Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Piper PA-28-181 Archer II, Electrical Training USA LLC, N2209W,: Fatal accident occurred February 12, 2016 in Destin, Okaloosa County, Florida

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Birmingham, Alabama
Piper Aircraft Inc; Vero Beach, Florida
Lycoming Engines; Williamsport, Pennsylvania

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

Electrical Training USA LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N2209W

NTSB Identification: ERA16LA106 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, February 12, 2016 in Destin, FL
Aircraft: PIPER PA28, registration: N2209W
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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 February 12, 2016, about 1850 central standard time, a Piper PA-28-181, N2209W, was destroyed during collision with water while maneuvering to land at Destin Executive Airport (DTS), Destin, Florida. The private pilot and a passenger were fatally injured. The flight departed Pearland Regional Airport (LVJ), Pearland, Texas, about 1715. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight, which was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to radar data from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the airplane approached DTS from the west, and transitioned along the shore on the south side of the airport for landing on runway 32. The radar track depicted the airplane crossing the approach end of runway 32, then turning upwind on the east side of the runway. The airplane continued in a left circuit around the airport, and its altitude varied between 500 and 700 feet mean sea level (msl).

The radar depicted a left turn in a location consistent with a left base turn for landing on runway 32. Instead of continuing to an approximate ground track of 050 degrees for the base leg of the traffic pattern, the airplane rolled out on an approximate ground track of 090 degrees, and flew through the final approach course, west to east, as it tracked parallel to the coast. The airplane then turned 90 degrees to the south and tracked out over the water. The last radar target showed the airplane at 175 feet msl at 128 knots groundspeed.

A witness, who was monitoring the CTAF as he approached the airport in his own airplane, reported he heard the accident pilot announce his go-around and his positions as he circumnavigated the airport. The pilot's last radio call announced he would be "circling somewhere." There were no further communications from the accident airplane. The witness reported windy conditions as he approached DTS, and that conditions were "extremely bumpy" below 300 feet.

A witness who was jogging in an easterly direction along the beach reported to an FAA inspector that his attention was drawn to the airplane as it crossed the beach and headed south over the water. He stated that the engine was running, but the front of the airplane was illuminated as if the engine was "on fire." The witness stated he thought the airplane was in a wings-level attitude, not turning, but descending rapidly. He said that when the airplane struck the water, he heard an explosion and the light at the front of the airplane "went out."

The weather reported at DTS at the time of the accident included clear skies and wind from 240 degrees at 7 knots gusting to 15 knots. Official sunset was at 1731, and the end of civil twilight was at 1755. The moon was illuminated 13 percent in the western sky.

According to FAA records, the pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single engine land. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on March 3, 2014. The pilot reported 306 total hours of flight experience on that date. The pilot did not possess an instrument rating.

Toxicological testing was performed on the pilot by the FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Results were negative for all tested-for drugs. The Office of the Medical Examiner, District I, Florida, performed an autopsy on the pilot. The cause of death was listed as multiple blunt force injuries.

The four-seat, single-engine, low-wing airplane was manufactured in 1979, and was equipped with a Lycoming O-360 series reciprocating engine. The maintenance logbooks for the airplane were not recovered, but copies of logbook entries revealed the airplane's most recent annual inspection was completed May 8, 2015, at 2,239 total aircraft hours. On February 9, 2016, the engine oil was changed at 2,272 total aircraft hours.

The airplane was recovered from the Gulf of Mexico and moved to a secure facility for a detailed examination. According to the FAA inspector on site during the recovery, the airplane was destroyed by impact forces. Except for a large section of the right wing, all major components of the airplane were accounted for. The engine, with the propeller attached, was completely entangled with the instrument panel, control cables, and wiring. All damage appeared consistent with impact and overload-type separation. There was no evidence of pre- or post-impact fire.

The engine was removed from the airframe, and could not be rotated by hand at the propeller. Examination of the cylinders with a lighted borescope revealed that each contained sediment and corrosion from salt water immersion. The engine accessories and all four cylinders were removed, and the crankshaft rotated freely by hand.

The propeller spinner was fragmented. The propeller remained attached to the engine crankshaft flange. One propeller blade exhibited scratches on the front and rear surfaces but was otherwise intact. The other blade was curved aft about 90 degrees and exhibited twisting, leading edge gouges and trailing edge "S" bending.

Impact damage and saltwater immersion precluded testing of engine accessories. The vacuum pump was disassembled and the carbon rotor, carbon vanes, and the composite drive coupling were intact.

The examination of the airframe and engine revealed no preimpact mechanical anomalies that would have prevented normal operation of the airplane.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Spatial Disorientation

According to FAA Advisory Circular AC 60-4A, "Pilot's Spatial Disorientation," tests conducted with qualified instrument pilots indicated that it can take as long as 35 seconds to establish full control by instruments after a loss of visual reference of the earth's surface. AC 60-4A further states that surface references and the natural horizon may become obscured even though visibility may be above VFR minimums, and that an inability to perceive the natural horizon or surface references is common during flights over water, at night, in sparsely-populated areas, and in low-visibility conditions.

According to the FAA Airplane Flying Handbook (FAA-H-8083-3), "Night flying is very different from day flying and demands more attention of the pilot. The most noticeable difference is the limited availability of outside visual references. Therefore, flight instruments should be used to a greater degree.… Generally, at night it is difficult to see clouds and restrictions to visibility, particularly on dark nights or under overcast. The pilot flying under VFR must exercise caution to avoid flying into clouds or a layer of fog." The handbook described some hazards associated with flying in airplanes under VFR when visual references, such as the ground or horizon, are obscured. "The vestibular sense (motion sensing by the inner ear) in particular tends to confuse the pilot. Because of inertia, the sensory areas of the inner ear cannot detect slight changes in the attitude of the airplane, nor can they accurately sense attitude changes that occur at a uniform rate over a period of time. On the other hand, false sensations are often generated; leading the pilot to believe the attitude of the airplane has changed when in fact, it has not. These false sensations result in the pilot experiencing spatial disorientation."

NTSB Identification: ERA16LA106
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, February 12, 2016 in Destin, FL
Aircraft: PIPER PA28, registration: N2209W
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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

On February 12, 2016, about 1850 central standard time (CST), a Piper PA-28-181, N2209W, was destroyed during collision with water while maneuvering to land at Destin Executive Airport (DTS), Destin, Florida. The private pilot and a passenger were fatally injured. The flight departed Pearland Regional Airport (LVJ), Pearland, Texas, about 1715. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight, which was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91.

According to preliminary radar data from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), as well as witness accounts, the airplane approached DTS from the west, and transitioned along the shore on the south side of the airport for landing on runway 32. Witnesses reported the pilot announced a go-around on the airport's common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF), and the radar track depicted the airplane crossing the approach end of runway 32, then turning upwind on the east side of the runway. The airplane continued in a left-hand circuit around the airport and its altitude varied between 500 and 700 feet mean sea level (msl).

The radar depicted a left turn in a location consistent with a left base turn for landing on runway 32. Instead of continuing to an approximate heading of 050 degrees for the base leg of the traffic pattern, the airplane rolled out on an approximate heading of 090 degrees, and flew through the final approach course, west to east, as it tracked parallel to the coast. The airplane then turned 90 degrees to the south and tracked out over the water. The last radar target showed the airplane at 175 feet msl at 128 knots groundspeed.

A witness who was monitoring the CTAF as he approached the airport in his own airplane reported he heard the accident pilot announce his go-around and his positions as he circumnavigated the airport. The pilot's last radio call announced he would be "circling somewhere." There were no further communications from the accident airplane. The witness reported windy conditions as he approached DTS, and that conditions were "extremely bumpy" below 300 feet.

A witness who was jogging in an easterly direction along the beach reported to an FAA inspector that his attention was drawn to the airplane as it crossed the beach and headed south over the water. He stated that the engine was running, but the front of the airplane was illuminated as if the engine was "on fire." The witness stated he thought the airplane was in a wings-level attitude, not turning, but descending rapidly. He said that when the airplane struck the water, he heard an explosion and the light at the front of the airplane "went out."

According to FAA records, the pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single engine land. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on March 3, 2014. The pilot reported 306 total hours of flight experience on that date. The pilot did not possess an instrument rating.

The four-seat, single-engine, low-wing airplane was manufactured in 1979 and was equipped with a Lycoming O-360 series engine. The maintenance logbooks for the airplane were not recovered, but copies of logbook entries revealed the airplane's most recent annual inspection was completed May 8, 2015, at 2,239 total aircraft hours. On February 9, 2016, the engine oil was changed at 2,272 total aircraft hours.
==========



They fly over Destin’s beaches all the time, small private airplanes and company jets, prop planes and Cessna’s. 

For the most part they are just part of the scenery Destin residents have gotten used to due to the close proximity of Eglin Air Force Base and the Destin Executive Airport (DTS) right in the heart of the city.

But when news of an aircraft crashing into the Gulf of Mexico hit the stands last week, the Destin Log decided to find out exactly what it takes to fly an aircraft in and out of Destin.

Chief Flight Instructor Larry Anderson pilots a 172 Skyhawk Cessna plane, one of 10 airplanes he knows how to fly.
~


The Factors

Larry Anderson, the chief flight instructor at DTS, is a local expert on the flight patterns in Destin. With 43 years of flying experience, and 15 of those years instructing in Destin, Anderson is very familiar with the interworking factors surrounding the small airport.

“I got my license here at Destin back when there was just a little shack at the end of the airstrip,” he said. “Now I can fly 10 different kinds of aircraft.”

Anderson explained there are several moving factors in place when flying any aircraft, the first being the pilot’s license.

“When you get a private pilot’s license you can only fly in good weather according to Visual Flight Rules or VFR,” he said. “Basically, you cannot fly in any clouds. But when the weather is bad, you have to use an instrument reading and have to have a separate license called an Instrument Flight Rules or IFR.”

According to these specifications, in order to fly on a sunny day, visibility must be at least three miles ahead with clouds above at a 100-foot ceiling. However, if flying with the use of instruments the requirements change to visibility at three quarters of a mile and a cloud ceiling at 272 feet.

With the specifications out of the way, Anderson said that each aircraft planning to fly using instruments must submit a flight-plan with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) prior to takeoff.

When asked what the greatest challenge pilot’s face flying in or out of DTS, Anderson said for this area, it’s the fact that the air is government operated.

“I think the biggest challenge about flying into Destin is dealing with Eglin,” he said.

He then explained that because the military owns the air above Destin, every flight coming or going must coordinate and gain permission from Eglin before entering the airspace. This can be a tedious process as Eglin does not have a tower at DTS, and must be radio signaled by each pilot before each takeoff or landing.

According to the annual accounts log, last year saw roughly 6,800 flight operations come either in or out of DTS. Anderson said that the heavy flight traffic also adds to the stress of flying into Destin.

“Another thing that makes it challenging to fly into Destin is we have a mix of airplanes — large and small — so on a holiday it’s very busy,” he said. “Other than that this is a safe and easy airport.”


The northern approach into DTS is the most favored by pilots due to the common southerly head-winds.
~


The Approach

Although aircraft can be seen flying into Destin from the north and the south, there is only one runway at DTS. Anderson said that planes land from one side or the other depending on the direction of the wind.

“You want to land with the wind in your face so you pick the runway based on the wind,” he said. “It’s one piece of concrete, but we call the runways according to your orientation and which way you want to land.”

The 5,000-foot runway has a northern orientation of 1-4 and a southern orientation of 3-2. The call numbers are used by the pilot’s before landing to ensure an open strip and a correct compass reading.

“The number comes from the nearest 10 degrees on the heading,” Anderson explained. “Looking at the compass for the northern approach, the orientation of the compass would be 140 degrees so it’s called 1-4.”

Anderson said the Northern approach is the most common.

“1-4 is used more often probably because the wind comes in from the south and most people like it better,” he said.


Destin Executive Airport is home to two terminals run by the fixed based operator, Destin Jet.
~


The Layout

There may only be one runway at DTS, but there are two terminals — Destin Jet North and Destin Jet South — now run by the same Fixed Base Operator (FBO).

“Destin Jet all came under one roof roughly a year and a half ago,” said Interim Airport Director Tracey Stage. “An FBO is much like a full service gas station on the freeway. They are responsible to keep up with county standards such as they must provide fueling, aircraft maintenance, pilot flight-planning, flight instruction, flight school, manage parking, and offer hangar spaces. They are nice facilities, like small general aviation terminals.”

The Destin Executive Airport, established in the late 1950’s, was once known as Coleman Kelly Field. But in 1964, Coleman and his wife Mattie Kelly granted the property to the Okaloosa County Airport and Industrial Authority for future growth and operation.

Today, the airport features a brand new runway finished in 2013 and a Destin control tower that began construction last year. When completed, the new air traffic control tower will eliminate the pilot’s need to make radio calls to Eglin.

“It will be eyes from the tower on the field and on the traffic pattern,” Stage said. “Eglin cannot see our airport, they don’t have eyes on the field and they don’t know what aircraft is on the taxiway or runway, all they know is what comes on the frequencies.”

 Once finished, the Destin tower will communicate with the Eglin tower taking that pressure off the pilot.

“It will definitely be better from an operational and safety standpoint and it will definitely increase our control of the airfield,” said Stage.

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

Jim Shumberg & Sheryl Roe were killed in small plane crash near Destin, Florida.





Family members of the Texas couple killed in Thursday’s plane crash near Destin have someone they want to thank.


They just don’t know who he is.


A man who identified himself as a runner on the beach at the time of the crash called 911, alerting authorities that a plane had crashed into the Gulf of Mexico.


Within two hours, crews had found the body of Sheryl Roe. Less than an hour later, they recovered the body of her long-time companion and pilot, Jim Shumberg.


“We were so blessed that he just happened to be there at that moment,” said Tina Brewster, Roe’s sister, of the 911 caller. “If he hadn’t, we never would have known what happened.


“I personally feel that it was fate that he was there.”


Brewster said they’re hoping to personally thank the man, who was apparently staying at Silver Beach West. Public record law prohibits the release of the man’s name, or the contents of the recording of the 911 call.


Roe and Shumberg were frequent visitors to the area, with Roe having acupuncture offices in Navarre and Fort Walton Beach. The two had been together for more than 20 years, according to family members.

Brewster said her sister loved to fly with Shumberg.


“Jim was a seasoned pilot,” she said. “I let him take my children up in that plane. Absolutely none of us think that this was something he did.”


The National Transportation Safety Board has not released its preliminary findings of the crash. Brewster said family members are awaiting additional information anxiously.


“There’s a lot of people drumming their fingers, waiting for that report,” she said. “That small plane was his baby. He absolutely loved that plane.”





The plane went down in clear weather near Henderson Beach State Park just before 7 p.m. Thursday.

The couple, who were in their 60s, met at what family members recall as an Eagles concert more than 20 years ago.   
Shumberg had been flying for about five years, Roe said.

“Jim was an amazing man,” she said. “After all Sheryl had been through, she had some big walls up, but in the end they were perfect for each other.

“It’s one small consolation that they were together when this happened, because neither could have made it without the other.”


Story and photo: http://www.nwfdailynews.com













Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (KBZN) director shares concerns with Sen. Jon Tester over air-traffic control costs

Sen. Jon Tester, right, listens to the concerns from Brian Sprenger, director of the Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport, on Wednesday, Feb. 17, in Belgrade, regarding parts of the FAA Reauthorization bill, which the U.S. Senate will see for a vote later this month.



The Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport director hopes a Federal Aviation Administration bill will fix a funding loophole and address private air-traffic control tower costs.

Airport director Brian Sprenger met with Democratic Sen. Jon Tester on Wednesday to discuss details of the FAA’s six-year reauthorization bill introduced in the U.S. House earlier this month by the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. The bill is due from Congress by the end of March.

The bill requires that tens of thousands of unionized air-traffic controllers leave the FAA’s employment and be organized under a federally chartered not-for-profit organization. The new corporation would also oversee a $40 billion modernization program called NextGen.

The FAA bill would also ban in-flight cellphone calls, require a baggage fee refund if bags arrive late, and mandate timely rule-making on the use of small drones in the national airspace.

It’s already drawing criticism from the ranking Democrat on the committee, Rep. Peter DeFazio of Oregon, for allowing a corporation to control a $40 billion program without congressional oversight.

The controller’s union president told the committee that the union supports the bill, saying that Congress is unable to provide stable funding and an independent organization run by a board of stakeholders could deliver results similar to those in Canada, which has seen success with a similar model.

Sprenger told Tester the air-traffic controllers at the airport in Belgrade, the busiest in the state, are already private contractors.

Private towers like Bozeman’s should get financial support “equitable” to what FAA towers get to pay for heating, lighting, radios and maintenance, he said. Getting these costs off his books would mean attractive prices for airlines in Bozeman and being able to focus on other projects, such as the planned runway and parking garage.

“They want us to fence around it now. That’s all our expense,” Sprenger told the senator. “Meanwhile in Helena, Billings or Great Falls, it’s all federal expense. That’s one of the frustrating things is, it’s not so much reauthorization, but the devil is in the details. How does that work? We’re not real pleased with the way it works right now. If we go that way we want that addressed. We just want it to be equitable and fair.”

The House is expected to take the bill up next week. Tester said he’d carry Sprenger’s concerns to Washington, D.C., but wanted to know if he was interested in transitioning from a private tower to an FAA tower.

“We would love for them to take over the tower building and maintain it because they know towers. We don’t know towers,” Sprenger said. “The staffing, I don’t think we need federal staffing levels which are maybe a little bloated. But we need a little more than what we have.”

Sprenger also reported concerns that airlines are shifting passenger costs to non-taxable ancillary fees like baggage. Doing so depletes the FAA’s Airport & Airway Trust Fund, he said, which funnels money back to airports to support operations, capital improvements and project grants.

“So it’s your preference, if we’re looking for additional revenue, to maybe take the loophole out of the baggage fees,” Tester asked.

Sprenger said yes.

Story and photo:  http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com

REPORT: Airports nationwide experiencing shortage of air traffic controllers

ANCHORAGE -  Many airports across the country are struggling with critically low numbers of air traffic controllers, a recent audit by the US Department of Transportation has found. The audit found that 52 percent of staff members at the Anchorage Tower were trainees in October of 2014.

The Federal Aviation Administration says the numbers provided in the audit are now old. In a statement to Channel 2, the FAA said the Anchorage tower currently has the number of controllers it needs.

"We have 22 controllers in the Anchorage Tower. Our authorized staffing level is in the range of 21 to 26 so we are right about where we should be for the year," FAA spokesperson Lynn Lunsford told Channel 2.

Staffing at the Anchorage Tower is critical as controllers handle air traffic from Lake Hood and Ted Stevens International Airport. Even private pilots have to call into the tower frequently while flying over the busy skies above Anchorage.

"At least three times a month I find an instant where I'm calling back to the tower to get clearance or get a change of frequency," said private pilot Aimee Eckert.

Lunsford says the FAA has only one specific controller for Lake Hood when there is high plane traffic.

“FAA routinely combines the Lake Hood and Stevens tower positions during winter, when traffic is significantly slower on Lake Hood. The two positions are operated separately during the busy season to accommodate the high volume of floatplane traffic on the lake,” Lunsford said.

Eckert feels this level of staffing is not enough.

“I want people to be aware that there are students flying in and out. We could usually the extra help in controlling that airspace.” Eckert said.

While controlling dual air spaces might be unique to the Anchorage Tower, UAA Professor Sharon Larue says low staffing could be attributed to changes in the hiring process in late 2013 which made about 3,000 students ineligible to become air traffic controllers.

"We had a list of people they were eligible, they chose not to use them. Now there seems to be shortages,” Larue said.

Story, video and comments:  http://www.ktuu.com

Missouri man sentenced for shooting at crop dusting plane • Man angry plane interrupted his day-time sleep, court documents say

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. —A southwest Missouri man faces more than six years in prison for shooting at a small aircraft he claimed was interfering with his sleep.

The office of the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri said in a release that David Leroy Dickenson, 39, of Miller, was sentenced Tuesday to six and a half years in prison without parole.  Dickenson also has to pay the aircraft owner about $17,500.

Dickenson pleaded guilty last year to destruction of an aircraft.

Court documents show that in December 2014 Dickenson was angry that a low-flying plane spraying herbicide was interrupting  his day-time sleep. He went outside with a shotgun and shot at the plane.

The pilot wasn't injured, and safely landed the plane, which had several buckshot holes in it.

Source:  http://www.kmbc.com

Pilots celebrate 20 years of flying with one last flight

WestJet's George Hawey (L) and Gerry Erlam pose in a hangar in Calgary, Alta on Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016. Hawey, who is 67 and will doing his last flight before retirement on February 29th and Erlam, who will be the captain on the flight.



It’s a route he knows by heart, starting from the rolling foothills of southern Alberta, upwards over the majestic Rocky Mountains, then, in just over an hour, descending into the West Coast city considered one of the world’s urban jewels.

On Feb. 29, George Hawey will once again be in the cockpit of a WestJet aircraft, traversing that flight path he’s come to know so well. This trip, though, will be different from all the others.

That’s because it’s the last time the 67-year-old veteran pilot will be flying for the Calgary-based airline. “My wife Joan said, ‘I think it’s time, George, let’s travel, let’s use the air benefits we’ve earned,’” says Hawey, who will be retiring in March. “I’m going out on a high note.”

Indeed, Hawey — one of the first pilots hired by WestJet back in 1995 when it was cobbling together its little-airline-that-could — is making his professional departure in grand style.

He’s taking his farewell flight on the same day that, 20 years ago, a morning flight from Calgary to Vancouver officially launched the airline’s entry into the Canadian market.

On Feb. 29, 1996, a Boeing 737 pushed away from gate B-22 at the Calgary International Airport, with pilots Rupert Bent and Ben Atkins at the controls.

In the 20 years since, WestJet has grown from an original staff of 220 to more than 12,000; the two airplanes in operation on its first day has become a fleet of 141 aircraft, flying to 98 destinations.

For Hawey, closing out his aviation career with such panache is in keeping with the high-flying life, pardon the pun, he’s had for the past half-century.

“I thought, ‘Oh, boy, one day I’d like to do that,’ ” he says of seeing the Golden Hawks aerobatic team perform in his hometown of Quebec City in the early 1960s. A month before his 18th birthday, he signed up with the Royal Canadian Air Force. “I had the idea, I’m 17, I’m looking for adrenalin.”

While the era didn’t see him doing any active duty in a war zone, Hawey got more than a few chances to have white-knuckle experiences. In 1971, he joined a crew of courageous pilots in what would later be known as the Canadian Forces Snowbirds, demonstrating his aerial skills for the public.

His nearly three-decade stint with the military saw him fly fighter jets in Bagotville, Que., as well as Phantom aircraft while on an exchange tour with the U.S. air force in the late 1970s.

“It’s like driving a sports car on a race track,” Hawey says with a smile. “I’m an adrenalin junkie.”

At age 40, he decided to leave military life and take a job as a commercial pilot for Time Air, a regional service later merged into Canadian Regional Airlines and then Air Canada Jazz.

“I couldn’t imagine myself not flying,” Hawey says of his decision to stay a pilot rather than take a desk job at Department of National Defence headquarters in Ottawa. “So I applied to civvy stream.”

In late 1995, he was recruited to join WestJet, which was planning a spring 1996 launch. It is a decision he says he has never regretted. “The reward, the feedback I get from an airplane, it is instant gratification,” he says when asked why the life of an airline pilot suits him so well.

And though he likens flying a commercial airplane more to “driving a tour bus” than the sports car thrill of a military plane, he still finds aspects of it thrilling. “You get the adrenalin in the four feet at takeoff and the four feet at landing.”

For his final assignment as a WestJet pilot, Hawey — who at age 65 had to trade in his captain duties for first officer in accordance with international regulations — has hand-picked longtime fellow WestJet pilot Gerry Erlam to be his captain.

He’s also chosen the crew who’ll care for the guests during the flight, three flight attendants who he says have a knack for making his job, and his passengers’ flying experience, all the more pleasant.

So, how will he feel when the day finally comes? Hawey’s eyes tear up at the thought. “It’s going to be emotional, that’s for sure,” he says.

Once he’s back on terra firma, though, it’ll be new adventures ahead for the father of two and grandfather of five.

“I told my wife that I hate travelling, the getting there,” he says with a laugh, well aware of the fact it’s an odd statement coming from a man who’s spent most of his life safely taking people everywhere. “But I always love it when I get there.”

Story and photo:  http://calgaryherald.com

Macon flea market discovery renews interest in 1928 plane crash on Cherry Street

 February 18, 1928. People gather around the wreckage of an airplane on Cherry Street in downtown Macon February 18, 1928. Buck Steel and Jack Ashcroft were killed in the crash. A person named Murphy was killed on the sidewalk.



A plaque of a brass propeller on the Cherry Street sidewalk is a lone reminder of a historic plane crash 88 years ago Thursday.

Over the decades, the stories faded away from one of the city's greatest tragedies that drew hundreds of spectators.

"The folks are gone," said Pat Powell, a 61-year-old, third-generation Maconite, who knew little of the crash until he found old film footage of the aftermath.

He was trolling Smiley's Flea Market several years ago when some old movies caught his eye -- one marked "plane crash on Cherry Street."

"I couldn't tell you who did the film or anything," Powell said Wednesday.

A couple years ago, he took the footage to Coke's Camera to be copied onto a DVD. He uploaded it to YouTube a little over a year ago.

Powell, an avid "junker" and member of the Vintage Macon page on Facebook, has purchased a number of old films, some that appear to be vacation footage.

"I think about posting all the films I found because it's just silly stuff," he said. "Like ice sculptures in Japan and Queen Elizabeth in Canada going by in her car."

The crash footage is his most interesting find.

Powell has heard a few stories since then from when the World War I biplane crashed during a publicity stunt for the Southeastern Air Derby.

Henry Lowe has a old handbill advertising the show that he keeps in his office at Lowe Aviation.

Pilots from all over the country flew to Miller Field, which is now part of Bowden Golf Course.

"They would fly over town and do a loop or a roll," Lowe said.

According to The Telegraph archives, pilot Samuel L. "Buck" Steele and France "Lucky" Ashcraft were flying over downtown to entice people to come to the show.

They were lighting explosives ordered from a Los Angeles firecracker factory and throwing them from the plane.

"You'd hear this boom and everybody would look up," Lowe said.

The men successfully deployed two of the attention-getters.

Hundreds of people were lured onto Cherry Street in the middle of the lunch hour, craning their necks to watch the daredevils. A third explosive blew up part of the plane.

Witnesses reported seeing a blast near the tail of the plane, others under the wing and another man interviewed by the newspaper thought it was much closer to the cockpit.

"There was a burst of flames. Then the wing of the plane crumpled and the machine came hurtling to earth," the Feb. 19, 1928, edition of The Telegraph read. "It turned over once, then went into a nose dive and dropped like a meteor to Cherry Street."

'STAMPEDE' IN AFTERMATH

The nose of the plane embedded in the concrete sidewalk.

"A stampede followed and the huge crowd milled around the street like cattle," The Telegraph's reporter wrote.

Children were trampled, people fainted and a woman carrying a baby was knocked down as "brawny men forced their way through the pack."

Clyde E. Murphy, who had a blacksmith shop on Plum Street, was like hundreds of others lured onto Cherry street to watch the plane's acrobatics. He was hit by the remaining wing as it dropped from the sky.

Murphy's foot was severed and the impact tore off his arm, which was found later under the wreckage.

Murphy died a couple hours later at the hospital, where rescuers brought the bodies of the pilots. Both suffered severe head wounds.

More than a dozen other people were hurt when the damaged sidewalk gave way under the weight of throngs of people lining the streets. Dozens of people perched on rooftops to watch rescue efforts to free the men from the mangled mess of wood.

Amid screaming women, "policemen shouted hoarsely for order, their voices lost in the din," the front page story read.

At the phone company, it was all hands on the switchboard as "telephone girls" scrambled back from their lunch break to handle the onslaught of hundreds of calls.

Irma Rainey was outside Person's Pharmacy where the plane hit.

"I saw blood spattering everywhere, it seemed," she told a reporter. "Then I turned sick."

About a quarter-mile away at the Terminal Station, pieces of the plane were found, including part of the windshield and blood-stained wood.

A Telegraph employee showed one of the soiled splinters to a pathologist, who confirmed it was human tissue. The discovery indicated the pilots were likely injured in the explosion and not necessarily killed on impact.

The Junior Chamber of Commerce, sponsoring the event with a flight school run by Ashcraft's brother, decided to continue the three-day show.

"With so many planes here from out of town, I do not think it would be fair to call off the events," an organizer said.

Pilots dropped flowers over the crash site the next day.

Mayor Luther Williams spoke of the magnitude of the catastrophe: "Such an accident is not likely to occur again, not in a million times."

Read more here: http://www.macon.com

Hunter keeps runway clear of deer: Watertown Municipal Airport (KRYV), Wisconsin

Hunter Scott Kirchoff surveys the cover for deer near the runway at Watertown Municipal Airport.


Deer hunting season may be over, but local sportsman Scott Kirchoff has found a way to enjoy his hobby all year while making the runways at Watertown Municipal Airport a safer place to land.

Kirchoff is responsible for reducing the white-tailed deer population at the airport where their increasing numbers have become a hazard for aircraft traffic.

Kirchoff said he's been hunting the airport several times a week, year-round, since August of 2014. So far he has killed 22 deer.

Several years ago, Jeff Baum, president of Wisconsin Aviation, experienced the problem himself when two deer ran onto the runway while he was landing.

"It was a fairly sizable corporate airplane, and the deer caused over $50,000 worth of damage," Baum said. "We've had at least two other aircraft that I know of that have hit deer out here."

Baum said ducks, geese, pheasant, foxes and coyotes have also presented a problem for airplane traffic.

"The wildlife issue is not just confined to Watertown," Baum said. "It's a nationwide issue. From our perspective, we believe human life is far more valuable than animal life. Whatever measures can be taken, should be taken."

"The Watertown airport has had many issues with birds, but also deer due to the lack of fencing around the whole perimeter, facilities manager Krys Brown said.

Brown said she approached the Department of Natural Resources and applied for wildlife damage tags in hopes of reducing the problem.

"Dan, one of our employees who knows Scott, referred him as a very experienced deer hunter," Brown said. "I talked to the DNR regarding him and they highly recommended him as well, so I thought it would be safer to have one professional person to rely on to help get rid of the deer."

It would be hard to find a more qualified man for the job. Kirchoff has over four decades of hunting experience and has been teaching hunter safety classes for more that 15 years. He was awarded Instructor of the Year by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources in 2013.

Kirchoff is quick to point out that safety is his No. 1 priority.

"I'm very particular about the shots I take, and I've passed up many more shots than I've taken. I don't shoot unless I have a safe backstop," he said. "To date most of the shots have been one-shot kills with the deer dropping in their tracks."

He also uses lower velocity ammunition that expands rapidly on impact so the bullets don't pass through the deer and ricochet.

Brown said Kirchoff's efforts have impacted the airport in a very positive way.

"He has reduced the deer population and has made it safer so pilots are more comfortable knowing we have someone working on this problem," Brown said.

Kirchoff said all of the deer he has harvested have been utilized. They are given to employees of the airport as well as family and friends.

Kirchoff also uses some of the deer in the "Learning to Hunt for Food" class he teaches. He instructs new adult hunters how to skin and butcher deer, as well as other wild game, and prepare them for the table.

"Several deer were used by myself and the DNR for these classes," Kirchoff said. "One of the local deer processors was gracious enough to let me use his walk-in cooler in the middle of summer, and we were able to bring the class out there for a butchering demonstration."

Kirchoff hunts for the airport on a volunteer basis and works full-time as a troubleshooter for an electric utility.

"It's been a win-win for all of us," Kirchoff added. "I've definitely put a dent in the herd and they're getting wiser. Hopefully they are learning the runway isn't a safe place for them."

Story and photo:  http://www.wdtimes.com

Impounded US Cargo Aircraft Owners Claim Harare Airport Death Stowaway: Western Global Airlines, McDonnell Douglas MD-11, N545JN



WASHINGTON—  Western Global Airlines of Estero, Florida, the American corporate owner of a cargo jet impounded in Harare on Sunday after a bloodied body of a man was discovered aboard during a refueling stop, says the person was a stowaway though authorities in Zimbabwe are still investigating the incident that has grabbed world attention.

Western Global is privately owned by James K. Neff and Sunny Neff.

A statement from the owners said the MD11 aircraft, en-route on Sunday to Durban, South Africa, from Munich, Germany, was carrying a “diplomatic shipment” for the South African Reserve Bank.

It expressed its condolence over the death saying, "We are saddened that a person has lost his life by stowing aboard one of our cargo aircraft. As compared to other forms of transportation, stowaways on airplanes are rare, but almost always result in fatality. In most cases airport security prevents this from happening but it should never be attempted for any reason.”

The company acknowledged that it was working “closely with the Zimbabwean authorities as they fully investigate this situation. We appreciate their professionalism and the care they have shown our crew, our cargo and our aircraft. Along with our customer, Network Airline Management, we express our condolences and support the efforts of the Zimbabwean government. We also appreciate the dedication of our crew, the patience of the South African government while awaiting its shipment and the engagement of the U.S. Embassy in Zimbabwe.”

US embassy spokesperson, Karen Kelly told VOA Studio 7 that they are referring all questions to the Civil Aviation of Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwean Republic Police spokesperson, senior assistant commissioner Charity Charamba said investigations are still under way and it’s a long process.

Charamba added that the post mortem is being done in Zimbabwe.

The South African Reserve Bank says it is still "working closely" with relevant authorities to have a consignment of its bank notes, which were detained at Harare International Airport, released and transported to South Africa.

Charamba said she can only focus on the investigation into the cause of death and not the money, believed to millions of rands.

The statement added that Western Global Airlines is in continuous contact with its crew and when cleared to do so; “they will complete the last leg of this charter."

The Western Global Airlines aircraft in question is leased to Network Airline Management, a logistics provider, which was engaged to deliver a diplomatic shipment of South African currency from Munich, Germany, to Durban on behalf of the South African Reserve Bank.

The company says, “All necessary documentation for the flight and its cargo was in order and in compliance with international law.”

The aircraft departed Munich, Germany's airport, on February 13, 2016, with a crew of three pilots and a mechanic as well as two passengers traveling as couriers for the diplomatic shipment.

The aircraft made a refueling stop at Zimbabwe's Harare International Airport approximately nine hours later. During the refueling process, ground crew attending the aircraft noticed unusual streaking on the nose gear and upon further investigation; a deceased male was discovered in a compartment adjacent to the wheel well.

At present, the identity or nationality of the deceased is not known.  It is not clear when or how the deceased accessed the aircraft and Western Global is working with authorities to back trace the aircraft's route of travel.

The company has confirmed that its normal service, safety and security inspections “which meet or exceed all security, maintenance and operational standards  were performed by its maintenance personnel prior to the flight and that cockpit crews conducted exterior walk-arounds prior to departure.”

But the company says, “The area where the body was found is an area not visible to these inspections and there is no indication the stowaway's presence affected the operation of the aircraft.”

How common are stowaways? Since 1996, there have been 105 stowaways on 94 flights worldwide, according to the Federal Aviation Administration in an e-mail to USA TODAY Network.

More than 76% of those attempts resulted in deaths, the FAA says. The FAA's numbers reflect stowaways in the wheel wells, nose wells and other unpressurized areas.

The statistics don't include people who sneak into the cargo compartment or passenger area.

Stowaways in wheel wells, as in the most recent case, have to contend with freezing temperatures, lack of oxygen and the risk of being crushed by the plane's wheels.

Source:  http://www.voazimbabwe.com

M48545 LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N545JN

Maricopa, Pinal County, Arizona: Pilot flies team home after Super Bowl

Maricopa resident and United Airlines pilot Craig Puleio got to fly home the charter flight for the Denver Broncos after their recent victory in Super Bowl 50. Before the plane took off, he got a chance to pose with the Vince Lombardi trophy.
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MARICOPA — He may not have been on the field for Super Bowl 50, but Maricopa resident Craig Puleio got an up-close experience with the Vince Lombardi trophy just hours after the Denver Broncos won the NFL’s biggest game.

Puleio, a pilot for United Airlines, was the charter pilot for the team after the game, taking them from San Jose, California, back home to Denver. Normally a pilot who flies to and from Europe from the U.S. for United, Puleio put in to fly the charter flight for the Broncos and found out he was selected shortly before the big game.

He described a scene of intense security, which included a thorough sweep of the plane by FBI agents, before the team — trophy in tow — boarded the aircraft.

“Once we got everything squared away, one of the players came up to the cockpit and asked if we wanted to see the Lombardi Trophy,” Puleio said.

He didn’t just get to see it but also hold it and get a picture with it in the cockpit.

“Just hours before, this was the trophy Peyton Manning was hoisting in front of millions of people watching,” Puleio said.

He made the most of the experience, talking with Broncos team President and General Manager John Elway as well as head coach Gary Kubiak for a few minutes. Company rules prevented him from taking any photographs with the players or staff or getting autographs from them, but just the experience alone was extremely satisfying, he said.

Puleio, a pilot for 11 years who is a native of New Jersey and a lifelong New York Giants fan, said he began rooting hard for the Broncos in the Super Bowl once he found out he’d be flying their plane home. He said it certainly beat flying home the Panthers after Denver beat Carolina 24-10 in the upset.

“It was intense,” he said of the trip. “Everyone was just happier than happy.”

The trip ended with more pomp and circumstance at Denver International Airport, where fire trucks were on hand to fire water cannons over the plane in salute to the returning victors.

Source: http://www.trivalleycentral.com

Boeing 747-87UF, Atlas Air Inc., N859GT: Incident occurred February 17, 2016 at Miami International Airport (KMIA), Miami-Dade County, Florida

Date: 17-FEB-16
Time: 13:50:00Z
Regis#: N859GT
Aircraft Make: BOEING
Aircraft Model: 747
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Minor
Activity: Commercial
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
Aircraft Operator: GTI-Atlas Air
Flight Number: GTI33
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Miami FSDO-19
City: MIAMI
State: Florida

N859GT ATLAS AIR FLIGHT GTI33 BOEING 747 AIRCRAFT ON DEPARTURE TIRES BLEW OUT, AIRCRAFT RETURNED AND LANDED WITHOUT INCIDENT, INSPECTION REVEALED DAMAGE TO FUSELAGE, MIAMI, FL

ATLAS AIR INC:   http://registry.faa.gov/N859GT



MIAMI-DADE, Fla. (WSVN) -- Authorities shut down multiple roads surrounding Miami International Airport, Wednesday morning, after a cargo plane was forced to turn back due to mechanical issues.

The area of Northwest Seventh Street and Perimeter Road was shut down along with 57th Avenue and the Dolphin Expressway. Those roadways have since reopened.

According to Miami-Dade Police, the shut down was done around 8:30 a.m. as a precaution because of the 747 Cargo plane was returning with a blown out tire. The plane had been en route to Buenos Aires.

Dozens of Fire Rescue crews were on scene, ready to respond in case of an emergency.

7Skyforce flew over the scene as the plane landed, and smoke could be seen coming from the left landing gear. Spectators watched as the plane landed. "It's a good idea that they have safety procedures because that's a 747, it should be carrying a big load," said one spectator. 

The plane landed on runway 27, which is the longest runway at the airport. All planes had to be removed from the runway to make room for the aircraft. Crews are now inspecting the runway to make sure there is no debris that could be potentially hazardous to any other aircraft taking flight.

No injuries were reported. The plane was taken off the property about 30 minutes after landing, and will go to maintenance.

Story, video and comment: http://www.wsvn.com