Thursday, January 1, 2015

Number 1 "Most read/Most viewed" story on in 2014: Socata TBM700N (TBM900), N900KN, fatal accident occurred September 05, 2014 in Jamaica

As many of you look ahead into the New Year, we are taking a look back at some our most viewed stories on according to Google Analytics. 

Number 1 "Most read/Most viewed":  Larry and Jane Glazer dead in plane crash 

Larry and Jane Glazer

The deadly plane crash involving Larry Glazer and his wife, Jane. The major developer and businesswoman were killed when their plane crashed off the coast of Jamaica. Glazer was the head of Buckingham Properties which owns several downtown buildings including Midtown Plaza, the Xerox tower and the Bausch and Lomb building.


(NaturalNews)  We’ve just published air traffic control audio and analysis of what happened to the private turbo prop aircraft that crashed yesterday after the pilot became non-responsive. The transcript of the audio is shown below, and you can hear the full audio in this YouTube video.

It’s clear from the audio that the pilot lost consciousness some time after noticing a problem that prompted him to attempt a descent to 18,000 feet. He never completed the descent, however, and he seemed to be suffering from confusion — a common symptom of hypoxia (lack of oxygen). At one point he became concerned about his plane’s reserve fuel supply and was cleared to land at “Taylor,” but he was unable to comply. 

With the pilot non-responsive, the aircraft left Atlanta airspace and flew directly toward Cuba. It crossed Cuba and then crashed into the ocean soon after, presumably due to fuel starvation of the engine (running out of fuel).

Transcript of N900KN conversations with air traffic control before the pilot lost consciousness

Pilot: TBM 900KN flight level 280

ATC: November 900KN Atlanta…

Pilot: 900KN we need to descend down to about [flight level] 180, we have an indication … not correct in the plane.

ATC: 900KN descend and maintain 250.

Pilot: 250 we need to get lower 900KN.

ATC: Working on that.

Pilot: Have to get down. And reserve fuel… limit a return… thirty-three left… have to get down.

ATC: Thirty left 900KN

Pilot: 00900KN (holds transmit button)

ATC: N0KN you’re cleared direct to Taylor.

ATC: 0KN, cleared direct to Taylor.

Pilot: Direct Taylor, 900KN.

ATC: Copy that you got descent (slope?) 200…

Pilot: (mumbling)

ATC: Descent and maintain flight level 200, and you are cleared direct Taylor.

Pilot: KN900KN (sounds confused)

ATC: Understand me, descend and maintain flight level 200, flight level 200, for N900KN

ATC: TBM, TBM 0KN, descend and maintain flight level 200

ATC: 0KN, if you hear this, transmit and ident.

ATC: N900KN, Atlanta center, how do you read?

ATC: N900KN, Atlanta Center… AC5685, keep trying N900KN

AC5685: TBM900KN, this is AC5685, how do you read? (Military aircraft?)

ATC: N900KN, Atlanta Center, how do you read?

AC5685: TBM900KN, AC5685, how do you read?

ATC: N900KN, TBM, 900KN, Atlanta Center, how do you hear this…

ATC: N0KN, descent now, descent now to flight level 200.

ATC: N900KN, TBM 900KN, if you hear this transmission, contact … center 127.87

ATC: N0KN, TBM 0KN, contact … center 127.87 if you hear this…



NTSB Identification: ERA14LA424
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, September 05, 2014 in Open Water, Jamaica
Aircraft: SOCATA TBM 700, registration: N900KN
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On September 5, 2014, about 1410 eastern daylight time (EDT), a Socata TBM700 (marketed as TBM900), N900KN, impacted open water near the coast of northeast Jamaica. The commercial pilot/owner and his passenger were fatally injured. An instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the planned flight that originated from Greater Rochester International Airport (ROC), Rochester, New York at 0826 and destined for Naples Municipal Airport (APF), Naples, Florida. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to preliminary air traffic control (ATC) data received from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), after departing ROC the pilot climbed to FL280 and leveled off. About 1000 the pilot contacted ATC to report an "indication that is not correct in the plane" and to request a descent to FL180. The controller issued instructions to the pilot to descend to FL250 and subsequently, due to traffic, instructed him to turn 30 degrees to the left and then descend to FL200. During this sequence the pilot became unresponsive. An Air National Guard intercept that consisted of two fighter jets was dispatched from McEntire Joint National Guard Base, Eastover, South Carolina and intercepted the airplane at FL250 about 40 miles northwest of Charleston, South Carolina. The fighters were relieved by two fighter jets from Homestead Air Force Base, Homestead, Florida that followed the airplane to Andros Island, Bahamas, and disengaged prior to entering Cuban airspace. The airplane flew through Cuban airspace, eventually began a descent from FL250 and impacted open water northeast of Port Antonio, Jamaica.

According to a review of preliminary radar data received from the FAA, the airplane entered a high rate of descent from FL250 prior to impacting the water. The last radar target was recorded over open water about 10,000 feet at 18.3547N, -76.44049W.

The Jamaican Defense Authority and United States Coast Guard conducted a search and rescue operation. Search aircraft observed an oil slick and small pieces of debris scattered over one-quarter mile that were located near the last radar target. Both entities concluded their search on September 7, 2014.


Flight Standards District Office: FAA Miami FSDO-19

US personnel (from left) Pauline Kastner, Elizabeth Martinez, chargé d'affaires, and Robert Piehel as they made their way to an emergency press conference on the crashed aircraft at Jamaica House.

 Senior Superintendent of Police Terrence Bent (left) and Lt Commander Judy Neil of the JDF Coast Guard address journalists in Portland.

 Superintendent Wayne Cameron (right) of the Portland division goes over details with police personnel.

 Rescue workers brave the conditions as they search for debris.

 Marine Police boats docked at the Errol Flynn Marina

 A JDF helicopter flies over Port Antonio.

 Members of the Marine Police leave the Errol Flynn Marina on another search. 

An aerial shot of the United States Coast Guard vessel USS Bernard Webber. 

A Jamaica Defence Force helicopter flies over the Port Antonio marina pier in Portland, as the Jamaica and US coast guards search for the missing plane that crashed at sea.

Philippine Airlines looking to fly to Papua New Guinea

MANILA, Philippines - National flag carrier Philippine Airlines Inc. (PAL) is looking at mounting flights to Papua New Guinea to accommodate the growing number of passengers.

PAL has filed with the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) an application for re-allocation of additional entitlements on the Manila- Port Moresby from the unutilized seat entitlements previously allocated to budget airline Cebu Air Inc. (Cebu Pacific).

The Tan Group is crafting a strategic plan that would pave the way for the entry of a foreign strategic partner into PAL within the next three years after successfully retaking back the national flag carrier from diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC).

PAL president and chief operating officer Jaime Bautista earlier said the Tan Group is looking at taking in a strategic partner of up to 40 percent of PAL over the medium term or within two to three years.

To prepare for the entry of strategic partner, Bautista said PAL would finalize a short term plan including the review of the airline’s fleet after SMC undertook a massive refleerting program after it bought into PAL through San Miguel Equity Investments Inc. in April 2012.

Then PAL president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang entered into two separate agreements worth close to $10 billion for the acquisition of 65 brand new Airbus aircraft.

Likewise, he pointed out that the airline is also reviewing a proposal from Boeing for the acquisition of four brand new long-haul aircraft.

Aside from the planned return to New York via the John F. Kennedy airport where there is a potential market of 500,000 Filipinos after 18 years, Bautista said PAL has also beefed up its operations in Honolulu, Guam, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

PAL would continue to look for opportunities in the US after the country’s aviation safety rating was upgraded by the US-Federal Aviation Administration (US-FAA) back to Category 1 last April after being downgraded to Category 2 in 2008.

PAL, under the management of SMC, has slowed down and deferred its aggressive expansion to the Middle East including Doha, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Dammam, Riyadh, and Jeddah and the assigned A330 aircraft were diverted to other destinations.

PAL would also be more aggressive in the domestic market including returning to its Cebu hub as budget airline Cebu Pacific has taken a 40 percent slice of the market while the national flag carrier’s market share fell below 40 percent.

The Tan Group through Buona Sorte and Horizon Global Investments bought back the 49 percent interest of San Miguel Equity Investments Inc. of diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) last Sept. 15 for a total consideration of $1.3 billion.

SMC through San Miguel Equity Investments Inc. (SMEII) bought a 49-percent stake in Trustmark Holdings Corp. in April 2012 for $500 million. It embarked on an ambitious massive fleet renewal program involving the acquisition of 100 brand new aircraft.

Trustmark owns and controls 89.78 percent of the issued and outstanding shares of PAL Holdings that owns 98.27 percent of PAL.

 - Original article can be found at:

Atlantic City International Airport (KACY) patrons take parking rate hike in stride

EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — Perhaps everyone was in a jovial holiday mood. Maybe they had placed “I will not complain” at the top of their New Year’s resolutions for 2015.

Or, as some of them bluntly suggested, it’s only a dollar.

Whatever the reason, passengers at Atlantic City International Airport had a surprisingly docile reaction to higher parking rates that took effect New Year’s Day.

“It’s just one more dollar,” said Marie Brown, as she and her daughter, Nicole, prepared to board a Spirit Airlines flight to Fort Myers, Florida. “We come from Philadelphia, so I really can’t complain about the parking rates at this airport, because in Philadelphia they’re a heck of a lot higher.”

The Browns, who live in Philadelphia, said they enjoy flying out of Atlantic City International because it is more convenient — and parking is much cheaper — than their hometown airport.

The South Jersey Transportation Authority, the state agency that owns Atlantic City International, has raised the parking charge by $1 for the airport garage and surface lots. The garage rate was increased from a flat rate of $12 per day to $13. The economy rates at the surface parking lots are up from $9 to $10 per day.

The rate for short-term parking has gone from $1 in the first hour to $2. The maximum daily charge for short-term parking has increased from $13 to $20.

Overall, the higher fees will boost airport parking revenue by $1 million annually, from a total of $6.4 million in 2014 to a projected $7.4 million this year, the transportation authority’s budget figures show.

Kevin Rehmann, an authority spokesman, said even with the increase, economy parking at Atlantic City International will remain cheaper than the rates at airports in Philadelphia, Newark, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore.

Airport parking rates were last raised in 2010, at the economy lots. This is the first increase in the short-term rates since 2005. It is the first time the garage fee has gone up since the facility opened in 2008, the authority said.

Spirit passengers John and Chris Girone, of Jackson Township, Ocean County, said they were aware that parking fees had stayed the same in recent years. They didn’t mind the new, higher rates.

“Like everything else, things go up,” Chris Girone said, shrugging her shoulders. “But this airport is still very convenient. It’s nice, and certainly the parking isn’t like at Newark.”

Tim Pickett, of Farmingdale, Monmouth County, also said that parking fees at Atlantic City International remain a bargain compared to those at the Newark airport.

“That’s pretty reasonable,” he said of the $1 increase. “I don’t see anyone objecting to that. Just compare that to flying out of Newark, where it’s a lot more.”

Pickett was at the airport Thursday to drop off his daughter, Shannon, who was catching a Spirit flight to Fort Myers. He said he normally flies out Atlantic City about 10 to 20 times each year to go to his condo in Naples, Fla.

“Believe me, I know what it’s like to park here,” Pickett said. “But I don’t mind the increase. It’s only a buck.” 

- Original article can be found at:

Lafayette Regional Airport (KLFT) board close to naming new director

The list of four candidates for Lafayette Regional Airport director will be pared to three next week, and the finalist should receive a contract offer by the end of January, according to a member of the airport’s governing body.

The Lafayette Regional Airport Commission’s director search committee on Thursday will review video recorded interviews of the four finalists, Commissioner Paul Guilbeau said last week.

Of the four, three will emerge and be presented to the full Airport Commission at the Jan. 14 regular meeting for review

“I would say that any one of them could come in and do justice to the job,” Guilbeau said.

Guilbeau said that after the contract offer is made, negotiations would begin and a new director named sometime in early 2015.

Guilbeau and other commission members traveled in mid-December to airports in Atlanta, Baton Rouge, New Iberia, and Amarillo, Texas, to interview the four finalists at their work sites.

While there, Larry Sides with Sides & Associates videoed the interviews and flight operations. The recordings and other material of the four candidates will be used to reduce the list to three finalists, Sides said last week.

Former airport Director Greg Roberts resigned in June following a dust-up at the airport. Roberts reportedly pointed a fake handgun at an engineer with whom he was arguing. Though police were called, the Lafayette Parish District Attorney’s Office did not file charges against Roberts. District Attorney Mike Harson’s office said the engineer didn’t want to pursue the matter.

After ads were placed nationwide in airport publications and job boards, 31 people applied for the position from across the country. That list was whittled to eight, then five, then four. By the end of next week, there should be three finalists, barring any snags.

“That’s when we’ll really have to sit down and decide where we want to go,” Guilbeau said.

He said the full commission could use video telecommunications to talk to the remaining three candidates.

The four finalists are: Jason Devillier, the director at Iberia Parish Airport in New Iberia; Ralph Hennessy, assistant director of aviation at the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport; Robert Kennedy, vice president for Aviation Strategies International and former official at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport; and Steven Picou, deputy director of aviation at the Amarillo International Airport.

The new director will be part of the planning and construction team that will oversee construction of an expanded commercial terminal at the Lafayette Airport, Guilbeau said.

On Dec. 6, Lafayette Parish voters approved a 1-cent sales tax to be levied over eight months next year to help pay for the terminal expansion and other enhancements, such as a bigger parking lot.

Accountants estimated the tax, which will run from April 1 until Nov. 30, will bring in $35 million to $37 million. The tax proceeds are to be dedicated to the airport and used along with money from federal and state airport grants and also borrowings to come up with the project’s estimated $90 million price tag.

The project will not be spearheaded by the next director, Guilbeau said.

“All four of the remaining applicants have said this is a project bigger than the director,” Guilbeau said. “But they want to be an integral part of the project.”


Israeli Passengers Suing United Airlines for $400k Over Delays, Pilot’s Refusal to Fly to Tel Aviv

A group of Israeli passengers is seeking 1.18 million shekels (over $461,000) in damages from United Airlines for a 28-hour delay on a flight from the US to Israel on June 13th, The Marker business journal reported Tuesday.

The claim, filed on Monday in the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court by 71 passengers, lists a long series of cancellations and delays on flight UA84, which was originally scheduled to take off on the afternoon of June 13th.

“We boarded the flight, and a technical malfunction delayed the takeoff; we missed our slot, another hour and a half delay; we begin to roll, and another snafu pops up,” traveler Amir Ofer told Israel’s Channel Two News in late June.

“We were held on the plane as if we were hostages,” another passenger, Roni Meital, told the reporter.

According to the passengers’ attorney, “For those four hours, in which the passengers (plaintiffs) were totally helpless, the flight attendant repeatedly announced that the takeoff was postponed due to weather conditions.”

However, “Throughout that period, takeoffs and landings of other United aircraft were observed at the airport … After a certain period, passengers were informed by the pilot that flight UA84 was canceled and that they would be transferred to an alternative flight set for the next day,” a statement read.

With no alternative, the passengers deplaned and waited for some three hours at the United check in, where, “chaos and confusion reigned.” The passengers were then given vouchers to stay at a hotel a half hour away, and three vouchers for the sum of $7 dollars each, in order to buy food before the date of the alternate flight.

“At about ten o’clock, they began to drag the passengers all over the airport,” said passenger Noa Goldshmidt. “They made us stand on line for vouchers and told us that the flight was delayed until 9 o’clock the next morning.”

The passengers’ counsel charged that “the company acted negligently and amateurishly regarding the accommodations arrangements for travelers in the hotel.”

Many passengers, including the elderly and children, arrived at the hotel to find that no rooms were allocated to them, and some passengers were forced to return to the airport and spend the night on the floor of the terminal. Moreover, company representatives did not allow passengers to recover their hand luggage that was on the first flight, forcing them to spend the entire night without their personal belongings, the lawsuit claimed.

When passengers showed up at the gate the next day, June 14th, at 7:00 am in order to make the alternate flight (UA 2080), set to take off at 09:00 am, they discovered that the flight had been postponed until 12:30 because the flight crew had not been scheduled to arrive.

To the passengers’ bewildered astonishment, three hours after the plane arrived, the flight was canceled, this time because of a technical problem in one of the engines.

Finally, they boarded the flight – only to sit on the tarmac yet another three hours – until, “the pilot decided abruptly and without explanation, that he didn’t want to fly the plane to Tel Aviv,” the passengers’ representative said.

“We were waiting for a long time, and finally the staff came out and told us that the pilot had refused to turn the engines on because he did not want to fly to Tel Aviv,” one passenger recalled.

In the end, the 213 passengers had to endure three security checks in order to board three separate aircraft.

For their part, United spokesmen said at the time that flight UA84 “was canceled due to adverse weather conditions at Newark Liberty International Airport,” adding that “Our customer service team at New York/Newark provided assistance to customers and overnight hotel accommodation.”

United said that “the pilot was not removed from the cockpit,” despite a cellphone clip showing the pilot walking down the aisle accompanied by two uniformed New York police officers.

According to one passenger, it was unclear if the pilot’s refusal to spin up the jet engines stemmed from a possible labor dispute or unwillingness to fly to Israel.

United Airlines had no comment on the lawsuit, according to The Marker.

- Original article can be found at:

Dynamic Airways sued in United States Federal Court by Guyana-New York passengers

A United States-based Guyanese lawyer and his brother, who is a local businessman, are suing Dynamic Airways for inconvenience caused due to lengthy delays and flight cancellations in recent weeks.

Moses Rambarran is also urging all passengers affected on the New York-Georgetown route to become parties to a class-action lawsuit that seeks to, among other things, demand full refund of airfares. He said the details of the court action would be posted on his Facebook Page
(  through which they can arrange to become parties to the legal action.

Rambarran said he and his brother, Rohan Rambarran, decided to file legal proceedings in a US Federal Court because there was no guarantee that the airline would voluntarily pay back passengers. “.. for fear that it may never work out.  We may be waiting limbo for a refund just like we waited in the line for a plane to Guyana,” he said.

The Rambarrans claimed that they together paid US$3,000 in air-fares to travel to Guyana, but in the end had to fly on Caribbean Airlines.

Moses Rambarran said Dynamic Airways has told passengers that they needed to submit their names so that their refunds could be processed; some expected in January and in other cases they would be charged a penalty.

He berated the carrier which is headquartered in Greensboro, North Connecticut for allegedly treating passengers shoddily and inconveniencing hundreds of passengers who had booked to travel for the holidays, funerals, weddings and other activities.  “Dynamic Airways knew they could not perform their end of the bargain yet continued to take people’s hard earned money by selling tickets to unsuspecting passengers desperate to come home to be with their families on Christmas morning,” said Moses Rambarran in a prepared statement.

He said the lawsuit was filed on Monday, December 29 in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York because Dynamic Airways allegedly failed to have planes available to transport passengers to and from Georgetown and New York, causing unreasonable delays and outright cancellations and wait in lines for inhumane hours.

Moses Rambarran said his decision to file the lawsuit, which he said was served on the company on Tuesday, was further prompted by the carrier causing passengers to return to the John F. Kennedy International Airport for up to four days and in some cases sleeping there.  After then, he said that the airline cancelled flights at 2 AM on Christmas Eve citing safety issues.

The Attorney flayed the Guyana government for doing little to protect passengers who have been affected by Dynamic Airways.

Story and photo:

Moses Rambarran (left) and Rohan Rambarran at the new conference that was held Wednesday morning at the Ocean View International Hotel, Liliendaal.

SpiceJet Defaults on Salary Payment for 2nd Time: Report

New Delhi: Beleaguered carrier SpiceJet defaulted a second time on salary payments in last two months but got a reprieve on Wednesday from the Airports Authority of India (AAI), which extended the two-week credit payment facility to it by another 14 days.

"The airline today paid salary to a section of its employees but one section remained unpaid," airline sources said here.

Those who were not paid were middle management employees, they said, adding, "Mostly general manager and above rank executives have not yet been paid their December salary."

Over 15 percent had not received their salary on time last month as well and they were paid by the airline only late last week, that too after the intervention of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

A SpiceJet spokesperson refused to comment on the issue.

However, providing a much-needed relief to the airline, AAI extended the two-weeks credit facility to it following directions from the Civil Aviation Ministry to do so, official sources said here.

An AAI official had said on Tuesday that AAI will have to put the airline on 'pay-as-you-fly' mode if no direction comes from the government to extend the relief period.

SpiceJet owes Rs 200 crore to the state-run AAI towards landing, parking and route navigation charges.

This is the second time the ministry has come to the rescue of the cash-strapped airline, which remained grounded almost for an entire day early this month due to the paucity of funds.

The airline had on Tuesday announced on its website the move to cancel over 300 flights till January 31, 2015, which include mostly domestic flights and a few connecting Nepal and Afghanistan.

This followed cancellation of over 1,800 flights announced earlier this month by the Chennai-based carrier till Wednesday.

The airline, however, had later clarified that these were not new or incremental cancellations, but flights that were already removed from the schedule in November and December due the fleet reduction, which resulted in its daily flights reducing from 345 a day in the summer to 230 flights a day.

"The schedule will remain at the reduced level until the recapitalization of the airline is completed and aircraft added back to its fleet," Spicejet said in a statement.

SpiceJet is scheduled to operate over 7,000 flights in January, it said.


Cessna U206F Stationair, 5X-WTA: Accident occurred January 01, 2015 in Mpigi district, Uganda

A plane has crash landed in Kamengo Sub County in Mpigi district, barely six months after a US aircraft made an emergency landing in Mityana district.

The 6-seater tourist viper plane was flying from Mweya to Kajansi on Thursday morning when the incident happened.

According to the Equator Regional Police Spokesperson Philip Mukasa, the plane was being flown by a Spanish National.

It had no passengers. The pilot escaped with no injuries and is safe.

Mr Mukasa says security has been beefed up to guard this area.

However, the incident has left residents excited and amazed, with scores flocking the scene to have a look at the plane.

The cause of the crash is yet to be established.

In July this year, an aircraft carrying US troops made an emergency landing at Kiwawu village on Mityana Road after it ran out of fuel in flight.

The CA212 plane belonged to the US army and was carrying eight American soldiers. Nobody was injured.

In August 2009, a six-seater plane, belonging to the Kampala Aero Club Flight Training Centre, made an emergency landing in the middle of the road at Kyabaddaza on Masaka highway, about 40km west of Kampala.

Vehicles were forced to duck into the nearby bushes as the plane staggered in the middle of the tarmac; its wings spread across the road, towards a school compound. Nobody was injured.

Story and photo:

Bloomington, Monroe County, Indiana: September 2014 - Two Die In Plane Crash

Seawind 3000, N516SW: Fatal accident occurred September 18, 2014 in Bloomington, Indiana

Thomas Anthony "Tom" Saccio

Two people died in a plane crash in Monroe County.

Updated December 31, 2014 8:17 AM

Using dental record comparisons, Monroe County Coroner Nicole Meyer determined 51-year-old Russell Kotlarek from Saukville, Wisconsin and 72- year-old Thomas Saccio from Blounts Creek, North Carolina died when the plane went down in a wooded area behind 85 Oard Road near State Road 48, about a quarter mile north of the Monroe County Airport.

According to police, a person on board the kit-built Seawind 3000 reported a mechanical issue, possibly involving fuel related mechanisms, to the Monroe County Airport tower. The airport manager says the pilot reported having low fuel pressure.

The pilot was about 7 miles from the airport when he radioed the tower. The pilot was given permission to land. The control tower asked the pilot to contact them again when he was 2 miles out. He did at 3 miles out. The control tower operators then saw a large amount of smoke and attempted to contact the pilot. There was no response.

Investigators say while the plane was approaching the airport from the north, traveling south, the plane lost altitude and crashed into a small shed and wooded area behind a home. The plane was immediately engulfed in flames.



NTSB Identification: CEN14LA504 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, September 18, 2014 in Bloomington, IN
Aircraft: SACCIO THOMAS A SEAWIND 3000, registration: N516SW
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On September 18, 2014, about 1145 central daylight time, a kit-built Seawind 3000 seaplane, N516SW, impacted terrain near Bloomington, Indiana. The private rated pilot and pilot rated passenger were fatally injured, and the seaplane was destroyed. The seaplane was registered to and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed.

Initial reports indicated the pilot contacted the control tower operator at Monroe Country Airport (KBMG), and reported he had a low fuel pressure indicator problem. Several witnesses reported seeing the seaplane, with one witness noting that the seaplane was on fire. The seaplane impacted terrain about 3 miles north of KBMG. A postcrash fire consumed much of the composite seaplane.

The seaplane wreckage was retained for further examination. 

DEDICATED: Tom Saccio, killed in a plane crash on September 18th, works on avionics equipment in the hangar at his Maules Point home.

Tom Saccio


There is more to us than extremism: Extraordinary Pakistanis of 2014

Haris Suleman – teenage pilot

Haris Suleman after he landed in Pakistan. His Beechcraft A36 Bonanza crashed shortly after taking off from Pago Pago in American Samoa. 
Photo: Athar Khan/Express

Beechcraft A36 Bonanza, N20TC:  Accident occurred July 22, 2014 in Pago Pago,  American Samoa

Haris Suleman is the 17-year-old boy who began his venture to fly around the world in 30 days to raise money for schools in Pakistan, and lost his life to the cause when his plane went down into the Pacific ocean.

Suleman was a thrill and adventure seeker like any other 17-year-old Pakistani boy. However, what’s different about him is his sense of purpose and drive to break new boundaries, which is visible from his writing,

“I’m preparing for the biggest adventure of my life; to break the world record by flying round the world in a single-engine plane in just 30 days,” wrote Suleman, before setting out on his journey.

“I will be flying as pilot-in-command with my father Babar, who will only take over the controls in an emergency situation. If we succeed, I will be the youngest person ever to accomplish this daredevil feat. But I’m not just flying to break a world record; I’m flying to raise money for The Citizens Foundation (TCF), a non-profit organisation that is leading Pakistan’s silent education revolution to help educate Pakistan’s poorest children both in urban slums and remote, rural villages.”

Story and photo:

NTSB Identification: WPR14LA309 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, July 22, 2014 in Pago Pago, AS
Aircraft: BEECH A36, registration: N20TC
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On July 22, 2014, about 2158 local standard time (0858 Universal Coordinated Time, July 23), a Beech BE A36, N20TC, crashed into the water after departure from Tafuna/Pago Pago International Airport (PPG), Pago Pago, American Samoa. The pilot was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. The private pilot and the pilot's private pilot rated father sustained fatal injuries. Only remnants of the airplane have been recovered. The cross-country personal flight was departing en route nonstop to Honolulu (PHNL), Hawaii. Visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed, and a visual flight rules (VFR) flight plan had been filed.

One ground crewman and his wife met the pilot and his father at the airport to support the departure, and observed the pilot completing preflight checks. The ground crewman queried if they were going to depart, and the father replied yes noting that the weather was great. The ground crewman stated that the wind had been gusty and strong all day and evening. He observed the airplane taxi for departure, and repositioned himself so that he could observe the whole runway for the takeoff.

As the airplane moved down the runway, the ground crewman noted that the wind was very strong. The airplane became airborne, but it was moving up and down and side to side; it also was not gaining altitude. At this point, the airplane had passed the very high frequency omni-directional radio range, tactical air navigation (VORTAC), but was still very low. Before the airplane reached the end of the runway, it banked to the right towards the ocean. Over the next few seconds, the airplane kept getting lower, and then disappeared. He did not observe it contact the water; he only saw the lights getting lower and lower. He observed no explosion, and heard no noise.

The ground crewman stated that he contacted the airport duty supervisor to determine if there had been any contact with the airplane. The supervisor responded that he was waiting for a call from the pilot after the takeoff, and the ground crewman reported that he thought it went into the ocean.

Another witness was a couple of miles away sitting on a seawall facing the airport. He reported that the engine was loud as the airplane was taking off. He reported that it was unusual that the airplane did not immediately gain altitude. He stated that a few seconds after takeoff, the airplane suddenly went nose down into the water.

The American Samoa Department of Public Safety located the pilot's body at 0040; it was strapped to a seat cushion. They reported burn marks on the body, and a strong odor of gasoline. They recovered a life raft, a survival suit and clothing, a fuselage piece, a duffel bag, and two gumby suits along with other debris.

A pilot who was very experienced in transoceanic flights had been in contact with the pilot's father for several months during the planning of the trip, as well as during the trip. On the day of departure, the father indicated that the airplane had 249 gallons of fuel on board, and anticipated a 2300 departure time so that he and his son could land in Hawaii during daylight hours. He had purchased two life vests for them to wear instead of the gumby suits. He indicated that they planned to take off with 10 degrees of flaps, accelerate in ground effect, start a slow climb to 200 feet, retract the landing gear, climb to 500 feet and retract the flaps, and then climb to 5,000 feet and level out. Once the power and fuel settings were established for cruise, they would initiate a shallow climb to 7,000 feet, maintain that for 2-3 hours, and then establish a shallow climb to 9,000 feet.

Federal Aviation Administration - Flight Standards District Office: FAA Honolulu FSDO-13 


  The body of Haris Suleman 

The body of Haris Suleman 

Rescue personnel load the body of Haris Suleman recovered from the plane crash into an ambulance. 


Just hours before the crash, Haris Suleman tweeted a photo with the caption, "The beauty of Pago Pago." 

Haris Suleman, 17, hugs his mother, Shamim, before he and his father, Babar, headed out from Greenwood, Indiana, June 19 on the first leg of an around-the-world flight. 

Haris Suleman, 17, is seen with his father, Babar, 58, outside a Beechcraft A36 Bonanza they attempted to fly around the world. The plane crash Wednesday, July 23, 2014.

In this Thursday, June 19, 2014 photo, Babar Suleman and son Haris Suleman, 17, stand next to their plane at an airport in Greenwood, Ind. before taking off for an around-the-world flight. On Wednesday, July 23, 2014, a Beechcraft A36 Bonanza plane with two aboard crashed in waters off American Samoa, with a registration number matching the plane flown by the Indiana teen attempting to fly around the world in 30 days.


February 24, 2008:  Piper PA-32R-300, N2920Q

Salt Island Seaplanes: Land on the water — new service flies from Naples to Key West

Photo Credit/Courtesy: DAVID ALBERS

NAPLES, Fla. - A saltwater adventure made for a sweet anniversary surprise.

On a recent Saturday, Matt Galbraith, 31, of North Fort Myers, took his wife of two years on a seaplane, flying from Naples to Key West.

"She had no idea that we were going to be doing this," he said.

They were some of the first passengers to try the new service, offered by Salt Island Seaplanes.

They took off at the Naples Municipal Airport and arrived by water in Key West. They stayed overnight and flew back the next afternoon.

"It was a first for both my wife and I to go to Key West and flying in a small plane," he said. "It seemed romantic and adventurous too."

For he and his wife, Nichole, 33, the float plane ride was the most thrilling part of the trip.

"Just flying in the plane and seeing everything was awesome," he said. "You don't go super high. So when you're leaving out of Naples, you fly over and you can see Tin City, see Marco Island, then out over the Gulf. We were just trying to see anything we could spot in the water and look out into the horizon."

The service took off Oct. 1 and will fly through April 30. Flights are available every day, except Wednesdays, and on three holidays, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. It operates as an on-demand service, offering up to two flights a day.

Salt Island's seaplane, a Cessna 206, has room for up to four adventure-seeking passengers.

"Our idea is to make individual seats available, so one person can make this trip at a reasonable price," said Jon Rector, the company's owner.

A one-way ticket goes for $210, and it's double for a round-trip ticket. Reservations are a must, at least two days before take off.

Rector isn't just the owner of the business. He's the pilot, with more than 35 years of experience flying with commercial airlines and more than 27,000 hours of flight time logged.

Though the service between Naples and Key West is new, the company isn't. The business is 11 years old and the Rectors purchased it a few years ago. He offers a similar summertime service on the same plane to hikers and campers in northern Michigan, with flights between the Houghton County Memorial Airport and the Isle Royale National Park.

"My wife and I are actually Fort Myers residents," Rector said. "We wanted to have another season for the business. So that is why we are starting in Naples in the winter."

He offers charter flights as well. "We will fly pretty much anywhere," Rector said.

While he's not the only operator flying to Key West from the Naples Municipal Airport, he's the only one doing it on a seaplane.

"It's not that common," Rector said. "Inside the state of Florida, I think there are five seaplane charter operators, so not that many, compared to regular airplane charter operators. There are probably 50 or 60 of those in the state."

With a cruising speed of 125 miles per hour, the seaplane takes a different, more scenic route than commercial planes, reaching Key West in less than an hour. After landing in Key West, passengers take an eight-minute boat ride to the foot of Duval Street downtown.

"It's a 55-minute flight," Rector said. "There's free parking at the airport, no security lines. It's a way of doing a Key West trip without spending a lot of wasted time."

He operated a small sightseeing tour business in Fort Myers using a seaplane from 2001 to 2004.

"It did OK," he said. "But we were never able to make a consistent profit at it particularly because at that time we didn't have an offseason location for it. We learned that we need two seasons."

As the new service grows, Rector plans to hire another pilot and add another seaplane.

He expects to attract year-round and seasonal residents, and tourists looking to add a little adventure to their Naples visit.

Matt Galbraith, a year-round resident, said he liked the trip so much, he's ready to go again. "In your mind, you think it might be rough and difficult in a way," he said. "But it was a lot smoother, and really, really nice. It just felt like floating along and the scenery was awesome."

Salt Island Seaplanes has leased a hangar and offices from the Naples Airport Authority, which runs the airport. One of the authority's top priorities has been to bring commercial service back to the airport, and it recently hired a consultant to look into the costs of doing that and to gauge community support for it.

"We would love to have scheduled service," said Ted Soliday, the authority's executive director. "We are going to continue to work on it, but right now we are doing a study to find out whether it's realistic to even consider scheduled carriers in the future."

The last major airline to use the Naples Airport was Delta, which stopped flying there in 2007. Yellow Air Taxi, operated by Friendship Airways, halted its scheduled service from Naples to Key West in December 2008.

The city's airport is served by five air charter operators. One of them, Exec Air Inc., has several planes, including a vintage Cessna 182. It offers on-demand service to Key West from Naples.

"I'm not afraid of competition," said the company's owner John Swasey. "There's always room for competition, as long as everybody is fair with everything. That's all we ask is that everybody operates on an equal playing field."

His service, he said, is geared to the average Joe, not the Naples elite, though "they do use us." "If one passenger buys a ticket we're going to go," Swasey said. "We don't leave people stranded."

For about three years, Exec Air has offered scheduled service between Naples and Miami International Airport four times a week. Swasey expects to add a scheduled service between Naples and Key West by early next year. He sees growing demand.

"We get couples. We get singles. We get families. Everybody has their own different take on Key West," he said.

For more information about Salt Island Seaplanes, call 239-263-7258, or visit

Story and Photos:

Fishermen criticize seaplane service, floating hotels

Mumbai : A city-based fishermen’s union has written to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis protesting against floating restaurants on the Arabian Sea and a proposed seaplane service ferrying tourists between Juhu and Girgaum, citing a security threat. The union also believes the two will adversely affect fishing activities.

India’s first sea plane service was launched between Mumbai and Lonavala in October this year by the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) in collaboration with Maritime Energy Heli Air Services.

After a successful run, both the organizations conducted a trial landing at Girgaum chowpatty, following which there was an informal announcement of a seaplane service between Juhu and Girgaum beaches. Set to be a major tourist attraction, this service has drawn flak from the fishermen’s union.

“What if some terrorists come to Mumbai as tourists on the seaplane? They can easily target Raj Bhavan, Mantralaya, CST, Churchgate from there,” said a statement issued by the Maharashtra Fishermen’s Action Committee in a press conference held here on Wednesday.

Similarly, the union has criticized the multi-storeyed floating restaurants near the sea-link by a private enterprise called MWB international and another floating, three-star restaurant outside Raj Bhavan.

India’s first floating hotel was inaugurated by then Tourism Minister Chhagan Bhujbal in May this year.

The hotel, at Maritime Board Jetty near Bandra-Worli Sea Link, has a capacity of 660 passengers and provides a 360 degree view of Mumbai and the Arabian Sea.

“These floating restaurants post a threat to Mumbai’s security as well as may hit fishing activities on the Arabian Sea. The union strongly condemns it, and if this project is carried ahead, all fishermen will protest against it,” the statement further said.

The union has now demanded a probe into the funding of these private companies and also said that such floating hotels will not be affordable to the common man.

- Original article can be found at:

Bell 206-L4, N57AW, Cochise County Sheriff's Department: Accident occurred December 31, 2014 in Benson, Arizona

NTSB Identification: WPR15FA072
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, December 31, 2014 in Benson, AZ
Aircraft: BELL 206, registration: N57AW
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators 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 December 31, 2014, at 1710 mountain standard time, a Bell 206 L4, N57AW, collided with terrain 7 miles west of Benson, Arizona. The commercial pilot and pilot rated mechanic were fatally injured, and the helicopter was destroyed. The helicopter was registered to N57AW LLC, and operated by Airwest Helicopters as 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 positioning flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated on a company visual flight rules flight plan. The flight originated form Glendale, Arizona, at 1550, and was destined for Sierra Vista, Arizona.

The operator reported that the helicopter had not arrived at its destination and that the Sky Connect Tracking System indicated that the helicopter was at a stationary location between Tucson and Benson. The Cochise County Sheriff located the helicopter wreckage about 2030 at the location the Sky Connect system was reporting. The helicopter was fragmented into multiple pieces along a 174-foot-long debris path. Witnesses living in the local area reported hearing a low flying helicopter around the time of the accident, and that the visibility at ground level was very limited, with low clouds and fog.

COCHISE COUNTY- Federal investigators are pouring over the wreckage from a deadly crash involving a Cochise County Sheriff's helicopter.

It was moved from the scene today and taken to Phoenix, so they can figure out what went wrong.

A pilot and mechanic were killed in the crash. The pilot was former Glendale police officer Jeff Steele, he retired in 2011. The mechanic was Marc Hansen, who was 59 years old.

Twisted metal is what's left of the six passenger, aircraft that once weighed 2,500 lbs.

The National Transportation Safety Board Investigators say the crash was unsurvivable.

When it fell from the sky, it broke into three pieces, leaving a debris field that spread 180 feet across the desert.

This is the second time Air Transport, an aircraft recovery moving and storage company, made a trip to Cochise County .

Last September, Reed and Randall Jarman were in Tombstone when "Cochise Air" made a hard landing due to losing a rear rotor.

No one was hurt in that crash.

Van McKinney is with the NSTB. He investigated the Santa Monica airport crash in 2013 that killed four people. He's also looking into this crash.

He told News 4 Tucson their focus here is on the maintenance of the aircraft and weather conditions on New Year's Eve.

NTSB officials say the preliminary report will be ready in five days. The final report will be completed in a year.

Story and Video:

Jeff Steele was killed in a helicopter crash in southern Arizona on New Year's Eve. He was a retired Glendale police officer. 
Courtesy Glendale Police Department

A retired Glendale police officer and a mechanic for a Glendale aviation company were killed Wednesday afternoon in a helicopter crash near Benson in southern Arizona, Cochise County Sheriff's Office officials said Thursday.

The men were flying the Cochise Air chopper, used by the Cochise County Sheriff's Office, to Sierra Vista from Phoenix, where it had received routine maintenance.

Jeff Steele, a 25-year veteran of the Glendale Police Department and an employee of Airwest Helicopters LLC, was identified as the pilot killed in the crash. The 48-year-old man had retired from Glendale police in 2011 after a distinguished career.

The second victim was identified as Marc Hansen, 59, a certified mechanic with numerous years of experience. Hansen also was a helicopter and airplane pilot who served in the U.S. Navy.

Steele served in a wide variety of roles ranging from patrol officer, to K-9 handler, to SWAT member and motorcycle officer. He held the position of senior motorcycle instructor when he retired. He had been assigned to the Cochise County aviation program since it's inception in May and also was a certified flight instructor.

"Jeff's passing has been felt deeply across our Department. Since his retirement he has held close ties with the Department and has countless close friends still here," Glendale police Chief Debora Black said in a prepared statement. "He will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and condolences are with not only Jeff's family, but also with those of the mechanic on board.''

The Cochise County Sheriff's Office statement said they have been impressed with the professionalism and dedication of all Airwest pilots assigned to the program.

"This has truly been a horrific tragedy where two men were taken away from their family and our family too early in their lives, but leaving a legacy which will make their families and our county proud,'' the Cochise County statement said.

"This news leaves me personally and this organization with a heavy heart because of the tragic loss of two incredible lives," Dannels said. "We have worked closely with this company and these two individuals since receiving Cochise Air, and knowing that they are considered part of the Sheriff's Office family makes this so much harder. We send our condolences out to the families of two people who will truly be missed."

Sgt. David Viduare, a Glendale police spokesman, said Steele was "a kind and generous man who was extremely friendly. My biggest memory of him was his passion for flying."

The Cochise County Sheriff's Office was contacted by the helicopter leasing company shortly before 7 p.m. Wednesday and told they had lost communications with Cochise Air near the Benson area. Officials activated tracking software in an attempt to locate the aircraft, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Rescue personnel traced a cellphone to an area south of Interstate 10 outside of Benson. At approximately 9:20 p.m., the Benson Fire Department located the crash site and reported to the two deaths.

The National Transportation and Safety Board was notified about this incident and are conducting an investigation with the assistance of the Sheriff's Office.

Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels said words can't describe the tragedy.

"This news leaves me personally, and this organization, with a heavy heart because of the tragic loss of two incredible lives," Dannels said. "We have worked closely with this company and these two individuals since receiving Cochise Air, and knowing that they are considered part of the Sheriff's Office family makes this so much harder. We send our condolences out to the families of two people who will truly be missed."

The Cochise County Sheriff's Office unveiled the helicopter last May as part of a one-year exploratory program to boost law-enforcement coverage across the southern Arizona county.

The Bell helicopter was capable of carrying six passengers and a pilot and was fast enough to cover the county in 30 minutes, according to the May press release.

An Airwest helicopter used by the Cochise County Sheriff's Office also made a hard landing outside of Tombstone on Sept. 12 after it apparently lost its rear rotor, according to a Facebook post from the Sheriff's Office. The pilot, Larry Pucci, and the Law Enforcement Observer (LEO), Officer Justin Dannels, were able to walk away without injuries.

"The actions of the pilot in this incident are above commendable as the airship was landed in a clearing in the middle of significant brush and the immediate damage observed was a missing rear rotor,'' the statement said.