Monday, June 30, 2014

Fight over view at air show leads to arrest: Vectren Dayton Air Show


A Vectren Dayton Air Show spectator hoping for a better view of the action in the sky, led to a fight and an arrest on a likely charge of assault.

According to a Dayton police incident report, a 53-year-old man was arrested on a charge of misdemeanor assault involving 21-year-old Cole Johnson in the chalet area of the show at Dayton International Airport.

According to the report, Johnson walked by the man to obtain a better view of air show activity when he accidentally brushed against the man who was later arrested.

Johnson told police the man grabbed him by the throat and slammed him to the ground. Another man in the chalet was able to get the man off Johnson.

Dayton police placed the man in handcuffs and arrested him.

A check of court records Monday shows no formal case filed yet. The suspect is not listed as being in the Montgomery County Jail.

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Airpower Museum receives A-10 Thunderbolt built on the site in 1980

 The American Airpower Museum has filled a gap in its collection with a long-desired Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II partly built at the East Farmingdale site now occupied by the museum.

The museum already had five warplanes on display built by Republic Aviation Corp. or its successor, Fairchild Republic, during World War II and the Korean War.

But an A-10 had eluded the museum until it located a surplus Air Force aircraft in Arizona and the New York State Office of General Services arranged with the federal government for it to be donated.

The $13-million jet fighter, built in 1980, arrived by truck two weeks ago after the Air Force removed top-secret equipment and armaments and disabled the twin jet engines.

It is now on display on the tarmac with examples of all the other fighters made by Republic and Fairchild Republic: a World War II propeller-driven P-47D Thunderbolt used in Europe for supporting ground troops, killing tanks and escorting bombers; the Korean War and Vietnam-era F-84E, F-84F and RF-84F jets; and an F-105 Thunderchief that flew over Vietnam. Only the P-47, owned by museum president Jeff Clyman, still flies.

The stubby A-10 -- given the nickname Warthog by an Air Force officer offended by the plane's ungainly appearance -- was designed as a fighter but gravitated to the specialized role of supporting ground forces and particularly knocking out enemy armor, Clyman said. It gained fame for destroying tanks during the Iraq War.

Fairchild Republic produced 716 A-10s starting in 1972 to combat the threat of Russian tanks during the Cold War. Production ended in 1984, three years before Fairchild Republic folded. More than 300 of the Warthogs are still on active duty. The fuselages and some other components were built in East Farmingdale. The remaining manufacturing and final assembly were done in Hagerstown, Maryland.

"The aircraft is essentially a flying tank," Clyman said. "It does not fly extremely fast,' up to about 350 miles an hour. "It was designed to fly around trees at low altitude."

While it can carry bombs and missiles under its wings, its most daunting weapon is a 30-millimeter Gau multiple-barrel rotary cannon that can fire in a minute up to 6,000 rounds of depleted uranium armor-piercing shells. The shells melt the metal armor and spray it around the interior of the tank, shredding everything inside. It had redundant control systems: If one was destroyed by anti-aircraft fire, the pilot -- protected by an inch-thick titanium steel "bathtub" -- could still fly the plane.

The museum's Warthog came from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona. It had flown until 2011 and then was used for training mechanics before going into storage earlier this year.

It had flown in South Korea where Air Force Maj. Johnnie Green, currently based in Hawaii, was one of its pilots, with more than 2,000 hours in its cockpit. He said he flew A-10s from 2003 until 2011 and spent two years with a demonstration team performing at air shows.

The pilot said having the plane in a museum rather than in mothballs "is great. It's exciting because I flew out of that airport a couple of times for the Jones Beach air show and it's the birthplace of the A-10. It's a good thing to bring it home."

Equally excited are the Fairchild Republic retirees who had worked on the plane, a group of whom gathered at the museum Friday.

Elliot Kazan, 86, of Dix Hills, director of the A-10 program for Fairchild Republic, said, "This is great. This is where it belongs."

José Diaz Dujan, 63, of Babylon, worked 14 years at Fairchild Republic for the full run of A-10 production as a manufacturing project manager overseeing design modifications.

"It's a home run," he said of having the plane back on Long Island. "It's very personal. I can touch parts of this airplane that I know I had a part of. It's just fantastic now the whole family of Republic airplanes is here."

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Those Who Can Afford It Have a Better Way to Fly

We are on the cusp of the Fourth of July weekend, when the fun really begins in air travel, as summer crowds push into already packed planes, challenging the laws of both physics and good manners.

There are, of course, other options. But they will cost you.

“I absolutely hate flying commercial,” a Florida businessman, Vincent M. Wolanin, said on Friday as he braced himself for a trip that day from Fort Myers to Albany. “To me, an airplane is basically a bus with wings now.”

Usually, Mr. Wolanin is one of those lucky fliers with an alternative — a private plane, in his case a Gulfstream G-2SP. Actually, it’s a sign of renewed growth in the private jet industry that he had to take a commercial flight at all.

He said his own plane was waiting to be serviced by mechanics at PrivateSky Aviation Services, where he is the chairman and founder. The company maintains and refurbishes Gulfstream aircraft and provides other private aviation services in Fort Myers. “I got airplanes stacked outside, and the customer comes first,” he said, referring to the queue of used Gulfstreams from all over the world that the company was working on.

Mr. Wolanin looks on the bright side when he travels by commercial airline. “I welcome having a miserable experience, because every bit of abuse the airlines do helps me in my business,” he said. “The decline in service on airlines is the best thing that ever happened to private aviation.”

The obvious advantages for those fortunate enough to be able to fly private include far higher levels of comfort and efficiency.

As commercial airlines cut routes and service, the argument for private flying becomes stronger — at least for those who can afford it. A trip that might take all day with multiple connections on a commercial flight could take only hours on a private jet, though of course at a higher cost. And most private flights, which typically depart from general aviation airports, do not require their passengers to pass through the T.S.A. security checkpoints.

“The business is swinging back again,” Jeff Burger, the editor of Business Jet Traveler, a glossy trade magazine for the industry, said of a slow recovery in the private market.

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Federal Aviation Administration building height restrictions could hinder Phoenix developments from getting insurance, financing

Past regional spats over Tempe developments and their impact on Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport could have been an impetus for controversial proposed Federal Aviation Administration rules that would restrict building heights on flight approaches near major U.S. airports.

Now, the Phoenix area could be a new and intense battleground over an FAA proposal that has real estate and economic developers worried about future construction near Sky Harbor International Airport, Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, Tempe and downtown Phoenix. The new rule could make it difficult for developers and builders to get local approvals as well as insurance and financing. In addition, FAA policies adverse to development could also lower property values of impacted areas.

An official familiar with the issue said the FAA looked at situations in Phoenix and other markets as it mapped out its new policy change. Phoenix, Tempe and the FAA have had past skirmishes over building heights.

Height and flight-path concerns helped kill an Arizona Cardinals stadium proposal in Tempe more than a decade ago on land owned by the Salt River Project utility near Papago Park and the Salt River. SRP also owns Papago Park Center in Tempe where First Solar has its headquarters.

More recently, the 30 and 22-story West Sixth apartment towers near Mill Avenue were cause for consternation between the two cities as well as the FAA.

Sky Harbor may have been part of FAA inquiries and pilot projects into the issue as far back as 2006, and the Tempe apartment development could be one of the main drivers of the new rules, according to the official who asked not to be named. New FAA restrictions could have the biggest impact on downtown Tempe.

FAA regional spokesman Ian Gregor did not know whether past Tempe, Phoenix and FAA spats were an impetus for the new policies.

Gregor contends there is misinformation going around about the FAA having uniform and nationwide prohibitions on any building of 160 feet or more — approximately 8 stories — near airport runways.

“We review every proposed structure individually,” Gregor said.

The FAA cannot directly stop development, but a number of cities — including Phoenix — have zoning ordinances that nix projects that the agency opposes or deems hazardous. Tempe, Mesa and Queen Creek do not have FAA hazard ordinances. 

 Even if the FAA cannot directly stop a development or redevelopment, its opposition can hamper a project from getting insurance.

That occurred in the case of a San Diego building that was built too tall for the FAA’s liking.

Airlines could also terminate flight routes or not go into a market if there are tricky flight paths or FAA rules require lighter passenger loads.

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U.S. Coast Guard Chopper busy over weekend

6.30.14:  Coast Guard choppers rescue hiker and kayakers

The U.S. Coast Guard rescued 2 kayakers from Lake Michigan near South Manitou Island Sunday evening.  The kayakers were too fatigued to complete their journey.  One person was hanging on to a capsized kayak and had symptoms of hypothermia.

A Coast Guard chopper was called in to help rescue a dehydrated woman who had been hiking in the dunes near Muskegon Saturday afternoon.  She had been hiking at Hoffmaster State Park when she began developing heat-related symptoms.  It was too difficult to get rescue crews to her in a timely manner and a helicopter was called in to take the woman to a nearby hospital.


Chicago weather cancels St. Cloud Regional Airport (KSTC) flight

The Monday night flight to St. Cloud Regional Airport from Chicago O'Hare Airport was canceled because of weather issues in Chicago, a spokesperson for SkyWest said.

Other flights were delayed. United Airlines has two flights each to and from Chicago that SkyWest runs.

O'Hare traffic controllers started a flow program that reduces the amount of departures and arrivals.

Dawn Patrol crowd gets a close-up look at aviation: Kirsch Municipal Airport (KIRS), Sturgis, Michigan

Sturgis  -    Dawn Patrol was a high-flying success at the Kirsch Municipal Airport in Sturgis Saturday.

Pilots and interested patrons joined to view the nearly 20 different aircraft showing.

Helicopter rides were offered from R.A.I. Jets by pilot Brian Riley and a 1942 SNV Navy Warbird, piloted by Bruce Koch, came to show its former glory.

Koch is the owner of the 1942 Warbird and has been a pilot since he was 19.

“It has been his passion, and he owns and operates it himself,” Marty Hart said.

The Navy Warbird was built in September of 1942. During its time in service it was used to train cadet pilots for war during World War II. First based in Pensacola Fla., the aircraft made its way around the country, training pilots and ended up being retired in Los Angeles. In 1993, Koch purchased the aircraft.

"I purchased the plane and had it flown back to Michigan,” Koch said. “It was in pretty rough shape. I had to replace just about every instrument.”

Crowds also gathered in a hangar for a pancake breakfast.