Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Motorcyclists arrested after fleeing Ohio State Highway Patrol aircraft

The Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Aviation Division is increasing efforts to track motorcyclists who flee from officers on the ground. Twice in the last five days, the OSHP's fix-winged aircraft stationed at the Akron Fulton Airport has been used to track and assist in the apprehension of fleeing motorcyclists.

On Friday, while troopers were working a joint enforcement detail with the Stark County Sheriff’s Department and Canton Police Department on US-30 in Canton, a group of motorcycles were checked speeding 80 mph in a posted 60 mph zone. As the pilot notified officers on the ground, one of the cyclists failed to stop and engaged officers in a pursuit. Ground units ended the pursuit, due to reckless operation of the motorcyclist, but aviation continued tracking from the sky.

On Tuesday, while troopers were working a joint enforcement detail with the Summit County Sheriff’s Department and Akron Police Department on IR 277, a motorcyclist's speed was checked at 90 mph in a posted 60 mph zone. As the pilot notified officers on the ground, the cyclist fled when a traffic stop was initiated. This pursuit also ended on the ground, due to the reckless driving of the motorcyclist, but was again tracked from the sky by aviation.    

In both pursuits, the cyclists were tracked by the plane to residences in Canton and Akron, where they attempted to hide their motorcycles. Troopers and officers on the ground were guided to each location by the pilot. In both cases, the motorcycles were impounded and arrests were made.

The OSHP says it will continue to utilize its aviation division to assist in the tracking and apprehension of those individuals who flee from troopers and officers on the ground.

Source: http://www.19actionnews.com

New airline coming to Melbourne, Florida

The Melbourne Airport Authority on Wednesday approved a user and ground services agreement that would allow for the entry of a  major international air carrier into the Brevard County market.

Officials aren't disclosing the name of the airline that's considering Melbourne but these details are known:

  • It has been assigned a economic development code, allowed under state statutes, so negotiations can take place in private for a designated period. The code for the operation is "Beach Paradise."
  • The carrier doesn't currently service the state, and Melbourne International would be its gateway into Florida.
  • The carrier is proposing, initially, non-stop, weekly international service from — an unknown destination — on a 70-seat aircraft. The arrangement is seasonal for now but could grow more frequent, and with larger aircraft, as the flights mature at Melbourne International.

"This is a milestone for the airport," said Greg Donovan, executive director at Melbourne International, winning a measure of applause after announcing the news at the monthly airport authority meeting.

He described the carrier as "a very competent and award-winning airline."

The name of the airline is expected to be announced within the next 10 days.

Melbourne International currently boasts two major domestic carriers, Delta Air Lines and US Airways. Wednesday's deal opens the door to international service from Melbourne.

Airport officials also are in serious discussions with two other international carriers to provide service to Melbourne.

"We're going all now on international, rather than dabbling," said authority member Scott Mikuen, noting that one international carrier is a break-even financial scenario for the airport.

"This will bring returns but we need to go out and get No. 2 and No. 3 quickly," he said.

Prior to approving the ground services agreement, authority members unanimously agreed to install a new passenger boarding bridge for the airport's Federal Inspection Building. That's where international travelers would first go after departing a plane at the Melbourne airport. The cost of the bridge is listed at $974,838.

Source: http://www.floridatoday.com

Fatal accident occurred August 26, 2015 in Villa MarĂ­a del Triunfo, Lima, Peru

A small plane with three people onboard crashed near Peru capital Lima, police said.

Those who died in the crash on Wednesday have been identified as Julio Henry Gomez, Juan Leon Acosta and Miguel Angel Panduro, Xinhua reported quoting General Salvador Iglesias, the head of police for Lima.

Iglesias said that the plane crashed on the hill in the district of Villa Maria del Triunfo.

The belongings of the pilot included an ID card for Servicios Aereos Tarapoto, an airline located in the country's Amazon region.

The rescue teams found the plane completely destroyed and remains of the three people among the wreckage.

Experts from the Peruvian airforce and officials from the country's public ministry are leading a technical investigation to determine the cause of the crash.

 Source: http://www.business-standard.com

Boeing Settles Lawsuit Accusing Company of Mishandling 401(k) Plan: Settlement comes on day of scheduled trial in retirement class-action lawsuit

The Wall Street Journal
By Sara Randazzo
Updated Aug. 26, 2015 7:36 p.m. ET


Boeing Co. agreed on Wednesday to a preliminary deal to settle a long-running lawsuit accusing the company of mishandling its 401(k) plan to the detriment of its employees.

The settlement comes the day a trial was scheduled to begin in the nine-year-old case. Terms weren’t disclosed. The two sides are expected to update the court on details of the talks next month and set a timeline for seeking final approval, according to a court order.

Filed on behalf of 190,000 Boeing employees and retirees, the class-action suit accused Boeing of failing to uphold its fiduciary duties to employees by allowing excessive 401(k) fees to go unchecked, choosing higher-cost retail mutual funds over cheaper options, and improperly making 401(k) plan decisions to benefit vendors receiving other Boeing business.

Boeing, which has defended its 401(k) practices and denied the claims, had no comment Wednesday on the settlement.

Attorney Jerome Schlichter, who represents the plaintiffs, said he was prepared to go to trial and is pleased to have reached a provisional settlement. He said his firm continues to be committed “to improving the 401k savings plans that millions of Americans rely on for a secure retirement.”

The Boeing suit is one of a string of similar class actions targeting major companies over the past decade for alleged violations of the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act, or ERISA. Very few have gone to trial. In December, Lockheed Martin Corp. reached a $62 million settlement the week its trial was set to begin, the largest payout so far in a suit of this kind.

Mr. Schlichter also represented the Lockheed plaintiffs and negotiated a $27.5 million deal with Ameriprise Financial Inc. earlier this year. All told, settlements in eight of his suits have brought in $214 million, with about a third of that going to Mr. Schlichter’s law firm.

In addition to monetary recoveries, the settlements often require the companies to agree to permanent changes to their 401(k) practices.

One of Mr. Schlichter’s cases, against Southern California utility Edison International, went to a partial trial and earlier this year reached the U.S. Supreme Court. The court ruled unanimously that companies have a continuing duty under ERISA to monitor and remove imprudent investments included in a retirement plan.

Boeing’s $44 billion 401(k) plan is the second-largest in the nation after International Business Machines Corp. , according to the Labor Department.

Regulation of the 401(k) industry falls to the Labor Department, which has sometimes filed briefs in support of cases brought by private attorneys. While the agency has pursued some companies on its own for allegedly excessive fees, it more often uses its resources to investigate fraudulent plans.

In 2012, the agency implemented new rules that require companies to clearly disclose all 401(k) fees to employees.

Original article can be found here:  http://www.wsj.com


Infamous pilot, drug smuggler returns to prison

Russell Brothers, Jr., stands next to the vintage Beechcraft G18S airplane that he guided to a belly-slide landing at Cornelia Fort Airpark on April 21, 2012. 
Provided by Russell Brothers, Jr. 



Russell Brothers, a septuagenarian, convicted drug smuggler, gun hoarder and pilot, turned himself in at a federal prison on Tuesday. 

This time, Brothers, 78, will spend a year and three months in a federal prison and then do a year on probation, according to federal court records. According to the federal Bureau of Prisons, Brothers is serving his term at a facility in Lexington, Ky.

Brothers is no stranger to life behind bars.

He was convicted in Florida on drug trafficking charges in 1988 and again in 1993 on trafficking and money laundering counts. In one judge’s words, the “giant among giants” in international smuggling served 11 years in prison for running cocaine between Florida and the Bahamas.

Earlier this year, Brothers pleaded guilty in federal court in Nashville to three counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm and two counts of attempted obstruction of justice. Court papers say his surrender date was delayed because he is in poor health and underwent surgeries.

Authorities found a slew of weapons at Brothers' home in Burns after a series of events reminiscent of a television crime drama.

Trouble began again for Brothers after he safely belly-landed his 1961 twin-engine Beechcraft airplane at the defunct Cornelia Fort Airpark on April 20, 2012.

Although Brothers didn’t alert authorities, his unmistakable silver airplane and long association with the small airfield led police to him two days later.

Six days later, a search of his home turned up 16 guns, including revolvers, rifles and a shotgun, authorities said. He gave one gun to another man and asked him to lie to investigators, and squirreled another away at a relative’s house, prompting the other charges, according to court records.

Source: http://www.tennessean.com





Beechcraft G18S, Great American Transportation Co., Inc., N6B: Incident occurred April 21, 2012 at Cornelia Fort Air Park (M88), East Nashville, Tennessee 

http://registry.faa.gov/N6B 


FAA IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 6B        Make/Model: BE18      Description: 18 
  Date: 04/22/2012     Time: 0000

  Event Type: Incident   Highest Injury: None     Mid Air: N    Missing: N
  Damage: Unknown

LOCATION
  City: NASHVILLE   State: TN   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT FOUND GEAR UP IN THE GRASS AT THE CLOSED CORNELIA FORT AIRPORT, 
  NEAR NASHVILLE, TN

INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   0
                 # Crew:   0     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:   1
                 # Pass:   0     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    
                 # Grnd:         Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    


OTHER DATA
  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Unknown      Operation: OTHER


  FAA FSDO: NASHVILLE, TN  (CE19)                 Entry date: 04/23/2012 


Flying through rain in the dark before midnight on Friday, a 74-year-old pilot said he used the lights of Opryland to guide his vintage airplane to a smooth belly landing on a grass strip at a shuttered airport in East Nashville, landing without injury but stirring up questions about his past.

Even without landing gear, Russell Brothers, Jr., came down so gently in his 1961 twin-engine Beechcraft Model 18 that he didn’t trigger the crash locator that he said would have given authorities his location at Cornelia Fort Airpark.

He was alone and uninjured at an airstrip he’d flown to for more than 50 years before it closed. He said he called his wife to pick him up and they rode back to Burns, Tennessee, leaving the airplane behind as a mystery for police.

“We were just both thankful that I wasn’t hurt and that was all we talked about,” Brothers said by phone this morning.

He said he was flying Friday from Miami to Dickson, Tennessee, near his home. When his landing gear did not work, Brothers thought of the only grass strip he knew in Nashville.

“When your gear won’t come down, you don’t pull it over to the side of the road and call the wrecker,” Brothers said. “That field was the most appropriate place to put it down.”

He knew it’d be smooth because of the years he spent as air traffic manager at the airpark.

“There were no lights, but I had been flying in and out of that place 55 years and was familiar with the terrain and geography,” he said. “We used Opryland as an approach fix, and so then I flew out over Old Hickory Lake to Opryland and all the lights and made an approach into the strip.”

Brothers said he wasn’t scared.

“I’m Christian and I prayed about this obviously and felt that my safety was in the hands of the Lord,” he said. “I was concerned about tearing up my airplane. That was the main thing on my mind.

“People are not calm in situations like this, but you gotta do what you gotta do,” he said. “I don’t want to sound cavalier, but when you’ve been flying as long as I have you’re going to find situation like this that occur.”

Brothers wrote an account of the night for the Federal Aviation Administration and Metro Nashville police.

Unusual landing raises questions about pilot's past 

 Don Aaron, police spokesman, said a Metro Parks Department maintenance worker found the plane Saturday and notified police the next day when it had not moved.

Aaron said officers hope to meet with Brothers in the coming week — the latest in Brothers’ long history of encounters with police. In 1988, he was convicted of international drug smuggling, having brought 1.5 tons of cocaine into South Florida. He served 11 years in prison as part of a 60-year sentence.

Brothers said he wasn’t carrying drugs Friday.

“I certainly don’t want any more part of that,” Brothers said. “Like a lot of men in their midlife crisis, they forget about what is important in their life, and I did.

“I hurt my family then and I certainly don’t want to go through that again,” Brothers said. “It’s not a remote option.”

As for the potential police interview, he said he’d be glad to talk with them.

“I have nothing to hide,” he said.

Brothers said he reported the airplane Saturday to a Metro Parks employee who he knows. That information did not make it to law enforcement until Sunday.

“When I was out there in the field Sunday afternoon nobody knew whose it was,” Aaron said.
Brothers grew up in Belle Meade, attended Vanderbilt University and lived at the Airpark before losing his home in the 2010 flood.

FAA records show Brothers received his first pilot’s license in 1966, but that he is not current on the accompanying medical certificate that is required to fly. Asked if he should not have been flying without it, he said that is “essentially correct.”
=====

Metro Police and the Federal Aviation Administration are working to identify the pilot who landed a 1961 Beechcraft twin-engine airplane on the grass at the closed Cornelia Fort Airpark in East Nashville. 

The plane has been on the runway since at least yesterday, when it was first discovered by a Metro Parks employee. 

When the landing gear became inoperable, police said, the pilot apparently cut the engines before belly landingin a large grassy area adjacent to the runway.

 The propellers and engines show obvious damage. 

 The plane is registered to Great American Transportation, Inc., which lists its address as Cornelia Fort Airpark. 

Metro police have no information about who or what was onboard the airplane and there is no indication that anyone was seriously injured. 

No cargo or contraband was located when officers arrived Sunday. Metro officers and the FAA are working to determine the plane’s whereabouts over the last several weeks.

Incident occurred August 26, 2015 near Grider Field Airport (KPBF), Pine Bluff, Jefferson County, Arkansas



A crop duster pilot suffered minor injuries in an eastern Jefferson County plane crash Wednesday, authorities said.

Deputies responded to the crash involving a single-engine crop duster flown by 44-year-old Robert Bobby Guthrie at 1:47 p.m. Wednesday along U.S. 65 South east of Grider Field Airport at 709 Hangar Row in Pine Bluff.


According to a statement, the pilot's injuries did not appear to be life-threatening. 


No passengers were on board the aircraft, authorities said.

The Jefferson County sheriff's office said the Federal Aviation Administration has been notified of the crash. 


Source: http://www.arkansasonline.com

Weatherly 620B, N2005C, Agricair LLC: Fatal accident occurred August 26, 2015 near Hancock, Waushara County, Wisconsin

National Transportation Safety Board - Aviation Accident Preliminary Report: http://app.ntsb.gov/pdf 

AGRICAIR LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N2005C

FAA Flight Standards District Office:  FAA Milwaukee FSDO-13

NTSB Identification: CEN15LA399 
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Wednesday, August 26, 2015 in Hancock, WI
Aircraft: Weatherly Aviation Company Inc 620B, registration: N2005C
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

On August 26, 2015, at 1130 central daylight time, a Weatherly Aircraft Company 620B, N2005C, impacted terrain during an aerial application of a field near Hancock, Wisconsin, after the left wing experienced an in-flight separation. The airplane was destroyed. The pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was registered to Agricair Leasing LLC and operated by Agricair Flying Service, Inc under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 as an aerial application flight that was not operating on a flight plan. The flight originated from Bancroft, Wisconsin at 1115 central daylight time.

The separation occurred at the "BRACKET, HINGE, FRONT, CENTER SECTION," part number 40223-014.


Any witnesses should email witness@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov




HANCOCK—The name of the pilot killed when a crop-dusting plane crashed to the ground Wednesday afternoon in a wooded area in the town of Hancock in Waushara County was released Thursday afternoon. 

Robert Dopp, 38, of Beldenville, died in the crash, according to a media release from the Waushara County Sheriff’s Office. The Federal Aviation Administration was at the scene Thursday, along with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, the release said. The land is owned by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

The Waushara County Sheriff’s Office was notified of the crash at about 1:15 p.m. Wednesday, and emergency responders were able to locate the wreckage of the plane and the pilot, who was deceased when they arrived at the scene, the release said.

The plane was carrying a large amount of hazardous material for spraying crops, which spilled, along with aircraft fuel, as a result of the crash, the release said. The spill made the situation more difficult for emergency responders.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture responded to assist with the cleanup, the release said. The first emergency responders who arrived at the scene of the crash were from the Waushara County Sheriff’s Office, Hancock Fire and Rescue, Waushara County Emergency Medical Services, Coloma Police Department and the Wisconsin State Patrol.




WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

HANCOCK (WAOW) – A pilot was killed when a crop-dusting plane crashed near Hancock on Wednesday, authorities said.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Tony Molinaro said the pilot was the only person on board the Weatherly 620B plane when it went down.

Waushara County Sheriff Jeff Nett said the pilot was spraying potatoes and the plane carried hazardous materials, requiring emergency crews to go through a decontamination process.

The pilot's name or where the airplane was based were not immediately released.

Nett said the FAA is expected at the scene on Thursday.

Because of the hazardous materials, the state Department of Natural Resources was summoned, Nett said.

*****

HANCOCK (WAOW) – The Federal Aviation Administration says a crop-dusting plane crashed near Hancock on Wednesday.

FAA spokesman Tony Molinaro said the pilot was the only person on board the Weatherly 620B single-engine plane when it went down.

There was substantial damage to the aircraft but no information was immediately available on the condition of the pilot, Molinaro said in a telephone interview from Des Plaines, Ill.

The plane was spraying agriculture crops at the time, he said. 

Source: http://www.wkow.com



HANCOCK — The planes would normally have been busy roaring above farm fields, but sat quietly for hours after Damon Reabe heard the news.

Robert Dopp, 38, of Beldenville, died Aug. 26  when the crop-dusting plane he was flying crashed to the ground in a wooded area in the town of Hancock in Waushara County. Dopp was the only person aboard the plane when the crash occurred.

Damon Reabe is the president of Reabe Spraying Service, a crop-dusting business — or aerial application business, as he prefers it to be called — with a few locations across the state, including one in Plover. Dopp was not flying for Reabe Spraying Service, but Reabe still grounded all of his planes as soon as he found out about the crash out of concern for the safety of his own pilots.

“We wanted everybody to get their heads wrapped around what happened and deal with the grief,” he said.

The industry is small and close-knit, and the death of a pilot had an impact on all those involved, Reabe said.

“My reaction is just the same as anyone who has heard of the death of a friend,” he said. “You just feel extreme sadness.”

The investigation of the crash is being led by the National Transportation Safety Board with help from the Federal Aviation Administration, according to Elizabeth Isham Cory, a spokeswoman for the FAA. The investigations of such crashes typically take a year or more to complete, Isham Cory said.

J.R. Reabe — Damon Reabe's uncle — is one of the owners of Reabe Spraying Service. He is a pilot, but doesn’t fly for the business. Instead, Reabe works in the office with a radio and a phone, managing other pilots.

Still, the crash made Reabe think closely about the work he does every day.

“It’s one of the things that anybody does in any industry when you hear of one of your people dying in a tragic accident,” he said. “You reflect on all the things you have to do.”

Reabe said Dopp, the victim of the plane crash, worked for his family while going to school, and a few of his relatives were customers. Reabe had limited interaction with Dopp, but still remembered him as a kind, hard-working young man.

“I understand this was a career he wanted to pursue and was a dream he had,” he said. “It was a tragic event.”

Reabe said the crash has not made him worry more about the safety of his own pilots, who often have thousands of hours of flight experience and take numerous safety precautions..

“It does make you think," he said. "It makes you think about everything you do every day.”

A report released last year by the National Transportation Safety Board identified a few factors common to crop-dusting plane crashes, including pilot fatigue, inadequate plane maintenance and a lack of risk management and guidance for pilots.

There are about 2,700 crop-dusting pilots working across the country, the report said.

The NTSB investigated 78 crop-dusting plane crashes across the country in 2013, including nine that resulted in a total of 10 fatalities, the report said. There were 802 crashes, including 81 that were fatal, from 2001 to 2010, the report said.

“In this industry, mistakes can be extremely costly,” Reabe said.

Damon Reabe said there are misconceptions, though, about the risks involved in flying for a crop-dusting business. The pilots take numerous safety precautions to try to prevent crashes, knowing they fly in more inherently risky situations than typical pilots, Reabe said.

The areas where pilots fly are meticulously mapped both by hand and using a computer, all with the intention of identifying potential hazards, such as power lines or antennas, Damon Reabe said.

The majority of the work for crop-dusting businesses happens during the warmer months, but maintenance of the planes is a priority for the entire year, Reabe said. Reabe Spraying Service employs seven full-time staff members who work to maintain eight planes, even in the off-season, Reabe said.

The planes are all equipped with safety harnesses and airbags, and pilots are all required to wear helmets and have their workloads managed to prevent fatigue, Reabe said.

It wasn’t easy to get back in a plane after hearing about the crash, but the work still needed to be done for the sake of the farmers and the food they produce, Reabe said.

“Without our industry, the production simply doesn’t happen,” he said.




HANCOCK—The name of the pilot killed when a crop-dusting plane crashed to the ground Wednesday afternoon in a wooded area in the town of Hancock in Waushara County was released Thursday afternoon. 

Robert Dopp, 38, of Beldenville, died in the crash, according to a media release from the Waushara County Sheriff’s Office. The Federal Aviation Administration was at the scene Thursday, along with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, the release said. The land is owned by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

The Waushara County Sheriff’s Office was notified of the crash at about 1:15 p.m. Wednesday, and emergency responders were able to locate the wreckage of the plane and the pilot, who was deceased when they arrived at the scene, the release said.

The plane was carrying a large amount of hazardous material for spraying crops, which spilled, along with aircraft fuel, as a result of the crash, the release said. The spill made the situation more difficult for emergency responders.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture responded to assist with the cleanup, the release said. The first emergency responders who arrived at the scene of the crash were from the Waushara County Sheriff’s Office, Hancock Fire and Rescue, Waushara County Emergency Medical Services, Coloma Police Department and the Wisconsin State Patrol.




WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

HANCOCK (WAOW) – A pilot was killed when a crop-dusting plane crashed near Hancock on Wednesday, authorities said.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Tony Molinaro said the pilot was the only person on board the Weatherly 620B plane when it went down.

Waushara County Sheriff Jeff Nett said the pilot was spraying potatoes and the plane carried hazardous materials, requiring emergency crews to go through a decontamination process.

The pilot's name or where the airplane was based were not immediately released.

Nett said the FAA is expected at the scene on Thursday.

Because of the hazardous materials, the state Department of Natural Resources was summoned, Nett said.

*****

HANCOCK (WAOW) – The Federal Aviation Administration says a crop-dusting plane crashed near Hancock on Wednesday.

FAA spokesman Tony Molinaro said the pilot was the only person on board the Weatherly 620B single-engine plane when it went down.

There was substantial damage to the aircraft but no information was immediately available on the condition of the pilot, Molinaro said in a telephone interview from Des Plaines, Ill.

The plane was spraying agriculture crops at the time, he said. 

Source: http://www.wkow.com


Gary/Chicago International Airport (KGYY) manager resigns

Gary/Chicago International Airport Manager Delbert Brown has resigned his position to move back to Detroit to spend more time with his family, according to a statement issued by the airport Tuesday.

Brown was hired to run the airport by AvPorts, the airport's private operator, in August 2014. Brown was director of Detroit City Airport from 2002 to 2010.

During his year in Gary, Brown was in charge when the Gary Air Show returned after a two-year hiatus. He also implemented new reporting procedures and oversaw a 33 percent increase in aircraft operations at the airport, according to Tuesday's statement.

“I thank Delbert for his work this past year through the transition of the public-private partnership, and laying the foundation for continued growth at Gary/Chicago International Airport,” said AvPorts President and CEO Ozzie Moore.

Brown resigned from his job at Detroit City Airport in 2010 after an audit showed financial discrepancies and questionable contracts at the airport, according to Detroit-area news reports at the time. Mayor Dave Bing appointed Terrence King, a group executive at the Bing Group, to run the airport after Brown's departure.

AvPorts will advertise the manager's position nationwide. Airport director Dan Vicari remains onboard to manage the public-private partnership agreement with AvPorts and its parent company.

Source:  http://www.nwitimes.com

Aviation Classes Begin for Des Moines Students in New Facility

DES MOINES, Iowa – After moving large aircraft down public streets over the weekend from the Des Moines Airport to McCombs Middle School, the Des Moines Public Schools new aviation facility is up and running.

Wednesday marked the first day students in the district’s FAA-approved aviation program began classes in the brand-new facility, located behind McCombs Middle School. The district has operated one of the nation’s only three high school aviation programs since 1947 from a hangar at the Des Moines Airport. However, the district lost its lease this year, and was faced with the option of either eliminating the program, or building its own hangar.

“There’s been 100 percent support to keep this program alive,” said Tim Harmer, an aviation instructor with the program. “With the new facility, we’ll be able to accommodate more students, because it’s larger. We’ll be able to store more aircraft. And we’ll also be expanding the pilot-side of the program, as well. Which, coming into this new facility, we’ll be adding a flight simulator.”

Up until now, the program was heavily-focused on the mechanical side of operating aircraft. Though the aircraft stored at the facility will never actually take off, Harmer says they are kept in flying condition for the students’ learning benefit. The new flight simulator will allow students to log flight hours, preparing them for a career after high school in flight operations.

Harmer says it’s important to keep the district’s aviation program alive because it gives students who don’t wish to pursue a typical four-year collegiate career after high school the chance to prepare for a career in technical work. Additionally, students who do wish to continue developing their skills at a college have the opportunity to earn up to 42 credits while in the district’s program through Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa.

“With the amount of job opportunities out there for pilots and mechanics, it’s a great venue for people who like piloting or like the mechanics, to not go down the collegiate level after high school and jump right into a career,” Harmer said.

Source:  http://whotv.com

Redfield Municipal Airport (1D8) feud aired at state meeting

PIERRE—The dispute over major changes planned for Redfield's city airport received an unofficial hearing Tuesday by the state Aeronautics Commission.

The panel listened to reports from Redfield businessman and pilot Dan Appel, Redfield Township supervisor Dave Albrecht, Redfield Mayor Jayme Akin and others, before agreeing without a vote that the disagreements on the project are local issues.

Skip VanDerhule, of Yankton, the state commission's chairman, assured Albrecht that his township would have an advocate at the state level for compensation if the township road south of the airport must go.

VanDerhule told Albrecht the township needs to provide the state Department of Transportation and the city government with an estimate for upgrading another township road one mile away.

Appel said he doesn't blame city officials and the project seems needed, but local people must be better included in the process as the project moves forward.

Akin said the city must have airport improvements because the current facility is so obsolete that spare parts for lights came from McLaughlin's scrapyard.

Akin said the goal is to install an aircraft approach system which would benefit emergency-services aircraft, and that isn't possible without the new main runway. The airport also is an important local hub for crop sprayers.

Appel agreed the approach system would be a big gain, but said there's no point to changing the current airport if the approach system isn't part of the project.

Akin said Appel doesn't represent the city and the eight elected Redfield City Council members support the airport project. Akin said the airport could be forced to close at some point in the future without the upgrades now.

"I don't want to roll the dice. I don't want to take a chance. We've got a lot riding on this," Akin said.

VanDerhule said the meeting Tuesday was productive. "We've actually managed to put you guys together in one room, which is an accomplishment," he said.

Only four of the commission's six current members participated, including two by telephone. Commissioner Eric Odenbach, of Eureka, came in from his wheat harvest to be on the call.

Odenbach said he visited the Redfield airport last week with Appel and others. Odenbach said a variety of things didn't seem up to standard, such as the bathroom being out of toilet paper and garbage that needed be taken out.

He urged city officials and project consultant Helms and Associates to listen to Appel and the others.

"They have some valid concerns," Odenbach said. "I think everybody should take this user group's concerns into consideration."

Source:  http://www.mitchellrepublic.com

Robinson R44 Raven II, N444KD: Accident occurred August 25, 2015 near South Grand Lake Regional Airport (1K8), Ketchum, Oklahoma

MARCOTTE VETERINARY CLINIC PC:  http://registry.faa.govN444KD

NTSB Identification: CEN15LA379 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, August 25, 2015 in Ketchum, OK
Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER COMPANY R44 II, registration: N444KD
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 August 25, 2015, about 0750 central daylight time, a Robinson Helicopter R44 II, N444KD, sustained substantial damage when it impacted terrain about .7 nm east of the South Grand Lake Regional Airport (1K8), Ketchum, Oklahoma, after a loss of the tailrotor gearbox. The pilot received minor injuries. The helicopter was registered to the Marcotte Veterinary Clinic PC and operated by the pilot under the provisions of the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed. The flight departed from 1K8 about 1748 on a local flight. 

At 0735, the surface weather observation at the Grove Municipal Airport (GMJ) located about 23 nm east of 1K8, was: wind calm and variable, 10 miles visibility, skies clear, temperature 12 degrees C, dew point 12 degrees C, altimeter 30.17 inches of mercury.

FAA  Flight Standards District Office: FAA Oklahoma City FSDO-15




KETCHUM, Okla. —  Officials are investigating a crash site after a helicopter went down near Ketchum.

"You don't see a whole lot of that around here," said Trooper Marcus Murphy with Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

According to the FAA, the Robinson R44 Raven II helicopter lost its tail rotor after departure from the Ketchum airport just before 8 a.m.

The pilot, a Vinita veterinarian named John Marcotte, sustained minor injuries and was able to get a ride from a passerby to the airport. The helicopter was badly damaged. 

He said he was on his way to a call in Grove to check on a patient.

Grand River Dam Authorities are looking into the crash near 320 and 4490 road. The FAA is also investigating. 

They say it may be weeks before they have an official cause for the crash, but the preliminary cause lies in the tail rotor coming off.

- Story, video and photo:   http://www.fox23.com

ERCO 415-C Ercoupe, N87172: Accident occurred August 25, 2015 at Newnan Coweta County Airport (KCCO, Atlanta, Georgia

http://registry.faa.gov/N87172

NTSB Identification: ERA15LA379 

14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, August 25, 2015 in Atlanta, GA
Aircraft: ENGINEERING & RESEARCH ERCOUPE 415 C, registration: N87172
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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 August 25, 2015, at 1350 eastern daylight time, an Engineering and Research Ercoupe 415-C, N87172, sustained substantial damage during landing at the Newnan Coweta County Airport (CCO), Atlanta, Georgia. The flight instructor and the private pilot were not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the private pilot as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 instructional flight. Visual meteorological conditions existed at the airport at the time of the accident and no flight plan was filed for the local flight that departed from CCO about 1340.

The flight instructor stated the airplane yawed left on takeoff and the private pilot had a hard time controlling the airplane. The flight instructor took control of the airplane and had to apply "hard" right aileron and right rudder to maintain level flight. He said that he initiated a full power climb to 400 ft and noticed the airplane was easier to control at a higher airspeed. The flight instructor made a wide turn from base on to final, reduced power, and lined up with the runway centerline. Once the runway was made, he reduced power and the airplane immediately yawed to the left. The flight instructor said he corrected with right rudder, but the airplane had drifted over the left side of the runway and landed hard on the grass. The nose-wheel collapsed and the firewall was substantially damaged as a result.

The airplane was retained for further examination.

FAA  Flight Standards District Office: FAA Atlanta FSDO-11



There were no injuries after an ERCO 415-C Ercoupe made a hard landing on Tuesday afternoon.

At 1:48, firefighters were dispatched to the Newnan-Coweta Airport after a private pilot brought the small plane down on the runway.

According to assistant chief Mitch Coggin, units arrived to find the plane sitting nose down in the grass with a small fuel leak.

Members of the department lifted the plane back into its proper position, which stopped the leak.

911 was called as a precaution and the FAA is currently investigating the accident.

Pakistan Airline Pilots’ Association to go on strike, if pilots put on contract

KARACHI: The Pakistan Airline Pilots’ Association (PALPA) is seriously considering going on a strike if the management of the national airline continues to implement its plan of putting pilots on contract basis.

Converting pilots’ jobs into a contract is not only a safety risk for flying community but will also put the pilots in distress, the organization said, “We have decided to go on a strike if the management refuses to consult us on the contracts issue.”

President PALPA Capt. Amir Hashmi said the basic requirement for safe flying is that pilots’ mind is free of all worries. “It has been proved through crash investigations by National Transport Safety Board (NTSB) in the United States that a pilot in distress or disgruntled over leaves, salary or compensation and other domestic issues is a risk for flight safety,” he added.

President Pakistan Airline Pilots’ Association said all efforts globally are being made to involve International Federation of Airline Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA), whenever a decision regarding pilots is taken by any airline. “Similarly, airlines consult their respective pilots’ association to decide over the financial issues, duty time limitations, job positions and office duties,” he added.

“Here things are completely being handled by the inexperienced management without any consultation with Pakistan Airline Pilots’ Association,” Hashmi said, adding that this is not acceptable for the pilots of the airline. As as a matter of fact, most of the top management is not even in regular employment of the airline as they are on Leave Prior to Retirement (LPR).

PIA is contemplating contracts to pilots changing their job status from regular employee to contractual.

“The management denied this initially but then the contract proposal was presented to the board.

Pakistan Airline Pilots’ Association tried to make them understand but the Association was not taken on board on this important development, he added.

Amir said Pakistan Airline Pilots’ Association is a bargaining body with a responsible role in aviation sector, so it must be consulted on this important issue.

According to the first phase of association’s plan, the pilot community will withdraw extra cooperation over and above the agreement negotiated between the management and the association.

Then, in the next phase the pilots would go on strike.

“It is quite unfortunate that the management of the airline always tries to run things in their own fashion and doesn’t bother to consult other important stakeholders of the airline which make things worse and the stakeholders are left with no option but to use extreme means to get their rights,” PALPA president said.

The contract proposal is not only against the airline rules, but the matter was not even put up to the HR Committee of PIAC whose approval is a pre-requisite of putting up cases to the board for consideration.

“Similarly, the bindings of ESTA Code pertaining to contract employment in government and semi-government organizations and autonomous bodies have also been disregarded,” he added.

Moreover, the rulings of the Supreme Court on the hiring of personnel above the age of 60 years is completely disregarded, while neither any approval has been granted by the establishment division nor any approval has been sought from the Honorable Prime Minister as required under the rule.

“We do not want to behave like a typical trade union nor we ever did but the safety of our pilots and the passengers are of utmost importance for us,” he said, “the recent mindset of the management has revealed that they are least bothered of passenger’s safety or their comfort based on numerous passengers complaints concerning the media reports.”

Source:  http://www.thenews.com.pk

National Transportation Safety Board member Sumwalt to deliver speech on emerging technology



COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A member of the National Transportation Safety Board is addressing an aerospace industry conference in South Carolina.

Board member Robert Sumwalt is speaking Wednesday at the South Carolina Aerospace Industry Conference and Expo in Columbia. Sumwalt will be talking about emerging technologies that the NTSB is monitoring to improve flight safety.

Sumwalt was appointed as a board member in 2006. In 2011, President Barack Obama reappointed him to another five-year term.

During his board tenure, Sumwalt has been an advocate for safety in many forms of transportation, including teen driver safety, distractions in various modes of transportation, and several rail safety initiatives.

Before joining the board, Sumwalt worked for 32 years as a pilot, including 24 years with Piedmont Airlines and US Airways. He accumulated over 14,000 flight hours.

Source:  http://www.washingtontimes.com

Airline pilots are sharing hair-raising tales on Reddit

If Reddit is anything to go by, air travel is a lot riskier than you think.

A discussion on the website this week called for pilots to reveal what was the “closest disaster you’ve averted on a flight that the passengers had no idea about?”

It has attracted almost 5,000 comments in less than 48 hours, with the following tales among those most likely to worry nervous fliers.

Pressure drop

I am a commercial airline captain on a newish Embraer 175. Probably one of the scarier things I have had happen was when one of our cabin pressure control channels failed and we started to rapidly lose pressurization.

Pressurization is important because the air is so thin in the flight levels, specifically above 30,000 feet. The higher up you get the less "time of useful consciousness" you have, down to about 30 seconds. So it is a pretty scary thought and it is a problem requiring immediate action, usually a steep emergency descent, during which you will not hear from the pilots because we are super busy.

Our pressure controller has two channels and automatically switches to the second if one fails. We were flying along about to start our descent and briefing our arrival and our ears started popping, like mad. I looked over and the pressurization was climbing very fast. We started a steep, but not quite emergency descent, while I flipped the pressurization switch to manual and then back to auto. This manually switched the channel to the working one and we could continue without problem.

Pretty sure all the passengers noticed were their ears popping. It gave us about 80 seconds of a scare though.

The funniest part was that when we landed our maintenance control wanted us to "defer" the pressurization channel over the phone, meaning we will fix it later (generally a very safe way to get flights out on time with something minor or redundant broken). I told him I was going to have to insist that someone come over and actually look at the plane to say it was safe to fly.

Read more here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk