Saturday, March 5, 2016

Study: Airport impact $20 million: Chairman, manager of Jamestown Regional Airport (KJMS) say the number should be higher

Jamestown Regional Airport’s impact on the Jamestown region’s economy is $20.4 million, according to a study commissioned by the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission.

This is a 56 percent increase from 2010, when the airport had a $13.1 million impact on the local economy, according to information provided by the Aeronautics Commission.

However, Jim Boyd, chairman of the Jamestown Regional Airport Authority, and Sam Seafeldt, airport manager, believe the number should be higher.

“I don’t think they’ve given us fair research on this,” Boyd said about the study.

Kyle Wanner, director of the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission, said the commission hired Jviation, a Denver, Colo.-based engineering firm, to conduct the economic impact study. Jviation looked at each of the eight commercial airports’ five economic activity centers: airport management, airport tenants, capital improvement spending, commercial visitor spending and general aviation visitor spending. The study broke down each activity center by employment, total payroll generated by that employment and total output. Output represents the purchase of goods and services within North Dakota. Jviation also looked at the the state’s smaller general aviation airports and measured those airports’ economic impact based on employment, total payroll and total output.

Statewide impact

The total output for all of the state’s airports is $3.6 billion. Wanner said this figure includes the five economic activity centers at each airport as well as some other non-airport-specific aviation and aerospace activities in the state that make direct contributions to the state’s economy. These “non-airport-specific” activities include U.S. Air Force bases in Minot and Grand Forks, aviation-supported jobs and off-airport aviation and aerospace business, including UTC Aerospace Systems in Jamestown. These four activities account for 19,996 jobs that generate a payroll of $930.7 million and have a total economic output of $2.1 billion in North Dakota.

Wanner said the study also showed the total number of jobs directly or indirectly supported by the airport statewide went from 8,872 in 2010 to 12,217 in 2015.

Boyd said an example of his concern about the figures in the economic impact study is that the study shows Jamestown Regional Airport had 3,542 visitors arrive by commercial air service in 2015. Boyd said the total number of passenger boardings at the airport for 2015 was 8,602.

The Aeronautics Commission report on the economic impact study notes that the 3,542 visitors figure was part of one table in an executive summary of the economic impact study, and the table didn’t include state residents who flew on commercial airline flights into Jamestown.

Wanner said the Aeronautics Commission only wanted numbers on commercial visitors to each airport to measure how much money each commercial visitor brings into an area served by one of the state’s airports.

“When you calculate dollars coming into the community, you look at visitors, not residents,” he said.

Wanner said visitors were asked about how much money they would be spending and where they were staying. Based on those answers, the study showed visitors who arrived in Jamestown on commercial flights spent $1.4 million in 2015, an average of $400 per person. In the 2010 economic impact study, visitors to Jamestown spent about $290 per person.

Wanner said statewide, visitors who came to Jamestown on commercial flights spent on average $677 per person in 2015, more than double the $325 visitors spent per person in 2010.

“Jamestown should be very happy, their numbers went up a lot,” he said about the spending per visitor figure.

UTC impact

Boyd said he believes the Aeronautics Commission should have included the economic impact numbers that UTC Aerospace Systems has on the local economy in Jamestown Regional Airport’s numbers.

“UTC Aerospace has over 500 employees,” he said. “I don’t know what the company’s sales are, but not including those numbers in the Jamestown Regional Airport’s numbers is really understating the airport’s impact on the regional and state economy.”

Wanner said UTC’s numbers were included in the off-airport impact for the whole state, not just for Jamestown. He said because UTC’s operations don’t directly involve Jamestown Regional Airport, the company’s numbers weren’t included in the airport’s economic impact number. UTC does lease airport property on which its production facility is built.

Wanner said he understands Boyd’s frustration in wanting to show the importance of Jamestown Regional Airport to the community, but he thinks the Aeronautics Commission’s economic impact study shows the importance of the airport to the community.

“We do this study every five years and Jamestown (airport) has grown since the last study,” he said.

Seafeldt said when employees from the Aeronautics Commission were at Jamestown Regional Airport in spring 2015, those employees looked at all aspects of the airport’s operations. He said while he agrees with Boyd’s assessment of the numbers in the study, he also thinks the study is a good way to get the word out about how important Jamestown Regional Airport is to the regional and state economy.

“The goal is to show people that the airport is a main line for people to come here to spend and make money in Jamestown,” Seafeldt said.

Boyd said overall he hopes the Aeronautic Commission will allow changes to be made to the numbers in the economic impact study to reflect a more accurate picture of Jamestown Regional Airport’s impact on the regional and state economy.

Wanner said the commission will not be amending the study as it was meant to be a “snapshot” in time.

“I feel this (the study) was the best snapshot,” he said.

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

Taylorcraft BL-65, N22661: Accident occurred March 05, 2016 in St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida

http://registry.faa.gov/N22661

NTSB Identification: ERA16LA123 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, March 05, 2016 in St. Petersburg, FL
Aircraft: TAYLORCRAFT BL, registration: N22661
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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

On March 5, 2016, about 1345 eastern standard time, a Taylorcraft BL-65, N22661, operated by a private individual, was substantially damaged during a forced landing, after it experienced a partial loss of engine power while in cruise flight near St. Petersburg, Florida. The private pilot and a passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed for the flight that departed from Manatee Airport, (48X), Palmetto, Florida. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, the pilot reported that the airplane had flown about 10 miles from 48X, when the engine began to run rough, and experienced a 50 percent power reduction. The pilot subsequently performed a forced landing to a golf course. During the landing, the airplane struck trees and sustained substantial damage to the left wing, which was partially separated from the fuselage.

The airplane was manufactured in 1939 and was equipped with a Lycoming O-145-B2, 65-horsepower engine. Examination of the engine by an FAA inspector revealed that two nuts were missing from the No. 3 cylinder head studs, and a third stud was fractured. The cylinder head and fractured stud were forwarded to the NTSB Materials Laboratory, Washington, DC, for further examination.

Initial review of maintenance records revealed that the engine had been operated for about 20 hours since its most recent inspection, which was performed on October 8, 2015, and included a check of all cylinder head bolts for "tightness."

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Miami FSDO-19

Damage to the wing of the single engine aircraft is seen after the plane made an emergency landing on a golf course in Lakewood Estates in St. Petersburg on Saturday afternoon, March 5, 2016.



ST. PETERSBURG, FL (WFLA) – An 18-year-old pilot of a small plane had to make an emergency landing on a golf course of the St. Peterburg Country Club in Lakewood Estates subdivision Saturday afternoon, police said.


According to St. Petersburg Police, the teen pilot was flying from Lakeland to Manatee County on a 1939 Taylorcraft fixed wing single-engine two-seater airplane. Two other aircraft were also with him, police said.


The Taylorcraft pilot had mechanical issues and was advised to land at Albert Whitted Airport in St. Petersburg. But he realized he wouldn’t be able to make it there and picked the golf course as the possible landing site, police said.


The teen landed the plane safely on the 12th fairway but when it was coming to a stop, its wing clipped a tree. The pilot and his teen passenger were not injured.


The residents in the area said, this wasn’t the first time an emergency landing happened at the golf course. In 2009 a pilot landed on the course, tearing off one of the plane’s wings on the way down. The pilot survived.


“My neighbor just called and told me about it. And I said, again?” a resident Mike Cameron said.


Police said that the NTSB has been notified and is responding to the scene. The golf course area around the plane near the intersection of Cordova Way South and Caesar Way South was roped off.

The aircraft is registered in Punta Gorda, FL. Its certificate is up to date.


Story and video:  http://wfla.com
St. Petersburg Police respond to the scene of an emergency landing as the 18-year-old pilot sits on the ground on a golf course in Lakewood Estates in St. Petersburg on Saturday afternoon, March 5, 2016.



A small airplane was forced to make an emergency landing Saturday afternoon on the 12th fairway of a St. Petersburg golf course, police said. The pilot and his teenage passenger were not injured.

At 1:45 p.m. Saturday, a 1939 Taylorcraft fixed-wing airplane had to make an emergency landing on the St. Petersburg Country Club Course. The two-seater plane was flying with two other aircraft. The three planes had taken off from Lakeland and were on their way to Manatee County, the St. Petersburg Police Department said.


After the plane clipped a tree with its left wing, it came to a stop near the intersection of Cordova Way South and Caesar Way South in the Lakewood Estates subdivision of St. Petersburg, police said. While stopping the left wing on the aircraft clipped a tree.


The 18-year-old pilot of the 1939 Taylorcraft began experiencing mechanical issues and was advised to divert his flight path and attempt to land at Albert Whitted Airport in St. Petersburg, police said. The pilot realized he was not going to make it to Albert Whitted, and observed the Lakewood Golf Course as a possible landing site.


There was no fuel leaking from the plane. No one was injured on the ground at the time of the landing, according to St. Petersburg Fire and Rescue officials.


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









ST. PETERSBURG — A fairway became an airway Saturday afternoon when a vintage plane piloted by an 18-year-old made an emergency landing on the 12th fairway at the St. Petersburg Country Club.

The plane was one of a trio flying from Lakeland to Manatee County, but it had begun experiencing mechanical problems. The teen's father, in one of the other planes, recommended landing at Albert Whitted Airport in downtown St. Petersburg, said St. Petersburg police spokesman Rob Shaw.

However, the pilot of the 1939 Taylorcraft realized he couldn't make it that far and set down in the biggest open space he could find — a fairway near Cordova Way S and Caesar Way S in the Lakewood Estates subdivision of St. Petersburg.

While rolling to a stop, the pilot clipped a tree with one wing, but neither he nor his 17-year-old passenger was injured, police said. Neither was identified.

"He did a dang good job for an 18-year-old pilot," said Shaw, adding that the National Transportation Safety Board has been notified for an investigation.

Residents passing by on bikes, in cars and on foot stopped to check out the plane sitting in between two trees with yellow police tape surrounding it. Melissa Center, 34, stood with her friend, Cathy Lynch, taking photos with her phone.

"Thank God it was here and not in a house," Lynch, 48, said.

"Yeah, I can see my house from here," Center said, pointing down the street.

Neither saw nor heard the plane land, and several neighbors said they didn't even know something had happened until the TV news trucks showed up.

That's what drew Christian Miller, 18, to the golf course about 45 minutes after the plane landed, thinking it was a fire at first when he saw a ladder truck and police cars. After learning no one was hurt, Miller, who studies journalism at Lakewood High School, whipped out his camera and started taking photos.

"I've never seen anything like this," he said.

But Patty Danler, who lives across the street from the fairway, said this wasn't the first time a plane has landed not only on the golf course, but also in that exact spot.

According to Tampa Bay Times archives, 47-year-old William Gibson was flying over the neighborhood Dec. 24, 2009, when the engine gave out on his singe-engine plane, an advertisement for a local crab restaurant flapping behind it. One of the wings clipped a tree, and the aircraft came to a stop near the 12th hole, just as Danler, 61, remembered. Gibson made it out with only a minor hand injury.

Danler said she was mystified that she didn't hear or see the planes coming down either time.

"They sneak in," she said. "I don't know what it is about that spot."

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

Star Flight Training: New Roanoke flight school aims to address looming pilot shortage

Jon Beard is a flight instructor and general manager of Star Flight Training, a new flight school at Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport.


Growing up in what he calls “the sticks” near Clifton Forge, Jon Beard thought he was destined for work in a paper mill. Or maybe if he was lucky, he could land a railroad job right out of high school. He didn’t think his family could afford to send him to college. But when he entered William Fleming High School he found a career path he never knew he wanted — flying airplanes.

He earned his private pilot’s license through the high school’s now-defunct aviation elective, and he later attended a professional flight school. Beard, 37, has spent nearly 20 years flying planes and teaching others to do so. He’s done everything from dropping skydivers to piloting regional jets.

But he considers his latest gig one of the most important.


Jon Beard, flight instructor moves a Diamond DA-20 out of the hangar before class instruction on Saturday morning at Star Flight Training.


Beard is the general manager of Star Flight Training, a new flight school that set up shop on Waypoint Drive just past Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport.

“If it ever occurred to you to fly an airplane, we are the people you call,” he said.

The school is owned by Salem resident and aviation enthusiast Danny Kane. It has a fleet of five small planes, dwarfed by the jets that take off next door at the airport. Yet in some aspects, Star Flight Training is just as important as any of the commercial airlines.

The country is facing an unprecedented pilot crunch, according to those in the airline industry. A wave of pilots is expected to retire in the coming years. Meanwhile, training requirements for pilots have increased, meaning there likely will not be enough new pilots to fill the vacancies. Airlines and airports across the country — including in Roanoke — are preparing to have fewer pilots available.


Taylor Moore, 22, of Smith Mountain Lake, taxis during a flight training school preparation instruction class on Saturday morning.


“The smaller communities will feel the brunt of it the worst,” said Roanoke airport executive director Tim Bradshaw. “The larger airlines will be pulling their pilots from the regional aircraft, which we use here.”

This could lead to fewer flights, especially at smaller airports, in the next few years, he said.

The men behind Star Flight Training are keenly aware of the coming pilot shortage and believe there is a demand for the school.

“[Becoming a pilot] is a very viable career right now,” Beard said.

But he will be the first to say, it’s not the easiest career path.



Founding Star Flight

Star Flight Training was created to teach anyone about aviation, even a person who has never stepped foot on a plane.

Kane is a retired Salem businessman and self-described airplane addict. As a boy, he would ride his bike to what is now the Valley View Mall area and watch planes take off. But flying is an expensive, time-consuming hobby, and he didn’t end up earning his pilot’s license until he was in his 50s. Kane, now 59, said the hobby turned into an obsession. He owns nine planes.

He also owns an airplane service and repair shop at the airport, where he has leased land for about five years. He has had small flight schools operating on and off during that time. When his previous instructors left to pursue other interests, he said he did some soul searching about what to do with the space.

“It’s not a very profitable business at all,” he said. But aviation is his passion, he explained, and he believes that having a quality flight school in Roanoke could serve the greater good and fill a niche.

“If we don’t train tomorrow’s pilots, we won’t have anything,” he said.


Sam Jones, 21, of Callaway goes over a visual flight plan to Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport with instructor Barton Smith.


He hired Beard, who had spent many years as an instructor and shared Kane’s vision of what the flight school would be — a top-of-the-line professional training service with modern, technologically advanced aircraft.

It takes at least 40 hours of flying to earn a private pilot’s license, under Federal Aviation Administration rules. Many times, this is achieved in older planes in rural places through small, locally owned schools, according to pilots at Star Flight. There are other flight schools and instructors in the Roanoke and New River valleys, but Kane and Beard said they wanted Star Flight to stand out as a high-end operation with elite services.

To accomplish this, the building that houses the school will undergo a major renovation this year. Kane is also adding a flight simulator, a piece of equipment that is used at many colleges and national flight schools. Beard has about a half-dozen instructors under contract and is hiring three full-time instructors.


Jon Beard, instructor at Star Flight Training, does a maintenance check before going up for a training flight with his student, Taylor Moore, 22, of Smith Moutain Lake.


Beard is also marketing Star Flight. He’s showing up at community events and cultivating a social media network. The flight school opened in early January with only a couple of students. He hopes to have 50 to 70 students on a weekly basis before he hires more people.

“It’s just not on people’s minds to learn to fly,” Beard said. “They don’t realize it’s accessible to anybody.”

Beard is upfront about the cost — getting a pilot’s license is expensive. It costs about $12,000 to get 40 to 55 flying hours and earn a private pilot’s license. To become an instructor with at least 250 hours can set you back about $60,000.

But Beard said it should be seen as an investment, much like a college degree, because of the demand for pilots.


Jon Beard, instructor, meets with his student, Taylor Moore, 22, of Smith Mountain Lake before their Saturday morning lesson.


The pilot crunch

The 2015 Boeing Pilot & Technician Outlook projects that 558,000 new commercial airline pilots and 609,000 new maintenance technicians will be needed to fly and maintain the world’s fleet over the next 20 years. At least 95,000 pilots will be needed in North America.

“Generally, what we understand is the United States right now does not have the capacity to train the number of pilots we will need in the next few years,” said Jim Molloy, the dean of Liberty University’s aeronautics school.

The school has about 350 students, with more enrolled in online programs. A few years ago, Molloy said it was hard to bring airline recruiters to the school because they weren’t seeking pilots. Now, recruiters visit almost every week.

“I mean, this is unprecedented in the industry,” he said.


Jon Beard, flight instructor and Taylor Moore, 22, flight student, move a Diamond out of the hangar before class instruction on Saturday morning at Star Flight Training.


The pilot shortage is the result of a perfect storm of retirements and heightened certifications from the FAA, he said.

Previously, an airline pilot needed to have at least 250 hours of flying time to be in a commercial pilot’s seat. But in 2009, a regional Colgan Air flight crashed near Buffalo, New York, during a snowstorm as a result of pilot error, killing all 49 people aboard. Their families successfully lobbied Congress for stricter requirements for pilots.

The changes, which took effect in 2013, require every passenger and cargo airline pilot to accumulate at least 1,500 flying hours and additional certifications, with the exception of military pilots and four-year college graduates. Flight school grads at Liberty need at least 1,000 hours of flying time to be able to fly for an airline.


Tyler Moore, 22, of Smith Mountain Lake, works full-time in the heating and air-conditioning industry, but, is paying his way through flight school at Star Flight Training.


Regional airlines, which serve smaller communities but make up about half of the country’s commercial flights, tried unsuccessfully to fight the new rules.

Molloy explained that major airlines — American, Delta, Southwest, FedEx Express and the like — typically do not hire pilots right out of college or flight school. They hire the most experienced pilots and offer the best salaries, often more than $100,000 a year.

Regional airlines, such as Piedmont and SkyWest, tend to hire less experienced pilots. With fewer pilots available, the major airlines predictably will hire away pilots from the smaller airlines.


Jon Beard, flight instructor and Taylor Moore, 22, flight student, move a Diamond DA-20 out of the hangar before class instruction on Saturday morning at Star Flight Training.


Molloy said the typical path in aviation works like this: Students earn their private pilot’s license and become flight instructors at colleges or flight schools. After a few years of instruction, they will typically have enough flight hours to get hired at a regional airline as a first officer, the second pilot in command of a plane. After a few more years, they can become a captain and, after that, possibly land a job at one of the majors.

The average starting salary at a regional airline is $25,000 to $35,000 a year for some newly hired college grads, but the salaries are going up as demand grows, Molloy said.

“After three or four years, you don’t have to eat ramen noodles,” he said.


Star Flight Training has airplanes that offer both new and older instrument panels, so students can learn to operate varying styles of planes.


Several airlines that have visited Liberty have even promised signing bonuses, a rarity 10 years ago.

In addition to the increased flying hours and certifications, airlines are expected to experience a large number of retirements in the next few years. The mandatory age for retirement for airline pilots is 65, and baby boomers, a generation that produced a large number of pilots — many with military training — are hitting that age.

Brad Boettcher, spokesman for the Roanoke airport, said about 40 percent of airline pilots are poised to enter retirement age.


Star Flight offers flight simulation and experience in new planes with the airport’s air traffic control.


“The pilot shortage is a growing concern, especially for airports of our size,” said Bradshaw, the airport’s executive director. He and Boettcher said one likely possibility is a reduction in the number of flights.

For example, if United Airlines currently offers three flights a day on aircraft with more than 100 seats, this may go down to two flights a day on smaller aircraft with fewer seats if there are not as many pilots 
available.

“It just changes that convenience factor,” Boettcher said.

Fewer flights also make it harder for the airport to get more direct flights and maintain lower rates. The more activity at an airport, the easier it is to achieve those things. Star Flight Training also uses the airport’s control tower, giving the airport an added benefit of more activity.

Boettcher said the impact of the looming pilot shortage is already showing. This month, he said he’s seen flight cancellations because of the lack of a crew. In February, Republic Airlines, one of the country’s largest regional carriers, filed for bankruptcy largely because it lacked enough pilots.



The Star Flight Training has five small planes, located in their heated hangar just past Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport.


Flight school benefits

This winter, Bart Smith, the director of the Roanoke Regional Small Business Development Center, met with Star Flight Training officials about getting the business off the ground. It was a special project for Smith, who is a pilot and is now one of Star Flight’s contracted instructors.

He was trained at a mom-and-pop facility in the New River Valley when he was a teenager, but he said a professional school such as Star Flight offers a lot more, including flight simulation and experience in new planes with the airport’s air traffic control.

Beard said he wants students to earn enough hours to be an instructor, which can take about a year. After that, they can teach other clients over several years until they earn the required 1,500 hours and are eligible to fly at an airline. Instructors can make anywhere from $20 to $40 an hour, he said.

That is the plan for Taylor Moore, one of Star Flight’s first students. The 22-year-old flies in his spare time and now can make solo flights, but he is not at the instructor level yet. He said he hopes to fly professionally, possibly as a corporate pilot one day.

His first flight without an instructor was a little scary, but when he let his training kick in, it calmed him down.

“When you can sit back and cruise, it’s pretty nice,” he said.

For many who learn to fly, the excitement of flying an airplane often supersedes professional aspirations, according to the pilots at Star Flight.




Taylor Moore 22, of Smith Mountain Lake is instructed by Jon Beard of Star Flight Training on Saturday morning in a Diamond DA-20. 



“It’s what I call a ‘passion business,’ ” Smith said, adding that sometimes the passion overtakes the business side of it and owners forget the need to make money to operate. But he said Kane, Star Flight’s owner, has managed several businesses and is aware of the demand in flying hours.

Kane said if his children were of a different age, he would encourage them to enter aviation right now. He is willing to open Star Flight to tours just to stir interest in flying.

“There’s going to have to be more places like this to train future pilots,” he said.

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

‘It was in my blood’: Flin Flon native reflects on decades as a pilot

Flin Flon native Dan Trojan during his days as a pilot. He spent decades flying, first for the Royal Canadian Air Force and then as a civilian.    



When Dan Trojan joined Flin Flon’s Air Cadets all those years ago, he never dreamed it would take him so far.

“I never intended to travel, but I’ve seen 90 countries,” said Trojan, who again calls Canada, and Flin Flon, his home.

Trojan completed his air cadet training at age 16 with the local squadron and earned a private pilot scholarship from the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF).

At 17 he was eligible to join the air force but had to wait until he was 18, as his parents wouldn’t sign the required papers.

With his Grade 12 completed, Trojan went to Winnipeg for selection, joining the RCAF in June 1964.

Trojan completed basic officer training in Centralia, Ontario, where he studied law and learned the legal aspects of being an officer.

He then went to initial flight school, training at 2 FTS Moose Jaw, where he logged over 200 hours on the CT-114 Tutor jet – the aircraft used by the Snowbirds aerobatics team to this day.

Trojan describes his training in Moose Jaw as part of an experiment by the RCAF and NATO countries Denmark, Finland and Sweden. The young pilots were the first to be trained exclusively on jets.

“I was the first Canadian student to solo the Tutor,” he said, adding that he and his classmates flew the planes fresh off the assembly line at the time.

Flying the powerful machines was exciting for the young Trojan, who was later assigned to a transport squadron.

His career continued with training in Portage la Prairie. He was selected to go to the operational training unit and was assigned the Dakota DC-3 as captain when he was 19.

From there Trojan was chosen to be part of the exclusive 412 VIP Squadron in Montreal.

“In transport we flew a two-engine piston, passenger plane,” he recalled. “After flying the jets it was like going backwards.”

Trojan’s assignments featured some memorable moments.

“The next thing I know I was flying Paul T. Hellier, General Jean Victor Allard and Air Vice Marshall Carpenter around,” Trojan said, remembering the many flights he flew between  Ottawa and Washington with the minister of national defence during the 1960s.

At the time, Hellier was working to unify Canada’s navy, army and air force into a single organization, the Canadian Armed Forces.

Trojan’s military career ended when he left the Canadian Forces in 1969, beginning a nearly 50-year career as a civilian pilot.

He flew bush for Lamb Airways of The Pas, Parsons Airways of Flin Flon and later Pacific Western Airlines, where he earned a captaincy on the C-130 Hercules, out of Edmonton and later the Boeing 707 out of Vancouver.

Flying took him around the world, but it had its drawbacks. Many nights spent in hotels and eating restaurant food were not always pleasant, and time away was hard on his family life.

But looking back, Trojan remembers his time spent flying with fondness.

“I loved it. It was in my blood,” he said. “It never felt like I was working when I was flying. I still say it beats working for a living. If you like your job, it’s easy to do.”

- Original article can be found here: http://www.thereminder.ca

Cirrus SR22, N295AR, Advance Wellness: Accident occurred March 05, 2016 in Hauppauge, Suffolk County, New York

















AIRCRAFT: 2001 Cirrus SR22 N295AR Serial # 0028 

ENGINE – Continental IO550N 7 S/N: 685747 1543.7 hours (aprox)

PROPELLER – Hartzell  PHC-J3YF-1RF  S/N: FP13091B

APPROXIMATE TOTAL HOURS (estimated TT & TSMO from logbooks or other information):  1543.7 hours

DESCRIPTION OF ACCIDENT:  In flight engine failure; parachute deployed by pilot.

DESCRIPTION OF DAMAGES: Significant structural damage   

LOCATION OF AIRCRAFT:   MacArthur Airport, Ronkonkama New York         

REMARKS: Aircraft tail cut off for transport.  Engine disassembled.

Read more here:   http://www.avclaims.com/N295AR.htm

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

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Farmingdale FSDO-11

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

Advance Wellness: http://registry.faa.gov/N295AR

NTSB Identification: ERA16LA124
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, March 05, 2016 in Hauppauge, NY
Aircraft: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP SR22, registration: N295AR
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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

On March 5, 2016, about 1508 eastern standard time, a Cirrus Design Corporation SR22, N295AR, was substantially damaged following a total loss of engine power and forced landing at Hauppauge, New York. The pilot and one passenger were not injured. The airplane was registered to Advance Wellness and was operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Day, visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The flight from Groton, Connecticut (GON) to Farmingdale, New York (FRG) originated about 1430.

According to the pilot, during cruise flight, the engine sputtered twice, then went quiet. The fuel selector was on the left tank, so he switched to the right tank and attempted a restart. The engine would not restart, so he elected to activate the Cirrus Airplane Parachute System (CAPS). The CAPS deployed normally and the airplane landed in a lawn adjacent to an industrial complex near Hauppauge. The pilot and passenger exited the cockpit and first responders arrived to assist.

An inspector with the Federal Aviation Administration responded to the accident site and examined the wreckage. Structural damage to fuselage was evident. The wing fuel tanks contained fuel. An initial inspection of the engine revealed physical evidence of valve strikes to the top surfaces of all six pistons.

The engine was retained for further examination.


Pilot Louis Obergh and his daughter Rachel.




Surveillance video: http://abc7ny.com




HAUPPAUGE, Long Island (WABC) -- Amazing surveillance video captured the life-saving moment a plane fell from the sky and landed with a father and daughter inside on Long Island.

It was a father-daughter excursion that nearly ended in a disaster. The small plane Louis Obergh was piloting with his daughter inside lost engine power about 2,000 feet in the sky on Saturday.

Obergh, radioed for help as he deployed a parachute attached to the plane. The parachute system allowed the Cirrus SR22 aircraft to drop slowly to the ground, missing a building by just ten feet.

"I didn't even know until today that planes even had parachutes," said Tom Sini, Suffolk County Police Commissioner.

Police say Obergh and his daughter were coming back from looking at colleges in Connecticut. They were heading back to Republic Airport in Farmingdale when they ran into trouble. The aircraft crashed on a grassy area of an industrial park in Hauppauge eight miles east of Republic Airport, shortly after 3 p.m.

"We got lucky, very lucky. Never expected to ever have a problem like this," said Obergh.

Obergh only suffered a minor scratch to his head - his daughter was uninjured. They refused medical attention. Officials say they were both shaken up, because once that parachute deployed, there is no way of knowing where you will land.

"Once parachute deployed, you do lose some control, so it's hard to know," says Obergh.

The FAA and the NTSB continue to investigate.

Officials say given the minor injuries in this case this could be a relatively quick investigation.

Surveillance video: http://abc7ny.com





Transcript for New York Father and Daughter Survive Plane Crash:

We turn to an amazing survivor story.

This one involves a father and daughter. 

Lucky and grateful to be alive this morning after a plane crash.

They made it out after the engine failed thanks to an emergency parachute. 

The plane intact because of the pilot's quick, calm reaction and the safety feature.

Pilot: We got very lucky. Very lucky. 

Reporter: A close call crash on Long Island. 

This father and daughter able to walk from the wreckage thanks to this parachute. 

Pilot: The engine died. And I pulled the parachute. We landed.

Reporter: Louis Oberg, left with only a scratch. His teenage daughter Rachel with a relieved smile, after her college tour turned into a brush with catastrophe.

Pilot: We were coming from the university of Rhode Island. Looked at colleges. We had a problem on the way home. 

Reporter: Problems with the Cirrus SR22 plane forced dad to attempt an emergency landing eight miles from their final destination at a small airport. They didn't make it that far. 

Pilot: Alpha Romeo lost the engine.

Reporter: He popped the parachute and came down in an industrial park, just feet from this building. 

ATC: He landed somewhere in the vicinity of the midfield, right downwind. 

Reporter: Authorities saying a bit of luck helped that plane miss hitting the building. 

Once the parachute is deployed, you lose some sort of control where the plane will come down.  That's why the exact landing of this plane is very fortunate. 

Reporter: Last November, another small plane in Arkansas using its parachute to land. This time in the middle of a busy road. Hitting a truck. We're very fortunate that no one was hurt any worse than they were. 

Reporter: Back on long Island, rescuers rushing in, finding the father-daughter duo without serious injuries. 

Pilot:  Never expected to have a problem like this.

Reporter: The pilot shaken. Uncertain if he'll fly again. 

Pilot: We'll see. We'll see. It's a scary day. 

Reporter: Understandable.

The wreckage out here this morning while the FAA and NTSB investigate.

This transcript has been automatically generated.



HAUPPAUGE, Long Island (WABC) -- It was a father-daughter excursion that nearly ended in a disaster. The small plane Louis Obergh was piloting with his daughter inside lost engine power about 2,000 feet in the sky.

Obergh, radioed for help as he deployed a parachute attached to the plane. The parachute system allowed the Cirrus SR22 aircraft to drop slowly to the ground, missing a building by just ten feet.

"I didn't even know until today that planes even had parachutes," said Suffolk County Police Commissioner Tom Sini.

Police say Obergh and his daughter were coming back from looking at colleges in Connecticut. They were heading back to Republic Airport in Farmingdale when they ran into trouble. The aircraft crashed on a grassy area of an industrial park in Hauppauge eight miles east of Republic Airport, shortly after 3 p.m.

"We got lucky, very lucky. Never expected to ever have a problem like this," said Obergh.

Obergh only suffered a minor scratch to his head - his daughter was uninjured. They refused medical attention. Officials say they were both shaken up, because once that parachute deployed, there is no way of knowing where you will land.

"Once parachute deployed, you do lose some control, so it's hard to know," says Obergh.

The FAA and the NTSB continue to investigate.  Officials say given the minor injuries in this case this could be a relatively quick investigation.

Story and video:  http://abc7ny.com

Pilot Louis Obergh, left, and his daughter Rachel, of Syosett, hug one another at scene where their plane crashed into the front lawn of a business at 225 Marcus Blvd. in Hauppauge on Saturday afternoon, March 5, 2016. Obergh and his daughter both escaped with minor injuries and refused medical treatment. 


A Wantagh man and his teenage daughter got the fright of their lives Saturday when their small plane lost power, forcing them to make an emergency landing in a Hauppauge industrial park.

The single-engine Cirrus SR22 force landed on the front lawn of a factory on Marcus Boulevard. Father and daughter were shaken afterward, hugging one another in relief, but declined medical treatment, officials said.

“We got very lucky,” Louis Obergh, the pilot, said at the scene. “It’s a scary day.”

Rachel Obergh, 17, a student at Wantagh High School, said her father was giving her some in-flight instruction when the engine suddenly failed shortly after 3 p.m.

“He was showing me the controls for when I get my pilot’s license, and the engine just stopped,” said Rachel, whose father is a certified pilot. “It was one of those moments that’s just . . . really scary. The plane went down really fast.”

She said her dad was cool under pressure, activating the plane’s large emergency parachute.

“It’s a decision you have to make in a second,” Rachel said. “He told me ‘hold on.’ I was just sitting there in a panic.”

Suffolk Police Commissioner Tim Sini said the parachute deployed at about 1,500 feet, and it was “very fortunate” the plane landed safely — avoiding structures and traffic.

The drama unfolded as the Oberghs were flying home after touring the University of Rhode Island, which Rachel is considering attending.

They were approaching Republic Airport in Farmingdale when the engine failed and had to crash-land about 12 miles away. Authorities said the Federal Aviation Administration is investigating; the National Transportation Safety Board will try to determine the cause.

But the harrowing experience isn’t likely to stop Rachel from pursuing a pilot’s license.

“Usually you only get into a plane crash once in your life,” she said. “So I think the odds are pretty good for me now.”

Story and video:  http://www.newsday.com


Louis Obergh with his daughter Rachel.


A Suffolk County man and his teenaged daughter could have died Saturday when the single-engine Cirrus SR22 he was piloting lost power over Hauppauge — but the plane’s parachute let them float safely to earth. 

“I have a little scratch on my head, and she bumped her knee, but that’s it,” pilot Louis Obergh, 50, of Syosset, said of himself and his daughter Rachel, 17.

Obergh, who owns a Long Island-based chain of physical therapy offices, had been returning in the four-seater plane with his daughter from a trip visiting colleges in Rhode Island.

“We were a half-hour out of Republic [Airport in Farmingdale] when the engine died,” he told The Post.

They had already begun their descent and were at about 2,000 feet — seconds away from crashing.

It got very quiet, he recalled.

“She’s been flying with me a long time; she knew what was happening,” said the pilot of 20 years. “She said nothing at all.”

In the freighted silence, Obergh tried to get the engine restarted, and failed. “So I had to make the decision on whether to try to land or pull the parachute,” he said.

“She was calm and cool,” he said of Rachel.

The Cirrus S22, which he owns through his company, Advance Wellness out of Wantagh, is the only plane with a built-in parachute, designed to slow the descent should the engine cut out when an emergency landing is not otherwise possible.

“When you have a 17-year-daughter on board, your first instinct is to pull the ‘chute. You’re not near an airport, and you don’t want to hit trees at 80 or 100 miles per hour,” he said.

He pulled the ceiling lever that releases the parachute, and said the only two words spoken during their terrifying descent.

“He told me to hold on and that’s what I did,” Rachel remembered. “I was too in shock to say anything. It’s like life flashes before your eyes.”

At that point, Obergh had basically ceded control to a swath of nylon and some heavy-duty cords.

“It’s pretty much like when you parachute down personally, with a person in a parachute,” he said. “You’re at the mercy of the winds, and you come down.

“You don’t want to land on a moving car, but if you land in trees or grass or even on a roof, you’re generally OK.”

They plummeted for about 30 seconds before hitting, with a thud, the front lawn of a filtration supply company on Marcus Boulevard.

“It’s not a soft landing,” he noted.

Original article can be found here:  http://nypost.com



HAUPPAUGE, Long Island — A plane parachuted to safety when it made an emergency landing because of an engine-related problem on Saturday.

A Cirrus SR22 aircraft crashed in a grassy field near 224 Marcus Blvd at 3:10 p.m., the Federal Aviation Administration said.

The pilot was planning to land at the Republic Airport in Farmingdale when the plane started to experience engine-related issues. They were eight miles away from the airport, the FAA said.

The pilot, Louis Obergh, deployed the plane's parachute and it glided them to safety.

The pilot and the daughter suffered a few abrasions and refused medical attention at the scene. The two were returning to Long Island after looking at colleges in Rhode Island. The father's action saved both their lives.

"It's a miracle when you see how it landed on the grass by the flagpole and the building and no one was hurt," Howard Cohen , an employee in a nearby company, told PIX11 News.

Cohen was working in the same industrial park aircraft safely and softly landed on the front lawn of the Pall Corporation, with its parachute ever-so-gracefully draped over part of the brick building.

"It was a unique situation," Suffolk County Police Commissioner Tim Sini said at at a news conference.  "At about  1,500 feet, the pilot deployed the parachute and the plane landed here."

Since The injuries are minor, Suffolk county police expect the FAA's investigation to be wrapped quickly, perhaps within the next 24 hours.

Story and video:  http://pix11.com





A father and daughter managed to escape without serious injury after their small plane crashed unexpectedly in Long Island this afternoon. 

The father, Louis Obergh, told Stringer News that they were traveling from a college visit in Rhode Island.

The Cirrus SR22 aircraft was approaching the runway at the Republic Airport in Farmingdale, New York, when the pilot reported that the plane had an engine-related problem, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said.

The plane then crashed in a grassy area of an industrial park in Hauppauge, New York, about eight miles northeast of the airport, the FAA said.

Photos from the scene show the plane on the ground with its parachute deployed.

The two people on board suffered non-life-threatening injuries, a Suffolk County official told ABC station WABC.

"We got very lucky," Obergh told Stringer News. "Never expected to ever have a problem like this."

The FAA will investigate and the National Transportation Safety Board will determine the probable cause for the accident, the FAA said.

Original article can be found here: http://abcnews.go.com 




Rachel Obergh