Monday, December 7, 2015

New carriers offering low-cost flights, nonstop regional flights signal room for growth at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (KMSY)



Within days of a new charter operator launching regional Gulf Coast flights from Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, a low-fare, high-fees carrier announced plans to immediately begin nonstop flights to Las Vegas and add Los Angeles by next year.

While New Orleans-based GLO’s daily nonstop flights to Shreveport; Little Rock, Arkansas; and Memphis, Tennessee; are designed to lure business travelers, budget carrier Spirit Airlines is eyeing vacation passengers.

The recent service expansions highlight two areas where local airport officials and industry experts predict the New Orleans airport has room to grow: targeting budget-conscious leisure travelers as well as underserved regional areas that will attract businesspeople and others eager for an alternative to driving or multiple-stop flights.

Even more recently, the New Orleans airport unveiled its 50th nonstop destination: Another budget carrier, Allegiant Air, will begin flying to Pittsburgh in February, with fares starting at $39.

After Southwest Airlines and Spirit expanded local flights in 2013, the New Orleans airport became the fastest-growing facility in the country in terms of its passengers count, according to Airports Council International statistics.

A year later, it ranked No. 4 nationwide, according to an Airline Weekly analysis.

Seth Kaplan, a managing partner at the industry publication, said several anomalies separated New Orleans from the top spot. Namely, that Dallas’ Love Field Airport, which was No. 1, had started offering more long-haul flights after a federal law prohibiting them was repealed in late 2013. Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, at No. 3, is steadily breaking its own records amid an ongoing turf war between Delta Air Lines and Seattle-based Alaska Airlines.

In 2014, New Orleans’ passenger count rose almost 7 percent, said Kaplan, who predicts the airport’s growth will slow somewhat by next year. “Not surprisingly, after you’ve had growth like that, it would level off at some point,” he said.

He credited low fuel prices for spurring expansions among no-frills carriers like Spirit and Frontier Airlines. “When you have those airlines growing rapidly and looking for places to allocate that growth, and you have a market like New Orleans, it’s kind of perfect for them,” he said.

This year, the New Orleans airport is on track to break the 10 million-passenger mark, its highest in the airport’s nearly seven-decade history, said Iftikhar Ahmad, who has served as aviation director in New Orleans since 2010. That number is up 36 percent from six years ago.

The New Orleans airport offers 50 nonstop flights, including four international destinations. It handled about 80 percent of the state’s passengers in 2014.

Nationwide, the airport’s ranking has seesawed in the past decade due to Hurricane Katrina’s devastation. In 2005, it was No. 40. After Katrina, it fell to No. 56.

By last year, the airport had climbed to No. 37. The goal, Ahmad said, is to get into the top 30, a select group that handles at least 1 percent of the nation’s passengers.

A key to accomplishing that goal will be the airport’s new three-story, 650,000-square-foot terminal, a $650 million project that will replace the existing facility. The terminal is slated to open in time for the city’s tricentennial celebration in 2018.

The terminal is designed to be about half the size of the current facility, which will mean lower maintenance and cooling costs, but offer a more efficient layout. That will help increase revenue from auxiliary sources, the thinking goes, to keep fees charged to airlines low and ultimately draw more flights to the Crescent City.

Airport officials hope the new terminal will allow them to add more international flights, a business that has largely left New Orleans since the 1970s in favor of Houston.

“I would not tell you that I would like to see one airline add more service than the other. We’re equal opportunity,” Ahmad said. “They all have their niche business. They’re not the same flavor. Some folks are looking for really cheap price and no-frills, some folks are looking for frills and they’re not that sensitive to the price.”

For years, airport officials and business leaders have been in talks with international carriers like British Airways about adding regular service to an overseas destination such as Frankfurt, London or Paris.

If that panned out, the service would likely offer three or four flights a week, said Michael Hecht, president and CEO of Greater New Orleans Inc., a regional economic development group.

“As long as the demand through the airport continues to generally go up, then it is just a question of when, not if,” Hecht said of adding international flights.

That setup is in line with what Copa Airlines has offered. This year, Copa started nonstop service four times per week between New Orleans and Copa’s hub at Tocumen International Airport in Panama. The route gives local travelers access to more than 55 destinations in Central and South America and the Caribbean.

It also opens the door to other possibilities. For example, an expansion at Ochsner Health System could spur Latin American citizens to travel to New Orleans for medical treatment, Ahmad said.

Eventually, additional flights may be added to GLO’s three regional destinations. The company uses 30-passenger Saab 340B aircraft operated by a third party, Corporate Flight Management Inc.

GLO’s founder and CEO Trey Fayard said he chose the destinations after extensive research, which included driving to dozens of cities and airports in the South to gauge the potential demand for the service. He has ideas for potential new routes, but declined to elaborate on specifics.

Ahmad, the airport director, believes GLO is choosing the “right time and right business model” to begin offering the regional service, coming as many larger airlines have gotten out of the game.

“I think they’re coming in with eyes wide open, but in the end, marketing is going to be key,” he said.

Not surprisingly, Fayard agrees.

“There’s a vacuum there that’s being created by all of the mergers,” he said on a recent morning as he stood at the back of his planes while nearby staff sorted through bottles of water and snacks. “Smaller, secondary cities in the Gulf and mid-South are just losing … service left and right.”

Fayard expects that local business travelers who need to go somewhere like Shreveport will jump at the chance to get there — and back — in an 81-minute flight, even if it’s more expensive than a commercial flight.

GLO’s service to Memphis has started and will begin in Shreveport this month. Promotional one-way fares to Shreveport start at $189, including taxes. On weekdays, GLO will offer two flights per day to each city.

When his first plane landed at the New Orleans airport last month, dozens of airline workers and airport staff greeted it on the runway, an arrival that Fayard had worked toward for six years.

“When you have an idea, you make an announcement, you have a business plan, that’s wonderful,” he said, “but when it shows up, it’s real.”

Story and photo gallery:  http://www.theneworleansadvocate.com

Trey Fayard, chief executive officer of GLO Airlines

Cessna 140, N90123: Fatal accident occurred December 06, 2015 in Keytesville, Chariton County, Missouri

Andrew Joseph Beautte

Dawn Lynn Harl



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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office;  Kansas City, Missouri
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas

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

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

http://registry.faa.gov/N90123

NTSB Identification: CEN16FA054 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, December 06, 2015 in Keytesville, MO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/20/2017
Aircraft: CESSNA 140, registration: N90123
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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.

The non-instrument-rated pilot and one passenger departed at an unknown time from an unknown location into dark night conditions that were forecast to be marginal visual flight rules to instrument flight rules conditions. A witness observed the airplane circling overhead, and stated that the appearance of the airplane's exterior lights suggested that it was flying in clouds or fog. During the airplane's third orbit, the exterior lights became brighter as it descended out of the clouds, then abruptly descended to ground contact. An examination of the airframe and engine did not reveal any anomalies that would have precluded normal operation of the airplane.

The pilot's logbooks were not recovered, and his total flight experience could not be determined. The pilot had a history of substance abuse and dependence involving methamphetamine, including multiple arrests and convictions related to drug use. However, he was reportedly in recovery at the time of his last medical examination in 2012. Toxicological testing on the pilot was positive for methamphetamine and its metabolite, amphetamine, at levels which suggested recreational use. Symptoms of recreational methamphetamine use follow a typical pattern. In the early phase, users experience euphoria, excitation, exhilaration, hallucinations, delusions, psychosis, increased alertness, a heightened sense of well-being, and poor impulse control. All of the symptoms caused by high doses of methamphetamine are impairing, but the fact that the noninstrument-rated pilot chose to take off without a weather briefing at night and flew into low clouds before losing control indicates the pilot was deliberately attempting a flight beyond his capabilities. Consistent with his very highly elevated blood levels, this suggests his poor decision-making was influenced by the euphoria and grandiosity conferred by the early phase effects of methamphetamine. Witness observations of the airplane circling in clouds or fog then descending to ground contact suggest that the impaired pilot most likely experienced spatial disorientation and a subsequent loss of airplane control.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The non-instrument-rated pilot's decision to operate in dark night conditions with low clouds, which resulted in a loss of control due to spatial disorientation. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's use of methamphetamine, which impaired his decision-making abilities.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On December 6, 2015, about 2110 central standard time, a Cessna 140 airplane, N90123, impacted terrain near Keytesville, Missouri. The pilot and passenger were fatally injured, and the airplane was substantially damaged. 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 . Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed in the area, and the flight operated without a flight plan. The flight's point of origin and destination could not be determined.

A witness saw the airplane approach from the northeast and begin to make clockwise turns overhead. The diameter of the turns was estimated to be between ¼- and ½-mile wide. The lights of the airplane were visible overhead, but it appeared as though the airplane was in the clouds or fog. During the third overhead circle, the airplane's lights became brighter, as though it had flown out of the clouds, and the airplane turned south away from the witness. The airplane then abruptly descended toward terrain, and the witness heard the sound of an impact . The witness reported that the engine sounded normal before impact. He remarked that, due to the clouds, the stars were not visible; however, he could clearly see the lighted top of a 400-ft-tall tower.

The pilot was not in radio contact with any air traffic control facility.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot's logbook was not located during the course of the investigation, and his total flight experience and time flown at night could not be determined. The pilot did not hold an instrument rating and his instrument experience and training received are also not known. .

On his application for his medical certificate, the pilot reported having no flight time. He also reported a convictions for driving under the influence on February 29, 2012, and possession of a controlled substance on May 14, 2001, February 10, 2005, and July 14, 2008. In addition, he reported last using methamphetamines on October 28, 2011.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane's maintenance logbooks were not recovered during the investigation and the date of the last annual inspection could not be determined. In addition, it is unknown if any recent maintenance was performed on the airplane.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The 2115 automated weather observation at Marshall Memorial Municipal Airport (MHL), located about 30 nautical miles southwest of the accident site, included wind from 350° at 4 knots, ceiling broken at 300 ft above ground level, temperature 39°F, dew point 37°F, and an altimeter setting of 30.33 inches of mercury. These conditions were likely representative of those at the accident site at the time of the accident. An AIRMET was valid for the area of the accident site from 2100 to 0300, with forecast ceilings below 1,000 ft and visibility below 3 miles with mist and fog. There was no record of the pilot obtaining a weather briefing from an access-controlled source before the flight.

The National Weather Service (NWS) Surface Analysis Chart for 2100 depicted a low pressure system to the east of the accident site over Indiana with an occluded front extending southward and turning into a cold front across Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, into Louisiana, and off the Texas Gulf coast. An extensive area of low clouds extended from the low to the west and over the accident site. The station models in northern Missouri indicated northwest winds at 10 knots or less, overcast skies, with temperatures around 40°F with temperature-dew point spreads of less 6°F.

The NWS Weather Depiction Chart for 2200 depicted an extensive area of instrument flight rules (IFR) conditions over Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Illinois, and northern Missouri, with marginal visual flight rules (MVFR) conditions surrounding the area and extending into central and eastern Missouri and over the accident site. The closest reporting station indicated overcast clouds with a ceiling at 2,100 ft. The Low-Level Significant Weather Prognostic Chart at the time expected MVFR to IFR conditions over northern Missouri.


The North American Mesoscale (NAM) numerical model for 2100 indicated a relative humidity greater than 80% from the surface to 3,000 ft, with an expected cloud base at 50 ft above ground level. The model depicted surface conditions with wind from 320° at 5 kts, temperature 3.6°C (38.5°F), dew point 3.5°C (38.3°F), and relative humidity of 99%. The model supported fog and low stratiform clouds. The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite system (GOES-13) infrared image at 2115 indicated an area of low stratiform clouds and/or deep fog extended over northern Missouri and Iowa and over eastern Missouri and Illinois with cloud tops near 2,000 ft.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The wreckage was located in an open hayfield. Impact signatures were consistent with a near-vertical impact with the terrain. All major components of the airplane were found at the accident site. Flight control continuity was established from the flight controls to their respective control surfaces. Both wings displayed accordion crushing along the entire length of their leading edges. The flaps appeared to be in the retracted position. The fuel selector was found in the right fuel tank position. Both wing fuel tanks contained fuel. The airspeed indicator read in excess of 160 mph. The altimeter Kollsman window read 30.00 inches.

The engine's upper spark plugs were removed and displayed normal wear. Engine continuity and compression were confirmed throughout the engine. One blade of the propeller was curled and displayed leading edge polishing of the blade. The other blade was missing several inches of its tip. No anomalies were detected with the airframe and engine.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was conducted on the pilot by the Boone/Callaway County Medical Examiner's Office, Springfield, Missouri, as authorized by the Chariton County Coroner. The cause of death was listed as blunt force injuries sustained in an aircraft accident, and the report stated that methamphetamine use may have contributed to the accident. In addition, thickening of the left ventricle of the heart was described in the autopsy report.

The FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed forensic toxicology on specimens from the pilot. Testing was negative for carbon monoxide and ethanol. The following drugs were detected:

Amphetamine detected in liver
0.536 (ug/ml, ug/g) amphetamine detected in blood
8.49 (ug/ml, ug/g) methamphetamine detected in liver
5.07 (ug/ml, ug/g) methamphetamine detected in blood

Methamphetamine is a Schedule II controlled substance and is used medically to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy. Prescribed oral doses typically produce blood levels in the range of 0.02-0.05 ug/ml. Recreational users seeking intense euphoria snort, smoke, or inject the drug, and may often reach blood levels above 2.00 ug/ml. Methamphetamine levels reach peak blood concentration differently depending on mode of administration. Peak blood methamphetamine concentrations occur shortly after injection and a few minutes after smoking it. Peak blood concentrations of its psychoactive metabolite, amphetamine, occur around 10 hours after methamphetamine use.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Spatial Disorientation
The Airplane Flying Handbook (FAA-H-8083-3A) stated, "…the VFR pilot is, in effect, in IMC anytime he or she is inadvertently, or intentionally for an indeterminate period of time, unable to navigate or establish geographical position by visual reference to landmarks on the surface. These situations must be accepted by the pilot involved as a genuine emergency, requiring appropriate action…If the natural horizon were to suddenly disappear, the untrained instrument pilot would be subject to vertigo, spatial disorientation, and inevitable control loss."

The FAA Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge, chapter 16, "Aeromedical Factors," stated, "Under normal flight conditions, when there is a visual reference to the horizon and ground, the sensory system in the inner ear helps to identify the pitch, roll, and yaw movements of the aircraft. When visual contact with the horizon is lost, the vestibular system becomes unreliable. Without visual references outside the aircraft, there are many situations in which normal motions and forces create convincing illusions that are difficult to overcome…Unless a pilot has many hours of training in instrument flight, flight should be avoided in reduced visibility or at night when the horizon is not visible. A pilot can reduce susceptibility to disorienting illusions through training and awareness, and learning to rely totally on flight instruments."

NTSB Identification: CEN16FA054
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, December 06, 2015 in Keytesville, MO
Aircraft: CESSNA 140, registration: N90123
Injuries: 2 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 December 6, 2015, about 2110 central standard time, a Cessna 140G airplane, N90123, impacted terrain near Keytesville, Missouri. The private pilot and passenger were both fatally injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. The flight operated without a flight plan. The flight's point of origin and destination are not known.

A witness saw the airplane approach from the northeast and begin to make clockwise turns overhead. The diameter of the turns was estimated to be between ¼ and ½ mile wide. The lights of the airplane were visible overhead but appeared as though the airplane was in the clouds or fog. On the third circle overhead the airplane's lights became brighter as though it had flown out of the clouds and the airplane turned towards the south away from the witness. The airplane then abruptly descended towards the terrain and the sound of an impact was heard. Prior to the accident, the witness reported that the engine sounded normal. He remarked that due to the clouds, the stars were not visible, however he was able to clearly see the lighted top of a 400' tall tower.

The wreckage was located in an open hay field. Impact signatures were consistent with a near vertical impact with the terrain. All major components of the airplane were found at the accident site. The airplane was examined and moved to a secure location.

The nearest aviation weather stations were 35+ nautical miles from the accident and did not reflect the weather described by the witness. A weather study will be conducted for the accident site.

At 2115, an automated weather reporting station located 37 nautical miles from the accident site reported a calm wind, visibility 7 miles, a clear sky, temperature 41° Fahrenheit (F), dew point 41° F, and a barometric pressure of 30.30 inches of mercury. At 2135, it reported wind from 300° at 4 knots, visibility 5 miles with mist, a broken ceiling at 700 feet, temperature 40° F, dew point 40° F, and a barometric pressure of 30.30 inches of mercury.

  Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email eyewitnessreport@ntsb.gov,  and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov





CHARITON COUNTY - A Marceline pilot has released aerial photos to KOMU 8 News of wreckage following a plane crash Sunday night near Keytesville. 

Pilot Martin Cupp took aerial photos of the crash site in his Cessna 172 Monday afternoon from 2,500 feet above ground.

Cupp said he initially drove by the scene to make sure it wasn't one of his planes or someone he knew and later in the day when the sky cleared he took his plane up.

Cupp operates Cupp Aviation and has been taking aerial photography for about two years.

The photos of the wreckage are the first aerial shots of this type of situation Cupp has taken and he said he hopes it is his last.

After flying for 20 years, Cupp said he's never witnessed a crash like Sunday's up close and he hasn't seen one like it for a while.

The National Transportation Safety Board said pilot Andrew Beautte and passenger Dawn Harl were pronounced dead on the scene.

The NTSB is still investigating the details of the crash, including where it took off from and where it was supposed to land.


CHARITON COUNTY – The National Transportation Safety Board said Tuesday the pilot of a flight that crashed Sunday night, killing him and one passenger, did not have a flight plan and was not rated by the Federal Aviation Administration.

NTSB was working to determine where pilot Andrew Beautte took off from and where he was headed.

NTSB said it examined the plane engine and systems Tuesday and planned to remove the plane from the crash scene to investigate more.

NTSB also said the pilot was not FAA rated for the use of flying instruments. Officials said that doesn’t necessarily mean the pilot was not trained or did not know how to use the instruments.

Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop B said it received a report at 9:15 p.m. Sunday that a plane crashed eight miles northeast of Keytesville.

State troopers, Chariton County deputies and other emergency rescue personnel responded to the scene and found a 1946 Cessna 140 single-engine airplane in a hayfield.

Beautte, 40, from La Plata and passenger Dawn Harl, 38, from Des Moines, were pronounced dead at the scene.

Beautte was married to Jill Beautte and had a daughter in high school and a son in elementary school.

Source:  http://www.komu.com

CHARITON COUNTY - A spokesperson with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) confirmed Monday the agency was investigating a plane crash that left two dead.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Troop B Headquarters received a report around 9:15 p.m. Sunday night about a small aircraft crashing roughly eight miles northeast of Keytesville.

State troopers, Chariton County deputies and other emergency rescue personnel responded to the scene and located the wreckage of a 1946 Cessna 140 single-engine airplane in a hayfield.

The Boone County Medical Examiner said Andrew Beautte, 40, of La Plata and Dawn Harl, 38, of Des Moines, Ia. were pronounced dead at the scene.

Troopers believed Beautte piloted the plane.

NTSB spokesperson Keith Holloway said officials don't know which airport the plane was headed to or which airport it originated from. He said investigators are collecting information and the investigation is in its preliminary stages.

Holloway said NTSB officials were notified of the crash at around 1 a.m. Monday. MSHP said it expected Federal Aviation Administration investigators to arrive on the scene to conduct a complete investigation Monday.

Source:  http://www.komu.com

Aviation enthusiasts pedal human power: Half Moon Bay Airport (KHAF), San Mateo County, California

Alec Proudfoot and a host of volunteers tested their human-powered airplane for the first time on Saturday, and they did it at Half Moon Bay Airport.



There is nothing simple about human-powered flight, but that is the intriguing goal behind a remarkable aircraft that lifted off the ground for the first time on Saturday at Half Moon Bay Airport.

The project – dubbed Dead Simple Human-Powered Airplane – is the brainchild of Alec Proudfoot. It’s been years in the making and Saturday’s achievement was a soaring one for him and the 300 volunteers who designed and built the aircraft over 12,000 hours – all of it dreaming of such a day.

Volunteers from around the Bay Area gathered at the airport as early as 4 a.m. on Saturday. They had arranged for the runways to be closed from 6 to 8 a.m. so that they could see the fruition of their dream.

The aircraft is essentially a super-light recumbent bicycle with wings. The crew brought it to Half Moon Bay in a specially designed trailer, but some assembly was required. They came to the Coastside airport because the runway was long enough – designed to accommodate commercial aircraft – and with so little traffic on an early weekend morning that it could be closed for a private endeavor.

The other thing the dreamers needed was a still morning. Anything more than a 5-mph breeze would scuttle the test. Saturday’s weather held.

The result was a triumphant flight of 765 feet that never got higher than five feet off the ground. By comparison, the famed Wright brothers’ first flight was a mere 120 feet, and it would change the world. Proudfoot was ecstatic when it was all over.

“It was really great,” Proudfoot said. “As a first flight, that was sort of amazing.”

It was a big step for a crew that set out to build a human-powered aircraft as quickly as possible for no more than the price of a new car, and to have fun doing it.

There have been many attempts to build human-powered flying machines, some of them successful. But it remains a daunting task.

“This is much, much harder to do than people think,” said Glenn Reynolds, a past president of the Half Moon Bay Pilots’ Association and a vice president of the Experimental Aircraft Association, Half Moon Bay Chapter. “It’s the equivalent of a solo space flight.”

The problem is simple. It has to do with the power-to-weight ratio. How do you generate enough power to lift the weight of the pilot and plane? DaSH project engineers have designed an airplane that is half the weight of the pilot but has a wingspan of a modern 737 jet.

Proudfoot says a pilot would need to generate about 300 watts to maintain flight. To give a rough comparison, he says that is similar to a bicyclist riding up Tunitas Creek Road to Skyline … “fast.” Coastsiders who take the beachcomber out for a leisurely ride on the Coastal Trail are generating about 100 watts. Proudfoot said that a particularly athletic, elite pilot could conceivably keep the aircraft airborne for hours.

“I’m out of shape and overweight, but I could probably pilot it to the end of the runway,” said Proudfoot, who was the pilot for Saturday's maiden voyage.

Proudfoot has his own engineering consultancy and is a former Google engineer. He’s also worked on alternative fuel vehicles and has piloted helicopters, airplanes, gyro-copters and other insults to gravity.

He says the project is, in part, a nod to his original professional inspirations. In 1979, an American engineer named Paul MacCready Jr. designed a very similar-looking aircraft, the Gossamer Albatross, which was pedaled across the English Channel. Subsequent successful human-powered aircraft often have been multi-million-dollar projects. Originally, Proudfoot said he wanted to construct his for about the price of a new car.

“Well, it’s an expensive new car,” he said on Monday. “This is my Tesla.”

Proudfoot and his team had hoped to fly again on Sunday morning. They repaired a malfunction with a tail mount and were ready to give it a go, but rain precluded a Sunday morning flight.

The next steps include longer flights and training more athletic pilots, he said. He would like to fly again in the first couple of months of 2016, and they might return to Half Moon Bay, he said. He is also looking into salt flats or other flat, windless desert locations conducive to lift off.

Whatever happens to his project from here out, Proudfoot considers the project a success.

“It’s been a fun, educational and social experience,” he said.

Source:  http://www.hmbreview.com

Helicopter used to find dead body in ravine near South Onondaga, New York


TOWN OF ONONDAGA, N.Y. -- Rescue crews used the Onondaga County Sheriff's Office aviation unit to recover a dead body from the bottom of a ravine in the Town of Onondaga early Friday morning.

Police had to use the Air 1 helicopter to light the area at the bottom of a 75-foot ravine as deputies and a K9 searched the area near Route 80 and Route 20 for the individual, according to the Onondaga County Sheriff's Office.

Investigators say they heard a cellphone ringing as they searched and that ultimately led them to the body.

The search ended when rescue personnel from the South Onondaga and Otisco Fire Department were able to recover the body from the stream.

Police have not released the identity of the victim.

Read more here:   http://cnycentral.com

Piper PA-18, N4273S: Incident occurred December 06, 2015 near Kenosha Regional Airport (KENW), Kenosha County, Wisconsin

KENOSHA, Wis. —A pilot was forced to land his single-engine plane in a Kenosha County cornfield Sunday afternoon.

Emergency crews were called to the scene at about 1:30 p.m.

The plane landed near the Kenosha Airport, east of 88th Avenue in the area of the county jail.

"We know that the aircraft had two occupants on board, the pilot and a passenger," said Battalion Chief Matthew Haerter, of the Kenosha Fire Department. "We know that they were attempting to go to the airport and for an unknown reason lost power and ended up landing in the cornfield."

The pilot and the passenger were not injured.

"It did not tilt. It did not lose fuel," Haerter said. "He's certainly not a new pilot. He was able to get the aircraft to go extremely slow prior to touching the ground, which hence, realized a very successful outcome here."

The plane, a 1959 Piper PA-18, is registered to Raymond Cook, from Spring Grove, Illinois.

The plane won an award at Airventure in Oshkosh last year.

Special equipment was brought in to haul the plane away.

Property owner Joey Romano took the incident in stride.

"This is probably the second or third one that I remember that this happened to," Romano said. "Fortunately the pilot was not hurt and was able to walk away from it. So that's always a good thing."

Story and video:  http://www.wisn.com

http://registry.faa.gov/N4273S

Date: 06-DEC-15
Time: 19:30:00Z
Regis#: N4273S
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA18
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: None
FAA  Flight Standards District Office: FAA Milwaukee FSDO-13
City: KENOSHA
State: Wisconsin

AIRCRAFT EXPERIENCED AN ENGINE FAILURE AND LANDED IN A CORNFIELD ONE MILE EAST OF THE AIRPORT.

Texas police use drone to catch armed suspects near school

The Seeker was purchased by CCPD with grant money.


CORPUS CHRISTI -

Criminals beware.

CCPD has a new heat-sensing eye in the sky to find you, and this one doesn't even need a pilot.

The department put its new drone to use for the first on Friday.

A resident along Lazy Lane called police around 9am to report two suspicious men walking down the street toward Sam Houston Elementary, and claimed one might be carrying a gun.

Officers captured one immediately, but the other ran off, and for the next few hours, neighbors watched as police swarmed the area.

Officers first called in the K-9, and then the "Seeker".

The department's newest drone is equipped with several cameras, including one with FLIR infrared technology to detect body heat through obstacles like trees or bushes.

The department already had a smaller quadcopter, mainly used for surveying flooded areas, documenting the scene of a bad wreck, or for promotional videos.

The Seeker is one of only two drones made specifically for law enforcement, according to its manufacturer, Maxsur.

Click here to check out the specs on the Seeker.

Because of the technology it includes, the Seeker is not available to the general public.

The Corpus Christi Crime Control and Prevention District purchased the drone for the department about a month ago.

The cost typically runs about $12,000, according to Maxsur.

Video shared with KRIS 6 News after the search on Friday shows infrared video of officers with a k-9 going through a backyard.

The second suspect eventually came out of hiding and tried to blend in, but failed.

He was not, however, carrying a gun.

"We have not recovered a weapon at this point," said Lt. Edward Longoria, "we are still looking for a weapon, possibly underneath one of the houses here, so we are going to continue our search for that."

It's unclear whether it was the Seeker that forced the second suspect out this time, but with so many tools, that day is likely not far away.

Andrew Ramos and Isaiah Cheatham were both arrested for evading arrest.

One of them was also arrested for for Possession of Synthetic Marijuana.

Story, video and photos: http://www.kristv.com




It appears that the Corpus Christi Police Department has a new tool in its fight against criminals in that area.

On Friday the department released video footage of a drone assisting officers in smoking out a pair of suspects that were reported to be carrying firearms near Sam Houston Elementary in Corpus Christi.

It all went down just after 9 a.m. on Friday morning.

In the black and white video released online, three officers can be seen from above searching a backyard in a nearby neighborhood. That smaller, four-legged figure is a Corpus Christi PD K9 officer.

They were looking for two suspects that eyewitnesses said were carrying guns.

FLIR thermal imaging technology used by the quadcopter drone above helped officers clear the area. A witness at the scene told KZTV-TV that he and others could see the drone in the air while officers did work on the ground.

Two suspects, Andrew Ramos, 18, and Isaiah Cheatham, 19, were found and later charged with evading arrest. Cheatham was found to be in possession of synthetic marijuana.

Ramos emerged after Cheatham, who was quickly arrested at the scene. No weapons were found on the men but police believe that they may have ditched whatever weapons they had in the area.

Using a relatively quiet drone of course cuts down on the noise of a police helicopter that would give away police movement and disturb neighbors.

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









McDonnell Douglas MD600N, N607BP, Military Museum of Texas: Accident occurred December 07, 2015 in Angleton, Brazoria County, Texas

NTSB Identification: CEN16LA058 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, December 07, 2015 in Angleton, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/18/2017
Aircraft: MCDONNELL DOUGLAS HELICOPTER 600N, registration: N607BP
Injuries: 2 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.

Before landing, the private pilot conducted an area reconnaissance in the helicopter about 300 to 500 ft above ground level (agl), and noted the wind was calm. While performing hover work about 15 ft agl, the helicopter pitched nose down, and the pilot pulled aft on the cyclic to recover. The helicopter then rolled to the right, and the pilot applied left cyclic. The pilot stated that the helicopter seemed to right itself, then “snap turned” to the right and entered a spin. The pilot then attempted to land the helicopter, and during the landing, the helicopter impacted terrain and rolled onto its left side. Examination of the airframe, flight controls, and engine revealed no anomalies that would have precluded normal operation, and the reason for the loss of control could not be determined.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
A loss of control while hovering for reasons that could not be determined, because postaccident examination revealed no mechanical anomalies or failures that would have precluded normal operation.

On December 7, 2015, at 1230 central standard time, a McDonnell Douglas Helicopter 600N, N607BP, impacted terrain following a loss of control during landing near Angleton, Texas. The private pilot and passenger sustained minor injuries, and the helicopter sustained substantial damage. The helicopter was registered to and operated by the Military Museum of Texas, Houston, Texas, as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed. The helicopter departed a private helipad near Houston, Texas, at 1150.

According to the pilot, after he arrived near the intended landing location, he conducted an area reconnaissance about 300 to 500 feet above ground level (agl), and noted the winds were calm. After the approach, the pilot was hovering about 15 feet agl, when the helicopter pitched nose down, and the pilot pulled aft on the cyclic to recover. The helicopter then rolled to the right, and the pilot applied left cyclic to recover. The pilot stated the helicopter seemed to right itself in a wobble when the helicopter "snap turned" to the right and entered a severe spin. The pilot then attempted to land the spinning helicopter. During the landing, the helicopter impacted terrain and rolled onto its left side. The helicopter engine was still operating after the pilot and passenger exited the helicopter. A small grass fire ignited near the engine exhaust and was extinguished with a fire extinguisher.

A witness reported the helicopter performed a flyover of the area and a 360-degree turn to land. The helicopter flew over some trees about 150 feet agl, and the helicopter pitched forward in an extreme nose down attitude. The nose pitched back and the helicopter entered a spin. The helicopter then impacted terrain and rolled over.

The 52-year old pilot held a private pilot certificate with a helicopter rating. The pilot reported he had accumulated 300 total flight hours and 210 flight hours in the make/model of the accident helicopter. He received some training in the helicopter from local pilots, but had not received any flight training from the manufacturer. The pilot's most recent flight review was completed on March 3, 2015, in a Robinson R44 helicopter.

The helicopter was recovered to the Military Museum of Texas and was examined on December 9th, by representatives of MD Helicopters, under the supervision of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The airframe exhibited crush damage to the left side, and the tail boom remained partially attached to the airframe. The main rotor blades were bent opposite the direction of rotation, the blade skins were warped and wrinkled, and the trailing edges were separated. Blade tip weights were missing from several blades. Main drive system continuity was established from the main transmission and rotor head, and through the NOTAR (no tail rotor) fan. The NOTAR fan blades exhibited rotation damage to the plastic blade body, the fan housing was deformed and exhibited rotational scoring consistent with blade tip contact. Flight control continuity was established to the cyclic, collective, and anti-torque control systems. The lateral cyclic bellcrank was fractured and retained for further examination. The anti-torque pedals torque tube was fractured and retained for further examination. Examination of the bellcrank and torque tube fracture surfaces revealed the fractures were consistent with overload failure. 

The Rolls-Royce 250-C47M engine was examined on December 29-30th, by a representative of Rolls-Royce, under the supervision of the FAA. The engine remained within the engine bay and attached to the airframe. The engine, engine bay, and lower aft fuselage section exhibited areas of scorching and blackening from a post-impact fire. The gas producer (N1) drive train was rotationally free and continuous from the starter generator pad to the compressor impeller during manual rotation. The power turbine (N2) drive train could not be manually rotated due to stage four turbine wheel damage which was consistent with the accident sequence. Visual examination of the compressor inlet guide vanes and impeller blades revealed no anomalies or evidence of foreign object damage. Visual examination of the stage four power turbine wheel through the exhaust collector support revealed it shifted radially off center of its normal operating position when visually compared to the tunnel housing. The blade shroud of the stage four wheel was absent. One blade was fractured about mid-span with the balance of the blades displaying impact damage. The exhaust collector support displayed two extruded openings on the right forward side consistent with the fractured stage four blades. The upper and lower magnetic chip detectors were removed and void of any material. Both the engine oil filter and Combined Engine Filter Assembly (CEFA) oil filter bypass buttons remained in their normal positions.

Both the engine incident recorder (IR) and maintenance terminal data were extracted from the electronic control unit (ECU). No hard faults were recorded within the ECU IR prior to the initiation of the accident sequence. The initial triggering fault of a torque exceedance was recorded and was consistent with the rotor blades contacting the ground.

The postaccident examinations of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operations.

The helicopter was registered to the Military Museum of Texas on September 16, 2011. According to the operator, the most recent annual inspection was completed on April 11, 2015, at a total airframe time of 3,948.6 hours. The engine had accumulated 3,680 total hours. The airframe and engine logbooks were not available during the investigation.

MILITARY MUSEUM OF TEXAS: http://registry.faa.gov/N607BP

NTSB Identification: CEN16LA058 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, December 07, 2015 in Angleton, TX
Aircraft: MCDONNELL DOUGLAS HELICOPTER 600N, registration: N607BP
Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 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 December 7, 2015, at 1236 central standard time, a McDonnell Douglas Helicopter 600N, N607BP, impacted terrain following a loss of control during landing near Angleton, Texas. The private pilot sustained minor injuries and the passenger was not injured. The helicopter sustained substantial damage. The helicopter was registered to and operated by the Military Museum of Texas, Houston, Texas, as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed. The helicopter departed from the Houston area at an unknown time.

According to the pilot, he entered the helicopter into a hover in preparation for an off airport landing near the Military Museum of Texas. During the approach, the helicopter pitched forward, and the pilot moved the cyclic aft to compensate for the forward pitch. Shortly thereafter, the helicopter rolled to the right and entered a spin to the right. The pilot then attempted to land the helicopter. During the landing, the helicopter impacted terrain and rolled onto its left side.

The helicopter was recovered for further examination.

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Houston FSDO-09




BRAZORIA COUNTY, Texas – One person was hurt when a helicopter crashed in Brazoria County Monday afternoon.

It happened around 12:40 p.m. on CR 223 near Richwood in the southern part of the county.

The chopper crashed in a field near a small military museum.

There were two people on board.

One was taken to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The other person wasn't hurt.

Source: http://www.khou.com

Canadian Coast Guard Messerschmitt Bolkow-Blohm Bo-105 helicopter, C-GCFU: Fatal accident occurred September 09, 2013 in M'Clure Strait, Northwest Territories

Daniel DubĂ© 
 CCGS Amundsen Helicopter Pilot

Marc Thibault
 Commanding Officer of the CCGS Amundsen 

Dr. Klaus 
Hochheim ArcticNet Scientist




Helicopter crash in Arctic in 2013 probably caused by lack of visual cues: TSB



QUEBEC - The Transportation Safety Board of Canada says a strong probability of a lack of visual cues to judge altitude caused the crash of a Canadian Coast Guard helicopter that killed three people in 2013.

It had been stationed on the icebreaker Amundsen, which was sailing through M'Clure Strait in the western Arctic in September 2013 as part of a regular program of scientific study.

Those who died were Marc Thibault, commanding officer of the ship; helicopter pilot Daniel Dube; and Klaus Hochheim, a veteran University of Manitoba Arctic scientist.

In a report released in Quebec City today, the TSB said its investigation found a strong probability that a lack of visual cues to judge altitude, combined with the possibility of pilot distraction, resulted in the loss of altitude and the collision with the water.

The report also states the search and rescue operation from the Amundsen was delayed, as the vessel's crew was inadequately trained to use and interpret information from the system that tracks flights.

The helicopter was not equipped with a flight data recorder or cockpit voice recorder and was not required to. The TSB says investigators would have been able to better understand the circumstances that led to the accident had the aircraft been equipped with these systems.

- Source: http://www.coastreporter.net

The occurrence 

On 9 September 2013, the CCG helicopter, operating from the CCG vessel Amundsen on an ice reconnaissance mission in the M'Clure Strait north of Banks Island, Northwest Territories, struck the water and sank. The three persons on board were fatally injured. On 25 September 2013, the helicopter wreckage was recovered from the Arctic Ocean

http://www.tsb.gc.ca 

CCGS Amundsen Helicopter Crash: http://www.arcticnet.ulaval.ca


Gary/Chicago International Airport (KGYY) will develop new master plan

This aerial view of the Gary-Chicago International Airport shows the southeast end of the main runway and the 1,000 foot safety area that was recently installed beyond it. The airport is in the early stages of developing a new master plan.



The Gary/Chicago International Airport Authority wants to hire a consultant by March to put together a new master plan for development possibilities at the airport as well as forecasts of air traffic.

The last Gary airport master plan was completed in 2001 and called for numerous projects at the airport such as the expansion of the main runway with added safety areas, according to a statement issued by the authority. Both of those projects were completed this past summer after nine years of work at a total cost of $174 million.

In addition to completing those projects, the airport since 2001 has landed a second aircraft servicing facility, three new private hangars have been built at a cost of more than $20 million, and the Indiana National Guard has established an aviation facility there.

A Vision plan developed earlier this year by the airport's private operator laid out future goals such as securing a U.S. Immigration and Customs facility and commercial airline service. Both of those options are likely to be studied as part of the new master plan.

A request for qualifications issued by the airport states firms bidding will be whittled down to a short list by Feb. 5. Those firms will be required to participate in a business expo on Feb. 24 for local businesses and disadvantaged business enterprises that want to work as subcontractors on the project.

A winning firm will be selected March 16 based on its qualifications, interview results and the amount of work that will be done by subcontracted local businesses and disadvantaged business enterprises, according to the request for qualifications.

Source:  http://www.nwitimes.com