Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The de Havilland Aircraft Museum secures National Lottery Fund investment

The prototype de Havilland Mosquito at the museum

The de Havilland Aircraft Museum in London Colney is one of two projects to secure investment from the National Lottery Fund in a bid to safeguard the East of England’s Second World War heritage.

Also set to be transformed by the investment is Bawdsey Radar Transmitter Block in Suffolk, home to the world’s first fully operational radar station.

Robyn Llewellyn, head of Heritage Lottery Fund East of England, said: “The East of England played a vital role during the Second World War, particularly in the field of aviation.

“Thanks to National Lottery players, the Heritage Lottery Fund has been able to invest in two transformational projects that will ensure many more people in the region and beyond are able to explore these pivotal stories from one of our nation’s most important periods in its history.”

The de Havilland Aircraft Museum has been awarded £62,200 out of Heritage Lottery Fund’s £1.5 million to build a new hangar that will better house its collection of de Havilland aircraft.

The museum’s new hangar will be linked to the main hangar, which was built in the early 1980s and houses the DH98 Mosquito prototype.

 It will replace the museum’s small original hangar in which its first aircraft, the Mosquito prototype, was initially housed.

Museum marketing director Mike Nevin said: “The new hangar is the most ambitious project on which the museum has ever embarked since it opened to the public in 1959 and it will see us becoming even more closely involved with the community as we will be developing close links with local school and organisations and providing employment and training opportunities.”

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

Ottumwa Regional Airport (KOTM) fixed-base operator bids under the microscope

OTTUMWA — One of the first steps toward a new contract for a fixed base operator at Ottumwa Regional Airport was taken Tuesday when the city’s airport board met to discuss proposals from Ottumwa Flying Service and Archangel.

The costs in the two proposals are very different. And it appears possible there will be negotiations on the exact amounts before any contract is signed.

In the first year, OFS would receive $64,750 from the city. Archangel’s proposal puts that figure at $46,000.

Differences are greatest in the second year. Archangel drops the payment it would receive to $45,000. OFS increases the city’s payment to $71,250.

Both proposals also include some revenue the airport for items like hangar and office rentals and fuel sales.

It’s not a straight question of money, though, as shown by the board members’ discussion of fuel. The difference between an operator fueling the planes for pilots or the pilots using a self-service approach to fueling is considerable. It’s a question of appearance for the airport and a financial question. Providing the service directly typically costs more than a self-service approach.

Airport tenants matter, too. The board discussed whether Musco Lighting, one of the major residents, would prefer a longer-term contract to provide stability. Musco’s apparent concerns also include fuel prices, which leads back to the question of how the operator would provide aviation gas for planes.

This whole process is playing out days after an incident at the airport raised concerns for the Secret Service during Donald Trump’s visit to Ottumwa.

Keeley Paris, a pilot who frequently flies out of the airport, said Secret Service agents were concerned by the presence of firearms in Steve Black’s OFS office. That prompted them to shift Trump’s arrival at the airport from the terminal to a secured location to the east.

It’s not clear whether the presence of guns at the airport violates city policy. But Paris said firearms and smoking in the airport terminal raise questions for him.

“Anywhere else I go this wouldn’t be tolerated,” he said. “If any other city [contractor] did this, something would be done about it. But, for some reason, the city turns a blind eye.”

The next step is a pair of interviews on Friday. Those interviews won’t be carried out by the full airport board, though. A committee will conduct the interviews. The committee tentatively involves City Administrator Andy Morris, Mayor Tom Lazio, several other city employees, but only one board member.

City Attorney Joni Keith said the interviews will not be open to the public.

Board member Jim Lindenmayer said the committee members need to be sure they fully examine the issues in the proposals and the airport. Information, or a lack thereof, matters.

“If you just go and ranked them without knowing the subtleties, it could come out a lot different for the city,” he said.

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

Incident occurred January 12, 2016 at McCarran International Airport (KLAS), Las Vegas, Clark County, Nevada

An American Airlines flight from Los Angeles to New York City was diverted to Las Vegas this afternoon when the crew reported smelling smoke in the cockpit, according to McCarran International Airport.

Flight 256, an Airbus A321, reported the smell about 3 p.m. and landed safely at McCarran about 3:20 p.m., airport spokeswoman Christine Crews said.

The Clark County Fire Department found no smoke or fire aboard the plane, which had about 90 people aboard, she said.

The plane made it to the gate under its own power, Crews said.

Reports circulated through social media that reality TV star Khloe Kardashian was on the plane. A tweet from Kardashian's Twitter account about 3:50 p.m. said she was en route to New York City today when her flight made an emergency landing in Las Vegas.

Story and comments: http://lasvegassun.com

New low-cost airline lands at Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport

Thayne Klinger, manager of airports with Allegiant Air, announces Tuesday that the low-cost airline will be providing service from Destin-Fort Walton Beach to St. Louis and Cincinnati.

For weeks, Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport has been teasing the community that they had landed “a big one.”

On Tuesday, the airport took that fish off the line to show it off to everyone. Representatives from Allegiant Air were at the airport Tuesday morning for a ceremony announcing the airline would soon begin offering low-fare, non-stop service connecting Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport to two Midwest destinations.

“We’re constantly evaluating new growth opportunities and we’re excited about markets like Destin,” said Thayne Klingler, airports manager for Allegiant Air, after the ceremony. “... It fits what we do. We take people on vacation, places they want to go. We pick places that we don’t have to explain to people why they want to go there.”

Allegiant Air will begin its local service on May 20 with direct flights between Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport and the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. The service will expand the following month when their airline offers direct flights to and from the MidAmerica St. Louis Airport on June 2.

The new flights will operate twice weekly and are expected to bring more than 12,000 additional visitors each year to the Destin/Fort Walton Beach area and generate an estimated $3.5 million annually in total visitor spending, according to Allegiant. Tickets to both destinations are on sale now and can be booked at Allegiant.com.

To celebrate the launch of the new service, Allegiant Air is offering a limited number of one-way tickets for $39 as long as they’re booked by Wednesday for flights on or before Aug. 16. On average, Allegiant fares are less than half the national average at $74 for a one- way ticket, said Kim Schaefer, public relations manager for Allegiant Air.

Allegiant is planning for the local service to be seasonal. The flights to MidAmerica St. Louis Airport are currently scheduled to end for the season Sept. 4, while the flights to Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport will end the following day.

If the flights do well, the airline could add more flights in 2017, fly a longer season or add more destinations, said Lukas Johnson, vice president of network and pricing for Allegiant Air.
“It really depends on how these first two routes do,” Johnson said. “It’s based on customer response and how much they like heading down to the Northwest Florida Destination. I think that will tell how much we start up next year.”

Allegiant Air, based in Las Vegas, was founded in 1997 and is a subsidiary of Allegiant Travel Company. The airline operates a fleet of 53 MD-80 aircraft, six Boeing 757-200s, seven Airbus A319s and 10 Airbus A320s.
Johnson said the Airbus A320s would be used to service Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport.

 Mike Stenson, deputy airport director for Okaloosa County, said he and the airport’s staff have been working on bringing Allegiant Air to Okaloosa County for more than eight years. He said it has been a long process of meeting with the airline at industry conferences and at their headquarters to discuss the attributes of the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport and why this would be a good location for them.

“There’s 300 commercial service airports in the country and they’re all competing for the same service,” Stenson said. “It’s a big win not just for the airport, but for the whole community.”

Okaloosa County Commissioners voted in November to spend $3 million over the next three years to market Allegiant. The money will come from the county bed tax reserves.

Tuesday’s announcement about Allegiant starting service locally was part of a much larger announcement the airline made announcing their service expansion. Allegiant also announced two other new destinations for them, Washington D.C./Baltimore and El Paso, Texas.

Between the three new destinations and expanding routes for their existing destinations, Allegiant Air announced 19 new routes nationwide Tuesday.

“We are very excited to announce new routes within the communities we currently serve and to also have the opportunity to introduce our unique brand of ultra-low-cost travel to three brand-new cities,” said Jude Bricker, Allegiant senior vice president of planning, in a news release. “It’s a great way to start 2016 by announcing these new flights, new cities and providing millions of travelers more options to vacation for less this year.”

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

Evektor Sportstar Plus, ZK-MAC, Pacific Pilot Training: Incident occurred January 13, 2016 at Nelson Airport (NZNS), Annesbrook, Nelson, New Zealand

A student pilot was uninjured during an incident upon landing of a light aircraft at Nelson Airport. 

Emergency were called to the scene about 1:20pm on Wednesday.

Pacific Pilot Training chief flying instructor David Marriott said the nose gear on the aircraft had collapsed upon landing.

"It doesn't normally happen. It was a landing accident, basically."

He said the student pilot on a routine training flight was OK, but "a bit upset".

Marriott said there was "a little bit of damage" to the aircraft.

The crash caused some disruption to other flights at Nelson Airport on Wednesday afternoon.

Pacific Pilot Training: http://www.pacificpilot.co.nz


Emergency services are at the scene of a light plane crash at Nelson Airport today.

An Airways Corporation spokeswoman said that there was one man inside the plane at the time, who "walked away" from the accident.

Reports of the accident were received about 1.20pm.

Tasman District Police Sergeant Steve Savage said police were currently at the incident.

"It is a light plane, there are no injuries," he said.

"It sounds like more of a rough landing classified as a crash, they have had some difficulties and just landed rough."

A St John spokesman said the ambulance service was alerted but stood down about 1.35pm.

Emergency services are at the scene of a light plane crash at Nelson Airport today.

An Airways Corporation spokeswoman said that there was one man inside the plane at the time, who "walked away" from the accident.

Reports of the accident were received about 1.20pm.

Tasman District Police Sergeant Steve Savage said police were currently at the incident.

"It is a light plane, there are no injuries," he said.

"It sounds like more of a rough landing classified as a crash, they have had some difficulties and just landed rough."

A St John spokesman said the ambulance service was alerted but stood down about 1.35pm.

Buffalo Airways' license reinstated by Transport Canada: Regulator says it will 'closely monitor' airline to verify it is taking corrective actions on safety issues

A Buffalo Airways C-46 airplane is shown after it caught fire at the Yellowknife airport in December 2013. Transport Canada grounded the airline in November due to safety compliance issues.

Transport Canada says it has reinstated Buffalo Airways' Air Operator Certificate effective immediately.

In a news release issued late Tuesday, the agency said the move came following the approval of the company's corrective action plans. 

The regulator suspended the airline's air operator certificate, effective Nov. 30 at 11:59 p.m., due to its "poor safety record."

In the release, it says its concerns regarding the company's safety record and its ability to keep its operations compliant with aviation safety regulations have been addressed by the corrective actions, and that it will "closely monitor" Buffalo Airways to "verify that its corrective action is implemented and sustained."

The company's flagship aircraft are the Second World War-era DC-3s and DC-4s it uses for passenger and cargo flights, as seen on TV's Ice Pilots NWT for six seasons.

Buffalo Airways offers charter freight and passenger flights throughout the Northwest Territories and beyond. It also ran a regularly-scheduled passenger service between Yellowknife and Hay River, N.W.T., prior to the shutdown.

It initially continued to use outside charters to serve clients after the shutdown, but announced Dec. 24 it was postponing its passenger flights between Yellowknife and Hay River, N.W.T.

Source:  http://www.cbc.ca

West Michigan Regional Airport (KBIV) terminal adds amenities with donations

The West Michigan Regional Airport's new $1.8 million terminal is under construction at the facility located off South Washington Avenue. Crews are working to enclose the structure now, and it is slated to open this year. 

Holland, Mich.

With private donations, the West Michigan Regional Airport’s terminal will be all it was planned to be, officials said Monday, Jan. 11.

Trans-Matic, Raymond James Charitable Endowment and several individuals donated north of $250,000.

“I think you’ll be very pleased with that report that will come to you in February,” West Michigan Airport Authority Manager Greg Robinson told the board that oversees the airport. “It’s awesome to see this level of commitment from the community.”

Another $150,000 to $200,000 in private donations is expected next month, he said. Items such as a ceiling to cover the metal beams and specialized glass that changes tint depending on the sun can be re-added to the project, paid for with the donations. About $430,000 in amenities were taken out when the plan came in at a higher price than expected.

The airplane apron and 7,500-square-foot building are expected to cost $6.6 million. The Federal Aviation Administration, Michigan Department of Transportation, the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and local contributors are expected to fund about 87 percent of the cost.

Construction is underway at the airport off of South Washington Avenue in Holland’s south side. Crews are beginning to enclose the building.

“I can tell you from the runway, it looks very impressive, and I’ve heard a lot of very positive comments about how nice it looks even under construction,” board secretary Russell Sylte said.

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

Temporary 1-cent sales tax yields $32.6 million for Lafayette Regional Airport (KLFT) improvements

Lafayette Parish’s 1-cent airport sales tax pulled in almost $32.6 million to help pay for a new $90 million commercial terminal at Lafayette Regional Airport during the eight months it was collected last year, officials said.

Originally projected to bring in $35 to $37 million, the tax took effect April 1 and ran until Nov. 30, a period that saw sales tax revenue fall 7 to 10 percent each month compared with the same months in 2014 because of declining oil and gas activity.

Although merchants quit charging the extra penny at the end of November, the parish collected the tax from businesses in December and tallied the final receipts this month.

“I think we are in good shape,” Airport Commission Chairman Paul Guilbeau said when he learned of the total this week.

“Now we’ve got to do what the taxpayers trusted us to do, and that is build it,” he said.

Parish voters in December 2014 elected to tax themselves an extra penny for each dollar on retail sales to pay for a modern passenger terminal.

The tax proceeds will be added to money from bonds and federal and state grants to cover the $90 million.

Guilbeau said construction should start in early 2017.

Guilbeau is one of five members of an ad hoc airport committee that is screening proposals by architectural and engineering firms for work on the terminal and other projects. He said the committee is on track to finish by a Friday deadline its review of prequalification proposals submitted by eight architectural and engineering firms.

“I want to try to hold to the deadline,” Guilbeau said. “I’d be hard pressed to accept any delay” unless it’s vital.

The same committee also will review proposals by project management companies interested in building the terminal. According to the commission’s timeline, the committee will complete its review by Feb. 4, and will notify the companies the next day and set up interviews.

The commission wants to award the design and project management contracts by June 1.

Commission Vice Chairman Tim Skinner said the architectural and engineering firms and the project management companies should be able to submit their ideas and proposals for the airport within the commission’s time frame.

“All the contractors knew it (the terminal project) was coming,” he said. “The big firms do this all the time. I don’t think it will be that difficult to get those packages out on time.”

Commissioners in 2014 fanned out across the parish to lobby for the tax to modernize the airport that struggles to handle parking on some days and to process long queues for boarding and luggage.

According to preliminary plans, a new terminal will expand the passenger gates from three to five, with room to add two more. Parking also would be increased.

“I think we need to get this thing rolling,” Skinner said. “I think we’re behind where we should be.”

Skinner said the commission and others began the push for a new terminal before the tax was passed two Decembers ago. “Along the way we had a lot of hurdles to overcome,” he said.

One was finding and hiring an executive director after former airport Director Greg Roberts resigned in June 2014. Roberts was accused of pointing a fake gun at an engineer during a meeting at the airport.

Lafayette airport Director Steven Picou was hired away from the airport in Amarillo, Texas, in January 2015, after a months-long national search. Lafayette commissioners chose Picou, 44, partly because of his experience in selecting contractors and in running the daily operations of an airport undergoing major projects.

Source: http://theadvocate.com

Jonathan Walter: Soaring to new heights

Jonathan Walter is president of Walter Aviation Co. and Iowa Aerial Advertising, Independence.

INDEPENDENCE — Jonathan Walter set his career goals a bit higher than many of his peers.

His interest always has been airplanes. At first, he thought he might want to design aircraft. He found, however, he’d rather fly them.

Now he owns two aviation companies, teaches others to fly and has carved a business niche for himself.

“I attended Iowa State for one year — that was after taking my first airplane ride,” Walter said. “I went to school and decided I’d much rather fly than design them, so I came home.”

Walter, who grew up in Independence, came back, took flying lessons and earned his pilot’s license in 2009.

Three years later, he opened his own flying school at Independence Municipal Airport, a facility he has managed since July 2012.

Oh, and he’s only 25.

His career has taken flight.

“Certainly, I didn’t expect to be running my own business by age 25, but I’ve always had the interest in doing my own thing,” Walter said. “I’ve always enjoyed being a leader but being self-dependent in what I do. It just kind of fit and kind of pulled together. I had opportunities that popped up and didn’t hesitate to take them.”

Walter’s first business venture was Iowa Aerial Advertising, which he launched in 2011 after having purchased his first aircraft. The plane came with some banner-towing equipment, which really was the chief lure of the purchase.

“It had all this extra equipment that the previous owner wasn’t using, and I thought it was kind of a neat idea and something that hadn’t been done in Iowa that I had known, for years anyway, so we started towing banners in September 2011,” he said.

If there’s a banner fluttering over a football game, a city festival or any massive gathering of people, chances are high Walter or an associate is towing it.

He runs the flight school with his girlfriend, Gretchen Fisher, who is one of his former flight students.

Fisher and Angie Shephard, another Walter employee, nominated Walter for The Courier’s 20 Under 40 honor in 2015. They pointed out Walter works directly with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration in training and certifying upcoming banner tow pilots and operators.

“To this day, this is the only certified banner towing business in Iowa,” they said.

Along with the flight school, Walter directs FAA Part 135 Charter Operations and FAA Part 135 Air Cargo Operations. Walter Aviation also provides a full-service maintenance shop, 24-hour full-serve fuel, aerial photography, agricultural surveying and scenic air tours.

Walter is active in the Independence Area Chamber of Commerce and donates various services to local organizations such as Junior Achievement, the Juvenile Diabetes Fund and local schools.

“Jonathan is committed to raising awareness of general aviation,” Fisher and Shephard said.

“He strives to encourage young people to experience the thrill of flight by hosting Boy Scout and Girl Scout troop tours and activities and speaking at many local career day functions. Walter Aviation and Iowa Aerial Advertising are more than just businesses to Jonathan, they are his passion.”

Story and photo gallery: http://wcfcourier.com

Airline passenger accused of assaulting crew released

A New York college student accused of assaulting flight attendants and a passenger during a United Airlines flight, forcing the pilot to land at Detroit Metropolitan Airport, was released to the custody of her parents on Tuesday.

Breanna Farquharson, 22, appeared in federal court Tuesday afternoon for a detention hearing. She was named in a federal complaint on Friday by the FBI that says 30 minutes into a flight from New York to Chicago on Thursday, she approached a flight attendant and “frantically” requested to deplane.

When the attendant told Farquharson she could not, the woman ran to the back of the airplane and approached a second flight attendant. An FBI agent said Farquharson grabbed the flight attendant and pulled her necklace and an employee badge off. The attendant suffered a small scratch to her upper lip from the assault, police said.

Farquharson then assaulted a passenger by grabbing her shirt collar and necklace, breaking the necklace.

Several passengers and crew members came to the aid of the victims, restraining Farquharson. When she resisted, they tied her hands behind her back with a seat belt and bound her feet with an attendant’s apron and a passenger’s neck tie, the complaint said.

The plane, carrying 69 passengers and four crew members, landed at 8 p.m. Thursday and Detroit Metro Airport police arrested Farquharson. She is charged with interfering with flight crew members and attendants, a 20-year felony.

U.S. Magistrate Anthony Patti spoke to Farquharson, who was dressed in prison clothes and shackled. The student responded, “Hello, nice to meet you.”

Patti asked Farquharson a series of questions ranging from who was the current U.S. president to whether she understood the charges against her. After being satisfied with her answers, Patti spoke to her parents, Delia and Raymond Farquharson, who appeared in the courtroom and agreed to be their daughter’s third-party custodians while she is out on bond.

Patti agreed to released Farquharson on bond with several conditions: Farquharson must return to Westchester, New York, within 24 hours and undergo a psychiatric evaluation. She also must comply with medical directives, including taking medication, and she must be accompanied by at least one parent while traveling to and from Michigan for her case.

Farquharson also told the judge she had a job at a start-up and had completed two years of college at SUNY Binghamton.

Delia and Raymond Farquharson both agreed to the conditions. Patti asked the couple if they understood that being a custodian meant reporting any bond violations, which could land their daughter back in jail. They said they did.

“She really needs help and support and you can provide it,” Patti said.

Delia Farquharson, who identified herself as a licensed social worker and graduate of Columbia University, asked to address the judge, telling him that she and her husband were grateful for the compassion and professional courtesy they and their daughter were shown in the last several days by the FBI, pretrial services and attorneys.

“Everyone has been more than gracious. We are really moved how this really traumatic experience has been made bearable,” she said.

Farquharson is expected to return to court on March 14.

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

Cessna R182 Skylane RG, N4423R, Aviation Specialists Inc: Accident occurred January 11, 2016 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

AVIATION SPECIALISTS INC: http://registry.faa.gov/N4423R

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Baton Rouge FSDO-03

NTSB Identification: GAA16CA101 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, January 11, 2016 in Baton Rouge, LA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/14/2016
Aircraft: CESSNA 182, registration: N4423R
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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

The pilot reported that while performing aerial observation along a pipeline, he spotted a buzzard about 200 feet ahead of the airplane. The pilot further reported that he attempted to turn left to avoid the buzzard, but the bird changed its course and struck the right wing. 

The pilot landed without further incident. A post-accident examination revealed substantial damage to the right wing. 

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

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
An inadvertent collision with a bird while maneuvering during an aerial observation flight.

We Had To Find A Suitable Plane; Runway Too Short - BVI Airways

The runway length at the T. B. Lettsome International Airport had posed a challenge for BVI Airways, the airline which will begin direct flights from Beef Island to Miami later this year.

Mr. Scott Weisman, Chairman of BVI Airways told BVI Platinum News that the only issue they faced was the short runway, but they were able to find a suitable airplane.

"The height of the hills was no concern; the real concern at Beef Island is the short runway, which is why we had to find the right aircraft. There are a very few airplanes from Miami to Beef Island that can land and still take off again. Landing is the easy part, but taking off with a full load of passengers and fuel, that is very, very difficult," he said today. January 12.

Weisman explained that the airplane selected was designed by British Air Space to do this particular mission.

"...It has been sorted out; we have gone through all the mechanics, gone through engineering. We have talked to the regulators; they understand how the airplane works...Lots of spare parts and people who know how to maintain them," he said.

He added, "It is really a nice airplane; not very fuel efficient because it has four engines..."

Premier Hon. Dr. Orlando Smith also stated that there are no safety concerns as far as he is aware.

"There are no safety issues that I know about. Of course one had to look at the...you know, the approach that we have will be difficult for larger planes because of the turning, but for the particular plane that is going to be used, there are no issues," he said.

He also noted that government will be pushing ahead with the process of the expansion of the airport during the course of this year.

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

Robinson R44 II, operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a local air tour flight, N7512N: Accident occurred November 26, 2015 at Destin Executive Airport (KDTS), Okaloosa County, Florida

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Vestavia Hills, Alabama 

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

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


Location: Destin, FL
Accident Number: ERA16LA054
Date & Time: 11/26/2015, 1145 CST
Registration: N7512N
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Sys/Comp malf/fail (non-power)
Injuries: 4 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Other Work Use - Sightseeing 

On November 26, 2015, about 1145 central standard time, a Robinson R44II, N7512N, was substantially damaged during a separation of the tail rotor drive shaft during a power check at the Destin Executive Airport, Destin, Florida. The commercial pilot and 3 passengers were not injured. The helicopter was being operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, as a local air tour flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed in the area at the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed for the local flight. The flight was originating at the time of the accident.

The pilot stated that he performed a preflight inspection of the helicopter and the passengers then boarded the helicopter. The engine was started and ground run-up checks of the engine were satisfactory. While doing a power check which involved applying up collective, he heard a loud pop. He responded by immediately lowering the collective and secured the helicopter.

Examination of the helicopter revealed the steel tail rotor drive shaft part number (P/N) C196-1 was circumferentially fractured at the weld of the forward flange; a portion of the intermediate flex plate P/N A947-2, remained bolted to the flange. The remaining portion of the flex plate remained bolted to the clutch shaft yoke, P/N C195. The tailcone attachment frame P/N C237-1, and the damper assembly mount angle was fractured. There was no report of any damage to any frame or interior of the tailcone aft of the damper. The helicopter time at the time of the accident was reported to be 1,770 hours. A section of the tail rotor drive shaft assembly containing the fracture, separated flange with attached portion of flex plate, and clutch shaft yoke with remaining portion of flex plate were retained for examination by the NTSB Materials Laboratory.

According to the NTSB Materials Laboratory factual report, the fracture between the tail rotor drive shaft and flange was consistent with torsional overstress. The report also indicated that a portion of flex plate attached to the flange also exhibited features consistent with overstress. Inspection of the bolted connection between the clutch shaft yoke and the portion of the flex plate revealed all of the hardware was in the correct sequence with the exception of the omission of a washer between the flex plate and the clutch shaft yoke. The washer omission was consistent on both of the connections between the clutch shaft yoke and the flex plate. The hardware stack-up for the connection between the flex plate and the portion of the drive shaft flange was correct.

Review of the maintenance records revealed an entry dated November 12, 2015, at helicopter total time of about 1,759 hours, indicating in part that the sprag clutch was removed and replaced.

Review of the maintenance manual revealed that with respect to the C-195 yoke removal and installation, a caution indicates, "There must be one AN960-416L or one AN960-416 washer between each arm of C195 yoke and A947-2 flex plate…." The maintenance manual also references Section 7.330, which pertains to intermediate flex plate installation and shimming. That section contains measurements to determine proper shimming required at the intermediate flex plate.

The mechanic who performed the clutch removal and installation stated that the measurements he took at the intermediate flex plate during and after his repairs were exactly the same. He also indicated that when they installed new hardware, he obtained the same dimensions.

According to the maintenance record entry returning the helicopter to service after the accident, there was no record that the governor was removed, replaced, or repaired.

According to a representative of the helicopter manufacturer, if misalignment of the clutch shaft, sheave, and intermediate flex coupling was not corrected during installation, there could be significant preload or tension in the entire length of driveshaft between the main rotor gearbox and tail rotor gearbox. The representative also indicated that the effect of a missing washer would have caused fatigue type failure of the tailrotor drive-line, and they had not previously seen a failure of the tail rotor driveshaft at the flange as had occurred in the accident helicopter. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 27, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Helicopter
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Helicopter; Instrument Helicopter
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 02/25/2015
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 04/02/2015
Flight Time:  1021 hours (Total, all aircraft), 972 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 90 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 24 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Registration: N7512N
Model/Series: R44 II
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 2003
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 10131
Landing Gear Type: Skid;
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 11/12/2015, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2500 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 11 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 1758.8 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: IO-540-AE1A5
Registered Owner: PROVAC LLC
Rated Power: 285 hp
Operator: Timberview Helicopters
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: DTS, 22 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site:
Observation Time: 1153 CST
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 6 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / Unknown
Wind Direction: 50°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: / Unknown
Altimeter Setting: 30.42 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 23°C / 14°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Destin, FL (DTS)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Destin, FL (DTS)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1145 CST
Type of Airspace: 

Airport Information

Airport: Destin Executive (DTS)
Runway Surface Type: N/A
Airport Elevation: 22 ft
Runway Surface Condition:
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 3 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 4 None
Latitude, Longitude:  30.400000, -86.471389 (est)

2015 was record-breaking year for Springfield-Branson National Airport (KSGF)

SPRINGFIELD -  2015 was a record year at the Springfield airport - the total passenger count was 919,044. It smashes the old record set in 2005 of 888,738, and is a 9% increase over 2014 passenger numbers.   

“Over 70,000 more passengers used the Springfield airport last year than in 2014,” says Brian Weiler, airport director of aviation. “This level of passenger growth is very good news and a strong indicator of a much improved local economy."

2015 was marked not only by a record number of passengers, but also by several air service improvements. 

“American Airlines started new twice?daily service to its major hub in Charlotte, and all the airlines are using some bigger planes in the market,” says Kent Boyd, airport marketing and air service development director. “Some of those bigger planes even have first class seating.” 

“The move away from 50?seat jets is industry wide, but it’s accelerated in Springfield due to strong demand,” says Boyd. “Demand is so high that over the past four years airlines have increased the number of seats for sale in Springfield by nearly 16%.  At the same time the number of passengers grew by over 25%. The bottom line is that Springfield is one of the few small cities in the country to see significant passenger growth.” 

2016 is shaping up for additional growth as well.

“In April, American will add a fifth daily flight to Chicago, giving Springfield a total of 9 flights a day to Chicago — that’s five a day on American, and four a day on United. Taking that into consideration, along with the addition of Charlotte service last November, it all but guarantees that 2016 will be another year of growth,” says Weiler. “If the trend continues as expected we should exceed a million passengers within the next few years.” 

Passenger growth is good but it brings challenges — last year airport parking lots frequently ran out of spaces. 

“That’s a good problem to have,” says Weiler. “We’re currently designing and will have a parking lot expansion project under construction later in 2016.” 

Four airlines serve Springfield: Allegiant, American, Delta, and United. They provide non?stop flights to: Los Angeles, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Denver, Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta, Charlotte Tampa/St. Petersburg, Orlando, and Punta Gorda/Ft. Myers. 

Source:  http://www.ky3.com

Piper PA-32R-301T Turbo Saratoga, N5353U, Turbo Arrow Aviation LLC: Incident occurred January 11, 2016 in Tallahassee, Leon County, Florida

Date: 11-JAN-16
Time: 14:50:00Z
Regis#: N5353U
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA32R
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Minor
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Orlando FSDO-15
State: Florida


TURBO ARROW AVIATION LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N5353U

Airbus A320-214, US Airways, N113UW: Accident occurred March 13, 2014 at Philadelphia International Airport (KPHL), Pennsylvania

US Airways Sued Over 2014 Runway Crash

PHILADELPHIA (Courthouse News Service) - A US Airways plane crashed and caught fire after its captain cleared it for takeoff despite the loss of crucial flight data, two passengers claim in court.

Lisette Vazquez Berthiaume and Nancy Alarcon-Maxwell say they were forced to evacuate the smoke-filled aircraft through its emergency escape slide when it suddenly plummeted to the ground just seconds after takeoff on March 13, 2014. The plane allegedly bounced off the Philadelphia International Airport runway three times, eventually landing in a nearby field.

According to a lawsuit filed in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas, the crash occurred because flight captain John Davis Powell, Jr. made the "unprecedented" decision to reject the takeoff once the plane was already airborne.

The captain's choice to reverse course was his second risky call of the takeoff process, the lawsuit says. He also allegedly violated both federal regulations and airline rules by taking off in the first place after realizing that critical takeoff data had been wiped out of the plane's computer system.

The data error occurred because the pilot's first officer inadvertently entered the wrong airport runway number as a departure point, "leaving the aircraft not properly configured for takeoff," according to the lawsuit.

"What did you do? You didn't load. We lost everything," the captain allegedly said to his first officer before deciding to proceed with takeoff despite the missing data.

Although the plane had already begun to accelerate when the pilots realized something was awry, Berthiaume and Alarcon-Maxwell say the captain had plenty of time to halt the flight before it lifted off, but instead ignored the protocol the airline had in place for that very situation.

"Instead of rejecting the takeoff using US Airways high speed takeoff rejection regime...in violation of US Airways procedures and federal law, the captain decided to proceed with the takeoff," the Jan. 7 complaint states.

"We'll get that straight when we get airborne," Powell allegedly told first officer Lynda Walker Fleming about the missing data.

Their workspace was allegedly abuzz with "nonessential" chatter at the time the errors were made, with numerous flight crew members making "loud, frequent and distracting" conversation in the cockpit of the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-bound plane.

Berthiaume and Alarcon-Maxwell claim US Airways and its pilots are liable for operating the plane "in a manner so as to endanger the life and property of another," and for violating multiple Federal Aviation Association regulations in the process.

Berthiaume says it took two back surgeries to treat her injuries, while Alarcon-Maxwell claims lingering effects from a closed head trauma.

A US Airways media relations representative declined to comment on the allegations, saying in a Monday evening phone call that the company preferred to review the pending litigation first.

American Airlines Inc., which was acquired by US Airways in an October 2015 merger, is also named as a defendant in the lawsuit.

In addition to the two passengers, Berthiaume's husband is also included as a plaintiff. The trio is represented by Cynthia Devers of the Philadelphia-based Wolk Law Firm.

The plaintiffs seek at least $50,000 in compensatory and punitive damages for the airline's alleged "willful, wanton and outrageous" conduct and negligent infliction of emotional distress, including "fear of impending death by fire, explosion and serious bodily injury."  

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

NTSB Identification: DCA14MA081
Scheduled 14 CFR Part 121: Air Carrier operation of US AIRWAYS INC
Accident occurred Thursday, March 13, 2014 in Philadelphia, PA
Aircraft: AIRBUS A320 - 214, registration: N113UW
Injuries: 154 Uninjured.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators traveled in support of this investigation and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On March 13, 2013, at about 1830 eastern daylight time (EDT), US Airways flight 1702, an Airbus A320, N113UW, experienced a nose gear collapse and other damage after aborting the takeoff on runway 27L at Philadelphia International Airport (KPHL), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The airplane came to rest on the edge of the runway, and the passengers exited the aircraft via the emergency slides. There were no injuries to the passengers and crew members and the airplane was substantially damaged. The flight was operating under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 121 as a regularly scheduled passenger flight between KPHL and Hollywood International Airport, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Aeronca 7AC Champion, N3370E: Accident occurred October 05, 2020 and Incident occurred January 09, 2016

 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.

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

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Denver, Colorado

Location: Salida, CO 
Accident Number: CEN21LA006
Date & Time: October 5, 2020, 08:10 Local
Registration: N3370E
Aircraft: Aeronca 7AC
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under:

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Aeronca 
Registration: N3370E
Model/Series: 7AC 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: 
Condition of Light:
Observation Facility, Elevation: KAEJ,7946 ft msl
Observation Time: 07:55 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 10 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: 12°C /-11°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 13 knots / , 320°
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.37 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point: Salida, CO
Destination: Salida, CO

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None 
Latitude, Longitude: 38.538278,-106.04861 

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; San Diego, California

January 09, 2016:  Aircraft landed short of the runway and the gear collapsed at Fallbrook Community Airpark  (L18) Fallbrook, San Diego County, California.

Fallbrook Air Service Inc

Date:  09-JAN-16
Time:  19:15:00Z
Regis#:  N3370E
Aircraft Make:  AERONCA
Aircraft Model:  7AC
Event Type:  Incident
Highest Injury:  None
Damage:  Minor
Activity:  Instruction
Flight Phase:  LANDING (LDG)
State:  California