Sunday, January 10, 2016

Museum of Flight members preparing to reopen exhibits, preserving rare aircraft


Museum member John Sullivan works on the restoration of the BTD 1 Destroyer.

Museum member Nick Gross drives a forklift next to Ed Knitter as they work with the BTD 1 Destroyer.

John Sullivan lays on the wing of the plane.



As members of the Museum of Flight at Richard B. Russell Regional Airport work to get the hangar that houses the museum on the National Register, they also are working on preserving a unique aircraft and readying for a grand reopening.

“We are getting our facts together now,” said Peter O’Hare of the Museum of Flight. “The hangar was built by the Navy and we’re working with them to get dates and details.”
Museum organizers are also interviewing anyone who saw the hangar being built, he said.

The museum, once named the Hixson Flight Museum, shares its hangar with TigerFlight, a local organization that educates local students about aviation and often take school groups on tour of the museum’s exhibits.

The collection includes a T-28 Trojan, used during the Vietnam War, a military jeep, a military truck, a military mule, a Beechcraft T-34 Mentor, several different types of uniforms and photos and a BTD-1 Destroyer that is currently being refurbished.

“It’s the last one on the planet,” O’Hare said. “We recovered it from a field in New York and have been working on it for several years now.”

The plane is now ready to be painted. The recovery and restoration can be seen on the flight museum’s YouTube Channel.

“This was the first one on the assembly line in the 1940s when it was built and it was the last, because it was used as a model,” explained O”Hare. “We plan to put it in front of the hangar on Jan. 23 at 1:30 p.m. with some models dressed as Rosie the Riveter, since the assembly line for the plane was manned by women in the ’40s.”

The Jan. 23 event will be a sort of preview for the grand reopening of the museum on March 26, he added.

“March is Women in Aviation month, so it’s appropriate,” he said.

The event will include Huey and Cobra helicopter rides for the public, special exhibits, food and activities for children, he added.

Museum organizers are hoping the public will be not only interested in seeing the museum, but also in contributing, O’Hare said.

“If anyone has memorabilia they’d like to share or if they would like to volunteer to help out, that would be great,” he said.

O’Hare added that many times on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, aviation enthusiasts come to the airport to help restore the planes and work in the hangar.

“Come help out or watch and learn,” he said. “We offer classes on Saturday mornings at 10 a.m. about hangar maintenance and ground handling. Then, hang out with us while we work on the planes.”

If anyone is interested in contributing to the museum or in coming to classes or getting tickets for the grand reopening, they may call the museum at 423-228-2359 or go to the museum’s website or Facebook page.

Story, photos, video:  http://www.northwestgeorgianews.com

Air India to Hire Over 500 Type-Rated Pilots on Contract Basis: Report



New Delhi: In one of the largest-ever pilot recruitment drives, state-run Air India will hire over 500 type-rated pilots on a contract basis for the carrier's narrow-body fleet, which is expected to grow to about 80 aircraft by March 2018.

The current strength of the narrow-body fleet is 66.

The fresh hiring of 534 Airbus A320 pilots is in line with Air India's aircraft induction plans and aimed at overcoming the shortage which has many times led to cancellation of its flights at the last minute, according to a source.

At present, Air India has 1,441 pilots, with 670 of them flying 66 A320 family aircraft. Besides, another 70 pilots are under training.

Air India's pilots strength will cross 2,000 by May this year when the recruitment exercise gets completed, the source said.

"We will be inducting 29 more A320s including 14 A320neos between April this year and March 2018. In line with this induction programme, we are recruiting 534 type-rated pilots as well on a contract basis," an Air India source told PTI.

Type-rating is a regulating agencies certification given to a pilot to fly a certain aircraft type that requires additional training, which involves huge cost, beyond the scope of the initial licence and aircraft class training.

The national carrier has added 66 A320 family aircraft in its fleet besides Boeing planes. It has already tied up with a Kuwaiti aircraft lessor to lease 14 A320neo aircraft, which are to be delivered by March 2017.

In addition to this, Air India would soon float tenders for leasing of 15 A320 aircraft to augment capacity.

"At the same time, we will also be phasing out some old classic A320s from the fleet. We expect our overall narrow body (A320 family) fleet to stand at around 75-80 aircraft by the end of March 2018," the source said.

Air India has tweaked hiring norms after a number of pilots quit the carrier and moved to private airlines after acquiring high high-cost type-rated training at its expenses, the source said.

"The new pilots joining Air India will have to sign a bond and submit bank guarantee totalling Rs one crore, which will be encashed if a pilot decides to quit the airline before the expiry of his contract," the source said.

As many as 173 Air India pilots have resigned from the national carrier since 2012, with the maximum being those operating the narrow body Airbus A320 family aircraft, the government had said in Parliament recently.

Of these, 72 pilots operating the narrow-body Airbus A320 family fleet have resigned, while 38 pilots each of Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Boeing 777, eight of Boeing 747 and 17 of Boeing 737 fleet have quit between 2012 and October last year,

Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju had said during the winter session of Parliament.

At present, the cost of training a pilot for an Airbus family of planes stands at Rs 4.01 lakh per pilot while the type-rating cost per pilot comes to nearly Rs 23 lakh.

Source: http://profit.ndtv.com

Parts drop off Delta plane during Ben Gurion take-off: Safety breach leads to bickering between airport management, labor union after debris left overnight on active runway

Items that fell from a Delta passenger jet as it took off from Ben Gurion Airport late on January 8, 2016. The items were only discovered the following morning.



For the second time in three months, parts fell off a Delta Air Lines plane on Friday night as it took off from Ben Gurion International Airport outside Tel Aviv.

The parts could not be seen via runway cameras, and so remained on the runway through the night. Five planes took off overnight on the runway, passing just above the debris, according to a Channel 2 report Sunday.

The plane and all aboard arrived safely at their destination. The report did not specify which parts fell off the plane.

The incident took place just after midnight on the night between Friday and Saturday. A radar system at Ben Gurion designed to warn of debris on the runway triggered an alarm in the control tower, which should have led to the runway’s immediate closure, an alert to Delta, and the clearing of the debris. But a controller who checked the runway cameras could not see the debris on the dark asphalt, and so wrote off the alert as a false alarm.

Some 50 percent of the cameras trained on the runway may not be fully operational, Channel 2 reported, citing “sources involved in examining the alert system.”

Ben Gurion’s CEO Shmuel Zakai blamed the incident on human error.

“The system meets required international standards,” Zakai said in response to the report. “In this safety incident, the radar identified the plane parts that fell, [but] the employee on station did not act according to regulations — and the labor union refused to allow the employee to participate in the investigation that should have taken place.”

Labor union leaders have asked that management prove the cameras are fully operational before allowing the worker to be grilled by investigators, saying management wanted to blame the worker for a broader safety failure.

The airport’s management and labor union have been at loggerheads for months over wages and new positions opening up due to the construction of a new control tower.

In early October, a back wheel and part of the braking system fell off a Delta plane during takeoff from Ben Gurion Airport.

In that case, too, the debris “plunged down onto the runway” and was left there for some five hours, during which 10 further flights took off from the same runway, because a warning system highlighting the danger was dismissed as a false alarm.

The TV report did not specify the Delta plane involved, but referred to a takeoff close to midnight on Saturday night, indicating it was likely Delta Flight 469 on October 3, which headed from Tel Aviv to New York’s JFK at that hour.

Only with daybreak were the scattered parts seen on the runway, which was then closed and cleared.

The flights taking off in the interim were at risk of parts of the debris flying into the engines or puncturing tires, the report said.

Once the debris was spotted, Israeli officials notified Delta, which arranged for heightened alert at the plane’s destination airport. The plane landed safely.

The incident was considered “extremely serious,” the TV report said.

Story, photo and comments:  http://www.timesofisrael.com

Panic over hoax call on missing plane

Jaipur: Panic gripped personnel at Air Traffic Control (ATC) of Jaipur airport, Jaipur police and district administration on Saturday evening when a phone call claiming to be from ATC Jodhpur informed them about a missing plane.

Acting swiftly, the authorities adopted Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and after being on their toes for almost three hours, found it to be hoax.

Initially, the authorities did not rule out the possibility of a plane crash or even hijack and scanned the entire 70-km area as suggested in the call.

Source:  http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Businesswoman held at airport with money in brassiere



A St James businesswoman who was busted trying to leave the island for Curacao with US $39,500, some of which was hidden in her brassiere, is to be sentenced in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate’s Court on January 25, 2016.

The sentencing date was scheduled in court yesterday by Senior Magistrate Judith Pusey after 59-year-old Carol Craig of Catherine Mount pleaded guilty to possession of criminal property and failing to report the money to the designated authority.

Craig was also charged with attempting to remove criminal property, but pleaded not guilty to that charge.

The court heard that Craig, who was destined for Curacao, was held at the Norman Manley International Airport on October 27, 2014 with the stash of cash. Some of the money was found hidden in her brassiere while some was found in her handbag.

Story and comments: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com

Government Not Ensuring Pilot Skills Are Sharp

This August 26, 2010, file photo, shows the view from inside a Boeing 787 full-flight simulator in Renton, Washington. The Federal Aviation Administration’s efforts to ensure airline pilots keep up their flying skills and get full training on how to monitor their cockpits’ sophisticated automated control systems are falling short, according to a report by a government watchdog.



The government is falling short in ensuring airline pilots keep up their flying skills and get full training on how to monitor sophisticated automated control systems in cockpits, according to the Transportation Department's internal watchdog.

Most airline flying today is done through automated systems that pilots closely monitor. Pilots typically use manual flying skills only briefly during takeoffs and landings. Studies and accident investigations have raised concern that pilots' manual flying skills are becoming rusty and that pilots have a hard time staying focused on instrument screens for long periods.

But the Federal Aviation Administration isn't making sure that airline training programs adequately address the ability of pilots to monitor the flight path, automated systems and actions of other crew members, the Transportation Department's Office of Inspector General found. Only five of 19 airline flight simulator training plans reviewed by investigators specifically mentioned pilot monitoring.

The FAA also isn't well positioned to determine how often airline pilots get a chance to manually fly planes and hasn't ensured that airline training programs adequately focus on manual flying, according to the report, obtained by The Associated Press. It has not been released publicly.

In January 2013, the agency issued a safety alert to airlines encouraging them to promote opportunities for pilots to practice manual flying in day-to-day operations and during pilot training. Buy the FAA hasn't followed up to determine whether airlines are following the recommendation, the report said.

The FAA published new rules in 2013 requiring airlines to update their training programs to enhance pilot monitoring and manual flying skills, but the agency is still working on guidance to airlines on how to do that, the report said. Airlines aren't required to comply with the rules until 2019, the report said.

"Because FAA hasn't determined how carriers should implement the new requirements or evaluated whether pilots manual flying time has increased, the agency is missing important opportunities to ensure that pilots maintain skills needed to safely fly and recover in the event of a failure with flight deck automation or an unexpected event," the report said.

The rules on enhancing training were prompted in part by the 2009 crash of a regional airliner while approaching Buffalo, New York. The crash killed all 49 people on board and a man on the ground.

An investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board revealed that the pilots weren't closely monitoring the plane's airspeed, which began to decrease to dangerously slow levels. Thus the captain was startled when a safety system called a "stick shaker" automatically went on, violently rattling the control yoke. Instead of pointing the plane downward to pick up speed, the captain pulled back on the yoke to increase altitude. That slowed the plane even more, leading to an aerodynamic stall. The plane fell from the sky and landed on a house.

The board concluded that the monitoring errors by the flight crew demonstrated the need for more specific training on active monitoring skills.

The U.S. and other countries are transitioning to satellite-based air traffic systems and reducing their reliance on radar. Among the advantages of satellite-based navigation is that pilots can fly planes closer together. That allows more takeoffs and landings, and reduces congestion to meet growing demands for air travel. But the precision of automation is necessary in order for planes to safely fly closer together.

As automation increases, pilots have fewer opportunities to use manual flying skills. Industry studies and committees have found that pilots who don't get to use their manual flying skills may not be prepared to handle unexpected events. Two of the nine airlines visited by investigators actively discouraged pilots from manual flying under normal conditions.

"The opportunities air carrier pilots have during live operations to main proficiency in manual flight are limited and likely to diminish," the report said. "While the FAA has taken steps to emphasize the importance of pilots' manual flying and monitoring skills, the agency can and should do more to ensure that carriers are sufficiently training their pilots on these skills."

Clay Foushee, the FAA's director of audits and evaluations, said in comments submitted to the inspector general that the FAA is concerned about "an overreliance on automation and the importance of training pilots to handle unexpected events and manually fly an aircraft."

He said the FAA agrees with a recommendation about developing standards to determine whether pilots have enough opportunities to practice manual flying skills.

The FAA hopes to provide guidance to airlines on pilot monitoring by Jan. 31, 2017, he said.

Story, comments and photo: http://www.oregonlive.com

Jambojet to fly back to Lamu after runway upgrade



Jambojet has rescinded their decision to suspend its flights to Lamu.

This follows an announcement by Kenyan Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) that the repair work on the runway had been completed and Jambojet is now allowed to use the full runway in Manda Airstrip.

Commenting on the new development, Jambojet CEO Willem Hondius said that the refurbished runway will allow Jambojet to carry full capacity thus bringing more passengers to Lamu.

“We are glad that the Ministry of Transport in conjunction with the regulator have made it possible for us to fly back to the heritage-rich island starting 15th January 2015.”

“Furthermore we are making changes to our schedules to introduce circular flights that will ensure non-stop flights for passengers between Nairobi and Lamu. This enables passengers for both Lamu and Malindi to fly non-stop on the routes. “He added.

The move by Jambojet to introduce the circular flights will certainly boost the resurgent tourism sector considering that Lamu is an important attraction forming part of the coastal tourism circuit.

In 2015, the Island which is listed among the UNESCO world Heritage sites hosted over 20,000 visitors.

Currently, Jambojet flies the Bombardier Dash-8 Q400 aircraft which carries 78 passengers on the Lamu route. It launched flights to the coastal archipelago famous as a tourist attraction in March last year and has since seen passenger numbers rise despite the capacity limitations.

During the past period the total number of passenger travelling to Lamu went up by 71% compared to the previous year.

Jambojet, recorded a 17 percent jump in passenger numbers for the nine months ended December compared to the same period in 2014, buoyed by the introduction of various new routes including Lamu.

Source:  http://kbctv.co.ke

Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200, 9M-MRO, flight MH-370: Fatal accident occurred March 08, 2014 in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia

Australian air safety investigators shun ‘rogue pilot’ MH370 theory


Australian veteran airline captain Byron Bailey. He says the oxygen deprivation, or hypoxia, scenario does not stack up.


Australian air safety investigators are sticking to their preferred ­theory that Malaysian Flight MH370 crashed after the pilots lost consciousness for lack of oxygen, despite mounting opinion in the aviation community that the “rogue pilot” captain hijacked his own aircraft.

As revealed by The Weekend Australian, Australian veteran fighter pilot and airline captain Byron Bailey has joined British pilot Simon Hardy in saying the oxygen deprivation, or hypoxia, scenario does not stack up.

He suggested the known facts point to the captain, Zaharie Ahmad Shah, flying the Boeing 777 for more than seven hours and ditching it in the Southern Ocean.

Captain Bailey yesterday told The Australian many in the aviation community believed Australian authorities were under pressure from Malaysia to stick with the “pilot hypoxia” theory because the alternative “rogue pilot” theory would be awkward for the Malaysian government since it could mean Zaharie took the plane and the lives of 239 ­people including his own in an act of political protest.

Zaharie was a strong supporter of Malaysian opposition figure Anwar Ibrahim’s People’s Justice Party, and a relative.

A day before the doomed flight on March 8, 2014, Zaharie is believed to have attended Anwar’s court hearing that overturned his 2012 acquittal on sodomy ­charges, in what is widely seen as a politically motivated case.

“I have friends that say: ‘I smell a rat.’ ” Captain Bailey said.

“It could be a political act, and that would be embarrassing for the Malaysian government.”

While Australian authorities, in conjunction with Malaysian and Chinese officials, are co-ordinating the search for MH370, under international law Malaysia is responsible for the investi­gation. The search area was last month adjusted and now includes the area Captain Hardy identified as the likely resting place based on the controlled-ditching thesis.

Air Transport Safety Bureau spokesman Dan O’Malley said the authority was standing by its preferred unconscious aircrew theory. “The limited evidence available for MH370 was compared with three accident classes: an in-flight upset, an unresponsive crew/hypoxia event, and a glide event (generally characterised by a pilot-controlled glide),” Mr O’Malley said in a statement to The Australian.

“The final stages of the ‘unresponsive crew/hypoxia’ event-type appeared to best fit the available evidence for the final period of MH370’s flight when it was heading in a generally southerly direction.”

Not long into its flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, radio contact was lost with MH370, and its radar transponder signal disappeared, but Malaysian military radar tracked the plane flying back over Malaysia, including ­Zaharie’s home island of Penang, before turning south towards the Southern Ocean, where ­electronic satellite “handshake” data from the aircraft indicates it flew.

Captain Bailey says this shows the aircraft was under pilot control well after communications were lost, because had the pilots lost consciousness through ­hy­poxia, the autopilot would have continued the track to Beijing.

Captain Bailey also said an Australian government source had told him the FBI believed ­Zaharie hijacked the aircraft.

Story, photos and comments:  http://www.theaustralian.com.au

NTSB Identification: DCA14RA076
Scheduled 14 CFR Non-U.S., Commercial
Accident occurred Saturday, March 08, 2014 in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia
Aircraft: BOEING 777 - 206, registration:
Injuries: 239 Fatal.

The foreign authority was the source of this information.

The Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) has notified the NTSB of an accident involving a Boeing 777-200 that occurred on March 8, 2014. The NTSB has appointed a U.S. Accredited Representative to assist the Malaysian DCA investigation under the provisions of ICAO Annex 13 as the State of Manufacturer and Design of the airplane.

All investigative information will be released by the Malaysian DCA.

Hawker Hunter T.Mk 7, Canfield Hunter Ltd., G-BXFI: Fatal accident occurred August 22, 2015 near Shoreham Airport

Spectators injured during the Shoreham airshow disaster could be in line for million-pound compensation pay out after aircraft owners admitted liability for one survivor 





Spectators injured when a former RAF jet crashed during the Shoreham air show are set for massive compensation payments after the aircraft owners admit liability in the first legal case.

The 1950s Hawker Hunter crashed during an aerobatics display on August 22, 2015 killing 11 people.

The aircraft was was being flown by former RAF pilot Andy Hill when it crashed in a fireball on the A27 in Sussex, smashing into several cars.

The aircraft's owners Canfield Hunter Ltd have already settled one claim for compensation.

Specialist aviation lawyers Irwin Mitchell are representing some of the 15 people who were injured.

Jim Morris, specialist aviation expert and former RAF pilot is a partner at Irwin Mitchell. He said the total compensation figure is likely to run into millions of pounds.

The pilot survived the high speed crash and spent several weeks in an induced coma. Police interviewed Mr Hill before Christmas about his recollection of the crash.

Investigators have also examined two cockpit cameras which recorded events leading up to the tragedy.

Mr Morris told the Sunday People: 'Individually, cases will vary. Some may be just tens of thousands, some may be a six-figure sum. There could be cases that are seven figures.

'Under the Civil Aviation Act, the owner of the aircraft is liable for any loss or damage or injury to ground victims.

'We are in the process of potentially instructing more people – it’s always difficult following these kind of ­disasters to ascertain how many we will, in due course, represent.'

According to an interim report by the Air Accident Investigation Branch, the cockpit videos do not show any abnormal indications in the moments leading up to the disaster.

One of the cameras showed the aircraft was travelling at a 100knots while inverted at the top of the loop.

According to the interim report: 'Cockpit imagery is being analysed to help understand the final manoeuvre in more detail and to provide system status information.'

The doomed jet was built in 1955 and was in military service until the 1990s.

The AAIB said: 'The ground marks and photographic evidence show that the aircraft struck the road in a nose-high attitude on a magnetic heading of approximately 230°. The first ground contact was made by the lower portion of the jetpipe fairing, approximately 50 m east of the road junction.

'During the impact sequence fuel and fuel vapour from the fuel tanks was released and then ignited. The aircraft broke into four main pieces which came to rest close together approximately 243 m from the initial ground contact, in a shallow overgrown depression to the south of the A27.

'During the initial part of the impact sequence the jettisonable aircraft canopy was released, landing in a tree close to the main aircraft wreckage.

'During the latter part of the impact sequence, both the pilot and his seat were thrown clear from the cockpit. The pilot sustained serious injuries. The investigation continues to determine if the pilot attempted to initiate ejection or if the canopy and pilot’s seat were liberated as a result of impact damage to the cockpit.

'Most of the aircraft wreckage has been recovered and transported to the AAIB facilities at Farnborough where it will be subject to further detailed examination. Work continues to recover smaller wreckage from the accident site.'

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk

The victims:
(Top row, left to right) Matt Jones, Matthew Grimstone, Jacob Schilt, Maurice Abrahams, Richard Smith. (Bottom row, left to right) Mark Reeves, Tony Brightwell, Mark Trussler, Daniele Polito, Dylan Archer, Graham Mallinson

  • Matt Jones, a 24-year-old personal trainer
  • Matthew Grimstone, 23, a Worthing United footballer who worked as a groundsman at Brighton & Hove Albion
  • Jacob Schilt, also 23 and also a Worthing United player, was travelling to a match with Mr Grimstone
  • Maurice Abrahams, 76, from Brighton, was a chauffeur on his way to pick up a bride on her wedding day
  • Friends Richard Smith, 26, and Dylan Archer, 42, who were going for a bike ride on the South Downs
  • Mark Reeves, 53, had ridden his motorcycle to the perimeter of Shoreham Airport to take photos of the planes
  • Tony Brightwell, 53, from Hove was an aircraft enthusiast and had learnt to fly at Shoreham airfield
  • Mark Trussler, 54, is thought to have been riding his motorcycle on the A27
  • Daniele Polito was travelling in the same car as Mr Jones
  • Graham Mallinson, 72, from Newick, was a keen photographer and retired engineer

Vietnam Says China’s Flights to South China Sea a Threat to Air Safety: Vietnam authorities claim 46 instances of Chinese planes flying unannounced through Vietnam’s area of responsibility in first week of January

This handout picture from China’s official Xinhua News Agency shows a China Southern Airlines civilian plane landing at a newly-built airstrip on an island at Fiery Cross Reef, in the South China Sea, on January 6, 2016.


The Wall Street Journal
By Vu Trong Khanh
Jan. 9, 2016 5:06 a.m. ET


HANOI—Vietnam’s civil aviation regulators have accused China of jeopardizing regional air safety by flying aircraft to a disputed reef in the South China Sea.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam said unannounced flights “threaten the safety of all flights in the region”, according to reports published in state-run media Saturday. It said it had filed a complaint with the United Nations’ International Civil Aviation Organization, or ICAO, and sent a protest letter to China’s government.

“ICAO is responsible for supervising all civil aviation activities in the world, and we expect that it will issue warnings to China after it finds out about its violations,” Vietnam’s civil aviation director Lai Xuan Thanh subsequently said in a telephone interview.

China’s foreign ministry didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Beijing on Wednesday said it had landed planes on a newly-built airstrip on an island at Fiery Cross Reef, part of the Spratly islands chain claimed by Vietnam and China, which also claims nearly the entire South China Sea as its territorial waters.

Vietnam, though, has been mandated by ICAO to supervise international air traffic through a large portion of the South China Sea known as the Ho Chi Minh City Flight Information Region, specifically tracking flights and providing alerts when needed. Aviation authorities were reported in state media as saying they had recorded 46 instances of Chinese planes flying without warning through Vietnam’s area of responsibility in the first week of January, including the test flights to Fiery Cross Reef.

Mr. Thanh said Chinese planes flew onto the flight paths of several international commercial flights, though none had to change their routes as a result.

China’s flights to Fiery Cross Reef mark a further escalation in the race among various claimants to the South China Sea to develop their presence on atolls and reefs in the area. Vietnam, the Philippines and Taiwan also occupy some geographical features there. In some instances, these include small garrisons and limited military facilities.

In recent years, China has moved to expand and upgrade its own outposts in the area, however, upsetting the status quo.

Vietnam has complained that the recent test flights to Fiery Cross Reef violate its territorial rights, while this week Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said China is on track to set up an air defense identification zone in the South China Sea that could limit free navigation of flights in the region. Such a move would also challenge Vietnam’s supervisory role in parts of the South China Sea.

The U.S. has also criticized Beijing’s flights to Fiery Cross Reef, with a Defense Department spokeswoman recently saying the test flights “are inconsistent with the region’s commitments to exercise restraint from actions that could complicate or escalate disputes.”

—Chun Han Wong contributed to this article.

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



A satellite image of Fiery Cross Reef in the South China Sea’s disputed Spratly Islands shows an airstrip under construction in April 2015.

Satellite imagery of runway construction at Fiery Cross Reef in the Spratly Islands dated Feb. 6 and March 23 by Airbus Defence and Space.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Avid Mark IV, N72MT: Accident occurred January 09, 2016 near Florida Flying Gators Ultralight Airpark (3FD4), Minneola, Lake County, Florida

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

NTSB Identification: ERA16LA086
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, January 09, 2016 in Minneola, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/23/2017
Aircraft: WAYLAND JOHN H AVID MARK IV, registration: N72MT
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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

The sport pilot of the experimental, amateur-built, light sport airplane performed a takeoff and initiated a steep, left, crosswind turn to avoid horses off the end of the runway. About 300 ft above the ground, he smelled "burning wires" and thought he saw a "wisp of smoke." The engine "sputtered then died." The left wing stalled, the airplane rolled inverted, and entered a downward spiral. The airplane collided with trees and terrain before coming to rest, inverted, in a grassy field. Examination of the airframe and engine found no evidence of a mechanical failure or malfunction that would have prevented normal operation. The pilot received his sport pilot certificate about 4 months before the accident and had accumulated about 120 hours of total flight time at the time of the accident. It is likely that, following the total loss of engine power, the pilot failed to reduce the airplane’s angle of attack either sufficiently or quickly enough to prevent an aerodynamic stall/spin.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
A total loss of engine power for reasons that could not be determined because postaccident examination revealed no anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's exceedance of the airplane’s critical angle of attack during the crosswind turn, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall/spin.




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

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office;  Orlando, Florida 

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

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N72MT

NTSB Identification: ERA16LA086 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, January 09, 2016 in Minneola, FL
Aircraft: WAYLAND JOHN H AVID MARK IV, registration: N72MT
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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 January 9, 2016, about 1600 eastern standard time, an experimental amateur-built Avid Mark IV, N72MT, was substantially damaged following a forced landing after takeoff from Florida Flying Gators Ultralight Flightpark (3FD4), Minneola, Florida. The sport pilot was seriously injured. The airplane was privately owned and operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Day, visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The local flight was originating at the time of the accident.

The pilot reported that, after takeoff, he turned onto the crosswind leg of the traffic pattern. He performed a steep turn after takeoff to avoid horses off the end of the runway. He then noticed the smell of "burning wires" and "may have seen a wisp of smoke." At 300 feet above the ground, and while still climbing, the engine "sputtered, then died." He made a radio call that he was returning to the runway. The left wing then stalled and the airplane rolled inverted and entered a downward spiral. The airplane collided with two trees during the descent before colliding with the terrain. The airplane came to rest in a grassy area, inverted.

Inspectors with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) responded to the accident site and examined the wreckage. They observed structural damage to fuselage, empennage, and both wings. An FAA airworthiness inspector examined the engine and found no evidence of a mechanical failure or malfunction. There were no arcing or burn signatures on the engine's electrical wiring or connectors. A postaccident test run of the engine could not be performed due to impact damage.

The pilot received his sport pilot certificate on September 2, 2015, after taking a two-week training course. He reported 120 hours of total flight time, including 100 hours as pilot-in-command. He also reported 65 hours in the accident airplane make and model, all as pilot-in-command. He stated that, after the accident, he took additional lessons with his original flight instructor to practice emergency procedures, stalls, and stall recovery.






NTSB Identification: ERA16LA086 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, January 09, 2016 in Minneola, FL
Aircraft: WAYLAND JOHN H AVID MARK IV, registration: N72MT
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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

On January 9, 2016, about 1600 eastern standard time, an experimental amateur-built Avid Mark IV, N72MT, was substantially damaged following a forced landing after takeoff from Florida Flying Gators Ultralight Flightpark (3FD4), Minneola, Florida. The sport pilot was seriously injured. The airplane was owned and operated by a private individual under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Day, visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The local flight was originating at the time of the accident.

The pilot reported that, after takeoff, he turned onto the crosswind leg of the traffic pattern. At 300 feet above the ground, and while climbing, the engine "sputtered then died." He made a radio call that he was returning to the runway. The airplane "stalled and entered a spin attitude." The airplane impacted a grassy area and came to rest inverted.

An inspector with the Federal Aviation Administration responded to the accident site and examined the wreckage. Structural damage to fuselage, empennage, and both wings was noted.

The wreckage was retained for further examination. The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office;  Orlando, Florida 

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

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N72MT

NTSB Identification: ERA16LA086 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, January 09, 2016 in Minneola, FL
Aircraft: WAYLAND JOHN H AVID MARK IV, registration: N72MT
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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 January 9, 2016, about 1600 eastern standard time, an experimental amateur-built Avid Mark IV, N72MT, was substantially damaged following a forced landing after takeoff from Florida Flying Gators Ultralight Flightpark (3FD4), Minneola, Florida. The sport pilot was seriously injured. The airplane was privately owned and operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Day, visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The local flight was originating at the time of the accident.

The pilot reported that, after takeoff, he turned onto the crosswind leg of the traffic pattern. He performed a steep turn after takeoff to avoid horses off the end of the runway. He then noticed the smell of "burning wires" and "may have seen a wisp of smoke." At 300 feet above the ground, and while still climbing, the engine "sputtered, then died." He made a radio call that he was returning to the runway. The left wing then stalled and the airplane rolled inverted and entered a downward spiral. The airplane collided with two trees during the descent before colliding with the terrain. The airplane came to rest in a grassy area, inverted.

Inspectors with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) responded to the accident site and examined the wreckage. They observed structural damage to fuselage, empennage, and both wings. An FAA airworthiness inspector examined the engine and found no evidence of a mechanical failure or malfunction. There were no arcing or burn signatures on the engine's electrical wiring or connectors. A postaccident test run of the engine could not be performed due to impact damage.

The pilot received his sport pilot certificate on September 2, 2015, after taking a two-week training course. He reported 120 hours of total flight time, including 100 hours as pilot-in-command. He also reported 65 hours in the accident airplane make and model, all as pilot-in-command. He stated that, after the accident, he took additional lessons with his original flight instructor to practice emergency procedures, stalls, and stall recovery.








NTSB Identification: ERA16LA086 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, January 09, 2016 in Minneola, FL
Aircraft: WAYLAND JOHN H AVID MARK IV, registration: N72MT
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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

On January 9, 2016, about 1600 eastern standard time, an experimental amateur-built Avid Mark IV, N72MT, was substantially damaged following a forced landing after takeoff from Florida Flying Gators Ultralight Flightpark (3FD4), Minneola, Florida. The sport pilot was seriously injured. The airplane was owned and operated by a private individual under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Day, visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The local flight was originating at the time of the accident.

The pilot reported that, after takeoff, he turned onto the crosswind leg of the traffic pattern. At 300 feet above the ground, and while climbing, the engine "sputtered then died." He made a radio call that he was returning to the runway. The airplane "stalled and entered a spin attitude." The airplane impacted a grassy area and came to rest inverted.

An inspector with the Federal Aviation Administration responded to the accident site and examined the wreckage. Structural damage to fuselage, empennage, and both wings was noted.

The wreckage was retained for further examination.

MINNEOLA -- An experimental aircraft went down in the Minneola area on Saturday.

Lt. John Herrell, Lake County sheriff’s spokesman, said the pilot taken off from the Gator Airfield in Groveland and was doing touch-and-go’s when the engine began to smoke.

The aircraft crashed in the 9400 block of Libby Road Number 3 in the Minneola area about 4 p.m. and left the pilot with serious injuries.

Alan Resnick, a spokesman with the Flying Gators, identified the pilot as Robert Salzmann of Groveland and said about 7:45 p.m. Saturday that the he was in the trauma unit.

“We hope he will be OK,” Resnick said.

According to officials with Lake County Fire-Rescue, the experimental aircraft dropped about 500 feet from the sky onto the ground. Firefighters from Groveland and Clermont also responded. The pilot was flown to Orlando Regional Medical Center.

A spokesman with the Federal Aviation Administration said the crash of the Avid Mark IV plane is under investigation.

Source:  http://www.dailycommercial.com

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. — A small plane crashed in a field near Minneola Saturday afternoon shortly after takeoff, Lake County Fire Rescue said.

The experimental aircraft crashed in a field off Libby No. 3 Rd. at about 4:15 p.m. not far from the Florida Flying Gators Ultralight Airport from which it took off, said LCFR Capt. Clint Lowery.

The pilot was practicing touch-and-go landings when the experimental aircraft engine began to smoke and the plane dropped 500 feet from the sky, Lowery said.

Lowery said the pilot had multiple injuries and was airlifted to Orlando Regional Medical Center in stable condition.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash.

Source:  http://www.wftv.com

LAKE COUNTY --  An experimental aircraft pilot appears to have escaped serious injury Saturday in a crash in Groveland.

According to the Lake County Sheriff's Office, deputies responded to Gator Air Field in Groveland around 4 p.m. after receiving a report of a plane crash. 

The single occupant, single-engine experimental plane reportedly dropped from approximately 500 feet in the sky, officials said.

The pilot was conducting touch-and-go’s when the engine area of the plane began to smoke, said John Herrell, the Lake County Sheriff's Office spokesman.

The still-unnamed pilot was flown to Orlando Regional Medical Center with what appeared to be non-life-threatening injuries. 

An investigation is being conducted by FAA.

Source: http://www.mynews13.com

One man was injured when an experimental aircraft fell from an altitude of about 500 feet in Groveland Saturday afternoon, authorities said.

The pilot, who was the only person in the single-engine experimental plane, was taken to a hospital with serious injuries, according to Lake County Fire Rescue officials.

The pilot was at Gator Air Field about 4 p.m. doing touch-and-goes, an exercise in which pilots take off, land and take off again without stopping, said Lt. John Herrell, a Lake County sheriff's spokesman.

Suddenly, smoke started coming out of the engine and the plane crashed, Herrell said.

The pilot was taken to Orlando Regional Medical in Orlando with injuries that were serious, but not life threatening.

Source:  http://www.orlandosentinel.com

City looks to expand Turlock Municipal Airport (O15) runway



A runway widening project at the Turlock Municipal Airport will be under consideration by the Turlock City Council on Tuesday, the first council meeting of 2016.

The runway at the City-owned airport, which is located approximately 9 miles east of the city along East Avenue at Newport Road, does not currently meet the Federal Aviation Administration's design standards of 60 feet in width, falling short by 10 feet.

The City Council will consider the submission of an application for General Aviation entitlement funds to help pay for needed improvements to begin the widening project, which include grading and drainage to the runway safety area, relocation of the wind indicator and various infrastructure improvements.

The total project is expected to cost $666,667. The federal grant requested would be $600,000, and the City would be required to contribute 10 percent in matching funds ($66,667).

The Turlock Municipal Airport has been in operation since the 1940s. From 1942 to 1945 it was an Army Air Training Base in conjunction with the Castle Air Force Base where the student pilots were housed. In July 1947, the airport property was deeded to the City of Turlock.

No commercial airlines fly out of the Turlock airport, which is mainly used by private pilots and air ambulance service companies.

The airport is also the site of the popular Young Eagles event each year, providing free flights to children between the ages of 7 and 17. The Turlock Regional Aviation Association, which operates the airport, in conjunction with the City’s Parks and Recreation Department have sponsored three events, which are usually in the fall, and to date have provided the experience of flight to over 500 children from the surrounding area.

Also on Tuesday, the Council is expected to:

Make a number of appointments, from Vice Mayor to Parks, Arts and Recreation Commissioners and Turlock representatives to The Alliance, Stanislaus Council of Governments, Turlock Mosquito Abatement District and the Turlock Public Library Partnership.Consider a final reading on the Turlock Municipal Code Amendments prohibiting cultivation of cannabis for all purposes and banning business licenses for medical marijuana dispensaries.

The Turlock City Council will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Yosemite Room at City Hall, 156 S. Broadway.

Source:  http://www.turlockjournal.com

More private pilots heading to Bozeman, Gallatin County, Montana



BOZEMAN -

Bozeman has become an increasingly popular destination which is seen by the large number of tourists consistently flooding in.

“I've owned this place since 1979,” said Arlin Wass, owner of Arlin's Aircraft Service.

Arlin has been running Arlin's Aircraft Service for around 37 years and he is doing something right because over the years the Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport is not the only airport seeing an increase in passengers.

“It's a lot more traffic coming in over the last few years. We've had more jets, mainly I believe, because of Big Sky, Yellowstone Club, and all the tourists and everything else that's found Montana,” said Wass.  

Bozeman has seen an increase of around 70 private flights this past year.

“We have got more flights than any other town in the state of Montana. We are ahead of Billings at this time,” said Wass.

Arlin's is primarily a Cessna single engine authorized repair station. However, they work on jets of all sizes, including planes from the Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport.

“A lot of people come in because we've got enough parts on hand to turn a person and get them out of here in a hurry,” explained Wass.

Arlin says he hopes to continue in this new year by providing the same great customer service on the planes that he loves.

“Just keep the business we got right now. It's been busy and I believe it's going to be busier this coming year,” said Wass.

Arlin’s Aircraft Service is located next to the Bozeman Yellowstone International Airfield. 

Story and video:  http://www.kpax.com

Oregon standoff: Federal Bureau of Investigation stages at Burns Municipal Airport (KBNO)




BURNS — The FBI has staged at the Burns Municipal Airport, blocking entrance to a U.S. Bureau of Land Management base there used to fight fires during the summer.

Men in FBI gear were posted Saturday in a sport utility vehicle along Airport Road about five miles east of the city, keeping cars and trucks from entering a BLM "SEAT Base" where another large vehicle sat equipped with FBI signage, numerous antennae, a satellite dish and other gear.

The men declined to answer questions or identify themselves and asked a reporter not to enter the SEAT Base on foot. SEAT stands for "single engine air tanker," a small agricultural airplane used to drop fire retardant on wildfires. Law enforcement officials have been posted there for days.

The FBI's presence was another reminder of the armed occupation more than 30 miles away at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, which entered its eighth day Saturday. A group of militants led by Arizona businessman Ammon Bundy and joined Friday by an armed group of self-styled patriots from Idaho has commandeered the bird sanctuary to protest the federal government's ownership of public land in Harney County.

Bundy, son of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, has refused to leave the refuge despite public entreaties by residents and Sheriff Dave Ward's offer to peacefully escort the militants out of town. On Saturday, about two dozen new arrivals showed up with rifles and bulletproof vests.

Jeff Cotton, manager at the city-owned airport, said the BLM operates the SEAT Base as a separate entity. The Burns Municipal Airport remains open, he said. Cotton confirmed that the FBI was staged at the SEAT Base but said he didn't know what officials were doing there.

There was no sign of federal law enforcement at the BLM's Burns headquarters in nearby Hines. For the militants, the BLM is one of the main symbols of what they see as the federal government's overreach.

About six or seven planes are in hangars at the airport, Cotton said, with about six more stationed outside. There's no air traffic control tower, he said – pilots simply announce when they're coming to the airport.

"None of your smaller (general aviation) airports in eastern Oregon are towered," Cotton said.

When planes land, he said, "everybody's on (the same) channel and everybody knows where everybody's at."

The airport was a military air base in the 1940s, Cotton said, adding that he believes the city acquired it in the 1950s.

"We're a small airport," Cotton said. "The more, the merrier."

Mostly everything at the airport, Cotton said, was made possible by federal grant money.

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