Sunday, January 04, 2015

Accidents occurred January 03 and January 04, 2015 at Jack Brooks Regional Airport (KBPT), Beaumont/Port Arthur, Texas

Date: 04-JAN-15 
Regis#: N1152L 
Aircraft Make: MOONEY
Aircraft Model: M20K
Event Type: Accident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Substantial
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)


Mooney M20K 231, N1152L:

Date: 03-JAN-15
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA46
Event Type: Accident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Substantial
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)


Piper PA-46-310P Malibu Mirage, N20DP:

JEFFERSON COUNTY - There were no injuries reported after another plane made an emergency landing at Jack Brooks Regional Airport Sunday. 

Four people were on board when the Mooney plane was forced to land on its belly after the landing gear failed.

This emergency landing comes just one day after another small plane was also forced to make a “belly landing” at Jack Brooks. The three passengers on board that plane also walked away safely.

Jefferson County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Rod Carroll said there was no fire as a result of either landing. Beaumont Fire Department responded to the call.

Piper PA-46-310P Malibu Mirage, N20DP

A single-engine private plane crash-landed at Jack Brooks Regional Airport 5 p.m. Sunday, making it the second plane crash in two days, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office reported.

The crash involved four Southeast Texas men who were uninjured when the gear collapsed upon landing, Deputy Rod Carroll said.

Carroll said the pilot was unaware there was a problem with the landing gear and the plane ended up skidding across the runway.

The men were able to evacuate themselves, Carroll said.

Emergency personnel were able to clear the runway in about an hour.

Beechcraft A36 Bonanza, N349EA, Black Gold Aviation LLC: Accident occurred January 04, 2015 in Parker City, Monroe Township, Randolph County, Indiana

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Indianapolis, Indiana
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas
Continental Motors; Mobile, Alabama 

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket  - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:

Black Gold Aviation LLC:

Location:  Parker City, IN
Accident Number: CEN15LA098
Date & Time: 01/04/2015, 1603 EST
Registration: N349EA
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal


The pilot reported that, during cruise flight, the air traffic controller instructed him to descend from 9,000 to 4,000 ft. While performing the descent checklist, the pilot switched fuel tanks, and the engine subsequently lost power. The pilot further reported that he was certain that the engine restarted and that the event put him "behind the airplane in performing…cockpit duties." The next thing the pilot remembered was the controller informing him that he was flying in circles and losing altitude. The pilot thought the airplane was in a spin and tried to regain control. After the airplane broke out of the clouds into poor visibility and snow, the pilot chose to land in a cornfield. During the landing, the airplane impacted trees and terrain. A witness reported observing the airplane at a low altitude traveling at a high rate of speed, then it pitched up to almost vertical flight, descended, and impacted terrain. No preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures were noted with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's loss of airplane control while troubleshooting an engine issue in instrument meteorological conditions, which resulted in impact with trees and terrain.

Performance/control parameters - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Low visibility - Effect on personnel
Snow - Effect on personnel

Factual Information 

On January 4, 2015, about 1603 eastern standard time, a Raytheon Aircraft Company A36 single-engine airplane, N349EA, was substantially damaged after impacting terrain while maneuvering near Parker City, Indiana. The private pilot, who was the sole occupant, sustained serious injuries. The airplane was registered to Black Gold Aviation, LLC, Norris City, Illinois, and operated by the pilot. Instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) prevailed at the time of the accident and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The airplane departed from the Carmi Municipal Airport (CUL), Carmi, Illinois, approximately 1400 central standard time, and was destined for the Delaware County Regional Airport (MIE), Muncie, Indiana.

According to the pilot, prior to the accident flight, he completed two practice instrument approaches at CUL, then obtained a weather briefing for a flight to MIE. The airplane departed CUL at 1345 central standard time, and prior to obtaining his IFR clearance, the pilot noted the autopilot would not engage so he returned to CUL. After landing, the pilot checked the circuit breaker and fuse for the autopilot with no problems noted. The pilot cycled the avionics master switch and the autopilot was then determined by the pilot to be functioning. The pilot then departed CUL at 1400 central standard time.

At 1549, air traffic control (ATC) instructed the pilot to descend at his discretion from 9,000 feet to 4,000 feet. While performing the descent checklist, the pilot switched fuel tanks at which time the engine lost power. The pilot stated he was certain the engine restarted and resulted in "putting me behind the airplane in performing my cockpit duties." The next thing the pilot remembered was ATC informing him he was flying in circles and losing altitude. The pilot felt he was in a spin and attempted to regain control of the airplane. The airplane broke out of the cloud layer and the pilot recalled it snowing with poor visibility. The pilot located a harvested cornfield and made the decision to land in the cornfield. The pilot does not recall why he decided to execute an off-airport landing. During the landing, the airplane impacted terrain and trees.

A witness, who was located near the accident site, reported he observed the airplane at a low altitude traveling at a high rate of speed heading in a northerly direction. The witness observed the airplane pitch nose up to almost vertical flight, and then turn to a west-southwest heading, before impacting the cornfield. The airplane impacted terrain, bounced, and impacted trees.

After reflecting on the accident flight, the pilot noted the following for reasons not to perform the flight:

"1. First long flight after annual and doing it in poor weather.

2. Limited flying time due to my end of year work schedule and airplane being in annual for two weeks.

3. The weather I had set myself a minimum of 1,000 feet for shooting approaches (If I recall correctly ceilings at MIE at time of briefing were 1,300, they had dropped I believe to 850 to 900 feet at time of arrival).

4. Autopilot malfunctioned on first departure; it had never done that before.

5. Should have left fuel tank selector alone, had not used that much fuel."

At 1553, the MIE automated surface observing system reported the wind from 270 degrees at 16 knots, gusting to 25 knots, visibility 3/4 mile, decreasing snow, mist, sky broken at 1,200 feet, ceiling overcast at 1,800 feet, temperature 0 degrees Celsius, dew point minus 2 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 30.02 inches of Mercury.

An examination of the airplane by two Federal Aviation Administration inspectors, and technical representatives from Textron Aviation and Continental Motors revealed the three propeller blades were twisted and bent aft. The forward fuselage was crushed upward and distorted. The flaps and landing gear appeared to be in the retracted position. No preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures were noted with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. 

History of Flight

Loss of control in flight (Defining event)
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)
Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 59
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 02/14/2014
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 03/06/2014
Flight Time:  421 hours (Total, all aircraft), 59 hours (Total, this make and model), 349 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft)
Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Registration: N349EA
Model/Series: A36
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture:
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Utility
Serial Number: E-3549
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 6
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 12/22/2014, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.:  3651 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 1188 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: Installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: IO-550-B89B
Rated Power: 
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Instrument Conditions
Condition of Light: Dusk
Observation Facility, Elevation: MIE, 937 ft msl
Observation Time: 1553 EST
Distance from Accident Site: 8 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 120°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Thin Broken
Temperature/Dew Point: 0°C / -2°C
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 1200 ft agl
Visibility: 1 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 16 knots/ 25 knots, 270°
Visibility (RVR): 
Altimeter Setting: 30.02 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV): 
Precipitation and Obscuration: Light - Mist; Light - Snow
Departure Point: Carmi, IL (CUL)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Destination: Muncie, IN (MIE)
Type of Clearance: IFR
Departure Time: 1400 CST
Type of Airspace: Class D

Airport Information

Airport: Delaware County Regional Airport (MIE)
Runway Surface Type: N/A
Airport Elevation: 937 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Unknown
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: Unknown
Runway Length/Width: 
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries:  1 Serious
Latitude, Longitude:  40.113056, -85.242500 (est)
NTSB Identification: CEN15LA098 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, January 04, 2015 in Muncie, IN
Aircraft: RAYTHEON AIRCRAFT COMPANY A36, registration: N349EA
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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 January 4, 2015, about 1600 eastern standard time, a Raytheon Aircraft Company A36 single-engine airplane, N349EA, was substantially damaged after impacting terrain while maneuvering near Delaware County Regional Airport (MIE), Muncie, Indiana. The private pilot, who was the sole occupant, sustained minor injuries. The airplane was registered to Black Gold Aviation, LLC, Norris City, Illinois, and operated by the pilot. Instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) prevailed at the time of the accident and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The airplane departed Carmi, Illinois, approximately 1400 central standard time, and was destined for MIE.

According to the pilot, who spoke to Federal Aviation Administration inspectors, he had just executed a missed approach to MIE, and had been instructed by air traffic control (ATC) to climb due to being at a low altitude. The pilot does not recall the events of the accident following the ATC communications.

Examination of the airplane at the accident site revealed the three propeller blades were twisted and bent aft. The forward fuselage was crushed upward and distorted. The flaps and landing gear appeared to be in the retracted position.

At 1553, the MIE automated surface observing system reported the wind from 270 degrees at 16 knots, gusting to 25 knots, visibility 3/4 mile, decreasing snow, mist, sky broken at 1,200 feet, ceiling overcast at 1,800 feet, temperature 0 degrees Celsius, dew point minus 2 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 30.02 inches of Mercury.

A pilot was injured Sunday afternoon when a single-engine plane crashed in a field near the 7400 block of S. Delaware County Road 875 East just after 4 p.m.  

The pilot was the only person inside the plane when it crashed. He was transported to IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital with what were believed to be minor injuries.

The cause of the crash is unclear.

The Beechcraft Bonanza A36  is registered to Black Gold Aviation LLC in Norris City, Ill. 

The plane left Carmi, Ill., at 2 p.m. CST and made a direct flight to Delaware County, where it crashed just after 4 p.m. EST.

After crashing in a field, the plane came to a stop in the middle of a large brush pile.

DELAWARE COUNTY - A small plane has crashed in southeastern Delaware County near the Henry County line. The pilot was the only person on board when the single engine plane crashed around 3:50 p.m., according to the Delaware County Sheriff's Office, and rescuers were able to get him out of the wreckage in a wooded area near 7905 County Road South 875 East. Richard Kingston, 59, of Norris City, Illinois, was conscious and alert when emergency crews took him to a Muncie hospital and is expected to be okay.  
The FAA's Indianapolis office was contacted and will investigate the crash.

Western Australia Police: Choppers grounded as pilots quit

WA's two police helicopters have been grounded since Saturday after the sudden resignation of two senior pilots, leaving the State without eyes in the sky for chases, patrols and searches.

Assistant Commissioner Nick Anticich denied last night the resignations were linked to personality clashes within the police Air Wing, despite rumors of tension and infighting.

The departure of chief pilot Rohan Armstrong and deputy chief pilot Kenny Kross means that three of the unit's five pilot positions are now vacant.

Despite still having two pilots, the choppers cannot fly because under air safety laws the unit's air operator's certificate is held by the chief pilot rather than by the organization.

Mr. Anticich said police were due to hold urgent talks with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority this morning to try to find a solution that would enable the helicopters to return to the sky as soon as possible.

He said he hoped the air safety regulator would allow police to operate under a "private license" until another pilot could be trained to fill the senior role.

Shadow police minister Michelle Roberts described the situation as "absolutely inexcusable" at a busy time of year.

"It is a really critical time of year to have all the crew available," she said.

"It's not just public safety that's put at risk because of something like this, it's also potentially the safety of officers on the ground.

"One of the things that Air Wing does is support officers on the ground, whether that's at an out-of-control party or during a car chase."

Mr Anticich denied the grounding created a safety risk.

"Generally the majority of the work for the police chopper is patrol and backing up the troops on the ground," he said.

"Rescue is not the primary police function.

"If resolving this issue takes an extended period of time, then we will operate using our fixed-wing aircraft and, if need be, we will hire another helicopter.

"Some of our optional patrolling would be limited because we don't have our helicopter in the air.

"But we can cover emergencies and the fixed-wing aircraft can do most of the things the helicopter does.

"We do this all the time when the helicopter is not in Perth or down for maintenance . . . we're not unfamiliar with supplementing the capability through other means."

Mr. Anticich said police could also ask the Department of Fire and Emergency Services to use the rescue helicopter if it was part of a search-and-rescue incident.

The police helicopter also often directs officers on the ground during pursuits of stolen vehicles or fleeing offenders, helps search for people missing on land or in the water and has even pulled out cannabis plants from marshy or difficult-to-access bush.

In July, the police helicopter crew rescued a teenage hiker stranded on Bluff Knoll, winching the 18-year-old and a police rescue crewman to safety in the pitch-black in wet, windy conditions.

The risky rescue was prompted by fears the teen would not survive another night out in the freezing temperatures and afterwards, Capt. Kross said it had been some of the most extreme flying conditions he had experienced.

Mrs. Roberts said police needed to focus on retaining staff in specialist areas.

Mr.  Anticich denied there were any cultural problems despite the three resignations, with the two senior officers leaving in quick succession.

"We've had one vacancy for some time and helicopter pilots are in high demand," he said.

"We'll be trying to fill the positions as soon as possible but the problem is identifying suitably qualified people who want to come to fly with the police service."

Mr. Anticich said WA Police were not considering outsourcing the management of the Air Wing operations to a private company, similar to the way DFES and police in some other States had.

Police got a new $20 million WA police helicopter in May 2012 after several months of delays and problems.

Story and photo:

Helicopter tours from Port Canaveral to continue

PORT CANAVERAL – The operator of helicopter tours from Port Canaveral will be able to continue offering them, under a plan unanimously approved by port commissioners.

Tour operator Mark Grainger, founder of Florida Air Tours, says his company has conducted about 400 tours from the port, carrying a total of about 1,000 passengers, since June.

“The feedback from the public has been absolutely tremendous and positive,” Grainger said. “It’s been a resounding success. I’m happy to be part of the port’s offerings, as they grow more attractions in the future.”

Grainger currently operates from the Victory Casino Cruises parking lot, east of the port’s Cove area.

But port officials say that could change, depending on how plans develop for that part of the port.

Port Authority Chairman Tom Weinberg told Grainger he appreciated modification made to the helicopter flight patterns to reduce the noise for beachside residents, which was an initial concern of the port commissioners.

“Your adjustments worked,” Weinberg said.

The helicopter tours range in price from $39 per person for a ride lasting about 5 or 6 minutes to $229 for 45-minute tour. The flights operate between 9 a.m. and sunset.

Grainger’s Robinson R-44 helicopters carry a pilot and three passengers, and have a cruising speed of up to 130 mph.

Grainger said, in the future, he hopes to be one of the official tour options for cruise ship passengers stopping at Port Canaveral on a port-of-call visit.

Original article can be found at:

Air expo continues to fly high

SEBRING – Eleven years ago the idea of a U.S. Sports Aviation Expo at the Sebring Regional Airport turned out to be the right idea at the right time..

Bob Wood, a member of the Aviation Authority’s board, recalled recently that airport officials were looking then at ways to increase traffic and business at the facility.

“We were always looking for opportunities to increase business,” said Wood, who is also a pilot.

It was around that time that the light sports aviation industry was gaining altitude, he said.

So by starting an expo geared at that industry, Sebring Regional Airport got in at the ground level to begin something relatively new and build it up, he said.

And just over a decade later, the expo has grown substantially in the number of exhibitors and attendees. Not only does it involve local people, but it attracts attendees and participants from other parts of the United States, as well as other countries.

“We were sure that after the first few months working on it, we could make it a very successful event,” Wood said.

One of the keys to that was promoting the expo and the airport to light sports aviation dealers.

“There weren’t that many light sports aircraft dealers then and the dealers that did exist had no idea who we were or knew anything about us,” Wood said.

But besides attracting those dealers to display their airplanes in Sebring, the event has also helped the airport grow. Several businesses have located to the airport with part of the reason being that owners of those businesses became familiar with the airport through having attended the expo, said Mike Willingham, executive director of the airport.

This year’s expo will be held from Jan. 14 to 17., from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Besides having more than 140 vendors with exhibits, the expo provides a lot of educational opportunities, according to information from the expo’s web site.

Each day at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., Stewart Covering Systems will hold a hands-on workshop demonstration of its fabric covering system.

At 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. each day Aviation Survival Technologies will present a water-ditching survival demonstration. Randy Boone of AVT will show the proper way to use life vests and how to deploy a raft from the wing of the aircraft and or from the water.

Other workshop or forum topics include starting or joining a flying club, dos and don’ts for a good and successful air park real estate experience, building light-sport aircraft, seaplanes, flying safe in and around Florida, “Chock talk with a fighter pilot,” Aviation insurance and flying to the Bahamas.

Jana Filip, the current director of the expo, has seen the growth of expo to what it is today. She’s been either a volunteer or director, since it began.

“There’s been small, but steady growth,” she said.

Filip said that when the expo started in 2004 they only needed “a handful of volunteers,” to help with the event. Now they need a virtual army of 240 volunteers, she said.

The early expos drew around 5,000 attendees at the outset, she said. Now they expect at least 18,000 people to come.

Part of the task at the outset was to make more people familiar with the airport that was best known for having a race track, Wood said.

A decade later, many people in the aircraft community not only are aware of the race track, but also the expo, Filip said.

“I can wear my themed shirt to aviation events and people know who I am,” she said.

This year, she said, larger light sport aircraft will be new to the expo. The expansion will include planes with twin engines and four seats.

A large part of the expo is planes for sale. The prices run from $30,000 for build-your-own kits to more than $200,000 for the larger sports aircraft.

Having a spot at the expo is so coveted that one man brought his airplane down early this year because during the two previous years, he was unable to because of weather conditions at the time of the expo.

Kris Siuba, who deals with Ekolot aircraft, said Florida is a good location to the sell the aircraft because of the lack of freezing weather.

The economic benefits to the community are obvious, said Filip, whose background is in hospitality and tourism.

The expo brings “20,000 people to this community who would not be here otherwise,” she said.

It also has brought jobs.

Shannon Yeager, sales manager of TECNAM, a company that manufactures light sport aircraft, said the presence of the expo tipped the scales in favor of TECNAM locating at the Sebring Regional Airport as opposed to another location.

He said the expo will provide good exposure for TECNAM.

Paradise Aircraft LLC of Brazil also recently located to the airport. Bert Motoyama, director of operations, said the expo is also a plus that Paradise considered in locating at the Sebring airport.

- See more at:

White cabbie files bias lawsuit against Portland over permits • Paul McDonough claims the city discriminated because it awarded all 45 airport permits to drivers of Somali or Iranian descent

A white taxicab driver has filed a lawsuit accusing the city of Portland of racial discrimination for denying him one of 45 permits to work as part of the Portland International Jetport’s taxi pool.

The driver, Paul McDonough of South Portland, said in the lawsuit filed Tuesday in Cumberland County Superior Court in Portland that the city’s current jetport taxicab permit system is “blatantly discriminatory” because it has issued permits only to people of Somali or Iranian descent or nationality.

“How does it happen that 45 licenses all go to one racial group who just arrived in this country?” McDonough’s attorney, David Turesky, said in an interview after filing the lawsuit.

Turesky said that in 2008, the city granted all of its then 50 jetport licenses to Somali or Iranian immigrants without opening bidding to the general public. The city reduced the number of available jetport licenses in July 2013 to 45, “grandfathering” in those license holders, again without opening the bidding process to the public.

“It was done in a way that was never publicized,” Turesky said. “Our supposition is something was done to benefit these gentlemen or this particular group. But we don’t know how. We don’t know precisely what the motive was. We don’t know who paid for the licenses.”

The city’s attorney, Corporation Counsel Danielle West-Chuhta, did not respond to a phone message seeking comment on the lawsuit.

The lawsuit originated from a complaint that McDonough and another white male taxicab driver filed in June 2013 and brought before the Maine Human Rights Commission. State investigators found that the complaint by McDonough and Raymond Chasse of Scarborough has “no reasonable grounds.” Chasse has since died.

Turesky said the Maine Human Rights Commission did not investigate the background of how the city’s permitting practices began. He expects that those details will be ordered to be disclosed through the court process.

Turesky expects that even if the court finds that the city did not intentionally commit racial discrimination, it did discriminate.

“I think the city would have to concede that the effect has been discriminatory,” he said.

McDonough, 70, is the owner of Timely Taxi and has what is classified by the city as a reserve taxi license, meaning he can serve the general city but cannot idle outside the airport arrivals terminal. He is allowed to take an airport fare only if he is called there by appointment.

The city’s 45 jetport permits are classified as non-reserve, a costlier and more coveted license that allows the licensee to wait at the terminal for air passengers who arrive on a regular timetable. Those licenses expire in 2018, Turesky said.

McDonough’s lawsuit is seeking to have the city bidding process reopened to everyone and to be compensated for the extra money he could have made with a non-reserve license.

Turesky said taxi drivers in the airport pool often get more lucrative fares, taking air travelers long distances and on a predictable schedule.

McDonough often makes his money driving city residents who don’t have their own cars short distances, such as to the grocery store or for a medical appointment, Turesky said.

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COMMENTARY: Point: Carlsbad airport expansion, a win-win for North County

Sunday, January 4, 2015 6:00 am
by Thomas K. Arnold

As we close the books on one year and turn the page to 2015, I predict one hot-button issue will be the proposed expansion of Carlsbad’s McClellan-Palomar Airport.

It used to be a promising little field, offering those of us who live an hour either way from San Diego’s Lindbergh Field or Orange County’s John Wayne a fast and easy way to fly out of town, either directly to cities within a close radius or to anywhere, really, thanks to several daily flights to Los Angeles, a major international hub.

But even though North County’s population has soared over the last two decades, what we all thought of as the little airport that could, couldn’t.

American Eagle and U.S. Airways both scrapped their flights to Los Angeles and Phoenix. California Pacific Airlines, a homegrown upstart that was eyeballing flights to Oakland, Sacramento, San Jose, Phoenix, Las Vegas and, eventually, Cabo San Lucas, never got off the ground due to persistent problems with its applications, according to the FAA.

And come May, United Airlines, the lone holdout, says it will scrap its seven daily flights to Los Angeles, saying the new fleet of jets flying under the United Express banner can’t land on the airport’s short runway.

There’s potential salvation ahead: county supervisors will entertain a proposal to extend the runway from its present 4,897 feet to 5,797 feet, a move that could lead to a boom in cargo traffic in and out of Palomar. According to a 500-page feasibility study, the 900-foot extension would let the airport serve planes flying to the East Coast and Asia, a definite boon to local companies in the aerospace, biotech and other industries. The runway still wouldn’t be long enough to accommodate bigger jets, but planes that currently use the airport would be able to carry more fuel and thus travel further.

The study also indicates a runway extension would offer a good return on investment. Much of the $90-million cost, county officials have said, would come from federal grants, while the local economy would get a $160-million lift over the ensuing two decades.

And that’s not even factoring in the possibility of wooing back some commercial passenger carriers who gave up because dealing with the airport and its existing short runway was too much of a hassle.

But there’s one big roadblock—or, should I say, patch of turbulence—ahead: NIMBYs who live near the airport are already raising noise and safety concerns.

Shades of déjà vu to when I was living in Point Loma, and every time someone brought up the subject of expanding Lindbergh Field people who lived under the flight path would howl in dismay. Never mind the fact that the airport was there long before most of the homes were built; pay no attention to the fact that most of the people who bought their homes knew full well there was an airport nearby. Now that they live there, they’d be happiest if the airport went away completely and the runway turned into open space where their kids could frolic and play ball, and where they could take long sunset walks with the family dog.

Don’t get me started on the NIMBY (not-in-my-backyard) angle. I will say, though, that according to the study a runway extension would lead to less noise and improved safety. With a longer runway, planes would fly higher as they pass over homes because they could take off more quickly. That means less noise. In addition, the extension plan calls for the creation of a 315-foot safety zone that would slow down planes in the event of an emergency.

There’s no logical argument against extending the runway at Carlsbad’s airport. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be any controversy, and lots of it, as the day the board of supervisors makes its decision draws near.

Let’s just hope common sense—not hysteria—prevails. If the runway extension is approved, we are all going to win. 


COMMENTARY: Counterpoint: Expanding Carlsbad airport threatens our peaceful, easy feeling

Sunday, January 4, 2015 6:00 am

By Darius Degher

We Americans sometimes assume that growth and expansion are purely positive. They are not. Just consider your own waistline. Or class-size in schools. “Bigger-is-better” is nothing but a hoary old dinosaur. In this age, our greatest challenge is to slow the rate of climate change, and that means being savvy about how we grow and expand. If we fail to do that, the other political issues won’t matter anyway. So, all growth must be justifiable.

The expansion of McClellan-Palomar Airport in Carlsbad is an example of growth that cannot be easily justified, of growth based on little more than inertia.

McClellan Airport is about short trips, to places like L.A. and San Jose. But short trips by air are not likely to have a long shelf life. There’s a reason why European business travelers consistently choose rail over air for trips of under 500 miles: they have fast trains. On trains, there’s no time lost checking in. You end your trip in the city center. And it’s easier to get work done. When the trains are fast, rail travel simply takes less total time than air travel. Most importantly, it’s also a lot greener. The California High-Speed Rail project is underway ( when it’s completed, short flights will start to become obsolete.

So, most likely it’s only a matter of time before McClellan-Palomar Airport downsizes anyway, due to even further lack of demand than it’s currently experiencing. For this reason, it’s a questionable time to consider expanding it.

And the effects of airport expansion would not be limited to Carlsbad. The noise and pollution from more planes would undermine quality of life in surrounding towns as well. I live in Leucadia, and I’m already cursing the jets that disturb my quietude. If expansion advocates have their way, air traffic would increase, and in 30 years, who knows, there could be 737s circling over Moonlight Beach waiting to land in Carlsbad. Let’s just say no. I love our little corner of the world as it is, without the noise and pollution of more jets.

And what about property values? Proximity to flight paths is one of the surest ways to decrease property values. Just ask the residents of central Phoenix, Ariz., over whose homes a flight path was recently diverted. They’re now up in arms about it, worried about the value of their homes. Sure, that’s a bigger city and a bigger airport, but the same dynamic would exist here, just on a smaller scale.

If conservatives are concerned about business, consider that more jets would be a problem for tourism as well.

Ted Owen, CEO of the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce, speaking about the recent cancellation of United Airlines’ daily service to Los Angeles, said: “People come to our area to get away, not to have the fastest connections.”

He’s absolutely right. Visitors do not come to our little world of surf shops and yoga studios to find the same noise they left back home. No, they want peace and quiet – just as we residents do. We should cultivate and protect our laid-back image, not threaten it with more jets.

Proponents claim a longer runway would allow for newer jets and would thus decrease noise. I’m not sure I believe them. When winds blow offshore, isn’t it necessary to land planes from the west, against the wind? This is what happens at other West Coast airports. This would mean planes flying over the beaches whenever the wind is from the east. That would certainly not reduce noise at our most cherished local resource, the beach.

For transcontinental travel and other longer trips, there’s no substitute for the big old jet airliner. Looking down from six miles in the air still awes me whenever I do it. But trips around California and the Southwest, will, in the near future, be made by rail. We should keep Carlsbad’s airport small, primarily for private planes. Let’s stay focused on trains—they’re smarter, quieter, and greener.


Dynamic Airways explains difficulties encountered

Dynamic Airways recently transported in excess of 2000 passengers to Guyana, and the airline is in the process of returning those passengers safely to their destination in the United States of America (USA).

This feat was accomplished amidst all the challenges the airline had experienced, especially during the busy Christmas season.

Dynamic Airways has unfortunately been recently plagued with many delays, for which the airline has faced severe criticism. Passengers travelling back to Guyana for the Christmas Holidays were allegedly left stranded at the John F. Kennedy (JFK) Airport in New York.

Captain Gerald ‘Gerry’ Gouveia has said via his Facebook post that the fault was maintenance-related.

“Due to an unanticipated maintenance delay,” he said, “the additional flight that was added by Dynamic to handle holiday passengers is delayed by 24 hours. To alleviate the inconvenience, passengers are being accommodated with hotels, meals, and transportation,” he mentioned in the social network post.

As was also reported, about 250 passengers were booked to travel with Dynamic Airways on the Christmas Eve flight to Guyana, but did not make it home for Christmas after they were left stranded at the John F Kennedy (JFK) Airport.

Managing Director of Roraima Group of Companies, Captain Gerald Gouveia, related that Dynamic Airways created an environment of stable fares and the ability to make a choice for the travelling public here in Guyana.

He emphasized that “they (Dynamic Airways) moved in excess of 2,000 persons into Guyana this Christmas, and are now in the process of returning them safely back to their homes in the USA.”

“Yes, Dynamic had challenges, and yes, approximately 150 passengers did not get to visit Guyana for Christmas because, and only because, Dynamic Airways will always put safety above anything else,” Gouveia noted.

He also said that aircraft are machines with hundreds of moving parts that all need to work, and “sometimes unfortunately parts malfunction. Luckily, checks on the ground detect these parts and the planes do not fly”.

Gouveia also said the airline sincerely apologizes for causing any inconvenience to the travelling public, but safety will always be its number one priority.

Dynamic Airways, he said, remains committed to serving Guyana, and promises to work harder every day to continuously improve its level of service to its passengers.

On November 22, 2014, Dynamic Airways resumed operations in Guyana after being out for several months owing to a number of issues, including problematic ground handling personnel. Gouveia explained in a press conference, after gaining permission from Department of Transportation (DOT) in the Unites States, “The company has filed all documents (with) the GCAA, with the last piece of document (being) filed yesterday (Monday, November 10).

“We are now awaiting their approval which has to be sent to the Minister of Works for the final okay,” Gouveia said.

Dynamic Airways entered the Guyanese market in June, and then had suspended all flights on July 8, approximately two weeks after it commenced operations. The airline explained that the suspension was due to operational difficulties encountered while trying to secure time slots at the John F Kennedy (JFK) Airport for the month of July. Then the company was forced to cease all flights, and had given a date of return as August 8, but the airline had failed to honor its return date and to return direct flights between CJIA and JFK.

Original article can be found at:

Port Angeles, Washington: Larger sign goes up at William R. Fairchild International Airport (KCLM) ... but no scheduled passenger airline service

PORT ANGELES — The sign at William R. Fairchild International Airport is bigger than the old one, but otherwise, nothing at the airport has changed.

It still lacks scheduled passenger airline service.

The sign erected Dec. 29 at the entrance to the airport in Port Angeles was ordered in June, said Jesse Waknitz, environmental specialist for the Port of Port Angeles, which owns the airport.

That was several months before Kenmore Air stopped its flights to and from Port Angeles in mid-November, thereby canceling all scheduled passenger air service out of or into the North Olympic Peninsula.

The sign, which cost about $18,000, was made by Jackson Smart of Port Angeles out of sign foam, a high-density urethane foam.

Funding was included in the 2014 budget, Waknitz said.

It stands 5 feet tall and is 16 feet wide, replacing a smaller wooden sign that had been at the entrance for more than 20 years, Waknitz said.

When Kenmore Air Express stopped its commercial passenger flights for Port Angeles on Nov. 14, airline officials cited low revenue, primarily because of sagging ridership.

It was the only scheduled commercial service on the Peninsula. It carried passengers between Fairchild and Seattle's Boeing Field. A bus shuttle carried passengers to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

City and county officials have met with Kenmore executives to find ways for the business to resume service.

A meeting in early December with Kenmore President Todd Banks was said to have been positive but inconclusive.

The meeting ended in a consensus that representatives of the county's public and private agencies “need to get back together,” said Jennifer States, director of business development for the Port of Port Angeles, then.

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North Belmont man decries increase in jet departures over his home: Charlotte/Douglas International Airport (KCLT), Charlotte, North Carolina

More than 10 years living in his home near Belmont Abbey College, David Morgan has grown accustomed to hearing a jet airplane every now and then.

But in the past two months, he swears there’s been a cacophonous change in the skies overhead. It’s distracted him during the day, he said, and caused him to lose sleep at night.

“What used to be an idyllic, quiet spot to live in has now turned into a nightmare,” he said.

Complaints about airplanes landing and departing from Charlotte Douglas International Airport have been nothing new, particularly as the metro region has grown in recent years. But the angst has largely originated from residents along Lake Wylie, Lake Norman and other areas to the immediate north and south of the airport’s three parallel runways.

Morgan suspects the stink raised by wealthy property owners in those areas has prompted a shifting of flight patterns. He fears many northbound departures are now being diverted over his Catawba Heights community.

The Federal Aviation Administration, which oversees aircraft operations, says that’s not the case.

“There have been no changes to departure or arrival routes at Charlotte Douglas International Airport,” said FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen when reached Tuesday.

Morgan said unless he’s hallucinating, the low-flying planes he’s seen ascending over his home belie that.

Look, up in the sky …

Morgan lives at the end of Forney Avenue, off Belmont-Mount Holly Road, about 5.5 miles away from Charlotte Douglas. In addition to living there for a decade, he’s worked from home for the last year. That’s made him an even better judge of how often large planes are taking off and passing overhead, he said.

A couple of months ago, Morgan said he would see one or two planes pass low above his home each day. Then, on Dec. 13, the flood gates opened up.

“After I woke up on Dec. 13, they started coming over that Saturday and Sunday nonstop,” he said. “I’ve never seen that in all my time there.”

Afterward, he said he observed bursts of planes taking off, four and five right after another. Sometimes the bursts would come every 30 minutes, and sometimes the intervals would last longer.

Over the course of one hour, 32 departures passed low over his house, he said.

“I was standing at the end of my driveway watching them,” he said.

Morgan began filing complaints through the airport’s website. He brought his concern to the attention of a couple of city leaders in Belmont and Mount Holly, and emailed state legislators, though no one has yet to vocally share his concern.

He has also mined the Internet for stories in recent years about residents north and south of the airport who complained about jet noise. He launched a petition on, and even set up a Facebook page to draw attention to the perceived threat.

No recent changes?

The Federal Aviation Administration is currently considering a new strategy that could change the way flights take off and land in Charlotte.

Landing planes now “stair step” as they descend, which creates noise in areas near an airport, but not right beside it. The proposed changes should allow flights to come in at steeper angles without stair-stepping, meaning they would maintain higher altitudes in areas such as Lake Wylie, Bergen said.

But that doesn’t explain a recent increase in takeoffs over Catawba Heights.

Bergen advised checking with American Airlines about its flight scheduling, “especially during the holiday season." But American Airlines spokeswoman Katie Cody said they had extra flights due to more customers only three days in December, and none as early as Dec. 17. And that wouldn't affect where planes go when they take off, she said.

"Whether the flights go north or south is dependent on the wind, but the routes haven't changed," Cody said.

Charlotte Douglas spokeswoman Haley Gentry said they don’t control where planes go when they’re in the air. The FAA does.

“In general, (Morgan’s) concerns are not anything that we have control over,” she said.

‘I don’t believe those numbers’

Gentry’s office mailed Morgan a letter in response to his complaints last month. It states that when planes depart the airport to the north, they typically don’t turn northwest until they are north of Morgan’s home, and fly no lower than 5,000 feet above areas other than the airport.

Out of 1,582 total flights at the Charlotte airport on Dec. 13, only 19 passed within a mile of Morgan’s home, wrote Kevin Hennessey, the airport’s community programs manager. That’s less than the 30 that passed within a mile of his home Dec. 13, 2013, he wrote.

“Although the city of Charlotte owns and operates the airport, it has no say in which or how many aircraft use the airport or how they operate in the air,” Hennessey said. “Aircraft operations are under the sole control of the Federal Aviation Administration.”

Morgan said the dozens of planes he’s seen passing overhead refute that.

“I don’t believe those numbers,” he said. “He was trying to justify that nothing’s changed. And that’s insane.” 

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