Saturday, November 8, 2014

Composite FX Mosquito XET, N922RM: Accident occurred November 08, 2014 in Angleton, Texas

NTSB Identification: CEN15LA042
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, November 08, 2014 in Angleton, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/09/2015
Aircraft: MOSIER ROBERT S MOSQUITO XET, registration: N922RM
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.

The pilot reported that he noticed the helicopter abruptly shudder during the crosswind turn. The pilot lowered the collective control, entered an autorotation, and turned back toward the airport. As he approached the runway area, the helicopter skids passed over a row of trees by about 5 or 10 ft. Immediately after the skids cleared the trees, the pilot began a cyclic flare, which resulted in the tail rotor striking a tree and a subsequent loss of directional control.

Examination of the helicopter revealed that the belt for the secondary drive reduction unit was loose, which allowed the belt to jump the drive cogs on the pulley. The belt was loose due to excessive wear of the pulley, which resulted in an abrupt in-flight shudder. The helicopter operating manual preflight inspection includes a check for proper belt tension.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s failure to maintain adequate clearance from trees during a precautionary landing. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s inadequate preflight inspection during which he failed to detect a loose drive belt, which resulted in an in-flight shudder.

On November 8, 2014, about 1000 central standard time, a Composite FX Mosquito XET helicopter, N922RM, impacted trees during approach for landing at the Bailes Airport (7R9), Angleton, Texas. The pilot sustained minor injuries and the helicopter was substantially damaged. The helicopter was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local flight, which departed without a flight plan.

According to the pilot, he noticed the helicopter abruptly shudder during the crosswind turn at about 300 feet above ground level. The pilot lowered the collective control, entered an autorotation, and turned back toward the airport. As he approached the runway area, the helicopter skids passed over a row of trees by about 5 or 10 feet. Immediately after the skids cleared these trees, the pilot began a cyclic flare, which resulted in the tail rotor striking a tree. The helicopter began to spin violently and impacted the ground several times, damaging the main rotor and tail boom.

The helicopter was examined by Federal Aviation Administration and Composite FX personnel at the kit manufacturer's facility. The belt for the secondary drive reduction unit was observed to be loose, which allowed the teeth of the drive belt to "jump" the drive cogs on the pulley. The loose belt was due to excessive wear on the pulley.

The operating manual pre-flight inspection includes a check for tension of this belt, during which the operator should attempt to deflect the belt by about 3/16 of an inch, with an estimated five pounds of finger pressure in the middle of a long, unsupported span of the belt.


 NTSB Identification: CEN15LA042 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, November 08, 2014 in Angleton, TX
Aircraft: MOSIER ROBERT S MOSQUITO XET, registration: N922RM
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.

On November 8, 2014, about 1000 central standard time, a Composite FX Mosquito XET helicopter, N922RM, impacted trees during approach for landing at the Bailes Airport (7R9), Angleton, Texas. The pilot sustained minor injuries and the helicopter was substantially damaged. The helicopter was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local flight, which departed without a flight plan.

According to the pilot, he noticed the helicopter abruptly shudder during the crosswind turn at about 300 feet above ground level. The pilot lowered the collective control, entered an autorotation, and turned back toward the airport. As he approached the runway area, the helicopter skids passed over a row of trees by about 5 or 10 feet. Immediately after the skids cleared these trees, the pilot began a cyclic flare, which resulted in the tail rotor striking a tree. The helicopter began to spin violently and impacted the ground several times, damaging the main rotor and tail boom.

The helicopter was examined by Federal Aviation Administration and Composite FX personnel at the kit manufacturer's facility. The belt for the secondary drive reduction unit was observed to be loose, which allowed the teeth of the drive belt to "jump" the drive cogs on the pulley. The loose belt was due to excessive wear on the pulley.

The operating manual pre-flight inspection includes a check for tension of this belt, during which the operator should attempt to deflect the belt by about 3/16 of an inch, with an estimated five pounds of finger pressure in the middle of a long, unsupported span of the belt.


NTSB Identification: CEN15LA042  
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, November 08, 2014 in Angleton, TX
Aircraft: MOSIER ROBERT S MOSQUITO XET, registration: N922RM
Injuries: 1 Minor.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On November 8, 2014, about 1000 central standard time, a Composite FX Mosquito XET helicopter, N922RM, impacted terrain during approach for landing at the Bailes Airport (7R9), Angleton, Texas. The pilot sustained minor injuries and the helicopter was substantially damaged. The helicopter was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local flight, which departed without a flight plan.

According to the pilot, he noticed the helicopter abruptly shuddered during the crosswind turn at about 300 feet above ground level. The pilot lowered collective control, entered an autorotation, and turned back toward the airport. As he approached the runway area, the helicopter skids passed over a row of trees by about 5 or 10 feet. Immediately after the skids cleared these trees, the pilot began a cyclic flare, which resulted in the tail rotor striking a tree. The helicopter began to spin violently and impacted the ground several times, damaging the main rotor and tail boom.


FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Houston FSDO-09

CHARLES E. BURGOON: http://registry.faa.gov/N922RM


BRAZORIA COUNTY, TX (KTRK) -- An experimental aircraft crashed Saturday morning in Brazoria County, sending the pilot to the hospital with back injuries. 

The 60-year-old pilot was take to Memorial Hermann Hospital by Life Flight. He was complaining of back pain and is listed in stable condition.

The FAA is investigating the crash.

ANGLETON, Texas - The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating a crash in Brazoria County. 

It happened around 10 a.m. Saturday in Angleton. 

Authorities say an experimental helicopter crashed under unknown circumstances at Bailes Field.

One person was on board.

Farmers see opportunity in drones

The next big thing for Georgia farmers could be drones.

State economic developers say Georgia’s agricultural industry could be one of the areas with the most promising potential for the launch of a commercial drone usage, and they’re intent on showing farmers why.

In the town of Moultrie nestled in a farm-rich region in the southern part of the state, aerospace firms flew their drones over fields of cotton to show off the technology to farmers attending the Sunbelt Ag Expo in early October.

Drones could offer farmers multi-spectral images of their crops to show which plants need more fertilizer, more water or more nitrogen — an advance in what’s known as “precision agriculture.” And that’s worth a lot, farmers say.

“You can see much more than you can with the naked eye,” said Joseph Driver, a farm manager.

While the Moultrie demonstration flights were done in the name of research, flying drones over farms for commercial purposes isn’t legal yet.

Two Georgia businesses hope to change that, and in recent months submitted applications for commercial drone operations. The Federal Aviation Administration in September approved the first six companies for commercial unmanned aircraft systems, all in movie and TV production. It’s yet to be seen which industries will be the focus for the next few rounds of approvals, but agriculture is seen as a logical choice since it could involve drones flown in rural locations away from populated areas.

The approvals of individual companies’ operations are an interim solution, as drone enthusiasts around the country await a blanket FAA rule to allow commercial operations of small unmanned aircraft. The process has been long delayed, but is expected to start by the end of 2014, followed by public comments, and take at least a year to complete.

The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International estimates the unmanned aircraft industry in Georgia could generate 2,880 jobs by 2025 and yield nearly $280 million in economic impact.

At Fenster Farms, which grows corn, soybeans, peanuts, cotton, wheat and pecans on about 2,000 acres, owner Lanny Fenster sees a big opportunity. He says drones can monitor crops better than “crop scouts” who walk the fields.

“You can find a spot with a disease” with the help of temperature sensory imagery and ultraviolet photography, he said. “We looked through the camera and we could tell exactly what was happening. … We went out to the exact spot. We couldn’t tell by looking.”

That is extremely valuable information, Fenster said.

“Disease — it starts someplace,” he said. “If you could just treat that area, you save on pesticides and make all the people in town happy.” And, he added, you get a better crop.

Fenster is thinking of buying a drone, or going in with two or three other farmers to buy one together.

“We grow over $4 billion worth of peanuts in Georgia every year,” said Steve Justice, director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Aerospace. “If we can provide a tool that increases their yield 1 percent — 1 percent of $4 billion is big money, and that’s the real impact.

Other farmers may depend on crop consultants that could operate drones for them. The most sophisticated systems, with multiple sensors for a variety of UV and other imagery, may cost up to $100,000.

“I do think it’s the wave of the future as far as gathering more information,” said David Spaid, a crop consultant.

Meanwhile, one Georgia company, Phoenix Air, aims to start the first drone airline in Georgia. Phoenix Air — whose claim to fame is transporting Ebola patients in a souped-up, disease-containing Gulfstream jet — has created a division called Phoenix Air Unmanned and applied for federal approval for drone operations, including in agriculture.

And Vision Services Group, operating as VSG Unmanned, is also seeking federal approval for its own drone operations focused on agriculture and forestry.

The company says it is “positioned to refine and advance the technologies available to the agricultural industry.”

While the most familiar drones are quadrocopters (helicopters with four rotors), VSG Unmanned plans to launch winged aircraft by catapult that can rapidly soar over fields to capture images of 1,000 acres in one flight. The company demonstrated to interested farmers at the Sunbelt Ag Expo what its bright orange, aerodynamic unmanned plane could do.

“We’ve gone out on the field with farmers to see what their actual needs are,” said VSG’s Ben Worley, a former drone operator and mission commander for the Air Force. “We really just saw a need, a growing need, for better data.”

Guided Systems Technologies showed off its unmanned helicopter that can take multi-spectral images of fields to target problem areas. The firm is also developing a drone with a spray system for targeted pesticide treatment.

Sharing a booth with VSG Unmanned and Guided Systems at the expo was Atlanta-based unmanned service provider Flight Guardian, as well as the Georgia Tech Research Institute. Participation of the unmanned aircraft industry at the expo was coordinated by the state Center of Innovation for Aerospace and Center of Innovation for Agribusiness.

“We’ve identified agriculture early on as one of the potential early adopters of the technology,” said Justice. His center has invested some $350,000 in the development of unmanned aircraft systems over the past five years.

As progress toward commercial drone operations accelerates, state lawmakers are expected to take up the issue of privacy protections during next year’s legislative session.

“It’s timely at this point for the legislature to act so that operators in the state know what the rules of the road are,” Justice said.

All told, the Federal Aviation Administration has estimated as many as 8,000 commercial drones could be flying by 2020.

“The next 12 months is going to be a real turning point” for the commercial unmanned aircraft market, Justice said. “Next year, we’ll be talking about all the different commercial operations that have started to happen.”

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

Air Mobility Command Museum adds Soviet aircraft to exhibits: Dover Air Force Base (KDOV), Delaware

Restoration work has been completed on this Soviet-era Antonov-2 cargo aircraft, which now is on display at the Air Mobility Command Museum, Dover Air Force Base.
Submitted photo/Mark Mougel


 Dover Air Force Base, Del. --- The Air Mobility Command Museum  at Dover Air Force Base has unveiled a new, significant exhibit, said museum spokesman Mark Mougel.

Restoration has been completed on the museum’s Soviet cargo aircraft, the Antonov AN-2. This 1947 vintage aircraft is a single engine biplane, and can be compared to the American C-47 Skytrain in terms of its intended mission, although the C-47 is a more modern design with a greater load capability.

It is worth noting that the C-47 was designed almost 20 years earlier than the AN-2.

The AN-2 is on display outside the museum with many other historically significant cargo aircraft, Mougel said.

Admission and parking at the AMC Museum is free. Entrance to the museum is on Del. Route 9 just off exit 91 from Del. Route 1.

Normal museum hours are Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Military ID is not required to visit the museum.

Read more: http://www.doverpost.com

Sister's one-woman show to honor child pilot Vicki Van Meter


ST. GEORGE – A statue of acclaimed child pilot Vicki Van Meter stands tall at the St. George Municipal Airport, bringing joy to those who visit and fly in and out of southern Utah. 

 Her sister, Elizabeth, a documentary filmmaker and performer, established “The Purpose Project” after Vicki’s sudden death in 2008 to honor her.

At 7:30 p.m., today, for one night only, Elizabeth Van Meter will perform her one-woman show in the community where it originated.

The show will be at Eccles Fine Arts Center main stage theater at Dixie State University.

While visiting her parents, who live in St. George, she received a call from a New York producer asking her to create a full-length solo show based on her documentary film to be performed at the Cherry Lane Theater in New York City.

- Source:  http://www.thespectrum.com

Museum of Flight makes Dreamliner permanent exhibit after Boeing donation

Boeing will donate a 787 Dreamliner to the Museum of Flight on Saturday.

The occasion will be marked by a mid-morning ceremony featuring Doug King, president and CEO of The Museum of Flight and Boeing leaders and employees.

Boeing first announced the donation in September.

The Dreamliner will be available to the public from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and all day Sunday. Visitors will be able to go inside the plane and see the inner workings of one of Boeing's most technically advanced designs.

The museum's 787 Dreamliner exhibit will be the first of its kind in the world.

After its weekend debut, the display will be closed to the public from Nov. 10 to Nov. 21 while it is being prepped for the permanent exhibit, according to a press release.

The ceremony and weekend exhibit will be free for all Boeing employees, retirees and suppliers, plus as many as six guests.

The donated Dreamliner was the third of its kind that Boeing built and was used to showcase the airplane around the world. This particular Dreamliner flew for the first time in March of 2010, and was flown to more than 20 countries around the world as part of the Dream Tour.

Boeing struggled with the earliest version of the Dreamliner after the lithium ion batteries short-circuited and caught fire. The planes were grounded in January 2013 after the incident and began flying again in May of that year after Boeing redesigned the battery and held no-passenger test flights.

Since then, though, sales of the Dreamliner have been good. Boeing has had 24 net orders for the 787 so far this year and 325 total since 2010.


- Source:  http://www.bizjournals.com

Hambantota Fuel Storage Facility Defects



The UNP parliamentarian Ravi Karunanayake raised the issue of the Hambantota Port SLPA Aviation Fuel Tank farm site in parliament last Friday subsequent to the visit to the site by a group of UNP members on July 10, 2014.

He revealed some of the observations on the prevailing condition of the facility, before taking over by the CPC. According to the report, continuous ground settlements in excess of more than 400 mm have been observed at locations where piling has not been done. The UNP team observed defects due to continuous ground settlement will continue to grow, until a permanent solution for the ground settling is identified through a consultant and implemented. They strongly emphasized that this Aviation fuel storage tank farm constructed by the SLPA is far below the acceptable industry standards and even by physical appearance.

It is a fact that any Aviation fuel storage and handling facility conform to the most stringent requirements of JIG, API, NFPA and other international standards due to the most critical nature of this industry, which has not been adopted in the design and construction of this facility.

Karunanayake said that a typical example of a dislocated pipe support at the Hambantota Aviation tank farm was seen on July 10, 2014 by them, due to continuous ground settlement. He said that temporary arrangements have been made by the SLPA/Contractor in the past on several occasions by increasing the height of the concrete support and using metal plates. However a small gap is still visible due to subsequent settlements. The team had also observed that the pipelines are hanging on to the tank nozzle and shell, over stressing the piping and tank shell, which will have severe consequences in the long run paving the way for  a catastrophic failure.

The team had also observed that after a detail assessment and evaluation, the total facility constructed by the SLPA is not in a suitable condition for the usage by CPC for the storage and handling for JetA1 without finding proper and permanent remedies to the continuous ground settlement and defects present at every location in the facility as clearly shown by photographic evidence taken by them during their visit to the facility. Karunanayake said that the CPC will never be able to obtain JIG approval and concurrence to operate this facility for Jet A1 as an intermediate storage terminal in the future, without proper rectification which is doubtful.

“However in the meeting it was mentioned that the SLPA will hand over this sub standard Jet A1 import and storage facility at the Hambantota port to the CPC in the near future in the same condition. We have been highly embarrassed as professional Engineers who have successfully completed the Aviation Refueling Terminal at the MRIA, to be a World class facility and a valuable asset for the CPC, by assigning the responsibility to make assessment and recommendations for a facility nowhere comparable to the CPC constructed facility,” he added.

Karunanayake further stated that it was mentioned in the meeting by SLPA, that as per the agreement with the contractor, all the defects will be rectified by the contractor before the 18th of July 2014 except for implementing a permanent solution to the ground settling problem. “However as per our observations it is not possible to rectify all the defects within such a short period and also without solving the ground settling issue which contributes for most of the defects.

There is no point in repairing it as it will only be a temporary solution. It was also mentioned in the meeting that the contractor has been given until the end of November 2014 to find and implement a permanent solution to the continuous ground settling problem. However the SLPA representative stated that an assurance cannot be given to the CPC that ground settling will not continue after that.”

He said that the CPC suggested to monitor the ground settlement until November 2014, weekly with 20 reference points to see the level of settlement. SLPA agreed to this and the  CPC agreed to inspect and get the readings with SLPA.

Meanwhile the CPC officials informed that the soil layer underneath the concrete may have been washed away as the man hole within the yard had sunk. Therefore the CPC suggested to perform a load test at the site, to which the SLPA agreed.

Since the Hambatota port has been constructed at a strategic location close to international shipping routes, to have a properly built and operated Jet A1 storage facility conforming to international standards is very advantages economically consistent with refueling operations at the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport.

“We sincerely believe that SLPA should take immediate action to find a permanent solutions to the prevailing conditions. We forwarded our observations with pictures as proof with our sincere engineering comments, for the consideration by the Management of the CPC when taking a decision for taking over of this facility by CPC for operation in the future,” said Karunanayake.

- Source:   http://www.thesundayleader.lk

Mellon leads Naples Airport Authority Noise Compatibility Committee for second year

The Naples Airport Authority Noise Compatibility Committee elected M. Richard Mellon for a second term as chair and voted Ernest Linneman vice chair during its October meeting. The committee also approved its 2013-14 annual report, which is available online at www.FlyNaples.com under Noise Abatement/Noise Committee.

The committee helps monitor the impact of aircraft noise and makes recommendations about noise-mitigation procedures for consideration by the City of Naples Airport Authority Board of Commissioners, which appoints members.

Mellon has been a licensed pilot for 50 years and is active in the Civil Air Patrol. He practiced law in Pittsburgh for 25 years and served as an arbitrator and judge in Pennsylvania. A resident of Wyndemere, he has lived in Naples for 20 years, has served as CEO and board chair of Mellon Philanthropic since 1998, and is a member of Pelican Bay Rotary.

A Naples resident since 1991, Linneman served as an airport commissioner from 2003 until October 2013 and was the board liaison to the Noise Compatibility Committee for five years. During his professional career, he was with Honeywell International for 19 years and served as senior vice president of planning and corporate development for Honeywell Aerospace. He also was vice president and general manager of ITT Service Industries, providing services to the three New York City airports.

The nine committee members serve as volunteer representatives of the Collier County Commission, Naples City Council, general aviation pilots and six geographic areas surrounding the airport. In addition to Mellon and Linneman, the committee includes City Councilman Doug Finlay, William E. Cox, Bob Erbstein, Bill Goddard, Bob Tweedie and Scottie Yeager. A committee vacancy, representing general aviation pilots, is expected to be filled in November. Airport Authority Commissioner Donna Messer serves as board liaison to the committee.

In 2012, the Airport Authority and the Noise Compatibility Committee launched the “Please Fly Safe Fly Quiet” campaign to encourage pilots and aircraft operators to do all they can to minimize aircraft noise. The campaign encourages pilots to observe the airport’s recommended 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. aircraft curfew, as well as to follow recommendations such as using the full runway length for takeoffs and landings; observing “keep-it-high” landing procedures and quieter departure techniques; adhering to preferred flight paths; and using idle reverse thrust.

Naples Municipal Airport, a certificated air-carrier airport, is home to flight schools, air charter operators, car rental agencies and corporate aviation and nonaviation businesses as well as fire/rescue services, mosquito control, the Collier County Sheriff’s Aviation Unit and other community services.

During the 2013-2014 fiscal year, the airport accommodated 95,120 takeoffs and landings.

All funds used for the airport’s operation, maintenance and improvements are generated from activities at the airport or from federal and state grants; the airport receives no property tax dollars. The Florida Department of Transportation values the airport’s economic impact to the community at $283.5 million annually.

For more information or to subscribe for email updates about the airport, visit www.FlyNaples.com.

- Source:  http://www.naplesnews.com

Opinion: Seacoast Helicopters are noisy and dangerous

Posted Nov. 8, 2014 @ 2:01 am

Nov. 7 — To the Editor:

The people of Portsmouth and neighboring towns are grappling with noise and safety concerns posed by the sightseeing flights of Seacoast Helicopters. I live under their primary route through the city and have children who attend the schools that these helicopters fly over.

On Oct. 23 in Frederick MD a Robinson R44 helicopter collided with a small plane causing a crash in which all three aboard the helicopter were killed. Not only is this the same model as one flown by Seacoast Helicopters, the issue took a sadly more personal tone when I learned that two of the passengers who died were cousins of mine, including the pilot Will Jenkins. Will was an experienced helicopter pilot and instructor — having flown as a bush pilot in Alaska for a number of years.

In thinking of these helicopters flying low over our schools and community many times a day, I am also reminded of a another very sad story from 1991 when Senator John Heinz and 6 others were killed when his airplane collided with a small helicopter near Philadelphia. In that instance wreckage fell on a school playground and killed two children at recess.

The public may not be aware that when Seacoast Helicopters is flying over Portsmouth they are not under control of the air traffic controllers at Pease. They are flying under visual flight rules, or VFR, which means they can fly wherever they want, as low as they want. The NH Gazette reported that on Oct 16th the cloud ceiling was at 700 feet and Seacoast Helicopters was observed flying below this cloud ceiling. How low is too low? The Pease Development Authority provided us with a copy of their “Voluntary Noise Mitigation Procedures” which include flying no lower than 2500’ above the City of Portsmouth. Other procedures include “Mix activity” – don’t fly repeatedly over the same areas – and “Fly neighborly. Do everything possible to minimize aircraft noise”. Clearly Seacoast Helicopters is not abiding by these voluntary procedures.

I for one do not feel safe. I also feel abused by the noise. Let your opinion be known to City Council, the Pease Development Authority, and to Bruce Cultrera at Seacoast Helicopters. Also look for the SSH page on Facebook!

Jason Jenkins

Portsmouth

- Opinion and Comments: http://www.seacoastonline.com

Indian Air Force Bison forced to drop three fuel tanks while flying near Gwalior

BHOPAL: An Indian Air Force (IAF) fighter plane dropped three fuel tanks on outskirts of Gwalior city in Madhya Pradesh on Saturday during an in-flight emergency.

The Gwalior air base 'Bison' was conducting a routine training mission when the incident took place.

The pilot was forced to jettison the fuel tanks. They were dropped about 5km from the runway of the base and landed in a field 500m away from a residential locality, said sources.

Emergency crews rushed to the area, and no injuries were reported.

The pilot followed proper procedures during the incident, although having the fuel tanks land in the farm was a coincidence, said an IAF officer on condition of anonymity.

"As part of the landing procedure the pilot had to eject the external tanks before attempting a landing which was safely made with the Bison returning to base," said the officer adding, "Dropping the tank reduces the aircraft's weight and drag and gives the pilot better control in the event of engine failure".

"We're really happy that no one was hurt and the pilot is ok," he said.

One tank landed ending up near a toll booth and was close to a field where a farmer was working. Fortunately the fuel on board both tanks did not catch fire.

All three drop tanks were recovered by the IAF officials and taken to the air base. The incident is under investigation.


- Source:  http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Rude Arrows: Royal Air Force pilot denies leaving giant penis vapor trail in sky

When RAF pilots flew over this country village, they ‘accidentally’ left a vapor trail that upset a few locals.

Villagers in Moray, Scotland, complained that one top gun had created a giant penis in the sky with his flight path.

The trail was left over RAF Lossiemouth and a picture taken by a baffled local.

But the RAF denied the giant genitalia was intentional and said the trail was the result of a pilot flying in a specified holding pattern while waiting to land.

A spokesman told The Sun newspaper: ‘It’s not what it appears to be.

‘People sometimes look into the sky and see all sorts of things.’

- Source:  http://metro.co.uk

(Picture: Cascade)

Firebird 10: Hikers rescued from Piestewa Peak

PHOENIX (KSAZ) - It was a dramatic rescue; a pair of hikers who went off the trail at Piestewa Peak yesterday and fell.

Phoenix Fire Department crews called for a helicopter and a specially trained crew to rescue them.

But this one rescue looked different from the rest.

Phoenix Fire uses helicopters for some of the mountain rescues because it is more efficient and a speedier way to reach people who may need immediate medical attention.

And that's why yesterday with two hikers injured who fell, and one of them a 17-year-old girl who had an open fracture on her leg, they used a helicopter.

It could make you dizzy or even nauseous to watch the video.

A 17-year-old girl was strapped to a rescue device called a "baumann bag," spinning like a propeller as a helicopter flew her off Piestewa Peak and down to a waiting ambulance.

She was with an 18-year-old man, both were hiking when they went off trail and fell 10 feet.

He had shoulder injuries; she had hurt her leg.

Phoenix Fire has special units who train hard to handle these situations.

The rescue went off smoothly although there was that spinning, so why did the basket spin so much?

"The rotor wash from the canyon started hitting the basket, and once it started to move it gets a lot of movement, but once you get out of the canyon it stops the rotor wash and settles down," said Capt. Jeff Zientek.

Both hikers are now recovering from their injuries, a little about the helicopter it's called Firebird 10. The Fire and Police Department share the Italian made helicopter.

It has two engines so it can keep flying if one engine goes out; it's also the only one like it in the state.

A highly skilled Phoenix Fire crew trains continually just to pull off these tricky mountain rescues, and that training paid off yesterday.

REACT: Ambulance in the sky

Flight nurse Tony Rehberg, Kristi Lohmar, REACT supervisor and pilot Dan McDade stand in front of the REACT helicopter in Rockford. The helicopter fits all three personnel and a patient, and can fly to cities as far as Chicago and Milwaukee if needed.


Teams of three fly out from Rockford Memorial Hospital in the REACT helicopter with the hopes of providing fast care to patients in need. While the team pairings change, Kristi Lohmar, Tony Rehberg and pilot Dan McDade have worked together for the last several years.

Rehberg has been a flight nurse for REACT for the last 23 years just a couple years shy of when the program started in 1987. Lohmar, the medical-based supervisor and manager, has been with REACT for about 10 years, and McDade has been a pilot since 2008. In all, the REACT team has eight medical personnel, four pilots and two mechanics.

“(The program) first started in 1987 as a nurse and paramedic team, and evolved to a nurse and nurse team,” Lohmar said. “Now that we are affiliated with (Rockford Memorial Hospital) we have slowly gone back to a nurse and paramedic team.”

While the job is very demanding, none of them can imagine doing anything else. Lohmar described the job as “very humbling.”

“It humbles me to see people in their darkest hour, and we are there to bring some light and do what we can to bring them to a place to help them even more,” she said.

Being a flight nurse was a goal of Lohmar’s since she decided to go into nursing.

“It’s about being there for someone who is in a critical situation, and to be challenged with the unknown,” she said. “We help infants, children, toddlers, adults. The whole mix of it all is challenging.”

You always remember the first flights to serious injuries. McDade remembers his second flight to an 11-year-old girl who was run over by a truck about 18 years ago. He remembers because she was the same age as his son at the time of the accident.

“She was pretty bad,” he said. “I’m not a medical person, and I don’t pretend to be, but I know when it is bad. She ended up living. I saw her a year later and she came back and visited. It really affected me a lot because I saw how vulnerable life is, and how quick it can be taken away.”

Despite the challenges and difficulties of the job, part of the attraction is that no two days are the same, Rehberg said.

“I don’t think any of us would go back to the bedside being a nurse,” he said. “The level of autonomy that this job provides, and the care that we give is so much greater than other nurse positions. We are working for the doctor.”

Rehberg said they have to train on the helicopter due to limited space compared to an ambulance.

However, the advantage to such limited space is that everything is within arms reach.

“We’re a flying ambulance,” he said “We train to operate in the aircraft. All the treatments that we do we can do in that tight space. It’s a higher level of care than a paramedic ambulance. We all come with at least five years experience before we start flying. We have to have that background to be able to move into this position where we are functioning outside of a hospital and doing essentially the same thing we would do in a hospital, but without a doctor.”

The higher level of care is needed in order to get the patient to the necessary hospital for treatment. It takes about 10 minutes for the helicopter to get into the air after a call comes in, but the travel time is cut down by more than half compared to driving an ambulance.

“Madison is about 30 minutes away, Beloit is about 10 minutes, Freeport is about 12,” Rehberg said.

And the crew has a pretty wide radius on where they fly including Chicago, Galena, Ill. and Milwaukee. Where a patient is taken is obviously dependent on the location of the incident, and the severity of the injury.

“I think it’s important that you not only compress the time, but you’ve amplified the level of care,” McDade said. “By doing that, your chances of a successful outcome is higher.”

Patients are loaded into the back of the helicopter, and the two medical crews sit facing the back of the aircraft. The stretcher fits perfectly near the tail. Heart rate monitors, IVs and other medical supplies are all above the patient, attached securely to the walls of the aircraft.

About six months ago, REACT was approved to operate on Instrument Flight Rules through the Federal Aviation Administration. IFR is used by aircraft when visibility is low, and traffic is controlled from the ground.

“On cloudy days IFR allows aircraft to fly via instruments, and over highways in the sky,” Rehberg said. “It’s under direct control of the FAA and it allows us to fly directly to the airport.”

On sunny days, REACT can fly a patient directly to the hospital, but on days with low visibility IFR will direct them to an airport closest to the hospital.

“It provides a much higher level of safety to go directly to the airport because they are federally regulated approaches and you won’t hit a tower or anything,” Rehberg said. “So in that aspect it’s a safety mechanism. Hopefully in the future we will get a couple approaches into different hospitals that we frequent, which will allow us to go directly to those hospitals in less than favorable weather conditions.”

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

Exhibit brings Vietnam War experience to life at Patriots Point

WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather 

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) -- Have you ever wondered what it was like during the Vietnam War? A new exhibit at Patriots Point brings the whole experience to life. 

The Vietnam Experience opens to the public Saturday. It's an interactive exhibit with various artifacts such as helicopters and a patrol boat in addition to videos and sound effects that really take you back to the Vietnam War.

It's a hero's welcome home, and an exhibit dedicated to those we proudly served the country during the Vietnam War.

“We are basically zeroing in on the period of the TET Offensive in 1968 with two different bases in Vietnam, one a Navy support base for patrol boats on the Mekong Delta and then a separate one which would be a piece of the Marine base at Khe Sanh with a Marine artillery fire base,” said Mac Burdette, Executive Director of Patriots Point.

And as soon as visitors walk in, they are taken back in time. Hearing the sound of helicopters brings back memories for Vietnam veteran Pat Deweese.

“That is a fighter coming across. Hopefully he is dropping some napalm or something,” said Deweese.

Deweese volunteered to serve after hearing a classmate was killed in action.

“This is what we had back in '68 and '69 when I was there. I was stationed just outside Da Nang, Vietnam but this is the Medevac helicopter -- plenty of room inside,” said Deweese. “Only one casualty in here right now but we could get six guys in here. I only did this for about three months until I was helping another guy back to the helicopter and then I got wounded so then I worked in the operating room from then on as a surgical technician.”

He says he comes to Patriots Point as often as he can, but this new addition really hits home.

“It just brings back so many memories. I love coming here," said Deweese. “Good and bad, I try to block the bad ones out. This is a sweet bird, saved a lot of lives.”

But there is more than the UH1 helicopter on display. Every video and sound effect on the site makes visitors feel like they were there. Some videos even take people into middle of the war zone.

It's an interactive experience that Deweese says is important so that we never forget the sacrifices of war.

“So no one forgets these guys right here, these guys on these stretchers, the guys that didn't come back," said Deweese. “The 58,479 guys that did not come back.”

Those at Patriots Point want this exhibit to educate and entertain those that visit, but most importantly to honor those that served.

“We feel like that Vietnam veterans did not get the recognition, the respect that they deserve when they came home from that long war,” said Burdette. “We want Patriots Point to be the place that Vietnam veterans think of as a place they can come to reflect with their families and their friends about their service in Vietnam and we kind of call it the homecoming they never got.”

This new exhibit is free to all Vietnam veterans Saturday, Nov. 8 and Sunday, Nov. 9. Then on Tuesday, Veteran's Day, all veterans will enjoy free admission.

-Story, Video and Photos:  http://www.abcnews4.com





Central Bureau of Investigation probes Air India's 68 Boeing aircraft order

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is probing Air India's purchase of 68 Boeing planes, the civil aviation ministry has said in a Right to Information (RTI) Act response.

Air India had placed an order for 68 aircraft, including Boeing 737s, 777s and 787s, all valued at $11 billion in December 2005.

While the then-civil aviation minister Praful Patel has denied any wrongdoing and said the decision to order 68 planes was approved by an empowered group of ministers and later by the Union Cabinet, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in its 2011 report faulted the purchase as it had a significant impact on the airline's financial health.

The CBI probe into the purchase of aircraft has come to light after Air India's former executive director Jitender Bhargava wrote to the civil aviation ministry seeking files on the aircraft order.

In a response to Bhargava's RTI request, the civil aviation ministry on October 31 replied that the case was under CBI investigation and the CBI had informed that the disclosure of information may impede the process of investigation.

Initially the Air India board had proposed the acquisition of 28 planes but the decision was revised and the order size increased. CAG had also questioned the hurry in placing the order for 68 planes.

In its report, CAG said Air India was advised to revisit its proposal by the ministry into expanding its requirement of aircraft. Whilst the earlier proposal for 28 aircraft had taken two years (January 2002 to January 2004) to prepare and submit, the revised long-term fleet for the 50-aircraft plan was completed in four months (from August to November 2004).

UNDER THE CBI SCANNER

  • Air India (AI) had placed an order for 68 aircraft, including Boeing 737s, 777s and 787s, all valued at $ 11 billion in December 2005
  • In a response to AI's former executive director Jitender Bhargava's RTI request, the civil aviation ministry on October 31 replied the case was under CBI investigation
- Source:  http://www.business-standard.com

Ohio football team gets visit from Nike helicopter

The Colerain football team received a welcome surprise at Thursday's practice.

The Cardinals were hard at work putting the finishing touches on their preparation for Saturday's first round playoff game at Hilliard Darby, when the chopping of a helicopter crept closer.

A black helicopter boasted the unmistakable white swoosh of Nike. It landed at Colerain's practice to deliver the Cardinals' personalized cold weather gear for the postseason.

The players were unaware this would be happening.

"Nike called us earlier in the week and set all this up," said Colerain athletic director Dan Bolden. "It's one of the great things Nike has done with us. It's a great thing for high school football. Our kids deserved this."

Nike is one of Colerain's corporate sponsors. Colerain's one of just 50 high schools in the country with a corporate sponsorship deal with Nike.

Story, Video and Photo Gallery:    http://www.cincinnati.com

Hampton: a war hero

Fred Hampton at his home in Zionsville. He flew 29 bombing missions in Europe during World War II. 
(Photo by Ward Degler)



Veterans Day honors all veterans of all American wars, those who returned home triumphant, and those who remained behind.

Fred Hampton, of Zionsville, is one of the former; a quiet, unassuming man who never considered himself a hero in spite of flying 29 dangerous bombing missions over Nazi-occupied Europe during the last desperate years of World War II.

Like thousands of other young men, Hampton’s plans for college and an engineering degree were cut short when he was drafted in the fall of 1943.

“I figured I’d wind up in the infantry,” he said. “Sleeping in muddy foxholes.” But a need for fresh bomber crews to relieve the battle weary pilots, gunners and navigators of the 8th Air Force in England found Hampton transferred to the Army Air Corps.

“I first trained to be a navigator,” he said. “And I even got some pilot training.”

Ultimately, Hampton wound up in gunnery school where he was assigned as a tail gunner.

“My height probably had something to do with that,” he said.

At 5-foot-2, Hampton was just small enough to squeeze into the cramped tail compartment of a B-17.

“I had to kneel during the entire mission,” he said. “Sometimes for nine to 10 hours.”

By the time Hampton and the rest of his crew got to England, the Air Corps had switched from B-24 Liberators to the older B-17s for most of the bombing missions.

“The B-17 could handle a lot more damage than the B-24,” he said. The planes were famous for limping home after being riddled with anti-aircraft flak and bullets from enemy fighters. The crew of one plane in Hampton’s outfit counted 365 bullet holes in their plane after a single mission.

The war became a reality for Hampton with his very first mission. “Up till then it was all training,” he said.

On Feb. 3, 1945, however, it all changed.

“That day we were part of the biggest raid of the war,” he says. “We were one of 1,500 planes loaded with bombs headed for Berlin.” Hampton recalls that the flak over the German capital was “terrible.”

“We lost a lot of planes that day,” Hampton remembers, “and we were all scared. We prayed a lot.”

Hampton and his crew flew 28 more combat missions during the last months of the war, bombing German factories, bridges, railroads and airfields in places like Hamburg, Bremen, Munich and Dresden.

“We got hit by German fighters over Dresden,” he said. “We lost one engine and the wing was shot up pretty badly.”

Despite being crippled, the plane finished its bombing run and limped back to England on three engines.

None of Hampton’s crew was injured in combat. But their most memorable mission was one they didn’t fly.

“Our crew was grounded and another crew was assigned to our B-17,” Hampton said. “That day our plane was shot down over Germany. We never learned what happened to the crew.”

Hampton came home in 1945 and picked up where he left off, went to college and got his degree in engineering. He married his wife Mary Lou in 1948 and settled down to the business of raising a family. In 1985 Hampton retired from Allison Transmission in Indianapolis where he had spent much of his career working on military contracts.

After retiring, Hampton returned to Europe for a visit. He toured a rebuilt Berlin and saw almost no evidence of the devastating raid he had been part of in 1945.

In England he drove out to the airfield where he had spent so many chilly mornings being briefed for missions. “It was eerily quiet,” he said, and the only reminder of what had happened there was a bronze plaque bearing the dates of the airfield’s existence.

Still healthy at 89, Hampton plans to observe Veterans Day 2014 as he has every year since his return. “With thanksgiving and respect for everyone who served.”

During World War II, B-17s dropped 640,000 tons of bombs on German targets. Four-thousand-six-hundred planes were shot down and 47,000 crew members died.

Veterans Day, enacted by Congress in 1954, grew out of Armistice Day, a day honoring those killed during World War I.

Story and photo gallery:  http://www.currentzionsville.com