Saturday, November 29, 2014

Santa flies in to Solberg-Hunterdon Airport (N51) in Readington, hears kids' requests

READINGTON TWP. —-Santa Claus flew into Solberg Airport on Saturday afternoon, arriving in a small plane surrounded by a crowd shouting greetings.

Santa showed up for the event, which ran from 1 p.m. to dusk, to find out what kids wanted for the holidays and posed for pictures. Other activities included airplane rides, aircraft fly-bys, helicopter landings and departures and more. There was a cook-out to benefit the Kiwanis Club.

The day's activities ended with a launch of 10 hot air balloons.

It was a cool and cloudy day, so most visitors were bundled up. Santa, of course, was dressed appropriately since he lives at the North Pole, a very cold place.

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Santa Claus arrives by airplane at Solberg Airport in Whitehouse Station. Saturday, November, 29, 2014 

Job posting for airport manager closes Monday: Santa Fe Municipal Airport (KSAF), New Mexico

Monday is the deadline to apply to be Santa Fe's new airport manager, a job that pays up to $111,000 annually.

The job opened up after Francey Jesson was fired last month.
The city has declined to discuss the specifics behind Jesson's firing, calling it a personnel matter.
But in response to a public records request, the city released a police report hours after announcing her firing that shows Jesson had been kicked out of a hotel in Ruidoso six weeks earlier. 

The report accused Jesson, who was in Ruidoso representing the city at a conference, of trashing the hotel's gift shop.

According to the job posting, the airport manager directs the daily operations of the airport in compliance with Federal Aviation Administration regulations, Transportation Security Administration regulations and the city's rules, regulations and ordinances.
Minimum qualifications include a bachelor's degree in airport management, business management, public administration or related field.
"Licensed pilot preferred," the job posting states.
If being the city's new airport manager isn't for you, click here to see the other job openings at the city.

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Francey Jesson

Opinion: Lafayette Regional Airport expansion necessary as Hub City grows

A 1-cent sales tax limited to just eight months to help finance a new terminal at Lafayette Regional Airport is a good deal for the citizens of Lafayette.

For starters, it's a dedicated tax that will generate a projected $37 million for the sole purpose of constructing a new airport terminal to replace the outdated, inadequate one that serves the parish. And it will self-destruct in eight months. For those who are accustomed to limited term taxes that get renewed again and again, airport commissioners assure us this tax proposal is written in such a way that it cannot be renewed. That, in itself, is a selling point. It's a great idea.

Plus, it's a sales tax, as opposed to a property tax. That means that not only will the citizens of Lafayette Parish be generating revenue for the airport terminal, but so will thousands of out-of-parish visitors who come to Lafayette to shop.

Lafayette and Lafayette Parish have been growing and so has the flow of people traveling in and out of the city. But the airport facilities have remained virtually the same since they were built in the mid-1950s and remodeled in 1989. Since then, the number of travelers going through the airport has grown tremendously. Over the past six years, passenger records have been set and a 40 percent increase in passengers is expected in the next 11 years.

A sales tax paid in part from out-of-parish shoppers makes a lot of sense. According to airport documents, nearly 75 percent of Acadiana area travelers chose Lafayette Regional compared to 17.6 percent who chose Baton Rouge and 6.8 percent who went to New Orleans in 2013.

We've outgrown our airport. Aside from that being a matter of convenience and aesthetics, it's also a matter of economic development. In addition to accommodating more people on the inside, the proposed terminal would have more gates and would be able to accommodate larger planes — and more of them. Parking capacity would be increased, too.

So, how does this all benefit the average voter who may fly once a year or every few years — or almost never? Not directly, of course. But it's all geared toward assisting Lafayette's continued economic growth.

On any given day, about half the passengers going through the Lafayette airport are business travelers. A more modern, larger terminal would mean more flights, making Lafayette a more desirable place for businesses to locate. And that means more jobs and more money coming into the local economy.

So far, all the other major Louisiana cities have updated their airport facilities. Baton Rouge has expanded its terminal. New Orleans plans a new airport. Monroe, Alexandria and Lake Charles have built new terminals and now offer more gates and vastly improved facilities even though they serve tens of thousands fewer passengers than Lafayette Regional Airport serves.

Ours is the fourth-busiest airport in the state behind New Orleans, Shreveport and Baton Rouge. But despite our vibrant business climate and genuine community pride, the other regional airports are leaving us behind when it comes to airport size, convenience and sophistication.

It's time for us to improve our airport. It will be good for everyone.

Lafayette has traditionally been known as the Hub City. It's time for it to be a hub for air travel, as well.

Vote yes on Dec. 6.

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Russian airlines banned from flying in eastern Ukraine

Ukrainian officials have banned Russian airlines from flying in the eastern parts of the country which have been controlled by pro-Russian forces in the past few months.

"Flights are banned for Russian companies to [the eastern Ukrainian cities of] Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk for safety reasons," Denis Antoniuk, the head of the State Aviation Administration of Ukraine, said on Saturday.

Antoniuk added that Ukrainian airline Dniproavia has also been affected by the open-ended ban.

Ukraine’s mainly Russian-speaking regions in the east have witnessed deadly clashes between pro-Moscow activists and the Ukrainian army since Kiev launched military operations to silence pro-Russia protests in mid-April.

Violence intensified in May after the two flashpoint regions of Donetsk and Luhansk held local referendums in which their residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence from Ukraine and joining the Russian Federation.

Ukrainian authorities and the West have accused Moscow of having a hand in the crisis and supporting pro-Moscow protesters in eastern Ukraine. Russia has repeatedly rejected the allegation.

According to the latest figures by the United Nations, more than 4,000 people have been killed and over 9,300 others injured in the fighting. In addition, hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes.

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Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (KDCA) explosive growth threatens Washington Dulles International Airport (KIAD)

Washington Dulles International Airport is in trouble.

Sometime in 2015, more people will travel through Reagan National Airport than Dulles.

Dulles, 14 times the size of National, is expected to see about 20.7 million passengers next year, while National is expected to get 22.7 million.

Last year, Dulles saw 21.9 million travelers while National had 20.4 million.

The development is troubling Virginia leaders and the agency that manages both airports. They say that if National continues to outpace its larger neighbor, it could have serious financial and safety implications for the entire region.

“The shift to National — it’s a serious problem for the financial viability of Dulles,” said Jonathan Gifford, director of the Center for Transportation Public-Private Partnership Policy at George Mason University.

In addition to Dulles and National, travelers in the region also can use Baltimore-Washington International, still the region’s top airport for passenger traffic at 22.5 million in 2013, largely because of low-cost carrier Southwest Airlines’ significant presences there.

Among the three options, Dulles is widely seen as the biggest hassle to use, partially because of its 30-mile distance from the heart of the District of Columbia and lack of a nearby Metro stop.

National, on the other hand, is easily accessible by Metro trains and sits just 5 miles across from the District in Arlington County.

Many also blame Congress, which has relaxed federal rules restricting flights at National to facilitate nonstop service to various home states.

The strict rules were part of an effort to fuel growth at Dulles, and they worked for years. Flights longer than 1,250 miles were banned at National.

Members of Congress, many from Western states, began weakening the rules in 2000, allowing 26 additional flights at National to cities like Phoenix, San Francisco and Denver.

The airport authority’s biggest fear is that Congress will scrap the restrictions altogether in the upcoming reauthorization process to fund the Federal Aviation Administration.

In 2009, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., floated such a proposal, arguing that the increased service would lead to lower prices and more choices for consumers.

Virginia politicians, including retiring Republican Rep. Frank R. Wolf and Democratic Sen. Mark R. Warner fought the effort and continue to believe that the relaxed rules are shortsighted.

“Northern Virginia’s economy is strongest when both major airports are in a position to thrive,” said Sen. Timothy M. Kaine, D-Va. “It does not make sense for Reagan National, with an area of 860 acres, to be on pace to have more travelers passing through it than Dulles, which comprises 12,000 acres.”

Airport officials think Dulles’s problems are temporary. They say the travel market is cyclical and that Dulles will rebound.

“The future of Dulles is bright,” said Jack Potter, president and CEO of the airport authority.

Dulles could stand to get a boost with the opening of Metro’s new Silver Line. The second phase of the $5.6 billion line, expected to be finished in 2018, will include an airport station.

Other reasons to be hopeful include Air China’s launch of nonstop service to Beijing and the start of daily service by budget carrier Frontier, said Scott York, chairman of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors.

“There are obviously a few clouds over Dulles,” he said. “But I also see a bit of sunshine.”

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Seasoned Ethiopian captain establishes private airline, pilot school

Former captain of Ethiopian Airlines, Mulatu Lemlemayehu, owner of Dreamliner Hotel, is establishing a new private airline and pilot training school, East African Aviation, with an outlay of 57 million birr.

Captian Mulat is a seasoned pilot who served Ethiopian Airlines for 39 years and has accumulated 27,000 flight hours under his belt. While working for the national flag carrier he commanded aircraft from the old DC3 to the state-of-the-art jetliner, Dreamliner.

Mulat founded an investment company called M.T.D.N and built Dreamliner Hotel in Addis Ababa near Meskel Flower eight years ago. He started talking about the new business venture with his former colleagues a year ago. He retired from Ethiopian Airlines last August.

M.T.D.N owns the new private airline, East African Aviation, and the pilot training school. Captain Lemma Tekalign, general manager of East African Aviation, told The Reporter that the company was undertaking a feasibility study and working on paperwork for the last one year. Lemma said that the company submitted application to the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority (ECAA). “They evaluated our application swiftly and approved the documents. To give us the Air Operator Certificate (AOC) and license for the pilot training school they are waiting for the arrival of the aircraft that we bought,” Captain Lemma said.

East African Aviation will provide charter flight services. It will provide VIP flights and flight services for international organizations, tourists, construction and mining companies. It will offer flight services for aerial survey and mapping work. The new private airline will also offer medical evacuation (air ambulance services).

There will also be an aero club where individuals who want to fly for leisure will be enrolled as members and fly for a few hours during their leisure time.

According to the GM, East African Aviation recently bought three aircraft. For the airline operation the company both King Air 200 aircraft at a cost of two million dollars from a US-based company. The aircraft is expected to arrive at Bole International Airport after one month. East African Aviation is planning to offer an air ambulance service. “We are contemplating to bring Eurocopter and Cessna Citation aircraft that are fully equipped with oxygen and all other emergency medical equipment.”                         

East African Aviation bought two trainer aircraft, Cessna172, from a Sweden-based company, Air Unlimited, for EUR 380,000. The Cessna aircraft are now in Antwerp, Belgium, undergoing some modification work.  Lemma expects to receive them after four weeks. “We hope to be operational in January tentatively. Once we receive the aircraft ECAA will issue us the necessary licenses,” he said.

The company also bought two flight simulators for the pilot training school at a cost of 390,000 dollars. The company bought one Cessna and one King Air simulator from a US-based company, Redbird Flight International. The flight simulators are on their way to Djibouti Port.

The pilot training school has dormitories and a canteen which can accommodate 24 cadets at a time. The school has auditoriums, briefing rooms and a library. Theoretical part of the training will be given in the premise of the school while the flight lesson will be offered at the Bole International Airport.

The school will offer Private Pilot License (PPL) and Commercial Pilot License (CPL). It will take a cadet four month to complete a PPL training program. The CPL training takes 14 months. The tuition fee for PPL is USD 23,000 while the CPL training costs USD 66,500. “These costs include accommodation, meals, uniforms and other expenses. There is no hidden cost here,” Captain Lemma said.

“We will not make money out of the school. We just want to offer an internationally recognized service in Ethiopia. It could be profitable after seven or eight years.  The tuition might seem expensive for those who are not in the aviation industry. Fuel cost is cumbersome,” he said.  

According to Lemma, the trainer aircraft are equipped with a state-of-the-art flight instrument. “We want to make it a five star flight school.”

Lemma is a veteran Ethiopian Air Force pilot and former director of the Ethiopian Airlines pilot training school. The headquarters of East African Aviation and pilot training school is located in front of the Ethiopian Airlines Aviation Academy off the ring road.  The school has already hired four instructors and hopes to admit 24 cadets.

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Delta flight diverted to Pittsburgh International Airport (KPIT) after smoke odor detected

FINDLAY TOWNSHIP, Pa. —Smoke forced a Delta Airlines flight to divert from Pittsburgh International Airport Saturday afternoon.

Flight 343 was headed from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York to San Francisco.

Delta said there was a smoke odor in the plane’s rear galley.

The plane landed safely in Pittsburgh.

After everything was examined, the plane started its way to California again.

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Pooping Pig And Its Owner Booted From Flight: Bradley International Airport (KBDL), Windsor Locks, Connecticut

WINDSOR LOCKS — Passengers on a US Airways aircraft waiting to depart Bradley International Airport Wednesday morning were puzzled when they saw a pig board their flight.

Puzzlement turned to concern for one of those passengers, University of Massachusetts-Amherst Professor Jonathan Skolnik, when he realized the open seat next to him in the last row of the Embraer 175 was going to be occupied by the young woman carrying the pig down the aisle.

At first, Skolnik thought the large item the woman was carrying was a duffel bag — except that it was moving. And it stunk. The woman tied the pig's leash to the armrest then began to stow the other items she carried onto the plane, Skolnik wrote in email describing the incident that he sent to The Courant.

"Oh my Lord, where is she going to put that animal," Skolnik wrote. "I am burying my face in my sweater to hide from the stench. ... Now I, who dreads a dog coming too close, am contemplating an hour next to a big pig on the lap of my fellow [passenger]."

And then it got worse: The pig pooped.

That's when the woman began talking to the pig like it was a person, said Rob Phelps of Haydenville, Mass., another passenger who was seated near Skolnik. "You're being a jerk" was one of the nicer comments the woman made to the pig, he said on Saturday.

A flight attendant told the woman, "'You've got to clean that up,'" Phelps said of the poop.

She tried, but the stench grew, Skolnik and Phelps said. The pig was running back and forth in the aisle, too, Skolnik wrote.

"One lady was complaining because it started to smell like a barnyard," Phelps said.

The woman was then told she and her pig would have to get off the airplane. Phelps snapped a photo as she walked toward the front of the plane, the pig slung over her left shoulder.

The woman was able to bring the pig through security and onto the airplane because it was considered an "emotional support animal," said Laura Masvida, a spokeswoman for American Airlines, the parent company of US Airways.

To travel with an emotional support animal on American Airlines and US Airways, a passenger must provide documentation from a licensed mental health professional or doctor treating the traveler, according to the airline's website.

Despite the policy, when the pig became "disruptive," the flight crew asked the woman and her pig to get off the plane. The woman did not make a fuss, Phelps said.

"We needed an emotional support animal after that," Phelps said.

"I guess pigs didn't fly today," Skolnik added.

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A woman, who was permitted to bring a pig onto a plane at Bradley International Airport because it was considered an "emotional support animal," had to remove the animal when it became disruptive. 
(Photo courtesy of Robert Phelps)

Lufthansa Pilots Warn of Strikes After Talks With Airline Break Down: Union Says Pilots Could Walk Out on Flights at Lufthansa’s Passenger, Cargo or Germanwings Airlines at Any Time

The Wall Street Journal
By Natalia Drozdiak

Nov. 29, 2014 1:28 a.m. ET

FRANKFURT—Pilots at Deutsche Lufthansa AG late Friday said fresh strikes were impending after the most recent round of talks between the airline and its pilots over retirement benefits broke down.

The pilots union, Vereinigung Cockpit, said no real progress was made in the recent discussions with the airline since the union’s last strike in October. It said the pilots could walk out on flights at Lufthansa’s passenger, cargo or Germanwings airlines at any time.

Lufthansa has been pummeled by a string of pilot strikes this year, following a dispute with the union that has dragged on for more than two years.

The airline wants to raise the early retirement age to 60 to cut costs as it struggles to compete with budget airlines in Europe and price-aggressive Middle East carriers.

Lufthansa pilots can currently retire at age 55 and continue to receive 60% of their salary. But the airline has said the benefits program is outdated now that the European Union recently changed the guidelines, allowing pilots to fly until age 65.

“The Lufthansa management hasn’t taken up any of VC’s offers and continues to insist on maximum demands,” Vereinigung Cockpit said.

The two parties are also at odds over the German carrier’s plans to shift some flying to lower-cost operations. Lufthansa’s supervisory board is set to decide on its lower-cost, long-haul concept in early December.

The German carrier in late October scaled back its earnings guidance for next year, citing the deteriorating global economic outlook. It now expects to see an operating profit next year “significantly above” the €1 billion it still expects to see this year.

The airline had said, however, the targets for this year and next don’t account for further labor union strikes.

The walkouts by pilots and other labor unions have so far cost the airline about €170 million this year.

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Cessna 182N Skylane, N92739: Incident occurred November 29, 2014 in Cape Coral, Florida

Event Type:   Incident

Highest Injury:   None
Damage:  None


Flight Phase:   LANDING (LDG)

Federal Aviation Administration  Flight Standards District Office:  FAA Miami FSDO-19

JAMES G. WHITTY: WBBH News for Fort Myers, Cape Coral 

CAPE CORAL, FL -A small airplane had to make an emergency landing on a popular Cape Coral road Saturday morning.

Two North Fort Myers men were thousands of feet in the air when the engine on their Cessna suddenly lost power.  The pilot had to land the plane on Burnt Store Road near Van Buren Parkway.  That's where he and his passenger walked away without a scratch.

"50 years and the first time I've ever had to make an off airport landing," said pilot Jim Whitty.  "Stay cool and make a good landing."

Whitty and his brother-in-law Lee Leahy took off from Pine Shadows Airpark in North Fort Myers just after 8 a.m.  They were on their way to Venice in Sarasota County for breakfast.  But minutes after take-off, something went wrong in the single-engine Cessna.

"She backfired really badly so we couldn't maintain airspeed.  We had to land," said Whitty.

The pilot said he turned on his landing and anti-collision lights. A couple of cars got out of the way quickly, and then the plane's wheels were on the road.

"The plane came down fine, and we came down with it," said passenger Lee Leahy.

Neighbors in Northwest Cape Coral quickly went on Facebook describing the scary moments. One of our viewers commented "Watched and heard it sputtering as it went down.  Looked like the pilot knew what he was doing."

Whitty did know what he was doing.  But he now wants to know what went wrong with the engine.

"You're always wondering how you're going to do if it happens to you.  But, I guess the training pays off," said Whitty.

We did some digging and found the plane was up to date on its certifications.  The pilots says the plane will stay inside a hanger at Page Field in Fort Myers while the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating.

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Samuel Seafeldt: New Jamestown Regional Airport (KJMS) manager has background in flight instruction

 Sam Seafeldt is the new manager for the Jamestown Regional Airport.
 Chris Olson / The Sun

 Samuel Seafeldt has been on the job as the new airport manager at Jamestown Regional Airport for a little more than a month.

Seafeldt was hired by the Jamestown Regional Airport Authority in September to replace former airport Manager Matthew Leitner, who accepted a job managing three airports in northern California. Seafeldt is married and has two children, ages 4 and 11 months. He has two bachelor’s degrees — one in aviation and the other in air traffic control — from the University of North Dakota, and he was a flight instructor for six years at UND before accepting the airport manager position in Jamestown.

Seafeldt said after he got married in 2010 and he and his wife started their family, he started thinking about his career. He became a pilot when he was 17 and had planned to continue his career as a flight instructor and in flying airplanes.

“The type of career I originally wanted (being a commercial pilot) didn’t seem like a good mix (with family),” he said. “I wanted to have a more stable job and career.”

Seafeldt said he had looked at becoming an airport manager and felt he was qualified for the job. The problem he was running into was there were no airport manager jobs available in North Dakota.

“The other airport manager jobs we could find were on the East Coast or in Texas,” he said. “We didn’t want to make that kind of move.”

When the JRA airport manager job was posted, Seafeldt said he knew this was the job he wanted. The couple wanted to stay in North Dakota because they liked the people around Grand Forks and the openness of the North Dakota country.

Seafeldt was born and raised in Auburn, Wash., a city near Seattle. He got his first taste of aviation while in a dual enrollment program with Green River Community College and his high school. He graduated with a high school diploma and an associate’s degree in general studies from Green River Community College. One of the classes he took at Green River Community College was in aviation.

“I took the ground school course and then started flying on the side,” he said. “I got my pilot license and I decided I wanted to be in aviation for a living.”

Seafeldt said he likes what he sees at Jamestown Regional Airport. He said having projects like the almost completed new T-hangar building at the airport shows the Airport Authority is interested in maintaining and improving the airport. One thing Seafeldt would like to see is at least one private flight instructor operating out of the airport.

Seafeldt said his first experience at Jamestown Regional Airport was when he and a student flew into the airport from Grand Forks a few years ago.

“We pretty much just used the airport and left,” he said “I remembered seeing the city off in the distance as we took off, but we didn’t actually come into town.”

Jamestown turned out to be bigger than he thought it would be, but isn’t too big.

“I definitely like the small-town atmosphere,” he said. “I can tell that everyone is excited about all the opportunities that are taking place with growth out by Spiritwood and the direction the city is going.”

Since moving to Jamestown in October, Seafeldt said the Jamestown community has made him and his family feel welcome.

“We’ve received such a warm welcome,” he said. “The staff at the airport, they’ve been put under a bigger workload training a new manager. I can’t thank them enough.”

Seafeldt said he would also like to thank his wife and family for uprooting their lives and moving to Jamestown.

“I couldn’t have done this without my family,” he said.

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Dietmar Eckell: A Photographer Quit His Job To Document The Aftermath Of Plane Crashes Around The Globe

In 2010, photographer Dietmar Eckell was the general manager for Southeast Asia at a German Fortune 500 company, working and living comfortably. But, since his childhood, Eckell says he’s felt the strong pull of “wanderlust,” so that year he resigned his post and began travelling the world, documenting abandoned and decaying relics of earlier times.

Since then, he’s traveled almost 75,000 miles and visited four continents. “I haven’t regretted it for one day,” Eckell tells Business Insider.

For one of his main projects, Eckell researched and photographed 15 downed planes around the globe. The series is titled “Happy End,” because not a single passenger died in any of the crashes. “Pictures of fatal aeroplane crashes are all over the news. There’s no need for me to document graves,” Eckell told Slate. “I want to surprise the viewer with stories of heroes and miracles and give their viewing experience a ‘happy end.’”

Acting as part detective, part explorer, and part artist, Eckell traveled by any means necessary to some of the most remote areas of the world, tracking down these abandoned planes, many of which were difficult to locate.

“It’s just a great feeling to finally sit on the wing of a plane that you’ve been trying to reach for years,” he says.

Eckell has shared some of his photos here with us. For the full story on many of the planes he visited, we suggest you buy his beautiful new book.

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