Thursday, September 18, 2014

Incident occurred at Coffs Harbour Airport, New South Wales, Australia

 A cargo plane made a forced landing in Coffs Harbour early this morning after it experienced engine failure.

The Brisbane-bound aircraft touched down safely just after midnight after a mayday was received at the Coffs Harbour tower.

The pilot reported one engine had shut down and may possibly be on fire.

Emergency crews were scrambled to the airport.

Police, NSW Fire and Rescue crews, Rural Fire Service firefighters and Ambulance personnel were positioned on the airstrip in case of an emergency.

Officers interviewed the pilot and fire crews used a thermal imaging camera to try and find hot spots in the faulty engine.

It was found the engine had overheated and shutdown.

The aircraft had earlier taken off from Sydney prior to the unscheduled landing.

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 A cargo plane touched down safely at Coffs Harbour Airport this morning after losing power to one engine early this morning. Frank Redward

Airplanes over Queens an assault to quality of life, residents indicate: Protesters tell Federal Aviation Administration to quiet the noise

“Enough is enough!” they chanted.

Fed up with what many described as repeated aerial assaults on their quality of life, a crowd of Queens residents rallied in Cunningham Park Sunday against what they see as the Port Authority and Federal Aviation Administration’s lackluster response to airplane noise and pollution.

“No one here has to imagine how it feels, including our elected officials, to wake up every Saturday or Sunday morning to the sound of an airplane,” said Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Flushing). “No one here has to imagine how it feels to send our kids and our grandkids to schools where the class is actually shaking because of airplane noise. No one here has to imagine how it feels to be in the park and try to enjoy a nice day, but we can’t have a conversation and we can’t hear each other.”

Barbara Brown, chairwoman of the Eastern Queens Alliance, spoke for the residents of Southeast Queens near Kennedy Airport, where the “landing gears are almost skating across the roofs of people’s homes.

“People are reporting that they’re waking up in the middle of the night with a plane that has been flying so low that they think the plane is going to crash into their home,” Brown said. “They wake up with their hearts palpitating and scared for their lives.

“The FAA tells us their main concern is safety in the air,” she added. “That’s a main concern of ours too. You cannot exchange health and safety on the ground for health and safety in the air.”

Borough President Melinda Katz pointed out the problems aren’t new: “We have been fighting this fight for decades.”

However, the implementation of new flight procedures and NextGen technology, which incorporates GPS navigation to enable planes to fly in set paths so that the airlines can maximize efficiency, have led to more frequent takeoffs and landings of larger aircrafts flying at lower altitudes over densely populated residential areas.

Many of the grievances revolve around a takeoff procedure at LaGuardia that puts planes at half their former altitudes, sometimes as frequently as 20 seconds apart.

“It’s just mind-boggling that the FAA thinks this is something that’s appropriate,” said Assemblyman Ed Braunstein (D-Bayside). “When people bought their homes in Northeast Queens, they knew that they lived near an airport, but they never expected they were going to hear noise like this.”

Last November, Gov. Cuomo ordered the Port Authority to establish an aviation roundtable, conduct a study of the noise impact and find ways to mitigate them. The leadership of Queens Quiet Skies is unhappy with it as well as the PA splitting it up to create one for each airport.

Janet McEneaney and Bob Whitehair, president and vice president of the organization, respectively, say it is the wrong way to proceed because the airspace is connected and all parties must work together to find solutions.

The PA has hired consultants and established a noise office to oversee the study, but Queens Quiet Skies is angry about not having any input.

Elpida and Tiffany Hatzidimitriu, students at MS 158 in Bayside, carried a sign stating “I can’t hear my teacher.” Elpida, a sixth-grader, said that her first-period math class is frequently interrupted so her teacher has to talk louder or stops until the planes pass.

A recently released study from Harvard, funded by the FAA, confirms that elderly individuals who live along the noisiest flight paths near airports have a higher risk of being admitted to the hospital for cardiac disease. Six million people living close to 55 airports were studied. Fifty percent of hospitalizations in those areas were for cardiovascular problems.

“What about the pollution?” Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Park) asked. “What about flying over communities and the risk of planes landing in our backyards?”

Joe Brostek from the Broadway-Flushing Homeowners Association said that sometimes he can smell jet fuel as it settles over the community and noted that the lake in Bowne Park, home to fish and turtles, is being tested for particulate matter from jet fuel.

Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing) assured her constituents that they are “not alone in this fight to improve our everyday living conditions.”

She has worked with Rep. Steve Israel (D-Suffolk, Nassau, Queens) to convince the FAA to conduct a comprehensive noise study of the entire New York City metropolitan area, which will begin in January.

“This change would provide relief to many people in our communities and across the nation,” Meng said. “More people would be eligible for noise mitigation funding at their house or the FAA would have to put more emphasis on noise than on profiting the airlines.”

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Lower Makefield joins lawsuit against Trenton-Mercer Airport (KTTN), New Jersey

The Lower Makefield supervisors voted unanimously Wednesday night to join a federal lawsuit against the Trenton-Mercer Airport.

The supervisors agreed to put up $10,000 to start the affiliation and then match up to $5,000 in contributions from neighboring municipalities.

The decision came after the supervisors heard from members of Bucks Residents for Responsible Airport Management about their legal battle to make sure the airport undergoes appropriate environmental reviews before it can be expanded any further.

The airport, which averages 150,000 flights per year, is just across the Delaware River from Lower Makefield.

The more than 200 members of BRRAM are concerned about the noise levels of planes going into and out of the airport at all hours of the day. They filed a federal lawsuit in late April seeking to make sure all necessary studies are completed before any expansion takes place.

“They need to be able to do an Environmental Impact Statement,” BRRAM president Holly Bussey said Wednesday night. The EIS is an extensive study of the environmental conditions around the airport.

"We are not trying to close the airport down. We want them to be responsible neighbors," Bussey said.

The lawsuit names the Federal Aviation Association, Mercer County Board of Freeholders, which runs the airport, and Frontier Airlines as defendants in case. Frontier offers commercial airline service into and out of the Trenton-Mercer Airport to cities across the country.

The newspaper was unsuccessful in its efforts to reach representatives of the FAA, Mercer County Board of Freeholders and Frontier Airlines for comment about the lawsuit.

For more information about the citizens group go to

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Incident occurred September 18, 2014 at Long Beach Airport (KLGB), California

LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — A JetBlue airliner that experienced engine problems soon after takeoff returned to the Long Beach Airport on Thursday after smoke filled the cabin and passengers evacuated onto the runway using the plane's emergency slides.

None of the 142 passengers and five crew members was injured during the evacuation, though medical personnel tended to three passengers at the scene and one other was taken to a hospital for observation, airport spokeswoman Cassie Perez-Harmison said.

Flight 1416 was bound for Austin, Texas, when the crew declared an emergency after an "overheat warning" for one of its two engines, she said.

One of the passengers, Dean Delbaugh, said that about 10 minutes into the flight, he heard a pop, felt a weird vibration and then smelled an odd stench. Delbaugh was flying to Austin to visit in-laws with his new wife.

"Smoke came billowing out of the air vents and filled up the cabin in about 10 to 15 seconds," Delbaugh said by telephone from his home in Dana Point. "The fumes were ridiculous. I can still kind of taste them in my mouth."

Flight attendants manually deployed oxygen masks, which are designed to automatically drop only in the event of a loss of cabin pressure.

The pilot activated a fire-suppression system within the engine, but it was not immediately known whether there was a fire, JetBlue spokesman Anders Lindstrom said. Long Beach fire personnel told reporters they saw no sign of flames, though they did not look inside the engine.

As the plane landed, the pilot told passengers to brace themselves, Delbaugh said.

"As soon as I saw the runway, it was a sigh of relief," he said. "I didn't care if landing gear came down. We could slide down the runway as long we were on the ground."

According to the tracking website FlightAware, the Airbus A320 took off at 9:17 a.m. and landed at 9:30 a.m.

The airport's main runway was closed for about two hours due to the evacuation. Eventually the plane was towed away for further investigation, and air traffic resumed.

Long Beach is on the south Los Angeles County coast.

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This still frame from video provided by KABC-TV shows a JetBlue airliner on the Long Beach Airport runway with emergency slides deployed in Long Beach, Calif.,Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014. The JetBlue Airbus A320 airliner experienced engine problems and returned to the Long Beach, California, Airport on Thursday after a short flight that ended with passengers evacuating the aircraft on emergency slides. 

Expanded FAA certificate authority at Big Bend: Certificate only for Big Bend Community College aviation program graduates

MOSES LAKE - Big Bend Community College's aviation program will be one of two in the Pacific Northwest authorized to award Restricted Airline Transport Pilot (R-ATP) certificates to graduates.

The Federal Aviation Administration gave final approval for the change in August, Big Bend spokesperson Doug Sly said.

The R-ATP certification allows graduates of the college's commercial pilot program to apply for airline pilot jobs with 1,250 hours of total flight experience. Other ATP certificates require 1,500 hours of flight experience, Sly said.

Fewer than 50 flight schools nationwide have the R-ATP designation, Sly said. Central Washington University is the only other Pacific Northwest school.

The R-ATP certificate allows a 25 percent reduction in the total flight time an aviation program graduate needs to become an airline pilot, Joseph MacDougall, the college's chief pilot, said. It also reduces the age at which prospective pilots can apply from 23 to 21.

"It gives our students an advantage as they build flight time to get a job with the airlines," MacDougall said.

Qualifying students must have a degree from BBCC in either arts and science or applied science, with the aviation major, according to the agreement between the college and the FAA.

The FAA authorization allows BBCC aviation students who have graduated in the last five years to receive R-ATP certification. Students can't get 1,250 flight hours at BBCC, MacDougall said. But the college does have the authorization to issue the certificate for pilots with qualifying flight hours.

People who want more information can contact BBCC commercial pilot program administrators.

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Big Bend Community College flight instructor Tim Cuff runs through a preflight checklist. The college received FAA authorization to issue a new-to-the-college certification for aviation program graduates who want to apply for airline pilot jobs.

Piper J3C-65, N6362H: Incident occurred September 18, 2014 at Knox County Regional Airport (KRKD), Owls Head, Maine


Flight Standards District Office: FAA Portland FSDO-65


Owls Head — A local pilot made an "amazing landing" September 18 despite having damaged part of his landing gear at Knox County Regional Airport in Owls Head, according to Airport Manager Jeffrey Northgraves.

No one was injured.

A single-engine Cub airplane piloted by Steve Morrison of the Rockland area took off from the airport early in the evening. During the takeoff, the plane struck a light used to guide pilots in to landings. The collision damaged the plane's right main landing gear.

Also in the plane was Morrison's father, Steve Morrison Sr.

The pilot did not have radio contact, Northgraves said, so he was communicating by flying low and yelling out the window to people. Airport personnel called the Owls Head Fire and Ambulance, which rushed to the airport and was waiting as the plane landed, shortly after 5 p.m.

Northgraves said the landing was amazing in that the pilot was able to keep the plane on its left landing gear for as long as possible without it tipping over to the right, where the damaged gear was up. This allowed the plane to slow down before it eventually tipped over, doing minor damage to its propeller.

The aircraft is owned by Morrison.

Knox County Sheriff's Office also responded.

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F-15 fighter from Robins Air Base caused sonic boom in Columbus, Georgia

A day after denying that any supersonic flights came from Robins Air Force Base, the base public affairs office sent out a release this afternoon confirming that an F-15 fighter jet flew over Columbus and created the sonic boom about 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Confirmation of the supersonic flight comes a day after a public affairs spokesman said Wednesday that the base had checked flight tests and found no scheduled flights in the area. 

The release said the aircraft was enroute to Robins Air Force Base for scheduled maintenance. Public affairs officials were unavailable for comment and the event remains under investigation.

The origin of a sonic boom that rocked the Columbus area on Tuesday is still unknown after a Robins Air Force Base official said that two F-15 fighter aircraft didn’t come from the base in Warner Robins, Ga.

Roland Leach, a media relations spokesman for the 78th Air Base Wing, said the base received a number of telephone calls after erroneous reports of the aircraft flying from the middle Georgia base. Columbus area residents spilled out into the streets when a sonic boom jolted the city just before 5 p.m. 

Leach said no report of flight activity was found at Robins after checking with base operations and the flight test squadron. 

“We did not have any fights coming from Robins yesterday,” Leach said of Tuesday’s sonic boom. “We have been getting a lot of calls from there. They must have had a flight coming from somewhere.”

Kathleen Bergen, a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration, said officials were aware of some military flights in the area on Tuesday but not supersonic. A search is continuing in the cause of the loud noise. 

Fire Marshal Ricky Shores of the Columbus Fire & Emergency Medical Services said information from the Columbus Airport identified two F-15 aircraft breaking the sound barrier while flying over the area. He said there was some speculation as to whether the aircraft were headed to Warner Robins or in the area. 

“That was information I got from the airport,” Shores said. 

Officials at the airport also said the aircraft were flying at an undisclosed altitude before the loud noise. “It startled some folks and caught some folks off guard, “ Shores said. 
The F-15 has a top speed of more than 1,650 mph, more than twice the speed of sound. 

Pressure builds on the nose of the aircraft once it reaches the speed of sound. “There is a wave that comes off the airplane and when it hits the ground it is the pressure that equalizes,” Leach said. “The moment it hits the ground, that’s where you hear the boom sound.”

Leach said the aircraft at Robins go on flight tests after repairs. A supersonic run called the Macon Echo starts east of Columbus but it’s usually at 39,000 to 55,000 feet over ground and an unpopulated area.

If an aircraft is traveling faster than the speed of sound, it’s not likely that you will hear the boom and see the plane. “The boom goes the whole distance the plane is supersonic,” he said. “The wave will come off the plane and hit at one point. It might be past you by the time you actually hear it. It’s moving pretty fast. 

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JetBlue CEO Barger to Retire in February: Robin Hayes, JetBlue President, Will Take Over As CEO

The Wall Street Journal
By Susan Carey

Updated Sept. 18, 2014 6:38 p.m. ET

Dave Barger, the longtime JetBlue Airways Corp. chief executive who has been criticized this year for the discount carrier's lagging performance, will step down when his contract ends in February, the company said.

Mr. Barger, 56 years old, will be succeeded by Robin Hayes, 48, a former British Airways executive who joined New York-based JetBlue in 2008 and was elevated to president in January.

"This is the right time," Joel Peterson, chairman of JetBlue's board, said in an interview on Thursday. "Robin is the right guy." Mr. Peterson said the board was unanimous in its decision, even after looking at other candidates.

Mr. Barger said he would have a standard one-year no-compete clause in his departure papers. "I have to figure out what I will do next," he said in an interview.

Lackluster for years, JetBlue's shares had risen nearly 40% since May, when speculation began circulating that Mr. Barger might be preparing to leave. The company also reported strong profit growth for the second quarter of this year—after a weak first quarter-with higher traffic pushing up revenue.

JetBlue's shares jumped more than 4% in after-hours trading on Thursday following the announcement. Analysts have posited that a new CEO might make changes including the start of fees to passengers for their first checked bags, which most other U.S. airlines already charge.

Mr. Barger joined JetBlue when it formed in 1998. He has been CEO since 2007 when he replaced company founder David Neeleman, who was ousted by the board after an ice storm severely disrupted its operations.

The No. 5 U.S. network carrier by traffic, JetBlue during Mr. Barger's tenure has earned plaudits for customer service. But its costs have crept up, challenging its low-fare business model. This year its pilots-long nonunion-voted to join the Air Line Pilots Association. And JetBlue was racked again this winter by weather-driven cancellations.

JetBlue's stock under Mr. Barger has lagged behind that of both big legacy carriers like Delta Air Lines Inc. and fellow discounter Southwest Airlines Co. Even with its rise in recent months, the shares were up just 9% at Thursday's close since Mr. Barger became CEO. Southwest's shares gained more than 140% in the same period.

Speculation about Mr. Barger's plans took off this past spring when a JetBlue director said he was considering leaving. But Mr. Barger had been cagey about his plans. In a May interview with The Wall Street Journal he said he expected to have discussions with his board over the next few months about whether he would be "continuing on or moving on." In July, he said that his future role at the company would be "the same as it is today."

Asked on Thursday if the pilots union vote was behind his departure decision to step down, Mr. Barger reiterated that he was "disappointed" with their decision but said the vote wasn't a factor.

Mr. Hayes has long been considered the likely successor to Mr. Barger. In an interview on Thursday, he declined to say whether JetBlue plans to initiate a first-bag fee, or to add seats to its airplanes, which analysts also have speculated might accompany a management change.

Mr. Hayes said JetBlue is "building on a great plan." Asked about the possibility of broader changes in strategy, he declined to comment but said JetBlue's investor day is where news tends to be made.

"A lot of exciting things are coming up," Mr. Hayes said.


Incident occurred September 18, 2014 at Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport (KSHD), Weyers Cave, Virginia

Airport Executive Director Greg Campbell said a four-seat, single-engine airplane landed at the airport without its landing gear down.

At this point, he said, it's unclear if it was due to a mechanical problem or operator error.

Campbell said landing without gear is not common. He said it happens about once or twice a year and typically involves small airplanes.

He said the plane had one person on it. The pilot was not injured.

Campbell said the Federal Aviation Administration will investigate the hard landing, but will not come to the scene. He said the investigation would be based on phone interviews and photographs from the scene.

He said the plane was removed from the runway in about 25 minutes.

Campbell said there was no disruption to commercial aircraft.

Rescue crews responded to Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport in Weyers Cave about 11:30 a.m. Thursday after a plane crash landed.

Emergency crews say there were no injuries.

Airport officials said “everything seems to be under control.”

Check back with WHSV for more on this developing story.  

 WEYERS CAVE – A small plane carrying six people made a hard landing Thursday morning at Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport, authorities said. 

Airport Director Greg Campbell said the plane landed without its landing gear down, but no one was injured.

Around 11:30 a.m. the plane landed on the runway and shortly after crews were attempting to get it off the runway, Campbell said.

"We're not sure if it was mechanical," Campbell said.

The plane is normally kept at the airport and Campbell said the passengers and pilot are most likely from the area.

Campbell said the airport can see maybe one or two of these hard landings in a year and they are prepared to handle it.

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Transportation Safety Board report says pilots in mid-air crash that killed 4 people probably didn’t see each other: Cessna 150F, C-FSQQ and Stemme S10-VT, C-FHAB

The Transportation Safety Board says the pilots of a glider and a Cessna likely didn’t see each other because of blind spots and other visual problems, setting off a mid-air crash that left four people dead.

The crash and the fire that followed happened on June 29, 2013, just above a provincial campground west of Pemberton.

No one on the ground was hurt, but glider pilot Rudy Rozsypalek and his passenger Mohnish Paul died, and Terence Gale, his wife Rita Turnbull and their dog were killed in the Cessna.

The TSB report said the glider was descending into the path of the Cessna, and because the glider pilot sits in a semi-reclined position behind the nose of the craft, visibility would have been limited.

The report said the white glider, with thin-profile wings, would have been difficult for the Cessna pilot to see against a backdrop of white cumulus clouds until it was too late to avoid a crash.

There’s no requirement for Canadian private aircraft to be equipped with collision avoidance systems, and the report said that poses several risks, including a limited field of vision and blind spots.

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 (Photo courtesy David Buzzard) 

Blind spots caused planes to collide mid-air: TSB 
VANCOUVER - An investigation into why two planes collided in mid-air over Pemberton, B.C., last year has found both pilots were in each other's blind spots and wouldn't have had time for emergency maneuvers until the last moments before collision.

Four people and a dog died in the collision that scattered debris over a campsite below, according to Mounties at the time of the crash.

The Transportation Safety Board said in its report on Thursday it was clear skies during the noon-hour on June 29, 2013, and winds were calm.

Visibility, however, was the biggest problem due to the positioning of the planes at the time, according to the TSB's findings.

One of the planes, a glider, was a sightseeing flight and was likely descending on top of the Cessna, which was a private flight heading from Lillooet, B.C., to Nanaimo, B.C., according to the findings.

"A glider's pilot and passenger sit in a semi-reclined position behind the instrument panel and nose cone. Visibility forward and below the nose cone is limited," the findings said.

The Cessna pilot, meanwhile, would've been primarily scanning "downwards," and additionally, the investigation found, the Cessna pilot was "probably wearing a baseball-type cap with a sun visor" that would've made seeing a white-colored glider above difficult, especially with white clouds in the background.

The findings said it's possible the Cessna pilot saw the oncoming glider just before the crash - but there wasn't enough time.

"The right wings and other pieces from both aircraft were shorn off in mid-air during the collision, rendering both aircraft uncontrollable, and the subsequent collision with terrain was not survivable," the TSB said.

According to the TSB, it takes a pilot and plane about 12 seconds to react to a visual threat.

West Virginia State Police Conduct Aerial Marijuana Eradication

West Virginia State Police have conducted marijuana eradication via a helicopter in Harrison and Taylor counties the past several days which resulted in multiple arrests.

State police said 45 plants have been seized and 6 arrests were made.  Troopers used a military helicopter to spot marijuana plants and ground crews made arrests and issued citations.

Among those charged were Brian Boylen, 22, Chelsea Bennett, 18, and Jeremy Mayle, 27.  Each face a charge of possession of marijuana.  Additional charges are pending.

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15-aircraft flyover to precede Michigan game against Utah Saturday

The football game at Michigan Stadium Saturday won't be the only, or even the biggest, show of the day.

Before the Wolverines take on Utah, football fans at the stadium will be treated to a aerial parade of 15 planes and helicopters. The program, slated to begin about 3:15 p.m. commemorates the 100-year anniversary of the aerospace engineering program at U-M.

The display will showcase the evolution of aviation to celebrate the nation’s oldest aeronautical engineering education program. Each craft has a part in the history of aeronautics, either nationally or in Michigan.

Announcing the pregame flyover will be Capt. James Mynning, an Ann-Arbor native and professional air show announcer and commercial pilot.

The retired United Airlines captain made a name for himself in 1974 when he safely landed a 737 with a dangling engine without injuring any crew or passengers. Later that year he won United Airlines Pilot of the Year.

Some of the notable aircraft prepared to take flight above Michigan Stadium include:

Boeing Stearman PT-17A: This airplane was used to train pilots to fly during World War II. In the 1930s, there were about 8,000 built at about $11,000 per unit. On Saturday, it will be flown by Christopher Dacson.

North American Aviation P-51D Mustang: This airplane has the authentic paint scheme of Jim Browning, who flew with the 357th Fighter Group in WWII. It will be flown Saturday by Connie Bowlin.

North American Aviation F-86F Sabre Jet: Paul Wood will fly this aircraft, which weighs 5 tons and flies up to 650 mph.

Boeing B-17: Weighing about 18 tons, the Boeing B-17 was the heavy bomber used in WWII. It will be flown Saturday by Jon Rule of Yankee Air Museum.

North American Aviation B-25 Mitchell Bomber: During WWII, General Billy Mitchel led a group of 16 B-25’s on the first attack of Japan after being launched from the U.S. Hornet aircraft carrier. This aircraft was named after Mitchell, and will be piloted Saturday by Delane Buttacavolli from the Yankee Air Museum.

North American Aviation F-100F Super Sabre: Fans in attendance Saturday will see the last F-100 Super Sabre still in flight. The 10-ton aircraft can travel at supersonic speeds, and will be flown by Dean Cutshall.

Lockheed Electra: This aircraft gained its fame when Amelia Earhart flew one on her around-the-world attempt in 1937. The model flying overhead Saturday was used in the movie “Amelia” starring Hillary Swank, and will be piloted by Joe Sheppard.

Beechcraft T-34: There will be five Beechcraft T-34’s flown in formation, led by pilot Russell McDonald.

University of Michigan Survival Flight Eurocopter EC-155: A pair of these helicopters is available 24 hours a day at the University of Michigan. One of them will be piloted Saturday by Thomas Sherony.

Enstrom 408B: A Michigan designed, developed and built aircraft, this helicopter will be flown by 1980 aerospace engineering graduate, William Taylor.

McMahon Helicopter Sikorsky Heavy Lift Model S58T: This aircraft is owned by McMahon Helicopter Services Inc., founded by Michigan native Brian McMahon. McMahon served as a door-gunner in the Vietnam War, and returned to Michigan to become a pilot. His son, Nick, has piloted aircraft in movies, television shows and commercials, and will fly in Saturday’s pregame show.

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Jets fly over the stadium during a halftime show honoring the bicentennial of the "Star-Spangled Banner" being performed by the Michigan Marching Band and a 500-member choir group during an NCAA college football game between Michigan and Miami (Ohio) in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014. 
(AP Photo/Tony Ding)

Diamond DA40 Diamond Star, N39SE: Accident occurred September 11, 2014 in Kulusuk, Greenland

NTSB Identification: CEN14WA502 
 Accident occurred Thursday, September 11, 2014 in Kulusuk, Greenland
Aircraft: DIAMOND AIRCRAFT IND INC DA 40, registration: N39SE
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 11, 2014, about 1600 coordinated universal time, a Diamond Aircraft Industries Inc. DA 40 airplane, N39SE, owned and operated by Milou 1 LLC, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain near Kulusuk, Greenland. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The pilot, who was the sole occupant, was fatally injured. The flight originated from Iceland and was destined for Kulusuk Airport, Greenland.

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

Accident Investigation Board
Langebjergvaenget 21
DK-4000 Roskilde

Paul Eriksmoen, 34, of Shelton, Wash., is the son of Forum columnist Curtis Eriksmoen. Paul was flying alone from Iceland to Greenland on Thursday and reported that he was having engine trouble before the plane crashed. 
Photo:   The Forum. 


 The remains of the plane and its pilot, Paul Eriksmoen, were located Wednesday on the island of Kulusuk, on Greenland’s eastern coast, near the airport where he was expected to land Sept. 11, the Arctic Journal reported, citing Greenland officials.

Paul Eriksmoen, 34, of Shelton, Wash., was flying alone from Iceland to Greenland and reported that the plane was having engine trouble before the crash, said his father, who writes a weekly column about North Dakota history.

The search for the plane was hampered by inclement weather, and it was a transport helicopter flying a regular route that discovered the wreckage, officials said.

Curtis Eriksmoen said his son contracted with aircraft manufacturers to deliver planes to customers. In this case, he was flying a small plane to from Keflavik, Iceland, to Kulusuk, the father said.

Paul Eriksmoen, who was married without children, was born in Bismarck and grew up in Sioux City, Iowa. His mother is Terry Wheeler, formerly Irving, who represented Grand Forks in the North Dakota Legislature in the 1970s.

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Officials in Greenland say they have located the wreckage of a single-engine airplane missing since last Thursday. 

 The remains of the DA40 and its pilot, the sole person on board at the time, were spotted this afternoon local time on the island of Kulusuk, on Greenland’s eastern coast, in the vicinity of the airport where it was due to land on September 11.

The airplane, reportedly piloted by Paul Eriksmoen, of Shelton, Washington, had been en route to Kulusuk from Keflavik, Iceland, when it lost contact with air traffic controllers in Greenland.

The seven-day search for the airplane, which included coastal waters as well as inland areas, had been hindered at times by inclement weather, and the wreckage was found after the search had officially been called off earlier today.

Camilla Hegnsborg, a spokesperson for the search efforts, said a transport helicopter flying a regular route made the discovery.

The area where the plane was found had been searched several times, but Hegnsborg said the inclement weather was the likely reason why it had not been found sooner, despite the proximity to its destination airport.

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FARGO – The son of Forum columnist Curtis Eriksmoen has not been heard from since Thursday when the plane he was piloting apparently crashed on the way to Greenland. 

Paul Eriksmoen, 34, of Shelton, Wash., was flying alone from Iceland to Greenland and reported that the plane was having engine trouble before the crash, said his father, who writes a column about North Dakota history.

Curtis Eriksmoen said his son contracts with aircraft manufacturers to deliver planes to customers. In this case, he was flying a Cessna to Kulusuk, an island settlement in southeast Greenland. He was expected to land in Kulusuk on Thursday evening.

It’s unclear whether he crashed on water or land. Search parties have been looking for him and the plane, said Curtis Eriksmoen, who learned of the crash Saturday after family members were unable to contact his son.

Paul Eriksmoen, who is married without children, was born in Bismarck. His mother is Terry Wheeler, formerly Irving, who represented Grand Forks in the North Dakota Legislature in the 1970s.

He grew up in Sioux City, Iowa, and received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas.

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Paul Eriksmoen, pilot of a Cessna aircraft, pictured here, told berry-picker-rescuers Dora and Job Hopkins that he had had better days but was otherwise alright, after he had to ditch his plane in Labrador's Groswater Bay on Saturday Aug. 30. (Natalie Andersen)

From berry picking to plane crash rescue mission 

Labrador couple helps lone pilot after plane crash-landed in Groswater Bay enroute to Greenland

CBC News Posted: Sep 01, 2014 4:54 PM NT
Last Updated: Sep 01, 2014 5:54 PM NT

A weekend berry picking trip ended up turning into a plane crash rescue mission for one couple from Labrador.

Dora Hopkins and her partner Job were berry picking Saturday morning when they noticed a plane overhead was in trouble.

"I said 'oh my God it's crashing,'" she said.

"Like, it's gonna crash, it's going in for a landing," said Hopkins.

The private Cessna 206 —which had left Goose Bay Airport enroute to Greenland— was flying 10 kilometres east of Rigolet when it crash-landed in Groswater Bay around 10:30 a.m..

Lost oil pressure, smoke in cockpit

The 34-year-old male lone pilot was not injured, despite radioing that there had been a loss of oil pressure and smoke in his cockpit.

After bringing the plane down safely in the bay, the pilot was met by a small boat with the Hopkins' aboard.

"The main concern is like, 'is everybody okay aboard the plane?'" Hopkins recalled.

"Thank God he was good, [the pilot] was a bit shook up I think but he was good," she said.

"He said he was ok and that he had had better days," said Hopkins.

The Joint Rescue Co-Ordination Centre in Halifax sent three helicopters to rescue the man, but called them off after a Canadian Coast Guard helicopter — that happened to be in the area — was able to get to the accident scene faster.

The RCMP also sent a boat out to the plane after the rescue to ensure that the emergency responder was turned off.

Story and Photos:

Casper-Natrona County International Airport (KCPR) Starts $3.8 Million Snow Equipment Storage Project

Plowing the snow from airport runways is a big deal, the equipment to do it is getting bigger and that requires an even bigger place to store it.

The Casper-Natrona County International Airport received approval Tuesday from the county commission to allocate airport funds to match state and federal funding for a new snow equipment storage building.

The entire project will cost about $3.8 million, airport manager Glenn Januska said.

It will be worth it.

The storage areas for equipment date to World War II when the airport was an Army Air training base, Januska said.

Modern airport snowplow equipment is much larger and wider than that for roads because runways don’t have the width restrictions or parked cars, he said.

It’s also much more expensive.

The airport owns plow trucks costing upwards of $450,000, and recently purchased a new $750,000 snowblower that can clear 7,500 tons of snow an hour, he said. “That’s something you don’t want to have to park outside or have to maneuver around bollards or move around other pieces of equipment.”

The total cost is $3,801,694, and the Federal Aviation Administration would pay 93.75 percent, or $3,564,088 of it. That funding comes from the Aviation Trust Fund supported by airport usage, ticket fees, fuel taxes and similar revenues, Januska said. “The more people who use the system, the more demand is for facilities, the more revenue there is.”

The state would pay 3.75 percent or $142,564 and the airport — the project sponsor — would pay 2.5 percent, or $95,042.

The building would be located on an old runway by Allen Avenue northeast of the control tower, Januska said. It would allow direct access by the equipment to the runways, and public access to the offices, he said.

Specific dimensions and the footprint won’t be known until later this year, Januska said. “We’ll probably be looking at designing it this fall, probably bidding it out this winter toward spring, looking forward to a late spring early summer construction.”

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How 8 Arizona airports are prepping for Super Bowl XLIX

Airports throughout the Valley are preparing for a significant increase in out-of-town visitors for Super Bowl XLIX, which takes place on Feb. 1 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration and airport officials, the weekend is sure to be one of the busiest ever at local airports. Planning has been under way since last year's game.

Expected are about 1,200 additional private aircraft, which along with commercial flights and charters are likely to bring an additional 100,000 people to the Phoenix area for the football game.

And the game is not the only big event that weekend. The Waste Management Phoenix Open also is taking place at TPC of Scottsdale, an event that even without the Super Bowl attracts numerous visitors from out of town.

FAA Spokesman Ian Gregor said the agency has held multiple meetings with Phoenix Sky Harbor, Scottsdale, Phoenix Deer Valley, Phoenix Goodyear, Glendale Municipal, Phoenix Mesa Gateway, and Chandler Municipal airport officials and fixed base operators, who handle flights at each field.

The fixed-base operators are establishing procedures, known as Prior Permission Required, or PPR, to manage the arrival and departure demands for the Super Bowl.
PPR is a reservations system designed to smooth out large spikes of general, or private, aviation traffic into a manageable flow for both the FBOs and air traffic operations. It spreads out arrivals and departures instead of cramming them all into a handful of time periods.

Gregor said the agency also has developed an operational airspace plan with dedicated northbound departure routes out of Scottsdale and Deer Valley to expedite traffic from both airports. Officials have assessed the expected arrival and departure rates for all Phoenix area airports to ensure the control towers, approach controls and en route centers will be able to handle the volume.

The FAA also is working with air traffic control personnel, providing training and planning extended operating hours.

According to airport operators, people arrive in town at different times, but they all want to leave at once.

Only two airports in the area, Sky Harbor and Mesa-Phoenix Gateway, handle passengers on commercial airliners. The remainder of the fields are for general aviation, a term used to describe private aircraft use.

Scottsdale Airport

Plans or upgrades in preparation for the Super Bowl: Scottsdale Airport, like other Valley airports, has worked with the FAA, Super Bowl Transportation Committee and local, state and federal agencies on an creating its respective airport operations plans, according to Aviation Planning and Outreach Coordinator Sarah Ferrara. She said the Scottsdale operations plan will be published soon at, with information on what visitors need to know when flying in for Super Bowl. Flying into Scottsdale Airport will follow normal procedures, but departures will be established using a reservation system that will take effect at halftime of the game and continue through Feb. 2.

Money spent related to Super Bowl: None. Ferrara says the airport is responsible for maintaining the safety and security of the facility at all times, "so we are keeping up with our normal maintenance routine and schedule." There are no specific projects planned just because of Super Bowl.

Expected increase in flights: For Super Bowl weekend in 2008 (Thursday through Tuesday), Scottsdale Airport experienced about a 54 percent increase in airport operations compared with that weekend the year before. Ferrara says the airport expects a similar increase in operations for this year's Super Bowl weekend.

Phoenix Deer Valley Airport

Plans or upgrades: No physical changes are being made to Phoenix Deer Valley Airport, but there is significant planning and preparation in coordination with other Valley airports and the FAA, said Julie Rodriguez, public information manager for Phoenix's three airports. Phoenix Deer Valley is the busiest general-aviation airport in the United States, she said. Phoenix Deer Valley has two fixed-base operators (FBOs), Cutter and Atlantic, which will provide fueling, ground service, rental car and ground transportation and other services for pilots, flight crew and their passengers (such as catering, etc).

Money spent: Nothing additional.

Expected increase in flights: Last Super Bowl, Phoenix Deer Valley Airport hosted approximately 200 additional aircraft which flew in for the event and parked overnight. Additional aircraft flew in and dropped off passengers, then picked them up after the game. Deer Valley can accommodate more than 200 additional aircraft, the number will depend on the size of the planes.

Goodyear Airport

Plans or upgrades: Similar to Deer Valley, there have been no physical changes made to the facilities for the Super Bowl, however Goodyear is making significant procedural preparations for the event. Staff at Goodyear works closely with its fixed base operator (FBO) Lux Air, the FAA and other partners to maximize the available space for accommodating additional aircraft. As far as rental cars, Goodyear is accustomed to offering rental-car services for events such as NASCAR. It tracks when customers are arriving and expecting a rental car and arranges for delivery at that time. There are also overflow parking areas available for rental car and ground transportation staging. Phoenix Goodyear's FBO Lux Air plays an important role, providing fueling, ground service, rental car and ground transportation and other services for pilots, flight crew and their passengers (such as catering, etc).

Money spent: Nothing additional.

Expected increase in flights: Goodyear can handle 140-150 additional aircraft (aircraft that aren't based at Goodyear) for the event. During the last Super Bowl, Goodyear accommodated about 100 aircraft for the event. Some parked overnight and others dropped off passengers at Goodyear then came back after the game to pick them up.

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport

Plans or upgrades: Sky Harbor expects more than 4 million passengers between the end of December, when the college bowl games begin, and early February when Super Bowl and Phoenix Open visitors depart. The busiest day at Sky Harbor will be Feb. 2, the day after Super Bowl, said Julie Rodriguez, public information manager. The airport will see an estimated 60 percent increase in passengers, mostly departures. On an average day, Phoenix Sky Harbor serves about 115,000 passengers. Officials anticipate approximately 180,000 passengers on Feb. 2. On an average day, Phoenix Sky Harbor has approximately 1,200 takeoffs and landings. Officials anticipate 1,600 takeoffs and landings on Feb. 2, the day after Super Bowl. The airport is planning for increased traffic at the Rental Car Center, restaurants and shops are planning to remain open longer, and more taxi cabs will be available. The airport also is creating staging areas and a curb management plan for limousines and shuttles.

Money spent: Sky Harbor relies on passengers traveling to and from Phoenix to generate the revenues needed to operate the airport, Rodriguez said. Events like the Super Bowl bring thousands of additional passengers through the airport who spend money at restaurants, shops, car-rental facilities and other airport services. These event-related airport revenues more than offset any additional staffing needs, security and other costs associated with hosting an event such as this.

Expected increase in flights: Arrivals for the game will be spaced throughout the week, airport officials say. But departures will be congested, especially the day after the game. On Feb. 2, Sky Harbor is expecting a 60 percent increase in passengers, from 115,000 to 180,000. It is expecting 400 additional takeoffs as well, up to 1,600. The airport also is expecting 100 charter flights and 250 private jets.

Glendale Municipal Airport

Plans or upgrades: "There's a beautiful, new, black runway with fresh paint markings, and it was by happenstance," said Walter Fix, the airport's director. The runway was recently repaved as part of the Arizona Department of Transportation's pavement preservation program, though the project was unrelated to the Super Bowl. It also will be creating extra parking on the south side of the airport for Super Bowl visitors.
Money spent: None directly associated with the game. However, the airport has been spending time to find a new tenant to operate the in-airport café, which should be up and running in time for the game.

Expected increase in flights: They won't know for certain until reservations start coming in once the playing teams are announced, Fix said, but he's sure they'll be operating at capacity, which is 100 jets at a time. There also may be a blimp operator working out of the airport, an unusual sight that Fix is eager to pin down.

Mesa's Falcon Field Airport

Plans or upgrades: A series of projects from their improvement program will be completed in October, including installation of runway lights, runway-pavement rehabilitation, and an expanded FBO.

Money spent: It is finalizing the costs of Super Bowl-related marketing, including print and online advertising, social media and promotion at the annual National Business Aviation Association conference in October.

Expected increase in flights: Falcon Field is not requiring pilots to make a reservation through the PPR, so there may be an unanticipated increase due to pilots who decide to fly on short notice. It saw almost 6,000 takeoffs and landings the week of the 2008 game, though it is impossible to tell which were Super Bowl-related. The airport has two runways and two helicopter pads, so it plans to be busy with corporate jets, private aircraft and more.

Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport

Plans or upgrades: The ramp was made 15 feet longer last year in order to get planes closer to the FBO, but the upgrade was part of its capital-improvements plan and not game-related, according to airport spokesman Brian Sexton.

Money spent: It will rent additional equipment such as ice machines and refrigerators for catering storage for the week, though the associated costs are not yet known.

Expected increase in flights: About 85 aircraft stayed with the airport during the 2008 Super Bowl, and it is anticipating a similar turnout.

Chandler Municipal Airport

Plans or upgrades: The airport has completed more than $2.5 million in improvements in the past three years, though they are grant-funded and not related to the Super Bowl. They upgraded the terminal-building furniture, installed free wireless internet, made runway improvements, completed a new auto parking lot and rehabilitated an aircraft apron, according to airport administrator Lori Quan.

Money spent: None related to the game.

Expected increase in flights: It hasn't yet speculated what the increase in traffic may be, but Super Bowl-related traffic was minimal in 2008, Quan said.

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Seawind 3000, N516SW: Fatal accident occurred September 18, 2014 in Bloomington, Indiana


NTSB Identification: CEN14LA504 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, September 18, 2014 in Bloomington, IN
Aircraft: SACCIO THOMAS A SEAWIND 3000, registration: N516SW
Injuries: 2 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 may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On September 18, 2014, about 1145 central daylight time, a kit-built Seawind 3000 seaplane, N516SW, impacted terrain near Bloomington, Indiana. The private rated pilot and pilot rated passenger were fatally injured, and the seaplane was destroyed. The seaplane was registered to and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed.

Initial reports indicated the pilot contacted the control tower operator at Monroe Country Airport (KBMG), and reported he had a low fuel pressure indicator problem. Several witnesses reported seeing the seaplane, with one witness noting that the seaplane was on fire. The seaplane impacted terrain about 3 miles north of KBMG. A postcrash fire consumed much of the composite seaplane.

The seaplane wreckage was retained for further examination. 

Any witnesses should email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email

Thomas Anthony "Tom" Saccio

Thomas Anthony Saccio:    A celebration of his life will be held at 11:00 am, Saturday, October 4, 2014 at the Turnage Theater, 150 W. Main St., Washington, NC officiated by Rev. Peg O. Witt. A catered reception will follow at the Turnage.

A memorial service, A TOAST TO TOMMY, will be in NYC, from 2:00 to 5:00 pm, on Saturday, October 11, 2014 at Grata, 1076 1rst Avenue, NYC 10022 between 58th and 59th streets.

Thomas Anthony Saccio 
May 16, 1942 - September 18, 2014

Thomas Anthony "Tom" Saccio, a resident of Blounts Creek, NC, died in a private plane crash on Thursday, September 18, 2014 in Monroe County, Indiana at the age of 72.

The Brooklyn born son of Rose and Joseph Saccio, he is survived by his wife of two years, Stephanie; his three brothers, Joseph, Phillip and Michael; his two sons, Matthew and Michael, Michael's wife Josselyne; his five grandchildren, Thomas, Chelsea, Sophie, Sage and Shane Saccio; his two stepsons, Jason and Chris Lea, Chris's wife Christina and their children, Caitlyn and Cameron Lea.

Thomas's career as a Property Master in Local 52 spanned four decades. He is best known for his work on blockbuster films Raging Bull, Annie Hall, Kramer vs. Kramer, The World According to Garp, Clear and Present Danger, and The Pelican Brief.

In addition to his family and friends, Thomas enhanced the lives of all who knew him, especially the countless young filmmakers to whom he generously lent his expertise, and the thousands of young people with whom he shared his passion for flying. He was the driving force behind Wright Flight - a program that teaches young people how to set and achieve their goals. His commitment, passion, humor, and heart will live on in everyone he touched. His final moments were spent doing what he loved most - flying the plane he built himself.

Thomas will be greatly missed by all those he helped soar to new heights. He is loved. He is appreciated. He is honored.

A celebration of his life will be held at 11:00 am, Saturday, October 4, 2014 at the Turnage Theater, 150 W. Main St., Washington, NC officiated by Rev. Peg O. Witt. A catered reception will follow at the Turnage.

A memorial service, A TOAST TO TOMMY, will be in NYC, from 2:00 to 5:00 pm, on Saturday, October 11, 2014 at Grata, 1076 1rst Avenue, NYC 10022 between 58th and 59th streets.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials may be made in Tom's memory to Wright Flight of Beaufort, PO Box 369, Washington, NC 27889.

- Source:

 MONROE COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) – The Monroe County Coroner’s Office has identified the two victims who died in a fiery plane crash on Thursday. 

Russell Kotlarek, 51, of Saukville, Wisconsin and Thomas Saccio, 72, of Blounts Creek, North Carolina died from trauma as a result of the crash, according to the coroner. However, their final causes of death are still pending.

The identities of the two men were confirmed using dental records.

The plane crash happened just before 1 p.m. Thursday in a wooded area on Oard Road near State Road 48, about a quarter mile north of the Monroe County Airport.

Investigators believe one of the men on the plane reported a mechanical issue, possibly involving fuel-related mechanisms, to the Monroe County Airport tower personnel. The pilot then requested to land at the airport.

However, while the plane was approaching the airport from the north, it lost altitude and crashed into a small shed and wooded area behind a home. The plane was immediately engulfed in flames.

The coroner said both Kotlarek and Saccio are pilots.

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DEDICATED: Tom Saccio, killed in a plane crash Thursday, works on avionics equipment in the hangar at his Maules Point home.
 Beaufort County resident Tom Saccio, a key supporter of the Wright Flight program in Beaufort County, was killed Thursday when an airplane crashed near the Monroe County, Ind., airport.

Witnesses said the airplane was losing altitude and on fire just before the crash in a wooded area close to the airport, said Saccio’s wife, Stephanie, on Friday. She was in Delaware at the time of the crash.

A passenger, who had not been identified by Indiana officials as of Friday, aboard the aircraft also died, according to the Monroe County coroner’s office. Saccio’s wife said it was her husband’s Seawind (a plane able to land and take off on water) that crashed. Some published reports say the aircraft that crashed was an experimental ultralight. Attempts to contact the Federal Aviation Administration for information about the crash were not successful Friday.

A memorial service for Saccio, who lived at Maules Point, will be held in Washington, but the date, time and location have not yet been determined, Stephanie Saccio said.

“I decided while he did this little trip I would go to Delaware to see my son and grandkids. … I’m going to try to do it (memorial service) on a weekend because there are people from so far away and I need time to get it together,” she said.

Saccio shared events related to the crash.

“He was flying the Seawind. He had called me about 45 minutes before it crashed. He was in Madison, Ind., on his way to Bloomington … and he said the trip was great and he had been flying for about three and a half hours. He had a friend with him, who sadly also died,” Saccio said. “He said, ‘I’ll call you in an hour and a half. We’re about an hour and a half away from our destination.’… Two hours go by and I haven’t heard from him, so I left him a couple of voice messages, a couple of email, a couple of text messages and didn’t hear, didn’t hear. I get to my son’s house and said, ‘Something’s wrong.’ He said, ‘No, just wait a little bit.’ I just knew something was wrong.”

Saccio called the Indiana State Police, who advised her to call the Indianapolis International Airport, which connected her with the state trooper investigation the crash.

“He asked me where I was and is someone was with my. I said, ‘Yes.” He said they hadn’t fully identified them. I said, ‘It’s his plane. I know it’s his plane.’ People on the ground said they saw the plane losing altitude and that the engine was on fire. They had called in a request to land. They did not call ‘Mayday.’ They called in a request to land and said that there was a fuel-pressure indicator on. They were about 200 yards, as best as I can tell, from the airport landing strip. They went down behind somebody’s home in a grove of trees and in a chicken coop. Fortunately, nobody else was injured,” she said.

“The coroner assured me that they did not suffer — by the time they hit ground, they were dead,” Saccio said.

On Friday, Sgt. Joe Watts, a public-information officer with the Indiana State Police, said ISP troopers were notified of the crash about 12:58 p.m. Thursday.

“The plane was on fire. It took them probably 30 minutes to extinguish the plane and the wooded area there. The plane was broken apart from the impact. We located the two persons on board there at the crash site. Unfortunately, they were burned beyond recognition,” Watts said.

Someone on the airplane requested permission to land at the airport, and that permission was granted, Watt said. After being unable to raise the aircraft by radio when it was about two miles from then airport, personnel in the tower at the airport noticed a plume of smoke near the airport, Watts said. The tower personnel immediately contact a fire department, and a woman who was mowing her yard and either saw or heard the crash called 911 to report it, Watts said.

The Herald Times of Bloomington reports an investigation into the crash may take weeks to complete, according to Steve Burnham, an investigator with the Federal Aviation Administration. The newspaper also reported that officials at a news conference Thursday afternoon could not confirm if the plane was on fire before crashing. The newspaper also reported the pilot reported a “low pressure fuel indicator” but did not declare an emergency.

The Seawind (its engine above and behind the cockpit) has a futuristic look, but it also reminds one of the Consolidated PBY Catalinas of the 1930s and 1940s.

Tom Saccio, who was a property master in the film industry (mostly in New York), became interested in flying early in his life. That interest eventually resulted in him buying a Seawind kit and putting the seaplane together.

Saccio, in an interviews for Washington the Magazine, said that in the early 1990s, his son gave him three flying lessons as a Christmas present.

“I took those three lesson, and I just didn’t stop. I just kept right on going. … Then somewhere along the line I came up with the idea of building an airplane,” Saccio said in the interview. “Right around the time I got the airplane, the kit, I decided after working 40 years in the film industry that I was never going to get this plane built if I kept working. So, I just retired.”

Saccio began building the plane in Connecticut, but lack of space and other limitations there resulted in him moving. At first, Saccio considered buying a house at an airpark, where people live and keep their planes at their homes. Eventually, Saccio located to Maules Point, where his home and the hangar for the Seawind are about 100 yards apart.

The freedom of being able to take off and land from the waters next to his home is greatly satisfying, Saccio said. Before he built his home, he built a hangar for the Seawind.

Saccio was a volunteer pilot with the local Wright Flight program, in which fifth-graders learn the hard work pays off by studying aviation pioneers such as Orville and Wilbur Wright, who set objectives, worked hard to meet those objectives and overcame obstacles to write their names in the history books.

The focus of the Wright Flight program is the contract a student signs. As part of the contract, the student sets a goal and lists what must be done to achieve that goal, which should be challenging. The program’s preferred goal is to raise a grade in school, say from a B to an A in history or a C to a B in mathematics. Parents are encouraged to assist their children in reaching their goals.

Part of the Wright Flight program calls for students to abstain from using tobacco, drugs and alcohol. The program also provides students a second chance if they don’t meet their goals the first time around. That second chance comes during the next grading period.
Numerous Wright Flight participants are minority or disadvantaged children who probably never would have opportunities to fly in an airplane without Wright Flight.

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A very proud Tom Saccio stands next to his Seawind 3000 as Ed Lynch looks everything over.

Tom Saccio