Thursday, March 3, 2016

Parts arrive for 8th Airbus plane to be built in Mobile, Alabama


FOX10 News has been following Airbus in Mobile since the project was announced.

Parts for the next plane to built at the Airbus facility at Brookley Aeroplex have now arrived in Mobile.
Four large sections of an airplane sit in front of APM Terminals in Mobile, not far from Choctaw Pass.

They make up the eighth plane to be built at the Airbus Final Assembly Line.

Denson White with APM Terminals says, "The Airbus parts have been coming since last summer, and we've been getting them in about every five to six weeks."  

The sections of the aircraft, part of the A320 family of planes, come from Germany by ship to the Port of Mobile

White said, "These come in on a charter vessel and we brought that in yesterday, came alongside and, then, we took the parts off and move them up, stage them, and they get ready to move over to the Final Assembly Line, probably tomorrow."

The first plane to be built in Mobile will be delivered to Jet Blue, but this one and the others will go to American Airlines.

White says he just returned from a shipping industry conference, called Trans- Pacific Maritime, in California, where Mobile's Airbus facility got  a lot of attention.

White said, "The Airbus piece was really a large discussion point out at our big industry conference, TPM out in Los Angeles, and in Long Beach this week. It's really brought Mobile to a forefront in the containerized import industry." 

Airbus will likely get a lot more worldwide attention when the first plane built in Mobile rolls out of the Final Assembly Line.

As far as a timetable,  Airbus officials have only said the first plane is expected to be delivered in the spring.

Original article can be found at:

Metropolitan Airports Commission panel recommends Michigan airport executive for top job at Minneapolis-St. Paul International (KMSP)

Brian Ryks is the CEO of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport and a finalist to be CEO of the Twin Cities' Metropolitan Airports Commission. 

A panel of the Metropolitan Airports Commission has recommended the CEO of the Grand Rapids, Michigan airport to run Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

Brian Ryks, a Lakeville, Minnesota native, was the top choice among several finalists to succeed Jeff Hamiel, who is retiring in May.

The finalists, including airport COO Dennis Probst and airline and hospitality executive Tammy Lee Stanoch, were interviewed by the MAC's executive committee over several hours on Thursday. The recommendation of Ryks now goes to the full 15-member committee for a vote March 21.

If confirmed, Ryks would take over one of the largest quasi-government jobs in the region. The Metropolitan Airports Commission has a $330 million annual budget and 600 direct employees, including its own police force and fire department. The MAC says 20,000 airline, hospitality and other employees work at the main airport, which serves 35 million passengers every year.

The job also covers six smaller regional airports.

Ryks is no stranger to either MSP or Minnesota aviation. Ryks worked as a noise and operations technician at the airport in the late 80's. A private pilot, he also served as airport manager in St. Cloud for five years and as executive director for the Duluth Airport Authority for 10 years. Ryks has been running the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids since 2012.

The MAC is planning an open house for Ryks before a vote on his hire, but hasn't set a date.

Original article can be found here:

2 Sacramento County men accused of pointing laser at California Highway Patrol aircraft

SACRAMENTO COUNTY, Calif. (KCRA) —Two men were arrested for pointing a laser at a California Highway Patrol aircraft, the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department said Thursday.

Haik Kurdoglanyan,25, and Artem Sargsyan, 34, were arrested Sunday after the CHP pilot reported being hit with a high–powered laser, the sheriff’s department said.

The pilot was flying over Bradshaw and Old Placerville roads Sunday night when the aircraft was stuck. The pilot was then able to lead deputies to the suspects.
The sheriff’s department said pointing a laser at an aircraft is a felony.

“Aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft is a serious matter and a violation of federal law,” FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division Assistant Director Ron Hosko said in a statement last year. “It is important that people understand that this is a criminal act with potentially deadly repercussions.”

The FBI said pointing a laser at an aircraft can illuminate the cockpit, temporarily blinding the pilot.

“Those who have been subject to such attacks have described them as the equivalent of a camera flash going off in a pitch-black car at night,” the FBI said.

Original article can be found here:

Maule MXT-7-180A Star Rocket, N171HS, Henderson State University: Incident occurred March 03, 2016 at Dexter B. Florence Memorial Field (KADF), Arkadelphia, Clark County, Arkansas

Date: 03-MAR-16
Time: 19:00:00Z
Regis#: N171HS
Aircraft Make: MAULE
Aircraft Model: M7
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: Minor
Damage: Minor
Activity:  Instruction
Flight Phase:  LANDING (LDG)
FAA Flight Standards District Office:  FAA Little Rock FSDO-11
State: Arkansas



An aviation student at Henderson State University was injured and the flight instructor transported to a hospital for observation after an aircraft they were traveling in landed upside down Thursday, according to a university statement.

Henderson State spokesman Tonya Oaks Smith said the university's Maule MXT-7-180A landed on its back on the runway of Arkadelphia's Dexter B. Florence Memorial Field after a "sudden, strong crosswind blew the aircraft off the centerline as it was touching down."

Smith said "rain-softened ground" in the area caused the single-engine plane to roll over and land with its wings touching the ground.

The identity of the student, who was treated for minor injuries at the scene, has not been released.

Officials have also not released the name of the student's instructor, who was taken to Baptist Health Medical Center in Arkadelphia and later released.

A meeting will be held Friday morning with flight instructors at Henderson State. University planes are grounded until the conclusion of the meeting.

The Arkadelphia Municipal Airport will remain closed until the aircraft is removed from the scene, Smith said.

The Arkadelphia Police Department responded at the scene after receiving a call about 1 p.m. and said an investigation into the landing has been turned over to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Original article can be found here:

ARKADELPHIA, Ark. (KTHV) -- A Henderson State University airplane was forced to land upside-down on a runway Thursday afternoon. 

According to Tonya Oaks Smith with the university, the Maule MXT-7-180A was blown by a sudden crosswind off the centerline as it was touching down at Dexter B. Florence Memorial Field. 

She said the rain-softened ground caused the plane to land on its back.  The aviation student is said to have been treated for minor injuries at the scene, and the flight instructor was taken to Baptist Health Medical Center in Arkadelphia for observation.  He has since been released. 

The Federal Aviation Authority is investigating the incident, and Arkadelphia Municipal Airport will remain closed until the aircraft is removed. 

Smith said flight instructors will meet Friday morning, and the university's planes will remain grounded until after the meeting. 

Original article can be found here:

ARKADELPHIA, Ark. - A Henderson State University airplane rolled over at the Dexter B. Florence Memorial Field airport on Thursday, injuring two, officials say. 

The Arkadelphia Police Department responded to the incident and said that the investigation was turned over to the Federal Aviation Administration. 

An aviation student onboard was treated for minor injuries at the airport, and the flight instructor was taken to a local hospital for observation and later released, officials said. 

Henderson State University said the aircraft (Maule MXT-7-180A) was forced to land upside down on the runway. 

"A sudden, strong crosswind blew the aircraft off the centerline as it was touching down. The rain-softened ground caused the plane to land on its back," the university said. 

The Dexter B. Florence Memorial Field is south of Arkadelphia. 

Original article can be found here:

Noise complaints soar at Tampa International Airport (KTPA) as planes are re-directed during construction

TAMPA — As ongoing construction at Tampa International Airport redirects airplanes to new runways, some South Tampa residents are already tired of dealing with the noise of more planes flying over their neighborhoods.

Relief for local residents likely won't come until September, Hillsborough County Aviation Authority board members said during a regular meeting Thursday. But some residents worry that long term plans for growth at the airport will exacerbate the problem and ultimately lower their property values.

A South Tampa resident, John Few, expressed his concerns during the public comment part of the meeting. Few said that the engine noise from jets is the worst during peak travel hours, like around 6 p.m. when he's done with work and wants to enjoy his back porch at his home on Treasure Drive. Sometimes he hears planes flying over his house from midnight to 6 a.m., which he said "is totally unnecessary."

"I've owned property there since 1992, but I never anticipated this," Few said. "I'm a reluctant community activist. Both of my parents served on the airport board and I really think we have the greatest airport there is. But it's the airport's responsibility to advocate for the community, and it's their obligation to go to the FAA on our behalf to settle a problem like this."

The number of noise complaints skyrocketed in 2015 to 722 — more than three times the complaints the year before.

"It seems we're getting more complaints than usual in recent months," said Tampa Mayor and board member Bob Buckhorn, who urged airport staff to elaborate on the problem during Thursday's meeting.

John Tiliacos, vice president of operations and customer service at the airport, said that the Federal Aviation Administration created a temporary plan to redirect more planes to land on runways on the east side of the airport as construction has blocked an area surrounding taxiway J. All commercial airplanes landing and parking at terminal airside A have permission to land on the east side of the airport from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays, said Tiliacos. Normal operations are expected to resume in September when taxiway construction is completed.

"We have worked very closely with the FAA during this process and have reached out to HOAs covering 10 to 12 communities," Tiliacos said. "We hold bi-monthly meetings with the community about it."

On the weekends and on holidays, most of the air traffic is directed to runways on the west side of the airport, he said. Tiliacos added that less than 2 percent of airplane landings at the Tampa airport violate the FAA's noise policy. Non-commercial aircraft, including charter flights, prop turbo jets and private planes can land on the East runway any time.

"We don't make the rules. We don't land planes. We don't make the policies. That's the FAA," said Janet Zink, spokeswoman for the Tampa airport. "We can't help that they don't like the rules."

But the number of planes that have landed on the East runway in recent years has fluctuated. In 2011, about 2,000 planes landed on the runway on the east side of the airport. In 2012, that number dropped to 950. But in 2012, when the airport closed another runway for a month for a slab replacement, traffic on the east runway spiked to 3,000 landings. In 2014, there were roughly 1,500 landings on the same runway.

In 2015, the airport recorded 3,700 landings on the noise sensitive runway. The number of landings increases for a variety of reasons, which could include weather issues, pilot requests and maintenance projects, Zink said.

The Tampa airport participates in a voluntary noise abatement program, which was established in 1999. In 2001, the airport created a noise office to address resident concerns and monitor pilot compliance with the program.

Original article can be found here:

Bothered by airplane noise? Tell the Federal Aviation Administration, Laguna Beach City Council urges residents

If Laguna Beach residents have trouble concentrating or are awakened by rumbling from above, the Laguna Beach City Council wants the Federal Aviation Administration to know about it.

In a rare act of activism, the council at its meeting last week urged residents to call or email aviation officials if noise from passing jetliners annoys them.

"One of the things that helps us with the FAA is when we have data points," Councilman Robert Zur Schmiede said. "The way we get data points is when people call and complain or email and complain."

Airplane noise complaints are nothing new in Laguna. The city has relayed residents' concerns to the FAA for the last couple of years, but one South Laguna homeowner said she has noticed an uptick in noise since October.

"The nonstop airplanes over my home continue," Michele Monda told the council.

Monda said that for three straight mornings last fall, she tallied an average of 12 to 15 flights passing overhead in 40 minutes or less each day. Planes begin departing from the airport at 7 a.m.

"That had not happened before," Monda said in a follow-up phone interview.

Monda is concerned that not only are flights getting increasingly close to Laguna Beach but that commercial jets could be flying at lower altitudes. When she recently took off on a flight from John Wayne, Monda said, she could see the pool, table and chairs in her yard.

"You're telling me at 8,000 feet my eyes could identify that?" she said.

Monda said she asked the FAA if anything had changed regarding the routes of departing jets or the altitude at which they fly when crossing over land and didn't get a clear answer.

Agency spokesman Ian Gregor wrote in an email to the Coastline Pilot that the FAA has not changed any procedures at John Wayne.

Monda's concerns come at a time when the FAA is considering new air traffic procedures at airports nationwide, including John Wayne, which is located on unincorporated land surrounded by Newport Beach, Irvine and Santa Ana.

The FAA wants to replace traditional ground-based air traffic procedures with satellite-based technology with its Next Generation Air Transportation System. It is also considering a proposal to narrow flight paths at 11 Southern California airports, including John Wayne.

Gregor maintains that Laguna Beach would be unaffected by these changes.

The agency believes that the changes could save fuel, reduce emissions and delays and shorten flight times by establishing flight paths that are less dispersed than they have been.

Currently, air traffic controllers can direct pilots off standard routes to keep planes safely separated from one another and to make up time, Gregor said.

Under the proposed system, precise takeoff paths would be programmed into the plane's flight plan.

The negative, though, as residents see it is that the system could concentrate flights over residential neighborhoods especially in Newport Beach, parts of which sit below the takeoff zone.

Flights from John Wayne headed east of Las Vegas are supposed to follow the STREL route. Planes ascend over the ocean, turn around and fly over land near the South Laguna and Dana Point border.

The proposed Next Generation flight paths would be "virtually identical" to the current STREL system, Gregor said, adding the FAA still needs to approve the satellite method, possibly this summer.

Laguna Beach Mayor Pro Tem Toni Iseman said during the meeting that the noise residents are hearing could stem from pilots not adhering to the fixed route and turning around earlier, thus moving away from STREL path and over more of Laguna.

"It comes down to the end of the flight when [pilots] brag about, 'We're early,'" Iseman said. "One of the ways they get to be early is turn around in a hurry. Our problem could be easily solved by flying out just a little bit longer. We're talking about seconds longer before they turn around."

The FAA's top priority is safety, Gregor said.

"During heavy volume times, it often is not possible to keep all planes in one stream," Gregor said. "So [air traffic] controllers will [move] them to maintain an efficient flow of traffic while keeping aircraft the required distance from one another."

Iseman and Zur Schmiede formed a subcommittee to study the issue and are working with city staff and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa) to address residents' concerns.

Residents can report low-flying aircraft to the FAA's Long Beach office at (562) 420-1755. To report airplane noise, contact the FAA's noise ombudsman at (202) 267-3521 or

Original article can be found here:

Puerto Rico’s Pooches Jet Off to the Hamptons: Stray dogs are flown to new homes on mainland on private planes

The Wall Street Journal
By Aaron Kuriloff
March 2, 2016 1:25 p.m. ET

PUERTO RICO— Citigroup banker David Brownstein, one of the executives charged with helping this U.S. commonwealth through its fiscal emergency, launched his latest rescue effort at dawn on a San Juan airstrip.

Once airborne for the mainland, Mr. Brownstein, Citi’s head of public finance, got up from his seat to reassure a nervous flier, a black, 20-pound stray dog named Dulce Maria.

Dulce Maria gazed wide-eyed around the private jet, which was littered with comforts, including overstuffed chairs and trays of pastry—a far cry from scrounging for scraps in the dumpsters of beach bars. Mr. Brownstein and his team coaxed the shivering canine out of her pet carrier, fed her a turkey sandwich from the plane’s catering, swaddled her in a blanket and set her in the lap of one of the dog rescuers, a model.

Dulce Maria was one of almost 100 pooch passengers on this trip from the back roads of Puerto Rico to shelters in the Hamptons and Jersey Shore.

“They need help and I can help,” said Mr. Brownstein. “At some point, it became everything.”

Mr. Brownstein, 57 years old, is one of Citi’s bankers representing Puerto Rico in its effort to restructure about $70 billion of debt. He previously handled debt exchanges in the bankruptcies of Detroit and Jefferson County, Ala.

He is also throwing a bone to Puerto Rico’s “satos,” or street mutts, and has helped fly about 1,000 animals to the mainland over six years. The costs, which are privately funded, can reach up to $1,000 a dog.

Along with a collapsing health-care system and 10 years of economic stagnation, Puerto Rico has a population of at least 300,000 stray dogs. Typical satos are small-to-medium in size, with short fur, big ears and short legs. Advocates say the dogs make great pets. They are also a nuisance on an island overrun with strays.

“I guess there are some people who would see this and say ‘There are much bigger problems in Puerto Rico to deal with than this,’ ” said Miguel Soto-Class, president of the Center for a New Economy, a San Juan think tank that supports debt restructuring. He is OK with it, though, on the grounds that the stray-dog problem hurts tourism, one of the few sectors of the island’s economy that has held on.

Mr. Brownstein, a lifelong animal lover, adopted three satos in 2010 from Julie Sinaw, the model turned dog rescuer. She introduced him to El Faro de Los Animales, a no-kill sanctuary on the island. Ms. Sinaw eventually became president of the group, known on the mainland as Animal Lighthouse Rescue, which operates through donations, adoption fees and Mr. Brownstein’s own spending.

Georgina Bloomberg, Olympic equestrian hopeful and daughter of former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, has twice flown dogs home on her own jet from Puerto Rico as part of her work with the Humane Society of the United States, which is making a big push on the island. Mr. Brownstein’s prints are all over it.

“Our pilots went over to his plane and looked at how he was stacking crates,” Ms. Bloomberg said. “When we went back, we modeled our plane on his.”

Mr. Brownstein’s team arranges airlifts every two months or so, bringing dogs, and some cats, to shelters.

Representatives of the Southampton Animal Shelter have gone on recent trips and are helping the jet-setting satos start over.

“These dogs literally go from living on the street to taking a private jet home to the Hamptons,” said Katie McEntee, the shelter’s marketing director.

On a February trip, “Operation Puppy Love,” Mr. Brownstein greeted much of the 16-person team at the airport in San Juan, including workers from four shelters and veterinarians, plus volunteering stockbrokers and artists. There he distributed keys to vans and condos in a beachfront development he rented and paid for in advance, along with two jets.

After three days examining and documenting dogs, the team embarked on their first four-hour run to the mainland at 4 a.m. The dogs were given a tranquilizer and an anti-diarrheal, thanks to one learning experience.

“Otherwise, in 10 flights we’ve had no accidents on these fancy jets,” Mr. Brownstein said.

Converted to carry cargo, with just a few seats, this Gulfstream has transported special passengers before. Phoenix Air Group, the Georgia-based company that owns the jet, said it has also carried dolphins and penguins for breeding programs.

When the dog-rescuers used standard private planes, they would “stack 8-10 crates on the benches, 10 in the back and fill the bathroom, so when the pilot goes to the bathroom, there are dogs staring at him,” Mr. Brownstein said.

Melba Acosta, president of the island’s Government Development Bank, said Mr. Brownstein’s dog-airlift efforts have helped push the commonwealth to boost spay and neuter efforts, a more long-term solution.

As the volunteers watched, the plane took off, headed for the Hamptons. The next morning it returned for the Jersey-bound crowd, along with a second plane, to carry any dogs they wanted to keep an eye on because they were skittish or had medical issues.

Dulce Maria, too shy for immediate adoption, was to foster with Ms. Sinaw in Manhattan. On the plane, she sat on Ms. Sinaw’s lap, looking out the window. In Atlantic City, volunteers raced to unload the Jersey-bound dogs in the subzero weather. Then the plane took off for its next stop.

Dulce Maria’s jet flew past the Statue of Liberty and into Teterboro, a small New Jersey airport just west of Manhattan. Mr. Brownstein carried Dulce Maria across the tarmac and through the terminal. Outside, he took her to the bushes to mark her new territory.

Original article can be found here:

Extreme injuries result in extreme verdict: Glasair RG Super 11S, N333HK, accident occurred September 03, 2010 near Lake Elmo Airport (21D), Minnesota

Mark Kedrowski, front, was severely injured in a plane crash in 2010. He and his legal team, from left, Cortney LeNeave, Stephen Watters and Thomas Fuller, procured a $27.7 million verdict from a Ramsey County jury.

A fuel pump like the one involved in a 2010 plane crash was used as evidence in the trial in Ramsey County.

Lying in a field of soybeans near the Lake Elmo airport with his face, head and legs crushed, pilot Mark Kedrowski told first responders that his airplane’s fuel pump had failed. That wasn’t a dying declaration, but it felt like one at the time.

After more than 50 surgeries and a four-week trial in Ramsey County, Kedrowski and his attorneys secured a $27.7 million verdict against Lycoming Engines and Kelly Aerospace Power Systems. Lycoming designed and sold the fuel pump and outsourced its labor and assembly to Kelly Aerospace, which assembled the fuel pump according to Lycoming designs and instructions. Lycoming is liable for the entire verdict under Minnesota product liability law and because it was in a joint enterprise with Kelly Aerospace. Kelly is in bankruptcy and was treated as a non-party tortfeasor.

Kedrowski spent four weeks in a coma and four more weeks sedated at Regions Hospital, and lost 20 percent of his brain and his left leg below the knee. He has been in and out of the hospital since the crash on September 3, 2010, encountering repeated infections and difficulty with his prosthesis. (See below for Verdict By the Numbers.)

His legal team is “amazing,” Kedrowski said. He was represented by Stephen Watters of the Stephen Watters law firm and Cortney LeNeave and Thomas Fuller of Hunegs, LeNeave & Kras. They called each other, and their client, “tenacious.”

Lycoming was represented by Dan Haws and J.P. Gatto of the HKM law firm. Haws made the following statement on behalf of the company: “Lycoming Engines, a division of Avco Corp., is disappointed with the verdict and notes that the case remains in litigation and that post-trial motions are being scheduled. Lycoming Engines will continue to review all of its legal options going forward in order to defend its product. However, Lycoming Engines does not feel further comment is appropriate in light of ongoing legal proceedings.”

Flying half the world

The plaintiff brought the case under design defect and manufacturing and inspection defect theories. Although the attorneys maintained that there was a history of prior defects that were substantially similar to the defects that caused the crash, that didn’t come in because Ramsey County District Court Judge John H. Guthmann found the evidence of similarity or a pattern to be insufficient, Watters said.

The jury found the fuel pump unreasonably dangerous because of a manufacturing defect, that Kelly was negligent in manufacturing the pump, that Lycoming was negligent in testing or inspecting the pump and that Kedrowski was not negligent.

Put simply, the pump failed to deliver enough fuel to the engine so the Glasair II RG single engine plane lost power right after takeoff as it began to climb. The valves did not give enough flow pressure to the fuel, LeNeave said.

Four years of investigation and three years of litigation, albeit overlapping, ensued. There were 18 separate inspections of the airplane by experts all over the country.

Lycoming had a lot at stake. According to its website, Lycoming built its first aircraft engine in 1929 — 23 years after the Wright brothers got their first patent in 1906. Also according to its website, half the world flies with Lycoming and “we build every engine as if we are going to fly it ourselves.”

Sanctionable conduct

According to the plaintiff’s attorneys, discovery was like pulling teeth. Guthmann did enter a sanctions order in August 2014 which ultimately cost defendant Lycoming $338,891.25 in attorney fees, expert witness fees and a $20,000 sanction payable to the court.

The documents that the plaintiff did receive just didn’t match up, LeNeave said. He believes the defendants made only a cursory search and then said they produced everything. Some documents came in late in what he called an obvious effort to gain an advantage, and some appeared after a punitive damage motion, he said. Additionally, he said, “most of these engineers have their own little files,” he added.

Lycoming’s discovery responses were “far short of reasonable,” said Guthmann, although he did not find the company willful or in bad faith. But the company and its lawyers failed to hold employees accountable for the document production or refresh prior searches, the judge said.

“Dumping thousands of documents on a party following the close of discovery and after the deadline to file dispositive motions is simply unacceptable when, as here, the documents were readily identifiable by asking the right employees the right questions or by using databases well-known to Lycoming and its employees. Lycoming’s conduct comes on top of countless assurance prior to the discovery deadline that it fully complied with all of its discovery obligations. These representations were obviously not true,” Guthmann wrote.

Although plaintiff’s counsel were not always perfect, the judge added, the court’s remedy was based on Lycoming’s history of recalcitrance.

Ultimately two of the assembly workers who built the pump testified that it should have been rejected, he said. According to LeNeave, the company has bad equipment, bad testing and sporadic testing. Assembly of the plane was outsourced to various companies so that bad equipment wasn’t spotted, LeNeave said. “The pieces they used to make valves were the bad equipment,” he said.

Additionally, Watters said, the trial exposed some problems with the industry. When small planes crash, the National Transportation Safety Board tends to blame the pilot, Watters said. The NTSB issued a report on this crash based on the FAA and didn’t investigate, he added.

By the Numbers
  • Past pain and suffering, disfigurement, embarrassment and emotional distress — $10 million
  • Past medical expenses — $2 million
  • Past loss of earnings — $1 million
  • Future pain and suffering, disfigurement, embarrassment and emotional distress — $6 million
  • Future medical expenses — $5.4 milion
  • Loss of future earning capacity — $3.3 million

Original article can be found here:

NTSB Identification: CEN10FA519

14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, September 03, 2010 in Lake Elmo, MN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/13/2011
Aircraft: KWECH GLASAIR RG SUPER 11S, registration: N333HK
Injuries: 1 Serious.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot was departing in his experimental amateur-built airplane on a personal cross country flight. Witnesses in the area of the accident reported they observed the low-flying yellow airplane climb over a tree line, pass over the roadway they were on, encounter wind, and then bank. The airplane subsequently descended during the turn and impacted terrain in a field about 1/2 mile north of the departure runway, where it sustained substantial damage to its fuselage. The recorded wind was 19 knots gusting to 28 knots. The pilot sustained serious injuries and indicated that he did not recall anything regarding the accident flight. A postaccident examination of the wreckage revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or anomalies with the airframe or engine.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain control of the airplane during takeoff with gusty wind conditions, which resulted in a collision with terrain.


On September 3, 2010, about 1605 central daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Kwech GLASAIR RG SUPER 11S airplane, N333HK, piloted by a private pilot, sustained substantial damage on impact with terrain during initial climbout from runway 32 (2,850 feet by 75 feet, asphalt) at Lake Elmo Airport (21D), near Lake Elmo, Minnesota. The personal flight was operating under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. An instrument flight rules flight plan was on file and was activated. The pilot sustained serious injuries. The flight was originating from 21D at the time of the accident, and was destined for the Pine River Regional Airport, near Pine River, Minnesota.

Witnesses in the area of the accident reported to Washington County Sheriff’s Office representatives that they observed the low-flying yellow airplane. According to the witnesses, the airplane climbed over a tree line, passed over Manning Avenue, encountered wind, and banked. The airplane subsequently descended during the turn and impacted terrain in a field south of 40th Street and east of Manning Avenue.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Inspector interviewed the pilot in a physical rehabilitation center. The pilot indicated that he did not recall anything regarding the accident flight.


The 39-year-old pilot held a FAA private pilot certificate with airplane single engine land and instrument ratings. The pilot held a third-class medical certificate issued to him on February 1, 2010, without limitations. An endorsement in his logbook showed that he completed a flight review on March 2, 2009 and that he completed an instrument competency check on September 3, 2009. The last entry in the pilot's logbook was dated December 18, 2009, and his total recorded flight time was 446.9 hours. A family member supplied a list of flights that the pilot was reported to have taken between January 6 and August 15, 2010.


N333HK was an experimental amateur-built Kwech GLASAIR RG SUPER 11S, single-engine, low-wing, retractable tri-cycle landing gear, two-place airplane, with serial number 2313. A Lycoming IO-360-B1E engine, rated at 205-horsepower, with serial number L-11581-51A, custom built by DeMars Aero LTD, powered the airplane. 

Maintenance records for the airplane were requested and were not located.


At 1553, the recorded weather at the St. Paul Downtown Airport / Holman Field, near St Paul, Minnesota, about 240 degrees and 10 miles from the accident site, was: Wind 300 degrees at 19 knots gusting to 28 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, sky condition broken 3,400 feet, overcast 4,300 feet, temperature 16 degrees C, dew point 9 degrees C, altimeter 29.94 inches of mercury.


The airplane wreckage came to rest in a field about one half mile north of the departure runway. Pictures of the wreckage path showed that the propeller separated from the engine and the engine separated from the fuselage. The propeller and engine were found in the northwest portion of the debris field and the airframe in the southeast portion of the debris field. The propeller had chordwise abrasion and leading edge nicks on its blades. The fuselage exhibited deformation and crushing consistent with substantial damage. FAA Inspectors examined the wreckage and did not find any pre-impact anomalies.


The engine was recovered and sent to a local fixed base operator for a test run. Damaged parts that included a cracked oil sump, a magneto with a broken flange, a fuel injector line, and damaged ignition leads were replaced with exemplar parts. The engine was installed in a test cell and it was observed by the National Transportation Safety Board Investigator In Charge to be operational during the test run. The damaged magneto was mounted on a lathe and it produced spark when the lathe rotated.

Steamboat Springs City Council good for takeoff on Houston, Dallas summer flights

Steamboat Springs — Steamboat Springs City Council agreed March 1 to allow the committee that oversees airline service here to fund daily flights this summer from both Houston on United Airlines and Dallas on American Airlines.

Securing the two flights would require committing $203,725 in minimum revenue guarantees to the two airlines. However, the full amount might not be spent depending upon the evenues generated by the flights. Contracts have yet to be executed.

Steamboat Today described the details of the service from Dallas and Houston in a Feb. 26 article.

Councilwoman Robin Crossan asked Bob Milne, chairman of the Local Marketing District (LMD) Board that manages the flight program, what the LMD’s philosophical approach to reserve funds would be going forward. Milne responded that the group intends to be conservative in that regard pending the outcome of a November public vote needed to renew a .25 percent general sales tax dedicated to airline service.

Councilman Jason Lacy noted a recent history of reliability issues with airline service between Denver and Yampa Valley Regional Airport, and he asked Milne if the summer flights from Texas are anticipated to be more dependable. Milne responded that because those flights are coming out of large hub airports, that is his expectation

With the final full month of the 2015-16 ski season underway, it is evident that Republic Airlines, flying the Q400 turboprop as United Express, remains in the mix on the Denver route.

Steamboat Today reported in October 2015 that Republic would be leaving the Denver hub altogether in the first half of March. It now appears that deadline has been moved back even though Republic officials announced Feb. 26 the company would seek to reorganize under Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

United spokesman Charles Hobart told the AP that his airline did not anticipate Republic’s bankruptcy to have any effect on the United Express schedule.

Also flying between Yampa Valley Regional Airport and Denver International this month will be SkyWest and Trans States airlines flying regional jets. Yampa Valley Regional Airport Director Kevin Booth said there’s also a possibility that GoJet would operate some flights this spring.

A search of flight schedules at United’s Web page reflected that as late as March 21, Republic will operate one of three daily roundtrips between Denver and Hayden. On other days in March, Trans States, flying the 50-passenger Embraer RJ 145, and the SkyWest CRJ 700 will carry the bulk of the flights.

By May, it appears SkyWest will be the sole operator on the Denver flight. For April, May and June, it will be a single flight a day on SkyWest.

Original article can be found here:

Los Angeles-area flight school student may be deported after Trump threat

ORANGE, Calif. -- A flight student from Egypt is facing deportation from the United States after being investigated by federal agents for posting on his Facebook page that he was willing to serve a life sentence for killing Donald Trump and that the world would thank him.

While U.S. prosecutors have not charged 23-year-old Emadeldin Elsayed with a crime, immigration authorities arrested him last month at the Los Angeles-area flight school he attended and now are trying to deport him, attorney Hani Bushra said Wednesday.

Elsayed, who is being held in a jail in Orange is devastated at seeing his dreams of becoming a pilot dashed over what Bushra acknowledged was a foolish social media post. An immigration court hearing will determine whether Elsayed will be deported.

"It seems like the government was not able to get a criminal charge to stick on him, so they used the immigration process to have him leave the country," Bushra said. "The rhetoric is particularly high in this election, and I just feel he got caught up in the middle."

Trump is leading the Republican presidential contenders and has used especially tough talk on immigration. He has vowed to build a wall along the entire Mexican border and has called for temporarily banning Muslims from entering the country.

U.S. Secret Service agents interviewed Elsayed in early February after he posted a photo of Trump on Facebook and wrote he was willing to serve a life sentence for killing the billionaire and the world would thank him, Bushra said. The agents returned eight days later and told him federal prosecutors had declined to charge him but said his visa to attend flight school had been revoked. He was arrested by immigration authorities.

Elsayed said he wrote the message because he was angered by Trump's comments about Muslims. He said he immediately regretted it, and he never intended to harm anyone.

"It's just a stupid post. You can find thousands of these every hour on Facebook and the media," he told The Associated Press in a phone interview from jail. "I don't know why would they think I am a threat to the national security of the United States just because of a stupid post."

Elsayed said the agent who interviewed him mentioned last year's shooting rampage by a Muslim husband-and-wife couple in San Bernardino and the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, which were carried out by Muslims who had sought flight training in the United States.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in a statement that Elsayed was arrested because he violated "the terms of his admission to the United States." The agency did not provide further details.

The State Department and Secret Service declined to discuss the case. A Trump campaign spokeswoman also declined to comment.

Bushra said immigration officials alleged in court filings that the flight school had tipped off federal officials to the Facebook post.

Alex Khatib, owner of Universal Air Academy, said he knew nothing of the case until federal agents showed up to interview and later detain Elsayed.

Elsayed is from Cairo, but he said he spent much of his life in Saudi Arabia, where his father worked as a civil engineer. He came to the United States for the first time last September to attend flight school with the hope of returning to Egypt and getting a job at an airline, he said.

He said he'd like to continue his studies in the United States if the government lets him stay. If not, he will seek a refund of some of the $65,000 he has spent on his education and use it to study elsewhere.

Khatib said federal officials asked him to terminate paperwork he had issued so Elsayed could study for his pilot's license. He said he would take him back if the government allows.

"He is honestly a good student," Khatib said. "He seemed to be a good guy."

Original article can be found here:

Piper PA-28-181 Archer II, N29099, Positive Rate Gear Up LLC: Fatal accident occurred February 20, 2016 in Setauket Harbor, Suffolk County, New York


NTSB Identification: ERA16LA109
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, February 20, 2016 in Port Jefferson, NY
Aircraft: PIPER PA28, registration: N29099
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 3 Minor.

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

On February 20, 2016, at 2305 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-28-181; N29099, owned and operated by Positive Rate Gear Up LLC, was substantially damaged during a ditching in the Setauket Harbor about 1.5 nautical miles northwest of Port Jefferson, New York. The flight instructor, student, and one passenger, received minor injuries, and one passenger is missing and presumed to be fatally injured. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the instructional flight conducted under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, which departed from the Fitchburg Municipal Airport (FIT), Fitchburg, Massachusetts, destined for Republic Airport (FRG), Farmingdale, New York.

According to the flight instructor, this was the second leg of an instructional flight that had departed FRG about 1430 for FIT. After spending some time in the Fitchburg area at a university, a restaurant, and a local Walmart, they returned to the airport and departed at approximately 2040 for FRG.

After takeoff, they departed the airport traffic area to the southwest and climbed to 4,500 feet above mean sea level (msl) on a direct heading for FRG. The flight instructor estimated that he had a headwind of 30-40 knots, and his groundspeed was approximately 81 knots during the cruise portion of the flight. He stated that there was no indication of any malfunction of the airplane. As the airplane passed over the Igor I. Sikorsky Memorial Airport (BDR), Bridgeport, Connecticut, they turned southbound and crossed Long Island Sound at that point as there was less water to fly over in this location. They started a slow descent also as they passed over BDR, and upon reaching the area of Port Jefferson, New York, leveled off around 2,000 feet msl. the engine then "sputtered." The flight instructor immediately turned on the electric fuel pump and instructed his student to switch the fuel selector to the left fuel tank and to maintain 2,000 feet msl. Once the fuel selector had been selected to the left fuel tank, the engine stopped sputtering.

The pilot informed air traffic control that he they wanted to divert to ISP, which at the time was only 10 nautical miles south of them. They continued to fly for another 2-3 minutes when the engine sputtered again and then lost power. He then took control of the airplane from the student pilot and advised the tower controller at ISP that he was declaring an emergency. The flight instructor then made a 180 degree turn to the right, and headed for the shoreline since he believed this was the best suitable place for landing, and knew from experience that the area along the shore was normally clear of obstacles and houses. As they descended, he was unable to see the shoreline due to the darkness and decided to ditch the airplane as close as he could to the shoreline, judging his distance from the shore by using the lights from the houses. He then held the airplane off the water for as long as possible to keep from touching down on the water with excessive airspeed and risk nosing over as the airplane was equipped with fixed landing gear.

Upon touching down, the flight instructor opened the cabin door and instructed everyone to exit the airplane, and to grab the life vest that was located in the baggage compartment of the airplane and to hold on to him. The student pilot then handed him the life vest. One of the passengers then jumped into the water and started swimming for shore. The second passenger then also jumped into the water. The student pilot was the last to egress from the airplane. Neither the student pilot nor the passengers were wearing life vests.

After the pilot reported the engine failure to ISP and that they were going to attempt to land on the north shore of Long Island, the tower controller immediately notified emergency responders. A Suffolk County Police Department (SCPD) Helicopter was airborne at the time, and was provided with radar vectors, and immediately proceeded toward the last known location of airplane. Approximately 3 minutes later, the airplane was located by the SCPD helicopter.

Patrol Officers from SCPD also responded to the shoreline and after locating several kayaks behind a residence, made their way onto the water and after hearing screams for help, paddled out towards the spotlight from the helicopter, rescued one of the passengers, and then with the assistance of an SCPD Marine Patrol boat, the flight instructor. The student pilot was also rescued by a Patrol Officer who entered the water on foot and threw a life ring to him and then pulled him to shore. A search by SCPD, and the United States Coast Guard for the missing passenger was also initiated, and at the time of this preliminary report, the missing passenger has not been located.

After the ditching, the airplane remained afloat for about 5 minutes before it sank nose first to the bottom of the bay, and came to rest on its landing gear, about 100 feet northwest of Buoy S8. Charted water depth in the area was between 1 and 3.5 feet however, the airplane ditched just after high tide so there was an additional 5 feet of water. Only 1 foot of the vertical stabilizer was visible above the water's surface at the time.

Examination of the airplane after recovery revealed that, it was substantially damaged due to salt water immersion, a broken engine mount, and damage to the aft fuselage structure just forward of the stabilator. Flight control continuity was able to be established from the flight controls in the cockpit to the ailerons, stabilator, and rudder. The stabilator trim was neutral. The wing flaps were in the fully extended (40-degree) position. Both wing flaps also exhibited impact damage, and the right wing flap's actuating linkage was fractured. The throttle was full forward, the mixture was full rich, the carburetor heat control was in the "OFF" position, and the primer was in and locked. The fuel selector was in the left fuel tank position.

Examination of the engine revealed that, it contained oil in the galleries and rocker box covers. Drive train continuity was also able to be established, and thumb compression was present for all four cylinders. Internal examination of the cylinders also did not reveal any anomalies of the cylinders, piston heads, or valves. Internal examination of the magnetos also did not reveal any preimpact anomalies.

Examination of the fuel system did not reveal evidence of fuel in either the left or right fuel tanks, nor in the fuel strainer, or carburetor float bowl. Examination of aircraft rental and fueling records also revealed that the airplane had been operated for 5.1 hours since it was last refueled.

The flight instructor held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, airplane multi-engine land, and instrument airplane. He also held a flight instructor certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine, and instrument airplane. His most recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) first-class medical certificate was issued November 12, 2015. He reported 2,800 total hours of flight time, of which 1,400 were in the accident airplane make and model.

The student pilot reported that he had accrued 20 total hours of flight time, 19 of which were in the accident airplane make and model.

According to FAA and maintenance records, the airplane was manufactured in 1979. The airplane's most recent 100 hour inspection was completed on January 12, 2016. At the time of the accident, the airplane had accumulated 5,173.97 total hours of flight time.

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Farmingdale FSDO-11

Setauket, NY - March 3rd, 2016 - The Suffolk Legislature this week recognized heroic actions taken by seven members of the County’s Police Department and the 20 agencies that responded to a small plane crash in Setauket late last month.

It was just after 11:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 20, 2016 when police received notification that a small, private plane with 4 passengers aboard experienced engine trouble and was forced to make an emergency water landing onto and into Setauket Harbor.  

Upon arrival to a chaotic crash scene, first responders began efforts to rescue survivors from the dark and frigid waters, putting their own safety in peril in order to save those scattered throughout the harbor and in danger of succumbing to hypothermia. The decisive and valiant efforts of responders that night ensured the safe rescue of three of the four passengers.

Suffolk County Police Department Lieutenant Michael S. Murphy, Sergeant Paul Mercready, Officer Christopher Draskin, Officer Vashawn Hussain, Officer Matthew Merced, Officer John Roy and Officer Charles Scala are credited with commandeering available resources and rushing toward danger to remove victims from the icy waters.

In addition to the officers, Majority Leader Kara Hahn also recognized the support provided by the Setauket Fire Department and the 19 following agencies under its direction during the operation:
  • Setauket Fire Department;
  • Centereach Fire Department;
  • Coram Fire Department;
  • Middle Island Fire Department;
  • Mount Sinai Fire Department;
  • Nesconset Fire Department;
  • Port Jefferson EMS ;
  • Port Jefferson Fire Department;
  • Rocky Point Fire Department;
  • Saint James Fire Department;
  • Selden Fire Department;
  • Smithtown Fire Department;
  • Sound Beach Fire Department;
  • Stony Brook Fire Department;
  • Stony Brook Volunteer Ambulance Corp;
  • Suffolk County Department of Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services;
  • Terryville Fire Department;
  • Town of Brookhaven Fire Marshals;
  • Town of Brookhaven Harbormaster; and
  • United States Coast Guard
The Suffolk County Police Department continues its search for the one passenger not rescued that night.  However, because of the actions of the men and women recognized this week, that number is one and not four.

Original article can be found here:

Cape Air, Cessna 402, N6875D: Incident occurred March 02, 2016 in Bar Harbor, Hancock County, Maine

Date: 02-MAR-16
Time: 23:44:00Z
Regis#: N6875D
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 402
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Minor
Activity: Commuter
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Aircraft Operator: KAP-Cape Air
Flight Number: KAP21
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Portland FSDO-65
State: Maine