Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Groups sue to keep Newport Coast Guard base

NEWPORT, Ore. (KOIN 6) — The Newport Fisherman’s Wives Group is among those filing a lawsuit to stop the planned closing of the Newport Coast Guard air base. Wyden, Merkley and Schrader promised to do everything possible to keep the Coast Guard helicopter in Newport.

The suit claims the Coast Guard move would be “a death sentence to commercial fishermen” and it says Coast Guard helicopters that would now have to come from Astoria or North Bend “cannot reach central Oregon coast victims in the 30 to 45 minutes that is recognized as the normal survival window in these cold ocean waters.”

The wives, the City of Newport, Lincoln County and the Port of Newport addressed the media Tuesday afternoon.

“I understand budgets and funding and while that is compelling, you can’t tell a family that this was the excuse given,” said Jennifer Stevenson of the Newport Fishermen’s Wives. “This is a huge importance to us.”

The Coast Guard officials said they’ve made big investments in technology and communication to locate people in trouble while on the open sea. They also say having rescue helicopters at Astoria and North Bend mean they still comply with federal search and rescue response standards.

But that is cold comfort for people like Lincoln County commissioner Terry Thompson, who had a fire aboard one of his own fishing boats. He said it was “a long wait” until that Coast Guard helicopter arrived.

“You can’t believe how happy I was to see that come over the horizon,” Thompson said.

The suit seeks immediate action from a federal judge in Eugene to keep the Coast Guard helicopter in Newport. The air facility was initially set to close November 30, but that date has been moved to December 15.

In late October, following a plea from Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley, Congressman Kurt Schrader, Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici, members of the Newport Fisherman’s Wives Group, along with commercial fishermen and coastal first responders, the U.S. Coast Guard delayed the closure of the Newport helicopter facility.

Story, comments and video:  http://koin.com

New satellite technology promises smoother, quieter descents into KBWI airport

Fliers arriving in the Baltimore region this holiday season may notice smoother descents into BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, while residents in Towson and other area suburbs might hear a bit less noise overhead.

Thanks to new state-of-the-art satellite technology installed at the Anne Arundel County airport this month, arriving planes from the northwest now are able to drop from cruising altitude to the runway in a "smooth, continuous arc," rather than the "traditional staircase descent" they've used in the past, the Federal Aviation Administration said this week.

The technology is part of the nation's NextGen system that the FAA, which handles air traffic control, has been tasked with rolling out at airports across the country, to the tune of $40 billion in federal and airline funding.

The system will eventually take BWI and other major airports from 1940s radar technology "basically to what we all have in our pockets with GPS," said Paul Wiedefeld, the airport's CEO.

"I think it's something that's decades late," he said — and he's not alone.

Last week, several members of Congress expressed frustration at a House Transportation Committee hearing with what they perceived to be the slow pace of the FAA's NextGen rollout.

The FAA responded in part Sunday by promoting the Nov. 13 launch of the satellite technology at BWI, which it says makes the Washington region "the first in the nation to have three state-of-the-art, satellite-based highways in the sky running side by side by side, each dedicated to one of the three major airports in the region."

The system is in place at Washington Dulles International Airport and Reagan National Airport.

"The national capital region is reaping the benefits of NextGen and this announcement further highlights how the federal government is making a difference," Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement.

Wiedefeld said BWI's position in the region, which also includes Joint Base Andrews Airport, made the need for improvement even greater than in other areas of the country.

"Anything they can do to basically make that easier for everybody, both the pilots and the air traffic controllers, is a good thing, because it's a complicated airspace," he said.

Michael Huerta, the FAA's administrator, said in a statement on the BWI launch that the "whole point of NextGen is to get air travelers to their destinations safely and on time," which is "never more important than during the busy holiday season."

The so-called Optimized Profile Descent routes allow airlines to save time in the air, increase the likelihood of on-time arrivals and departures, and reduce fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions, officials said.

The FAA estimated airlines will burn at least 2.5 million fewer gallons of fuel and emit 25,000 fewer metric tons of carbon dioxide in the region's skies annually.

Wiedefeld said that noise will also be cut in areas where planes used to make "step downs" in their descents, including over Towson. "The stepdowns create quite a bit of noise," he said.

Southwest Airlines — BWI's predominant carrier — questioned the benefits of the program to date.

"The premise of NextGen procedures is to create greater efficiencies through fuel conserving descents and reductions in miles flown, as well as a reduction in greenhouse gases and noise," said Rick Dalton, Southwest's director of airspace and flow management, in a statement. "Early indicators at BWI, one of the busiest airports, suggest that the new procedures are not delivering those results and are adding complexities within our operation. We will continue to evaluate the procedures and collect data on perceived efficiencies moving forward."

Future work will introduce satellite-based departure routes at BWI, the FAA said, though a spokesman said he did not have a specific date for the expansion.

Officials at BWI said the airport has also made recent progress in its multiyear project to bring its runways up to federal standards by the end of next year.

On Saturday, the airport reopened one of its primary commercial runways, which has been closed since July for reconstruction, for the Thanksgiving travel period, when AAA Mid-Atlantic has estimated 72,800 Marylanders will fly between Wednesday and Sunday.

Additional work on the runway will require subsequent closures through the end of the year, but flight disruptions are not expected.

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

Windstorm caused serious damage to Burlington Airpark

Severe damage to planes and hangars at Burlington airport on Bell School Line south of Britannia Rd Burlington fire and Halton Police on scene, airport has been closed due to high winds.
 Photo credit:  Andrew Collins

Nearly 4,000 hydro customers lost power and the city’s rural airport was hit hard when a windstorm blew through Burlington and much of southern Ontario on Monday.

The storm was at its peak from late afternoon to the early evening with Environment Canada predicting wind gusts up to 90 or 100 km/h.

Burlington Hydro crews scrambled to remove downed trees and branches that brought down power lines. Most of the electrical outages occurred in pockets south of the QEW and north of Dundas Street.

Christine Hallas, a spokesperson for Burlington Hydro, said about 3,800 of its customers were without power for varying amounts of time from early to mid-evening.

“You have to clean up the (fallen) trees before you can get the (power line) repairs done,” she said.

There were just six customers waiting for their electricity to return as of noon; they were expected to back on the grid later today.

The high winds caused serious damage to the Burlington Airpark, a busy, privately-owned airstrip on Bell School Line, south of Britannia Road.

Airpark spokesperson Tim Crawford said there was widespread damage to a number of airplane hangars but that it could have been much worse.

“Virtually none of the planes were damaged” that were inside the hangars, he said.

A row of nine sheet metal hangars anchored to a foundation “facing west, into the teeth of the wind, lifted and flew over another row of hangars” without touching anything else, Crawford said.

Only one of eight planes that were inside the nine airborne hangars was affected, although that aircraft sustained significant damage.

“The most amazing thing is to see the planes virtually untouched,” said Crawford.

No one was injured, he said, but he noted one man was inside one of the hangars when it flew away.

“He saw the (hangar) door starting to buckle and the next thing he knew he was looking at his vehicle,” parked outside.

Burlington Airpark owner Vince Rossi is out of the country but Crawford, an administrative advisor to Rossi, said he has been made aware of the damage.

The airpark lost power around 6 p.m. but had it restored overnight.

“The airport was open and operating this morning,” Crawford said of the airpark, which accommodates small private planes and air ambulance aircraft.

There was a lot of cleaning up of debris to be done.

Crawford noted Monday’s windstorm wasn’t the worst disaster to hit the 50-plus-year-old airpark. In December 1999, a fire swept through a row of hangars causing $7 million in damage to planes and vehicles.

In other damage reported around the city on Monday, downtown resident Flora Dooley said a large limb on their mature maple tree came down around 4:30 p.m.

The Hurd Avenue home’s deck was damaged as was the cover on a hot tub. A glass table was destroyed.

A two-kilometre stretch of the North Service Road, from Heritage Road to Walker’s Line, was closed in both directions around 6 p.m. for downed hydro wires.

A tree struck a vehicle on Lakeshore Road, near Guelph Line, around 4:20 p.m. Halton police say no injuries were reported; the westbound lanes of Lakeshore Road were partially blocked in the area.

Around the same time, a report came in to police about a hydro pole that was leaning on Walker’s Line near Berton Avenue, just south of Dundas Street.

A resident contacted the Post to say a large tree branch came down around 4:30 p.m. on Brant Street across from St. John School, not long after students had been let out for the day.

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

The Burlington Airpark sustained significant damage from Monday's windstorm. Nine airplane hangars were lifted and tossed aside by the high winds. Here, three planes sit apparently without damage but missing their protective sheet metal hangar. 

Here lies the remnants of one of the nine metal airplane hangars at the Burlington Airpark that were tossed aside during Monday's windstorm.

Midlander Kassie Miller earns private pilot license

Kassie Miller
Kassie Miller, 17, a homeschooled senior from Midland, recently earned her private pilot license. Miller flew to Cadillac Wexford County airport where she successfully completed her private pilot checkride with FAA Designated Examiner Kevin Spaulding.

Miller comes from a family of pilots. Her father is an American Airlines captain and check airman on the Boeing 737. Three of her uncles are also professional pilots. Her great aunt was a pilot in the 1940s, and her grandfather, Carl Grebe, 95, of Midland, was a fighter pilot in World War II.

Miller attended Midland Aviation Camp in 2013 and was a camp staff member in 2014. She was selected as one of three Kids to Oshkosh by Midland EAA Chapter 1093 and earned a trip to the 2013 EAA AirVenture at Oshkosh, Wis. She also attended a four-day event for high school age young women at Oshkosh, Women Soar/You Soar, in 2014.

Miller is a member of the Meridian Aero Club, based at Midland Barstow Airport, and flies their Cessna 172, N61635. Her ground instructor was Paul Ries and her flight instructor was Linda Langrill.

She is the daughter of Scott and Joan Miller, and she has one younger brother, Scotty.

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

Robinson R44, N19DV: Accident occurred August 21, 2009 in Tonopah, Nevada

National Transportation Safety Board - Aviation Accident Final Report: http://app.ntsb.gov/pdf 

National Transportation Safety Board  -  Docket And Docket Items:   http://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

National Transportation Safety Board  -  Aviation Accident Data Summary: http://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

NTSB Identification: WPR09LA411
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, August 21, 2009 in Tonopah, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/26/2011
Aircraft: ROBINSON R44, registration: N19DV
Injuries: 3 Serious.

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

The pilot was providing aerial surveillance of a car that was in an off-road rally race. A passenger recalled that they had just climbed over a hill, and made a low banking turn to get behind a car that was in the race. He saw a steep cliff-like ridge ahead, and was concerned about hitting it. As they cleared the ridge by about 20 feet, he heard the engine sound change pitch. The helicopter banked right, and slowed down. The passenger heard the pilot say "no" several times as well as “come on,” followed by the sounding of a horn. The helicopter collided with the ground, touching down on the skids. The helicopter turned as it went downhill, and rolled over onto its right side. A postaccident examination of the airframe and engine revealed no anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. The density altitude was calculated to be about 10,300 feet. Examination of the performance charts for the helicopter indicated that, at the weather parameters for this flight, the power required for the maneuvers attempted exceeded the power available.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot’s failure to maneuver the helicopter within its performance capabilities while at a low altitude in mountainous terrain and in high density altitude conditions.

Michelle Nunley says all she could think about as she plunged to earth in a crippled helicopter was her husband and six children: “Who was going to take care of them?”

Miraculously, Nunley survived the 2009 crash in the Nevada desert. But what happened to the Tulare Union High School principal over the next five years can best be described as a legal nightmare, her lawyer says.

This month, a Fresno County Superior Court jury awarded Nunley $805,000 in damages after finding her lawyer, Charles M. Barrett, and his employer, the Sacramento law firm of Dreyer Babich Buccola Wood, had committed malpractice in filing a lawsuit against the helicopter company.

The defendants are refusing to pay the jury’s award. In fact, the law firm plans to file post-trial motions that could dramatically reduce it, says Sacramento attorney Mark Ellis, who represents Dreyer Babich.

Nunley’s attorney, Ken Fitzgerald of Visalia, says he’s stunned: “They want to continue to put my client and her family through hell.”

Nunley’s bio reads like a made-for-television movie — a hometown girl who got a credential so she could teach science at her alma mater, Class of 1990. In 2004, she earned a doctorate degree, which helped her ascend to Tulare High principal in 2006.

Her storybook career is rivaled by her personal life: She and husband Greg Nunley, a local developer, are raising five children of their own and building a new home in Tulare. Yet she didn’t hesitate to help when she found out one of her students, who was having trouble in school as a freshman, had been abandoned and was bouncing around foster care.

She invited the boy to live with her family, became his guardian, and made sure he was doing his homework. That boy is Romello Harris, one of the best high school running backs in the San Joaquin Valley. Harris has a 4.0 GPA and a scholarship offer to Duke.

Her life today is remarkable given what happened Aug. 20, 2009, the day she stepped into a Robinson R-44 helicopter to watch her husband participate in an off-road race from Las Vegas to Reno. An hour into the flight, the helicopter crashed in a ravine about 25 miles west of Tonopah, Nev.

Nunley suffered a broken back, a broken thumb and lacerations and bruises to her body. She is permanently disabled and lives in constant pain, Fitzgerald says.

She needed help with her recovery, so she turned to Dreyer Babich, one of the premier personal injury law firms in California. It is anchored by Roger Dreyer, a “Top Ten Super Lawyer of Northern California” who has tried more than 125 civil jury trials and obtained several multimillion-dollar jury verdicts.

Court records say Dreyer assured Michelle Nunley he would work with Barrett, who worked out of the firm’s Fresno office, on the helicopter lawsuit.

Nunley knew of Dreyer’s reputation (he had previously represented her uncle) but didn’t know Barrett had a long record of discipline by the State Bar of California since 1995. Barrett, who has been practicing law since 1980, was on probation when he dealt with the Nunley family. Barrett no longer works for the Dreyer Babich firm, says its civil attorney, Ellis. Barrett says he’s now in private practice in Fresno.

Dreyer and Barrett, who are high school buddies, referred questions to Ellis, who says the firm offered to settle the lawsuit for $325,000. The Nunleys wanted “more than $3 million,” he says.

Fitzgerald says Dreyer Babich’s offer would not have covered Michelle Nunley’s past and future medical bills. He says he’s frustrated by the big firm: “It’s cases like this that give lawyers a bad name.”

Untangling the crash

Fitzgerald says the helicopter “looked like someone had stepped on an aluminum can.”

The legal issues that have followed are nearly as tangled.

There were two others in the helicopter: owner-pilot David Vanyo and passenger Victor Rangel, an acquaintance of Vanyo who wanted to watch the race from the air. Fitzgerald says Greg Nunley and Vanyo had done business in the past, so as a favor Vanyo took Michelle Nunley along for the ride.

After the crash, Vanyo’s insurance company offered to pay $1 million to be split between Michelle Nunley and Rangel. Because Nunley’s injuries were more serious than Rangel’s, she sought help from Dreyer Babich.

On Aug. 25, 2010, Nunley signed a contingency-fee agreement with Dreyer Babich. Court records say Dreyer assured Nunley in a telephone call that “he would be working with Barrett on their case and would be overseeing everything and that Barrett was a very good attorney.”

Though the crash was in Nevada, Barrett sued Vanyo and the manufacturer, Robinson Helicopter Co., in Tulare County Superior Court for personal injury and product liability. Meantime, Rangel filed a lawsuit in Maricopa County Superior Court in Arizona against Vanyo and the Nunleys. Vanyo lives and works in Arizona.

The Nunleys contacted Barrett, who told them he would take care of the Arizona suit, court records say.

The Nunleys’ lawsuit fell apart in December 2011, when the Tulare County court ruled it had no jurisdiction because the crash happened elsewhere. Then in April 2012, the Nunleys were hit with an $800,000 judgment in the Arizona complaint because Barrett and his firm failed to fight it, court documents show.

The Nunleys settled with Rangel. He would get $800,000 from Vanyo’s $1 million insurance policy; she would get $200,000.

Suing in Fresno County

In November 2012, the Nunleys sued Barrett and his firm, now known as Dreyer Babich Buccola Wood Campora, in Fresno County for malpractice.

The trial in Judge Jeffrey Hamilton’s courtroom took nearly seven weeks. Fitzgerald says the Nunleys spent more than $100,000 on expert witnesses.

After four day of deliberations, the jury said Barrett and the law firm acted below the standard of care in filing the helicopter lawsuit in Tulare County and that Michelle and Greg Nunley did nothing wrong in suing them for malpractice. Ellis says Hamilton dismissed the Arizona action before it reached the jury.

In deciding liability, jurors found Barrett was 53% responsible for the $805,000 in damages and the law firm was 47% responsible.

No money has changed hands. Ellis says the law firm is entitled to recover court costs and a judgment against Greg Nunley because he was initially a plaintiff in the civil action but lost all of his claims against Dreyer, Barrett and the law firm. Dreyer also was dismissed from Michelle Nunley’s suit.

“We feel the claims made against Mr. Dreyer individually were really frivolous and made in an attempt to force the case to settle,” Ellis says, noting that the Nunleys initially demanded nearly $7 million to settle the case.

In addition, Ellis says Barrett and the firm did not err in filing the helicopter suit in Tulare County. He says post-trial motions will show it was the appropriate place to file the lawsuit.

To which Fitzgerald throws up his hands.

“For seven weeks, all they did was blame the Nunleys. It’s time for them to take responsibility for their screw-up.”

- Source:  http://www.fresnobee.com

Airport policy irritates 'copter owner: Lewiston-Nez Perce County Airport (KLWS), Lewiston, Idaho

Morgan Lohman complains to Lewiston council, says not being able to take off from hangar is hurting business

The owner of a helicopter services company complained to the Lewiston City Council Monday night that the Lewiston-Nez Perce County Regional Airport Authority is hurting his business by not letting him take off from his hangar.

But the airport manager said the airport authority board is simply holding Lohman Helicopter to the terms of its hangar lease.

Story and comments (subscription required):  http://lmtribune.com

Despite judge’s order, airport says county treasurer is not paying bills: Martha's Vineyard Airport (KMVY), Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts

In yet another county-airport skirmish, Dukes County treasurer Noreen Mavro Flanders is not processing airport invoices, airport official claims.

Martha’s Vineyard Airport Commission (MVAC) chairman Constance Teixeira said that Dukes County treasurer Noreen Mavro Flanders has refused to process invoices the airport authorized for payment despite a preliminary injunction Dukes County Superior Court Associate Justice Richard J. Chin issued August 7 ordering her to pay duly authorized airport bills

The 17 invoices, totaling approximately $42,000, are for routine airport expenses, and are either approaching overdue status or already overdue.

“We received communication from the county treasurer that once again, and despite a direct court order, she was refusing to process airport invoices for payment,” Ms. Teixeira said in a statement read at an airport commission meeting Friday, November 21.

Under strict state and federal funding rules, airport revenue may only be used for airport-related aviation projects. Though there is no legal requirement to do so, the county-owned airport hires the county treasurer to process airport bills, an arrangement that funnels airport revenue into county coffers.

Airport manager Sean Flynn told The Times in a telephone conversation Tuesday that the airport is evaluating additional legal action, which could include filing a complaint asking the court to hold Ms. Mavro Flanders in contempt of the preliminary injunction, or negotiate an out-of-court resolution to the latest dispute.

A woman who answered the phone in the treasurer’s office Tuesday morning told The Times that Ms. Mavro Flanders was unavailable for comment. Asked if the treasurer was in the office or could be contacted later, the woman repeated that the treasurer was unavailable for comment.

Payment procedure

The county treasurer takes a unique approach in order to calculate how much of her office’s time is devoted to airport affairs. Rather than an hourly rate, the office calculates how much to charge the airport based on invoice inches, according to Mr. Flynn.

He said the county treasurer allocates the airport’s share of the county’s total cost for accounting services, by measuring the length of submitted airport invoices, including invoice pages that have nothing to do with billing amounts, against non-airport invoices.

Mr. Flynn is authorized by the airport commission to approve bills for payment. He said he is frustrated that Mr. Mavro Flanders duplicates the effort of his staff to verify and approve invoices every month.

Mr. Flynn said that in an attempt to make the process more efficient and less costly, invoices now include only the necessary information for Ms. Mavro Flanders to process the bills. “She has been provided with cover sheets which show previous balance, previous amount paid, current charges, current due, and total due,” he said.

Mr. Flynn said he reviews each invoice to make sure the charges were incurred by the airport, and that the charges are accurate, in accordance with his legal and fiduciary obligations. “This is in no way an attempt to be secretive, as to what we’re paying various vendors; this is just to streamline the process to meet all requirements, so that we are providing enough information, but not duplicating effort, not doubling the amount of effort,” he said. “We’re trying to use current technology, current ways of thinking, and not staying with a process that is antiquated, just for the sake of staying with an older process. There are accusations we’re attempting to be secretive. That is absolutely not the case.”

Deja vu all over again

In a series of emails to Mr. Flynn, Ms. Mavro Flanders said she was not refusing to make the payments, but reminded the airport manager that there was insufficient detail in the invoices, a point Mr. Flynn disputes.

She said she would file a formal public records request for the bills, if necessary. As of Wednesday, November 19, the disputed bills had not been paid, according to Mr. Flynn.

The county treasurer’s insistence that the airport provide invoice details and her refusal to process law firm invoices approved by the airport was one of the subjects of a lawsuit filed by the airport commission on July 9.

In his August 7 decision, Judge Chin wrote, “In sum, the County Treasurer believes that she has the legal authority to refuse to pay invoices which have already been duly approved by the MVAC, to obtain privileged and confidential communications between the MVAC and its attorneys without notice to and without the consent of the MVAC, and to release those privileged and confidential communications to the public at large.”

Judge Chin rejected the county treasurer’s claim that invoices approved by the airport commission for payment were lacking detail required by state law.

“Where the MVAC is not using any of the county’s funds to pay its invoices for legal services, it may expend its funds without the county’s oversight,” Judge Chin wrote. The invoices “are not so deficient in detail that they fail on their face to comply with the statute.”

Judge Chin issued a preliminary injunction in favor of the airport commission, and against Ms. Mavro Flanders. “The county treasurer is enjoined from refusing to pay invoices duly approved for payment by the MVAC,” he wrote in his decision.

Judge Chin based his ruling on previous court decisions, state law, and legal documents known as grant assurances which the county approved in exchange for millions of dollars in state and federal funds.

In fiscal year 2012, the airport paid the county $103,396 for accounting services, according to Ms. Mavro Flanders. In fiscal year 2014, the airport paid the county $102,994. In May, just before the end of fiscal year 2014, she said she expected to pay a similar amount for that year.

The seven members of the airport commission are appointed by the elected members of the seven-member county commission. By statute, the airport commission is solely responsible for the airport.

- Source:  http://www.mvtimes.com

Aero Commander 500-B, N30MB, Central Airlines Inc: Accident occurred November 18, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois

FOX 32 News Chicago

First look inside elderly couple's home where plane crashed; lawsuit filed  

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

An elderly couple who were asleep in their Southwest Side home last week when a small plane crashed into their bedroom are suing the airline that managed the plane.

On Tuesday afternoon, planes were regularly flying over what was once the home of 84-year-old Raymond and 82-year-old Roberta Rolinskas. However, since November 18 when a small plane crashed into their home while the elderly couple were sleeping, they've been staying with relatives and avoiding the sounds of planes overhead.

"Anytime they hear an airplane, it's devastating. The inability to go back to their neighborhood is devastating. And so their routine and everything they had going on in their golden years is completely ripped apart as a result of this," attorney Matthew Jenkins said.

Jenkins of Corboy and Demetrio, who represent the Rolinskas, filed a negligence lawsuit Tuesday against Central Airlines, which operated the plane.

The suit claims that the airline was negligent in failing to execute a proper take-off and landing; maintaining a sufficient altitude; adequately monitoring the altitude and airspeed; and maintaining, inspecting and controlling the plane.

Lawyers were allowed inside the home last Friday, where they shot video and took photos. It's the first look at the damage from inside the home, where the plane smashed through the living room wall and into the couple's bedroom. The couple suffered no physical injuries, but are hoping to recover for property damage and emotional injuries.

"There's no question that this is going to be something that they relive every day. Just from my conversations with them and my interactions with them, this has greatly devastated them," Jenkins added.

Jenkins said the couple won't be able to live independently ever again.

"The emotional trauma suffered by Roberta and Raymond has been devastating," he said.

Forty-seven year old pilot, Eric Howlett, a native of Groveport Ohio, died in the crash. He was the only one on board. He had taken off from Midway at about 2:30 a.m., headed for an airport outside Columbus, Ohio.

On Tuesday, the NTSB released a preliminary report on the plane crash, which confirmed that the pilot reported trouble with the left engine. But there were no other new details regarding the cause of the crash.

The four-count lawsuit seeks an unspecified amount in damages.

A representative for Central Airlines, Inc., reached by phone Tuesday afternoon declined to comment on the crash or the suit.

The Chicago Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

The Rolinskas were sleeping in their bedroom in the 6500 block of South Knox when a small cargo plane crashed into their home. / photo courtesy of Corboy & Demetrio

An elderly couple from the Southwest Side who escaped a plane crashing into their home last week has filed a lawsuit against the airline.

According to the firm representing 82-year-old Roberta Rolinskas and 84-year-old Raymond Rolinskas, “Hearing, seeing and feeling an airplane crashing just inches away from them has caused severe emotional distress.”

The couple filed the negligence lawsuit against Central Airlines, which owned the plane, in Cook County Circuit Court Tuesday.

On Nov. 18 the couple was asleep in their bedroom when the cargo plane crashed into their home, killing the pilot and tearing a hole in the building.

At the time of the crash the Chicago Fire Department said the couple declined to be taken to a hospital. The firm’s statement says the couple “did not suffer any physical harm.”

According to a report released Tuesday by the National Transportation Safety Board, pilot Eric Howlett told the Midway Control Tower he was having issues with his left engine and asked to return to the airport.

He was cleared to land but was never heard from again.

Howlett’s body was found in the wreckage of the home.

- Source:  http://wgntv.com


NTSB Identification: CEN15FA048
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Tuesday, November 18, 2014 in Chicago, IL
Aircraft: AERO COMMANDER 500 B, registration: N30MB
Injuries: 1 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 either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On November 18, 2014, about 0245 central standard time, an Aero Commander model 500 B airplane, N30MB, impacted a residence while attempting to return after takeoff from the Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW), Chicago, Illinois. The pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to and operated by Central Airlines, Inc., dba Central Air Southwest, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 as an on-demand cargo charter flight. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was operated on an instrument flight rules flight plan. The flight originated from MDW about 0238. The intended destination was the Ohio State University Airport (OSU), Columbus, Ohio.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) air traffic control data (ATC) revealed that the flight was cleared for takeoff at 0238 from runway 31C, to be followed by a right turn to a heading of 110 degrees. About 2 minutes later, the pilot informed the MDW tower controller that he was having trouble with the left engine and requested to return to the airport. The pilot elected to fly a left-hand traffic pattern and return for a landing on runway 31C. At 0241, the controller cleared the pilot to land as requested.

The initial ATC radar contact was recorded at 0240:34 (hhmm:ss) and located about 0.51 mile west-northwest of the departure threshold of runway 31C. The altitude associated with that data point was about 800 feet mean sea level (msl). The radar data depicted the airplane turning left to become established on a southwest course, paralleling runway 31C on a downwind traffic pattern leg. The final radar data point was recorded at 0242:01 and was located about 0.54 miles south-southwest of the approach threshold of runway 31C; this was about 0.15 miles southwest of the accident site. The altitude associate with the final data point was about 800 feet msl. The accident site was located 0.50 miles southeast of the runway 31C approach threshold.

The airplane impacted a residence, with the forward fuselage coming to rest within the building. The southwest corner of the home was destroyed. Both wings remained attached to the fuselage. The left wing was located outside the building perimeter, with the wing tip resting on the ground. The right wing remained attached to the fuselage, with the outboard portion of the wing extending outside of the building perimeter and over the roof of the adjacent residence. The buildings were separated by approximately 10 feet. The left engine remained attached to the wing, and the left propeller remained attached to the engine. The right engine had separated from the wing and the right propeller had separated from the engine; both were located within the home. The aft fuselage and empennage remained attached to the remainder of the airframe. However, they were dislocated to the right relative to the forward fuselage. The aft fuselage/empennage came to rest on the roof of the adjacent residence. Damage to that home appeared limited to the roof and soffit area at the northeast corner of the structure. The flight control surfaces and wing flaps remained attached to the airframe. The landing gear was in the extended position when observed at the accident site. The forward fuselage and wings were oriented on an approximate magnetic heading of 030 degrees; the aft fuselage and empennage were oriented on an approximate magnetic heading of 005 degrees.

FAA records indicated that the pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with single engine land, multi-engine land, and instrument airplane ratings. The certificate included type ratings for CE-500 and LR-Jet airplanes. The pilot also held a flight instructor certificate with single, multi-engine, and instrument airplane ratings. He was issued a first class airman medical certificate with a restriction for corrective lenses on November 12, 2014. On the medical certificate application, the pilot reported a total flight time of 1,374 hours, with 303 hours flown within the preceding 6 months. 

Federal Aviation Administration Flight Standards District Office:  FAA W. Chicago-DuPage (NON Part 121) FSDO-03

Recording obtained via LiveATC.net.

Any witnesses should email witness@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov.

Airplane paparrazi stalk new planes as if they were Hollywood stars

Bernie Leighton leans out an open- sided helicopter into a chilly breeze, Nikon camera glued to his face as he focuses on his unsuspecting photographic quarry.

The celebrity in his lens is no Kardashian. It’s Etihad Airways’ first 787 Dreamliner, parked outside Boeing Co.’s wide- body jet plant north of Seattle and an object of desire among planespotters for a new, secrecy-shrouded paint scheme.

Leighton is angling for Internet fame as he stalks the 787, already one of the most-chronicled industrial products on the planet for its futuristic design and troubled start. Selling the first aerial shot of the shimmering silver-and-gold Etihad plane would also cover the cost of his $500 copter ride.

“I’d say there’s monetary reward, but not really,” the 27-year-old Leighton said beforehand, facing the hulking factory and an adjacent airfield crammed with new Boeings. “It’s mostly about pride, about keeping my streak going.”

In 4 1/2 years of professional planespotting, Leighton has snapped more than 35,000 photos and garnered at least 7 million Internet views. He’s among the growing ranks of “avgeeks” who gather and share images of aircraft with the zeal displayed by enthusiasts pursuing rare comic books, baseball cards and other collectibles.

Their ardour creates opportunities as well as challenges for Boeing. The constant surveillance means that the world’s largest planemaker must play hide-and-seek to keep commercial projects under wraps. Photos also sometimes signal factory woes, as when a buildup of undelivered jets preceded the disclosure of hairline wing cracks on some 787s in March.

If Airbus Group NV wants to see the latest from its U.S. rival, it can rely on the stalkers around Boeing’s plant and Paine Field near Everett, Washington. They sometimes climb trees or fences to eyeball newly assembled aircraft under tow to the paint shop to receive their livery, as an airline’s markings are known. In 2011, Chicago-based Boeing swathed the first 747-8 Intercontinental jumbo jet in paper to thwart peeping eyes before the unveiling of the red-and-orange “sunrise” design.

“When your factory, paint hangars and delivery center sit directly adjacent to a public airport, keeping a customer’s livery a surprise is next to impossible,” said Doug Alder, a spokesman. “That’s why we coordinate with our customers to make sure events tied to a new or special livery are done when the airplane rolls out of the paint hangar.”

Those documenting Boeing’s factory output are a subset of enthusiasts, almost always male, compelled to meticulously track heavy machinery from locomotives to steel mills, said George Hamlin, a former executive with Toulouse, France-based Airbus who is now an aviation consultant.

Each watershed aircraft draws more to the hobby, said Hamlin, who is based in Fairfax, Virginia. He was captivated by the technology leap embodied in Boeing’s humpbacked 747 jumbo in the late 1960s. “I started taking pictures around that time period,” he said in a phone interview. “There were few if any spotters or photographers.”

Over the decades Hamlin has amassed more than 20,000 slides of aircraft, another 8,000 or so digital shots and watched the ranks of jet enthusiasts swell with the advent of the Internet.

Boeing’s Future of Flight Aviation Center near the Everett plant is a magnet for this group, drawing about 270,000 visitors a year. Shutterbugs flock to an observation deck overlooking a Paine Field runway where Boeing test pilots put wide-bodies through their paces.

Online tickets sold out in three minutes for this year’s Aviation Geek Fest, according to museum Marketing Director Sandy Ward. It’s an annual gathering that includes a chance to wander the Everett factory, the world’s largest building by volume.

“We’ll have people sitting around the world — it might be midnight in Shanghai — hitting refresh, refresh,” she said. “You’ll have virtual fistfights breaking out.”

Boeing’s involvement reflects a shift in its marketing, from ignoring avgeeks to inviting bloggers to aircraft unveilings and events once reserved for credentialed reporters.

“Aviation Geek Fest is an opportunity for Boeing to embrace people with a passion for airplanes,” said Alder, the spokesman. “Events like these connect us with an enthusiastic audience for our products in ways that wouldn’t have been possible a few years ago.”

For planespotters, the Dreamliner continues to inspire a photo-fascination so intense that die-hards vied for snapshots of the scarlet engine nacelles — the casing visible under the wing — on a Virgin Atlantic 787.

The attention is “an accidental Boeing creation,” said Richard Aboulafia, an aviation analyst at Fairfax, Virginia- based consultant Teal Group.

Boeing’s first all-new aircraft of the 21st century fired imaginations with its plastic-composite hull, then grabbed headlines as supply-chain snarls delayed the initial delivery by three years to 2011. It was the first jet whose development played out on Twitter, and became a focus of posts by amateur blogger Jon Ostrower, who is now a Wall Street Journal reporter.

Many of those who tuned in for the early Dreamliner drama have stuck around, said David Parker Brown, who founded AirlineReporter.com in 2008. He was inspired by Ostrower’s social-media success, as was Uresh Sheth, a Wall Street banker who pens the AllThings787 blog.

In his spare time, Sheth compiles tables tracking the progress of every 787 assembled and delivered. Sheth relies on tidbits shared by “volunteers,” not leaked internal Boeing documents. He cross-checks each data point, often by looking up photos from Dreamliner followers at Boeing’s factories in Washington and South Carolina.

“It’s a labour of love,” Sheth said in a phone interview. “I’d like to keep this information as current as possible for as long as possible, until they stop building it. It would be a nice resource for people.”

It’s no easy task. Through Nov. 5, Boeing had handed over 204 Dreamliners — and had a backlog of 850 more.

Leighton’s yen for aviation started when he was an infant, living under an approach path to an airport in St. John’s International Airport, in Newfoundland. His mother would sometimes drive past the field to lull him to sleep.

At 18, Leighton began haunting the forums on Airliners.net and gradually gaining the nerve to post his own photos. Now he’s motivated by the friendly rivalry to land “the first of anything,” from shots of a new model to a new livery, he said. His specialty: snapping the first aerial perspective of these jets, especially Dreamliners.

Leighton is most obsessed with Soviet-era military aircraft, traveling to North Korea and Kazakhstan to ride on aging transports. When he’s home in the Seattle suburb of Redmond, Leighton regularly drives 32 kilometres in his Tesla Model S to ogle planes at the “Lazy B,” as he calls the Everett plant.

A day job with flexible hours — he declines to name his profession — pays for constant travel and tools of the trade that include “a small car’s worth” of photographic gear.

Using Sheth’s production charts, Leighton monitored the Etihad 787’s progress through the factory over the summer months. His interest grew as word leaked that the jet would feature an edgier look that’s part of a branding makeover for the Abu Dhabi-based airline.

Etihad got wind of the stir over its new livery and hosted a special nighttime unveiling in a live Webcast. That still left a photographic “first,” an overhead shot, to be claimed by Leighton.

That’s how he found himself in a four-seat Robinson R44 helicopter clattering to the Boeing plant on the first sunny day after the late-September Etihad fete. As pilot Daiichi Takeuchi slowed and backed into place about 300 metres overhead, Leighton steadied his camera and went to work.

He was done 35 seconds later. His photo of the jet’s abstract desert-themed paint job has been viewed more than 36,000 times on Airliners.net while drawing more than 5,400 “likes” in postings on AirlineReporter and Etihad’s Facebook page.

“No one breaks even,” Leighton said. “We do this regardless.”

- Source:   http://o.canada.com

List: Airlines waive change fees for Thanksgiving storm

Big U.S. airlines have begun to waive change fees for passengers ticketed to fly to several airports in the path of a pre-Thanksgiving Day storm.

These airlines had issued waivers as of 2 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Nov. 25. Scroll down for details of the waivers.

TODAY IN THE SKY: Airlines start waiving fees as Thanksgiving storm nears

Alaska Airlines

Cities covered: Baltimore; Boston; Newark Liberty; Philadelphia; Washington Reagan National.

Covers fliers ticketed to fly on the following dates: Nov. 26

Waiver: Customers may make a one-time change to tickets without fee to travel by Nov. 28. Customers flying to/from those airports may also request a refund if they choose not to travel.

More info: Alaska Airlines

American Airlines (and US Airways)

Cities covered: Albany, N.Y.; Baltimore; Boston; Hartford; Islip/Long Island MacArthur, N.Y.; Manchester, N.H.; New Haven, Conn.; New York JFK, New York LaGuardia; Newark Liberty; Newburgh/Stewart, N.Y.; Philadelphia; Portland, Maine; Providence; Salisbury, Md.; Washington Dulles; Washington Reagan National; Westchester County/White Plains, N.Y.

Covers fliers ticketed to fly on the following dates: Nov. 26.

Waiver: The ticket reissue charge will be waived for one ticket change. New travel must occur Nov. 25-27.

More info: American Airlines | US Airways

Delta Air Lines

Cities covered: Allentown, Pa.; Albany, N.Y.; Baltimore; Bangor, Maine; Boston; Harrisburg, Pa.; Hartford, Conn.; Manchester, N.H.; New York JFK; New York LaGuardia; Newark Liberty; Newburgh/Stewart, N.Y.; Philadelphia; Portland, Maine; Providence; Washington Dulles; Washington Reagan National; Westchester County/White Plains, N.Y.

Covers fliers ticketed to fly on the following dates: Nov. 26

Waiver: Customers may make a one-time change to tickets without fee to travel by Nov. 28.

More info: Delta


Cities covered: Baltimore; Boston; Buffalo; Hartford, Conn.; New York JFK; New York LaGuardia; Newark Liberty; Newburgh/Stewart, N.Y.; Philadelphia; Portland, Maine; Providence; Rochester, N.Y.; Syracuse, N.Y; Washington Dulles; Washington Reagan National; Westchester County/White Plains, N.Y.; Worcester, Mass.

Covers fliers ticketed to fly on the following dates: Nov. 26.

Waiver: The ticket reissue charge will be waived for one ticket change. New travel must occur by Nov. 28.

More info: JetBlue

Southwest Airlines/AirTran

Cities covered: Albany, N.Y.; Baltimore; Boston; Hartford. Conn.; Islip/Long Island MacArthur, N.Y.; Manchester, N.H.; New York LaGuardia; Newark Liberty; Philadelphia; Providence; Washington Dulles; Washington Regan National.

Covers fliers ticketed to fly on the following dates: Nov. 26

Waiver: Southwest does not charge customers a fee to change their tickets, but it will let customers headed to/from the above airports make one change to their itinerary without recalculating the cost of the ticket. Customers choosing that option must travel within 14 days of their original travel date and travel between the original city pairs, in accordance with Southwest's "accommodation procedures."

More info: Southwest Airlines

Spirit Airlines

Cities covered: Atlantic City; Baltimore; Boston; New York LaGuardia; Philadelphia.
Covers fliers ticketed to fly on the following dates: Nov. 26.

Waiver: The ticket reissue charge will be waived for one ticket change. New travel must occur by Nov. 28. Change fees may be dropped for travel after that, though a recalculated fare may apply.

More info: Spirit

United Airlines

Cities covered: Albany, N.Y.; Allentown, Pa.; Atlantic City, N.J.; Baltimore; Bangor, Maine; Boston; Buffalo, N.Y.; Burlington, Vt.; Chicago O'Hare*; Harrisburg, Pa.; Hartford, Conn.; Manchester, N.H.; New York JFK, New York LaGuardia; Newark Liberty; Philadelphia; Providence; Rochester, N.Y.; Syracuse, N.Y.; Washington Dulles; Washington Reagan National; Westchester County/White Plains, N.Y.; Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Pa.

Covers fliers ticketed to fly on the following dates: Nov. 26. (*Nov. 24 for Chicago O'Hare)

Waiver: Customers may make a one-time change to tickets without fee to travel by Nov. 28. Change fees may be dropped for travel after that, though a recalculated fare may apply.

More info: United

- Source:  http://www.usatoday.com

Pentagon spends about $300 million on a V-22 engine tuneup

Rolls-Royce Corp. landed $287.03 million for maintenance of the engine used to power the V-22 Osprey — the tiltrotor aircraft from The Boeing Co. and Bell Helicopter that takes off and lands like a helicopter.

The maintenance service contract includes an hourly charge based on hours flown, as well as program management, integrated logistics support, training and various other maintenance. The work will support the Navy's Marine Corps, making up about 48 percent of the buy, the U.S. Air Force, accounting for about 43 percent, and the U.S. Special Operations Command for the remaining 9 percent.

This is a big win for Rolls-Royce, which has a North American headquarters in Reston. It comes only a few weeks after its British parent announced plans to cut about 2,600 jobs worldwide.

So what's cool about how the engine functions in this aircraft? Boeing describes it this way: Once airborne, the nacelle that holds the engine can be rotated to convert the aircraft to a turboprop airplane capable of high-speed, high-altitude flight.

This win could be followed by some international opportunities as well. On Friday, Japan's defense ministry announced its decision to buy V-22 Osprey, with no details on the size of the expected order revealed. That follows traction for the aircraft stemming from U.S. officials showcasing it to foreign nations, including Saudi Arabia, Canada, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Italy, Brazil and others. Israel is already signed on to buy some of the aircraft.

As the exclusive engine provider for the V-22, that's all good news for Rolls-Royce.

- Source:  http://www.bizjournals.com

Volunteers sought for Masterton airshow

Aviation enthusiasts thinking about volunteering at next year's Wings Over Wairarapa airshow will have an opportunity to signal their interest before Christmas.

Wings Over Wairarapa event manager Jenny Gasson is calling on volunteers to help before, during and after the three-day airshow being held at Masterton's Hood Aerodrome from January 16-18.

"Wings Over Wairarapa is a wonderful event that attracts thousands of people from all over the world," Mrs Gasson said. "To help put on this world-class event we require volunteers to assist us in a range of roles."

People are needed to help with delivering flyers, putting up posters, helping set up the site and act to be a point of contact for visitors during the event. Also needed are people to help with the clean-up when the airshow is over.

"In addition we're always on the lookout for people with good IT and administration skills," Mrs Gasson said.

In return, volunteers would reap several benefits.

"Apart from the obvious positive team feeling you get from supporting an event like this and working alongside like-minded people, there are huge benefits to being able to watch this world-class show when you're not rostered on."

Aaron Bennett is one of the hundreds of people who have volunteered over the years - he first helped out 15 years ago, drawn by his love of planes.

After doing several jobs, including hammering in tent pegs to parking cars, he is returning in 2015 as site manager.

"Each year I helped out I learned more, and each year I gradually accepted more responsibilities so much so in 2013, the biggest air show to date, I was the site manager," Mr Bennett said.

"I oversaw traffic management plans, stall set-ups and site layouts. It was incredibly busy but we had such a great team, it was enjoyable."

Wings Over Wairarapa 2015 will feature vintage aircraft from WWI through to state-of-the-art, remotely-piloted aircraft using the latest technology.

Anyone interested in finding out how they can volunteer should contact Chris Tracey on volunteers@wings.org.nz or (0274) 469-329.

- Source:  http://www.nzherald.co.nz

Union wants Labor Ministry to keep out foreign helicopter pilots

The Helicopter Pilot Labor Union is seeking help from the Labor Ministry to revise the Alien Working Act to preserve jobs for locals.

"The [Civil Aviation] department has revised some conditions and allowed foreign pilots to work in Thailand, which violates the regulation that reserves such work for locals. This has caused many local pilots to lose their jobs," Saran Siripoonphol, president of the union, said yesterday.

The union has scheduled a meeting with labor officials next month to demand that the ministry revise some conditions for work permits for foreigners that were endorsed last year by the department under the Transport Ministry.

The Civil Aviation Department allowed foreign pilots and co-pilots to work in four reserved jobs - offshore, mostly for oil platforms; sightseeing; balloons and parachutes; and executive travel.

About 50-70 foreign helicopter pilots are working in Thailand, or 30 percent of the total. The government granted the privilege for foreign pilots to work in Thailand as part of its promotion of the aviation industry, while there was a pilot shortage years ago.

The union fears that more foreigners will come to steal its members' jobs.

In Malaysia, the government is moving against foreign pilots working in the same business, while Brazil is now hiring 100 percent local pilots.

Many operators in Thailand prefer to hire foreign pilots because they do not want to spend Bt5 billion on two years of training to produce one pilot.

"Foreign captains usually earn double or about Bt400,000 per month compared with Bt200,000 for locals. However, operators like to use foreigners maybe because of the company's image and also the pilots' expertise," Saran said.

According to the union, nine companies are operating in the helicopter business in Thailand - Thai Aviation Service, SFS, United Off-Shore, Air Advance, Bangkok Helicopter, Siam Land, Sri Chang Flying, Minibae and Helilux. More than half of the flight-deck crew at some companies are from abroad, mostly the United States, Canada, Japan, India and the Philippines.

The union was established four years ago and now has about 30 members out of the 150 helicopter pilots in the country.

In July, the union filed a complaint to the National Council for Peace and Order, then to the Transport Ministry, on this predicament, but neither inquiry has made any progress.

The next target is the Labor Ministry.

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

Drunk passenger arrested in Bermuda over attack on cabin crew as flight from Manchester, UK to Cuba is diverted

A passenger was forced to the back of a plane and restrained after allegedly assaulting at least two members of cabin crew on board a flight from Manchester to Cuba, according to police. 

The Thomas Cook flight was forced to divert to Bermuda after the 'drunk' man also started threatening other passengers.

The 25-year-old man was arrested at LF Wade International Airport where dozens of officers and airport security staff were waiting on the tarmac as the plane touched down.

A passenger was forced to the back of a plane and restrained after allegedly assaulting at least two members of cabin crew on board a flight from Manchester to Cuba, according to police.

The Thomas Cook flight was forced to divert to Bermuda after the 'drunk' man also started threatening other passengers.

The 25-year-old man was arrested at LF Wade International Airport where dozens of officers and airport security staff were waiting on the tarmac as the plane touched down.

'We'd like to thank those customers continuing to Cuba for their patience during the short delay in Bermuda.'

The Airbus A330 was on the ground on the North American island for around three hours before returning to the skies to complete its journey to Holguin in Cuba.

A spokesman for the Bermudan government's Department of Airport Operations said: '(We) can confirm that a Thomas Cook Aircraft, travelling from Manchester England en route to Cuba landed in Bermuda earlier this afternoon and an unruly male passenger was taken into custody by the Bermuda Police Service.

'The passenger is currently being detained by the Bermuda Police.' It is not yet known if the man was from Manchester.

'He was taken to Hamilton Police Station on the island for further questioning.

A police spokesman said: 'It appears that the unruly passenger was on board creating a major commotion. The 25 year old man assaulted flight attendants and threatened to harm persons onboard the plane after he apparently consumed too much of alcohol.

'The man was forcibly taken to the rear of the aircraft where he was restrained until the flight landed in Bermuda. He then promptly arrested and taken to Hamilton Police Station where he was processed and detained.'

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk

Police said a 25 year old man assaulted flight attendants, was forcibly taken to the rear of the aircraft where he was restrained until the flight landed in Bermuda, after which he was arrested. 

A Thomas Cook airline diverted to Bermuda this afternoon [Nov 24] following what we understand to be an issue with a passenger. The police were seen going up the steps to the plane, and it appears they escorted someone off the flight and loaded them into a waiting police vehicle.

According to online flight data, the Thomas Cook flight was traveling from Manchester, UK and was heading to Cuba, and touched down in Bermuda at around 2.00pm. 

Story, photo gallery and video:  http://bernews.com

Air Arabia Studying Jet Purchase: Air Arabia Chief Says Evaluating Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier Jet Options

The Wall Street Journal
By Robert Wall
Nov. 25, 2014 5:43 a.m. ET

LONDON-—Middle East carrier Air Arabia has begun the process of considering a future fleet order to assure growth once an existing order with Airbus Group NV runs out.

Air Arabia will consider buying new narrow-body aircraft from Boeing Co, the world’s largest plane maker, Canada’s Bombardier Inc., and incumbent Airbus, airline Chief Executive Adel Abdullah Ali said in an interview. The fleet decision could come in the first half of 2015, he said.

Air Arabia, which previously ordered 44 A320 single-aisle jets, will receive the last of those toward the end of 2016, Mr. Ali said. The airline is seeking additional planes to continue its growth plans.

Air Arabia is evaluating the Boeing 737 Max and Airbus A320neo, both feature new engines to gain efficiency, and Bombardier Inc.’s CSeries, which is trying to break the narrow-body duopoly between the U.S. and European plane makers, Mr. Ali said.

Boeing and Airbus have huge order books for single-aisle jets making access to new planes often difficult. Mr. Ali said he would consider leasing aircraft as a bridge.

The size of the fleet purchase hasn’t been set and will depend on the political environment in the region, Mr. Ali said. Air Arabia, based at the Sharjah airport in the United Arab Emirates, has had to navigate difficult conditions in many of its core markets as political unrest has hit across its network from north Africa to Syria.

Syria had become the largest market for Air Arabia before political unrest forced the airline to stop flying, Mr. Ali said. The carrier was able to shift capacity to Saudi Arabia, which was liberalizing market access and allowed the Air Arabia to continue its capacity growth that has averaged 16%, he said.

Political turmoil in Egypt also affected plans. Air Arabia had set up a local unit to comply with the country’s air traffic rules. Mr. Ali said the airline may consider growing operations there now that tensions in the country are starting to ease.

- Source:  http://online.wsj.com