Sunday, April 3, 2016

Sky's the limit for air traffic controller: Garden City Regional Airport (KGCK), Finney County, Kansas

Mike Scheiman, left, talks about working in the airport tower to a group in October during the Fly Kansas Air Tour activities at Garden City Regional Airport. Scheiman is the Garden City tower air traffic manager.

Mike Scheiman can see for miles from his “office” east of Garden City.

“We can see clearly to Holcomb,” he said, using the Sunflower plant as a landmark. “We can actually see further than that.”

Scheiman’s office isn’t a typical one. It’s actually a five-story tower at the Garden City Regional Airport, where Scheiman has been the air traffic manager since the tower was built in 2000.

In that time, he has seen a lot more than just the Sunflower plant.

One of his more memorable experiences occurred on Sept. 11, 2001, after the terror attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C., when all air traffic was directed to cease for several days, and several large passenger planes had to land at the local airport.

“We had two Boeing 757s, one was a U.S. Airways and the other one was a United Airlines,” Scheiman said. “We also had an Air Canada Airbus that diverted in here, and then we also had a bunch of other smaller airplanes and corporate airplanes being diverted in here because all air traffic was stopped.”

One of the main reasons Garden City’s airport was chosen for airplane diversions was because of the tower, which had been built just the year before.

“We’re the only towered airport within several hundred miles. The closest one to the east would be Hutchinson, closest to the south would be Amarillo and the closest west would be Pueblo, so that’s why we get the emergency diverts and stuff that we do because we’re kind of out here in the middle,” Scheiman said.

When most people think of flights coming in and out of the airport, Scheiman said, they usually think of the American Eagle flights that go to the Dallas/Fort Worth airport, but he said those only account for three flights a day.

“We do, on average, about 70 operations a day,” Scheiman said.

Those operations include corporate aircraft from companies like Target, Menards and Loves, and cross-country corporate aircraft, he said.

“We’re kind of mid-America, so when they go coast to coast, they stop here for fuel,” he said.

He said a lot of military training also takes place in and around the airport.

“We do a lot of training flights from Vance Air Force Base in Enid, Oklahoma. We also get Navy training flights from Corpus Christi, Texas, in the Navy base down there,” Scheiman said. “And we’ve had just about every kind of military plane in and out of here — F-18s, F-16s, V-22 Ospreys — and we’ve had C-130s from Peterson AFB in Colorado.”

Blackhawks flying from Fort Riley to Fort Carson, Colo., or vice-versa, often stop at the airport to re-fuel, he said.

Scheiman’s own background is military.

Originally from Sacramento, Calif., he joined the Navy in 1981 so he could become an air traffic controller.

After completing his training in Tennessee, Scheiman served as an air traffic controller for the Navy in California, Nevada and Alaska. He then worked in Wisconsin and Oklahoma for the Air National Guard before taking the air traffic control job in Garden City through Midwest Air Traffic Control, a private company contracted through the Federal Aviation Administration and the City of Garden City.

The job requires him to multi-task, which he said can make it stressful at times.

“The most challenging thing is being able to focus on a lot of different things at once,” Scheiman said. “You have to be able to hear different things. You have to be able to see different things. You have to be able to see how different airplanes are going to fit because they’re all different airspeeds and stuff. Some are jets, some are props. Some are big, some are small. Some are fast, some are slow.”

Weather conditions, an aircraft’s turning rate, and an aircraft’s approach speed are all things that have to be taken into account when directing the air traffic, he said.

“It’s kind of like conducting an orchestra or a ballet. A lot of it is timing. You have to make sure that you’re not turning someone too soon. You don’t want to turn them too late, so then someone else is delayed,” he said. “So it’s getting the timing down right. That’s probably the most difficult part.”

Rachelle Powell, director of Garden City Regional Airport, said Scheiman is invaluable.

“The job of air traffic controllers is to protect all of the incoming and outgoing aircraft and the passengers on board,” Powell said, adding that without Scheiman’s watchful eye, it would be dangerous for airplanes to fly in and out of the airport.

Scheiman’s aeronautical gene was passed to his oldest son, Zach Scheiman, who recently began working for his dad as an air traffic controller.

“He’s been up here for a little over a year now, since he got out of the Air Force,” Scheiman said.

Scheiman’s other son, 10-year-old Sabian, sometimes joins his father in the tower, too, but it isn’t clear if he’s caught the aviation bug yet.

“It’s a little early to tell,” Scheiman said.

Original article can be found here:

Flight instructors help students spread their wings: McAllister Field (KYKM), Yakima, Washington

Flight instructor Brian Thompson uses a drawing to explain center of gravity points to Martin Sample, left, during a class of Junior Eagles, a career-oriented program to encourage area youths who have an interest in aviation, at Yakima, Wash.'s McAllister Field, Thursday, March 31, 2016.

YAKIMA, Wash. — Flight instruction is not the most lucrative business for Brian Thompson — the main source of income is his fruit-growing business — but there is enough interest locally that he continues teaching.

“If I was going to make a living just out of this, I’d move to Phoenix or L.A. or Seattle,” said Thompson. Other than Seattle, Arizona and California offer optimal, clear weather conditions for flying.

Local students interested in aviation as a hobby or career can get their start or log more flight hours in Yakima, with each instructor providing their own take on it.

Several flight instructors call McAllister Field on West Washington Avenue their “classroom.” The number of students attending such a classroom is generally small, though, as aviation remains a niche interest.

According to the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, there are about 100,000 certified flight instructors, or CFIs, in the U.S. — more than 3,600 in this state alone.

Chris Moser, senior manager for the AOPA’s Flight Training Initiative, said independent flight instructors usually come from two mindsets.

“Many have another full-time job and instruct because they enjoy flying and sharing that love with people who want to learn. And then some independent CFIs are either DPEs (designated pilot examiners) or just instructing full time. They typically specialize in a particular aircraft or system and are sought out by local and regional pilots for their expertise.”

Brian Thompson, a flight instructor, teaches the mathematics related to loading aircraft during a Junior Eagles class Thursday, March 31, 2016, in  Yakima, Wash.

Thompson said he teaches about 20 students a year through his school, Explore Aviation. They come from all over the world; he said he has three students coming in from Kenya. Most of his students already have logged several flight hours, though, and just want to learn how to fly tailwheel aircraft such as Thompson’s 1946 Stinson and 1940 Piper J3.

Flying is not for everyone, though, as costs discourage some. The Yakima Aero Club, for instance, charges $70 per hour to rent a two-seat Cessna 150 — and that does not include flight training, if needed.

Others purchase their own aircraft, which obviously costs thousands of dollars.

Thompson said he sometimes finds ways to help offset students’ flying expenses. One of his younger students, for instance, helps him on his farm.

He distinguishes his instruction by going old school. Their two 1940s aircraft do not use GPS for navigation. His students, he said, cannot use GPS.

“I do not let my students fly GPS,” he said. “They learn how it was done 75 years ago: with a chronometer and a compass.”

Fellow instructors Rich Bates and John Smith run their own flight instruction business, Yakima Flight Training. The two generally focus on one set of students — Bates deals with continuing students, and Smith teaches new student pilots.

Bates first flew at age 17 almost 30 years ago; it wasn’t until about a decade ago when he began flying on and off.

“It’s a sense of freedom,” he said. “You can go wherever you want, see what you want to see.”

He was a former full-time flight instructor before transitioning into part time last year in order to accommodate his time as a truck driver. Echoing a similar sentiment from Thompson, Bates said interest locally in flight training is low.

Bates could have left flight instructing but remains committed to his on-and-off students who may need teaching.

Smith is retired from the military, and instructing helps put money in his pocket. He said his interest in learning to fly began in 1963, when he jumped out of planes as a paratrooper.

“It doesn’t matter how much (time) you have in the air, you have to always be on your toes,” added Smith, 74.

Most of his students, he said, just want a quick tutorial and “get a look around,” seeing the Yakima Valley from a new perspective. He had about 15 people last year; his oldest was turning 80 and wanted to get checked out to fly.

Smith expects business to pick up soon now that the snow is gone and the typically cloudy seasonal weather begins to clear.

Given the Yakima Valley’s 270-plus days of sunshine, the skies provide a great and stable setting to fly.

Story and photo gallery:

Government re-advertises Aran Islands air service contract

Broadcaster Maura Derrane, who regularly uses the service to commute home, has previously described the decision to end the Aer Arann contract as ‘ridiculous’. 

The Government has re-advertised the tender for the air service to the Aran Islands that it cancelled in controversial circumstances last October.

The air service is in receipt of a €3.6m government subsidy.

The decision to cancel the tender last October represented a major climb-down by the Government after widespread opposition to the move.

Aer Arann Islands has operated the contract for the past 45 years and employs 40 people. However, Executive Helicopters emerged as the preferred bidder in last year's tender.

Locals had hit out at the decision to replace a fixed-wing air service with a helicopter service - warning it would not be capable of operating in adverse weather and would impact vital services to the three islands.

They were also angry that the air service would relocate from Connemara Airport (also known as Aerfort Na Minne) to Galway Airport on the opposite side of the city.

One of those opposed to the ending of the Aer Arann Islands contract was TV presenter and islander Maura Derrane, who said the move was "ridiculous".

After the outcry the Department rowed back on the plans. Now, in a move that will satisfy islanders - but represents a blow to Executive Helicopters - the new tender specifies that the service will be between the islands and Connemara Airport.

In the aftermath of the tender being cancelled, Executive Helicopters called on the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht to include an alternative site to Connemara Airport "so as to allow for a competitive tender process".

Connemara Airport is owned by the current operator of the service, Aer Arann Islands.

In the new tender, the Government is seeking air services between the Aran Islands and Connemara for four years from October 1, 2016.

The successful tenderer must also provide a road transport service to connect passengers between Connemara Airport and Galway city.

The contract is potentially worth €920,000 per annum to the successful bidder.

The new tender also discloses that passengers using the subsidized service declined marginally in 2015, from 24,445 to 24,388.

Original article can be found here:

Female pilots needed by Asia's airlines to solve desperate shortage

HANOI (BLOOMBERG) - Sophia Kuo says she still hears the whispers as she walks through international airports in her EVA Airways pilot's uniform: "'Wow, we have female pilots.' 'How does she fly an airplane?' 'She must be really smart!"'

More than eight decades after Amelia Earhart's solo flight across the Atlantic, women like Kuo, a 35-year-old co-pilot on the Taiwanese carrier's Boeing 747s, remain the exception in the cockpit. Only about 5 per cent of pilots globally are female, according to Liz Jennings Clark, chairwoman of the International Society of Women Airline Pilots. And just "a tiny" percentage of them are captains.

Now, airlines are being forced to balance the scale because a rapid escalation in air travel in Asia may leave the industry desperately short of pilots.

The region is transporting 100 million new passengers every year, said Sherry Carbary, vice president of flight services for Boeing, which assists airlines in training new pilots. To fly all those aspiring new middle class, Asia is going to need another 226,000 pilots in the next two decades, according to Boeing.

"There is such an enormous demand to meet the growth that the gender bias will have to be pushed aside," Carbary said.

Some carriers are trying.

Vietnam Airlines, based in what the International Air Transport Association forecasts will be one of the world's 10 fastest-growing aviation markets, is creating work schedules that take into account demands of family life. UK-based EasyJet has set up a scholarship with the British Women Pilots Association to underwrite the costs of training women pilots.

Recruitment advertisements increasingly feature women. British Airways has a photo of a female pilot on its hiring website, while EVA Air, which has about 50 women among its 1,200 pilots, has recruited from universities in Taiwan with ads showing Kuo.

Even so, it takes a long time for someone to gain the training, knowledge and experience to fly an airliner. Most major carriers require flight captains to have 3,000 hours or more of commercial flying experience, not including the time taken to qualify from flight school. Women recruited today on legacy carriers wouldn't be ready to take charge of a plane for 12 to 15 years, said Clark, a captain with Transavia, a subsidiary of Air France-KLM Group.

"Finding capable flight crews isn't easy," said Richard Yeh, who oversees pilot training at EVA Air, which is trying to hire 100 pilots a year to meet demand. "We have to try to find more pilots like Sophia."

Asia isn't the only place that will have to find and train thousands of new pilots. Seven of the 10 fastest-growing aviation markets in percentage terms are in Africa. Globally, the number of air travelers is expected to double to seven billion by 2034, according to the International Air Transport Association.

The need to add pilots quickly has led to some flight schools to take shortcuts or issue licenses to pilots who haven't flown the required number of hours. A lawsuit last year in India accused one school of granting a license to a trainee who had spent only 35 minutes in the air.

Even at bona fide training colleges in Asia, the number of female students remains low. Frequently less than 10 per cent of the 200 cadets at Malaysian Flying Academy Sdn Bhd are female, said Stephen Terry, the school's principal. The two-year program costs about US$77,000.

"Some carriers in Asia won't even consider hiring women pilots," he said, while others prohibit mixed crew from sharing bunk compartments on long-haul flights.

Part of the gender bias is due to the traditional division of roles on a plane, with men - typically white men - up front, and women at the back serving drinks and handing out blankets. Mireille Goyer, founder of the Vancouver-based Institute for Women of Aviation Worldwide, says society has done little to encourage women to seek careers in the cockpit.

That attitude has reduced an already small pool of potential pilots. To qualify for a license to captain a plane, you need to read, write and speak English fluently, have thousands of hours of flight time, no criminal record or history of alcohol abuse and are free of a long list of medical conditions including color blindness and diabetes that requires medication. Ideally, you need to be the sort of person who doesn't panic easily.

"Pilot personality traits and aptitudes are rare within the human population regardless of gender or race," Goyer said. "Arbitrarily reducing the potential pool to mostly white males has strangled growth and led to today's situation. Now there is pressure and momentum to change."

For women, there are additional hurdles beyond the attitude of co-workers and society, including an historical lack of support for those who want to fly planes and raise a family.

"Flying time for female pilots may be limited due to maternity leave or the fact they need time to take care of their kids," Luu Hoang Minh, a Vietnam Airlines flight crew deputy director said in an e-mail. He said his company takes these factors into account and tries to arrange flying schedules that help women.

The carrier, which has 11 female pilots out of 1,058, expects to fly 19.2 million passengers this year, 2 million more than in 2015.

In regions like Asia, where traditional attitudes toward a woman's role are stronger, it's even harder for women to make the step to the pilot's role, said Kit Darby, a former United Continental Holdings captain who works as a consultant. Being a commercial pilot is still viewed "as a single man's game," he said.

Vietnam Airlines Captain Huynh Ly Dong Phuong says her mother was initially reluctant to approve of her career choice and even now she is sometimes treated differently from male colleagues.

"My difficulty is making people accept the fact I am a pilot first and a female second, not the other way around," she said in an e-mail.

Yet commercial jets don't need the cocky fighter-pilot attitude featured in the 1986 Hollywood movie "Top Gun," starring Tom Cruise, said Graham Hunt, head of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Asia in Singapore. Flying an airliner "is not about being a gung-ho fighter pilot, it's about monitoring complex systems, decision-making, collaboration," he said.

Still, the romance of the fighter pilot endures. First officer Kuo fell in love with flying as a child when she saw a fighter jet take off.

"I love to fly," Kuo said. As she speeds down the runway and the plane noses skyward, "everything in front of you becomes very small. Your view of life changes."

Original article can be found here:

Gulfstream G100, N500MA,Andretti Autosport Aviation, Inc: Lehigh Valley International Airport (KABE), Allentown, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania

Marco Andretti tweets about close call over Lehigh Valley International Airport caused by gusty winds


Marco Andretti: "About as close as I have gotten to a plane crash" during landing Sunday in Allentown.

Marco Andretti had a safe, if unspectacular, drive in the Verizon IndyCar Series Phoenix Grand Prix on Saturday night, but his ride back to the Lehigh Valley was not as smooth.

The 29-year-old racer from Bushkill Township finished 13th in the race, completing all 250 laps while enduring down force of as much as five Gs on the Phoenix International Raceway oval and, he admitted afterward, "we didn't have what we needed."

But hours later, Andretti tweeted on social media site Twitter, about his flight home, "That's about as close as I have gotten to a plane crash on approach to Allentown. 50 mph crosswind. Bailed back to Indy 4 the night/morning."

Andretti was flying from Indianapolis to Lehigh Valley International Airport in the Gulfstream G100 private jet owned by Andretti Autosport Aviation and was scheduled to arrive at LVIA at 5:07 a.m., according to, which uses Federal Aviation Administration data to track flights.

But minutes before that arrival time, the plane reversed its course without touching down and returned to Indianapolis Regional Airport, the website shows.

A National Weather Service report for Lehigh Valley International Airport at 4:51 a.m., the closest one to Andretti's scheduled arrival time, indicated winds from the northwest at 32 miles per hour, gusting to 48 mph.

Andretti landed safely at Lehigh Valley International Airport on a second try about 3 p.m. Sunday, according to

An attempt to reach Andretti has been unsuccessful.

Original article can be found here:

Piper PA-32R-300 Lance, N544DG, Lance N38544 LLC: Accident occurred September 03, 2017 at Merritt Island Airport (KCOI), Brevard County, Florida -and- Incident occurred April 03, 2016 at Albert Whitted Airport (KSPG), St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Orlando, Florida

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Lance N38544 LLC:

NTSB Identification: ERA17LA311 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, September 03, 2017 in Merritt Island, FL
Aircraft: PIPER PA32R, registration: N544DG
Injuries: 4 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 September 3, 2017, about 0908 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-32R-300, N544DG, operated by the private pilot, was substantially damaged when it collided with water during takeoff at Merritt Island Airport (KCOF), Merritt Island, Florida. The private pilot and three passengers were not injured. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a visual flight rules flight plan was filed for the planned flight to Marsh Harbour International Airport (MYAM), Marsh Harbour, Bahamas.

The pilot reported that prior to the flight, he fueled the airplane to a total of 80 gallons of 100-low-lead aviation gasoline. He then completed a preflight inspection of the airplane and engine run-up prior to takeoff, with no anomalies noted. The pilot added that although the automated surface observation system reported the wind from 350° at 5 knots, the wind was light and variable at the time of the accident. Additionally, an airplane was in the airport traffic pattern and using runway 11, so the pilot elected to depart in that direction. The pilot further stated that he extended the flaps "two notches" and rotated the airplane at 80 knots, about two-thirds down the 3,601-foot asphalt runway.

The pilot also reported that as the airplane climbed above 20 ft, it experienced a decrease of engine power prior to the landing gear being retracted. The airplane was unable to climb without entering a stall. It then drifted left of runway heading and landed in shallow water about 1,000 ft from the departure end of the runway.

The recorded weather at an airport located about 8 miles southeast of the accident site, at 0853, was: wind from 330° at 6 knots; visibility 10 miles; few clouds at 6,500 ft; temperature 26° C; dew point 24° C; altimeter 30.09 inches of mercury.

The airplane was retained for further examination.

An aircraft left the runway and went into the water near Merritt Island Airport, Brevard County Fire Rescue said Sunday.

The four people who were inside the aircraft escaped without injury. Emergency personnel arrived at the scene just after the crash took place at approximately 9:30 a.m. 

Christopher Serrano was able to see the crash from where he was fishing near the Veterans Memorial Center park in Merritt Island. 

"I seen the plane coming close into the water not too fast. Looked like it might have been landing in the water — that's what I thought it was," Serrano said. "Came in closer to the water, went up a little bit, came back down." 

Serrano said it wasn't a hard hit; he initially assumed it had been an intentional landing until a sheriff's deputy asked him if he'd witnessed the crash. 

"I seen a lot of police cars and a lot of ambulances," Serrano said. "Just a lot of commotion, a lot of traffic." 

Story, video and photo gallery ➤

MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. —  A small plane went into the water after trying to take off from the Merritt Island Airport Sunday morning. Brevard County Fire Rescue said four people were aboard, and all escaped injury.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating, and said the accident occurred when the Piper PA-32 tried to take off at 9 a.m. The plane went into the water where the runway ends. The FAA said three people were on the plane.

Sunday afternoon, the partially-submerged aircraft was still in the Banana River, awaiting the arrival of investigators, and a salvage firm to pull the plane from the water.

FAA records show the plane is owned by a corporation based in a single family home on Merritt Island.

Original article can be found here ➤

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Miami, Florida

Aircraft on landing, gear collapsed. 

Date: 03-APR-16
Time: 20:49:00Z
Regis#: N544DG
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA32R
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Unknown
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
State: Florida

On Sunday evening just before 5:00 p.m., a 1977 Piper Lance airplane was making a landing at the Albert Whitted Airport. 

After the plane had landed and was in the process of slowing down, the landing gear on the right side of the plane collapsed. 

There were a total of five passengers on the plane including the pilot.

No one was injured nor did they accept any type of medical treatment.

The St. Petersburg Fire Department arrived on scene shortly after the incident. The airplane has minor damage.

Albert Whitted Airport is a city-owned public-use airport located at 107 8th Ave. SE in St. Petersburg.

The Federal Aviation Administration has been notified.

Original article can be found here:

SAINT PETERSBURG (WFLA) – A plane landing in St. Petersburg experienced a landing gear collapse on Sunday.

The plane was carrying five people while slowing down after landing at Albert Whitted Airport at 4:51 p.m. when the landing gear on the plane’s right side collapsed.

No one on board was injured, and all passengers refused medical treatment, while the plane sustained only minor damage.

The FAA has been notified of the incident.

Original article can be found here:

ST. PETERSBURG, FL — A hard landing of a 1977 Piper Lance at Albert Whitted Airport Sunday afternoon is under investigation.

According to the St. Petersburg Police Department, the plane was attempting to land on runway No. 18 just before 5 p.m. when its landing gear collapsed. 

Five people were on board at the time, including the pilot. 

No injuries were reported.

St. Petersburg Fire Rescue also responded. 

Police, however, said all people on the plane refused medical treatment of any kind.

The plane only suffered minor damage.

The Federal Aviation Administration has been notified of the incident, the police department said.

No further information is available at this time.

Albert Whitted Airport is a city-owned facility located at 107 8th Ave. S.E.

Original article can be found here:

Boeing-Stearman A75N1 (PT17), N501TT: Accident occurred April 03, 2016 at David Wayne Hooks Memorial Airport (KDWH), Spring, Texas 

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Houston FSDO-09

NTSB Identification: GAA16CA206
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, April 03, 2016 in Spring, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/25/2016
Aircraft: BOEING A75N1(PT17), registration: N501TT
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

According to the pilot of the tailwheel-equipped biplane, during approach, the tower cleared him to land on the short runway which he refused because he felt rushed by inbound traffic. He reported that the tower acknowledged his refusal, and cleared him to land on the long runway which was runway 17R. The pilot reported that he landed on runway 17R with a quartering tail wind. However, during the pilot's approach, the wind that was reported by ATC to the pilot was 230 degrees true at 6 knots. He recalled that the airplane exited the right side of the runway, then ground looped to the right, and came to a stop nose down in a ditch and resting on the bottom left wing. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the lower left wing spar. 

The meteorological aerodrome report (METAR) reported the wind as calm, 5 minutes before the accident. One hour before the accident, the METAR reported the wind as variable at 3 knots. One hour after the accident the METAR reported the wind as variable at 4 knots.

The pilot reported that there were no mechanical failures or anomalies with the airplane prior to or during the flight that would have prevented normal flight operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to maintain directional control during the landing roll, resulting in a runway excursion and substantial damage to the lower left wing spar.

SPRING, TX (KTRK) -- By late Sunday afternoon, Hooks Airport in northwest Harris County was back in operation. For more than two hours, air traffic in and out was on hold, after a vintage plane ran off a runway.

The plane was taxiing after landing when it veered into a grassy area.

"There were two occupants on board," said Klein Fire Chief David Bessolo. "They got out with injuries. Other than damage to the aircraft, it was pretty routine."

Routine except for the image of a plane manufactured in 1940, with biplane wings, painted bright blue and yellow. 

The plane's tail was up, its nose mired in the muddy ground next to the runway.

The FAA, according to the fire chief, will question the pilot. His name was not released.

The plane is believed to be repairable.

Original article can be found here:

SPRING, Texas – Officials are responding to a plane crash at David Wayne Hooks Memorial Airport in Spring.

Officials say two people were in the plane that was found in a ditch. 

It is unknown whether the plane was attempting to take off or land.

Authorities say both people in the plane were alert.

It is unknown what injuries they may have suffered, if any.

Original article can be found here:

Two people were on board a plane that crashed Sunday at David Wayne Hooks Memorial Airport in Spring. 

The plane crashed on landing, according to Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsford.

 The extent of any injuries was unknown. 

The FAA will investigate the crash.

Rhode Island's other airport businesses: Beyond T.F. Green, there are lean machines

Every month, as reports show how many passengers travel through T.F. Green Airport, Rhode Islanders are reminded of the economic impact of the state's biggest airport.

But the state also is served by five smaller general-aviation airports, each an engine of commerce.

The Rhode Island Airport Corporation, the state agency that runs Green, also controls Quonset State Airport in North Kingstown, North Central State Airport in Smithfield, Westerly State Airport, Block Island State Airport and Newport State Airport, in Middletown.

Businesses at the general-aviation airports range from a restaurant and a company that tows aerial banners to flight schools and skydiving excursion operators to shops that maintain aircraft and companies that run hangars. And all of that is in addition to AvPorts, the outfit that runs day-to-day operations under contract with the airport corporation.

Family is a common theme with many of the companies at Newport State Airport.

Take Marc Tripari of Skydive Newport.

"We're actually a family business," he said.

Then there's Jeff Codman of Bird's Eye View Helicopters.

"I grew up flying with my father," Codman said. "We just progressed from airplanes into helicopters."

And Heather Corson, of Newport Aviation, which offers flying lessons and rents planes.

"I've been in aviation my entire life," Corson said. "Instead of packing up the station wagon to visit Grandma and Grandpa in New Hampshire, we packed up the aircraft."

Corson started her business 14 years ago. "There were a lot of people just walking in wondering if there's a flight school here," she said. She started with a single plane that first year and turned a profit.

Now, she operates two four-seater, single-engine prop planes: a Piper Cherokee and a Piper Warrior.

Nearly three-quarters of her business is flying lessons. Students typically spend $8,000 to $10,000 over a four- to six-month period to earn their pilot's license.

"The war college is probably 90 percent of my business," she said. The typical 10-month stint for students at the U.S Naval War College at Naval Station Newport leaves plenty of time for flying lessons, she said. She also gets a fair number of F/A-18 pilots from the college who want to rent a small plane, often for lunchtime trips to Block Island, Nantucket or Martha's Vineyard.

Corson and a flight instructor are the only year-round employees, though she hires part-timers in the summer. Between lessons and rentals, she has a couple of hundred customers a year.

After working for others, Jeff Codman started his helicopter business in 2000, using a $110,000 U.S. Small Business Administration loan to buy a helicopter built in the 1970s. "A lot of people, they didn't realize it's that old."

About nine-tenths of his business is sightseeing aerial tours. His new helicopter, a 2013 Robinson R44 Raven I, takes three passengers plus the pilot. Excursions start with a $75, 12-minute tour of Newport's famous mansions.

He also takes aerial photographs, at $600 for any spot in Rhode Island. "The drones the last couple of years have put a decline on the photography," he said, adding that he doesn't see himself joining the ranks of pilots of the small, remote-controlled helicopters. "There's too many people in the drone market. I don't think there's going to be any money in it."

Codman has seen Newport State Airport grow in his 15 years there. "When I first started here, there wasn't enough room for an office." He had to resort to a small desk on wheels. Now, he has space for his three full-time employees, plus a couple of more seasonal staffers.

The business helps keep him afford his passion. "Flying a helicopter is so expensive," he said. "Otherwise, I couldn't if I was just flying as a hobby."

Marc Tripari's business has been falling steadily for the last 17 years. Literally.

He estimates that 1,000 to 2,000 people a year skydive with his company, with the numbers jumping around a bit. "It's a very weather-dependent business."

He has been located at the airport since 1999 and has a staff of 10. After working throughout New England and in New York and Florida, he chose Newport for the scenic views from aloft: Narragansett Bay, big bridges, sailboats.

He charges $230 for a tandem jump, in which the customer is strapped to an instructor, and they jump together. Jumpers have run the gamut from 18-year-olds jumping on their birthday, the first day they legally can, to a woman in her 90s. And they jump for all sorts of reasons, from bachelorette parties to corporate bonding activities to people celebrating divorce. He likens skydiving to the dreams most people have in which they are flying. "This is really flying," he said. "This is the dream come true."

And like dreams, skydiving is safe, Tripari said. "We tell people the most dangerous part of their day is driving here and driving home," he said. "We consider ourselves a lot safer than skiing."

Like Codman, Tripari has seen the airport grow in his years there.

"It was definitely podunk, just a couple of old sofas in the middle of the lobby," he said.

Now, Skydive Newport is in its own brand-new building.

The roster: Where business takes off in R.I.

In addition to AvPorts, which manages the state's five general aviation airports under contract with the Rhode Island Airport Corporation, the following companies do business at those airports, with the type of business in parentheses where needed:

Quonset State Airport
Landings at Quonset (hangars)
Quonset Air Museum
Sentinel Limousine

North Central State Airport
Air Ventures (flight school)
Boston Skydiving
New England Aviation (aircraft maintenance/repair)
North Central Flight Center (flight school)
RI Aviation (hangars, aircraft maintenance/repair)
TAS Aircraft Sales

Newport State Airport
Bird's Eye View Helicopters
Chris Aircraft (aircraft maintenance/repair)
Newport Aviation
Newport Hangars
Skydive Newport

Westerly State Airport
Dooney Aviation (aeronautical services)
New England Airlines
North American Hangars
Reeves Air (aircraft maintenance/repair)
Simmons Aviation (aircraft sales, charters, Warbird Flight Experience, banner towing)

Block Island State Airport
Bethany's Airport Diner
Block Island Tourism
New England Airlines
Resort Air (charters)

Original article can be found here:

Cessna 150M, N66166: Incident occurred April 03, 2016 at Cape May County Airport (KWWD), New Jersey

Strong winds flipped over a small plane at the Cape May County Airport.

High winds early Sunday morning brought down tree limbs down and whipped around traffic signals in southern New Jersey.

A section of a beech tree that is at least 200 years old — one of the oldest trees in Linwood — came down Sunday morning on Maple Avenue, said local historian Carolyn Patterson.

The top of the tree hit Patterson’s house, but there was no real damage to her home, except the breaking of two window panes. The tree branches that were up against her house were removed by her son, Mike Patterson, and a neighborhood, Michael Everett, also of Linwood.

Patterson said she didn’t hear a thing, but a neighbor across the street, Nick Bessor, heard the branches and limbs come down at 2 a.m. Sunday.

“A whole section of the tree is on the ground,” said Patterson, 83.

The tree will have to be evaluated to see how much damage it took, as there is now a big hole or opening on the tree, Patterson said.

At the Cape May County Airport, strong winds flipped over a small plane, said Joe Salvatore from Naval Air Station Wildwood.

In Millville, a church caught fire when high winds knocked a tree into power lines that supplied the church, fire officials said.

A tree also fell off Davis Avenue in Linwood, and a traffic light from a utility pole was down at News Road and Ocean Heights Avenue in Somers Point.

From about 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., the eastbound lane of Route 30 was closed near Home Depot to all traffic, due to the threat of a traffic signal coming down, Absecon Police said. Police directed drivers to use alternate routes including Atlantic City Expressway and the Black Horse Pike into Atlantic City.

By the early afternoon, the wind-damaged traffic signal and pole were repaired, Absecon Police said.

Within The Press of Atlantic City’s coverage area, scattered power outages remained Sunday afternoon, with Atlantic City Electric’s map showing about 20 customers awaiting service in Egg Harbor Township, 14 in the Villas section of Lower Township, seven in Millville, and smaller numbers in scattered towns.

Statewide, nearly 46,000 customers overall remained without power Sunday afternoon, the Associated Press reported.

Original article can be found here:

Cessna 150M, N714BJ: Incident occurred April 02, 2016 in Blue Lake, Humboldt County, California 

UPDATE, 4:20 p.m.: Scanner traffic indicates that people are stopping to gawk at the plane along Highway 299, causing potential traffic problems.


UPDATE, 4:15 p.m.: According to tail numbers read out by law enforcement at the scene, the plane appears to be a 1976 single-engine Cessna registered to Scott Chandler of Fortuna.

‎A small airplane made an emergency landing on Highway 299 a few moments ago. According to reports from the first people on the scene, no one seemed to be injured.

Shane Johnson was one of the people on the scene, sends this report.  It was still rolling on the road towards the ramp when most of the highway stopped to go help. It happened at about 3:30.   The pilot was pretty shaken up by the landing, but he was calm, was already working on calling his family to come get it off the road. When we finally got it off the road he asked him if he needed anything else, flares, water and what not, but he said he was alright and that 911 was already on there way. When I left there was 2 cops coming East, but at that point the plane was already off the road, and I’m pretty sure he is going to be fine.

Friend of the LoCO Jed Pinell says:
Grounded Cessna plane on Glendale exit on 299. We asked the pilot if he crashed and he said “emergency landing. Came in under the power lines. It’s not a crash landing if you do it successfully!”  Highway and exit are open. CHP on site. No injuries. Pilot onsite chatting with passersby. 

Original article can be found here:

Cessna 175B Skylark, N8115T: Accident occurred April 02, 2016 in Hurley, Mississippi 

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Jackson FSDO-31

NTSB Identification: ERA16LA145
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, April 02, 2016 in Hurley, MS
Aircraft: CESSNA 175B, registration: N8115T
Injuries: 1 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 April 2, 2016, about 1707 central daylight time, a Cessna 175B, N8115T, was substantially damaged during a forced landing to a field near Hurley, Mississippi. The commercial pilot, the sole occupant was not injured. The flight was operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated about 7 minutes earlier from Mobile Regional Airport (MOB), Mobile, Alabama, and was destined for Slidell Airport (ASD), Slidell, Louisiana.

The pilot noted no discrepancies during his preflight inspection or engine-run up. After takeoff, while in contact with air traffic control, the pilot climbed to between 1,200 and 1,500 feet mean sea level (msl) and after levelling off, he slowly leaned the fuel to air ratio. After moving the mixture control about 1/4 to 1/2 inch, the engine rpm "abruptly" decreased from 2,900 to 1,200. He promptly pushed the mixture control full-in, but that action did not restore engine power. He twice advanced the throttle fully forward, and the engine power briefly increased, before again falling back to idle. As the airplane descended below 1,000 feet msl, he informed air traffic control of the situation and was vectored to a nearby private airport.

With insufficient altitude available to glide to the airport, he maneuvered the airplane for a forced landing to a field. During the landing roll the nose landing contacted the upslope of a ditch, separating it from the airplane. The airplane then slid about 100 feet, coming to rest upright in a nose-low/tail-high attitude. The pilot then exited the airplane, provided his mechanic the location coordinates, and rescue services were dispatched. The pilot was taken to a nearby hospital where he released with no injuries later the same evening.

Preliminary examination of the airplane revealed adequate, uncontaminated fuel in the fuel tanks, fuel strainer, and carburetor bowl. The mixture control in the cockpit was in the full rich position but the mixture control lever at the carburetor was in the idle cut-off position.

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -  A small plane crashed in a wooded area of northeast Jackson County Saturday evening on Kendrick Rd. near Stateline Rd., sometime after 6 p.m.

According to Emergency Operations Center Deputy Director Terry Jackson, the pilot lost power and had to land in a field.

The pilot, who was the only person on board, suffered minor injuries and was transported to the hospital as a precaution. 

Jackson noted that he is very fortunate things turned out the way they did. 

Original article can be found here: