Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Federal Aviation Administration should curb its regulatory authority over commercial drone use

By Troy A. Rule
November 19, 2014

Troy A. Rule is a law professor at Arizona State University's Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law.

For more than half a century, the Federal Aviation Administration has piloted the development of sensible aviation regulation in the United States. Unfortunately, when Congress enacted legislation in 2012 directing the FAA to craft rules for small civilian drones, the agency entered uncharted territory.

Civilian drones are fundamentally different from manned aircraft. Many small drones can be purchased online for just a few hundred dollars and are designed to hover relatively close to the ground, well below where conventional planes and helicopters fly.

The FAA is working on federal civilian drone regulations, but in the meantime, the agency has outlawed any commercial uses of drones without express FAA authorization. This ban applies to hundreds of types of flying devices that are not even capable of reaching the minimal safe altitude of manned airplanes. Several times this year, FAA officials have issued cease-and-desist notices against ordinary citizens for flying small commercial drones just a few dozen feet above land.

The FAA's controversial crackdown on commercial drones drew attention last March when an administrative law judge for the National Transportation Safety Board ruled that the FAA lacked authority to fine a man $10,000 for using his drone to capture aerial footage of the University of Virginia for a promotional video. The judge hearing the case candidly pointed out that, under the FAA's expansive view of its own regulatory power, even the flight of a paper airplane or a toy balsa wood glider would fall within FAA jurisdiction. Shockingly, an NTSB opinion issued this week reversed that decision and implied that the FAA did possess regulatory authority over the flights of unmanned objects, regardless of their size, all the way down the ground.

This new ruling is particularly troubling because the FAA still hasn't found a federal regulatory scheme capable of effectively integrating drones into the nation's airspace. A June audit report revealed that the agency was “significantly behind schedule” in meeting congressionally imposed deadlines for its development of civilian drone regulations. Frustrated at the FAA's snail-like pace, companies such as Amazon and Google have begun exporting their drone research activities to other countries.

Small drones are not built for lengthy interstate flights at altitudes where conventional airplanes fly, so why should a federal agency be the chief regulator of these devices? Rather than seeking to expand its regulatory jurisdiction all the way down to the ground, the FAA should advocate for itself a more limited role in a collaborative federal, state and local regulatory scheme tailored to the unique attributes of drone technologies.

The FAA should be focused on those aspects of drone regulation that are most appropriately implemented at the federal government level. For instance, the agency could accelerate the development of national drone safety and performance standards analogous to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's manufacturing standards for motor vehicles. Among other things, these FAA standards could require that all commercial drones incorporate specific global positioning system features to ensure compatibility with a nationally standardized geo-fence network designed to keep drones out of the way of conventional aircraft. At least one leading drone manufacturer is already using “geo-fence” software to prevent operators from flying their drones into the airspace surrounding hundreds of airports around the world.

Most other facets of civilian drone regulation are better suited for lower levels of government. Several state legislatures have already enacted drone-related statutes, but states should be doing much more. In addition to creating registration and licensing programs for commercial drones and their operators, legislatures could enact laws that clarify the scope of landowners' rights to exclude drones from the airspace directly above their land. If tailored properly, these aerial trespass statutes could help to address a wide array of conflicts involving drones, including those involving law enforcement uses of drone devices.

Local governments are well-positioned to serve valuable functions in drone regulation as well. In particular, drone zoning laws adopted at the local level could permit wider use of drones in certain commercial or agricultural zones while imposing greater restrictions on drones above residential areas. Municipalities could even adopt temporary-use permit provisions to accommodate occasional drone use by real estate agents and wedding photographers without compromising landowner privacy. Regrettably, until the FAA signals that it does not intend to regulate these sorts of activities at the federal level, most local officials are unlikely to craft innovative drone policies within their communities.

The commercial drone industry is poised to take off in the United States, but it will largely remain grounded until the FAA embraces a narrower regulatory role and gets out of the way.

Troy A. Rule is a law professor at Arizona State University's Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law.


Norwegian Air CEO rejects criticism of plan for U.S. budget airline

(Reuters) - The chief executive of Norwegian Air Shuttle rejected arguments by U.S. airlines and unions that his efforts to build a low-cost, long-haul airline serving the United States would undermine U.S. wages and working standards.

Instead, CEO Bjorn Kjos said U.S. airlines arguing for labor fairness actually fear his cheap ticket prices. A round-trip flight from New York to London in December costs as little as $483 on Norwegian, compared with $835 on Delta or $832 on American, according to prices posted on the airlines' websites on Wednesday.

Kjos, a former fighter pilot, said in an interview with Reuters on Wednesday that his airline pays competitive wages everywhere its crews are based, including New York, and that he supports employees' right to form unions.

"We don't care if they're unionized," he said. "That is up to the crew to decide themselves."

The comments came as dozens of pilots visited Capitol Hill on Wednesday to press lawmakers to oppose Norwegian's efforts to get broader permission to fly to the United States. Kjos is slated to speak to International Aviation Club in Washington on Thursday.

While Norwegian Air Shuttle already flies from Oslo to New York, Florida and other destinations, its Ireland-based subsidiary, Norwegian Air International, does not have permission to fly to the country.

U.S. airlines and labor unions are lobbying the U.S. Department of Transportation to deny the subsidiary's application for a foreign air carrier permit.

The opponents include airline labor unions and big carriers such as American Airlines Group, Delta Air Lines Inc and United Continental Holdings Inc.

They say Norwegian will dodge U.S. labor laws by using its Irish subsidiary to take advantage of labor laws that are weaker than in Norway, threatening U.S. jobs.

Kjos said the Irish subsidiary is necessary to obtain access for all of Norwegian's aircraft to fly between the United States, Europe and Asia. If the company is only incorporated in Norway, it does not have access to many countries in Asia, since Norway is not part of the European Union. That would leave Norwegian running two airlines that separately serve the United States and Asia, and not able to shift aircraft from one region to the other.

"It would be a logistical nightmare," Kjos said. "We can't have one airline flying east, one airline flying west."

If the Transportation Department approves Norwegian's application, Kjos said, he plans to establish crew bases in Los Angeles, New York and other locations, and likely will hire American pilots.

Norwegian is one of the first airlines trying to bring low-cost flying to long-haul flights. It has a fleet of 17 Boeing 787 Dreamliners and plans to order at least five to 10 more.

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Some Baggage Handlers to Walk Off Job at Philadelphia International Airport (KPHL) Thursday

Between 50 and 125 baggage handlers servicing several airlines at Philadelphia International Airport plan to walk off the job Thursday protesting low wages, the worker's union said.

The handlers work for PrimeFlight, an independent contractor that staffs baggage operations for US Airways Express, American Airlines and Philadelphia International Airport's international terminal, A West.

Julie Blust, spokeswoman for 32BJ SEIU, said the work stoppage is expected to run from 7 a.m. through noon. They will be demonstrating in front of Terminals B & C, she said.

The handlers are frustrated over low wages and the union says many make $7.25 an hour. Philadelphia voters approved a ballot question in May asking whether airport workers should see the minimum wage increased to $10.88 an hour. The union says that increase has not materialized.

It is still unclear how the work stoppage will affect travelers.

Officials at Philadelphia International Airport said they were still assessing the situation.

NBC10 also reached out to the airlines, but did not immediately hear back.

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Federal Aviation Administration looking into close calls with drones and planes at John F. Kennedy International Airport (KJFK), New York


The FBI and FAA are investigating incidents involving three passenger planes that reported sightings of drones in and around the Kennedy Airport approach airspace this week.

The incidents occurred Sunday and Wednesday.

Officials say a Virgin Atlantic flight was landing at the airport on Sunday night when the crew spotted red and white flashing lights at 3,000 feet.

They said it was a slow quad copter drone.

A minute later, a Delta flight noticed the same thing, and said the craft was within feet of its wing.

Wednesday, a Jet Blue flight reported a drone at 400 feet over Nassau County.

No pilots took evasive action.

All three flights landed safely.


United Airlines to cut Los Angeles International Airport (KLAX) service from Palomar

United Airlines plans to eliminate its daily service from Carlsbad’s McClellan-Palomar Airport to LAX by May, leaving the North County airport with no major commercial carrier.

The move comes as Skywest airlines, which operates the roughly seven daily flights as United Express, moves to a new fleet of jets that can’t land on the airport’s short runway, a spokeswoman for Skywest said Wednesday.

Currently, Skywest uses a 30-passenger turboprop plane for the flights, offered since 1998. Melissa Snow, a spokeswoman for Skywest, said the change is coming because of costs, as well as challenges associated with implementing new Federal Aviation Administration rules involving pilot rest time.

Ted Owen, CEO of the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce, said the cancellation of service had been rumored for a while, but he wouldn’t be surprised if another airline took United’s place.

“It’s a nice outlet for people who travel, I don’t see that this is necessarily going to hurt our tourism very much,” he said. “For the business traveler I think it will be some reorientation.”

Palomar’s runway is 4,897 feet long. For measure, San Diego International Airport’s runway is 9,400 feet long.

Previously, American Eagle offered service from Palomar to Los Angeles, while U.S. Airways Express flew to Phoenix. A commercial airline proposed in 2010 for Palomar called California Pacific planned to fly to San Jose, Oakland, Sacramento, Las Vegas, Phoenix, and eventually Cabo San Lucias, but its applications were routinely returned by the FAA, citing various failings.

Surf Air, a charter all you can fly airline service, began offering flights this week to Santa Barbara and the Bay Area. There are eight additional charter and air taxi services that operate out of Palomar. 

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Progress on NextGen aviation system is said to be ‘stalled’

The multi-billion-dollar program intended to revolutionize air travel in the United States is “stalled,” “broken” and not going to materialize “any time soon,” three frustrated members of Congress said at a hearing Tuesday.

At a cost of an estimated $40 billion to be shared by the government and the airline industry, the creation of a system known as NextGen has been entrusted to the Federal Aviation Administration, an agency renowned for its cautious and methodical implementation of change.

“It’s just apparent that the process is broken,” said Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), House Transportation Committee chairman. The FAA is “moving at a snail’s pace. We’ve got to get these things up and running.”

NextGen, or Next Generation Air Transportation System, is a vast interlocking array of technology that promises to reduce delays, fuel use and carbon footprints, while allowing for projected growth in the airline industry.

The FAA, which said it would launch NextGen a decade ago, was not invited to testify before the committee Tuesday.

A committee spokesman said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta would be asked to appear before the panel as it continues to explore a new funding authorization for the agency.

Judging from the frustration expressed by committee members Tuesday, Huerta can expect what will be a rocky day. Rep. Mark Meadows (R.-N.C.) recalled an earlier visit by Huerta and his deputies. “When we ask for deadlines, when we ask for time frames, I see sweat pop out on their foreheads. There’s not an answer,” Meadows said.

Setting deadlines, meeting goals and persuading the airlines that both will be achieved is critical to the success of NextGen. While airlines began to invest in some of the equipment the system requires, fear that the FAA will falter has made them cautious of heavy spending.

“Business leaders are concerned about the slow and uncertain pace of FAA efforts,” said John Engler, the former Michigan governor who now heads the Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies.

While Lee Moak, president of the Air Line Pilots Association, said that NextGen was “on the verge of becoming a success story,” few members of the committee were prepared to embrace that belief.

“I think NextGen is either in a stall or a reverse. That’s not acceptable,” said Rep. John L. Mica (R.-Fla.), the former chairman of the House Transportation Committee.

Mica said he stepped down with “a sigh of relief” that no major domestic airline accident had occurred during his tenure as chairman. Alluding to the safety enhancements promised by NextGen, he said, “The clock is ticking. It can be an air traffic controller, it can be a pilot error.”

The challenge of replacing a 20th-century radar-based system with a technologically efficient GPS-based system was described as out of reach by Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), a non-voting member of Congress.

“We’re not going to do that anytime soon,” said Norton, who reacted to repeated reminders from those testifying that the United States has the safest aviation system in the world.

“I believe we have a safe system because you slow things down to make it safe,” she said. “That 2020 date [for partial implementation of NextGen] that was set some time ago is a fiction. It’s better to have that sort of candor than to have people being angry at the airport. Be candid so that the public does not expect anything but slow-downs for the foreseeable future.”

NextGen has been described as the antidote to gridlock in the air travel system, which is projected to be serving 1 billion passengers a year by 2021.

With the help of GPS, planes would be able to safely travel packed skies closer to other planes. They would be able to fly direct routes, unlike in the current system, which relies heavily on flying to waypoints before turning to a final destination.

Direct routing would allow airlines to save billions in fuel costs and minimize pollution. It also would permit far more precise choreography of planes at airports, reducing the amount of fuel wasted waiting for takeoff or burned because planes ready to land are diverted into holding patterns.

For passengers, NextGen would cut flight delays, eliminate time spent on the runway waiting to take off and shorten the flight time once airborne. In addition, fuel savings might result in lower ticket prices.

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‘Buffalo hit’ goads SpiceJet to survey points vulnerable

Following the incident at Surat Airport earlier this month — when a SpiceJet aircraft was hit by a buffalo while taking off — the airline has launched its own survey of other small and vulnerable airports parallel to a probe being undertaken by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

The airline, which is learnt to have “cancelled” more than 30 flights in the past week, said it’s going through a “fleet restructuring”, which has led to “rescheduling” of flights.

“We have changed our schedule. This is some short term pain. We are telling passengers that we have changed it for a short time till sometime in December and we are accommodating them. The passengers are being taken care of,” Sanjiv Kapoor, the airline’s chief operating officer, said.

Following the Surat incident, SpiceJet is doing a survey of smaller airports around the country, Kapoor said.

“We withdrew from Surat because the airport is still not secure and the aircraft is still there. We have started inspecting other small airports on our own. We will be sharing our findings with the DGCA, which is carrying out its own survey. But now we do not want to take a chance. The Surat incident is a wake up call for the industry,” he said. The DGCA is already probing the November 6 incident where around 170 passengers and crew had a narrow escape.

The budget airline’s daily flights have fallen from 345 in July to 300 now, and its Boeing 737 fleet from 35 in July to 28 — of which two are not operational. Kapoor said the airline will have a fleet of 35 Boeing 737 aircraft by December and hopes to have 45-50 Boeing in the fleet by the second half of the next calendar year.

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Congress Enraged by the FAA’s $40B White Elephant

By Eric Pianin,
The Fiscal Times
November 19, 2014

The Next Generation Air Transportation System – or NextGen, as it’s better known – is one of the biggest white elephants you probably never heard of.

Formally launched a decade ago by the Federal Aviation Administration, Next-Gen was designed as a complex interconnected array of new technologies that vowed to reduce flight delays and lower  fuel consumption and carbon emissions that contribute to global warming.

The estimated cost? That would be about $40 billion through 2025, which would be shared by the government and the airline industry – meaning higher taxpayer dollars and increased airline ticket fees.

The Government Accountability Office, the airline industry, lawmakers and other have complained for years that the massive project to replace the current radar-based air traffic control system was woefully behind schedule. On Tuesday, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee held a hearing on the status of NextGen. The verdict was that the proposed new system is a bust – stalled, broken and unlikely to materialize anytime soon.

Committee Chair Bill Shuster (R-PA) complained the process was broken and that the FAA was moving at a snail’s pace. Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) recalled that when he previously asked FAA Administrator Michael Huerta and his deputies about the project’s deadlines, he noted beads of sweat forming on their foreheads.

And delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, a D.C. Democrat, said that the highly ambitious effort to replace a 20th century radar-based system with a technologically efficient GPS-based system was for now far out of reach. She dismissed the 2020 date for partial implementation of NextGen as fiction, adding that the FAA is not about to see any significant changes in the existing system for the foreseeable future.

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Man cited for bringing gun to Washington Dulles International Airport (KIAD)

A Chantilly man was cited by police November 17 on a weapons charge after Transportation Security Administration officers stopped him from bringing a loaded 9 mm handgun past a security checkpoint at Washington Dulles International Airport on a flight bound for Charleston, S.C.

The gun was the seventh firearm that TSA officers have detected at one of the airport checkpoints so far this calendar year, according to Lisa Farbstein, spokesperson for the TSA.

TSA officers detected the handgun, which was loaded with six rounds, in the man's carry-on bag as he was passing through the airport checkpoint.
Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police confiscated the firearm and cited the man on a state weapons charge. There was no impact to airport operations.

In 2013, TSA officers detected 1,815 guns in carry-on bags nationwide. Already this year more than 1,900 guns have been detected by TSA officers at checkpoints across the country, Farbstein said.

Weapons – including firearms, firearm parts and ammunition – are not allowed in carry-on bags, but can be transported in checked bags if they are unloaded, properly packed and declared to the airline. Passengers who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to possible criminal charges and civil penalties from TSA up to $11,000.

Travelers should familiarize themselves with state and local firearm laws for each point of travel prior to departure.

TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its website at  airlines may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition. Travelers should also contact their airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies.

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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

LOUISIANA: The body of Lt. Colonel (retd) Aftab Rab, who was presumed dead along with his flying instructor after their small plane crashed into Lake Pontchartrain here, has been recovered. 

That the two dead bodies were recovered from the lake after days of hectic efforts by the US Coast Guards.

Rab, who was taking training as a commercial pilot, went missing after his single-engine plane crashed shortly after takeoff from Lakefront Airport in Louisiana on November 12.

Rab’s family has decided to perform his last rites in the United States.

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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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NEW ORLEANS —New Orleans authorities believe that a body discovered Wednesday is one of the two people that were inside a plane that went missing over Lake Pontchartrain. 

The New Orleans Police Department was notified before 9 a.m. Wednesday that a body was found in the marina near the Lakefront Airport runway.

New Orleans officers began their investigation and determined that the body is one of the two people that were inside a plane last Thursday before it went missing over the lake. Crews have been searching for the passengers and the plane since then.

During the news conference Wednesday, authorities stated that a second body was reported to have been discovered. Crews are now trying to recover it from the lake.

NOPD officers have been working with the New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness in the search. Other local public safety agencies have also been providing their assistance in the effort.

New Orleans officials have already sent the first body to the Coroner's Office for identification. But they believe that the two bodies discovered are the pilot and passenger that were inside the plane believed to be a Cessna Skyhawk with the model number N47607.

“The weather conditions have brought some challenges to our responding crews. There are 20 knot winds and three to five-foot waves right now. They're causing our sonar to not work. They're still actively searching and it's an on-going search and rescue effort,” Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Carlos Vega said last week.

Records indicate that the plane is registered to Blue Dot Aviation. The owner is believed to be the co-owner of Blue Dot Donuts in Mid-City.

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A body of a male has been found in Lake Pontchartrain near 5400 Lakeshore Drive, New Orleans police said Wednesday (November 19) at 8:50 a.m.

The body was taken to the coroner's office, which will determine cause of death.

NOPD didn't release any more details. 

Officials have been searching the lake after a single-engine plane apparently plunged in the lake Nov. 12 near the Lakefront Airport. A flight instructor and student pilot were onboard the plane. Officials believe they died in the crash, but their bodies have not been recovered.

Read more about the search efforts for the pilot and the passenger.

Police did not say if the body found Wednesday is related to the plane crash.

Check back for more details on this developing story.

Federal safety board to investigate causes of alarming number of fatal air-taxi crashes in Canada

The federal transportation safety board will conduct a safety issues investigation into the causes of an alarming number of fatal crashes in Canada involving air-taxi operations — commercial flights with fewer than 10 passengers and crew.

The board noted that 175 persons have died in the air-taxi sector over the past decade, representing 65 percent of all commercial aviation fatalities.

Rather than investigate the cause of an isolated crash, as it usually does, the board will address a range of underlying issues that contribute to air-taxi accidents, including inadequate risk analysis, pilot decision-making, and weather.

Bill Yearwood, the safety board’s regional manager in Richmond, said in an interview Wednesday there are numerous inherent risks in the air-taxi business, which often operates in remote areas without access to the same services, including weather information and air-traffic controllers, as larger passenger airplanes.

“It will look at all the issues, all the accidents involving this group,” he said of the study, noting the terms of reference have not yet been determined.

Although 2014 has been a quiet year for the air-taxi sector in B.C., a pilot and two passengers died in an Air Cab Cessna 185 float plane crash near Potts Lagoon off Port McNeill last Oct. 24, 2013. A pilot and passenger also died when an Air Nootka de Havilland Beaver float plane crashed on Aug. 15, 2013, on the Hesquiat Peninsula.

“If you look back beyond the year, air-taxi does rear its head as the community that contributes more fatal accidents,” Yearwood said.

The safety board announcement comes almost five years after the Nov. 29, 2009, crash of a Seair Beaver float plane in Lyall Harbour, off Saturna Island, that killed six passengers, including a doctor and her infant daughter. The pilot and one other passenger survived with serious injuries despite the risk of drowning outside the aircraft due to the absence of a law requiring life jackets to be worn during flights.

A total of 22 persons died in four commercial float plane crashes in B.C. — two on water and two on land — from August 2008 and May 2010.

Since then, several float plane companies voluntarily introduced safety measures including mandatory wearing of life vests by passengers — notably, not Harbour Air, the largest operator — as well as pop-out emergency windows and improved door latches, and created the Floatplane Operators Association.

A federal law is expected to take effect soon that would require passengers and crew to wear a flotation device when boarding a seaplane or when operating on or over water and would require mandatory emergency underwater egress training for pilots of fixed-wing commercial seaplanes.

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GATINEAU, QC, Nov. 19 2014 /CNW/ - In a speech yesterday to the Air Transport Association of Canada, Kathy Fox, Chair of the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB), announced that the TSB will launch an in-depth Safety Issues Investigation (SII) into the risks that persist in air taxi operations across Canada. The study will begin early in 2015.

"The air taxi sector of the aviation industry has seen 175 deaths over the last 10 years-65% of all commercial aviation fatalities-and we need to determine why," said Ms Fox. "We'll be analyzing historical data and case studies of selected accidents in Canada as well as occurrences from other nations. We'll also be engaging industry, the regulator and other stakeholders in the coming months to gain a full understanding of the issues affecting air taxi operations."

Air taxi operations, or Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs) 703, refer to single and multi-engine aircraft (other than turbo-jet) that have a maximum certificated take-off weight of 19,000 pounds or less, and a seating configuration, excluding pilot seats, of nine or less. Over the past 10 years, the TSB has repeatedly drawn attention to critical safety issues that contribute to accidents. These findings include recurring issues such as inadequate risk analysis of operations, crew adaptations from standard operating procedures, pilot decision-making, and deficiencies in operational control, especially in self-dispatch operations.

An SII (also known as a Class 4 investigation) is broad in scope and involves looking at multiple occurrences in order to identify the underlying safety issues, and the Board may make recommendations to address any identified systemic deficiencies. The TSB will communicate its findings once the investigation is complete.

The TSB is an independent agency that investigates marine, pipeline, railway and aviation transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.

This news release and all previously published reports about air taxi safety can be found on the TSB website at Keep up to date through RSS, Twitter (@TSBCanada), YouTube, Flickr and our blog.

SOURCE:  Transportation Safety Board of Canada

Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines says no plane crashed in Bulacan

"On Wednesday, November 19, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) denied reports of a plane crash in the vicinity of Paombong, Bulacan shore line," reports

In a statement, the CAAP said: "All commercial aircraft flying in the Philippine airspace were all accounted for as of press time."

The agency added, "Coordination with Philippine Air Force confirms that all military aircraft are likewise accounted for and no reported incident of plane crash was reported."

The alleged crash was supposed to have happened on Tue night, Nov 18. Police in the area reportedly got a call from a concerned citizen claiming to have seen a plane flying very low near the area.

Meanwhile, the report said that "Bulacan Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado and the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) had also denied reports of a plane crash in Paombong.

The report nited: "Elements of the Philippine Army, Philippine National Police, and Bulacan Rescue have been searching for signs of a downed plane since last night. They used used rubber boats to search for plane debris near Paombong. The search has also reached as far as Malolos and Hagonoy, but no plane debris was found."

PDRRMC official Liz Mungcal revealed that "some fishermen confirmed seeing two helicopters flying low in Paombong last night but denied that any of the aircraft crashed."

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Cessna 150L, N8131L: Incident occurred November 18, 2014 near Lakeland Linder Regional Airport (KLAL), Lakeland, Florida

Plant City, Florida – A small plane made an emergency landing Tuesday night in a field off County Line Road near the Hillsborough-Polk County line, authorities said.

The pilot of the Cessna 150L reported engine problems shortly after taking off from the Lakeland Linder Regional Airport around 6 p.m.

The pilot set the plane down in a field 12 miles from the airport, the FAA reported.

Two people were aboard the single-engine craft, and both are OK, the FAA said. Their names have not been released.

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Event Type:   Incident

Highest Injury:  None

Damage:  Unknown


Activity:  Instruction

Flight Phase:  LANDING (LDG)
Federal Aviation Administration Flight Standards District Office:  FAA Orlando FSDO-15

Obsession for 'selfie' lands Jet Airways pilot in trouble

New Delhi, Nov 19:    For 'Selfie',  people are ready to risk their own lives and job too.   A Selfie-obsessed pilot seems to be in trouble for using cockpit as a place to click pictures with friends and family.

A Mail Today report brought to fore how the pilot used the cockpit as a place for photo shoot.   Taking a note of the issue, Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) sought an explanation from Jet Airways asking "under what conditions the pilot allowed all those into the restricted zone."

The matter came to light after Sahil Arora, the pilot in trouble, uploaded his pictures on Facebook.

A DGCA was quoted as saying in Mail Today, "DGCA's air safety wing has served a notice to Jet Airways seeking a detailed explanation about the pictures the pilot has taken inside the cockpit.  DGCA will wait for airline's reply to take action. Prima facie, it seems that pilot allowed his friends and other crew members without any purpose."

On the other hand, Jet Airways spokesperson said that the report published in the daily is misleading as the pictures were clicked when the plane was on ground.

As per rules, entry inside cockpits by non-crew members is banned but it does not say who shall be held accountable for violations.

Earlier, a 23-year-old Polish tourist plunged to her death while trying to take a selfie in Seville in Spain. Medical student Sylwia Rajchel slipped while taking a self-portrait on the ledge of the Puente de Triana bridge, media reports said. She fell 15 feet onto the concrete footings of the structure and succumbed to her injuries.

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Allegiant Air to start flights to New Orleans from Orlando, Indianapolis, other cities

Las Vegas-based airliner Allegiant will move into New Orleans Louis Armstrong International Airport next year, starting seasonal direct flights from Indianapolis, Cincinnati, and Columbus, Ohio and year-round flights to Orlando, the company announced Tuesday. 

The discount airliner is adding New Orleans to its lineup, which focuses on linking smaller cities to vacation destinations in Florida, California, Nevada and Hawaii. Flights will begin in February before Mardi Gras. 

"We are very excited to announce New Orleans as our newest destination city and to offer Allegiant travelers the option of vacationing in New Orleans for less," Jude Bricker, Allegiant Travel Company senior vice president of planning, said in a news release. "With four routes and eight flights a week, we expect to bring a significant number of new visitors to experience all that NOLA has to offer."

Allegiant, founded in 1997, offers scheduled flights to 89 cities in the U.S. and chartered flights across North America. It operates a fleet of 56 MD-80 aircraft, six Boeing 757-200 aircraft, and two Airbus A319 aircraft.

Twice-weekly flights from Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Orlando and Columbus begin Feb. 5. One-way fares start at $85 to the Midwestern cities and $45 to Orlando, the company said.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story reported the flights were to other cities. The flights are one-way inbound to New Orleans. 


Augusta, Maine: Snow squall prevents helicopter landing

AUGUSTA — Two women were injured in a head-on crash Tuesday morning on a section of Eastern Avenue near Rebecca’s Place restaurant.

Sally Beane, 49, of Manchester, was taken by LifeFlight helicopter to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston. A hospital representative said late Tuesday afternoon Beane was in fair condition after being listed in critical condition earlier in the day.

Lucretia Smith, 51, of Rockland, was taken by ambulance to MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta and then was transferred to Maine Medical Center in Portland. Police said Tuesday morning Smith was in critical condition, and a hospital spokeswoman said later in the afternoon that she was unable to provide the medical condition of Smith.

Two helicopters were requested initially, but Augusta police Sgt. Christian Behr said a brief snow squall prevented a second helicopter from landing at the scene.

Police said Beane, driving a 2004 Oldsmobile Alero, was traveling east, and Smith, driving a 2004 Chevy Cavalier, was traveling west when they collided head-on.

Maine State Police were reconstructing the accident scene, and the cause of the crash is still under investigation.

Both drivers, who had to be removed from their cars by firefighters, were the only occupants of their vehicles. Both vehicles were damaged heavily in the crash, which occurred about 9:20 a.m. just east of Cony Road.

A section of Eastern Avenue, also known as Route 17, between Spring and Cony roads was closed for more than 90 minutes as emergency personnel responded to the crash. The road was reopened about 11:10 a.m.

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Qatar Airways Chief Takes Swipe at European Carriers

Qatar Airways chief Akbar al-Baker on Wednesday took a swipe at legacy carriers which complain of competition from Gulf carriers, accusing them of being "inefficient" and protected by EU policies.

Legacy carriers "are screaming about the Gulf Three," Baker told an aviation forum in Dubai referring to his airline, Dubai's Emirates and Abu Dhabi's Etihad.

"There is enough business... They are inefficient," he charged.

Baker said workers' unions were the cause of problems faced by legacy carriers, not Gulf carriers which have seized a sizable share of transit travel between the West and Asia and Australasia.

"It is the unions that should be blamed," he said.

Baker charged that the European Union intervened far more than the United States when it came to the protection of home carriers.

"EU without doubt," he said, naming France and Germany in particular.

"We have problems in France, Germany, the Netherlands and elsewhere... Stirred by two individual countries: Germany and France," he said.

European airlines, notably Air France and KLM, have voiced concern at increased activity by Gulf-based companies, complaining of differences in taxation that they say cause unfair competition.

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Gulf airlines close financing deals for 16 aircraft

Nov 19 (Reuters) - Gulf-based airlines have closed financing agreements for a total of 16 Boeing and Airbus aircraft, according to statements from the carriers and banks involved.

The region's airlines are securing funds as they take delivery of what Boeing has forecast to be a need for 2,610 aircraft by 2033, valued at $550 billion.

Dubai's Emirates airline has signed a 1.1 billion dirham ($299.5 million) financing deal with a group of banks for the purchase of two Boeing planes.

First Gulf Bank, the third-largest lender by assets in the United Arab Emirates, led the club finance lease package on behalf of Emirates for the two 777-300ER aircraft, the bank said in a statement.

Separately, Dubai Islamic Bank and Air Arabia said they had signed a $230 million Islamic financing deal to cover the purchase of six new Airbus A320 aircraft in 2015 by the budget airline.

The Ijara-structured facility will pay for the delivery of a new aircraft every two months from January. The Sharjah-based low cost carrier had received 29 of the 44 A320s it ordered from Airbus in 2007, the joint statement said.

Ijara is a leasing arrangement commonly used to structure Islamic financing facilities.

The deals follow Qatar Airways closing a sale and operating leaseback transaction with Standard Chartered for three 777-300ER and five 787-8 aircraft. It was the first sale and leaseback transaction entered into by the Qatari flag carrier, according to local press reports on Tuesday.

Emirates and Qatar are among the fastest-growing airlines in the world. In July, Emirates finalized a $56 billion to buy 150 777X jets, while Qatar ordered 50 of the aircraft.

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Jackson Hole Airport (KJAC) sees steady decline in plane traffic: Takeoffs and landings down 16 percent, but passenger numbers at record levels

More people than ever are boarding planes at Jackson Hole Airport, but at the same time the airspace over the valley is measurably emptier than it was a decade ago.

Measured by takeoffs and landings tracked by the control tower, there has been a 16 percent decline in air traffic at Wyoming’s largest airport over the past six years.

“The main thing is that everything is down,” said Craig Logan, the airport’s director of operations. “We’re basically putting more people on fewer and larger planes, which is good, noise-wise.”

The downward trend in aircraft using the Grand Teton National Park jetport belies a steady uptick in the number of people flying commercially into Jackson Hole. With six weeks to go in the year, 2014 is well positioned to be the busiest in the airport’s history, and likely more than 310,000 people will board a plane here by the time New Year’s rolls around.

But the number of aircraft operations — which can be either a landing or a takeoff — is expected to end down significantly. Extrapolating out to factor in the last two months of the year, airport managers anticipate 25,228 operations in 2014, down from 30,091 in 2008.

The control tower records do not include air traffic between the hours of 9:30 p.m. and 7 a.m. A voluntary air traffic “curfew” takes effect at 10:30 p.m.

Records for previous years were not readily available, but Logan said 2008 marked a peak.

“2008, 2009 was kind of a crescendo with everything — enplanements, operations,” he said. “The economy was raging good at that point.”

The steepest declines in airport traffic have been in general aviation, or in other words with private planes.

Jeff Brown, president of Jackson Hole Aviation, said that compared with the prerecession years business is “pretty dismal.”

“General aviation has been down since 2008, and it’s coming back very slowly,” Brown said. “We’re still way off from what it was in 2008. It was a crash.”

Using jet fuel sales as a barometer, private plane traffic dropped 45 percent, Brown said. He estimated that Jackson Hole Aviation’s business has made a 33 percent recovery in the seven years since.

Jackson Hole Airport Director Jim Elwood — who previously headed a similar airport operation in Aspen, Colorado — said that the declines in aircraft operations align with the trend being observed nationwide.

“I haven’t tried to compare the percentage shifts, but it’s not surprising to see overall that the operation counts are continuing to move downward,” Elwood said. “There’s pretty much a positive in the decrease in the fact that we’re carrying more passengers on each airplane.

“Then the surrounding impacts of the aircraft operation will decrease,” he said.

The airport director said those factors could include plane noise, as well as greenhouse gas emissions.

Commercial air traffic, measured by the volume of planes, fell 14.7 percent between 2008 and 2014. The year the Great Recession struck 7,808 commercial plane operations were recorded. Estimating for the last two months of the year, airport managers expect the tally to be 6,662 in 2014.

The contradictory trends in commercial air traffic — enplanements versus wheels-up operations — is a side effect of an “upsizing” of the aircraft using Jackson Hole Airport, Logan said.

“We were getting a lot more of the regional jets, and we were still getting turboprop aircraft back then too,” he said. “We were getting a number of 30-seat to 70-seat aircraft.”

Nowadays, Logan said, larger regional jets and Boeing 737 and 757s have become the norm.

The upsizing trend has carried over into the private and corporate planes, Elwood said.

“We’re seeing less of the smaller, single- and twin-engine airplanes,” he said. “Corporate jets, those aircraft are growing in both physical size and capabilities.”

The decline in aircraft operations has been a boon for some Jackson Hole Airport neighbors. Even at the recent lower levels, over the course of the year the airstrip is averaging about 70 plane operations a day.

“It’s been quieter,” said Bob Righter, a historian and Meadow Road resident of over 20 years. “What I’ve probably noticed more than anything is that the jets in the last 20 years have become less noisy. They have built the 737s and 757s much quieter than they used to be.

“We used to have planes coming in all the time a dozen years ago,” Righter said, discussing how flights once flew in late at night.

Righter’s recent history book, “Peaks, Politics and Passion,” includes a chapter that chronicles the Jackson Hole Airport and the tension between valley residents, the National Park Service and the Federal Aviation Administration.

The retired professor and seasonal resident said that nowadays the airport is less of a thorn in his side.

“I’ve become a little more tolerant of the planes, because I used to get enraged,” Righter said. “Of course I was younger and less tolerant and a little less deaf as well.

“I think it’s improved,” he said, “and it may be just my disposition.”

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Pakistan International Airlines cleared for European Union cargo flights

KARACHI: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has secured approval for cargo services to the European Union (EU) after being suspended over security fears, officials said Wednesday, a rare boost for the beleaguered airline.

The EU tightened security controls on air freight in the wake of a plot to smuggle a bomb hidden in printer toner cartridges on a plane from Yemen in 2010.

New regulations came into force in July this year and in September when the EU suspended PIA's right to fly cargo into the bloc over non-compliance. The airline got clearance from the EU after installing dual view x-ray machines and explosive trace detectors to thoroughly scan goods and parcels booked on its flights.

“It is a very big achievement for us now that EU experts have audited our security installations and validated our safety and security standards,“ Captain Salman Azhar, PIA's director for safety and quality insurance, told AFP.

PIA acquired the validation of safety and security standards for Lahore airport in September and now Karachi and Islamabad airports have also been granted the EU clearance.

Once a jewel among Asian airlines, state-owned PIA has suffered terrible problems in recent years, with financial losses running to hundreds of millions of dollars and constant flight cancellations.

In the past, one PIA pilot was jailed in the UK for showing up drunk to fly a plane with 156 people on board.

Moreover, Pakistan's airports have suffered two major security incidents this year. In June, heavily armed militants stormed Karachi international airport in a commando-style raid that left 38 people dead, including the 10 attackers.

Two weeks later, gunmen opened fire on a PIA flight from Saudi Arabia as it landed at Peshawar airport.

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Pakistan International Airlines: A ‘dead product’ to sell?

The management of the national flag carrier Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has been trying to retain a PR firm to re-brand its image since August, but in vain.

Image problems, however, should be the least of PIA's concerns. Its products and governance need an overhaul, which no PR maverick, even Don Draper of Mad Men, could provide.

Repeated ads have failed to entice a reputed PR firm, forcing the airlines to extend the deadline, yet again, by 10 days.

It is true that PIA's bad repute is a limiting factor. However, the real culprit is decades of poor management, which has delivered inferior products and services.

No matter how much PIA plans to spend on cosmetic fixes, unless the management is overhauled, there is no hope for the struggling airline.

PIA is running humongous losses. Earlier in November, PIA advised the Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet that the airline was running accumulated losses of 207 billion rupees (US$2.03 billion).

In 2013 alone, PIA lost an additional 44.5 billion rupees, the largest calendar-year loss ever. In 2010, the accumulated losses were fewer than 75 billion rupees. In a short span of four years, the losses have increased by 175 per cent. Whatever plans the government and the PIA management had put in place, all failed miserably.

PIA's creditors are losing patience. Pakistan State Oil (PSO) supplies fuel to the airline. It warned the airline publicly that unless it clears the outstanding debt of 12 billion rupees, PSO will stop providing fuel to PIA. Fuel stoppage would effectively ground the airline. The PIA's management committed to repaying 2 billion rupees in November to ensure continued fuel supply.

There is no dearth of smart individuals at well-reputed ad agencies. They can do the math for themselves. When they see PSO struggling to be paid, the PR firms know that the odds of being reimbursed for the services delivered in the future are no better than that of the PSO. No wonder then that the established PR firms are not responding to PIA's call.

With 18,000 employees and only a few dozen planes, PIA is one of the world's worst managed airlines.

Since PIA is a state-owned enterprise, every successive government has tried to operate the airlines as the ruling party's personal limo service. The wasteful use of services, exploitation of its resources by its staff, and the lack of accountability are some of the factors that have pushed the airline closer to the brink.

Being a public sector enterprise, PIA failed to resist successive governments who filled the airline's ranks with their loyalists. At the same time, the army of workers, whose services PIA has no use for, oppose any attempt to change the culture or to make the agency more competitive. In addition, opposition parties and PIA's employees oppose attempts for partial privatization of the airline.

Somehow, PIA's 18,000 employees feel it's their God-given right to hold the 180 million Pakistanis hostage.

Why should the entire nation be collectively penalized to the order of 200 billion rupees for the failure of 18,000?

Successive governments have repeatedly appointed their favorites to the key management positions in PIA. The results have been obvious over the years where losses have ballooned with every passing year. At the same time, PIA's aircrew has embarrassed the airlines by trying to smuggle iPhones or turning up inebriated to fly the plane.

The government has tried to appease the powerful pilot's union by appointing pilots to management and leadership positions. This is a mistake. Pilots are skilled in flying planes, but not in managing complex organizations. In fact, pilots know as much about organization behavior and management as the railway engineers do. Yet, I hear no one asking to appoint a railway engineer to the MD office.

During my graduate studies in transport engineering at the University of Toronto, I took a course in airport and aviation management. Dr. Lloyd McCoomb, who headed the Greater Toronto Airport Authority (GTAA), taught the course. Dr. McCoomb's responsibilities included managing the Pearson Airport, Canada's largest airport with over 32 million annual enplaned-deplaned passengers. The course was at the cutting edge of airport and airline management. Such training should be mandatory for anyone aspiring to manage airports and airlines.

One big challenge in Pakistan is the lack of management experience required to run an airline or manage a busy airport. So poorly trained is the workforce that when the flights carrying relief goods for the 2005 earthquake victims started to arrive at the Islamabad airport, the air traffic controllers gridlocked the air and groundside operations. A crew from DHL was brought in to take over the operations.

If the government is at all serious about rescuing PIA and relieving taxpayers of the responsibility to bankroll the defaulting state-owned enterprises, it should bring in a team of experts from abroad whose experience matches that of Dr. McCoomb. Such talent does not exist in Pakistan; over two billion rupees in losses should be sufficient to recognize this point.

These experts should be given complete autonomy over operations. They should benchmark PIA's operations against comparable successful airlines. They would need to implement changes to stop the hemorrhage; it is naive to think of profits at this stage. PIA has to clear 200 billion rupees in losses before one could think of profits.

A lot also depends on the superior courts. Without a doubt, laid off employees, whose positions have already been redundant for years, will challenge their dismissal in the courts. It is, therefore, incumbent upon the superior courts to consult with global experts in airline operations and management before passing judgements on this matter.

We should not forget that the workers' right to earn a living does not mean that we must condemn every state-owned enterprise to life-support, which cost billions to the taxpayers.

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Cessna 152, VT-EUE, Madhya Pradesh Flying Club: Accident occurred November 19, 2014 at Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Airport (VAID), Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India

Madhya Pradesh Flying Club, which was established in 1951, has often been in news for the wrong reasons. While Wednesday’s plane crash at Indore airport resulted in death of a pilot, another Cessna aircraft had crash landed near Indore airport last year but the pilots had escaped with minor injuries.

In June 2013, a Cessna 152 plane of the flying club crash landed in the field outside the airport after its engine failed. Fortunately, both the pilots escaped with minor injuries as the field was soggy. “The report of the DGCA probe that was ordered after the mishap is yet to be submitted,” MP Flying Club chief flight instructor Capt Mandar Mahajan told HT.

Interestingly, the aircraft that crashed on Wednesday is also a twin-seater Cessna 152. “The fact that the aircraft has a single engine increases the risk, but the plane is used in other flying clubs across India although it has been discontinued in several other countries,” an official of the flying club said.

The club was also mired in controversy in 2012 when flight operations were suspended at Indore airport for non-payment of hangar charges and at Bhopal for not having a chief flying instructor.

Another issue that had led to the flight operations coming to halt for several months at Bhopal was resignation of chief flying instructor Capt. Majid Akhtar. The CFI had resigned following allegations as to how he could instruct pilots as he himself had failed the re-current training program conducted in the US.

The club was also in news when annual grant of `10 lakh from the State government was stopped in 2001. This was resumed at Rs. 2 lakh per year in 2010. This resumption of the grant coincided with the admission of a former chief secretary’s son to the club at a concessional rate.

In 2012, the income tax department declined MP Flying Club’s contention that it should be exempted from paying taxes on the ground that it is an educational institution and its activities are charitable. The income tax department declared that the flying club was a commercial organization which is as good as coaching class that charges students for giving training for flying.

The flying club imparts flying training to students wanting to obtain commercial pilot license and private pilot license. Headquartered in Indore, the club has a fleet of nine aircraft.

One pilot died and another sustained multiple injuries when a Cessna 152 of  Madhya Pradesh Flying Club crashed on the Indore airport premises on Wednesday morning. 

The incident occurred when the pilots were carrying out a touch-and-go maneuver as part of experience building (called hour building in aviation parlance) exercise. 

The director general of civil aviation (DGCA) has ordered a probe.

Both the pilots – assistant pilot instructor Capt Pawandeep Singh Pabla (26) and commercial pilot Arshad Qureshi (28) were admitted to ICU ward of Aurobindo Hospital where Qureshi succumbed to his injuries in the evening. Both the pilots had sustained multiple injuries and were rushed to hospital in serious condition.

Confirming the death of Qureshi, Dr Saket Jatti, one of the doctors treating the injured pilot said, "We could not save him. He died in operation theatre."

"The Cessna 152A aircraft took off at 10.39 am and the pilots returned to the airport for carrying out a touch-and-go maneuver at 10.49 am. The pilots again returned to carry out the same maneuver at 10.54 am, but this time, the communication with ATC broke down. At 11.05 am, after failing to establish radio contact, the ATC sent a search and rescue team which found that the plane had crashed about 150 meters inside the boundary wall," Indore airport director in-charge Sanjay Agrawal told HT.

Talking to HT, MP Flying Club chief flight instructor Capt Mandar Mahajan said that Cessna 152A is a reliable aircraft and is used across the country. "I am not aware what went wrong but I can say that Capt Pawandeep Singh is an experienced pilot with 1,000 hours of flying experience," he said. Qureshi had also become a pilot instructor recently, flying club sources said.

In June 2013, a Cessna 152 twin-seater aircraft had crash landed outside Indore airport after its engine failed. However, the plane had landed in fields outside the airport premises and both the pilots had escaped with minor injuries.

Crash timeline

10.39 am: The two-seater Cessna 152/A aircraft takes off with assistant pilot instructor Capt Pawandeep Singh Pabla and commercial pilot Arshad Qureshi

10.49 am: The pilots return to the airport to carry out touch-and-go maneuver

10.54: The pilots return again to carry out touch-and-go maneuver, but this time, the ATC loses radio contact

11.05 am: ATC dispatches search and rescue team

11.10 am: The team found that the plane had crashed about 500 meters from the runway and both the pilots had sustained multiple injuries

11.15 am: Pilots rushed to hospital in airport ambulance.

Directions guide

Main terminal building – North side

Crash site: 150 metres inside boundary wall and 500 metres away from runway south-east of main terminal building.

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