Wednesday, March 09, 2016

United States OKs flight operations by major Dominican airline

Santo Domingo.- The US Transportation Dept. (DOT) on Tuesday announced the approval for of of Dominican Republic’s biggest airlines, Pawa Dominicana to start flights to US soil, a key step to open the first routes to that nation.

The airline said it plans flights to San Juan and Miami in the coming months, once the approval process with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) concludes.

Pawa Dominicana called its expanded operations to the US an important step in its business model based on the concept of hub.

“The airline’s commercial strategy has been designed to operate as a hub, or the transport of passengers traveling between different Caribbean destinations, so it is essential to include destinations with large passenger flow, such as Puerto Rico and Miami, to ensure connectivity in the region,” the carrier said.

It said the opening to the destinations will spur connections between North America and the Caribbean, through the Dominican Republic, which leads to a multi-destination tourism model that benefits the entire Caribbean.

Original article can be found here:

Let L-23 Super Blanik, VT-GLK: Incident occurred March 09, 2016 in Pune, India

A glider aircraft which had taken off from the Gliding Centre in Hadapsar made an emergency landing.

The 65-year-old pilot of the aircraft was unhurt in the incident, Gliding Centre authorities said.

A probe by the Aircraft Accident Investigation Division from the office of Director General of Civil Aviation will be conducted into the incident.

The glider aircraft — being flown by pilot Laxman Kokate, who is experienced and one of the oldest glider pilots from the Gliding Centre, Pune, had taken off around 2:15 pm on Wednesday.

A probe will be conducted by the Aircraft Accident division of the DGCA into the incident.

Original article can be found here:

Pilot in fatal crash at Old Buckenham had 'heart problem' • Zivko Edge 360, G-EDGJ

An aerobatics pilot, who died when his plane crashed at a Norfolk airfield, was suffering from an "undiagnosed heart condition", investigators reveal.

David Jenkins, 61, of Stanton, near Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, died when his Edge 360 plane crashed at the Old Buckenham airfield on 22 April 2015.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch report says there was no mechanical fault with the aircraft.

It adds Mr. Jenkins had a "serious" undetected heart condition.

This may have made him lose control of the plane at "critical stage of the flight".

Mr. Jenkins was flying the plane as part of a press day for an airshow.

He was "flying a series of aerobatic manoeuvres" and failed to recover correctly from a "tumbling manoeuvre and inadvertently entered a spin", says the report.

It adds: "The pilot made no apparent attempt to recover from the spin and suffered fatal injuries in the ground impact."

At the time of the crash, Mr. Jenkins was described by fellow pilots as "highly skilled".

Oxford-educated Mr. Jenkins had twice held the British advanced aerobatics title.

His wife Elaine said it was "with great sadness we wish a husband, a father, a son, a brother and a friend fair winds and blue skies".

Mr.  Jenkins had been flying since he was a teenager.

He was a member of the Wildcat Aerobatic Team, based at Old Buckenham Airfield, near Attleborough, where the event took place.

Original article can be found here:

Tough timing for Yuma Municipal Airport (2V6) project

Getting it done as quickly as possible appears to be the best hope for users of the Yuma Municipal Airport. 

Aerial applicator business operators indicated at a public meeting last week that they had hoped to find a way to continue using the airport while the $4.5 million runway replacement project takes place this spring. 

However, the Federal Aviation Administration officials made it clear the users' ideas were not viable. The FAA is providing 90-percent of the funding, with the State of Colorado and City of Yuma each paying 5 percent.

A similar meeting was held last spring, when it was thought the project would be done in 2015. Airport users expressed their concerns then that it would cripple their business, as well as impact crops needing attention.

FAA representatives said at that time that the Yuma runway was in such bad shape it was the No. 1 project on its list. They also said they were at the mercy of when the funds would be made available.

Turns out the money was not released until later last year. It was not done in the fall out of concerns early winter weather could stop the project, which would leave the airport closed through the winter. 

Therefore, contractor McAtee Construction Co. of Sterling is scheduled to begin the replacement job on April 4, though there is some hope it might start earlier. McAtee has 105 days to get the job done, putting the completion date well into July — at the height of the aerial application season.

It was made clear last week that the FAA provides the funds when it does, and if it hears a community is not welcoming, it will give it to a community that does.

Airport users suggested possibly starting the project in the middle of August. They were told that projects starting later in the year run the risk of not getting completed prior to winter weather, then the airport is shut down for months (see above). They also were told runways done in the fall tend to have the seams open up again more quickly.

It was suggested the pilots could use the crosswind runway at the north end of the main runway. It was noted, though, the crosswind crosses the main runway. McAtee could start at the south end tearing up the runway, but it would add just five days to usage of the crosswind runway.

It was asked why crews did not start tearing out the runway last fall. The FAA representatives noted it would have shut down the airport all winter, as well. 

Another suggestion was to allow pilots to use the asphalt runway that runs in front of the hangars. There were suggestions of extending it into the grass.

The FAA representatives said it was too late to consider such options. The users said they were willing to use an alternative strip such as the taxiway at their own liability, and do any improvements and extensions at their own cost. The FAA said the users should have made these suggestions last year, to which the users said they did bring up these issues at last year's meeting.

It was noted McAtee also might have some issues with the airport being used while they are working.

Joe Harper, who used to be mayor of Yuma and is resuming that role next month, said the parallel taxiway is a viable alternative. He suggested everyone take 30 minutes to go out to the airport to take a look and discuss it. Harper stressed that the airport is a key component of Yuma's economic viability.

Airport users said moving their operations to other airports, such as Wray or Akron, during the project is not feasible.

City Manager Sid Fleming said the city would have to ask its liability insurance carrier about the airport being used while the project is ongoing, adding the city probably would not have insurance coverage in such a situation.

One airport user asked if there was any chance for any of the suggested alternatives. There was no response, to which he said, “I guess that answers my question.”

He went on to say that the city administration and Armstrong Consultant did not listen to the users' concerns last year. “I think someone at that table should've paid attention and I'm sorry they didn't.”

It was noted that what is going to occur at the Yuma airport this year happens at two airports every year.

Users said the bottom line is they don't have hangars at other airports, so they have no choice but to be shutdown during the project. It was noted that if it could be completed earlier, it will not be as big of an issue.

Original article can be found here:

Senate Federal Aviation Administration Bill Seeks to Accelerate Small-Drone Use: Measure would permit regulators to approve exemptions on case-by-case basis

The Wall Street Journal
Updated March 9, 2016 6:40 p.m. ET

A Senate committee is scheduled to consider legislation next week seeking to accelerate use of small commercial drones across the U.S., while opening the door for flights at night and outside the sight of operators.

Such operations are now strictly prohibited. But the measure would encourage and explicitly permit regulators to approve case-by-case exemptions, as well as set ground rules for developing long-term privacy policies and establishing industry-derived safety standards covering a broad range of unmanned aircraft types.

The bipartisan bill introduced Wednesday by leaders of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation also breaks new ground by proposing to speed up approval of new model designs and safety retrofits affecting private aircraft—changes long demanded by manufacturers and pilots alike.

And for the first time, the Federal Aviation Administration would be specifically required to detail economic benefits derived by airlines and other users of the nation’s airspace from mandated installation of updated air-traffic control equipment. This issue also has been a point of contention for many years between regulators and industry officials.

But as expected, the legislative package fails to follow the lead of many House Republican leaders because it doesn’t call for putting the U.S. air-traffic control system under the control of a private, nonprofit corporation.

A House panel approved such a dramatic shift last month, but the proposal has sparked stiff opposition from Democrats, some pilot union leaders and groups claiming to represent passengers. Wednesday’s move indicates there is currently no appetite in the Senate to take up the contentious issue of transforming the legal structure of the air-traffic control network, and suggests achieving a consensus for any big shift is unlikely for the foreseeable future.

The wide-ranging Senate measure, aiming to reauthorize the FAA’s legal authority through the end of September 2017, covers other hot-button aviation topics by ordering the FAA to implement additional mental-health screening for airline pilots; proposing provisions for more-transparent airline ticket pricing; and maintaining a congressional ban against imposition of FAA restrictions on bulk shipments of lithium-ion batteries going beyond minimum international standards.

Proponents of the bill hope to enact a three-month, stopgap extension to maintain FAA operations, while the House and Senate try to work out compromises needed to enact a longer reauthorization package. House leaders are still considering the length and details of a possible short-term extension.

Although the Senate measure tracks the House version in many respects, it features different passenger-protection language and leaves out a controversial labor provision dealing with the trucking industry.

Over all, the Senate committee aims to avoid a protracted floor debate by focusing on various policy and technical changes that have long been considered and are supported by industry groups and, in some cases, by regulators.

Hours before the bill was introduced, for example, the FAA proposed an overhaul of decades-old safety standards for propeller-powered general aviation planes and certain business jets—with the aim of reducing costs and accelerating installation of the latest safety equipment. Developed with the help of industry leaders over several years and mandated by Congress in 2013, the proposed regulations streamline certification procedures.

The long-awaited regulatory initiative also highlights safeguards to prevent crashes stemming from aerodynamic stalls and ice accumulation on private or corporate planes with a seating capacity of 19 or fewer passengers.

In a statement, Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, the panel’s Republican chairman, said the bill “benefits Americans who fly and even those who don’t” by promoting responsible drone use and proposing “economically significant aerospace manufacturing reforms.” Among other provisions, the bill funds stepped-up enforcement of drone violations.

In the same statement, Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida, the ranking Democrat on the committee, called it “a good place for both parties to come together and hopefully get something passed.”

Sen. Nelson emphasized that the measure directs the Transportation Department to review whether airlines sometimes tell certain passengers flights are delayed because of weather when the main reason may involve decisions to keep other, larger planes moving.

Instead of putting a corporate board in charge of air-traffic modernization efforts, collectively dubbed NextGen, the Senate panel proposed language requiring the FAA to be more transparent about both progress and delays in implementation.

The bill further instructs the agency to more effectively incorporate cybersecurity protections in air-traffic control enhancements, and outline contingency plans to respond to possible hacker attacks.

Original article can be found here:

Pilots union: Norwegian airline using Cork as a pawn

A pilots’ union has accused the airline behind the planned Cork-Boston route of “using Cork as a pawn” in a battle over labour standards.

Captain Evan Cullen, president of the Irish Airline Pilots’ Association (IALPA), claimed Norwegian Air is not prevented from operating the route because of the US department of transport’s (USDOT) delay in approving a foreign carrier permit for its subsidiary, as the airline has claimed.

In a letter to the Irish Examiner and to a number of TDs in the Munster region, Capt Cullen said Norwegian “could already be flying from Cork to the US as it planned under the permits it already holds”, but that it instead wants to use its subsidiary, Norwegian Air International (NAI), to operate the route.

Capt Cullen said NAI hires its crew under individual Asian contracts, which are not permitted under US-EU air service agreements.

“Norwegian’s assertion that it cannot fly from Cork to the US is disingenuous and misleading. Airport management and politicians should be asking why Norwegian will not use its existing rights,” said Capt Cullen.

“At the USDOT, a transatlantic coalition of airlines and unions has argued that NAI’s application should not be approved because its conduct diminishes the high labour standards embodied in Article 17 bis of the US-EU air service agreement.

“Those who seek to advance aviation in Ireland and the standards attached to it should not condone nor be drawn into Norwegian’s gamesmanship in using Cork as a pawn in a transatlantic legal battle with the USDOT over Asian-contract flight crew.”

In a lengthy and strongly worded reply to TDs, seen by the Irish Examiner, Norwegian said Capt Cullen has “chosen to act as an errand boy for the coalition of airlines and unions, to which he refers to, that seek to limit competition on transatlantic services”.

Describing his position as “mistaken” and “downright hypocritical”, Norwegian said while he is correct to say the airline could operate the service using its existing permits, it is not an option from a “practical and operational perspective” because NAI has a headquarters in Ireland, while its parent company does not.

“We have always planned to operate the Cork-Boston route under NAI as this allows us to make best use of the existing Irish operations and Irish-registered aircraft that are already in place,” the airline stated.

“Securing a foreign carrier permit for our Irish operation would allow us to begin operating the Cork routes and to look at further future expansion in Ireland — the ongoing delays from the USDOT are not only preventing passengers from accessing new routes and low fares, it is also delaying the creation of hundreds of new jobs and significant economic benefits.

“NAI have already committed in writing to the USDOT to only use European and US crews on its transatlantic flights so IALPA’s concerns on this issue are unfounded.”

Capt Cullen said he had only seen the Norwegian letter yesterday, and that he would respond in due course. He questioned the claim that Norwegian’s director of flight operations, Godfrey Higgins, is a member of IALPA.

“It is a material fact that there is no one by the name of Godfrey Higgins on the IALPA membership list,” said Capt Cullen.

The airline yesterday insisted that Mr Higgins is a member of IALPA.

Original article can be found here:

Incident occurred March 09, 2016 at Hamilton Airport, New Zealand

A light aircraft has crash-landed and tipped at Hamilton Airport after somehow losing one of its wheels mid-flight.

Police said the two occupants are uninjured.

Details remain sketchy, but airport chief executive Mark Morgan confirmed the facility went into full emergency mode and emergency services were scrambled shortly before midday.

A reporter at the scene watched the pilot of the small plane attempt to land at least once before abandoning the attempt at the last minute and circling the area.

When it finally came into land, it appeared to tip and one wing went upwards.

Emergency services immediately covered the plane in white foam.

The incident is known as a wing strike when one of the aircraft wings hits the ground when the plane is off balance.

It was understood the plane's left wheel was missing, she said.

Police blocked off roads around the airport for just over an hour to ensure public safety, she said. 

The airport said it was back to business as usual, including roads open, about 1pm. 

Following the plane's safe landing, Morgan said the Civil Aviation Authority was notified and would be taking over the investigation.

How the wheel fell off remains a mystery, but he hopes to know more following a debrief on Friday morning.

"It was a very measured response. We had the plane pass over the aerodrome a few times, but that was mainly so our staff and emergency services staff could view it from below, and also to check the wind conditions and determine which of our runways would be the best for it to land on.

"We also wanted to wait until the emergency services had everything in place."

What had been a potential disaster had ended in the best possible way, he said.

"This was a very well-planned-for occurrence."

Hamilton aviation companies Super Air and CTC Aviation confirmed the plane was not one of their aircraft, and it was also not associated with the Waikato Aero Club. 

Story and video:

Hundreds of complaints filed against Allegiant Air last year

ALBUQUERQUE —Airport officials announced Tuesday that Allegiant Airlines will soon be offering extremely cheap flights at the Albuquerque International Sunport this June.

According to data compiled by the United States Department of Transportation, passengers filed hundreds of complaints against Allegiant Air in 2015.

For the entire year, 629 complaints were filed. Out of those complaints, 197 were for flight problems, 153 were for ticketing and booking, and 130 were for customer service and refunds.

So how does that stack up against other airlines at the Sunport?

Southwest Airlines, which is a popular player at the Sunport, had 754 complaints filed by passengers last year.

Southwest has nearly ten times more planes than Allegiant.

Southwest has 712 planes, while Allegiant has 84. If you divvy it up, Allegiant had seven complaints per plane in 2015, while Southwest only had 1 complaint per plane.

Some passengers at the Sunport said they would gladly give Allegiant a shot.

"I might try them once to get my own personal opinion, and then we'll go from there," Sasha Sanchez said.

Others, however, said they'll need a little more convincing.

"I would do a lot of investigation before considering them," Georgene Wright said.

Allegiant Air sent Action 7 News a statement about the complaints, saying, "Our goal is always to operate a safe, reliable airline while offering our travelers access to affordable, nonstop service."

It continues saying, "We are always striving to be better and collect feedback from our travelers after every trip."

Story and video:

Allegiant Airlines maintenance issues

Many of you rushed to your computer to book flights after Allegiant Airlines announced cheaper flights to Destin, FL Wednesday. We have a warning for those of you flying with the low cost carrier.

Just last month, a plane headed to Kansas had to turn around and go back to Florida after losing engine power. Lauren Davis talked to an aviation expert who says Allegiant is certified to fly, but he wouldn't trust them.

Allegiant Air has been plagued with problems over the last few months at least 25 since 2015. Like an emergency landing in Arizona and one that even left passengers standing on the wings. Jim Lara says, "They've had some doozies. There's no question about it."

The Federal Aviation Administration issued a written warning to the airline after pilots ran out of fuel and diverted to a closed airport in North Dakota in July. The FAA issued another warning letter a month earlier when improper maintenance led to the plane lifting off the ground prematurely. Despite the problems, FAA still certifies them so what will it take to change? Lara says, "Often what you'll find is new security measures are put in place after the loss of life as opposed to before loss of life."

Lara is an experienced pilot with more than 12 thousand flight hours and an aviation consultant. He says Allegiant buys older aircraft so you're going to have more issues with older planes. He says they have a plan to buy new planes in 2020, but that's still 4 years away. 

Lara says, "Whatever your gut tells you listen to it. Sometimes people go for lowest price. I believe you get what you pay for."

Allegiant said they operate an "out-and-back" model, where aircraft and crews return to their base of operations each day and our aircraft are inspected and maintained by Allegiant maintenance crews every night, and any issues that may arise are quickly assessed and corrected before an aircraft starts a new day of flying.

Allegiant also said Allegiant is a safe airline. There is nothing more valuable to all of us at allegiant than the safety of our passengers and crew, and our robust maintenance program goes above and beyond manufacturer and FAA recommendations and guidelines.

Original article can be found here:

Are you the person who filed 6,500 noise complaints against Reagan National Airport (KDCA)?

In a weekend story about noise complaints tied to new flight patterns in and out of Reagan National Airport — one statistic leaped out at many Post readers.

Officials at the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority received 8,670 noise complaints in 2015 — but of those complaints a whopping 6,500 came from the same person.

Yes, the same person.

Do the math and that boils down to just over an average of 18 a day, every day, for 365 days.

Who this person may be — airport officials aren’t saying. All they’re willing to say is that the person lives in Northwest Washington. And trust us, we asked, repeatedly. It’s easy to dismiss the person as a crank, but as Ed Solomon, president of the D.C. Fair Skies Coalition, a group founded to raise awareness of the residents’ plight, said even if one person is responsible for that many complaints, it shouldn’t take away from the main issue, which is that changes in flight patterns into and out of National Airport have created serious noise problems that can’t be ignored. He said airport officials may want to downplay the issue by dismissing the rise in complaints as the work of just one person — but Solomon has seen the number of households affected grow significantly. And the problem is spreading into other areas of the city, including Glover Park, Woodley Park and Cleveland Park.

In fact, subtract the number of complaints filed by the same person, and you’ll still find that overall noise complaints tripled between 2014 and 2015.

Tomasita Villarroel told The Post that the noise is affecting her four-year-old son’s sleep. She recently got a note from his teacher saying that the pre-schooler is falling asleep at school. Yes, she said, there had always been noise — but recently it’s become much worse.

Airport officials say they are working with residents.

“We find the complaints to be completely valid, which is why we’ve formed a community working group,” said David Mould, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which manages the airport.  “We hope to find some good solutions.”

Many residents blame the increase in noise to the Federal Aviation Administration’s upgrade of its flight navigation system, known as NextGen. The multi-billion dollar initiative is designed to modernize the nation’s air traffic control systems by switching from radar to satellite navigation.

The shift enables planes to fly more direct routes, saving fuel and reducing carbon emissions. But in some parts of the country, it has meant more noise for people on the ground — and not just in the District.

Residents in California, Arizona, Illinois, New York and Minneapolis also are reporting problems with airport noise. In some instances, the shift in flight patterns is routing planes over communities that never had to deal with flyovers. Santa Cruz, Calif., is 60 miles south of San Francisco Airport, yet residents there are now getting a daily dose of airplane noise.

Original article can be found here:

Learning to fly

Weston Williams learned to fly at Air Wilmington, earning his private pilot’s certificate in January 2015. His favorite plane to fly is the Cessna 172.

Weston Williams, 19, has liked flying since he was 5, when his grandfather, Cliff, began to take him on flights.

“We’d go to Fayetteville, Raleigh, Kinston, just little airports and go get lunch,” he said.

Cliff was an instructor at Air Wilmington, the FBO (fixed base operation) at Wilmington International, and had two planes — a Cessna 150 and a Cessna 172. Cliff started giving Weston lessons when he was 15. After 60 hours of flight time, he passed his written test and gained his private pilot’s certificate in January 2015.

The love of flying developed at Air Wilmington continues. Williams plans to attend flight school at Aerosim Flight Academy in Florida this summer. His ultimate goal is to become a commercial airline pilot.

“I need to get my instrument rating,” Williams explained. “Then after getting instrument, you can fly commercial.”

He will have to pass instrument ground school, log a specified number of instrument flight hours (flying without visibility) and pass an instrument rating check-ride.

He will also need a multi-engine rating. To receive it, Williams will need to take more lessons and pass a multi-engine check-ride. Then, he plans to become a certified flight instructor.

“The pay isn’t good but the whole point is to gain flight hours,” he said. “No airline will even look at you unless you have 500 hours, due to insurance requirements.”

Williams rents a Cessna 172 at Air Wilmington but has also flown a Van’s RV-4, a light, two-seat, homebuilt aircraft.

“I’ve done aerobatics on Wrightsville Beach,” he said. “I want to learn to do that — just for fun. But you really have to know your airplane.”

Williams’ experience at Air Wilmington has been nothing but positive.

“I’ve been to a bunch of different FBOs. Air Wilmington is great. They are really nice people. It’s not a bunch of people in suits and rich people. They are laid back,” he said.

Air Wilmington has made its home on the field of Wilmington International Airport since 1975. FBOs exist outside of the crowds in the main terminals, so many air passengers don’t know about them. For this reason, president of Air Wilmington, Bill Cherry, described FBOs as the quiet side of aviation.

One of the FBO’s primary roles is to help private, independent pilots land at airfields that are not their home airport. It addition to offering fueling, hangaring and maintenance, Air Wilmington also provides services like aircraft rentals, flight instructions and concierge services. It has been owned and operated by the same family for more than 40 years.

Most of Air Wilmington’s business is corporate travel, serving many of the area’s top businesses. Live Oak Bank has three jets based there, helping the bank with its only physical location in Wilmington stay competitive nationwide. Air Wilmington has plenty of area to position visiting planes, utilizing 10 acres of ramp space, with more than five more acres being prepared at the north end of the airport.

Vince Tryer, vice president and division manager for Thomas Construction Group, first got his private pilot’s license from Air Wilmington in the late 1980s. In addition to a corporate jet, he owns and operates an RV-4. He said that Air Wilmington is a superb location for recreational flying.

“An airplane is no different than your car; it breaks down,” Tryer said. “You cannot pull over when something is wrong. To have as professional and as talented a group over there is pretty awesome.”

Original article can be found here:

Increase in people pointing lasers at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma aircraft

YUMA, Ariz. – Officials at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma said over the past few months, incidents involving lasers aimed at low-flying aircraft, to include the station’s search and rescue helicopter, have significantly increased.

MCAS Yuma said the high-powered, focused energy from a laser can quickly injure or permanently damage a pilot’s eyes. Even a low-power laser can injure, disorient or temporarily blind a pilot. Pilots in low-flying aircraft are especially susceptible to these dangers.

With the high number of aircraft flying around MCAS Yuma, the mishap potential is increased if a pilot’s eyesight is affected by a laser. Whether people are using lasers for fun or maliciously, it is a federal crime to direct them at aircraft and users may be prosecuted due to the impact on pilots’ eyesight, safety of flight operations, and danger to human life.

Every time an incident occurs, it is taken very seriously and the information is reported to the Federal Aviation Administration, local authorities, and Homeland Security offices around the country.

Anyone with information about individuals targeting aircraft is encouraged to notify local law enforcement, or provide details to the appropriate agencies below:

MCAS Yuma: (928) 269-2204/2205
City of Yuma: (928) 78-CRIME (782-7463)
Yuma County: (928) 783-4427

Original article can be found here:

Airplane propeller found in stolen SUV chase • Newton City/County Airport (KEWK), Newton, Harvey County, Kansas

HARVEY COUNTY – Two law enforcement officers were injured in an accident during a pursuit just after 10p.m. on Tuesday in Harvey County. 

The Kansas Highway Patrol reported a Harvey County Sheriff 2015 Chevy Tahoe driven by Deputy James Slickers, 43, Halstead, followed by a Kansas Highway Patrol 2015 Dodge Charger driven by Trooper Joseph Owen, 33, Newton, were southbound on Hertzler Road four miles west of Sedgwick attempting to stop a fleeing vehicle.

Sheriff Deputies has responded to multiple vehicle burglaries in the 2300 block of N. Oliver Road. While speaking with the victims of the burglaries a call came out of another burglary occurring at the Newton City/County Airport.

Deputies approaching the area observed a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed away from the airport. Deputies pursued the vehicle, a Ford Escape stolen from Butler County.

During the course of the chase, the driver threw numerous objects from the vehicle including a shot gun, rifle, and paperwork belonging to the earlier reported vehicle burglaries. The driver avoided three sets of spike sticks placed at various locations in Harvey County. Speeds reached 100 mph.

When the suspect’s vehicle slowed to turn onto Southwest 84th, the Charger rear-ended the Tahoe.

The collision caused the Deputy’s vehicle to spin into a ditch and hit a telephone pole. The Trooper’s vehicle was disabled on the roadway.

Slickers and Owen were transported to Newton Medical Center with minor injuries.

The chase continued into Sedgwick County where Deputies lost sight of the suspect vehicle in the area of Tyler and 77th.

A citizen called to report a vehicle in a field at 73rd and Ridge road. The vehicle was the Ford Escape that had been in the chase. The driver of the vehicle was not located. Inside the Ford Escape were numerous weapons and stolen property, including a $14,000 airplane prop from the earlier burglaries.

The case has been turned over to the Harvey County Sheriff Investigators for follow up and documentation of all stolen property.

HARVEY COUNTY – Two law enforcement officers were injured in an accident during a pursuit just after 10p.m. on Tuesday in Harvey County.

The Kansas Highway Patrol reported a Harvey County Sheriff 2015 Chevy Tahoe driven by Deputy James Slickers, 43, Halstead, followed by a Kansas Highway Patrol 2015 Dodge Charger driven by Trooper Joseph Owen, 33, Newton, were southbound on Hertzler Road four miles west of Sedgwick attempting to stop a fleeing vehicle.

When the suspect’s vehicle slowed to turn onto Southwest 84th, the Charge rear-ended the Tahoe.

Slickers and Owen were transported to Newton Medical Center with minor injuries. Both drivers were properly restrained at the time of the accident, according to the KHP.

Details on what prompted the chase have not been released. The suspect escaped.

Original article can be found here:

Lockheed Martin Seeks to Cut 1,000 Jobs: Voluntary program available to midlevel employees in seven U.S. locations

The Wall Street Journal
Updated March 8, 2016 7:44 p.m. ET

Lockheed Martin Corp. said it is launching a voluntary layoff program in its aeronautics business that aims to reduce 1,000 positions in the U.S., or about 0.8% of its total workforce.

The voluntary program announced Tuesday is available to midlevel employees in seven U.S. locations, including Edwards Air Force Base in California; Palmdale, Calif.; Fort Worth, Texas; and Marietta, Ga.

The Bethesda, Md., company said the cuts are needed “to position Lockheed Martin Aeronautics to be competitive in the future marketplace, secure future business opportunities, and keep an infrastructure appropriately aligned with customer demands.”

Lockheed didn’t provide further details on the timing of the staff reductions or on the financial impact of the moves. The company employs some 126,000 people world-wide, it said in a news release.

The move follows the announcement this month by the U.S. Air Force that didn’t name Lockheed among the seven main partners slated to join lead contractor Northrop Grumman Corp. on the multibillion-dollar B-21 bomber program.

And in February, the company dropped a legal challenge to its loss of a contract to Oshkosh Corp, to build thousands of new trucks for the U.S. Army and Marine Corps.

Lockheed had sued the Pentagon after last year failing to secure the $6.75 billion deal to build almost 17,000 joint light tactical vehicles, or JLTVs. A federal claims court judge last week refused Lockheed’s request for a preliminary injunction that would have forced Oshkosh to stop work on the program.

Also, earlier this year, Lockheed—the world’s largest military contractor by revenue—unveiled plans to carve out its big government information-technology unit to focus on more profitable work building military jets, helicopters and missiles.

The company said it would combine its IT business with Leidos Holdings Inc. in a tax-driven $5 billion deal that would give its shareholders initial control of the national security and health solutions specialist, as well as ammunition to pay down debt and continue its share-buyback plan. 

Original article can be found here:

Mooney M20C Ranger, N242TS: Accident occurred March 09, 2016 at Heritage Field Airport (KPTW) Limerick Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

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

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Allentown FSDO-05

NTSB Identification: ERA16LA126
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, March 09, 2016 in Pottstown, PA
Aircraft: MOONEY M20, registration: N242TS
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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

On March 9, 2016, about 1310 eastern standard time, a Mooney M20C, N242TS, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a total loss of engine power during initial climb from Heritage Field Airport (PTW), Pottstown, Pennsylvania, The private pilot was seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, destined for Wing s Field Airport (LOM), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

According to a mechanic, an annual inspection had just been completed on the airplane and that this was the first flight since the inspection had occurred. The mechanic stated that he had completed several static power engine run ups on the day prior to the accident and did not note any abnormalities, and mentioned that the engine made power during each run up. The mechanic stated that the pilot had previously complained about a "cranking" issue during start but verified that this issue was not present during any of the engine starts which he conducted. The mechanic also stated that the airplane had been at PTW for approximately two weeks before the accident had occurred and had not been fueled since the airplane had been flown to PTW for the annual inspection.

According to witnesses, on the accident flight, the airplane was observed to conduct a normal takeoff, the landing gear was observed to retract, and the airplane was observed to climb. The engine then was heard to "cut out" and then "surge." At approximately 300 feet above ground level (agl), the airplane began to turn to the right. The airplane appeared to stop climbing at this point, and the turn appeared to become steeper. The airplane then rapidly lost altitude, then leveled off, and bounced down on the grass area on the north side of the departure end of runway 28. One of the witnesses then immediately drove a vehicle to the accident site and assisted the pilot in egressing from the airplane. The witness noted that the fuel selector was selected to the left tank, the key was in the "BOTH" position, the electric boost pump was on and the mixture was in the full rich position. In order to prevent a fire, the witness placed the fuel selector to the "OFF" position, turned the magnetos off, and selected the fuel boost pump to off. The witness also advised that he observed that the pilot had sustained a laceration on his forehead and appeared to be confused but was able to walk away from the accident site. The pilot was then transported to the hospital for medical treatment.

According to the pilot, prior to the accident flight, as the airplane had just come out of an annual inspection, he completed a thorough preflight to including checking and draining of fuel from the fuel sumps. After the preflight, he then started the aircraft and completed two run ups before taxiing to runway 28 for takeoff. During the takeoff, he stated that everything appeared to be normal until reaching 300 to 400 feet agl. The engine then incurred a total loss of power. He then verified that the fuel was selected to the appropriate tank, that the electric boost pump was on, and the mixture was full rich. He also stated that he tried to "pump the throttle" in an effort to regain power. Realizing that no power was available, the pilot stated that he veered the aircraft to the right to avoid any persons, property, or people that might have been straight ahead. He knew that he would not be able to safely return to the airport, and aimed for the grassy area just to north side of runway 28 where the airplane struck the ground, and came rest.

According to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, the airplane came to rest upright on an easterly heading with the landing gear retracted with the aft fuselage bent to the right. A 600 foot debris path existed which started from a point near the right side of runway 28, near the west midfield taxiway intersection, and continued to where the airplane came to rest. Approximately 150 feet from where the airplane first made ground contact, the left aileron, left elevator counterweight, and small wingtip parts were found in ground scars along debris path. Examination of the ground scars indicated that the airplane initially touched down traveling on a north-northwest heading, in a wings level attitude, and then approximately 100 feet later, the right wingtip dug into the ground pivoting the airplane to the right, then the left elevator and stabilizer dug in, and the aft fuselage bent to the right, aft of the avionics bay. The airplane then slid another 100 feet and came to rest. All of the flight control surfaces were accounted for at the accident site and no preimpact failures or anomalies of the flight control system was discovered. The fuel selector valve, electric fuel pump, throttle, and mixture controls, were verified to be functional. Both propeller blades were bent aft 30 to 60 degrees mid-span and displayed no leading edge damage.

According to FAA records, the pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on June 22, 2012. He reported that he had accrued 135 total hours of flight experience on that date.

According to FAA and airplane maintenance records, the airplane was manufactured in 1962. The airplane's most recent annual inspection was completed on March 8, 2016. At the time of the inspection, the airplane had accrued approximately 4,864 total hours of operation.

The wreckage was retained by the NTSB for further examination.

LIMERICK >> One man was injured Wednesday after a small plane crashed in a field in Limerick.

Police and emergency personnel responded to the reported plane crash early in the afternoon at Heritage Field, located at Penn Road and Ridge Pike.

According to authorities, the plane was taking off out of the airport at around 1 p.m. when the crash occurred.

The single engine, four seat plane was identified by airport workers as an aircraft manufactured by the Mooney International Corporation.

Police said that the pilot, the only occupant of the plane, had begun takeoff when he noticed an issue with the engine.

“When he put his landing gear up he realized he had an engine issue, the engine started to sputter,” said Limerick Police Chief Brian Skelton. “He brought it back in level and did a great job putting it into an open field adjacent to the airport.”

Police said Wednesday that the pilot did suffer some injuries but that he was able to walk to a waiting medical helicopter. He was then transported to Paoli Hospital and is expected to recover.

“He did a great job,” Skelton said of the pilot. “He was up and realized he was going this way over Ridge Pike and he brought it back over the field and he just got it in.”

Following the pilot’s transport, police secured the scene of the crash and kept a few officers on location. As of 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, remaining officers were awaiting the arrival of the Federal Aviation Administration out of Allentown, who will be investigating the cause of the crash and gathering more information.

Limerick Fire Company and Trappe Ambulance were on the scene but left shortly after 2 p.m.

Limerick Fire Police were still on site awaiting the arrival of the Federal Aviation Administration as of 2:30 p.m.

Limerick Police said they would be able to provide more details at a later time.

Original article can be found here: 

LIMERICK TOWSHIP, Pa. - A small plane crashed shortly after taking off in Montgomery County Wednesday afternoon. 

The pilot, a 42-year-old-man from Wayne, suffered lacerations but was able to walk from the plane. He was flown to Paoli Hospital for treatment of possible internal injuries, reported Limerick Township police, who did not release the pilot's name. 

The plane is registered to Dimitri Vassiliou of Wayne, Delaware County. 

Police said the pilot reported the single-engine plane was experiencing engine trouble after take-off from Runway 28 at the Heritage Field Airport in the township.

The plane lost all power but the pilot was able to land it in a field on airport property.

The pilot was only person on-board the plane, which has been identified as a 1962 Mooney MO20C fixed wing, single engine four seat aircraft.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the accident.

Original article can be found here:

Imperial sells aviation fuel centers for US$135M, including Calgary aviation facility

Imperial Oil Ltd. has struck a deal to sell its aviation fuel business in Canada, including its aviation center at the Calgary International Airport, for US$135 million, to World Fuel Services Corp. of Miami, Fla.

The sale of Imperial assets is part of a US$260-million bargain by its parent, Exxon Mobil Corp., to sell aviation fuelling operations at 83 airports in Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Australia and New Zealand operated by its affiliates. World Fuel Services announced the deal last month on Business Wire but no announcement was made by Exxon or Imperial.

Imperial spokeswoman Killeen Kelly confirmed the deal Wednesday, but not the pricetag, and said it includes select operations at 34 airports in Canada, including Calgary, Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto International, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Victoria, Regina and Saskatoon.

It also includes 20 general aviation markets in small centers such as Lethbridge, Norman Wells, Sudbury and Toronto City Centre.

“World Fuel Service will continue to purchase aviation fuel products from Imperial for resale to sites,” she said, adding the agreement is subject to Competition Bureau approval and change in control is expected in late 2016 to early 2017.

“Imperial’s sales to commercial airlines are not affected by this transaction. We’ll continue to serve commercial airlines at major airports, including Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Halifax, Montreal, Hamilton and others.”

“To put it in context, the majority of operators affected by this transaction will be private, general aviation fliers.”

The news emerged in a report by oil and gas analyst Michael Dunn of FirstEnergy Capital in Calgary who said he spotted the information and the price tag buried in a U.S. regulatory filing made by Imperial Oil a few weeks ago.

In its news release issued Feb. 11, World Fuel Services says the Exxon affiliates’ portfolio serves the business and commercial aviation sectors, adding it will enter a long-term agreement with Imperial Oil to become a wholesale distributor for general aviation fuel in Canada.

“This acquisition represents a strategic expansion of our global aviation network, further embedding us in the supply chain, by acquiring best-in-class aircraft fuelling operations in multiple key international markets,” stated Michael Kasbar, chairman and chief executive. 

On Tuesday, Imperial announced it would sell its remaining 497 Esso retail auto fuel stations and convenience stores for $2.8 billion.

It announced deals with five buyers: Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. for 279 retail stations in Ontario and Quebec; Harnois Groupe petrolier for 36 sites in Quebec; Red Deer-based Parkland Fuel Corp. for 17 sites in Saskatchewan and Manitoba; Wilson Fuel Co. Limited for 17 sites in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland; and 7-Eleven for 148 locations in Alberta and British Columbia.

In a note overnight, analyst Arthur Grayfer of CIBC World Markets said Imperial’s agreement —two or three times the estimate of most analysts — suggests that Suncor Energy Inc.’s chain of 1,500 Petro-Canada gas stations could be worth more than $4 billion.

Dunn, whose estimate for the Esso stations was also much lower than the actual price, said information provided by Alimentation Couche-Tard on Wednesday morning suggests that the stations it bought have been bringing in adjusted annual earnings that were three times the standard analysts were employing.

“Over decades, Imperial sold off all the small town sites and the lower profitability sites and kept ownership of the best ones, the ones in the high-traffic zones, with nice car washes and convenience stores,” he said.

“What remained was the best of the best in Canada.”

He said Suncor won’t get the same return if it sells its stations because they haven’t been high-grading the portfolio. He added he doubts the company will sell the operations because it hasn’t been an asset seller despite low oil prices.

Original article can be found here:

Representatives of New St. Maarten Airline sign Company Article of Incorporation at Notary office (“Ava SXM B.V.” is born)

PHILIPSBURG, WILLEMSTAD – According to the Sint Maarten news site SMN-News on Tuesday March 8, 2016 members representing the new St. Maarten airline company, AVA SXM B.V. finalized on its company incorporation and sign off on all legal documentation at the Notary office of Tjon Ajong & Associates. During this visit, AVA’s Vice President and Chairman, Mr. Olivier Arrindell review the company bylaws and give the notary an extended explanation on AVA’s establishment and aviation plans.

Ava SXM B.V. sister company to AVA Curacao B.V. which was organized at the end of 2013 as a new aviation company in Curacao find its self in difficulties in Curacao with PNP Ministers. When ask Mr. Arrindell on why Ava St. Maarten and why now, Mr. Arrindell indicated that AVA SXM B.V. has always been part of the airline triangle business model. Ava Curacao is still moving forward and now in the hands of Attorneys. Through their lawyer Chester Peterson’s, the legal representatives of AVA Curacao B.V. are appealing the decision of the Minister of Traffic, Transport and Spatial Planning, Mrs. Suzanne Camelia- Römer (“PNP”) in Curacao. The Minister did not approve their request for an economic permit to start the operations of the airline. This is according to the representatives of the airline.

According to AVA Curacao B.V., despite several requests, the Minister still did not give them the documents in which her decision is substantiated. This proves, according to Peterson, that the Minister has no reasonable grounds to reject AVA’s request for the economic permit and that she has something to hide.

Ava SXM B.V. is part of AVA Airways Jamaica, Ava Haiti S.A. and Ava Brazil S.A

AVA’s objective is to create an aviation company which adds value to the Caribbean and Latin America air transport for St. Maarten and Curacao by contributing to the economy of the islands. Most important is to create safe, reliable along with additional airlift and more jobs creation for the islands. St. Maarten right now is suffering from a 53% unemployment rate among the youth whereby in Curacao its 42%. This is a very sad state to be in, St. Maarten and Curacao share one Central Bank and one centralized economy.

AVA SXM B.V. will make use of the existing aviation laws, but also the new bilateral agreements signed by St. Maarten to create new routes and connect St. Maarten with other destinations directly in turn will create jobs . AVA’s confidence in establishing in St. Maarten comes from the positive attribute the island offers not only through its diversity of languages, its geographical position in the Caribbean, the open sky policy, aviation treaties but also St. Maarten’s commitment to reach FAA’s category 1 again. Its time for us to create a new industry, the Aviation Industry of St. Maarten. The President of the AVA SXM B.V. Has already be selected however due to confidentiality agreement sign the identity of the person cannot be disclose at this moment however what I can say is that the person is from St. Maarten.

AVA has plans to turned in its documents to the St. Maarten Civil Aviation Authorities, which has to work on the economic Authority (“economic permit”) and the operation permits (“AOC”).

Original article can be found here: