Saturday, December 13, 2014

Baker, Montana: Local aviators, airport managers strongly oppose new Air Force training space (With Video)

Press Photo by Andrew Brown 
Roger Meggers, a pilot from Baker, Montana, works on a fiberglass wing of a plane on Friday. Meggers has led the opposition to the Powder River Training Complex expansion.



BAKER, Mont. -- Russell Burdick had been interested in aeronautics for years, but it wasn’t until he was in his 70s, after his wife had passed away, that he learned to pilot a plane.

But after earning his wings, investing in a hangar at the Baker Municipal Airport and building his own two-seater plane, Burdick is worried that his time spent in the skies may be threatened by the proposed expansion of the Powder River Training Complex, a military training space that serves the Ellsworth and Minot Air Force bases.

In late November, the U.S. Air Force finalized its long-awaited impact study that overviewed nearly every aspect of the 21.7 million acre expansion, paving the way for the plan’s final approval by the Air Force and the Federal Aviation Administration.

But while that plan has received widespread approval by federal lawmakers in the region -- including Sen. Heidi Heitkamp -- local aviators, airport administrators and residents in southwest North Dakota and southeast Montana are adamantly opposed to the plan, which they say is a federal overreach.

The proposed expansion would allow the Air Force to conduct large scale training missions with low altitude flights and supersonic runs over much of the region.

But while the Air Force has said large scale exercises would be limited to 10 days per year, local aviators and officials are concerned that the expanded training area could delay medical flights, interrupt business, undermine local airports and endanger the lives of pilots that fly smaller planes. 

“I don’t think it should happen,” said Burdick as he showed off the red and white single prop plane. “I’m scared to death.”

According to the proposed plan, larger planes that operate by instrument flight rules would not be allowed in the airspace during training runs, and smaller planes that fly by sight would be required to avoid military aircraft once they are in the air.

Roger Meggers, a local aviator who has led the fight against the proposed plan, said those rules could lead to hours of delays for larger planes -- including medical flights -- and deadly accidents for the pilots of smaller aircraft.

Meggers, who operates out of Baker, said that the “see and avoid” rules that the Air Force has suggested for smaller planes is absurd, considering the military aircraft -- often camouflaged -- will be flying faster than the 250-mile-per-hour speed under 10,000 feet.

With those speeds, Meggers said it would be “less than six seconds to go from a spec on the windshield to a mid-air collision.”

Dave Helland, a long-time pilot from Bowman, said the military’s attitude is: “We’re up here. Stay the hell out of our way.”

“This is extremely unpopular with the aviation community,” Helland said. “Collisions are a real serious deal.”

From an economic standpoint, those opposed to the plan say the training area -- which would more than double in size -- also impacts 38 smaller airports in the region, including the municipal airports in Baker and Bowman.

The administrators at the Baker and Bowman airports argue that planes using instrument flight rules would be unable to access their airports on many occasions, limiting the facilities’ profitability and appeal to corporate flights.

“When it’s active, they will virtually not be able to access our airport,” said Bob Morland, a Bowman Airport Authority board member.

Even worse, Morland said, is the fact that these rules could be finalized only months after Bowman’s new $14 million airport is set to open in May.

According to airport officials, both the Bowman and Baker airports have seen a rise in corporate traffic in recent years due to the number of oil company executives visiting the region.

But Morland said there is a real possibility that the proposed plan could destroy that uptick in service.

“That’s the primary reason we wanted to expand the airport, to handle business traffic,” Morland said. “We were expecting when we built the new airport to accommodate that future traffic.”

Other businesses that operate out of the two airports could also be affected, including aviation mechanics, environmental flight services and weather modification operations.

With the oil boom that is going on in western North Dakota and eastern Montana, Meggers said the Baker airport has become a centerpoint of environmental flights that check for oil leaks in pipelines or downed power lines.

Across the border, Morland said the Bowman airport has been a hot spot for weather modification businesses, where pilots release substances into oncoming clouds to lessen hail damage and increase rainfall.

Morland said Bowman County has one of the oldest weather modification programs in the country.

“There is nothing there to show us that they will allow that to continue,” Morland said.

Those opposed to the plan said they cannot understand why this expansion is moving forward now that the U.S. is pulling out of Afghanistan.

While they understand that the military needs to train, the local pilots and officials argue that there is more than enough space already available for the Air Force to train.

Morland argued that the real reason for the proposed expansion is to ensure the continued existence of the bases near Minot and Rapid City, SD, something national lawmakers are eager to achieve.

But while the expansion protects the economic interests of those cities, Morland said it undermines the commerce and success of Bowman and Baker.

“Frankly, we’ve been abandoned by our congressional delegation and governor’s office,” Morland said.

Morland said the local aviation community is still pushing to have the plan dismissed or altered, but he feels as if the odds are stacked against them.

Meggers said the plan is now in overdrive and if things go to plan, the military training space could be fully operational by the summer of 2015.

Meggers said the only way to change the plan is to get people to contact their congressional members and tell them to oppose it. He said their efforts have already led to more than 2,000 public comments.

Burdick said that he has submitted a letter stating his worry over collisions. But he said he wasn’t confident that it would make a difference.

“My flying is recreational, and this would take the recreation out of it,” Burdick said.

As a back up plan, Burdick has installed lights on the plane he built.

“If he’s gonna run over me, I’m gonna have him see me first,” Burdick said. 

Story, Video and Photos:   http://www.thedickinsonpress.com


Press Photo by Andrew Brown 
Russell Burdick, a pilot from Baker, Montana, stands with his plane on Friday.

Cessna 421C Golden Eagle, Venezia Marine Inc, N229H: Accident occurred August 27, 2013 in Paris, Illinois

NTSB Identification: CEN13FA509
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, August 27, 2013 in Paris, IL
Aircraft: CESSNA 421C, registration: N229H
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On August 27, 2013, approximately 1120 central daylight time, a Cessna 421C Riley Turbine Rocket twin-engine airplane, N229H, impacted wooded terrain shortly after takeoff from the Edgar County Airport (PRG), Paris, Illinois. The airline transport pilot, who was the sole occupant, sustained fatal injuries. The airplane was destroyed and a post-impact fire ensued. The airplane was registered to Venezia Marine, Inc., Terre Haute, Indiana, and operated by RSB Aviation, Inc., Paris, Illinois, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a positioning flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, and a flight plan was not filed. The flight was originating at the time of the accident and was en route to the Terre Haute International Airport - Hulman Field (HUF), Terre Haute, Indiana.

According to RSB Aviation company personnel, prior to the flight, the pilot fueled the airplane with 178 gallons of fuel, which according to a company pilot, would have topped off the fuel tanks. The pilot intended to depart PRG, pick up an individual at HUF, and then continue to Cincinnati, Ohio.

Witnesses, located inside a building on the airport, observed a portion of the airplane's takeoff roll from runway 9. They stated the airplane seemed to be very slow in comparison to other takeoff rolls they have observed with the accident airplane. Due to corn and other obstacles on the airport property blocking their view, and concerned with the slow takeoff roll, the witnesses exited the building and went to the edge of the runway to see if the pilot stopped the airplane or turned around. The witnesses did not observe the airplane; however, shortly thereafter, they noticed a smoke plume about 1 mile east of the airport.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 33, held an airline transport pilot certificate with an airplane multiengine land rating, a commercial certificate with airplane single-engine land and airplane single-engine sea ratings, and a flight instructor certificate with airplane single-engine land, airplane multiengine land, and instrument airplane ratings. The pilot's most recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) first-class medical certificate was dated August 13, 2012, and had no limitations. The pilot's application for his medical certificate indicated no use of any medications and no medical history conditions.

According to an insurance application dated December 4, 2012, the pilot reported he had accumulated at least 8,600 total flight hours, 4,700 total flight hours in multiengine airplanes, and 2,000 total flight hours in Cessna 421C Riley Turbine Rocket powered airplanes. The pilot's logbooks were not located during the investigation.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The accident airplane was manufactured in 1976 by The Cessna Aircraft Company as model 421C, serial number 421C0088, and was a high-performance, twin engine, low wing, piston-powered airplane. The airplane was originally issued a standard airworthiness certificate in the normal category on April 22, 1976, and the airplane was registered to Venezia Marine, Inc., on March 5, 2009. At the time of the accident, the airplane was equipped with two 675 shaft horsepower (shp) Lycoming LTP101-600A-1A engines, flat rated to 475 shp, per a supplemental type certificate (STC), and Hartzell Propeller HC-B3TN-3C three-blade, single-acting, constant speed, hydraulically operated propellers with feathering and reversing capability. 

On January 28, 1982, in accordance with Riley Aircraft STC SA4293WE, two Lycoming turboprop engines were installed on the airplane. The airplane was then issued a new standard airworthiness certificate in the normal category on January 29, 1982. 

A review of STC SA4293WE indicated the minimum controllable airspeed is 97 knots with the inoperative engine propeller in the feathered position.

Current airframe, engine, and propeller maintenance logbooks were not located during the investigation. RSB Aviation company personnel stated the maintenance records were in the accident airplane; no evidence of maintenance records were noted within the aircraft wreckage. The airplane's current weight and balance documents were not located.

According to RSB Aviation company maintenance personnel, the airplane underwent its most recent annual inspection in May or June of 2013.

According to RSB Aviation company personnel, during the previous several weeks before the accident, the left engine had been experiencing a delay/lag in obtaining 100 percent power after engine start-up. A company pilot reported the following: "The left engine sometimes would 'hang' at 70 [percent] gas [generator]. Upon moving (cycling) the throttle and or cycling the fuel pump on/off, the power to the left engine would accelerate and be normal. To say another way, it was slow to accelerate on power up to 70 [percent] gas [generator] and would stop at that power setting. Moving the throttle more forward (toward full) would not do anything. This sometimes would go on for minutes before coming up and would operate normal after that." The company pilot stated the delay/lag would not occur at each engine start-up, but at intermittent times. The airplane was flown on several flights by RBS Aviation pilots with the known delay/lag condition. According to maintenance personnel and another company pilot, the known problem with the left engine had not been corrected prior to the accident flight.

During an interview with a Honeywell technical representative, he stated that at an unknown date preceding the accident, the accident pilot contacted him to inquire about troubleshooting the left engine issue. The technical representative offered several suggestions to troubleshoot the problem; however, he had not received a call back whether the issue had been resolved. 

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

At 1155, the PRG automated weather observation system, located approximately 0.5 miles west of the accident site, reported the wind from 260 degrees at 8 knots, visibility 10 miles, clear skies, temperature 30 degrees Celsius (C), dew point 24 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.07 inches of mercury.

COMMUNICATION AND RADAR INFORMATION

There were no recorded air traffic communications or radar data for the accident flight.

AIRPORT INFORMATION

The Edgar County Airport, PRG, is a public, non-towered airport located about 5 miles north of Paris, Illinois, at a surveyed elevation of 654 feet. The airport features two asphalt runways, runway 9/27, which is 4,501 feet by 75 feet, and runway 18/36, which is 3,200 feet by 75 feet.

Runway 9 has a 38 foot tree located approximately 1,411 feet from the runway and 104 feet left of runway centerline.

FLIGHT RECORDERS

The airplane was not equipped, and was not required to be equipped, with a cockpit voice recorder, flight data recorder, or cockpit image recorder.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The accident site was located approximately 1/2 of a mile from the departure end of runway 9. The airplane wreckage was distributed on a heading of 090 degrees for approximately 300 feet. The airplane impacted numerous trees prior to coming to rest at the base of a large tree. A post-impact fire and 2 post-impact explosions ensued. Several separated sections of the left wing, left horizontal stabilizer, and left elevator were located near the initial tree impacts. The main wreckage consisted of the fuselage, right wing, a portion of the left wing, both engines, and portions of the empennage.

Visual examination and aerial photographs of the departure end of runway 9 and adjacent terrain showed the airplane's main landing gear exit the end of the runway surface, travel approximately 300 feet through grass, continue to travel approximately 300 feet through 3-foot-tall soybeans, and then impact the top of 10-foot-tall corn stalks for approximately 50 feet. Damage to the soybean and corn vegetation was greater on the right path area than on the left path area. Following the damaged corn stalks, there was no evidence of the airplane impacting terrain prior to the tree impacts. 

The fuselage, to include the cockpit and cabin areas, was destroyed by fire and thermal damage. The six seat frames (2 cockpit, 4 cabin) were separated from the fuselage structure. No seat restraint webbing was observed or located. No cockpit instrument readings or navigation/communication radio settings were discernable due to thermal damage. 

The flight control cables and linkage system were examined for continuity. One elevator control cable was continuous from the ball end to a separation in the aft fuselage. The separation was consistent with an overload failure. The other elevator control cable was continuous from a damaged turn barrel near the cockpit to a separation in the aft fuselage. The separation was consistent with an overload failure. The aileron, rudder, and flap control continuity could not be determined due to damage associated with the impact and fire. Landing gear and flap positions could not be determined due to damage associated with the impact and fire.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) completed the on-scene examination/wreckage documentation, and a recovery company removed all remaining airplane wreckage from the accident site. The engines, propellers, and miscellaneous airframe structure were transported to Honeywell, Phoenix, Arizona, for further examination. Details of the engine and propeller examinations are found later in this report.

PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the pilot by the Terre Haute Regional Hospital, Department of Pathology, Terre Haute, Indiana. The autopsy ruled the cause of death as the result of blunt force trauma, and the manner of death as an accident. No unusual findings were discovered during the autopsy.

Biological specimens from the pilot's body were forwarded to the FAA's Civil Aerospace Medical Institute for toxicological testing. These specimens tested negative for ethanol and drugs. The specimens were unsuitable for carbon monoxide testing, and testing for cyanide was not performed.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

Engine Examination

The engines were disassembled at Honeywell's facilities in Phoenix, Arizona, under the supervision of the NTSB. Disassembly and examination of the engines did not reveal evidence of preimpact malfunctions.

The left engine external surfaces were covered in black soot and displayed deposits of solidified aluminum. The power turbine rotated freely with continuity established to the propeller. The gas producer shaft would not rotate; however, remained connected to the gearbox. The gas producer rotated with resistance after the fuel and oil pumps were removed. The accessory gearbox rotated freely through both high and low speed gear train after the power section was removed from the gearbox housing.

Disassembly of the left engine revealed the cup lock and nut were rotated 45 degrees from the anti-rotation slot to the crimped area of the cup washer. No torque on the nut was noted during the disassembly. Circumferential rubs were noted on the inner diameter of the compressor vane assembly. The axial compressor rotor was covered in black soot and the blade tips displayed rubs and material buildup on the trailing edge. The compressor impeller was covered in black soot and the blades displayed rubs at the inducer, knee, and exducer. The impeller shroud displayed a light rub at the inducer from about the 12 to 3 o'clock position (aft looking forward), rub in the knee area at 3 to 4 o'clock position, and a rub in the exducer area from the 5 to 3 o'clock position. The compressor diffuser assembly showed evidence of metallic deposits on the inlet side of the vanes. The gas producer turbine rotor assembly showed evidence of metal spray on the pressure side of the blades at the trailing edge. The power turbine nozzle assembly displayed a light circumferential rub mark at the trailing edge and evidence of metal spray on the aft side of the vanes. The power turbine rotor assembly was covered in black soot and displayed evidence of blade tip rubs at the trailing edge. The accessory gearbox module components were intact and appeared undamaged. The following items were removed and retained for further examination: fuel pump, fuel control, fuel manifold, overspeed limiter, and propeller governor.

The right engine power section was separated from the accessory gearbox and the engine was covered in white ash. The power turbine was free to rotate. The gas producer would not rotate. The high and low speed spool in the accessory gearbox would not rotate.

Disassembly of the right engine revealed the cup lock and nut were missing. Circumferential rubs were noted on the inner diameter of the compressor vane assembly. The axial compressor rotor blade tips displayed material rolled in the direction opposite of rotation. Several blades were missing material at the forward leading edge, and several blades displayed damage on the leading edge with missing material. The compressor impeller was covered in light soot and the blade tips displayed rubs on the entire length of the blade. Material buildup was noted on both sides of the blades. The impeller shroud displayed a rub with material missing at the inducer from about the 10 to 2 o'clock position (aft looking forward), static blade indications on the shroud in area of a rub in the knee, a rub in the exducer area from the 11 to 1 o'clock position, and a light rub at the exducer area from the 1 to 11 o'clock position. The gas producer turbine rotor assembly showed evidence of metal spray on the aft side of the blades, and a circumferential rub on the outer diameter of the seal plate. The power turbine nozzle assembly displayed a light 360-degree circumferential rub at the aft area of the blade. The power turbine rotor assembly forward end of shaft was fractured approximately 5 ¼ inches from forward end. The forward end of the shaft displayed a blue tint. The assembly displayed evidence of blade tip rubs at the trailing edge. The accessory gearbox module housing had missing areas due to thermal damage which exposed internal gears and bearings. 

Left Engine Fuel Pump

The left engine fuel pump was examined at Triumph Engine Control Systems, West Hartford, Connecticut, under the supervision of the NTSB. Extensive thermal damage was noted on the pump housing which precluded any functional test of the pump. Disassembly and examination of the pump did not reveal evidence of a preimpact malfunction.

Left Engine Fuel Control

The left engine fuel control was examined at Honeywell, South Bend, Indiana, under the supervision of the NTSB. Extensive thermal damage was noted on the control, which precluded any functional test of the control. Disassembly and examination of the control did not reveal evidence of a preimpact malfunction.

Left Engine Fuel Manifold

The left engine fuel manifold was examined at UTC Aerospace Systems Engine Components, Des Moines, Iowa, under the supervision of the FAA. Visual examination of the manifold showed it was covered in carbon and a portion of the hard line was bent. The inlet fitting threads were damaged and a new inlet fitting was installed to perform a flow test per the approved test procedure (ATP). During the flow test, the number 1 and 2 nozzles had streaking to no flow. A pressure test was performed at 650 pounds per square inch (PSI) and several leaks were noted. The nozzles were removed from the manifold to replace the O-rings and Teflon seals. A pressure test at 650 PSI was again performed and no leaks were found. The ATP was repeated and the flow improved, however, the number 1 nozzle was clogged with no flow noted.

The left engine fuel manifold was further examined at Parker Aerospace, Glendale, Arizona, under the supervision of the FAA. The 68600501 ATP was performed on the patternation test fixture, and leakage was observed from the valve expansion plug. The manifold was installed into a spray quality chamber and all nozzles, with the exception of the number 5 nozzle, showed sputtering, backflow, and very little flow. The number 5 nozzle showed nominal flow. The nozzles were removed for further examination. New nozzles were installed on the accident manifold and the new nozzles met the test requirements. The accident nozzles were installed back onto the accident manifold with new O-rings and the flow test was repeated. All pressures were higher which was consistent with reduced flow primary circuit flow.

The left engine fuel manifold was placed on a test engine at Honeywell, Phoenix, Arizona, and an engine test was performed. The engine test revealed no discrepancy in the engine operation.

Propeller Examination

The propellers were disassembled at Honeywell's facilities in Phoenix under the supervision of the NTSB. Disassembly and examination of the propellers did not reveal evidence of a preimpact malfunction. Extensive thermal damage precluded determination of blade angle at the time of the accident; however, evidence revealed that neither propeller was in the feather or reverse position.

Disassembly of the left propeller revealed that the propeller assembly contained extensive thermal damage. All three blades remained partially attached to the hub. All three blades rotated in their respective clamps. Propeller cycling was not possible due to thermal and impact damage. The piston had thermal damage and large portions of the piston were melted. The piston contained deep impression marks consistent with the feather stops, which was indicative of the piston being forced into the feathered position. One blade was bent 90 degrees aft at mid blade, twisted forward at the blade tip, and the tip curled. One blade was bent in the forward and aft directions, and twisted forward at the blade tip. Several inches of the blade tip were missing, and the remaining portion displayed thermal damage. One blade was 90 percent missing, and the remaining portion displayed thermal damage.

Disassembly of the right propeller revealed that the propeller assembly contained extensive thermal damage. One blade was separated from the hub, and two blades remained partially attached to the hub. Propeller cycling was not possible due to thermal and impact damage. The piston was fragmented and a few fragmented sections remained on the beta rods. One blade was bent in the forward and aft directions, and twisted forward at the blade tip. One blade was 50 percent missing, and the remaining portion displayed thermal damage. One blade was bent in the forward and aft directions, and twisted forward at the blade tip.

Weight and Balance Information

The airplane's current weight and balance documents were not located. Based on the airplane's flight manual (AFM), gross weight computations were made for the accident takeoff based on the airplane's original empty weight, pilot, and fuel weights. The takeoff condition was calculated for a full fuel tank condition based on company personnel statements which indicated the pilot topped off the tanks with full fuel (total fuel capacity was 290.4 gallons, of which 281 was usable). The occupant weight was obtained from the pilot's most recent airman application, which was 200 pounds. The AFM listed the maximum takeoff weight was 7,579 pounds.

For the takeoff condition, the calculated gross weight was about 7,522 pounds. 

Airplane Performance

According to the AFM and a temperature of approximately 85 F, the twin-engine climb performance at sea level is about 1,900 feet per minute, and the single-engine climb performance at sea level is about 390 feet per minute with the propeller feathered, and the gear and flaps in the up position. The total distance over a 50 foot obstacle with takeoff power on both engines is approximately 2,600 feet.

AFM Checklist Emergency Procedures

Section 3 of the Riley Turbine Rocket Cessna 421C AFM provides information regarding airplane emergencies, the warnings or alerts associated with a particular emergency, and the procedures to follow once the emergency has been identified. Some of those procedures are listed as follows.

Engine Inoperative Procedures:

1. Engine Securing Procedure: Power Lever – FLIGHT IDLE Condition Lever – FEATHER Main Tank Pumps – OFF Generator – OFF Cabin Air Switches – OFF Fuel Selector – OFF Engine Anti-Ice - OFF Air Conditioner – OFF (If Installed) 

10. Engine Failure Before Liftoff – Speed Below 105 KIAS (knots indicated airspeed) Power Levers – GROUND IDLE or REVERSE as required Brakes – AS REQUIRED CAUTION: Use of reverse power with one engine inoperative only to the amount that directional control can be maintained.

13. Engine Failure After Take-Off – Speed Above 105 KIAS 1. POWER LEVERS – 51.3 PSIG Torque (DO NOT EXCEED MGT RED LINE) 2. Landing Gear – UP after positive rate is achieved 3. Establish Bank – 5 degrees TOWARD OPERATIVE ENGINE 4. Climb to Obstacle – 110 KIAS (Best Angle of Climb Speed) 5. Accelerate to Best Single Engine Climb Speed (Vyse) – 117 KIAS 6. Trim Tabs – ADJUST (Adjust to relieve control pressures) 7. Cabin Air Switches – OFF 8. Inoperative Engine – Secure (See Sect 1-A Above) 9. As Soon As Practical – LAND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Family members and friends of the pilot expressed concerns to the NTSB regarding some possible sabotage or criminal activity to the airplane by unknown persons that may have caused the accident. In the year preceding the accident, the pilot and his company felt harassed by local officials and airport personnel. The investigation did not reveal any evidence of sabotage or criminal activity that precluded the accident.


PARIS — After nearly two years, an investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) “did not reveal any evidence of sabotage or criminal activity” regarding the fatal RSB Aviation crash at the Edgar County Airport.

The factual report, released May 14, is not the final Probable Cause report and only includes the factual data found during the investigation.

On Aug. 27, 2013, RSB Aviation owner and operator Rusty Bogue, 33, was piloting a Cessna 421 C Riley Turbine Rocket twin-engine airplane from the Edgar County Airport, headed to Terre Haute International Airport — Hulman Field in Terre Haute, where he was planning to pick up a passenger and continue to Cincinnati, Ohio.

Shortly after take-off, however, the airplane struck a wooded terrain approximately one half mile from the departure end of Edgar County Airport Runway 9. Bogue died of injuries sustained from the accident.
According to the factual report, “the airplane was destroyed and a post-impact fire ensued.”

Witnesses inside the airport stated the airplane “seemed to be very slow in comparison to other takeoff rolls they have observed.”

RSB Aviation personnel reported to investigators that during the previous several weeks before the accident, “the left engine had been experiencing a delay/lag in obtaining 100 percent power after engine start-up.” The report also noted that Bogue had contacted a Honeywell Aerospace technician “to inquire about troubleshooting the left engine issue.”

An autopsy performed at Terre Haute Regional Hospital ruled the cause of death as blunt force trauma and the manner of death as an accident. “No unusual findings were discovered during the autopsy.”

“Biological specimens from the pilot’s body were forwarded to the FAA’s Civil Aerospace Medical Institute for toxicological testing. These specimens tested negative for ethanol and drugs,” according to the factual report.
Family members and friends of Bogue interviewed during the investigation “expressed concerns to the NTSB regarding some possible sabotage or criminal activity to the airplane by unknown persons that may have caused the accident. In the year preceding the accident, the pilot and his company felt harassed by local officials and airport personnel. The investigation did not reveal any evidence of sabotage or criminal activity that precluded the accident.”

Bogue’s father, Robert Bogue, has been on a quest to find the truth about the accident since it occurred; however, the factual report released by the NTSB has left him with more questions than answers. To the Bogue patriarch, there is only one explanation.

“My feelings haven’t changed,” he said. “The plane was tampered with. Period.”

http://www.parisbeacon.com

Edgar Co. (ECWd) –   If you were to attend a county board meeting one day, then read the local paper the next, you might be shocked depending on which paper you read. In this case you would be shocked by both papers!  One for the content of the reporting and the other for no reporting on the same issue.

During this week’s county board meeting both local papers had their reporters present. You may recall that the Prairie Press recently expressed their opinion that they don’t see any corruption in Edgar County. (Click here for our response on that subject)

During this meeting I spoke about the recent Attorney General Opinion regarding the Airport’s violation of the Freedom of Information Act.  They basically outlined that the Airport not only violated FOIA but also failed to provide the Attorney General with the documents they asked for.   (Click here for copy of Attorney General letter)

Now I don’t know about most people, but I believe it is a safe bet that a letter from the Attorney General outlining how the county violated the law…….again, just might be of interest to the public.

Have we forgotten a man died in a plane crash that has yet to have the cause determined?  Or that we have two airplanes that were spray painted with personal messages directed at the father of the deceased pilot, Rusty Bogue, and then firebombed, which is still an unsolved arson. Or the fact we have uncovered proof of multiple bank accounts and CDs of which key people tried to claim never existed?

All of these matters point to corruption in this county.  You see when it is clear people are breaking the law and nothing is done about it, it is corruption.  A person doesn’t have to be convicted to be a party to corruption.  Jimmy Wells, the former airport manager, has not been convicted of anything…………yet, but it is clear he has been a party to covering up the truth as it relates to matters at the airport.

The Attorney General letter is yet another example that points to corruption in this county, and even though I encouraged reporting of that matter during the meeting, we see in this week’s Prairie Press there was nothing covered.  Not one word to let the people know of the AG confirmed violations of the law at our county airport.  I expected nothing less as those same reporter has been present for all of the airport corruption exposure of the last 2 years and have failed to report on most of it.  What they did report on they got completely wrong.    (Click here for a fair number of Airport articles!)

With that being said, I greatly appreciated the fact the Paris Beacon reporter not only ensured the public was made aware of the news from the Attorney General, but the fact she asked for a copy of the letter so that she could report the truth!

When the media refuses to report the events of wrongdoing by its government they can no longer be trusted. 


Source:  http://edgarcountywatchdogs.com

 Video of County Board Meeting – Airport  comments begin at the 6:35 mark: 



Edgar County (KPRG), Paris, Illinois: Airport vandalism linked to plane crash? 



 


Updated:  November 21, 2013, 10:27 AM EST
Published:  November 20, 2013, 6:57 PM EST    

EDGAR COUNTY, Ill. (WTHI) - Just days after two airplanes were deliberately torched at the Edgar County Airport, the father of the pilot killed in a plane crash last August is sharing insight into what he says is really going on behind airport walls; what Rob Bogue says is airport politics.

Asked if he thought his son, Rusty Bogue, might have been the victim of foul play Rob Bogue replied:  "There are people that had motive and opportunity. There are people that had demonstrated they could screw with the airplanes. There were events and things that happened there that were reported, and have been documented, and there's an on-going investigation.”

Bogue recalled, tearfully, how his son earned his wings in one of the planes burned late Monday night outside an airport hangar.

"Some of the explosive bombs, or the devices, didn't go off! So, that's part of the equation. And I believe they'll find who did this,” Bogue said.

Rob Bogue is much more certain about why someone might retaliate against airport leaders, than who might.

"And I think that we have ruffled the feathers of some powers-that-be,” Bogue offered.

He was referring to the recent discovery that the  seven member airport advisory board, according to Bogue’s interpretation of the law, does not exist in the eyes of Illinois state statute.

"They don't exist! They don't have anymore meetings, legally! In the stroke of a pen, we now do not have an airport advisory board.”

Bogue said it’s up to the Edgar County Board to run the airport; Bogue is demanding the airport panel dissolve immediately.

Adonna Bennett, chairperson of the airport advisory board, told News 10 board members have no plans of disbanding, and that their next board meeting is set for early December.

Source:  http://www.wthitv.com



























Updated:  November 19, 2013, 7:08 PM EST 
 Published:  November 19, 2013, 4:11 PM EST

The Edgar County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy says a passerby called 911 at approximately 10:10 p.m. Monday as they spotted the two burning planes outside a hangar at the Edgar County Airport.

The airport is located on County Road 1550 North, also known as Airport Road.

Tuesday afternoon, both burned-out aircraft remain parked, side-by-side but behind yellow crime scene tape.

“It’s troubling, because we don’t know for sure what’s going on. We actually don’t,” airport manager, Jimmy Wells, told News 10 on Tuesday. “We’re extremely lucky because the fire was contained to those two airplanes and didn’t go any further than in that area. It didn’t get into the hangar!”

On one of the planes is the message, “This is our airport,” that appears to be hand-written in orange spray paint. On the other plane is an expletive geared toward a man named “Rob.”

That “Rob” is almost certainly Robert Bogue, according to the airport manager.

Bogue is the father of pilot Rusty Bogue, whose plane crashed when he was flying in late August. Rusty Bogue died in that crash.

News 10 has traced all three airplanes, the two that are burned and the one Rusty Bogue crashed, to a Bryan Phillips of Terre Haute.

Phillips is registered as the owner of Venezia Marine Inc. and Invictus Investments, LLC, all of which have a Terre Haute address of 525 West Honey Creek Drive.

So far, News 10’s attempts to reach Phillips have been unsuccessful.


Source:  http://www.wthitv.com 

RUSTY BOGUE sits at the controls of a plane he loved to fly. He was killed August 27, 2013 when the Cessna 421 he was piloting back to Terre Haute, Ind., crashed shortly after taking off from the Edgar County Airport.

NTSB Identification: CEN13FA509
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, August 27, 2013 in Paris, IL
Aircraft: CESSNA 421C, registration: N229H
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 August 27, 2013, approximately 1120 central daylight time, a Cessna 421C twin-engine airplane, N229H, impacted wooded terrain shortly after takeoff from the Edgar County Airport (PRG), Paris, Illinois. The airline transport pilot, who was the sole occupant, sustained fatal injuries. The airplane was destroyed by impact and post-impact fire. The airplane was registered to Venezia Marine, Inc., Terre Haute, Indiana, and operated by RSB Aviation, Inc, Paris, Illinois, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a positioning flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, and a flight plan was not filed. The flight was originating at the time of the accident and was en route to the Terre Haute International Airport - Hulman Field (HUF), Terre Haute, Indiana.

Prior to the flight, the pilot fueled the airplane with 178 gallons of fuel, which according to a company pilot, would have topped off the fuel tanks. The pilot intended to depart PRG, pick up an individual at HUF, and then continue the flight to Cincinnati, Ohio.

Witnesses observed the airplane during its takeoff roll from runway 09. They stated the airplane seemed to be very slow in comparison to other takeoff rolls they have observed with the accident airplane. Due to corn and other obstacles on airport property, the witnesses did not observe the airplane takeoff; however, shortly thereafter, they noticed a smoke plume about 1 mile east of the airport.

The accident site was located approximately 3/4 of a mile from the departure end of runway 09 (4,502 feet long by 75 feet wide). The airplane wreckage was distributed on a heading of 090 for approximately 300 feet. The airplane impacted numerous trees prior to coming to rest at the base of a large tree. A post-impact fire and 2 post-impact explosions ensued. Several separated sections of the left wing, left horizontal stabilizer, and left elevator were located near the initial tree impacts. The main wreckage consisted of the fuselage, right wing, a portion of the left wing, both engines, and portions of the empennage. The left engine propeller was found in the feathered position, and right engine propeller was found in an operating range position.

Visual examination and aerial photographs of the departure end of runway 09 and adjacent terrain showed the airplane's main landing gear exit the end of the runway surface, travel approximately 300 feet through grass, continue to travel approximately 300 feet through 3-foot-tall soybeans, and then impact the top of 10-foot-tall corn stalks for approximately 50 feet. Following the damaged corn stalks, there was no evidence of the airplane impacting terrain prior to the initial tree impacts.

The airplane was equipped with two Lycoming LTP 101-600A-1A turboprop engines. The Lycoming engines were originally installed on the airplane per a Supplemental Type Certificate in 1982. According to RSB Aviation company personnel, during the previous several weeks before the accident, the left engine had been experiencing a delay/lag in obtaining 100 percent power after engine start-up. After a period of time, typically about 30 seconds, the left engine would obtain 100 percent power. After the engine obtained 100 percent power, the engine would maintain the power unless the pilot commanded otherwise. The delay/lag would not occur at each engine start-up, but at intermittent times. The airplane was flown by RBS Aviation with the known delay/lag condition. According to maintenance personnel and another company pilot, the known problem with the left engine had not been corrected prior to the accident flight.

Renegade Spirit, N955R: Fatal accident occurred December 13, 2014 near Malcolm McKinnon Airport (KSSI), St. Simons Island, Brunswick, Georgia

NTSB Identification: ERA15LA075 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, December 13, 2014 in Brunswick, GA
Aircraft: JOHNSON DAVID EARL RENEGADE SPIRIT, registration: N955R
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 may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On December 13, 2014, about 1340 eastern standard time, an experimental amateur-built Johnson David Earl Renegade Spirit, N955R, was substantially damaged when it impacted a residence just after takeoff from Malcom McKinnon Airport (SSI), Brunswick, Georgia. The private pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local, personal flight, which was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

A witness, who was also a friend of the pilot, reported that he and the pilot had been working on the accident airplane for several weeks, and that the pilot had been having trouble with the airplane's engine. On the day of the accident, the pilot stated that he was going to perform some high-speed taxi tests, and that he might attempt to fly the airplane. The witness observed as the pilot taxied to runway 22, applied engine power, and accelerated down the runway. The airplane became airborne and disappeared from sight behind a row of hangars. The airplane then re-appeared momentarily just over the trees at the end of the runway, and the witness stated that it was in a "nose-high" attitude and appeared to be "struggling." 

The airplane came to rest upright against a residence. The forward fuselage and cockpit area sustained significant aft crushing damage, and the empennage remained intact. First responders stated that fuel was leaking from the airplane. There was no postcrash fire. 

The airplane was subsequently recovered from the accident site, and further examination of the airframe and engine was scheduled for a later date.

http://registry.faa.gov/N955R 

ST. SIMONS ISLAND | A Brunswick, Ga., man was killed Saturday when a single-engine plane crashed into a house near the southeast corner of the main runway of the McKinnon St. Simons Island Airport, officials said. 

“There was one fatality,’’ said Jay Wiggins, Glynn County director of Emergency Management. “There was no intrusion into the residence. No one was home.”

Officials identified the pilot as 68-year-old Brunswick resident James Ronald Wood.

“There was significant damage done to the front of the plane,’’ Glynn County Fire Chief Samuel C. Gardner said.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime lab in Savannah will determine Wood’s cause of death, Glynn County Deputy Coroner Chris Stewart said at the scene.

Glynn County firefighters hung a drape to conceal the plane from view until officials from the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board arrived to begin their investigation. There was not much visible damage to the Anguilla Avenue house.

Brittany Hayes, who lives six doors away from the crash scene, said she and her son, Jasper, 3, witnessed the crash as they drove toward Kings Way, a road that passes near the end of the runway.

Because it was warm in her car, Hayes said she had the windows down and heard a series of pops from the plane before seeing it through the live oaks overhead and to her right.

Hayes said didn’t believe it was a real plane at first. It appeared to be turning before it nosed almost straight down, she said.

“Then there was a loud boom,’’ she said.

She was beside the house seconds after the crash, Hayes said, and heard people screaming and yelling and talking on their phones immediately to report the crash.

There was smoke coming from the plane and people urged her to drive away from the house, Hayes said.

“It didn’t seem real,’’ she said.

The owners of the house, Tripp and Deborah Frederick, were in Camden County when they got a call from a man who is building a house next door.

“I’m very glad we weren’t home,’’ Deborah Frederick said. “The house is just a house. I’m just sick about that man.”

Hayes said there was rapid and heavy response to the scene.

The Georgia State Patrol, Glynn County Emergency Management Agency, Glynn County Fire Department, Glynn County Police Department, the Glynn County coroner and the Glynn County Airport Commission all had personnel at the scene.


Source:  http://jacksonville.com






Airshow committee, Hangar 24 meet to discuss 2015 AirFest: Redlands Municipal Airport (KREI), California

REDLANDS >> Pilots at Redlands Municipal Airport and representatives from Hangar 24 met Wednesday to clarify a request made to close the airport during the upcoming AirFest and discuss more details of the show.

The Airport Advisory Board on Tuesday recommended against a proposed full closure of the airport the day of the airshow, May 16. Since the meeting, Ben Cook, owner and master brewer of Hangar 24, met with the owners of Coyote Aviation — the business most impacted by the show — and agreed on some modifications to the plan.

They shared an option with the committee that would restrict only hangars east of the Coyote hangars during the block of time air traffic is prohibited. They would use a rope barrier that could be removed when the flight restrictions are lifted, allowing people to move freely among the hangars.

Cook said they would group the aviation portion of the show together, making the time for restrictions shorter.

“We just came up with that while walking around talking about things,” Cook said.

Sue Cook, organizer of the 2015 AirFest and mother of Ben Cook, had sent the city a request on Dec. 3 seeking a full airport closure from 3 to 7 p.m. the day of the show but ideally for the entire day. The board was presented a proposal to close the airport for the full day of the show, which they did not support. The City Council will consider the request Tuesday.

During Wednesday’s committee meeting, Sue Cook clarified that they only need flight restrictions from 3 to 7 p.m., not the entire day.

The request also includes a partial closure to allow for fence installation on Friday and to restrict pedestrian access in some areas.

Event organizers are seeking a 300-foot crowd line from the center line of the runway, which would allow planes performing in the show to land and take off from Redlands.

Last year, performers landed and took off from San Bernardino International Airport.

The crowd line would fall between the hangars, resulting in the need to restrict access to tenants.

Sue Cook said they will present their modifications to the council Tuesday. They need City Council approval in early January in order to meet their deadlines.

Ben Cook said he also agrees with restricting beer sales to the west ramp and setting up a kid zone and family-friendly area to the east.

The committee had been recommending establishing a beer garden rather than having numerous beer concessions stands like last year.

They are also asking for more kid- and family-friendly events.

The committee and the Cooks also hope to use a different type of fencing for this year’s show, rather than the 6-foot chain-link fence the city required them to use last year.

This year, they are seeking bicycle fencing or rope fencing to allow for better viewing of the show by attendees.

Ted Gablin, co-chairman of the committee and president of the Redlands Airport Association, said the location of last year’s fence was also problematic for airport users, when it was set back 200 feet.

Dennis Brown, a pilot at the airport and former airshow organizer, said Federal Aviation Administration asks only for a positive crowd control line, which could be a physical barrier or line on the ground.

Councilwoman Pat Gilbreath said she spoke with a Riverside police officer involved with the airshow hosted at the March Air Reserve Base, who said they use a rope with a sheet stapled over where the ropes connect that reads “no trespassing.”

“That satisfies FAA. I think the city needs to be educated too on what that requirement is because they are concerned about safety, obviously,” Gilbreath said. “That airshow has been going on for quite a while and is very successful.”

The Advisory Board formed an airshow subcommittee in November that has been meeting to discuss guidelines for airshows at the airport. Their recommendations are due in February. The City Council is expected to consider the AirFest application, fee waiver and permit applications in March.

The committee has been meeting to work on recommendations for future events held at the airport, including Hangar 24’s AirFest.

“This has been the product that’s going to come out of our work,” Gablin said, holding up a list of issues and resolutions established by the committee. “It started with identification of the issues that we had at previous events at Redlands airport. We identified the problems and then suggested some solutions.”

Source:  http://www.sbsun.com

EDITORIAL: Martin County may be close to resolving air medical transport issue

December 13-- PROBLEM SOLVED?:   Martin County has been relying on St. Lucie County's medical helicopter to transport seriously injured accident victims since January.

The County Commission may be close to resolving this disconcerting situation.

On Tuesday, commissioners will consider a draft contract with PHI Air Medical, a national air ambulance provider with 65 bases throughout the country.

The proposed five-year contract requires PHI Air Medical to provide a certified medical helicopter -- and all associated functions -- 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and includes aircraft operations, pilots, aircraft maintenance, and mechanics.

The total annual expense to the county is $2.4 million, though this would be offset by fees collected from insurance companies and private billing. Any shortfall would be made up with property tax dollars.

Martin County has gone far too long without its own designated air medical transport provider.

County commissioners need to resolve this issue Tuesday.

Source:  http://www.tcpalm.com/opinion/editorials

Jammu Airport Waiting For 'Catastrophe': Union Minister

Union Minister of State, Civil Aviation, Mahesh Sharma, today cautioned that the Jammu airport was waiting for a "catastrophe" due to the size of its airstrip which was far less than the set standard. 

"The only domestic airport in Jammu region is waiting for a catastrophe to take place," Sharma said at a function here.


"The standard size of the airstrip is 9,000 feet while in Jammu it is 6,770 feet. If an aircraft with 150 passengers booked to its capacity tries to land here there are every possibility of a crash," he said.


The Union minister said that the Jammu airport was not suited for the landing of an aircraft facing an emergency.


"I am told that aircraft coming here have to leave 25 seats vacant as it is dangerous for a loaded aircraft to land here," he said.


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

Should pilots filter their Instagramming habits? (With Video)

There's a growing trend on Instagram: Pilots taking and posting photos, captured from their unusual vantage point inside the cockpit. And hundreds, sometimes thousands of people have been flocking to their accounts, waiting for the next round of stunning images.

Though the images may be beautiful, taking the photos while piloting a commercial aircraft is against U.S. and European aviation rules.

David Yanofsky, a reporter for Quartz, a digital business news publication, conducted a six-month investigation into the trend.

"There's no rules specifically against taking a photograph," he said. "What there are rules on are the type of device that you can use. And using a device that has wireless capabilities is, in fact, always forbidden in a cockpit by FAA rules unless there's an emergency and the captain says that that is necessary."

According to Yanofsky, pilots are taking these photos at critical periods of flight, like takeoffs and landings.

"During those times there's an even heightened sense of awareness that needs to be taking place in the cockpit," he said. "And during those times, pilots can't even drink a cup of coffee, let alone talk to the flight attendant. And there have been some photographs that I've seen that appear to be taken during those times."

Some of the photos have captions and a time stamp, so it's easy to tell when and where they're taken. And while there are critical periods of flight, there are also cruising altitudes when pilots can use the bathroom, eat or even say, complete a crossword puzzle.

"If they're taking a break, they're not at their duty station," Yanofsky said. "And the FAA rules specifically mentions the duty station when taking the picture. You don't want someone to get sucked into a device and be focused on that more than flying the airplane, where that might not be the same case with printed material."

Yanofsky said he has spoken with the FAA, which said it's never taken action against a pilot for using a personal electronic device while in the cockpit. Neither have the airlines he contacted.

"The aviation community has reacted somewhat negatively to this story because it is a part of their community that they treasure," he said. "As such, they've started blocking me on various social media, so it's hard for me to determine how this has all changed."

Story and video:   http://www.cbsnews.com

The pilots of Instagram: beautiful views from the cockpit, violating rules of the air 
 
'About to land, but #selfie first': Instagram-addicted pilots defy cockpit rules 

The temptation of flying high in social media inspires dozens of cockpit crewmembers to shoot and post stunning aerial views and selfies, while on duty. They do so despite it being against the rules, and even at critical moments of takeoff and landing.

Instagram has been monitored for six months by Quartz reporters, who surfed the social network for pictures with hashtags like #pilotlife, #pilotsview or #cockpitview. They found hundreds of examples.

Some of the sky-high images have garnered hundreds of likes and followers.

Social media popularity, however, comes at a price of violating safety rules, adopted in the US and in Europe. These bar airline pilots from using electronic devices for personal reasons while on duty in the cockpit.

There’s also an even stricter requirement of a so-called "sterile cockpit" – a ban on doing anything unrelated to operating the plane - while the aircraft is in the process of takeoff or landing at altitudes below 10,000 ft (3,000 m).

Landing photos are however in abundance online.

“About to land this plane but first, #lmtas [let me take a selfie],” read caption to a photo posted by Gary Baumgardner, @garybpilot on Instagram.

However later, responding to a request by Quartz, he wrote that all of his pictures were taken on the ground. Like many other pilots contacted by the online media source he chose to delete his account.

Some US pilots addressed the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), when it was considering the rules on the use of electronic devices in the cockpit, and said that gadgets were actually only contributing to flight safety, as they helped the crew cope with boredom and consequently loss of concentration.

The FAA remained unconvinced and banned all use of electronic devices by pilots in the cockpit in February 2014.

Story, video and photos:  http://rt.com

Islamic State Shoots Down Iraqi Helicopter: Attack Raises Concerns About Militants’ Ability to Hit Aircraft

The Wall Street Journal
Associated Press
Dec. 13, 2014 8:39 a.m. ET


BAGHDAD—Islamic State group militants shot down an Iraqi military helicopter, officials said Saturday, killing the two pilots on board and raising fresh concerns about the extremists’ ability to attack aircraft amid ongoing U.S.-led coalition airstrikes.

The attack happened late Friday in the Shiite holy city of Samarra, about 60 miles north of Baghdad. A senior Defense Ministry official said the Sunni militants used a shoulder-fired rocket launcher to shoot down the EC635 helicopter on the outskirts of the city.

An army official corroborated the information. Both spoke on condition of anonymity as they weren’t authorized to speak to journalists.

The EC635, built by Airbus Helicopters, is used for transportation, surveillance and combat.

The militants shot down at least two other Iraqi military helicopters near the city of Beiji in October. Some fear the militants may have captured ground-to-air missiles capable of shooting down airplanes when they overran Iraqi and Syrian army bases this summer.

European airlines including Virgin Atlantic, KLM and Air France, U.S. carrier Delta Air Lines and Dubai-based Emirates changed their commercial flight plans over the summer to avoid Iraqi airspace.

The Islamic State group holds about a third of Iraq and neighboring Syria in its self-styled caliphate.

Source: http://www.wsj.com

Seaplanes to use chopper routes to avoid Mumbai airport traffic delays

Seaplanes will technically be called helicopters, as clearance window to carrier from ATC is small.

Faced with regular delays in take-offs and landings thanks to a small clearance window from Mumbai Airport, air traffic controllers have designated the sea plane - the only fixed-wing aircraft operating from Juhu - as a helicopter for operational reasons. 

On Thursday, Airports Authority of India (AAI) conducted a trial run by assigning the Mehair-operated seaplane a new routing pattern that follows chopper flight paths and over sea. This would avoid interfering with Mumbai airport operations, and end dependence on air traffic movement there. 

"The clearance window allotted to Mehair by Mumbai ATC is small and they are unable to take off within that, which results in their departures being put on hold," an ATC official said. 

Mehair co-founder and director, Siddharth Verma, told Mirror, "We had requested AAI to consider assigning a different routing so that we are not kept on hold with passengers on board. It can be annoying for passengers to wait endlessly as our pilots await an all-clear signal from Mumbai ATC, which coordinates 48 flight movements every hour." 

On Wednesday, AAI reviewed seaplane operations and decided to try out a routing similar to helicopters (and over the sea) that use Juhu aerodrome without depending on movement of big aircraft at Mumbai airport. "Using the new routing, the flight to Pavana on Thursday departed on time and returned ahead of schedule," Verma said. The changes in routing might also bring down fares, he added.

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