Tuesday, July 15, 2014

de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver, C-FFRL: Accident occurred July 11, 2014 near Bella Bella, British Colombia

Sandspit residents survive aircraft crash near Bella Bella 

Four Sandspit residents are lucky to have survived a seaplane crash near Bella Bella on Friday.

Members of the RCMP West Coast Marine Service were not scheduled to be in the area when they heard a Mayday on the VHF radio of the RCMP vessel Lindsay at Shearwater. The plane had crashed and was on fire just north of St. John Harbour, near the south entrance of  Seaforth Channel, approximately one hour from the vessel's current location.

Sgt. Rob Pikola had Const. Roe and Const. Judd take the 733 Ridged Hull Inflatable fast response vessel to quickly arrive on-scene, with Pikola, Const. Miles and civilian member Butler arriving just under one hour later. Help for the passengers of the burning plane also came from an unexpected boar in nearby waters.

"Due to the quick response of our members involved, everyone on the downed Beaver floatplane received medical treatment within 30 minutes of the crash. Not only was it fortunate that we were close by, but there was a fishing charter boat in the area that had 6 medical doctors on board who were from the Williams Lake and Vanderhoof area," said Pikola.

The Canadian Coast Guard vessel Cape Farewell also attended the scene, as well as search and rescue helicopters and Buffalo aircraft. Members of the Lindsay were able to assist with the transport of two passengers while two more seriously injured passengers were transported to the Bella Bella hospital by the Cape Farewell.

The aircraft was burned beyond recovery and was located just above the high tide line. The company that owns the seaplane was not identified by RCMP.

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

Vail Daily letter: Something to consider

Letters to the Editor
July 15, 2014

Mr. Denny Geraghty — read your letter for Tuesday’s Daily. Don’t normally respond like this, but just want to say something for your consideration. President Bush (“W,” as you put it) was commander-in-chief when evil men took my airplane (I’m a retired airline captain — 767s) and drove it into those magnificent buildings in Manhattan. Their evil not finished, they drove my airplane (with my best friend on board) into our nation’s Pentagon. Oh, and don’t ever forget those heroes in the Pennsylvania field. Do you know how many women and children those monsters killed? Did you know anybody killed personally? I promise you, even though I was 60-something, I would have been first in line to avenge that evil, if I was allowed. Would you, sir?

I was a pilot in the Vietnam air war (1964-1967). I believe to this day that we had to take a stand against Communism in that contested region. Were you there? Don’t ever forget we (military) won that war — Congress gave it away.

Yes sir, there are issues that separate us, but thank God that we live in a place that we can talk like this — and not get beheaded!

Oh, I’m a little confused by your reference to the national debt. I think in April of 2014 the amount was $17.5 trillion. Correct me if I’m wrong.

Yes, we still spend too much money that we don’t have. I sure hope those “Republicans” (United States Congress) do not decide to give those poor children on the border $26,000 each! If so, half the world’s kids would be at our doorstep.

Robert Ponti

Source:    http://www.vaildaily.com/opinion/letterstotheeditor

Pipistrel Alpha, N10PU: Accident occurred July 15, 2014 in Pompano Beach, Florida

NTSB Identification: ERA14LA355
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, July 15, 2014 in Pompano Beach, FL
Aircraft: PIPISTREL LSA S R L ALPHA TRAINER, registration: N10PU
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On July 15, 2014, about 2115 eastern daylight time, a Pipistrel ALPHA Trainer, N10PU, was substantially damaged during a forced landing while approaching Pompano Beach Airpark (PMP), Pompano Beach, Florida. The commercial pilot and the passenger were not injured. There was no flight plan for the local flight, which originated at Antiquers Aerodrome (FD08), Delray Beach, Florida. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to the pilot, during the preflight inspection, he determined the airplane to have 45% of its fuel capacity, or 5.7 of 12.7 usable gallons. He determined the amount by viewing the indicators on the panel and by "dipping" the tank and noting the fuel level to be just below the half-way mark on the dip stick. No water or grit was found in the fuel.

The pilot also noted that the flight was to be 1 hour in duration, and per performance criteria of the airplane, should have consumed 3.6 gallons.

He further noted that after takeoff, he flew southbound at an altitude of 500 to 600 feet to South Beach, after which, he turned the airplane northbound to return to FD08. During the northbound trek, the pilot called Boca Raton Tower and received approval for direct routing to FD08. The pilot initiated a climb to FD08 pattern altitude, turned toward the airport, and the engine "abruptly stopped." He then turned the airplane toward PMP, advised Boca Raton Tower that he would be landing at PMP, and attempted an engine restart without success.

The pilot then gradually descended the airplane from 600 feet, making "deliberate" shallow turns to align the airplane for landing on runway 28. The runway was in sight when the airplane's left wing impacted a tree between the Pompano Golf Course and the airport perimeter fence. The airplane yawed left, impacted the fence, and came to rest on the fence. Time logged on the cockpit GPS was 0.9 hours from FD08 to PMP.

According to the responding Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, he found no fuel in the tanks or lines, and no evidence of fuel leakage.

Flight Standards District Office: FAA Miami FSDO-19

SECOND WIND AIRCRAFT SERVICES INC:  http://registry.faa.gov/N10PU

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash of a small plane at Pompano Air Park. 

Preliminary information indicated the single-engine Alpha Trainer aircraft lost power, hit some trees, took out a perimeter fence and crashed short of Runway 28 at 10:40 p.m. Tuesday, according to FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen.

Two people on board were uninjured, she said. Their identities have not been released.

The plane is owned by Second Wind Aircraft Service Inc. in Delray Beach, FAA records show.

Source:  http://www.sun-sentinel.com


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North American NAVION, N8818H: Incident occurred July 15, 2014 in Port Townsend, Washington


Flight Standards District Office: FAA Seattle FSDO-01 


NEWELL BRADFORD A: http://registry.faa.gov/N8818H 

In the accompanying photo, Williarm R. Fairchild International Airport crews prepare to hoist a small plane off the runway after its landing gear collapsed between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. today.

The main runway was closed briefly, according to Jerry Ludke, Port of Port Angeles airport and marinas manager.

"We had a minor issue," he said.

The runway was checked after the plane was pulled off and reopened.

No information about the pilot, or any other details, were released.

Story and Photo:  http://www.peninsuladailynews.com

Changes in service could come with new private terminal: Fort Wayne International Airport (KFWA)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A new multimillion dollar terminal for private aircraft is coming to the Fort Wayne International Airport.  On one hand, there’s competition to manage the new private terminal at FWA, which leaders say is good for the consumer.  But the company currently in charge thinks a possible change in responsibility makes for a far less attractive option.

Leaders say it’s part of a master plan to eventually expand the airport by adding a couple new gates.

Representatives from four private companies asked questions and took a tour of FWA Tuesday morning.  They’re potential bidders to manage the new facility.

Atlantic Aviation is the current Fixed Based Operator (FBO). It’s in charge of fuel and maintenance for all aircraft and also rents its own terminal for private jets.

Atlantic’s leasing agreement, dating back to the mid 80′s, is up in 2016.  The company is now a potential bidder in what could be a different responsibility: managing the new facility, instead of leasing it.  The change in responsibility could also mean a change in fee structures, which could mean less money for the company’s bottom line.

“You move from a position of having ownership and incentive and being vested in the future growth of the operation and the community to being a hired hand whose paid a fee on a short term basis to provide them those services,” said Clive Lowe, senior vice president for Atlantic Aviation.  “Typically that’s not an attractive option for the major FBO operators.”

Still the airport authority said it’s considering the option to try and ensure the best services.

“This is not a process that we’re doing to try to recover and gain additional money,” said Scott Hinderman, executive director of Fort Wayne airports.  “We are just looking at the three different methodologies of providing services.  We’re going to have to decide which one we’re going to do.  And in order to decide, we’re going to have to fully evaluate all three.”

The other two options the Airport Authority is considering include having a company come in to build or occupy the space, or doing everything itself without a private company.  Currently, it’s only looking for proposals to manage the new facility.

Story and Video:   http://wane.com

Settlement reached in lawsuit over plane crash that killed Oklahoma State University coaches: Piper PA-28-180 Cherokee B, N7746W

PONCA CITY — Families of two Oklahoma State University women’s basketball coaches killed in a November 2011 plane crash have reached settlement terms in their Kay County lawsuits filed against the estate of the deceased pilot and his wife, attorneys confirmed Tuesday.

Terms of the agreements are confidential, attorneys Jason Roselius, of Oklahoma City, and Scott Jackson, of Ponca City, said Tuesday.

Roselius was representing Shelley Budke, the widow of deceased head women’s basketball coach Kurt Budke, and Jackson was representing the parents of deceased assistant coach Miranda Serna.

Jackson said Serna’s family has agreed to tentative settlement terms with the insurance company of deceased pilot Olin Branstetter, but it is not yet final.

Budke, Serna and Olin and Paula Branstetter all died died Nov. 17, 2011, when the small airplane they were riding in crashed in Arkansas while the coaches were on a recruiting trip.

Budke was 50 at the time of the crash and Serna was 36.

The Branstetters, both OSU graduates and longtime supporters, frequently volunteered to take coaches on recruiting trips.

Budke’s widow and children previously received workers’ compensation awards, which were paid by OSU, since the university is self-insured.

Source Article:  http://newsok.com

Kurt Budke and Miranda Serna 


NTSB Identification: CEN12FA072
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, November 17, 2011 in Perryville, AR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/27/2013
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-180, registration: N7746W
Injuries: 4 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

About 2 hours after departure, radar data tracked the airplane at 7,000 feet before the airplane then initiated a right, descending turn before disappearing from radar. Witnesses reported seeing the airplane flying low, descending, making several turns, before impacting terrain. Impact signatures were consistent with a steep, nose-low attitude. An examination of the airframe and engine did not reveal any preimpact anomalies. The reason for the pilot's loss of control could not be determined.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's loss of control in flight.


New Orleans mosquito control plane buzzes neighborhoods

That low-flying plane buzzing the rooftops of New Orleans' neighborhoods late at night is not a drone or a UFO. It's a Britten-Norman Islander, otherwise known as the city's mosquito control aircraft.

Starting in June the city's Mosquito, Termite and Rodent Control Board began to deploy its fleet of 10 trucks and its lone airplane, typically between the hours of 8:30 p.m. and 11 p.m., in an effort to battle the swarms of blood-hungry bugs that come with the hot summer months.

The main goal is to reduce the threat of the West Nile virus typically carried by the southern house mosquito, said Sarah Michaels, an entomologist with the control board.

The first case of West Nile virus was detected July 8 in Livingston Parish but as of yet there haven't been any in New Orleans, according to the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals.

That's a huge improvement compared to 2012, when the state reported 365 cases of the virus that resulted in 15 deaths, the worst outbreak in a decade.

"About one in five people who are infected will develop a fever with other symptoms," according to the Center for Disease Control. "Less than 1 percent of infected people develop a serious, sometimes fatal, neurologic illness."

Unlike some parishes, New Orleans doesn't spray for mosquitoes on a set schedule, Michaels said. It responds to complaints through the city's non-emergency 311 hotline and by checking mosquito traps to determine areas of increased activity.

The plane, which was out of commission after Hurricane Katrina, was put back into use in recent years. It can cover a larger area than the trucks and reach the tree canopies, where the southern house mosquito often feeds on birds that can transmit the West Nile virus, Michaels said.

The plane generally flies above 200 feet and will make several passes over a single area but only treats each area a single time, Michaels said.

Other parishes that use mosquito control aircraft include Jefferson, St. Bernard and Plaquemines.

The mosquito control vehicles are typically sent out after dusk when the southern house mosquito is most active, Michaels said. They spray a chemical called Dibrom, otherwise known as Naled, that Michaels said is not considered harmful to human or animals when released over large areas for mosquito control; but if higher-concentrated amounts are ingested it can cause nausea, headaches and blurred vision, among other symptoms, according to various studies.

The city's mosquito control efforts can extend into November depending on the weather.

Source Article:  http://www.nola.com

Pilot locates overdue Hooper Bay hunters

Alaska State Troopers say a volunteer pilot spotted two Southwest Alaska hunters Monday evening who’d failed to return from a trip the night before.

The disappearance of the hunters prompted a significant search-and-rescue response.

Dominic Smith, 16,  and Jeremiah Stone, 21, both of Hooper Bay, departed the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta community on a hunting trip at 10 a.m. Sunday.

They were supposed to return that evening but didn’t, troopers reported.

An initial search produced no sign of them, so efforts were expanded throughout Monday.

Local airline pilots were asked to keep an eye out for the missing hunters.

In all, 39 searchers using three boats and nine ATVs were involved.

However, it was a Hooper Bay pilot who spotted Smith and Stone from the air, troopers reported. “The local pilot spotted the boys 2.8 miles from the village of Chevak, nearly 12 miles from Hooper Bay,” troopers reported.

A Chevak volunteer picked the hunters up.

Smith and Stone were checked for injuries by the village’s health aide; both were reportedly in good health.

Source Article:   http://www.adn.com

Kenosha Regional Airport (KENW) getting energy-efficient lighting

Kenosha Regional Airport is using the rest of a $2 million grant to update lighting around its main runway and build a vault to house its electrical systems. 

Workers are putting the finishing touches on the installation of new lights that will illuminate the airport’s main runway and taxiways.

The taxiways will see light-emitting diodes replace 30-year-old lights. The main runway will get regular bulbs while the Federal Aviation Administration tests LED lights on runways, said Wayde Buck, airport director.

Buck said the LED lighting could save the airport about 70 percent on its electricity bill.

“The lights that were on there were original,” Buck said. “They were 30 years old and needed to be upgraded.”

Vault work

In addition to the new lighting, the $2 million federal grant has funded the building of a vault building that Buck said will house the airport’s electrical systems.

Exterior walls have been erected, and work on the floors and interior will start soon, Buck said.

The electrical vault is expected to cost $1.8 million, with the grant funding $1.6 million for the project. The city and state will each pay $92,500 toward the project.

Runway lengthening

More lights will be needed when the airport’s main runway is extended. Construction on that project will begin next year, but Buck said the airport is doing engineering and environmental analysis for the project.

The main runway is being lengthened by 1,100 feet as a safety measure, Buck said. Heavier planes need more runway for takeoff, and the airport is seeing an increase in larger corporate jets.

“That’s in the planning stages still,” he said. “We’re waiting on an environmental impact study.”

Story, Photos and Video:   http://www.kenoshanews.com

Cherokee County man arrested for causing damage to Western Carolina Regional Airport (KRHP), Andrews, North Carolina

A Cherokee County, North Carolina man is being held without bond after allegedly causing damage to an airport. 

22-year-old Joseph Jumper is facing several charges including breaking and entering, burglary, and larceny.

Police say he broke into the Western Carolina Regional Airport over the weekend and stole a John Deere Tractor, and caused damage to several aircraft and hangars. 

Jumper is currently being held at the Cherokee County Detention Center.

Story and Photo:   http://www.wrcbtv.com

Charleston County Aviation Authority adds board members

Four board members have been appointed to the 13-member Charleston County Aviation Authority board.

Margaret Seidler and Henry Fishburne Jr. were appointed as new members. Billy Swails and Helen Hill were reappointed to the board. Their terms were effective June 1.

A 13-member board governs the Aviation Authority, which is a special-purpose district created by the state to operate and manage the Charleston International Airport, Charleston Executive Airport on Johns Island and Mount Pleasant Regional Airport.

Board members are selected for four-year terms by the Charleston County legislative delegation, Charleston County Council and Charleston City Council. 

Seidler is an organizational development consultant and author. She serves on the board of the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce and is chairman of Stand Up Charleston, the mayor’s task force for crime prevention through citizen engagement. 

Fishburne is a real estate broker, investor and developer, as well as a retired attorney. He has served on numerous public boards and was a Charleston city councilman from 1999 to 2007. He was mayor pro tempore in 2007.

Swails, a State Farm insurance agent, served as mayor of Mount Pleasant from 2009 to 2013, during which time he also served on the authority’s board. Before being elected mayor, he served on Mount Pleasant Town Council for 11 years.

Hill is executive director of the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. Hill serves on several boards and commissions, including the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition and the Charleston Wine and Food Festival.

Source Article:  http://www.charlestonbusiness.com

More Atlantic City Air Show Detalils Coming Soon

Get ready for the 2014 edition of Thunder Over The Boardwalk in Atlantic City. 

Officials are planning on releasing more information tomorrow afternoon. 

The Airshow will take place  on Wednesday, August 13th. 

The U.S.A.F. Thunderbirds will headline this year’s show. 

The US Army Golden Knights Parachute Team are also scheduled to perform.
Thunder Over The Boardwalk is the largest event on Atlantic City’s summer calendar, and the biggest airshow of its kind.

Check back for more AC Airshow updates.

2014 Atlantic City Airshow – Thunder Over the Boardwalk 
Wednesday, August 13, 2014  |  11:30 am - 03:30 pm

The Atlantic City Airshow, Thunder Over the Boardwalk is Atlantic City’s signature summer event. Produced by the Greater Atlantic City Chamber, the AC Airshow is the single, largest FREE event on Atlantic City’s summer calendar, and the largest airshow of its kind!

Source:  http://acchamber.com

Fewer eyes in sky over Central New York as State Police Aviation Unit moves to Rochester

SYRACUSE -- There were be fewer eyes in the sky over Central New York.

State Police have confirmed its aviation unit will move out of Syracuse and Batavia and be centralized at the Rochester International Airport. "This consolidation will provide more resources for New Yorkers living in Central and Western New York, providing improved coverage for missions including search and rescue, surveillance and involving our specialty units," State Police said in a statement to CNYCentral. Police say no jobs will be impacted.

Starting tomorrow, the State Police Aviation Unit based at Hancock Airport in Syracuse will move to Rochester. The state police helicopters and airplanes will be stationed at four locations including Albany, Newburgh, Rochester and Saranac Lake.

State Police says its aviation unit is prepared to respond at any time to assist members of the state police, other law enforcement agencies and the people of New York. "The decision to consolidate was made with other aircraft resources across Central New York in mind," the statement said. "Generally, State Police Aviation does not perform medevac missions in Central New York, that service is provided by private air carriers. Our mission is law enforcement, search and rescue, environmental conservation missions and executive transport."

State Police have 13 helicopters and 7 airplanes.

Onondaga County Sheriff Kevin Walsh will hold a press conference tomorrow with members of the Air1 Foundation Board to discuss recent changes in aviation assistance in Onondaga County and how it will impact the community.

Story and Comments:  http://www.cnycentral.com

New engine arrives for Air India's grounded plane at Lengpui airport

A new engine was being brought from New Delhi for Air India's Airbus 319 aircraft, which has been parked at the Lengpui airport since July 10, after aeronautics engineers failed to rectify the plane's technical problem, officials said today.

But it would take about a month's time to make the aircraft fit to fly again, as engine was being brought here by road, they added.

"A new engine was being brought from New Delhi by road and might take a month to make the aircraft able to fly," Air India officials at the Lengpui Airport said.

The aircraft, operating as Flight no AI 713, from Kolkata, landed safely at Lengpui airport last Thursday but could not take off owing to a technical problem in one of its engines and remained parked at the airport till date.

Aeronautic engineers from Kolkata failed to rectify the technical problem and the engine has to be replaced, the officials said.

Source Article: http://www.business-standard.com

Pilot flew upside down to jump out of glider after mid-air collision

A glider pilot has told how he had to fly upside down in order to parachute to safety after a mid-air collision on Tuesday.

The man, who is understood to be a former paratrooper, was treated in hospital for minor injuries after two gliders collided at a height of 2000ft around 3pm.

The accident happened in the skies above the village of Kinnesswood, in Perth and Kinross, near to Portmoak Airfield in Scotlandwell — which is home to the Scottish Gliding Centre.

A farmer who spoke with the former paratrooper told STV News that he seemed slightly dazed and realized how lucky he was to walk away from the accident.

Callum Robertson recounted how the pilot, thought to be in his 60s, had lost control of his aircraft after the collision but managed to fly the glider upside down so that he could free himself from the cockpit and jump to safety.

He said he had parachuted out at height of 1400ft and managed to land safely, despite being badly shaken.

His glider crashed in a nearby field while the other aircraft, the pilot of which was unharmed, flew on for around a mile before making an emergency landing in another field.

Police Scotland attended the incident, around ten miles north of Kirkcaldy, and confirmed one pilot was taken to Victoria Hospital for treatment to minor injuries.

The British Gliding Association are expected to launch an investigation into the incident.

Story and Photo:   http://news.stv.tv

Scottish Gliding Centre:  http://www.scottishglidingcentre.com

One of the gliders crashed in a field.

The pilots of two gliders involved in a mid-air collision near Loch Leven escaped serious injury. 

 One of the pilots bailed out of his glider and parachuted to safety while the other was slightly injured making an emergency landing.

The incident, which was reported shortly after 3pm on Tuesday, happened not far from the Scottish Gliding Centre at Portmoak Airfield, Scotlandwell.

Residents reported seeing one glider coming in to crash land in the Grahamstone area with the other spotted near to the hillside at the village of Kinnesswood.

The collision prompted a major turnout by the emergency services, including four fire appliances from Perth, one from Kinross and two from Fife.

The ambulance was also called to Wester Balgedie near Portmoak where the injured pilot had come down.

The man was then taken to hospital for treatment.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said of the incident: “One glider impacted with the ground and the other made an emergency landing. The pilots of both gliders were alone in the aircraft.

“One pilot was uninjured and the other pilot has been conveyed to Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy for treatment, but it is believed that he has only minor injuries.”

At the Scottish Gilding Centre no one would comment on the incident, which will now be the subject of an inquiry to ascertain the cause.

An Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) spokesperson said: “The AAIB is aware of the incident and has referred it to the British Gliding Association.”

In September a 75-year-old pilot was treated for back injuries after a heavy landing at Portmoak that damaged his glider.

In 2012, 49-year-old Mark Dickson was killed when the wing of his glider clipped the ground at Portmoak.

An experienced pilot, an investigation concluded, Mr Dickson failed to release the winch cable when the wing tip touched the ground.


Rockwell International S-2R, N23ML: Incident occurred July 15, 2014 at Witthuhn Airport (1NE2), Callaway, Nebraska

Callaway Fire and Rescue were called to the scene of an airplane fire around 11:00 am on July 15.

According to pilot John Wittuhn, he had just cleaned out the plane and could smell something strange so decided to taxi the plane back to the hangar to check out the problem.  Before he could get to the hangar the cockpit filled with smoke so Wittuhn jumped from the plane.

The plane proceeded ahead and the nose went over an embankment and caught on fire.  Callaway Fire Department as able to contain the blaze quickly.

Wittuhn, the owner of a crop dusting service called Wittuhn Aerial Service, believes that an electrical problem caused the fire.

Story and Photos:  http://www.sandhillsexpress.com

Registration Pending:   http://registry.faa.gov/N23ML 

Private jets pack into Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport (KMSP) for MLB All-Star Game

The MLB All-Star Game at Target Field is boosting private-aircraft traffic at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

Signature Flight Support, which offers hangar space to private aircraft and services planes at MSP, expected between 80 and 100 more planes than usual thanks to Tuesday’s game, company spokesman Patrick Sniffen said. He wouldn’t disclose Signature’s average customer load for competitive reasons, but called the All-Star Game bump “significant.”

Private-aircraft statistics for the airport and St. Paul Downtown Airport, which is primarily used by corporate aircraft, weren't available from the Metropolitan Airports Commission. The Federal Aviation Administration couldn’t be reached for comment.

The private-aircraft traffic increase hadn’t spread to Anoka County-Blaine Airport as of Monday afternoon.

“I’ve heard Minneapolis is bursting at the seams, but we haven’t got anything out of it,” said Michael Lawrence, general manager of Key Air’s Blaine operations.

Lawrence said it was business as usual for his company, which offers charter-jet services and aircraft maintenance. He was hopeful traffic might pick up on game day.

The All-Star Game’s impact on private-jet traffic is likely far less than what metro airports will experience when the 2018 Super Bowl comes to Minneapolis to be played at the new Minnesota Vikings stadium.

This year's Super Bowl fueled traffic jams at New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport, which is about two miles from MetLife Stadium. The FAA projected 1,200 arrivals at the airport, which typically manages only 400 landings and takeoffs daily.

Maltese-registered Medavia aircraft damaged - Tripoli International Airport

A Maltese-registered Dash 8 aircraft belonging to the Maltese-Libyan airline Medavia was damaged during the fighting in Tripoli airport. 

The aircraft was hit late yesterday. 

The damage, to the fuselage, is still being assessed. 

Several other aircraft were damaged by bullets and shrapnel, with a $250 million Afriqiyah Airways Airbus A330 said to have been written off.

The airport is currently closed. Air Malta suspended flights to Tripoli on


Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation-backed Kestrel Aircraft had financing issues in Maine before moving to Wisconsin

Former Wisconsin Public Television reporter Art Hackett may be retired from the news business, but he’s still got his radar up.

On Monday, Hackett passed along this piece from Maine about Kestrel Aircraft, the company that has promised to create 600 jobs in Superior with help from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

Headlined “Kestrel in Brunswick: How blue-sky promises came crashing down,” the story describes how Kestrel owner Alan Klapmeier had been fighting with officials in Maine about not providing enough taxpayer support for his dream of manufacturing commercial airplanes at a closed military base in Brunswick.

According to the report, Klapmeier was expecting a $100 million allocation of New Markets Tax Credits — a federal program designed to encourage investment in low-income rural areas — but had only received about a fifth of that amount.

Failing to land enough funding in Maine, Klapmeier began seeking other sources of public money and apparently found a willing participant in newly-elected Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

“Note the quote where people in Maine were happy that Wisconsin won this battle,” Hackett says of the report in the Forecaster, a weekly published in Falmouth, Maine.

With new backing in place from WEDC, Klapmeier joined Walker in January 2012 to announce plans to design and build a carbon fiber passenger airplane in Superior.

Unfortunately, the project hasn’t taken hold and Kestrel has yet to follow through on its promises. Klapmeier is also apparently involved in a dispute with Wisconsin officials over the amount of New Markets Tax Credits that had been promised, according to BusinessNorth.com.

Kestrel officials have declined to comment on this and previous reports. The latest news from Superior says the company has fewer than 65 employees and has been cutting staff.

But Hackett says maybe Wisconsin shouldn’t be surprised how things have turned out given Klapmeier’s earlier efforts to extract more public dollars from Maine.

“We may be dealing with a serial offender here,” he says.

Story and Comments:  http://host.madison.com

Kestrel in Brunswick: How blue-sky promises came crashing down

Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 8:20 am

BRUNSWICK — Alan Klapmeier had good timing.

When he first visited Brunswick Naval Air Station in spring of 2010, shopping for a place to build airplanes, the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority was looking for a fresh start. Still smarting from the fallout over its flawed courtship of airplane refurbishing company Oxford Aviation, MRRA needed a tenant with a track record.

That's what Klapmeier's new company, Kestrel Aircraft, seemed to promise.

The co-founder of Cirrus Aircraft, Klapmeier has been called "the Steve Jobs of aviation" for his vision and attitude. Around the time he signed a lease with MRRA for Hangar 6, considered the crown jewel of the former BNAS, The Atlantic magazine prophesized that his latest venture, Kestrel, could be as successful as Pixar.

Never mind that the company's product, a composite propeller airplane, hadn't progressed beyond the prototype stage, or that it would retail for an estimated $2 million to $3 million. Klapmeier was eloquent, and convincing, as he responded to questions about the marketability of the new plane.

"One of the hardest things about the aviation industry is convincing the business world that there's a market," he said in July 2010, just after former Gov. John Baldacci formally announced the company's lease with MRRA.

"To us, the question is, 'Do people need transportation?'" Klapmeier said. "The answer is 'yes.'"

But a year later, according to state documents obtained through a Freedom of Access Act request, there were indications things were already going south.

During an Augusta meeting about how to improve Maine's ability to attract businesses like Kestrel, Klapmeier expressed frustration to George Gervais, commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development, and Steve Levesque, executive director of MRRA, about how difficult it had been to get the financing he assumed was in the bag.

Klapmeier had been expecting a $100 million allocation of New Market Tax Credits, a federal program designed to encourage investment in low-income, rural areas, but had only received about a fifth of that amount. The company was strapped for cash, and a few months later would stop paying rent on the hangar it leased from MRRA.

Despite the funding problems and Klapmeier's concern, neither Levesque nor Gervais would later say there were indications that Kestrel was considering building airplanes anywhere but Brunswick.

Six months later, Klapmeier had decided to do just that.

Gervais' email records reveal that a rift between Kestrel and Coastal Enterprises Inc., the Wiscasset-based private, nonprofit community development institution that provided tax credits to the company, led Kestrel to look elsewhere for financing.

The documents also show that state officials hustled to find a way to keep the company's manufacturing facility in Maine, but eventually Kestrel stopped providing the financial information needed to close the deal.

An examination of the records also raises other questions: Is Kestrel the kind of company the state, and MRRA, should have been wooing in the first place? And should officials have done a better job scrutinizing the company?

Early warning

In February 2011, a crowd dwarfed by the size of Hangar 6 gathered around a Kestrel prototype as Gov. Paul LePage announced the first ceremonial transfer of property from the U.S. Navy to MRRA. Afterwards, guests climbed into the cockpit of the small plane and ran their hands over its shiny wings as Klapmeier shook hands with state and local politicians.

In a phone call after the meet and greet, Klapmeier told a reporter he was frustrated by the bureaucracy involved to get New Market Tax Credits. He complained about the excessive amount of due diligence required and the "layers upon layers" of assurances he had to provide. Klapmeier wanted to  convince his investors to believe in him with an emotional appeal, not by providing reams of detailed financial information.

"What we are removing from the process of life is the ability for people to rely on judgement," he said. "Is this really the right way to protect ourselves?"

The answer for his investors was yes.

After a thorough check of Kestrel's financials and an independent review, the board of CEI Capital Management decided the company's airplane manufacturing business was too risky an investment. Instead, they chose to fund a safer side of the company, Kestrel Aeroworks.

"We worked with the company to develop a plan to fund the maintenance-and-repair operation," Charles Spies, chief executive officer of CEI Capital Management, said recently. "Where we ran into issues was going beyond that."

In April 2011, Kestrel received $20.7 million in New Market Tax Credits, netting the company about $7.8 million in cash.

Spies said he knew Kestrel wanted more money, but his board did not feel comfortable investing further in "an early stage company with a commercially unproven product," as he described Kestrel in a Nov. 1 letter to Gervais.

"We're stewards of the taxpayer dollar," Spies said. "So across our whole portfolio we're trying to limit that risk."

But the Kestrel team expected CEI to funnel the company more tax credits.

Klapmeier did not respond to several recent requests for comment, but in an interview last October, after Kestrel had started looking out of state for financing, he suggested that something had gone awry with the CEI deal.

"The financing we've gotten to date is not the amount or the schedule we'd originally anticipated," he said.

Privately, a Kestrel spokesman was more specific.

"I believe the fastest way to bring closure to this funding gap, is to utilize political assets to pressure Coastal to honor its commitment," Kestrel spokesman Scott Prinz wrote to Gervais in an Oct. 26, 2011, email.

But CEI wasn't alone in its reluctance to invest in Kestrel. Other organizations that administer New Market Tax Credits also balked at the prospect.

According to Spies' letter, three additional organizations expressed interest in obtaining tax credits for the company. One reversed itself after an initial look into the company's financial records, a second decided to wait until later, and Kestrel rejected the terms of the third.

More importantly, Spies wrote, Kestrel needed private financing, not only to increase its chances of getting more New Market Tax Credits, but because doing so "shows that professional investors and lenders ... believe in the deal."

Why didn't Maine officials know sooner that Kestrel was looking around, especially since Klapmeier's frustration with the New Market Tax Credit program was already fairly well known?

"Simple," Gervais said in an email last month: Klapmeier hadn't actually said the company was short on funding.

"Alan’s contention over the summer was that the (New Market Tax Credits were) far more expensive and cumbersome to deal with than was expected," Gervais said. "... Nobody was aware there would be a gap to be filled at that time."

The scramble begins

Once word got out that Kestrel was considering Berlin, N.H., Maine officials sprung into action. For the next 2 1/2 months – until Kestrel announced it had chosen Wisconsin – Gervais' inbox was flooded with emails from from potential investors, officials at the Finance Authority of Maine, the Maine Technology Institute, and Cate Street Capital, a Portsmouth, N.H.-based investment firm that had tried to broker Kestrel's deal with Berlin, N.H.

But the publicity meant other states around the country were trying to woo Kestrel, too.

In an October interview, Klapmeier said said he would never publicly pit one state against another to get the best deal. He said the company did not solicit other states, but simply responded to questions from a reporter who discovered Kestrel was considering Berlin.

"If nobody had asked, would we have gone public? No," he said.

At the time, Gervais said he didn't believe Kestrel was using the media to gain an advantage. But he has changed his mind.

"I wouldn't argue with that," he said in response to a question about whether Kestrel used the press as a tool to attract attention.

Throughout October, November and December, Kestrel spokesman Scott Prinz repeatedly reassured officials that Maine was still the company's first choice, saying things like "(Klapmeier's) heart is still with Maine" in a Nov. 28 email.

But a Dec. 8 email from Alexandra Ritchie, director of government and community relations at Cate Street, suggested the company was leaning towards Wisconsin, which could offer a larger package of incentives.

"I am very concerned that they are looking at the immediate future, and their immediate needs, instead of the long-term picture, to base their decision on where to locate," she said.

A month later, Kestrel had stopped supplying financial information to FAME officials who were trying to help the company secure a $10 million loan.

By that time, it was clear Wisconsin had put together a more compelling package. Wisconsin was willing to guarantee Kestrel $30 million in New Market Tax Credits, even though the credits had not yet been distributed for 2012 and the state had no idea if it would receive them.

Kestrel had asked Gervais about a guarantee from Maine, but the answer was a firm no.

"I wasn't willing to even talk about that," Gervais said. "State taxpayer dollars are not used for that purpose."

On Jan. 16, 2012, it was over. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker announced the deal with Kestrel in a statement very similar to the one made by former Maine Gov. Baldacci a year and a half earlier.

"I am pleased with the aggressive package we have put forth in conjunction with strong local support to make this major job creation contribution to Superior," Walker said in a written statement.

A month later, Wisconsin did not receive the tax credits it was expecting. As Gervais predicted, the state will have to find some other way to come up with the $30 million it promised Kestrel.

The right kind of company?

Not everyone was upset Kestrel decided to move on.

After the media storm had died down, two economic development experts congratulated Maine officials on not landing Kestrel.

Peter DelGreco and Matt Jacobson, the current and former chief executive officers, respectively, of Maine & Co., a non-profit Portland-based business attraction firm, said Maine should have been skeptical of the company from the start.

"When a company with expansion or growth plans comes along and their first question is how much money Maine can give them ... we should proceed with caution, if at all," they wrote in a candid Feb. 20 opinion piece in the Bangor Daily News. "... Building relationships yields far better results than having a gun put to our heads and caving in to unreasonable demands for financing and incentives."

DelGreco and Jacobson also questioned whether Kestrel was the right kind of company for Maine to attract.

"Does it make sense for Maine to direct its limited resources toward risky companies like Kestrel, or to focus our resources on companies with a better track record ... ?" they said.

A month later, Jacobson did not respond to a request for additional comment. DelGreco, now toeing the Maine & Co. line, would only speak off the record about Kestrel; publicly, he issued a written statement that expressed the opposite of his previously published sentiment.

"While we wish Maine had been successful in assembling a workable financing package for Kestrel ... we wish them great success and look forward to the continued growth of their Maine operation," he said on March 27.

Although CEI ultimately decided only to invest in Kestrel's maintanence-and-repair operation, Spies said there's nothing prohibiting the firm from trying to get New Market Tax Credits for companies like Kestrel in the future.

"Especially in a place like Brunswick Naval Air Station that has a huge, immediate loss of jobs, we're absolutely willing to try to see what we can do," he said.

The MRRA's Levesque, meanwhile, maintains a rosy outlook about Kestrel's future in Brunswick, where the company has paid its back rent – about $78,000 for six months – hired 25 people and is hoping to hire another 75 or so by December 2014, according to a Jan. 16 email from Prinz to Gervais.

In fact, for Levesque, Kestrel never was a too-risky investment.

"Every company is risky, every start-up venture," Levesque said last week. Looking back, he said, he wouldn't have done anything differently.

"It was," he said, "a fairly standard economic development package deal."

Story and Comments:  http://www.theforecaster.net

Will Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority pass the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration audit?

Will Nigeria pass the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) acid test?

That is a multi-billion dollar question. While some are skeptical about the nation’s success to scale the Category One Aviation audit, others are very upbeat about scaling the hurdles.

Their optimism, like in a football match where Nigerians always believe they can beat any team even before a football match is played, is about the only thing that has made them to believe that the country will pass.

Nigeria would, in September, know its fate concerning the success or otherwise of the audit conducted on the country’s aviation industry by the United States highest aviation regulatory body, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on March 31, this year.

It is the view of many in the aviation sector that Nigeria got the United States’ Category 1 Safety Status on a promissory note because the team that audited Nigeria saw the passion and the intent the country had then.

Today, there are differing views about whether Nigeria has kept to the standard that gave it the rating or whether it had retrograded. Nigeria attained Category 1 status in 2009 through the dedicated effort of a team led by Dr Harold Demuren, the former director-general of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). It is clear today that sustaining the status is as difficult as achieving it was.

The reason for this skepticism is nothing short of the diminished role, responsibility and purview of the NCAA. Not a few believed that the NCAA’s regulatory oversight is being fragmented, diluted and constantly disrupted.

This negative interference will surely tell on how the International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) agency will score the NCAA in the current audit The International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) program involves assessing whether another country’s oversight of its air carriers that operate or seek to operate into the United States, complies with minimum international standards for aviation safety.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is making changes as it commences a new phase of the IASA program, following the completion of initial determinations on the safety oversight exercised by virtually all countries whose air carriers operate, or have applied to operate to the United States.

This notice modifies the IASA policies previously announced by the FAA. FAA Category 1 elevated the image of Nigeria in the comity of nations and granted the country the reputation of nation that is serious with air transport.

Since the passing of ICAO audit and the rating of the country as Category 1 status nation, the number of foreign airlines that come into the country has doubled. And after so many years, American airlines started operation into Nigeria, giving Nigerian travelers direct flight to destinations in the United States.

The audit of NCAA, which is Nigeria’s regulatory body for air transport by FAA, will be predicated on eight critical elements which include primary aviation legislation, which is the Civil Aviation Act; specific operating regulation; civil aviation system and setting oversight function, and technical personnel function and training.

Others are technical guidance material, tools and provision of sensitive critical information; licensing, certification, authorization and approval obligation; surveillance obligation which is monitoring compliance and resolution of safety concerns. If FAA withdraws Nigeria’s Category 1 Safety Status, aviation in the country would go down 10 years behind because it will give rise to moral downcast.

The apprehension stems from the fact that the United States Department of FAA, had on January 31, 2014 announced that India had been assigned a Category Two rating under its International Aviation Safety Assessment, IASA, program, based on a recent reassessment of the country’s civil aviation authority.

The downgrading of the India’s civil aviation safety oversight regime means that the country does not currently comply with the international safety standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization, ICAO. But, FAA said that it would continue to work with India’s Directorate General for Civil Aviation, DGCA, to identify the remaining steps necessary to regain Category One status for India.

With a Category two rating, India’s carriers can continue existing service to the United States, but will not be allowed to establish new service to the United States.

India achieved a Category One rating, signifying compliance with ICAO standards, in August 1997. The attainment of the category one status made Nigeria the sixth African nation to do so after Ethiopia, Cape Verde, Egypt, Morocco and South Africa.

But, the recent downgrading of India aviation industry by FAA is giving some aviation players in the country a call for concern as they fear that Nigeria may be the next country to be hit with the FAA’s sledge hammer as a result of several safety lapses in the system and interference in the running of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, by the ministry of aviation.

Although, the navigational aids in the Nigerian airspace has improved over the years, but not yet perfect as some users of the facilities still complain of some loopholes in the system.

Source Article: http://newtelegraphonline.com

Russian participants urged to quit UK air show

FARNBOROUGH England (Reuters) - Doubts over Russia's participation in the world's biggest aerospace industry event were growing on Tuesday after the country's deputy prime minister urged its delegates to pack up and go home.

Unlike previous years, when Russian military displays have been some of the main attractions, Russia has no military hardware on display at Britain's Farnborough Airshow after it was dragged into an East-West diplomatic row over Ukraine.

Britain snubbed Russia last week by not inviting any of its government officials to the biennial air show. Organizers also said more than 100 Russian delegates were unable to attend after failing to receive British visas.

"Given what happened in Ukraine, the idea was to avoid it looking like 'business as usual' with Russia," said one Western source familiar with planning for the air show.

Russia is only exhibiting civilian aircraft - two Sukhoi Superjet airliners - at the show and on Monday its deputy prime minister urged its delegates to walk out.

"I recommend our delegation roll up participation in the show and return home," Dmitry Rogozin wrote on Twitter.

The head of United Aircraft Corporation, the Russian state-owned company which operates Superjet manufacturer Sukhoi, said politics should stay out of the business world.

"Business should be above politics. You can have political disagreements but business ... should be left out of it," Director General Mikhail Pogosyan told Reuters.

Russia's arms export agency aims to maintain last's years level of business, which totaled some $13 billion in revenues from sales to 60 countries, according to media reports.

But the European Union introduced a new round of sanctions last week against Russian firms and individuals over claims Moscow is supporting a separatist movement in Ukraine's Russian-speaking east.

Ukraine's defense minister said on Monday a Ukrainian AN-26 plane, taking part in a military campaign against separatist rebels, had been shot down by a rocket which was "probably" fired from Russian territory.

Russia denies supporting the revolt, which began in April after Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimea peninsula following the overthrow of a Moscow-backed president in Kiev, while dealing with growing signs its economy is wilting under EU and U.S. sanctions.

"It's obvious that because of tensions with Western governments over differences between Russia and Ukraine, the military presence is really scaled down at this year's Farnborough," air show organizer Alexander Velovich said.

Ukraine's state-run aircraft manufacturer Anotonov told Reuters it had lost more than $100 million of business and 10 percent of its trade since political fall-out made cooperation with Russia impossible.

Story and Comments:   http://www.reuters.com