Thursday, April 7, 2016

Former Navy commander builds his own Harmon Rocket II

Jim Stone sits in the cockpit of the 2008 Harmon Rocket II he built and flew to the Sun 'n Fun International Fly- in and Expo at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport.

LAKELAND — Jim Stone's interest in aviation took flight during college.

Stone, who flew a home-built Harmon Rocket II to Sun 'n Fun, grew up in Lancaster, Pa. His father flew planes during Stone's younger years from the time he was 7 until the age of 10. It was his first taste of what it felt like to be airborne.

The hobby for Jim's father became too expensive, and soon after Stone turned 10, his father gave up flying.

Flying again, let along building his own plane, seemed worlds away but during his sophomore year at Pensacola Junior College a spark was lit.

Twice a year a Navy recruiter would show up wearing a summer white uniform and informing students about the Navy and what it's like to fly.

"He had a table set up with a bunch of pictures on it," said Stone. "He also had a little sign that was advertising free airplane rides. I had only flown once or twice with my father many years prior. That memory came back to me as I was standing there at the table."

Stone at the time had an interest in biology, chemistry and medicine but the offer of being in the air again was too hard to pass up.

"I said to myself, 'Yeah, I would like to go for a flight,' he said. "I didn't know what I wanted to do at that time in regards to my education and career so I walked up to the recruiter and asked what I needed to do to get that free plane ride."

The recruiter told Stone he needed to take a test in the pilot entry program. It took Stone four hours and he passed. He was ready to rekindle that childhood memory he had with his father so many years ago.

"I put my helmet and flight suit on and talked to him on the ICS system," said Stone. "We flew in the Navy's basic trainer, the T-34 Bravo. I was instantly in love. It's like when you see that girl that you want to marry for the first time. I was like, 'Oh my God, this is it.' I loved it."

Shortly thereafter Stone sent in his application and within a year he was enlisted in the Navy. He attended flight school at Pensacola Junior College.

Kathy Stone, Jim's wife, met him in 1981 while she was working in Virginia Beach for McDonnell Douglas, an American aerospace manufacturing corporation and defense contractor. The couple currently live in Louisville, Ky.

"He was a Navy lieutenant," she said. "He had a small airplane at the time and that was my introduction to aviation."

Stone served for 20 years before retiring in 1995 as a commander. It was then Stone could focus on building his own plane.

"Around the 10-year mark in the Navy I became interested in building my own plane," he said. "At that time I moved around too often while serving in the Navy to start building anything and there weren't any good plane kits at the time."

A trip to the Airventure Oshkosh Fly-In Convention shortly following retirement, the largest fly-in convention show in the country in Oshkosh, Wis., was the moment Stone knew which model plane he wanted to build and fly. His friend alerted him to a Harmon Rocket and he was in love.

"I was walking back to the campground and then I just remember stopping and saying, 'That's the best looking plane I've seen,' " said Stone. "I did my own research and sent in for a kit soon after."

It took Stone nine years years to build the Harmon Rocket II that he said costs between $100,000 and $120,000. The six-cylinder, 300 horsepower engine built in Zephryhills was $31,000.

Construction began in 1998 and was finished in 2008. It took Stone 7,000 hours in the shop to finish.

The grey, black and red color scheme is custom, with the paint being purchased at a Chevrolet dealership. They are Corvette colors.

"It's amazing how it has evolved over time," said Stone. "I would come to Sun 'n Fun and take pictures of planes to see what colors and patterns I liked. It was something interesting and not boring. I accumulated hundreds of pictures.

He has been flying it once a week since 2008 and has flown to Colorado, South Carolina, Florida and Wisconsin. Stone said it looks brand new because he treats it like a weekend car, keeps it stored in a hangar out of the elements.

"My favorite part about having our own plane is it's something we can do together," said Kathy Stone. "It's something he loves and is passionate about. It's his life. If I want to be with him I have to jump in the back seat and fly."

Original article can be found here:

Davinci Jets: Charlotte charter-flights company rides improving economy

Eric Legvold piloted his first flight at age 12, when his uncle, a U.S. Navy pilot, encouraged him to take his side of the controls during a ride in a Cessna 172.

After landing, his Uncle Jim complimented him: “You did a fantastic job.”

Legvold, now 41, now knows that his uncle was really the one in the control of the aircraft. But back then, “I believed him,” he says, laughing.

Later, during a career piloting corporate clients in Charlotte, Legvold again had moments when he believed he could do a good job – this time as a business owner. Along with Ryan Stone, a childhood friend from Orlando, Fla., who also was in Charlotte, they launched JetPool in 2004, which had its first flight in 2006.

They rebranded the company name in November to Davinci Jets (a nod to Renaissance man Leonardo da Vinci’s fascination with flight.)

With annual revenues in the eight figures, according to Legvold, the privately-owned company specializes in aircraft management and private charter flight services – often for high-ranking companies, sports figures, celebrities, company owners and executive staff of professional sports teams.

Today, Davinci Jets manages 13 aircraft in Concord, Monroe, Greensboro, and Knoxville, Tenn., and its home base at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, where seemingly every window has a grand view of planes taxiing and landing.

Legvold says it’s important to the company’s leaders – him and Stone, third partner and CFO Paul Sameit, and Scott Voglesonger, executive vice president of business development – that Davinci Jets be known for treating both clients and employees right.

Aircraft management companies are “not a new idea,” Legvold says during an interview at the company’s leased hangar and office space at the Charlotte airport.

“The new idea for us was, if we treat everyone out there the best that we can, then what’s naturally going to happen is everyone’s going to have a smile, everyone’s going to do their job better, because they’re happy.”

He shares his takes on expansion plans, keeping their eye on innovation through new companies, and why some sports figures prefer Bojangles’ over fancy foods during their flights. Comments have been edited for brevity and clarity.

On Davinci Jets’ growth: Since 2006 until now, we have grown every year (in employees, now at 43, and in aircraft under management). That’s a testament to employees. Our customer service has been the best in the area. It’s what we can do for you, which is how this was born.

The majority of our clients are new aircraft owners. A few are existing flight departments in companies that decided to make a change and go to management. A lot of the younger companies that are growing and have the need for private transportation are leaning more toward the management style, rather than having an internal flight department.

We operate for a Fortune 200 company, all the way to private individuals that own or have sold companies. We have six clients that are Fortune 1000.

On its recently launched sports and entertainment division: It followed an internal study showing 45 percent of clients are tied to sports and entertainment, 40 percent are corporate, and 15 percent are private. Among our sports and entertainment clients, it broke down to going to events: Masters, Super Bowl, big NASCAR events, World Series - large sports or entertainments. Through our charter business, you can call the sales office and say ‘I need a trip to the Masters.’ If you needed help with hotel and tickets, we can facilitate that. We have very good relationships with several car and limousine companies.

For the actual sports figure or entertainment figure, we’ll handle their travel needs, as well as professional teams’ executive travel. What we do very well is the customer service side, door to door.

What we’ve learned over the years is a sports figures’ preferences are different from CEOs. They prefer lower key treatment, with respect and good customer service. We get to know our clients, we get to know their personalities and what they like. Some like certain foods, like Bojangles’ or Papa Johns. We get that for them.

Did the Carolina Panthers’ Super Bowl season help? We didn’t have any (aircraft) that were not used. (As local sports teams do well) it drives business. We have a lot of local clients who call us up and say what do you have? We give them options.

Costs: Range from $1,450 to $5,400 an hour (depending on length of trip and aircraft).

On expanding, and launching new projects: Our goal is to be a strong contender in the southeast. From there, we’d like to go to the deep south Texas area. Over the next couple of years,our challenge will be getting outside of the Charlotte area, and really growing Greensboro, Knoxville, and entering Charleston.

We’re in the early stages of starting another company in the drone field, Davinci AIS (aerial information systems). Because of our background in aviation, we feel we’ll be poised to take advantage of that. As the FAA starts to regulate this, it’s going to reflect what’s already in existence with airplanes somehow, and we know that area very well.

(Ryan Stone is a founder and president of SmartSky Networks LLC., which formed in 2011 and provides high-speed Internet service for airborne passengers. Legvold is vice president of flight operations.)

On clients’ experiences: As an example, we had a passenger who flew out and left his car idling in the parking lot. A maintenance employee saw exhaust coming out. He called scheduling to see who it might be. The car ran out of gas. He went to the passenger’s house, got a spare key from his wife, came back, got gas, and of course the battery died, so he got a new battery put in. Two days later, the client found out. He wrote an email saying thank you.

Story, video and photo gallery:

Amazon’s Airfreight Move Raises Hopes in Cargo Business: Beleaguered freight operators say e-commerce giant may jump start demand and capacity growth

The Wall Street Journal
Updated April 7, 2016 4:52 p.m. ET Inc.’s recent deal to lease a small fleet of cargo planes to shuttle merchandise in the U.S. is raising hopes for a revival in the sputtering airfreight sector.

Since the retailer’s March announcement, some in the airfreight business say they’ve been working to arrange meetings with Amazon, offering up their services and capacity to try to snag a piece of what they believe could be a lucrative business.

“From the perspective of the industry, everybody is excited about this,” said Derek Jones, director of London-based freight marketing firm Pilot Marketing.

A spokeswoman for Amazon declined to comment on whether the company was meeting with aircraft owners or air cargo services providers.

Global airfreight volumes have been weak for several years, averaging 1.7% annual growth since 2011, according to the International Air Transport Association.

In the U.S., FedEx Corp. and United Parcel Service Inc. dominate the sector, with a handful of smaller carriers and a network of freight forwarders—companies that coordinate shipping for retailers and manufacturers—competing for the remaining business.

But demand for expedited freight hauls within the U.S. is dwindling as truck and rail companies have improved their services and enhanced supply chain technology has helped retailers and manufacturers better map out their distribution plans. A smaller share of shipments move at the last minute, requiring speedy air service, and shippers are opting more often for cheaper transport.

While demand in the passenger airline business has improved steadily since the recession, cargo has remained relatively flat and dozens of freighter aircraft remain in storage. In a forecast published last month, the Federal Aviation Administration said the trend is likely to continue, with domestic air cargo volume projected to grow at an average of just 0.4% a year between 2016 and 2036.

Some companies believe Amazon’s entry into the market, although relatively small in scale, could drive increased demand for airfreight services over time as the retailer’s competitors scramble to keep up with the company’s rapid fulfillment pace.

Under a deal with Air Transport Services Group Inc., announced last month, Amazon will lease as many as 20 Boeing Co. 767 aircraft, boosting its independence from UPS and FedEx. ATSG’s stock price, which started 2016 below $10 a share, has jumped more than 50% this year, although it fell 2.9% in trading on Thursday to $14.47 a share.

But whether Amazon can push the rest of the airfreight industry into a growth spiral depends on how far the retailer goes in building up its own distribution network, said Adriana Diener, a freight and logistics consultant with Accenture. For now, Amazon will be carrying its own merchandise aboard the small fleet of ATSG planes. But, Ms. Diener said, if the company offers up spare capacity to other shippers, using better technology and with low rates, “that might generate more airfreight in the industry.”

Over time, Amazon may turn its delivery network into a business in its own right, charging other shippers to ferry packages and drop off merchandise. The retailer recently registered with the Federal Maritime Commission, which will allow it to offer freight forwarding services to suppliers shipping cargo in or out of the U.S.

One advantage Amazon has is its technological savvy. In an industry that has struggled to find systems to manage complex reservations and track shipments that can jump between several carriers on a journey, the tech outsider could drive big changes.

Still, Amazon’s capability also may present a competitive threat to smaller freight forwarders, said Brandon Fried, director of the Airforwarders Association, an industry group. “They could probably force us as an industry to up our game, improve our processes, be sharper and improve our service to the customer,” Mr. Fried said.

Rob Britton, a senior adviser at freight software firm SmartKargo said Amazon’s announcement has “driven so much speculative frenzy,” but the company’s full plans remain unclear. “OK, you’ve got people’s attention—what comes next?”

Original article can be found here:

Early indications: No essential air service • Worland Municipal Airport (KWRL) left off list of new request for proposals, according to Wyoming Department of Transportation

WORLAND – Worland Mayor Dave Duffy met with two Aeronautics Division employees from the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) and they told him Worland was left off the list of request for proposals for essential air service that had recently gone out.

The mayor announced his meeting with Dennis Byrne and Sheri Taylor at Tuesday night’s scheduled city council meeting.

He said they “weren’t very enthusiastic about our [Worland’s] possibility of receiving our EAS [essential air service] funding.

“That doesn’t mean it’s definitely dead, but it’s a pretty good indicator that it’s not going to happen,” Duffy said. He added, “They told me there has never been a community who has had the 1,100 per passenger subsidy that had their EAS funding restored.”

U.S. Department of Transportation Public Affairs Specialist Caitlin Harvey said, “We don’t have a timeline for a final decision yet, but I would say by summer,” in an email interview from late February.

In the city’s resolution to keep its EAS, it stated: “We earnestly desire the opportunity to acquire a more responsible carrier for the next contract cycle.”

In earlier interviews Worland Airport Manager Lynn Murdoch said, “A reliable carrier has a huge impact on our community providing safe, efficient transportation for our economic health and growth. This is particularly important in such a rural, sparsely populated area such as Wyoming.”

She said it is imperative that Worland be afforded equitable access to the national transportation systems without residents having to drive long distances.

Mayor Duffy earlier said the retention of the EAS is important because the city needs a service to attract residents from the surrounding counties, and our own, to fly out of here.


Harvey also said, “Under the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, in order to be eligible for Essential Air Service (EAS), a community must have had an average subsidy per passenger of less than $1,000 during the most recent fiscal year, as determined by the Secretary of Transportation. Great Lakes Airlines has served Worland for many years and under the current contract since October 1, 2014. For Fiscal Year 2015, Great Lakes’ average per passenger subsidy was $1,100, putting it over the $1,000 per passenger limit,” in reference to why the tentative decision to terminate the service was decided.

The city and other interested parties had 20 days from the original issued order posting date on Feb. 4 to show cause as to why the service should not be terminated.

“If the Department finalizes the tentative findings in a subsequent Order, the Department would terminate Great Lakes’ contract at the end of its current term, September 30, 2016, to allow for an orderly shutdown of service,” Harvey said.

The possibility of Worland’s Municipal Airport essential air service being reinstated is unknown and Harvey said, “If Worland’s eligibility for EAS is ultimately terminated after the Department reviews all objections, there is no reinstatement provision for communities that lose eligibility for exceeding the $1,000 per passenger limit.”

The Daily News attempted to contact Harvey Wednesday. She could not be reached by press time. 

Original article can be found here:

Burnet Municipal Airport (KBMQ) construction cleared for final approach

City officials said despite weather delays, the resurfacing project at the Burnet Municipal Airport is expected to be on schedule for May completion.

This week, only daytime landings will be permitted at the airport as the facility will be transferring from old lighting to new, one of several updates that have been made to the airport.

Crista Bromley, Burnet City Director of Administrative Services, said work by contractor Chasco Constructors of Round Rock fell 90 days behind “largely due to rain and ground water.”

Bromley reported to council in a recent meeting that contractors had put the “pedal to the metal” to make up for lost time.

“Pending no more bad weather, the project will be complete in May,” she said on Thursday, adding that the airport will be closed twice more for only a few days at a time to complete construction. “The last closure will be for the striping of the runway.”

The project includes two new above ground fuel tanks, new runway and apron (tarmac) surfacing, new lighting, and removal and repositioning of the taxiway to meet new Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations, which required “the moving of infrastructure and acquiring land and easements,” Bromley said, as well as “rerouting Houston Clinton Drive.”

“It has been a long time since the runway had a resurfacing” Bromley said, adding that it was prior to her start on city staff 15 years ago.

The entire project is expected to cost $12 million upon completion.

For repaving and sealing, the runway and taxiway have been closed in sections. Bromley said closures may be expected twice more in April and May. The Annual Bluebonnet Airshow, which usually takes place during the Bluebonnet Festival in April, has been rescheduled to Sept. 10.

Bromley said pilots are notified of the closures through a NOTAM (Notice To Airmen) publicized by FAA contractors.

Bromley said despite occasional airport closures during the project, city staff have already seen an increase in jet fuel sales, due partly to the use of a jet fuel truck, which allows jet pilots to fuel up without having to pull up near to the fuel tanks.

“We expect to have based jets in the next year or two,” Bromley said, adding that pilots preferred the easy fill-up provided by the fuel truck. “It's something we were looking at doing anyway. We already had it in the budget to lease the jet fuel truck.”

In a meeting on Tuesday March 22, Burnet City Council approved the lease of the jet fuel truck monthly for $1,400.

Bromley said the cost of the truck will raise the cost of fuel by about $1 per gallon.

Original article can be found here:

Morrissey 3150A, N5127V, Avionics Liaison Inc: Incident occurred April 06, 2016 at Hayward Executive Airport (KHWD), Alameda County, California


Date: 06-APR-16
Time: 22:27:00Z
Regis#: N5127V
Aircraft Make: MORRISEY
Aircraft Model: 2150
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Unknown
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Oakland FSDO-27
State: California


Incident occurred April 07, 2016 at Richland Airport (KRLD), Benton County, Washington

No one was injured when a small glider had trouble gaining lift at the Richland Airport on Thursday afternoon.

Initial reports were that an aircraft had crashed at the end of a runway.

However, Scott Keller, executive director of the Port of Benton, said an experienced glider pilot put the glider back down off the runway when he did not gain sufficient lift.

Original article can be found here:

Ria Air LLC P-51-D, N351TG: Incident occurred April 06, 2016 in Opelousas, St. Landry Parish, Louisiana

Date: 06-APR-16
Time: 20:45:00Z
Regis#: N351TG
Aircraft Make:
Aircraft Model: P51
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Minor
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
FAA Flight Standards District Office:  FAA Baton Rouge FSDO-03
State: Louisiana


Bell Helicopter Responding To Noise Complaints

TARRANT COUNTY (CBS11) – Bell Helicopter is planning to ask the Federal Aviation Administration to let pilots at its training academy fly at a higher altitude, after noise complaints from residents and cities in Tarrant County.

The helicopter manufacturer also hired an engineering firm, deployed noise monitors and changed routes in an effort to reduce noise.

Concerns over the flights started to increase last year after Bell consolidated its training academy at its headquarters in east Fort Worth.

Pilots had to fly north to train in airspace near the Texas Motor Speedway. The flight path along US 377 took helicopters over heavily developed commercial and residential areas.

Ken Eagle, in Fort Worth’s Park Glen neighborhood, said flights were low enough to shake the house at times.

“My grandson and I were hitting golf balls several times, and ‘Papa, hit em hit em’,” he said. “He thinks I could hit em.”

A City of Keller newsletter said the noise from the flights was not out of compliance with any noise ordinance.

Bell decided in late March though to spread out the routes. Northbound flights now travel over Rufe Snow Drive.  Southbound flights are continuing to follow US 377.

“The pilots have that direction on how they fly,” said Bell’s Brian Chase. “We are in contact on almost a daily basis to ensure that route is being respected.”

Chase said pilots have also been directed to fly over the center line of roads, rather than over the neighborhoods that border them. Keller’s newsletter said Bell has installed GPS trackers on several helicopters to track their paths.

Directing pilots to fly at a higher altitude is a more complicated task though.

Airspace requirements for DFW International, Meacham and Alliance airports can all impact the current path.

Air traffic approaching Alliance is what keeps helicopter pilots right now from using I-35 as a flight path to the training area. Chase said the company is planning to request that the FAA carve out a space allowing helicopter pilots to ascend another 300 to 800 feet.

Bell has set up a dedicated phone line at 817-280-9009, and emailaddress,, for residents with more concerns about the operations.

Story and video:

Cessna 172, Westwind Aero Group LLC, N5275S; accident occurred April 06, 2016 in Payson, Gila County, Arizona -Kathryn's Report


FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Scottsdale FSDO-07

NTSB Identification: GAA16CA188
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, April 06, 2016 in Payson, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/14/2016
Aircraft: CESSNA 172, registration: N5275S
Injuries: 1 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 student pilot, during landing on his solo flight the airplane porpoised. He reported that after landing he repositioned the airplane, but prior to takeoff, a fellow pilot, who witnessed the porpoise, contacted him on the VHF radio, and informed him that he should have the airplane checked out before attempting to takeoff. The student pilot taxied to the parking area and the airport manager and airframe and powerplant mechanic inspected the airplane. The student pilot called his flight instructor and conveyed the situation and the level of damage. However, according to the flight instructor, the student pilot only conveyed the damage to the tail skid. The flight instructor reported that he told the student to confer with the mechanic and determine if the airplane was airworthy. 

The student pilot departed and proceeded to the airport where his flight school was based. Shortly after the departure, the airport manager that looked the airplane over for the student pilot, called the flight school and conveyed the gravity of the situation and informed the school that the airplane actually sustained damage to the firewall, tail skid and rudder fairing. The flight instructor did not confer with anyone other than the student pilot to ensure the airplane was airworthy. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fire wall. 

The student 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 student pilot's failure to maintain pitch control during the landing flare, resulting in the subsequent porpoise during landing and substantial damage to the firewall.

Grumman AA-5B, N80CH: Incident occurred April 06, 2016 in Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky

Date: 06-APR-16
Time: 22:55:00Z
Regis#: N80CH
Aircraft Make: GRUMMAN
Aircraft Model: AA5
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Unknown
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Louisville FSDO-17
State: Kentucky


REVO Lake 250, N8400F: Incident occurred April 07, 2016 near Pryor Field Regional Airport (KDCU), Decatur, Alabama

DECATUR — What turned into an average day working on the river for Peter Serodino turned into brief media frenzy near the Tennessee River Bridge Thursday afternoon. The Chattanooga resident was working in his seaplane when his battery went dead and he had to be towed by the Decatur Marine Police into a nearby marina.

When Serodino and fellow passenger, Rhonda Clayton, finally exited the plane, they were greeted by a swarm of news cameras and plenty of questions from Decatur police.

Serodino flew out of Chattanooga and was doing contract work for Southern Marine Construction Co. The company is interested in bidding for the Decatur Crossing water pipeline project.

“I was doing some investigative work in my boat and the battery went dead,” Serodino said about his seaplane. “We landed. It was very uneventful. I did my investigation as far as obstructions to the construction process and my battery went dead.”

When the craft was spotted on the river about 1:10 p.m. between the U.S. 31 bridge and the CSX Railroad Bridge, rescue boats, trucks and personnel from Morgan and Limestone counties were quickly dispatched to the scene of what was reported to be a plane that made a hard landing on the water, according to emergency scanner traffic at the time.

“We had been on the water for about an hour and found out it was dead,” he said. “It was too weak to start the motor. Hopefully, we'll charge it up and be on our way. ”

Serodino was flying a 1987 Lake Amphibian seaplane. Serodino said he has been flying for more than 30 years and never had an incident landing a plane.

“I hope it's not a slow news day,” joked Serodino. “I do this all the time. I don't have dead batteries very often. I can usually escape before the news comes.”

Original article can be found here:

An airplane initially thought to have made a forced landing in the Tennessee River in Decatur today is a seaplane designed for water landings, an official said.

The pilot, Peter Serodino of Chattanooga, was deemed okay. He is with Serodino Inc., a marine and construction company interested in the Decatur Crossing water pipeline project. Athens-Limestone Rescue Squad truck towed his plane to the dock area of Decatur Boat Harbor.

The Lake 250 plane departed from Chattanooga. 

"The plane is basically a boat hull with wings that has a motor on top that stays out of the water," said Limestone County Deputy Stephen Young, public information officer for the Sheriff's Office.

When the craft landed on the river about 1:10 p.m. between Hudson Memorial Bridge and the Tennessee River Bridge, rescue boats, trucks and personnel from Morgan and Limestone counties were quickly dispatched to the scene of what was reported to be a plane that made a hard landing on the water, according to emergency scanner traffic at the time.

Original article can be found here:

A plane made an emergency landing on the Tennessee River in Decatur Thursday afternoon.

The plane landed in the river between the Highway 31 bridge and the railroad bridge around 1:15 p.m., according to the Morgan County Emergency Management Agency. The pilot was not injured, officials said. Both the pilot and passenger are from Chattanooga.

The plane, which is a floatplane equipped for water landings, was towed into the Riverwalk Marina.

Lt. Jeremy Hayes with the Decatur Police Department says no laws were broken with landing. He says the plane flew close to the causeway and people thought it was crashing.

Police are now asking the public to inform them of a water landing if you are flying in the area. 

Lt. Hayes says the pilot and passenger were surveying the area for an upcoming project with Decatur Utilities and Athens-Limestone.

There's no word yet on what caused the pilot to make the landing in the river.

Original article can be found here:

DECATUR, AL (WAFF) -  A plane has made what the Morgan County EMA confirmed to be a hard water landing in Decatur.

Our ALFA camera captured the plane floating in the waters of the Tennessee River between the Hudson Memorial and railroad bridges around 1:30 p.m.

At least two boats approached the plane for about a half an hour after we began to see images of the plane in the water. One began towing the plane at about 2 p.m.

Stephen Young with the Limestone County Sheriff's Office said the plane is a Lake Renegade amphibious plane, built for water takeoff and landings.

Pilot Peter Serodino told us he is a contractor and was flying in from Chattanooga to perform water depth tests for a Limestone County Water Authority project.

Serodino, who said he has been flying for 30 years, believes his plane's battery may have died. He was flying with a passenger at the time of the hard landing, but no major injuries were reported.

An investigation is ongoing.

Original article can be found here:

DECATUR, Ala. – A pilot landed his plane in the Tennessee River just off the Hudson Bridge in Decatur on Thursday, but fortunately, it’s a type that can land on water.  A passenger was also aboard.  Both she and the pilot are fine.

The pilot, Peter Serodino, is from Chattanooga and was doing some survey work for a utilities project in the area.  He apparently flew too low and had to land the plane in the water, but wasn’t able to restart it.

Decatur Police came to tow the plane to shore, and they’re helping with a battery to get the plane restarted so Serodino can fly back to Chattanooga.

Original article can be found here: 

Boeing 737, N278EA: Incident occurred April 06, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Date: 07-APR-16
Time: 00:01:00Z
Regis#: N278EA
Aircraft Make: BOEING
Aircraft Model: 737
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Unknown
Flight Phase: TAXI (TXI)
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Philadelphia FSDO-17
State: Pennsylvania


Bell 206, N73AV: Incident occurred April 06, 2016 in Kingman, Mohave County, Arizona

Date: 06-APR-16
Time: 23:00:00Z
Regis#: N73AV
Aircraft Make: BELL
Aircraft Model: 206
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Unknown
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 133
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Scottsdale FSDO-07
State: Arizona


Enterprise Municipal Airport (KEDN) rehab project on target

The rehabilitation project at the Enterprise Municipal Airport is about 80 percent complete. “We’re right on schedule,” Enterprise Director of Engineering Michael Walters told those attending the city council work session March 29.

The airport repair and rehabilitation project began nearly two years ago with hangar inspections to determine repairs needed and solicitation of hangar tenant input.

Among the issues addressed were leaking roofs, door tracks full of sod and gravel and concern that the uplift of the wind would raise the hangar doors on the older hangars.

The “A” Hangars and corporate hangar were the first to be tackled. The “B” Hangars were completed by the end of 2015. The “F” Hangars are the last to be redone and are being finished up now, Walters said.

Michael Cole, an engineer with Barge, Waggner, Sumner and Cannon, Inc. is project manager for the $1.309 million rehabilitation that got physically underway in September 2015 with a public meeting of city officials and airport hangar tenants. “This has made a huge difference,” Cole told The Southeast Sun earlier. “The project is on track and on budget.”

Walters said rehabilitation plans for the two-fold project included improvements to the existing T-hangars, commercial hangars and taxiways, began at the maintenance hangars first.

Each of the hangars have been “reskinned” and repainted a mustard yellow color. All the hangar roofs have been resealed and painted white. LED lights have been installed both inside and outside of the hangars. The electricity has been brought up to code and the bottom door wheels have been replaced with steel bearing wheels.

Next, the asphalt on the taxiway will be recoated with a 1/8-inch seal and restriped, Walters said. “That will give 10 years more life to it.”

The project is a win-win situation, Cole said at a previous meeting. “The city is reinvesting the revenue they receive from the tenants’ rent back into the renovations of the airport.”

The airport currently has 50 tenant aircraft owners. There are at least 50 more on a waiting list, said Walters.

“We wanted to make this the least invasive process that we possibly could,” Cole said. “At the end of the day, the city did this project for the pilots.”

Cole had high praise for the “team attitude” of the tenant-pilots affected by the project.

“They have seen this project as a ‘plus’ and have had a team attitude to help us get it done.”

The hangar tenants were notified one month in advance of their hangar’s rehab and asked to empty their hangars completely.

The city made space available on the ramp, with new tie down ropes, to house the displaced aircraft, Walters said, adding that there was no charge for the ramp use and rent was waived for the duration tenants were out of their hangars.

Currently rent from the hangars generates about $140,000 a year and the rent increase in January is expected to add another $13,000 annually. “The city of Enterprise is reinvesting the rent money to put it back into the hangar rehabilitation,” Cole said. “We work all over the Southeast and the Enterprise Airport is without a doubt one of the nicest airports we work with.”

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Federal Aviation Administration to clear the air on controversy over aircraft priority at Aspen-Pitkin County Airport/Sardy Field (KASE), Aspen, Pitkin County, Colorado: Officials will meet with county next week

Officials with the Federal Aviation Administration are meeting with Pitkin County next week to discuss the challenges presented by the landscape around the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport, and will set the record straight on a perceived notion that private planes have priority over commercial aircraft.

The FAA has long said that private planes do not have priority over any commercial aircraft, and that all planes are on a first-come, first-served basis. But the sheer volume of private aircraft coming in to Sardy Field makes many frustrated commercial passengers feel that they are waiting on the taxiway in order to accommodate these smaller jets.

John Kinney, airport director, said Wednesday that the meeting will take place during the usual Pitkin County commissioners work session on April 12, and Greg Dyer, FAA’s terminal assistant district manager for the Rocky Mountain District, will be in attendance.

Kinney said the discussion will cover the unique challenges of the airspace over Aspen, and take a look at the reliability of local navigational aids.

“It’s an extraordinarily complex bit of airspace over Aspen,” he said.

Kinney noted that there is emerging technology that could improve the predictability of flight times at the airport, and Sardy Field would be the ideal place to beta test it. The geographical and weather-related realities of the region often conspire to cause flights to be delayed, diverted, or cancelled outright, making Aspen one of the more difficult destinations to fly in and out of reliably.

“We were ranked in the Top-10 in the country, but unfortunately for the wrong reasons,” he said.

The discussion will also update the BOCC on the environmental assessment (EA) process that is currently underway. A recent public scoping period netted roughly 200 responses, some of which will be discussed with the commissioners, Kinney said. 

The EA will lay out the plans for needed safety improvements such as a new terminal building and a wider, reconfigured runway to accommodate jets with wider wingspans. Future aircraft are getting larger, and Sardy Field will be ill-equipped to handle those planes without the expansion.

During a meeting with the public affairs committee of the Aspen Chamber Resort Association this week, some attendees were miffed by talk of larger aircraft, possibly 737s, flying into Sardy Field.

But there’s no specific answer as to what aircraft will be utilized in the future.

Kinney said that staff recently sent a letter to all the airlines that fly into Aspen inquiring about the makeup of their current and future fleets, but has yet to receive a response.

He added that nobody knows exactly what planes will be allowed to fly into Aspen until the EA is complete and size allowances are determined.

“Can larger aircraft come in? We don’t know that yet,” he said. “That should all be fleshed out in the EA process.”

Sardy Field is in a unique position as it faces the prospect of larger planes. The airport has operated for years under a modification of standards (MOD), in which the runway and taxiway were only separated by 320 feet from the center line of each, while the FAA standard for a design category three airport is 400 feet. The runway is also 100 feet wide, while a design three standard is 150 feet.

Under the MOD, any planes landing at the airport are capped at a 95-foot or smaller wingspan. But every viable commercial jet being built going forward will have a wingspan greater than 95 feet, meaning if Aspen wants to retain its level of airline service, upgrades must be made.

The community must also decide what kind of experience it wants out at the facility, and has traditionally panned the idea of a larger airport.

Kinney added that the internal layout of the planned, new 80,000-square-foot terminal building will also need to be decided on. 

Because of the unpredictability of conditions at Sardy Field, the “dwell time” for travelers can be longer than the norm, he said. This means traveler comfort, food-and-beverage options, technological amenities, and possibly retail opportunities must be factored in.

Kinney added that operations are very constrained at the current 44,000-square-foot facility, and with the future of larger planes, more passengers could be delayed at the airport.

“[What we need to look at is] what is going to happen within that 80,000 square feet?” he said. “It needs to be put in the dialogue.”

Original article can be found here: