Saturday, March 19, 2016

North Texas Regional Airport / Perrin Field (KGYI), Denison, Grayson County, Texas: County officials continue search for airport management

For years, locals and area officials have said that North Texas Regional Airport — Perrin Field is special. Some have even called the former U.S. Air Force base Texoma’s “diamond in the rough,” saying with effort and the right expertise it could become something that benefits the entire region. Now area officials are looking for the right person to help polish that gem.

In a special meeting in January, Grayson County officials and the Regional Mobility Authority issued a request for proposals from outside management companies for services at the airport. After a month-long proposal period, officials are reviewing three proposals that were submitted.

“We’ve talked for years about what the airport is going to be,” Grayson County Judge Bill Magers said. “Now we are at a point where we ask how best to develop this airport.”

At the end of the proposal period, Magers said three companies — AvPorts out of Washington D.C., Texas Aviation Partners of San Marcos and SAMI Management of Addison — had submitted qualifications and offers of service. Of the three, Magers said one of the applicants did not meet the terms of the proposal request, but expressed interest in working with the airport within its capabilities.

Magers declined to comment on the exact details of the proposals, citing a nondisclosure agreement as the RMA reviews the submissions.

Following the proposal process, Magers said officials reviewed each bid and graded the two qualifying proposals based on the criteria of experience, staff resources and price. In coming days, officials will be meeting with the highest ranking firm to discuss a possible contract for services.

Magers said the end result may be that no firm is chosen, but he remains optimistic about the chances of the airport having new management in the near future.

“The end result of these efforts will be a success that brings new businesses and jobs,” he said.

In the proposal request, the RMA said it is seeking a management firm with “relevant management experience with major national airports and airlines, as well as experience working with Texas governmental entities in the operation and development of airports and related aviation facilities.”

In these roles, Magers said the firm will be responsible for promotion of the airport to both new tenants and prospective businesses alike. Other duties include the coordination of future building at the airport, the pursuit of state and federal funding programs and oversight into the day-to-day operations of NTRA.

“We believe we need a development partner that has experience in developing new business opportunities and maximizing the current value of our airport,” he said.

Among the current goals for the airport is petitioning for inclusion in the Federal Aviation Administration’s Contract Tower Program. Under this program, the FAA would provide approximately $550,000 to fund and staff the airport’s control tower.

Currently, Grayson County provides $275,000 in funding for the tower each year. With federal funding, the tower will be able to be manned with additional staff with overlapping service hours. Currently, officials estimate it may be 2017 or 2018 before the airport is able to enter into the program.

This change in management structure will not eliminate the need for a general airport manager to oversee the daily operations of the airport, Magers said. Instead this position will instead focus on development and growth.

In 2015, Airport Manager Mike Shahan left NTRA for a position in Galveston after 16 years. In March of last year, the airport also lost its marketing director when Bill Retz retired.

On Wednesday, Magers commended the work done by Shahan in bringing the airport to where it is now. Prior to Shahan coming on board, Magers said the airport was still reeling from when it was decommissioned in the 1970s.

“Today it is a well run, professional medium- to high-end general aviation airport,” Magers said.

- Original article can be found here: http://heralddemocrat.com

Chinese airplane under probe over unauthorized runway approach

Korea's transportation ministry has launched a probe into an incident involving two aircraft that almost collided on Friday in fog on the runway of a provincial airport.

A passenger airliner belonging to China Southern Airlines almost cut off one from Korea's largest airline Korean Air on the runway at Cheongju International Airport on Friday night, according to South Korea's transportation ministry. There was no reported injury.

There was heavy fog at the time of the incident, making it hard to discern other airplanes with the naked eye, according to witnesses.

The Chinese plane carrying about 90 passengers appeared to have approached the runway from the right while the Korean Air airliner was making a landing at the airport in Cheongju, some 137 kilometers south of Seoul, it said.

The Chinese plane had planned to take off for Dalian after the Korean-flagged aircraft with 137 people on board passed the airstrip.

The collision was averted when the pilots of the Korean Air flight veered left as they were landing to keep as much distance as possible from the Chinese airplane.

Dense fog could be blamed for the Chinese airliner entering the runway, as it went passed the stop line before receiving approval for take-off from the control tower, according to a government source.

The ministry said that it has launched an investigation into the incident, based on the communication records of the two airplanes' pilots with the airport's control tower and other evidence.

If China Southern Airlines is found to have violated relevant aviation law, the government plans to request Chinese authorities take punitive actions, it said. 

Original article can be found here: http://www.koreatimes.co.kr

Redlands Municipal Airport (KREI), San Bernardino County, California: Aviation consultant to help Redlands address helicopter pattern, heliport

REDLANDS>> The city is seeking the assistance of an aviation consultant to review changes proposed by a state agency to the Redlands Municipal Airport’s permit and helicopter operations.

The California Department of Transportation has revised the helicopter flight pattern included on the city’s permit, and is now directing the city to seek Federal Aviation Administration approval on a proposed altitude specification, and to require helicopter operators take off and land from either a heliport or the runway.

The City Council on Tuesday approved paying Coffman Associates an additional $29,622 to review the recommendations. The firm was hired in October for $74,950 to review the city’s documents governing the airport and surrounding land uses after several pilots questioned the appropriateness of a proposed residential development by Diversified Pacific LLC near the airport.

The firm discovered several inconsistencies among the Airport Land Use Compatibility Plan, the Airport Master Plan and city code. They also discovered that the city’s airport permit had not been updated to reflect the helicopter pattern approved by the City Council several years ago.

In 1997, the City Council set the helicopter flight pattern south of the runway and at an altitude of 429 feet above ground level.

In 2003, the City Council modified the flight pattern to follow an east/west alignment along Pioneer Avenue, which was reviewed by the FAA, according to the city staff report.

The city’s airport permit was not updated after either decision and continued to include a northerly flight pattern and altitude of 1,000 feet above ground level.

Helicopters have continued to operate south of the airport.

City staff worked with the consultant to revise the pattern on the permit and change the altitude to 500 feet above ground level. This was then submitted to Caltrans’ Division of Aeronautics, which issues airport permits.

Caltrans issued the city a new permit, with a southerly flight pattern and altitude of 800 feet, rather than 500 feet, according to the city staff report. Caltrans is asking the city to seek approval from the FAA on the proposed altitude of 800 feet.

They also informed the city that the city must either establish a temporary heliport until a permanent location is found or require helicopter operators to use the runway for takeoffs and landings.

Eric Fraser, a helicopter pilot at the airport, said Caltran’s recommendation for an 800-foot altitude for helicopters would create a conflict with fixed-wing traffic flying at 1,000 feet above ground level.

“If the airplanes are flying on the north side at a certain altitude the helicopters are going to avoid that flow of fixed-wing traffic and fly on the south side. That’s standard practice that is consistent with what is in aviation training documents produced by the FAA,” Fraser said on Tuesday.

“Practical test standards say a private pilot has to fly plus or minus 100 feet to be within those standards. If (fixed wing) is at 1,000 feet and helicopters are at 800 feet, that puts them directly in conflict even though they’re flying within the standards.”

Fraser said there is no requirement by the FAA that an existing airport has to have a helipad.

The city’s Airport Master Plan, drafted by Coffman Associates and approved by the council in 2008, includes a recommendation to establish a helipad with lighting and up to two parking spots. The plan identifies a place for the helipad on the east end of the airport, which would require the city to acquire 14 acres of land, to move helicopters away from fixed-wing operations as well as existing and proposed residential development.

“There’s more than just the helipad involved here,” Councilwoman Pat Gilbreath said Tuesday. “We’re talking about the flight pattern and there are many inconsistencies in the history on this. We need to straighten this out and this is one way we can come out with this straightened out, clear it with the FAA, clear it with Caltrans and clear it with the people actually at the airport. I think it’s important we move forward and have that consistency in the future.”

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

Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain, Maui Island Air, N483VA: Fatal accident occurred February 26, 2014 in Lanai City, Hawaii

Lanai plane crash survivors seek to keep settlements

County can legally take funds as workers’ comp reimbursement


George Balberdi wipes away tears Friday as he describes the pain caused by the loss of his wife, Tremaine Balberdi, a Department of Planning secretary who died in a 2014 plane crash on Lanai.



Maui County Planning Department planner Doug Miller testifies before the Maui County Council’s Committee of the Whole on Friday about the struggles he has gone through since surviving a Feb. 26, 2014, plane crash on Lanai. The crash killed two Maui County Department of Planning employees and the pilot. Miller and two other county employees were severely injured.



WAILUKU - Lanai plane crash survivor Doug Miller told a Maui County Council committee Friday to "do the right thing" and allow the survivors and families of the deceased to keep their settlement money from a lawsuit with the airline, Maui Air.

Miller and other testifiers told the Committee of the Whole that, under state law, the county may seek reimbursement from settlement funds of money it paid out as workers' compensation to the victims of the 2014 crash.

The Maui Air Tours chartered flight crashed on Lanai on Feb. 26, 2014, killing the pilot, Richard "Dick" Rooney; and two Maui County Planning Department employees - Tremaine Balberdi, a secretary, and Kathleen Kern, a planner. Severely injured in the crash were Miller, a planner; Mark King, a geographical information systems analyst with the Planning Department; and Deputy Corporation Counsel James Giroux.

At least two investigations have blamed pilot error for the crash. The aircraft was heading to Maui after a night meeting on Lanai.

Miller, King and Giroux were able to climb out of the burning plane after it crashed.

After spending about two hours in executive session discussing the victims' claims and other agenda matters, the committee recommended approval of the claims for the five employees. The resolution addressing the claims is scheduled to be taken up at the next council meeting April 1.

No specific information about the claims was disclosed in open session during the committee meeting.

Because the cases are still in litigation, details of the committee's deliberations could not be released, said Office of Council Services spokeswoman Kit Zulueta.

In an emailed statement, committee Chairman Don Guzman said: "I want to thank those who came out to share their thoughts - co-workers, family members and friends of the Lanai plane crash victims. I admire their courage despite the difficult nature of the topic."

Before going into closed executive session, Deputy Corporation Counsel Caleb Rowe said that state law creates a lien on behalf of the employer, for each employee, when a third party is at fault in a situation such as the Lanai crash.

Rowe said how much money is tied to each employee would be shared in executive session because there is ongoing litigation and medical records of the victims may be discussed.

In asking that his settlement money be left untouched, Miller told the committee: "My life has changed forever. Today I have visible scaring on my head, face, hands, arms and legs from the fire and the skin graft surgery.

"I've lost the sensitivity to heat and sharp objects on the grafted skin. I've lost my sense of smell and can no longer enjoy the fragrance of flowers or the smell of great food, but more importantly I cannot smell dangerous gases putting me at risk. Since the crash, getting on an airplane is extremely stressful, and this presents a serious problem for someone living on an island that has only one option for off-island travel," Miller said.

He said the money for medical expenses from the airline is not enough to cover all of his costs, and he hopes to have the settlement money to help him pay for those costs.

"Fortunately, Maui County has the ability to prevent their workers' comp carrier from taking the victims' award money," he said. "Therefore, I urge the good members of the Maui County Council to do the right thing for the plane crash victims and their families and to choose not to enable their workers' comp carriers to pick the pockets of the victims of this tragic event and force us to pay for past and future medical costs stemming from this tragic event that occurred on the job."

Miller's testimony was echoed by his co-workers who, like him, took time off from their jobs to testify.

The co-workers and family members of the victims asked council members to leave the settlement money untouched.

In open session, Corporation Counsel Pat Wong described the situation as "very, very, delicate circumstances."

The Department of the Corporation Counsel has the obligation to present the law to council members, he said.

"Being mindful of that, please understand that it is very difficult to discuss this topic. I understand the members may have a difficult time," Wong told the committee.

He reminded council members that the workers' compensation statute is a state, not a county, law.

"Add in that it is our obligation to be mindful of the fiduciary responsibility to the rest of the county," Wong said.

Deputy Planning Director Michele Chouteau McLean expressed her support for the employees.

She told the committee: "I believe these employees and their families deserve everything the county can offer them. We realize that you have few options, and simply ask that you choose whichever option will support these folks the most, even if that option costs the county the most."

She praised the victims and commended King and Miller, who continue to do their work with the Planning Department.

"Even after all they have been through, they want to keep doing it. They deserve nothing less than our whole-hearted appreciation and respect, and as a great financial settlement that a government employer can offer," McLean said.

Balberdi's husband of 32 years, George, expressed his continued sadness over this wife's death and wept throughout his testimony.

"Life has never been the same. It's not an easy thing," he said. "When I'm home, she's not there. When I'm shopping, she's not there."

"She will never be with me, never ever again." he said. "My heart has been broken so much, that nobody knows what I'm going through inside."

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


Kathleen Kern


Tremaine Balberdi


NTSB Identification: WPR14FA124
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Wednesday, February 26, 2014 in Lanai City, HI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/21/2015
Aircraft: PIPER PA31, registration: N483VA
Injuries: 3 Fatal, 3 Serious.

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

The airplane departed during dark (moonless) night conditions over remote terrain with few ground-based light sources to provide visual cues. Weather reports indicated strong gusting wind from the northeast. According to a surviving passenger, shortly after takeoff, the pilot started a right turn; the bank angle continued to increase, and the airplane impacted terrain in a steep right bank. The accident site was about 1 mile from the airport at a location consistent with the airplane departing to the northeast and turning right about 180 degrees before ground impact. The operator’s chief pilot reported that the pilot likely turned right after takeoff to fly direct to the navigational aid located southwest of the airport in order to escape the terrain-induced turbulence (downdrafts) near the mountain range northeast of the airport. Examination of the airplane wreckage revealed damage and ground scars consistent with a high-energy, low-angle impact during a right turn. No evidence was found of preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. It is likely that the pilot became spatially disoriented during the right turn. Although visual meteorological conditions prevailed, no natural horizon and few external visual references were available during the departure. This increased the importance for the pilot to monitor the airplane’s flight instruments to maintain awareness of its attitude and altitude. During the turn, the pilot was likely performing the additional task of engaging the autopilot, which was located on the center console below the throttle quadrant. The combination of conducting a turn with few visual references in gusting wind conditions while engaging the autopilot left the pilot vulnerable to visual and vestibular illusions and reduced his awareness of the airplane’s attitude, altitude, and trajectory. Based on toxicology findings, the pilot most likely had symptoms of an upper respiratory infection but the investigation was unable to determine what effects these symptoms may have had on his performance. A therapeutic level of doxylamine, a sedating antihistamine, was detected, and impairment by doxylamine most likely contributed to the development of spatial disorientation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s spatial disorientation while turning during flight in dark night conditions and terrain-induced turbulence, which resulted in controlled flight into terrain. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s impairment from a sedating antihistamine.

http://www.ntsb.gov

Four British planespotters arrested at Kenyan airport on terror charges

The four men in court, they appeared before Makadara chief magistrate Heston Nyaga.


Four British plane spotters have been locked up in Kenya as suspected terrorists after filming aircraft taking off from an airport.

They were arrested by Kenyan police in the capital Nairobi while filming planes from an airport bar during a two-week plane-spotting trip in Africa.

The friends - Eddie Swift and Paul Abbott, both 47, Steve Gibson, 60, and Ian Glover, 46 - have been behind bars since their arrest on Monday, according to The Sun.

Photography at Kenyan airports was banned following a deadly attack from jihadists at a Nairobi shopping centre in 2013 which left 67 dead.

The quartet, who posted pictures from their trip on Facebook, claimed they had permission from an airport official but police have accused them of ‘secretly filming’ while seated at a bar.

Under Kenyan law, convicted terrorists face up to 30 years in prison.

Mr Swift’s brother Peter described the bachelor, from Stockport, as an ‘anorak’ and slammed British Embassy officials as ‘hopeless’ for failing to end the group’s ordeal.

He told The Sun: ‘Eddie and his mates are just chaps who like taking pictures of planes. It’s a very worrying time.

‘I’ve spoken to Eddie. He tried to put a brave face on it but I could tell he was anxious.’

Following their arrest on Monday, the four friends were paraded in court and remanded in custody charged with trespassing and using a mobile phone app to monitor flights.

They were then interrogated by anti-terror specialists for two days and have been held at Kenyatta Police Station.

Mr Swift added: ‘The Foreign Office told me he was likely to be charged with terror-related offences. I’ve since been told those charges will be dropped.

‘It’s blindingly obvious they weren’t doing anyone any harm and weren’t plotting anything. None of them would harm a fly.’

The group, who have previously pursued their hobby in America, Russia, China and across Europe, were arrested at Wilson Airport, which is not Nairobi’s main hub.

They had already visited Kenya’s largest airport Jomo Kenyatta International, in Nairobi, so took a taxi to Wilson Airport which arose suspicion from police.

A spokesman for their legal team told The Sun: ‘The British Embassy could have resolved this very quickly by providing background information which would have made it clear the authorities were not dealing with criminals or terrorists.’

A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: ‘We are in contact with Kenyan authorities following the arrest of four British nationals and are ready to provide consular assistance.’ 

Original article can be found here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk

Eddie Swift, 47, has been arrested in Kenya, here the aviation enthusiast is on a previous trip.

Paul Abbott, 47, one of the four men arrested in Kenya on terror offenses after taking photographs on planes taking off from Wilson Airport. Here Paul is on an earlier trip.

Paul Abbott posted this photograph on social media the day before he was arrested in Nairobi, Kenya.

Light aircraft near terminal buildings based at Wilson Airport in Nairobi, Kenya.



Four British planespotters have been arrested at an airport in Kenya on suspicion of terror offenses after taking photographs of planes taking off and landing. The men were arrested in the capital Nairobi last Monday and have been languishing at a police station since then, according to local media reports.

Steve Gibson, 60, Ian Glover, 46, Eddie Swift and Paul Abbott, both 47, were all on a two-week plane spotting trip to Africa, and were posting pictures of aircraft to Facebook. Kenyan newspaper The Star reported that the four appeared in court on 14 March. They did not enter a plea.

The prosecution is understood to have been given two days to investigate them for terror-related charges, including trespassing, secretly filming air traffic while at the airport bar and using an app to monitor incoming flight times.

Swift's brother Peter told The Sun that the men had done nothing wrong, and that he hopes they will be let off with a fine.

"It's blindingly obvious they weren't doing anyone any harm and weren't plotting anything," he said. "None of them would harm a fly."

He added: "The Foreign Office told me he was likely to be charged with terror-related offences. I've since been told those charges will be dropped."

The group have previously spotted planes in America, Russia, China and all over Europe. Photography at airports in Kenya was banned after Islamic extremists massacred 67 people at a shopping centre in Nairobi in 2013.

A spokesman for the spotters' legal team hit out at the British Embassy in Kenya in a comment given to The Sun.

"The British Embassy could have resolved this very quickly by providing background information which would have made it clear the authorities were not dealing with criminals or terrorists," he said.

The Foreign Office said: "We are in contact with Kenyan authorities and are ready to provide consular assistance."

Original article can be found here:   http://www.ibtimes.co.uk

Comp Air 9, PR-ZRA: Fatal accident occurred March 19, 2016 near Campo de Marti Airport (SBMT), São Paulo

Former Vale CEO Roger Agnelli was among the dead in the Sao Paulo plane crash.
~

The former chief executive of the world's largest iron ore miner Vale, Roger Agnelli, was among seven people killed when a small plane crashed on Saturday in the northern suburbs of Brazil's largest city, Sao Paulo, O Globo newspaper reported.

Emergency services confirmed to Reuters that the pilot and six passengers were killed when the plane crashed shortly after takeoff from the airport of Campo de Marte in Sao Paulo's northern suburbs around 1520 local time.

One person on the ground was also injured when the 7-seater CA-9 aircraft slammed into two buildings, but other residents were removed unharmed, a spokesman for the local fire department said.

Weather in Sao Paulo was sunny and clear at the time of the crash.

Records for the National Agency of Civil Aviation (ANAC) showed the plane was owned by Agnelli, 56, who ran Vale for a decade until 2011, but a spokesman could not confirm the list of passengers.

Three senior sources in Brazil's business community told Reuters that he was on the plane, but it was not immediately possible to officially confirm this.

Known for his discipline and hot temper, Agnelli clinched Vale's top job in July 2001 after 19 years as an investment banker with Banco Bradesco SA, one of Vale's controlling shareholders.

At the mining giant, he instilled a culture of meritocracy that turned Vale into Brazil's No. 1 exporter for most of last decade.

In 2012, he made a partnership with Brazil's largest investment bank BTG Pactual to create B&A Mineracao, an investment company focused on the mining sector.

Um avião monomotor caiu sobre uma residência na Casa Verde, Zona Norte de São Paulo, na tarde deste sábado (19). Ao menos sete pessoas morreram e uma pessoa ficou ferida, segundo o Corpo de Bombeiros.

O proprietário do avião é o ex-presidente da mineradora Vale Roger Agnelli, segundo a Globonews. Não há a confirmação de que ele estava na aeronave.

Todos os mortos, quatro homens e uma mulher, estavam no avião. Uma mulher que fechava o portão da casa atingida ficou levemente ferida e foi levada ao Pronto-Socorro da Santa Casa, na região central da cidade, segundo os bombeiros.

O hospital, por meio da sua assessoria de imprensa, afirmou que a mulher que ficou ferida se assustou com o barulho da explosão e se jogou no chão e ficou com escoriações leves. Ela teve alta.

De acordo com a Infraero, havia sete pessoas no monomotor de prefixo PRZRA que caiu às 15h23 na cabeceira 12 do Aeroporto Campo de Marte, sobre uma casa de um bairro de classe média alta.

Os moradores da residência atingida pela queda da aeronave conseguiram escapar  pelos fundos da casa.

“Na casa tinham cinco pessoas que colocaram uma escada e saíram pelas portas dos fundos. Se não tivessem saído pelos fundos tinham sido queimados juntos", diz Toni Sargologos, de 46 anos, vizinho da família.

Sargologos diz ter visto o avião voando muito baixo, de forma estranha. Pouco tempo depois, ouviu um estrondo. Ele conta que saiu de sua casa para prestar socorro, mas foi impedido por conta do do fogo que atingiu arvores e veículos na via.

A aeronave caiu na Rua Frei Machado, 110, perto da Avenida Braz Leme. O aeroporto Campo de Marte está fechado desde as 15h30. Segundo o major Hengel Ricardo Pereira, do Corpo de Bombeiros, o trabalho de rescaldo foi concluído por volta das 19h30. Quinze carros e 45 bombeiros trabalharam na ocorrência.

Pereira ainda afirma que na hora da queda, uma mulher estava fechando o portão da residência atingida. Ela sofreu escoriações leves, foi levada para o pronto-socorro da Santa Casa, e recebeu alta no final da tarde.

O comandante explicou que a aeronave bateu na garagem da casa, um sobrado de três andares, e pegou a parte da sala. "Os corpos que nós achamos estavam no meio da fuselagem. Com o choque, a aeronave fez um buraco no chão.

Alguns corpos estavam dentro desse buraco. A gente acredita que essas sete vítimas estavam presentes na aeronave. Não sobrou nada do avião", descreve o major.

De acordo com a Infraero, havia sete pessoas no monomotor de prefixo PRZRA que caiu às 15h23 na cabeceira 12 do Aeroporto Campo de Marte, sobre uma casa de um bairro de classe média alta.

Original article can be found here:  http://g1.globo.com

Vermilion Regional Airport (KDNV), Danville, Vermilion County, Illinois: Mike Potter to become new airport manager

DANVILLE — Mike Potter never imagined he'd return to work in Vermilion County, where he grew up, but when the right job opened up recently, the Westville native was lured back home. 
 
Potter, 51, is a pilot, flight instructor,
certified airplane mechanic and inspector, who had managed the regional airport in Morehead, Ky., since 2010.

His new gig, come April 1: manager of Vermilion Regional Airport.

Potter was one of about 20 who applied for the position, and of the six candidates the airport board wanted to interview, he was their first choice, according to board Chairman Steve Foster.

Not just because of his local roots, Foster said, but because he had the strongest skill set and experience in some important areas. The job requires someone familiar with maintenance, managing personnel and economic development and who's comfortable working with government agencies, particularly the Illinois Department of Transportation, which provides a lot of the funding for the facility's annual budget of just under $1 million. Other funding comes from local property taxes.

"He seemed to be the strongest in all three areas," said Foster, who, along with other board members offered the job to Potter at an annual salary of $60,000.

Next month, Potter will succeed the retiring Bob Gagnon, who has been the manager of the airport north of Danville for more than 30 years.

Potter, who has three adult children with his wife, Tracey, said he's excited about the new challenge.

"I'm really looking forward to being up there," Potter said. "Being back near my parents and sister and friends, that was just a bonus."

The 1983 Westville High graduate first got into aviation while working in a lumber yard in Greenville in southwestern Illinois when he took a side job to pay for flying lessons.

"I fell in love with aviation and just can't get enough of it," said Potter, who continued working his full-time job and flew on the side, eventually earning his instructor's license. He then went to work at Greenville's municipal airport for about six months before moving on to the Shelby County Airport, where he worked as a pilot and flying instructor for about 20 years before accepting his current job in Kentucky.

At Morehead Airport, Potter wears many hats — managing the airport; providing services like fuel for all the flights; giving flying lessons; and handling all maintenance of the facility and grounds, among other duties.

At Vermilion Regional, Foster explained, there's a Fixed Base Operator, a contracted business separate from the airport management that provides the fuel and other services for flights. The airport manager, he said, focuses on oversight of the facilities and grounds, including safety, hangars, runways and other buildings, and on recruiting tenants for the hangars.

Potter said he has a knack for getting people interested in aviation, and the number of pilots and planes at the Morehead facility has more than doubled since he's been there, which he said is mostly due to his flight instruction services. He plans to offer flight instruction at Vermilion Regional as well.

He's also looking forward to the new event this summer — Balloons Over Vermilion — that will be based at the airport. He wants to organize an open house at the airport in the fall and an air show in 2017.

"It's a new challenge that I'm definitely looking forward to," he said.

Original article can be found here:  http://www.news-gazette.com

2nd possible airline touches down in North Platte, Nebraska



Key Lime Air arrived at Lee Bird Field on Friday morning to pitch the city on bringing the company in to service the area with flights to Denver. The company is one of seven that will interview for the opportunity to provide air service in and out of North Platte Regional Airport.

The company is based in Denver and has been providing service for United Parcel Service freight into the North Platte community for the last 19 years. The plane the company will use for the air service is a Dornier 328 jet.

“It’s a great airplane,” said Cliff Honeycutt, president and co-owner of the airline. “They were manufactured between 2000 and 2003. They are all relatively low-time airplanes. They’re a great airplane to ride on. You can stand up in them. There’s a flight attendant, a full stand-up bathroom.”

The plane has 30 leather seats. Flight time from North Platte to Denver is about 38 minutes.

Key Lime was founded about 20 years ago and currently has 30 airplanes in its fleet, flying about 15,000 hours annually. Honeycutt said the goal is to move more into passenger service for the company. In competition with six other airlines for the right to service North Platte, the primary reason Honeycutt believes their airline is the one for North Platte is because of the company itself.

“I don’t think it’s as much about the airplane as it is about the organization itself,” Honeycutt said. “We’re a local airline that started out with one airplane about 20 years ago. We do a lot of freight. We’ve just now gotten into the passenger industry and this is actually our end game. We want to bring air service back to the small communities that have suffered a degrade in that service.”

The plan is to have two flights a day to Denver, which would include air service to and from Kearney.

“We’ve got a little bit different model and the fact that we’re based in Denver with a company grown out of our own blood and sweat, I think people will have a little better appreciation for what it is that we bring,” 

Honeycutt said. “Because we’re invested in the community, if there’s a problem we’re going to address it. There’s no big corporate headquarters. It’s a simple phone call and we’re going to have an explanation.”

Honeycutt said that Key Lime Air has no desire to become another national or international airline company, but wants to focus on providing service to local communities like North Platte.

“We think we can do it better,” Honeycutt said.

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

Yakovlev YAK-18T, ZU-BHR: Incident occurred March 19, 2016 in Beachwood, Durban, South Africa


Durban – Two people have survived a light airplane crash after making an emergency landing on a beach in Virginia, north of Durban, on Saturday afternoon, paramedics said.  

Crisis Medical spokesperson, Kyle van Reenen, said shortly after 16:30 they found a light aircraft on the sand along the Durban north shoreline. 

“Luckily the pilot and co-pilot did not sustain any injuries in the ordeal and were both checked out and given a clean bill of health on the scene,” he said. 

The reason behind the emergency landing was still unclear.  

Original article can be found here: http://www.news24.com


Foreign student admits molesting girl on flight to Newark Liberty International Airport (KEWR), Newark, Essex County, New Jersey

TRENTON — A student studying in the United States on a student visa admitted in federal court Friday that he molested a young teenage girl on a flight from India, court records show.

The student, Sushan Patil, pleaded guilty Friday before U.S. District Judge Anne E. Thompson to one count of simple assault, records show.

According to a criminal complaint, Patil and a girl under the age of 16 were seated next to each other on a flight from Mumbai, India to Newark Liberty International Airport on Aug. 26, 2015 Patil and the girl did not know each other, it said. 

During the flight, court records said, Patil touched the girl's breasts under her shirt, put his hand down her pants and touched her groin and buttocks through her clothing. When she resisted, he restrained her and squeezed or pinched her, records say. 

The girl reported the assault to a member of the United Airlines crew, who confronted Patil, the criminal complaint says. It also says he admitted his acts. 

Patil, who is living in Brooklyn while studying here, was arrested on arrival at Newark Liberty International Airport. 

According to his plea agreement, the simple assault charge carries a maximum penalty of a year in prison and a $100,000 fine. 

He is scheduled to be sentenced June 16 in Trenton, New Jersey.

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

Cessna 210L Centurion, M & L Aeronautics LLC, N59196: Accident occurred March 19, 2016 at Myrtle Beach International Airport (KMYR), Horry County, South Carolina

M & L AERONAUTICAL LLC: http://registry.faa.govN59196

FAA Flight Standards District Office:  FAA West Columbia FSDO-13

NTSB Identification: ERA16LA135
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, March 19, 2016 in Myrtle Beach, SC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/16/2016
Aircraft: CESSNA 210L, registration: N59196
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The private pilot was conducting a personal cross-country flight. The pilot reported that, shortly after takeoff with the flaps and landing gear retracted, a total loss of electrical power occurred and that he immediately turned back to the departure airport. The landing gear, which is extended and retracted by hydraulic actuators powered by an electrically driven hydraulic power pack, was disabled due to the electrical failure, so the pilot attempted to manually pump the gear down via the emergency gear extension handle; however, after about 10 pumps, it felt like there was no hydraulic pressure in the system. He tried to pump the gear down for about 20 minutes before he realized that the main landing gear (MLG) was not going to extend, and he subsequently landed the airplane with the landing gear unlocked. The pilot said that the landing was smooth and that the MLG initially held the support of the airplane but that it then collapsed. The airplane then skidded to a stop on the runway.

Examination of the engine revealed that the loss of electrical power resulted from the alternator’s primary wire being separated from its terminal due to corrosion. Examination of the airplane revealed that one of the MLG actuators had sustained impact damage and was leaking a small amount of hydraulic fluid. No other mechanical issues with the landing gear system were observed. 

The Pilot’s Operating Handbook recommends that the fluid level in the hydraulic power pack housed within the control pedestal be checked using the dipstick/filler cap every 25 hours and that, if the fluid level is at or below the ADD line on the dipstick, hydraulic fluid should be added. The hydraulic fluid level was examined several days after the accident, and it was observed at the ADD level. The pilot stated that he did not check the hydraulic fluid level before the accident flight but that he did check it the day before and that the level was “ok” at that time. However, given that the pilot was unable to manually extend the landing gear, there likely was insufficient hydraulic fluid in the system to provide the pressure required to manually extend the landing gear. The reason for the lack of hydraulic fluid could not be determined based on the available evidence.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
A complete loss of electrical power, which resulted from the separation of an alternator wire due to corrosion. Contributing to the accident was the failure of the emergency landing gear extension system due to a lack of hydraulic fluid, which resulted in insufficient pressure to extend the landing gear.

On March 19, 2016, at 1050 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 210L, N59196, sustained substantial damage when the main landing gear collapsed during a precautionary landing at the Myrtle Beach International Airport (MYR), Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The private pilot and the two passengers were not injured. The airplane was registered to a private corporation and operated by the pilot as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions existed at the airport at the time of the accident and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed. The flight originated at MYR at 1001 and was destined for Hilton Head Island Airport (HXD), Hilton Head, South Carolina.

The pilot stated that he performed a thorough preflight inspection and engine run-up utilizing the appropriate checklists before he departed and everything was normal. About 10 minutes after takeoff, with the landing gear and flaps fully retracted, the pilot noticed the airplane began to lose electrical power and contacted air traffic control to let them know he wanted to return to MYR. The pilot said he was cleared to return and shortly after he lost all electrical power. The adult passenger then called the control tower via a cell phone and was cleared to land. The landing gear, which is extended and retracted by hydraulic actuators powered by an electrically-driven hydraulic power pack, was disabled due to the electrical failure, so the pilot had to manually pump the gear down via the emergency gear-extension handle. The pilot said he attempted to pump the landing gear down, but the main landing gear would not fully extend. Only the nose wheel extended to what appeared to be the fully down and locked position.

The pilot said it would normally require about 45-47 pumps of the emergency gear extension handle to fully extend the landing gear; however, after about 10 pumps, it felt as if there was no hydraulic pressure in the system and it "didn't seem normal." The pilot tried to pump the gear down for about 20 minutes before realizing he would have to land with unlocked landing gear. The pilot said the landing was smooth and the main landing gear held the support of the airplane for a while before they collapsed and the rear of the airplane bounced on the ground. The airplane skidded to a stop resulting in substantial damage to the left horizontal stabilizer. The belly of the fuselage, main landing gear, and left wing tip were also damaged. According to first responders, the left wing was leaking fuel and there was a small hydraulic leak coming from about 1-foot behind the nose wheel.

A postaccident examination of the engine by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed the electrical failure was due to the alternator's primary wire being corroded and broken off of the terminal. A review of the maintenance logbooks revealed the last annual was completed in March 2015, at an engine total time of 1,015.5 hours. There were no entries that the alternator had been repaired in the last 12 months and the pilot reported no mechanical issues prior to the accident flight.

A mechanic, who was on scene shortly after the landing and had recovered the airplane, stated that one of the main landing gear actuators had sustained impact damage and was leaking a small amount of hydraulic fluid. He did not observe any mechanical issues with the landing gear system other than the damaged actuator. The airplane's last annual inspection was completed in March 2015, at an airframe total time of 4,103.2 hours. There was a maintenance entry on November 12, 2015, for the hydraulic system accumulator and right main gear door actuator, which were removed and repaired. The landing gear was tested after the repair and a leak check was performed. The pilot said there were no issues with the landing gear hydraulics after the work was performed. He also stated that he did not test the emergency gear extension system after this repair and had not practiced any manual gear extensions in the airplane in several years.

According to the airplane's pilot operating handbook, page 7-11, LANDING GEAR SYSTEM, "Hydraulic system fluid level may be checked by utilizing the dipstick/filler cap, on the power pack, behind a snap-out cover panel on the right side of the control pedestal. The system should be checked at 25-hour intervals. If the fluid level is at or below the ADD line on the dipstick, hydraulic fluid should be added." According to the FAA inspector, who checked the hydraulic fluid level several days after the accident, noted it was at the ADD level. The pilot stated that he did not check hydraulic fluid level before the accident flight but did check it the day before and the level was "ok." 

The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate for airplane single-engine land, instrument airplane. His last FAA third-class medical was issued on March 15, 2016. The pilot reported a total of 1,149 total hours, of which, 327 hours were in the accident airplane.

NTSB Identification: ERA16LA135 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, March 19, 2016 in Myrtle Beach, SC
Aircraft: CESSNA 210L, registration: N59196
Injuries: 3 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 19, 2016, at 1020 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 210L, N59196, sustained substantial damage when the main landing gear collapsed during a precautionary landing at the Myrtle Beach International Airport (MYR), Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The private pilot and the two passengers were not injured. The airplane was registered to a private corporation and operated by the pilot as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions existed at the airport at the time of the accident and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed. The flight originated at MYR at 1001 and was destined for Hilton Head Island airport (HXD), Hilton Head, South Carolina.

The pilot stated that he performed a thorough preflight inspection and engine run-up utilizing the appropriate checklists before he departed and everything was normal. About 10 minutes after takeoff, with the landing gear and flaps fully retracted, the pilot noticed that he began to lose electrical power and contacted air traffic control to let them know that he had an alternator failure and wanted to return to MYR. The pilot said he was cleared to return to MYR and shortly after he turned back to the airport, he lost all electrical power. The adult passenger called the control tower via a cell phone, who in turn, cleared him to land. The pilot said he attempted to pump the landing gear down with the emergency gear extension handle, but the main landing gear would not fully extend. Only the nose wheel extended to what appeared to be the fully down and locked position.

The pilot further described that it typically requred about 45-47 pumps of the emergency gear extension handle to move the gear into the down and locked position; however during the accident flight, after about 10 pumps he could sense there was no hydraulic pressure in the system and it "didn't seem normal." The pilot continued to try and pump the gear down for about 20 minutes before he realized that the main gear was not going to extend and he would have to land with unsecure landing gear. The pilot said that the landing was very smooth and the main landing gear held the support of the airplane for a while before they both collapsed. The airplane skidded to a stop resulting in substantial damage to the left wing and left horizontal stabilizer. The belly of the fuselage was also damaged and there was no damage to the propeller blades.

The airplane was retained for further examination.



MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) A small aircraft made an emergency landing at the Myrtle Beach International Airport on Saturday.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, a Cessna C210 aircraft made an emergency landing on runway 18/36 around 10:50 a.m. Saturday. 

The aircraft had departed MYR and was headed to Hilton Head Island, but turned around when it experienced a problem with it’s alternator. 

The plane’s landing gear collapsed as it landed back at MYR.

Airport Spokesman Kirk Lovell said three people were on board when the plane landed and they all deplaned. Their current conditions are unknown.

Lovell said the FAA gave the approval for the plane to be removed from the runway.

No takeoffs or landings were allowed while the plane was on the runway. 

Three flights were diverted, one to Wilmington International Airport, and two to Charleston International Airport. 

At least two flights were delayed from leaving MYR.

The airport is back on a normal schedule as of 1:45 PM Saturday.

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


A small aircraft made an emergency landing at the Myrtle Beach International Airport Saturday morning after the plane lost electrical power, Lt. Christian Sliker with Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue said.

At about 10:30 a.m. the plane was about two mile from the MYR when it lost power and had to make an emergency landing and had to do so without its landing gear properly extended, officials said.

EMS crews were on standby awaiting the plane’s arrival, and one Horry County Fire Rescue ambulance was on scene, along with jetport rescue crews.

No information has been provided about who how many people were on board or if there were injuries.

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




Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue Lt. Christian Sliker said a small aircraft had lost all electrical power a few miles out from Myrtle Beach International Airport Saturday morning. He said it landed just before 11:00 a.m. without the landing gear fully extended.

As of 10:28 a.m. the plane was about two miles out from the airport and had lost all electrical power and was attempting to land at MYR. Sliker said it is not a commercial airplane.

Emergency crews were on standby awaiting the plane's arrival. Sliker said after it landed the incident was handled by jetport fire rescue. There is no word on how many people were on board.

Flights in to Myrtle Beach International Airport were being diverted Saturday morning after the crash. No flights were allowed to leave MYR as of 11:40 a.m.

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

Flydubai Boeing 737-800, A6-FDN, Flight FZ-981: Fatal accident occurred March 19, 2016 in Rostov-on-Don, Russia

NTSB Identification: DCA16RA108
Scheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Saturday, March 19, 2016 in Rostov-on-Don, Russia
Aircraft: BOEING 737, registration:
Injuries: 62 Fatal.

The foreign authority was the source of this information.

The Russian Interstate Aviation Committee (MAK) has notified the NTSB of an accident involving a BOEING 737 that occurred on March 19, 2016. The NTSB has appointed a U.S. Accredited Representative to assist the MAK investigation under the provisions of ICAO Annex 13 as the State of Manufacturer and Design of the airplane.

All investigative information will be released by the MAK.

Russia Crash Turns Spotlight on New Type of Airline: Mideast Budget Carrier • The Dubai government set up FlyDubai in 2008 to copy the long-haul success of Emirates Airline




The Wall Street Journal
By NICOLAS PARASIE and  ROBERT WALL
March 19, 2016 10:22 a.m. ET


DUBAI—The fatal crash of a Boeing Co. jetliner in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don early Saturday puts the spotlight on a still relatively unknown breed of airline: the Middle East budget carrier.

For years, the region’s growth carriers such as Emirates Airline, Qatar Airways and Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways have made a name for themselves placing huge orders for Airbus Group SE and Boeing Co. long-haul jets. They have taken customers from U.S. and European rivals by offering lower fares and lavish services, including onboard showers and first-class suites.

In their shadow, the Middle East has embraced another group of airlines, the discount carriers trying to imitate the success of Southwest Airlines Co. in the U.S. and Ryanair Holdings PLC in Europe.

FlyDubai, whose airliner crashed on Saturday killing all 62 people onboard, was set up by the Dubai government in 2008 to mirror the success its flagship carrier Emirates Airline has had in long-haul flying in the low-cost segment. It quickly placed an order for 50 Boeing 737-800, the type of plane that was involved in the crash in Russia.

While Emirates helped set up FlyDubai, and both are owned by the Investment Corp. of Dubai, the city’s sovereign-wealth fund, the airlines operate independently. Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed al Maktoum, a powerful Dubai official, is chairman of both airlines and heads the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority. He is leading the airline’s crisis team, the Dubai media office said earlier.

“At this stage everyone in our company is in deep shock,” said Ghaith Al Ghaith, FlyDubai’s chief executive at a news conference in Dubai hours after the crash. “Our primary concern is for the passengers and for the crew on board,” he said.

The plane that crashed was built in 2011 and received regular maintenance checks, the last one in January this year, said Mr. Al Ghaith.

Mr. Al Ghaith said the aircraft’s pilot and co-pilot were “quite experienced” having logged more than 5,965 and 5,769 flying hours respectively, generally equivalent to several years in the cockpit.

The first commercial FlyDubai flight from Dubai to Beirut took place in 2009 and delivered its first profit three years later. The carrier, which carried more than 9 million passengers in 2015, has remained in the black.

The crash is the first fatal accident for FlyDubai. One of its 737 jetliners was hit by small-arms fire on approach to Baghdad International Airport last year. The U.A.E.’s big two airlines, Emirates and Etihad, have an unblemished crash record.

Dubai has invested heavily to build up its aviation safety expertise. The crash represents the first serious test of the ability of the government and FlyDubai to participate in a major crash probe and react to any recommendations that may emerge.

Mr. Al Ghaith said he would await the investigation’s results in response to questions whether bad weather or pilot error may have caused the crash.

“As far as we know, the airport was open and we were good to operate,” he said. “I can confirm as far as I can see there was no distress call,” he said. He dismissed suggestions the pilot should have diverted to another airport.

“As far as we are concerned we have not seen anything that would suggest that an alternative airport was on the cards,” he said.

FlyDubai operates in a highly competitive environment, vying for business not just against Emirates Airline, the world’s largest by international traffic, and Qatar Airways, but also a flurry of regional budget rivals. Air Arabia, based in neighboring United Arab Emirates state Sharjah, and Kuwait’s Jazeera Airways are among its biggest regional rivals.

The budget carrier has targeted many smaller cities such as Rostov-on-Don that aren’t large enough to fill Emirates Airline’s fleet of only large, long-range planes. It began operating to Rostov-on-Don in 2013 as part of wider push into Russia where the carrier already served several cities including Samara and Yekaterinburg.

The expansion comes as the U.A.E. has forged closer economic and political ties with Russia in recent years. Russian tourism to the U.A.E. has been steadily rising. The airline also is betting Rostov-on-Don is emerging as a regional business hub and that traffic would benefit from the city being named as one of the host cities for the football World Cup due to take place in Russia in 2018.

FlyDubai and its immediate discount rivals have been eschewing the bare bones discount model familiar with other budget carriers such as Spirit Airlines Inc. in the U.S. or Ryanair. FlyDubai offers passengers a modern in-flight entertainment system with movies, though for a fee.

The carrier has grown to operating around 1,400 flights weekly, with more than 500 pilots and 1,000 cabin crew.

Since placing its initial plane order, FlyDubai at the Dubai Air Show in 2013 also announced a more than $8 billion commitment to buy more 737-800 planes as well as 75 Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft, a successor model to the aircraft type involved in the crash. The new planes were intended to replace some of the first 737s the airline acquired and fuel further growth.

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