Monday, September 15, 2014

Navy wants to harvest retired Japanese helos for parts

It's unusual for the United States - by far the biggest defense spender in the world - to seek scrapped military equipment from other nations. Typically, those roles are reversed.

But for the past several years, according to internal emails obtained by The Virginian-Pilot, the U.S. Navy has been negotiating to acquire Japan's retired fleet of MH-53E Sea Dragons. The Navy wants to harvest the old helicopters for parts to help keep its own Sea Dragons flying until 2025.

"It's telling when we are put in a position where we need to buy scrapped aircraft to keep ours going," said Todd Harrison, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, an independent think tank in Washington. "For the most part, we're buying the most recent generation of equipment and discarding the last generation. And many of our global partners and allies are still using them, so they'll gladly take them off our hands."

Japan is the only other country that bought Sea Dragons back when Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. was building the mine-clearing helicopters for the U.S. Navy in the 1980s. Unlike the United States, Japan decided to retire and replace its fleet last decade as the aircraft approached the end of their planned service life.

Navy and Japanese military officials have declined to discuss the potential exchange. The arrangement, however, highlights the difficulty the Navy has faced in the upkeep of its oldest and most maintenance-intensive helicopters as they near their fourth decade in service.

The Navy's desire for discarded aircraft from Japan is likely, at least in part, a reflection of national priorities, Harrison said.

The Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force has invested heavily in mine-clearing ships and helicopters, part of a strategy to counter the threat posed by China, a country boasting an enormous and sophisticated arsenal of sea mines. Japan began making plans in the late 1990s to replace its fleet of 11 Sea Dragons with a smaller and more efficient Italian-built helicopter, the MCH-101. The last of Japan's Sea Dragons were retired within the past year.

Contrast that with the Navy, which initially planned to replace its Sea Dragons last decade. But as plans to outfit a smaller helicopter with mine-clearing equipment fizzled, and as other anti-mine technologies tied to the littoral combat ship have been delayed, the Navy has repeatedly pushed back plans to retire the Cold War-era helicopters.

While the Navy wavered, defense manufacturers stopped making many Sea Dragon replacement parts, assuming the helicopters were going away. That's forced the service to get creative.

In November, a Marine officer in the Naval Air Systems Command office that's responsible for overseeing the Navy's Sea Dragon program emailed senior officials with the Navy's Fleet Readiness Center in Japan. In the message, obtained by The Pilot, the officer outlined plans to acquire Japan's remaining eight Sea Dragons.

"We have been negotiating with the Government of Japan for years to make this happen, and we are finally on the cusp," the officer wrote. "We are going to negotiate for 'nominal price,' meaning hopefully as close to free as we can get."

A few obstacles stand in the way of completing the deal, according to the email, including the need for high-level approval at the Pentagon and the risk that the scrapped helicopters were exposed to radiological contamination while responding to Japan's Fukushima nuclear disaster following a 2011 earthquake.

If everything worked out, the officer wrote in a follow-up message, the Navy would most likely just harvest the scrapped airframes for parts. But the retired Japanese airframes could also serve another purpose if needed, the officer wrote:

"Unfortunately, last year we had two mishaps in the U.S. Navy that resulted in the destruction of two of our MH-53Es. We used to have 31, now we have 29. Since there may be more mishaps in the future, we would like to reserve the possibility of making a flyable aircraft someday with these airframes."

Two months after the email was sent, another MH-53E crashed, this one off the coast of Virginia Beach, killing three crew members and reducing the Navy's inventory of flyable Sea Dragons to 28.

The January crash revealed an unforeseen mechanical flaw that was repeated in every other Sea Dragon, requiring fleetwide repairs to replace worn fuel lines and wiring bundles. The Navy, however, remains confident in the long-term viability of the Sea Dragon, Capt. Todd Flannery said last week while briefing reporters on the mishap investigation.

Flannery, the commander of Helicopter Sea Combat Wing Atlantic, acknowledged that the helicopters are aging and that new parts can be hard to come by. But the shortage doesn't usually affect day-to-day operations, he said.

"As components start to wear out, things that we haven't had to replace for a very long time start to need to be replaced," Flannery said. "And then we discover, no, we only have three or four of those in the supply system.... When an item that hasn't failed for a very long time fails, it's very difficult to find."

Kelly Burdick, a spokeswoman for Naval Air Systems Command, said she could not discuss negotiations with other countries for parts or aircraft.

"We are currently exploring several options to supplement parts that are no longer in production for the MH-53 helicopter," Burdick wrote in an email.

The issue is part of a bigger problem, said Harrison, the defense analyst. The Sea Dragon is one of several platforms that the Pentagon intended to replace last decade.

But because of delays and cost overruns related to the delivery of new combat systems - including the littoral combat ship - several older platforms have had to remain in service well beyond original plans, Harrison said.

Keeping aging equipment going comes with its own set of problems, he added: "As these systems age, they cost more and more money to maintain. So then there's even less money available to replace them."

One other problem: The older an aircraft gets, Harrison said, the more likely key components are to fail.

"It's really a downward spiral."

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Capt. Todd Flannery speaks on the Sea Dragon helicopter crash in January at Norfolk Naval Station, Sept. 11, 2014.
 (The' N. Pham | The Virginian-Pilot)

Neosho Retired Military Helicopter Display Repair Needs

NEOSHO, MO.--- "I did two tours to Southeast Asia, one was in 70-71 and then I went back in the end of 75," said Dr. William Doubek, Vietnam veteran.

During his years of service, Vietnam Veteran Dr. William Doubek was no stranger to helicopters.

"I've crashed in them a couple of times and I was just a passenger," said Dr. Doubek.

Crashing and surviving has left him with a special connection to military aircraft, especially this UH-1, or Huey as he calls it, on display in Morse Park. Doubek says it's difficult to see all of the damage the helicopter has endured from vandals through the years.

"They don't realize how many wounded or dead G.I.'s rode on a Huey," he said.

The helicopter was deeded to the city in 1997 and again in 2001. The city manager says a lot of people have probably seen it, but not many know why it's here.

"The story behind it is that there was an officer up in Washington D.C. whose mother lived in Neosho and they contacted the city to see if the city would be interested in putting up a display of a helicopter and the city agreed to it. That's kind of how it came to Neosho," said Troy Royer, Neosho City Manager.

In recent years, city leaders have looked into fixing up the helicopter, but a contract with the U.S. Army makes the repairs difficult.

"If there are broken windows, you can't just take a piece of Plexiglas and go out there to redo it. It has to be a military grade glass that goes back in it. Even painting it, you have to have the colors and the type of paint approved," said Royer.

Also, restoring the UH-1 would not be cheap.

"We are planning on doing some things to it, but it's just not an emergency need right now. We've got other things that are taking precedents over that at this point," said Royer.

Dr. Doubek says he would like to see the helicopter restored and rededicated. To him, the display is a symbol of appreciation for those who served in Vietnam.

"When you've been on one, when you've crashed in one, when you know people that were evacuated on them, it means a lot. It does bring back memories, some good, some sad, but even the sad memories are good memories because I'm one, I don't want to forget," said Dr. Doubek.

The city manager says they are considering moving the helicopter to the Neosho airport. However, it could be a lengthy process to get approval from the Army. If you would like to make a donation to help restore the Vietnam display, you're asked to contact Neosho City Hall.

- Source:

Results of California Highway Patrol (CHP) aircraft speed enforcement detail

On Sunday, September 14, 2014, California Highway Patrol (CHP) Bridgeport Area, in conjunction with the CHP’s Inland Division Air Operations Unit, based at Apple Valley Airport, conducted an aircraft speed enforcement detail on US-395, south of Topaz Lane (between Topaz Lane and Cunningham Lane).  This section of highway has a posted 55 mile per hour maximum speed limit.

During the approximately two hour detail, the CHP aircraft officer identified vehicles traveling in excess of the maximum speed limit and directed officers on the ground to make enforcement contacts.  A total of 11 enforcement contacts were made resulting in nine citations and two verbal warnings.  Eight citations were issued for exceeding the maximum speed limit, one citation was issued for a registration violation, and two verbal warnings were issued to drivers from out of the country.

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In-Flight Meal 'Lizard' Case Is Still Squirming

Courthouse News Service 
 Monday, September 15, 2014
Last Update: 4:40 PM PT

MANHATTAN (CN) - Whether she bit into a lizard, a feather or something else, a Puerto Rican beautician still disgusted by her in-flight meal 11 years ago thinks the jury that cleared American Airlines got it wrong.

In July 2003, Monserrate Luna and her son boarded a flight from New York to her native Puerto Rico to visit her family, and she ordered a chicken dinner that came with rice, peppers, peas and carrots.

Although Luna now insists her meal also included a lizard common in Puerto Rico, she originally complained of insects in her lawsuit. Her lawyer chalked up the discrepancy to his Spanish-speaking client's language barrier.

Luna's 5-year-old son said that it looked like some "animal," and a flight attendant testified that it was a feather.

Whatever it was drove her to the restroom to vomit "a little bit," Luna says.

The flight attendant offered to let Luna keep the meal as evidence, but Luna declined.

Luna then filed a federal complaint against American Airlines and LSG Sky Chefs in Manhattan, alleging physical, emotional and economic injuries. The airline, in turn, fingered its California-based frozen-meal provider Overhill Farms.

A federal magistrate whittled the claims down to a single count of negligent infliction of emotional distress, which a federal jury rejected in late 2010.

Still a resident of Puerto Rico, Luna traveled to Manhattan on Monday to watch her lawyer try to revive the case before a three-judge panel of the 2nd Circuit.

"She is still struggling for justice," Bhatia & Associates attorney Nadi Viswanathan said.

Viswanathan portrayed the case as a tale of "David against Goliath," pitting a "very simple woman" against an airline's sophisticated legal team. His "uninformed" client should be forgiven her failure to preserve the evidence, he said.

The jury should have heard all of his client's allegations, not only the negligence charge that went to trial, Viswanathan added.

Kenneth Gormley, representing American Airlines for Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker, countered that Luna received a "full and fair opportunity to present any and all evidence with respect to all of her claims."

"Simply put, the jury did not believe the central element of the plaintiff's case, that there was something in her food," he said.

Judge Rosemary Pooler asked Gormley how the jury could have rejected that the meal was "unfit for human consumption" even though the flight attendant spotted the feather in it.

Gormley replied that Luna denied the flight attendant's account.

Judge Raymond Lohier chimed in: "They insisted on the narrow lizard?"

The panel, which included U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni of New York's Southern District, reserved decision on the matter.

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Government under fire for scavenging aircraft parts from museum plane

Canada’s search-and-rescue system is being held together by “tape and baling wire,” say experts and opposition critics, after revelations that the Royal Canadian Air Force had to raid an old Hercules airplane at a museum for parts.

The Citizen reported Monday that air force technicians went through a Hercules on display at the National Air Force Museum of Canada in Trenton, Ont., in July 2012 because they needed navigational equipment for a similar aircraft still in use.

Asked about the issue in the House of Commons Monday, Defence Minister Rob Nicholson referred only to “a mistake” but did not explain what he meant. His office had earlier defended the scavenging of the museum-based aircraft, saying the military “took the initiative to remove these functional, perfectly good parts and use them effectively.”

News of the museum visit prompted opposition MPs to question the government’s commitment to Canada’s search-and-rescue capabilities in light of growing concerns about the state of the rescue system, which they argue has gotten worse under the Conservative government.

“This is a basic commitment for the Canadian Forces,” NDP defence critic Jack Harris said of search and rescue. “And the government is not giving it priority. It really makes you wonder why we can be so cavalier about foreign operations and at the same time we haven’t got our act together here at home.”

The Canadian Forces and Coast Guard respond to thousands of emergency calls around the country every year, from stranded fishermen and lost children to downed pilots and avalanche survivors. Search and rescue is considered a “no-fail mission,” meaning failure to find the target is unacceptable.

In April 2013, Auditor General Michael Ferguson said the military and coast guard had been able to “adequately respond” to search-and-rescue emergencies and distress calls in recent years. However, he also said unless urgent action was taken to address critical personnel and equipment challenges, response times and capabilities would fall dramatically. That included replacing the air force’s aging search-and-rescue airplanes.

Successive Liberal and Conservative governments have promised new planes since 2002, but documents obtained by the Citizen show defence officials don’t expect them to begin arriving until at least 2018.

Harris said he admired the “inventiveness” of the military personnel who were able to scour for parts from a museum to keep planes flying, “but it’s really clearly an indication of how badly these new aircraft are needed.”

Liberal search-and-rescue critic Yvonne Jones said it isn’t just the air force’s airplanes that are of concern; the air force also doesn’t have the right helicopters to do the job, while the coast guard is using old icebreakers.

“There’s no stability in search and rescue anymore,” she said. “There has been nothing done (by the Conservative government) to strengthen search-and-rescue activity in Canada.”

Rob Huebert of the University of Calgary said the fact the search-and-rescue system works as well as it does is a testament to the professionalism of the military and coast guard officials involved, given that it is being held together by “tape and baling wire.”

But he said there are no obvious quick fixes, especially when it comes to getting new equipment through the country’s troubled military procurement system.

“They’re (the government) trying to dig themselves out of a hole,” Huebert said of efforts to fix the search-and-rescue system. “But if it was you or me, I don’t know how we would do it.”

The Citizen reported Monday that the search-and-rescue squadron at CFB Trenton contacted the air force museum’s executive director in 2012 to see if they could go through the Hercules on display there.

They were seeking two inertial navigation units that they could take from the museum’s airplane and install in one of their H-model Hercules, which range in age from 20 to 40 years.

RCAF Capt. Julie Brunet said in an email, “These high value and essential systems allow long non-stop flights to be able to provide better response time to any search-and-rescue mission.”

Once air force technicians confirmed the museum’s Hercules still had its navigational units, it only took about half an hour to get them out.

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Boeing Takes Lead to Build Space Taxi: Aerospace Giant Poised to Beat SpaceX for U.S. Contract to Ferry Astronauts

The Wall Street Journal
By Andy Pasztor

Updated Sept. 15, 2014 7:39 p.m. ET

Boeing Co. appears positioned to beat out two smaller rivals for the bulk of a multibillion-dollar NASA contract to ferry astronauts to and from orbit, according to government and aerospace-industry officials.

An award to Boeing would represent a victory over the newer Space Exploration Technologies Corp., or SpaceX, which had been considered a favorite in many quarters because of its lower costs and nimbler approach. The decision on the development of space taxis will be a milestone for commercial space endeavors, locking in unparalleled authority for contractors to develop and operate vehicles with limited federal oversight. An announcement is expected as early as Tuesday.

Recent signals from the Obama administration, according to the officials, indicate that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's leadership has concluded on a preliminary basis that Boeing's proposed capsule offers the least risky option, as well as the one most likely to be ready to transport U.S. crews to the international space station within three years. The officials cautioned that a last-minute shift by NASA chief Charles Bolden, who must vet the decision, could change the result of the closely watched competition.

But interviews with numerous space experts from industry, government and elsewhere—all of whom have been monitoring developments closely—reveal a growing consensus that Boeing is likely to emerge as the big winner to develop and operate the nation's replacement for the space-shuttle fleet, which was retired in 2011.

If Boeing ends up with the largest share of the commercial-crew program's future dollars, the Chicago company could buttress its position as a leading force in U.S. manned space efforts for generations.

One of the two other bidders—SpaceX or Sierra Nevada Corp.—is expected to obtain a smaller contract as a second source, these experts said. SpaceX is in a very strong position to get the nod, the experts added.

For virtually the first time in its history, NASA is also seeking to reduce risk and keep a lid on prices by maintaining competition involving a major program. The success of NASA's commercial efforts depends on long-term competition, according to James Muncy, an industry consultant and former congressional staffer. "I actually care more about NASA choosing two providers than any specific company I happen to favor."

NASA currently relies on Russian rockets and capsules to fly U.S. astronauts to and from the space station. The price tag has climbed to about $70 million a seat even as U.S. policy makers and lawmakers worry about continued dependence on the Kremlin.

A NASA spokesman declined to comment on the status of the proposals except to say "we anticipate an announcement in September." The agency plans to issue fixed-price contracts extending through 2017 that will include at least one manned demonstration flight linking up with the space station. Some industry officials expect a number of additional fights to be part of this round of awards.

Without commenting on the outcome, a Boeing spokeswoman said the company has demonstrated that "the method and order in which we design and test has been successful." Boeing's team "realizes this is a really tough decision for NASA," she said, and is "waiting patiently to roll full steam ahead" assuming the company wins the contract.

A spokesman for SpaceX also declined comment on its chances. But he said the company "has a track record of 100% primary mission success" on every flight of its Falcon 9 rocket. The company has developed more hardware for manned missions than any rival, the spokesman added.

A spokeswoman for Sierra Nevada, the only company proposing a winged vehicle designed to return to earth by landing on a runway, couldn't be reached for comment.

Southern California-based SpaceX had been widely seen as the leading competitor because of its success in reliably transporting cargo to the orbiting international laboratory. SpaceX's proposed manned system uses many of the same components, and the company and its supporters have long argued that its entrepreneurial style promises lower prices, newer technology and an opportunity to shake up NASA's traditional way of doing business.

But people familiar with the process said Boeing, with its greater experience as a NASA contractor, appears to have become the favorite partly because it has met earlier development goals in the same program on time and on budget. SpaceX didn't fully meet all of the critical design requirements, according to a person familiar with the details.

The dollar value of Boeing's potential contract isn't yet clear, and it depends on how many missions end up being included in the award. NASA currently budgets nearly $700 million annually to support the development of a domestically built alternative to Russian spacecraft, and it could spend billions more over the next decade to pay for ongoing transportation services.

Boeing's role in NASA projects stretches back nearly four decades and includes serving as the prime contractor on the space station. The company also has a primary role developing a deep-space rocket for NASA. "They know the customer and what the customer wants to hear," said a former NASA official keeping tabs on the program.

Many of the agency's engineers and scientists favor Boeing, which intends to use 1990s-vintage Atlas V rockets to blast crews into orbit. Boeing officials have repeatedly said they won't continue to develop the CST-100 manned capsule, which has been in development for three years, without further government support.

By contrast, SpaceX supporters emphasize that in little more than a decade, the closely held company has developed two rockets, three different engines and a capsule designed, from the beginning, with the essential safety features required for manned missions. Founder and Chief Executive Elon Musk and other senior company managers have said they plan to continue development of the Dragon capsule regardless of NASA's decision.

William Gerstenmaier, a 37-year veteran of NASA and the associate administrator in charge of manned exploration programs, is the lead official in the section process.

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St Petersburg and Federal Aviation Administration must improve safety at Albert Whitted Airport (KSPG), Florida

WFLA News Channel 8


Around 7,000 planes took off from or came in low over St. Petersburg last year to land at city-owned and operated Albert Whitted airport.

The plane crash at Vinoy Park Monday morning was the rare exception.

Kerry Moser was drinking his morning coffee. He heard no engine sound, saw the plane crash, and was on the scene in seconds.

"If I was in one of those condos, I'd been running for cover," Moser said.

8 On Your Side's investigation found Monday's was the third crash in the last six months near the airport. Earlier this month a banner pulling aircraft slammed into the bay, killing the pilot. In March, another banner pulling plane also went into the water.

This one came really close to hitting people on the ground, the question is, is this airport too close for comfort?

In 2003, St. Petersburg voters overwhelmingly decided to keep Albert Whitted where it is. Pilot Joe Zwissel claims he's landed on this exact approach with absolutely no problem.

"Keep Albert Whitted. It's a public service airport, a lot of traffic, people coming for ball games, and serving the population of St. Petersburg," Zwissel said.

8 On Your Side wanted to know, would the downtown be better off without the airport?

"I think the voters said they wanted to keep it, it would be simpler without it," said St. Petersburg city council member Karl Nurse, who contends one possible safety issue is the city and FAA keep approving taller buildings in the approach pattern.

He told 8 On Your Side it's time to address safety issues here.

"It is an asset if we can increase the safety and we obviously have to take a fresh look at what we can to increase the safety," he said.

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Incident occurred September 15, 2014 at Oakland International Airport (KOAK), California

OAKLAND, Calif. -- An Arizona-bound jetliner has made an emergency landing at the Oakland airport after its flaps failed to fully retract after takeoff.

Southwest Airlines spokesman Brad Hawkins says the problem was noticed shortly after Flight 468 took off from San Jose Monday morning on a flight to Phoenix.

Hawkins says instruments showed that the wing flaps used for takeoff hadn't full retracted and the captain diverted to Oakland airport, where Southwest has a maintenance base.


Wreckage of suspected North Korean drone found near border island - Yellow Sea

SEOUL, Sept. 15 (Yonhap) -- The wreckage of a suspected North Korean drone was found on Monday near a sensitive inter-Korean maritime border in the Yellow Sea, the military said.

The wreckage was collected by a fisherman at around 2:20 p.m. while he was fishing in waters near the South Korean border island of Baengnyeong, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said.

The military said it believes the remains belong to a small-size, unmanned aerial drone from North Korea because it looked similar to other North Korean drones found in border areas earlier this year.

Previously, three drones were found crashed in South Korea in March and April, with officials concluding that they were sent from the North for spying missions.

The North, however, has rejected the investigation result.

"All equipment such as an internal engine or a camera has been lost and only an empty fuselage remains with (the suspected drone's) wings damaged," said an official at the JCS. "Currently, it is hard to determine when or where this wreckage fell (on the waters)."

The military said it plans to analyze the wreckage to find out the timing and the place of its crash.

If the wreckage is found to be part of a North Korean drone, South Korea's military is likely to be under criticism over its lax supervision over its air defense zone.

In light of the border incursions by North Korea's spy aircraft, the South Korean military earlier vowed to beef up air security by acquiring low-altitude surveillance radars and other strike weapons.

The North is estimated to have about 300 spy drones, according to the defense ministry.

The two Koreas are technically at war as the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a ceasefire, without signing a peace treaty. 

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Las Cruces City Council OKs funding airport action plan weeks after deadly plane crash: Cessna 421 Golden Eagle, N51RX, Elite Medical Air Transport LLC, accident occurred August 27, 2014

LAS CRUCES, N.M. – Las Cruces City Council voted to fund a new action plan for city’s international airport. The item was approved as part of Monday’s consent agenda.  

The decision comes a few weeks after a plane received 40 gallons of the wrong kind of fuel then crashed after takeoff.

Council members told KFOX14 new safety measures could be imposed but Monday’s action was in regards to funding the update.

The Las Cruces International Airport has a master plan that was written in 1997.  Airport officials issued an update in 2008.  Since then the airport has experienced many changes, according to the meeting packet.

Councillor Gill Sorg is on the airport advisory committee but can’t say too much about last month’s plane crash because it’s under investigation.

“Hopefully we’ll find out what went wrong,” Sorg told KFOX14, “whatever went wrong, we’ll correct it.”

Mayor Pro-Tem Greg Smith said he wants people to feel safe when using the Las Cruces airport.

“We anticipate the airport will get more use in the coming years with Spaceport America and other activities going on here,” said Smith.  “So we want to make sure our airport is position as safe and understood to be safe.”

Residents told KFOX14 they want to see new safety measures keep accidents like last month’s plane crash from happening again.

“They need to take a lot more measures,” said one resident.  “You got to do what you got to do to keep everyone alive.”

Carolyn Stuve agreed and told KFOX14, “That would probably be a good idea.  Just double-check things because if that was the case it’s a really sad situation.”

Council members said they’ll continue the conversation once the National Transportation Safety Board’s investigation is completed.

- Source:

NTSB Identification: CEN14FA462
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Wednesday, August 27, 2014 in Las Cruces, NM
Aircraft: CESSNA 421C, registration: N51RX
Injuries: 4 Fatal.

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 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.

On August 27, 2014, about 1900 mountain daylight time, a Cessna Airplane Company 421C, multi-engine airplane, N51RX, was destroyed after impacting terrain during initial climb near Las Cruces International Airport (LRU), Las Cruces, New Mexico. The pilot, two medical crewmembers and one patient were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to Elite Medical Air Transport, LLC; El Paso, Texas, and was operated by Amigos Aviation, Inc.; Harlingen, Texas. Day visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed at the time of the accident and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan had been filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 air ambulance flight. At the time of the accident the airplane was departing LRU for a flight to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX), Phoenix, Arizona.

The airplane arrived LRU about 1834 to pickup a patient for a flight to PHX. The pilot was still seated in the cockpit when he gave the line service technician a verbal order for a total of forty gallons of fuel. The line service technician drove the fuel truck to the front of the airplane and refueled the airplane putting 20 gallons in each wing. The pilot then assisted the line service technician with replacing both fuel caps. They both walked into the office and the pilot signed the machine printed fuel ticket.

After departing LRU to the west a medical crewmember onboard the airplane called their medical dispatcher on a satellite telephone and reported they were returning to LRU because of a problem with smoke coming from the right engine. A witness driving westbound on the interstate highway reported the airplane was westbound and about 200 feet above ground level (agl) when he saw smoke begin to appear from the right engine. The airplane then began descending and started a left turn to the east. Another witness, driving eastbound on the interstate highway, reported the airplane was trailing smoke when it passed over him about 100 feet agl. He saw the descending airplane continue its left turn to the east and then lost sight of it. Several witnesses reported seeing the impact or hearing the sound of impact and they then immediately saw smoke or flames.

Evidence at the scene showed the airplane was generally eastbound and upright when it impacted terrain resulting in the separation of the left propeller and the separation of the right aileron. The airplane came to rest inverted about 100 feet from the initial impact point, and there was an immediate postimpact fire which consumed much of the airplane. Investigators who arrived at the scene on the day following the accident reported detecting the smell of jet fuel.

A postaccident review of refueling records and interviews with line service technicians showed that the airplane had been misfuelled with 40 gallons of Jet A fuel instead of the required 100LL aviation gasoline.

At 1855 the automated weather observing system at LRU, located about 3 miles northeast from the accident location, reported wind from 040 degrees at 5 knots, visibility of 10 miles, broken clouds at 6,500 feet, temperature 23 degrees Celsius (C), dew point 16 degrees C, with an altimeter setting of 30.16 inches of Mercury.

Flight Standards District Office: FAA Albuquerque FSDO-01


Cessna 172: Fatal accident occurred September 15, 2014 in Newcastle, South Africa

UPDATE: Two confirmed dead in Newcastle plane crash

A small plane crashed and exploded into flames on a farm just outside of Newcastle shortly after 6pm this evening.

The wreckage of the plane crash.

The silent night air was split open by the splintering of metal and sparks of flame after a Cessna 172 crashed and exploded into flames shortly after 6pm this evening.

It is believed the plane was en-route to Rand Airport in Johannesburg when the pilots encountered a ‘dark zone’ and  lost control of the aircraft, slamming into the ground on farm just outside of Newcastle. 

Tragically, both pilots lost their lives in the ensuing crash.

A witness to the aftermath of the crash described the scene:

“I heard the plane flying very low, and then a huge noise. When I got outside the plane and the area around was already on fire.”

Close to 100m of the area surrounding the plane had been set ablaze by the fiery wreckage of the plane.

The witness believed the only reason as to why the fire did not spread further, was due to the wreckage of the plane coming to a rest in the nearby stream.

ER24 and EMRS paramedics as well as Protection Services members rushed to the scene, but were hampered by the inaccessibility of the remote location.

Nearby farm owners and farmhands helped to stop the fire from spreading further and wreaking more devastation to the nearby farms.

Currently SAPS forensic units are on scene looking for any possible clues that may suggest a possible mechanical failure leading to the tragic crash.

The Civil Aviation Authority has been informed, and will conduct a full investigation tomorrow.

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Dick Rochfort, ATP, CFII: Flying an Unpublished Hold with the Garmin GTN 650 Navigator


Published on September 15, 2014 

Master Instructor Dick Rochfort describes the techniques and procedures for flying the unpublished holding pattern using the Garmin GTN 650 Navigator. Dick Rochfort is a full-time pilot trainer specializing in the Piper PA46 Matrix, Mirage and Meridian aircraft. He provides pre-purchase valuation, training, corporate service and expert witness services worldwide. You may view hundreds of additional videos and articles about flying the PA46 aircraft at or contact Dick directly at

Fly Safely - Train Often

Willmar Municipal Airport (KBDH) busy flying workers to and from North Dakota oil patch

Willmar,Minn., airport on-site supervisor Eric Rudningen of Eric’s Aviation Services has a commercial pilot’s license and an airframe and power plant mechanics certificate. His two-year airport management contract with the city runs out at the end of the year, and a new three-year agreement is going before the Willmar City Council. Rand Middleton/Forum News Service

WILLMAR, Minn. — Early every Monday morning, four twin-engine airplanes carrying from six to eight construction workers each take off from Willmar Municipal Airport in Willmar, Minn., bound for western North Dakota. 

The workers, who are employees of a Willmar construction company, are building street, sewer, water and infrastructure projects for small cities whose population has swelled due to the oil boom.

The four planes return empty to Willmar. On Friday, the planes take off from Willmar and return with the workers. The cycle resumes the following week.

The Willmar company has flown workers to distant cities in the past, but not to the extent seen this year, says Eric Rudningen, airport operations supervisor and owner of Eric’s Aviation Services Inc.

Rudningen says Willmar Airport benefits from the increase in takeoffs and landings — known as “operations” — by the local company along with other business aircraft and individually owned aircraft.

“This summer operations are averaging 35 to 40 a week,’’ he said. “It’s improved from five years ago."

Rudningen said private recreational and businesses aircraft operations fell dramatically during the Great Recession. Rudningen said a few construction companies sold their airplanes and companies that continued flying did so at a lower rate.

Rudningen explains that the increase in operations is good because Federal Aviation Administration and Minnesota Department of Transportation airport funding is based on the number of operations. It’s also based on the number and type of aircraft based at the airport.

“It’s great for the airport and for the community," said Rudningen. “One of the things the airport does for the region is that it brings in outside dollars into the region. It’s work that is going on somewhere else and a company here is finding success and profitability because of that. That just helps the region to grow economically."

Funding to airports is derived from the nationwide aircraft fuel tax. Smaller airports like Willmar benefit because it keeps smaller airplanes from flying into major airports like Minneapolis-St. Paul International and clogging up the airspace, said Rudningen.

“The aviation world is very user-funded," he said.

Last week the City Council’s Public Works/Safety Committee voted to renew the airport operations supervisor agreement with Eric’s Aviation Services. The agreement will be considered by the council tonight.

The six-page agreement, which was also recommended by the Airport Commission, spells out the supervisor’s daily activities needed to keep the airport safe, accessible and operational.

The current two-year agreement with Rudningen expires Dec. 31, 2014. The new three-year agreement provides a 1.5 percent increase per year in the monthly fee the city pays for the service, which will increase from $6,428 per month in 2015 and $6,524 per month in 2016 to $6,622 in 2017.

Rudningen told the committee that local airport use is very good. He said a lot of very successful companies in the area are using the airport and are happy with how things are going, although he hesitated to identify the companies.

“Just be aware that a lot of the very successful companies in the area are utilizing the airport on a very regular basis," he said.

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Propulsion Technologies International of Miramar, Florida: Aircraft engine repair company reaching new heights

Luciano Bencosme works on an aircraft engine part at Propulsion Technologies International in Miramar. The company will recognized this week as one of South Florida's top manufacturing companies. 
(Carline Jean / Sun Sentinel / September 10, 2014)

In some ways, airliners are similar to your car.

“After so many miles, you have to bring it in for an oil change or tune-up,” said Kimberly Gardner, plant leader at Propulsion Technologies International of Miramar. “After so many hours running an [aircraft] engine, you basically have to service the engine.”

That work is creating double-digit growth at Propulsion Technologies, which repairs parts for one aircraft engine line for General Electric Aviation and France-based Snecma. The engine, the CFM56, powers Boeing and Airbus commercial aircraft.

Propulsion Technologies will be recognized this week as one of the South Florida Manufacturing Association’s 2014 Manufacturers of the Year. The others are Hotpie in Fort Pierce, PAC Seating Systems in Palm City and Techno Coatings in Miami.

Propulsion Technologies’ revenues grew 28 percent in 2012 and 22 percent last year, said Gardner, who joined Propulsion Technologies in 2012 after a long career at GE in Hartford, Conn.

The company increased staff by 6 percent in 2013 and will more than double that growth this year, she said. The Miramar company employs 153 people and is hiring for manual machinists, process engineers and quality engineers.

Gardner is working with Snecma partner Thomas Grosclaude to launch a program at Broward College to generate local workers with the skills they need.
Photos: 100 things to do with your kid this summer

“They’re not just employing people at high-level jobs; they’re investing in our community,” June Wolfe, president of the South Florida Manufacturers Association, said of Propulsion Technologies’ move from Doral to Miramar in 2011.

Gardner said leadership principles she learned at GE have served her well. At Propulsion Technologies, she manages autonomous teams, rather than layers of management.

“The team makes decisions based on the customers’ needs,” she said.
Employees also attend team-building events at Broward College’s Tigertail adventure learning program.

Norm Seavers, associate vice president at the college’s Institute for Economic Development, said Tigertail is designed to help organizations improve communications, resolve conflict or address other issues.

South Florida Manufacturers Annual Meeting

WHEN: 4 p.m. Thursday

WHERE: Coral Springs Marriott, 11775 Heron Bay Blvd.

EVENT: "State of the Art Thinking," with keynote by management consultant Mike Adams and a panel discussion with the award-winning manufacturers

CONTACT: Kaitlin Centonze at 954-941-3558

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Anonymous 'Citizens for Readington' group focused on Solberg-Hunterdon Airport (N51), New Jersey

READINGTON TWP. — - A group calling itself "Citizens for Readington" has distributed a mailer and is seeking signatures on an online petition, likes on its new Facebook page and followers on Twitter.

The identity of these "citizens" isn't shared on any of its platforms, but its message "at this time" is focused on the preservation of Solberg Airport.

Its "about us" page on its website says group members "have endeavored to be as factual as possible, citing source documents where appropriate." On that same page is a graphic of a pony-tailed girl whose facial features are obscured, except for her big blue eyes, by a gas mask as she jumps rope in a meadow, surrounded by airplanes. 

"Citizens" calls Township Committee candidates John Broten and Sam Tropello "pro-Solberg" and "pro-airport." In its mailer it says that with their "votes in hand, only one more vote is needed to achieve a pro-Solberg pro-airport majority on the Township Committee."

In June the men narrowly defeated Republican incumbents Committeeman Frank Gatti and Mayor Julia Allen for their party's nomination for two three-year Township Committee seats.

The primary race was heated, centered on the township's longtime efforts to prevent further development of Solberg Airport and surrounding lands.

The Solberg Airport condemnation trial started in June and is set to continue through the middle of October. The only date in September was canceled; the trial is to continue the first three Wednesdays and Thursdays in October.

A closed-door session by the Township Committee on the subject of Solberg Aviation lands lasted more than five hours on Sept. 5, but didn't lead to action.

The mailer was distributed late last week, titled "Learn the facts before it's too late; Expansion of Solberg Airport will impact you."

Addressed "To Our Neighbors," it says that a "pro-airport township committee is imminent" and "recent events could accelerate jetport expansion."

As for what "you can do," it urges readers to "make a difference" by spreading "the word," signing the petition, liking the group and following it.

On the group's website,, it says it is a nonprofit and non-partisan group and its mission is "informing and educating the public about issues that affect the quality of life in our township.

"Like you, we have kids, dogs, cats, stressful jobs, and don't particularly like politics. But we think residents should be fully informed about issues that will change the character of our township forever."

The petition online asks the Township Committee to "continue its efforts to implement permanent limits on the expansion of Solberg-Hunterdon Airport to protect the character and quality of life in our town while enabling the airport to continue as a general aviation airport."

At 3 p.m. on Sept. 15 it had garnered 192 of 500 signatures sought.

The group can be contacted via email to, or a Three Bridges post office box.

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Brothers admit sending 239 pounds of marijuana on plane: Federal Aviation Administration monitored zig-zagging flight to New Castle Municipal Airport (KUCP), Pennsylvania

Officials in Pennsylvania display marijuana from Cessna 207A (rear). 

Authorities say these packages of high-grade marijuana were seized from a small aircraft that landed in New Castle. 

PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island — Two brothers have pleaded guilty to charges they conspired to ship 239 pounds of marijuana on a single-engine plane from Pennsylvania to Rhode Island.

Thirty-seven-year-old Benjamin Daniels, of West Bountiful, Utah, pleaded guilty Monday. His brother, 32-year-old Michael Daniels, of Tiverton, Rhode Island, pleaded guilty in August.

Authorities said at the time the brothers were arrested that they had monitored the plane as it crossed the country. It was piloted by another man from Utah and was zig-zagging and flying at a low altitude to avoid detection.

After the aircraft landed in New Castle, Pennsylvania, authorities discovered the drugs. The pilot was allowed to continue to Rhode Island, where he met Michael Daniels and turned over the drugs.

The brothers each face up to 20 years in prison for the conspiracy charge.

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December 19, 2013: Tiverton man busted in cross country marijuana caper 

TIVERTON — After officials tracked the upcoming cross-country deal for days, a Tiverton man was arrested Monday night in the back parking lot of the Courtyard Marriott Hotel in Lincoln while in the act of transferring cardboard boxes filled with marijuana from one van to another.

According to official accounts, and other reports, at the time of the arrest, the man — Michael M. Daniels, 31, whose “last known address” was said to be Tiverton — was under close surveillance by law enforcement officials as the deal finally went down.

For several days officials had been tracking approximately 300 pounds of marijuana, worth an estimated $1.2 million, as it made its way by plane across country from California.

The events that unfolded Monday night in the hotel parking lot culminated a zig-zag, cross-country journey by a plane with tinted windows carrying the contraband marijuana that made every effort to avoid detection by radar and urban airports.

Those very efforts, however, may have triggered official interest in the plane, which was reportedly followed part of the way by a Black Hawk helicopter.

After Monday night’s arrest, a criminal complaint filed Tuesday, Dec. 17 in the United States District Court for Rhode Island in Providence, charged Michael Daniels with conspiracy to possess — with intent to distribute — marijuana in violation of federal law.

His brother, Benjamin J. Daniels, 37, of West Bountiful Utah, was also charged with the same offense.

The plane, a Cessna 207A, carrying the marijuana left a small airport in northern California on Thursday, Dec. 12 and landed Monday night, Dec. 16 at North Central State Airport in Smithfield, Rhode Island.

An article in the Ellwood City Ledger (Pennsylvania) by reporter E. Poole reports that efforts by the pilot “to literally fly below the radar,”  along with other “multiple suspicious procedures,” drew the attention of authorities to the plane as it made its way across the country.

So when the plane landed at New Castle Airport in Pennsylvania for refueling, dogs sniffed the plane, a search was conducted, and the drugs were found.

The pilot, (Ken Barton Burrows, 53, of Orem, Utah), was charged, and detained, and a criminal complaint was filed against him in Pennsylvania.

In writing about the circumstances of the pilot’s arrest and the Pennsylvania complaint and charges, Reporter Poole said, “The airplane’s windows were tinted dark, Burrows had not filed a flight plan, and he was avoiding urban areas with large airports that would have tracked him by radar from long-range towers. As Burrows small-airport-hopped across the United States, Homeland Security began tracking him and used a Black Hawk helicopter to tail the aircraft.”

After the charges were filed in Pennsylvania, Reporter Poole said, officials “then permitted the Department of Homeland Security to take the airplane to its intended destination in Rhode Island as part of an operation to capture the dealer who was purchasing the marijuana.”

The criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Providence against Mr. Daniels says the amount of marijuana in the plane “is not consistent with personal use.”

The complaint details what happened after the plane left New Castle, referring to “the pilot” but never by name.

On Monday, Dec. 16, the complaint says, “the boxes containing the marijuana were transported from Pennsylvania to North Central State Airport” in Smithfield, where they arrived about 3 p.m. and were loaded (it’s not clear from the complaint by whom or how) into a white cargo van.

There followed multiple text messages and phone calls back and forth, over about a three hour period, the complaint indicates, between “the pilot” and Benjamin Daniels, who said his “buddy” (quotes in the original complaint, and presumably referring to Michael Daniels) was in the process of getting what was later confirmed as another van.

After these multiple communications, about 6 p.m., two vans ultimately arrived in the back parking lot of the Courtyard Marriott, one a white cargo van, the other a gray minivan.

The complaint says that Michael Daniels and “the pilot” began transferring the marijuana from the white cargo van to the gray minivan.

“After approximately 7 of the boxes were transferred, investigators arrived. Michael Daniels was arrested. Upon arrest he was found to be in possession of $4,694,” says the complaint.

The complaint says that the minivan was rented from Enterprise Car Rentals in Fall River about an hour after the plane landed at North Central State Airport.

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Future airport improvements focus of meeting tonight: Elmira/Corning Regional (KELM), New York

A public meeting to review development alternatives being considered in the Elmira Corning Regional Airport Master Plan Update will be held 7 p.m. today in the Big Flats Community Center, 476 Maple St.

"We have to redo the master plan every five to seven years to make sure that we're planning for the next 20 years at the airport," said Ann Crook, the airport's director of aviation. "The last master plan that we did in 2007 was really focused on very steady, slow growth and a lot of airfield improvements."

During the past five years, however, the airport has seen huge growth, she said.

"Because our growth has been so fast, we've done all those airfield improvements and we're already way, way past the projections of how many passengers we thought we'd have," Crook said.

"So this master plan is going to be looking at, now that we have all these passengers, the infrastructure in the airfield is robust and in good shape, but we need to make some improvements to accommodate passengers," she said.

Those could include things like improved parking and the potential expansion of the baggage claim area and the TSA screening checkpoint, Crook said.

"Those are the things that we're looking at for this master plan."

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Bethel, Berks County, Pennsylvania: Golden Age Air Museum hosts Barnstormers Day and open house

Attendees follow the plane during a fly-by as it soars through the beautiful Berks sky on Sept. 14. 
Photo by Shea Singley — Berks-Mont Newspapers 

Old engines could be heard as airplanes from the golden age of aviation soared through the beautiful Berks County sky on Sunday, Sept. 14 at the Golden Age Air Museum in Bethel for the Barnstormer Day as well as open house.

“Sit back and enjoy the sounds of the old engines,” said the announcer. “You may even be able to hear the whisper of the wind over the wings.”

The event was an “original non-air show air show” focused on planes from the 1920s to 1930s as well as radio controlled airplanes. Fitting the golden age feel of the airfield and museum, the pilots dressed appropriately and fit right in with the roaring 20s and jazz music played over the speakers between commentary and plane engines roaring as they passed by. As promised the barnstorming pilots had plenty of tricks up their sleeves to entertain the audience all day with aircraft presentations, fly-bys and aerial competitions.

“We’d like to thank you for your resilience in coming today as we had to postpone the air show yesterday because of Mother Nature,” said the announcer. “We’re going to do a little bit of our flying circus work.”

He continued, “We’re going to do a series of flying acts all day long here. It’s not going to be as fast-paced as our circus but we’re going to have a lot more surprises and a lot of stuff for you.”

The audience congregated by the planes preparing to take off and all heads turned as the planes took to the sky and circled the field flying past multiple times. Along with the sounds of the engines, clicks from cameras were heard capturing the golden age aircraft in motion.

As the planes passed by and prepared to take off, the announcer explained the various aircraft by providing a brief history and interesting tidbits and commentary.

Attendees were treated to planes that usually do not take part in the fly-bys or perform at the open house event. Various planes were on the ground for attendees to look at up close as well as vintage cars.

As per tradition, the event officially started with the playing of the National Anthem, which due to the postponement the event ended up on the same day as a special anniversary for the song. Sunday, Sept. 14, marked the 200th anniversary of the writing of the National Anthem.

“Air shows are traditionally patriotic and we certainly feel that way here at Golden Age Air Museum,” said the announcer.

Not only were the attendees treated to presentations, fly-bys, aerial competitions, World War II aircraft flight, radio controlled aircraft, antique autos, live music, comedy and action, but also the chance to go up into the sky in Golden Age Air Museum’s biplane which was offering rides throughout the day. One rider even said, “That was the best ride of my life,” as she exited the plane.

All ages took a seat in the grass and followed the planes as they soared through the sky and enjoyed a gorgeous day at the air field.

“This airplane, like all the others, would not be flying without your wonderful support,” said the announcer.

Coming up at the Golden Age Air Museum is the Great Pumpkin Fly-In on Oct. 18 and 19. For more information on Golden Age Air Museum, visit

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Airport owner Harold Hamp keeps the Sunday pilot flying: Hamp Airport (68R), Elwell, Michigan

Harold Hamp, 80, of Elwell stands next to a plane his mechanic son, Mike, is working on in a hangar in Harold's backyard on Friday, Sept. 12, 2014. 

Down a dirt road three miles west of Elwell, Mich. sits a strip of grass lined with yellow cones that outline Harold Hamp’s FAA recognized airport. 

Harold, who just turned 80, was recently honored by the FAA with the prestigious Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award and an award for ‘Fifty Years of Dedicated Service in Aviation Safety’ on Aug. 23, 2014.

The Charles Taylor award “is named in honor of Mr. Charles Taylor, the first aviation mechanic in powered flight. The Charles Taylor “Master Mechanic” Award recognizes the lifetime accomplishments of senior mechanics,” according to the Federal Aviation Administration website.

To be eligible for the award an individual must have worked 50 years in an aviation maintenance career as well as be nominated and then verified by three other mechanics.

Harold was nominated by his college roommate, friend and FAA employee Gary Kneggs.

About five years ago, Harold decided to invent a starter for planes that needed to be started by hand after almost dying during the procedure.

On that day about five years ago, he had headed out to his backyard airstrip to go for a flight.

“I propped the airplane and everything looked good, so I started getting into the plane and bumped the throttle, which went to wide open, as I’m hanging halfway out of it. Luckily, I was able to reach over and turn the switch off before crashing into my house. That’s when I decided that was enough of hand propping and decided to invent a starter,” he said.

In April 2009, EAA Sport Aviation magazine did a feature on Harold’s starter stating that it was the biggest safety innovation in 50 years.

Harold’s youngest daughter, Brenda Hamp, spoke about her father’s award and her experiences with him.

“I’m so proud of my dad. He’s always told me if you can’t buy it, build it. I’m proud of his accomplishment and the lives he’s saved,” she said.

Harold got his start as an airplane mechanic when he joined the Air Force in 1952. He was given the opportunity to chose between being a pilot or a mechanic. After giving it some thought, he decided not to be a pilot because he didn’t want to kill anyone and knew after he was discharged his skill set as a mechanic would be more valuable.

He was stationed at Kinross and in Alaska during his stint in the Air Force as an instrument specialist whose job it was to handle maintenance on jet plane gauges.

He met his wife Carol while in the service at a dairy bar in St. Ignace, Mich. while “looking for girls” as she put it.

She was freshly 17 and he was 18 with a motorcycle that she wanted a ride on. That ride led to marriage, three daughters, two sons, 14 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren.

In 1968, Harold and Carol built their house on the very same road he grew up on. The property on which the Hamp family and their airport is located is just down the road from his childhood home.

The original airstrip took shape with a horse drawn grater and six bags of quack seed before the first hangar was built in 1981. Through the years additional hangars have sprang up storing everything from Harold’s own plane (a 1940 Taylor Craft), to neighbor’s aircraft to planes his mechanic son, Mike, restores and works on.

The idea for his backyard airport arose after the employer of his old job as an airplane mechanic in Mt. Pleasant was forced to close up shop.

At the time he had been flying his personal plane back and forth from Elwell to Mt. Pleasant, but when he was out of a job and limited by back problems he decided to open his own airplane repair shop at his home.

“Anybody can build an airstrip for their own use,” he said.

However, for the purpose of his repair shop Harold wanted to get his personal airstrip approved for public use by the FAA.

Once that process was completed everything from sky divers, small single engine planes, hot air balloons, a massive military helicopter, and even a twin engine Beach 18 (the largest aircraft to use the airstrip) have landed at Hamp Skyport.

Although Harold has not flown in over a year due to congestive heart failure he hopes to one day return to the skies and reclaim the feeling of ultimate control.

“It’s a feeling of peace; sitting in the airplane and being in control of everything,” he said.

“A lot of guys go to the bar and get drunk. I just go for a flight and get the same feeling.”

As for the airport, he hopes it will be his legacy even after he’s gone.

After all the main purpose of Harold Hamp’s airport is, as the motto on the weather worn sign out front proudly states, to “Keep the Sunday Pilot Flying.”

Story and Photos:

A sign for Hamp Aircraft Service proclaims "Keep the Sunday Pilot Flying" near Harold Hamp's airstrip in Elwell, Mich. on Friday, Sept. 12, 2014.

Reims Cessna F152, CS-AYH: Accident occurred September 12, 2014 in Sagres, Portugal

NTSB Identification: CEN14WA510 
 14 CFR Unknown
Accident occurred Friday, September 12, 2014 in Sagres, Portugal
Aircraft: CESSNA REIMS F152, registration:
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. The foreign authority was the source of this information.

On September 12, 2014, about 1000 coordinated universal time, a Cessna Reims, F152 single-engine airplane, serial number 1612, registry CS-AYH, was destroyed after ditching along the seashore of Sagres, Portugal. The pilot was fatally injured. At the time of the accident the airplane was on a local flight from Portimão Airport (LPPM), Portimão, Portugal.

The accident investigation is under the jurisdiction and control of the government of Portugal. This report is for information purposes only and contains only information released by or obtained from the government of Portugal. Further information pertaining to this accident may be obtained from:

GPIAA - Gabinete de Prevenção e Investigação de Acidentes com Aeronaves
Praça Duque de Saldanha, n.º 31- 4º
1050-094 LISBOA

The Portuguese Navy has begun the procedures to recover the wreckage of the Reims Cessna F152  aircraft that crashed into the sea last Friday, two miles south of Sagres.

Divers have attached inflatable balloons which will be used to lift the fuselage and the one attached wing from the ocean floor.

The pilot is still missing and a search by the Marine Police diving team so far has revealed no trace of his remains in the area surrounding the crashed Reims Cessna F152.

The sunken wreckage "will be floated and towed to the port of Baleeira (pictured), then lifted onto the dock and taken to the air accident investigators based at the airfield in Viseu.

"This is the body that investigates such accidents and it will try to find out what happened," said Carvalho Pinto, the Lagos port commander.

In a twist to this story, the search for the pilot has been extended to the countryside along the cliffs in an area where it was judged that the Reims Cessna F152 flew over before heading out to sea and crashing.

There is a Navy corvette moored above the crash site and a Maritime Police vessel but if the lifting of the wreckage can not be completed today an early start is planned for Tuesday morning.

The Reims Cessna F152 belonged to the Aero Club of Portimão and was used for flight instruction and pleasure flights.

The pilot, missing presumed dead, was José Inacio dos Santos, 74, from Portimão who has emigrated from Canada to Portugal and who was flying the
Reims Cessna F152 for pleasure.

The aircraft ended up crashing less than an hour after take off from Portimão last Friday 12 September and a warning was given by the skipper of the fishing boat Adriano José, at about 11.00am.

Despite not having seen the plane actually crash due to the heavy fog, the fishermen were able to point rescue teams to the debris and documents floating in the sea.

The wreckage was found on the ocean floor Sunday morning, but with no sign of the pilot.

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Teens can learn aircraft maintenance for free at TPS Aviation Academy Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports  

The TPS Aviation Academy in Swanton offers teens a unique opportunity to learn aircraft maintenance - for free.

Student Mark James says, "I think it's probably the best thing out of all TPS. It's the crown jewel of it. Without this program, I don't know where I would be."

Mark is a junior in the program and he says the hands-on training is miles above spending his day studying at a desk. "I just love coming out here. It's just amazing what I can do every day compared to a regular school day."

Students work on planes, learning to maintain instruments and keep the plane air-worthy.

Instructor Brad McDonald says, "One day they might be going on a flight learning about navigation, the next day they may be working on a jet engine."  He says the 53 students in the program will graduate with more than just a degree. "Students that come here will graduate not only with their high school diploma but also with the federal rating from the FAA."

Which is good news, because the industry is booming and technicians are in high demand.

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Passengers try to smuggle arms, drugs on to a plane at Ben Gurion Airport: Israeli man and Uzbek citizen held by police after gun magazine and drugs found in hand-stowed luggage


Two passengers were detained at Ben-Gurion International Airport on Monday after security staff uncovered an attempt to smuggle ammunition and drugs onto an Uzbekistan Airways flight to Tashkent.

Officials are investigating whether the passengers intended to hijack the plane.

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Security was high at Ben-Gurion International Airport after officials detected a magazine full of bullets inside a doll in a carry-on bag of a passenger heading to Uzbekistan. 

At 11:30 hat appeared to be bullets were detected on the screen of a baggage security inspector. The bullets were hidden inside a doll inside a carry-on belonging to a 36-year-old man from the center of the country.

At the moment it was realized that the passenger tried to conceal the bullets in the doll he fled from security, but was apprehended a few minutes later. The passenger was scheduled to board an Air Uzbekistan flight that was to depart Ben-Gurion at 2:00PM on Monday 20 Elul.

When questioned, he explained he was given the carry-on by a female passenger that he is not familiar with. He told security officials she asked him to take the bag because she simply had too much luggage.

The flight was held and the airport shifted to high alert status. The luggage of the man and the woman he claimed handed him the bag were removed from the flight. The woman pointed out by the passenger is an Uzbekistan citizen. She was also concealing drugs.

Police were called in and the plane was subjected to another security inspection prior to being permitted to take off. The suspects were taken into police custody.

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Piper PA-28-180 Cherokee, N15833, Advanced Technology Training LLC: Accident occurred September 15, 2014 in St. Petersburg, Florida

NTSB Identification: ERA14LA440
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, September 15, 2014 in St. Petersburg, FL
Aircraft: PIPER PA 28-180, registration: N15833
Injuries: 2 Serious,2 Minor.

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 September 15, 2014, about 1030 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-28-180, N15833, was substantially damaged when it collided with trees and terrain, following a total loss of engine power while maneuvering for landing at Albert Whitted Airport (SPG), St. Petersburg, Florida. The foreign rated pilot seated in the left front seat and the pilot-rated passenger seated in the right rear seat were seriously injured, the pilot seated in the right front seat and the passenger seated in the left rear seat received minor injuries. The airplane was owned by Advanced Technology Training, LLC and operated by a private individual under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed. The flight originated from Tallahassee Regional Airport (TLH), Tallahassee, Florida, about 0830.

Initial examination of the airplane and engine by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that the airplane came to rest upright on the nose and right main landing gear, in a neighborhood park. The left wing was impact separated and was located in the vicinity of the main wreckage and initial tree strikes. Flight control continuity was confirmed to the elevator from the control column located in the cockpit. The wing flaps were in the full extended position. The fuel selector valve, located in the cockpit, was selected to the left fuel tank position. Neither fuel tank appeared to be breeched; however, approximately 12 ounces of fuel was extracted from the left fuel tank and approximately 80 ounces of fuel was extracted from the right fuel tank. No blight was observed on the vegetation in the vicinity of the wreckage except for an approximate 6 inch circle located near the initial ground impact location.

Examination of fuel records at TLH revealed that the airplane did not purchase fuel after it arrived on September 14, 2014. However, fuel records were located at a fixed base operator at the Pensacola International Airport (PNS), Pensacola, Florida, time stamped September 14, 2014, at 1506. According to a copy of the fuel ticket 25 gallons of fuel was requested in each fuel tank, and the fuel receipt indicated 39.8 gallons of fuel was purchased, which according to the fueler, filled the fuel tanks.


Flight Standards District Office: FAA Miami FSDO-19 




St. Petersburg, FL - Two people have been taken to a local hospital after a plane crash landed at 5th Avenue NE and Bayshore Drive in Vinoy Park Monday morning.

Preliminary information is that it was a Piper PA-28-180 Cherokee. There were three men and a 17-year-old girl on board, all of which are residents of Northern Ireland.

St. Pete Police have identified the pilot as 57-year-old Grant Jordan. He was taken to Bayfront Medical Center in serious but stable condition. One passenger, 52-year-old Aloysius Ryan, was also transported and is in serious but stable condition.

The other two occupants, 48-year-old Eamonn Harnell, and the teenage girl suffered minor injuries.

According to information received from the plane's pilot, the plane suffered engine failure as he began his approach to the airport and he was forced to attempt a landing in the park.

Witnesses said the plane was heading north to south when it came down in the park and struck a tree during the landing attempt.

The plane came down upright in the southern section of the park.

FlightTracker shows the plane left Tallahassee at 8:14 a.m. Monday and was scheduled to land at Albert Whitted Airport at 9:55 a.m. FAA investigators are at the crash site conducting their investigation on the cause of the crash.

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