Monday, December 21, 2015

The Eastern Iowa Airport (KCID) Preparing for Rose Bowl



CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28) - The Eastern Iowa Airport's officials say there will be more than 3,000 passengers flying out of their airport starting next Tuesday. Dec. 29 is expected to be the busiest traveling day, because there will be 13 charter planes departing the airport.

The earliest charter is scheduled to leave at 5 a.m. and the last one leaves at 8:30 p.m. 

Airport director Marty Lenss is reminding passengers to budget extra time when preparing to leave. 

He suggests arriving at least two hours earlier than departure time. "The typical mistake for most people is they push the time, right?" he said. "You leave the house at the last minute." He says by allotting extra time, passengers will be able to ensure things go smoothly. 

The airport will have extra staffing available. For parking, the airport's long-term and short-term parking will be opened up for everyone to use. 

It will cost $6 each day for long-term parking and the short-term lost will cost $11 each day.

Once those lots fill up, the overflow parking will also be used. 

Charter passengers need to remember to enter at the west-end entrance. 

The fun is also starting early for those looking to cheer on the Hawkeyes.

 "We're going to be rolling out a turf field that's going to be all painted up and look like the Hawkeye football field," Lenss said. "Our restaurant and our bar area - we'll have additional offerings.  We also have some trivia games and contests going in the gate areas just to get the festive atmosphere kicked off." Extra staff will be around to show passengers to the right airline ticket counters. 

The City of Pasadena also sent out a media release saying they will have strict security regulations. "With such large events, it is important to make sure the public understands about the existing and new safety requirements," the media release said. "For example, drones are not allowed at either event, per federal regulations.

Selfie sticks and umbrellas are not allowed in the secured areas of the Parade Route at TV Corner or inside the Stadium." Lenss said preparing for the large crowd is just about creating a festive atmosphere. "At the end, it's a celebration of a great season," he said. 

The last time this much traffic came through the airport was during the 2002-03 season, when the Hawkeyes were in the Orange Bowl. 

Source: http://cbs2iowa.com

Narcotics Agency Apprehends a co-pilot, steward and stewardess



TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Banten Narcotics Agency have arrested a co-pilot along with a steward and stewardess in an apartment in Southern Tangerang on Saturday, December 19. 

“The agency apprehended a steward, stewardess and a co-pilot,” National Narcotics Agency (BNN) Human Relations Chief Senior Commissioner Slamet Pribadi said on Monday, December 21. 

Slamet is still concealing the details of the arrest; the airline company, the chronology of the arrest, and the type of drugs being used. He only said that he will be off to Banten concerning the arrest. 

“I will be going to Banten tomorrow (Dec. 22),” he said.  Slamet says Banten Narcotics Agency plans to have talks on the arrest today.

Source: http://en.tempo.co

Air India cabin crew hangs herself

CHENNAI: A 32-year-old cabin crew member of Air India committed suicide by hanging at her house in Meenambakkam on Sunday evening, police said. 

While Manpreet Pal's parents told police they suspected the pressure of hectic work schedules led to her taking her life. 

Manpreet, employed in Air India since 2007, married her colleague Anoop Nayar, 35, a technician, in 2012 and they have a two-year-old daughter. The couple often left their daughter at Manpreet's parents' residence in nearby Teacher's Colony before leaving for work. 

On Sunday, police said, Nayar had left for work around 2pm after leaving his daughter at his in-laws' house. 

His wife was due to report at 4.15pm at the airport where she was to board the Chennai-Muscat Air India flight. Around 10pm, when Nayar went to Manpreet's parents' house to pick up his daughter, he found that her father Guru Pal Singh had injured himself after falling off his bike. 

His father-in-law told Nayar not to inform Manpreet of the incident as she would be upset. 

When Nayar returned home with his daughter, he found the front door had been left open. Surprised, he looked for his wife and found the bedroom door locked. 

He called up her office to find out if she had left early. Air India officials told him that Manpreet had never turned up for duty and that they had marked her absent. 

Nayar then broke open the door and found Manpreet hanging from the ceiling in the bedroom. 

He took her to a private hospital where doctors declared her dead on arrival. Manpreet's parents told police that they did not know of any personal issue between Manpreet and her husband that could have led to the suicide as the couple were very happy together. 

Manpreet's body was sent to Chromepet Government Hospital for postmortem. A case was registered under CrPC Section 174 (unnatural death).

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Incident occurred August 04, 2014 at Winnipeg International Airport

WINNIPEG — The Transportation Safety Board says a close call between two aircraft at Winnipeg's international airport last year was due to a faded line on a runway.

The board says a WestJet de Havilland Dash 8 was taxiing for departure on Aug. 4, 2014, and was to hold short of the runway because a WestJet 737 jet was on final approach to land.

The TSB says the crew of the Dash 8 could not see the painted line they were supposed to stop at and moved into the intersection with the main runway.

The tower controller saw what had happened and ordered the 737 to go around for another landing approach.

A TSB report says what happened underlines the ongoing risk of aircraft colliding with vehicles or other aircraft on the ground at Canadian airports.

The Winnipeg Airport Authority repainted the degraded line the following day and made other changes, including realigning a runway guard light.

Source:  https://www.baytoday.ca

NetJets pilots approve new contract with pay raise



NetJets pilots have voted to approve a new contract that provides an average pay raise of 28 percent.

This follows more than two years of often-acrimonious negotiations.

The NetJets Association of Shared Aircraft Pilots union says that 75.43 percent of members voted to approve the deal, with 96 percent of pilots participating.

“The unflinching resolve and dedication of the (union’s) membership has brought us to today – the ratification of a contract that sets the bar even higher in the fractional aviation community,” Pedro Leroux, a pilot and the union president, said in a statement.

Columbus-based NetJets had this statement: “Our pilots are a huge part of the NetJets story and a critical reason why we are leaders in our industry. ... This contract reflects their vitally important role in our success and the contribution they will make to our future.”

The pilots’ union represents more than 2,700 members. Union leaders have been seeking a new contract since mid-2013 and had been frustrated with the company’s negotiating position for much of that time.

That began to change in June when the company, owned by Berkshire Hathaway Inc. of Omaha, made an abrupt change at CEO. The new CEO, Adam Johnson, had a tentative agreement with the pilots by mid-October. Federal mediators played a role in the talks.

According to the union, the new contract does the following:

Maintains company-funded medical insurance.

Provides pilots with more scheduling options.

Pays a signing bonus and increases wages by an average of 28 percent.

“In our highly competitive segment of the industry, NetJets has established itself as the leader, and, as the parties move into a new chapter, the pilots will redouble their efforts to ensure customers and owners continue to enjoy an unparalleled experience,” Leroux said.

NetJets, the largest operator of private jets in the world, has about 6,000 employees, including 1,750 in central Ohio.

Source: http://www.dispatch.com

Sheriff's Office acquires 'new' plane from Department of Public Safety for extraditions

Arizona Department of Public Safety Director Colonel Frank Milstead talks with Yavapai County Sheriff Scott Mascher about the Sheriff Office’s new plane, a six-passenger Cessna 210 that DPS donated to YCSO Tuesday morning, Dec. 15, at the Prescott Airport. 



A light dusting of snow glistened on the wings of the Cessna T210M at the Prescott Airport recently, as Yavapai County Sheriff Scott Mascher officially accepted the airplane from Department of Public Safety (DPS) Director Frank Milstead.

"It's a big thing for us," Mascher said about the donated aircraft. "It saves time and it saves the taxpayers money."

YCSO will use the "new" six-seater 1977 Cessna for extradition of in- and out-of-state prisoners, replacing the four-seater Cessna 182 it has been flying for the past 30 years. DPS obtained that airplane through a Drug Enforcement Administration's drug seizure case.

The Cessna 210 has a history of use by Arizona governors, Mascher said. It will save the county money on every trip with its ability to fly farther distances and for a cost less than the price of commercial flights.

The older Cessna 182 remains parked in its hangar for now, said Vince Carr, lead pilot for YCSO. He will be using it later this week to retrieve a prisoner from California. He and pilot David Williams have yet to fly the newer aircraft. 

Carr met with DPS officials in Phoenix a few months ago to go over the flight logbooks and talk to its pilots. 

"We liked it and the price was right," he said. 

Carr and Williams will train in the new plane to become "mission capable" before using it for extradition purposes. YCSO has contracted with Carr for the past 18 years, and with Williams for seven years.

YCSO will find a hangar soon for the Cessna 210.

Source:  http://dcourier.com

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Piper PA-22-108 Colt, N5667Z: Accident occurred December 20, 2015 at New Castle Municipal Airport (KUCP), Lawrence County, Pennsylvania

http://registry.faa.gov/N5667Z

NTSB Identification: GAA16CA084 
4 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, December 20, 2015 in New Castle, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/14/2016
Aircraft: PIPER PA22, registration: N5667Z
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.


The pilot reported that during the landing roll the airplane veered to the right. He responded by applying left rudder, but the airplane departed the runway to the right, impacted a ditch, and nosed over. The left wing strut sustained substantial damage. 


The pilot reported that there were no mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.


The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:

The pilot's failure to maintain directional control during the landing roll, which resulted in a runway excursion and a nose over.

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Allegheny PFSDO-03






















NEW CASTLE, Pa. (WKBN) – A small plane flipped over as it was attempting to land at the New Castle Municipal Airport in Lawrence County around 2:30 on Sunday afternoon.


The pilot, who didn’t want to appear on camera, told WKBN that he was coming in for a landing, when the plane flipped over and went off the runway, into a ditch.


He took off from Beaver and was the only person on board, walking away without a scratch.


David Kelty has been flying in and out of the same airport for more than 20 years.


“You can replace airplanes every day. As long as nobody gets hurt, that’s all that counts as far as I’m concerned,” he said.


Kelty found out about this accident through a friend. It’s the third one he’s seen at the New Castle Municipal Airport.A plane flips over after attempting to land in New Castle.



“When you have a crosswind…from your left or right side, it can surprise you very quickly. If you touch down and lose control of the airplane, it’ll flip over on you.”

Kelty says when a pilot is taking off and landing at the airport, they’re not one hundred percent sure what the conditions are, so it’s always important to remain focused.


“Can’t stress enough to you: safety, safety, safety. You have to pay attention to everything you’re doing. It’s just like driving a car.”


At this airport, there is more than one runway that pilots can land on. They’re positioned in different directions for a specific reason.


“You land and take off with the wind, so you have a choice what runway you want to use,” Kelty said.


Pilots are still using the runway where the accident happened, because the aircraft flipped over onto the grass. Kelty says that runway is the longest at the airport.


“This is the runway that we mostly use, but both of them are very sufficient for light aircraft.”


The Federal Aviation Administration is taking over the investigation. They’ll be at the crash scene tomorrow to figure out exactly what happened.


Story and video:  http://wkbn.com 


AIRCRAFT: 1962 Piper PA-22-108 Colt N5667Z

ENGINE(S):   Lycoming 0-235-C1B Serial# L-8331-15

APPROXIMATE TOTAL HOURS (estimated from logbooks or other information):

ENGINES: 2005.77 TT 897.77 SMOH      AIRFRAME:   2005.77

EQUIPMENT: 2A50 Transponder, 2 Narco Comms/ Narco NAV/COM MK12D, Audio

DESCRIPTION OF ACCIDENT:  AC departed runway, hit ditch, NG collapsed and AC flipped over.

DESCRIPTION OF DAMAGES: One prop blade bent, Spinner, Lower Cowling, Baffle area, NG, engine mounts, LH wing Strut, LH wing Root, LH wing OB and LE. Top of Rudder,                                                                  Top of Fuselage, Two antenna, RH wing OB Section, RH wing tip, RH wing LE. LH side of fuselage near the strut was wrinkled.

LOCATION OF AIRCRAFT:  Private Hangar at New Castle Municipal Airport (KUCP), PA.        

Salvage bid:  http://www.avclaims.com/N5667Z.htm

Photos:   http://www.avclaims.com/n5667z_photos.htm

Beech 95-C55, N2709T, Yan Venter Ministry: Incident occurred December 20, 2015 at Russellville Regional Airport (KRUE), Pope County, Arkansas



AIRCRAFT: 1967 Beech 95-C55 Baron SN# TE-346 N2709T

ENGINE(S) -  Left – Continental IO-520-C SN# 172320-71

Right – Continental IO-520-C SN# 172340-71    

PROPELLER(S) – Left – McCauley 2AF34C55 SN# 774432

Right – McCauley 2AF34C55 SNN# 730819

APPROXIMATE TOTAL HOURS (estimated TT & TSMO from logbooks or other information):

ENGINE(S): Left & Right engines = 8246.2 TTSN / 563.0 SMOH   Both overhauled 8/9/2006 by JB Aircraft Engines in Sebring, FL. 

PROPELLER(S):    Left propeller 623.0 SMOH and right propeller 699.8 SMOH        
AIRFRAME:       8246.2 TTSN                 

OTHER EQUIPMENT: King KMA-24, Garmin GNS-530, King KX-165, Garmin GTX-330, PM3000 intercom, WX-10A, dual glideslope indicators.           

DESCRIPTION OF ACCIDENT:  On 12/20/2015 smoke filled cabin and gear would not extend with aircraft landed wheels-up.  Fire department then sprayed interior,  cabin, instrument panel with water due to smoke indicating there was a potential fire (no fire developed).  

DESCRIPTION OF DAMAGES: Both props curled with sudden stoppage to both engines; belly abraded with skins and bulkheads damaged, lower antennas destroyed, left and right flaps damaged, entry step damaged.  Water damage to interior. Aircraft dismantled for transport.                   

LOCATION OF AIRCRAFT:  Dawson Aircraft, Clinton AR            

REMARKS: Aircraft dismantled.  Adjuster has logs and records.  Avionics with aircraft.  

Salvage bid:  http://www.avclaims.com/N2709T.htm

Photos:  http://www.avclaims.com/n2709t_photos.htm
















Date: 20-DEC-15
Time: 20:45:00Z
Regis#: N2709T
Aircraft Make: BEECH
Aircraft Model: 55
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Unknown
Activity: Personal
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Little Rock FSDO-11
City: RUSSELLVILLE
State: Arkansas

AIRCRAFT LANDED GEAR UP UNDER UNKNOWN CIRCUMSTANCES, RUSSELLVILLE, AR.

YAN VENTER MINISTRY: http://registry.faa.gov/N2709T







The Russellville Fire Department and Pope County EMS were called to respond to the Russellville Regional Airport after the pilot of a Beechcraft 55 Baron aircraft, made radio contact with airport officials stating that the plane would be making an emergency landing at the airport, Sunday afternoon, December 20. 

According to airport officials the plane was piloted by Yan Venter of Russellville, who was returning from an out of town trip. 

Venter contacted airport officials around 2:30 p.m. and advised airport personnel that his landing gear was disabled and he was going to orbit the field to attempt to get it to work. 

When Venter contacted officials he was approximately 10 miles out from the airport.

 After the landing gear continued to fail and the manual emergency release on the gear failed as well, Venter advised he would need to make an emergency landing, "a wheels up landing."

Airport officials called 911 and requested the Russellville Fire Department and Pope County EMS to respond the airport and be on standby. 

RFD Engine 1, Engine 4 and Battalion 1, as well as Pope County EMS, arrived on scene at the airport and positioned themselves on the field located next to the runway as Venter made his approach and attempted to land his aircraft. 

Venter put the plane down on the runway about mid field and it came to rest successfully. 

Venter, the only occupant of the plane, exited the aircraft uninjured. 

The runway was closed for a period of time as clean up was performed by the Russellville Fire Department and airport officials.

Prop strikes were observed on the runway where the plane struck the ground and began to skid and then stop but significant damage to the runway did not occur. 

Russellville Regional Airport Director Keith Frazier stated to River Valley Leader, "the landing Venter performed was "text book." "This was about the best ending you could hope for in this situation," Frazier said. 

The disabled plane will remain in the field in between the runways until Venter's insurance company and salvage company are able to arrive. 

It's anticipated that the plane will remain in the field for the next 48 hours. 

Source:  http://www.rivervalleyleader.com















Incidents occurred in Massachusetts

On a warm, sunny mid-June afternoon, about 20 miles out from Logan International Airport and a half-mile in the sky, the pilot of a Jazz airline flight from Montreal on its final approach spotted a red-and-black object.

It was a drone, and it was way too close.

It missed colliding with the hurtling 50-seat plane by just 25 yards, according to a report filed with the Federal Aviation Administration.

The close encounter with the drone was one of 26 in Massachusetts reported to the FAA during the nine month period ending Aug. 20. They are among the increasingly common near-collisions that have aviation safety officials warning that it is just a matter of time before some of the popular, unmanned crafts crash into planes and helicopters, potentially causing significant damage and even deaths.

Massachusetts had the seventh-highest total of drone encounters of any state. Seventeen of the reports to the FAA were made from Boston, which tied for the sixth highest total of any city nationwide.

“Everyone at Logan is concerned about drone use near airports — which is illegal,” said Matthew Brelis, a spokesman for Massport, the state agency that runs Logan. “Drones represent a hazard to aviation the same way that birds do. Depending on the size of the drone or bird, they can pose a significant risk to flight.”

If a drone is been sucked into the airplane’s engine or collided with its wings, tail, or other vulnerable equipment, the result can cause catastrophic damage, according to recent research.

Even a small drone could cause major problems if it were to collide with an aircraft. A near-collision could also cause pilots to suddenly veer off course. Helicopters are considered most at risk because they spend more time at the same altitudes as drones.

“The FAA wants to send a clear message that operating drones around airplanes and helicopters is dangerous and illegal,” the agency said in a statement. “Unauthorized operators may be subject to stiff fines and criminal charges, including possible jail time.”

During all of 2014, the FAA received 238 reports of drone sightings nationwide. In the first 7 and a half months of this year, the agency received 721. Some reports have been made by pilots flying as high as 10,000 feet.

The vast majority of the reports are collected from plane and helicopter pilots or air traffic control officials. In Massachusetts, 22 of the 26 reports were made by pilots and air traffic officials; four others were reported by law enforcement officials on the ground or other witnesses.

In addition to sightings at or near Logan, there have been sightings reported near airports in Worcester, Martha’s Vineyard, Beverly, New Bedford, Lawrence, Norwood, and at Hanscom Field in Bedford.

Other local encounters include:

■ On the afternoon of May 3, the pilot of a Hawker Beechcraft BE90 jet reported a near-collision with a 20-foot-long drone at an altitude of 2,500 feet nine miles northwest of Boston. The pilot also reported spotting one the day before in the same general area.

■ On the evening of Aug. 17, the pilot of a JetBlue flight waiting to take off saw two unmanned aircraft at about 1,000 feet flying across the arrival end of two Logan Airport runways and notified State Police.

In the western part of the country, drones trying to get a close-up look at raging wildfires have forced firefighting aircraft to be grounded temporarily.

Researchers at the Center for the Study of the Drone at Bard College, for a report released this month, analyzed hundreds of drone sighting incidents tracked by the FAA and the Department of Interior. They found that in 36 percent of the incidents the drone “presented some level of hazard to manned aircraft. In the remaining 64 percent of cases the drone “did not pose immediate danger of collision,” the study found.

Estimates of the number of drones owned nationwide are in the hundreds of thousands. Their popularity is expected to continue to rise as small drones designed for recreational use have become cheaper.

The Consumer Technology Association has estimated that 700,000 drones will be purchased in the US this year, including 400,000 in the holiday shopping season.

Flying drones recreationally is legal. But federal aviation rules still apply. The rules say that people cannot fly the devices over 400 feet in the air; must keep the devices away from other aircraft, particularly around airports; must keep them in sight; and must keep them outside of restricted areas.

The FAA announced last week that owners of small drones must register their devices with the agency and mark the machines with the owner’s unique registration number by mid-February .

The FAA has levied civil fines for a number of unauthorized flights in various parts of the country, and has dozens of open enforcement cases

The commercial use of drones is largely banned, although the agency is in the process of drafting rules that would allow the unmanned aircraft to be flown for commercial purposes.

In the meantime, the FAA has issued more than 2,600 special permits for companies, including more than 20 in Massachusetts, to operate drones on a case-by-case basis. Insurance company Liberty Mutual and defense contractor Raytheon are among the commercial permit holders in Massachusetts.

Logan airs public service announcements inside the airport, telling the traveling public not to fly drones near airports, and airport officials have asked vendors there to remove drones from their stores, Brelis said.

Both Logan and the FAA also work with law enforcement to investigate illegal drone activity.

Tim Canoll, president of the Air Line Pilots Association, has urged the FAA to regulate the use of unmanned aircraft. He said they can be used to accomplish various tasks that would be dangerous for manned aircraft.

But allowing drones to share national air space “must be done safely,” he said. “We have to do this right, or the enviable safety record we have achieved in airline operations will be at risk.”

Senator Edward J. Markey and others in Congress have called for oversight of drones to improve safety and to protect privacy.

Even some drone industry groups support better oversight, and want rules in place as soon as possible.

But others have called for the FAA to slow down the process or to revise proposed regulations.

Dave Mathewson, director of the Academy of Model Aeronautics, which represents model aviation hobbyists, in a recent statement called the FAA’s new registry requirement “an unnecessary burden for our more than 185,000 members who have been operating safely for decades.”

Read more here:  https://www.bostonglobe.com

Incident occurred December 20, 2015: Denver-bound flight involved in collision near gate



BURBANK, California – A Southwest Airlines flight that was headed to Denver International Airport from Burbank Bob Hope Airport was struck in the wing by another aircraft that was backing out of the adjacent gate Sunday afternoon.

No one was injured on either plane following the apparent accident.

Both flights – Southwest flights #815 and #1240 -- were delayed indefinitely after the collision, according to Southwest. The airline is working to accommodate the 225 customers scheduled to be on the two planes, which are now being assessed for damage.

The other plane involved was headed to Oakland International Airport.

Story and video: http://www.9news.com












LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Two planes bumped at a Los Angeles International Airport gate on Sunday, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

The FAA said Southwest Airlines Flight 815 was pushing back from Gate A1 when it bumped into Southwest Airlines Flight 1240, which was at Gate A2.

Officials said passengers were on board Flight 815, but they haven't confirmed whether any passengers were on Flight 1240.

The FAA said no injuries were reported.

The amount of damage caused at this time is unknown, officials said.

The FAA said the crash happened in an area where air traffic controllers were not controlling the aircraft.

A passenger posted a picture to social media that appears to show the wings of two planes touching each other.

Source:  http://abc7.com

Incident occurred December 20, 2015 near Allegheny County Airport (KAGC), West Mifflin, Pennsylvania

WEST MIFFLIN, Pa. — The Federal Aviation Administration and Allegheny County Police are investigating after a pilot reported seeing a drone not far from the Allegheny County Airport in West Mifflin.

According to the Allegheny County Airport Authority, the drone was spotted three miles east of the airport around 10 a.m. Sunday.

“The FAA has come out with regulations that you’re not allowed to fly drones within five miles of an airport or higher than 400 feet,” said Bob Kerlik, spokesman for the Allegheny County Airport Authority.

Officials told Channel 11 News that the plane, a Canadair Regional (CRJ 2) aircraft, was 5,000 feet in the air when the drone was seen.

“Incidents like this, both at Pittsburgh International and Allegheny County Airport have been relatively rare,” said Kerlik. “We have had a few incidents of drone sightings. People have been, I think, smart for the most part not flying drones around airports.”

It was recently announced that the federal government will require that drones be registered to make it easier to identify owners and educate amateur aviators.

Owners will have to register on an FAA website that becomes available starting Monday.

Story and video:  http://www.wpxi.com

WEST MIFFLIN, Pa. —A drone was spotted by a pilot near the Allegheny County airport Sunday morning.

According to Allegheny County Airport Authority spokesman Bob Kerlik, a pilot flying at an altitude of 5,000 feet spotted a black drone, 3 miles east of the county airport.

A spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration says the crew of a commercial flight operated by Air Wisconsin reported seeing the unmanned aircraft around 10 a.m. Sunday.

Kerlik said the Allegheny County and Pittsburgh International Airports haven't had too many issues with drones.

"Incidents like this, both at Pittsburgh International Airport and Allegheny County have been relatively rare, we have had a few incidents of drone sightings. People have been, I think, smart for the most part, not flying drones around airports," Kerlik said.

Kerlik said current FAA regulations prohibit flying a drone within a 5-mile radius of an airport or above an altitude of 400 feet.

Sky 4 pilot Del Richardson said he's had two close calls with drones while flying over the city of Pittsburgh.

Richardson said despite a drone's size relative to a helicopter, they can cause real damage.

"It could hit the main rudder, causing imbalance, or it could get caught in the tail rudder and cause a systems failure of the tail rudder, in which case you'd get a loss of control," Richardson said.

As for airplanes, Richardson mentioned the so-called Miracle on the Hudson. when a U.S. Airways flight was struck by birds and landed in the Hudson River.  He said drones of a similar size can be scary.

Richardson added that other helicopter pilots he's spoken with have seen similar issues as drones rise in popularity.

This close call at the Allegheny County airport comes a day before the Federal Aviation Administration will start requiring registration of drones that weigh more than half a pound.

Richardson said drone registration is a good first step; however, he wants to see more regulations for operators as well.

"Right now, I think they're very dangerous. Because the people who fly them aren't educated in flying. They're becoming Christmas gifts and novelty toys and they're fun, but they fly them in dangerous ways and in dangerous areas," Richardson said.

Story and video:  http://www.wtae.com

Experts: Jet crew shouldn’t tell passengers of bomb scare

A child rests as passengers go through security screening at Moi International Airport Mombasa Kenya, Sunday, Dec. 20, 2015 after their earlier flight was involved in a bomb scare and they were evacuated to different hotels in Mombasa. 



The crude combination of a kitchen timer, paper and cardboard found in a lavatory on an Air France flight could have been a bomb, but the crew didn’t tell passengers of that possibility. Instead, people were told the plane had a technical problem and would be landing in Kenya instead of Paris.

Sunday’s decision, which was short of the full truth, raises an ethical question about when passengers should be fully informed of problems in the air. But many experts say the crew of Air France Flight 463 did the right thing, avoiding panic and quickly landing the plane. Once on the ground, security officials determined that the device was a hoax, and passengers were told the full story.

“We pay our captains to make good decisions and you’ve got to back them up,” said Robert Mann, a former airline executive who now is president of R.W. Mann & Company, Inc., an airline consulting firm in Port Washington, New York. “In this case I think the crew made a really rational decision.”

He said the crew had no evidence that the device was an actual bomb, so telling passengers there was a technical problem was true “in the sense that they don’t know what they have.”

The Boeing 777, originally headed to Paris from the island of Mauritius, was diverted to Kenya’s coastal city of Mombasa. Hundreds of passengers left the plane on emergency slides. Afterward, several praised the flight crew for keeping everyone calm.

Most airlines don’t have hard-and-fast policies on what to tell passengers, leaving that up to the crew, according to Alan Price, a former chief pilot for Delta Air Lines and founder of consulting firm Falcon Leadership.

But experts say airlines should be thinking more about what to do in an era of increasing security threats and hoaxes. For Air France, this was the fourth bomb hoax in recent weeks.

Crew members also have to weigh how much passengers can find out from other sources as more planes come equipped with Internet and television access.

In 2005 a JetBlue flight that circled Los Angeles with a malfunctioning landing gear was captured by television cameras, and passengers picked up the live broadcasts on the plane’s cabin monitors. Price said he would have told passengers of that problem and reassured them. They also would have seen emergency equipment waiting on the tarmac, he said.

But Price agreed with the Air France crew. Telling passengers, he said, “would really create unnecessary problems. And what could they do about it anyway?”

Paul Hudson, president of Flyersrights.org, a passenger advocate group, also agreed.

“You don’t want them to panic while it’s in the air,” he said. “But obviously when it’s on the ground, you should be telling them the truth.”

Source: http://www.washingtontimes.com