Monday, October 5, 2015

How rare are pilot deaths on commercial flights?

The death of a pilot on an American Airlines flight bound for Boston Monday was the eighth pilot death during a commercial flight since 1994, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

The number included both commercial passenger and cargo pilots and commercial charter pilots.

“The reason that it is only eight is that to fly commercial passenger service, pilots over the age of 40 are required to get medical checkups every six months,” said Mary Schiavo, an aviation attorney and former inspector general at the US Department of Transportation. “Medicine’s pretty good at identifying these problems.”

Those under 40 years old are subject to annual medical exams, according to FAA regulations.

If a pilot feels sick leading up to a scheduled flight, they will likely opt against flying, said Greg Raiff, chief executive of Private Jet Services Group in Seabrook, N.H., which arranges flights for companies and government agencies. 


Commercial airlines have reserve pilots and crew members on call in case they are needed to fill in on short notice.

“Pilots want to get the job done, but they’re not going to go do it, if they’re feeling very ill,” he said.

Aviation experts say incidents like Monday’s emphasize the importance of the medical exams.

“We need to be sure these pilots are having state-of-the-art physicals on a very regular basis,” said Gail Dunham, executive director of the National Air Disaster Foundation. “Their physical standards need to be higher than other professions.”

“It’s up to the FAA to be sure the pilots physicals are meeting the highest standards possible,” she said.

When such an event happens aboard a commercial flight, federal rules dictate that the plane land as soon as possible.

“It becomes a race to the ground when you have only one pilot,” said Raiff.

FAA regulations require that there be at least two pilots on US commercial flights, Raiff explained, so if one pilot dies, the flight is technically flying in violation of federal rules and therefore must make an emergency landing.

“The disability of the captain is certainly a situation where you’d need to have a backup pilot because planes don’t land by themselves,” said Paul Hudson, president of Flyersrights.org, an airline passenger group.

While “pilots are regularly trained for single-pilot events,” and both sides of the cockpit have redundant controls to allow for one pilot to single-handedly control the aircraft, Raiff said, the pilot is responsible for “landing the aircraft — literally doing twice the work.”

“It’s a highly charged situation,” said Raiff.

The pilot would radio the local FAA controller to declare the emergency and explain the nature of the situation.

“The FAA controller will typically clear the airspace and work with the pilot to get them to the ground as quickly as possible,” he said.

Another FAA regulation, implemented after the Sept. 11 attacks, requires that there be at least two crew members in the cockpit at all times. So the pilot would also have to call one of the crew members into the cockpit.

Raiff said he was not aware of any federal rules about whether the pilot must inform passengers in such an event.

“It would be up to the discretion of the pilot and the specific rules of the airline,” he said.

He said he imagined most pilots would tell passengers, without going into detail, that an emergency landing is being made because of a medical situation, and to remain calm.

Two passengers aboard Monday’s flight said they were told the pilot was ill.

When the flight lands, “there’s going to be first responders on site,” and the death would be investigated by the local coroner. The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board may also investigate, Raiff said.

“Fortunately it doesn’t happen all that often for pilots,” said Raiff.

While medical emergencies and deaths among pilots are rare, planes more often make emergency landings for passenger medical emergencies, said Schiavo. She estimated that happens at least once a week in the United States. A 2013 study found that in-flight emergencies occur in one out every 604 flights.

The study, which looked at medical emergencies on five major airlines over a three-year period found that out of 12,000 infirm passengers, 31 died, a rate of 0.3 percent.

Original article can be found here:  https://www.bostonglobe.com

Pilot's Rampage Didn't Worry Etihad, Man Says

CHICAGO (Courthouse News Service) - Etihad Airways spirited one of its pilots out of the United States so that he would not face charges for a drunken attack, the co-worker he injured says in Federal Court.

Martyn Baylay, a resident of the United Kingdom, filed the lawsuit on Friday against the United Arab Emirates airline; his co-worker Saravdeep Mann, and the Chicago businesses that he says gave Mann too much to drink on the day of the altercation.

The trouble began on Oct. 13 or Oct. 14, 2013, when Baylay, Mann and two other members of the Etihad flight crew were on a layover in the Windy City.

Mann had already started drinking before the quartet settled in for drinks at their hotel. At the Westin Michigan Avenue Chicago for just 30 minutes, Mann proceeded to drink a "significant amount" of alcohol, according to the complaint.

At Dublin Bar and Grill, Mann drank "a lot more" and began making anti-British and anti-American comments, says Baylay, who believes that Mann lives either in India or Abu Dhabi.

At one point, Mann put his hands around Baylay's throat and "stared at him menacingly," the complaint states.

The other pilots had to cover Mann's tab that night, and Baylay agreed to hold on to the coat Mann left behind, according to the complaint.

Mann allegedly showed up at Baylay's hotel room at midnight, and Baylay says he opened the door under the impression that Mann had come to apologize and get his jacket.

Instead, Mann hit Baylay on the head with a bronze-bladed ornament, according to the complaint.

Baylay claims that he fell to the floor, and that Mann then hit him on his leg. When Mann lunged at his head again, Baylay grabbed the weapon, according to the complaint.

He says he escaped to the lobby after Mann told him, "I'm going to kill you. You f*cking British bastard." (Redaction in original.)

Claiming that he underwent treatment at a nearby hospital for a head injury and scalp laceration, Baylay says Mann had "gone on a drunken rampage earlier that evening" and was confronted twice by a hotel security official.

Mann was ultimately arrested and charged with battery, the lawsuit says.

Etihad meanwhile crafted a plan to get its pilots out of the U.S. Baylay says Etihad reconfigured its flight schedule and pilot configuration, and that Mann in turn missed his court date and violated his bail bond.

The lawsuit states that Mann's father-in-law is a senior Etihad instructor, and his friend is its vice-president of training and standards.

Although the airline asked Mann to resign as a direct employee, he is now a pilot at Jet Airways (India), of which Etihad is a partner and 24 percent minority equity stake owner, according to the complaint. Jet Airways is not named as a defendant in the complaint.

Baylay says the 44-year-old Mann is also "an avid participant in weapon contest [sic] involving guns."

Etihad employed Mann despite knowing his history of violence and alcohol problems, according to the complaint.

Baylay goes on to evoke this year's March 24 crash of a Germanwings plane in the French Alps, a disaster investigators have pinned on homicidal pilot Andreas Lubitz.

"At a time both pre-dating and post-dating the tragedy of Germanwings' mishandling of its pilot, Andreas Lubitz, Etihad and, now, Jet Airways appear to be ignoring warning signs about Mann's fitness to fly passenger jetliners," the complaint states.

Baylay says that Etihad should have investigated, discharged or reassigned Mann, and is partly responsible for his assault. He claims the airline also ratified Mann's actions by helping him leave the country despite his criminal charges.

In addition to Etihad, Mann, and the Dublin Bar and Grill, Baylay names as defendants the owners of the hotel, LaSalle Hotel Properties and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.

Baylay seeks damages for negligence, personal injury and dram shop liability.

He is represented by Craig M. Sandberg with Muslin & Sandberg.

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

Alcoa Wins $1 Billion Parts Deal With Airbus • New York company calls contract its largest ‘aerospace fastening systems’ pact

The Wall Street Journal
By JOHN W. MILLER

Oct. 5, 2015 3:23 p.m. ET


Alcoa Inc. on Monday said it signed a $1 billion deal to supply airplane maker Airbus Group SE with bolts, rivets and other pieces used to hold planes together.

The contract, which New York-based Alcoa calls the largest deal for “aerospace fastening systems” in its history, comes only a week after the 126-year-old aluminum maker said it would split itself in two.

The parts, to be made from titanium, steel and nickel-based alloys at 14 factories, will be used on planes including the Airbus A350, the Toulouse, France-based plane maker’s newest commercial aircraft, the A320neo and the A330. The pieces, designed to withstand lightning strikes and be more resistant to wear, will be used for “the assembly of aircraft panels and engine pylons on newer airplanes with sophisticated design features,” Alcoa said.

Chief Executive Klaus Kleinfeld called the fastening systems “breakthrough technologies for some of the most advanced aircraft in the world.” Alcoa also has supply agreements with Airbus rival Boeing Co.

Airbus confirmed the deal, saying “majority of the work relevant to the contract” would be completed in California, as well as in “more than a dozen other Alcoa sites around the world.”

The company’s raw-aluminum business has been battered by falling aluminum prices, driven by booming Chinese exports. Last week, the company said its mining, processing and smelting divisions would next year become a separate company, still called Alcoa. A second company, whose name has yet to be determined, will be spun off and focus on making parts and pieces for airplanes and cars, including in deals like the Airbus contract. That company is expected to be the more profitable one.

Under Mr. Kleinfeld, Alcoa last year bought U.K. jet-engine-parts maker Firth Rixson Ltd., and this year acquired Pittsburgh-based RTI International Metals Inc., one of the world’s biggest makers of fabricated titanium products for the aerospace industry. Those acquisitions made the split announced last week a better option than selling off the raw-aluminum business, according to people familiar with the matter. Mr. Kleinfeld, a former Siemens AG executive, will remain CEO of the still-unnamed company and will be temporary chairman of the new Alcoa.

Alcoa’s new spinoff company will compete with Portland-based Precision Castparts Corp., which Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. agreed to buy in August for about $32 billion, the investor’s biggest acquisition yet.

For the second quarter, Alcoa posted a profit of $140 million, or 10 cents per share, up slightly from a year earlier. Its smelting division earned $67 million, a 31% drop from a year earlier, and its average “third-party realized price,” which it charged outside customers, fell 5% to $2,180 per metric ton.

Alcoa will kick off earnings season for major U.S. companies this week, with third-quarter results due out on Thursday.

—Joann S. Lublin contributed to this article.

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

Piper PA-46 301P Malibu, N9126V, Grand River Emergency Department Consultants LLC: Fatal accident occurred October 13, 2014 in Dubuque, Iowa



Ann Butzier, widow of Dr. Doug Butzier, sits with her children (from left) Chris Chapman, 16; Sarah Chapman, 18; and Ben Chapman, 16, at their Dubuque home. 

 Dr. Douglas J. Butzier MD


One year after a single-engine plane crashed on the outskirts of Dubuque, killing its pilot, questions remain.

The National Transportation Safety Board still has not determined the probable cause of the Oct. 13 crash, which killed local physician and U.S. Senate candidate Doug Butzier. A preliminary report released in November notes that Butzier utilized an instrument-based flight plan but contains few other details.

Butzier's widow, Ann, said she has accepted that exactly what led to her husband's fatal crash might never be known. But his legacy and what he meant to the community have always been crystal clear, she said.

"People have, to this day, (come up) and tell me their stories about him and how he touched them somehow," Ann said, noting her husband's humility. "I don't think he had any idea the lives he touched or the impact he made."

THE CRASH

Butzier, an emergency room doctor and Libertarian Senate candidate, was flying home from a campaign event in West Des Moines the night of the crash. He was flying in from Ankeny, Iowa, and was scheduled to land at Dubuque Regional Airport at about 11 p.m.

Butzier was relying on instruments, rather than sight, during his approach, possibly due to rainy weather.

"He had made his approach, (was) unable to get the runway in sight and did a standard missed-approach procedure," said Todd Dalsing, the airport's operations manager.

At some point during the second landing attempt, Butzier's plane went down. Wreckage of the single-engine plane came to rest between two residential properties on Military Road.

Key West Fire Chief Brian Arnold was one of the first responders on scene. Firefighters secured the scene, extinguished a small fire and blocked off roads in the area, he said.

"A lot of debris (was) scattered around," Arnold said. "(The plane) had impacted the tree after it hit the ground and slid up into the yard."

With 36 years of firefighting under his belt, Arnold has been present for the aftermath of multiple crashes and disasters. He said the plane's final resting spot showed how close the already tragic situation came to being substantially worse.

"It basically came up between two houses," Arnold said. "It could have been definitely a lot worse had it gone into one of those two houses."

THE DOCTOR

A young Doug Butzier had lofty career ambitions, according to Ann Butzier.

"He wanted to be Smokey the Bear when he graduated," she recalled. "He loved the outdoors and wanted to be in forestry."

Early in his career, Butzier worked as a firefighter in Montana. The job required him to frequent local hospitals, where he developed a passion for emergency medicine.

Butzier eventually returned to school and became a doctor. For 17 years prior to his death, he worked in the emergency department at Mercy Medical Center-Dubuque.

He was president of Mercy's medical staff, served on the hospital's board of trustees and was medical director for the Dubuque and Asbury fire departments.

Ann described her late husband as "adventurous," but "no frills."

"(When) I met the guy, he had one pair of jeans," she said. "He was a down-to-earth, T-shirts and tennis shoes kind of a guy. A humble, everyday kind of guy."

Sarah Chapman, Butzier's stepdaughter, agreed.

"He just would have thought that all this fuss over him was ridiculous," she said. "He didn't think he was a big deal."

In the months since Butzier's death, multiple organizations have honored the late doctor. He was awarded the Star of Life during the Dubuque Emergency Medical Services annual dinner and a scholarship for EMS students was created in his honor.

This year, Ann will begin presenting the Doug Butzier Award for Excellence in Emergency Nursing, she said.

"Those nurses were real special to him," Ann said. "They were a huge part of his everyday work there."

The backyard of Ann's home also is a testament to Butzier, she said. He spent months hand-building a deck and pool on the steep, heavily wooded property.

The project was completed just months before his death.

"This summer has been unusually special," she said. "The people that have come here to enjoy this masterpiece of a backyard. ... That makes me find a little bit of peace in that."

ANSWERS

Keith Holloway, a public affairs officer with the NTSB, said it's not unusual for investigators to take 12 to 18 months before releasing a probable cause report for an airplane crash.

While investigation of the scene and wreckage is completed soon after the incident, follow-up work can be more time consuming.

"A lot of the work really takes place afterwards," Holloway said. "That's going through (records), the pilot's medical history, licensing. ... That's part of the process."

Holloway said he could not provide specific details about the investigation and described it as "ongoing."

Ann Butzier said she does not believe the crash was due to pilot error. She said something must have occurred that Butzier could not overcome.

"Anybody who flew with him, they just know he was such a good pilot," Ann said. "He was calm and meticulous. He's been in trouble up there before, and he's been able to handle anything."

Source:  http://www.thonline.com
  
http://registry.faa.gov/N9126V  

NTSB Identification: CEN15FA008 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, October 13, 2014 in Dubuque, IA
Aircraft: PIPER PA 46-310P, registration: N9126V
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 either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On October 13, 2014, approximately 2305 central daylight time, a Piper PA-46 airplane, N9126V, collided with trees and impacted the ground near a residential area following a missed approach to Runway 36 at the Dubuque Regional Airport (DBQ), Dubuque, Iowa. The private pilot, who was the sole occupant, sustained fatal injuries. Dark night Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed throughout the area and during the approach. An Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) flight plan was filed for the flight which was conducted under the provisions of Federal Code of Regulations Part 91. The flight originated from the Ankeny Regional Airport (IKV), Ankeny, Iowa, about 2200, and its destination was DBQ.


Flight Standards District Office: FAA Des Moines FSDO-61 

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.

Southold, Suffolk County, New York: Public invited to hear helicopter committee update

Residents concerned about ongoing helicopter noise can turn out for a new informational meeting of Southold Town’s helicopter noise steering committee.

The meeting is scheduled for Saturday, October 17, at 9 a.m. at the town’s recreation center on Peconic Lane.

Highlights of the gathering include a review of the effects of the East Hampton town board’s changes to the flight policies at East Hampton’s airport this summer, said Councilman Bob Ghosio, liaison to the committee.

In addition, an update will be given on ongoing legal proceedings, the group will review the most recent complaint statistics, and a discussion will be held on the proposed North Shore flight extension path around Plum Island, and “what more can be done to incite change,” said Ghosio.

The public is invited to attend.

Southold Town has been proactive in bringing together residents to hear concerns and determine an action plan.

In August, a second helicopter noise forum was held; residents, overwhelmed by a summer of helicopter noise they said was even worse than last year demanded that the Federal Aviation Administration and United States senators hear their cries for relief from helicopter noise.

Kevin Dowling, legislative aide for Congressman Lee Zeldin, said helicopter noise was a critical issue. “This is a huge priority for us,” he said.

Dowling pointed out that Zeldin authored an amendment to ensure that the FAA would not use any new funding to act against East Hampton Town in regard to its efforts to regulate helicopter noise.

Mattituck resident Teresa McCaskie, who’s taken the lead on local efforts to get officials to sit up and take action, said the problem is not unique to Southold. “We all have to work together to find resolution,” she said.

Kathleen Cunningham of the Quiet Skies coalition agreed.

Giving the history of the East Hampton town board’s efforts, Cunningham said the board has worked hard to impose meaningful restrictions. But, she said, their efforts have been challenged by aviation organizations, “heavy hitters and big players that don’t want to see this airport regulate itself.”

East Hampton recently appealed a Supreme Court injunction against legislation that would restrict noisy aircraft operations at the town’s airport to one trip a week.

Back in April, the East Hampton town board adopted three local laws meant to impose use restrictions on airport operations.

Opponents slapped the town with a lawsuit in federal court. Federal District Court Judge Joanna Seybert upheld two local laws instituting year-round curfews: one, a mandatory nighttime curfew from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m., and the other, an extended curfew on noisy aircraft, from 8 p.m. until 9 a.m.

In late June, Seybert placed an injunction on the one restriction that would restrict trips to once a week. The other two laws have been in effect and enforced since July 2.

The three use restrictions were intended to work together to curb aircraft noise and provide relief to residents, East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell said.

A much-debated fourth restriction, which would have banned all helicopter traffic on weekends, from Thursday to Monday during the height of the summer season, was ultimately not included in the vote.

On December 31, the town of East Hampton let expire four FAA grant assurances, taking back the reins in terms of overseeing its airport. For years, East Hampton had its hands tied and could not regulate hours of operation and number of flights after accepting funding from the FAA.

But despite “slow progress,”, Cunningham said without the regulation limiting trips to once a week, the “curfews are basically useless. In fact, it’s made traffic worse because it compresses, into a shorter period of time, the same traffic as before,” she said.

Cunningham said the Quiet Skies Coalition is still working to encourage the East Hampton town board to resurrect its pitch for a weekend ban on helicopters.

Still, Cunningham said, there has been good news: East Hampton hired “top-notch litigator” Kathleen Sullivan; she also said there has been a little bit of positive news from the FAA, which “has modified its position on fighting the preliminary injunction.”

Good neighbors

Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell thanked the East Hampton town board, an ally after years of pleas falling upon deaf ears. “The tone and tenor have changed. The supervisor and board have shown great courage and leadership. They have shown us they want to be good neighbors.”

Cantwell said together, the restrictions would have reduced the number of landings at the East Hampton airport from 4,000 to 1,000 per year, or 75 percent. “This was very meaningful, well-thought-out, documented and supported legislation,” Cantwell said.

Important to note, Cantwell said, was that the judge ruled in East Hampton’s favor on its right to restrict landings and have some local control over the airport.

And that’s why, Cantwell said, the board refused to take FAA funding. “We really do believe local control of the airport is more important than taking federal dollars.”

One resident suggested a social media petition.

David Gruber, chair of East Hampton’s airport noise subcommittee, said he’s been working on the issue for 17 years. “We need the Senate or nothing can happen.”

He said that Assemblyman Fred Thiele had introduced legislation that would allow for a bonding period, critical to East Hampton supporting itself without FAA funding in the future; also,another piece of legislation would allow for a permissive referendum should any future East Hampton board try to accept funding from the FAA.

“It’s unending”

Realtor Marie Beninati, who lives on Cedar Beach in Southold, said on a recent Monday, her day off, she heard 17 flight overhead in 133 minutes, one every eight minutes. “It’s unending.”

Beninati suggested a monitoring system to record data, a system she said would be “far more effective and precise,” rather than “hit or miss”.

Paula Flaherty of Mattituck suggested hiring a bus and heading to DC, to let the voices of the community be heard.

“I don’t want to ride a bus,” said Margaret Skabry of Peconic. “I want to stay home and enjoy the peace and quiet. It’s nonsense. I’m fed up.”

Source:  http://southoldlocal.com

Air France Plans Almost 3,000 Job Cuts After Failed Pilot Talks

  • Carrier briefs works council on moves to shrink business
  • Savings strategy calls for reduction in fleet, route network
Pierre Plissonnier flees flanked by security.



Air France informed workers that it plans to cut 2,900 jobs and cancel Boeing Co. 787 jetliners to deliver savings blocked by pilots, including the first forced dismissals since the 1990s.

Some 300 cockpit crew could go, together with 900 flight attendants and 1,700 ground staff, Air France told a meeting with its works council Monday, a representative of the UNAC cabin-crew union said. The briefing was interrupted for a period when protesters stormed the room.

The Air France fleet would be reduced by 14 aircraft, UNAC said, with the cancellation of 787 Dreamliners and phasing out of Airbus Group SE A340s, and weaker routes would shut. The unit of Air France-KLM Group indicated there’s scope for compromise if unions propose serious savings measures.

Air France said last week it was planning cuts to jobs, jets and routes after failing to reach a deal with pilots, who had been asked to work more hours for the same pay to help end annual losses that began in 2011. Government ministers had urged the sides to continue talking so that jobs could be saved.


Asia Impact


The changes would require a shrinking of Air France’s network, with a reduction in frequencies and more sweeping seasonal capacity cuts next year, following by the termination of some routes in 2017, especially to Asia, where competition is toughest. Frequencies to 22 destinations would be affected.

Job cuts couldn’t be implemented before mid-December at the earliest, given French legal requirements, leaving about two months for the two sides to agree an alternative way forward, should negotiations resume.

Chief Executive Officer Alexandre de Juniac has forced the showdown with pilots after last year being defeated in plans to establish a low-cost airline outside of France when crews walked out for two weeks, costing the airline 500 million euros ($564 million) and prompting the government to intervene.

Air France has never recently fired workers outright, relying on attrition and early retirement packages to reduce the payroll by 9,000 over three years. The last time it sought to dismiss staff, in 1993, weeks of walkouts cost the job of CEO Bernard Attali.

Source:  http://www.bloomberg.com

Commercial Helicopter Pilot Seeking Instructor Position (Seattle, Washington)


My name is Nathan Diller and I'm a Commercial Helicopter Pilot. I am qualified as a flight instructor and looking for an instructor position, however I am interested in any helicopter flight position. I am willing to travel, although I prefer the greater Seattle area.

Read more here:  http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/res/5252432417.html

Crowds urged to stay away from this weekend’s Doncaster Vulcan farewell

  • Vulcan set for farewell tour this weekend 
  • Last chance to see XH558 in the skies 
  • But crowds told to stay away from Doncaster over fears flights could be axed 

   


Crowds have been warned to stay away from Doncaster for the last flying Vulcan’s farewell tour this weekend - with warnings the flights could be axed if thousands of sightseers turn up.

Cold War icon XH558 is due to take off on a two day tour of Britain from Robin Hood Airport this Saturday and Sunday - the last time ever the plane is scheduled to take to the skies.

But people have been told to stay away from the farewell - and have been told that huge crowds could see the event pulled due to safety fears.

Police have warned owners the Vulcan To The Sky Trust that the flights may not be able to go ahead due to safety and security concerns if thousands of people descend on Doncaster.

Superintendent Caroline Rollitt, of South Yorkshire Police, said: “Although I understand the passion of the supporters of the Vulcan over the past few months as we approach its final flights more and more spectators have turned up at events where the Vulcan has been.

“I must ask everyone please, do not come to Robin Hood to see her take-off and land. This has started to overwhelm local authorities and emergency services.

“My first priority is ensuring the safety of all road users and local communities. Doncaster airport is a small commercial airport that can accommodate its passengers.

“However, the infrastructure around it cannot accommodate a large influx of people hoping to see the Vulcan.”

Dr Robert Pleming, chief executive of the VTTS said: “The roads, villages and availability of parking around the perimeter of Robin Hood Airport are very restricted. As the final few flights approach, we must warn you that the chances of seeing XH558 take-off and land will be slim. There are no plans for any displays or repeated circuits over the airfield and the aircraft will come straight-in to land on her return.

“We wish to bring the aircraft to you – as much as possible, so please plan to go to one of the published locations on the final tour when they are announced, or one of the existing display venues, rather than come to Robin Hood.

“As the last few flight dates approach, spectator interest around the airport at Doncaster is reaching new heights, with huge numbers already being seen on surrounding roads. The police and emergency services, local authority and the airport are very much aware of growing issues. There is great risk of severe restrictions being imposed on our last few days of flight operations. We do need to minimize the risk of enforced flight cancellations on the grounds of public safety.

“We would request all our supporters try to view XH558 from another vantage point along a notified flight-path or display venue. Please do not travel to Doncaster.”

The iconic aircraft has been enjoying one long summer of flypasts and displays with thousands turning out to see her.

But while Vulcan XH558 may no longer be soaring gracefully through the skies, she will stay in Doncaster – as the centerpiece of a new museum celebrating her heritage as well as her life and times, in the former RAF Finningley hangar where she sat in readiness for fighting and bombing during the 1960s and 70s.

Dr Pleming said: “We have set out from the start to create a lasting legacy for the Vulcan by planning for the day when the aircraft will have to cease flying.”

Vulcan To The Sky chiefs have had to make the tough decision that this year will be her last - for safety and technical reasons.

Dr Pleming said that while the aircraft, affectionately dubbed the ‘tin triangle’ was still safe, the age of her airframe, engines and a growing difficulty to source skilled engineers to keep her airborne were all factors taken into account when deciding her fate. It also costs £2 million a year to keep the plane in the air.
Details of the farewell flight are expected to be revealed tomorrow.

Source:  http://www.doncasterfreepress.co.uk