Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Airframe Components

KENDALLVILLE, Ind. (21Alive) -- People who own their own aircraft can be a picky lot, so when something happens to their plane, more often than not, they steer toward a cornfield in Kendallville, Indiana, where the craftsmen at Airframe Components can get it wheels up once again.

It's kind of surreal, walking into the Airframe Components  facility in rural Noble County. Like a model airplane store…except the planes are real. The company was started in 1980 and has grown into a worldwide business.

" We have a reputation as being the number one shop in the world specifically for wing and control service rebuilding," owner Roy Williams says.

The shop is an FAA and EASA certified repair shop where they fixed damaged wings, and tails and flaps and send parts all over the world. It's a very specific demographic and the employees here are well-trained craftsmen who know their work will speak for itself.

"And this is something I stress to my employees every day…we are going to get a reputation whether it's good or bad…and at that point it's mostly word of mouth advertising that generates our growth," Williams says.

Nathan Whetzel, Foreman says that "Typically it takes a good year to train somebody to be able to rivet. What we do here, you have to start out doing it. You have to be trained on the job because there is a specific way you need to hold a rivet gun, a way that you need to hold a bucking bar in together and knowing how to feather a trigger on a rivet gun…."

" Each of these employees is a craftsman. This is something that you just don't learn every day in school or at a college. This is something that has to be developed over time," Williams says.

Something else that has been developed over time….a love for aviation in Roy's three daughters. The eldest is a freshman at the Naval Academy in aeronautical engineering. She flies and helped Roy refurbish her own plane. 15 year old Daughter number two will get this 1969 Piper when they finish restoring it. And the 13 year old will also fix up and get her own aircraft.

In addition to repairing wings and control units, the company carries more inventory than any other facility, including some aircraft manufacturers. There's a cost to that…but it gives the company a competitive advantage. Many aircraft owners want their own parts back though, all fixed up. As with people who own their own boats and car buffs, they become attached to the thing…almost like it's a member of the family.

"Sometimes it becomes an emotional connection to that aircraft," Williams says.

"It's their baby and they trust us to making sure that it comes back 100 percent new."

Story and video:  http://www.21alive.com

Calvert City considers airport management

WPSD Local 6: Your news, weather, and sports authority

MARSHALL CO, Ky - A possible change may be made to the Kentucky Dam Airport to bring more people into the area. A Kentucky State Parks spokesperson says Calvert City is considering taking over operations and redeveloping the airport.

The airport currently consists of a runway, one taxiway and an airport hangar that could hold five planes.

It isn't the most popular mode of transportation for travelers headed to Marshall County.

"We have folks that fly into Paducah, that fly into Nashville and drive," said Josh Tubbs, the director of Kentucky Lake Economic Development.

Tubbs says with the number of international companies operating sites in Calvert City, an airport that could handle more traffic wouldn't be a bad idea.

"It's something a little extra we can offer and much more convenient for folks visiting our area," Tubbs said.

One city is now looking into this possibility

"Calvert City has expressed interest," said Gil Lawson with Kentucky State Parks.

Lawson says the city has been talking with the state about taking over airport operations under some sort of lease agreement.

"We don't have any written agreement or anything in writing at this time," Lawson said.

The airport is currently run by Kentucky State Parks. Lawson says an expansion is not an option for the state.

"Like most government agencies, we have a limited budget and we're focused on operating our parks," Lawson said.

While no written agreements have been made, the possibility has some feeling hopeful.

"It's exciting. Conversations are being held about getting the airport suitable for that traffic," Tubbs said.

Calvert City Mayor Lynn Jones declined to talk on camera. He says it's too early because no decisions have been made. He did confirm that the city had a special meeting focused on the possibility of redeveloping the airport.

Story and video:   http://www.wpsdlocal6.com

CanJet suspends flying

The Halifax-based charter airline CanJet suspended its flight operations Tuesday, saying it is redoubling its efforts to find a profitable business plan.

Company president Stephen Rowe said the company isn't shutting down, but he confirmed that its remaining 15 pilots and about 40 flight attendants were laid off.

"We just haven't found that business model that we're comfortable with," Rowe said in an interview. "We're going to keep looking. We're not closing. ... We haven't given up yet."

The airline was operating only one passenger jet under contract for tour operator Air Transat when the decision to suspend operations was made. However, the company is maintaining a total of four Boeing 737 passenger jets through leases that expire in May 2016.

The airline, a division of IMP Group Ltd. of Halifax, has been focused on charter flights since ending its scheduled airline service in 2006.

Starting late last year, CanJet had offered its own vacation packages to the Caribbean through CanJet Vacations, and it was offering charter services in Europe last year, but Rowe said those businesses weren't successful.

The airline could return to offering scheduled flights, but Rowe said competing with Air Canada and WestJet would be a risky venture.

"We've been there and done that a couple times," he said. "It's a tough business."

When the airline stopped its scheduled service in 2006 it blamed tough competition from Air Canada and WestJet.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees issued a statement saying the sudden shutdown was devastating news.

"(We) found out only this morning that CanJet has ceased flying operations immediately," said union spokeswoman Lesley Swann. "Our focus is on assisting our members any way we can during this difficult time."

Swann said the union was seeking information about severance pay while examining "legal avenues."

Dan Adamus, president of the Canadian wing of the Air Line Pilots Association, said CanJet had as many as 130 pilots in recent years.

"It's sad because it's a great operation," Adamus said in an interview. "The majority (of workers) are from the East Coast and are very loyal to the airline."

Adamus said the airline has had to shut down operations before as it struggled to attain profitability.

"They've been able to pull rabbits out of hats in the past," he said.

In April 2014, Air Transat cut costs by not to renewing a contract it had with CanJet since 2009. Under that five-year deal, Air Transat used CanJet aircraft to serve more than 20 Canadian cities and about 20 vacation spots.

Earlier this year, CanJet laid off almost half of its 100 pilots and dozens of permanent and seasonal flight attendants.

Source:  http://www.castanet.net

Service as normal: CEO

Charlie Anderson
Air Wanganui, which operates medical and charter flights from its Wanganui base, is unsure when one of its two planes will be back in service.

The company's Piper Mojave was forced to make an emergency landing at Paraparaumu last Tuesday when its left engine developed a fault.

As well as the pilot, there was a flight nurse and patient on board the flight from Wanganui to Wellington.

This week Air Wanganui chief executive Charlie Anderson said the twin-engine Mojave was still out of service and he was not sure when it would return.

The company's other plane, a King Air C90 turboprop, was being serviced last week, which was why the Mojave was making the flight. The King Air was back in service on Monday.

"Health services have not been compromised, as other operators have helped out," Mr Anderson said.

There were no immediate plans to replace the piston-engine Mojave with another turboprop aircraft "but the boys would love another jet".

"I imagine another turboprop would be on the cards down the track."

Mr Anderson said, until recently, Air Wanganui has been the only operator with a dedicated back-up aircraft, or maintenance spare plane to carry on its medical flights.

"All in all, there's been no problem supplying service."

He said during last week's incident, pilot Nathan Mauchline carried out a "well practiced" routine and feathered the propeller on the failed engine.

Rather than carry on to land in Wellington "where the weather wasn't very good", Airways NZ diverted the plane to Paraparaumu.

Mr Anderson said, while incidents like that were "bloody annoying", pilots were constantly practicing procedures for such an eventuality.

Medical flights to Wellington were almost a daily routine for Air Wanganui.

Air Wanganui provides a nationwide charter and air ambulance service, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Both its twin-engine planes are fully pressurized and have full intensive care facilities.

Source:  http://www.nzherald.co.nz