Tuesday, June 24, 2014

American Pilot And Airplane Missing In Nigeria to Gabon Flight

Plane flying from Nigeria to Gabon ‘missing’
 
A four-seater plane flying from Nigeria to Gabon via Cameroon has disappeared, Cameroon aviation sources said on Tuesday.

The plane, owned by the U.S. company Global Aviation, took off from Kano in northern Nigeria at 1800 hours on Monday, en route Libreville, in Gabon, where it was scheduled to arrive at 2300 hours, after a stopover in Douala, Cameroon.

However, the station said that the plane, with only the American pilot on board, did not make it to Douala.

It said the last contact the plane had with the control tower took place in Mongo, which is two hours flight from the Cameroonian economic capital.

Report says that search and rescue operations, led by Cameroon’s civil aviation authorities have not yielded any positive results.

Meanwhile, the managing director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Engineer Ibrahim Addulsalam yesterday said a missing four-seater plane had left the jurisdiction of Nigeria before it reportedly lost contact with aerodrome.

He said the aircraft, belonging to the U.S. Global Aviation Company, left Kano en route Gabon before it went missing within the Cameroon airspace.

“It has left the Nigerian airspace at the time it was reported missing and therefore cannot be the responsibility of Nigeria.”, he said in a telephone interview.

Addulsalam said the Nigeria aviation authorities have handed over the plane to the Cameroonian airspace, adding that as a result of that, the plane was in the Cameroonian airspace when it got missing.

“The plane has gone out of Nigeria; we have handed it over to the  Cameroom airspace. It is their own score since it didn’t happen in Nigeria airspace”

Also sources inside Cameroon are said to confirmed that the four-seater plane flying  across its territory actually disappeared within its airspace.

Its disclosed that as expected,  the plane, with only the American pilot on board, did not make it to Douala.

It said the last contact the plane had with the control tower took place in Mongo, which is two hours flightr from the Cameroonian economic capital.


Source:  http://www.peoplesdailyng.com

Piper PA-22/20-135, N170JH: Accident occurred October 04, 2013 at Penn Valley Airport (KSEG), Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania

NTSB Identification: ERA14LA015
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, October 04, 2013 in Selinsgrove, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/27/2014
Aircraft: PIPER PA-22-135, registration: N170JH
Injuries: 2 Serious.

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, during takeoff, he applied full throttle and that, when the airplane began to gain airspeed, he pushed the yoke forward to bring the tailwheel off the runway. The tail did not rise, and the airplane subsequently "jumped" off the runway; the pilot pushed the yoke forward again, but the airplane continued to climb. The pilot then decreased the engine power, the airplane's nose lowered, and the pilot pulled back on the yoke to arrest the descent, but the nose did not rise. The airplane continued to descend at a higher rate, and the pilot applied nose-up trim; however, the airplane subsequently impacted the runway. 

Examination of the airplane maintenance logbooks revealed that the accident flight was the first flight after an annual inspection had been completed and that the elevator control cables were replaced during the inspection. Examination revealed that the elevator control cables were installed incorrectly and moved the elevators in the direction opposite to that commanded: when the pilot pushed the yoke forward, the airplane climbed, and, when the pilot pulled the yoke aft, the airplane descended. It is likely that the maintenance personnel installed the flight control cables incorrectly and failed to verify that the routing from the elevator cables to the control yoke was correct during the recent annual inspection and postmaintenance check. It is also likely that the pilot failed to perform an adequate preflight check, which required the pilot to verify that all controls were in the proper position.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The incorrect (reverse) rigging of the elevator cables by maintenance personnel and their subsequent failure to verify that the rigging was correct during postmaintenance checks and the pilot's inadequate preflight check.

On October 4, 2013, about 1420 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-22, N170JH, impacted the runway immediately after takeoff from Penn Valley Airport (SEG), Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania. The private pilot and passenger sustained serious injuries. The airplane was operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 and no flight plan had been filed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal local flight, which was originating at the time of the accident. 

According to the pilot, he completed the before takeoff checklist, which included a flight control check of the tailwheel equipped airplane; however, he could not see the elevator from the pilot seat. He taxied the airplane onto the runway, applied full throttle, and when the airplane began to gain airspeed, he pushed the yoke forward in order to bring the tailwheel off the runway. The airplane departed the runway, the pilot pushed the yoke forward again, but the airplane continued to climb at a "low airspeed." The pilot decreased the engine power, the nose of the airplane lowered, and the pilot pulled back on the yoke to arrest the descent. The airplane responded by descending at a higher rate, the pilot applied nose-up trim; however, the airplane impacted the runway. The pilot did not recall any events after the airplane impacted the runway.

According to a witness, he saw the airplane taxiing on the parallel taxiway, then enter the runway without stopping, and begin the takeoff roll. Immediately after the main landing gear departed the runway, the airplane "went into a vertical climb." Then, above the runway, the nose of the airplane dropped, and it descended vertically in a slight left turn. The airplane impacted the runway, which resulted in substantial damage to the wings and fuselage. 

According to the airplane maintenance logbooks, the annual inspection was recorded on August 22, 2013, at a total time of 3425.6 hours. The airframe maintenance records indicated that the left hand and right hand elevator cables were replaced at that time. 

A postaccident examination of the airplane revealed that the tachometer in the airplane indicated a total time of 3425.9 hours. 

In an interview with the mechanics that performed the annual maintenance, they stated that during the annual inspection the mechanics decided to replace the elevator cables since they were frayed. The mechanics routed the new cables in with the part tags attached and a second mechanic confirmed the cable installation. Then, they performed a flight control check utilizing the control column to confirm the correct installation of the elevator cables. Once checking the airplane, one of the mechanics noticed that a bolt was too short, removed, one cable, replaced the bolt with a longer bolt, and reattached the elevator cable. When asked if they verified the cable rigging, both mechanics stated that they confirmed the correct routing from the elevator cables to the control yoke. In addition, they stated there was no maintenance manual for the airplane and they used the illustrated parts catalog in order to install the cables. 

Examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that the elevator control cables moved the opposite direction as commanded. When the elevator control cable was operated that corresponded to the yoke being pushed forward, the elevator control surface moved in the upward direction or positioned the airplane in a nose up attitude. When the elevator control cable was operated that corresponded to the yoke being pull aft, the elevator control surface moved downward or positioned the airplane in a nose down attitude. 

In the operating instructions for the airplane, under the section labeled "Preflight," it stated that "upon entering the plane, the pilot should ascertain that all controls operate normally and are in proper position and that the door is closed and latched."

In the "Maintenance" section of the PA-22 Owners' Handbook, it stated in the "Leveling and Rigging" section that "In rigging the control system of the Tri-Pacer, this procedure should be followed: 
(1) Center the nose wheel, rudder pedals, rudder and ailerons with the interconnecting cables slack at turnbuckles, located behind the baggage compartment.
(2) Check the airplane in flight for proper trim with the interconnecting cables slack.
(3) During the flight check, if ailerons do not line up with the flap trailing edges equally, adjust the aileron tab to obtain proper aileron position."

In addition, the Piper Tri-Pacer Inspection Report, section "D. Fuselage and Empennage Group" task No. 9 of stated to "inspect rudder, elevator and stabilizer trim cables, turnbuckles, guides and pulleys for safety, damage, corrosion and operation." 


NTSB Identification: ERA14LA015
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, October 04, 2013 in Selinsgrove, PA
Aircraft: PIPER PA 22-135, registration: N170JH
Injuries: 2 Serious.

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 October 4, 2013, about 1420 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-22, N170JH, impacted terrain immediately after takeoff from Penn Valley Airport (SEG), Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania. The private pilot and passenger sustained serious injuries. The airplane was operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 and no flight plan had been filed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight, which was originating at the time of the accident.

According to a witness, he saw the airplane taxiing on the parallel taxiway, then enter the runway without stopping, and begin the takeoff roll. Immediately after the main landing gear departed the runway, the airplane "went into a vertical climb." Then, about 125 feet above the runway the nose of the airplane dropped, and it descended vertically in a slight left turn. The airplane impacted the runway, which resulted in substantial damage to the wings and fuselage.

Examination of the airplane maintenance logbooks revealed that the accident flight was the first flight after an annual inspection had been completed. 


http://registry.faa.gov/N170JH 



SELINSGROVE — Two Valley residents injured in an Oct. 4 plane crash while taking off at Penn Valley Airport in Selinsgrove have hired a Philadelphia attorney to investigate the accident.  

 Jim Beasley Jr. said Tuesday that pilot Doug Cromley, of Lewisburg, and his uncle, Todd Cromley, of Winfield, hired his firm shortly after both were seriously injured when the single-engine Piper Pacer they were flying crashed shortly after takeoff.

A preliminary report issued by the National Transportation Safety Board in November said it was the aircraft’s first flight following an inspection. The investigation continues and the NTSB doesn’t expect to issue a final report for several months.

Investigation reported to be thorough


Meanwhile, Beasley said his firm is taking a separate look and examining the maintenance provided by Heritage Aviation, based at the airport.

“We are doing a thorough investigation to ensure it was all appropriate,” he said.

Heritage Aviation Manager Jon Trainor said Heritage has cooperated with the Federal Aviation Administration and Beasley as they work separately to determine what happened.

“We’re certainly helping with whatever is requested,” Trainor said.

Since the October crash, there has been a complete turnover in management and maintenance staff that was unrelated to the incident, Trainor said.

The two mechanics employed at Heritage Aviation in October have left and been replaced by four mechanics. One former mechanic returned home to Texas and the second took another job in the aviation industry, Trainor said.

Before Trainor’s predecessor, Jim Taylor, left to take a similar job in Williamsport, he spoke or provided information to investigators, Trainor said.

Firm: Most crashes not commercial planes

According to The Beasley Firm website, it has been litigating airplane crashes since 1958.

“The smallest error can often lead to disastrous repercussions. In 2010, there were 831 deaths and thousands of catastrophic injuries attributed to aviation accidents,” the firm’s website states.

According to Beasley, there were 2,033 aviation accidents reported by the Aviation Safety Network in 2010 and only 27 involved commercial aircraft.


Source:  http://www.dailyitem.com


SELINSGROVE — Two area residents injured in an Oct. 4 plane crash while taking off from the Penn Valley Airport in Selinsgrove have hired a Philadelphia attorney to investigate the crash.

Jim Beasley Jr. said Tuesday that pilot Doug Cromley, of Lewisburg, and his uncle, Todd Cromley, of Winfield, hired his firm after both were seriously injured when the single-engine Piper Pacer they were flying last fall crashed shortly after take-off.

A preliminary report issued by the National Transportation Safety Board in November said it was the aircraft’s first flight following an inspection. The investigation continues and the NTSB doesn’t expect to issue a final report for several months.

Meanwhile, Beasley said his firm is taking a separate look and examining the maintenance provided by Aviation Heritage, based at the airport.

“We are doing a thorough investigation to ensure it was all appropriate,” he said.

Heritage Aviation Manager Jon Trainor said they are working with both the Federal Aviation Administration and Beasley to determine what happened.

“We’re certainly helping with whatever is requested,” he said.

Since the October crash, there has been a complete turnover in management and maintenance staff which was unrelated to the incident, he said.

The two mechanics employed at Heritage Aviation in October have left and been replaced by four mechanics. One former mechanic returned home to Texas and the second took another job in the aviation industry, Trainor said.

Trainor’s predecessor, Jim Taylor, took a similar job in Williamsport and has been cooperating with the investigation.

According to The Beasley Firm web site, they have been litigating airplane crashes since 1958.

“The smallest error can often lead to disastrous repercussions. In 2010, there were 831 deaths and thousands of catastrophic injuries attributed to aviation accidents,” the firm’s web site states.

According to Beasley, there were 2,033 aviation accidents reported by the Aviation Safety Network in 2010 and only 27 involved commercial aircraft.


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

Cirrus SR20, N720DG: Incident occurred June 24, 2014 at Santa Barbara Municipal Airport (KSBA), California

Small Plane Crashes at Santa Barbara Airport

No one injured in incident blamed on throttle malfunction


Emergency crews responded Tuesday afternoon to a single-engine plane that crashed at the Santa Barbara Airport while attempting to make an emergency landing.

Two people on board the Cirrus aircraft escaped injury in the mishap, according to Capt. Gary Pitney of the Santa Barbara City Fire Department.

The plane — with a student pilot and flight instructor on board — was preparing to touch down on one of the airport's shorter north-south runways at about 12:20 p.m. when it experienced a throttle malfunction that prevented slowing the engine, Pitney said.

At that point, the flight instructor took over the controls, and made the decision to land the plane on Runway 25, which runs east-west and is considerably longer, Pitney said.

The plane, which sustained damage to its landing gear, came to rest on the runway overrun, about 300 feet short of a creek and east of Los Carneros Road, Pitney said, adding that the pilot was able to stop the engine by cutting off the fuel supply.

The alert came in at 12:19 p.m. and the airport's Station 8 fire crews responded to the grass at the end of the runway, airport marketing coordinator Lynn Houston said.

There was very minor damage to the landing gear and there were no delays caused by the short runway closure, she said.

Houston confirmed it was a local plane and there will be a National Transportation Safety Board investigation of the incident. 

Story and photos:  http://www.noozhawk.com

Throttle Issue Forces Plane to Make Emergency Landing

A single-engine plane was forced to make an emergency landing Tuesday afternoon at the Santa Barbara Airport after it was unable to throttle down during its final approach.

According to City Fire spokesperson Gary Pitney, the plane was trying to land at one of the airport's smaller runways but diverted to the main commercial runway after it couldn't adequately reduce power.

The pilot then shut off the fuel supply to the engine, which allowed the plane to land, but it overran the 1,000-foot safety area at the end of the runway and came to rest in a dirt field about 300 feet from Tecolotito Creek, said Pitney.

The pilot and his passenger escaped without injury, and the plane was towed to a maintenance facility for investigation and repair.

The runway was temporarily closed.


Story and photos:  http://www.independent.com

TRANS-GOLETA AIRWAYS LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N720DG 

Baby pictures of our Cirrus SR20, Serial number 1174, December 2001 - January 2002: http://web.physics.ucsb.edu
 
Private plane crashes at Santa Barbara Airport

A single engine plane went down Tuesday at the Santa Barbara Airport.

Santa Barbara City Firefighters and Aircraft Rescue Firefighting Units responded to the crash.

They say the Cirrus plane over-shot the runway by nearly 1,000 feet, and ended up in a dirt field roughly 300 feet from Tecolotito Creek.

The pilot of the plane says the aircraft had a throttle-control issue, forcing him to shut off fuel supply to the engine to allow the plane to make a hard landing.

Neither of the plane's occupants had any injuries, and there was only minor damage to the plane.

One runway was closed for 7 minutes while Airport Operations moved the plane.

No commercial flights were affected by the closure.


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

Emergency Landing At Santa Barbara Airport 

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -  The pilot of a small plane was forced to make an emergency landing at the Santa Barbara Airport Tuesday afternoon after experiencing mechanical problems.

The incident happened about 12:15 p.m., just west of the main runway.

Santa Barbara Fire Captain Gary Pitney said the single-engine cirrus was on final approach to land when the throttle control began to malfunction, making it impossible for the pilot to reduce power.

Pitney said the pilot was in contact with the tower during the entire incident -- no other planes were involved.

Eventually, the plane landed "long" on the over-run area which is paved, then ran off the dirt roughly 300 feet short of a creek.

The NTSB gave airport officials the go-ahead to tow the plane to a nearby hangar, freeing up the runways for other planes.

The two people on board made it out of the plane safely and were unhurt.

Story and Slideshow:    http://www.keyt.com

Incidents occurred June 24, 2014 in Sutter County, California

NTSB Identification: WPR14LA267 
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Monday, June 23, 2014 in Sacramento, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/12/2015
Aircraft: AIR TRACTOR INC AT 502B, registration: N61150
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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 of the agricultural aerial application flight reported that, while he was returning to base and when the airplane was about 300 ft above ground level, the engine suddenly lost all power. He attempted to land on a road, but the airplane was unable to reach it, so he landed in a flooded field. During the landing, the tailwheel-equipped airplane abruptly stopped and nosed over, which resulted in substantial damage to the fuselage and vertical stabilizer. The pilot reported no preaccident mechanical anomalies with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. The operator did not provide any aircraft logbooks for examination nor did the operator make the airplane available for examination.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The total loss of engine power for reasons that could not be determined because the airplane was not available for postaccident examination.

On June 23, 2014, about 1200 Pacific daylight time, an Air Tractor AT-502B airplane, N61150 sustained substantial damage when it nosed over, during an off-airport landing, following a loss of engine power. The airplane was being operated by Farm Air Flying Service Inc., Sacramento, California, as a visual flight rules (VFR) agricultural aerial application flight under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and the solo pilot received minor injuries. The airplane departed a private company airstrip, and company flight following procedures were in effect.

During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC) on June 24, a company representative said the pilot reported that the engine lost power while maneuvering at a low altitude during a crop spraying operation. He glided the airplane for landing into a rice field, which was submerged under about 10 inches of water with a soft bottom. During the landing, the tailwheel equipped airplane came to an abrupt stop and nosed over. The operator said he would not elaborate further prior to talking directly with the pilot.

There were no reported mechanical anomalies prior to the loss of engine power. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the vertical stabilizer and rudder. 

In a written statement dated September 16, provided by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector, the pilot reported that he was returning to base, about 300 feet above ground level when the engine suddenly lost all power. He said he attempted to glide to a farm road, but unable to reach the road he landed in a flooded field. 

Following the initial contact with the NTSB IIC, the operator did not return any phone calls or emails from the IIC, and did not submit the NTSB 6120.1 Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident/Incident Report form as requested. No aircraft logbooks were presented for examination, and the operator did not make the airplane available for examination.



SUTTER COUNTY, Calif. - Two crop dusters belonging to the same company crashed just hours apart within a half mile of each other Monday.

Both planes experienced problems with their engines, according to Steve Anderson, owner of Anderson's Flying Service of Yuba City.

The first plane crashed south of Riego Road and west of Highway 99 around 7:30 a.m. The pilot was unhurt. He said his engine seized, so he dumped his load of chemicals and set the plane down. During the emergency landing, the plane's wheel caught an edge and tipped the plane forward. A crane was brought in to remove the plane by mid-morning.

RELATED: Crop duster makes emergency landing alongside Hwy. 99 in Sacramento Co.

"We were breaking in a new pilot. It was his second year in the airplane. He has been doing a good job," said plane owner Anderson, who said he'd leased the planes to Farm Air on Riego Road. Both planes were spraying agricultural chemicals on cotton fields.

The second plane, an Air Tractor 502B, came down around 1:30 p.m. in a rice field less than a half mile away from the first incident. The pilot, who was not identified, suffered minor injuries.

Anderson said the engine was due for an overhaul in the fall. He said there were no unusual circumstances, that the engine problems and two crash landings were a complete coincidence.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said both incidents will be investigated.

Story and video:  http://www.news10.net

Sailor Killed in Parachute Accident

A Coronado-based Navy SEAL died parachuting Monday in El Centro, according to Naval Special Warfare Public Affairs.

The Navy has identified the victim as Chief Special Warfare Officer Bradley S. Cavner.

Cavner was taking part in parachute jump training when he was killed.

The fatal accident is under investigation.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

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

Triathlon to limit road access to Atlantic City International Airport (KACY) and Atlantic City Expressway Sunday

If you expect to use the Atlantic City Expressway or Atlantic City International Airport on Sunday allow for extra time. Or use some other roads. The Challenge Atlantic City Triathlon will be held that day and portions of the roadways will be closed to allow for the bicycle portion of the race.

On the Expressway, the westbound shoulder lane and the right travel lane will be shut down from 6 a.m. until 4 p.m. from Exit 2 to Exit 4 and again at Exit 14 through approximately milepost 28. Two lanes of traffic will remain open at all times.

Bicyclists will also be riding through the intersection of Delilah and Tilton Roads at the circle. Amelia Earhart Blvd. to the airport will be closed at the circle and motorists will be directed to turn at the traffic light.

For more details and maps, visit www.aclink.org/challengeAC

Source:  http://www.courierpostonline.com

Hanscom Field Airport (KBED) flights of undocumented immigrants raise 'red flags' for rep

BEDFORD -- In reaction to news Immigration and Customs Enforcement-chartered flights landed at Hanscom Field and Logan International Airport recently with undocumented immigrants onboard, the state House minority leader is calling for accountability from the governor's administration.

State Rep. Bradley Jones, R-North Reading, sent a letter to Gov. Deval Patrick demanding answers after reading syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin's report this month. Malkin wrote she'd received a tip detained immigrants were coming through the Bay State.

A spokesman from Hanscom Field issued a statement correcting Malkin's writings, stating rather five flights had come through the MassPort facility in Bedford since the spring. In a June 12 column, Malkin reported one planeload of detainees through Hanscom.

But detainees aboard the planes were not housed as Malkin reported, Hanscom staff said, and the immigrants were instead transferred by bus to local prison facilities.

Jones wrote in a letter to the governor he had concerns about this practice. He told The Sun he worries for the burden placed on taxpayers if these kinds of transfers become more common.

"This raises numerous red flags and it is imperative that basic questions regarding this ongoing practice be answered," he wrote in a letter on June 17 to Patrick. "When we are able to provide the residents and taxpayers of the commonwealth with responses, ... we as lawmakers will be better suited to determine how best to proceed."

In response to Jones' letter -- which questioned the practice's oversight, parameters and impact -- the Patrick administration wrote back on June 19 there have rather been seven flights with detainees since April 18 in all, five of which landed in Bedford. Two others were rerouted to Logan.

Hanscom officials said in a statement the Air Force base has since halted its cooperation with ICE after learning there could be a "recurrence of these transfers." The command staff has said they will wait until more information can be "gathered" and a "memorandum of agreement" with ICE is developed.

"Those actions have not reached enough progress for the transfers to resume with Hanscom Air Force Base's cooperation," the statement reads.

Andrea Cabral, secretary of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, categorized these flights as "routine" in a letter to Jones. Detainees, she said, were either taken to detention facilities in state or outward bound for deportation this spring.

Cabral noted no "extraordinary costs" were incurred with Massachusetts State Police assisting ICE with these transfers.

"ICE detainees were conveyed either to outbound flights for deportation or to state and county correctional cells to await deportation," she said. "ICE pays a per diem to the custodial agency for that service."

Jones said Cabral's letter raised more questions for him. On Monday, he told The Sun he met with state police earlier that day and learned approximately 50 to 100 immigrants were on board those seven flights.

"There's no indication of how long they stayed for or no specific breakdown," he said. "If there are 50 to 100 people and seven plane loads, that's potentially 700 individuals."

Daniel Modricker, a spokesman for ICE's New England Region Public Affairs office, added transfers are completed on commercial as well as chartered aircraft at times.

"These transfers occur on a daily basis across the country and for a variety of reasons. The aliens transferred to the New England area are currently in various stages of the immigration process," he said. "Non-U.S. citizens who are apprehended and determined to need custodial supervision are placed in detention facilities."

The Sun confirmed with the Middlesex Sherriff's Office no detainees at this time are in custody at the Middlesex House of Correction in Billerica.

David Procopio, director of media relations for the Massachusetts State Police, noted in an email prisoner stopovers are "fairly routine events" and trooper assistance on tarmacs is a "fairly routine operation " as well.

Procopio deferred comment to ICE on when these routines first started happening in Massachusetts. ICE said it could not provide that information specifically on Monday.

Jones said for now, he will wait to see what his fellow legislators request from the governor's office for more information before taking more action on this topic.

"We're trying to get a handle on it and understand the program. Will it increase, or is this a temporary thing?" Jones asked. "The southern-tier states are being inundated (with undocumented immigrants crossing the border illegally). If that continues, my guess is this is only going to be something ongoing or (something that's) increasing. At some point, it's going to impact the system financially up here."

Story and comments:  http://www.lowellsun.com

District Attorney’s Office Says It Won’t Offer Misdemeanor Plea Deal To Alleged World Trade Center Jumpers

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The attorney for a group of men accused of BASE jumping off 1 World Trade Center last fall told a judge Tuesday that he and prosecutors are at a stalemate in their negotiations for a plea deal.

As WCBS 880′s Irene Cornell reported, defense lawyer Tim Parlatore told Judge Charles Solomon during a hearing that his clients are willing to plea to anything that does not include a felony conviction or jail time. But Assistant District Attorney James Zaleta insisted there will be no offer of a misdemeanor plea deal.

Solomon asked Parlatore, “How’s your relationship with the DA’s office?” The defense attorney replied, “Awful.”

Marko Markovich, James Brady, Andrew Rossig and Kyle Hartwell pleaded not guilty last month to burglary, reckless endangerment and other charges in connection with the Sept. 30 jump.

Authorities say Markovich, Brady and Rossig squeezed through a hole in a fence and climbed 104 flights of stairs before leaping from the tower. A video of the jump was posted on YouTube, and surveillance video captured the jumpers landing in front of the Goldman Sachs building.

Hartwell is accused of keeping lookout at the base of the tower during the stunt. He might be able to strike a misdemeanor plea deal, the prosecutor said Tuesday.

Authorities say the escapade audaciously broke laws specifically prohibiting such jumps. The jumpers have portrayed it as a careful, middle-of-the-night plunge by experienced skydivers over deserted streets.

“We didn’t endanger anyone,” Rossig told reporters last month.

The men have garnered support from two Sept. 11 victims’ relatives, who say the skydivers spotlighted security lapses at the trade center site. The Port Authority insists the skyscraper is well-protected, while acknowledging that daredevils have prompted some security changes.

The jumpers say they walked into the building, which had no door at the time, climbed stairs to the roof and enjoyed “magnificent views” for four hours before the 3 a.m. plunge, encountering no security guards.

There was a time when the city was more accepting of daredevils and their stunts.

When Philippe Petit thrilled the populace by walking a wire between the twin towers in 1974, he was arrested for about a minute before charges were dropped and then invited to City Hall.

George Willig, a true Spider-Man, received similar treatment after climbing one of the World Trade Center towers with suction cups on his hands and feet in 1977.


Story, videos, photo and comments:   http://newyork.cbslocal.com

 

Firefighter critically injured in airport fire truck crash: Oakland International Airport (KOAK), California

OAKLAND, Calif. — An Oakland firefighter was critically injured when a truck he was driving overturned during a training drill on an Oakland International Airport tarmac Tuesday, city officials said. 

The firefighter was driving an Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting rig capable of carrying 3,000 gallons of water and 420 gallons of foam when it rolled as he was turning near the Oakland Maintenance Center at 11:43 a.m., city officials said.

The 28-year veteran of the fire department suffered life-threatening injuries in the crash and remains at a hospital in critical condition this afternoon, according to city officials.

The firefighter is assigned to the airport and was participating in a simulated red alert drill to test emergency response times to airport emergencies.

Officials are still working on contacting the firefighter's family and have not released his name. City and airport officials said that flights were unaffected by the crash.

Story, photo and video:  http://www.ktvu.com


Huntley, Illinois: Crews respond to downed balloon -- 2nd in 5 days

The pilot of a hot air balloon made an emergency landing on a residential street in Huntley this morning to avoid power lines - the second time in five days police and fire crews in the far northwest suburb have responded to a downed balloon.

No injuries were reported in the latest incident and only minor injuries in the other.

Huntley police said they got a call around 7:25 a.m. today about a balloon that had landed in a yard on Windy Prairie Drive in the Sun City community.  Emergency crews found that the balloon had actually come to rest near the intersection of Windy Prairie and Songbird Lane.

The pilot told police that the wind was carrying the balloon and he did not want to cross Illinois Route 47 and get close to power lines along Interstate 90.  So he decided to set the balloon down in the neighborhood, police said.

The balloon had taken off from Hampshire and was carrying three passengers.  No one was hurt.

On Friday, a balloon landed at the Pinecrest Golf Course around 8:20 a.m., police said. A passenger suffered minor injuries during the landing, which damaged a tree and part of the course, police said. 

Story, photo and comments:  http://www.chicagotribune.com

Sawyer International Airport (KSAW) receives money to repair runway lighting and replace equipment

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Two United States senators announced support for a grant to benefit Sawyer International Airport.

Senators Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin are supporting a $1,126,966 grant from the Department of Transportation to help Sawyer International Airport acquire aircraft rescue and firefighting equipment and rehabilitate their runway. According to reports, this project will fund the replacement of fire suits as well as repair their aging runway lighting system.

"Making sure passengers are able to travel to and from Marquette is vital to the state's economy," says Stabenow. "This support will help ensure that the airport can continue to keep people traveling safely and increase business activity to boost the economy."

"Transportation is an essential ingredient in economic growth and job creations, and this federal funding will help maintain vital economic links around the world for the Upper Peninsula," says Levin.


Story and comments:   http://www.uppermichiganssource.com

Black Diamond Jet Team to return to Lehigh Valley Air Show

For the second year in a row, the Black Diamond Jet Team will take flight at the Lehigh Valley Airshow.

After last year's aerial performers helped draw more than 40,000 spectators and $52,000 in revenue, the Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority announced Tuesday that the four-plane team is returning for an encore performance.

"The Black Diamonds were a hit with young and old spectators alike, and we are thrilled to have them perform at the Lehigh Valley Airshow for the second year in a row", Charles Everett, authority executive director, said.

This year's airshow is scheduled for Aug. 23 and 24, and airport authority members are hoping to build on last year's success.

The August 2013 airshow was the first aerial performance held at the Lehigh Valley International Airport since 1997, and with clear skies, the event pulled in larger than expected crowds.

The crowds were so large organizers were forced to switch from wrist bands to hand stamps to get people through the entrance gates more quickly.

The heightened demand last year prompted organizers to raise prices for this years event.

Skip Lehman, president of Mach2 Management, which is running the event for the second year, said advance tickets cost $15 for adults and $9 for children. And for those buying tickets at the gate, the cost will be $18 for adults and $12 for children.

New this year, Mach2 Management will be offering a limited number of "backstage passes" to the airshow. For $100, spectators can learn the details of what goes into a four- to five-hour airshow.

"It's a sneak peek under our tent to see how it all works," Lehman, president of Mach2 Management, said.

The airshow organizers have said that the minor parking and concession issues at last year's event have also been resolved.

A construction project that limited parking at the airport last year has been finished, allowing up to 10,000 cars to be parked on site, and the unforeseeable, last-minute change in concessionaire services at last year's show is not expected this time around.

For Jared Isaacman, the owner and operator of the Black Diamond Jet Team, returning to the Lehigh Valley airshow is somewhat of a coming home party.

"Last year was a dream come true for us," said Isaacman, who flies the right wing position.

"You're going to be very hard pressed to find anything better to do that weekend," said Isaacman, who is CEO of Harbortouch, a Hanover Township, Lehigh County, company that sells, leases and maintains credit card, touch screen, point of sale and ATM machines.

Lehman said he has put together many airshows, including an upcoming show for the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, but very few compare to the Lehigh Valley venue.

"If you give us two days of weather like we had last year, we will give you one of the best air shows in the world," Lehman said.

Source:   http://www.mcall.com