Friday, August 08, 2014

Twin Lakes Village Board considering lifting seaplane landing ban

The Twin Lakes Village Board is considering lifting or modifying a ban on landing seaplanes on Lakes Mary and Elizabeth.

But after a Committee of the Whole meeting Monday it’s not clear what course of action would have the support of a majority of the board. That in part was because three board members — President Howard Skinner and Trustees Aaron Karow and Jeremy Knoll — were absent for discussion of the issue.

A ban on landing seaplanes on the lakes appears to have been in effect since at least 1997, though why it was enacted was not known among the officials at the meeting.

Repealing or modifying the seaplane ban came up after Knoll sought to land a plane on Lake Mary in conjunction with the upcoming screening of the movie Planes at Twin Lakes Movies in the Park. Knoll is a dealer for a light aircraft company.

Police Chief Dale Racer said some other lakes in the area do allow the landings, notably Silver Lake. Racer said he consulted with the police department there and found that the landings have not been problematic. When some people have landed on Lakes Mary and Elizabeth, they have been ticketed Racer said.

He did not have a professional opinion on the ban either way, Racer said.

Most opposed to lifting the ban was Trustee Sharon Bower.

“I think we’re asking for problems,” Bower said.

Trustee Kevin Fitzgerald appeared to be willing to consider some type of modification of the ban that might allow landings on either lake with a permit or only on Lake Elizabeth, which is larger and in his opinion less crowded.

“If it’s going on on other lakes, what is the rationale for not allowing it on the largest lake in Kenosha County?” Fitzgerald said.

Bower said she was not sure she would support allowing landings with a permit.

During the same discussion, the board also talked about other possible modifications to the same ordinance.

Village administrator Jennifer Frederick had added a provision banning flyboarding on either lake. Here is Wikipedia’s description of flyboarding: “A Flyboard is a type of water jetpack attached to a personal water craft (PWC) which supplies propulsion to drive the Flyboard through air and water to perform a sport known as flyboarding. A Flyboard rider stands on a board connected by a long hose to a watercraft. Water is forced under pressure to a pair of boots with jet nozzles underneath which provide thrust for the rider to fly up to 15 metres in the air or to dive headlong through the water.”

Frederick said she felt the relatively shallow depth of the lakes warranted consideration of banning flyboarding, due to the diving into the water aspect of the activity.

The board members present also agreed that removing set hours for driving vehicles on the frozen lakes made sense.

- Source:

Howell again challenges Airport Authority on 'incorrect information': Greater Cumberland Regional (KCBE)

WILEY FORD - Del. Gary Howell has written a letter to Dr. Gregg Wolff, the incoming chair of the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority, pointing out what he says is "a fair amount of incorrect information" that has been cited by authority members on several occasions.

The authority has been at the center of at least two controversies since their decision earlier this year to not host the National Road Autocross at the Greater Cumberland Regional Airport in Wiley Ford.

In making the decision, several members based their vote on the belief that hosting non-aeronautical events at the airport would endanger Federal Aviation Administration funding for the runway renovation project.

When Howell questioned that reasoning and asked for copies of the minutes of the executive session in which the topic was discussed, authority members informed him they were operating under Maryland Open Meetings laws and the minutes were therefore to be sealed for a year before they could be released.

To confirm that decision, the authority voted during the July 24 meeting to include in their by-laws the statement that they would be operating under Maryland laws.

In making the motion to do so, member Bill Smith cited as one reason, "The FAA plan lists the airport as being in Maryland."

In his letter to Wolff, however, Howell says that is inaccurate.

"I contacted Susan Chernenko, director of the Aeronautics Commission ... (who) provided a letter showing there is no truth to the rumor that the FAA lists the Cumberland Regional Airport anywhere other than Wiley Ford, West Virginia," he wrote.

Howell also provided the News Tribune with a copy of Chernenko's letter, in which she states, "The Greater Cumberland Regional Airport is (and always has been) a West Virginia airport."

Howell also took exception with the authority members' contention that a non-aeronautical event on the airport property would jeopardize FAA funding.

"I contacted FAA administrator Michael P. Huerta to request clarification," Howell wrote.

"The FAA administrator's office stated the request for non-aeronautical events or hosting non-aeronautical events with FAA permission will in no way jeopardize funding of airport projects if the submitted safety plan is followed."

To support that statement, Howell provided the News Tribune with a letter from Eduardo A. Angeles, who replied to the legislator's inquiry on behalf of Huerta.

Angeles wrote: "Airport sponsors who request the FAA's permission to use aeronautical property for a non-aeronautical event would not be in jeopardy of FAA withholding future airport funding for simply seeking permission to do so."

In addition, he wrote, as long as an airport followed the "terms, conditions and/or requirements imposed by the FAA" in hosting such an event, the funding would not be jeopardized.

In closing his letter to Wolff, Howell said he understands the authority "lacks the staff ... to gather information in a timely manner," but the authority "should be doing a better job of eliminating misleading information from its decision-making process.

"One thing that would help in that regard is holding the meetings in accordance with the West Virginia Open Meetings Act as required by law," he continued.

"Because the public comes from all walks of life, public insight and tight scrutiny sees things that may otherwise be missed.

"Again I request that the PHAA follow the W.Va. Open Meetings Act, not only because it is the law, but because it is always in the best interest of the public to hold the meetings in the most open format possible."

The next airport authority meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 28.


Editorial: A long time coming - Conway, Arkansas

The need for a new municipal airport in Conway was first identified in the 1975 Conway Municipal Airport Master Plan Study, which recognized that the existing Cantrell Field was adequate for most propeller aircraft but not for business jets or the larger, executive-type general aviation aircraft.

Full disclosure—we lifted that opening sentence word-for-word from a 2008 FAA environmental document. It was one of the many documents we went through as we taxied down memory lane. Forgive us for feeling nostalgic as our community prepares to open a new Cantrell Field in Lollie Bottoms. But this project has been a long time coming and it has truly taken a village of engineers, politicians, public officials, aviation professionals and many, many dedicated volunteers and neighbors.

On September 5th when planes officially land at the new airport it will be the first time many Conway residents will have ever laid eyes on the site. What will they see? A fantastic new terminal building for starters. The new terminal has first class meeting space and will make a great first impression on anyone who flies to Conway. They will see a 5,500 foot long runway that is capable of safely handling any and all of the aircraft that currently have a reason to visit Conway. They’ll see new hangars and a natural setting that’s downright peaceful.

What they won’t see is a finished airport. And that’s a good thing. Because growing communities are never finished building and improving their infrastructure. This airport is ready to open. But this airport is also prepared to grow.

The runway could be extended to 6,000 feet in the near future. There are future phases of hangar construction and room for more corporate tenants. Some of that work will very visible if you venture out to the airport in the next few months. The new location also comes with real estate available for aviation related businesses and industries that will one day create new jobs for our community.

The work that so many have put into this project finally have the new Conway airport “cleared for landing.” And the thoughtful preparations that have gone into that process have it “prepared for takeoff.”


Air tricks, Tuskegee Airmen and 40 war aircraft at Pikes Peak Regional Airshow

Tuskegee Airmen. 
Courtesy Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Red Tail Squadron.

F4U Corsair. F7F Tigercat. B-25 Mitchell bomber. P-51C Mustang fighter.

These World War II aircraft and about three dozen others will fly in from all over the country this weekend. They'll land at the Colorado Springs Airport for the first Pikes Peak Regional Airshow.

"More than half are World War II vintage," says John Henry, a volunteer for the air show. "Some were active into the Korean conflict, and one of these old-timers was active all the way into Vietnam."

The event is Saturday and Sunday, and includes aerial demonstrations by the planes and crews from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. each day, and performances by the U.S. Air Force Wings of Blue Parachute Team and The Trojan Phlyers, two combat veteran pilots who perform aerobatic routines.

"Colorado Springs is a community that is so supportive of men and women in the armed forces," Henry says, "that we felt it was a great time to found it here in town, and bring forth a rich aviation legacy that we all have from World War II."

A highlight of the weekend is the Commemorative Air Force Red Tail Squadron's traveling Tuskegee Airmen exhibit, a semitrailer that houses a 40 foot panoramic movie screen. The 30-minute documentary "Rise Above" will air throughout the weekend to educate visitors about America's first black military pilots.

Col. James H. Harvey III, 91, one of the Tuskegee Airmen, will be on hand for a few hours each day, spending time at both the Tuskegee exhibit and World War II veterans tent. Harvey won numerous medals for his service, including the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with 10 Oak Leaf Clusters. He joined the military in 1943, retired in 1965, and says they didn't realize the history they were creating.

"We just wanted to fly for our country," he says from Lakewood, where he now lives, "and to prove a point: We can do anything you can do, and do it better. I always say we were better, and we proved we were better because we went overseas and finally got a mission to escort bombers. Casualties dropped. And we had the first ever Air Force top weapons meet, and we won it."

A restored P-51C Mustang fighter airplane with a bright red tail, like those flown by the Tuskegee Airmen, will also be part of the air show.

"They put black aviators into a squadron," Henry says, "trained them and discovered this was a tremendously talented group of aviators selected for this special duty."

The Tuskegee Airmen protected the slow bomber planes, Henry says. The bombers were designed to carry heavy loads to targets, drop the bombs and come back. But they were constantly at risk of being shot down by enemy aircraft. Part of the Tuskegee mission was to protect them.

"They (Tuskegee Airmen) developed a reputation for tenacity," Henry says. "They didn't give up. They didn't depart from those bombers. They didn't respond to the enemy's tactics. They would try to draw them off into dogfights, but the Tuskegee Airmen stuck with the bombers, protecting them at all costs. The crews being protected by Red Tails called them Red Tail Angels."

Harvey recently heard an air show attendee talk about the Tuskegee reputation back in the war. "If you see a red tail, don't engage," he says. "Instant death."


When: 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Where: West side of Colorado Springs Airport, 5750 Fountain Blvd.

Tickets: $13-$15, $8-$10 military, ages 6-14 and 65 and older, free 5 and younger, $5 parking, cash only event;
Something else: Aerial demonstrations 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday


Chip Lamb and John Sledge are part of Trojan Phlyers Inc., a group of aviation professionals dedicated to preserving and demonstrating the military history of the T-28 Trojan warbird.

They'll perform precision, close formation aerobatic routines at 11:55 a.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Pikes Peak Regional Airshow.

Since 1995, the Trojan Phylers have performed at air shows around the country, showcasing the finesse of the fully aerobatic aircraft, which can take off in less than 800 feet of runway, climb to 10,000 feet in less than 90 seconds, race level above 335 mph and dive faster than 380 mph.

Lamb is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and flew F4 Phantoms in the Air Force and F16s in the Texas Air National Guard. After 30 years in the military, he retired as a colonel. He is also a retired American Airlines captain.

Sledge, the demo team wingman, flew F8 Crusaders from aircraft carriers in Vietnam and retired from the U.S. Marine Corp after 30 years as a colonel. He is a retired US Airways captain.

Article and Photo Gallery:

Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Red Tail Squadron's P-51C Mustang fighter named "Tuskegee Airmen." 
Courtesy CAF. 

Dominic Puntoriero, 16, recently completed his first solo flight in a helicopter — and he has a tougher test ahead

Dominic Puntoriero, 16, of San Juan Capistrano, and Revolution Aviation chief flight instructor Mark C. W. Robinson pose for a portrait at Signature Private Airport in Santa Ana. Puntoriero is one of the few teenagers in the U.S. to fly solo in a helicopter. 

While most young people are obsessed with getting their driver's license, Dominic Puntoriero has fed a loftier ambition: flying a helicopter.

After training for more than 65 hours over a four-year span, the San Juan Capistrano resident, formerly of Newport Beach, completed his first solo flight at Long Beach Airport on July 16, making him one of the few teenagers in the United States to fly a helicopter solo.

Dominic, 16, finished hours of helicopter training before obtaining his on-the-ground driver's license. Now he's focused on earning his driver's license for the sky.

"It's quite the skillset," said his instructor, Mark Robinson of Revolution Aviation at John Wayne Airport. "But doing it at that age, it's quite the achievement."

Flight training can start at any age, but an aspiring aviator must be at least 16 years old to fly solo. Beginning at age 17, a person can obtain a private pilot's license and fly any aircraft, within limits, with passengers.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, individuals who are issued certificates must have completed the required training and passed written and oral exams as well as a practical, behind-the-wheel test. At 18, one can become a commercial pilot.

Dominic, who is entering his sophomore year at Santa Margarita Catholic High School, in Rancho Santa Margarita, became interested in flying when, at age 12, he toured Hawaii with his family via helicopter.

"Dominic had a seat next to the pilot, and he could not get enough of it," said his father, Michael Puntoriero.

A few months after the family's vacation, Dominic approached his parents and asked if he could begin helicopter lessons. His father found Robinson and asked to schedule classes.

But the 12-year-old had a requirement to meet before he could sit behind a helicopter's flight controls.

Could he reach the pedals?

Not quite.

Robinson placed a cushion behind Dominic's back.

On his first day of flight school, Dominic arrived at Signature Flight Support, based at John Wayne Airport, where private planes can be flown in and out of Orange County. For the introductory lesson, Robinson flew the helicopter with Dominic as the passenger. The instructor wanted his student first to acclimate to sitting in the cockpit.

Dominic enjoyed the challenge of the ride.

"Helicopters are a lot harder than planes, because planes are very stable — they have two wings," Robinson said. "In a helicopter, it's like balancing a basketball on your finger."

For a while, Dominic finished a lesson every weekend, said his mother, Adriane. But because practices can be expensive — ranging from $250 to $525 — the family decided to stretch them out.

"He would love to go every day," his mother said. "Dominic started at age 12, but he was kind of like a 50-year-old at age 12."

During one training practice, Dominic was learning autorotation, where the descending maneuver of the engine is disengaged from the main rotor system, and the rotor blades are driven just by the upward flow of air through the rotor.

"I asked him, 'Didn't that scare you?'" said his father. "And he looked at me like he didn't understand the question."

Last week, Dominic, his 13-year-old brother, Anthony, and their parents stood on the John Wayne Airport tarmac talking to Robinson about the helicopter before them, a Robinson R44 four-seater, which Dominic flew for his solo.

The next day, Dominic started practicing maneuvers, and he will continue lessons with Robinson to prepare for a solo cross-country flight, which in helicopter parlance is a flight of 50 miles or more. He'll sit in a R22 Robinson two-seater, the hardest helicopter to maneuver, according to Robinson.

"The smaller the helicopter, the harder, because it's so light," Robinson said.

To become a private pilot, Dominic must have 40 hours of flight time, 10 hours of solo flight time and at least five hours on cross-country flights.

His next step is to complete a cross-country flight to San Bernardino International Airport and return to John Wayne, one of the busiest airports in the U.S. He's done it before, but now he has to finish the journey without Robinson.

"It's a great hobby and an excellent form of discipline, management, and it gives a different perspective," said Robinson, who once flew the Goodyear Blimp.

Dominic said that once he finishes school and earns his pilot's license, he would like to pursue delivering air medical services for hospitals.

"When I first soloed, I was nervous, but once I got up there, I was fine," Dominic said. "It's been great. I've learned that practice and dedication pay off."

Story and Photo:

Flight from New York to Savannah makes emergency landing at Hunter Army Airfield

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WJCL) – We have just confirmed that a Delta passenger flight from LaGuardia was forced to make an emergency landing at Hunter Army Airfield. The flight had 155 passengers.

Officials have confirmed that the flight experienced a fuel emergency after being placed in a holding pattern by Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport due to an electrical storm in the area.

Delta Flight 1947 landed at 4 p.m. Friday at Hunter Army Airfield. The flight is awaiting a chance to take off to land again at Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport.

However, Stormtracker radar is showing that the current storm will be holding out for at least an hour.

Stick with WJCL for updates and watch us LIVE at 4:30 p.m. as we cover the situation here.

A commercial aircraft Friday afternoon made an emergency landing at Hunter Army Airfield after experiencing low fuel, an Army spokesman said.

Delta Flight 1947 safely landed just before 4 p.m. at the Savannah Army post after circling for an extended period of time to avoid dangerous weather in the area, said Steve Hart, Hunter spokesman. 

The plane had been en route to Savannah from LaGuardia Airport in New York City.

The 155 passengers who’d been on the MD-88 aircraft safely deplaned at Hunter where they were escorted into Truscott Air Terminal to await the end of the storm.

The passengers were expected to be either flown or bussed to Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport after the storm had passed.

Lori Lynah, the airport’s spokeswoman, said it was an unusual and unprecedented situation.

“We’re a diversion airport,” she said. “When there’s an emergency planes have landed at Savannah instead of Atlanta or Charleston, but this is very unusual. To my knowledge we’ve never had to land a plane at Hunter before.”

- Source:

Construction mistake delays McCarran International Airport (KLAS) tower opening

An error during construction of McCarran International Airport’s $99 million, 352-foot Federal Aviation Administration tower will delay the opening of the facility by at least a year and could cost millions of dollars to fix.

Workers on the job site say a chemical coating to prevent the spread of toxic fungus was improperly applied and is ineffective. That means workers might have to cut through interior walls of the building to assure that the chemical treatment is properly applied.

Workers familiar with the construction project say the coating was supposed to be placed within walls, ducts and subfloors to curb the spread of a potentially toxic fungus that can cause flulike symptoms.

Instead of applying the coating to dry surfaces, it was placed in flexible ducts that had been lubricated for installation. The chemical substance never adhered to the oily surfaces, and when workers tested the air conditioning and heating system, flakes of the substance were blown from ducts into rooms.

Problems with the installation of the coating were first discovered in January. Representatives of union workers, the contractor and subcontractors and the FAA have begun meeting to assess the best way to address the problem.

Workers on the project feared for their health and conditions were serious enough to warrant a visit from leaders of the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists union from Washington to inspect the site.

The treatment in question during construction of the tower was aimed at curbing a potentially toxic fungus: stachybotrys chartarum.

With symptoms as gnarly as the name suggests, this persistent fungus led to the shutdown of several state and local public buildings when it was detected in the Las Vegas Valley in the late 1990s and early 2000.

The fungus, linked to colds, flulike symptoms and headaches, turned up at a rented state employment office in North Las Vegas in 1997 after it was found at the Las Vegas Academy building on Seventh Street. An industrial hygienist who investigated the problem in North Las Vegas determined the fungus was growing on a wallboard under repair.

Illnesses related to the fungus are not contagious. A person cannot “catch (the) symptoms from other sources,” according to the hygienist who probed that incident.

Clark County health officials have said the fungus grows if there is enough water and cellulose to support the organism.

The fungus has as much chance to show up in similar buildings with similar conditions on any side of the city.

In March 2000, fungi samples from UNLV’s Lied Library, while it was under construction, were tested by a university microbiologist who confirmed the presence of stachybotrys.

The FAA has acknowledged the problem at the tower but won’t comment on specific details.

“The FAA has a diligent inspection and oversight process and is closely monitoring the construction of the new Las Vegas air traffic control tower and TRACON (Terminal Radar Approach Control),” the agency said in a statement issued this week.

“The FAA identified some construction issues and is working with the contractor to address them. The FAA will ensure that any outstanding issues are resolved before accepting the final project from the contractor to ensure our employees and operations will not be affected.”

The tower project is under contract to Chicago-based Walsh Construction and Archer Western Contractors. The company’s Las Vegas office phone was unanswered this week, and calls for comment to the corporate office in Chicago were not returned.

The tower project, a facility designed to give air traffic controllers a better view of air and ground traffic at McCarran, was begun in June 2011.

The project includes the tower and a 52,800-square-foot, four-story TRACON building, a two-level parking garage and a guard station.

The TRACON building will house air traffic control training simulators, administrative offices and equipment and will consolidate the FAA’s presence in Southern Nevada.

The current control tower, built in the early 1980s, is about 200 feet tall, while the base building is 13,740 square feet. The new tower is designed to control air traffic more efficiently at McCarran, the nation’s eighth-busiest airport, which is expected to serve 700,000 flights annually by 2020.

Officials said the tower was expected to be operational by 2015, but the FAA now says it won’t be able to use the facility until late 2016 or early 2017.

Story and Comments:

Sen. Menendez, Hudson County politicians call for ban on 'joyrides in the sky'

Joined by a bi-state coalition of New York and New Jersey officials, U.S. Senator Robert Menendez called for a ban of Hudson River tourist helicopters Friday morning.

For the past 18 months, Hudson County residents have been trying to work with helicopter operators based in lower Manhattan, the state's Dept. of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to limit the number of flights -- and noise -- along the river.

"We can't have a sky full of helicopters," the senator said. "There's no consideration to the communities below their flight path."

In the past year and a half, the NJDOT and FAA have told politicians they have "limited authority" to control the tourism helicopters, Menendez said.

Unlike an airport, there's no limitation on the number of flights, Menendez said. "As long as you can lift up and go, you go."

Menendez added that air traffic has grown from 100 flights to 600 flights a day above the Hudson River, and is on track to hit 1,000 per day.

"We all want tourism, but it can't come at the expenses of residents who live here, said Robert Gottheim, district director for Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-10, of New York.

Menendez was also joined by Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer, Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner, Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis, North Bergen Mayor and State Senator Nicholas Sacco, West New York Mayor Felix Roque, Guttenberg Mayor Gerald Dracheff, and Mark Albeiz was a on behalf of Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop.

Hudson County Executive Thomas DeGise, Hudson County Sheriff Frank Schillari and Hudson County Freeholder Anthony Romano.

Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Albio Sires has also championed a ban tourist helicopter.
Fifteen minutes into the press conference, DeGise pointed out that nine helicopters had flown nearby, forcing several officials to pause and wait.

However, "Stop the Chop" advocacy group leader Brian Wagner thanked the helicopter industry for "turning up the noise."

"It's only Friday," he said. "Come back tomorrow when there's two, three, four times the activity starting at 9 a.m."

Zimmer added that the quality of life has been severely diminished for those living and working along both sides of the Hudson.

"New York didn't want them," she said. "New Jersey doesn't want them either."

With the help of New York and New Jersey state senators, local mayors and other county officials, Menendez has been working on a legislative solution for a full ban.

"FAA re-authorization laws last for a certain period of time and then lapse," he said.

The renewal of the law would take place early next year, where there will "be a new FAA law" on tourism helicopters, Menendez said.

In a letter sent today to the heads of the FAA and NJDOT, Menendez and U.S. Sen. Cory Booker and Albio Sires asked the FAA to "provide guidance on additional authority needed to implement and enforce a ban on tour helicopters that present public nuisance and safety concerns."

But for now, residents continue to hear a constant buzzing looming over the city.

"We gave them a chance to dial back," Wagner said. "We want a ban on this corridor."

Story, Comments, Photo Gallery:

U.S. Sen. Robert Menedez was joined by a group of Hudson County mayors and officials this morning at a press conference on the Hoboken waterfront denouncing helicopter traffic over the Hudson River and calling for an outright ban of tourist choppers.

Airport Manager Fired: Joint Board terminates contract for Ken Hamilton to operate Wiarton Keppel Airport

(Wiarton) -

Changes are coming to the Wiarton-Keppel International Airport.

The Joint Municipal Service Board, which governs the facility, has decided to terminate Politiri Aviation's contract, effectively removing the Airport Manager.

Chair of the board, Dwight Burley, tells Bayshore Broadcasting News Ken Hamilton was appointed as the Airport Manager in October of 2012, and his contract was to be reviewed in November of 2015.

Burley, who's also the Deputy Mayor of Georgian Bluffs, says the board is exercising its right to discontinue to contract because of the management team's lack of synergy.

He tells us the atmosphere of conflict worsened and decisive action was required.

Hamilton was informed of the decision on Friday morning.

The Accountable Executive has now appointed an interim management team for the airport.

It is J-B Property Management Group with Brad Gault and Don Jensen.

A Request for Proposal (RFP) will be issued, but with the municipal election scheduled for October 27th -- Burley says the new board will be tasked to review the applicants and hire Hamilton's replacement.

The Chair concedes that Hamilton and his company (Politiri Aviation Holdings) were qualified to manage the struggling facility, however the cons outweighed the pros.

Under the contract, Hamilton must have 60 days notice before leaving the post.

The future of the airport remains in limbo as it needs million of dollars in repairs to keep its certification.

As you may remember, last summer's federal audit/examination found the 5,000-foot-long runway had deteriorated and needed to be replaced or repaired.

The approach lighting also needs to be upgraded.

The Wiarton-Keppel International Airport was downloaded to the municipalities from the federal government in 1999, and very little maintenance has been done since.

Any repairs require the approval of South Bruce Peninsula and Georgian Bluffs.


Pilot pleads not guilty to manslaughter of former Royal Marine: de Havilland DH.82A Tiger Moth, G-AOIL

Orlando Rogers 

Scott Hoyle

A pilot has pleaded not guilty to the manslaughter of a former Royal Marine who died in a biplane crash in East Dorset. 

Scott Hoyle, of Charborough Road, Broadstone, has denied responsibility for the death of Orlando Rogers, 26, who was the passenger of a vintage de Havilland Tiger Moth that crashed in Witchampton on May 15 2011.

He appeared at Winchester Crown Court this morning to enter the plea, and a trial is expected to begin in March next year.

The 47-year-old was at the controls of the plane when it crashed in a field.

He was cut free from the wreckage and taken to hospital.

Mr Rogers, a veteran of tours in Afghanistan and Northern Ireland, died of his injuries.

Story and Photos:

Low flying stunt leaves rowers in shock: Onlookers scream as ‘crazy, reckless’ pilot flies float plane under bridge

A group of rowers on the water look on, and some can be heard screaming and yelling as the plane flies under the bridge that connects Ottawa and Gatineau, Que. 

Burpee said it was unusual to see a plane on the Ottawa River, especially around the downtown core, but what happened next made her gasp. The plane picked up speed and lifted off.

“Honestly, I thought he was suicidal. I thought he was going to try to smash into the side of the bridge, but fortunately the pilot was able to get through that ascent safely,” she said.

She said the pilot was “a heartbeat away it could have been the worst-case scenario.”

Her husband managed to capture a roughly one-minute video of the plane just as it was taking off.

Burpee said she thought was the pilot was being “completely reckless” and that flying under the bridge was an unnecessary stunt.

She described the incident, which happened over the span of roughly five minutes as “crazy, reckless and endangering”, since there were at least a dozen small boats on the water at the time.

When the plane cleared the bridge, her thought was “we’re spared what could have been something pretty ugly” followed by disbelief “because you go who would do this, it’s crazy, completely crazy.”

Story and Comments:

Low flying stunt leaves rowers in shock   

The pilot of a float plane flying over the Ottawa River left some members of the Ottawa Rowing Club in shock. 

A video uploaded to YouTube shows the plane taking off from the Ottawa River and flying below the MacDonald Cartier Bridge.

Karin Germann tells CTV that it's normal to see float planes in the area but she's never seen a stunt like that.

"When it took off I think most of us were just kind of thinking this guy is either crazy, we weren't sure if it was illegal what he was doing," she explained. "It certainly didn't seem like a safe thing to do"

She said there was concern for the amount of boats out on the river when the plane took off.  

The proper authorities have been contacted about the incident.

- Source:

"The proper authorities have been contacted about this incident..."

Gee, I was expecting to see Jurgis Kairys

See Syracuse from 3,000 feet up, thanks to the Syracuse Flying Club: Hancock International Airport (KSYR), New York

By Chris Baker 
on August 08, 2014 at 6:30 AM 

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- For many, flying is an arduous task. A necessary evil for getting from place A to place B. Long lines, heavy security and strict, overbearing rules have made the whole experience a chore. But there's more than one way to take to the air.

In Syracuse, those looking to avoid the dreariness of commercial airlines might check out a more recreational approach: the Syracuse Flying Club.

The club, based out of Hancock International Airport, is a non-profit organization serving local aviation enthusiasts. Collectively, it owns two small, single-engine planes that are available to its members.

Members pay a fee to have access to the planes. When they want to use one, they reserve it and pay an hourly rate to fly (which includes fuel and oil). The club offers lessons to aspiring pilots, continuing education courses and meetings once a month.

"We're a social club that happens to own a couple of airplanes," said Brian Renfrow, membership chairman for the Syracuse Flying Club

The club has been around for 50 years and currently boasts somewhere around 35 members, Renfrow said. Its members range from inexperienced novices to pilots with thousands of hours in the air. In the past, airline pilots have been members.

"The common misconception is you have to be rich to fly," Renfrow said. "But it's comparable to a lot of other recreational activities. People spend more on golfing than I do on flying."

The club houses its planes at Landmark Aviation on the periphery of Hancock International Airport.

There are plenty of myths and fears about personal aviation and small planes. Stories of crashes that killed Buddy Holly and John F. Kennedy Jr. are part of our culture.

Mike Roberts, one of the club's members, is quick to dispel these myths and quell any fears. Flying isn't akin to skydiving or bungee jumping, Roberts said. It's a mode of transportation and recreation. Roberts repeatedly champions the recreational aspects of the activity.

Renfrow likens personal aviation to riding a motorcycle.

"It's maybe more dangerous than a car on I-81," he says. "But it's certainly safe."

On a clear Wednesday night this week, Roberts decided to take the club's 1977 Piper Arhcer II for a loop around Central New York. Prior to takeoff, he checks for tears in the sheet metal and tests all the flaps. He runs through safety protocols and explains how to unlatch the door in case of an emergency.

Takeoff is smooth and simple, climbing at a speed of about 100 knots (roughly 115 m.p.h.) until the plane reaches an altitude of 3,000 feet.

Recreational flying is nothing like booking a seat on a jet to LaGuardia. Flying commercial is like taking a train: The plane takes everyone on board to a predetermined location. There are plenty of rules, regulations and a whole lot of federal oversight.

Personal aviation, however, is more like owning a car. You can get in whenever you'd like and go for a drive. "Security" is a nice young woman who wishes you a good flight in the lobby at Landmark Aviation. Destination is sometimes unknown.

There are more than 5,000 paved airports in the country. Just more than 300 host commercial flights. Above Skaneateles, Roberts points out a small, single-runway airport off the west bank of the lake.

Once out of Syracuse airspace, pilots call out their locations on the radio to let anyone else around know what they're doing. There's someone doing some recreational flying over Skaneateles Lake. The Finger Lakes Skydivers are nearby getting ready to drop a few daredevils.

Upon landing, a Jet Blue flight taxis on the runway. It has to wait for Roberts to land his plane before it can take off.

"Hancock isn't Delta's airport or Jet Blue's airport," Roberts tells me. "It's yours and mine as much as anyone's."

Renfrow says anyone interested in joining the Syracuse Flying Club or learning more about recreational aviation should contact him. His information can be found on the club's website.

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Aviation and aircraft insurers are enduring the most difficult claims experience in years

Aviation and aircraft insurers are enduring the most difficult claims experience in years, which will likely reverse declining pricing trends at policy renewals, according to Fitch Ratings. However, competitive factors and abundant underwriting capacity may blunt the magnitude and scope of rate increases across the broader market. Policyholders with attractive safety profiles will continue to see competition for their business.

Following relatively quiet experience in recent years, a spate of tragic events has occurred over the past hseveral months, including the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in March, and in July alone, the downing of flight MH17 over Ukraine, attacks on planes at Tripoli International Airport, the crash of an Air Algerie flight in Mali, and the crash of a TransAsia Airways plane in Taiwan. We expect airline insurers to begin material reviews of rates, policy terms and conditions, and underwriting risk factors associated with this business following these events.

Aircraft hull losses include irreparable loss of aircraft, while liability coverage addresses death, personal injury and tort-associated losses. War and/or terrorism related losses are typically handled through separate coverage, but the premiums collected are materially smaller, mostly due to the low frequency of incidence that has occurred since the events of Sept. 11, 2001.

Major aircraft insurance providers include Lloyds of London, Allianz and American International Group, Inc., larger entities for which aviation risks represent a relatively modest portion of total premiums. According to analysis by insurance broker Willis, net premiums for hull, liability and attrition losses were estimated to be around $1.2 billion in 2013, far below the $2 billion achieved in 2010 and 2009. The decline in premiums was driven by declining losses in each of the years beginning in 2009 through 2012, leading to significant softness in the market.

Soft market conditions intensified in the first half of 2014. In a recent report, insurance broker Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group indicated that aviation rates in aggregate were down an additional 20%. Delta Airlines noted in its second quarter earnings call on July 26 that it had recently opted out of the FAA insurance program because commercial rates had reached more competitive levels.

US airlines have been receiving war risk insurance from the Federal Aviation Administration through a program that has been in place since September 2001. The program will require passage by Congress to continue past its presently set expiration, set for Sept. 30, 2014. The MH17 Ukraine incident and the recent airports attacks will undoubtedly raise hull rates on war related incidents.

The rate increases expected in 4Q, when traditionally about three-quarters of the airline market renews, will unlikely be enough to recoup losses for several years, even assuming that losses revert to recent averages. Some industry participants have remarked that multiple years of underwriting profit were wiped out in the 2014 calendar year.

One key question is how far premium rate increases will extend across the broader airline market. Policyholders unaffected by the recent losses with attractive safety records and risk profiles will continue to have opportunities from a number of carriers to provide their aviation coverage. These competitive dynamics will require underwriters to weigh benefits of rate increases with the potential for lower account retention in upcoming renewal periods. Wherever the market goes in the near term, global aviation insurance will continue to be a difficult market for underwriters to generate consistent long-term underwriting profits. Fitch Ratings

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Huge expansion in Ghana’s aviation industry

Air travel in Ghana has been on a strong upward trajectory with the last two years showing a steep rise in both domestic and international passenger traffic.

International aircraft movements to and from the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) have improved tremendously between 2012 and 2013, as a result of the operation of new entrants into the industry and increased flight frequency of existing airlines.

Domestic aircraft movements, on the other hand, experienced a sharp increase as a result of growing demand, reliable services and competitive air fares offered passengers by operators compared to road transporters.

Pursuing the aim of making Ghana the gateway to Africa and an aviation hub in the West African sub-region, management of the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) has unveiled an ambitious programme to bring KIA at par with some of the best in the world in terms of infrastructure, security and services.

In order to stay competitive, governments in Senegal, Togo and Nigeria have committed significant financial resources to upgrade their airport infrastructure.

The GACL at its second Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Accra last week announced its decision to source for and invest over US$600million in the next three years “to enhance and expand our airport infrastructure and services.”

This has been occasioned by the recent promulgation of the Airport Tax (Amendment ) 2013 Act 858 which enables the GACL to retain 100% tariff.

The development, according to the Board of the company, will improve GACL’s ability to leverage on its potential income to raise funding to improve international and domestic air travel facilities, human resources, build new airports and thereby raise the image of Ghana as a favourable investment destination.

The company has, therefore, instructed its bankers to go to the capital market and raise a syndicated facility payable within eight to ten years.

Strategies are underway to increase capacity and improve the operating efficiencies of the country’s airports at KIA, Kumasi, Tamale and Sunyani by upgrading and expanding infrastructure and service facilities, and also develop new regional aerodromes.

In line with the new trend in airport business management which emphasises non-aeronautical businesses, GACL intends to grow the non-aeronautical revenues of the company and increase its percentage contribution to total revenue from the current level of 10% to 30% within the next five years.

“Through joint ventures with private sector players and Public Private Partnerships, we will pursue opportunities in commercial real estate such as offices, hotels, malls, retail shopping malls, entertainment centres, car parks and other airport related development on the landside of our airports,” Mr Asare disclosed.

The aviation sector plays an important role in the global economy by providing connectivity through the only rapid worldwide transport network.

In doing so, the direct and wider impact on jobs and GDP globally is enormous—contributing over 22 million jobs and US$1.4 trillion in GDP. Moreover, the sector makes contributions to other industries by facilitating their growth and supporting their operations.

With a significant proportion of international tourists depending on air transport, the aviation industry supports 34.5 million jobs within tourism globally, contributing around US$762 billion a year to world GDP.

It supports tourism and international business by providing the world’s only rapid worldwide transportation network. Airlines transported 2.8 billion passengers and 47.6 million metric tonnes of air cargo in 2011, connecting the world’s cities with 36,000 routes.

By providing these services, the aviation industry plays an important role in enabling economic growth and providing various economic and social benefits.

The connections made between cities and markets produce an important infrastructure asset that facilitates activities that enhance a nation’s productivity.

More specifically, air transport enables foreign direct investment (FDI), business cluster development, specialization, and other spillover effects.


Letter: Proposed Change To Helicopter Route

A recent proposal put forth by New York State Senator Charles Schumer to alter the North Shore Route for helicopters has the potential to undermine the quality of life for Floral Park and her neighboring communities in Western Nassau, including Bellerose, New Hyde Park, Garden City and Mineola.

The North Shore Route is a path utilized by helicopters exiting from New York City heliports to locations on the East End of Long Island. The current route takes choppers over the Long Island Sound at an altitude of 2,000 feet and is designed to minimize the noise footprint on residential communities. Nonetheless, a helicopter inevitably must arrive at its destination, which in the case of the North Shore Route means it must transition from water to land.

Two years ago, Senator Schumer lobbied the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to mandate what is known as the transition point for the North Shore Route. Prior to this change, pilot discretion determined where choppers gained entry to land. Today, under the current ruling, pilots are required to transition over a sliver of Mattituck, concentrating the impact of noise and angering a small, but rightfully, vocal group of residents, who are bearing the burden of the North Shore Route.

It is no surprise then that the controversy surrounding transition points has prompted another proposal by Senator Schumer. This time, the change if approved by the FAA, would require helicopter pilots, who opt to use the North Shore Route to fly all the way out to Orient Point to transition to East End locales. This diversion would add approximately 50 miles onto the route and another 35 to 45 minutes onto travel time. Supporters of this modification change, such as embattled Congressman Tim Bishop, suggest that the cost of fuel will be the only impact this change has on helicopter travel. Advocates believe such costs can easily be passed onto to the passengers. But, the clientele that can afford to use the helicopter as a means of weekend travel choose to do so in order to save time, not money. So, while extending the North Shore Route out to Orient Point will mollify some residents, it will make the route time prohibitive. To avoid the extra time of traveling to Orient Point, helicopter operators will be left with no choice, but to select an alternative route. The only available alternative is the Track Route.

The Track Route requires pilots to use the Main Line of the Long Island Rail Road as a visual guide, and consequently, places helicopters directly over the communities of Floral Park, Hollis, Queens Village, Bellerose Terrace, Bellerose, Stewart Manor, New Hyde Park, Franklin Square, Garden City Park, Garden City, Mineola and Hicksville. Unlike the North Shore Route, however, helicopters are forced to fly at 500 feet over land, well within the earshot of residents, as Kennedy Airport utilizes the airspace at higher altitudes over the Track Route, to accommodate arriving jet aircraft. 

Today, the Track Route, similar to the North Shore Route, is regularly used during the spring and summer months. Helicopter traffic is shared equitably between both routes thanks in large part to the efforts of the Eastern Regional Helicopter Council (ERHC). Nonetheless, if Senator Schumer’s proposal to extend the North Shore Route out to Orient Point is approved, the addition of time will discourage its use and prompt operators to rely exclusively on the Track Route. 

The real solution to helicopter noise over Long Island, therefore, is not extending the over-the-water portion of the North Shore Route, but to eliminate the rule that mandates the transition point over Mattituck. Allowing pilots to fan out their approaches to East End airports and heliports will eliminate the concentration of noise over a few houses in the North Fork and preserve the viability of the North Shore Route. An equitable distribution of helicopter traffic is only possible, if all helicopter routes are equally accessible.

To register your concerns about changes to the North Shore route, I encourage all residents to contact Senator Charles Schumer’s Long Island Office at 631-753-0978. To complain about noise from helicopters, residents are asked to call the Noise Hotline established by the ERHC at 800-319-7410.

Mary-Grace Tomecki

Trustee, Village of Floral Park

Liaison, Town-Village Aircraft Safety Noise Abatement Committee

Liaison for NYS Assemblyman Ed Ra, NY-NY Port Authority Roundtable


Pediatric patients fly planes above Long Beach (with video)

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) --

Dozens of pediatric patients gathered inside of an airplane hangar in Long Beach Thursday, and understandably, some of them were nervous.

Ernie Armijo and his father were two of many taking part in a unique rehabilitation program organized by Miller Children's Hospital in Long Beach.

On Thursday, several patients and their parents got a chance to fly in a private plane in the skies above Long Beach.

Discovery Flight is a program designed for children who have suffered serious illness or injury. The flights are a partnership between the hospital and the California Flight Center.

Kadin Nicolau suffered a traumatic brain injury two years ago, and as part of his rehab, he got the chance to pilot a plane Thursday.

"It was cool, it was like PlayStation or Xbox," Kadin said.

His mother, Kerry Nicolau, went along for the ride.

"Oh, I think it's so wonderful," Kerry said. "I think it builds so much self esteem and confidence, and just a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

Matt Gilles was one of several volunteer pilots who donated their time and expertise.

"I'm just kind of speechless on being able to do this that I'm very excited about it," Gilles said.

Organizers of this annual event say that taking to the skies can elicit a very specific reaction from the young patients.

Mariana Sena is in charge of this unique rehabilitation program, that's entering its 13th year.

"By having them on their plane, it shows them that there is no limits,' Sena said. "It doesn't matter what disability they have, doesn't matter what their condition is if they really want to achieve, they can achieve anything they want."

Simply put, organizers hope that all this altitude will result in a good attitude, as these young patients continue down their road to recovery.

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Federal Aviation Administration Closes Investigation of Lolla Drone Videos

The Federal Aviation Administration has closed its review of two YouTube videos taken by an aerial camera during last weekend's Lollapalooza music festival in Grant Park.

A Youtube account under the user name Alfredo Roman has two aerial videos from Lollapalooza, one of the recordings contained footage from electronic DJ Skrillex’s set, and the other of a montage of the festival.

An FAA spokesperson told NBC 5 Friday that the "matter has been closed with an educational conversation with the individual who operated the UAS [unmanned aircraft]," including a discussion of "applicable laws, regulations and requirements."

Anyone wanting to fly a manned or unmanned aircraft in U.S. airspace needs “some level” of authorization from the FAA, according to federal regulations. While it is legal to fly a model aircraft, it must be flown for recreational use, with no commercial purposes.

Roman declined to comment on the videos or his dealings with the FAA.

An FAA advisory also lays down voluntary operating standards for such aircraft. No one should fly a model while spectators are on the ground until the device has been properly tested, the advisory says. It also should not be flown higher than 400 feet above the ground.

The videos were taken by a DJI Phantom recording device, according to the YouTube posts.

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Pastor pilot racks up air miles in Northern Manitoba and Ontario

Some people handle emergencies, death and tragedy better than others. But few do so as well as Rev. Bill Ney, a Lutheran pastor who comes to Thompson every summer to do something important for people living in the north.

He is a humble servant of God who helps people and provides spiritual guidance for people’s souls.

His job sounds easy and safe, but flying into remote northern communities in a small single-engine airplane is not always easy. It sometimes puts him in danger.

Ney said: “We had the engine stop once over northern Ontario. We were getting ready to ditch and it started again. That’s one of the dangers.”

A close friend of Ney, who was a pastor pilot based in Red Lake, Ont, mysteriously died two years ago in an unusual accident.

“He was a very close friend: Steve Dreher,” Ney said. “He was a pastor from Colorado, and that’s where he died.”

Dreher was taking off at a high altitude, when something caused him to crash.

Ney said: “It was a Cessna 337: the ones they use up here for the firespotters. It’s a really good plane. They used it in Vietnam. That plane had two engines.”

The Cessna O-2 Skymaster military version of the Cessna 337 was used by the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War.

Ney said his Cessna 182 is more reliable than the Cessna 337.

But why did Rev. Ney decide to take on such an ambitious task?

Rev. Ney grew up in Stratford, Ont. and is a member of the Lutheran Church-Canada. He was a pastor in Waterloo, Ont. and in Ann Arbor and Saginaw, in Michigan. He was the full-time pastor for a large parish, St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Stony Plain, Alberta, and now lives there.

Rev. Ney and his wife, Diane, have been involved with the Lutheran Association of Missionaries and Pilots (LAMP) and the Lutheran Church for decades.

“I’ve been involved with LAMP since 1970,” said Rev. Ney. “I became the pastor pilot four years ago.”

He got his licence when he was 62.

Before that, he was a board member, and then president, before retiring so he could get his private pilot’s licence and fly for LAMP, which owns the Cessna 182 he flies.

Ney said: “I don’t get paid for flying. But I get paid as a missionary pastor. But in order to get to the places that I serve, I have to fly.

“I am flying a Cessna 182 TRG. Its range is just over six hours.”

His four-seat light aircraft is a Cessna 182 turbo Skylane RG II with a 230 hp piston engine. Ney’s aircraft was built in 1979 by Cessna Aircraft Company, a manufacturer based in Wichita, Kan.

Ney and his safety pilot, David Smith, are based in Thompson for the summer. They stay at McCreedy Campground, just like LAMP’s previous pastor-pilots.

Rev. Ney is the only current pastor pilot flying for LAMP. It is a Canadian organization dedicated to spreading the gospel across the north, but has offices in New Haven, Mich.

A total of six pilots are flying for LAMP in Canada, and one of them is an American, Ney’s safety pilot, David Smith, 48. Smith is a member of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod in the United States. He is a former U.S. Air Force pilot who used to fly the Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker, a military aerial refuelling aircraft.

“I flew a heavy tanker like the Boeing 707,” Smith said.

He is a professor and flight instructor at the University of Nebraska, in Omaha, Neb.

Ney said he needs Smith when flying out of Thompson.

“We’re flying north and east into Ontario, and we’re flying sometimes west over into Saskatchewan,” Ney said. “In those vast areas, it’s nice to have another pilot.”

Ney’s boss, the executive director of LAMP, Ron Ludke and another pilot are ministering the bible schools in Saskatchewan.

“David and I, and my boss, Ron Ludke, he is covering a vast area too, so all together it’s about a million square miles,” Ney said.

LAMP has airport bases in Edmonton, Alta.; Flin Flon; Thompson; Winnipeg; Sioux Lookout, Ont. and Dryden, Ont. LAMP’s 47 mission teams minister to 47 communities in the northern parts of British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario.

“There are over 600 volunteers coming from all over Canada and from all over the United States,” Ney said.

The 47 LAMP teams and their six pilots visit remote communities by airplane for devotions, Bible readings and discussions with adults, and vacation bible schools for children.

The LAMP pilots sometimes help people with medical emergencies, such as a 32-year-old American member of LAMP ministering in South Indian Lake, who needed to get to a hospital.

“Dave and I flew over there, picked the young lady up, and flew her to Thompson,” Ney said. “It was really good that we did, because she had a severe kidney infection.”

She and her parents were part of the team at South Indian Lake. She recovered a few days later and her parents drove her home to Minnesota.

During a July 20 interview with the Nickel Belt News, Ney said: “She fully recovered. In fact, she came back this year. They were just there last week again.”

Ney said some previous pastor-pilots have flown out residents of native communities, but that is not the pilots’ primary responsibility, and it only happens during emergencies when an air ambulance is not available.

Ney often visits members of aboriginal communities in places like Thompson, Winnipeg, and the University Hospital in Edmonton, Alta.

“I go and will help them out, if they need a place to stay, or if a family member gets hurt and they ask me to stay with them,” Ney said.

Rev. Ney ministers to people in places such as Cross Lake, Norway House, Grand Rapids, Island Lake/Garden Hill and Shamattawa in Manitoba, and Big Trout Lake, Kingfisher Lake, Fort Severn, Weagamow and Sandy Lake in Ontario.

He goes to hospitals to provide moral support and to pray with them. But most of the communities he visits are in remote parts of northern Manitoba and northern Ontario.

“This week coming up there’s a group going into Lac Brochet,” said Ney, “and likely I’ll go and visit them. We’ll be going to Churchill the last week of August.”

Rev. Ney will visit Julie Thorarinson and Wendy Ritchat, two members of LAMP who lead a week-long vacation bible school in Churchill every summer.

Ney said: “We plan to go up and just make sure everything is OK and help them out, if they need it. I usually just spend part of the day with each group, because I have so many to go to.”

Thorarinson said northern communities need people like Rev. Ney, when things go wrong, or if someone or something needs to be found.

“A lot of unexpected things can happen in the north,” said Thorarinson, who used to own a bed and breakfast in Thompson, where LAMP missionaries would stay.

She now lives in Selkirk.

“He’s a fine Christian who serves the Lord 150 per cent,” Thorarinson said. “He is easy to work with. He’s very knowledgeable and willing to learn.”

Rev. Ney often ministers to grieving survivors whose relatives are victims of natural or accidental deaths, such as drownings in the communities he visits.

“A lot of times my ministry is to grieving people who have just lost a child, or a father, or a mother,” Ney said.

For example, he said he visited the grieving family of an 18-year-old who drowned in a canoeing accident in Brochet three years ago.

“We talked about the young man, and I shared scripture with them and prayed with them,” Rev. Ney said.

He helps people deal with tragic or sudden deaths. He once helped a family deal with a son’s tragic death on Mother’s Day in Sandy Lake, Ont.

“A truck fell on top of him when he was working on it…They were having a Mother’s Day celebration for the mom, and the whole family was there, and they were ministered.”

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Gary/Chicago International Airport Authority settles in prime tenant's lawsuit

The Gary/Chicago International Airport Authority settled a lawsuit accusing previous members of favoring a real estate baron's new business over a longtime airport tenant.

Under the settlement, the Airport Authority is paying $90,000 to the Gary Jet Center and providing promises it will level the playing field with regulations for all aircraft-servicing companies at the airport.

"It's important that we put this behind ourselves and now can move forward with all the new things happening at the airport," authority Chairman James Cooper said.

Gary Jet Center owner Wil Davis expressed the same sentiments about the future but reviewed what he thought was the root of the problem during the meeting's public comment period.

"I hope this never happens again," Davis said. "I firmly believe the previous board showed a lack of leadership. And the former airport director showed a lack of leadership. And I believe the consultants involved displayed a high degree of arrogance and stupidity."

The settlement comes one week before a federal court hearing on the Gary Jet Center's motion for a preliminary injunction. The previous airport board was turned out under state mandate in September 2013.

The Gary Jet Center filed its lawsuit in December and alleged former Airport Authority members schemed to give an unfair competitive advantage to Chicago real estate firm East Lake Management & Development and shortchanged taxpayers.

That company is owned by Chicago real estate magnate Elzie Higginbottom, a prominent fundraiser for former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley.

East Lake Management & Development had set up a fixed-base operation, basically a service station for planes, at the airport in 2013 and announced plans to build a 25,000-square-foot hangar. It named the new company B. Coleman Aviation.

The lawsuit contended B. Coleman Aviation was not held to the same strict airport standards as the Gary Jet Center. Among unusual privileges granted to the newcomer was a waiver of certain fees including fuel flowage fees, according to the lawsuit. It also alleged the truck-to-truck refueling used by B. Coleman Aviation violated regulations and was unsafe.

East Lake Management & Development denied it had been granted any unusual privileges when it intervened in the Gary Jet Center lawsuit in late January. It also pointed out the truck-to-truck refueling had passed inspection by the Gary Fire Department.

Under the settlement approved Thursday, the airport and B. Coleman have to develop aviation fuel tanks for B. Coleman's use within 15 months.

On Thursday, B. Coleman General Manager Benjamin Toles said his company had only intervened in the lawsuit to protect its name. B. Coleman continues to offer a full range of aircraft services at the airport. Its 25,000-square-foot hangar remains under construction.

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