Saturday, July 05, 2014

Aerial Banners North: Aerial advertisement company keeps flying, despite protests

 Despite being issued a cease-and-desist letter, along with involvement from the mayor, the company Aerial Banners North (ABN) took to the skies on Friday.

KHON2 News was the first to tell you about the company flying banners over Oahu after a viewer brought it to our attention through the Report It feature on our website.

Aerial ads are illegal under state and county laws, but the company received a waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Still, the Outdoor Circle issued a cease and desist letter, and Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell says he wants the advertising to stop.

But Aerial Banners North says the mayor is just playing politics. In their view, the city has no jurisdiction, so the company will keep flying.

With Kailua Beach park packed with people for the Friday 4th of July holiday, the Aerial Banners North plane made a few passes, towing the American flag and a sign that read ABN Loves America, although the A looked more like an H.

Nonetheless, the deed was done and Mayor Caldwell says the company should be prosecuted.

“Should a police officer see the advertising,” the mayor said, “he will cite the pilot and the owner, then we’ll prosecute to the full extent of the law. It’s a criminal offense here, we take it seriously, and we’re going to enforce our ordinance.”

The mayor has also sent a letter to the FAA, asking to revoke the company’s waiver.

A spokesman for ABN said “the Mayor’s letter to the FAA is simply politics … and the issue could not be any clearer. ABN is properly authorized to fly banners lawfully in Hawaii.”

In the past, the mayor has asked the City Council to change the law to allow ads on city buses in order to raise money, but he says the aerial advertising is just plain wrong.

“We don’t like it when someone from outside of our state comes in and tries to tell us that they’re going to ignore these laws or that they’re going to follow some other law somewhere else.”

Today’s beach goers had mixed reactions.

“It doesn’t bother me,” said Kailua resident Mike Dudley. “I see that on the mainland, towing a banner that says some advertisement.”

“It’s temporary. They’re just flying it across and that’s nothing wrong with that,” Norine Baker of Wahiawa said. “I think it’s smart business, smart marketing.”

Some folks we spoke with said it’s alright to see the banners once in a while but they’re afraid more companies will come here and they’ll see it all the time.

“I don’t think we should have it because, if that starts, then who knows what else starts, like other kinds of flying billboards, and you got planes just flying all around,” said Kailua resident Kekumu Cambra.

“It’s going to take away from people coming here and enjoying what Hawaii is all about,” said Patty Palaualelo of Kaneohe.

Aerial Banners North does plan to fly on Saturday.

Story, Video and Comments:

Have more to add? Aviation news tip?   Tell us

Phones, shoes to face scrutiny as airport security tightened: United States

(Reuters) - Airlines with direct flights to the United States have been told to tighten screening of mobile phones and shoes in response to intelligence reports of increased threats from al Qaeda-affiliated militant groups, U.S. officials said on Thursday.

The officials singled out smartphones including iPhones made by Apple Inc and Galaxy phones made by Samsung Electronics Co Ltd for extra security checks on U.S.-bound direct flights from Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

U.S. security officials said they fear bombmakers from the Yemen-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) have figured out how to turn the phones into explosive devices that can avoid detection.

They also are concerned that hard-to-detect bombs could be built into shoes, said the officials, who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the issue.

A U.S. official said that other electronic devices carried by passengers also are likely to receive more intense scrutiny.

Airlines or airport operators that fail to strengthen security could face bans on flights entering the United States, the officials said.

The U.S. Homeland Security Department announced on Wednesday plans to step up security checks, but they offered few details on how airlines and airports will implement them.

An official familiar with the matter said the United States believes that while it is possible there may be some additional delays at security checkpoints, at most major airports passengers will not be seriously inconvenienced.

The official said most passengers taking long-distance flights arrive well in advance of scheduled departures, leaving time for extra screening. But he said the United States could not rule out disruptions in countries where airport infrastructure and security procedures are less sophisticated.

U.S.-based airlines had little to say about the enhanced security. American Airlines spokesman Matt Miller said the Department of Homeland Security had been in contact with American on the issue, but declined to comment further.

Luke Punzenberger, a spokesman for United Airlines Inc, said: "We work closely with federal officials on security matters, but we are not able to discuss the details of those efforts."

U.S. security agencies fear bombmakers from AQAP and the Islamist Nusra Front, al Qaeda's affiliate in Syria, are collaborating on plots to attack U.S.- or Europe-bound planes with bombs concealed on foreign fighters carrying Western passports, the officials said.

AQAP has a track record of plotting such attacks. Its innovative bombmaker, Ibrahim al-Asiri, built an underwear bomb used in a failed 2009 effort to bring down a Detroit-bound airliner, and his devices were implicated in other plots.

There was no immediate indication U.S. intelligence had detected a specific plot or timeframe for any attack.

U.S. officials say the United States has acquired evidence that Nusra and AQAP operatives have tested new bomb designs in Syria, where Nusra is one of the main Islamist groups fighting to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad.

Story and Comments:

Have more to add? Aviation news tip?   Tell us

Mac's Seaplane Service hosting big fly-in

RISING SUN, Ind. (Joe Webb) -- A lot of people spent their holiday on the Ohio River, most of them in boats but not all of them. 

Dakota and his family went on a unique river excursion Friday afternoon.

It's not often a person gets to take off after sharing the runway with party boats and a barge.

But that was what Mac's Seaplane Service does every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 in the morning until dark.

A 20 year Comair veteran, Troy Macvey played to part of a modern day river pilot.

"It's my best idea to come up with an aviation business that fills a niche," he said.

The workhorse of Macvey's fleet was a sleek, shiny 1949 Cessna 195.

Before it got to the heavens, the plane had a water baptism that can be smooth or bumpy, depending on the boat wakes and wind.

Once in the air, the birds-eye view of the Ohio valley was as good as it gets.

The landing was much different from touching down on a concrete strip.

It's smooth, but even though the runway runs from Pittsburgh to Cairo, it can get crowded. Mac's operates three seaplanes out of the base in Rising Sun.

But in a couple of weeks they hope to have 15 or 20 more planes there.

They will be hosting a fly-in they call a "Splash In" and have invited seaplane operators from all over the place.

"We're looking forward to a great event coming up July 19th and 20th," said Macvey.

"We'll have about 15 seaplanes we hope and people will be able to see and takeoff and land for two days over that weekend."

Mac's hangar will host a banquet and talks from well-known pilots.

And they'll swap sea stories, a long way from the nearest sea.

Mac's Seaplane Service is open weekends from 10 a.m. to dark.

They are available other days by appointment. A 30-minute seaplane ride costs $80.

Troopers use helicopter to pluck two boaters from river in northeast Alaska

The Alaska State Troopers used a helicopter to pluck two boaters from a rain-swollen river in northeast Alaska late Wednesday, the troopers said in a prepared statement.

The troopers said they picked up Erwine Alvisser, 44, and Barbara Walcer, 45, from a sandbar at the confluence of the Sheenjek and Koness rivers, after the pair asked to be rescued “because the water was dangerously high and swift,” the statement said.

Two bears had also “ransacked” the boaters’ gear, the troopers’ statement said, though Alvisser and Walcer were unharmed.

The statement did not say how the boaters requested their rescue, or identify how they got to the river or the type of vessel they were using. A spokeswoman for the troopers did not respond to questions about the rescue.

The Sheenjek River travels more than 200 miles south from its headwaters to Fort Yukon, where it flows into the Porcupine River. The Sheenjek’s confluence with the Koness River is a little more than halfway.

The Sheenjek is a popular trip for recreational boaters during the summer, said Danielle Tirell, a co-owner of Coldfoot-based Coyote Air, which sometimes flies people into the Sheenjek.

Tirell said some 95 percent of people access the river from the air.

After ample rainfall over the last few weeks, water levels in the area are “very high,” she added, which has made many local rivers “pretty nasty,” with some clogged with treacherous submerged trees known to boaters as “strainers.”

“It’s been a pretty unusual year,” Tirell said. “I can’t think of another June that’s been quite this wet.”

After their rescue, the boaters stopped at another flight service, Fairbanks-based Wright Air Service, to cancel their flight out from Fort Yukon, according to an employee at Wright Air Service who would only identify herself as Kathleen.

She said the boaters were European, and that they had requested the rescue “just because the water was so high, it made it too dangerous.”

“It was beyond their expertise,” she said. “They were glad to be back.”

Planes can normally land on a gravel strip or gravel bar near the Sheenjek’s confluence with the Koness.

But the high water levels have prevented Wright Air Service from accessing its typical landing areas, she said.

Original Story:

Have more to add? Aviation news tip?   Tell us

Veterans attend helicopter reenactment at Waterfront Park

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB)--The Waterfront looked like a scene from the Vietnam War on Friday, but it was just a history lesson.The Vietnam Helicopter Pilot Association brought helicopters to the area in honor of the traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall being in town this weekend.

Veterans shared their stories from the war.

We're told they all react in different ways to seeing the helicopters.

Uniformed infantry re-enactors also used two helicopters to stage a simulated "hot landing zone".

They showed how U.S. soldiers flew into combat.

Story, Photo and Video:

Do you have aviation news for us?
Click to contact Kathryn!

 WDRB 41 Louisville News

Pilots fly B-25 in honor of past Marines

EAST TEXAS (KLTV) -  A little known piece of World War Two history is being preserved by pilots in East Texas who will never forget the cost of freedom. The B-25 bomber they continue to fly was part of the devil dog squadron, flown by the Marine Corps.

It was a surplus World War Two bomber that the army and navy turned over to the Marine Corps. The B-25 went on to serve well in the Marine PBJ devil dog squadron.

"Its a great honor to fly this. It's a very easy airplane to fly, very stable, rides turbulence good," says pilot Mark Fredrick.

The commemorative air force flies this craft in honor of the Marines who fought in it.

"That’s really part of our mission is to keep this history alive to present the airplane to the public and remind the public that the cost of freedom isn't free," says co-pilot Hart Van Meter.

In flight, there’s deafening noise with cramped quarters, but pilots think of the men who flew it.

"There were 3 airplanes in that bomber group that never came back," Fredrick says.

With a top speed of 200 miles per hour, it wasn't particularly fast. So, the Marines turned to night missions.

"The number 3 ship went out on it's 23rd mission, and didn't come back and they've never found the wreckage," Fredrick says.

They keep this one flying, in memory of that number 3 ship.

"It took the sacrifice of a lot of people in aircraft like this just so we could say hey we're free today, and we get to celebrate this glorious day," Van Meter says.

The devil dog B-25 is in Tyler to perform at the 'Thunder over Cedar Creek' air show Saturday. Rides can be purchased Saturday and Sunday.

Story, Video and Photo:

Do you have aviation news for us?
Click to contact Kathryn!, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News