also emerged to check out the unusual sight.

Justin Nunely, 21, of Milwaukee, was fishing along the terrace wall and watched the plane come in from the south and land on Lake Monona among the water skiers, kayakers and anglers.

“It was crazy,” Nunely said. “I thought he was going to keep going to the airport, but then he landed.”

Story, photos, video and comments/reaction:

Incident occurred June 14, 2014 in Lake Ashby, New Smyrna Beach, Volusia County, Florida

Couple not hurt after plane flips in Lake Ashby

NEW SMYRNA BEACH — A Spruce Creek Fly-In couple were not injured after the seaplane they were in flipped over Saturday morning in Lake Ashby.

Volusia County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the Lake Ashby boat ramp shortly before 8:30 a.m. after a call came in about a small plane down in the lake. The plane, a fixed-wing, single-engine 1977 Cessna 185F equipped with amphibious floats, was piloted by David Baldwin, 57, said Gary Davidson, a Volusia County Sheriff’s spokesman. His wife Diana, 56, was the only passenger. The couple had taken off from Spruce Creek Fly-In, he said.

“They were attempting to land on the lake, but didn’t realize that the landing gear wasn’t fully recessed,” Davidson said in an email. “This caused the plane to nosedive into the water and then flip upside down and submerge in the lake, with only the amphibious floats visible above the water line.”

The couple were able to exit the plane and were picked up by a passing boater, who brought them to shore, Davidson said.

An effort to recover the plane failed Saturday and it will remain in the water overnight. Another recovery effort will be attempted Sunday, Davidson said.

Once the plane is brought to shore, it will be secured and kept on site for Federal Aviation Administration officials, who are scheduled to arrive Monday to begin their investigation into the cause of the incident, Davidson said.


A seaplane that was attempting to land in Lake Ashby flipped over around 8:26 a.m. Saturday, according to Volusia County Fire Rescue officials.

The accident happened near Boy Scout Camp Road and Lake Ashby Road, in New Smyrna Beach.

Officials called it a "hard landing," not a crash.

The pilot, who was the only person on board, escaped without injuries, officials said.

The plane was upside down in the lake as of 9 a.m., officials said.


Harbour Air float plane door opens mid-air on flight from Vancouver: 2 passengers, one who was holding an 11-month-old baby, held door shut

Nine float plane passengers were given a scare Friday when the door of their Harbour Air plane opened mid-air on a flight from Vancouver to Nanaimo.

One woman carrying an 11-month-old baby initially held the door closed, but another passenger behind her later reached across the aisle to take over.

Fellow passenger Steve Sxwithul'txw, who flies Harbour Air frequently, was sitting in the front seat and says the 20-minute flight was one he'll never forget.

"Everybody was quite shocked. There was a number of us that stood around talking about it and this is a first. And again it was the scenario ... What it could have been. What could have happened?"

Sxwithul'txw said all the passengers were wearing seatbelts.

"[The pilot] couldn't believe it. He had this shocked look on his face and said, 'It feels like a Monday.'"

Sxwithul'txw says a Harbour Air manager later told him seals break occasionally on older planes.

'Passengers not in danger'

Harbour Air insists the passengers were never in danger, saying from time to time the doors on this model of float plane can crack open slightly.

Vice president of flight operations and safety Eric Scott said the wind from the moving plane prevents the door from blowing wide open.

"The passengers aren't in any danger. It's unfortunate that it happened. I am waiting to talk to them as we speak," said Scott.

He said the plane has now returned to Vancouver for a safety inspection.

"Our maintenance team is going over the aircraft to see if there was an issue mechanically with the airplane. But it could have just been human error as well."

Incidents like this don't have to be reported to the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, which says as long as passengers keep their seat belts on, there's no significant risk.

Harbour Air has offered the travellers a free flight, but Sxwithul'txw isn't sure when he will feel comfortable getting back on a float plane.

"It's ironic that in this day and age, these things that happen with planes ... that there isn't something there to prevent this from happening.

"I am going to be cautious about [travelling on a float plane again]. And ask a lot of questions."

Story, video and photo:

Schenck Field Airport (KICL), Clarinda, Iowa: Flight Breakfast Entertainment on Sunday

(Clarinda) -- Not all the activities at Sunday's Clarinda Flight Breakfast are taking place in the air.

Pilot Steve Mowery with Schenck Airfield in Clarinda was on the Dean and Don show yesterday. He spoke of the things you can see during the air show on Sunday.

"During the air show, we're going to rather unique items this year. The American Legion Riders, a motorcycle group, want to participate. They are going to start out the show all decked out with American Flags and patriotic 'to do'. Followed by a parachute team from Lincoln, the Lincoln Sport Parachute Club and they are going to be dropping out of the sky at 10-12,000 feet. The last guy out will have a huge American Flag." states Mowery.

You can see a demonstration of radio controlled airplanes, Mowery says, "We are going to have a real special treat. Two radio controlled demo pilots will be flying what they call Giant Scale Radio Controlled Aircraft. One of them has a 13 foot wingspan, which is just a monster and people won't believe it when they see it."

Stuff you have to see to believe will be at the airshow. "We have a local pilot, Harry Barr, and Harry is going to be doing several things. He's going to land a Piper Cub on a car. Which you've got to see to believe. Then he and a fellow by the name of Ed Nordland are going to race a Ford Mustang with a high performance airplane. They are going to race down the runway at break neck speed and see who win's on that!" Mowery adds.

Even aerobatic pilots will be there. Mowery stated, "Three world class aerobatic pilots, they will be having a low show this year." There will also be a flight demo of a WW2 fighter P-51 Mustang.

The air show begins at 10:30 on Sunday after the breakfast.

Story and photo:

Wheel on Expressway; training aircraft lands safely

A private Cessna type training aircraft made an emergency landing at the Ratmalana domestic airport a short while ago after one of its wheels fell in the Millaniya area on to the Southern Expressway, the Air Force said.

 However there were no reports of any injury due to the falling of the wheel and the aircraft had landed at the airport safely although it had veered off the runway without any damage to the aircraft.

The trainee pilot was taken to the hospital for medical observation.

Story, photos and comments/reaction:

A wheel of a light private aircraft fell on the Southern Expressway at Milleniya area this morning.

The Expressway Control Room stated that a passenger heading from Dodamgoda to Kottawa informed them regarding the fallen wheel.

According to Air Force media spokesman Wing Commander Gihan Seneviratne, a wheel had detached from an air craft used for training at a Flight Training Centre in Ratmalana this morning.

However, the Trainee Pilot of this aircraft was able to safely land at Ratmalana air port.

Centered at Ratmalana Air Port, the private Flight Training Center aircraft Cessna 152 received no damages.

However, the Trainee Pilot has been sent to a hospital for a routine check up.

The aircraft wheel which was found at the 18th kilometer post along Southern Expressway between Kottawa to Matara, has been handed over to the Gelani-gama Police Station.


A training aircraft belonging to a privately owned airlines company made an emergency landing at the Ratmalana airport a short while ago after one of its wheels had fallen off while it was airborne.

Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) Spokesperson, Wing Commander Gihan Seneviratne told The Nation that the aircraft had veered off the runway upon landing but added that no damages were reported to the aircraft.

He further said that the trainee pilot who had flown the aircraft did not sustain any injuries but was taken to hospital for medical observation.

Beech J35 Bonanza, N8347D: Salvage bid - Hangar collapsed onto aircraft at Hemphill County Airport (KHHF), Canadian, Texas


DESCRIPTION OF ACCIDENT: Hangar collapsed onto aircraft during storm on June 06, 2014 

DESCRIPTION OF DAMAGES: Fuselage crushed, tail crushed, all flight controls damaged, right tip tank torn off, wings punctured, all windows broken, upper engine cowling crushed, propeller has scratches and abrasion, spinner dented. 

LOCATION OF AIRCRAFT:  Canadian, TX    Hemphill County Airport    

REMARKS:  Aircraft secured in a different hangar  

Salvage Bid:


June 9, 2014

Storms cause $500K in damage: High winds destroy 5 hangars, plane near Canadian 

A string of thunderstorms that drenched the parched Texas Panhandle over the weekend also left at least a half-million dollars of damage in its wake, Hemphill County Judge George Briant said Monday.

Straight-line winds estimated at 115 mph — equivalent to a category 2 tornado on the Enhanced Fujita Scale — destroyed five hangars and one airplane at Hemphill County Airport on Friday during the first salvo of storms, airport manager Bill Kendall said.

Damage was spread over a two-square-mile area near Canadian.

About 9:35 p.m., National Weather Service equipment recorded wind speeds between 80 and 100 miles per hour, with the exception of a corridor a few dozen feet wide that appeared to sustain damage from winds up to 115 mph, said Tabatha Seymore, NWS Amarillo observation program leader.

Kendall said the destroyed plane, a single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza, belonged to Briant. Another plane, a single-engine Cessna 172 Skyhawk, sustained minor damage, Briant said, along with three or four more hangars and a Suddenlink Communications center that provides services to the area.

A portable office building belonging to construction employees working on the airport runway was also destroyed, Kendall said. Snapped wooden utility poles, damaged light structures and damage to nearby outbuildings and homes were also reported in the area, Seymore

The American Red Cross Disaster Action Team was sent Saturday to Hemphill County and identified a number of homes that sustained minor damage, said Steve Pair, executive director of the Red Cross’s Texas Panhandle chapters. Two homes were heavily damaged and Pair said
volunteers are currently
helping the families affected.

In other parts of the Texas Panhandle, meteorologists confirmed two tornadoes from Friday’s storms. The first touched down at 7:15 p.m. about 15 miles southeast of Waka in Ochiltree County and was on the ground for five minutes, NWS meteorologist Ed Andrade said. The second touched down at 7:52 p.m. about 10 miles northwest of Channing and was on the ground for eight minutes.

Both were classified as EF-0, the least destructive on the scale, and Seymore said no damage was attributed to either tornado.

Xcel Energy spokesman Wes Reeves said Monday several communities dealt with outages as storms passed through

“We were hit in Canadian Friday and again last night,” Reeves said. “The issues in Canadian were related to trees and tree limbs impacting power lines.”

Reeves said damage to a feeder line from a fallen tree in Canadian killed power to 300 customers Friday night. Power was restored to all customers by about 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Reeves said.

About 11:30 p.m. Friday, approximately 900 people in central Amarillo lost power because of a broken cross arm and downed lines, Reeves said. Power was restored to the area by 2:20 a.m. Saturday, he said.

Reeves said crews responded as far south as Dimmitt on Friday, where severe weather caused a 2½-hour power loss to 2,032 customers. On Sunday, 32 customers in Canadian lost power from 11:30 p.m. to 1:40 a.m. Monday after tree limbs damaged a line, he said.

Tree-trimming crews are going to Canadian this week to work on trouble spots before future storms hit, Reeves said. In all, about 5,000 people were affected by storm outages over the weekend, he said.

Rain totals in Amarillo reached 7.52 inches for the year, 0.15 of an inch above the yearly average and 0.03 of an inch higher than this time last year, NWS meteorologist Lance Goehring said. Residents in Hedley received the most rain this weekend with 3.96 inches, Goehring said, while Bootleg, in southwest Deaf Smith County, was a close second with 3.67 inches.

The storms also dropped hail throughout the area, Goehring said, with the largest in Amarillo measuring 1.75 inches and baseball-size stones of 2.75 inches reported Friday south of Bushland.

The next possibility for rain in Amarillo will be late Wednesday and then again Friday, Goehring said. High temperatures are expected to stay
in the 80s and 90s for the week. 

Story and photo:

Warbirds to rumble over Colorado Springs for August air show

In two months time, the skies over Colorado Springs will be filled with military planes from a bygone era.

The Pikes Peak Regional Air Show at the Colorado Springs Airport, Aug. 9-10, will feature more than 40 historic aircraft, including many from World War II. Proceeds from the event will go to fund the Colorado Springs-based National Museum of World War II Aviation and the Peterson Air and Space Museum.

"These are the aircraft that defended us in World War II," said Bruce Long, from the Peterson museum. "It's our heritage."

Jim Henderson, also from the Peterson museum, expects the two day event to bring in thousands of spectators.

Both days of the show begin with a demonstration by the Air Force Academy's Wings of Blue Parachute Team. Throughout the day there will be various aerial demonstrations by bombers, fighters and trainer planes.

Among them will be Jim Tobul and his F4U Corsair, which survived the Korean war and has been rebuilt several times following crashes. Both days will end with a demonstration by Steve Hinton in a F7F Tigercat, the a Navy twin-engine fighter.

In addition to the aerial spectacles, attendees will also have the chance to get in the pilot's seat of a flight simulator with the choice of flying an F-16 fighter jet or a P-51 Mustang.

There will also be an exhibit on Tuskegee Airmen, the first American black combat pilots. Other displays include aircraft mechanics and aerospace principles.

"We hope that people have a great time, and walk away just a little more informed about, and highly proud of America's aviation achievements," said John Henry, a member of the aviation museum's board.

Several of the aircraft, including Tobul's Corsair, have been rebuilt on site by the museum's 65,000 square foot facility WestPac Restorations. The hangers are filled with hunks of old, damaged aircraft, while volunteers work to build them into flying pieces of history.

The organization has gone to great lengths to maintain authenticity, even rebuilding equipment no longer in use.

Stages of the restoration process are open to museum visitors.

The aviation museum is also still looking for volunteers to help staff the event.

Story and photo gallery:

Donovan takes off from Pensacola International Airport (KPNS) job

It looks like Greg Donovan, director of Pensacola International Airport, is moving ahead with plans to assume the executive director job at Melbourne International Airport.

Donovan on Thursday announced his resignation from Pensacola International, where he had held that airport's top post since March 2013.

The Melbourne Airport Authority on Tuesday offered him the job here, contingent on contract negotiations. The authority meets Wednesday and will likely vote on approving Donovan's contract. The pay scale listed for the job is between $129,000 to $163,000 annually.

Donovan would replace Richard Ennis, who announced plans to retire next month after leading the airport since 2005.

According to FLORIDA TODAY's sister paper, the Pensacola News Journal, Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward issued a statement Thursday afternoon praising Donovan's accomplishments while working with the city.

"Greg has been an incredible asset both to my team and to our airport," Hayward said. "His expertise, passion and leadership have been invaluable, and with his help we have been able to make great progress at Pensacola International Airport. This is a great opportunity for Greg to advance his career, and I wish him the very best as he transitions into this new endeavor."

On Thursday, Donovan was quoted in the Pensacola News Journal saying he was excited to return to his Melbourne roots. Donovan is familiar with the area, as a graduate of Florida Institute of Technology.

"Serving as Pensacola's airport director has been a wonderful experience," he said, "and I am so proud of everything my staff and I have been able to accomplish. We have laid the groundwork for bringing new aerospace industries and jobs to our community, and I am confident that Pensacola International Airport is well-positioned for continued success.

"This is a very exciting career opportunity," he said of the Melbourne position, "and I am looking forward to working with the airport authority staff and board members who are focused on business development on Florida's Space Coast. I'm also excited about returning and collaborating with my alma mater to explore ways to advance aviation, engineering and economic development."

During Donovan's tenure at the Pensacola airport, the city added new service from Southwest Airlines and Silver Airways, increased seat capacity by 13 percent, welcomed the addition of the 127-room Hyatt Place hotel to the airport campus and secured more than $21 million in aviation-specific grants from the Federal Aviation Administration and Florida Department of Transportation, Hayward said.

Donovan also played a key role in the adoption of a strategic land-use plan for the airport and negotiations with Singapore-based ST Aerospace to locate a maintenance, repair and operations facility at the airport.

Story and photo:

Drone training jumps in New Mexico

ALAMOGORDO – A dozen students occupy the “cockpits” of a half-dozen aircraft flying through Air Force airspace, but the students haven’t left the ground.

They are piloting drones from inside ground control stations at Holloman Air Force Base in Alamogordo as part of their training to pilot the unmanned aircraft responsible for an increasing number of military surveillance and combat missions.

Holloman’s training program for operating “RPAs,” or remotely piloted aircraft – the Air Force prefers this acronym to the word “drone” – has grown exponentially since its inception in 2009. This fiscal year, 714 students will graduate, up from 136 graduates during the program’s first year.

The program has trained nearly every Air Force pilot of the MQ-1 “Predator” and MQ-9 “Reaper” drones, according to training squadron commander Lt. Col. Calvin Powell.

“We have had an over 500 percent growth in student throughput, and we still cannot meet the total demand of the operational units in order to maintain enough air crew in the fight,” Powell said during a presentation this week to the Journal and other media that drew mainly international journalists, including from Norway, Switzerland, France, Italy and Romania.

The use of drones in combat missions in Afghanistan and in fighting suspected terrorists in other nations has occasionally drawn global scrutiny.

Last year, Human Rights Watch issued a report examining six targeted killings by U.S.-operated drones in Yemen between 2009 and 2013. The report found that two of the attacks “killed civilians indiscriminately in clear violation of the laws of war,” while the others “may have targeted people who were not legitimate military objectives or caused disproportionate civilian deaths.”

The U.S. government has said it takes all possible precautions in drone attacks.

Answering a question about collateral damage in drone missile strikes, Powell said, “There are humans in the chain from the start to the finish. Any time you have humans involved, there is always opportunity for human error. However, we go to great lengths from the very beginning of our training to minimize that aspect of it.”

Holloman students fly actual drones for practice, but all the “missions” are simulated; there is no live fire. There are no drone combat missions launched from Holloman, although many drone combat missions in Afghanistan are operated from Nevada’s Creech Air Force Base, according to a Holloman spokesman.

Holloman has four MQ-1s and six MQ-9s for training.

About the size of a Cessna 172, the MQ-1 drone can carry two Hellfire missiles and fly for up to 20 hours. It’s the smaller of the two drones and is distinctive for its downward-facing tails.

The larger MQ-9 drone is about the size of the A-10 attack jet known as the “Warthog” – a plane that could soon be scrapped by congressional budget cuts. It can carry up to four Hellfire missiles and two 500-pound, laser-guided bombs. It’s faster than the MQ-1 but is heavier and burns more fuel. It can fly for shorter stretches, up to 16 hours.

The Holloman training program has attracted both Air Force pilots of traditional aircraft as well as a younger generation of airmen who, as drone pilots, have never left the ground.

Among the traditional pilots in the program was a captain who flew B1 bomber jets in Afghanistan before signing up for Holloman’s first class of drone pilots. Now a Holloman instructor, he said flying MQ-9s was just as rewarding and yet he didn’t have to deploy.

Story, video and photo gallery:

Rapid City Regional Airport (KRAP), South Dakota: Volunteers needed for emergency exercise

Rapid City Regional Airport needs about 50 volunteers willing to portray accident victims and frantic family members for a full-scale emergency training exercise on Saturday, June 21.

The exercise will simulate a major airplane crash. It begins at 6 a.m. and concludes at 1 p.m.; lunch will be provided for volunteers.

The volunteers will add realism to the scenario that will involve all local response agencies. Willing participants should contact Gary English, airport operations and security officer, at 391-9515.