Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Newport News Mayor to PEOPLExpress: "The city is due a refund"

NEWPORT NEWS -- It's not just travelers that are upset with PEOPLExpress airlines. Newport News Mayor Mckinley Price says he's also disappointed.

The airline has cancelled flights until October 16 because of issues with planes. The low-cost airline was flying two airplanes.

PEOPLExpress received grants from the city to start service.

"The city is due a refund," said Price.

Read more here:  http://www.13newsnow.com

PEOPLExpress launch costs taxpayers $1.65M

Tampa Electric's solar project at Tampa International Airport would be Tampa Bay's largest

TAMPA — The city's electric utility and international airport are teaming up to build the largest solar energy installation in the Tampa Bay region.

If successful, the project could spark even more bay area investment in solar power, a renewable energy source that has been slow to take off in the Sunshine State.

Tampa Electric Co. president Gordon Gillette said the lessons his utility would learn from installing 280,000 square feet of solar panels on top of Tampa International Airport's south economy parking garage would shape the company's plans for solar energy.

"This is a big investment for us in terms of learning," Gillette said

Read more here:  http://www.tampabay.com

How common are skydiving accident deaths? Not very. Only 8 in a million skydiving jumps result in a fatality

Three men have been killed in skydiving accidents in Massachusetts this year, highlighting the risks of what many consider to be a dangerous sport for thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies.

In mid-August, Daniel Pelrine, a 37-year-old Mattapan iron-worker, plummeted to his death in Pepperell, after having made hundreds of skydiving jumps. On Sunday, Andrew Munson, 29, of Nantucket, and his instructor, Eldon Burrier, 48, of West Lynnwood, Wash., were killed during a tandem jump. 

The likelihood of a skydiving-related death, however, is far lower than that of being killed in a car crash, by a firearm, or while crossing the street. In fact, the odds of dying in a skydiving accident are akin to those of being killed by lightning, according to National Safety Council data.

Read more here:   http://www.bostonglobe.com

Delta Airlines making changes to its services


Delta Airlines is making some changes.

Those flying Delta may notice more people than usual on their flight.

Beginning Nov. 1, the airline will accommodate up to 320 passengers to improve its daily operations between the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Read more here:  http://www.wdbj7.com

Manassas Regional Airport (KHEF) wants to borrow 50-year-old photos

Manassas Regional Airport would like the public’s help in celebrating its 50th year by asking for photos or memorabilia from the Airport’s past, either at its current location or the previous site.

The photos can be sent to jyankovitz@manassasva.gov.

Dedicated in 1964, the airport began as 268 acres with a single 3700’ x 100’ paved runway, a rotating beacon, maintenance hangar, office and 30 T-hangars.  The airport was previously located at what is now Manaport Shopping Plaza.

Today, the Manassas Regional Airport is the busiest general aviation airport in the Commonwealth of Virginia, with 899 acres of land, more than 400 based aircraft and more than 85,000 annual aircraft operations.

In 2012, the airport expanded it main runway to 6200’.  The parallel runway is 3700’ long.

The airport has an FAA control tower and is operational to only general aviation aircraft

- Source:  http://www.bullrunnow.com

West Deer, Pennsylvania: Rock Airport (9G1) closes temporarily

Rock Airport in West Deer will be closed for about a month as a change of ownership is finalized.

Alaskan Property Management on Tuesday closed on its purchase of Rock Airport and Business Park in West Deer.

The company is a subsidiary of Management Science Associates, a data management firm based at Rockpoint Business Park.

Alaskan bought the 268-acre parcel for $9 million, which goes to pay creditors, back taxes, attorney fees and other claims.

Former airport manager Rock Ferrone has appealed the sale and tried last week to have it postponed while his appeal proceeds. Bankruptcy Court Judge Carlota Bohm denied the request.

Once the sale was final, Alaskan closed the airport.

It will be closed for about 30 days while it transitions from the previous ownership to the entity the company contracts with to run the airport.

The Federal Aviation Administration Tuesday issued a notice to pilots alerting them of the airport shutdown.

- Source:   http://triblive.com

Dayton police find chute, shirts of tower jumpers

UPDATE @11 a.m., 9/29/14:   "BASE jumping" from TV towers can cause serious injuries from not only the fall, but electrical dangers.
News Center 7 has surveillance video from August where someone base jumped from the News Center 7 tower. There are also criminal ramifications for doing so.

UPDATE@9a.m. Sept. 28

According to the Dayton police report, officers never found the jumpers but evidence collected included a 1999 Volkswagen Passat.

The maroon vehicle was parked near the tower. It was towed away because it was believed to be the one used by the jumpers, according to the report.

Police also found other items: The first jumper's parachute, a black Pink Floyd shirt, a red ju jitsu shirt and two bags believed to be used to carry the jumpers' equipment, according to the report.


Police called off the search and did not find the jumpers.

Officers found a vehicle at the scene that may be the one used by the jumpers.

It was a TV tower for Ch. 16.

A representative of Channel 16 who happened to be in the area and saw the first jumper was the first to call 911.


Police in Dayton are utilizing a K-9 unit in search of two people who "base-jumped" off a TV tower on the city's west side.

Police responded around 1:15 p.m., just after one person jumped and deployed a parachute from the 1,100-foot tower, at 3901 Guthrie Road.

Officers got to the scene and one person remained at the top of the tower. That person jumped while officers and a Dayton Daily News photographer looked on.

Police were searching a nearby wooded area, where it's believed both jumpers ran to elude police.

Police said potential charges against the two include inducing panic and trespassing

- See more at: http://www.whio.com

Airport board ignores plea, OKs agreement

Paulding’s Airport Authority ignored a request from city of Atlanta officials and unanimously approved an intergovernmental agreement last week to convert Silver Comet Field to a self-sustaining facility beginning Oct. 20.

Candace Byrd, chief of staff to Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, wrote a Sept. 16 letter to authority members asking them to delay approval of the agreement until the city and Federal Aviation Administration could review it.

The Paulding County Commission approved the agreement Sept. 9. It includes transfer of 163 acres from the county to the airport authority which Atlanta officials maintain cannot be used for commercial aviation purposes – an assertion authority attorney Tom Cable said was not part of contract restrictions included in a 2007 purchase of the land from Atlanta.

Paulding Airport Authority member Doris Devey said she had no problem voting for the agreement despite Byrd’s letter.

“I don’t think [Paulding attorneys] would have let the intergovernmental agreement go out if there was something that stipulated [a limitation on the land] in the contract,” she said.

She said county commission attorney Jayson Phillips also reviewed it and was not concerned about limitations before commissioners approved it 3-2 Sept. 9.

However, Devey moved for the authority to approve the agreement on the condition Cable review the document a final time.

“I just wanted to cover everybody,” she said. “To me, one more set of eyes looking at it one more time will never hurt.”

Atlanta officials reportedly have threatened a lawsuit. They did not return phone calls and an email asking for comment last week.

Last week’s action is the latest step in the authority’s two-year effort to add commercial service that has been opposed by some Paulding residents both publicly and in the courts.

The authority is awaiting an environmental assessment, expected in 2015, that was part of a court-ordered agreement between the aviation administration and Paulding residents opposed to commercial service.

Before the votes, County Commissioner Todd Pownall gave copies of the Atlanta letter to authority members.

“If you want the lawsuits to go away, if you want this community to start healing and be united … all you’ve got to do is stop it,” he said of the agreement.

Among the agreement’s provisions was a requirement for county payment of almost $3 million over 10 years to the airport. Those funds will be given in decreasing annual amounts to prompt the authority to make the facility self-sustaining, authority director Blake Swafford said.

Revenue will come from ground leases, the proposed commercial service and other activities, Swafford told authority member Ellis Astin.

“That has been the goal since day one when we constructed the airport, was for it to get to a point where it’s self-sustainable,” said Swafford, who was approved as the authority’s interim executive director beginning Oct. 20.

Authority chair Calvin Thompson said the goal of the airport authority since 2006 also has been to “grow this airport corporately” by working to attract companies to lease space.

“The economy is what set us back,” he said.

Swafford will be given the direction to call on potential customers for space on the airport grounds and away from dealing solely with “governmental affairs,” Thompson said.

“Our goal is for, someday, to get Blake in the position where he can go out there and see these people and have some face time with them and sell this airport,” he said.

Read more: Neighbor Newspapers - Airport board ignores plea OKs agreement

Directorate General of Civil Aviation concerned over plane parts supply after airline audits • Audits show aircraft spare parts supply of some airlines have been hit on financial stress in their balance sheets

New Delhi: Audits by aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) have found that aircraft spare parts supply of some airlines has been hit as a result of financial stress on their balance sheets, and has scheduled meetings with their managements over the coming fortnight to discuss the issue.

India’s airlines have lost $10.6 billion in the last seven years and sit on combined debt of $15.83 billion. In the year ended 31 March, they lost $1.77 billion on revenue of $10 billion, according to consulting firm Capa.

“Everyone has issues,” said a person familiar with the matter, referring to the audit findings. “We are calling the senior management of each airline individually and...seeking an explanation on all the matters that have come out (in the audit).” The person asked not to be

DGCA chief Prabhat Kumar has called the meetings with executives from Air India, Jet Airways (India) Ltd, SpiceJet Ltd, IndiGo and GoAir.

The separate meetings will run up to 10 October, this person said.

The audit findings are typically classified as “A” level findings and those below “A” levels are a cause for worry.

It was not immediately clear how many “A” level findings the audit has thrown up.

One of the most critical finding the audit has come up with is to do with spare parts, or the lack of them.

“The number of times an aircraft has been put on an MEL shows an increasing trend,” said a second person aware of the situation who asked
 not to be identified.

 “This indicates shortage of spare parts because of shortage of funds.”

MEL stands for minimum equipment list where a manufacturer permits an aircraft to be flown with certain unserviceable items.

The aircraft are allowed to take off with a defective part under three categories.

A category “A” defect has to be cleared the same night.

An aircraft with  a category “B” defect is permitted to operate for three days in case the defect does not affect the safety of passengers.

An aircraft with a category “C” defect can fly with the defect for 10 days.

“What airlines do is to misuse the category “C” to the maximum,” Mohan Ranganathan, a Chennai-based aviation safety analyst, said.

 “They will use the aircraft for 10 days and on the 10th day, what they will do is they will take out that defective part and put it into another aircraft and say the defect is cleared. Then the defective part is rolled (over) again for 10 days to another aircraft and this will continue.

A good airline won’t do that.”

Unless the regulator scans all the databases of spare parts that were changed to clear the aircraft under MEL, it cannot identify the scale of misuse, Ranganathan said.

A SpiceJet spokesperson confirmed the DGCA audit and said “all airlines are being called individually to discuss the audit reports”.

It denied there were any increasing issues with spare parts.

“There have been no significant incidents relating to safety at SpiceJet this year... There is no discernible increasing trend in MELs,” the spokesperson said.

“Of course, an MEL occurs when a spare is not available.

But it is physically and humanly impossible for any airline to stock every spare in every station.

That is why the concept of MELs exists, and not just in India, but globally.”

IndiGo said its MELs have dropped.

“Our MELs per aircraft has actually dropped year on year despite the fleet size increasing,” said IndiGo president Aditya Ghosh.

An email sent to Jet Airways and Air India seeking comments remained unanswered.

GoAir denied it had been summoned to meet the DGCA.

India’s airline industry is set to lose $1.3 billion this financial year, according to Capa, marginally better than last year on account of a stronger rupee, cheaper fuel and better business sentiment.

- Source:  http://www.livemint.com

Illinois sells just two planes in bid to pare down fleet

This photo supplied by the Illinois Department of Central Management Services shows a 1975 Cessna, one of only two in the state-owned fleet sold in a eBay-style online auction.  -The Pantagraph

SPRINGFIELD — The latest attempt by Gov. Pat Quinn's administration to sell off half of the state's fleet of airplanes hit more turbulence Monday.

After not finding any takers among local governments or universities for the eight airplanes and one helicopter, officials offered the aircraft to the general public through an eBay-style online auction.

At the close of the bidding Monday, however, only two of the planes received bids.

Illinois Department of Central Management Services spokeswoman Alka Nayyar said the unsold planes will be re-listed for auction with a new closing date of Dec. 15.

"This is consistent with industry practices -- airplane sales (like other higher-end, specialized items) can take as long as 6-9 months," Nayyar said in an email.

All told, the planes have an appraised value of nearly $4 million.

In June, Quinn announced he would sell half of the state's air fleet as a way to save an estimated $7 million annually.

The idea has been a popular one among some lawmakers who say the state doesn't need to spend millions of dollars maintaining multiple planes. State Rep. Bill Mitchell, a Forsyth Republican, has previously introduced legislation designed to pare down the fleet. And, state Rep. Sue Scherer, D-Decatur, also has said the state could save money with fewer planes.

Quinn, who is locked in a tough reelection battle against Republican Bruce Rauner, has already touted the sale in one of his campaign ads.

Unlike most auctions on the state's surplus equipment website, bidders seeking the airplanes had to meet a base price level.

The minimum bid for a 1999 Beechcraft King Air 250, used to shuttle officials between Chicago and Springfield, was set at $2.49 million. An online counter showed the plane had more than 2,500 views. But, no one bid for the plane.

A 1991 Sikorsky helicopter, also used to shuttle officials around the state, was set at a minimum bid of $933,588. No bids were submitted.

The only planes that sold Monday were the two cheapest of the fleet.

Three bidders waged a spirited battle for a 1975 single-engine Cessna that seats four people, netting the state more than $67,000.

Another bidder paid $62,594 for a 1967 single-engine Cessna, with more than 6,200 hours of flying time.

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

Israeli airline urged to stop ‘bullying’ of women by ultra-orthodox passengers • Petition organizer says airline should find way to accommodate religious requirements without breaching other people’s rights

Israel’s national airline, El Al, has been criticised for allowing ultra-orthodox Jewish men to disrupt flights by refusing to be seated next to women.

A petition on change.org is demanding that the carrier “stop the bullying, intimidation and discrimination against women on your flights”.

One flight last week, from New York’s JFK airport to Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport, descended into chaos according to passengers, after a large group of haredim, or ultra-orthodox Jews, refused to take their seats next to women, in accordance with strict religious customs.

The episode has prompted other women to come forward with similar stories on international flights to and from Tel Aviv.

Amit Ben-Natan, a passenger on last week’s El Al flight from New York, said take-off was delayed after numerous and repeated requests by ultra-orthodox men for female passengers to be moved.

“People stood in the aisles and refused to go forward,” she told the Ynet website. “Although everyone had tickets with seat numbers that they purchased in advance, they asked us to trade seats with them, and even offered to pay money, since they cannot sit next to a woman. It was obvious that the plane won’t take off as long as they keep standing in the aisles.”

Another passenger on the flight, named only as Galit, said ultra-orthodox passengers had suggested she and her husband sit separately to accommodate their religious requirements. She refused, but added: “I ended up sitting next to a haredi man who jumped out of his seat the moment we had finished taking off and proceeded to stand in the aisle.”

On a different flight, Elana Sztokman, executive director of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance, refused to accede to a request to move seats, triggering “frantic negotiations”, she said, between ultra-orthodox men and airline staff.

“What happened to me on this flight isn’t that different from what happens on almost every flight,” she told Voice of Israel radio. “You get on a plane, and the plane is about to take off but a whole bunch of ultra-orthodox men start playing around, moving around, whispering, moving back and forth trying to find different seats … Anyone who’s ever travelled on El Al has experienced this.”

Sharon Shapiro, from Chicago, the organiser of the online petition – which had attracted about 1,000 backers by Tuesday morning – said it was “not right that female passengers are being intimidated or harassed. It’s one thing to ask nicely, but if someone says no, they should not be put under pressure.”

There was a genuine dilemma for some ultra-orthodox Jews. “What most people don’t understand is that it’s not personal”, but considered by some to be a religious obligation.

Airlines should seek a way of accommodating the religious requirements of passengers without breaching others’ civil rights, she said. “I’m not quite sure why El Al asks passengers to sort these things out among themselves. It would be better if people can get on a plane knowing they’re sitting somewhere they feel comfortable. Otherwise, it adds to tensions and misunderstandings between religious and secular [passengers].”

The petition says: “If a passenger was being verbally or physically abusive to airline staff, they would immediately be removed from the plane … If a passenger was openly engaging in racial or religious discrimination against another passenger or flight attendant, they would immediately be removed from the plane. Why then, does El Al Airlines allow gender discrimination against women?

“Why does El Al Airlines permit female passengers to be bullied, harassed, and intimidated into switching seats which they rightfully paid for and were assigned to by El Al Airlines?

“One person’s religious rights does not trump another person’s civil rights.”

It suggests that El Al reserves a few rows of segregated seating available in advance for a fee.

Among comments posted on change.org, Judith Margolis from Jerusalem said: “The behaviour involving harassing women in the name of religious observance is outrageous. That airlines allow some passengers to disrupt flights is unacceptable.”

Myla Kaplan of Haifa said: “I no longer feel comfortable flying on El Al due to the bullying and delays and general humiliation of being asked to move out of a seat I reserved in advance.”

In a statement, El Al said it made “every effort possible to ensure a passenger’s flight is as enjoyable as possible while doing our utmost to maintain schedules and arrive safely at the destination.

“El Al is committed to responding to every complaint received and if it is found that there are possibilities for improvement in the future, those suggestions will be taken into consideration.”

Female passengers on other airlines flying to and from Israel, such as British Airways and easyJet, have also been asked to move seats at the request of ultra-orthodox men. Some airlines close toilets for periods during flights to allow men to gather to pray.

The outcry over flights comes against a backdrop of moves by hardline ultra-orthodox communities in Israel to impose dress codes on women, restrictions on where they can sit on public buses, segregated checkout queues in supermarkets and the removal of women’s images from advertising hoardings.

Sztokman – whose flight came at the end of a US speaking tour on her new book, The War on Women in Israel: A Story of Religious Radicalization and Women Fighting for Freedom – said such demands had increased over the past decade.

“A lot of what we’re seeing today … is about the erasure of women’s faces from the public sphere, the erasure of women’s names from newspaper articles, the refusal to let women talk on radio stations

“It’s a whole array of practices of women’s exclusion and women’s degradation that has got much worse.”

- Source:   http://www.theguardian.com

Runaway radio-controlled airplane returned

FOUND: Stuart Lightfoot's 2.8m blue and white semi-scale model has been returned after it went missing during a flight on September 10.

Stuart Lightfoot's 2.8-metre radio-controlled airplane has been found after two weeks missing in action.

The blue and white semi-scale model never came home after a transmitter malfunction during a flight last month.

Lightfoot, of Te Aroha, said the plane was based on aircraft from the 1930s and would have cost $2500 to replace.

He has flown the model plane every week from a location west of Matamata, performing rolls, loops, flying upside down and working on mastering the "knife-edge", which is flying with wings vertical.

During the last flight, he knew there was a problem soon after takeoff and the plane sailed higher and higher until it disappeared from view. Inspection of the transmitter revealed a broken aerial wire, which meant the plane lost transmission once it was more than 100 metres away. A 20-minute flying time meant it could have come down almost anywhere in the Waikato and Lightfoot issued a call for its return.

Luckily, it was found by two boys riding their motorbikes in a farm paddock property in Walton, owned by Rebecca Carter. There is damage to the fuselage and rudder, the landing gear has been torn off and a wing broken in half. It would take a few months work and $200-$300 to repair it, he said. Lightfoot said he was relieved to have the plane back.

"I didn't realize it had become such a big part of my life."

Lightfoot started flying gliders in the 1950s, followed by Cessna and microlight aircraft. In recent years, the 89-year-old has stuck with model airplanes, which were his first interest. "I've always been in modelling, I've had models all my life, since I was a boy," he said. 

- Source:    http://www.stuff.co.nz

How to get airport fix jump-started • Charlotte/Douglas International (KCLT), North Carolina

Our View
When two parties disagree, they can take their dispute to court. But what happens if the judge refuses to rule?

The Charlotte Douglas International Airport mess happens.

The N.C. legislature last year passed a law stripping control of the airport from the city of Charlotte and giving it to a commission. The city sued to block the law from taking effect.

The case went before Superior Court Judge Robert Ervin more than a year ago. And there it sits today, little closer to resolution. Ervin decided in August 2013 that he couldn’t rule on the law’s legitimacy until the Federal Aviation Administration announced whether it would be OK with the new commission running the airport. But the FAA responded that it couldn’t act until the judge ruled.

We’ve been on the hamster wheel ever since.

The FAA, in a letter to U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger that became public this week, makes clear it won’t be the one to stop the wheel. If Charlotte asked the FAA to consider transferring airport control to the commission, the “FAA will refrain from evaluating the request where, as here, the ownership and control of the airport remains the subject of an ongoing legal dispute,” deputy U.S. transportation secretary Victor Mendez wrote.

Mendez gave a laughable initial excuse for the FAA’s inaction: That the city hasn’t asked the FAA to transfer control of the airport to the commission. Of course it hasn’t. But the FAA is right to let the legal process play out before jumping in. Judge Ervin should decide the legality of the legislature’s maneuver, then the FAA can and should rule on whether the commission meets all the federal requirements of an airport sponsor.

Until then, one of the biggest drivers of the Charlotte region’s economy dangles in limbo, its ultimate governance a mystery. Outside legal bills mount all the while, and taxpayers are now on the hook for more than $550,000 on the city’s side alone.

We, like most observers of this soap opera, would love to see it resolved amicably, out of court. Gov. Pat McCrory and former Mayor Patrick Cannon were apparently close to a compromise when Cannon was indicted and the talks fell apart. There’s been no indication since then that the two sides are close – or even talking. Sen. Bob Rucho, a commission advocate, seems to be digging in his heels, and McCrory and current Mayor Dan Clodfelter have had no recent talks, a mayoral spokeswoman said last week. We’d like that to change, but after nearly two years of wrangling, it’s hard to imagine any compromise, particularly one that is fair to the city.

Ervin has scheduled a hearing in the case for Oct. 10. He should make a ruling and provide the direction both sides need. It’s time for the judge to judge.

- Source: http://www.charlotteobserver.com

31 apply for airport director’s job • Lafayette Regional (KLFT), Louisiana

In a process that has thus far been open and transparent, 31 people are angling to become Lafayette Regional Airport’s next director, having met the Sept. 26 deadline to apply.

The applicants are hoping to replace Greg Roberts, whose 21-year career ended in June after he pulled a mock pistol from his desk and pointed it at an unsuspecting engineer during a meeting in his office. Roberts was placed on administrative leave and resigned several days later. Read more on the extraordinary incident here.

Application forms and resumes from the 31 are being delivered today to the five members of the Director Search Committee appointed by the Lafayette Airport Commission. Each applicant met the basic qualifications dictated by the airport commission of at least a four-year college degree and a written agreement for public release of their information.

The Director Search Committee will meet in the coming weeks to determine which applicants will move to the next round, a series of video conference interviews.

Paul Guilbeau, vice chairman of the Lafayette Airport Commission, chairs the search committee. Other search committee members are Lafayette attorney Valerie Gotch Garrett; Tim Skinner, commercial and investment agent with Keaty Real Estate; Kenneth Boudreaux, a member of the Lafayette City-Parish Council; and Dave Welch, president, CEO and chairman of the board of Stone Energy. Garrett and Skinner also serve as members of the Lafayette Airport Commission.

The Lafayette airport conducted a nationwide search that included leading airport executive associations and aviation career opportunity firms, national job search postings and targeted employment advertising across Louisiana. Listings were posted and advertised in a total of ten publications and online career opportunity websites.

Applicants are:

•    Joshua Abramson, Executive Director, Tupelo Airport Authority, Tupelo, MS
•    Greg Accardo, Property & Development Coordinator, Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport, Baton Rouge
•    Barry Barnett, President, East Texas Jet Support, Troup, TX
•    Robert Benson, Self-Employed Property Manager, former Ground Transportation Manager, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Ellenwood, GA
•    David Blackshear, Vice President, Applied Airport Technology of Lafayette, Davidsonville, MD
•    Ismael Bonilla, Deputy Director Broward County Aviation Department Fort Lauderdale, Pembroke Pines, FL
•    April Criss, Agent Support Representative, Confie Insurance Group, Baton Rouge
•    Cullen Davidson, Adjunct Faculty in Aviation, University of Central Missouri, Knob Noster, MO
•    Michael Deroose, Facility Manager, Katoen Natie Louisiana, Port Allen
•    Jason Devillier, Airport Director, Iberia Parish Airport Authority, Lafayette
•    Alex Everman, Senior Airport Operations Agent, Colorado Springs Airport, Colorado Springs, CO 
•    Larry Franklin, Quality Assurance Manager, Zodiac Seats US, Las Vegas, NV
•    Robert Fricke, Capitan and Manager, Delta Private Jets, High Point, NC
•    Ace Garcia, Duty Manager, British Airways, The Woodlands, TX
•    Angela Gatlin, Security Sergeant, BASF Geismar, Walker
•    Fred Glover, Senior Aerospace Sustainment Consultant, YourEncore, Canyon Lake, TX
•    Lionel Grant, Surveillance Manager, Fair Grounds, New Orleans
•    Craig Hutchison, Vice President of Operations, Sierra West Airlines, Arvada, CO
•    Robert Kennedy, Vice President, Consulting Services, Aviation Strategis International, East Point, GA
•    Steve Krueger, Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Broussard
•    Richard Milford, Senior Enlisted Leader, Texas Army National Guard, Keller, TX
•    Jeff Miller, Manager on Duty, San Jose International Airport, Menlo Park, CA
•    Richard Nicholas, Regional Aviation Manager - Americas Region, International SOS, Fairless Hills, PA
•    John O’Neal, former Chief General Aviation Development Coordinator, Miami-Dade Airport Aviation Department, Pueblo, Colorado
•    David Slayter, Executive Director, Houma-Terrebonne Airport Commission, Houma
•    Col. Timothy Tenne, ret. US Air Force, Commander, Test Pilot, Consultant, Towson, MD 
•    Col. Keith Thibodeaux, ret. US Air Force, Commander Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, Lafayette
•    Carey Tucker, Deputy Director of Logistics, Installations, Barksdale Air Force Base, Bossier City
•    Beatrice Valdez-Heidari, Real Estate Broker, San Antonio, TX
•    Thad Webre, Consultant, Edgard
•    Darrol Wiltz, Procurements Counselor, St. Martinville

Sides & Associates is the airport communications contractor assigned to support the director search process on behalf of the committee and airport commission.

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

Judge to hear arguments in airport lawsuit • Charlotte/Douglas International (KCLT), North Carolina


It now appears the next best chance for a resolution of the ongoing dispute over control at Charlotte's airport may rest with a Mecklenburg County judge.

Judge Robert Ervin is scheduled to hear arguments on Oct. 10 in the City of Charlotte's lawsuit against the State of North Carolina. The suit seeks to have the state-appointed Airport Commission declared unconstitutional.

It's the latest step in a dispute that has gone on for nearly two years after Republican legislators began pushing for an independent group to wrest control of airport operations away from the city.

Ervin declined to rule in the case, saying he's waiting for the Federal Aviation Administration to decide who should operate the airport. The FAA has said it's waiting for the court case to be resolved.

This week, Republican Rep. Robert Pittenger received a letter from the FAA admitting it has yet to consider the case.

That seems to contradict statements made by U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, who told the Charlotte Observer that his staff has been "working on" the issue.

But in a letter to Pittenger, the FAA said it "will refrain from evaluating" the dispute until the legal case is resolved.

"They can't seem to make a decision," said Pittenger. "We need leadership. We need a decision."

Pittenger said he believes the FAA is making excuses for avoiding action.

Others are even more critical, laying blame with Foxx. Sen. Bob Rucho, also a Republican, said he believes Foxx, who as Charlotte mayor vehemently opposed the city ceding control of the airport, is intentionally dragging out the process.

"I truly believe that former Mayor Foxx has interceded and asked them (FAA) not to take any action," Rucho said.

The FAA didn't respond to requests for comment.

- Source:   http://www.wsoctv.com

Federal Aviation Administration Orders Replacement of Pilot Displays on Boeing Jets • Safety Directive Aims to Prevent Possible Interference From Wi-Fi Devices in Cockpits

The Wall Street Journal
By Andy Pasztor

September 30, 2014 5:31 p.m. ET

Federal regulators have ordered replacement of pilot displays on more than 1,300 Boeing Co. jets, including some of the newest 737 models, to prevent possible interference from Wi-Fi devices used in cockpits.

The Federal Aviation Administration's safety directive, released Tuesday, aims to ensure that essential information such as airspeed, altitude and heading doesn't temporarily disappear from certain instrument displays manufactured by Honeywell International Inc.

The affected displays are susceptible to interference from Wi-Fi devices routinely used by many pilots during flights, according to the FAA document. But the agency said the displays also are vulnerable to radio frequency transmissions from satellites, cellphones and other systems.

The latest FAA move highlighting such potential dangers comes as passenger use of portable electronic devices—from tablets to laptops to cellphones—is expanding. Meanwhile, U.S. airlines increasingly are outfitting pilots with company-issued devices to help them do their job.

U.S. airlines will have five years to swap out the displays on Boeing 777 and 737 models, which can cost thousands of dollars apiece. Each aircraft has multiple screens. Supported by updated data collected by the FAA, the final directive applies to nearly 10 times the number of planes covered under the agency's proposal last fall.

Foreign carriers and regulators are expected to embrace the U.S. requirements.

Despite requests from Honeywell and various carriers to reduce or delay the impact of the final order, FAA officials said they concluded the action was necessary based on separate safety analyses conducted by the agency and Boeing.

In extreme cases, Wi-Fi devices in the cockpits of certain commercial jets can cause cockpit displays to flicker or temporarily blank out. FAA tests on the ground resulted in one outage lasting about six minutes.

Though industry groups argued the FAA was going too far because no display incidents have occurred in flight, the FAA said Boeing's own tests determined that display "blanking was a safety issue."

If a screen went dark during takeoff or a landing approach, according to the FAA, the result could be "loss of control of the airplane." Even relying on standby instruments could lead to planes flying into natural or man-made obstacles, according to the FAA, or pilots trying to regain control "at an altitude insufficient for recovery."

The Chicago plane maker and Honeywell took voluntary action earlier to replace some of the units. Replacement screens have enhanced shielding and upgraded software, and those versions are now being installed on new jets in the factory.

A Boeing spokesman said the FAA is ordering fixes the company recommended to airlines in 2012. Honeywell didn't have any immediate comment. In the past, Honeywell called the testing issue an "isolated incident" involving frequencies and signals that it said were much stronger than typical Wi-Fi signals. In comments submitted to the FAA on the initial rule, Honeywell said the potential for interference fell "well within the FAA's acceptable risk zone."

As a makeshift step, the FAA initially ordered placards placed in the cockpits of some planes prohibiting use of Wi-Fi devices. The agency later gave Delta Air Lines Inc. a waiver to allow specially trained pilots to use such devices during trips carrying passengers.

But in the final rule, slated to be published Wednesday in the Federal Register, the FAA concluded that such interim safeguards were inadequate as "corrective action for the unsafe condition" identified by testing and formal risk analyses.

- Source:   http://online.wsj.com

Pilot unable to recover in training flight: Transportation Safety Board of Canada

Cessna 172L Skyhawk, Tylair Aviation, C-FQTR:  Fatal accident occurred August 06, 2013 in  Cache Creek Hills,  west of Kamloops, BC

KAMLOOPS, B.C. – The Transportation Safety Board has concluded that a 16-year-old pilot was unable to recover from a maneuver, sending the plane he was operating into a high-speed nosedive in mountainous terrain west of Kamloops, B.C.

Lorne Perreault died in the crash in what the TSB investigation said was supposed to be a two-hour training flight on Aug. 6, 2013.

The Cessna 172 disappeared from radar shortly after climbing to 2,700 metres. Perreault’s body and the aircraft were found the next day.

“It is possible that the pilot had begun recovery from a spiral dive and achieved a wings-level attitude, but did not have enough altitude to fully recover,” said the report released Tuesday.

“During impact, the aircraft’s cabin was severely compromised, making this accident unsurvivable.”

When the aircraft did not return at the scheduled time, the instructor, who was supervising the flight, notified search and rescue services and two employees of TylAir Aviation started an air search in their private aircraft, the report said.

Investigators said the crash happened about an hour and a half into the flight and that the plane was not carrying an emergency locator, which resulted in a delay in finding the pilot and wreckage.

While the board noted the locator was not required because the flight was not intended to go beyond 40 nautical kilometres from Kamloops, it said the removal of the instrument should have been documented.

Lead investigator Glen Friesen said there is every reason to believe that the teen was ready to fly solo.

“He demonstrated the ability to recover from these types of
maneuvers. And pilots have to go solo at some point and the flight instructor being comfortable that he was at that point that he could safely handle the aircraft. So we’re not exactly sure what happened or why he didn’t recover.”

- Source:  http://globalnews.ca

Lorne Perreault

This is a plane used by TylAir Aviation Ltd. flight school, photographed by KTW during the company's open house.

Task force delays aircraft tracking plans promised after MH370 mystery

(Reuters) - An airline industry-led task force looking at ways to improve plane tracking after the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines' flight MH370 has delayed its recommendations, possibly until December.

A spokeswoman for the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which is leading the effort, said the draft proposals would not be delivered to the U.N.'s aviation body on Tuesday as previously expected.

The disappearance of the Malaysian airline in March sparked a global drive for a system that would make it possible to pinpoint the exact route and last location of an aircraft.

"After an exhaustive internal review, it was determined that we needed more clarification on the recommendations and on guidance for implementation," IATA spokeswoman Mona Aubin said in an email.

Aubin did not say what clarifications were being sought. She said IATA now expects to bring the recommendations to its board by December at the latest.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak in May called for the body to adopt real-time tracking of civilian aircraft and other measures. "In an age of smartphones and mobile Internet, real-timetracking of commercial airplanes is long overdue," he said in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal.

In May, members of the U.N.'s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) governing council agreed on the need for global tracking. IATA was to put together tracking proposals that its members would implement voluntarily before ICAO set industry standards, which can take several years.

IATA Director General Tony Tyler told an industry conference in Montreal on Sept. 19 that draft recommendations would be presented to ICAO on Sept. 30, but struck a cautious note.

"I would like to ensure that expectations are appropriate as to what will be produced. This will not be a final document or a silver bullet solution," he said, according to remarks posted on IATA's website.

A six-month-long international search has so far failed to find any trace of the Malaysian plane.

Better tracking technology could have helped rescuers and investigators quickly locate MH370, which is presumed to have crashed with 239 people on board in a remote part of the Indian Ocean.

Some airlines already track their aircraft around the world, but procedures vary widely. Airline industry leaders have said keeping track of their aircraft in real time could push up ticket prices for passengers. The industry also wants governments to foot part of the bill.

French crash investigators recommended better tracking in the aftermath of the 2009 crash of Air France 447 in the Atlantic Ocean.

- Source:  http://uk.reuters.com

Groundbreaking for Embraer Legacy jet project set for next week

MELBOURNE -   Embraer Executive Jets at Melbourne International Airport said Tuesday that the groundbreaking for its Legacy 450 and 500 business jet assembly operation will take place Oct. 9.

Gov. Rick Scott, and other state and local officials, are scheduled to attend the 2-3:30 p.m. groundbreaking at 1205 General Aviation Dr., Melbourne International Airport.

The groundbreaking comes just weeks after the Sept. 8 official opening of Embraer’s Engineering & Technology Center USA at the airport.

Embraer already assembles the Phenom 100 and Phenom 300 business jets at the airport, as well as operating a global customer center.

The Legacy is a larger business class jet and the company said when assembly is in full operation, the facility could employ 600 people.

At an aerospace/aviation forum at the Florida Institute of Technology Friday night, sponsored in part by FLORIDA TODAY, Phil Krull, managing director at Embraer Executive Aircraft Inc., said since the Brazilian jet manufacturer announced its intentions to locate in Melbourne 2008, it has hired about 300 local employees and 100 contractors.

That Phenom assembly operation, Krull said, has produced 80 aircraft, valued at more than $400 million.

“We look forward to welcoming more Brevard citizens into our family of employees,” Krull said, “and to strengthening our partnership with this generation as well as the next.”

- Source:   http://www.floridatoday.com

Bombardier lottery winners in court over $50M dispute

A group of millionaires had to take a break from parasailing and sport fishing to attend a two week civil trial over a $50 million Lotto Max dispute.

In 2011, 24 Bombardier employees hit it big, but the payout was immediately put on hold after a co-worker claimed that he should have been in on the action.

Chris Bates testified on Tuesday that he was on vacation leading up to the big win. When he returned, he realized the regular group had played on without him and his name was not on the list for the next draw.

Although Bates didn’t make any arrangements ahead of time to continue playing the lottery with his co-workers, he testified that he was upset no one had put money in for him, as they had done for others in the past.

Bates said he confronted a co-worker in the group but claims he didn’t give him a reason for not putting him back on the list.

Bates testified that he told the group, “If you guys win, I’m going to sue.”

The group won the jackpot in the next draw.

“They left me out, I played every single time,” Bates told the court.

Lawyer Saul Glober, who is representing the 24 workers, told the court that Bates’ comment was interesting since the odds of winning would be one in 14 million.

Two million dollars of the winnings has been set aside pending the outcome of the trial.

- Source:   http://www.citynews.ca

Some prankster’ hits WestJet pilots in eyes with laser as airliner lands in Ottawa

Two WestJet Airlines pilots sought medical treatment after a blinding laser was repeatedly fired directly into their eyes as they prepared to land a 737 airliner at the Ottawa airport.

The strikes are the most serious lasing at the airport in recent years. The incident occurred late Sept. 23 as the inbound Vancouver flight descended from 19,000 feet to 6,000 feet on an approach for runway 25.

A green laser beam came from directly ahead of and below the aircraft and illuminated the flight deck for about four minutes, according to new details released Monday by Transport Canada.

“The captain and first officer both looked directly into the beam,” says the report. “The captain is experiencing a slight burning sensation to his left eye. First officer has no symptoms at this time. Both pilots have decided to seek medical treatment.”

WestJet said Tuesday that both pilots reported itching and discomfort, were checked out at hospital and cleared to fly.

“Our concern is from and (occupational health and safety) perspective — everyone has a right to a safe working environment,” WestJet spokeswoman Brie Thorsteinson Ogle said in statement.

“The fact that some prankster thinks it is clever to shine a laser that could easily cause injury or serious damage to a person’s eyes is just plain foolish.

“Clearly, they don’t understand that what they’re doing is not a joke — it’s potentially quite harmful to the person exposed. Whenever we do experience a laser strike, it is fully reported in the hopes that the person involved will be caught and prosecuted.”

Transport Canada says Ottawa police were called and took statements from the crew. But Ottawa police today said they have no record of the incident.

A similar incident in 2009 left an Ornge medical helicopter pilot with serious eye damage and grounded for several weeks after he was hit with a laser beam while flying at about 2,000 feet over the Gatineau Hills.

The new details about the WestJet incident follow the announcement in June of an aggressive, nationwide U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) operation to reduce the 4,000 reported aviation laser attacks in the U.S. annually.

At the very least, pilots are at risk of being distracted by what is likened to a camera flash going off in a darkened car. Worse, they can become temporarily blinded, losing their night vision and the ability to see instrumentation, runways, helipads and obstacles. The greatest risk is during descent, landing and takeoff.

Transport Canada statistics show a 24-per-cent increase last year in reported laser-pointer strikes against aircraft in Canadian skies — 461 compared with 357 in 2012. The 4,000 annual U.S. incidents compares with just 300 in 2005.

The FBI offers a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of anyone who intentionally points a laser at a plane or helicopter. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and the Air Line Pilots Association, International are partners in launching an awareness campaigns in U.S. schools.

The U.S. initiative mirrors a 60-day pilot project earlier this year at 12 major metropolitan FBI field offices where lasing was most common. That crackdown is credited with 19-per-cent drop in reported incidents.

In Canada, the Aeronautics Act prohibits directing laser pointers at aircraft. If convicted, offenders face a maximum $100,000 fine, five years in prison or both. Transport Canada has posted information about the safe and legal use of handheld laser pointers at tc.gc.ca/lasers.

But the Air Canada Pilots Association, the country’s largest pilots’ union, is seeking more government controls and Criminal Code sanctions. In the U.S., lasing was made a felony crime in 2012.

An Edmonton-area man was convicted in 2010 of inadvertently shining his son’s toy laser at an Edmonton police helicopter. The police pilot testified he was “bathed in a green light” that affected his ability to fly the aircraft. The man was fined $500.

In March, a 26-year-old California man was sentenced to 14 years in prison for aiming a powerful laser pointer at a police helicopter and a hospital emergency transport helicopter.

Story and Comments:  http://news.nationalpost.com

Cape Air celebrating Block Island service, anniversary with $25 fare

This year Cape Air celebrates its 25th anniversary as a commercial airline and to commemorate the airliner is offering an end of the season $25 each way fare special from Green Airport to Block Island.

“We wanted to not only celebrate our 25th anniversary, but also celebrate our first season serving Block Island. This is a way to say thank you to the community for their continued support and for the warm welcome we received this summer,” Linda Markham, president of Cape Air said in a statement.

Cape Air has baggage agreements with most major carriers, which make for smooth connections and money-saving joint fares when traveling through T.F. Green.

For more information or to book a ticket, visit www.capeair.com or call 800-CAPE-AIR. Cape Air’s seasonal operation will end on Oct. 19 and begin again around Memorial Day next year.

- Source:   http://www.warwickonline.com

Frontier Airlines to return to Philadelphia

Frontier Airlines - with new owners, a new management team, and a new logo on its planes - is coming to Philadelphia with flights to seven cities.

Denver's hometown airline will announce Tuesday nonstop flights from Philadelphia International Airport to Miami, Orlando, and Tampa, Fla., and Cancun, Mexico, in December, and to Atlanta, Charlotte, N.C., and Chicago next spring.

"These are underserved markets with very high fares," Frontier chief executive officer David Siegel said. "We're going to expand the market, stimulating it with low fares and dropping in a little bit of capacity."

Frontier hasn't flown scheduled service from Philadelphia since January 2013, soon after it began flights from Trenton-Mercer Airport.

To entice travelers, Frontier will offer a one-day sale Tuesday through 11:59 p.m. starting at $14.99 one-way for travel Jan. 6, 7, 13, and 14 to Miami, Tampa, and Orlando. The $14.99 fare is not valid for Cancun.

Introductory fares of $59 to $99 one-way will be available through Oct. 6 at FlyFrontier.com. for certain flights between Jan. 5 and April 29 to Miami, Tampa, Orlando, and Cancun. Seats will be limited at these fares, and blackout dates will apply.

The schedule for Atlanta, Charlotte, and Chicago will be announced in the coming weeks.

Four of the cities where Frontier plans to fly are hubs for American Airlines and merger partner US Airways: Philadelphia, Charlotte, Miami, and Chicago.

"Many people get priced out of the market with higher fares," Frontier president Barry Biffle said. "We believe there are people who want a low fare and great service, and we can fill that void."

James Tyrrell, Philadelphia deputy director of aviation, said the flights are "good news" for passengers: "We love increased air service, especially to very competitive destinations."

When a low-fare airline enters a market, ticket prices drop. "Our costs will be 30 percent to 40 percent lower than American, so you would expect to see our fares that much lower," Biffle said.

"In Denver, our biggest market, on average our fares are 20 percent lower than Southwest and 60 percent lower than United," Siegel said.

Last fall, Frontier was acquired by Indigo Partners of Phoenix, whose founder, William Franke, had been chairman of Spirit Airlines.

Indigo is remaking Frontier as an ultra-low-cost airline, modeled after Spirit, which offers low base fares but charges extra for everything, including carry-on bags. Frontier is adopting some of Spirit's "cost elements," including putting more seats on planes to fit in more passengers.

"Even with the fees, their fares are sometimes 50 percent lower than other airlines," said George Hobica, founder of Airfarewatchdog.com.

Frontier aims to have better customer service, friendlier employees, and better on-time performance - getting passengers and their bags to destinations on schedule, Siegel said.

The airline recently announced a new paint job for its planes. The colorful animals that have adorned the tails will be getting bigger on future aircraft.

Employees and customers told Frontier executives they wanted the popular grizzly bear, rabbit, lynx, and cougar to stay. The green company logo and website URL on the aircraft are meant to "update and refresh" the brand, Siegel said.

Frontier has expanded rapidly, and beginning Nov. 20, the airline will fly to its 19th nonstop destination - Nassau, Bahamas - from Trenton-Mercer Airport in Ewing Township.

"We have no plans to change our Trenton strategy," Biffle said. "You have the No. 1 metro area in the United States to the north - New York - and a top-five metropolitan area to the south - Philadelphia - and a lot of people who live in between."

Siegel said, "There's very little overlap between those markets."

Frontier operates flights at New Castle Airport near Wilmington, but some Delaware service has been cut.

Frontier currently flies from Philadelphia for Apple Vacations.

Frontier will expand the Cancun service Dec. 21 to five days a week. It will continue to fly to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, for Apple Vacations twice a week.

On Dec. 20, Frontier will begin nonstop service to Miami and Orlando twice a day and to Tampa once a day from Philadelphia.
Story and Comments:  http://www.philly.com


Dick Rochfort, ATP, CFII: Flying the Piper Meridian - Not So Hard To Do


Ride along with Master Instructor Dick Rochfort on a brief in-flight demonstration of the G1000 glass-panel equipped Piper PA46 Meridian. Dick enthusiastically describes how easy it would be to transition from a single engine piston aircraft to the pressurized, FIKI equipped Piper Meridian; the pinnacle of owner-flown single-engine turboprop aircraft. Dick Rochfort is a full-time pilot trainer specializing in the Piper PA46 Matrix, Malibu, 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 http://www.rwrpilottraining.com/ or contact Dick directly at mail@rwrpilottraining.com

Fly Safely - Train Often