Sunday, October 19, 2014

Photo Gallery/Video: Argyll crew clear L.F. Wade International Airport runway

Personnel from the UK Royal Navy vessel HMS Argyll were this morning [Oct 19] seen walking the runway at the LF Wade International Airport clearing any debris deposited by Hurricane Gonzalo. 

A public transportation bus could be seen near the group as they progressed along the runway along with other airport vehicles and personnel. The crew were walking with trash bags collecting debris from the runway and surrounding area.

The UK Royal Navy vessel HMS Argyll traveled to Bermuda to stand-by in case we needed assistance, and provided the helicopter that was flying overhead yesterday.

Story, Comments, Photo Gallery and Video:

Hazmat crew cleans up after Allegiant passenger gets sick: Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport, Vienna, Ohio

VIENNA — Authorities with the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport called in a hazardous-material crew as a precaution after a man vomited on a flight Sunday night.

Dan Dickten, director of aviation with the airport, said a man became ill on an Allegiant Air flight and the plane landed at the airport at 6 p.m. He said authorities were notified, specifically Vienna Township police and fire, along with the Trumbull County HazMat team and the Youngstown Air Reserve Station.

He also called the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to let them know about the situation.

Dickten said it was “a precautionary move to call HazMat” and that someone was “using the Ebola word and it definitely was not.”

No runways were shut down during the time, and Dickten said once the plane was cleaned, passengers would board it for the next flight. He added airport officials were notified the man was sick.

“Everything’s fine and everything’s being cleaned up,” he told The Vindicator.

- Source:

Indian River Aerodrome, Vero Beach, Florida: Suspect Arrested In Shooting:

Update: Detectives on scene of suspicious death, arrest made
by Mark Schumann • Indian River County, Vero Beach   


Detectives with the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office have identified the deceased man as Eric Deffendall (42) of Vero Beach. Tonight, Mark Deffendall (39) is being charged with the homicide of his brother. Father, Rex Deffendall, left both Eric and Mark home around 10:30 A.M. and returned around 2:30 P.M. to find Eric dead of gunshot wounds and no sign of Mark. After a long day of investigation, detectives determined that a fight between the brothers erupted near the hangar in the rear of the family home.

Indian River County Sheriff’s Office Detective Lieutenant Anthony Consalo stated, “It appears the fight continued into the residence, both upstairs and down. The fight ended near the front door with numerous gunshots to the head and body of Eric Deffendall.”

Mark Deffendall was later located at Indian River Medical Center where he was treated for several superficial wounds. Mark was transported to the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office where detectives spent several hours speaking with him. At this time, detectives are charging him with killing his brother, however specific charges were not immediately available. Mark Deffendall will be held without bond until his first appearance in the morning.

Indian River County Sheriff Dery Loar stated, “Our hearts go out to the friends and family of Eric Deffendall tonight. It is difficult losing a loved one and even worse when another family member is involved.”

Original Sheriff’s Office Press Release

Indian River County Sheriff’s Office Detectives and Crime Scene personnel are on scene in the 8500 block of De Havilland Court in Vero Beach. De Havilland Court is in the area commonly referred to as the Aerodrome. Deputies responded to the scene and discovered what is currently being called a suspicious death. More information will be released as it becomes available.

Anyone with information or who may have witnessed anything is encouraged to contact Treasure Coast Crime Stoppers at 1-800-273-TIPS (8477). By contacting Treasure Coast Crime Stoppers, you can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

Mark Eugene Deffendall 
Picture by  Indian River County Sheriff's Office

VERO BEACH, Fla. - A Vero Beach man is being held without bond after his brother was found shot to death Sunday inside a home the two brothers shared with their father. 

 The deadly shooting happened at a home on the 8500 block of De Haviland Court.

Investigators suspect 42-year old Eric Deffendall was shot by his younger brother, 39-year-old Mark Deffendall.

Investigators said the two men live at the home with their father.

Investigators believe the two brothers may have been fighting outside the home sometime later Sunday morning or early Sunday afternoon.

Investigators said the fight likely moved inside the home, where they say Eric Deffendall was shot numerous times in the chest.

"One of the brothers obviously picked up a firearm and possibly shot the other brother," Indian River County Sheriff's Office Lt. Tony Consalo said.

Lt. Consalo said the men's father, Rex Deffendall, returned home from shopping around 3 p.m. and found Eric in the living room with the gunshot wounds.

Consalo says EMS arrived to the home and pronounced Eric dead.

Meanwhile, Consalo says Mark's truck was gone and he was nowhere to be found.

Consalo says an alert was sent out to locate Mark, who was eventually found at the Indian River Memorial Hospital receiving stitches for injuries that appeared to be from a fight.

Neighbors who knew the brothers say they are stunned.

Consalo says friends of the Deffendall family said the brothers would occasionally fight, but never believed the tension would escalate to this level.

"They said they have a good relationship, typical brother relationship. You know, brothers argue at times," Consalo explained.

Investigators are still trying to determine a motive.

They said they are not looking for any other persons of interest.

Mark Deffendall is charged with first-degree murder.

- Source:


INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — A 42-year-old man was shot to death Sunday at his home at the Indian River Aerodrome, and Indian River County Sheriff’s Office officials say his brother is a person of interest in the shooting.

Deputies responded about 2:30 p.m. to the home of Rex Deffendall and his two sons, Mark and Eric Deffendall, in the 8500 block of De Havilland Court at the Aerodrome, a residential subdivision with a landing strip west of Vero Beach.

Sheriff’s Lt. Tony Consalo said Eric Deffendall was found dead in the home by his father about 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Police said his brother, Mark, is a person of interest.

About 6 p.m. Consalo said detectives had tracked Mark Deffendall and “believe they know his location. Detectives will be speaking with him shortly."

Consalo said Rex Deffendall and a female friend left the home about 10:30 a.m. to go shopping in the area near the Vero Beach Outlets. When he left, his two sons were alone in the home.

When he returned, Rex Deffendall found his 42-year-old son Eric dead, with four gunshot wounds, Consalo said. No gun was found at the scene.

His body was found on the floor of the first-floor family room, Consalo told Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers.

Deputies put out a bulletin for Mark Deffendall’s vehicle, Consalo said, and an off-duty sheriff’s deputy working a detail at the Indian River Medical Center saw his name on the patient list and found the vehicle at the medical center.

Consalo said Mark Deffendall had “some injuries indicating he had been in a physical altercation but not a gunshot.”

As for motive, Consalo said Rex Deffendall said “brothers argue sometimes.”

Late Sunday afternoon, crime tape surrounded the home in the quiet neighborhood. One door of the four-car garage was open and a white Honda with the trunk open was inside.

Neighbor Jack Fisher said all three Deffendalls live in the home. He said Mark Deffendall is a pilot who is studying to be a commercial pilot. Eric Deffendall owned a trucking company.

Rex Deffendall declined to comment late Sunday afternoon, telling Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers only, “We can’t talk.”

Fisher said Rex and Mark Deffendall build experimental aircraft at the home.

A blue-and-white dump truck was parked next to the house. Behind the house is an airplane hanger.

Neighbor Buddy Marks, who lives across the street, said he saw the family’s plane was up in the air sometime this morning.


Permian Basin International Oil Show: Airports expect increased traffic

With an estimated three times the normal jet traffic to come into Schlemeyer Airport during the Permian Basin International Oil Show, staff will have its hands full in one of the busiest times of the year.

Scott Jones, a line service technician at Schlemeyer Airport, said the airport had at least triple the corporate traffic from four days before the oil show until two days after it ended two years ago, the last time the exhibition was in town.

“They show up in droves,” Jones said. “It always coincides with Airsho time, so October is a busy time for us.”

Jones said because the airport doesn’t charge landing fees or ramp fees, it’s a popular alternative to Midland International Airport. While gang hangar storage is normally $50 per night, Jones said it’s already full and won’t have any vacancies for the oil show.

That means the airport will be storing any planes that don’t have a hangar, or haven’t worked out a deal with someone who does, on the aprons and different ramps.

Main aprons can only hold about eight planes, and fill up quickly, Jones said.

“It’s busy and that’s kind of the way we want it around here,” Jones said. “It’s not a problem, just a little hard work.”

Ector County Judge Susan Redford said she expects an increase in activity at the airport and the county is already working to prepare for the oil show.

County employees are bumping up a landscaping project to have it done before the oil show in addition to adding awnings on some of the buildings at the airport, Redford said.

She also said some of the rehabilitated taxiways at the airport should attract people.

“If we have more air traffic coming in and out of our airport during that week, it definitely would result in more revenue for the county,” Redford said.

The county allows the sale of fuel on-site and gets a flow fee from the fuel company.

Debbie Fair, one of the owners of the new fixed base operator at Schlemeyer Airport, said in her first year of being with the airport for the oil show, they’re hoping to attract some people by advertising and direct mail outs.

People may be more used to flying into Midland International Airport because they have more space, she said, but they hope to change that.

She also said she knows of one company bringing in three airplanes that will be on display during the oil show.

Tony Fry, executive director of the oil show, said which airport people fly into will partially depend on whether they are flying private or commercial, since commercial flights do not fly in to Schlemeyer.

Fry said he has no preference which airport people fly in to, because the oil show is for the entire Permian Basin, including Midland and the Midland International Airport. However, he said it was important that two functional airports are located so closely to the show.

Oil show officials have estimated up to 45,000 people could visit the oil show, which could mean more fuel is purchased.

Precinct 3 Commissioner Dale Childers said he hopes to showcase the airport and a business-friendly environment that has been forged there.

With the high-end businesses that will be flying in, Childers said, a lot more fuel will be purchased than usual. Ector County receives a fee for fuel that is purchased at the airport.

Marv Esterly, director of Midland International Airport, said they expect to see similar increases as Schlemeyer in both commercial and private flights.

“There’s definitely an uptick in traffic when the oil show comes around,” Esterly said. “I suspect that this year is going to be even better than prior years.”

Esterly said while airlines won’t add flights to the schedule, flights that previously may not have been full will be packed and that gang hangars at the airport will also be housing more aircraft.

The pricing of the gang hangar and ramp fees for private flights varies based on the type of plane and other factors, Esterly said, and is determined by Landmark, the airport’s fixed base operator.

Sara Bustilloz, city of Midland spokeswoman, said because the airport is self-funded, increased business is important.

“It affects our bottom line,” Bustilloz said.

“The more business that we see, the more improvements and projects we can get going out at the airport.”

- Source:

Edmonton flying club finds new home, students

Despite being forced out of the City Center Airport, Edmonton’s Flying Club has found a new home and has been attracting some international attention. 

Chief flight instructor for the club, Sophia Wells, said the group decided to make the best of the situation after the City Center Airport was closed.

“It is kind of neat because we have to build brand new again and get a facelift on the club.

“The airport is really booming we're going to have a runway extension next spring. We're building a new hangar and building in the spring,” she said of their new home at the Parkland Airport.

“We've been here since it was nothing but a field until now and it's kind of nice to see how it's up and coming and how it's grown over the years,” instructor Brad Keats explained.

“City Center was great but everything comes to an end.”

Wells said they expected to add four new aircraft by the end of the year and have been attracting students from around the world.

“We are working with different countries and we do encourage people to contact us if that is something they are interested in but, flying club is really big on having people from all over the world from 16 all the way up to 70s and 80s as well as all cultures.”

Among those international students are twins William and Calvin Chen from Taiwan, who have been following their older brothers’ footsteps and training as commercial pilots in Canada.

“In China there is not that much room for training because the airspace above basically the whole country is either owned by the military and is fairly restricted so they're looking for people where they can go get their training done.

“There is a big group of students over there because their population is really big that just want to learn how to fly and some want to do it to get on with the commercial. Since Canada is such a good training program Transport Canada is very regulated and safety oriented which a lot of countries accept and really appreciate,” Wells explained.

She also said the club was hoping to design a program that would help students accelerate the process and move from a private pilot license to the commercial license in 14 months.

“That is a big pull if they can come here and get all their training in a shorter period of time it's less expensive for them and they also retain the knowledge a lot quicker.”

The Edmonton Flying Club has been attracting international students who are interested in becoming pilots, including twins William and Calvin Chen from Taiwan.

Viewpoint: How World War I changed aviation forever

When the world went to war in 1914 the Wright Brothers had only made the world's first powered flight little over a decade before. But the remarkable advances made in aviation during World War One are still at the core of air power today, says Dr Peter Gray.

To say the first airplanes used in WW1 were extremely basic is something of an understatement. Cockpits were open and instruments were rudimentary. There were no navigational aids and pilots had to rely on whatever maps could be found. A school atlas or a roadmap if necessary.

Getting lost was commonplace and landing in a field to ask directions was not unusual, as was flying alongside railway lines hoping to read station names on the platforms. But throughout the war there was a spiral of technological developments, as first one side and then the other gained the ascendancy.

To this day the core roles of air power - control of the air, strike, reconnaissance and mobility - have their roots in the evolution of aviation before and during WW1. From the deployment of Tornadoes to RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus to conduct operations against Islamic State in Iraq, to providing combat air patrols over the recent Nato summit in Wales.

Read more here:

Brits chat, Chinese sleep, Australians drink: Survey reveals how your nationality reflects your flying habits

  • The Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) spoke to around 1,500 people from eight different countries
  • The survey found Australians are the biggest boozers on board with 36 percent choosing to down the hatch
  • Brits and Germans spend 50 percent more time chatting to strangers
  • And Chinese travelers are most likely to nod off once the seatbelt sign switches off 

Whether you kick back with a glass of wine, immerse yourself in a novel or strike up a conversation with the person seated next to you on a plane can be determined by which nationality is listed on your passport, a survey has claimed.

According to the results of an international passenger investigation, Australians are the biggest boozers on board with 36 percent choosing to down the hatch, compared to 35 percent of Americans and 33 percent of Brits.

The Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) spoke to around 1,500 people, ages 18 and older, who have traveled by plane at least once during the last three months and were living in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, China, Singapore, Australia or Brazil.

The results found Chinese travelers are most likely to nod off once the seatbelt sign switches off. They are also the first to reach for their credit card for some in-flight shopping and the biggest fans of gaming.  

Americans on the other hand like to use their time in the air more productively – when not drinking - opting to work while flying at 35,000 feet.

Meanwhile, Brits and Germans are the best at making chit chat with random strangers – spending 50 percent more time than any other nationalities schmoozing.

Contrastingly, Brazilians conduct their conversations online via email, messaging apps or social media.

Despite plane food having a bad reputation, seven out of 10 respondents said they were happy to chow down on the selection of in-flight snacks and meals.

In-flight magazines were also popular with four out of five passengers claiming to read them.

The international flyers, who traveled on eight major airlines, did however express their desire for better in-flight entertainment and 36 per cent wanted improved connectivity.

‘The industry has greatly improved the comfort, ambience, connectivity and entertainment onboard aircraft, and this data underscores that passengers are embracing those improvements,’ said Russell Lemieux, APEX executive director.

‘At the same time, passengers are demanding more from their air travel experiences which will drive more innovations touching all aspects of the journey,’ he added.

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Cessna 172 Skyhawk: Incident occurred October 19, 2014 at Greene County - Lewis A. Jackson Regional Airport (I19), Xenia, Ohio


 UPDATE @ 8:35 p.m.

Ross McNutt of MacAir Aviation, one of the largest flight training programs in the area, said the pilot is an aero club member. The pilot, whose name was not released, was flying the club's 1976 Cessna 172 Skyhawk and was doing "touch and gos as part of a training program" when the plane crashed.

"The pilot is fine. He got a bump on the chin and a bump on the neck and the head," McNutt said.

"He for some reason veered off of the runway and caught a light (wind) and caught a hill with the prop(eller), which spun the aircraft," he said.

The Federal Aviation Administration arrived to the scene to investigate the crash along with the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

"Today was a great day to go flying," he said. "We had 15 aerobatic flights and probably about 15, 20 other flights going on here at the Greene County Airport."

McNutt said a small crash is something that happens every once in a while.

The Cessna 172 Skyhawk is a four-seat, fixed-wing aircraft. It has become the best-selling, most-flown single-engine aircraft in the world, according the to the Cessna Aircraft Co. website.

UPDATE @ 6:2p.m.

The pilot, who was the only one aboard when the small plane crashes, appears to have only suffered minor injuries, according to medics.


Crews are responding to a report of a plane crash at the Greene County Airport.

The small plane crashed around 6 p.m. on the south end of the runway at the Greene County - Lewis A. Jackson Regional Airport, 140 N. Valley Road.

The runway has been shut down at the airport following the crash.

The pilot reportedly was walking around after the crash, and the plane was not on fire, according to initial reports.

- Source:

XENIA, Ohio (WDTN) – The FAA is currently investigating a small plane crash at the Greene County – Lewis A. Jackson Regional Airport.

Emergency crews were called to the airport at 140 North Valley Road after a plane veered off the runway and crashed.

Investigators said Sunday night the pilot preparing to take off when the plane’s propellers struck an object causing it to the stray from the runway.

First responders said the male pilot was not injured. He was taking part in a training program.

As of now, investigators do not believe it to be a case of pilot error.

The Greene County – Lewis A. Jackson Regional Airport is expected to open Monday morning.

ATC: The unheralded men who police the sky

By Capt Elmo Jayawardena  

The Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was on a visit to Sri Lanka and on the 7th of September he joined President Mahinda Rajapakse to open a new stage in the Katunayake International Airport. A long time ago, 1939 to be precise, 40,000 coconut trees of a Negombo hamlet were felled and a clearing was made to build a runway. It was the ‘Rule Britannia’ era. Today that strip is a sophisticated International Airport with a monthly load of more than 500,000 passengers going to and fro.

Amidst the current celebrations with Japanese aid it would be fitting to go back and see what the path was like that transformed the coconut plot to a 3300 meter twin ILS equipped modern airfield? Who trudged the cumbersome path through 80 years with worn out feet to bring Katunayake to its present stage? These would be the men and women of the aviation fraternity who contributed with tremendous dedication and sacrifice spanning a period of eight tumultuous decades. It is they who brought the once- upon-a-time Dandu Monara nation to the high-tech sky of the twenty-first century. Among them notably were the tower men, the Air Traffic Controllers who became the ‘password’ for planes to get into the sky or come down from it.

The beginning of ATC was when rudimentarily controlled airplanes flew between Chennaiand Ratmalana. The pilot had no facilities to communicate. Let’s ponder how it happened.

The departing time was sent by Chennai in Morse-Code to Ratmalana and to two observers en-route. One of them stood on a beach, somewhere in the southern coastline of India. He was an Air Traffic Controller in the 1930s. His counterpart was on the other side of the Palk Strait. Once the departure time was given by Chennai the two men standing watch on the beach could calculate the time the airplane would fly over their heads. Both controllers watched the sky for a speck to appear and kept a listening ear for the sound of an airplane engine.

The pilots usually descended low, and even did a full 360 degree turn, to make sure the Robinson Crusoe on the beach spotted him.

On sighting, a flag was waved from the ground and the airplane continued on its journey. The Indian controller completed the procedure by noting the time and sending a Morse-Code message to Chennai, Ratmalana and his counter-part in Mannar. That way, he updated the flight-plan details of the over-flying airplane crossing the South Indian coast.The pilot saw another flag being waved at him from the Mannar beach and knew his navigation was ‘spot-on.’

At Ratmalana the aircraft flew a low visual circuit and was cleared to land by light signals emitted with an Aldis lamp. As for aircraft separations, there was nothing to separate. The Controller had no other airplanes in the entire sky. That was then.

Today at Katunayake the space between landing jets is 5 miles. The sky is filled and is getting more crowded by the day. Sophistication of air traffic control has permitted the increase of traffic to more than 5000 movements a month. The descendant of the flag waving Air Traffic Controller is now a competent professional trained to maintain the highest standards of sky safety. Yet, he is the unknown and unheralded numeral in the aviation equation. Let’s get to know more about him and what he does.

New recruits of ATC come armed with a BSc degree. Theory and practical training take close upon a year. In addition he/she needs to pass a stringent medical examination before they enter the first stage as an aerodrome controller to police the sky. Their competency is checked periodically and further training is given to obtain higher ratings to handle more complicated matters of flight control. The zenith would be to pass out as a RADAR controller doing precision work such as accurately bringing landing traffic to the extended centerline of a landing runway.

Let me now tell you what all this means to the pilot. Cloudless blue skies and calm winds are basically picnics to people who fly airplanes. Controlling too then becomes cup-cakes, only to separate the departing and arriving traffic, and for that work procedures are clearly laid down. It is when the weather gods go berserk that the cookie completely crumbles. Winds howl and rain sweeps the field and visibility diminishes to deterring the pilot from landing and the fuel needles start crawling to danger zones. It sure is nail biting time for the pilot. Airplanes ‘rock and roll’ in turbulence on a holding pattern, hovering to get a weather break to land. Streaks of lightening becomes frightening and exploding thunder sounds like close range cannon fire. The only comfort in this terrifying melee is the calm voice of the controller who has the sky in his control and gives explicit instructions to the pilots to fly keeping everyone safe. That is about bad weather flying when airplanes get hammered with thunderstorms.

I have been there many times, all over the world and have always been so very grateful to Air Traffic Controllers who patiently and professionally brought me to land in intense adverse weather. The trust pilots place on the controller at such times is wholesome. You fly his instructed headings, you descend to his cleared heights, reduce speed as he wants and fly according to the controller’s precise instruction in a zero visibility sky and hope to God he doesn’t make a mistake. And he doesn’t. When the chips are down and the weather Gods are angry, that’s when the Air Traffic Controllers become guardian angels. I wonder whether a single passenger realizes the invaluable role he plays to bring that airplane down safely. I wonder too how many pilots give credit to the controllers for the ‘unsung’ service they render to ease the tension and stress that prevails in the cockpit at difficult and demanding times.

Let’s change gears and talk about a current controller and what he/she does. There are around 80 controllers attached to the Airport and Aviation Services who manage the three major airports in Sri Lanka, Katunayake, Mattala and Ratmalana. The Flight Information Region (FIR) that is controlled by Sri Lanka is from 9 degrees north to 4 degrees south laterally and 78 degrees east to 92 degrees east longitudally. In the same corridor the Air Traffic Control is also responsible for the all important aspects of Search and Rescue matters in the event of a crash. It is they who initiate the ‘trigger action’ to move matters to locate the fallen airplane.

Controllers now work on RADAR screens that show airplanes as luminous blips. For long range communications it is CPDLC, Controller Pilot Data Link Communications. The system works in conjunction with Automatic Dependent Surveillance (ADS) and when in closer range, it is direct Very High Frequency (VHF) two-way communication and guidance for the departure and arrival. RADAR control came in 1977 upgrading the aerodrome to a higher tier of international acceptance.

The history of the Sri Lankan controller commenced in 1949. Local cadets were selected and sent abroad for training. Till then it was the RAF that controlled the Sri Lankan sky. The first batch returned and set the foundation for others to follow. The ascent was slow to localize ATC as the ladders were held by colonial hands. As in most episodes of that era some of the rungs in the ladders were missing. Yet they managed and gradually progressed to take over control of the Sri Lankan sky expelling the expatriate. The training too became ‘home grown’ along with issuing of ratings which opened the ATC doors wide for the local controller to become the professional he is today.

Air Traffic Controllers have always been the unsung heroes of aviation. Cocooned in their isolated control rooms, they have been policing the sky, out of sight of the common aviation limelight. In the by-gone days, the controllers placed pins on a large map to depict aircraft in their FIR. Now they stare into large glass screens and follow the dots that represent airplanes. They’ve come a long way from standing on a beach and waving flags at a passing airplane.

The Controllers have certainly played a vital role in the nation’s aviation advancements. It is they who made the sky safe for the pilots to fly. I will always be grateful to them. The least I can do is to tell their story and make people understand their contribution to aviation at a time when aviation has come to the fore of celebration. Yes, the funding came from Canada and Japan and I know not from where else. For that we must be grateful and appreciate the generosities. But nothing could have been achieved without the human efforts of the ordinary, the sweat and tears and the commitments that never made the headlines. These need to be remembered, lest they be forgotten.

- Source:

Piper PA-23-160 Apache, N4462P, Beverly Flight Center: Incident occurred October 19, 2014 at Beverly Municipal Airport (KBVY), Massachusetts

BEVERLY (CBS) — A small plane piloted by a student made a hard landing at Beverly Municipal Airport on Sunday afternoon after its landing gear collapsed, authorities said.

 Fire officials said it did not appear there were any injuries and the two people on board were out walking around when emergency crews arrived at the scene.

The pilot of the twin-engine Piper PA-23 was practicing takeoffs and landing just after 3 p.m., the Federal Aviation Administration said.

The fire department had been alerted to a possible problem with the plane before it landed, Beverly Fire Deputy Billy Walsh said.

Story, Comments and Video:

BEVERLY, Mass. —Authorities responded to a hard landing by a plane at Beverly Airport on Sunday afternoon.  

The incident occurred at 3:19 p.m. on Sunday, and involved a Piper PA-23 plane, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

The front landing gear snapped off when the pilot was practicing takeoffs and landings, according to the FAA.

The two passengers, a pilot and student pilot, inside the small plane were able to get out safely after the crash, according to police.

The plane landed without problem, but the pilot began to experience problems when he began to taxi down the runway, according to Beverly Airport Manager Robert Mezzetti.

"He landed OK, rolled out OK- he said it started to settle so then he throttled back and then he felt it was starting to give way so he intentionally veered off the runway," Mezzeti said.

The registered owner of the plane is Twin Skies LLC, of Lynnfield, according to the FAA registry database.

First responders were called off by airport staff before arriving at the airport.

A crane will be used to carry the plane to another area of the airport and FAA investigators will begin in investigation Monday to determine the cause of the accident. 

- Story, Comments, Video and Photo Gallery:

U.S. Airlines to Deliver Strong Profits: Carriers’ Share Prices, However, Fail to Take Off Amid Concerns About Ebola, Economic Slowdown

The Wall Street Journal
Oct. 19, 2014 1:55 p.m. ET

A flock of U.S. airlines is expected to report strong quarterly profits this week, following the lead of Delta Air Lines Inc. But one would be hard-pressed to find evidence of that in share prices that have been battered by concerns over everything from a global economic slowdown to Ebola.

Airline stocks, most of which soared earlier this year, have lost much of that altitude in the past three months, although they are off their recent swoons. Still, American Airlines Group Inc. shares have fallen 20% since mid-July, while Delta shares are down nearly 6% and Alaska Air Group Inc. stock is down 7%. United Continental Holdings Inc. stock showed a tepid 3% gain and Southwest Airlines Co. a more robust jump of 13%.

The broader market also has been in turmoil, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling for several days in a row last week before rallying on Friday. For airlines, the past few weeks have been particularly volatile. Investors already had been fretting about growing international airline capacity and dwindling unit revenue gains. Then a second Ebola case involving a health-care worker from Dallas was discovered—after the woman took two domestic flights, heightening travel concerns among some would-be fliers.

Investor sentiment “is hugely negative,” said Helane Becker of Cowen & Co. “We are seeing investors sell into strength, despite significantly lower jet fuel and improving margins.”

The first half of 2014 was a halcyon period after years of industry consolidation. It was marked by record airline financial results, soaring stock prices, ratings upgrades and the launch of new programs to reward investors with dividends and share buybacks. The rest of the year was looking promising as well. Several recent investor updates from the airlines about their September results continued to point to strong earnings, although unit revenue gains have tailed off against difficult prior-year comparisons.

Helping matters, jet-fuel prices have plummeted 15% since the beginning of September. Because fuel accounts for a third of airlines’ costs, CRT Capital Group LLC’s Michael Derchin said he expects lower prices to trigger higher fourth-quarter and 2015 earnings estimates. If fourth-quarter fuel prices are 10 cents a gallon lower than currently estimated, airlines’ average earnings per share would climb by 11%, he said. For all of 2015, on the same basis, earnings per share would rise 10%.

Delta last Thursday delivered on its earlier guidance. It reported profit of $1 billion, excluding numerous one-time items, achieved a 15.8% operating margin, booked higher revenue than expected and guided to a record fourth-quarter. The company also said its bookings aren’t being affected by Ebola fears.

But the market still has the jitters. “We are unable to reconcile [the] recent equity pummeling with current fundamentals, or with recent airline credit performance,” said J.P. Morgan ’s Jamie Baker. “We remain optimistic that the unusual combination of Ebola fears, Mideast unrest and softening global indicators have conspired to create inordinate pessimism.” And that, he noted, could represent a buying opportunity.

One investor pain point over the summer was a fairly aggressive planned capacity buildup on international routes, where unit revenues have been negative through August of this year due to slowing European demand and continued weakness in Asia and Latin America. Many of the added seats and flights were scheduled by foreign carriers, but U.S. airlines added to the problem. However, now they are culling some of that planned international capacity in the coming months, reassuring shareholders.

Meanwhile, domestic demand appears to remain strong, with a track record of positive unit-revenue gains. But there are new concerns that domestic capacity is creeping higher, which could erode pricing power. Glenn Engel of Bank of America Merrill Lynch estimates that domestic capacity will grow 3% in 2015, up from just 1% growth in 2013. Most of that capacity is being added by point-to-point budget airlines, not the big network players, he said.

The wild card is Ebola and whether cases will spread in the U.S. “We believe the selloff implies an assumption of a worst-case rather than a likely-case Ebola scenario,” said Hunter Keay of Wolfe Research. “Ebola is not an airborne virus…and the outbreak remains largely contained to Third World, not emerging economies. Just 0.03% of airline seats from U.S. airlines even go to countries significantly impacted by Ebola.”

Jim Corridore, an analyst for S&P Capital IQ, said he remains soundly positive about the sector. “I’m not saying Ebola isn’t a serious issue,” he said. “But we’ve had no cases of pilots getting sick, no cases on planes. I think we’re overreacting. We might see the best fourth quarter in the U.S. airline industry.”

American, United, Southwest, Alaska and JetBlue Airways Corp. are slated to report results on Thursday. American, the top U.S. carrier since its December merger with US Airways, is expecting to generate a pretax margin of 10% to 12%. United, No. 3, is expected to nearly double its earnings per share. Southwest, No. 4 and the largest discounter, is expected to boost its per-share earnings to 53 cents from 34 cents a year ago. All are looking to produce higher revenue.

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Ebola fears spur travel bans in Latin America, Caribbean

Amid growing fears over the spread of the world’s worst Ebola outbreak, several Latin America health ministers will meet in Havana, Cuba on Monday to agree on joint measures to confront the deadly virus that has infected 9,216 people and killed 4,555, according to the World Health Organization.

The meeting by ministers of the ALBA group of nations, which includes Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia and Ecuador, comes as a growing number of countries in the region are banning travelers from Ebola-stricken nations in West Africa, and as members of the U.S. Congress are pressing for similar measures.

“Existing law gives the president authority to enact travel restrictions and to suspend visas from Ebola-affected countries,” Florida Republican lawmaker Ron DeSantis tweeted Friday. “Since [the President of the United States] won’t act on travel ban, Congress should return to Washington to vote on legislation mandating precautionary measures.”

Health officials from the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expressed concern during a congressional hearing last week that such controls — which are not being recommended by the World Health Organization — could make it harder to track people who become sick.

One of the most aggressive stances in the region against the epidemic has been taken by Colombia. Last week, the South American nation began denying visas to anyone who has visited Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, Nigeria or Senegal over the last four weeks.

Colombia’s Foreign Ministry also said that it has begun screening Colombians and visitors from the 92 countries that don’t need visas to enter the country to determine if they might be at risk.

At the El Dorado international airport in Bogotá, immigration officials were asking visitors if they’d been to Africa recently or had friends who have.

In Venezuela, where import shortages have hit the medical system, authorities said they were prepared for the potential arrival of the virus. Health Minister Nancy Pérez said the country has spent $4.4 million to purchase 1,500 biohazard suits and other equipment. In addition, 23 hospitals near ports and airports are being prepared to take care of potential Ebola carriers, she said in a statement.

Governments in the tourist-dependent Caribbean are also pushing for tighter measures as a growing number are warning citizens against traveling to countries with an outbreak and barring entry to citizens of nations affected by the epidemic.

Immigration officials in some territories have been instructed to begin intensive screening of travelers and quarantine anyone who may have recently visited an Ebola-stricken country in the last 21 days, the incubation period of Ebola.

“We have to take every possible precaution to not only reassure our citizens, but to protect the country because if we don’t, the damage could be huge,” St. Lucia Prime Minister Kenny Anthony said after his Eastern Caribbean nation of 165,000 became the first Caribbean country to announce a ban on citizens of Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.

“We are an exceedingly small country with very limited resources and inexperienced in dealing with a global health crises,” he told the Miami Herald.

While the number of travelers from West Africa to the Caribbean remains relatively small, Anthony said he and his neighboring island-nations must be equally concerned about visitors from Europe and the United States, where there have been a handful of Ebola cases and at least one person has died while being treated.

“The events in the United States have heightened awareness and reminded us how vulnerable we are,” he said. “We rely principally on tourism, and if for example there is any case in St. Lucia that sets off a chain of reaction, we are going to be in very serious trouble.”

Such fears are not isolated to St. Lucia.

In Haiti, reports that the United Nations was seeking volunteers to fight Ebola in Africa, prompted three government ministries and the office of National Security to issue a statement banning Haitians from volunteering. The ban came on the heels of a request by Haiti’s health ministry to international agencies to suspend rotations of employees from Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria and any other countries facing an epidemic.

On the same day that Colombia and St. Lucia issued bans, Haiti announced stepped up screenings at its international airports with Health Minister Florence Guillaume saying Saturday that officials were working closely with international partners to prepare for a problem should it arise.

Other countries that have announced travel bans include Antigua, St. Kitts and Nevis, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Belize and Jamaica.

Jamaica announced its ban after an American man, who arrived there after visiting Liberia two weeks prior, was quarantined at the airport. The man was examined by Jamaican health officials and “found not to be exhibiting any symptoms of the Ebola virus,” the government said in a statement.

He has since left the island for the United States.

Brazil and Peru also have quarantined visitors from West Africa amid Ebola suspicions only to give them the all clear.

The fear of the virus has also spawned rumors, forcing health authorities in Ecuador, Colombia and Haiti to deny reports that they had received stricken patients.

After someone used the logo of Ecuador’s heath authority to spread rumors on Twitter that Ebola was in the country, the country’s health ministry said it would press charges. The ministry said there had been “no suspected or confirmed cases” in Ecuador.

The Pan American Health Organization’s Haiti office was forced to issue a statement asking Haitians to be more responsible, saying that it was “indeed disturbing to see the growing number of unfounded rumors that the Ebola virus is in the land. These rumors are likely to…cause panic in the population.”

But even as leaders issue travel bans, they have been forced to admit that there is little they can do and are reliant on airlines and partners such as the U.S. and Europe to help them track travelers.

“The first defense in this is the airlines, who have to notify would-be travelers they are not allowed in the country,” said Anthony, who is also looking for increased cooperation among Caribbean governments. “We would have to put our security systems on alert; the regional security system that monitors movement of travelers.”

Dr. James Hospedales, the head of the the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), said people should be concerned but not panicked.

“The likelihood of an imported case to the Caribbean is low,” he said. “While we have not had a case yet, the effect would be catastrophic, so countries individually and collectively need to strengthen their capacities to detect and respond appropriately. Meeting and sustaining the requirements of the International Health Regulations is the best way to be prepared.”

Hospedales also warned that travel bans could be counterproductive by forcing the illness “underground.”

“Travel bans can give rise to a false sense of security as they do not eliminate the risk,” he said. “So the countries, individually and collectively, still need to strengthen capacities, preparedness and response.”

Cooperation will also be key. Doral-based Carnival Cruise Lines recently sought to evacuate a hospital lab supervisor from its Carnival Magic cruise ship after being notified by the CDC that she was part of the team that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, who died earlier this month in Dallas of Ebola. Both Belize and Mexican officials refused to let the lab worker disembark even after ship doctors declared her symptom-free and in good health.

Anthony, the St. Lucia prime minister, said the cruise ship incident raises concerns beyond airports.

“The nature of Ebola suggests that we need not only be concerned about cruise ships but we also need to think in terms of the traffic of ships across the region from North America down to West Africa,” he said. “We have to be careful.”


Patient in isolation after airport Ebola alert

A male passenger who landed at Stockholm's Arlanda airport has been transferred to an isolation unit amid fears he may be suffering from the Ebola virus.

The man landed at the airport on Sunday afternoon showing symptoms often associated with Ebola. It is understood that the man is not from one of the affected countries encountering the epidemic, which has claimed almost 5,000 lives.

Newspaper Aftonbladet reported that the man had flown to Sweden from the Middle East.

"The person vomited, was out of sorts and felt bad. Nobody concerned with the present situation can classify it as Ebola; it could be anything. But it is better to be safe than sorry," Ulf Wallin, Swedavia's press officer told Aftonbladet.

The patient has since been transferred to an isolation unit at Karolinska University where he will be examined by medics.

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The real culprit behind that flight delay: Pilot, crew, maybe you?

 •  By Christopher Elliott Special To The Washington Post

Even though Kurt Johnson doesn’t work for the TSA, that doesn’t stop him from lending a hand when he’s stuck in a long line at a security screening area. “I’ll sometimes grab an extra tray or two to help move things along,” says Johnson, who runs a fitness website in Los Angeles.

Like most frequent air travelers, Johnson has always suspected that the main cause of travel delays aren’t the operational challenges that airlines, buses and trains face, but other people. New research may prove him correct.

A study now in progress follows up on the findings of scientists at Dartmouth College, MIT and the University of Texas at Austin, which concluded that although the average flight delay is 15 minutes, this translates into an average half-hour holdup for passengers because of missed connections and cancellations.

That made Dartmouth engineering professor Vikrant Vaze wonder about the root causes of delays. Specifically, who’s to blame for most of them: airline crewmembers or passengers? “There are various ways delays can happen,” he explains. “Right now, the effect of aircraft disruptions is fairly well-researched. The impact of crew and passenger unavailability is less well-studied.”

Passengers already have their own theories, and they aren’t shy about sharing them. Their anecdotes offer a few strategies for lessening travel delays, at least until Vaze’s research is done.

Sometimes, the slowdowns are caused by a pilot or a flight attendant who didn’t show up for work. Manny Kopstein, a marketing executive from Tiburon, Calif., was escorting a group of students from San Francisco to Cancun, Mexico, several months ago when a United Airlines agent told him that his flight had been delayed. “Your captain cannot be found,” she repeated. “He’s a no-show. The crew is here and checked in, but the captain can’t be located.”

United rerouted Kopstein’s group through Houston, but they lost thousands of dollars in forfeited hotels. United offered a $250 voucher as an apology after I asked the airline about his trip.

The bulk of people-caused delays, though, are the fault of other passengers. Barry Maher, a professional speaker based in Corona, Calif., recalls a recent puddle-jumper flight from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles. “It was a late-boarding family who’d also bought their tickets late, and who refused to be seated until they could all sit together,” he recalls. “Several people, including myself, volunteered to switch seats with them, but (the father) insisted that the airline do the rearranging around the seats he wanted, in the process bumping two people on aisle seats into middle seats.”

Maher missed his connecting flight.

Most of the time, delays aren’t so dramatic. It’s one or two passengers who board slowly or have trouble finding space in the overhead luggage compartment. But put it all together, and it creates a ripple effect of delays, which can lead to late arrivals or missed connections.

The knowledge gained from these collective experiences applies to almost any mode of transportation — even the New York subway. Kenneth Campbell, a TV producer from Yonkers, knows, as do most daily subway commuters, that tourists move slowly on and off the platforms. You don’t walk with the crowd; you cut through it if you want to get to work on time. “I’ve learned that sometimes a friendly New Yorker is a late New Yorker,” he says.

The takeaway? Avoid the tourist mob, no matter how you’re getting there. It will almost certainly slow you down. Pack light and don’t be afraid to run from time to time.

Coming up with a solution to passenger-caused delays may be the provenance of researchers like Vaze, the Dartmouth professor. He wonders not only about the blame-breakdown between airline employees and passengers, but also about how the study might affect airline policy. “Perhaps we’ll know that crew contributes X percent of the delays,” he says. “But will it be 1 percent, or 5 percent, or 20 percent? We don’t know yet.”

Until then, you can make sure that you’re not part of the problem. Arriving early and ready for any security checks will ensure that you’re not the last person on the bus, plane or train.

Also, says Jason Pedwell, a frequent traveler and business consultant based in Seattle, find a seat that’s easy to reach, like an aisle seat. That will also ensure that you won’t experience any additional delays when you exit. “As soon as the plane reaches the gate, I’m up, bag in hand and standing in the aisle,” he says.

But sometimes, despite your best efforts, you can’t prevent a delay. Frequent traveler Cathy Svacina remembers a recent flight from Kansas City to New York. Her aircraft taxied down the runway and then abruptly pulled over and waited for more than half an hour. “The pilot said we were having a slight delay but, he didn’t say why,” remembers Svacina, a professional memorabilia collector from Kansas City. “I saw a small cart drive out to the plane with a gentleman on it.”

The passenger boarded and sat down in the empty seat beside her. “I said to him, ‘You must be the president of this airline to get service like that,’ “ she says. “He looked at me and then quietly said, ‘Oh no, I’m only the vice president.’”

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South Dakota continues to seek federal airport aid

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — Pierre has a history of asking the federal government for airport aid.

The latest effort by Pierre officials to obtain financial assistance for Pierre Regional Airport follows a series of attempts in recent years.

In 2003 - when Dennis Eisnach was mayor - the city asked for a grant from the federal government as part of the Small Community Airport Service Development Program. A total of $19 million was parceled out to 35 airports across the United States that year for the purpose of addressing air service and airfare issues.

The city requested the money for two reasons, according to a letter Eisnach sent to the Department of Transportation in June 2003. Eisnach said the funding would help "completely assist the existing and potential demand for air service in this region and develop an Air Service Master Plan to chart a course of improvement" and could be used to "develop a comprehensive marketing and advertising campaign to promote the airport and counteract the disenchantment with air service that exists in our community and region."

With more than 70 pages of supporting documents, the city's proposal included a comparison of airfare, public comments and a financial plan. The proposal said Pierre would provide a $50,000 matching contribution if the federal government awarded it a $150,000 grant.

At the time of the request, Great Lakes Airlines was providing subsidized flights via the Essential Air Service program between Pierre and Denver, the Pierre Capital Journal ( ) reported.

"In our opinion, receiving a subsidy for this route is not a satisfactory, long-term solution. They (Great Lakes) have been recipients of this subsidy for the past 19 months following 10 years of profitable service," the proposal noted. "We are in a unique position to eliminate this subsidy by effectively marketing this route and enhancing this service to a profitable level."

In 2004 - when four airlines were vying for EAS subsidies to provide service to Pierre - Eisnach sent a letter to an official in the U.S. Department of Transportation in an attempt to secure the grant.

"The City feels one of the keys to the long-term success of our airport is to become self-sufficient," Eisnach wrote. "It is our opinion that programs such as the Small Community Development Grant Program and requiring some level of commitment from communities are worthwhile programs that increase the chances for long-term success and local independence from the EAS program."

Two years later - 2006 - Eisnach once again wrote to the Department of Transportation, but this time he was recommending the approval of the latest application by Great Lakes to obtain EAS subsidies. He mentioned the community grant, which was approved, saying it helped work toward the city's stated goals.

The following year, Pierre no longer received subsidies after Great Lakes offered to provide services for less than the proposal submitted by another company.

Then in 2009 - under current Mayor Laurie Gill - the city put together another Small Community Air Service Development Program Grant request. This time the city was seeking $67,500 to "recruit a low-fare carrier" to Pierre. Although the city promised to provide a 10 percent match from Pierre's general tax fund, the grant was not issued by the federal government.

Communications between Pierre officials and federal authorities have continued in recent years due to additional complications in air service.

When Delta Airlines attempted to terminate its service to Minneapolis in 2011, the federal government intervened, requiring the airline to continue until Great Lakes could replace it in early 2012. City officials sent letters to federal officials voicing their concerns.

In recent months, the number of flights offered to Denver and Minneapolis by Great Lakes has declined due to the difficulties of implementing new Federal Aviation Administration rules on the minimum qualifications for co-pilots. The new rules resulted in a dramatic increase in cancellations and a significant reduction of on-time departures, prompting Gill to write to the Department of Transportation in January 2014.

"While Pierre has thus far not required subsidy, the last two months have seen such a shrinkage in its air service market that it will be difficult to rebuild sufficient confidence in air service to ensure a self-sufficient air service market," Gill wrote. "We have reluctantly concluded that the only thing that will salvage our air service market is for the department to declare that the service being provided by Great Lakes does not meet the requirements of Essential Air Service, and open a proceeding for bids to provide this service."

Gill concludes, "Our city is anxious to work with the department to bring about the kind of air service to which Pierre is entitled."

Throughout the year, Department of Transportation officials have received subsequent letters from Gill, in addition to Sen. Tim Johnson.

On Sept. 15, Gill was granted her request when the Department of Transportation issued a request for proposals from air carriers interested in providing flights to Pierre. According to the proposal, air carriers can provide service with or without subsidy support for a two-year period. Proposals are due by Oct. 15 and will be provided to the public for comments.

Since the issuance of the request for proposal, Gill said at least one airline has contacted the city and asked for historical data of Pierre's air service.


Since 1998, airline carriers providing South Dakota's EAS-eligible airports have collected more than $55 million in subsidies, a Capital Journal review of U.S. Department of Transportation records indicates.

Six airports in South Dakota cities - Aberdeen, Brookings, Huron, Pierre, Watertown and Yankton - have benefited from the assistance of hundreds of thousands, and as of late, millions of taxpayer dollars each year.

This year, three airports in the state are being provided subsidized service from Great Lakes and SkyWest Airlines. In return, the two companies will receive over $6.4 million in federal subsidies in 2014 alone. EAS subsidies are given to the air carrier, not to the community served.

Over the past 16 years, the federal program and funding provided to carriers flying to the state's subsidized airports have experienced a significant increase.

In 1998 - when $42.9 million in subsidies was split between carriers serving 101 airports throughout the United States - Brookings Regional Airport and Chan Gurney Municipal Airport in Yankton were provided service by carriers that received $678,374 for each airport from the EAS program. The two were South Dakota's only subsidized airports until the Huron Regional Airport was added to the list of EAS beneficiaries in 2001. Great Lakes last received money for servicing Yankton in 2000, after the airport was eliminated from eligibility due to program reforms.

In the aftermath of 9/11, two more airports joined Huron and Brookings, with Pierre Regional Airport receiving funds starting in 2002, in addition to Watertown Regional Airport in 2003.

Pierre - which has historically received the least amount of subsidies of South Dakota's airports - last had EAS funding in 2006. From 2002 to 2006, Great Lakes took in $1.8 million in subsidies, all for flights flown between Pierre and Denver.

Watertown - the first airport in South Dakota to break the million dollar barrier - received its first subsidies in 2003, with $1.8 million. Since then, Mesaba Airlines, which served the airport from 2003 to 2011, and Great Lakes, which took over in 2012, have taken in at least $1 million per year, totaling nearly $20 million. In 2014, Watertown broke a new threshold for South Dakota's subsidized airports, when it netted Great Lakes $2.8 million.

Since 2001, air carriers providing service to Huron Regional Airport have taken in over $18 million in subsidies. This year the airport began a new two-year $2.5 million contract Oct. 1, according to airport manager Larry Cooper.

Aberdeen Regional Airport, which joined the list of South Dakota's subsidized airports in 2012, has landed SkyWest $3.4 million.


Information from: Pierre Capital Journal,

Jacksonville International (KJAX) flight diverted to Raleigh-Durham International Airport (KRDU) over possible Ebola scare

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- An airport Operations spokesperson for Raleigh-Durham International Airport confirms a Delta flight heading to Jacksonville International Airport from JFK Airport in New York was diverted to Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina because of a sick passenger.

Keenan Ormond with Airport Operations at Raleigh-Durham Airport says the passenger, who was vomiting on the flight, was transported by EMS. All passengers on Delta 2919 deplaned. The plane was disinfected and passengers were allowed back on to fly to JIA.

The CDC says it has not been contacted about a sick passenger flying on Delta.

"Unfortunately sick passengers are not uncommon. Often times, state and local medical teams are called in to evaluate the status of a sick passenger," said Llelwyn Grant, media spokesperson for the CDC.

According to JIA flight tracker, the Delta flight departed from JFK in New York at 8:12 a.m. Sunday. It was scheduled to land at JIA at 10:02, instead it landed in Raleigh-Durham before 10 a.m.

First Coast News talked to two passengers on that flight after it arrived at JIA. They did not want to be identified, but said the delay was not a big deal.

We've reached out to Detla Airlines and have not heard back.

Check back for updates.

Russia’s flagship air carrier Aeroflot is set to launch a subsidiary which it has simply dubbed ‘Budget Carrier’

MOSCOW, October 19 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s flagship air carrier Aeroflot is set to launch a subsidiary which it has simply dubbed ‘Budget Carrier’ (Byudzhetniy Perevozchik), the company’s official website announced.

The carrier, which is still working out its full series of routes, will fly from Moscow to cities inside Russia including Surgut, Perm, Yekaterinburg, Ufa, Samara, Kazan, Volgograd, Belgorod, and Tyumen, with tickets starting at just 999 rubles (about 24.50 US). Additional fees for luggage, seat selection, cancellations, etc. will be applicable, as is standard among low-cost carriers.

The company, which is starting out with a small fleet of just four Boeing 737-800s, will begin operations in late October.

The new carrier is set to replace another subsidiary of Aeroflot, Dobrolyet, which stopped its operations in August after being penalized by sanctions from the European Union for offering low cost flights to Simferopol, Crimea in July. Its European contractors decided to terminate its lease contract, as well as contracts for the maintenance and insurance of the airline’s Boeing 737-800 fleet.

Earlier, Aeroflot had stated that 16 new Boeing would be ordered for the Dobrolyet fleet directly from Boeing between 2017 and 2018, the Russian business news site RBC reported.

In 2012 President Vladimir Putin discussed the creation of a low-cost airline with Aeroflot’s Director General Vitaly Savelyev, including the creation of the right legislative conditions, in order to improve air connections within the vast country. The conditions include the scrapping of free luggage allowances, on board meals, and other allowances which were previously standard, as well as the scrapping of import duties on new planes.

Russia also has plans to revamp its own civil aviation industry in the coming years. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev noted last month that Russia should increase the production of aircraft and spare parts domestically in view of Western sanctions. At present up to 80 percent of all civil aviation in Russia is foreign-made. The country has plans to increase production of the Sukhoi Superjet-100, and the introduction of other designs like the MC-21, and a long-haul wide-body airliner to be co-developed with China.

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Various reasons contribute to failure in meeting schedule

KARACHI:   As competition continues to take its toll on airlines around the world, executives are increasingly focusing the turnaround time of aircraft to keep cost low and delays at a minimum.

But legacy carriers like Pakistan International Airlines, which have for years operated with excess employees grouped together in powerful unions, make the job of managers difficult when it comes to bringing about a change in old practices.

According to Flightstats, which tracks the performance of airlines, PIA has a 51% and 43% on-time schedule for its departure and arrival flights, respectively. (The website took a sample of 41 departures and 30 arrivals).

Around 14.6% of the departures monitored were delayed for between 15 to 30 minutes, 19% went past the scheduled departing time by 30 to 45 minutes, 14.9% by more than 45 minutes.

Similarly, arriving flights that were delayed by 15-30 minutes constituted 10%, around 16.7% were delayed for 30 to 45 minutes, while 30% missed the scheduled arriving time by more than 45 minutes.

Flightstats does not have sufficient data on Shaheen Air International (SAI). But industry people say the private airline has also been facing regular delays despite increasing its fleet in 2013.

PIA officials say that shortage of airworthy aircraft is the main reason behind the delays. “For years, we have been flying very old planes, which have frequent technical breakdowns. That is really frustrating for us.”

Recently, PIA has been making efforts to increase the number of aircraft in its fleet by acquiring planes on wet and dry lease.

However, some delays are for reasons beyond control. Being a government-owned organization, politicians routinely force the airline to hold the plane until they board. Recently, Senator Rehman Malik reportedly caused a delay in the departure of a PIA flight after failing to arrive on time.

On other occasions, disgruntled employees also contribute to the delays.

The go-slow movements by pilots are notorious whenever a confrontation erupts with the management.

Nevertheless, there have times when PIA employees have shown that they could rise to the occasion. Something like this happened during last year’s Hajj season.

PIA’s B-777 international flights usually took two hours to take off again after landing. But as part of efforts to improve the airline’s efficiency, ground staff in Peshawar cleaned the seats, loaded supplies, let old and young Hajj pilgrims board the aircraft and made it ready to fly again in 40 minutes.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 20th, 2014.

Lancair Legacy, N550AC: Accident occurred October 18, 2014 in Livingston, Texas

NTSB Identification: CEN15LA018
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, October 18, 2014 in Livingston, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/22/2015
Aircraft: VIGUIE G/VIGUIE M LANCAIR LEGACY, registration: N550AC
Injuries: 1 Serious.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot reported that he was returning from an air race competition and that, about 15 minutes into the flight, he heard a “thump” and thought the airplane had struck a bird. The pilot then heard a second “thump” along with a “rattle and vibration,” so he found a place to make a forced landing. While preparing to land, he heard an “explosion” and then saw flames by his left foot and black smoke fill the cockpit. The pilot made a forced landing to a field and exited the airplane before it was destroyed by fire.

Postaccident examination of the engine revealed that the No. 3 cylinder’s exhaust rocker cover was present but that it was only installed on the cylinder by one screw. The other four screws were missing. The No. 3 cylinder’s intake rocker cover and aft rocker arm bolt were missing. The forward rocker arm bolt was installed but loose, and visible rubbing was observed on the boss where the missing bolt was supposed to be installed. According to the engine manufacturer, if a rocker cover is not installed, the engine will port out most of its oil is several minutes. Therefore, the missing rocker cover likely resulted in the engine losing a significant amount of oil during the flight, which led to a catastrophic and uncontained engine failure. It is also likely that, when the crankcase was breached, the fuel lines and the electronic fuel transducer were compromised, which resulted in the subsequent in-flight fire. The No. 3 cylinder intake rocker cover was not located at the accident site, and the pilot reported that he did not know why the rocker cover and aft rocker arm bolt were not installed or why the exhaust rocker cover was only partially installed. He said that the engine performed great during the air race and that he did not perform engine maintenance after the race. 

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
A catastrophic and uncontained engine failure due to oil starvation. Contributing to the accident was the missing No. 3 cylinder intake rocker cover for reasons that could not be determined based on the available evidence.

On October 18, 2014, about 1815 central daylight time, N550AC, an experimental-home built Viguie Lancair Legacy, was destroyed by post-impact fire after the pilot made a forced landing to a field near Livingston, Texas. The air transport pilot sustained serious injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot. A visual flight rules flight plan was filed for the flight that departed Jasper County Airport (JAS), Jasper, Texas, about 1815 and was destined for a private airstrip in Buchanan Dam, Texas. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight conducted under the provision of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. 

A witness was standing out in his pasture when he first heard and saw the airplane. He said the engine was running rough and there were flames under the engine. The airplane made a descending turn and prepared to land in a pasture across the road. As the witness responded to help the pilot, he heard a "loud crunch" and saw a "fireball." When he got to the field, the pilot was walking toward him.

The pilot stated he was returning from an air race competition and had just leveled off at 8,500 feet when he heard a "thump", about 15 minutes into the flight. The pilot thought he struck a bird and told air traffic control that he needed to land. The pilot then heard a second thump along with a "rattle and vibration" and immediately found a place to make a forced landing. While preparing to land, there was a third "explosion." The pilot said that this was when he saw a fire near his left foot and black smoke started to fill up the cockpit. The pilot declared an emergency, secured the engine, unlatched the canopy, and made a forced landing to a field. He said the landing was hard and the instrument panel flexed downward and trapped his feet. Once the airplane came to a stop, he realized his shirt was on fire as he struggled to free his legs. The pilot was finally able to exit the burning wreckage and rolled on the ground to put the flames out. He then got up and was met by the witness, who stayed with him until help arrived.

An inspector with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) performed an on-scene examination of the airplane. The inspector stated that the airplane landed hard then slid for several hundred feet before it came to rest and was consumed by fire. The propeller and the engine cowling separated from the airplane. The inspector also stated that when he looked at the engine, the #3 cylinder's intake rocker-cover and the aft bolt for the rocker- arm were missing. The rocker-cover for the #3 exhaust valve was attached to the engine by one screw. The inspector said he looked for the #3 cylinder's intake rocker-cover, but was unable to find it at the accident site.

According to a representative of the company that recovered the airplane and engine, they were aware of the missing rocker-cover. They had searched for the cover but it was never found.

The engine was examined on November 14, 2014, under the supervision of the National Transportation Safety Board Investigator-in-Charge (NTSB IIC). Also present for the examination was a representative of Continental Motors Incorporated and Lancair. The examination revealed that the engine sustained fire and impact damage, with the most extensive fire damage to the top and aft-left side. The interior section of the composite engine cowling exhibited oil splatter and fire damage. The bottom left side of the cowling was consumed by fire.

The crankshaft could not be rotated due to fire and impact damage and there were two large holes in both sections of the crankcase above the #2, #3, and #4 cylinders. The #3 cylinder intake rocker-cover and the aft bolt for the rocker-arm were missing. The forward bolt was in place and loose. Rubbing damage was visible on the boss where the bolt was missing. The #3 cylinder exhaust rocker-cover was not damaged and was only attached to the engine by its lower aft screw. The other four screws were missing. The rocker covers for the remaining cylinders were not damaged and were tightly secured to the engine.

The engine was equipped with fuel metering unit and fuel manifold. The fuel metering unit sustained extensive heat damage and was partially melted. The output line for the metering unit was separated from impact and the throttle was in the "idle" position and the mixture was in the "cut-off" position.

The fuel manifold was still installed on the top of the engine but was fire damaged. The unit was disassembled and the spring was in place, but the rubber diaphragm was destroyed from heat damage. The plunger could not be removed due to heat damage.

The fuel nozzles sustained heat damage and were all blocked except for the #5 nozzle, which was partially blocked.

The engine had an electronic Floscan fuel transducer installed in the fuel line between the fuel pump and metering unit. The transducer was installed over the top of the engine and sustained extensive heat damage and melting.

The engine was equipped with an electronic ignition system, which sustained extensive heat damage.

When the engine was disassembled, the #2, #3, and #4 connecting rods were found separated from their respective journals on the crankshaft. The oil sump sustained fire and impact damage and contained numerous metal pieces and particles. This was also true for the oil filter. The #1, #2, and #3 main oil journals were dry and heat discolored, consistent with oil starvation. The #2 and #4 pistons were stuck in their respective cylinder due to heat and impact damage. The #3 piston sustained heavy fire/impact damage and most of the skirt was broken away. The #1 cylinder could not be removed. The #5 and #6 were removed from their respective cylinder and exhibited light deposits on the piston heads.

The pilot said he did not know how or why the #3 cylinder intake rocker-cover and aft rocker-arm bolt were not installed and did not have an explanation as to why the exhaust rocker-cover was partially installed. He said the engine ran great during the air race and he did not remove the cowling and perform engine work after the race. 

The pilot stated the logbooks were in the airplane at the time of the accident. However, the last condition inspection on the engine was conducted on August 27, 2014, at a total engine time of 646.8 hours.

According to Continental Motors, it would have taken several minutes for the engine to port most of its oil out without the rocker cover installed.

NTSB Identification: CEN15LA018  
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, October 18, 2014 in Livingston, TX
Aircraft: VIGUIE G/VIGUIE M LANCAIR LEGACY, registration: N550AC
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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 October 18, 2014, about 1830 central daylight time, N550AC, an experimental-home built Viguie Lancair Legacy, was destroyed by post-impact fire after the pilot reported smoke in the cockpit and made a forced landing to a field near Livingston, Texas. The air transport pilot sustained serious injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot. A visual flight rules flight plan was filed for the flight that departed Jasper County Airport (JAS), Jasper, Texas, about 1800. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight conducted under the provision of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91.

The airplane was recovered and taken to a secure facility for further examination.

FAA Flight Standards District Office:   FAA Houston FSDO-09

At around 5:45 pm on October 18, 2014, a Lancair Legacy plane crashed in the 5966 block of FM-942 West, on private property. 

According to a witness, the Lancair Legacy was on fire, circled the R&R Ranch and made a crash landing sliding onto some open terrain.

The witness stated that the pilot, Richard Allen Crawford, 64, of Buchanan Dam, Texas crawled from the plane on fire and rolled on the ground to extinguish the flames.  He then rose to his feet and began to yell for help.

Americare Ambulance Service was dispatched to the scene along with the Livingston Volunteer Fire Department, Deputies from the Polk County Sheriff's Office, Game Warden David Johnson, and Trooper Barett Duren with the Texas Highway Patrol.

Crawford was treated at the scene and a PHi Air Medical helicopter landed at R&R Ranch near the crash scene.

Crawford was flown to Hermann Hospital in Houston in extremely critical condition.

Trooper Barett  Duren conducted a preliminary investigation.

The Federal Aviation Administration will take over the investigation as representatives are expected early in the morning (October 19).

NTSB Identification: CEN10LA008

14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, October 03, 2009 in San Saba, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/19/2010
Aircraft: CRAWFORD ALAN R GLASAIR II, registration: N550AC
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

While approaching the initial approach fix (IAF), in instrument conditions and heavy rain, the airplane's engine experienced a partial loss of power. Unable to maintain altitude, the pilot declared an emergency and established a descent at best glide speed. Once below the 1,000-foot ceiling, the pilot secured the engine and performed an emergency landing on rolling terrain among mesquite trees and cacti. The airplane came to rest on its left side with the firewall and engine separated from the fuselage. The pilot was able to exit the airplane unassisted. Following the accident, the airplane was recovered to a secure hangar and examined. No preimpact anomalies were identified during the examination that contributed to the partial loss of engine power.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
A partial loss of engine power for undetermined reasons.

On October 3, 2009, about 1515 central daylight time, a single engine Crawford Alan R Glasair II amateur built airplane, N550AC, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a partial loss of engine power near San Saba, Texas. The pilot, the sole occupant, sustained minor injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules flight plan (IFR) was filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The cross country flight originated from the Bridgeport Municipal Airport (XBP), Bridgeport, Texas, at 1430, and was en route to the Llano Municipal Airport (AQO), Llano, Texas.

According to the pilot, both of the airplane’s main fuel tanks were "topped off" prior to departure. Approximately 45 minutes into the flight and while approaching the AQO initial approach fix (IAF), in instrument conditions and heavy rain, the airplane's engine started to run "extremely rough." Unable to maintain altitude, the pilot declared an emergency and established a descent at best glide speed. Once below the 1,000 foot ceiling the pilot "secured" the engine and performed an emergency landing on rolling terrain among mesquite trees and cacti. The airplane came to rest on its left side with the firewall and engine separated from the fuselage. The pilot was able to exit the airplane unassisted.

Following the accident the airplane was recovered to a secure hangar and the engine placed on an engine stand for examination by an airframe and powerplant (A&P) certificated mechanic. According to the airplane's records, the Superior XP-IO-360 four cylinder engine had accumulated approximately 462 hours since new and around 10 hours since its last conditional inspection.

The valve covers were removed and continuity was established throughout the engine. Both magnetos produced spark when turned. Compression was established in two of the four cylinders. An examination of the two leaking cylinders revealed tree debris holding the valves in an open position. The fuel screen was found unobstructed. The oil filter was cut opened and no abnormalities were found.

The reason for the reported partial loss of engine power was not determined.

Picture taken just before Crawford flew out from Jasper. He was enroute to Lake Buchanan Municipal airport.

Richard Allen Crawford (right) in a picture taken just before his fateful flight from Jasper. 

 Firemen from Livingston put out the flames.


 A PHi Air Medical Helicopter was landed at the R&R Ranch off FM-942 (Deputy Terri Mayer at right).

 Crawford was transferred to care of PHi Air Medical.

Crawford was flown to Hermann Hospital in Houston in extremely critical condition.


 Trooper Barett Duren conducted a preliminary investigation.

 Dark areas on the ground show the path of Crawford's pane when he slid it in to the R&R Ranch while the plane was on fire.


A 64 year old former resident of Jasper is undergoing treatment for the injuries he received on Saturday evening after the aircraft he was piloting crashed and burned north of Livingston.

Alan Richard Crawford, who lives at Lake Buchannan, northwest of Austin, had attended an air race in Jasper and was headed home in his 2008 Lancair Legacy single engine aircraft, when he radioed fellow pilots shortly after his departure from Jasper County Bell Field and told them that his aircraft was on fire and he was going down.

Pilots from Jasper immediately jumped in airplanes and flew to Crawford’s last known location and later reported that his aircraft could be seen burning on Farm to Market Road 942, about 10 miles north of Livingston.

Crawford was treated at the scene by emergency medical technicians and then transported to the Shriner’s Burn Center in Houston, where he was at last word still undergoing treatment for severe burns.

Crawford, who had participated in the Sport Aviation Racing League Ghost Run held in Jasper, had just prior to his departure, received the top award for his achievement in the aircraft, which sometimes exceeded 275 miles per hour.

It is not known what happened to the airplane and investigators are expected to soon be at the scene of the crash in an attempt to find out what caused the incident.

Crawford who has been a pilot since his early teens is a commercial airline pilot.