Friday, May 29, 2015

Incident occurred May 29, 2015 in Caledonia, Kent County, Michigan

CALEDONIA, Mich. (WZZM) -- Now that two people have been safely rescued from a helicopter that crashed into some treetops, emergency crews are figuring out how to remove the aircraft.

The crash was reported around 11:45 a.m. Friday in the 6900 block of 76th St. SE, near Thornapple River Dr.

The two people aboard are Consumers Energy contractors who were inspecting some high-voltage lines. They were uninjured in the crash but needed help getting down. Crews cut down trees to make room for bringing in a Hydaker-Wheatlake Power Line Supply Co. bucket truck to rescue them. There was some concern that it might be necessary to have a Coast Guard helicopter airlift them; that turned out not to be the case.

The pilot is 55-year-old Ken Wilson from Dolan Springs, Arizona. His passenger was 27-year-old Raymond Osan III from Stockbridge, Michigan. While waiting to be rescued, they were able to climb out of the helicopter and hold onto the treetops.

Another helicopter might be used to remove the aircraft; crews have been brainstorming how they'll get it out. The crashed helicopter is not in an area where it's posing a threat should it fall. It is heavily damaged, though.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash, trying to determine the cause.

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New York-bound passenger jet reports near-miss with drone

A commercial airliner narrowly missed colliding midair with a drone at 2,700 feet as it neared New York's LaGuardia Airport Friday morning, just hours after a string of incidents involving lasers pointed at planes, according to federal officials.

The pilot reportedly had to swerve upward over Brooklyn's Prospect Park in order to avoid the drone as the plane neared the airport. The incident followed several earlier instances of pilots reporting they had lasers pointed at them near New York airports.

"The flight crew of Shuttle America Flight 2708 reported climbing 200 feet to avoid an unmanned aircraft while on final approach to LaGuardia Airport at about 11 a.m. today," the Federal Aviation Administration said. "The crew ... reported that the unmanned aircraft was operating in the vicinity of Prospect Park in Brooklyn at an altitude of about 2,700 feet."

The plane later landed safely, and the Joint Terrorism Task Force is investigating the case.

The frightening encounter came hours after five pilots reported being targeted by a green laser pointed at their cockpits near the city. Four planes, including another Shuttle America flight, were reportedly at approximately 8,000 feet when the lasers were pointed at them four miles northwest of Farmingdale, N.Y., Thursday night. The FAA notified the New York State Park Police about those cases.

In addition, Sun Country Airlines Flight 249 reported a green laser illuminated the aircraft when it was 14 miles southwest of JFK Airport at around 11:30 p.m. Thursday. The FAA notified the New Jersey State Police last night.

Lasers and drones are perhaps the two biggest threats faced by the airline industry, according to Phil Derner Jr., an aviation research and consulting expert who runs But while drones are typically unwittingly flown in restricted airspace, people who point lasers at planes nearly always act with criminal intent, he said.

"People use the drones for photography, and they can truly do amazing things," Derner said. "They typically don't realize that, in New York for instance, nearly the entire city is Class Bravo restricted airspace," meaning drones can't be flown above a few hundred feet.

Like bird strikes, the danger presented by drones is that they will get near a plane and be sucked into an engine, he said.

"Drones are stronger than birds and people are flying them in restricted airspace more and more," Derner said. "It is not a matter of if, it is a matter of when, one of these hits an aircraft." 

When laser beams hit a cockpit window, the glass acts like a prism and disperses the blinding light throughout the cockpit, he said.

"It is very, very dangerous," Derner said. "You either have to have some sort of criminal intent or be one of the stupidest people on the planet to point a laser at an aircraft."

It was not the first time in recent weeks that drones have been spotted dangerously close to planes in the vicinity of LaGuardia. On May 5, a drone was spotted near two planes as they landed at the airport. One was seen outside a window by a passenger aboard an Air Canada flight, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. Less than 10 minutes later, the pilot of a United Airlines flight reported seeing the same drone in restricted airspace as he made his final approach. In both cases, the drone was flying at about 1,000 feet, according to the FAA.

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Incident occurred May 29, 2015 at Pennridge Airport (KCKZ), Perkasie, Bucks County, Pennsylvania

PERKASIE, Pa. (CBS) — Officials are investigating after a small plane made an emergency landing at the Pennridge Airport in Perkasie, Bucks County. 

Officials say the plane was having issues and was forced to make an emergency landing. 

There are no reported injuries at this time. 

It is unclear how many people were on the plane.

The incident is under investigation. 

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