Thursday, December 31, 2015

Guyana government refuses to renew cash-jet pilot’s Cheddi Jagan International Airport hangar lease

The Exec Jet Club hangar at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport. 

Kemraj Lall

The Guyana government has taken possession of a hangar at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport after the lease to Guyanese cash-jet pilot, Khamraj Lall, expired.

Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson said Lall’s representatives had written to the Attorney General, Basil Williams claiming that they still had a stake in the property but was told that the clear condition on the lease is that once it expired the State could repossess the property.

Following the expiration of the lease on October 15, 2015,  he said authorities wrote the principals advising them of the status of the arrangement. “We wrote in accordance with the lease advising them that we will have no intention of renewing the lease and they were free to remove any move-able objects and properties that they would have,” he said when asked by Demerara Waves Online News.

The Public Infrastructure Minister said ExecJet Club representatives have told the Attorney General that government could not terminate the lease because of the millions of dollars that have been spent on constructing the hangar.

As far as Patterson was concerned, that process has now marked the end of an executive jet hangar at the CJIA but the final decision would be made by the airport’s board when it is appointed. “I for one don’t see us having any use for a luxury hangar anymore,” he said.

The Minister noted that the CJIA could make a lot of money in facilitating the arrival and departure of cargo.

Pilot Lall was arrested on November 22, 2014 in Puerto Rico during a routine technical stop after a search of the aircraft by federal agents yielded a total of US$620,000.

In July, 2015 he was charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine and importation of cocaine into the United States.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert A. Marangola, who is handling the case, said that according to the indictment, between December 2013 and February 10, 2015, the defendant conspired to bring more than five kilograms of cocaine from Guyana into the United States.

Lall is a pilot and is accused of transporting the cocaine on his flights from Guyana to the United States.

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Kemraj Lall

Khamraj Lall

Airplane wreckage reminds Texas town of Ricky Nelson's death 30 years ago

The tail of the Douglas DC-3 plane owned by rock and roll legend Ricky Nelson is suspended from the ceiling of The Williams House Museum in De Kalb, Texas.

For years, pieces of the DC-3 airplane that crash-landed and burned, killing child TV star and rock legend Ricky Nelson 30 years ago Thursday, rested in a barn in east Texas with no one to claim it.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member died with six other passengers in the New Year's Eve crash near De Kalb, Texas.

It was one of the biggest events ever in the town of about 1,700 people. The remains of Nelson's plane sit in a sparsely visited museum as a reminder of the day the town was thrust into the national spotlight.

The anniversary of Nelson's death, at 45, drew a only few curious visitors, who remembered the pop star who grew up on the TV show "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet," that starred his parents.

He later became a teen idol and topped the charts with songs like "Hello Mary Lou" and "Travelin' Man."

For a few residents, the anniversary was a time to look back on that day three decades ago.

"We were in the field beside it feeding some cows and then we saw this plane flying real low and smoke was following behind it," De Kalb resident Randy Barrett said of that day.

It landed in the field beside him. The plane "just ran out of pasture and burned up," he said.

Also killed in the crash were Nelson’s fiancée, Helen Blair, 27, and bandmates Patrick Woodward, 35; Rick Intveld, 32; Andy Chaplain, 30; Clark Russell, 35, and Bobby Neal, 38.

A National Transportation Safety Board report said a pilot advised air traffic controllers there was smoke in the cockpit and the DC-3 would not be able to reach nearby airports.

While attempting to land, the plane struck transmission wires, a utility pole and ran into trees, damaged by fire and impact, the report said. The pilots escaped through the cockpit windows, but the passengers did not get out.

"I think about it every New Year's," said Barrett. "I think about it every time I go that way."

After the town settled back down, parts of the wreckage remained in the field and years later were placed in a yard next to the Williams House Museum, a converted railroad house displaying town memorabilia.

The museum was given the nod to display the wreckage by some of the band members' families and later by Nelson's youngest child, Sam Nelson.


NTSB Identification: DCA86AA012
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 29185.
Accident occurred Tuesday, December 31, 1985 in DEKALB, TX
Aircraft: DOUGLAS DC-3, registration: N711Y
Injuries: 7 Fatal, 2 Serious.


The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:



Contributing Factors:


Federal Aviation Administration Proposes Fixes to Boeing 767 Emergency Escape Slides: Preliminary directive concerns slides possibly opening during normal operations

The Wall Street Journal
Updated Dec. 31, 2015 7:34 p.m. ET

Federal aviation regulators are proposing safety fixes affecting more than 300 Boeing 767 jetliners to prevent the unexpected deployment of emergency escape slides.

The preliminary Federal Aviation Administration directive, which would apply directly only to 767 aircraft operated by U.S. carriers, was prompted by what the agency described as “multiple reports of uncommanded escape slide inflation.” Foreign carriers flying hundreds of other 767s, however, eventually would be expected to comply with the FAA’s final mandate.

The FAA’s proposal is unusual because it concerns slides possibly opening during normal operations, not problems with deployment during emergencies.

The agency typically has ordered airlines to inspect or fix suspect slides on various aircraft because they may have a propensity to deploy improperly, or fail to deploy altogether, in emergency situations. There have been numerous such mandates over the past 15 years affecting Boeing aircraft, along with those covering models manufactured by other plane makers.

During that period, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board has repeatedly weighed in to urge FAA action to ensure that all slides inflate and are positioned as required in actual aircraft evacuations.

A number of high-profile commercial aircraft accidents around the world, including an Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 that crashed on approach to San Francisco International Airport in July 2013, have shown that evacuation slides often don’t operate as desired. In the Asiana crash, which killed three passengers, a pair of slides malfunctioned due to impact forces.

But this time, the FAA is addressing a different problem. The agency wants airlines to replace certain valves that could cause premature or unwanted deployment of escape slides on 767s “during normal airplane maintenance or operations.”

The result, according to the FAA document, could be “injury to passengers and crew, damage to equipment, and the slide becoming unusable in an emergency evacuation.”

The proposal requires modifying valves that help control slides attached to several different doors on 767 aircraft. The FAA didn’t elaborate on the details of the earlier unwanted deployments, but the document didn’t indicate they occurred while planes were airborne.

The proposal is subject to industry and public comment before it becomes final.

The FAA apparently doesn’t consider the problem to pose an imminent hazard, because the agency envisions giving some airlines nearly four years to make the fixes.

Boeing issued a nonbinding service bulletin in April, advising airlines world-wide about the problem and including instructions for completing the fixes. According to the FAA document posted on the Federal Register website Thursday, Boeing also issued an earlier service bulletin in November 2014.

Original article can be found here:

Incident occurred December 22, 2015 at Ronaldsway Airport, Isle of Man

Air safety inspectors are investigating why a plane's tail scraped along the runway as it landed on the Isle of Man.

Details have just emerged about the incident at Ronaldsway Airport on 22 December.

Flight BE-821 from Manchester, which had 70 passengers on board, scraped runway 26 at the airport.

A spokesman for the Air Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) said it was "investigating the incident via correspondence".

The Stobart Air ATR-72 plane has operated on behalf of Flybe since September.

A spokesman for Stobart Air - formerly Aer Arann - said the airline "confirmed the aircraft did incur a minor tail scrape" on landing in the Isle of Man.

He added: "Following an engineering inspection of the strike plates, the aircraft was released for service."


Federal Aviation Administration tells local drone and model aircraft clubs: Cease and desist

This file photo shows a small remote-controlled drone as it hovers in the sky during a meet-up of the DC Area Drone User Group in Middletown, Maryland.

On many afternoons, the skies above Gude Drive Field in Montgomery County are dotted with a mix of model electric airplanes and gliders, small drones and remote-controlled helicopters. The home field of the Capital Area Soaring Association, 16 nautical miles north of Reagan National Airport, provides open spaces and a safe haven where hobbyists can fly their machines.

Last week, the leaders of the 130-member group were advised by their parent organization that their safe haven is now a no-fly zone.

The Federal Aviation Administration sent out a memo to dozens of model aircraft sites in the Washington area telling them they needed to halt activity because some users were flying within the “special flight rules area.” In other words, too many drones had been crossing into airport territory.

“We are asking for your help in spreading the word to the National Capitol Region model aircraft community that such activity is subject to enforcement action, and could damage our efforts to secure the interagency concurrence that is critical to this effort,” read the email from Brian Throop, manager of the FAA’s special operations security group.

The memo was what area drone hobbyists had feared for months.

Airspace restrictions were put into place in the Washington area shortly after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. In the ensuing years, model aircraft were prohibited from flying within 15 miles of Reagan National Airport.

In September, the FAA announced drones were subject to a 30-mile prohibition around Reagan National Airport, a zone where communications between aircraft and air-traffic control is required. That 30-mile prohibition had the effect of making the D.C. metropolitan area — from Northern Virginia nearly to Baltimore — a no-drone zone.

Model aircraft hobbyists, long told that the rule was 15 miles, initially thought the expansion of the restricted area was a mistake. The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), a nonprofit group that promotes model aeronautics as a sport and recreational activity and says it has pushed responsible flying for 80 years, did not ask its members to abide by the 30-mile prohibition — until the recent advisory, which was detailed in a report by Vice Motherboard, a culture website.

“A lot of people felt that was kind of an error, that they had kind of lumped us in with regular aircraft outside of the 15 mile radius,” said Dom Perez, coordinator of the Soaring Association. “The FAA came to the AMA and said, ‘No, it’s not an error, and you need to tell your clubs to shut down.’ ”

In addition to 14 area AMA-member clubs, the shutdown affects sites overseen by the 2,500-operator DC Area Drone User Group. Officials with the group did not respond to a request for comment.

In a statement, the FAA said aircraft operating within 30 miles of Reagan National Airport must have transponders that broadcast a code unique to the aircraft. Pilots of such aircraft need to remain in two-way radio communication with air-traffic control, the FAA said. Aircraft that do not meet those requirements cannot operate that close to the airfield, the agency said.

“Unmanned aircraft, including model aircraft, are ‘aircraft’ and are subject to FAA rules,” the FAA said.

The AMA pushed back against the restrictions Thursday, saying model aircraft have been operating “without incident” in the newly restricted zone for years.

“AMA understands that these restrictions are part of the security measures put in place to protect the U.S. Capitol and the Academy supports the government’s efforts to protect our national interests,” Rich Hanson, government relations representative for the AMA, said in a statement. “However, model airplanes and model aircraft enthusiasts do not pose a threat to national security but rather assist in the counterterrorism effort by serving as a community of eyes and ears familiar with the operation of unmanned aircraft and watchful of aberrant behavior.”

In his email to the AMA, Throop said the FAA was willing to work with the model aircraft groups.

“The last thing anyone wants to hear from the federal government is ‘be patient,’ but you folks have been patient, and understanding, and we sincerely appreciate both as we work to try and get you back in the air,” he said.

That has many model aircraft enthusiasts hopeful that the new restrictions are temporary, and that an agreement can be reached with the FAA as soon as mid-January.

Perez, the coordinator of the Capital Area Soaring Association, said it’s not the model aircraft clubs that should be punished, since they encourage safe flying.

“It’s people outside the clubs who seem to be flying over the White House fence, flying outside airports, where they shouldn’t be,” he said. “I’m trying to hunt these people down and get them to cooperate and play by the rules.”

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Redmond Airport cafe improvements: Mezzanine eatery closed for one month

The Avalon Aeropub at Redmond Airport is closing Monday for a monthlong dining room makeover, Nicole Jurgensen, an airport spokeswoman, said Thursday.

The mezzanine-level upgrades will double the restaurant’s size and seating capacity and add some amenities, such as Oregon Video Lottery machines, Jurgensen said.

The work will not interrupt the movement of passengers to and from airport gates, she said. While the cafe is closed, the ground-floor Dancing River Cafe will have an expanded supply of sandwiches, salads, wraps and nonalcoholic drinks for sale.

The city of Redmond, which runs the airport, and the owner of Avalon Aeropub, Dan Brawn, are sharing the renovation costs, Jurgensen said. Brawn said Thursday he’s shouldering the cost to improve the dining area; the city will help pay for a kitchen upgrade in May, when the airport is closed temporarily for runway improvements. He declined to say what the dining-area work will cost.

Russell Anderson Contracting, of Bend, is doing the work. The cafe is scheduled to reopen around Feb. 1, according to the airport.

Other contractors include LB Engineering Inc.; Curtis Restaurant Equipment, which provided equipment and design services; and Element Design Co., which also provided design services, Brawn said. All three companies are based in Bend.

“Upgrades will include a state-of-the-art beer and wine dispensing system, granite tabletops, family-friendly booth seating and multiple, high-definition television monitors,” according to an airport news release Thursday.

Brawn said he agreed to make improvements to the restaurant when he purchased the food and beverage concession a couple of years ago. The mezzanine area, located beyond the security checkpoint, is often overlooked by travelers, he said.

“We’re going to give our customers a first-class experience in every way,” he said Thursday. “A lot of people don’t know that we’re up there on the mezzanine level. We need to educate people to see their gate and then come upstairs. That’s a challenge we have at the airport.”

The improvements come as the airport is seeing an increased number of travelers passing through its gates. In July, 58,360 passengers came through the airport, a one-month record.

Four carriers serve the airport: United, Delta, Alaska Airlines and American Airlines.

Airport Business Manager Zachary Bass, in the news release, said, “We are very excited to offer our growing customer base expanded options at the Redmond Airport. Some travelers have yet to discover the great food and beverage options on our mezzanine level.”


Lawsuit blames Sikorsky, other contractors, for death of sailors in 2014 Sea Dragon helicopter crash


The widows of three sailors killed in a Navy helicopter crash two years ago off the coast of Virginia are suing the manufacturer, Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., and several other companies that produced components for the MH-53E Sea Dragon.

The lawsuit filed in federal court alleges that Sikorsky and the other defendants, including General Electric, designed and manufactured an unsafe helicopter and failed to warn the military about its risks.

Specifically, the suit criticizes Sikorsky for outfitting the Sea Dragon with brittle wires, known as Kapton wiring, that are prone to sparking fires, and for designing the aircraft with electrical wires running too close to fuel lines.

Lt. Sean Snyder, Lt. Wes Van Dorn and Petty Officer 3rd Class Brian Collins were killed on Jan. 8, 2014, when the Sea Dragon they were flying caught fire and crashed into the ocean, 18 miles off Cape Henry. One of two surviving crew members, Petty Officer 2nd Class Dylan Boone, is also named as a plaintiff.

A Navy investigation determined that a bundle of wires had chafed against a fuel line, releasing an electrical arc that connected with jet fuel and ignited a fire that burned and blinded the pilots, Van Dorn and Snyder.

The lawsuit was filed this week in Connecticut, where Sikorsky is based, days before the expiration of the two-year statute of limitations, said New York-based aviation lawyer Frank Fleming.

Under federal law, the Department of Defense cannot be sued for the death or injury of service members, but companies that provide the military with equipment can in some cases be held liable for producing a defective product. Fleming, a former Marine Corps pilot and critic of the Sea Dragon’s design, won a settlement from Sikorsky a decade ago for an undisclosed amount of money after an MH-53E crashed in Italy, killing four crew members.

“There are still many unknown aspects of exactly what happened in this particular case, and we will continue to investigate through the discovery process,” Fleming said Thursday. “Our essential view is that the contractors that we’ve sued could have done a better job to detect and correct this particular defect.”

Sikorsky spokesman Paul Jackson responded to questions about the lawsuit via email: “We believe this lawsuit has no merit, and we plan to defend against it vigorously.”

The problem that caused the 2014 crash wasn’t isolated to that aircraft, according to follow-up inspections. Crews spent months afterward repairing and replacing thousands of worn fuel lines and wiring bundles in the military’s entire fleet of 28 MH-53E Sea Dragons and 150 CH-53E Super Stallions, the Marine Corps variant.

The Navy’s post-crash safety investigation – a confidential internal report obtained later by The Virginian-Pilot – identified the helicopter’s original design and advanced age as a root cause for the mishap.

The safety report’s authors determined that the routing of wires so near a fuel line ran counter to the Navy’s own aircraft wiring manual. But because the manual gives blanket priority to original manufacture specifications, and because the suspect wiring matched Sikorsky’s 1970s Sea Dragon design drawings, the questionable placement of the wiring bundle near a fuel line went unscrutinized.

This minor design flaw, the report noted, was exacerbated by decades of wear and tear: “While this bundle routing may have posed minimal risk early in the service life of the MH-53E … it poses a significant risk in an aging airframe,” the report said.

Boone, who suffered a head injury and other wounds in the crash before leaving the Navy this year, said he agreed to participate in the lawsuit “to bring much needed attention to a program that fails to adapt or improve, mishap after mishap.”

Nicole Van Dorn, widow of Wes Van Dorn, said she hoped the lawsuit would shine a spotlight on a troubled helicopter program.

“Money is unequivocally not a part of my motive for filing the suit,” she said. “Our collective motive is to hold all culpable parties accountable, in pursuit of the justice that we do not believe has been served.”

The Sea Dragon is the Navy’s oldest and most maintenance-intensive aircraft, and is the only U.S. helicopter powerful enough to tow equipment through the sea to find and disarm underwater mines. Plans to retire and replace the helicopter a decade ago fell through, forcing the Navy to keep it in service through at least 2025.

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Clothes fall from the sky, apparently from passing airplane: Alexander City, Tallapoosa County, Alabama

Glenn Toler III holds a vest that fell near his home off Sunny Level Cutoff as he explained the direction that a plane was flying overhead when the clothing fell from it. 

When Glenn Toler’s kids told him that clothes were falling from the sky Tuesday, to say that he was skeptical would be an understatement.

But it appears that it really happened.

The Tolers live off Sunny Level Cutoff and while outside Tuesday after 3 p.m., clothing items started falling from the sky.

“We were outside and we heard a plane coming over and when I looked up there was stuff falling from it,” 14-year-old Glenn Toler III said. “I knew no one would believe me, but I wasn’t the only one outside who saw it.”

What he described was a smaller gray plane flying relatively low. As it passed over his house, Toler said that several items continued to fall.

“This vest landed right there in the yard,” Toler said, holding a royal blue thermal vest. “There was stuff falling over there, and there’s that jacket still up in that tree right there by Hillabee Baptist Church. But I’m telling you, there was stuff falling out even when it was flying over the woods over there.”

The jacket had no name or any clue as to who it belonged to, so when he told his dad, he reached out to The Outlook to see if any similar reports had been made.

In researching the incident, it was learned that others did report the call. Former County Commissioner Frank Tapley said he saw the plane and was told about the clothing by his neighbor.

“I called the police chief to tell them that a plane had dropped the clothing and it looked like it was flying in the direction of the airport,” Tapley said. “But that’s about all I knew about it, but the jacket was up in that tree until late in the day Wednesday when I guess the rain knocked it down.”

Police Chief Willie Robinson said he alerted airport officials.

“We get people calling in with some strange things, so I wanted to make sure to check it out,” Robinson said.

Airport Director Mike Smith said in aviation, he has seen things like this before.

“We did have several planes that were in and out in that general timeframe,” Airport Director Mike Smith said Wednesday,” Smith said Wednesday. “But we didn’t have anyone one who returned or came in and reported anything happening like this.

“It could be that a door on a hatch came open, but I know from experience that if that is what happened, they would have known it.  It sounds like that is possibly what happened.

“It could be that whoever it was, they realized that it was just some clothes and didn’t feel like it was anything important and didn’t report it. It was kind of strange though to hear that come in.”

For the younger Glenn Toler, he said that it was just odd.

“I’ve seen some crazy things, but it was like I had to look twice to make sure I wasn’t seeing things,” Toler said. “But if anyone sees this and is missing a jacket, I have it waiting for you.”


Clothing Apparently Optional . . . . 
No shirt? No pants? 
No problem! 

Dr. Tammy Banovac

A 52-year-old woman headed for Phoenix's Sky Harbor International Airport showed up to a security checkpoint at the Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City this morning wearing nothing but a bra and panties -- they let her right through, and, thankfully, a few amateur filmmakers captured it on tape.

The woman in the below video is Tammy Banovac. She showed up at the airport wearing a long coat and seated in a wheelchair. When she went through security, she took off her coat to reveal she was wearing nothing but a bra and panties.

Airports Authority of India Directs Safety Audit of Airports After Flight Rams into Herd of Boars

NEW DELHI: The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has ordered safety audits of all airports across the country in the wake of a recent incident in Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh where a SpiceJet flight hit a herd of wild boars which strayed onto the runway as it landed.

AAI Chairman R K Srivastava, who recently chaired a meeting of the airline heads, said they were giving the highest possible attention to address the issue as the incident was raised by chief executive officer of SpiceJet G P Gupta. Gupta’s concern was raised by representatives of other airlines also, following which Srivastava said AAI has ordered safety audit of the airports, sources said.  On December 5, a SpiceJet plane had a close shave when it ran into the wild boars after landing at the airport. The pilot, on noticing the boars on the runway, veered the aircraft towards the left of the runway.

The aircraft left the main runway and the nose landing gear collapsed. All the 49 passengers escaped unhurt.  However, it was not an isolated incident. In November last year, a SpiceJet flight with over hundred passengers onboard hit a buffalo on the runway in Surat.

Earlier in September,  pigs were spotted on the runway of Nagpur airport as President Pranab Mukherjee landed in the city. Fortunately, the pigs did not cross the runway while the plane was landing.  Ten days later, rabbits were spotted while a flight landed.


Piper Super Cub Airplane Flight Club Membership: Tacoma/Puyallup, Washington

I'm considering purchasing a high horse power light sport Super Cub type aircraft with 29-31" tundra tires within the next year and starting a flying club based out of Thun Field (PLU) or Tacoma Narrows (TIW). 

Aircraft would be a Cubcrafters Carbon Cub, Savage Cub S or similar. 

I'm trying to determine if there is enough interest in the area. 

Sorry no instruction available; must have sport pilot license and tail dragger endorsement. 

Scheduling would be through website.

This does not include any ownership of the airplane. 

Read more here:

Sheriffs can take to the air if they need to

Among the equipment at the disposal of the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office is a plane.

It may seat only two people, is kept in Greensboro, and is shared by two other county sheriff’s offices, but it’s available for Sheriff Terry Johnson’s staff for surveillance and intelligence gathering, searching for missing people, or tracking wanted suspects.

The Tecnam P92, owned by the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office, is shared by Alamance and Randolph county sheriff’s offices. The three agencies split fixed costs, such as the hangar rental at Piedmont Triad International airport and insurance, though the annual cost of the program wasn’t immediately available.

Each agency pays for gas used when a trip is made in the plane. The Guilford County Sheriff’s Office has two pilots, and Randolph County, one, which assist Alamance when it uses the plane, though that’s infrequent.

“We don’t fly a ton (of operations) for Alamance,” said Greg Russell, chief pilot for the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office’s air support unit. “When we do, it’s normally a surveillance flight or photo flight.”

Russell said the local agencies, which previously included the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office, initially gained access to another plane in March 2009 through a federal grant to test aircraft being used by law enforcement.

Then, in 2011, they sent that plane to a different department in New York and received the current Tecnam P92.

Once that federal program stopped, Russell said, the government allowed agencies to keep the aircraft.

Randy Jones, public information officer for the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office, said they were “not going to address the most recent usage” of the plane, but said it has been used for “surveillance, searches and drug eradication.”

He wasn’t aware of any missing persons who had been located using the plane. The N.C. Highway Patrol’s helicopter with a FLIR infrared camera has proved more successful for finding individuals, Jones said.

On the other hand, Russell, who has been a pilot more than 25 years, says Guilford County seems to use the aircraft most for surveillance as part of drug or property crimes investigations.

While the plane was already out for an unrelated reason this fall, an armed robbery occurred at a pharmacy in northwest Guilford County, Russell said.

The plane responded form the southeast part of the county to attempt to locate the suspect vehicle. Investigators relayed information that “the suspects had ties to a location in Randolph County,” where, in around 12 minutes, an officer in the plane spotted the suspect vehicle in a driveway, and the suspects were arrested.

Another time, after a home invasion in Stokesdale where the resident returned home and was shot at, someone in the sheriff’s office plane located one of the suspects, who had fled on foot, running across a field.

“It’s paid for itself time and time again,” Russell said of Guilford County’s use of the plane.


Got lots of money? Want to fly directly to Telluride from Denver?

A Broomfield company is offering direct charter flights from Denver to Telluride. For a price.

For $3,450, after you've paid the $6,000 membership fee, you can fly Mountain Aviation's "Telluride Air Club" service directly from Denver International Airport to Telluride Regional Airport on a King Air 200 turboprop airplane, getting to Telluride in less than an hour. A ride-sharing program reduces the one-way price to $2,250.

Telluride Regional Airport currently doesn't have commercial air service; nearly all air travelers to Telluride must fly into Montrose Regional Airport, which is nearly 70 miles away. Telluride Regional Airport is located directly above the town of Telluride.

"Bring your pets, bring your skis and forget the TSA lines," Mountain Aviation said in a statement.

Mountain Aviation also said it's offering "Telluride Air Club" service between Telluride and Dallas, Houston and Austin, but Texas travelers will fly in Citation Excel jet airplane and will pay $12,925 for the one-way service.

Mountain Aviation added that it's looking to expand "Telluride Air Club" service to Phoenix and Los Angeles.

In August, Telluride said more commercial flights will be available this ski season at Montrose Regional Airport.


Incident occurred December 30, 2015 at Curaçao International Airport, Willemstad, Curaçao

WILLEMSTAD – Wednesday morning at approximately 09:55AM a minor incident took place with a non-commercial aircraft type Cessna 172 that was moving on the runway of the Curaçao International Airport at a slow rate of speed.

It concerned a small aircraft that is usually used for flight training. The aircraft had landed without any problems. However, when it was moving on the runway at a slow speed, for unknown reasons its direction moved towards the grass area where it stopped. Nobody was injured.

As is procedure in cases of incidents or emergencies, the CAP Fire and Rescue Department immediately headed towards the location to offer assistance.

The Curaçao Civil Aviation Authority (CCAA) was notified by CAP and investigated the incident on location. Thereafter the ground-handler servicing the plane took the necessary actions to remove the plane. 

According to the preliminary assessment the runway was not damaged, except for a light, which will be fixed immediately.

The incident did not hinder the daily operation at the airport or the flight schedule.


Tom Egbert shares love of aviation

Tom Egbert sat in the cockpit of an Aeronca Champ airplane, ready to take flight, when he was only 16 years old. A World War II B-17 co-pilot taught him what he needed to know to be a successful pilot.

“I can really never thank him enough,” said Egbert. “In 1962, he taught a lot of young kids to fly, and you know I just thought I can pay it forward.”

Now Egbert regularly takes youth at Thunderbird Youth Academy or members of the Young Eagles Program — in the Experimental Aircraft Association — up into the air for their first flight in a small aircraft.

“I love it because I can take them up and they can see a different world. Yeah, they could have been on commercial flights, but it is completely different,” Egbert said. “I tell them they will see things right here out of this airplane that they will never see from the ground.”

He said the young future pilots are most amazed by the sheer number of ponds and cows they never knew existed in the area. It is not uncommon for Egbert to take 30 to 60 kids on their first flight in a morning.

Egbert is the contact in this part of the state for setting up flights for the Young Eagles program.

The Young Eagles program launched in 1992 to give youth between ages eight and 17 the opportunity to take flight in a general aviation airplane. Students who participate in the program receive free access to hundreds of science and technology museums across the nation, a free course in flying, and the first flight is free.

Taking students in Northeast Oklahoma on their first flight is one way Egbert pays it forward for the efforts of his first flight teacher, who instilled in him a joy of flying and provided him with a life-long hobby.

While flying planes can be an expensive hobby, Egbert argues it is not any more or less expensive than any other hobby.

“I think any hobby you get into is expensive, without a doubt. Whether its bowling, tennis or golf, it is all expensive,” he said.

Egbert’s interest in planes really began when he would visit his father at American Airlines, where he worked. He also participated in Boy Scouts and decided to participate in Air Explorers.

“At that time I could all but walk into American Airlines. Now they don’t allow that. When I went to Explorers, American Airlines sponsored an Explorer post that had to deal with aviation,” he said.

Egbert took flight before he received his Oklahoma driver’s license. He said, “My dad always said he worried more about me driving to Tulsa for a flying lesson than taking a flying lesson.”

However, his wife’s father was not too excited about his daughter going on dates that involved flying.

“Me and my wife dated in a 1959 Cessna 172. Her dad was not the happiest camper, being an 18-year-old kid with a pilot’s license flying his daughter around. It was not real high on his priority list that we did that, but I took him out flying and he realized that it was safe and it was fun,” Egbert said.

The only emergency the couple has encountered over the decades was one incident of engine failure. They do not consider it a real emergency, because they landed safely in cow pasture.

“The off airport landing was the only thing I ever had. I was not scared at all. We didn’t even hit a cow patty in the pasture,” he said. “We had a minor oil leak ... when I looked up the windshield was already covered with oil. We flew about six or seven minutes and we were losing altitude rapidly. The engine didn’t quit completely, it was slowing down because it was hot.”

They built a small fence around the plane to keep the cows away and hitched a ride back to the Pryor Airport. Egbert said when he approached the owner of the property to ask permission to keep the plane on the property for a couple of days, she was more than happy to help.

To get the plane back to the airport, Egbert had to borrow an engine.

"That was the scary part,” he said.

Over the years, he has done an engine overhaul and recovered the fabric on his 1989 Aeronca L-3.

“Other than that it is just normal maintenance like you would have on a car” he said.

The year before retiring as the store manager of Homeland Grocery Store in 2011, Egbert spent time building his first experimental plane.

“It is one thing to go buy an airplane that is flying — it is another thing to build an airplane from a sack of aluminum. Even though you have people help you inspect the airplane all through the process, even though you know what the plane is supposed to do, you think, ‘boy did I miss something?” said Egbert.

Six months after retiring, he took his plane on its first flight. Egbert said he loves flying because it is relaxing.

“My mind is totally on flying and the airplane. I do not worry when I fly,” he said.

Egbert said his favorite plane to fly is his 1942 Aeronca L-3, but he also has a 1956 Cessna 172.

When Egbert isn’t flying through the sky, he spends his time volunteering at the Will Rogers Museum and reading books about Will Rogers.


Allegiant Air McDonnell Douglas MD-83, N405NV, Flight G4-760 : Incident occurred December 31, 2015 at Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport (KCHA), Chattanooga, Hamilton County, Tennessee

There were tense moments Thursday morning when a plane carrying 156 people made an emergency landing in Chattanooga.

"We heard an unusual noise. Something we've never heard on a flight before," said Matt Starkweather a passenger on board the flight.

Allegiant Air flight 760 made an unexpected stop in Chattanooga. It departed Orlando shortly before 6:30am and was headed to Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

"We kind of knew that something was not right," said Starkweather. 

Starkweather and his wife were in Orlando visiting family. They were heading home to Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

"Like a boom. I guess it sounded like we hit something," said Starkweather explaining what he heard. 

At 32,000 feet and roughly 35 miles from Chattanooga, the sound inside the cabin changed.

"You could definitely tell that we were on one engine."

Airport and fire department officials say the plane had trouble with it's right engine and requested an emergency landing.

"They told us we'd be landing in Chattanooga in 5-10 minutes and to prepare for landing." 

Starkweather says the crew was calm and didn't give a reason to panic or mention an emergency.

"None of the kids got scared or anything like that. There was no panic or anything at all on the plane," said Starkweather expressing appreciation for the pilots and crew. 

With everyone safe, Starkweather and his family now focused on 2016.

"Hopefully we get home in time to take a power nap and get our plans ready for tonight," said Starkweather. 

Passengers tell us Allegiant Air had another Aircraft flown to Chattanooga from Las Vegas. That plane will pick up the passengers and take them to their final destination in Iowa. 

In a release, Allegiant Air states "passengers who choose not to travel [on the connecting flight] will receive a refund. Passengers are also being offered $100 dollars off vouchers for future travel and the option to change their current reservation to another flight in our system."

Allegiant Air also states the aircraft has been taken out of service and will be thoroughly inspected to determine the cause.

Story and video:

UPDATE: An Allegiant Air flight was forced to make an emergency landing Thursday morning at Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport with reported engine problems.

Emergency crews from the airport and the Chattanooga Fire Department scrambled to prepare for the emergency landing.

The plane was able to land safely at the airport. There were 156 passengers plus crew members aboard the MD-80 aircraft.

Passengers tell Channel 3 they heard a loud pop after about an hour in the air and almost halfway through the flight. One passenger says after a few minutes the pilot announced they would be landing in Chattanooga.

The plane left Orlando Sanford International Airport Thursday morning, bound for Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Allegiant is sending in another plane at noon to fly the passengers to Cedar Rapids.

Passengers were taken inside the airport and their luggage was taken off the plane. Current plans are to fly them to their intended destination of Cedar Rapids on a replacement aircraft, scheduled to depart midday.

Allegiant Air's Media Relations Department responded to Channel 3's inquiry about Thursday's emergency landing with the following statement:

Flight 760 with scheduled service from Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB) to Eastern Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids (CID) departed SFB at 6:23 a.m. local time. The aircraft experienced an issue with its right engine and diverted to Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport (CHA) out of an abundance of caution. The aircraft landed safely at approximately 8:02 a.m. local time. There were 150 passengers and six crew members on board. 

The aircraft has been taken out of service and will be thoroughly inspected to determine the cause.

Passengers have deplaned and a replacement aircraft is en route to carry passengers on to CID. The current scheduled time of departure is 12:44 p.m. Passengers who choose not to travel will receive a refund. Passengers are also being offered $100 dollars off vouchers for future travel and the option to change their current reservation to another flight in our system.

Story and video:

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — An Allegiant Air flight made a safe emergency landing Thursday at a Tennessee airport, the fourth time an Allegiant flight from Florida has been diverted in a week.

Chattanooga Airport spokesman Albert Waterhouse said Allegiant Air Flight 760 landed at about 8:30 a.m. Thursday after reporting an engine problem. No injuries were reported.

Allegiant Air said in a statement that the plane has been taken out of service and will be inspected.

The statement said the flight, which was headed from Sanford, Florida, to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, had 150 passengers and six crew members. Allegiant said a replacement aircraft will take passengers on to Iowa.

At least three other Allegiant Air flights from Orlando Sanford International Airport have been diverted for emergency landings in the past week.

A flight to Wisconsin landed in North Dakota on Tuesday after having mechanical issues. A flight to Bangor, Maine, landed at T.F. Green Airport in Warwick on Wednesday when passengers reported an abnormal smell. On Christmas Eve, a flight to Youngstown, Ohio was diverted to Jacksonville, Florida, for a reported "engine problem."


Cessna 172, N8952B, Skywalker Aviation: Accident occurred August 22, 2015 on Riviera Beach, Palm Beach County, Florida

NTSB Identification: ERA15CA327
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, August 22, 2015 in Riviera Beach, FL
Aircraft: CESSNA 172, registration: N8952B
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

After descending to 400 feet above mean sea level along a beach on the return leg of a cross country flight, the pilot attempted to increase power to level off but, the engine would not respond. The pilot then checked to make sure the fuel valve was on "BOTH," and the primer was in and locked. He then attempted to restart the engine. The engine however, would not restart. The pilot determined that the beach was the best and safest place to land, so he extended the wing flaps to the full down position, and landed on the beach. During the landing, the nose landing gear dug into the sand, and collapsed. Examination of the airplane revealed that it was substantially damaged and approximately 12 gallons of fuel was still on board. Further examination revealed no evidence of any preimpact mechanical failure or malfunctions of the engine that would have precluded normal operation. After the wreckage was recovered the engine was started and run at full power. Review of a carburetor icing chart revealed that atmospheric conditions around the time of the accident were conducive to icing at glide and cruise power. When asked if he had used carburetor heat during his descent prior to the loss of engine power, the pilot advised that he had not used it.

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Miami FSDO-19