Monday, September 21, 2015

Why planes, helicopters and drones can't fly over Disneyland



There are consequences for flying over Disneyland, Disney California Adventure or Walt Disney World.

The theme parks have the same protection as the White House, the Kennedy Space Center, and live sporting events when it comes to restricted airspace.

As the Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District learned earlier this month, anyone planning to fly over the theme parks needs a special waiver approved by the Federal Aviation Agency and the Transportation Security Administration.

The Control District canceled plans to spray a pesticide to kill West Nile-carrying mosquitoes in eight Orange County cities because the company it hired for the job lagged in getting a permit in time for the scheduled flight over Disneyland. It takes up to five business days to get an approval, the FAA says.

“TSA will vet the pilots and passengers and then send the waiver request to the FAA for further review and final determination,” said Ian Gregor, a spokesman at the FAA.

The Anaheim parks and Walt Disney World received flight-restriction status after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The 2003 bill also prohibits aircraft from flying over live sporting events in stadiums that have a seating capacity of 30,000 or more.

The ban includes any unmanned remote-controlled devices such as drones. Nothing can fly below 3,000 feet and within three miles of Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Those are the only theme parks in the United States to have no-fly zone designations.

“We believe airspace restrictions enhance public safety in places where large groups gather, including theme parks and sports stadiums," said Suzi Brown, a Disneyland spokeswoman.

There are exceptions.

Law enforcement, medical, and military aircraft are exempt from the restriction as long as they are in contact with air traffic control.

Consequences for flying low over the theme park includes a potential $10,000 fine, and/or the pilot, passengers, or operator being detained by law enforcement officials.

Although the no-fly zones exist for safety’s sake, they are another layer that keeps reality outside Disney’s borders, helping the guests focus on fantasy.

Walt Disney himself had a 20-foot-foot-high berm built around Disneyland to protect its guests from views of the outside world.

Source:  http://www.ocregister.com

Officials: Plane Lands Safely At Philadelphia International Airport (KPHL) After Bird Strike

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A plane has landed safely at Philadelphia International Airport after the crew reported that a bird struck the aircraft’s windshield, according to officials.

The FAA says the incident was reported at about 6:31 p.m. Monday.

American Airlines says Flight #1889 was traveling from Charlotte Douglas International Airport in Charlotte, North Carolina to Bradley International Airport in Connecticut when it reported that a bird struck the aircraft’s windshield.

The flight diverted to Philadelphia International Airport and landed safely without incident, according to American Airlines.

American Airlines says the Airbus 319 was replaced with an Airbus 320 and the 114 passengers and five crew members departed Philadelphia at 7:38 p.m.

Officials there were no reported injuries.

The aircraft was taken out of service and the aircraft windshield is being replaced, according to American Airlines.

The FAA will investigate.

Source:  http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com

Aero Commander 680-E, N222JS: Accident occurred September 21, 2015 at Boise Air Terminal/Gowen Field (KBOI), Idaho

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N222JS

NTSB Identification: WPR15LA265

14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, September 21, 2015 in Boise, ID
Aircraft: AERO COMMANDER 680 E, registration: N222JS
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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


On September 21, 2015 about 1620 mountain daylight time, an Aero Commander 680-E, N222JS, impacted terrain under unknown circumstances while attempting to land at the Boise Air Terminal/Gowen Field (BOI), Boise, Idaho. The commercial pilot (sole occupant) sustained serious injuries, and the airplane sustained substantial damage throughout. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and it is unknown if the pilot filed a flight plan. The flight originated from BOI at an unknown time. 


A witness on the airport reported that they observed the airplane approaching the runway about 75 feet above the ground. They saw the airplane descend to about 50 feet, then climb back up to about 75 feet when it suddenly made a hard right turn and descended into the ground near the taxiway.


The airplane has been recovered to a secure location for further examination.


FAA Flight Standards District Office:  FAA Boise FSDO-11



Jim Metzger



BOISE -- The manager of the Weiser Municipal Airport was badly injured in a plane crash at the Boise Airport Monday afternoon.

A Weiser city official confirmed Jim Metzger was flying the plane. He was the only person on board.

"I know he has a lot of hours in the pilot's seat," said Nate Marvin, public works director for the city of Weiser. "He's been a real asset to the airport. Very easy going and he's enthusiastic. He wants to see the airport grow and improve."

The FAA and NTSB are investigating the cause of the crash.

A Boise Airport spokesperson says the pilot was landing when the plane banked right before crashing on the northern side of the airfield.

Metzger was taken to Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise, where he is listed in critical condition.

Family members tell us the 63-year-old has already been through one surgery and he has a long road ahead.

"We just all wish him the best and hope he gets healed up fast," added Marvin.

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

 


The manager of the Weiser Municipal Airport was the pilot of a private plane that crashed Monday afternoon while landing at the Boise Airport. 

Jim Metzger was injured when his Aero Commander 680-E plane banked away from the runway and crashed at the north end of the airfield at about 4:20 p.m.

Metzger was alone in the seven-seat plane. He was taken to a local hospital. No information on Metzger’s condition was immediately available Tuesday.

Metzger was hired in February to manage the Weiser airport. He formerly operated a maintenance facility at Grove Field Airport in Camas, Wash., east of Vancouver. A city official confirmed Metzger was the pilot of the plane that crashed.

The plane is registered to Metzger and his wife, Susan Metzger, at an address in Washougal, east of Camas, according to records from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Metzger is certified as a commercial pilot and mechanic, according to the FAA. He has flight ratings for single- and multi-engine planes and single-engine seaplanes. He is also instrument rated.

The crash is under investigation by the FAA, airport officials said. It’s unclear whether the National Transportation Safety Board will also conduct an investigation.

The airfield closed for about 40 minutes after the crash, disrupting commercial and private plane flights into and out of the Boise Airport until shortly after 5 p.m. Two Boise-bound commercial flights were diverted, and some outbound flights had to delay their takeoff times.





BOISE - One man was injured Monday afternoon after a crash at the Boise Airport, an airport spokesman said.

The crash was reported at around 4:20 p.m. on the north side of the airfield, spokesman Sean Briggs said.

According to Briggs, the crash involved a small, twin-engine plane.

One man was on board.

He was transported to a local hospital. The extent of injuries is undetermined.

The crash did not happen on the runway, Briggs said, but on the north end of the airfield.

Still, airport operations were shut down for about 40 minutes, Briggs said - from about 4:20 p.m. to just after 5 p.m.

Briggs said it was unclear whether the plane was taking off or landing. What caused it to crash was also unknown.

Boise fire and police, as well as airport personnel, were on scene, and Briggs said the FAA's Flight Standard Office is conducting a preliminary investigation.

The Flight Standard Office will release its findings to the NTSB, Briggs said, and then the NTSB will determine whether to also conduct an investigation.

Story, video and photo gallery: http://www.ktvb.com

A small twin-engine airplane crashed at the north end of the Boise Airport’s air field late Monday afternoon, injuring the pilot and severely damaging the plane.

The crash was reported about 4:20 p.m. near Allscott Aviation, according to Ada County Dispatch.

The crash was reported to dispatch by the FAA, a dispatcher said.

The pilot was the only person in the plane, and information was not immediately available about how the crash happened or how badly the pilot was injured, Boise Airport spokesman Sean Briggs said.












Cessna 172S Skyhawk, N347SP, Certified Flyers: Accident occurred September 21, 2015 near Butter Valley Golf Port Airport (7N8), Bally, Berks County, Pennsylvania

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

Additional Participating Entity: FAA/FSDO; Allentown, Pennsylvania 

Aviation Accident Factual Report  -   National Transportation Safety Board:  https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Certified Aviation LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N347SP

NTSB Identification: ERA15LA366 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, September 21, 2015 in Bally, PA
Aircraft: CESSNA 172, registration: N347SP
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On September 21, 2015, about 1830 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172S, N347SP, operated by Certified Flyers, was substantially damaged during a collision with terrain, while maneuvering after takeoff from Butter Valley Golf Port (7N8), Bally, Pennsylvania. The commercial pilot incurred minor injuries. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the planned flight to Morristown Municipal Airport (MMU), Morristown, New Jersey.

According to the pilot's written statement, he flew from MMU to 7N8 uneventfully. He then departed 7N8 for a return trip to MMU. During initial climb, about 800 feet above ground level, the airplane experienced a partial loss of engine power, with the tachometer indicating about 1,500 rpm. The pilot attempted to land straight ahead, but due to powerlines, he made a left descending turn. He did not think he would be able to glide the airplane back to the airport and elected to land in a nearby field. During the landing, the landing gear struck a fence and the airplane came to rest inverted in the field.

According to a witness, who worked at 7N8, he saw a white airplane with a blue and yellow stripe land between 1800 and 1830. The airplane approached faster and in a tighter traffic pattern than other airplanes that he typically observed land at the airport. The airplane made a sharp turn over parked airplanes on its approach to the runway. The airplane's right wing then dipped low over the runway, but did not contact it. The wings subsequently leveled as the engine noise increased. The witness added that the airplane must have touched down further down the runway as he did not see it land, but saw it taxiing back on the runway for another takeoff. He did not see the subsequent takeoff.

Another witness, who lived near the accident site, stated that he was in his backyard between 1815 and 1830, when he heard a small airplane, which he observed was white and yellow flying toward his property at a lower altitude than normal. The witness added that the airplane seemed to be flying erratically and at one point was "flying on its side." The witness further stated that he was concerned for the safety of the airplane and his house as he watched the abnormal flight, during which the pilot seemed to be flying aggressively for several minutes. He did not witness the impact, but added that he did not hear any abnormal engine sounds.

A third witness, who also lived near the accident site, reported that he was sitting in his living room and noticed an airplane that was not flying normally. Specifically, one wing was pointed toward the ground and the other pointed toward the sky. The airplane then disappeared behind a fence row and dust rose in the air. The witness assumed the airplane had crashed and attempted to drive to the site and offer assistance; however, he soon saw emergency responders and concluded that they would assist.

A fourth witness stated that he was working on a farm near the accident site at the time of the accident. He was operating a skid-loader at the time, and could not hear the airplane's engine noise or the lack of it. He watched the airplane fly in a 90-degree right bank turn for about 10 seconds, "wingtip to wingtip," as it maneuvered underneath powerlines and in between two utility towers. After passing under the powerlines, the airplane leveled and impacted the ground.

Examination of the wreckage by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed substantial damage to the right wing and that the right main landing gear had collapsed, consistent with a right wing low impact. He observed impact marks in the soybean field, consistent with a high-angle right bank turn toward and under the powerlines. The inspector also noted a strong odor of fuel at the accident site. When the airplane was subsequently up-righted and recovered, the inspector observed that both fuel tanks were almost full.

A fuel sample was recovered from the engine driven fuel pump after the wreckage was recovered to a storage facility. A small amount of dirt was noted on the outside of the fuel line near the pump fitting; however, the fuel sample was consistent with 100-low-lead aviation gasoline and absent of any visible contamination. A successful test-run of the engine was subsequently performed. A fuel supply was plumbed from a container to the engine driven fuel pump due to a damaged lower fuel sump. The engine did not start on the first attempt as the electric fuel pump was damaged in the accident and could not supply fuel to prime the engine. Ether was then used as primer for the engine on the second attempt. During the second attempt, the engine started immediately and ran continuously without hesitation at multiple power settings, including full power. The engine was run for several minutes and then shut down.

Toxicology testing performed by the FAA's Bioaeronautical Research Laboratory on blood and urine specimen obtained during the pilot's initial postaccident medical care identified alprazolam in urine and blood (0.123 ug/ml) as well as its metabolite, alpha-hydroxyalprazolam in urine. Lorazepam was identified in urine and blood (0.03 ug/ml). In addition, sertraline and its metabolite desmethylsertraline were identified in urine and blood and ondansetron was found in urine.

The pilot's most recent first-class medical certificate was issued on April 7, 2015. On the application for that certificate, he reported no medical conditions or medications to the FAA.

Alprazolam is a benzodiazepine medication available as a Schedule IV controlled substance used to treat anxiety disorder and panic disorder. It is commonly marketed with the name Xanax. The drug information includes this instruction to providers: "Because of its CNS depressant effects, patients receiving alprazolam tablets should be cautioned against engaging in hazardous occupations or activities requiring complete mental alertness such as operating machinery or driving a motor vehicle." The usual therapeutic dose range is between 0.0060 and 0.0200 ug/ml; levels above 0.100 are considered toxic.

Lorazepam is another benzodiazepine medication available as a Schedule IV controlled substance, indicated for the treatment of anxiety disorders or for the short-term relief of the symptoms of anxiety or anxiety associated with depressive symptoms. It is commonly marketed with the name Ativan. Lorazepam carries specific warnings including, "Use of benzodiazepines, including lorazepam, both used alone and in combination with other CNS depressants, may lead to potentially fatal respiratory depression. Use of benzodiazepines, including lorazepam, may lead to physical and psychological dependence. As with all patients on CNS-depressant drugs, patients receiving lorazepam should be warned not to operate dangerous machinery or motor vehicles and that their tolerance for alcohol and other CNS depressants will be diminished. The usual therapeutic range is between 0.1600 and 0.2700 ug/ml. Sertraline is an antidepressant marketed with the name Zoloft.







NTSB Identification: ERA15LA366
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, September 21, 2015 in Bally, PA
Aircraft: CESSNA 172S, registration: N347SP
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 September 21, 2015, about 1830 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172S, N347SP, operated by Certified Flyers, was substantially damaged during collision with terrain, while maneuvering after takeoff from Butter Valley Golf Port (7N8), Bally, Pennsylvania. The commercial pilot incurred minor injuries. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the planned flight to Morristown Municipal Airport (MMU), Morristown, New Jersey. The flight departed 7N8 about 1830.

According to the pilot's written statement, he flew from MMU to 7N8 uneventfully. He then departed 7N8 for a return trip to MMU. During initial climb, about 800 feet above ground level, the airplane experienced a partial loss of engine power, with the tachometer indicating about 1,500 rpm. The pilot attempted to land straight ahead, but due to powerlines, he made a left descending turn. He did not think he would be able to glide the airplane back to the airport and elected to land in a nearby field. During the landing, the landing gear struck a fence and the airplane came to rest inverted in the field.

According to a witness, who worked at 7N8, He saw a white airplane with a blue and yellow stripe land between 1800 and 1830. The airplane approached faster and in a tighter traffic pattern than other airplanes that typically land there. The white airplane made a sharp turn over parked airplanes on its approach to the runway. The airplane's right wing then dipped low over the runway, but did not contact it. The wings subsequently leveled as the engine noise increased. The witnesses added that the airplane must have touched down further down the runway as he did not see it land, but saw it taxiing back on the runway for another takeoff. He did not see the subsequent takeoff.

Another witness, who lived near the accident site, stated that he was in his backyard between 1815 and 1830, when he heard a small white and yellow airplane flying toward his property at a lower altitude than normal. The witness added that the airplane seemed to be flying erratically and at one point was "flying on its side." The witness further stated that he was concerned for the safety of the airplane and his house as he watched the abnormal flight, during which the pilot seemed to be flying aggressively for several minutes. He did not witness the impact, but added that he did not hear any abnormal engine sounds.

A third witness, who also lived near the accident site, reported that he was sitting in his living room and noticed an airplane that was not flying normally. Specifically, one wing was pointed toward the ground and the other pointed toward the sky. The airplane then disappeared behind a fence row and dust rose in the air. The witness assumed the airplane had crashed and attempted to drive to the site and offer assistance; however, he soon saw emergency responders and concluded that they would assist.


Examination of the wreckage by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed substantial damage to the right wing and that the right main landing gear had collapsed, consistent with a right wing low impact in a soybean field. He also noted a strong odor of fuel at the accident site. When the airplane was subsequently uprighted and recovered, the inspector observed that both fuel tanks were almost full.
======

A small airplane made a crash landing in eastern Berks County on Monday evening, kicking up dust as it hit the ground in a farm field not far from a small airfield.

Early emergency radio reports from the scene were that the pilot survived the 6:35 p.m. landing along Route 100 north of Bally, but information on his condition was not available.

Karen Bauer, who lives one Wheeler Lane across Route 100, said her husband was on the phone looking out a window when he spotted the plane in trouble.

"He said, 'It's going to crash,'" she said, and then she saw the aircraft go down.

Firefighters, paramedics and police rushed to the scene, where they found the pilot in a Cessna 172S Skyhawk plane that had not broken up.

FAA spokeswoman Arlene Salac said the plane landed on the east side of Route 100 in Washington Township. Reports put it less than 1,000 feet from the Bally borough line.

Bauer said she and her husband hoped the pilot straightened out the plane just enough before touching down.

"I could see it at the tops of the trees," Bauer said. "We could see it swing around and make a turn. We're near Butter Valley Air Strip, so we see lots of planes, but we knew this one wasn't going to make it.

"We were inside the house. We couldn't hear anything," she added. "But we could clearly see that the plane was at angle that it was going to go down. Then we saw the dust in the air."

The Bauers ran down their driveway to make sure others were aware of the emergency landing, and within seconds they heard sirens.

Bauer said she was not sure what kind of farm field the plane landed in, but because she could see the cockpit and wings with binoculars, she said it probably was a pumpkin field, where the crops grow low.

State police were expected to meet with FAA officials on the scene Tuesday. The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the cause of the crash.


WASHINGTON TWP. >> A single-engine airplane crashed in a cornfield near Route 100 Monday evening, sending the pilot to the hospital.

No other injuries were reported when the small plane crashed around 6:30 p.m.

The unidentified pilot was transported to Lehigh Valley Hospital near Allentown for treatment of unspecified injuries. Sources at the scene said the pilot’s injuries were serious but did not appear life-threatening.

The pilot was the only occupant of the plane, which crashed near the towers for high tension electric lines, according to state police from the Reading barracks, which patrols Washington Township.

The plane struck the ground violently and flipped over, according to witnesses. It did not catch fire and no fuel leaked but its engine compartment was visibly mangled.

It could not be determined if the pilot was trying to land at the nearby Butter Valley Golf Port when the plane crashed. It’s the closest airfield to the crash site.

The Federal Aviation Administration is expected to conduct an investigation into the crash starting Tuesday.

State Signed Off On Airplane Manufacturing Deal Without Proper Review • CEO Claims State Lied About Financing

WISCONSIN -- A top official for one of the state's economic development agencies called a project to build a plane manufacturing facility in Superior the most risky investment the organization had ever funded through the federal New Markets Tax Credit program.

Still, state officials gave taxpayer money and incentives to the aircraft company responsible for the project, despite the risk and without proper review, in an effort to create jobs that have yet to be realized.

In January 2012, Gov. Scott Walker visited Superior to announce the project, which was billed as the city’s largest job creation effort by a manufacturer since World War II. The plan was for Kestrel Aircraft Company to receive $4 million in state and federal loans, as well as $18 million in tax credits through the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority would also help Kestrel get up to $90 million in three rounds of tax credits.

During the visit, Walker said none of the loans or tax credits would come unless the company created 600 jobs.

"We’ve put incentives, whether it’s tax credits or other incentives, on the line. But they’re all tied specifically into the number of jobs that are created," Walker said.

Two days later, WEDC — an agency Walker helped establish during his first days in office — signed off on tax credits and a loan for the company without formal staff reviews.

In the months that followed, Kestrel CEO Alan Klapmeier said the state didn’t follow through on its word to provide more loans and incentives as they had agreed. Klapmeier, who is a co-founder of the airplane manufacturer Cirrus, said paperwork set the project back and that the delay caused a domino effect.

"When those pieces of the financing didn't happen on time, it’s disconcerting to the other financial people and they delay theirs as well," Klapmeier said.

Jim Caeser, a consultant for the city of Superior on the project, said the state was at least dishonest and at worst, incompetent.

"Knowing what their process is and the time that it takes to do that due diligence and all those things, then if it was going to take longer than that, they should've indicated so," Caeser said.

Understanding The State's View On The Deal


Spokesmen for WEDC and WHEDA said Kestrel has faced challenges raising money and meeting requirements to receive financing under federal programs like the State Small Business Credit Initiative, which provides support to small businesses and manufacturers.

"There were delays in securing the federal SSBCI loan, primarily because of delays in the company finding eligible match funding as required by the federal program and because of the complexities involved in securing the federal (New Markets Tax Credits), which were administered by WHEDA," explained then-WEDC spokesman Mark Maley in an email.

WHEDA spokesman Kevin Fischer explained that delays in financing occurred because the company offered collateral for the $30 million tax credit award that had already been offered to receive tax credits for another project in Maine.

"The sharing of this collateral needed to be negotiated with the other allocate — Coastal Enterprises Incorporated," said Fischer in an email. "There also was a need to get a special appraisal for the valuation of the intellectual property being offered as collateral."

In documents obtained by Wisconsin Public Radio, WHEDA outlined several risks with the project as they worked for months to award Kestrel with $30 million in federal tax credits.

For one, the agency was concerned that the newly formed company lacked audited financial statements.

"WHEDA/WCDLF (Wisconsin Community Development Legacy Fund) is only requiring proof of engagement of an auditor since the audit could take 60-120 days to complete," wrote WHEDA Economic Development Director Farshad Maltes in a May 2012 memo to WHEDA Executive Director Wyman Winston. "WHEDA/WCDLF is concerned that the audit may have a going concern qualification and also that it may find Kestrel’s internal accounting controls inadequate."

Maltes wrote that WHEDA could lessen the risk with reporting requirements on the funding provided. However, the agency also knew Kestrel was delinquent on its reporting requirements for the tax credit project in Maine, according to agency meeting minutes.

Questions were also raised over Kestrel's dependence on additional rounds of tax credits because the future of the New Markets Tax Credit program was uncertain.

Moreover, WHEDA had doubts Kestrel could build the plane, since doing so hinged on Federal Aviation Administration approval. The agency noted the company had already tried twice to certify the plane in Europe and Maine. Klapmeier has said that Europe’s certification process is much more stringent than the U.S. and that issues with "fine print" on the Maine tax credit deal proved to be a barrier.

The Kestrel CEO maintains that raising enough capital is the one and only obstacle to certification.

In a June 5, 2012 committee meeting, WHEDA Chairman Lee Swanson noted the project was "very risky" and "more akin to venture capital," according to meeting minutes.

Despite these concerns, WHEDA Marketing and Communications Director Brenda Marquardt said Kestrel has met all requirements of receiving tax credits through the federal program. She said outside reviews confirmed the project had a reasonable chance of success.

"Ohio National, an insurance company with an (Standard & Poor's) AA- rating, fully vetted the deal and agreed to be both the lender and tax credit purchaser in this transaction," wrote Marquardt in an email. "They are the entity assuming the financial risk in the project and determined the borrower covenants needed to finance the deal. WHEDA did not use any state funds in financing this transaction."

Marquardt said a WHEDA committee weighed the risks against Klapmeier’s successful history with Cirrus, local support for the project and the potential creation of hundreds of jobs.

Three Years Later, There's Still No Plane


After three years, there’s still no plane and no manufacturing facility.

Klapmeier said the company’s success in building the Kestrel-350 single-engine turboprop hinged on the state’s word.

"We’re considering a number of other locations besides Superior," he said. "From our point of view, the economic development project as originally envisioned didn’t happen."

Kestrel’s CEO claims WHEDA didn't follow through with help to secure two more rounds of tax credits for the project.

"The challenges we had were getting other allocations for the project because the project was in default both with Coastal Enterprises Incorporated and the Wisconsin Community Development Legacy Fund (WCDLF) for extended periods of time,” wrote WHEDA spokesman Kevin Fischer in an email. "The project was in financial default and reporting noncompliance."

Klapmeier said that would have never happened if the state had come through with the financing on time.

WEDC said the company has created 24 jobs and Klapmeier has said Kestrel has about 35 employees, according to the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.

Since then, WEDC has modified its loan agreements with the company to provide interest-only payments until October of this year.

"WEDC has supported and will continue to support Kestrel’s efforts to grow in Wisconsin," said then-WEDC spokesman Mark Maley. "However, Kestrel — like all companies receiving awards from WEDC — must comply with the terms of its contracts.”

Douglas County also modified a roughly $500,000 loan to interest-only payments that began in March.

Dick Nystrom, president of the Douglas County Revolving Loan Fund, noted that Cirrus also faced challenges certifying aircraft in the early days of the company.

"I think there were three or four owners over Cirrus over a period of time and three or four investors that kept investing in them to get that aircraft certified," he said. "I think the same thing is going to happen here. First thing is they got to get it certified and then they got to get a production facility and get it into production. It takes a lot of capital to do that."

City, county and state officials have said Kestrel is current on all loan payments.

The city of Superior offered Kestrel two parcels of land and $1.125 million in tax incremental financing, as well as a $2.4 million loan. Kestrel has paid back roughly $369,000 so far, with another payment coming due next month.

Superior Mayor Bruce Hagen said he had, and still has, high hopes for the project.

"Show me another place where there are 600 jobs that are potentially available with great growth opportunities similar to what Cirrus is in Duluth," said Hagen.

Hagen said he’s interested in offering incentives or whatever they can to keep Kestrel’s plans for a manufacturing facility in the city.

"If the state is not going to further any opportunity for Kestrel, then as I’ve told Alan, let’s get it done right here by ourselves," he said.

After forming a new company with a New Mexico-based outfit this spring, Klapmeier said they’re in a stronger position to certify and build the plane than ever been before.

Correction: The original version of this story called a federal tax incentive program the New Market Tax Credit. It's actually the New Markets Tax Credit.


Original article can be found here:  http://www.wpr.org