Sunday, November 16, 2014

OUR VIEW: We can see both sides of airport discussion • Culpeper Regional (KCJR), Virginia

Staff editorial

More hangars means more money, but history is precious

Recently, the Culpeper County Board of Supervisors approved a measure to build an additional 32 hangars at the Culpeper Regional Airport.

We've heard from both sides when it comes to the issue, with airport supporters pointing out the financial advantages of expanding the airport and the preservationists contending that it could interfere with the Brandy Station battlefield.

Let's look at the facts — additional hangars will mean more planes and more planes means more fuel.

More fuel means more money.

The airport became self-sustaining in Fiscal Year 2014, paying off the existing hangars in July.

Some on the frugal side would say good, make some money before taking out a loan for $2.6 million to expand.

However, to make money, you have to spend money.

By adding the 32 hangars — six corporate and 26 general aviation — more pilots will come to Culpeper to house their planes. The more planes stationed in Culpeper means more fuel sold, which will help create revenue.

It all makes sense, until you take into account the historic impact.

Yes, the airport sits on a portion of the Brandy Station battlefield, a decision that was made decades ago and it's land that is forever lost. Yes, the airport is not buying land but only using what is already allotted to it. It's footprint will not grow beyond its fenced in borders.

However, as some pointed out at a public hearing on the subject, the noise from aircraft can drone out ones thoughts while touring the nearby battlefield.

There was a suggestion that the county should try to take advantage of the battlefield and use it as more of a tourist attraction, by adding additional planes and hence, more flights, the opportunity to push a tourist attraction diminishes.

In the end, we support the county's decision to build the hangars. It could be a boon and help keep personal property taxes low, as taxpayers money won't have to be spent on the airport.

However, we will suggest that, if possible, some of the money made be earmarked to help promote Culpeper's battlefields.

It's a win-win situation.

Editorial and Comments:

Plane makes emergency landing due to ill passenger in E China

SHENYANG, Nov. 17 (Xinhua) -- A China Southern Airlines aircraft was forced to make an emergency landing in east China's Shandong Province after an elderly passenger feel ill on the flight.

The passenger -- identified by only the surname Wang -- fell ill shortly after flight CZ6506 left Shanghai airport at 1:08 p.m. Sunday afternoon, according to airline sources.

The plane, which was bound for Shenyang in northeast China's Liaoning Province, was forced to land in Qingdao City so Wang could be admitted to hospital.

Chief flight attendant Ding Dan said that during the flight Wang had looked noticeably uncomfortable and the crew were concerned for his well-being.

"He said he had no existing health issues but yet, he had chest pain and loss of breath," she said adding that she had laid him flat, and offered him hot-sugary water and oxygen.

The other passengers were also concerned about the man's condition and none objected to the emergency landing, she said.

The flight departed from Qingdao to Shenyang after refueling, and it arrived at its destination at 4:10 p.m., 40 minutes behind schedule.

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Ministry of Primary Industries seizes odd charms at Wellington Airport, New Zealand

Lucky charms, made from snake fangs and horse hair, seized from a passenger arriving at Wellington Airport.

Lucky charms made from snake fangs and horse hair have been seized from a passenger by biosecurity staff at Wellington Airport.

Ministry of Primary Industries team manager Tony Owen said the charms were being carried by a passenger who arrived from Australia.

The passenger said the charms were usually attached to his metal detector when he searched for gold.

"As he was planning to leave New Zealand by the same airport, he had the options of having MPI destroy the charms or hold them until his departure," said Owen.

The passenger chose to collect them on his way home five days later.

"There was no way we were going to allow the passenger to keep the animal parts with him during his stay in New Zealand, as they could have been carrying pests or diseases."

The passenger was not fined as he had declared the items to biosecurity.

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Sanders brothers make solo flights: Cincinnati West Airport (I67), Harrison, Ohio

William Sanders, right, of Hebron, took his solo flight in August. 
(Photo: Provided )

Student pilots William and Christopher Sanders, of Hebron, recently experienced their first solo flights in a Cessna Skyhawk 172.

Both brothers took fundamentals of aeronautics and advanced aviation courses through independent study over their normal course loads through Conner High School. They passed their FAA Private Pilot Written Exams and are taking flying lessons through Cincinnati West Airport in Harrison.

William, 18, is a freshman at the University of Kentucky. Christopher, 16, is a junior at Conner High School.

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Christopher, left, a junior at Conner High School, had his first solo flight on October 24.
 (Photo: Provided )

Why Nigeria’ll record more air crashes, by expert

Except the Federal Government provides a sustainable maintenance framework including domesticated maintenance hangar, Nigeria would record more air crashes, Dr Titus Kehinde Olaniyi, an engineer at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, Zaria, has said.

Besides, the expert, who spoke at the meeting of the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, noted that airlines’ negligence of industry best practice in aircraft operations and maintenance has contributed to several aircraft crashes and folding up of the airlines.

However, Olaniyi noted that managerial incompetence led to fund misappropriations, manpower mismanagement and high indebtedness of most of the airlines.

The expert observed that the lack of sustainable aircraft maintenance hangars has negatively impacted on Nigerian airlines and their ability to operate sustainably in an inherently complex and dynamic global air transport industry.

Olaniyi, who spoke on ‘Sustainable aircraft maintenance hangar: the imperative for the Nigerian aviation industry,’ explained that the systematic failure of the airline industry could be traced to unsustainable aircraft maintenance policies resulting from aging aircraft, lack of appropriate maintenance personnel, non-availability of aircraft hangars where proper checks or maintenance can be carried out.

He explained that inconsistent regulatory policies, deteriorating infrastructure with obsolete facilities, negligence and managerial incompetence contributed to the failure of most of the local airlines. The expert also noted that undefined government support had jeopardized actions by some airlines to build their hangars.

Olaniyi said that the provision for maintenance facility of the Nigeria Air Force (NAF) was currently inadequate for the nation’s needs, tracing the demise of Okada airline to the exorbitant cost of tasks that could have been avoided.

The aviation engineer explained that having Maintenance Repair Overhaul (MRO) in the country will save airline huge revenue spent abroad on aircraft maintenance and reduce capital flight Olaniyi, however, said that air transport in Nigeria is expected to grow by five per cent in the next 20 years, with increase in demands that will enable airlines contribute some $0.4 billion and 61,000 jobs for the emerging Nigerian economy. He noted that the air transport industry generates and supports 6.7 million jobs in Africa and contributes $67.8 billion to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Olaniyi noted that the air transport in the country has been growing since mid-1980’s and 1990’s with deregulation and emergence of domestic airlines in GDP. He, however, regretted that despite the growth, the number of airlines in the country depreciated to the extent that most of the early starters no longer exist, adding that out of the 30 airlines operating in the 1990’s, only about seven scheduled flights in 2010.

The engineer stated that the demand for transport is a function of certain variables or characteristics, adding that some of the distinguishing characteristics of public transport under local conditions can be in respect of speed, passenger income, safety, comfort and reliability or service frequency.

Nigeria had in 2012 recorded the worst air disaster on June 3, 2012, when a Dana MD 83 aircraft crashed in Iju- Ishaga, a Lagos suburb, killing all 153 people on board and ten more on the ground.

The crash of Flight 992 was and is currently the deadliest aviation disaster involving a McDonnell Douglas MD-83, as well as the second-deadliest involving an MD- 80.

It is also the second-deadliest air disaster on Nigerian soil, behind the Kano air disaster of 1973. A year after that, precisely on October 3, 2013, Associated Airlines light aircraft crashed in Lagos. About 15 persons were killed.

Also, the aircraft conveying the remains of a former governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Agagu and others, including the crew, relatives, friends, government officials, came down shortly after take- off.

The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), in his preliminary report, attributed the crash to pilot’s error and serviceability of the Embraer aircraft.

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Airliner Tracking to Become Norm: Planes Would Report Position Every 15 Minutes Under Coming Global Standards

The Wall Street Journal
By Andy Pasztor

November 16, 2014 7:45 p.m. ET

Prompted by the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, government and aviation-industry officials are set to announce global standards calling for airliners to automatically report their position at least every 15 minutes, according to people familiar with the details.

In case of emergencies in which aircraft veer off anticipated flight paths, these people said, the same United Nations-backed group of experts wants authorities to be able to track the location of those planes at least once per minute. Taken together, the moves are intended to put in place the first truly universal, real-time tracking system for commercial aircraft operating over water, isolated polar regions or other areas lacking ground-based radar coverage.

Slated to be announced in early December, the findings and suggested one-year implementation deadline will be backed by various groups including the International Civil Aviation Organization, an arm of the U.N., and the International Air Transport Association, the airline industry’s leading trade organization world-wide. Though technically nonbinding recommendations, the task force’s conclusions and list of suggested technologies to accomplish the goals are expected to be embraced around the globe and become de facto minimum requirements for practically all carriers.

The task force, however, has decided against calling for extra safeguards to protect against sabotage or deliberate acts to turn off communications hardware, said people familiar with the talks. The IATA-designated group of experts, they said, won’t push for immediate steps to make satellite-transmission systems or other communication equipment tamper-proof from anyone onboard, a step suggested by many safety experts.

Such protections would require wiring modifications and other potentially costly equipment changes, which task-force members concluded wouldn’t be justified because of the low likelihood that pilots or hijackers will seek to disable communications equipment in the future.

Many airlines previously embraced and invested in satellite links to provide such tracking coverage, including Air France after one of its widebody jets crashed into the Atlantic Ocean in 2009 and the wreckage wasn’t located for nearly two years. But for other carriers such as Malaysia Airlines—which opted against spending money on enhanced tracking capabilities before one of its Boeing 777s disappeared in March en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing—position reports were significantly less frequent. And there typically were no provisions for accelerated reporting during emergency situations.

There are more than 100,000 daily airline flights world-wide, but a significant percentage of them aren’t expected to be affected by the new standards because they fly only over areas with widespread radar coverage.

On Sunday, an IATA spokesman declined to comment.

In the past, universal tracking proposals have failed to gain traction because of industry inertia and cost concerns. But in announcing the initiative in April, IATA Chief Executive Tony Tyler highlighted how much the situation had changed as a result of public indignation. “In a world where our every move seems to be tracked,” he said, ”we cannot let another aircraft simply disappear.”

In October, Mr. Tyler acknowledged “the man in the street” was still “looking for a better answer” from the aviation industry.

Neither the wreckage of Malaysia Flight 370 nor any sign of the 239 people it was carrying have been found, though an intense, multination underwater search continues. An international team of investigators suspects deliberate acts disabled the jet’s air-traffic-control communications system and also turned off certain satellite-communication links before the plane dramatically veered off course, flew on for hours, ran out of fuel and eventually went down in a remote stretch of the southern Indian Ocean.

Flight 370 has become the biggest mystery in the modern jet era, industry officials argue, precisely because nothing similar has ever occurred and might never happen again for the foreseeable future.

IATA’s board of governors is expected to sign off on the report in early December, and announce plans for further study of tamper-proof arrangements. IATA also is expected to continue studying so-called emergency streaming of selected flight data off an airliner in the event massive system failures cause a serious incident or even a crash.

The routine tracking recommendations, as expected, target the least costly and time-consuming fixes. When it set up the task force in the spring, IATA said the group would concentrate on “a near term set of options” and “focus on existing equipage and procedures.”

But many air-safety experts have urged going further by championing the concept of tamper-proof communication systems this time, just as they unsuccessfully sought to make it impossible to turn off aircraft transponders in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks using jetliners. In 2001 as well as 2014, industry opposition prevailed based on arguments that estimated costs outweigh projected future risks.

For many airlines, enhanced global tracking requires primarily software changes and perhaps some additional fees to a service provider. But from the time IATA’s leaders created the task force—and even before all its members were in place—airline industry leaders signaled they were opposed to imposing substantial additional costs to make systems tamper-proof.

During a May interview, Kevin Hiatt, IATA’s senior vice president for safety and operations, stressed that those advocating tamper-proof solutions mistakenly might “try to do something that is not yet necessary.” Other prominent airline officials have said tamper-proof alternatives amount to fixes searching for a problem.

At the same time, pilot-union leaders have emphasized opposition to any changes that would strip cockpit crews from unfettered access to communications systems and the ability to pull circuit breakers to prevent the spread of possible in-flight fires.

Last week, Mr. Hiatt told an international safety conference in Abu Dhabi that “a consensus document” has been approved by the task force, and ICAO is expected to take it up at its high-level safety gathering next February. National regulators will assess mid- and long-term solutions.

But until short-term fixes are implemented, he said, “public trust and confidence is at risk when a large modern aircraft cannot be located.” Mr. Hiatt said the task force agreed that the automated updates will include position, altitude and direction. Airline officials can implement short-term changes in airline information-gathering and decision-making standards using internal capabilities, he added, “or you can do it externally; but you’re going to do it.”

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Cessna 150M, C-GJAO: Accident occurred November 11, 2014 in Whitney, Ontario

NTSB Identification: CEN15WA052 
 Accident occurred Tuesday, November 11, 2014 in Whitney, ON
Aircraft: CESSNA 150, registration:
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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

On November 11, 2014, at 2130 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 150M airplane, Canadian registered C-GJAO , owned and operated by Flyblocktime Inc., was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain near Whitney, Ontario, Canada. The pilot and one passenger were fatally injured. The meteorological conditions at the time of the accident are unknown. The flight originated from Ottawa, Ontario and was en route to Toronto, Ontario.

The investigation is under the jurisdiction of the Canadian Government. Further information may be obtained from:

Transportation Safety Board of Canada
Place du Centre
200 Promenade du Portage, 4th Floor
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 1K8

Phone: 1 (800) 387-3557
Fax: 1 (819) 997-2239

This report is for informational purposes only and contains only information released by or obtained from the Transportation Safety Board of Canada.

Kalyani Arulanandar mourns son, Ravindran, at his funeral in Scarborough on Sunday. Arulanandar died in a plane crash in Algonquin Park on Tuesday. 
 Rick Madonik / Toronto Star 

Ravindran Arulanandar was, as one cousin put it, “intrigued” by the air.

 “It was all about flying, flying, flying,” said Prasanna Radhakrishnan.

Flying would ultimately claim the 31-year-old’s life. Arulanandar, known socially as Ravi, was one of two people killed in Tuesday’s plane crash in a densely forested area of Algonquin Provincial Park.

On Sunday, three dozen people gathered at a Scarborough funeral home to remember a man described as a funny entertainer, who was deeply passionate about music and bodybuilding and who aspired to be a pilot.

Arulanandar was the sole passenger in a Cessna 150 that had taken off from Toronto Buttonville Municipal Airport on Tuesday for a round-trip flight to Quebec. The pilot, Logesh Lakshmikanthan, 25, a close friend of Arulanandar’s, contacted air traffic control around 8:30 p.m., saying he found himself disoriented in the clouds.

The plane came down about an hour later, killing both men. The OPP and Transportation Safety Board confirmed the aircraft ran out of fuel. Lakshmikanthan’s funeral will be held in India.

Close relatives were noticeably composed for much of the two-hour Hindu ceremony. Arulanandar’s mother, Kalyani, sat on the ground with Arulanandar’s brother, Manojkumar, sister Priya and sister-in-law Sarojini, as priest Kumar Satha chanted and burned incense.

Less than a metre away, in an open casket, lay Arulanandar, his body covered in roses and garlands. At his feet, a few of his favourite things: whey protein, representing his exercise habits, and a pair of Wayfarer sunglasses, left by a cousin.

Arulanandar lived at home in North York with his mother. His brother, who has a young son, and sister reside outside of the province, but there was no shortage of cousins in Toronto to keep Arulanandar company.

“We’re all going to miss him. He was part of the gang,” said cousin Shanjeev Sivaraj. “He was always the life of the party.”

“Among us, he was older, but at heart, he was the younger one,” added another cousin, Praveena Radhakrishnan.

Born in Sri Lanka, Arulanandar arrived in Canada in 2003. His cousins said he was a versatile musician who played in several bands. He drew inspiration from Michael Jackson for music, and from Arnold Schwarzenegger for bodybuilding.

Arulanandar held a variety of jobs, including as a part-time court interpreter, translating statements from Tamil to English, and security officer.

He met Lakshmikanthan through mutual friends about two years ago. The 25-year-old wanted to log more hours of flight time, and Arulanandar was always eager to accompany his friend, going up in the sky with him about twice a month.

His last contact with his family was when he sent a photo of the Ottawa airport to a cousin Tuesday evening, just hours before the crash.

At Sunday’s funeral, relatives were quiet as Arulanandar’s mother, brother and sister circled his body several times, sprinkling water, dropping flower petals and holding a candle at his feet, the smoke swirling around the body.

At one point, Manojkumar, clad in all white, gazed intently at a photo near the casket, showing Arulanandar, in sunglasses and a blue T-shirt, with the city in the background. There was a faint sound of weeping as a stoic Kalyani approached the casket with a tissue and carefully wiped away the water trickling down her youngest son’s face.

It was only at the very end that the tears came. As Manojkumar began circling the casket with a cracked coconut, the water pouring down on his late brother, the family knew the service had come to an end and that the casket would soon be closed.

Kalyani wailed, crying out for her son, as numerous relatives huddled in an effort to comfort her. Manojkumar had to be pulled away and brought to the back of the room.

Within minutes, the casket was sealed and the family made their way to the crematorium. All that remained were the flower petals on the floor.

Story and Photo Gallery:

Cessna 150M, C-GJAO: Accident occurred November 11, 2014 in Whitney, Ontario

NTSB Identification: CEN15WA052 
 Accident occurred Tuesday, November 11, 2014 in Whitney, ON
Aircraft: CESSNA 150, registration:
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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

On November 11, 2014, at 2130 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 150M airplane, Canadian registered C-GJAO , owned and operated by Flyblocktime Inc., was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain near Whitney, Ontario, Canada. The pilot and one passenger were fatally injured. The meteorological conditions at the time of the accident are unknown. The flight originated from Ottawa, Ontario and was en route to Toronto, Ontario.

The investigation is under the jurisdiction of the Canadian Government. Further information may be obtained from:

Transportation Safety Board of Canada
Place du Centre
200 Promenade du Portage, 4th Floor
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 1K8

Phone: 1 (800) 387-3557
Fax: 1 (819) 997-2239

This report is for informational purposes only and contains only information released by or obtained from the Transportation Safety Board of Canada.

A small plane that crashed in Algonquin Provincial Park on Tuesday night had wandered into the restricted airspace above the Governor-General’s residence just after the Remembrance Day ceremonies.

The Cessna 150, which had left from the Buttonville municipal airport near Toronto, was on its way back from Ottawa later in the evening when it got lost and ran out of fuel. A military search operation located the crash site on Wednesday morning and found that the two men aboard, a pilot and a passenger in their 20s, had died.

The incident over Rideau Hall was minor and did not result in any actions from authorities. The restricted airspace is located near Ottawa’s Rockcliffe airport, where the plane was heading.

According to Transport Canada records, about eight hours before it crashed, the plane had strayed into CYR538, the restricted airspace over Rideau Hall, the residence of Canada’s governors-general.

Records show that the incident took place at “1644 Z,” meaning 4:44 p.m. Co-ordinated Universal Time, or around 11:44 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. At that moment, the Remembrance Day ceremony in Ottawa was concluding at the National War Memorial.

At the RCMP’s request, since February, 2012, pilots cannot fly without authorization into the airspace above Parliament Hill and Rideau Hall, to an altitude of 3,000 feet above sea level.

At the time the Cessna crossed into the Rideau Hall restricted zone, it was flying at 1,400 feet.

The information is contained in Transport Canada’s Civil Aviation Daily Occurrence Reporting System, which compiles initial details about incidents involving Canadian aircraft or occurring in Canadian airspace.

The incident report says the plane was a Cessna 150M with the tail marking C-GJAO. Built in 1976, the aircraft is owned by Flyblocktime Inc., a rental company based in Caledon, Ont.

Officials said the plane had left Buttonville airport, northeast of Toronto, and the pilot had intended to return there.

Under the classification “Prohibited/restricted airspace violation,” the report says the Cessna was going to land at Ottawa’s Rockcliffe airport when it was “observed crossing CYR538 Rideau Hall, ON at 1,400 feet.”

There was “no impact on operations,” the report said.

A second report filed later that day said the Cessna was returning from Rockcliffe airport in the evening when it had to declare an emergency.

“Flyblocktime Cessna 150M (C-GJAO) from Ottawa/ Rockcliffe, ON (CYRO) called a MAYDAY … and relayed lost and low fuel,” the report says.

Regional air traffic controllers lost contact with the aircraft south of Algonquin Provincial Park, in the Haliburton area east of Bracebridge, said Captain Alexandre Cadieux, a spokesman for the Royal Canadian Air Force.

The Joint Rescue Co-ordination Center at CFB Trenton was alerted and a CC-130 Hercules Aircraft was dispatched to the area.

The Hercules located the Cessna’s distress beacon in a forested area.

Early Wednesday, a CH-146 Griffin helicopter found the wreckage and used a hoist to lower search and rescue technicians to the ground. They found that the two men in Cessna were dead.

Members of the Ontario Provincial Police’s emergency response team later arrived to investigate.

The crash site is 20 kilometres south of Whitney, in rough terrain that has no cellular-phone coverage and can be reached only on foot, OPP Sergeant Kristine Rae said.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada said it was sending a team of investigators.

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Alaska Marijuana Legalization Raises Questions

On Nov. 4, Alaskans voted to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, but that decision seems to have raised more questions than ever about how the new law will be implemented. One of the biggest issues facing Alaskans is how to transport marijuana within the state. Despite the legalization of small amounts of marijuana, federal laws still prohibit cannabis, and many rural communities in Alaska can only be accessed by plane or boat—a fact that could complicate the new state law. While Alaska’s ground is her own, her skies and many of her waterways fall under the jurisdiction of federal regulation. The possession and transportation of marijuana are still illegal under federal law.

According to Alaska Dispatch News, the laws governing the use of cannabis in the state have not yet been drafted and are not expected to be until Proposition 2 takes effect in February, after which time the state will be given nine months to decide how and what to enforce. A spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said that when illegal substances are found during security screening, local law enforcement is informed and decides how to proceed.

Anchorage’s Ted Stevens International Airport manager, John Parrott, says that many small regional airports have security police on site instead of TSA to help stop alcohol from being transported to dry communities. There is nothing stopping the airport police from doing the same with marijuana, says Parrott.


CALIFORNIA: Airfield in El Monte christened as San Gabriel Valley Airport during air fair

Peter Amundson, chairman of the Los Angeles County Aviation Commission, cuts the ribbon to redesignate the El Monte Airport as the San Gabriel Valley Airport Sunday. 
Photo by Shilah Montiel

EL MONTE >> Officials renamed Los Angeles County’s airfield in El Monte as the San Gabriel Valley Airport on Sunday during an air fair and open house.

Known for decades as the El Monte Airport, officials said they hoped the new name would better reflect the regional role of the small aviation hub along Santa Anita Avenue.

While the San Gabriel Valley was once home to 10 small airports, only two — the San Gabriel Valley Airport in El Monte and Brackett Field Airport in La Verne — remain.

“This airport, though physically located in El Monte, is of immense but mostly unappreciated benefit to the whole San Gabriel Valley,” said Peter Amundson, chairman of the Los Angeles County Aviation Commission, which unanimously approved the name change. “With that thought, it is only fitting today that we rename this airport the San Gabriel Valley Airport.”

“This name change reminds the residents of cities of the San Gabriel Valley that this airport is their airport,” Amundson said. “I think the best is yet to come for San Gabriel Valley Airport.”

The airport was built in 1936, Los Angeles County Department of Public Works Aviation Division Chief Richard Smith said. Los Angeles County bought the airport in 1969 for $3 million.

“When you consider that this facility now generates more than $40 million in economic annual output and supports almost 200 jobs inside the airport and in the surrounding communities, it’s really come a long way,” Smith said.

The five county-operated airports — in El Monte, La Verne, Compton, Pacoima and Lancaster — are important to the local economy, Amundson said. “They’re invaluable in case of disaster.”

During the Station Fire, for example, fire fighting aircraft used the airfield in El Monte as a base of operations, Smith said.

“For future disasters, these airports will continue playing that critical role of making sure we’re able to move equipment and goods around as we link communities together, and frankly, that’s what this who name change business is all about. It’s about creating communities. It’s about marketing the airports’ services to the 31 cities and five unincorporated county communities that make up the larger San Gabriel Valley.”

City officials from Arcadia, San Marino, Monrovia and Monterey Park took part in the ribbon cutting, along with representatives from the San Gabriel Valley Airport Association.

Before and after the ceremony, hundreds of guests perused dozens of aircraft ranging from World War II-era warplanes to modern planes and helicopters.

One crowd favorite was the a Russian-made Antanov An-2, which is the largest single-engine biplane ever built with a wingspan of 59 feet.

Families were invited to climb in and take an up-close look at the unique, massive, yellow airplane, called, “Big Panda ‘Monium.”

Martin Moreno of Pomona visited the airport for the first time Sunday with his wife, Marlene, and their two children, 9-year-old Anna and 4-year-old Izaak.

“It’s a nice little Sunday out with the kids,” he said.

The brother and sister agreed on their favorite aircraft, a silver, single-engine Piper Cherokee airplane decorated with a Batman paint job. Many other children also gravitated toward the Batman-theme airplane.

The air fair an open house also featured a classic car show and live entertainment.

Owners chatted with guests about their machines, and some allowed visitors to climb in the cockpits. Airplane and helicopter rides were offered, along with flight lessons and other aviation-related goods and services.

“I see a lot of young future pilots in here, and even better, a see a lot of grown pilots that are just waiting to start their careers or start their hobbies in flying,” Smith said.

“If you’ve ever want to experience the art of flying, the fun of flying, you can do it right here,” he said.

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Airport board votes down aerobatic box: Upper Cumberland Regional (KSRB), Sparta, Tennessee

WHITE COUNTY — The Upper Cumberland Regional Airport board recently voted to deny a request made by a pilot for an aerobatic box that reaches down to the surface.

An aerobatic box isn’t actually a box at all. It is a practice area where the pilot would be able to practice aerobatics, which includes moves such as loops and spins.

Jim Kmet, airport manager, brought the request for the aerobatic box to the attention of the airport board at last month’s meeting. Kmet did not reveal the name of the pilot who had requested the aerobatic box, but did say that pilot in question was a conscientious pilot.

The pilot had requested that the aerobatic box be above the airport for safety concerns. Kmet told the board members on Tuesday that putting the aerobatic box above the airport would allow the pilot to glide down to the runway if there was ever an issue.

After a lengthy discussion last month, the matter was tabled, which allowed Kmet to gather information to bring to the board concerning other airports that had approved an aerobatic box.

Kmet told the board that he spoke to two such airports — one in Joplin, Mo., and one in Union City, Tenn.

“The only complaints they have are the potential complaints that we discussed last month — occasionally gets complaints of noise and potential conflicts when other pilots are coming into the area and they haven’t done their homework to find the NOTAMs (notices to airmen) that were published,” Kmet said.

“They do say it’s a whole lot of work and there’s basically no return for the airport to allow this to happen. One of them said they would probably do it again. One of them said they probably wouldn’t,” he said.

Engineer Richard Rinks told them his recommendation would be that if they were going to consider doing it that they should publicly check with the neighbors in the area. There are some houses nearby that could potentially be affected to the aerobatic box.

Just because the aerobatic box has been denied doesn’t mean that the pilot will be unable to practice aerobatics over the Upper Cumberland Regional Airport. Kmet said any pilot is able to practice aerobatics at 1,500 feet without the special permission this pilot was seeking. Kmet told board members that the pilot wanted to come down to the surface so he wouldn’t be in violation of FAA rules if he went below 1,500 feet.

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Lion to build Lebak airport next year

Lion Group CEO Rusdi Kirana says a new airport is important for Indonesia due to the growing demand for air transportation. 
Bloomberg pic 

Lion Group, the parent company of Lion Air, is embarking on the development of a huge airport in Banten province, not far from Indonesia’s capital, the group’s chief executive officer (CEO) announced on Wednesday.

“We’ve received the permit from the Transportation Ministry,” Rusdi Kirana said at the headquarters of aircraft manufacturer Airbus here.

Rusdi said development of a new airport in Indonesia is important, especially in light of the country’s growing middle class and demand for air transportation.

He added that Lebak, an impoverished part of underdeveloped Banten, was chosen as it is close to Jakarta and to help boost the local economy.

Rusdi said his company has received a permit to develop 4,000ha of land in Lebak, twice the size of Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, the country’s main airport that is also located outside Jakarta.

He added that the project would get under way next year.

Lion Group plans to build four runways and a commercial center as well as a railway connection.

“We want to build a shopping center near the airport to develop the small and medium enterprises (in the area) so that tourists would not have to go far away (if they want to shop),” Rusdi said.

The funding for the project will be borne by a consortium, he added, without elaborating on business partners or the project’s total budget.

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Aero-Smith has high hopes for former Tiger Aircraft building: Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport (KMRB), Martinsburg, West Virginia

George Smith 
George Smith is the founder of Aero-Smith provides aircraft management and maintenance, hangar rentals, charter flights in its eight-passenger King Air 200, pilot training and fuel service for general-aviation planes and occasionally for commercial jets that fly in and out of Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport.

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — When Aero-Smith bought the 60,000-square-foot former Tiger Aircraft manufacturing building at a public auction in May, it not only got a good buy, it gave the civilian side of the Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport an economic boost, Airport Authority Chairman Rick Wachtel said last week. 

"It's going to have a positive impact in the short and long run," Wachtel said. "We are pleased they bought the building. Aero-Smith is a quality fixed-base operator." 

Aero-Smith provides aircraft management and maintenance, hangar rentals, charter flights in its eight-passenger King Air 200, pilot training and fuel service for general-aviation planes and occasionally for commercial jets that fly in and out of the airport.

"We sell about 8,000 gallons of fuel every other week," said George Smith, 71, Aero-Smith's founder.

In 2003, Tiger Aircraft began making single-engine planes and Sino-Swearingen Aircraft assembled SJ-30 corporate jets in their respective buildings at the airport. Both went bankrupt within seven years.

Smith kept his eye on the larger Tiger Aircraft building to expand his business and put in a bid when it came up for auction May 15 on the Berkeley County Courthouse steps.

Until May, Aero-Smith operated in a 20,000 square-foot building that it still uses as an aircraft maintenance facility. Its hangars can handle larger aircraft, said Aero-Smith spokesman Henry Willard.

Smith said the cavernous Tiger Aircraft building will enable him to expand his aircraft-management and storage business. He also wants to lease office and work space to airport-related businesses such as avionics and engine repair.

 "This new space will allow us to do things we've been unable to do before," Willard said.

Aero-Smith has 20 full-time employees, including two in aircraft maintenance, five in administration and nine pilots, Smith said.

Smith started Aero-Smith with a partner at the Hagerstown Regional Airport in 1993. In 2002, he took over the company and moved it to Martinsburg.

The Waynesboro, Pa., resident grew up in Northcentral Pennsylvania and can't remember a time when he didn't want to fly.

Smith soloed in high school, then joined the Navy and became a crew member aboard an anti-submarine patrol plane. After his discharge, he enrolled in a flight school in Florida on the GI Bill.

He taught flying for more than a year, then flew passenger jets for Allegheny Airlines from 1965 to 1971. He took a job flying corporate jets until 1990. He returned to commercial airline flying until he quit flying for good in 2002.

Smith, recalling a philosophy that carried him through life, said, "Nothing ever happens quickly or easily. You achieve only as you are determined to achieve, and you keep at it until you have achieved."

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Aero-Smith employee Brian Cannon fuels an airplane at the company's facility at Easter West Virginia Regional Airport in Martinsburg, W.Va.

Dubai airline employee sacked for stealing charity money from plane

An airline employee was reportedly sacked from his job in Dubai after he stole AED463 ($126) worth of goods and cash from his employer, which included AED62 taken from charity envelope inside one of the aircraft.

Dubai Court of First Instance was told how a 32-year-old Filipino supply assistant, who was employed to restock Emirates planes on the ground, took a total of 12 perfumes, charity money, two packs of playing cards, sunglasses, a wallet and an airline badge, according to a report in 7Days newspaper.

The man was caught on September 19 with the perfume hidden in his belt, after security had been informed that the man was stealing.

“I was in the job for four years and they caught me with three mini perfumes. I wanted to send them to my family in my home country,” the defendant told police during the investigation.

A search of the man’s flat uncovered a more goods.

“He claimed that he stole some mini perfume before too. We found two packs of playing cards, with the Emirates airline logo, inside his house and he even confessed that he stole Dhs62 from a charity envelope which was inside a plane,” an Emirati policeman said in court records.

The judge will give his verdict in the case next month.

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Update on Edgar County Airport (KPRG) most recent plane crash -

 PARIS, IL. (ECWd) –  

More information has surfaced that seems to prove more lies were told by Mr. Jerry Griffin as to the timing of the most recent plane crash at the Edgar County Airport. Griffin is quoted as saying the crash happened in June of this year, but we have recently obtained information through the Freedom of Information Act that paints a different picture.

Information provided by the airport in response to a FOIA request indicates that “Jerry” purchased $166.50 worth of fuel for tail number N736AA on July 31, 2014 – see page 23 of the pdf below.

Invoice 07/31/2014 018105 02-N736AA JERRY… 100LL FUEL 100LL FUEL 166.50

We find it odd, that if the plane crashed in June, fuel would be purchased for it on the last day of July. Incidentally, Griffin started working as the airport manager in August of this year.

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Air service showing improvement in first week: Key Field Airport (KMEI), Meridian, Mississippi

The first week of air service for ExpressJet flights in Meridian has seen a drastic increase in the number of passengers flying out of the the Key Field Airport, Meridian Airport Authority President Tom Williams said.

"At the end of the day we have put just over 400 people on the airplane this week," Williams said in a phone interview Thursday. "By comparison, we had 550 passengers in October.

"We are very encouraged. All of the flights have operated. They've been on time with the exception of a minor mechanical problem that delayed a flight one hour last week. This early into it, in between Hattiesburg and Meridian, we're filling up two-thirds of the airplane."

ExpressJet is a regional airline that operates regional flights for American Airlines under the American Eagle brand. It has a two-year contract with MRA and replaced the air service previously provided by Silver Airways, which had daily flights to Atlanta.

ExpressJet offers daily flights to and from Dallas.

About a year ago, Williams and Meridian Mayor Percy Bland attended a conference in Albany, N.Y. to seek out an airline to replace Silver Airways.

"It was the realization that Silver was not working out," that prompted the pair to attend the conference, Williams said. "They had not said they wanted to leave yet. After that, we hired a Sixel consultant who developed the plan to make it come together and make it work.

"We made the decision to hire (Sixel) at that conference. We were impressed by their ability to focus on small communities like us."

On April 12, Silver Airways gave the U.S. Department of Transportation a required 90-day notice of intent to discontinue service to between Atlanta and Meridian and four other communities, including Greenville, Hattiesburg-Laurel, Tupelo and Muscle Shoals, Ala.

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Cessna Skyhawk 172K, N46707, Blue Dot Aviation, LLC: Accident occurred November 12, 2014 in Lake Pontchartrain, Louisiana

NTSB Identification: CEN15LA047 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, November 12, 2014 in Lake Pontchartrain, LA
Aircraft: CESSNA 172K, registration: N46707
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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

On November 12, 2014, about 2020 central standard time (CST), a Cessna 172K airplane, N46707, was reported missing near Lake Pontchartrain, Louisiana. The flight instructor and commercial pilot were both fatally injured. Damage to the airplane is unknown. The airplane was registered to Blue Dot Aviation and operated by a private individual as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 instructional flight. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight and an instrument flight rules flight plan had been filed. The local flight originated from the Lakefront Airport (KNEW), New Orleans, Louisiana, about 2015. An emergency locator beacon signal has not been reported.

According to preliminary information from the Federal Aviation Administration, about 2015 CST, the pilot was given clearance to depart KNEW. The pilot later radioed that he was airborne. A few minutes later, the pilot requested a return to the Lakefront Airport. There are no reports of a distress call.

At 1953, an automated weather reporting station located at KNEW reported a wind from 010 degrees at 18 knots, visibility 10 miles, an overcast sky at 1,000 feet, temperature 52° Fahrenheit (F), dew point 46° F, and a barometric pressure of 30.17 inches of mercury.

The deceased occupants were located in lake Pontchartrain on November 19. The search for the airplane is still ongoing at the writing of this report. 


Federal Aviation Administration Flight Standards District Office:  FAA Baton Rouge FSDO-03

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

A second body was found in Lake Pontchartrain on Wednesday, a week after a small plane carrying two people crashed near the New Orleans lakefront, according to a report from our news partners at WVUE Fox 8. Jerry Sneed of the city's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness told the station that authorities are in the process of pulling the second body out of the water.

Earlier Wednesday, New Orleans police said the body of a male had been found in the lake near 5400 Lakeshore Drive. A spokesperson with the mayor's office confirmed to WVUE that the first body was related to last week's plane crash.

But Sneed said investigators were still trying to determine whether the bodies came from the crash. "I can't yet say for sure if the bodies are that of the missing flight instructor and student," WVUE reported.

Officials have been searching the lake since a single-engine plane disappeared Nov. 12 near Lakefront Airport. A flight instructor and student pilot were on board. Officials think they died in the crash.

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WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) -   Search crews returned to Lake Pontchartrain Saturday looking for the plane that crashed Wednesday night and the two people aboard.

Since first learning about the crash, Tahseen Rab has spent every day at Lakefront Airport, waiting for word.

Speaking of his brother, Aftab, Tahseen says, “I hope he is still out there somewhere alive and I hope he makes it back.”

Aftab Rab was flying with his instructor, Burt Lattimore, Wednesday, when the plane, a Cessna 172, suddenly disappeared from radar.

“The most probable theory is that their carburetor got iced and they didn't realize...they lost the altitude very quick,” Rab said.

Several different agencies are assisting in the search effort. NOPD divers are working with divers from the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office and there are several private boating companies that are scouring the lake looking for any sign of the plane.

Search crews believe the aircraft went down about a mile from Lakefront Airport but rough conditions Thursday and Friday made the search very difficult. Although crews covered 15 square miles Saturday, bad weather Sunday and Monday is expected to halt the search once more until Tuesday at the earliest.

“I'm dreading the thought of that right now because I hope they can find something,” Rab said.

Tahseen Rab says his brother, who lived in Hammond with his wife and four kids, was taking lessons to become a certified flight instructor. He'd actually been flying for years in his native Pakistan. Lattimore was helping Rab earn his qualifications.

A friend of Lattimore, Addie Fanguy, says, “He is a very nice guy, very well liked around the airport, everyone who got to know Burt liked him as a person first.”

Tahseen Rab says Aftab often spoke highly of Lattimore, as the two had become close while flying. He's praying for both his family and Lattimore's, that they get some type of closure.

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Courtesy: Tahseen Rab

Candidates needed for Mandan Municipal Airport (Y19) Authority

Candidates to fill a one-year unexpired term, left open by an board member who resigned, on the Mandan Airport Authority are needed by the Mandan City Commission.

The new member will start serving Jan. 1. Candidates with an aviation background are preferred, but it is not a requirement

Members of the local business community and residents are asked to submit a letter of interest with their background and why they want to serve.

Letters should be submitted by 4 p.m. Dec. 3 to Jim Lawler, Mandan Municipal Airport at P.O. Box 250 Mandan, 58554 or by e-mail to

Interviews for the position will be conducted Dec. 9 during the regular meeting of the Mandan Airport Authority and are not compensated.

The Mandan Airport Authority consists of five members, including Dale Klein, Mike Braun, Lee Weinhandl, Marc Taylor and Mike Wagner. Members provide information, assist in planning and make decisions for the operation and maintenance of the facilities. Meetings are typically held six to nine times a year at 5:30 p.m Mondays at the airport. Board members serve as volunteers.

For more information, visit

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Woman snapped sunbaking in G-string by real estate drone

A G-string clad mother of three has become the accidental attraction in a real estate advertising campaign for a house sale in Mt Martha.

An ambitious agent enlisted a drone to take an aerial photograph of the property, which includes a sweeping image of the beach.

But the picture also captured small business owner Mandy Lingard, a mother of three and grandmother of one, sunbaking topless in the privacy of her back yard.

The image, which includes Ms. Lingard lying face down wearing just a G-string, is on the display advertising board outside her neighbor’s house.

“I heard a noise and then I saw this odd thing flying around and thought it was a kid’s toy. It hovered around and luckily I was face down at the time,” Ms. Lingard said.

“Then a couple of weeks later I walked out my door and thought oh my god that’s what it was doing; taking photos.

“You could see it’s our backyard and quite clearly it was me.

“It’s in the real estate magazine, it’s on the internet and on the board and I’m really embarrassed.”

The aerial shot taken by the drone ended up plastered on a sales board on the million dollar property next door and it’s an image that has not gone unnoticed among Ms. Lingard’s family and friends.

“My son has noticed it and he’s embarrassed that his mum is there,” Ms. Lingard said.

“Friends have commented and made jokes.”

Ms Lingard believes that agents using drones for aerial photography have an obligation to advise householders nearby who may be affected.

“You can’t tell me the person who was looking at those photos didn’t notice that. Why didn’t they photoshop it out?,” she said.

But Steve Walsh of Eview real estate defended the use of drones for aerial photography and says he did not realize Ms. Lingard had ended up on the sale board.

“It’s something that Google does and people use that everyday,” Mr. Walsh said.

“Most bayside listings benefit from elevated shots to capture the setting.

“Problem is that until drones came into existence you were very limited in what you could do.

“Now it’s quick, cost effective and captures a range of images that showcase the property at its best.”

Mr. Walsh has said that he will take appropriate steps to remove Ms. Lingard’s scantily clad image from advertisements for the bayside property.

Story, comments and photos:

NEW JERSEY: Salem City police chief's drone offers overhead views of the city


SALEM — John Pelura has had an interest in drones since he first saw a demonstration by a university on a technology TV show about 15 years ago. 

In the last few years, the flying gadgets have been hitting the commercial market with all kinds of different varieties and quality.

"A few years ago the Parrot AR drone came out," Pelura, the chief of police in Salem City, said. "It was about $300, but it was a toy."

He said he had been looking around for a more advanced model for a while, until he stumbled on something online in May. It was the DJI Phantom 2 with a 1080pd digital camera.

"I was like 'that's the one," Pelura said.

Unmanned drones have been making a splash in the last few years due to concerns about privacy and stories like one out of Cape May County, where a man was charged criminally for allegedly shooting down a drone with a shotgun in September.

Pelura's drone is small enough to fit into a bread box, and it's white shell blends into the sky as it climbs into the air. He said he understand's the concern for privacy when it comes to unmanned aircraft, and he tries not to push the limit when it comes to flying his drone.

The whole thing is controlled via wi-fi with a phone or tablet. The drone also connects to available GPS satellites to ensure that it can find its way back to the user.

It's connection to GPS also helps the drone stabilize. Even on a windy day, Pelura can take his hands completely off the controls, and the drone will just hover in spot, adjusting itself to compensate for gusts of wind.

The Phatom drone can reach speeds of about 30 mph, but Pelura said it can go even faster when it's going with the wind.

"In a wind like this, I've had it up to 47 miles per hour," he said. "It'll zip."

As for its range, Pelura has had his out to 3,600 feet and 400 feet in the air. The height is restricted to 400 feet by the Federal Aviation commission, but Pelura said it would be powerful enough to reach 1,000 feet if he were allowed to take it that high.

Why someone can fly a drone over your house in N.J. and why there's nothing you can do about it

Restrictions are also place on where drones can fly. The FAA released a list of "don'ts" about drones that included, "don't fly near manned aircraft," and "don't fly beyond the the line of sight of the operator." Pelura said if the drone's GPS notices it's near an airport, the software inside the drone won't allow it to take off.

Right now Pelura uses the drone just for fun, taking it out for flights in open spaces or taking it up to capture video of far away lightning storms. The camera sends back a low-definition video feed to help guide the drone and offers an option to capture hi-defnition pictures and video that can be downloaded once it returns to the ground.

As the city's police chief, Pelura wanted to make it clear that he has never and will never use it in a criminal investigation.

"I don't think there's any law that says when you can and can't use it," he said. "But I don't want to make case law. Plus, this is my personal drone."

There are currently bills in the New Jersey State Assembly regarding use of drones by law enforcement agencies and fire departments.

The bills basically say that drones cannot be used by law enforcement in a criminal investigation without obtaining a warrant. Any information illegally gathered by the use of drone would not be admissible in court under the bills. They also prohibit drones from being equipped with a weapon of any kind.

Even though he doesn't intend to use his drone in an official capacity, Pelura thinks drones could be valuable tools for training police and firefighters.

He thinks having a drone has helped him understand the ways that criminal might try to take advantage of their stealth and surveillance capabilities.

"It's difficult because no matter what rules there are, they won't follow them," he said. "I'm not sure if criminals have them yet, but I'm sure they will."

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Company hoping to offer Youngstown flights has had bankruptcy, ‘fraud’ challenges

VIENNA -   The CEO of the company attempting to operate flights between the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport and Chicago was ordered by a jury to pay $600,000 after being accused of defrauding a former business partner in a civil lawsuit.

Scott A. Beale, CEO of Aerodynamics Inc., of Beachwood, Ohio, and Atlanta, was accused of defrauding the president of Flight Test Aviation Inc. of Chantilly, Va., in April 2012, by saying he had a contract with a company called Rectrix Aviation to provide at least 720 annual hours of flights, according to federal court documents.

ADI is now seeking licensing from the U.S. Department of Transportation to add daily flight service from the Mahoning Valley airport to Chicago O’Hare International Airport.

A federal jury in Virginia last July found that Beale fraudulently made the statement to induce the FTA executive, James Paquette, to invest $500,000.

“There is no dispute that the statements that the jury found fraudulently induced the payment of $500,000 were made to Paquette and that defrauded funds were paid directly from FTA to ADI, Beale’s company,” Judge Anthony J. Trenga wrote in an Oct. 24 order affirming the jury’s verdict of $500,000 in compensatory damages and $100,000 in punitive damages.

Beale filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in Ohio in January of this year, which delayed completion of the FTA lawsuit, but the FTA case reopened in April 2014, when the bankruptcy was discharged.

The bankruptcy court is still considering whether to allow FTA to receive the $600,000 the jury awarded.

According to the trustee for the bankruptcy, $5.9 million of Beale’s debt was discharged, meaning he doesn’t have to pay it. But Beale said he has an agreement with his former creditors to pay them back part of what they are owed. When asked in a telephone interview what percentage of the money he has pledged to repay, Beale said he didn’t have that information.

“In our case, we went to vendors and came up with a plan to pay them back,” Beale said.

Among the creditors were the Bank of North Georgia, $760,000; an individual named Fitz Johnson in Atlanta, $800,000; a Cleveland law firm, $250,000; an Atlanta law firm, $203,698; Flight Test Aviation, $500,000; Bank of America, $123,849; and Nancy Creek Capital of Atlanta, $3 million.

Beale said he filed for bankruptcy protection because of a setback ADI suffered related to a contract the company initially was awarded by the Department of Defense, but which was rescinded through an appeal process.

ADI invested a great deal of money in that project, some of which was reimbursed when a protest of ADI’s bid proved successful, but it hurt ADI enough to force the company into bankruptcy, Beale said.

As for the verdict in the Flight Test lawsuit, Beale said he doesn’t agree with it.

“They said I told them the project was risk-free” even though that is not true, Beale said, adding that he believes Flight Test viewed the lawsuit as a way to get back more of the money it invested with ADI than the amount Beale was offering.

Dan Dickten, the airport’s director of aviation, said he doesn’t believe Beale is guilty of overselling what his company can do for this area. One way Beale has proven his sincerity, Dickten said, is that Beale agreed that the service should not start until the spring to give the airport time to market it and sell tickets.

ADI has money tied up in aircraft and would have preferred to start right after DOT approval, Dickten said. Winter is not a good time to start a new service, Dickten added. Dickten has said he was hoping DOT approval would come this month.

An official at the DOT Air Carrier Fitness Division said it can offer no comment on the merits of ADI’s application because it is a pending matter.

Beale and Dickten, meanwhile, say business frequently involves disputes over money, but that shouldn’t be construed as wrongdoing. “It was a civil suit, not criminal fraud,” Beale said of the jury’s finding in the Flight Test lawsuit.

“There is not a major airline in the business that has not filed for bankruptcy,” Beale said, adding that all of the information about the Flight Test suit and the bankruptcy is in the hands of the DOT: “It’s all filed with DOT. It’s all been out in the open.”

The eight-member Western Reserve Port Authority, which runs the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport, authorized Dickten to finalize an agreement with ADI to begin the service as soon as DOT grants permission.

Dickten echoed Beale’s remarks about the DOT being aware of all of Beale’s business challenges in recent years, saying Beale “had to do a complete disclosure. If they [DOT] are not concerned about it, I’m not.”

Ron Klingle, port authority chairman, said, “ADI has the ability and desire to provide this service. If or when this service begins, there will only be one reason why it succeeds or fails — whether the people in our community use the service or not.

“It has nothing to do with Scott Beale’s past. It has everything to do with whether or not major companies in our area make the decision to help support and promote this service.”

He added, “If we are able to make it a reality, it will have a very positive impact on our Valley’s future.”

Beale said ADI employs 50 people and has been in business more than 50 years without any aircraft accidents or incidents, and is a good company despite “bumps in the road.”

He said the company has spent a great deal of money applying for permission to operate the Youngstown flights and has a lot riding on the Youngstown service being successful.

“We need it to be successful,” he said, because the company needs to be able to use success here as evidence that ADI can carry forward this model to other markets.

Beale’s company is in the charter airline business and has told the DOT that it would use three leased 50-passenger aircraft to provide flights two times on Monday, Thursday and Friday and one on Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday between Youngstown and Chicago.

The application says ADI would use a $1.2 million revenue guarantee being offered by the Western Reserve Port Authority to ensure it makes a profit during the start-up phase of the service. The port authority also has pledged another $130,000 to ADI before the service begins.

Of the $1.2 million, $780,000 was awarded by the DOT several years ago to help the airport attract daily air service. The other $420,000 is hotel-motel lodging tax money that comes into the port authority from Mahoning and Trumbull counties.

The port authority’s revenue guarantee says ADI is guaranteed to make a 5 percent profit during the start-up phase, until the service is self-sustaining.

In the most recent filing with the DOT in support of its request to begin offering the flights, ADI refers to that airline guarantee money as highly unusual for the type of service ADI is hoping to start.

“To ADI’s knowledge, no previous certificate applicant has presented the Department evidence of a guaranteed profit on its initial scheduled route,” ADI says in the filing.

“Such assurance is unheard of in the context of certificate applications, which ordinarily involve a significant commercial risk on the part of the applicant.”

Beale explained his “unheard of” remark by saying companies seeking a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity to begin offering scheduled domestic routes usually don’t get a revenue guarantee to start up such service. That is generally offered to more established operations, he said.

Dickten said the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport needs to offer a revenue guarantee to any airline that might consider starting up service — whether it’s new to the business or established.

“Any airport without regularly scheduled air service since 2002 is going to have to provide a revenue guarantee,” he said. “Who else do we have knocking at the door?”

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City of Charlotte asks Federal Aviation Administration to rule on control of Charlotte Douglas International Airport (KCLT)

The city of Charlotte has taken a key step in resolving the dispute over ownership of Charlotte Douglas International Airport. On Friday, City Attorney Robert Hagemann sent a letter to the chief counsel of the Federal Aviation Administration asking the agency to determine whether the Charlotte Airport Commission, established by state legislation, meets federal requirements to operate Charlotte Douglas.

That action follows the Oct. 13 ruling by N.C. Superior Court Judge Robert Ervin that only the FAA can determine who operates the airport. Ervin's ruling left the city in control of CLT.

No appeal of the ruling was filed by the deadline this week.

The N.C. General Assembly in legislation in 2013 and 2014 created the 13-member commission in an effort to remove city government from direct oversight of CLT. Ervin granted the city an injunction that kept CLT under city control. Since then, the commission has been formed and has held meetings without any authority.

"We have consistently stated from the beginning of this conflict that the attempted transfer was both unnecessary and poorly designed," Hagemann said in a statement. "The governance and management structures established by the legislation are confusing and internally inconsistent, and — in the opinion of our outside counsel — unacceptable under FAA standards."

The city provided the FAA with a written opinion from its outside counsel — Cambridge, Mass.-based Anderson Kreiger — that concluded the legislation does not satisfy necessary requirements.

"We hope that the FAA will bring an end to this dispute so that we can continue to focus our efforts on the operations and prosperity of the airport," Mayor Dan Clodfelter said in a statement.

The 29-page opinion from Anderson Kreiger contends the city cannot legally transfer control of the airport to the commission.

"Because we believe that the new governance structure for the Airport created by the Amended Commission Act does not comply with applicable law, we have grave concerns that any efforts by the City's representatives to secure for the Commission (the) right to control the Airport and to obtain FAA approval for the new governance structure would violate the City's own obligations as the sponsor of the Airport," the letter states.

The firm also stated that the structure for governance of the airport created in the state legislation does not comply with federal law.

"We believe that the Amended Commission Act establishes a governance structure for the Airport that is internally inconsistent, leaves open to question whether the Commission, the City, or both, are in control of the Airport, and fails to comply with the foundational requirement that there be no ambiguity regarding responsibility for compliance with applicable federal obligations," the letter says.

CLT ranks among the nation's 10 busiest airports and is home to American Airlines' second-largest hub.

The FAA has not commented on the issue since Ervin's Oct. 13 ruling.

An FAA spokesperson last month referred the Charlotte Business Journal to a letter sent by the agency in September to U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-N.C.). In the letter, the FAA states it will not consider any aspect of the Charlotte Douglas dispute until all lawsuits and court cases are resolved. And, the letter adds, only the owner of the airport and the holder of the current operating certificate — in this case, the city of Charlotte — would be able to trigger an analysis of transferring the operating certificate.

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Port of Port Angeles grapples with audit woes cited by state

Eleven leases targeted by state Auditor’s Office

The state Auditor’s Office found that the Port of Port Angeles was out of compliance with its own policies or had violated state law on 11 leases.

The leases, listed below, include the name of each renter, followed by the property, monthly rent, issues raised in state audit and the present status.

Issues have been resolved with seven of the 11 businesses whose leases were cited in the audit.

■   Shepherd & Thunderbird: For 2,647-square-foot building, $181; rent, bond; renegotiated.

■   Port Angeles Marine: For operation of Boat Haven Marina, $419; rent, expired lease; negotiating.

■   Rite Bros. Aviation: 3,600-square-foot hangar with 10,000-gallon fuel storage, $1,919; lease, bond, utilities; negotiating.

■   Murreys Disposal: 3.11 acres, $3,837; bond; approved.

■   Magna Force: 3.78 acres, $179; bond, rent, which is now $2,268 on month-to-month basis; negotiating.

■   Civil Air Patrol: William R. Fairchild International Airport Lot 6, $0; rent, lease terms; terminated.

■   High Tide Seafoods: 6,000-square-foot warehouse on 7,000-square-foot parcel, $1,910; delinquent rental payment, bond; negotiating.

■   PA Nieuport Group: 12,500-square-foot airport pad, $539; bond, which has since been waived because of the value of tenant improvements.

■   R&R Development/Knight Fire: Half-acre at airport industrial park, $339; no bond, which has been provided.

■   High Flyer Hangar Development Co.: 12,500-square-foot hangar pad and non-exclusive taxi-way, $533; bond, which has been waived.

■   Black Ball Transport: Harbor area, $7,617; bond (Port Deputy Director-Finance Director Karen Goeschen said the bond is for one year, while the state Auditor’s Office wanted a three-year bond); no action required as per port attorney.

PORT ANGELES — The Port of Port Angeles continues to violate state law and be noncompliant with port policies on lease contracts, according to a recently released state accountability audit of the port’s 2013 finances.

Violations included contracts that were under fair market value and lacked adequate security bonds, the audit said.

The port has resolved lease issues with seven of 11 businesses that were noted in the audit and is negotiating with the four remaining businesses, Karen Goschen, port deputy executive director-finance director, said Saturday.

Port officials have been addressing issues raised in the audit by working with tenants over the past several months to bring rents up to fair market value and make sure they have adequate security bonds, Goschen said.

For example, the port was allowing the Civil Air Patrol to occupy a building for no rent at all and was charging Magna Force $179 a month for 3.78 acres.

The Civil Air Patrol lease has been terminated, and Magna Force now pays $2,268 but is still negotiating with the port on a long-term lease.

Security bonds are issued by insurance companies or other third parties.

The bonds cover payment of leases during the duration of the agreement to protect the lessor.

The review, which examined the port’s compliance with its own procedures and state law, was conducted by state Audit Manager Carol Ehlinger and Assistant Audit Manager Abigail Berg.

They concluded that eight of 15 leases cited as noncompliant in 2012 remained in violation of state law or noncompliant with port polices as of Dec. 31, 2013.

Four of the 15 leases were compliant and three were terminated, but eight “had outstanding issues,” Ehlinger said in the Auditor’s Office’s Oct. 28 management letter on port finances.

Also, three of nine additional 2013 leases reviewed in 2014 did not have surety bonds as required by state law, Ehlinger concluded in her management letter on the audit.

“One of these agreements had been amended in June 2014 and still does not have a sufficient surety bond,” she said.

The port has resolved lease issues with seven of the 11 businesses that were noted in the audit and is negotiating with the four remaining businesses, Goschen said Saturday.

“Although the port has taken some action addressing the issues identified during the [2012] audit, noncompliance continues to occur,” Ehlinger said in the letter.

“They wanted to see more progress than we made,” Goschen said Saturday.

“We’ve been going through all our leases.

“We are focused on the fair-market-rent ones because that brings money to the port.

“Those require a longer negotiation than the bond security.”

Noncompliance means the port was not abiding by state law or its own policies.

A management letter cites issues of concern that warrant a written notification but are not included in the final audit report, Thomas Shapley, spokesman for the state Auditor’s Office, said Friday.

The 2012 report included a finding on the leases. A finding is the most serious conclusion of an audit, Shapley said.

Port officials say they are continuing to address issues on out-of-date leases.

In the review of 2013 rental agreements, six leases were expired and had not been renegotiated, and six did not have a surety bond as required by state law, according to the Oct. 28 letter to the port.

Questions surrounding port leases led to a 2013 whistleblower complaint by then-business manager and current port Commissioner Colleen McAleer.

Following a report on the complaint, Executive Director Jeff Robb resigned, then was hired by commissioners for a new position of environmental affairs director.

Robb retired in July from the position, which the port will not fund next year.

The port has 95 industrial and commercial leases that cover more than 100 acres of property on the Port Angeles waterfront and the area of William R. Fairchild International Airport.

Port officials “had a mountain of things to go through” in reviewing port leases and bringing them up to fair market value, Goschen said.

“We thought about hiring outside help, but the decision was made to go through it with current staff,” she added.

“There was a learning curve,” Goschen said.

“A number of items required negotiations with tenants.

“In order to bring those leases into compliance, some of those negotiations have taken a significant amount of time, way more than was anticipated.”

The port did not want to be heavy-handed with tenants who had not paid their security bonds or were not paying fair market rent, Goschen said.

“We don’t want to lose jobs,” she explained.

“Either way, there are pluses or minuses,” she added.

“By using a heavy-handed approach, then you have to do damage control going forward,” she said.

“So it’s [about] working with the tenants to ramp up the time to bring their rents up to fair market value and to get them to get bonds a higher level, which costs them money,” she said.

“They were talking about how this could mean us leaving our space and not renting from the port, and then we don’t have jobs.”

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