Thursday, December 24, 2015

Denney Kitfox IV, C-FPTY: Accident occurred December 23, 2015 near Vernon Regional Airport (CYVK), Vernon, British Columbia, Canada

RCMP say two men aboard a small plane that crash landed in a field north of Tronson Road Wednesday afternoon are okay.

The plane was leaving the airport when it suffered engine trouble, said Cst. Richard Lausman, who was at the scene of the crash. 

The pilot tried but failed to land at the airport and took the aircraft down in a field. 

Lausman said an adult father and son were on board the plane. He could not say if they were from the Vernon area.

He said neither man suffered serious injuries.

A City of Vernon release stated the two-seater aircraft was 300 feet in the air when it experienced mechanical difficulties shortly after takeoff around 3:30 p.m.

The plane sustained damage to the landing gear and one wing upon landing.

One person suffered minor injuries. 

A small plane had to make an emergency landing near the Vernon Airport Wednesday afternoon.

The plane landed in a field north of Tronson Road about 3 p.m. 

The pilot was taken to the hospital in an ambulance after he hit his head in the landing, but was walking on his own before he was taken away.

A passenger in the plane reportedly walked away unscathed.

A fire department official on scene said the plane had tried to land on a nearby road, but vehicles forced the pilot to land in the field instead.


Pilot, in yellow jacket, speaks to police officer after crash.

Transport Canada and the Transportation Safety Board have been notified of Wednesday afternoon's crash of a light plane in a field north of Tronson Road.

“Both agencies were notified immediately after the accident,” said Patti Bridal, a city spokesperson. “It is up to them if they want to investigate.”

Both men in the two-seater aircraft, a father and son, were able to escape with only minor injuries.

A City of Vernon release stated the plane was 300 feet in the air when it experienced mechanical difficulties shortly after takeoff from Vernon Airport, about 3:30 p.m.

An RCMP officer at the scene said the pilot blamed the accident on engine failure.

"We are aware of the accident and are gathering information, but we did not deploy (to the area)," said Roxanne Daoust, spokesperson for the TSB. "We will use the information." 

An airport spokesperson said the pilot of the downed craft was experienced and able to bring the plane down without loss of life.


Vernon — Two people have managed to escape without injury after a crash landing in a field north of Vernon’s airport.

Vernon’s fire captain, Chris Robinson, says the private plane took off around 3:00 p.m. and experienced an engine failure shortly after.

“The pilot landed in the field just next to the airport. There was just a bit of damage to the plane,” says Robinson.

The City of Vernon says the plane sustained damage to the landing gear and wing.

Cpl. Spencer Hornoi with the Vernon/North Okanagan RCMP says the pilot and passenger did not require emergency services.

A small plane with two people on board crashed in a field directly across from the Vernon Regional Airport Wednesday afternoon.

In a news release, the City of Vernon states the plane took off from the Vernon Regional Airport shortly after 3:30 p.m.

The plane climbed to approximately 300 feet before experiencing mechanical difficulties, and the pilot was unable to return to the runway.

The pilot made a forced landing in a field north of the airport west of Scott Road.

The two people in the plane suffered minor injuries with one of them taken to Vernon Jubilee Hospital for precaution.

The airplane suffered damage to the landing gear and wing.

Civil Aviation Authority and Loganair need to 'come clean', says Member of Parliament

The CAA put Loganair "on notice" in June, according to MP Alistair Carmichael.

Emergency services greet the Loganair aircraft on the runway at Sumburgh on Wednesday night.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) put Loganair “on notice” that its maintenance and support systems needed to be improved in June, according to Alistair Carmichael.

The Northern Isles MP was responding to the latest episode in a shambolic year for the troubled airline, which has seen reliability of flights plummet with aircraft plagued by “technical faults”, frequent and sometimes lengthy delays.

On Wednesday, a flight from Aberdeen landed at Sumburgh Airport on one engine, triggering a full emergency, and Carmichael said public confidence in Loganair was now “at an all-time low”.

In October pilots union BALPA wrote to Loganair complaining that aircraft were “being returned to the line despite being unserviceable” and in some cases “aircraft retain defects that clearly affect flight safety”.

BALPA subsequently stressed that its pilots would never fly an unsafe plane, while Loganair stated the safety of its crew and passengers “is and always will be our number one priority”.

“The communities in the Northern Isles have been incredibly patient with Loganair and the CAA this year,” Carmichael said.

 “The reliability of our lifeline air services has fallen off a cliff and the number of incidents causing safety concern has increased markedly.

“We have sought to work with the airline and the regulator, but frankly they have seen this willingness to cooperate and to work responsibly as a licence to take us for fools.

“Public confidence in Loganair is now at an all-time low and they have got to start coming clean with the communities and telling us what is going on here.”

Carmichael continued: “I have it on very good authority that the CAA put Loganair on notice in June of this year about the need to improve their maintenance and support systems.

“In that time the service, if anything, has got worse. The credibility of CAA as a regulator and enforcer of safety standards is now at stake.

“I want the CAA to confirm today that they put Loganair on notice in June. I want them to tell us exactly what they have been doing to monitor Loganair’s performance and why this does not seem to have made any difference.”

He added: “For their part, Loganair have to start being more open about what these incidents involve.  If public confidence in their service is not to follow they reliability off the cliff then they have to start coming up with answers.”

Campaigner Scott Preston said island communities had been "incredibly patient" but despite the efforts of the campaign, politicians and business owners, the CAA had "remained silent".

"People are beyond having lost confidence," he said. "The comments on the Shetland News stories and the campaign page demonstrate a significant worry that must be addressed. We have already said the time for talking is over but it appears that despite the huge numbers of people being involved in those talks, no one was listening anyway."

A Loganair spokesman said the airline did not wish to make any further comment.

A CAA spokesman again did not address the question of whether Loganair had been placed "on notice" to improve its maintenance and safety systems.

He said: "Aviation safety is our top priority and we ensure all UK registered airlines meet strict European safety standards.

"We work closely with Loganair and all other UK airlines on a continual basis, to provide safety oversight and advice. We can confirm that Loganair meets these European safety requirements."


Cessna 140, N2574N: Incident occurred December 23, 2015 at Phoenix Deer Valley Airport (KDVT), Phoenix, Maricopa County, Arizona

ate: 23-DEC-15
Time: 22:38:00Z
Regis#: N2574N
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 140
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Minor
Activity: Personal
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
Operation: 91
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Scottsdale FSDO-07
State: Arizona


Emergency Crews Respond to Reports of Downed Plane South of Dorchester, London, Ontario, Canada

Emergency crews responded to reports of a small plane crash in a rural area south of Dorchester early Thursday morning.

Dorchester Fire, along with Middlesex OPP and EMS were called to an an area south of Crampton Drive between Dorchester Road and Brady Road just before 6 a.m.

Details are few at this time, but police say there were reports of a downed 2-seater plane.

As of 6:30 a.m., the London Airport Authority was not reporting any beacons in the area, or missing aircraft.

Police searched the area on foot, but say they did not find any aircraft, or signs of a crash in the area.

Crews abandoned the search before 7 a.m., and said they would revisit the area when the sun came up.


Air service to resume in March • Tupelo Regional Airport (KTUP), Lee County, Mississippi

TUPELO, MISS. --   Commercial air service returns to Tupelo in March.

The U.S. Department of Transportation selected Corporate Flight Management to provide service in Tupelo with 30 nonstop round trips per week to Nashville International Airport.

The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports ( Tupelo has been without an air carrier since Oct. 27, when SeaPort Airlines prematurely ended its service following nearly year-long complaints about its poor service.

The Tupelo Airport Authority unanimously selected Smyrna, Tennessee-based CFM to provide air taxi service using nine-passenger Jetstream planes.

CFM will be paid through the federal Essential Air Service program, which said it will pay the airline $4,292,405 each year, starting Feb. 1, 2016 through Feb. 28, 2018.

However, Matt Chaifetz, the CEO of the airline, said it will be March before service starts. With the Christmas and New Year's holiday approaching, many of the company's business partners and vendors will be unavailable. He said it's important to get all the details in order, including the schedule and marketing plans, before launching the service.

"We have the planes, we have most of the people," he said.

Chaifetz said it is important to begin marketing CFM's service and to reinforce the idea that the airline is vastly different from Tupelo's past two experiences with SeaPort and Silver.

"I know we have an uphill battle to climb, and we know it's not going to be easy at first," he said. "But I look forward to the challenge."

CFM is working with the airport to determine the best departure times between Tupelo and Nashville.

"We're not here to dictate what our schedule is going to be - we want to work with the community," he said. "We're working with a blank slate."

The airline will be an air taxi, ferrying passengers between Tupelo and Nashville. Those who want to fly beyond Nashville must buy separate tickets through any number of airlines including Delta, American, Southwest and United.

While the airport board had thrown its support behind CFM, it wasn't sure if the Transportation Department would agree with the more expensive but preferred option of 30 round-trip flights.

The agency acknowledged Corporate Flight Management's bid was "significantly more" than other bids.

"However, the department recognizes the poor service experienced over the last year and now the current service hiatus," the U.S. Department of Transportation stated in its order. "Given these factors, the department will give even greater weight to the views of the community than under normal circumstances. The Tupelo Regional Airport Authority's 'unanimous decision' to recommend CFM and the community's support of CFM will be essential in rebuilding passenger traffic."


Regulating The Regulator: How The Department of Civil Aviation Keeps Us Flying High, And Safe

Most people are familiar with the role of the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) in ensuring that our commercial operators meet the highest safety standards and what happened recently when those safety standards failed to be met at all times. In this article, the Malaysian Digest looks at the stringent global standards that the DCA itself has to meet, at all times.

In setting the strict benchmark for the Malaysian aviation industry, the DCA itself is subjected to extremely stringent global commercial aviation operations and safety standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

The process includes a stringent audit by ICAO as part of the Universal Safety Oversight Audit Program (USOAP).

If the audit finds that DCA's standards are not up to mark, the ICAO may "downgrade" its status. It's as simple and straightforward as that, a DCA official assures. Needless to say, the implications of a downgrade can be really adverse for the relevant country.

While the ICAO does not have any authority or jurisdiction to compel a DCA to upgrade its standards (i.e. regulation, processes, documentation, operation, monitoring and supervision and audit of commercial carriers documents, processes and safety inspection and procedures), the international body's downgrade could hurt the relevant country's aviation industry.

The category stature after an ICAO audit would effect how the carriers originating from the said country be treated when they fly into a country of stricter policy, practices and monitoring by the commercial aviation authority. As a consequence, this revision of status category would adversely affect commercial operations and, eventually, public perception towards the commercial carrier.

Case in point is the ICAO revision of status for Thailand recently. The ICAO downgrade trickled into the United States FAA treatment of commercial aircraft originated from Thailand and has these consequence effect:

"In other words," the DCA official said, "we have no choice but to adhere to the ICAO standards at all times". The regulator is also regulated.

In these challenging times, where global issues such as demand for higher comfort and service standards, efficiency and coupled with external factors such as terrorism and chronic armed and hostile conflicts, the requirement for DCA to move up and forward is pertinent to ensure progress for the Malaysian commercial aviation.

The DCA's ability to comply with the stringent ICAO rules and standards and continue to uphold these global practices and standards is an enabler for both the lateral and horizontal growth for the Malaysia commercial aviation.

It has consequential trickle-down effects on carriers, tourism, logistics, trade and advertising and promotion, among others.

In contrast with the gloomy global economic climate, Malaysia's tourism industry remains bullish. Tourist arrivals through commercial air travel, especially, are expected to grow.

The security of airports in Malaysia, which is under DCA supervision and regular ICAO audits, translates into market confidence that, in turn, influences people's decision to come to Malaysia for holiday as well as to do business.

As the demand and growth of commercial aviation industry grows, and the threats against it increases as well, we can expect the DCA's role to become even more crucial.


Piper PA-46-500TP Meridian, North Mississippi Pulmonology Clinic Inc., N891CR: Fatal accident occurred December 24, 2015 near Roscoe Turner Airport (KCRX), Corinth, Alcorn County, Mississippi

North Mississippi Pulmonology Clinic Inc: 

FAA Flight Standards District Office:  FAA Jackson FSDO-31

NTSB Identification: ERA16LA078
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, December 24, 2015 in Corinth, MS
Aircraft: PIPER AIRCRAFT INC PA-46, registration: N891CR
Injuries: 3 Serious, 1 Minor.

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

On December 24, 2015, at approximately 0840 central standard time, a Piper PA-46-500TP; N891CR, was substantially damaged when it impacted a tree and terrain during a return to the airport, after takeoff from Roscoe Turner Airport (CRX), Corinth, Mississippi, The certificated private pilot received minor injuries. The three passengers received serious injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight, destined for Ocean Reef Club Airport (07FA), Key Largo, Florida.

According to the pilot, prior to takeoff, the preflight inspection and engine run-up were normal. After takeoff from runway 18, the right cowling door opened partially, and started "flopping" up and down 3 to 4 inches in each direction. He then turned to the left, to return to the airport, and the door "came completely open." He could not, keep the airplane flying even with "full power" though he "put the nose back down." The airplane then struck a tree, impacted the front lawn of a residence, "spun around," and caught on fire.

The airplane came to rest on a 132 degree magnetic heading from the departure end of runway 18, approximately 1,792 feet from the end of the runway, on the front lawn of a residence. Examination of photographs provided by Alcorn County Emergency Services revealed that the "cowling door" that "came completely open" was the cowl door for the battery compartment, located on the right side of the nose of the airplane, just forward of the wing leading edge.

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and pilot records, the pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, airplane multi-engine land, and instrument airplane. His most recent application for a FAA third-class medical certificate was dated June 17, 2015. The pilot reported that he had accrued approximately 470 total hours of flight experience.

According to FAA records, the airplane was manufactured in 2007.

The airplane was retained by the NTSB for examination.

Lauren Chase

The daughter-in-law of a Booneville physician has died almost eight months after suffering severe head injuries in a Christmas Eve plane crash near the Corinth-Alcorn County Airport. 

Lauren Chase died Sunday in Texas where she had been moved to a hospice facility the previous week, according to posts by the administrator of a web page set up to provide updates on her progress and raise funds to offset her medical costs.

Lauren Chase, who was married to Dave Chase, son of the plane’s pilot Dr. David G. Chase Sr. of Booneville, was seriously injured in the crash of the single-engine turboprop plane last Christmas Eve morning as it attempted to return to the Corinth-Alcorn Airport shortly after takeoff.

A preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board focuses on a battery compartment panel that apparently opened after takeoff. The pilot, Lauren Chase’s father-in-law Dr. David G. Chase Sr. of Booneville, told investigators the door opened partially after takeoff and started flopping up and down by a few inches in each direction. The pilot turned the aircraft to the left to return to the airport, and the door opened completely.

“He could not keep the airplane flying even with ‘full power’ though he ‘put the nose back down,’” states the report. “The airplane then struck a tree, impacted the front lawn of a residence, ‘spun around,’ and caught on fire.”

Two other passengers in the plane received less serious injuries and Dr. Chase had minor injuries, according to the NTSB report.

Funeral arrangements for Lauren Chase were incomplete Monday with Pegues Funeral Home in Tupelo.


ALCORN COUNTY, Miss. — Crews are investigating a Thursday morning plane crash near Corinth, Miss., that resulted in one person being airlifted to a Memphis hospital.

The crash occurred around 8:44 a.m. along County Road 504 near the Roscoe Turner Airport outside Corinth.

The Alcorn County Sheriff’s Department has confirmed four people were in the the Piper PA-46-500TP Meridian plane. One was airlifted to Memphis, and the other three reportedly did not have serious injuries.

The sheriff’s department has confirmed Dr. David Chase of Mississippi was the pilot. They say the plane is registered in Mississippi.

The sheriff’s department and the Mississippi Highway Patrol currently are investigating the crash.


CORINTH, Miss. (WTVA) -- Two people were airlifted from the scene of a plane crash in Alcorn County this morning.

Investigators at the scene tell WTVA's Susan Parker the plane had taken off from Roscoe Turner Airport shortly after 8:30 this morning.

The pilot apparently noticed the flap on one of the wings was stuck and attempted to return to the airport.

The plane landed in the yard of a home on County Road 504 southeast of the airport.

Four people were on the plane when it went down.

Two suffered serious injuries and were flown to a hospital for treatment.

The other two were taken to Magnolia Regional Medical Center in Corinth for observation.

Federal investigators are expected to visit the scene and look into what caused the plane to crash.


Two people were airlifted from the scene of a plane crash in Alcorn County Thursday morning.

Investigators told WTVA that the plane took off from Roscoe Turner Airport shortly after 8:30 a.m. when pilot apparently noticed the flap on one of the wings was stuck and attempted to return to the airport.

The plane landed in the yard of a home on County Road 504 southeast of the airport. Four people were onboard.

Two people suffered serious injuries and were airlifted to a hospital.

The other passengers were taken to Magnolia Regional Medical Center in Corinth for observation.


Aircraft Flight Instructor Wanted: Build time, have aircraft and fuel at Chandler Municipal Airport (KCHD), Maricopa County, Arizona

Need a flight instructor for my son. If you want to build time and work with your other students in my plane then let's talk.

His previous instructor (Tim) was scamming me to build time and my son has over 50 hrs of flight time and he (Tim the instructor) still will not release him for solo. Yea, I know. I am an ATP with over 20,000 hrs and flew with him on 2 flights for over 3 hours and 35+ landings and he never had a bad one and I never had to take the aircraft from him. 

I am interested in someone that can get him his private license. I have a Beech Buccaneer, 145 HP, manual flaps, fixed gear, that is bomb proof machine and can be used with other students of the instructor with some restrictions but bring me your ideas. It is also usable for transport with my son getting dual-time if covering gas and maintenance or whatever works, but we can talk. 

My son is 18 a Senior on the honor roll at ASU Prep and wants to go into the flying career and get his bachelor's degree from ASU. Plane is located at Chandler Airport (CHD) and all maintenance, fees, and AD's are current. Plane is VFR with single stack VHF and VOR and has Garmin 396 mountable available. Burn is 10/8 gal/hr in the pattern/cruise and no swaks. 

Read more here:

First HondaJet delivered — just in time for Christmas

Just in time to make someone's Christmas very merry, Honda Aircraft Co. has begun deliveries of its innovative HondaJet that's built here in the Triad.

"We are excited to commence deliveries of the HondaJet, fulfilling Honda's commitment to advancing human mobility through innovation," said Michimasa Fujino, president and CEO of Honda Aircraft. "Honda Aircraft has now extended this commitment skyward with the delivery of our first aircraft, and I hope we soon will begin to see many HondaJets at airports around the world."

After years of development and work, HondaJet received its type certification from the Federal Aviation Administration on Dec. 8, which cleared the way for the company to begin delivering the $4.5 million lightweight jet which is billed as the fastest, highest-flying, quietest and most fuel-efficient jet in its class.

The jet is built at Honda Aircraft's headquarters at Piedmont Triad International Airport and marketed for sale in North America, South America and Europe. The airport is also home to a 90,000-square-foot customer service facility for the high-end jets.

Honda Aircraft's Greensboro campus also includes a full-motion flight simulator used for pilot training at its Honda Aircraft Training Center.

The company, which employs nearly 1,700 at its campus, said earlier this month that it is ramping up production, with 25 aircraft on the final assembly line.

No word on whether Santa Claus will be making his way around the world tonight courtesy of a new HondaJet.


Mitsubishi delays deliveries of Japan-made regional jet by 1 year to mid-2018

TOKYO — Mitsubishi, a maker of the World War II-era Zero fighter, said Thursday it plans to postpone by one year its deliveries of its new regional jet, to mid-2018.

The jet recently made a successful maiden flight that "confirmed the basic characteristics to be satisfactory," the company said in a statement. But it said several issues need to be addressed so the jet's development schedule was revised.

The company did not provide details about those issues.

Industrial conglomerate Mitsubishi aims to reclaim Japan's one-time status as an aviation power some 70 years after the country suspended making planes following its defeat in World War II.

While it holds advanced knowhow in avionics, materials and other key aircraft-related know-how and products, Japan has yet to integrate them into its own 21st century passenger aircraft with modern electronics and leading-edge technology.

The project by Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp. and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is the successor to an unsuccessful attempt in the 1960s by Japan to break into the international market with the 64-seat turboprop YS-11. The aim this time is to secure a foothold in the lucrative but highly competitive commercial passenger jet market.

Mitsubishi says it hopes to win 20 percent of the global market for single-aisle, regional passenger jets.

It had been scheduled to make its first delivery to leading customer All Nippon Airways in the spring of 2017.

Earlier, the project suffered delays in deliveries of aircraft parts, about 70 percent of which are sourced from overseas.


Serious Incident: Two Boeing 737 8AS aircraft, EI-EFF and EI-DHA, Dublin Airport, on March 08, 2015

Departing and arriving aircraft came within 800 metres of colliding at Dublin Airport, an air accident investigation report has said.

The airport was busy on March 8 this year and a scheduled flight to London Luton was cleared for take-off as an incoming plane approached.

An air traffic controller misheard a radio signal from the pilot of the departing aircraft requesting more time to prepare and asked it to take off speedily. As the plane slowed on the way to the runway the controller changed his mind and tried but failed to stop it.

Air accident investigators said: "At their closest point the aircraft were 807 metres apart; however the rate of closure was low."

A few weeks later two Ryanair planes clipped wings as they taxied in Dublin.

A report by Ireland's Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU) said the departing aircraft was cleared for take-off with a landing aircraft on final approach to the same runway.

"Re-appraising the situation, the controller attempted to stop the departing aircraft at the holding point; however, as a result of a blocked transmission the departing aircraft continued past the stop line which was in accordance with its previously issued clearance," the review added.

"Clearing the departing aircraft for an immediate take-off, the departing aircraft became airborne prior to the arriving aircraft touching down."

Investigators said the air traffic controller, assessing the position and speed of both aircraft after the departing flight passed a stop line on the runway, deemed it safer at that point to let the arrival continue and land.

The controller had sought confirmation if the departing aircraft was ready for an "immediate rolling departure".

He thought the reply was affirmative and "didn't hear anything else", so he cleared the departing aircraft to line up and take off. In fact the reply from the flight deck was negative because the cabin had not been secured.

The controller remarked that if he had clearly heard a "negative" in response he would have instructed a "stop" at the stop-bar without hesitation, the report from the AAIU said.

He said when turning on to a taxiway, the aircraft "seemed to slow down".

"This caught the air traffic control officer by surprise, as the flight crew were asked to keep a good taxi speed to facilitate the departure sequence.

"The air traffic control officer considered the separation with the landing aircraft and reviewing his plan, instructed EI-EFF to hold short of the runway."

The instruction was not received and the departing aircraft passed the stop line.

The report said: "Air traffic control should be aware that it may be difficult for flight crews to know early in the taxi 'if they will be ready on reaching', as often the flight crew will not have received confirmation (intercom or chime) of the cabin being secured."

Subsequent to this incident, the Irish Aviation Authority installed a "time to touchdown" facility for the tower controller displaying the time to touchdown of the next aircraft on final approach.

"Associated air traffic control procedures have been developed, safety assessed and implemented and the use of time to touch down should greatly reduce the risk of the event occurring in the future."

A Ryanair spokesman said: "We note this report which contains no recommendations for either Dublin air traffic control or Ryanair."



On the evening of 8 March 2015, the Air Movements Controller (AMC) at Dublin Airport (EIDW) reported a loss of separation between a departing and a landing aircraft.  

The departing aircraft (EI-EFF, using ‘callsign 342’) was cleared for take-off with a landing aircraft (EI-DHA, using ‘callsign 45TR’) at 3.2 NM on final approach to the same runway.  Re-appraising the situation, the AMC attempted to stop the departing aircraft at the holding point, however, as a result of a blocked transmission the departing aircraft continued past the stop line which was in accordance with its previously issued clearance.  Clearing the departing aircraft for an immediate take-off, the departing aircraft became airborne prior to the arriving aircraft touching down.  

A runway occupation alert, a function of the Advanced Surface Movements Guidance and Control System (A-SMGCS), activated as a result of the reduced separation between the aircraft during the event.
Occurence Date:  Sunday, March 08, 2015
Report Date:  Thursday,  December 24, 2015

Transportation Security Administration can now force airline passengers to undergo full-body scans

The Transportation Security Administration can now make a person undergo a 
body scan at the airport, even if the person requests a full-body pat-down instead.

The change in protocol was announced in a report dated Friday. Officials with the TSA said they will mandate body scans "as warranted by security considerations in order to safeguard transportation security."

Officials did not elaborate on the conditions which would disqualify someone from opting out of the scan.

The news came as agencies worldwide heighten security measures in the wake of terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernadino, California.

According to the TSA, body scanners go far beyond the ability of agents to detect objects hidden beneath clothing that could lead to a threat "while improving the passenger experience for those passengers for whom a physical screening is uncomfortable."

The Agency noted officials don't store personally identifiable information from their screenings and use generic body images to show where potential "threat objects" are on a person.


TAP Portugal plays Jingle Bells with aircraft sounds

Portuguese airline TAP Portugal sought inspiration from its daily sounds to adapt the Christmas melody “Jingle Bells,”using aircraft sounds.

The leading actors are TAP employees and the A330 aircraft, CS-TOQ (´Pedro Teixeira´) that embraced the spirit of the season to wish its passengers a Merry Christmas.

Launched on December 1st, TAP´s video went viral in Portugal with over 250,000 views and a 1.2 million organic reach on Facebook with no media investment yet. On Youtube it gathered 28,400 views and appeared in all main media publishers.

TAP is Portugal´s leading airline, and member of Star Alliance, the global airline alliance to offer customers worldwide reach, since 2005. In operation since 1945, TAP celebrated 70 years on March 14, 2015, and has completed its privatization process on Nov. 12, 2015, with the Atlantic Gateway Group now holding the majority of its share capital.

Este ano, o vídeo de Natal da TAP inspirou-se nos sons do próprio dia-a-dia da companhia para reproduzir de uma forma inédita a célebre melodia de Natal Jingle Bells, utilizando exclusivamente os próprios sons de um avião.

Os protagonistas, além do avião A330 CS-TOQ (Pedro Teixeira), são também os trabalhadores da TAP, que se associam assim aos nossos votos de um Feliz Natal e bons voos a todos os clientes!

Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport (KROA) delays continue due to heavy fog, rain

(WSLS 10) – Here in our area the weather is not as severe – but we are dealing with delayed travel plans because of the fog and rain.

At the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport there were 10 flights cancelled Wednesday night and nearly 30 were delayed.

As of Thursday morning, all flights appear to be on time but airport representatives say that could change throughout the day.

“Because, we’re in the mountains we have the elevation. But, we’re also in the valley so we’re surrounded on all four sides by mountain ridges and that helps trap the fog into the area as opposed to letting it go by,” Bradley Boettcher, director of Marketing and Air Service Development, said.

Nationwide, more than 1,300 flights have been delayed and 200 cancelled Thursday morning.

Click HERE for flight cancellations, delays at Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport.

Click HERE for flight cancellations, delays at Lynchburg Regional Airport.

Story and video:

U.S. and European Union struggling to reach aviation cybersecurity agreement: report

As the aviation industry struggles to adopt cybersecurity measures in an effort to keep airspace safe from hackers, authorities in the U.S. and European Union are reportedly failing to see eye to eye.

While keeping safe the computer systems relied upon by airlines is certainly nothing new, a “trans-Atlantic tiff” has emerged following a meeting in Washington, D.C., last week where American aviation experts discussed the future of international airspace cybersecurity, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

With stakeholders in the U.S. and EU having failed so far to reach common ground with respect to hammering out uniform cybersecurity policies to adopt on both sides of the ocean, industry representatives told the paper that new problems could arise unless a compromise is reached soon.

As an agreement is sought out, however, European regulators stressed the importance of the issue in a document cited by the Journal this week that stated “all recently designed large airplanes are known to be sensitive” to cyberthreats because of the “interconnectivity features of their avionics systems.”

Regulators in the U.S. and EU understand that airline software needs to be routinely updated to ensure applications aren’t left vulnerable to attack. The Journal reported that representatives with America’s Federal Aviation Administration and the European Aviation Safety Agency agree that onboard systems must be isolated to avoid letting attackers jump from network to network with potentially grave repercussions.

Nevertheless, differences are still apparent on either side with regards to how, exactly, further tests and adjustments should be implemented. Industry officials told the paper that American suppliers may encounter major challenges when it comes to selling flight-related systems abroad unless both the U.S. and EU agree to adopt similar measures.

The U.S. favors “different standards based on the threat and magnitude of a potential nefarious actor,” Jens Hennig, the co-chairman of a FAA-created panel tasked with recommending new rules, told the Journal. “Having differences between U.S. and European standards is never good for manufacturers.”

Indeed, EASA spokesman Dominique Fouda admitted to the newspaper that the U.S. and EU rely on “slightly different philosophies” when it comes to cybersecurity, and that both sides are attempting to reach common ground but “are still not there.”

The isagreements between both sides with regards to adopting uniform cybersecurity policy come eight months after the U.S. Government Accountability Office said in a report that hundreds of commercial aircraft may be vulnerable to cyberattacks conducted over interconnected-onboard systems.

“Four cybersecurity experts with whom we spoke discussed firewall vulnerabilities, and all four said that because firewalls are software components, they could be hacked like any other software and circumvented,” the report stated. “The experts said that if the cabin systems connect to the cockpit avionics systems and use the same networking platform, in this case IP, a user could subvert the firewall and access the cockpit avionics system from the cabin.”

Earlier this month, Sen. Edward Markey, Massachusetts Democrat, sent letters to a dozen domestic airlines and two airplane manufacturers to ensure they are taking cybersecurity concerns seriously.

“As new technologies continue to enhance all aspects of the airline industry, airplanes and airline operations have become increasingly interconnected,” he wrote. “With these ethnological advancements come great benefits. … However, as we’ve witnessed recently in the automobile industry, I am concerned that these technologies may also pose great threats to our security, privacy and economy.”

United Airlines and American Airlines both admitted in 2015 that they launched investigations upon reports of being breached by cyberattackers, and around 1,400 passengers of a Polish airline were grounded in June after hackers reportedly compromised ground computers that control fight plans.

Sebastian Mikosz, CEO of the Polish airline LOT, told Reuters at the time: “Of course, this is an industry problem, not a LOT problem but an industry problem on a much wider scale, and for sure we have to give it more attention, if it can be given more attention.”


Helena Regional Airport (KHLN) prepared for snow, but fog can cause delays

Snow probably won't be the cause of any local flight delays during the Christmas season. 

Helena Regional Airport has spent millions of dollars -- airport Director Jeff Wadekamper pegs recent spending at $8 million -- to move and remove snow.

But fog is another matter, and one he primarily blames for delays between Dec. 16 last year and Jan. 5 this year.

Statistically speaking, according to figures compiled by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics, all but eight arriving flights between mid-December 2014 and early January of this year touched down on time.

Passengers arriving here on the big day itself, Dec. 25, didn’t do so well. Only one out of three flights touched down when scheduled.

Helena Regional Airport -- with enough pavement on its runway, taxiways and other areas that accommodate airlines to create a two-lane road from Helena to Townsend 35 miles away -- is ready for wintry weather.

“Once it starts snowing, we go into snow removal operation,” Wadekamper said.

Snow plows, sanding trucks, vehicles with brooms and blowers are part of the armada of vehicles that wait for the arrival of wintry weather.

“Our snow removal fleet is really the best of the best out there,” he added.

Wadekamper is particularly pleased with one of the vehicles that does it all: plows, brooms and then finishes clearing airport pavement with a blower.

Work that formerly took two people and two pieces of equipment is now the domain of this vehicle that was purchased in 2012 for $836,000.

“That thing has been a tremendous asset. It can really cover a lot of ground,” he said.

But winter fog is another matter. As Wadekamper looks at the Bureau of Transportation Statistics for the days before and after Christmas, he said fog was the likely culprit that delayed arriving flights.

Fog is probably the biggest problem for the airport during the winter, he added.

Three flights depart each morning between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. However, Alaska Airlines will resume a second daily flight to Helena from Dec. 18 to Jan. 5, Wadekamper said.

He expects the flight to arrive shortly before midnight and depart with the others early in the morning.

Alaska Airlines discontinued that second flight this year, despite travelers’ concerns at the loss of service.

A midday Delta flight from Salt Lake City arrives daily about 12:30 p.m. and is on its way back shortly after 1 p.m.

An Alaska Airlines flight arrives and departs mid-afternoons and on weekdays except Tuesday at 5 p.m. A Delta flight from Salt Lake City arrives and then departs a half-hour later.

A trio of evening flights -- the addition of the Alaska Airlines flight will make it four during the holidays -- arrives and then departs the next morning.

For January through September of this year, travelers to Helena arrived on time better than 89 percent of the time. And when they were late, a category entitled “aircraft arriving late” was to blame more than 4 percent of the time.

Air carrier delays were to blame nearly 3.5 percent of the time, according to the bureau’s statistics. Cancellations or aircraft being diverted each accounted for only one-fourth of 1 percent.

And weather overall this year has delayed only a little more than 0.5 percent of arriving flights.

From January through September of this year, travelers arrived here on time about 2.5 percent more often than the overall national average of 86.48 percent for all airports.

To be expected, the weather often is to blame for arriving flight delays in Helena, which is served by hubs in Denver, Minneapolis, Salt Lake City and Seattle. A delay is considered to be when the flight arrives 15 minutes or more behind schedule. 

Flight delays in January, March and April were because of weather. May was a toss-up. Weather and non-weather causes equally hinder airlines from meeting schedules.

January 2015 had delayed flights on eight days, the worst month through September. February, March and May each had six days with arriving flight delays.

But June, a month that can conjure images of green grass, balmy skies and gentle breezes, in 2015 handed travelers to Helena with flight delays on seven days.

The airport here is a busy place in December. Eighty percent of the seats were filled on flights boarding here last December, and better than 84 percent of seats were occupied in December 2013, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics noted.

While demand for seats in December 2012 was better than 79 percent, the annual tallies for recent years shows an increasing trend from annual demand from 2012 when nearly three out of four seats on average was filled for the year.

Getting a seat on a flight out of Helena in 2005 would have been easier, as about 58 percent of the seats were filled on average that year.

In 2005, there were a lot more flights crisscrossing the nation’s skies, Wadekamper said.

And in the intervening years, airlines have merged and made better use of their schedules, he added to explain why flights today have fewer empty seats.

Having 80 percent or more of the seats on a flight filled is good for Helena Regional Airport, he continued and explained, “That’s where you want to be No. 1 to maintain the service that you have.”

The number of people boarding flights here has been on the rise since July, which saw a 1.3 percent increase over July of 2014, Wadekamper noted in an email. That trend continued. Compared to the same months in 2014, boardings in August were up 4.7 percent and September saw a 6.5 percent increase. October had a 4.4 percent increase, and the number of passengers catching flights out of Helena in November was up 5 percent.

Having flights that are nearly full allows the airport to talk with airlines about perhaps serving Helena seasonally with larger jets or adding another flight, Wadekamper said.

“That’s really the key metric airlines are using today to decide if they’re going to stay in a market or expand in a market," he said. 

Regional comparison

Provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation, the following figures represent the percentage of flights that were not on time at each major Montana airport during the last three full calendar years.

Butte: 7.5 percent of all flights, 6.9 percent of departures, 8.1 percent of arrivals

Helena: 9 percent of all flights, 5.7 percent of departures, 12.3 percent of arrivals

Great Falls: 11.5 percent of all flights, 8.7 percent of departures, 14.2 percent of arrivals

Kalispell: 11.7 percent of all flights, 8.71 percent of departures, 14.7 percent of arrivals

Billings: 11.8 percent of all fights, 8.9 percent of departures, 14.8 percent of arrivals

Bozeman: 12.75 percent of all flights, 11.2 percent of departures, 14.3 percent of arrivals

Missoula: 14.75 percent of all flights, 13.3 percent of departures, 16.2 percent of arrivals

Salt Lake City International Airport (KSLC) Crews Keep Flights Moving In Toughest Winter Weather

Tens of Thousands of people will be traveling through the Salt Lake City International Airport this holiday season and airport crews will work overtime to keep flights moving, even during the worst winter storms.

A dozen trucks roll down the runway clearing snow at Salt Lake City International Airport. It’s one of two crews, known as an element, working to keep the airport running after a fierce snow storm blew through Wednesday morning.

“It kind of came in really fast, but fortunately we were able to keep up with it,” says Dusty Bills.

He’s the airfield maintenance manager and oversees the snow removal operations.

“We can handle about two inches, maybe two and a half inches of accumulation per hour," Bills says. "If it gets more than that, I don’t know if anybody can keep it open at that point.”

He says an element can clear an entire runway in about 20 minutes. And when needed, they can combine the two elements and do it in about half that time.

But the crews on the ground and in the trucks are just one part of the intricate system that keeps the airport running.

Back in the terminal, in a tower at the top of a narrow set of stairs, is Bryce Royle. He’s an operations manager and helps coordinate the movements of the snow crews with the airport tower.

“Yeah, I only have seven radios, two telephones, two computers, that I do at the same time,” he says.

“So, simple?” I ask.

“Yeah, simple.”

He says it’s about a 15 to 20-minute process to get a runway closed and communicate that to everyone who needs to know. He says during big winter storms his job can be pretty scary.

“Especially when you have multiple runways closed, and multiple runways opening and closing at the same time, yeah, it get’s pretty intense.”

In total, airport crews are responsible for clearing almost 1500 acres of concrete and asphalt. It’s a responsibility they’re ready for 24 hours a day, all in an effort to keep planes moving and passengers happy.